Album Review: I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel at Home by Hotel Books

a3716073364_2I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel at Home by Hotel Books

Record Label: InVogue records

Genre: Indie/Post-hardcare and Spoken Words

Release Date: July 1, 2014

Songs: 11
good good

 Hotel Books are a California based band that formed in 2011. So far, they have released one album: Call Me Human. One Double EP: I’m Almost Happy Here, But I Never Feel at Home. And four EPs: Amid the Beautiful Devastation, Found Out I’m Not So Brave, 2013 Tour, and I’m Almost Happy Here.  Band members are: Cam Smith (vocals, drums), Daniel Adams (bass guitar), Jordan Leal (guitar), Johnny Blackwell (guitar), Daniel “Cowboy Dan” Colasanto (drums).

First of all, I would like to thank the PR, Earshot Media for giving me a copy of this album to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Using a mix of ambient music and intense, bone chilling spoken words, Hotel Books are a band that I’m giddy to talk about. Like most people, I try my best to connect with everyone and everything around me, especially the things that I love and while listening to I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel at Home I feel so connected on such a personal level just by simply hearing the intros and the broken and raw vocalist tell the band’s stories. It’s exciting and fresh and like no other type of connection because spoken words is supposed to reach into your soul and take a part of you to make you remember how awesome spoken words is.

The record starts off with threes songs that are a bit muffled. Lose Yourself is a bit all over the place and albeit this type of form works for them, it doesn’t do so well here. Although the intro for Cult Leader is awesome and sassy, the quick and clipped guitar tempo doesn’t quite match the speed of everything else during the beginning of the song. Because of this, the song sounds off and a little panicked, trying to play catch up. Moreover, Nicole is a sweet song. As an instrumental, it’s soft and calming, with a beautiful tone to it but when paired with the harsh vocals, it gets confusing and sounds like two different songs trying to forge together but not fitting correctly.

Nonetheless, vocals in most songs are amazing as well as the lyrics. Listeners of this album will be able to easily hear the raw emotions in every song and be able to feel the love through the words. They’re sad but so beautiful, ah! Constant Collapse starts off quietly but I like the build-up, the screaming and guitar riffs are paired well with the intense drums. This song is full of so much emotion and anger and sadness and love. It’s an easy song for most people to relate to. A song about romance that was flimsy yet great turning to crap. Another great song is Dreaming or Sinking,the words are so very smooth and flow nicely in this one. There aren’t any long awkward pauses, the build-up is great and really emphasises the words that are being spoken as well as the crescendo for the volume is perfect. Adding onto that, the Bass drum is well pronounced in Two Eight One. It’s rhythmic and is in time with the vocals. The crescendo not only for the guitar but for everything, moving as a whole is perfect. Near the end, the lone guitar is creepy! The riffs are steady and moderately loud but have a huge thud to it. However, what’s creepier is Lungs which starts off with, “Scream Hallelujah until you cough up blood. ‘Cause the Devil came for our minds but left with our love.” Woah, talk about a tough life. Anyway, the song has great build-up, the drummer is obviously having fun with this one. The tempo is great, it picks up speed when the vocalist starts giving more into it by seamlessly following the lead and then slowing down when the song hits its soft spots that need as much emphasis as possible. Hotel Books ends the record off with Car Crash which is, by far, the most realistic song on the album. They truly did save the best for last. You can really imagine the crash. The pain, the fear, the strength. I get chills listening to this one. It’s a realistic look on what goes on when someone is seriously injured. They’re scared, they pray, they curse, they’re doing something and trying not to die and sometimes they don’t while sometimes, they do.

Hotel Books has strongly fabricated their beliefs of love and faith into their music. I say that it’s strongly knit because the way they connect back to their religion and love is in a way that makes the utmost sense. In Car Crash, I think that most people, even atheists would turn to god and try to strike up a deal. Or even in Constant Collapse where it’s romance and a painful love. It’s done in a way that wouldn’t make people uncomfortable but connect. Favourite songs are: Constant Collapse, Dreaming or Sinking, Two Eight One and Car Crash although throughout the album, songs are heartfelt and strong. I could easily picture myself in them.

4 Awesome Treble Clefs
4 Awesome Treble Clefs

 

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Lose One Friend-2:58

2. Lose All Friends-2:19

3. Lose Yourself-3:01

4. Constant Collapse-3:33

5. Dreaming or Sinking-3:19

6. Two Eight One-3:20

7. America’s Next Model-3:06

8. Cult Leader-3:41

9. Nicole-3:30

10. Lungs-4:15

11. Car Crash-4:33

Album Review: Acceptance Speech by Dance Gavin Dance

Acceptance_Speech_-_Dance_Gavin_Dance

Acceptance Speech by Dance Gavin Dance

Record Label: Rise Records

Genre: Post-Hardcore

Release Date: October 8, 2013

Songs: 11
good good

Dance Gavin Dance are a post-hardcore band that formed in Sacramento, California in 2005. Since then, they have released two EPS- Whatever I Says is Royal Ocean and Secret Band. As well as five albums-Downtown Battle Mountain, Dance Gavin Dance, Happiness, Downtown Battle Mountain 2, and Acceptance Speech. Current band members are: Jon Mess (unclean vocals), Matt Mingus (drums, percussion), Will Swan (guitar unclean vocals, rapping), Tim Feerick (bass guitar), Josh Benton (guitar), Tilian Pearson (clean vocals).

opinion

I am so out of the loop when it comes to this band. The last time I listened to anything new by DGD, it was off of their self-titled album. Of course, everyone knows about Jonny Craig and his issues but I never knew that he rejoined the band. Anyway, they weren’t this heavy and they liked to add a lot of conversations to their songs like in Rock Solid. But out with the old and in with then new, right? Acceptance Speech is definitely an album that  might come as a surprise to some fans, especially older ones who have lost faith because Down Battle Mountain is an awful album but I assure you that this is fairly good.

Tilian Pearson, the newest member of Dance Gavin Dance has really smooth vocals that make me a great choice as a clean vocalist. Add in some rough vocals from Jon Mess and the harmonic balance is slightly off. Pearson’s voice is amazing but sound too clean in The Robot With Human Hair Pt. 4 and Acceptance Speech. Throughout the album there could have been a few nicely executed build-ups in Death of the Robot With Human Hair instead of it going from slow to fast quickly. It also doesn’t help that the song sounds like it could be the theme song for the Power Rangers or Power Puff Girls. Strawberry Swisher Pt. 3 is just awful with lyrics that just bash bands and bad producing skills that make the song sound like a child went crazy in the production room.

Drums keep the band together and sounding like one and in Carve and Doom and Gloom Matt Mingus is so tight and spot on that it’s hard not to notice how smooth it is and makes everything else. The change-up in Honey Revenge is nice with clean vocals taking the lead. Unfortunately, this song is beyond fucked with Pearson sweetly singing about rape: Oh (I’m just tying the knot)/Can’t wait to catch you all alone/Oh (I’m just tying the knot)/Girl, then I swear I’ll take you home/Whether you want it or not/Whether you like it or not. Creepy, right? Dance Gavin Dance ends the album on a more relaxed note with Turn off the Lights, I’m Watching Back to the Future Pt.2 that includes a flowing guitar solo to stay in listeners’ heads.

Acceptance Speech still has that snarky tone that Dance Gavin Dance has always had. They tend to provoke people and push the limits and like to insult their listeners with nice tunes and harsh lyrics. After the wreck that is their last album, this one might just save their damaged relationship with their fans. I would say that the best songs on this album are- Acceptance Speech, Doom and Gloom, and Turn off the Lights, I’m Watching Back to the Future Pt.2. Maybe even Honey Revenge if it weren’t so damn creepy. I recommend this to anyone who has been skeptical of DGD in the past because although this album still has flaws it is a step in the right direction since DBM2.

3 Sexy Treble Clefs
3 Sexy Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Jesus H. Macy-3:27

2. The Robot with Human Hair Pt. 4-3:35

3. Acceptance Speech-4:27

4. Carve-2:50

5. Doom and Gloom-3:41

6. Strawberry Swisher Pt. 3-3:36

7. Honey Revenge-3:30

8. Demo Team-3:09

9. Death of the Robot with Human Hair-5:09

10. The Jiggler-4:56

11. Turn off the Lights, I’m Watching Back to the Future Pt. 2-6:01

Song of the Week#11-Can You Feel My Heart by Bring Me the Horizon (School Edition-C)

school

This is a weekly meme that’s for the most part, the same as Song Of The Week except each week there will be for the alphabet/numbers! and it’s going to be updated once a week. This week’s edition is: C!

BMTH_Sempiternal

 

Bring Me the Horizon are a British metalcore band from Sheffield, Yorkshire that formed in 2004. The band have released 4 albums-Suicide Season, Blessings, There is a Hell, Believe Me, I’ve Seen it. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret., and Sempiternal. Can You Feel My Heart is off of their album, Sempiternal.

Believe it or not, this song does relate to school. Who can fix the broken? Teachers! Yeah, I know, that was pretty shitty but oh well. The main reason why I’m adding this song to SotW is because my friend and I always (and by always I really do mean always) sing this song to each other. Line by line. I’m usually the one who fucks up first but still, it’s something fun to do that also pisses off our French teacher!

My favourite part is:

I’m scared to get close and I hate being alone.
I long for that feeling to not feel at all.
The higher I get, the lower I’ll sink.
I can’t drown my demons, they know how to swim.

Can you feel my heart?

Can you hear the silence?
Can you see the dark?
Can you fix the broken?
Can you feel… can you feel my heart?

You can watch Can You Feel My Heart here.

Lyrics are here.

Album Review:Sempiternal by Bring Me the Horizon

BMTH_Sempiternal

Sempiternal by Bring Me the Horizon

Record Label: Epitaph Records

Genre: Post-Hardcore/Metalcore

Release Date: April 2, 2013

Songs: 11
good good

Bring Me the Horizon are a British metalcore band from Sheffield, Yorkshire that formed in 2004. The band have released 4 albums-Suicide Season, Blessings, There is a Hell, Believe Me, I’ve Seen it. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret., and Sempiternal. The group currently consists of lead vocalist Oliver Sykes, lead guitarist Lee Malia, bassist Matt Kean, drummer Matt Nicholls and keyboardist Jordan Fish.

opinion

Never judge an album by an artist’s past work. It’s a simple rule yet I find myself always doing just that. Which is why reviewing this album is something I never thought, never imagined I would ever find myself doing. Yet, here I am. By far, this is their best album yet and that’s probably because they finally listened to the world and made a very smooth transition from hardcore to post-hardcore. To be completely honest, I’m still not a fan of their music, in general, but Sempiternal has made Bring me the Horizon one that I will watch out for once they start releasing new music.

For anyone who has listened to a few of these songs already, or have seen some of the titles (track list is below!), It’s obvious that this album is a heavily religious album. And not in a, ‘we love God, he showed us the way.” But in a mocking way with Ollie Sykes screaming lyrics like-“FUCK YOUR FAITH!/No one’s gonna save you!/FUCK YOUR FAITH!/There’s no hope for us/We speak in tongues”. I’m not a religious person however I do find some of these lyrics rude and offensive to many people no matter what they stand for.

Sempiternal is full of great intro especially in Can You Feel My Heart where the techno beats clashes wonderfully with the guitars and bass. Now pair that with some extremely relatable lyrics (non religious) in And the Snakes Start to Sing, Sleepwalking, and Seen it All Before. I also love how the album is full of many keyboard pieces that really add to the songs, even in the slightest way.

Bring me the Horizon has always been known as that band that could be better if only they changed their sound. With loyal band members that enjoy making music together, sometimes, when a band changes their sound, it’s for the best and not for the worst. It only depends on the band and whether they are doing it for the right reasons.

3 Sexy Treble Clefs
3 Sexy Treble Clefs

Songs On The Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Can You Feel My Heart-3:55

2. The House of Wolves-3:26

3. Empire (Let Them Sing)-3:45

4. Sleepwalking-3:51

5. Go to Hell, for Heaven’s Sake-4:02

6. Shadow Moses-4:12

7. And the Snakes Start to Sing-5:03

8. Seen it All Before-4:09

9. Antivist-3:17

10. Crooked Youth-3:37

11. Hospital for Souls-6:38

Song Of The Day#54-Grace by Captives

cover

If you’re a fan of Seahaven then you will defiantly like this band. Actually, I think if you like most post-hardcore bands that you will like this band too. I know for one that I cannot wait for their full length album to be released. This band has so much potential to do great things.

Captives is a post hardcore band from Eagle Mountain, Utah. “My Eyes Are Open is what radio stations would be playing if they actually had an ear for music. While listening it’s easy to pick up on their rock roots, but the further into a track you get the more layers start to unfold. A lulling baseline might kickstart a song, but by its end emotionally draining vocals are being shouted, eclipsing your first impression and morphing it into an almost transcendental experience of pain and whirling guitar riffs. This album is a deeply emotional journey that will move the listener. It’ll pick you up one moment, make you want to cry the next, and then leave you with a sense of hope for the future.”-Taken from the band’s bandcamp page.


Grace 
is a lovely song that at first, is slow and gently but then quickly speeds up with still gentle vocals and an intense drumming part.

My favourite part is:

Even though I’m young I still feel old. Like a book that’s written, a story told.

I am responsible for your pain, yes I am the disappointing summer rain.

Yes I am the crossing train, yes I am the one you need to entertain.
So we took the time and we took it back. All deaf from hearing my voice crack.

We shouted out to the heaven above, ” Have I lost your love”.

You can listen to Grace and get a free and LEGAL download here.  With lyrics.