Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's a Big If

So, fans of both Yellowcard and Reeve Oliver who are salivating at the mouths for new material are having to content themselves with already released albums (and I know because I'm a massive Yellowcard fan). However, it's recently come to my attention that Ryan Key the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Yellowcard has united with Sean O'Donnell of the pop punk band Reeve Oliver in a new project called Big If. While both Key and O'Donnell have reassured their fans that neither of their bands are breaking up, they've stated that they just are trying something new for a while.
But this is not an entry about Yellowcard or Reeve Oliver, it's about Big If. So with Key on lead vocal duties and guitar, and O'Donnell on guitar, Big If actually has a great pop punk sound. The band has released four new tracks on their myspace all of which I've listened to and all of which I will vouch for. These new tracks are awesome. My personal favorites are "Triple Please" and "When," but "Bug Light" and "Bunny and Me" are starting to grow on me fast. If you haven't heard these guys, or these new tracks yet, get over to their Myspace and check them out. Both Yellowcard and Reeve Oliver fans will be satisfied with the music their frontmen are making during this downtime, and new fans will be made, enlarging both Yellowcard's and Reeve Oliver's fan bases when they pick up again. In the mean time, listen to these new songs. Great melodies, great lyrics, great guitar, great songs.

Sounds Like: Yellowcard, Reeve Oliver

Key Tracks from Big If's new demo: "Triple Please," "When," "Bug Light," "Bunny and Me"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Narration Nation

Ok, so I know it's been a while since I posted something for you guys to look at, but while I was gone I found you a new diamond in the rough. They're called Narration, and they're here to breathe new life into the recently stalling indie scene. Coming in off the chilly streets of Southwest London, Narration, comprised of Dan Holt (vocals and guitar), Simon Macson (drums), Paddy McNicholas (keyboards and synths), and Al Oliver (bass), are like a new-age Coldplay with a shot of adrenaline for good measure, so, instead of a whiney, spacey sound, they have a tight, indie sound that will invade your ears and take over your senses.
Now, via a close friend of mine, I got my hands on a special advanced copy of Narration's upcoming debut single, "Miracle," with the b-side, "Please Show Me the Lights." What can I say about these two songs other than they are just straight forward, piano driven rock n' roll? Something grabs you, and you don't even know what it is, but you know you sure as hell like it. "Miracle" opens with a fantastic drum beat, a driving guitar riff and a great piano line. After the concise first single comes the b-side, though sure to be their next single, "Please Show Me the Lights." Opening with an eerie cymbal beat and a rhythmic bass line, "Please Show Me the Lights," then picks up, and drives right along, until that eerie cymbal beat is replaced by pounding beats on the toms, and then the piano comes in, followed by some searing guitar that makes you wonder whether this is really indie rock or not. "Please Show Me the Lights" continues for just over 8 minutes, but don't be fooled, this is not a song you want to fast-forward at all. Like "Miracle," "Please Show Me the Lights" boasts great lyrics, an awesome rhythm, and just makes you want to sit and listen to every single second of it. Listen for these British newcomers. They might be new on the scene, but make no mistake, they'll be around for a while. 

Sounds Like: Melee, Muse, Coldplay 

Key Tracks from Miracle: "Mircale," "Please Show Me the Lights"

Monday, July 6, 2009

Flying Jet Lag Gemini

Alright, so if you haven't heard of these guys, have no fear, you will. These guys were the opening band for when I went and saw The All-American Rejects in concert, and while I love the Rejects, these guys completely stole the show. They were so awesome, both me and my friend went home that night and listened to and bought their album. Just straight forward good pop-punk rock n' roll. Comprised of Misha Safonov (lead vocals and guitar), Vlad Gheorghiu (guitar and backing vocals), Matt Gheorghiu (bass and backing vocals) and Dan DeLiberto (drums), Jet Lag Gemini (who take their name from the popular Nintendo game Jet Force Gemini) are on their way, and nothing's gonna stop this jet traveling at mock 12.

With the release of their first album Fire the Cannons, these guys show they mean business. And listening to the album gets better each time. Some albums are exciting for a week, and then it wears off. Not this one. I listen to it, and it still sounds fresh and new. From the awesome tracks of "Run This City" and "Bittersweet" to "Fit to Be Tied" and "Every Minute," Fire the Cannons is full of sick guitar solos and ear-catching riffs, great bass lines, and heart-pounding drumming. If you haven't heard it yet, you have to hear this album. It's gonna be big, just give it time. Meanwhile, treat your ears to an all-new sound, go out and get this album, these guys are on their way up.

Sounds Like: Sum 41, Blink-182, American Hi-Fi

Key Tracks from Fire the Cannons: "Run This City," "Bittersweet," "Fit to Be Tied," "Stepping Stone," "Every Minute"

Add It (+44)

Ok, first I gotta apologize it's been such a long time. I was very busy these past two weeks. Anyway, on the the new post. So it's nothing new that these guys were Mark Hoppus's answer to Tom DeLonge's departure from Blink-182, but that doesn't mean they can't hold their own. Comprised of Mark Hoppus (bass and vocals), Travis Barker (drums and keyboards), Shane Gallagher (guitar) and Craig Fairbaugh (guitar and vocals), (+44) (sometimes written as Plus 44) burst onto the alternative punk scene with their only album, When Your Heart Stops Beating. Don't let the one album deal fool you though, this album is GREAT. I literally love every song on it, and that rarely happens, if ever.

The album starts out with a heavy, angry song describing the past year for Hoppus with "Lycanthrope." It continues on to the title track, and then to (+44)'s own punk power balled for the ages, "Baby, Come On." Not only are these first three songs incredible, and hit you hard in the first ten minutes of the album, they are so well constructed that they could carry the rest of the album. With lines like "...the past is only the future with the lights on..." (from "Baby, Come On"), and "...I hear your voice start breaking in fear as the lights go down..." (from "Lycanthrope"), "When Your Heart Stops Beating" drives you hundreds of miles an hour from start to stop. 

Then there are the later tracks on the album that make a different kind of impact, with a different sound. "155" is a curiously written song, starting off with a drum beat and keyboard progression. Though it's different, however, that doesn't mean in any way that it doesn't deserve to be on this album. It's an awesome song, and one that you'll be humming all day. That leaves "No, It Isn't," what could possibly seem to be Hoppus's theme song with regards to Blink's breakup. Only one line is required to say all Hoppus feels about Blink's demise and DeLonge's departure: "...this isn't just goodbye, this is I can't stand you..." An incredibly powerful song, and one that will definitely make you think. If you've been living under a rock for four years, I highly, highly, suggest going out and listening to this album. It really is an incredible work of alternative punk melody with insightful lyrics.

Sounds Like: Blink-182, Sum 41

Key Tracks from When Your Heart Stops Beating: "When Your Heart Stops Beating," "Lycanthrope," "Baby, Come On," "155," "No, It Isn't," "Weatherman"

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