Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Used To Be In Taking Back Sunday

"Sometimes it takes some time to remember where you were headed in the first place and the people you intended to go there with. There's no hard feelings, just the future." -Taking Back Sunday, March 31, 2010

Apparently a monumental record release, an opening slot on blink-182's reunion tour, multiple headlining US and
international tours, and being named Band of the Year by a certain blog doesn't exactly mean you're heading in the right direction with your band. Or maybe the dudes in TBS just don't like guys named Matt.

Whatever the case, it came as a surprise to thousands of fans worldwide earlier this week when TBS bassist Matt Rubano and guitarist Matt Fazzi both called it quits from the band within hours of each other. Of course, there was mass confusion over the announcement. Hell, we don't even really know what's going on now. The band have yet to go on record in any great detail about the situation.

Just today they released the following video, showing current TBS members Adam Lazzara, Eddie Reyes and Mark O'Connell shooting guns with Shaun Cooper and John Nolan (both ex-members of TBS who may be reinstated).

Honestly, as if the rumors weren't weird enough, why are they shooting guns? Don't bother trying to answer that.

Anyway, a lot of us were hoping this was an early April Fool's joke or some dumb way to make Matt Rubano a trending topic on Twitter. But, it looks like the guys were serious.

Rubano's bio on his Twitter page recently changed from "I slappa da bass for Taking Back Sunday" to "I slappa da bass. hard." He even went so far as to tweet, "As soon as I know what Im doing next, you'll know. Definitely music, possibly other things as well."

Fazzi has yet to tweet anything after his original announcement.

Though it will be cool to have the old old TBS back, it's safe to say we're gonna miss Faz and the little guy. I can't say I'm ready for another lineup change, but who cares? I don't play in the band... yet.

So what do you think? Is this the right move or not?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Four Year Strong - Enemy of the World Review

There has been a lot of hype surrounding Four Year Strong lately, and rightfully so. The band just released their third studio album, Enemy of the World, earlier this month. With a slew of comparisons to Set Your Goals, New Found Glory and A Day To Remember, the pressure was on FYS to produce a defining record for popcore fans everywhere. Thankfully, they did.

It's safe to say that pop-punk has seen better days. The same can be said for the hardcore scene. It's pretty much all been done before, but that didn't stop FYS from trying to bring the dead back to life. Somehow, the Worcester, MA five-piece managed to incorporate everything we loved about pop-punk and hardcore into one solid album.

Enemy of the World opens up with quick, chugging guitars that have you anticipating one hell of a hard album. But, almost immediately, the pace changes in the verse and choruses. "It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now" sets the scene for the rest of the record. It's fast and hard, but laced with enough pop-punk and singalong elements to keep the hippest hipster satisfied.

The dual vocal approach from guitarists Dan O'Connor and Alan Day keep the album from drying out too early, if at all. Enemy has a certain flow to it, one that's hard to find on most other records being released lately. It never takes a second to slow down, and that could be its saving grace.

There's something to be said about the Massachusetts "scene." It's pretty recognizable, yet somehow always seems fresh. In-your-face lyrics, tight drumming and the famous gang-vocal approach that finds its way into anything
deemed "wicked good" from the Bay State are all accounted for on Enemy. FYS have left nothing behind.

Like most of FYS' fan base (big and bearded), the record is solid through the middle. "Find My Way Back" is probably the record's strongest song, wrapping lead melodies with pop-punk hooks that will keep you singing along for days.

The rest of the record follows suit. Enemy's title track finishes off the record with a call to teen angst turned 20-something. I feel like I'm jaded/I've given it all I have to give/Burnt out, frustrated/I feel like I'm an enemy of the world. Ah, to be young and pissed.

Songs to Download: Find My Way Back, Wasting Time (Eternal Summer), Enemy Of The World

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hit Or Miss

Remember a few weeks back when I told you how I'm perpetually late when it comes to finding new music? Well, I found out tonight that I'm also oblivious to the world around me... and I'm really starting to miss out.

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite pop-punk groups, New Found Glory, rolled through Boston. Leave it to me, Mr. Last-Minute-Everything, to wait until 48 hours before the show to try and get tickets. Epic fail. Sold out. Sorry.

Thanks to my stubborn attitude I got to miss one of the coolest tours of the year. The 10 Year Anniversary of the Self-Titled Record Tour to be specific. NFG were playing their entire Self-Titled record from front to back, and dropping a few other songs in for good measure.

Oh, and let's not forget about all the merch goodies I was missing out on. Like the album cover inspired Rubik's Cube, a slew of cool t-shirts and the all-mighty limited edition screen printed poster. Seriously, I could have dropped a week's paycheck way easy - and it would have been worth it.

As some of you know, I'm out on the West Coast this week - kicking it just south of the beautiful city of Seattle. It's one of my favorites because it's loaded with a rich musical history and a pretty cool scene. Perfect place to see a show if anybody cool would come around during my stay.

So tonight I find myself creeping on the Twitter-machine when I come across NFG guitarist Chad Gilbert's page. And what does it say?

Yeah, that's right. I'm just a short drive on I-5 away from the same tour I missed in Boston. Like, OMG, WTF?

How do I always manage to do this to myself? I'm not one to believe in fate or destiny, but in order to keep sane, I've told myself that I wasn't meant to see this tour. Sure.. that works, right?

Anyway, I've come to learn an important lesson - I need an iPhone. I mean, seriously, people with iPhones have access to everything. I would have made both shows if I wasn't stuck with my current piece of garbage.

So you see, it's really not my fault that you could have been reading an awesome show review from my travels. We can just blame fate and my phone instead. Problem solved... it's really just a shame you wasted your time reading this.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Female Lead Singers, Anyone?

A few weeks back I was approached by a rep from, a PR firm out of Los Angeles. I was given a press release detailing Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' upcoming self-titled album, due out June 8 on Hollywood Records. The name sound familiar to you? It should. They gave the closing track on Almost Alice, that sweet movie soundtrack that dropped last week.

Anyway, since then I've been checking this band out to grab a hold of their sound and see what they're all about. Turns out, they're New Englanders. Major plus in my book. Hailing from Waitsfield, Vermont, the quintet have been kicking it for some time now. In fact, their self-titled album will be their first release since '07.

So, you're probably wondering what they sound like, right? Well, if you're into a soft rock sound, harkening back to the days of old, GPN are perfect for you. Lead singer Grace Potter has a voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin, while the rest of the Nocturnals provide an interesting mix of Led Zeppelin infused indie rock. Does that make sense?

Okay, think Silversun Pickups meets Paramore... if Paramore were stripped down to only acoustics and were alive in the 70s. It might be a little hard to wrap your head around, but just check out some of their stuff.

Their first single off the new album is "Tiny Light", a song that builds from its inception all the way to an intense ending solo performed by guitarist Scott Tournet. Lyrically, the song outlines the band's recent hardships - yet remains poetic enough to be easily interpreted by the listener. GPN are shooting a video for "Tiny Light" this month with director Paul Minor (Muse, Queens of The Stone Age).

So, sound good to you? If you've answered yes to this question, and you're one of my New England readers, you're in luck. GPN are headed throughout the region in the coming days, playing at a bunch of really cool venues before heading down to Texas for South By Southwest. Check out the tour dates below.

March 11 North Adams, MA Mass Moca
March 12 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
March 13 Sugarloaf, ME Sugarloaf Ski Resort
March 18 Austin, TX Antone's - SXSW
March 21 Aspen, CO Snowmass Mountain
March 27 Jackson Hole, WY Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
April 25 Phoenix, AZ McDowell Mountain Music Festival
May 14 Richmond, VA Browns Island

And be sure to keep a look out for their new self-titled record due out on June 8.
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