Mending Broken History

In April of 2016, we said goodbye to AbsolutePunk and launched Chorus. Saying goodbye to something that was such a massive part of my life was difficult, but also absolutely necessary. The following years have allowed me a freedom and release from the mental weight of that website that I find hard to put into words. The only minor regret I have, from time to time, is that so much of the history of the music scene was lost. But whereas I am very glad many threads, comment sections, and horrific posts are forever scrubbed from the internet, there is a part of me that misses the content and historical record of big events, certain album releases, and old interviews with bands that have been forgotten to time.

In order to keep some of the scene’s musical history alive, we’ve republished some of the old AbsolutePunk content here on Chorus and will continue to bring over various articles we think are historically relevant. We’ve also added a new visual banner on this content to better signify that it was once on AbsolutePunk and to link to this post, explaining as such.

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Interview: William Beckett of The Academy Is…

The Academy Is

I recently spoke with William Beckett. The Academy Is… have recently just gotten back together for RIOT Fest and are now ready to kick off their Ten Year Anniversary tour of Almost Here.

Was coming together for RIOT Fest the only reason the band started to talk again, or was it something that was in the back of your mind?

Well; RIOT Fest was always a bucket list goal being from the Chicago area. It’s potentially our favorite festival and I’m not sure if our band was cool enough to get it in the past. But the offer came up and we all got on the phone; Adam, Mike, and I, and we discussed it. The consensus was we really want to do this for the right reasons. Our tour with Jack’s Mannequin, we cancelled and that was not the ideal circumstance. When the RIOT Fest email came in we talked it over and always wanted to, it was like a festival in Chicago, where were celebrating Almost Here ten year anniversary and it just felt right.

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Review: The Maine – American Candy

The Maine - American Candy

The year 2007 was a good time for fans of alternative pop music. That year was absolutely littered with bands who were writing catchy hooks left and right: Mayday Parade, Every Avenue, All Time Low, Forever the Sickest Kids, We The Kings, Farewell, The Cab… the list goes on and on. The problem however was that this resulted in a homogeneous sludge of power chords and breakup lyrics that made it impossible for anyone to stand out. Well, there was also a five piece band from Tempe called The Maine that began making waves with their EP The Way We Talk in ’07. Fast forward eight years and, unlike the majority of the bands above who have more or less disappeared completely, The Maine withstood the test of time, and with the same lineup to boot. They’ve grown and adapted their sound through the years and they’re still alive and well, this time producing one of their most well-rounded releases to date with American Candy

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Interview: Chuck Comeau of Simple Plan

Simple Plan

How’s it feel to finally have your new song, “Saturday,” out?

We’re excited! It’s been a long time since we’ve put out new music. The last thing we did was like this little EP that was a little bit of a b-side, I guess, quote, unquote — songs that were leftover from the Get Your Heart Onalbum. We take a little bit of time in between records because we go on tour for two, two and a half years on each cycle. Then we stop for a few months, catch our breath, and then we start writing and we write for a long time. We wrote for like a year and a half on this album. We wrote like 70-75 songs. It’s definitely exciting. People have been waiting and we’re finally able to give them something they can listen to and get stoked about the album. It feels good to feel like, “Okay, we’re kicking up in gear,” and we’re slowing switching from writing, making the record, and recording it, to actually having music out and going back on tour and planning some shows and the album cover and all that. So it’s exciting that we, as a band, have the luck and the privilege to be doing it for a fifth time.

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Review: All Time Low – Future Hearts

All Time Low - Future Hearts

Properly appreciating All Time Low’s Future Hearts requires a bit of background education. While the Baltimore quartet’s newest effort is impressive in its own right as a complete and well-rounded pop record, the gravity of All Time Low’s current success, in songwriting and in relativity, weighs more when it’s put in context.

Put simply, the argument can be made that All Time Low shouldn’t be in this position; they shouldn’t be releasing Future Hearts at all, and certainly not to this much fanfare. The band didn’t just face a major crossroads after the release of its 2011 major label debut Dirty Work, but a question of whether they should still exist.

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Interview: Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory

I love most genres of music, but I have a special place in my heart for hardcore music – Terror, Hatebreed, etc. You know who else loves hardcore music? Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory. I thought it would be cool to sit down and talk about one of his favorite hardcore bands, Madball. So we went to Starbucks in Portland, OR and talked about exactly that – Madball, and memories he’s had with them. If you’ve never listened/heard of Madball before, definitely give this a read and check them out.

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Review: Walk the Moon – Talking is Hard

Walk the Moon - Talking is Hard

I came up with an idea a few months ago that I put to the test recently. A couple of weeks ago I shut off the lights, eliminated all distractions, closed my eyes, and played Walk the Moon’s Talking is Hard for the first time, front to back. My hope was that I could connect completely with the music pouring from the speakers and produce completely candid thoughts about the songs. Much like a movie in a theater, music deserves to be played directly to the viewer. It’s tough to do that these days. You’re listening… but are you really?

Walk the Moon is a four piece band out of Cincinnati and they’ve been churning out delicious alt-pop songs since ’08. They had me hooked with “Anna Sun” two years ago from their self-titled, which delivered an incredibly solid line-up of tracks. I don’t know what happened in the past two years, because Talking is Hard is an improvement on Walk the Moon in every way.

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Review: New Found Glory – Resurrection

New Found Glory - Resurrection

I can’t say Resurrection is inappropriately titled. New Found Glory’s eighth studio LP is, ugh, a ~*return to form*~ in just about every way. This always happens when the South Florida now-quartet faces some sort of adversity — they regress toward the mean. Coming Home was creative and about as daring as New Found Glory has ever gotten but it didn’t work out the way it was supposed to, so they wrote Not Without A Fight, the most polar opposite of Coming Home possible while still remaining in the very specifically defined realm of pop-punk inhabited by New Found Glory music. Now, guitarist and lyricist Steve Klein gets kicked out of the band and we get Resurrection, which is nothing more than a confirmation that yes, in fact, New Found Glory is still a band, they still exist, and yes, in fact, they can still write New Found Glory songs. Great!

Not so great is the fact that new-school pop-punk’s forefathers have regressed so far toward their own mean that they’ve essentially parodied themselves. Resurrection is significantly more enjoyable for me when I pretend it’s a band of people I don’t know jokingly writing songs pretending to be New Found Glory. This is now a band whose career is driven almost entirely by nostalgia; they draw crowds consisting of either young pop-punk fans who listen to them because they feel like they’re supposed to, or slightly older people who want to hear the hits and don’t care much for new material. That’s perfectly fine: Taking Back Sunday is currently romping across that same exact career arc, but while TBS is taking it upon themselves to change their sound, New Found Glory is retreating for whatever comes easiest. The songs on Resurrection have already been written by this band dozens of times before.

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Review: Four Year Strong – Go Down In History

Four Year Strong - Go Down In History

You realize about five seconds into Go Down In History that Four Year Strong, the Worcester, MA-based quartet that exemplified the best parts of pop-punk’s “easy-core” subset with its first two full-length releases, has completely and unabashedly returned to form. This is, by all means, a great thing. 

I hate using a phrase like “return to form”–a cliché with the best of them–but after the band’s 2011 (probably near-career-ending) effort In Some Way, Shape Or Form, it seems wholly appropriate. That last record showed an unfortunate take on Four Year Strong’s typical sound, one that was seemingly executed through a lens of trying too hard to “mature.” That might have been due to pressures at a major label or simply the band’s own desire to show growth in their art. Either way, it didn’t work very well, and Four Year Strong was left with an album that both alienated fans and didn’t see commercial or radio success. 

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Interview: Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday

On March 18th Taking Back Sunday releases its sixth full-length record so we got on the phone with vocalist Adam Lazzara to learn more about it.

When did you start writing this record?

We started writing not too long after the self-titled record came out. Just because we all live in different states, whenever we got home from tour we would get together to write and find a place that was kind of out of the way so there weren’t many distractions.

This time I noticed you went with two producers, Marc Hudson and Mike Sapone, instead of returning to Eric Valentine like you did with the self-titled.

That kind of happened haphazardly because we had done a round of demos in Michigan with Marc Hudson and then we did another round of demos in New York with Mike Sapone. When it came time to actually record the record we thought things went so well when we were demoing with those guys, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We’ve had a relationship with Mike Sapone since the band started so that is one reason we went back. As for Marc Hudson he’s been touring with us for years so it was just two guys we felt really comfortable with because they were our friends first. There really wasn’t much of an outside influence.

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This best of list was put together by the staff in 2013. It used an old system for ranking albums, but has been brought over to for posterity.

I’d like to formally welcome you all to the end of 2013. We thought we’d celebrate by unleashing our Top 30 albums of the year. Compiled from all of the staff’s EOTY lists (which will be revealed on January 6th, 2014), we’ve once again released one of the most complete and eclectic lists you’ll see from any publication. From death metal to indie to defend pop punk to #emorevival, we have it all. So I’ll shut up now and let our list do the rest of the talking – check it out in the replies. As always, your thoughts, opinions, and disagreements are welcomed. 2013 was a great year for the music world once again – here’s to 2014.

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Review: A Wilhelm Scream – Partycrasher

A Wilhelm Scream - Partycrasher

Many bands who release an album after a long hiatus inevitably disappoint. Expectations are too high, inspiration isn’t what it once was, and momentum is lost. Partycrasher is a boot to the face of every flat late-career release that preceded this one. “Why’d I take so long to break these chains around me?” The band soon answers the opening self-imposed question with an admission in “Boat Builders”: “I admit I’ve been bored, I’ve been lazy.” The next 10 tracks serve as more than an adequate apology, as A Wilhelm Scream has stuck yet another jaw-dropping middle finger to the competition.

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Review: A Day to Remember – Common Courtesy

A Day To Remember – Common Courtesy

The law is a complicated thing, but listening to music is not. Listening to music is easy. So even though you might not be interested in learning the ins and outs of A Day to Remember’s ongoing lawsuit with (former?) label Victory Records, you can instead digest something much more straightforward: The band’s new album, Common Courtesy. And in the face of two years of drama surrounding the release of this record, it seems like an important time to remind the Internet that years down the road, people won’t remember that a band was once in a lawsuit with its label – but the record, and these songs, will be remembered. The record lasts forever.

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Review: Balance and Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing

Balance and Composure - The Things We Think We're Missing

When you hear a record like this and you’re going to write about it, you really want to open up with some grandiose, sweeping statement that sets the tone for the next few paragraphs. I mean, that’s what we’re here for, album reviewers. To tell you that Balance and Composure wrote our album of the year, or whatever. Well, lists are unimportant, and album reviews are glorified blogs. And I have no sweeping statement for you, because The Things We Think We’re Missing leaves me – yes, me, a 22-year-old with a keyboard and reliable Internet connection – completely speechless.

The Things We Think We’re Missing is a significant record. It’s significant in the fact that it’s a new full-length album from one of the most beloved bands in our little community, coming at us in hotly anticipated fashion. It’s significant in the fact that this is the album that will provide Balance and Composure with a launching pad to leave this little community and move along to…wherever the fuck this band is going. Somewhere bigger with more ears listening. It’s a record that has true lasting value, the kind you feel in your bones; the kind where you know it doesn’t matter how many times you hear a song like “Lost Your Name,” because it’ll never feel played out. You know what I mean. You know the songs that you’ve listened to thousands of times but you’ll still never skip when they come up on a playlist. There are lots of those here.

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