Review: Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare

Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare

The death of a loved one is a nightmare come to life. It’s something that can completely devastate you, leaving you feeling empty and forever changing life as you know it. While there is that overwhelming sadness, sometimes loss causes those left behind to do something special in their own lives. They find the strength to push forward and honor those who are no longer here. 

For Avenged Sevenfold, they suffered a tragedy on December 28, 2009 when their drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan,  died at the age of 28 from an accidental opioid overdose. The Rev had become widely known as one of the best drummers in the metal scene, and his death stunned the world. Avenged Sevenfold had become a household name at this point, thanks to the success of their albums City of Evil and the self-titled Avenged Sevenfold. They were becoming one of the biggest rock bands in the world and just as they were in the process of making a new album, Avenged Sevenfold lost one of their brothers.

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Brett Bodner’s Top Albums of 2020 (So Far)

Best of 2020 (So Far)

While it feels like seven years have passed since New Year’s Day 2020, we’re actually only halfway through the year somehow. As the world around us feels like it has never been more chaotic, we’ve been lucky enough to have been blessed with some great music to help all of us get through the days. We’ve had incredible and epic albums from artists like Spanish Love Songs, Phoebe Bridgers, Hayley Williams and Jeff Rosenstock. Their music has got me through many days in quarantine and they’ve filled me with hope instead of feeling down about what’s going on outside. 

Hopefully the second half of the year is filled with the albums that have been pushed back or have yet to have announced release dates (Looking at you, A Day To Remember, Foo Fighters and Weezer). Even if they aren’t, the first half of the year has given us all plenty of fuel to power through the next five months. 

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Review: New Found Glory – Forever + Ever x Infinity

There’s nothing like pop-punk in the summer. When the sun is shining, and the air is warm, it’s the perfect time of year to drive around with your windows down, blasting some New Found Glory. During a normal summer, a new New Found Glory album could become the soundtrack of a season spent with friends, going on vacation, tailgating for concerts, and family BBQs. Summer 2020 is going to be a much different summer than we’re used to. Fortunately for long time fans of New Found Glory, you have a new album for you to  lose yourself in for 48 minutes.

New Found Glory is back with Forever + Ever x Infinity, their tenth studio album. It’s a record that finds the band going back to their roots of punk, hardcore and post-hardcore instead of continuing to explore the lighter pop elements that frequented 2017’s Makes Me Sick. If this sounds familiar, it’s basically the same thing that happened when they elected to ditch the mellow and softer sounds of 2006’s Coming Home to return to rock/punk with 2009’s Not Without A Fight. If you were a fan of Makes Me Sick and were hoping to see the band continue down this road, you might be disappointed with this release. However, if you’re a fan of NFG albums like Catalyst and Resurrection, you’ll walk away pretty happy with what you hear.

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Review: Modest Mouse – The Moon & Antarctica

Modest Mouse - Moon & Antarctica

To paraphrase the timeless Forrest Gump, Modest Mouse albums are like a box of chocolates; you never know what kinds of songs you’re gonna get. 

You could have a beautiful song with an epic ending like “Talkin’ Shit About a Pretty Sunset,” a wild, weird 11-minute jam like “Trucker’s Atlas,” or a chaotic song like “Breakthrough” that makes you want to shout like singer Isaac Brock and bounce around the room.

All of these traits are on display on Modest Mouse’s 2000 album The Moon & Antarctica, their first on a major label. Despite the jump to a bigger label with Epic Records, Modest Mouse only continued to grow into one of the greatest bands in indie rock. While some bands might drastically change their sound when they make the jump, Modest Mouse instead put together one of the greatest works in their career. They created an album where you don’t have to skip a single song, making each track feel like they’re all connected and are as important as the next one up the track listing.

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Review: Jeff Rosenstock – No Dream

Jeff Rosenstock - No Dream

Like the Beyoncé of the punk rock scene, Jeff Rosenstock has a knack for dropping surprise albums that go on to be instant classics. Rosenstock has done it yet again with, NO DREAM, a record loaded from front to back that might just be his best release to date. 

Rosenstock has never held back when diving into contemporary issues. WORRY summed up the anxious feelings leading up to the 2016 Presidential election, POST arrived on New Year’s Day of 2018 after a long first year of Donald Trump in office and now NO DREAM has dropped in the midst of a pandemic, mass public demonstrations against systemic racism, and political unrest before election day.

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Review: Dead Lakes – New Language

Dead Lakes - New Language

In recent years, bands like Bring Me the Horizon, Silverstein, and I Prevail have experimented by adding electronic and pop to their traditional heavier sound. The change-up has served them well, and it looks like Dead Lakes is poised to breakthrough by doing the same with their EP, New Language.

Dead Lakes – singer Sumner Peterson, guitarists Max Statham and Legacy Bonner, bassist Cody Hurd and drummer Chon Adam – not only have a sound made to attract fans of rock and post-hardcore, but they also sing relatable lyrics as they deal with emotions, struggles, and anxieties throughout the five tracks.

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Review: Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP

Listening to Eminem when I was growing up was like eating forbidden fruit. Now that I look back on it, my mom was spot on for not allowing me to own The Marshall Mathers LP album. Instead, I listened to it with friends at summer camp back in the summer of 2000. Strangely enough, my love for rap and hip-hop would blossom from this particular, ridiculously controversial album. 

The Marshall Mathers LP is still revered as an iconic album. Eminem raps laps around any competition, and his expression of emotion (a lot of rage) is undeniably intoxicating. But, if you take a listen from start to finish, you’ll be reminded that much of what you’ll hear didn’t land well back in 2000, and is still cringe-worthy today, even if it most of it is just schtick.

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Review: The Menzingers – Chamberlain Waits

Chamberlain Waits

The Menzingers released their second album, Chamberlain Waits a decade ago, and what a decade it’s been for them. It was an album that would build the foundation for a small town Pennsylvania-rooted band that would go on to consistently pack venues with fans all over the world.

Chamberlain Waits represents The Menzingers on the cusp of pulling off something truly special. While 2012’s On the Impossible Past is the staple Menzingers album (with After the Party in a close second place), Chamberlain Waits had all of the ingredients of what makes the Menzingers great; Relatable lyrics that set a scene in your head, catchy choruses that make you want to scream them at the top of your lungs and guitar riffs that will hook you in immediately.

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Review: Violent Soho – Everything is A-OK

Violent Soho - Everything is A-OK

Violent Soho are back with their first record in four years called Everything is A-OK, which seems ironic given our current world affairs. The new album was written before the COVID-19 crisis hit the world like a ton of bricks, but you could now make the argument that Everything is A-OK has arrived at just the right time; a moment when we can relate to the themes and ideas scattered throughout the record.

After taking a break following 2016’s Waco to focus on other musical projects, the Australian rockers– consisting of lead singer/guitarist Luke Boerdam, lead guitarist James Tidswell, bassist Luke Henery and drummer Michael Richards – are picking up right where they left off with their new album.

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Review: Pearl Jam – Gigaton

We are currently living in uncertain times with fear, anxiety, and stress riding high, especially as many are self-quarantining to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Sometimes what you need to get you through is a calming force, and for many, temporary relief came in the release of Pearl Jam ‘s new album, Gigaton, their first new record in just over six years.

Gigaton arrived at a moment when people needed a break, and many Pearl Jam fans were fortunate to be rewarded with one of the best albums in the band’s deep discography. The new record is one that was a genuine collaborative effort, and it amplifies the sounds of a band still loving what they do as they head into their fourth decade creating albums.

The new record is loaded from front to back, in what is truly a balanced record. There are moments of peace, calmness and relaxation, with an equal amount of rockers that you’ll be air-guitaring along to.

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