Review: The Hotelier – Goodness

Three months ago, Christian Holden, vocalist/bassist of The Hotelier, posted on the band’s Tumblr a very personal essay reflecting on how their last album, Home, Like NoPlace Is There, affected the band’s lives and how they were going to proceed in the future. The essay also featured Holden coming to terms with being a public figure and exploring trust, art, and “realness.” Somewhere in the middle of the post Holden writes, “And I think this is what bums me out about the wishy-washiness of rock music and performance. Realness is a treasure in life. I don’t want to see uncritical postured realness. I want transparency.” And, well, you can use that declaration as the thesis statement for The Hotelier’s stunning new album, Goodness.

Review: Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost

Modern Baseball - Holy Ghost

About halfway through “Note To Self,” the third track off Modern Baseball’s new album Holy Ghost, Jacob Ewald earnestly proclaims: “There will be no more fucking around today.” On this particular song it’s mostly about Ewald taking control of his life, but that line can be applied to the Philly quartet’s evolution as well. The band’s first two releases (Sports and You’re Gonna Miss It All) catapulted the band from humble beginnings into playing shows with punk stalwarts like The Wonder Years, The Menzingers, and Say Anything. This rise set them up as the premier band on Run For Cover’s roster. But there was also plenty of fucking around on those albums while they blurred the lines between pop-punk and emo. On Holy Ghost, there are no more assholes with iPhones or songs about Chloe’s Twitter handle. Rather, Modern Baseball’s third LP works as a split release – Ewald writing and leading the first six tracks while Brendan Lukens undertaking the last five. On the surface this may seem like a recipe for an uneven listening experience; however, Holy Ghost rolls through its eleven tracks beautifully while touching on topics like finding love, battling depression, fighting addiction, and coping with mental illness.

Half Hearted Hero – “Same Old Same” (Song Premiere)

Half Hearted Hero

Half Hearted Hero will be releasing their (very good) new LP, Isn’t Real, on May 27th via Animal Style Records. Today we are premiering one of my favorite songs from the album: “Same Old Same.” It contains an upbeat vibe that’ll make you want to roll down the windows and sing along while maintaining the edge that gets the band compared to peers like Polar Bear Club and Motion City Soundtrack

Review: Deftones – Gore

Deftones - Gore

It’s been well-documented how tumultuous the nearly 30 year career of Sacramento rock band Deftones has been. From the tragic loss of original bassist Chi Cheng, to the in-fighting, to the passive approach the band took to recording their mid-2000’s records – it’s somewhat remarkable that Deftones didn’t break up years ago. Instead, the band has unleashed Gore, their most fascinating release since 2001’s breakthrough White Pony.

Review: Into It. Over It. – Standards

Into It Over It - Standards

I know that the “six degrees of separation” is commonly linked to actor Kevin Bacon, but I think it’s time we made an exception to the theory and include Evan Weiss. Whether it’s through the seemingly hundreds of side projects he’s a part of (most recently Pet Symmetry and Their/They’re/There) or the handful of records he’s produced (ranging from bands like You Blew It! to Xerxes), it’s no wonder someone who’s definitely not me nicknamed the Into It. Over It. mastermind “the emo mayor” (consider this review my official apology for that, Evan). But a funny thing happened during the writing and recording sessions for his third album – turns out Standards isn’t an emo record after all.