Review: The Menzingers – After the Party

The Menzingers

Over the first ten years of their life, The Menzingers have never shied away from their boozy reputation. Numerous mentions of alcohol – the good and the bad – are littered throughout the Philadelphia band’s first four albums. Which makes the band’s new album, After The Party, so profound – we already know what happens during the party but what happens after, once all the confetti’s been swept up, the beer’s gone flat, and music turned down? After The Party explores the themes of getting older and bridging the gap between a carefree spirit to a more responsible partner while still trying to escape the mundanity of everyday life.

Review: Code Orange – Forever

Code Orange

“Technology is something that I really appreciate, but being someone who comes from hardcore, metal and punk, you’re fighting it at the same time,” says Code Orange’s Jami Morgan about his band’s unforgiving new record, Forever. “It’s almost like the bridge between those two ideas.” That portion from a late 2016 Rolling Stone interview comes to mind every time I listen to Forever (Code Orange’s third full length and major label debut for Roadrunner Records) – a record that embraces technology as much as it wants to destroy it, resulting in a near perfect modern hardcore classic.

Jimmy Eat World – Live in Indianapolis (12/01/2016)

I’ve been listening to Jimmy Eat World for over half my lifetime. Crazy enough, the last (and only) time I attended a Jimmy Eat World show was in 2005 when they were opening for Green Day on the American Idiot tour. That’s pretty sad! Fortunately, I made some sort of amends this past Thursday when the Arizona quartet made their way through Indianapolis. Headlining one of those radio station holiday shows, the band played a 20+ song set that included a well balanced mixture of hits, deep cuts, fan favorites, and new songs.

Review: Emarosa – 131

Emarosa - 131

“Nothing ever happens until it happens to you” bellows Bradley Walden on “Miracle,” the second single off 131, the newest release from his band Emarosa. It’s an exhilarating moment on one of the album’s most electrifying tracks. It can also be interpreted as the main thesis behind 131 – professionally (Emarosa) and personally (Walden). 131 is the second album to feature Walden as the band’s lead vocalist after original vocalist Jonny Craig was kicked out for a myriad of reasons. It was a fight or flight moment for the band and they struck gold when they tapped Walden to handle vocal duties, and the band’s third LP, Versus, followed soon after. That record was a very respectable release but you can hear that both the band and Walden were still in that adjustment period stage and trying to feel each other out. Versus was the beginning of the band’s shift away from post-hardcore into more of a fluid pop-influence, but without losing any of their aggressiveness. And 131 is the fully realized version of that sound — Walden and company have grown together to create one of the most powerful and honest albums of year.

Review: Blink-182 – California

Blink 182 - California

What’s left to write about Blink-182? There’s no point to rehash the drama that Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker have with Tom DeLonge, nor is there any point to harp on the incredibly bizarre interviews and statements DeLonge has given the press lately. We’ve all ranked their discography a hundred different ways and chosen sides. I guess all we can really do now is talk about the music, right? It’s a development that I (and many others) will welcome. And, when we talk about the music, we’ll find that band’s seventh full length album, California, is probably the most classic Blink release since 2001’s double-platinum Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.

Singles Club: Taking Back Sunday – “Tidal Wave”

To say that Taking Back Sunday is a polarizing band is an understatement. For nearly 15 years now the Long Island-based band have gone through it all – inter-band drama, outer-band drama, more member changes than they’d like to admit, and the transition from emo darlings to bonafide rock stars. And while not every fan has always enjoyed every change the band has gone through musically and professionally, Taking Back Sunday has always stuck to their vision. And the same can be said about the band’s latest song, “Tidal Wave,” the first single from the band’s upcoming seventh LP of the same name.

Singles Club: Touché Amoré – “Palm Dreams”

I’m lucky. I’ve never lost anyone close to me during my adult life. My grandfather died when I was very young and my six-year-old brain really didn’t understand what was going on. I’ve never gone through what Jeremy Bolm has. The Touché Amoré frontman lost his mother to cancer in the fall of 2014 and much, if not all of his band’s upcoming new album, Stage Four, revolves around processing her death and remembering their life together. The album’s first single, “Palm Dreams,” is a soaring piece of post-hardcore that showcases the continual growth of the band’s songwriting while Bolm attempts to learn even more about his mother even after her passing. In the song premiere’s accompanying article, Bolm tells NPR that “’Palm Dreams’ was written around the realization that I never had a full understanding why my mother moved from Nebraska to California in the ‘70s.”

True Love – ‘Heaven’s Too Good For Us’ (Album Premiere)

Detroit’s very own True Love are bound to set the hardcore world on fire with their Bridge Nine debut, Heaven’s Too Good For Us. The LP’s 13 tracks clock in at just over 17 minutes, leaving you breathless and wanting more of the band’s incredible hardcore fury. One things for certain: True Love’s anthems are crushingly uncompromising. Check out the album below, pre-order at Bridge Nine, and catch their set on August 7th in Philadelphia at This Is Hardcore Fest.

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.