Review: Make Do and Mend – Everything You Ever Loved

Make Do And Mend – Everything You Ever Loved

Everyone has a record (or records) like this. Records that unite and create memories between friends. Records that serve as the soundtrack to the memories you’ve made and memories you’ll soon make. This is why we’ve fell in love with music in the first place. These are albums that stay with you for the rest of your life. And Make Do And Mend’s latest offering (and Rise Records debut) Everything You Ever Loved reminds me of why I love this stuff so much in the first place. 

What you’re about to drop the needle on is one of the most intimate, intense, and moving albums of 2012. Make Do And Mend just took it to the next level – meshing their brand of melodic punk with the likes of Jimmy Eat World and Foo Fighters. Everything You Ever Loved is an eleven track rock album that will be the shock you’ll need to your system to avoid those lethargic summer days. Opening track “Blur” begins somberly, as vocalist James Carroll belts out the first few lines of the album, referencing the album’s title. It’s reminiscent of the latest material from Balance and Composure, until it lives up to its name and sprints forward into runaway guitar riffs and Carroll’s gravelly voice. It’s the perfect table setter for Everything You Ever Loved, as it eases you into the new direction Make Do And Mend showcases throughout the album while maintaining the edge first heard on their 2010 debut End Measured Mile

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Review: Hawthorne Heights – Hope

Hawthorne Heights - Hope

If you would have told me in 2005 that Hawthorne Heights would be thriving in the DIY scene, I would have laughed hysterically right in your face. They had just debuted in the top 3 of the Billboard Charts with If Only You Were Lonely, selling hundreds of thousands of records, and selling out shows everywhere. But now they are becoming poster boys for the DIY scene, as they are set to release their second Cardboard Empire record, Hope – the sequel to 2011’s angry and despair-ridden Hate. It’s always a risky move to go the DIY route. Instead it has reinvigorated the band’s creativity and their career, as Hate relieved any doubt fans might have had about Camp HH going down the DIY road. The band’s previous popularity and their drive to create something meaningful for their selves and their fans have resulted in the band embracing the DIY scene as its most unlikely champions. After unleashing some pent-up aggression on Hate, the Ohio quartet turn to optimism on Hope, combining the intensity from Hate with the melodies that gained so many fans years ago.

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Exclusive: Yellowcard – “Always Summer” (Song Premiere)

Yellowcard

Today we could not be happier to bring you the brand new single from Yellowcard. The new song is called “Always Summer” and comes from the band’s upcoming full-length album due out in just a few months. You can head to the replies to stream the new song and check out the single artwork — or it’s also on the band’s AP.net profile. The violin solo loudly declares it’s time for the weather to get warm … and time to turn up some Yellowcard. Enjoy!

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Review: You Blew It! – Grow Up, Dude

You Blew It! - Grow Up, Dude

“Ah, so you’re into that whole twinkle daddies thing.”

Huh?

“You know, this style of music that’s overtaking local basements and garages over the nation.”

Uh, come again?

This is a conversation I had with someone on Facebook after gushing about You Blew It!’s Topshelf debut Grow Up, Dude. Last.fm informs that it’s “Those emo-ish bands with the twinkly guitars and the hoarse vocals. Twinkle daddies.” Okay, I guess that makes sense. While I insist that the name for this genre of music is incredibly stupid, the music coming forth is definitely not. The genre has churned out some great under appreciated acts such as Grown Ups, Snowing, and The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, but it’s the Orlando, Florida quartet who seem poised to break out in 2012.

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Review: The Used – Vulnerable

The Used – Vulnerable

Despite playing a genre of music that seemingly died out years ago (as evidence of many of their peers from the early 2000’s emo-pop boom having gone the way of the dodo bird), The Used have found a way to remain relevant within the scene, as they possess some of the most die-hard fans I’ve ever encountered. It probably helps that their first two albums are revered by fans and non-fans, and, despite releasing a pair of duds since then, The Used are still able to stir up a lot of anticipation and debate whenever they’re about to release a new album. 

But after releasing the poor Artwork in 2009, the band parted ways with Warner Bros. Vocalist Bert McCracken has gone on to say that Artwork is his least favorite album and directed some of the blame towards the band’s former label for meddling with it. Now three years since, their fifth studio album, Vulnerable, is the result of the band having 100% creative control for the first time in a long time, releasing the album collaboratively between their own label, Anger Music Group, and indie power Hopeless Records. McCracken stated that Vulnerable is a direct response to everything surrounding the band’s last release and is his favorite Used record ever. Those are pretty bold words and while I don’t agree with them (I’ll rep the self-titled release till I die), Vulnerable is definitely the band’s best and most versatile release since 2004’s In Love and Death

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Review: Joyce Manor – Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired

Joyce Manor - Of All Things I Will Soon

Joyce Manor are a very interesting band. That may seem like lazy reviewing, and it probably is, but after putting to e-paper my thoughts over 350 times (sad and lonely brag), saying something like, “Band X actually do something creative and memorable,” starts to take on quite a bit of weight. And that’s what I can’t help but think when singer Barry Johnson cuts through with his somehow apathetic yet forceful voice. It’s also what I think when an early 2000s-ish punk influenced pop-punk band records a searing and catchy cover of “Video Killed The Radio Star.” Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired is just completely enthralling. 

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Review: Say Anything – Anarchy, My Dear

Say Anything - Anarchy, My Dear

You can always go back home, but nothing is exactly the same. Say Anything’s sixth studio album Anarchy, My Dear is the band’s first release on an indie since leader Max Bemis released the scene classic …Is A Real Boy in 2004. After achieving mild success with the two albums in between on RCA/Sony, Bemis and company find themselves back in the familiar company of a major indie label, this time being Equal Vision. They also enlisted the production services of Tim O’Heir, whom oversaw the IARB sessions, thus including a comfort level that may not have been present during 2009 self-titled release.

But just like when you return home after all those years at college, things are different. People change, environments shift, and you grow and mature as a person. This can be directly applied to Bemis, whom, since Is A Real Boy, has matured not only as a songwriter but as a person. He’s happily married to Sherri DuPree, drugs are out of his system, and his outlook on life has changed. Basically, everything doesn’t suck as much as it did when he was writing that life-changing album. After a while all the self-loathing can be quite the drag, and Bemis is more aware of this than ever.

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