Review: AFI – Decemberunderground

AFI - Decemberunderground

Over the course of the past decade, AFI has released 5 full length albums on indie label Nitro, signed to a major, reached platinum status with major label debut, headlined numerous Warped Tours, toured around the world, and is held dear by thousands and thousands of rabid fans. With a resume like that, one would think that any band would be content with that, but not AFI. Since the release of Sing The Sorrow in 2003 and many days on the road, AFI (vocalist Davey Havok, guitarist Jade Puget, drummer Adam Carson, and bassist Hunter Burgan), over the course of 9 months, recorded over 100 songs in the studio with long time producer Jerry Finn and out of those sessions, they came out with their seventh full length album, DecemberundergroundDecember is a twelve song collection that blends rock, punk, hardcore, pop, and electronica into a beautifully dark work of art.

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Interview: Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy

On Thursday, May 4th I was able to sit down with Pete Wentz before Fall Out Boy’s sold out show at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. I was able to ask some follow-up questions to Part One1 of our ABSOLUTExclusive interview with him as well as address some things that we and you felt were missing from that series of questions. Once again, I’d like to thank Pete for taking an hour out of his hectic schedule to do this. I’d also like to thank Fall Out Boy’s tour manager, Dan Suh, for making sure everything ran smoothly. Hope you enjoy…

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  1. We’ve been unable to find this in our archives.

Review: Less Than Jake – In With the Out Crowd

Less Than Jake - In With the Out Crowd

Less Than Jake have been doing the whole, “we’re a band thing” for longer than most of those reading this review have probably been into this whole “scene.” They released one of the best albums I overplayed during my high-school years (Hello Rockview); and they continue to get shit from kids who can’t get over the fact that they won’t release the same album over and over. What one needs to remember is that Less Than Jake have proved their not a flash in the pan band. They’ve been writing hit songs for years. While it’s hard for me to picture myself listening to some of the pop-bands I enjoy at this stage of my life in 15 years – I can totally see myself still breaking out Less Than Jake albums well into my years.

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Review: Angels and Airwaves – We Don’t Need to Whisper

Angels & Airwaves - We Don't Need to Whisper

Blink 182 has become somewhat of a touchy subject in the punk community. They undoubtedly became one of the largest bands ever spawned from the ever-expansive genre as they released an unprecedented number of hit singles and successful albums during many years of music production. Where they fall on the scale of respect is quite another issue, and a more debatable one at that. Whereas thousands honor them as pop-punk pioneers, countless others blaspheme them as trite, overly immature, and unbearable. The group’s reputation transcends all demographics. The former opinion is expressed by aging fathers while the latter takes place even among the visitors of a site originally intended in large part to be a fan site for the aforementioned band.

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Review: Arctic Monkeys – Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?

Arctic Monkeys - Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?

With every major music publication and their momma jumping on the bandwagon, it’s pretty easy for some of us to hate the Arctic Monkeys. Overrated and hype are two words that come hand in hand with this band these days, and with their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not selling like hotcakes overseas and here in the United States, it’s not hard to fall into this mindset. But I’m here to advise not to. Not only is their debut album something special, their follow-up EP, Who The Fuck Are The Arctic Monkeys, follows in the same vein of smart, aggressive indie rock. 

The EP begins with the same opening track of the LP, “The View From The Afternoon,” which starts fast and finishes faster, and is a great opener here as it is on the LP. “Cigarette Smoker Fiona” follows with a guitar line that chugs and drums that bash as Alex Turner’s thick vocals take control. “Dispair In The Departure Lounge” is a slow, echoing track that’s great to chill out to. “No Buses” starts with a simple, relaxing riff and is a mild, bouncy track that picks up at the end with a constant pounding on the drums. The final track, “Who The Fuck Are The Arctic Monkeys?,” begins with a bass line that grooves and more high guitar tones. At 3:17, the song takes on a slight dark tone thanks to Andy Nicholson’s bass and Turner’s vocals. The end of this song is the storm taking over the sunshine of the beginning, making it the standout track on this EP. 

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Review: Brandtson – Hello, Control

Brandtson - Hello, Control

Brandtson has been releasing amazing albums for years, the problem is not many people have been paying much attention. Their last album, Send Us a Signal, was the sleeper hit a few years ago. Building a wave of buzz from within the belly of our little community here. They’ve returned, they’ve evolved, but they’ve stayed within their formula for making some of the catchiest and enjoyable pop-rock you’ve ever heard.

With the song-writing storytelling skills of Limbeck and the catchy musical prowess of The Format, the sing-a-longs begin and don’t stop until the last note. As we’ve already mentioned this “electronica” trend has taken hold. Even Brandtson aren’t safe from this invasion! We get the beats, we get the dance songs (one song is even titled “No One Dances Anymore”) – but they do it in a way that comes across with the maturity only a band that’s been doing this whole shebang for years could have.

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Review: Forgive Durden – Wonderland

Forgive Durden - Wonderland

Welcome to Wonderland. A world meticulously crafted by the minds of Forgive Durden, lies, deceit, greed, and lust lay within. The picture of Wonderland is painted with vivid lyrical imagery provided by Forgive Durden in their debut full-length. In one of the most diverse records to come out in recent memory, Forgive Durden brings their own musical style to several different musical genres, including takes on country, tango, and pop. But intertwined into all these styles is a distinctive sound that the band has made for themselves. Showing influences from Gatsby’s American Dream, Wonderland is full of accented off-beats and chromatic progressions, adding another band from Seattle who follows in Gatsby’s tech-rock footsteps. But the comparisons should end there. While listeners may hear similarities in certain chords or guitar stylings, virtually every song on Wonderland contains a chorus and Forgive Durden takes their musical exploration far beyond the expected scope. 

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Review: Rock Kills Kid – Are You Nervous?

Rock Kills Kid - Are You Nervous

Hey, did you hear? 80’s revival! Electronic dance music is in! Seriously guys, it’s the new wave. All the cool bands are doing it.

That has to be the rallying call going on at major labels these days. They’ve seen the trend and they’ve pounced. We’ve seen it in The Faint, Panic! at the Disco, Head Automatica, Men, Women & Children, etc., and the list goes on and on. I now welcome Rock Kills Kid to the family.

There’s one minor difference. Regardless of the amount of crap I’m going to get for the following statement – I’d take the new Rock Kills Kid over just about all of them.

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Review: Thursday – A City By The Light Divided

Thursday - A City By The Light Divided

In 1992, the defending AFC Champion Buffalo Bills faced the Houston Oilers in the AFC Wild Card round. The first half of this game was a disaster for the Bills. Jim Kelly out with an injury and the Oilers dominated going into halftime with a 28-3 lead. Dejected, the Bills didn’t have a lot of time to make changes, but they realized they were the defending champs and needed to live up to that. The second half featured a completely different team, as backup quarterback Frank Reich threw 4 touchdowns to bring the game into overtime, which the Bills eventually won 41-38, making it one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history. I’m sure by now all of you are confused as to why I began the review with such a story, but it is a great way to describe Thursday’s second major label album (and fourth overall), A City By The Light Divided

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Review: Moneen – The Red Tree

Moneen - The Red Tree

Thus far in 2006, there have been a few really good records, some solid ones, and more mediocre albums than I can count. No album has hit me in a way where I have to take a step back and just mutter “whoa.” Enter The Red Tree, the new album from Canadian rockers Moneen and the first great album of 2006. I enjoyed their previous efforts, but I was not expecting this album to hit me like it did. This 11-track masterpiece incorporates beautifully crafted lyrics with music that is just as delicate as it is hard-hitting, making this album full of intensity, passion, and raw emotion. 

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Review: Hit the Lights – This Is A Stick Up… Don’t Make It A Murder

Hit the Lights - This Is a Stick Up...Don't Make It a Murder
Tell me again how we're easily forgettable
So formulaic and way too simple to be at all original, yea so we've heard
It's time to keep your mouth shut while we show you how to rock-n-roll

This is how Hit The Lights begin their debut full-length album, This Is A Stick Up….Don’t Make It A Murder, by responding to a certain AbsolutePunk.net reviewer’s opinion on their EP Until We Get Caught. The Lima, Ohio, five-piece not only deliver on their promise to “show us how to rock-n-roll,” but this album is also one of the first feel-good albums of 2006. Produced by Matt Squire (The Receiving End Of Sirens, Panic! At The Disco, many others), HTL offers us 12 tracks of pop-punk goodness that’ll have you wishing that summer were already here.

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Review: From First to Last – Heroine

From First to Last - Heroine

Let’s start this with a disclaimer. The readers at AP.net have known that I haven’t been one to shy away from my opinion in the past. In fact, I’ve taken a fair amount of criticism for being too harsh on bands in the past (and too nice, it’ll never end). Those of you who are looking for me to rip FFTL to shreds can stop reading at this point, because it’s not going to happen. I don’t care what you think of this review and I don’t care what you think of me. All I know is that From First to Last has shocked me by creating a solid album that I expected to be awful. From the band’s previous work full of oversaturated clichés and ear-splitting vocals, one would never think the band could progress to this sort of level. If you haven’t given Heroine a fair listen, then you can’t judge this band. Yes, their image is absurd. Yes, many of their fans are ridiculous teenage girls with eyeliner and glam/goth outfits. But putting aside all of these factors, one must strip down FFTL and critique the actual music – and it’s good. This is a group of talented musicians who seem to have truly found their sound, with the help of acclaimed producer Ross Robinson, well known for his work with late 90’s nu-metal acts such as Korn and Slipknot. Robinson’s touch gleams off of Heroine from start to finish. Gritty as hell, full of obscenities and soaring sing-along choruses, FFTL has successfully transformed their sound.

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Review: No Trigger – Canyoneer

No Trigger - Canyoneer

When I sat down to review this record, I thought I’d browse the web to see what other people have said about Canyoneer. It only took a few minutes for me to realize that people know absolutely nothing about this band, and some of the reviews I read were so under-researched and inadequate that it actually made me upset. One website even went so far as to call No Trigger a “more scene Rise Against.” It is with these reviews in mind that I felt justice must be done to such an incredible band and release. And trust me, there’s nothing overtly “scene” about No Trigger – they’re more like a balls to the wall fusion of punk, melody, and hardcore. No Trigger shouldn’t be viewed as an aspiring band in comparison to Rise Against when they’ve already created a record that rivals anything Rise Against has ever created.

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