The Damned Things – “Little Darling” (Song Premiere)

The Damned Things

By now you know that The Damned Things have a new album coming out on December 14th, right? And you’ve probably read Drew’s great review of the new album dubbed “a modern take on the classic rock record. No gimmicks, no frills, no bullshit, this is just a straight up rock and roll takeover.” And you may have even heard a song or two from the band’s myspace. But you haven’t heard “Little Darling” yet. Now you can. Check the replies for the world premiere song stream and a message from Keith about the song.

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Review: Underoath – Ø (Disambiguation)

Underoath - O

It’s truly amazing that Underoath is still a band in the year 2010.  After the great success of 2006’s Define The Great Line, the band unexpectedly dropped off the Warped Tour and disappeared, coming close to breaking up due to screamer Spencer Chamberlain’s personal issues.  The band bounced back from that rough patch to release the furious Lost In The Sound of Separation.  Despite everything, the band had emerged even stronger.  But they had to pump the brakes once again.  Tension and disconnect between the band (Chamberlain, guitarists Tim McTague and James Smith, bassist Grant Brandell, and keyboardist Chris Dudley) and vocalist/drummer Aaron Gillespie (the last remaining Underoath member) led to his departure from the band earlier this year.  Once again faced with the prospect of disbanding, the band decided to fight through it, enlisting Daniel Davison (formerly of the Almighty Norma Jean) to replace Gillespie behind the kit.  After a few jam sessions, the band grew closer, relaxed, and realized that they could attempt some things on their next record that they could never do with Gillespie (as it should be no surprise that he enjoyed the pop side of things).  Many things have tried to destroy the Florida, metalcore outfit, but just like Michael Myers, no matter how many times you try to kill them, they always come back stronger.  And what emerged from the band’s latest struggles and triumphs may be the band’s greatest achievement.

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Review: Hellogoodbye – Would It Kill You?

Hellogoodbye - Would it Kill You?

Forrest Kline has perhaps outdone himself. Frontman for powerpop group Hellogoodbye, Kline was the genius behind the group’s 2006 debut full length Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! That album sold over half a million copies and “Here (In Your Arms)” became a platinum single, so to outdo himself after that must have required quite the feat.

Would It Kill You? is that feat. The group’s new full length finds itself released near the end of an incredible year of music, but holds its own as one of the top releases in 2010. Undoubtedly the best poppy release this year, and probably one of the best of the last five years or so, Would It Kill You? is better than its predecessor in many ways.

But it seems almost unfair to compare the two albums because it’s almost as if two completely different bands wrote them. The difference is evident right from opener “Finding Something To Do”. Where there once was disco-esque electronics, there is an acoustic guitar. Where there once were autotuned vocals, there is now…erm…better normal vocals. Point is, this band has progressed about as much as any band can progress in four years. While not many can resist the nostalgia of songs like “Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn” and “Touchdown Turnaround”, the post-Drive Thru Records version of Hellogoodbye proves to be much more substantial.

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Review: Senses Fail – The Fire

Senses Fail - The Fire

Four years ago, Senses Fail displayed a sonic shift in their music with the releases of their second album, Still Searching. Featuring improved lyrics and vocals, as well as a more aggressive approach in their song writing, the band won over new fans with this release. It was so well-received that fans were disappointed when 2008’s Life Is Not A Waiting Room was more of the same. The New Jersey quartet wasn’t pleased either, as vocalist Buddy Nielsen voiced his displeasure over that record and vowed that the follow-up would be the band’s best yet. Nielsen and company went into the studio to create their most complete album ever, aptly named The Fire. Full of aggression and just enough catchiness to please both types of fans, The Fire is an album that most of Senses Fail’s peers wish they could make.

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Review: Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz

For a while, things didn’t look too good.  It’d been five years since Sufjan Stevens released Illinois, the second album in his 50 States project, and fans hadn’t heard any news on the project – or his music-  until sometime in 2009, when Stevens announced he was done with the project.  Let’s be real, we knew he probably wouldn’t keep up with it, but wouldn’t it have been nice to hear a New York or Kansas album?  Even more troubling than the demise of his project was the revelation that Stevens was thinking about quitting.  Publicly questioning the mere purpose of creating music since albums were becoming obsolete due to downloading, Stevens just seemed disillusioned and tired.  Thankfully, he found it within himself to release the All Delighted People EP earlier this year, shortly followed by the announcement that his sixth proper album, The Age of Adz, would be releasing in the fall.  But fans were blindsided once again by Stevens once Adz traveled into ear canals everywhere.  The 50 States project wasn’t the only thing that got left behind this year, as Stevens’ brand of folk is nowhere to be found outside of the deceiving opening track (“Futile Devices”).  Instead, Stevens has rebuilt himself and his music with new themes, glitchy electronics, booming drums, Auto-tune, and more.

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Review: Jimmy Eat World – Invented

Jimmy Eat World - Invented

There has to be a plaque somewhere in Jimmy Eat World’s recording studio reading “With great power comes great responsibility.” A fitting mantra for more than Peter Parker’s web-slinging morality wars, when you’re one of the most dependable and profoundly influential rock bands on the planet, keeping your ears to the ground and never abandoning your legend is a heck of a responsibility. Harnessing their impeccable creative powers once again, Invented is a melting pot of Jimmy Eat World’s notoriously engaging rock music that showcases ample use of dedication, skill and intelligence over 50 minutes that will burn into your brain (with delight). Fight them off, they come back stronger. You can try to restrain the strength of Jim Adkins’ flawless vocals or even attempt to push the most talented rhythm section in alternative rock out of your way, but it’s no use. Jimmy Eat World has this down to a science and you would be hard-pressed to find this all much ado about nothing.

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Review: Chiodos – Illuminaudio

Chiodos - Illuminaudio

Chiodos are certainly one of the most polarizing bands in the scene today. Having seen a large amount of success with their first two full-length albums All’s Well That Ends Welland Bone Palace Ballet, the ousting of frontman and lead singer Craigery Owens came as a shock to the outside world. From the inside though, it was clearly what the group thought was best for them. With Illuminaudio, their third release on Equal Vision Records, it’s clear that they’ve moved on and are setting their sights on bigger things than ever. 

When Owens and the group parted ways, fans wondered how Chiodos would fare heading forth with new vocalist Brandon Bolmer (formerly of Yesterday’s Rising). There were a lot of opinions circulating that the group should change their name, as Owens’ vocal style and presence was what made the band so unique and distinguishable. However, the success that Chiodos saw with their first two releases was not universal, and a lot of members on this website had negative feelings towards Chiodos and Owens while they were at the height of their popularity. Now, with Bolmer, new drummer Tanner Wayne (formerly of Underminded and Scary Kids Scaring Kids), and original members Bradley Bell, Matt Goddard, Jason Hale, and Pat McManaman, Chiodos offer up one of the most intriguing records of 2010 with Illuminaudio.

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