Review: My Chemical Romance – “The Foundations of Decay”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know by now that My Chemical Romance have returned with their first new taste of music in over eight years with “The Foundations of Decay.” The bombastic new track from MCR features several bread crumbs to where the band originated from, while still moving the needle forward in their musical evolution. The six-minute song is filled with anthemic moments courtesy of the four core band members, Gerard Way, Ray Toro, Frank Iero, and Mikey Way, while each band member hits their intended target on this aggressive-sounding single. My Chemical Romance made their triumphant return to the stage yesterday in the U.K. and their set kicked off with this song to establish the tone for their legendary material that followed.

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Broke Royals – “Revivalism” (Song Premiere)

Broke Royals

Today is a great day to share the new single from Washington DC’s own power-pop rock band, Broke Royals. The band is set to release their third full-length record called Local Support, and the album was produced by Bartees Strange. Recorded largely during the height of the pandemic, Broke Royals look to regain momentum towards the better days that lie ahead. When asked about the direction they took on this latest album, the band shared:

People forget that, especially in its earliest inception, “Rock music is dance music. Rock music is party music.” In October 2020, right as we first started working on the song, Eddie Van Halen died. It was a gut punch for all of us but extra inspiration to stay true to the mission: make a fun rock song about bringing the party back to life.

Broke Royals have brought the party to the start of your new week, courtesy of this single called “Revivalism.” Local Support will be out everywhere music is sold on July 15th via Byrdland Records.

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Review: State Champs – Kings of the New Age

On the latest offering of music from Albany, NY’s pop-punk band State Champs hone in on what their band does best, and still leave room for new added elements to their trademark sound. The band was at their most proficient, narrowing down over 30 songs to the 11 found on Kings of the New Age, and we’re left with the tracks they felt best represented this latest chapter of their musical discovery. The set of songs was produced by Drew Fulk (Ice Nine Kills, Lil Wayne) and he does a great job of bringing the band’s authentic songwriting to the forefront of the production. The album contains four songs with outside collaborators, including the single “Everybody But You” featuring Ben Barlow, and each of these guest spots lend themselves well to the overall sound State Champs went for. The band shared this about the album direction, “Lyrically, KOTNA is a reflection on the past few years during a very weird time. However, it is also a reminder that we’re only here for so long. Although we always live and learn by trial and error in areas like friendships, family, careers, relationships, etc., there’s no time for toxicity and negativity when a certain opportunity presents itself. Never waste a moment that can be seized. Times are changing, culture is evolving, and we’re happy to provide the soundtrack and let you know that we’re here to stay. Welcome to the new age.” With their pop-punk flag firmly planted, State Champs may have just provided us with the soundtrack to help remind us of the care free days and the endless possibilities of a summer that could change our lives for the better.

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Review: Vagrants – Be Consumed

The latest taste of music from the post-hardcore trio called Vagrants is a thrilling collection of anthems ready to be absorbed into your ears. The album is entitled Be Consumed, and its fitting because the record surrounds the listener with a massive wall of sound that rarely loses focus. For those unfamiliar with the band, they are comprised of vocalist/guitarist Jose DelRio, drummer Anastasia Hayes, and guitarist Bryce Ballinger, and their sound strays somewhere between the realm of Underoath, Saosin, and Silverstein. The band shared this about their new album, “We are incredibly excited to have Be Consumed out into the world. Being able to pour ourselves into the writing and recording of this record truly served as a ‘life raft’ to get us through these past couple of years. We really feel like this record serves to define where we are right now as a band, and give a glimpse into where we might head next. Our next step is to get back on the road and play these new songs in a live context. We are really looking forward to seeing which of the 12 tracks really translate and connect with people.” Armed with a plethora of breakneck hooks and meaningful lyrics, Vagrants are well-equipped for the journey that lays ahead of them.

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Review: Silverstein – Misery Made Me

Bad times will come and go. Sadness isn’t forever. But misery? Damn, that can feel like a ton of bricks weighing you down to the point of paralyzing helplessness. On the band’s tenth studio album, Silverstein have misery well on their mind with Misery Made Me. The band took a deep dive into the introspective with their last effort, A Beautiful Place To Drown, and that experience seemed to have made the band look towards heavier tones and themes on this latest record. The promotion cycle for this latest album started with the release of one of their heaviest songs to date in “Bankrupt,” and roughly seven months later the band upped the ante again with “It’s Over,” a blistering song about being on the verge of throwing in the towel. Much like other records, Misery Made Me features four songs that have an outside collaborator, and each cameo appearance is well thought out and calculated. This album is one of the heavier records the band has released (in both guitar tones as well as lyrical material) and yet as Silverstein explore the darkest parts of these feelings, they come back into the light with cautious optimism that things can (eventually) get better.

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Review: MattstaGraham – Prescribe Whatever

The debut album from emo/punk rock artist MattstaGraham called Prescribe Whatever tackles the issues of struggling with mental health, while battling the outside vices that make navigating this crazy life more difficult. The artist got “internet famous” through parodies of established emo rock bands like Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, and My Chemical Romance, and garnered the attention of I Surrender Records, who promptly signed him. With a blend of familiar-sounding guitar tones powered with punk rock passion, this artist would be great for fans of The Homeless Gospel Choir, Gob, and Allister.

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Review: Charli XCX – Crash

Every now and then you come across an album that just compels you to write about it. The current pop music scene is filled with new artists (Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa), established artists branching out from their main project (Hayley Williams), and the household names (Adele, Lady Gaga). Charli XCX was one of those artist I heard name-dropped a few times along the way of navigating through the wave of pop artists that were out there, but I discovered Crash by Charli XCX pretty late in the game (nearly a month after the initial release date) and I was immediately drawn into the world that this artist brings forth on the dynamic, smash of a record. Armed with a plethora of A-list producers, including The 1975’s George Daniel (among many others), Charli XCX could’ve gone in a number of directions on her fifth studio album. Much like how Dua Lipa set the world on fire the last two years with Future Nostalgia, Crash has that feeling of being the “it” pop record that could garner the same amount of momentum on radio and word of mouth.

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Review: Tombstones In Their Eyes – A Higher Place

Coming off of the release of last year’s Looking For A Light, Tombstones In Their Eyes are back with a well-equipped approach to their music by adding lush vocal harmonies into a crowd pleasing set of tunes. Guitarist and vocalist John Treanor said this about the band’s evolution, “The band is evolving, which is cool. I’ve never been in a band that stuck around long enough and released enough material to really see the change occur. There’s such a wide range of songs and sounds now, it’s really hard to pigeonhole what we are: Psych Rock? Maybe. Shoegaze? Not so much at this point. Indie Rock? Maybe. Rock and Roll? Yes. It all depends on which song you’re playing, really, but all the songs fit into the Tombstones In Their Eyes genre and sound, no matter how disparate their sound.” With limitless possibilities for their songwriting, this band appears to be hitting the right groove in their musical journey.

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Review: Rozzi – Berry

Sometimes you just know when an artist has that “it” factor to them that will open multiple doors to the possibilities of their career. Rozzi definitely falls into this category with her Berry EP, a thrilling collection of songs that uniquely showcases her impressive vocal range and songwriting prowess. Led by the super-charged single featuring Nile Rodgers, “Consequences” is one of those songs that grabs your attention from the first few notes and never lets up. With a great-sounding EP, it’s only a matter of time before others become aware of this artist’s brilliance.

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Interview: Chase Tremaine

Chase Tremaine

A little bit of time ago, I was able to catch up with singer-songwriter Chase Tremaine to discuss the re-release of his sophomore record Development and Compromise, my adoration for his debut called Unfall, as well as a lot about what the future has in store for his musical path ahead. I really enjoyed hearing about what made Chase want to explore his musical journey, and hear about his influences that he draws inspiration from.

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Interview: Out Of Service

Out of Service

Recently I was able to hop onto a Zoom call with the emo rock band Out of Service, and we discussed their recently released single called “What You See” that features John Nolan (Taking Back Sunday/Straylight Run), their upcoming touring plans, and most importantly their finishing touches on their third full-length record called The Ground Beneath Me. Out of Service is comprised of Teebs Williams (guitar), Mike Capuano (vocals), Ken Bond (drums), and Brian McGovern (bass). The upcoming album will be released on Enjoy The Ride Records on June 3rd, and the vinyl will be available for purchase at the same time as the digital release date.

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Review: Animalweapon – Set Of Constraints

For those unfamiliar with the electronic artist known as Animalweapon, it comes from the mind of Patrick Cortes. On this sprawling, eight-song album called Set of Constraints, the artist tackles heavy lyrical themes like struggles with mental health, anxiety, as well as making personal connections to the material to ensure the balance is just right. Cortes shared this about the new record: “A lot of this record is a marker of a transitional period of my life. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my last record Tyrannosaurus was very much a representation of a pretty low stretch, mental health wise. A lot of this album was me acknowledging that I can mitigate that if I actually put in the work, and starting to. I still write music with enough room for interpretation so that people can connect it to whatever they’re feeling, but ideally I hope it resonates with anyone who is working on themselves or ‘in the cocoon’ so to speak.” Set Of Constraints seems like an odd title, as Animalweapon’s musical journey appears to be limitless.

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Review: Midtown – Living Well Is The Best Revenge

In the crowded scene of pop-punk bands during the early 00’s, I admittedly didn’t give Midtown as much of a hard look as I should have in retrospect. I would usually enjoy the singles that the band put on the Warped Tour compilation that came out each year, or stumble across a friend’s MP3 of punk songs on their computer that caught my ear, but I didn’t get on this band’s bandwagon until much later. After seeing Living Well Is The Best Revenge at a record store for a criminally low price, I took a chance on the album that I’ve grown to love even more so today. This album was crafted under the direction of producer Mark Trombino (Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World), and he helped Midtown hone in on the best parts of their sound to create a record that should’ve received more love and media attention. In an interview with Jason during the AbsolutePunk days, Midtown went into detail about their disdain for Drive-Thru Records, and potentially may have stunted some of the label’s desire to push the album into more commercial outlets. Controversy aside, Midtown’s Living Well Is the Best Revenge should be considered one of the better pop-punk albums to come out of this period of time.

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Review: Dear Spring – “Every Now and Then”

The latest taste of new music from the DC-based pop-punk band Dear Spring is called ”Every Now and Then,” and is filled with great harmonies, back and forth vocals, and a beating heart of purpose in every lyric. The song was produced by Nik Bruzzese, mixed by Ben Green, and mastered by Paul Leavitt. Dear Spring would be perfect for fans of Four Year Strong, Taking Back Sunday, and Hit the Lights, since this band is very much entrenched in that crisp pop-punk sound that many of us have grown to love over the years.

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