Review: My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

My Chemical Romance - Danger Days

The one constant in the career arc of My Chemical Romance has been reinvention. From each record’s sound to the wardrobe used on stage for each album cycle, MCR has never been strangers to pushing the boundaries of what is expected of them and their music. On Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, My Chemical Romance would reinvent themselves for the fourth time and deliver their boldest artistic statement to date. Having scrapped a full album’s worth of material (that would later be known as Conventional Weapons) in-between recording The Black Parade and this album, fans and critics alike were looking forward to seeing how Gerard Way, Frank Iero, Mikey Way, and Ray Toro would come back into the limelight after the massively successful third record. Danger Days ranges from thrilling sing-a-long anthems to power-pop and their trademark take on punk/emo rock alike. With so much riding on this career-defining record, how would everyone react to the material that would come through the speakers?

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Andrew Belle – “When the End Comes” (Song Premiere)

Andrew Belle

Andrew Belle will release his new album, Dive Deep, on August 25th. Today I’m excited to bring you the premiere of the new song “When the End Comes.” When describing the song, Andrew said:

“When the End Comes” is about just that – it’s about how on one hand I can know that at the end of my time here I won’t care about much else besides the people that I love and who love me back; and yet I get so distracted and caught up in my own head with everything going on these days that I need reminding of that on a daily basis. At the end of my life there will only be a handful of things that mean anything to me and so I wrote this song about keeping those things close and putting everything else in the background.

Pre-orders for the album are now up and ticket packages for the upcoming tour are also available. I’ve been looking forward to this album for a while, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to disappoint.

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An Update on the Rest of 2020

Chorus.fm

As I wrote about in October, this was a very weird year to be running an independent, online, business. I just wanted to take a few moments to be upfront about a couple of changes that I’m going to be making for the rest of this year. In the online ad world, the last part of the year is usually one of the best for online advertising. It tracks along with the holidays and consumer spending and advertisers wanting to convince shoppers to buy their gadgets and gizmos. Now, digital advertising has been a mess for virtually everyone this year, but there’s a small hope we can make up some of that lost revenue with a terrific final quarter. So, I’m going to let the company that handles all of our display ads run a few different advertisements on the website for the next month.

Honestly? They’re probably going to be annoying as hell. They’ve promised to keep everything frequency capped so that users only see one of the annoying ads one time per session, but there’s no nice way to spin the fact that these kinds of advertisements suck for the user experience. I know it, you know it, but it’s me throwing everything at the wall as we end the year in an attempt to salvage what, in many ways, has been a lost year. I want to be forthright about it, so everyone knows what is coming. And, to let you know you can remove all ads on the website by becoming a member. (These ads will only run for a few months, and we have a monthly option for just $3 a month. Remove all ads, get dark mode, live the good life.)

I don’t know what 2021 will hold, but I plan to continue to keep everyone updated as we journey into this uncharted territory together. I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well. The contributors and I have begun preparing for our end of the year feature, which we hope to run, like always, in early January.

The Meaning Behind ‘After Laughter’

Hayley Williams of Paramore explained the meaning behind the band’s new album title, After Laughter, to iHeartRadio:

After Laughter is about the look on people’s faces when they’re done laughing. If you watch somebody long enough, there’s always this look that comes across their face when they’re done smiling, and I always find it really fascinating to wonder what it is that brought them back to reality. So, that’s what After Laughter is.

Phoebe Bridgers Playboy Interview

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers was interviewed with Carmen Maria Machado for Playboy:

Actually, this is a conundrum too: My most literal lyrics sometimes sound like my spookiest. In “Garden Song,” the line “The doctor put her hands over my liver and told me my resentment is getting smaller”—that was a nutritionist in Los Angeles who literally did that to me. My imagination is not as creative as my reality.

The link is NSFW, but it’s a good interview.

Review: Silverstein – REDUX II

Silverstein - Redux

It’s amazing how much a single year can throw a wrench into our plans. 2020 has made all of us re-focus our thoughts and priorities as we deal with a global pandemic that has forced us to make sacrifices along the way. Silverstein were poised and ready to tour on their recently released 10th studio album, A Beautiful Place to Drown when the world had other plans for the post-hardcore veterans. Having recently celebrated 20 years since their formation as band, Silverstein turned the unique situation into an opportunity to revisit some of their classic songs and deep cuts from past records for an album now known as REDUX II. The new recordings that made the cut for this record range from simple re-polishing of beloved songs that feel fresh for a new audience, to major enhancements to the song arrangement.

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Review: Tyler Childers – Purgatory

Earlier this year, when Canadian country singer Colter Wall released his self-titled debut record, it felt like someone had caught lightning in a bottle. How was it possible that this young, 21-year-old kid could produce the kind of booming, haunting baritone voice he sang with? How could he get closer to sounding like Johnny Cash than anyone in Nashville, when he’d only been seven years old when Cash passed away? It felt like Wall had the kind of once-in-a-generation voice that was going to make him a country music legend. And then you got to the penultimate track, a take on the old German folk song “Fraulein,” and heard another breathtaking voice stealing the show.

That voice belonged to Tyler Childers, an unheralded (at least until now) singer/songwriter hailing from the state of Kentucky. Like Wall, Childers is young. He’s 26 now and has been touring the southern and midwestern United States since he was 20. But Childers doesn’t have Wall’s cavernous baritone voice. Instead, he’s got a gritty, versatile tenor, equally adept at selling loud honky tonk rave-ups and tender, lovelorn ballads. It begs the question: what kind of deals with the devil did these two young troubadours have to strike to get such distinctive instruments so early in their lives? And if country music has these kinds of remarkable young talents hiding around the fringes, then why the hell are we putting up with nothing vocalists like Jason Aldean and Thomas Rhett?

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Review: Arms and Hearts – The Distance Between

Arms and Hearts - The Distance Between

The Manchester melodic punk act formed by Steve Millar, better known as Arms & Hearts, makes a solid introduction to the folk-punk scene on The Distance Between. With a raspy voice that ranges from the howl of songwriting veterans such as Brian Fallon and Chuck Ragan, Millar makes a powerful opening statement on this collection of nine well-structured songs. The material teeters between sounding like a singer-songwriter at a dimly lit nightclub, to the full-bled passion of a punk band packed to capacity in a sweaty venue. What Millar does best is making his listeners hang on his every word as he sways from a soft croon to a blood-curdling scream.

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