Review: Marianas Trench – Ever After

Marianas Trench - Ever After

It only took five minutes to prove that Marianas Trench were the real deal.

The opener to the pop-rock quartet’s sophomore effort, Masterpiece Theater, was breathtaking to say the least. “Masterpiece Theater I” presented everything to love about the genre – soaring harmonies, memorable instrumentation, and hooks to go crazy for. The band’s prime selling point took place within vocalist Josh Ramsay, who gave unreal performances on nearly every song on the album. Marianas Trench had something special going for them, and it was easy to say that their follow-up had a lot to live up to. In company with Masterpiece Theater’s incredible solidarity, it also ended up selling platinum (in Canada), with numerous platinum and gold singles to go along with it. That alone sets the bar enormously for the highly anticipated Ever After – and it’s the band’s best offering to date.

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Review: Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

People like to say that the Foo Fighters are a band with plenty of great hits, but not great albums. To say Foo Fighters don’t put together excellent records is not a fair knock. 

I could write an entire thesis defending Foo Fighters albums, but for now I’ll just say their first three albums – Foo Fighters, The Colour and the Shape and There is Nothing Left to Lose – are classics, jam packed with hits and underrated B-Sides. I can also admit at the same time, there are circumstances where the hits over albums idea rings true. “All My Life” is far superior than the rest of the songs on 2002’s One by One. “The Best of You” was miles ahead of the pack when stacked up against the other tracks on 2005’s In Your Honor. Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace had three strong singles with “The Pretender”, “Long Road to Ruin”, and “Let it Die”, but the rest of the record was just okay. 

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Review: Weezer – OK Human

Weezer - Ok Human

Rivers Cuomo is a popstar. It’s an interesting revelation considering the Weezer frontman has spent the better half of the last 25 years chasing mainstream recognition (something the band has had since releasing their first single, “Undone – The Sweater Song” in 1994), but for as many times as he’s turned his band into a modern pop-rock experiment and apologized for it on the very next album, Cuomo continues to craft unbelievable earworms, whether he’s utilizing a team of co-writers and producers or simply his strat with the lightning strap.

To understand and accept this is to be a Weezer fan. Just as it’s been noted that the singular band has essentially split into two — one putting out weird records while the other puts out, well, Weezer records — fans can rarely know what to expect when they hear new music is coming, even when it’s been described to them beforehand. Put simply, we’ve been burned before, and we’re all ready to feel like clowns the day after a new single drops and it sounds closer to Twenty One Pilots than the band that wrote “Keep Fishin’.” Still, we have a reason to be excited; it seems that the plastic, filler-ridden mid-career crisis that plagued the band in the late 2000s is over. Since 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright in the End, the band has (more or less) released consistent albums that, at the very least, keep Weezer fans guessing. While they still jet back and forth between pop-rock and expertly executed power-pop, there’s energy once again present that seemed to disappear somewhere around 2007’s self-titled red album. Weezer seem invested in the music they’re making (having averaged a new album each year since 2014), and more importantly, the records they’re making feel like Weezer records – even the weird ones. For my money, their latest is the closest the band has come to merging those two lanes; OK Human is a left-field masterpiece that comes dangerously close to reaching the heights of the band’s early career.

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Brandon Flowers Pens Op-Ed in Support of Vegas Valet Parkers

The Killers

Brandon Flowers of The Killers has written an op-ed for The Las Vegas Review-Journal supporting Vegas valet parkers:

As crazy as it sounds, my childhood dream was to be a valet parker. For a hard-working Vegas kid too restless for a desk job, valet was it. It wasn’t just about parking cars, it was about being the first face you see when you arrive at the hotel — the hookup who knew the ins and outs of the town.