Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bayside - Acoustic

This one's for Laura. I don't know how it played out, but for some reason, the first Bayside song I'd ever listened to was "Megan," which for you music lovers out there, is a Smoking Popes song. So, with one song, I got hooked to two bands. The rest of this album is a mix of covers, acoustic versions of pre-existing tracks, and "Winter" which is an original tribute to John Holohan, their drummer, who tragically died in a car wreck back in 2005. I actually remember reading about it on Punknews.org when it happened, before I got into the band. Anthony Raneri's familiar voice croons through the tracks, expertly weaving in and out of the acoustic guitars. Acoustic albums can make or break bands, as the depth of songwriting becomes transparent without the effects: chord changes and riffs cannot be hidden behind a wall of distortion...it's bare and plainly audible for the listener. All-in-all, it's slow and melancholy, an acoustic-punk dirge if you will...but still a brilliant listen. Especially Josh Caterer's guest vocals on "Megan."

1. Winter
2. Blame It on Bad Luck
3. They Looked Like Strong Hands
4. Masterpiece
5. Megan
6. Montauk
7. Devotion and Desire
8. Baby Britain
9. Paternal Reversal
10. Don't Call Me Peanut (Live)


Thursday, November 26, 2009

fun. - Aim and Ignite

If I had to describe this album in one word, "fun." aptly does the job. Loud choruses, crazy vocal and instrumental backings really make this album loud. When I say "loud choruses," I literally mean a choral element punctuates this indie-pop record. Nate Ruess (The Format) leads the charge on your ears, and his tone is familiar, even if the surrounding ambiance is not. It is cool to see established artists push their envelope with side-projects, and this is definitely a serious departure from anything The Format has released so far. The pace is quicker, and the songs are poppy; just what you'd want from a bad named "fun." There is no low-point to this album, it's all uppity and clever. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

1. Be Calm
2. Benson Hedges
3. All The Pretty Girls
4. I Wanna Be The One
5. At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)
6. Light A Roman Candle
7. Walking The Dog
8. Barlights
9. The Gambler
10. Take Your Time (Coming Home)
11. Walking the Dog II (Bonus Track)
12. Take Your Time (Acoustic) [Bonus Track]


Friday, November 20, 2009

Cassino - Kingprince

I actually got into Cassino before I heard about Northstar, and actually used Northstar to fill the gap between Sounds of Salvation and this album. It's folksy and quiet, perfect for relaxing. The whole sound of the album is a little bit brighter than his previous effort, but the tone and message remain the same. For me, that's what's most important: I loved the previous album, and with a few tweaks, Nick Torres has written deeper lyrics and expanded his range of musicianship. The lap guitars and violins are still there, but there is a sense of greater beat and rhythm. And Tyler Odom's fingerpicking has dramatically improved (check out "Debickashaw"). The songs are more on the softer, melancholy-side, but good nonetheless. It's a pleasant listen all-around, perfect for a lazy weekend.

1. Djom
2. Kingprince
3. The Gin War
4. The Ice Factory
5. Maddie Bloom
6. Amelia
7. Cannonball
8. Debickashaw
9. Boomerang
10. Ghost
11. The Levee
12. The River


Thursday, October 29, 2009

I forgot

I'll be traveling through Nov. 20th, so updates probably won't happen between now and then. Just thought I'd let everyone know. But make sure you grab old stuff, and use the "search" function up at the top of the page. It's pretty helpful.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weezer - Raditude

To be honest, I'm not sure how long this post is going to last. In any case, it's starting to spill around the internet, so naturally, to keep everyone current on music, I'll include it on the blog. First impressions (for those that care): poppy. Not that I was expecting anything else, but yes, there is a bit of electronic backing to the album. If you were anticipating that, then by all means keep reading and listening. The band is actually has leaned a tiny bit back towards the alternative roots, with more biting guitar that bounces off the keyboards and synthesizers quite well. You'll tap your foot to the entire album in time with the chords and choruses, more so than the Red Album (in my opinion). I mean, it's no Blue Album, but the band is forever hard-pressed to live up to that amazing record...or Pinkerton. If you're a Weezer fan, pick it up, might as well keep your discography complete. The sample track was completely picked at random, because almost every single track is unique from every other one on this album.

  1. (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
  2. I'm Your Daddy
  3. The Girl Got Hot
  4. Can't Stop Partying
  5. Put Me Back Together
  6. Trippin' Down The Freeway
  7. Love Is the Answer
  8. Let It All Hang Out
  9. In The Mall
  10. I Don't Want To Let You Go
  11. Turn Me 'Round
  1. Get Me Some
  2. Run Over By A Truck
  3. The Prettiest Girl In the Whole Wide World
  4. The Underdogs
Check the comments below

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chuck Ragan - Gold Country

I've always been a fan of Chuck Ragan, from Hot Water Music to his solo stuff. This is by far my favorite solo piece he's put together. The melodies are more pronounced with this album, mixing the alt-indie-folk twang with a healthy dose of beat and rhythm. The choruses are catchy and blend the verses without pause or awkwardness. Traditional country instruments punctuate Chuck's all-too familiar vocals, with the violins and lap guitars slicing through his smoke-and-whiskey tempered vocal chords. Rather than relying on percussion, he lets his acoustic set the pace, which allows the other strings to provide the leads. It's a super solid record,well worthy of a purchase, especially for hardcore alt-country/HWM fans.

1. For Goodness Sake
2. Glory
3. Rotterdam
4. Done and Done
5. The Trench
6. Don't Say A Word
7. 10 West
8. Old Diesel
9. Cut Em Down
10. Let It Rain
11. Good Enough For Rock and Roll
12. Get Em All Home

See Comments

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Castevet - Summer Fences

I was looking for some post-rock to relax to, and I came across this wonderful band hailing from Chicago. I've heard them described with lots of influences, but the one that I agree with the most is Minus the Bear. So, if you like them, give this great band a try. The music is post-rock at its best. The lows and highs aren't as varied as Explosions in the Sky, with the tone and pace befitting a band that places heavy emphasis on their punk roots. I'm posting a more mellow track, but keep in mind that they only get heavier from there. Honestly, I've been playing this album for the better part of three days to better try and describe it. The titles are as catchy as the beat, and the album reeks of honest musicians who believe in what they are playing.

1. Between Beyrun And Bryawum
2. Beating high Schoolers At Arcade Games
3. Plays one On TV
4. I Know What A Lion Is
5. Stranger You Know
6. Space Jam (The Return)
7. Evil Robot With Swords For Hands
8. When A Movie’s Made In France It's Called Cinemas


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lucero - 1372 Overton Park

Lucero's sixth-album dropped with little fan-fare (which is why I missed it), but it definitely deserves a spot on the blog. The band definitely retains the twang, and Ben Nichol's unmistakable crooning has never been better. The major developments include an expanded use of horns, synthesizers and keyboards (i.e. "What are You Willing to Lose"). The expansion with the horns and keyboards help the band further blend the bluesy-punk-country combination that they have grown to command over the years. Even though the extra money from Universal Records may be the reason for the added instrumentation and mixing, I'd say it was worth it to add the new dimensions to the band. Some of the older fans may not enjoy the new path they're on, but just give it a listen once or twice. You may find something you'll like.

  1. Smoke
  2. What are You Willing To Lose
  3. Sound of The City
  4. Can't Feel a Thing
  5. The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo
  6. Sixes and Sevens
  7. Goodbye again
  8. Johnny Davis
  9. Darken My Door
  10. Halfway Wrong
  11. Hey Darlin' Do You Gamble
  12. Mom
*FIXED* Link: See Comments

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Avett Brothers - introduce Emotionalism

This is by far the folk-iest thing I've posted thus far, but really, if you find yourself just sitting around, drinking whiskey, and into folk-rock, this band is definitely for you. Or if you like banjos. Because they're good at it. They may only be brothers, but this duo brings a Partirdge family-worth of instruments and vocals. Their style shifts seamlessly from slow folk to more upbeat alt-country, and their vocals follow suit. I'm pretty sure the entire albums is acoustic instruments, which I'm always a fan of. The lyrics are interesting, and provide and honest take on relationships and life (hence the Emotionalism-aspect). If you're an alt-country fan or acoustic fan, check it out. The creativity abounds and you shouldn't be disappointed. Thanks to Dom for the recommendation.

1. Die Die Die
2. Shame
3. Paranoia In Bflat Major
4. The Weight Of Lies
5. Will You Return?
6. The Ballad Of Love And Hate
7. Salina
8. Pretty Girl From Chile
9. All My Mistakes
10. Living Of Love
11. I Would Be Sad
12. Pretty Girl From San Diego
13. Go To Sleep
14. Hand-Me-Down Time


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

I was just perusing my "five-stars" playlist on the iPod, which is a compilation of my favorite songs (hence 5-stars), and "This Modern Love" came on. It made me realize two things: how awesome Bloc Party is, and how I haven't posted anything from them...yet. So, here it is, my favorite Bloc Party album, Silent Alarm. I think it was released back in 2005 to much acclaim, but if you haven't heard it, or them, before, combine indie rock with an eclectic beat and you get this album. Full of great rhythm and interesting lyrics, the band definitely gets your foot tapping from the start. And if you're not a foot tapper, then definitely head nodding to the beat. It's the perfect album to bring to a party, or have it going in the background of a kickback. Check it out, if you're in the mood for something that doesn't stop delivering with a great beat, this album is full of it.

1. Like Eating Glass
2. Helicopter
3. Positive Tension
4. Banquet
5. Blue Light
6. She's Hearing Voices
7. This Modern Love
8. Pioneers
9. Price of Gas
10. So Here We Are
11. Luno
12. Plans
13. Compliments


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nightmares for a Week - A Flood Tomorrow

Although they display somewhat of a country-esque twang, Nightmares for a Week have a beefier tone than their traditional alt-country counterparts. Less drawl than Lucero, but more snotty than a Limbeck, they really power home the electric feel of thick power chords, while the shimmer of acoustic guitars can be heard in the background. Snares crack through the heavier guitar parts, accentuated by bends, and in turn both play well off the vocals. Granted, this is an EP, so "Tour Song" definitely highlights the acoustic country-side of the band, but it is not indicative of the entire album. This EP does exactly what I think all EPs should do: it showcases the sonic expanse of the band, and it definitely creates an impressive resume of songs. I look forward to their full-length, and hope they live up to what they've put forth on this effort.

1. Drown in the West (The Flood)
2. Smoking in Bed
3. Tour Song
4. Under the Wait
5. Graves


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lagwagon - Let's Talk About Feelings

Life's been crappy as of late, I was looking for some good old punk rock to take my mind off things. Plus work sucks, and I needed something fast-paced to give me some energy. Lagwagon comes through. Now, this is an older album in my mp3 collection, ripped back in the day when AWESOME quality mp3s were 128kbps (now it's like variable-320 or something). But the good thing about punk (in my opinion) is even if the recording is somewhat shitty, it's still punk rock. In any case, the quality is by no means bad, or I wouldn't post it. But trust me, this album is awesome. Joey Cape is one of my favorite punk singers of all time, and he definitely delivers on every single track. This is definitely a classic album. The pace is quick (with some notable exceptions), and the music is delivered home with an abundance of energy and emotion. You really believe what Joey is singing, with the utmost conviction and appeal to the listener. I can't sing it's praises enough, and if I were still doing the rating thing, I would definitely give it at 10/10. If you don't have it, get it. It's low compression, so the file is like 35mb, and 25 minutes of pure bliss...there's no excuse. And if you're breaking up with someone, it'll definitely make you feel better.

1. After You my Friend
2. Gun in your Hand
3. Leave the Light On
4. Change Dispair
5. Train
6. Hurry Up and Wait
7. Everything Turns Grey
8. Love Story
9. Messengers
10. The Kids are All Wrong
11. May 16
12. Owen Meaney


Tumbledown - Tumbledown

MxPx's Mike Herrera's alt-country side-project carries a heavy country twang, and blending it with Social D-esque punk rock. The smack of the snare drum plays beautifully against the slap of the bass, creating the background for all the songs on the album. The guitarmanship is about what you'd expect for an alt-country album, lots of leading chord stabs, with acoustic filler in the background. His choice of lyrics are also consistent with the music, from love and heartbreak to drinking and fighting. His voice is distinct, with highs and lows in tune with MxPx, but the backing instrumentation definitely sets it apart. It's a great album for alt-country fans (not as great as maybe a Lucero album), but for those on the boarderline, or not a country fan, it may be a little too 'yee-haw' for you.

1. Let's Drink
2. Butcher of San Antone
3. Break Out of History
4. Movin' On
5. I’m Still Here
6. State Line
7. Came Here to Fight
8. Secondhand High
9. My Sweet Darling Dear
10. Son of A Gun
11. Homeward Bound
12. *Hidden Track*


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns

So I was in American Eagle with my girlfriend (key word: girlfriend...who was shopping there), and they were streaming some college radio station's playlist. All of a sudden, a great sounding song came on, indie, with a little folk kick to it. I grab my iPhone and 'Shazaam' this quality sounding song pumping through the store. Thanks to the miracles of technology, I instantly got a return as "Don't Haunt this Place" by this band, off this album. So naturally, it'll be the teaser track, graciously hosted by the band themselves. The Canadian trio falls right in line with the Saddle Creek Records gang, with a twang-to-kill sound, and not-so-subtle indie appeal. Take a listen, you'll probably dig it.

On another note, I'm starting off with this album, because the last few I've posted have been instantly taken down by the RIAA. Hopefully, since this is indie, they won't care. In any case, I'm for reals trying to start this blog back up, so in the words of one of my favorite bands "Tell All Your Friends..."

1. The Ballad of The RAA
2. Rush Apart
3. The Dethbridge in Lethbridge
4. Don't Haunt this place
5. The Deadroads
6. Drain the Blood
7. Luciana
8. Frank, AB
9. The Air
10. Sleep All Day
11. Four Night Rider
12. Edmonton
13. In the Summertime


Thursday, June 25, 2009


So the one new post I had immediately got shut down by the RIAA, bless their hearts. That being said, please start hitting up the CBox with new music that you'd like to share or that I'd be interested in. New Rancid is STILL on the way, I was busy, but did not forget.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

At long last

Well, I haven't let the poll run it's full course, but I think the overwhelming majority of readers want me to bring back the blog. So I will, once I catch up on some new music. Expect new Taking Back Sunday and Rancid here within the next day or so. Thanks for all the continued support...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

And so it ends...

Friends, alas I just got a new job and I'm moving to Japan, so the blog is coming to an end. I've had a great time over the past year and a half, it's been awesome sharing music with all of you. I started this back in September '07 to share some albums with friends back home while I was at school on the East coast, and then it just sort of exploded. Based on the statistics from the site, over 153,000 people have visited, and what I'm most proud of are the 18,000+ that are returning visitors. Take care of yourselves, and maybe I'll unknowingly meet some of you at a show.

Thanks for visiting, and all the support. If you find a great band or album, make sure you tell everyone you know. Oh, and go to shows, and buy vinyl.


The blog will be up for a few days, so grab what you want.