Thursday, March 9, 2017

Acceptance - Colliding By Design

Album Review - Acceptance - Colliding By Design

Have you ever had a friend or colleague tell you that a band released music and you sort of let the information filter slowly into the back of your head without any emotion? Maybe you even feigned excitement as you really imagined what you'd be eating later for dinner while you watched Netflix alone in the dark? 

That's the exact opposite of how I felt when Acceptance announced the release of their newest album, Colliding By Design. Considering how many years it's been since they'd released something, I had long given up holding my breath. 

I didn't know what to expect beyond that they were way overdue on delivering on a promise. When I was first reminded that the album was released, I didn't rush to listen. Played it cool, gave it a few days. 

When I finally did give it a first listen through, I was beating myself up for waiting. That day alone, I had listened through at least a dozen times. 

Not only was it good, but it was good. I mean, this album was quickly becoming AOTY for me and suffice to say one of my personal favorites. 

Acceptance outdid themselves. It would have been easy for them to just bank on the fact that longtime fans were at the edge of their seats waiting for a release. They could have been lazy and thrown something together that passed as an album. 

Instead, what was delivered was a neatly wrapped package of musical gold. Each song told a part of a larger story, and at the end of each track you'd likely find yourself at the edge of your seat waiting for the next chapter. 

Each song is hand selected and flows together with such a smooth, harmonious quality that left me wanting more. There's no skipping tracks here, only sitting back for the full 47 minutes. 

It was an emotional ride that left me feeling tightly wrapped in a warm blanket with only Acceptance to thank. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Taste of Chaos - Cincinnati, OH 6/11/2016

Taste of Chaos @ Riverbend in Cincinnati

The Early November, Saosin w/ Anthony Green, Taking Back Sunday, and Dashboard Confessional

When Taste of Chaos first announced its lineup, both for the tour and the festival, teenagers and adults rejoiced at the opportunity to re-live their youths through reminiscing easier times when it was cool to like emo music. (Let's face it, most of us still listen to most of these bands on a regular basis anyway.) The opportunity to see Anthony Green back with Saosin was encouragement enough. 

The Early November

The Early November has been around as long as many of the others, but is lesser known in this area. They took the stage around the time doors opened, so the arena was sadly close to empty. While I arrived to see them in their full glory and sing along with some of my favorite songs, I didn't mind that I was singing alone to the more popular hits and even the whining lyrics of some of their earlier lesser known songs like 'I Want to Hear You Sad' from many years ago. 


It had been years since I had seen Saosin, so my expectations were high. I am personally biased towards vocalist Anthony Green, who I have seen many times before on his solo shows as well as with Circa Survive. However, I forgot just how much I used to enjoy listening to Saosin and was overtaken by my teenaged emotions. As always, Anthony has his own way of playing. Stopping between songs or even in the middle of songs, he would address fans in the crowd. One time he made a point to tell fans to love each other and not start fights or hurt one another. 

One particular fan was disappointed that he had gotten kicked out of the pit. Anthony stopped in the middle of a song to inquire as to what had happened. When he realized the kid didn't have access to the pit, he invited him onto the stage to watch from backstage. The kid's face lit up, his life had certainly been made. He climbed up and jammed out to songs which likely came out when he was just a young boy. Later, Anthony requested the kid come on stage and jumped up onto his back. It goes to show that he is no less compassionate towards his fans and still puts on quite the show. He is an exceptional vocalist and a stand up human. Ending with Seven Years, we were all back in 2000 and everyone was singing along.
Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday took the stage next and although I have personally seen them nearly a dozen times, they always put on a unique show. The guys may have gotten older and grown up emotionally, but their sound truly hasn't changed much, which is something long-time fans appreciate endlessly. We never get tired of screaming along with Adam Lazarra as he belts out 'Cute Without the E', "Liar," "MakeDamnSure," and "What's it Feel Like to Be a Ghost." Adam jumps all over the stage, swinging his microphone in circles, and proving that just because he has kids doesn't mean he can't rock out. All we wanted was to dance with all of our friends and tell them how much we love Taking Back Sunday, but those were words which just didn't need to be said. We all lost our voices and healed our hearts a little bit during their killer set full of songs we were all waiting to hear. 

Dashboard Confessional

Dashboard Confessional was next and the lights dimmed in preparation. The anticipation was apparent as the venue was now completely full of slightly older fans who had clearly been waiting for this moment for a long time. Chris Carrabba looked like he hadn't aged a day in the flattering stage lights as he took off right into the set. It was my first time seeing them live personally, but it was clear others around me had sang along to these songs many a times before. Carrabba knows how to impress and please his fans, playing all of the songs they've been waiting for.

All photos by Hannah Christine: Instagram & Website.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Weathervein - Wounds

EP Review - Weathervein - Wounds

Have you ever heard a song and within seconds you relate to it so hard because it made you feel something immediately? That's truly how I felt about this album. I always try to do my best to be partial when writing album reviews, because I feel like people reading want to know what they can expect from it. But sometimes I just feel an album so deeply I can't help but to seem like I'm raving. 

Weathervein (previously Absent Youth) is an extremely talented five-piece band from Dayton, Ohio that will remind you such talented musicians and strong music can come from a small town. If you've never heard them before and had an expectation of what they would sound like, they will seriously surprise you. 

From the first chord until the final song wraps up, you will be taken on a rollercoaster, emotional journey that you won't want to end. The strong dual vocals and well-written lyrics combined with three (!) guitars will have you wanting more... or just putting the tracks on repeat. The worst thing about the album is the fact that it only has five songs. 

Prepare yourself aka get these songs in your head before they're touring the world and you wish you knew them before everyone else.

RIYL: La Dispute, Balance and Composure, Thrice, and Brand New. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dear Boy Releases Single "Local Roses"

Dear Boy started out strong when they came together back in 2013. I have been following this up and coming group since, and they have done nothing but impress me every step of the way. Every live performance and song they've released since have been a roaring success, and for good reason. These talented men are passionate about music and it shows in their songs. They don't make the type of music they think will sell millions, they make the type of music that you can feel in your bones. This new release is no different.

If "Local Roses" is a sign of what's to come (and c'mon, we all know it is!), I can't wait to hear the entire album they've been working on.

If you'd like to check out their single, I've linked and included their SoundCloud below. You can also find their contact information if you'd like to find out more about the band. If you happen to live in Los Angeles, join me this coming Tuesday, January 12th to see them live at the Echo. They are headlining!





Friday, March 13, 2015

Purity Ring - Another Eternity Album Review

Purity Ring - Another Eternity (album art)
Purity Ring - Another Eternity
RIYL: MSMR, Phantogram, Grimes, CHVRCHES
Recommended tracks: "bodyache" and "push pull"

When one of of your favorite bands announces they're putting out a new record, you typically are filled with two feelings. Excitement and panic. For me, I tend to take my music extremely personally. So when I love a band or album dearly, it becomes really close to my heart. The idea of them releasing more music that may not hold the same special value is terrifying. 

I actually decided to buy tickets to their upcoming tour this summer before I even heard the new album. So, maybe this isn't the most unbiased review, but it's a truthful one, regardless.

Purity Ring (Megan James and Corin Roddick) have truly outdone themselves with this album. I waited much longer than I typically would to listen, and during my first cycle through, I was so relieved. Elated. Overcome. Almost to the point of crying. (Okay maybe I cried a little.) now this may seem ridiculous, being moved to tears, but that's the power that this band has.

The special effects on this album, especially found in tracks like "push pull" are incredibly impressive. Throughout, inventive lyrics paired with beautiful melodic singing will likely have you enraptured. 

From the opening track, heartsigh, with introspective lyrics like, "You sweat, and you bled. I couldn't look 'cause you're body, your body would shake. And you feared a lonely death, like a lake leaves you alone in her depths." to the beautifully tragic lyrics of "flood on the floor," such as, "Screamin' for courage, taken oceans and her. She read your mind and called it her terror. Misplacin' her sleep to keep the world nearer." - the band truly keeps you captivated for a full 35 minutes, which may not seem like a lot, but for many listeners, it's difficult to stay interested the entire way through. Once you're finished, you may find yourself starting it over again or putting your favorite track on repeat. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

No Sleep Records - "A Comp For Mom" Review

No Sleep just released the A Comp for Mom album that has been awaited by fans for a couple of months. And while I have quite a bit to say about the contents, nobody says it better than the man himself. In the words of No Sleep Records' owner/founder, Chris Hansen:

“A Comp For Mom is a special project i planned over the past month of my mom’s life, to release in her honor and to help raise funds for her medical bills. Now it will be released in memory of her. 100% of the proceeds will be going towards any medical bills/other expenses incurred after her passing, after that 100% of the proceeds will go into a Linda Hansen Memorial Fund.”

“I love you Mom, say hi to Dad for me.”

There's something incredibly special about music being dedicated to your loved ones. Music is already something so emotional and can hit close to home. When you choose to create something in memory of someone, it brings it to another level.

The first beautiful thing I noticed about this album, when I heard it for the first time several weeks ago, was how truly raw it is. Each track is something different and unique, but they're all sewn together like a patchwork quilt with the same message: genuine love.

The first song I heard was Daisyhead's cover of "Work" by Jimmy Eat World that they released weeks ago before I heard the entire album. They had a stream of it on Absolute Punk, and I became obsessed with it after my first listen. Jimmy Eat World is one of my favorite bands and Daisyhead truly did the song justice. Their take on it was so emotional and moving, I couldn't stop listening and it quickly became my favorite song on the album and stayed that way.

That was when I decided I needed to hear the entire album. Once I was able to listen to the entire thing, I realized that all of the songs followed suit, as being quite moving tracks. They truly all create such a strong story sewn together into this compilation. To be fair, I'm already kind of biased in favor of the bands on No Sleep, being that they're home to several of my favorite bands. (Major League, Balance & Composure, The Swellers, and Into It. Over It are all featured on the album.)

Another favorite track was "For Agnes" by Into It. Over It. The guitar and clean vocals made me feel like Evan Weiss himself was sitting in my living room playing just for me. Message received loud and clear, directly to my tear ducts.

The acoustic version of "Montreal" by Major League was so genuine and raw, reminding listeners just how much we all go through without stopping to think about how we all go through the same (or similar) things. How we handle things is all part of life and it's a beautiful and obvious thing when musicians are singing from experience and a place of pain - this song is so emotional in context of being dedicated to Chris' mother after she passed.
The fact that these artists came together for the cause and created such beautiful tracks, whether they were acoustic versions or cover songs by other artists, is exactly what music should be about, in my opinion. Although I've never lost a parent, I've certainly lost people close to me and family is very important to me, so thinking about the subject got me choked up many times listening. It's very touching overall and I still can't stop listening to the album.

The album can be purchased at : No Sleep Records - A Comp for Mom

Friday, May 30, 2014

This Wild Life’s Kevin Jordan Gives Us: The 7 Songs That Define A Break Up

If you don't know This Wild Life by now, you should. Recently they were signed to Epitaph Records, which is well-deserved because they have beautiful music and have worked hard to get to where they are.

If you listen to Kevin talk, or just listen to their music, you know he's quite a deep, emotional person, and maybe one of the most perfect people to have contributed to an article like this one.

I don't frequently repost articles from other music websites or music news, but this is a subject very close to my heart (breakup playlists) and I absolutely love what Kevin has put together. It's pretty perfect and definitely going into my phone as a new playlist.

Check out the sample and the article below, as well as This Wild Life's website and music, if you haven't yet.

Song #3 :

"Daughter - 'Still'
Find It: 'If You Leave'

It's hard to choose a more relevant song off this record because the entire feeling of the record is so consistent, but this song particularly stuck with me more than others. It's about continuing to sleep with the person you've broken up with. Sleeping with someone is such a vulnerable and special thing to me, I can't just do it with someone I don't have true feelings for and care about. When you've broken up with someone and have so much hate in your heart but continue to let your body connect with them, it's an awful feeling. When Elena Tonra sings, "Hate is spitting out each others mouths, but we're still sleeping like we're lovers. Still with feet touching, still with eyes meeting, still our hands match, still with hearts beating", it reminds me of a time when I hated myself every moment I was with my ex after we broke up. I just felt so sick of myself and this song represents that cold feeling so well."