Andrew Bishop Mrotek aka “The Butcher”, the drummer of The Academy Is was recently attacked and mugged in Milwaukee.
Like many Americans, Andy is without health insurance coverage and each day as he is making strides to physically and emotionally recover from this experience, his hospital bills continue to grow and grow..
Album Review ~ Of Mice & Men - The Flood (Deluxe Reissue)
Article by Simona Milani
Shayley Bouget left and Of Mice & Men release four new songs on the reissue of their second album The Flood, songs that fit perfectly with their earlier ones. The intro, The Calm, is perhaps one of the most successful they could do, and then there is the breakdown with The Storm, a song that makes you sing out loud while your heart’s bleeding.
The Flood is a wave that hits you in the face and shoves you around, definitely a song that I would like to hear in a live performance of the band, finding myself in the middle of the pit.
Finally The Dephts is so fucking intense that your head decides to bang itself. I read many fans’ comments of disappointment for the lack of clean vocals, and I have to agree with them, I miss the clean vocals and I think they should take care of that aspect.
The research and experimentation of new sounds carried out by Linkin Park in recent years is continuous, but has had little success. What new rock should sound like seems more and more pop.
The first single, Burn It Down, prefaced energetic atmosphere which is only reconfirmed in the first tracks of the album LivingThings. If you sharpen your ears and pay close attention, you’ll even be able to hear Chester scream once or twice.
In the end, Linkin Park already became melodic with Minutes to Midnight, their 2007’s album, so their quiet sounds should no longer be a surprise. What maybe the fans would like to hear, and they cannot, is a crescendo of energy in their albums, which instead tend to sound calmer every time.
Still, in this unattractive scenario there are positives that make impossible to deny their talent.
The lyrics follow the growing trend of the previous album, Thousand Suns. They are committed, and make use of searched terms.
The possibility to recognize them as the artists they are is in Chester Bennington’s voice (I recommend listening to Powerless to better judge it), and in the role that visual art has, as usual, in the production of their albums and videos.
Among the songs which are worth listening to there are Lost in the Echo and Lies Greed Misery. Victimized is equally interesting, even if it is less then two minutes long and, I assume, it is supposed to be just an intermission between the initial anger and the final peace.
In conclusion, to the curious and old fans, I suggest listening to this album more than once.
In spite of what happened just few months before it was released, with the former rhythm guitarist Ryan Bentley leaving the band and all, Memphis May Fire confirm their many talents and passions releasing an album of wonders. Challenger, to me, has all the right numbers to become Memphis May Fire’s greatest work in the nearest future. Screaming a passionate “This is who we are” on top of soft piano notes,the band introduces what feels like a compilation of personal advices to the fans and the band itself. Without Walls, a one-minute-something intro song, brings the listener right into the core of the work itself with the very first step. Music starts gently, while piano melodies open the way for a heavy and catching outcome. Even if the song sounds known, old, and probably too similar at many others that have been released in the hardcore scene, lyricist McGregor is totally right when affirming in the end: “Just when you think we conform to a scene, we break down the wall”. It is, in fact, the second track – Alive in the Lights – that made me stick around a little longer, long enough to realize what makes Challenger “break down the wall”: personality. Something the band makes clear as soon as possible is how direct they are going to be, how they want to be listened, how they want to go directly to the point. This project of sincerity really gives a note of inspirational anger to their lyrics, something that was needed in order to make Challenger great. I am not a die-hard fan of the band, but I felt like the album was meant to end up in my hands at one point, the same way I now feel like it has to end in everybody’s hands in the immediate future. McGregor speaks truth in his songs with every scream and clean line he gets out of his throat. Inspirational anger quotes can be found in most of the songs, sometimes directed to the band, sometimes to the fans, sometimes to everybody and nobody at the same time – a generic you that makes everyone part of the trial. Just to make it clear in the first place, Alive in the Lights defines workers as “lifeless, hollow shells”, asking them what will be written about them on their tombstone (What will yours say? What made your life worth living as it was?). A bitter catchy song follows shortly, Prove Me Right, an exposure of the greed and corruption that they have seen in the music industry during the past years. Interesting enough this is also their first single out of Challenger. In my opinion, they seem to get back on the right track to my attention, soul, and mind with Legacy, an outstanding, beautiful hardcore song with programmed strings’ sections, slow parts and heart-beating rhythms. What made me drop my jaw in aws were though once again the lyrics. Passive-aggressive lines of inspiration and courage follow one the other, while Memphis May Fire give us some really important legacy – no pun intended. Besides, “Embrace the struggle when it’s all you can see” is probably my favorite line from Challenger, and from the band itself – so far. What follows Legacy is the best half of the album. Two really well-done and well-placed collaborations provide the needed something that was still missing. Miles Away features Kellin Quinn (Sleeping with Sirens), who adds those sweet clean lines that make us forget the anger felt before to replace it momentarily with pure felt love. Losing Sight, instead, brings us back fiercely to the point of all this, thanks mostly to the hostile (but beautiful!) voice of Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria). Overall, I’m very satisfied with the results Memphis May Fire achieved in Challenger. I do recommend you to give their work a chance, even more than that, I recommend you to listen closely to their advices and enjoy this piece of art. And don’t forget to check them out at Warped Tour this summer. They are totally worth the effort!
Alive in the Lights
Prove Me Right
Red in Tooth and Claw
A must-have for the lovers of the hardcore scene! Rating: 9/10
I find it increasingly difficult nowadays to find bands that know what it means to write an album with a capital A, usually you have songs thrown together just to fill a tracklist and nothing more.
With LostAlone you can’t go wrong.
The Derby-based band made us wait for five years for I’m a UFO In This City, but it was really worth it.
The title of the album itself is a very strong statement in which I can see myself completely, and then listening to it you can’t help but love this sound which reminds you of old times while still remaining modern and very relevant.
With the opening track, “Obey the rules you lose” you enter in a theatrical atmosphere, to continue with the second released single “Love will eat you alive”, catchy and with a chorus that gets into your head and doesn’t seem to want to get out.
"Lost in the world, trying to find out who we are. We’ve evolved to the part when we don’t know that we’re alive" is repeated like an echo immersed in the engaging and powerful melody of "Uforia" (The dark). Meaningful, period.
Next is my favorite song of the album, “Vesuvius”, where virtuosity and passion rule. You can hear in every single note the feeling that this band puts in what they do and it is one of the rarest and most extraordinary things to find.
I don’t want to be too subjective but I find it difficult because like in this case, bands capture me with the deep meanings of the lyrics and the genius of their sound and LostAlone are fully included in that category.
If Steven Battelle gives his best vocal performance in “Orchestra of Breathing” reaching ridiculous high notes, “Do you get what you pray for?” is the heaviest song of the album, pure and raw. “We are the Archaeology of the Future Past” has a Muse’s style aftertaste even if it still mantains a strong characterization.
"The Downside of Heaven is the Upside of Hell"closes the album with dirty bass lines and solo choirs that give you goosebumps.
1. Obey the Rules You Lose
2. Love Will Eat You Alive
3. Paradox On Earth
4. Uforia (The Dark)
7. Orchestra of Breathing
8. Put Pain to Paper
9. Do You Get What You Pray For?
10. We are the Archaeology of the Futures Past
11. The Downside of Heaven Is the Upside of Hell
We absolutely love the direction taken by the trio. Rating: 9,5/10
Check out our video chat with Steven Battelle here.
LostAlone are on tour, go see them live. They kick ass!
Usually this word scares the hell out of fans of certain bands. In this case, the experimentation brought a breath of fresh air to the sound of The Used, who still managed to leave their unmistakable, particular mark.
To present their latest work, the band allowed continuous streams through the websites of Alternative Press, Revolver Magazine, Absolute Punk, MTV etc revealing some of the tracks on Vulnerable. A choice that is a bit questionable. But we forgive them because the album is bloody brilliant.
The first part of the album sounds pretty aggressive, while the second one is filled with ballads and we don’t mind at all. With the first single, “I Come Alive” you get a taste of the road the band has taken and of their new interest for electronic sounds. Luckily, it fits right in and on the contrary it even gives a special touch to the song.
If in “This Fire” McCracken brings out his vocal strenght in “Hand And Faces” (the second single released) it is the strangeness of the effect that distorts Bert’s voice to take over. A big question mark popped out in my mind while I was listening to it, definitely not an highlight of the album, for me.
While listening to “Put Me Out” I find myself thinking about “Take It Away” for a few seconds and I believe that it isn’t just my impression. In “Now That You’re Dead”, which, I must confess, has become my favorite after multiple listens, we find the classical theatricality which characterizes The Used. The power of this song is beyond question, it is explosive and as aggressive as it needs.
Then, we get to the slower part of the album. Two ballads such as “Getting Over You” and “Together Burning Bright” surround an interlude like “Kiss It Goodbye” which has a very unique and definitely incisive ending, in which Bert keeps repeating “It’s getting, it’s getting kinda hectic” and it finishes with a scream. Yeah, weird but intense.
Every Time I Die are back, and they’re back with a bang.
This review will be very short, I don’t have much to say about this album, not because I don’t really have the words but because the music already speaks for itself.
There are 14 tracks, one better than the other, that show that the bad has grown, but hasn’t changed. The lyrics are as pissed off and powerful as ever and the guitars scratch until your ears bleed.
With the addition of the new drummer, the weight of a fourteen-year carrier behind them has magically diminished and the band has felt rejuvenated and excited to be back on the scene, and you can hear it, guys, you can hear it.
Besides, Keith Buckley said that after the experience with The Damned Things he needed this album, and I add: we needed it too!
The album blasts open with the explosive "Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space" and you already know where the Buffalo-based band is heading to. Less than 4 minutes later you have listened to the second and third track and, in your thoughts, you have thrown yourself into the middle of a mosh pit to end up flying to a banjo intro ("Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow"), yes you’ve got that right, a banjo. Whoever can stick a banjo into a song like that is a god or a genius. Good job! “Indian Giver” is an absolute gem. Those back vocals will give you goosebumps all over your body.
As I already said I don’t want to comment on each and every track because I want everybody to draw their own conclusions on this album, but let me say that in "Drag King" Keith Buckley gives his best vocal performance. Finally, I’d go so far as to say that this is the best album of the year, and it’s only March.