Rise Against, and a change of heart.

The hatred I felt towards the latest Rise Against album Appeal To Reason after hearing the first single, Re-Education Through Labour, has since dispersed after listening to the full album. This change of heart happened only as of the fourth track, The Dirt Whispered, and on. Three horrible commercial rock songs in I almost gave up, but track 4 saved face, and from there the album grew to be one of my favs.
This is their 5th studio release, and opened at #3 on the Billboard top 200, a new high for the band in the commercial world.
That still doesn't justify the first three tracks.
I can't put my finger on it, but something really rubs me the wrong way about those songs, so I'm going to pretend they don't exist.
The rest of the album, however, is stronger than ever and nothing to be ashamed of.
Lyrics are never a weakness for the band, and their brilliance continues to shine through after almost ten years of writing.
The Itunes and UK bonus tracks available with this album are also something to check out, including a live version of Prayer of the Refugee (from The Sufferer & the Witness) and check out their Minor Threat cover, currently a B-side.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Jack's Mannequin... From fighting for his life to debuting at #8 on the Billboard 200!!!

Jack's Mannequin is still alive and kicking (for real, and thank God for it!), and back with their second album which miraculously debuted on the Billboard top 200 at number 8!
The Glass Passenger is the follow up to the ultra popular 2005 Everything In Transit, and the anticipation for the record after being pushed back for 5 months is fully worth it.
It feels like there is something magical about this album, a special touch brought by Andrew McMahon's new appreciation for life after is triumphant battle with acute lymphatic leukemia. Thankfully he survived, and fans all over the world are greatly appreciative, especially after hearing his latest masterpiece.
There's something Christmas'y in the music, something incredibly joyful and happy, and pure... I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but between the choir-like background vocals in some tracks to the chiming of bells in others, the album instills a warmth in the listener that only one whose been to their deathbed and back can create.
The beautiful piano rock album is an inspiration to all, as he confronts issues of survival and the fight between life and death, and appreciating being alive.
After hearing The Glass Passenger I believe everybody will be thankful that McMahon didn't give up and will take a piece of his strength with them. I would have been devastated if this album did not have a chance to be written.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Escape the Fate is back! Whoop-di-do.

Escape the Fate has moved on to their second record, This War is Yours, and their second singer (as far as I know, and I don't really care to research it...so fuck off!) Craig Mabbit formerly from Bless the Fall.
Again, I've never been a huge fan of this band, their first album was a guilty pleasure among many of my friends, but whenever I'd put it in rotation on my Ipod I'd immediately end up skipping through it. Among the better of the screamo/hardcore/rock bands out there, I'd have to say this second album I might not have to skip entirely. The few songs on their myspace are surprisingly tolerable this time around, and although I've never been a fan of their growling or their cliche breakdowns ("clear house assholes"!) I find myself oddly drawn to their choruses and melodic harmonizing, and the new singer isn't bad either. He definitely has a much more "emo" sounding voice than the last singer but he has a lot of power behind the whine, and it suites the sound. I have to say that I still love the last singers deeper "punk rock" sounding voice, it stood out a lot more in a screamo band whereas this singer could be mistaken for many.
Give it a chance, yo.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Electric Six is back!

Back with their 6th release since 2003, Electric Six finally caught my attention with their latest album Flashy.
After hearing this record I think I'll have to go back and check out their older stuff, because although I've heard of them before I don't think I've ever actually listened to them and had no idea they were the punk/garage/disco/new wave/metal infused band that they are.
It's simple with lots of distortion and upstrokes, it's catchy, and the although the guys voice is very similar to Creed/Nickelback you can tell he doesn't take it as seriously and it actually works well with the genre of music. And trust me, I HATE.... no no no, I DETEST Creed and Nickelback's vocals.
Some tracks remind me of Weezer a bit, so definitely check them out!

I'm Sarah, I do what I want.

The Dears are back!

I've never been a huge Dears fan, although I've always liked what I've heard from them, but the second I listened to the track 2 on their new album, Missiles, I decided this was a band I was going to give a second chance.
After hearing the full new album I know I'll be back for more.
It's super chill and mellow, a good record to relax to, with beautiful low and haunting male and female vocals that make you melt right into the song, letting the music surround you.
This would definitely be a great cd to lie in your bed listening to after smoking a blun..... shhhh.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Dance! Dance! Dance Damn You!

"Dancing... is... a primitive art-form... used in ancient times to express oneself with... the body! And communicate!"

If you ever feel the urge to dance take a listen to these assholes below, some of it's a bit clubby, others poppy, all of it will put you in the mood to break it down!

Family Force Five:
Crunk rock. The End.

Ultraviolet Sound:
Definitely clubby, you may recognize the 2 of Hearts track. Tiger Heat is another great track.

Electric Valentine:
Also clubby. Also featured in the 2 of Hearts song (see above). Not the greatest but worth a listen and good for a beat.

Jeffree Star:
You may have heard of Jeffree Star before, he's been around... an American model, fashion designer, make-up artist and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. Self-proclaimed Queen of the Beautifuls, he pumps out wicked electronica/hip hop, and even has Danger Radio featured in a track.

Big City Kids:
Electro-rock. Pretty typical but good none the less.

Watch Out Theres Ghosts:
This duo is nuts, electronic dance hardcore screaming experimental clubby ... nuts! Also amazing!

The Secret Handshake:
Great cover I think it's off of Punk Goes Crunk, the rest isn't bad either. Electro-laptop pop/rock, with one man masterminding the whole operation, COOL!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

They said they only want me because i sing and i'm sexy, and if you want to get me don't call me just text me! - DETOX RETOX!!!

It's about time some good came out of Washington, DC!
Practically babies on the music scene, Detox Retox formed merely 6 months ago and honestly I would never have guessed they were so fresh-from-the-womb when I first listened to them.
Stemming from influences in all directions such as The Police, Talking Heads, the Rolling Stones, Head Automatica, Arctic Monkeys, and TV on the Radio, this is a band that makes me really happy that I started this blog.
Already super tight, these guys are "ready to pour their sex all over you"
(How hot is that!)
The chemistry they have in their songs seems to scream "we are a real band!" alongside the ripping guitars, every song capable of commercial success but definitely with lasting potential and a guaranteed cult following.
With dance-infused rock songs keeping it simple is key... and with lyrics that will make you laugh and a drum beat to bounce around to, listening to DR is like having greasy sweaty sex with a gorgeous grungy smoker... really good sex.

Check them out here: http:www.myspace.com/detoxretox

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

My latest obsessions...

The Half Jeffersons
Think Hayden meets Taking Back Sunday... If they had sex, had a baby, and the baby mostly took after Hayden but also benefited from all the good qualities of TBS, and sprouted into The Half Jeffersons from Powhatan, Virginia.

Pull The Pin
Nothing really stands out about this band, but they really remind me of Blink 182 or MxPx, and I'm not afraid to admit that I like it. The trio pumps out super catchy pop punk, nasally-voiced tunes that will totally keep you coming back for more.

Stereo Skyline
If you like cheesy/catchy/dancy/poppy/cutesy/syth-filled crap like I do, you'll love this. Sounds like a Hellogoodbye-fused Metro Station.

Valet Parking
Hilarious cover of Afternoon Delight and they even throw in Ron Burgundy voice-overs, that's what I'm talking about!!! Their own stuff is good standard pop punk (not the super cheesy kind) so make sure to give it a listen too.

Patent Pending
First off, their upcoming show poster has a giant picture of Ricky Gervais, enough said right? Lastly, they fucking rock.

Beck To The Future

Beck’s eleventh album, Modern Guilt, is a veritable symphony of surf riffs, distortion and reverb. It features ten tracks and clocks in at 33 minutes, just overshooting the half-hour goal. It moves away from Beck’s usual rattling, DIY sound and idiosyncratic lyrics.

His collaboration with producer/songwriter Danger Mouse means lots of electronic beats, electric piano, and even a keyboard bass. The record hangs somewhere between synth-heavy power pop and full-out surf. The result is a bizarrely futuristic retro sound. The words match the music in tone: a little smoother if melodramatic at times, and dreamy rather than surrealist. Modern Guilt is about our messed-up, sterile, paranoid, self-help society. All spun into incredibly fun rock’n’roll tunes.

Guilt opens with backwards guitars and some flute on “Orphans.” Next is “Gamma Ray,” unabashed surf song and the high point of the album, which leads into the slightly sour organ of “Chemtrails.” From here on out is smooth sailing right up to the last track “Volcano.”

My top picks are the aforementioned “Gamma Ray,” “Walls,” and “Profanity Prayers,” which features some killer slide guitar.

I, personally, count Mellow Gold as both the quintessential Beck record and his masterpiece, and I miss that Beck when I listen to this album. But aside from personal taste, there isn’t much to say against the album. Beck is, after all, well, Beck.

Lindsey Cull.