August 29, 2017

Figure It Out – Silence Isn’t Golden

Album final art for web

Arizona pop-punk outfit Figure It Out have self-released their second EP, Silence Isn’t Golden just in time for the fall.

The Phoenix area has knack for filtering out the best modern pop-punk acts and Figure It Out is ripe for the picking. At first I was a little weary with the their first single/track of the album, “Second Best.” It’s a bold strategy to start a genre EP off with some “Na Na Na’s” and want to be taken seriously. Luckily, Figure It Out is in on the joke and make it work to their advantage. Vocalist Mike Weakley deftly blends his harsh and soft vocals together well to create a varied track. It’s high-tempo, catchy and packs enough grit to push it past the generic fare. (more…)

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May 18, 2017

gP. – Destroy, So As To Build


Bay Area locals gP. (Ghost Parade) are here with their much anticipated debut album, Destroy, So As To Build.

Memorandum” rolls into frame with great anticipation. The driving bass line and rambunctious snare notes smoothly transition into an old-school Incubus vibe that dares you to move around. One will be quick to notice the unique production of this record, but I’ll get into that later. “Lolita” is a varied balance of harmonic choruses and fiery instrumentals. It’s an instrumental roller coaster that lyrically poses questions about the unknown paths in your life you might have taken. (more…)

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May 1, 2017

Super American – Disposable


Self-proclaimed Pineapple-Rockers Super American are fresh off their newest EP release with Disposable from Take This To Heart Records.

Super American isn’t your typical pop-punk/rock outfit. They’re weird in all the right ways. I’m sure long time fans are curious to see where Disposable falls on their ‘strangeness’ spectrum so let us get to it. “Sloppy Jazz” sets Disposable’s playful tone with a handful of “Na Na Na Na’s” in its first act. This is a great way to rip the band-aid off and let listeners know they’re in for a fun ride. Vocalist Matt Cox weaves in-and-out of his twirly melodies and throws in a dash of spoken-word catch phrases during the tracks chorus. It’s easy to see why this was chosen as a single with its cheerful tone and polished sound. (more…)

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February 22, 2017

Less Than Jake – Sound The Alarm


Less Than Jake doesn’t have to do this. As they enter their 25th year as a band, (almost my entire lifetime) they don’t have to continue touring night after night; playing terrific sets. They certainly don’t have to keep making music; adding to their already massive catalog. They don’t have to do any of it anymore. They’ve earned the right to take a break and no one would think any less of them for it. So rather than following up their 2013 full-length album See The Light with another LP, they decided to gift their fans with a 7-song EP that is fantastic front to back.

Sound the Alarm is a brief, yet nearly perfect window into what a complete Less Than Jake package might be. The singing duties are nearly evenly split between guitarist Chris Demakes and bassist Roger Lima and as usual, they complement each other so well. (more…)

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February 20, 2017

Cardinals – Aftertaste


Cardinals is a two-piece acoustic rock outfit from Boston, MA formerly known as Tighticus Finch. Their newest EP, Aftertaste, features acoustic renditions of their earlier work with some new blood as well.

I’ve always been a fan of hearing the native accents of vocalists standing out in their work. This is incredibly apparent in the opener, “When I’m Gone” when vocalist Emily Ronna sings the second verse: “And thanks for all the funny jokes, but you should know I never laughed that hard.” It adds a dose of authenticity and allows Ronna to proudly show off her Bostonian roots. The vocals are the key element in making Cardinals work. They are at the forefront of every track and drive the rhythm and tone of each track. (more…)

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February 9, 2017

As It Is – Okay

use this one

As It Is is the latest pop-punk band being pushed as the next “big thing” in the scene. Their sophomore release Okay is their second album under Fearless Records.

The title track “Okay” is the epitome of the band in a nutshell: hooks you from the start with a catchy lead guitar riff, a slow buildup in the verse, and a booming chorus. It’s a solid and proven formula that has served them well. Adding a dash of variety, “Hey Rachel” boosts some impressive lyrics as vocalist Patty Walters reflects on his sisters depression growing up. Even in a more personal song, Patty has a knack for writing hooks and this track is no different. “No Way Out” offers a bit of experimentation with the spoken-word bridge. (more…)

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