January 31, 2017

Summer Wars/High Wire Split

Summer Wars Split EP Art

I first caught wind of Summer Wars when they released their Acoustic EP in early 2016. Up until that point I only knew of their acoustic renditions and wasn’t sure what to expect with their full line-up. I back pedaled and found myself really enjoying their earlier works.

With this new split, Summer Wars has fully embraced their inner “I Call Fives” and released two non-stop action packed tracks. Once “Something To Call My Own” gets going, it doesn’t let up. “Tear Me Down” feels like a brother to the opener. The simple guitar riff throughout the second verse and into the chorus is the perfect backdrop to keep the beat grounded. (more…)

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October 11, 2016

Boston Manor – Be Nothing

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Be Nothing is the debut full-length LP from UK-rockers Boston Manor. It’s their first second release under Pure Noise Records.

Behind the climbing guitar distortion and bouncy rhythm of “Lead Feat” lies a vulnerable look at a doomed relationship. The vocals blend together well with the light guitar leads to soften the impact of the lyrics and give the track an uplifting vibe. This formula is used on a few tracks throughout the album and gives it great replay value. I’ve always been fond of songs that feature any type of silver linings in either the lyrics or music itself. “Laika” ups the tempo and provides one of the more memorable choruses on the album. “Broken Glass” slows things down with a tale of an emotional woman behind the wheel who’s struggling with her identity. The first half features distant guitar picking that helps build its looming atmosphere. (more…)

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August 25, 2016

Moose Blood – Blush

Moose Blood Blush

“It wasn’t hard to fall for you, you had it all planned out didn’t you?”

The opening lyrics for “Knuckles of Moose Blood’s latest effort can sum up my feelings on the band. I didn’t know who they were two years ago. No one really knew Moose Blood until they came onto the scene with I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time to Time out of nowhere. Expecting them to back that up was always going to be a tall task. The addition of a new label in Hopeless Records added to that. And the affect of the label was either evident from the start, or I was expecting too much from them in the first place. (more…)

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July 17, 2016

Bonfires – A Reason To Get Home

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Bonfire’s A Reason To Get Home marks the Chicago natives first release of 2016. This release is also the first to feature Brad Harvey as the bands leading front man.

If you ever followed my reviews and editorials, you’d know I am a huge fan of Bonfires. The unique blend of Zech Pluister’s raspy vocals paired with the delicate pop-punk tunes of their first release from 2014 hit home for me on many levels. The band has since added more energy and punk to their recent releases that have garnered quite a following in the local scene. Since the departure of Pluister, I can safely say that none of the magic has been lost since with A Reason To Get Home. (more…)

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July 15, 2016

Face Value – Thick As Thieves

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Baltimore based pop-punkers, Face Value, released their summer EP, Thick As Thieves, for anyone looking to fill that pop-punk void this summer.

“Constellations” is as light-hearted as intros go. The upbeat guitar melodies boost the back-and-forth rhythm of the chorus that help solidify this as a memorable opener. Right away it’s clear the quality of Thick As Thieves. The guitar leads flow well and don’t overpower. This is a well-mixed EP that can serve up a highlight real of each instrument when the needle lifts. (more…)

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July 6, 2016

Blink 182 – California

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Disclaimer: Normally we don’t review albums this big, but since it’s Blink-182, it gets a pass.

It’s been 5 years since the last full-album release from Blink-182 and a lot has changed. Tom Delonge is no longer a part of Blink-182 and has been replaced with Alkaline Trio frontman, Matt Skiba. California marks the first official Blink release without Tom Delonge. There’s already been a lot discussed about this subject so I’ll keep it minimal. How do I feel about Blink replacing Tom with Matt? Well, as an avid Alkaline Trio fan I’m quite pleased. Matt has an amazing punk-rock voice and I place his musical abilities as a notch above Tom’s. (more…)

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