Hello friends! Its been a while since my last post, but between buying a new computer and a busy summer, I am back. I am going to switch it up today and focus on a music genre I have not talked much about. And what genre is that? Metal. Many people are turned off by the metal genre, thinking it is scary or too loud. Indeed, it can be frightening to many music listeners; I myself was in that boat of not being into the metal scene, but after growing up a little and truly wanting to be emerged in the rock music scene I delved into the genre. I found what kind of sounds I like, and realized I like the harder vocals and chords. I especially like the sub-genres of metal core, post hardcore, and nu metal. I found bands whose lyrics had power, purpose, and emotion and one of those bands that I found possesses all of these qualities . This band is Arizona based band The Word Alive. The five piece band with frontman Telle Smith encompasses all of metal core and post hardcore qualities. I personally like a melody and harmony and not straight screaming. Smith mixes it up by not just screaming but also singing. It shows he is versatile and has different dimensions to his voice. Smith is accompanied by drummer Luke Holland, who is an extraordinary drummer and guitarists Zack Hansen, Tony Pizzuti, and bassist Daniel Shapiro. Not only does this band perfectly capture the instrumental aspect of metal core, but their lyrics are something to be commended as well. TWA’s lyrics are empowering and they want to let you know that if you are feeling down, having a rough day, or just need to to vent it out, they want you to know that you are not alone. They tell you through their lyrics that they are with you and can help you out. TWA’s lyrics are self-empowering and relatable. The lyrics plus the heavy instrumental equals the perfect post hardcore band that people should totally listen to. TWA is one of my favorite bands and if you follow the guys on social media, you can see that they are down to earth and fun. Their latest album Dark Matter which was released back in March is a great album and fully captures the message of what TWA is all about. If TWA sounds like a band you may like, you should check out their other albums and songs. A personal favorite of mine is “Life Cycles” from the Life Cycles album, released in 2012. If you are not sure if you would be into The Word Alive, then listen to this song and maybe your perception will change. In my suggested playlists tab, I will post a metal core playlist of some of my favorites. I’d love to know some of your favorites too! So leave a comment if you want, or not. It’s totally up to you.
When I think of alternative music, many different musicians and sub-genres come to mind when considering the creation of the alternative genre. Some sub-genres are new-wave and punk, which along with many other sounds created alternative music. Alternative music became very popular in the 90’s with artists such as Radiohead and Greenday; but grunge was something new as well and it was very much a sub-genre of rock and alternative. In my opinion, Nirvana is by far the most iconic band that came out of the grunge years. The three piece band of Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl, and frontman Kurt Cobain, shook the music world and took it by storm. Nirvana was created in a garage in Seattle, Washington where they played and created music. Seattle was a hotspot for grunge and bands such as Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden all came from the Seattle grunge scene as well. Nirvana was edgy, dark, and empowering and Cobain’s use of distorted guitar gave Nirvana an iconic sound and characterized the sound of grunge. Nirvana released their debut album Bleach in 1989 which features the popular song “About a Girl”. In 1991, Nirvana released Nevermind which features many of their most popular songs like “Drain You”, “Come As You Are”, and the chart topping song “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, which to this day remains one of the most requested and popular grunge/alt/rock songs. The reason why Nirvana is one of my favorite bands is because of their raw sound, distorted guitar, and their raw lyrics. Unfortunately, frontman Kurt Cobain took his life in 1994 and this physically ended Nirvana. I say physically because Nirvana is still very relevant today and are a very respected band in the music world. Drummer Dave Grohl went on to form the band the Foo Fighters (another great band), due to the event of Cobain’s death. Nirvana was a short lived band but what they created in those few short years changed the music scene and rock and alternative worlds forever. When listening to different band interviews, Nirvana has come up many times as an inspiration to these bands which goes to show that Nirvana still lives on. The mark that Nirvana has left on the music world will never be erased. I highly suggest listening to Nirvana and listen to the lyrics to find messages. In my suggested playlists tab, I have created a Grunge playlist for people to find new songs or just to look at some of my recommendations.
The genre of metal is growing into a stronger and more popular genre; this means more bands and groups are forming. One band that surely captures the post-hardcore and metal genre is Eyes on Satellites. Eyes on Satellites is a post-hardcore band from Boston, Mass, and have released their EP, Explorations and a single, Swan Song. The band consists of five members; Dave Longval (vocals), Will Lopez (vocals, guitar), Andrew Webster (guitar), Mark Thompson (drums) and Danny Looney (bass). As Eyes on Satellites says on their website, they want listeners to feel “equal” and “have a voice”. The lyrics in these songs capture that mission and, if you read the lyrics, the words describe feelings that everyone can relate to. I do not know about you, but as a music enthusiast and avid listener, lyrics are a very important aspect to a song for me. I look for depth and meaning in lyrics, and there is clearly meaning in Eyes on Satellites lyrics. All of their songs have depth to them, especially “Dollhouse” and “Swan Song” Eyes on Satellites have also released a music video for their song, “Dollhouse”, which literally depicts dolls. This is a very creative concept and is also delivered well. On Eyes on Satellites YouTube page, there is an acoustic version of the song “Dollhouse” which shows that there is both a hardcore and soft side to Eyes on Satellites. If you are into metal and post-hardcore, I highly suggest you check out Eyes on Satellites. I would compare the sound of Eyes on Satellites to the post-hardcore bands of August Burns Red and We Came As Romans. Eyes on Satellites is a band to look out for and they have a bright future ahead for them.Below are the links for their website and YouTube channel and also check them out on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find their music on iTunes and Spotify.
Are you into pop-punk music and looking for a new band to listen to? Well, the Montell Jordans are definitely a band you should look up and start listening to. TMJ is a band from San Diego, CA. The band consists of four members: Tim Kilcourse, who is lead vocals and guitar, Ryan Baghai who plays the lead guitar, Brian Budnar who plays bass and Matt Price who plays the drums. TMJ is a talented rising rock band that features definite sounds of pop-punk and hardcore rock beats. TMJ’s debut album Sweater Puppies clearly reflects and captures these rock and punk roots especially in songs like “I’m Not Your Father, But You Can Call Me Daddy” and “Pain Don’t Hurt (Terrified)”. Along with their debut album, TMJ released a music video for “I’m Not Your Father, But You Can Call Me Daddy” which characterizes the punk and rock roots that TMJ are striving for. TMJ is the kind of band you would see at Vans Warped Tour and one day, you may just see them playing one of the stages. Some bands that I would say are similar to TMJ are Knuckle Puck and 2000’s era Fall Out Boy. The Montell Jordans are surely a band that you should keep an eye on if you are into the pop-punk or punk-rock music scene. These four men are very talented and they will surely grow as their musical career progresses. I know that I’ll be watching their progress and am excited to see where TMJ will go. Everyone should go and check out their music video and listen to Sweater Puppies which can be found on Spotify, The Montell Jordans website and on YouTube. Also go check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and go give them a like and a follow! Here is the link to their new music video and the link to TMJ website.
“I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon”…These lyrics come from one of my favorite classic rock bands of all time-Pink Floyd. Although I was born in the 90’s and was not around for the height of classic rock bands, I have learned about the history of rock music and have listened to more bands than I can name. That being said, I rank Pink Floyd as one of my all time favorites. Pink Floyd, which was composed of David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason, were an instrumental part of the creation of the psychedelic rock music era. Pink Floyd was not looking for commercial fame, rather they were simply experimenting with sound. They did not expect their music to go far and gain radio success, however, they did. Pink Floyd was a concept band, meaning their albums had a theme. My personal favorite is Dark Side of the Moon, which was released in 1973. This album is by far one of my favorite albums of all time. The concept of this album is madness and this theme can be heard throughout the entire album, especially in songs like “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse”. This album tells a story (in a way) because each song leads into another. The psychedelic music era was spawned by various different artists such as The Grateful Dead, The Doors, and the Byrds, which all rank as some of my favorite classic rock bands. Psychedelic rock is one of my favorite sub-genres that branched off of rock and it is still relevant today. Today there are neo-psychedelic bands such as Tame Impala and Temples which have carried on those psychedelic roots and have created a modern twist. I feel that Pink Floyd captures the essence of psychedelic rock. They are also inspiring because they were not looking for fame and success. Instead, they were experimenting with sound for the sake of music, and that is what music should be about-enjoyment and creation over fame and fortune. Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall (’79)are my favorite albums by Pink Floyd and I have both of these albums on vinyl. There is nothing like listening to “Comfortably Numb” from The Wall or “Money” from Dark Side on vinyl. For people who may not know much on Pink Floyd, I suggest sampling some songs on Dark Side.
When Blurryface was released (which has been about a year ago now) I could not stop listening to it. The sound is different and lyrics are unique. Considering I listen to a fair amount of alternative music and listen to many songs with a different kind of sound, Twentyone Pilots is something different altogether. The sound is something I still cannot completely describe, and I think that their sound can be interpreted. Twentyone Pilots has taken the music world by storm, especially in the alternative music world. The group consists of only two members, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, which is astonishing for the quality and depth of the music they put out. Personally, I like music that has depth to its lyrics and a great beat to rock out to; Twentyone Pilots meticulously covers both of these aspects. There is aesthetic appeal to both their music and their image. There is extreme talent between both of these men; for example, Tyler Joseph raps, sings, and plays many different instruments. Josh Dun is also a great instrumentalist and these traits can be heard in the entirety of Blurryface. There are sounds from the ukulele to melodic piano while on top of rapping and other fascinating sounds that are different from typical alternative sounds. A popular song of their’s that has been on the radio recently is “Stressed Out”, but if you are not familiar with Twentyone Pilots or any of their songs, then I highly suggest you listen to them. My personal favorites are “Polarize”, “Message Man”, and “Not Today”, due to their musical versatility and lyrics, however any song off of Blurryface is great. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, I am looking forward to what you will come up with next and I am eagerly waiting for new material!
Where does someone start when describing the impact The Beatles had on both the music and cultural movement of rock and roll? The Beatles went through phases, such as their first phase which was the clean cut look with the “mop top” hairstyle during the early sixties. This era gave The Beatles their start and made them heartthrobs for many teenage girls during this phase; this put The Beatles on the map in both the UK and the United States starting what is known as the British Invasion. The British invasion included many other artists and musical groups such as The Rolling Stones and The Animals. The Beatles debut album Please Please Me, which was released in 1963 features some iconic songs such as “Please Please Me”, “Love Me Do”, and “Twist and Shout”. All four Beatles members Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison wrote songs, however, most Beatles songs are written by McCartney and Lennon. As The Beatles entered their psychedelic phase, it becomes easier to determine if McCartney or Lennon wrote a song due to the lyrics and style. The Beatles also made films and created soundtracks to go along with the films such as Help! which features “Help” and “Yesterday”. Another film they created with a featured soundtrack was The Magical Mystery Tour which features songs such as “I Am the Walrus” and “Strawberry Fields”. This film did not do very well due to the psychedelic imagery and ideas which are hard to follow. When The Beatles entered their psychedelic phase, they began experimenting with sound and different instruments. Experimentation and discovery of new sounds is vital for artists because it allows an artist or group to stay relevant and fresh. In their album Rubber Soul, the song “Norwegian Wood” shows experimentation by having Harrison play the sitar which is an Indian lute. The album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heartsclub Band was also a huge success coming from the psychedelic phase. This album features “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”, “A Day in the Life”, and “When I’m Sixty Four”. The Beatles developed both musically and personally throughout their time together. The Beatles history goes deeper than simply the music they created and the audience they performed to. The Beatles story is a great one and the people who got them to fame have important roles as well, such as their manager, Brian Epstein, who put his heart and soul into making sure The Beatles would have success. There are many other albums that I did not mention such as Abbey Road, Let It Be, and White Album, because I could sit here all day and write novels on each album and its impact to the career of The Beatles. The story of The Beatles is very interesting, and if The Beatles are band that you are interested in, then I highly suggest you do some research on them, if you have not already; just simply google an album or go on itunes or Spotify and listen to some songs. In addition, I created a playlist as well for The Beatles in my playlists tab on my home page.