Pop-Punk is one of my favorite genres of music. I love the edgy lyrics and edgy vibe; that “teen angst” kind of feel that this genre is associated with. There are many great pop-punk bands out there that capture this vibe, however, one of my favorite bands is Neck Deep. Neck Deep is a Welsh pop-punk group that has gained attention throughout the underground music scene. They have been featured in Alternative Press, Kerrang!, Rock Sound, and other magazines and have played at Vans Warped Tour. Neck Deep is a five piece band with a drummer, two guitarists, and a bass player. What really makes this band come together is the rough but melodic vocals of their frontman, Ben Barlow. Barlow gives Neck Deep a distinct character and separates them from other pop-punk bands. Neck Deep’s latest album Life’s Not Out to Get You, released in 2015, encases everything that pop-punk is about. Edgy lyrics, rough vocals, and heavy chords, are displayed throughout the album. Some personal favorites from this album are “Kali Ma”, “December”, and “Smooth Seas Don’t Make Good Sailors”. When it come to the personality of the band, you can see that they are all about the punk vibe. This is exhibited throughout their music videos and how they play during a live performance. In many of their music videos, they feature film from their actual performances. Personally, I like that they show footage from performing; it displays Neck Deep’s talent and love for what they do as a band. Not only can you see that they love performing, but they are a band who care about their fans and appreciate the fan’s support. It is always refreshing to know that fans are greatly appreciated by the bands. Lastly, the image of Neck Deep shows they are true pop-punk band. I recommend checking out some of Neck Deep’s music videos. The band recently released a part one and part two music video for “December”. “Kali Ma” is another great video to look at because it shows a fun side to the guys and is simply a fun video to watch. Neck Deep is one of my favorites and if you want to look more into Neck Deep, then go to Alternative Press’s website because they have great, in-depth pieces on Neck Deep. If you want more pop-punk, check out my suggested playlists tab!
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.
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!