Tag Archives: emo

Courtesy Drop – Stabilize

I feel the most alive when it’s all falling apart

Winter is approaching quite relentlessly these days. And while the days have more or less become nights the city is becoming increasingly bleak. I was talking to a friend the other day and he was saying that winter depression hasn’t hit him yet. For my part, I’m trying to comfort myself at home more than I would during summer. And I’m naturally adjusting my listening habits. Courtesy Drop have just arrived in time for this change! Their new EP Stabilize is just what you will need, when the cold and dark nights are coming your way!

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Atlas At Last – A Composition of Functions

I call you function, it’s a reference to formulaic happiness.

The last few months must have been pretty horrific for Atlas At Last. Compared to the DC trios selftitled debut EP from 2013, A Composition of Functions is a big leap into darker territories. Sonically the four songs are noisy, raw and brutal, to say the least. While its predecessor wasn’t necessarily a happy affair per se, it managed to pair walls of distorted guitars with great melodies and harmonies. This time, the melodies haven’t disappeared, they are just buried a lot deeper in the mix.

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Facebook Chain Mails. Or: Name 10 songs that have influenced you.

There are obviously a lot of songs that you listen to throughout your whole life. The question is what sticks to your mind? What do you actually hang on to? And what do you really remember several years down the line. I hate facebook chain mails and I hate how Buzzfeed et al tend to accumulate lists and sell them as journalism. What I liked about this particular idea though is that taking your time to think about this lays out a map of who you are. So this list is quite a personal one but I’m sure everyone out there can relate to some parts. Maybe you’ll even start thinking about your own list. 10 songs is not an awful lot but it narrows down the possibilities and forces you to make decisions. It’s like going back to the Beatles who only had 4-tracks to record some of the best pop music written. I’m not saying this is the grand list of pop, but it’s mine. It’s a big part of the soundtrack to my life so far.

1. Spider Murphy Gang – Schickeria

My love for Bayern Munich is no secret to most of my friends. But this song has nothing to do with the fanclub but with one of my earliest music memories. I can recall sitting on my dads leather chair as a small kid, singing along and miming playing the guitar to this. ‘Schickeria’ is the opening song of the bands 1981 album ‘Dolce Vita’, an album that spent 91(!) weeks in the German charts. It’s not the biggest hit, that was reserved for ‘Skandal im Sperrbezirk’, a song about a callgirl in Munich. It was the first record I owned, after my parents handed me down the album on tape. It was a worn out, nicotine yellow and when I revisited the song recently, I have to admit, it’s not a song written for a young kid. I didn’t understand it back then, when Günther Sigl sang about people doing cocaine now rather than smoking weed. It’s a perfect time-capsule for the start of the 1980s, when hippies made way to the yuppi generation. When people became more concerned about their own wealth and well being than taking the streets against war or equal rights. And unfortunately we still see and feel the remainders of that time today, I would argue.

2. The Offspring – Self Esteem

Continue reading Facebook Chain Mails. Or: Name 10 songs that have influenced you.

Review Roundup with Modern Baseball, The Hotelier & You Blew It!

It feels like time is flying by. We’re already in the middle of june and all the albums and bands we’d like to write about we can’t write about because we are all caught up in our day-jobs. So this post is paying a tribute to three albums that I’ve been listening to constantly for the last couple of months. I guess it’s fair to say that they all have a similar background but all go their own ways. They’ve nearly all been released this year (sorry Modern Baseball was in October last year) and they are all quality records!

Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All

There’s hardly been an album that set me back to my teenage days quite as much as this one. I know, that they’ve been around some time now and the whole college rock, pop punk and emo revival thing have been going strong for a few years now, but Modern Baseball’s new album is part of the cream of the crop! It’s just a couple of awkward dudes singing about love and loss wrapped in sugar coated anthems. I still find myself smiling at various parts during the album or remembering exactly how it was when I found myself in the same situation back then. I never went to college in the US but the video to “My Graduation” is so full of memorable moments of teenage complexity that you can’t help but scream: “Yes, yes, you’re right! That’s exactly how it was!”. Wonderful, just wonderful!

The album is out now via one of our new favorite labels: Run For Cover! You can (and should) pick up your copy here!

The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There

Not so long ago this band was known under the moniker The Hotel Year. “Home, Like Noplace is There” is their second album and their first on Tiny Engines. Please listen to this one! The opener sets the tone with sweet guitar picking, a roughened voice that reminds me of Jawbreaker and Saves the Day at the same time. Before the feedback guitars turn in the massive chorus of “ohs & ahs” makes for a delightful tension build-up. The four boys from Worcester, Massachusetts have recorded nine brilliant anthems, put them on a record and gave them to everyone who’s looking for loud punk played with a lot of heart. There are quite a few moments that will remind you of Title Fight, but they are less straight forward. There are moments that has nonchalantly borrowed from the early Rise Against, but without the politics. There’s always a great balance between hardcore energy and pop melodies.

For me this has been one of the big surprises in 2014 so far. I haven’t got tired of the songs yet which is always a good sign. And I’m sure I’ll stick to the album for the remainder of the year. Especially with summer in good spirits now, this could be the perfect soundtrack for your trip to the lake, a barbecue or just to making out.

The album is out now via Tiny Engines. You can pick up your copy here.

You Blew It! – Keep Doing What You’re Doing

This was probably the album I struggled most with. Released back in January on indie-favorite Topshelf Records, I needed to digest it for quite some time. I was a massive fan of predecessor “Grow Up, Dude” with it’s fragile structures, dissonant guitars and crackling vocals. The only downside back then was the thin production and the vinyl version – that sounded even thinner as I wrote here.The songs and lyrics though, blew me away. “Keep Doing What You’re Doing” has been quite a step away from the raw qualities of its predecessor. The production is a lot cleaner, the songs a lot less dissonant and raucous. While this was one of the qualities that I loved most, after almost half a year now the album has grown a lot on me. They could potentially take the band to another audience and also remind me of what Jimmy Eat World or Get Up Kids did with their sophomore albums. I can really recommend this album to all fans of good pop tunes with a punk edge. And a quality that hasn’t vanished are the lyrics. My word – I feel like I’m 14 again – or 18! Brilliance!

The album is out via Topshelf Records. You should pick up your copy here!

Seahaven – Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only

Someone left you looking for a reason.
Found it in the Reverie Lagoon

The first time I heard “Sowing Season” by Brand New, it blew me away. The part when the song finally erupts after building too much pressure to bear – it still gets me every time. To this day it evokes a feeling I don’t really comprehend, but I’m sure everyone has felt at least once in his life – unless you’re one of those lucky ones that haven’t had anything go in the wrong direction for themselves. Anyway, it’s a certain numbness, a pain that needs to break out – and hardly anyone has ever captured this emotion better than Jesse Lacey and his band.

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Talking Pop: England’s burning (at least the midlands do!)

Back in the early 2000s, a time when the Strokes started reintroducing hip kids and students to rock again, London and the UK had a lot to offer musically. Incited by their New York counterparts, British bands took to their guitars and remembered the great heritage in British music. Gang of Four, Joy Division and the Smiths were back on everybodies lips again. Bands like Maximo Park, Arctic Monkeys, the Futureheads or the Libertines were filling bigger and bigger venues even outside of their home country. Then it seemed as if everyone was fed up of guitars. It turned into a two horse race, spearheaded by singer-songwriter or electronic music. Hip-hop also made a strong return. I had lost focus a bit. Scottland did a great job of producing rock bands during that time – just think of Biffy Clyro, We Were Promised Jetpacks or Frightened Rabbit. But what about England? Continue reading Talking Pop: England’s burning (at least the midlands do!)

Foxing – The Albatross

bees made hives in the mouth of the lion / i made my home in the house of a liar

I have been very late with this one. I got an email a couple of months ago that reminded me Foxing were releasing their debut album via Count Your Lucky Stars. I got so caught up in work and simply forgot. Then, a couple of weeks later, it was there. I stumbled across it one day while treasure hunting for some news from my favorite labels. I pressed the play button and that was it. There are albums that need some time to sink in. And The Albatross is not making it easy at first glance. I felt the whole album starts off quiet, maybe to quiet for the compression used ears we all have come to develop over the last decades. It doesn’t really erupt, there is not much happening. The album just gently floats along, digs into your ear. The songs tingle about your mind. But with every minute they let loose of some dust, some spice or some poisonous substance that captivates you. Slowly, but surely you are sucked in. And the more tries you give it, the less likely you are to let go again. Continue reading Foxing – The Albatross