POZ BandsOnBands: Such Gold On Sparklehorse

by Zack Zarrillo - Aug 13, 2012

Mondays mean BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the PropertyOfZack feature today with Such Gold. The band is gearing up to release their debut album, Misadventures, tomorrow via Razor & Tie Records, so make sure to download the LP here. In this week’s feature, Skylar Sarkis from the band dives into one of his largest influences, Sparklehorse. Skylar’s story on how he came to fall in love with Sparklehorse and the way the band taught him about layering music and pure honesty within the confines of an album. Make sure to listen to great songs by Sparklehorse on Spotify here and check out what Skylar had to say about one of his biggest influences below!

From Skylar Sarkis of Such Gold:

A few months before joining Such Gold, I had gotten my hands on Sparklehorse’s Distorted Ghost EP. Whenever I had to do long drives, the name Sparklehorse would always pop out at me and I’d always throw on the first track, which was a rendition of the song “Happy Man.” The song immediately got stuck in my head and so I would put it on for every drive or in my headphones every night before bed. I ended up listening through the whole EP a few times, which includes a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “My Yolk is Heavy” (didn’t realize that until much later). From listening to the EP, I started to fall in love with what Sparklehorse was doing with layers and the reuse of seemingly abstract lyrical themes like horses, pianos, oceans, and various other animals and pieces of nature.

After a while of just listening to Distorted Ghost, I picked up Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot. This is when I started to get really hooked. Having always been an Elliott Smith fan, I loved how the album had such dynamic variety; quiet acoustic songs recorded on four-track followed by rocking multi-instrumental lo-fi compositions. Mark Linkous, the man behind Sparklehorse, seemed to have a way of layering simple but beautiful guitar/piano/pedal steel etc. parts together, putting everything in it’s proper place but never doing too much of anything. At the same time, I noticed to a far greater extent the amount his lyrics relied on his own impressionistic style and reuse of abstract themes that seemed to have meaning only to him. This sort of self-serving art excites me, especially because it isn’t the kind that is inaccessible at all. Its introversion is what makes it so endearing to begin with.

I remember watching a documentary about Linkous after I had gotten deeply into Vivadixie where he talks about returning from LA after quitting his old band, The Dancing Hoods, and trying to escape a heroin habit. At one point while being interviewed, he says, “As soon as I stopped trying to be a rock star—that’s when I started making good music.”

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POZ Single Review: Such Gold - Locked Out Of The Magic Theater

by Zack Zarrillo - Aug 5, 2012

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“Locked Out Of the Magic Theater” is the second single from Such Gold’s debut full-length record, Misadventures. Drums leap out of the mix and ooze pure adrenaline. Relentless kick and snare are the freight train behind frontman Ben Kotin’s merciless vocals. Throughout the course of the song, Kotin manages to casually alternate between gentle plea and vicious demand, as per usual. And the potent concoction that remains? Sincerity. When the lyrics of “Locked Out” turn empathetic, the guitars thin out and the drums relax. As Kotin’s rage builds, the song’s musicality follows suit. The formula makes sense, and it’s flexible enough to avoid monotony across multiple songs (read: Such Gold is far from the token pop-punk band). 

“So can you meet me in the middle?” Maybe. “Can you meet me in the fucking middle?” It looks childish on paper, but the sound of that second requesthowled into a microphone is all kinds of serious. The raw emotion in Kotin’s vocals convey extreme vulnerability and, subsequently, honesty. By the end of a typical Such Gold song, it’s difficult to picture anything but Kotin in curled up in a sweaty, tear-soaked heap on the floor. Two EPs and a handful of splits into the game, Such Gold has no intention of slowing down, literally or figuratively; It looks like Misadventures will be another waterlogged release. 

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Close To Home Stream New Record

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 25, 2012

Close To Home will be releasing their new album, Momentum, on July 31st through Razor & Tie Records. You can stream the record in it’s entirety here.

POZ Stream: Close To Home - Family Ties

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 27, 2012

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PropertyOfZack is streaming a brand new song by Close To Home called “Family Ties.” The track features guest spots from Dave and Kyle of We Came As Romans as well. Make sure to pre-order the band’s new record, Momentum, here and listen to the new song below by clicking “Read More!”

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PropertyOfZack Live : : Kevin Devine

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 13, 2012

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Kevin Devine stopped at The TLA in Philadelphia, PA halfway through his recent tour with Say Anything. PropertyOfZack had the chance to film three fantastic Lives of Kevin & The Goddamn Band performing “Just Stay,” “Off-Screen,” and “The First Hit.” Check the great Lives below by clicking “Read More!”

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PropertyOfZack Live : : Hit The Lights

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 7, 2012

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Hit The Lights last toured the US with Set Your Goals, Cartel, and Mixtapes a month or so ago. At the Philadelphia, PA date of the tour, PropertyOfZack had the chance to film three great Lives of the band performing songs released throughout their discography. Check out videos of “The Call Out (You Are The Dishes),” “Stay Out,” and “Speakers Blown” below by clicking “Read More!”

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Albums Out This Week

by Zack Zarrillo - May 29, 2012

It’s officially May 29th, and there are a few great releases that are out today. Click “Read More” below to check out the album details and download information for all the great records coming out this week!

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Such Gold Announce Debut Album; Stream New Song

by Zack Zarrillo - May 2, 2012

Such Gold will be releasing Misadventures on August 14th via Razor & Tie Records. Stream a new song called “Storytellers” below by clicking “Read More.”

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PropertyOfZack Review : : Hit The Lights

by Zack Zarrillo - Feb 14, 2012

If nothing else, Hit The Lights’ third album, Invicta, is different. With that established, the quality of “different” is a hotly debated element. Invicta is not for the pop-punk faint of heart, for in the end, Invicta is not a pop-punk record. Perhaps this polarizing album had to be made so that Hit The Lights could move on from its past couple of bleak years. The Lima, Ohio quintet’s label troubles, most notably their time spent in major label purgatory, have been well documented. Yet, from the ashes has arisen a new Hit The Lights. Consider Invicta, their first release on Razor & Tie Records, a rebirth for a band which has exhausted eight of their nine lives.  

No one can accuse Hit The Lights of being mundane. Invicta is a unique listen from start to finish. Abandoning their glossy (dare one lump their previous work into the Neon Punk fad of the mid 2000’s?) pop-punk sound in favor of a flirtation with arena-filling pop-rock, Invicta is an ambitious, yet convoluted, record. It represents a clear break from 2006’s This Is A Stick Up…Don’t Make It A Murder and 2008’s Skip School, Start Fights. Most evident is the group’s much improved musicianship. The huge-sounding “Gravity” with its Def Leppard-sized chorus, Nate Van Damme’s bombastic percussion, and the guitar-driven “Float Through Me” clearly exemplify this musical progression. Musicianship is not the only aspect of Hit The Lights’ repertoire that has improved, as lead vocalist Nick Thompson has finally come into his own.

Thompson is a star in the making. His powerful, clean vocals seemed rather odd on Skip School, Start Fights as he was testing the water after taking over for original lead singer, Colin Ross. Invicta firmly declares that Hit The Lights is now Thompson’s band. Whether hitting notes considered out of his range (the zenith-reaching chorus on “Get To You”) or singing with aggression and anger (the end of “Oh My God”), Thompson leaves no doubt about his vast talent. He has a knack of making the most nonadhesive lyrical prose stick (“All The Weight”). However, questions come up when one considers the lines Thompson sings.

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PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : Hit The Lights (Update I)

by Zack Zarrillo - Feb 1, 2012

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Hit The Lights are out on the Strength In Numbers tour with D.R.U.G.S., and PropertyOfZack is thrilled to be having Nick Thompson from the band doing a Road Blog for us. Nick’s got a lot to say, so read up and check back every week for more!

From Nick Thompson:

Hey everyone! I’ve been asked by the good people at PropertyOfZack.com to do a tour blog for Hit The Lights as we roll along on the “Strength In Numbers” tour with The Action Blast, Sparks The Rescue, Like Moths to Flames and D.R.U.G.S. If you’re reading, please enjoy and I apologize in advance for anything vulgar, offensive or disgusting that I may(and probably will) be sharing. Cheers!

When HTL was approached with the offer to tour with the fine gentleman in D.R.U.G.S., we were admittedly a little surprised. I mean, obviously our two bands are very different and we knew that our fans would be as well, but in the same aspect we’re essentially two heavy pop bands. The more we thought about it, the more we liked the idea that two sides of this pop spectrum could be brought together and furthermore, our brand new record would be coming out right at the beginning of the tour. We said “Hells Yes” and were very excited to hear what other bands would be added. Fast forward to a few weeks later and with the addition of Sparks The Rescue(whom we’ve known for years now) and Like Moths To Flames(Ohio bros) the S.I.N. tour was complete and was indeed a line-up with an EXTREMELY diverse lineup. We knew it would be interesting to see all of the different fans coming together and reacting to bands that they normally wouldn’t listen to. 

The tour started off in Chicago, one of my favorite cities in the U.S. of A. We knew going into this that we weren’t going to be the main draw on this tour and that we would be playing to a LOT of new people that probably didn’t give a shit about our music. At the same time, HTL hasn’t done a support tour in 2 years, so when it comes to headlining, you really don’t have to work that hard to get the crowd into your music. It can be a completely different experience on support tours. For the first 2 to 3 shows they were fun, and our fans were great, but I really wasn’t feeling like we were getting through to the crowds. From my role as a frontman especially, I felt like I had forgotten to get people who didn’t want to move to MOVE. On top of that we are playing 3 new songs on this tour which can always be a weird transition as you’re learning to play the songs and keep up energy. 

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PropertyOfZack Session : : Saves The Day

by Zack Zarrillo - Jan 13, 2012

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PropertyOfZack met up with Saves The Day in Ohio on their last co-headlining tour with Bayside, and we were able to do a great Session with the band. Check out the band playing stripped down versions of “Deranged & Desperate” and “Cars And Calories” below by clicking “Read More!”

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PropertyOfZack Interview : : Hit The Lights

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 8, 2011

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PropertyOfZack had a chance to catch up with Omar from Hit The Lights last week for a great interview. Omar and I discussed the band’s recent headlining tour with The Story So Far, their situation with Universal and Razor & Tie Records, the writing process for Invicta, touring in 2012, and much more. Read up and enjoy!

For the record, could you state your name and role in Hit The Lights?
I’m Omar, and I play guitar in Hit The Lights.

Your fall headlining tour with The Story So Far, Such Gold, Divided By Friday, and A Loss For Words is coming to an end pretty soon. Can you just discuss the overall tour and your time with the supporting bands?
We were really stoked to do this tour. It was our first US tour in like the last two years. We were stoked to go out with a bunch of great bands that we all really liked. It’s been a great experience.

This is really your first tour in a long, long time. Were there any nerves about being able to connect to your fan base again?
We just had to suck it up and do it. There were some rocky shows, but there have been some amazing shows too. It’s been an amazing surprise to come back and see this many people still into the band after being off the radar for so long.

Are you expecting rough spots these next few months?
We just knew that we were going to have to go through this on this tour. It’s been a rebuilding process. We did it before and our fans stuck with us, and that was incredible to go through. We just kind of new it was a career building experience we had to go through again. I think it’s all cake and crazy from here [Laughs]. People say that, right?

This touring came after the announcement of your signing with Razor & Tie Records, but it was confirmed that you left Universal in August. Can you just fill fans in on some of the struggles with the label and why you left?
The way it went with that is that we were working with the label for a year or a year and a half doing a bunch of demoing. We’d get done with the sessions and give them the songs and they’d tell us to keep writing. That process went for maybe a year or so, and the head of the label got switched out in the spring. All of the developing artists got put on hold, so we wanted to be let go instead of getting put on the shelf. They were really cool with it. We started working with Razor & Tie pretty much right after that, and they’ve been amazing so far.

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New Live Video: ”Back To The Start (Acoustic)” // The Summer Set

New Documentary Clip: Finding Daybreak // Saves The Day

Kevin Devine Track Listing

by Zack Zarrillo - Aug 11, 2011

Kevin Devine is set to release Between The Concrete And Clouds on September 13th via Favorite Gentleman and Razor & Tie Records. The track listing and artwork for the release can be seen below by clicking “Read More”.

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