by Becky Kovach, edited by Erik van Rheenen
Expectations are a fickle thing. And the announcement of I Surrender Records’ Our Voices EP, the first in a series of similar releases celebrating the label’s 10-year anniversary, definitely came with some expectations. After all, it features original solo tracks from Adam Lazzara, Anthony Raneri, Chris Conley, and Vinnie Caruana — all on one EP. It’s hard not to go into that with anything other than high hopes.
Fortunately, I think Our Voices lived up to most expectations – I know it met mine. Each singer’s solo style is different enough from his respective band’s to avoid sounding like an unreleased B-side. And each track brings something completely new to the table.
Lazzara starts things out by getting in touch with his folk side in “Because It Works.” His soft and reassuring drawl pairs well with warm acoustic guitars. The highlight though, was the resonating harmonica melodies peppered throughout the track.
Following up Lazzara is Anthony Raneri, with the surprisingly synth-heavy “String Me Along.” The song features self-deprecating lyrics that are pretty typical of Raneri’s writing style (“Use me if you want, my baby / I won’t leave though I know I should / String along round the neighborhood / Since that makes you feel so good”). But it juxtaposes them with a slow, poppy feel that would be borderline off-putting if not for Raneri’s impressive harmonies.
November is here, and there are a slew of great records coming out this month that PropertyOfZack team members couldn’t be more stoked to hear. In today’s new Discussion, we’re highlighting our personal Most Anticipated November Releases. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with what you’re looking forward to as well
Punk Goes Christmas (11/05)
It’s kind of shocking that Punk Goes Christmas hasn’t happened until now; there’s a long tradition of punk bands doing Christmas tunes that goes as far back as the Ramones. Christmas tunes are usually some mix of goofy and sentimental, two moods that punk bands tend to excel at, and over the past decade, it seems like nearly every scene band of note has taken a crack at writing one (or covering a classic). We’ve even made it a yearly tradition here at POZ to review our favorites on Christmas Day.
The lineup contributing to Punk Goes Christmas’s tracklist nicely pulls together the ghosts of pop-punk past, present and future to join in the caroling gang chorus, from old guard favorites like New Found Glory and Yellowcard to young upstarts Real Friends. Notably, Fearless have pared back on the screamo /metalcore / heavy music acts that have dominated the last few Punk Goes… releases, and one of the few included here, Issues, has seen frontman Tyler Carter make a bit of a splash in the past few years with Christmas tracks under his own name. If the album proves anywhere near as solid as its track list (and let’s face it, Christmas songs really only come in two varieties, good and great), we’re in for some early holiday goodies. - Jesse Richman
A Wilhelm Scream - Partycrasher (11/05)
November is apparently a banner month for punk albums, possibly none quite as important as A Wilhelm Scream’s aptly named hiatus-shattering record, Partycrasher. Six years removed from a studio effort, the band proved its legacy in the genre on the new album with eleven searing, scathing, sneering new cuts. Still brash and angry like the best of A Wilhelm Scream’s back catalog, the band only adds polish since taking a leave of disappearance — not rust. - Erik van Rheenen
The Bouncing Souls, The Menzingers - Split
During a way-too-early conversation regarding AOTY candidates, I jokingly mentioned to a friend that my top spot was currently occupied by The Menzingers’ On the Impossible Past, since no album from 2013 captured my heart and headphones the way that bottle rocket of a record did a year ago. Having to wait for next year for a new full-length from the band verges on cruel-and-unusual punishment, but a split 7” between The Menzingers and punk elder statesmen The Bouncing Souls should be a firecracker in its own right. Featuring a new cut and a cover from each, a lighthearted Souls take on powerhouse “Burn After Reading” and The Menzingers’ spin on “Kate is Great” is the only punk-goes-something we need this year. - Erik van Rheenen
Anthony Green - Young Legs (11/12)
I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what the birth of Anthony Green’s children was going to mean for his musical productivity, be it through his solo work or his main act, Circa Survive. But here we are at just about two years since the birth of his second son, Luke, and Green is about to release Young Legs, his second solo album in as many years (which brings his release count to three since 2012 began, when you account for Circa’s Violent Waves).
Green’s solo work has always been much more mellow and light-hearted than the atmospheric, aggressive blend that Circa has become known for. Young Legs will bring about an interesting sound, as he is now identifying his solo work as Anthony Green and the Good Old Band, which will feature the entire trio that comprises Good Old War, along with a familiar face in Circa Survive guitarist Brendan Ekstrom. In terms of sound, it should be noted that Green recorded this album shortly after completing work on his last solo effort Beautiful Things, so it will be very interesting to see how the two records compare to one another. No matter what it sounds like, it’s a safe bet that plenty of people will be listening to the new songs from the scene’s favorite family man. - Donald Wagenblast
Matt Pryor - Wrist Slitter (11/12)
Matt Pryor has always been prolific — between the Get Up Kids, the New Amsterdams, albums released under his own name, his Terrible Twos children’s music project, and his newest band, Lasorda, Pryor’s been averaging better than an album a year for the last decade, most with the kind of hit-or-miss rate you might expect from someone cranking out songs as fast as he can go.
Anthony Raneri of Bayside is flying home early from the band’s current co-headlining tour with Motion City Soundtrack due to his wife preparing to give birth to their first child. Members of Motion City, State Champs, and This Is Hell will be taking over vocal duties. Check out a message from Bayside below after the jump.
PropertyOfZack is teaming up with To Write Love On Her Arms and Irving Plaza to give away a pair of tickets to the Heavy And Light Tour tomorrow in New York City with Anthony Raneri and Now, Now. The contest will end tomorrow afternoon, so check out ticket information here and enter quick below!
To win tickets to the Heavy And Light Tour you must do each of the following things:
The Acoustic Basement is one of PropertyOfZack’s favorite additions to Warped Tour in recent years, which is just a small part of the reason why we’re so excited to be sponsoring its satellite tour that kicks off in just two days. There’s an interesting story behind the idea and creation of the Acoustic Basement though, so we thought it’d be a great idea for Editor-in-Chief Erik van Rheenen to speak with Brian Marquis to tell the story of the Basement. Check it all out below!
This is the story of the Acoustic Basement, but it doesn’t start in the blistering summer heat in the dog days of the Vans Warped Tour. The story of the Acoustic Basement starts with a young Brian Marquis in his own basement, waking up to his dad playing blues guitar at 5 o’clock in the morning.
“I grew up with a father who played the blues on the acoustic guitar and harmonica,” Marquis says. “I used to hate it sometimes, when he played really backwoods stuff. He’d wake me up at 5 a.m. playing the guitar next to my bedroom in the basement.”
As a baby, Marquis would mess around on the harmonica, — he actually focuses on playing it well, now— but it wasn’t until he was 11 that he took up guitar. It wasn’t really the music that allured him — at least not yet, anyways. It was just that, when posing with a guitar, 11-year-old Brian Marquis thought he looked so fucking cool.
“Me and a friend would just hold the guitar in front of the mirror and look badass,” Marquis says, recalling the memory with a laugh. “I took lessons, but I only wanted to play songs, so I stopped and would just try to play along with records or the radio.”
Fast forward to 2010. Marquis’ post-hardcore band, Therefore I Am, just broke up, and Marquis moved to Los Angeles for the scenery. Just before the break-up, Marquis began taking guitar lessons again, this time switching from electric guitar to acoustic. Once the band split and Marquis stopped touring full-time, he started making friends with the Warped Tour production folks.
During the waning years of Therefore I Am, Marquis realized he needed a creative outlet he could call his own. The band was a democracy: everything from tours to T-shirt designs — down to the simplest chord of a song — was carefully deliberated between the group’s members. Playing acoustic shows was a solitary pleasure for Marquis, and one he takes pride in. “It’s such a simple setup,” he says. “It’s just you and your guitar. There’s something so great in the simplicity of going anywhere with a bag to sing your songs and tell your story.”
Acoustic guitar in tow, Marquis set out to start his solo career, releasing his first acoustic EP, Snow Damage, in November of 2011. He talked to Kevin Lyman, founder of Warped Tour, and threw out his idea: an acoustic tent. Lyman wasn’t sold, since acoustic shows historically flopped on the Warped Tour. So Marquis asked some of his closest friends to go all-in with him on the idea.
To Write Love On Her Arms have announced the Heavy And Light Tour, which will feature special performances from Now, Now, Aaron Gillespie (The Almost), Bryce Avary (The Rocket Summer), and Anthony Raneri (Bayside), among others. Now, Now and Joe Foreman (Switchfoot) will be playing every night of the tour with other acts playing select cities. Check out the dates below by clicking “Read More.”
Bayside is one of the most consistent bands right now. The band hasn’t released anything that can even be called remotely bad, and even released what could arguably be the best record of their career just last year and with their fan base only growing more and more after every tour. So it was only right of Bayside to give listeners something to tide over until they bust out another awesome album. The Covers Volume 1 EP does one hell of a job to hold us over.
Now someone who isn’t familiar with these older classic songs could think that these are original Bayside songs. They took such a great twist on all of these tracks that you could easily tell upon first listen, that the band put a lot of work into this release. Each cover is done perfectly, from the shredding guitars to Anthony’s unique vocals.
The EP opens with “Be My Baby” showcasing that Bayside definitely knows how to shred and do some killer harmonies at the same time. The solo by O’Shea puts the perfect touch that makes it sound more like a Bayside song then a Ronettes song. This track is a great sign of what Bayside’s next album could sound like.
A lot of bands have been covering Elvis Costello lately and while some do it very well (The Sidekicks) others can struggle a little bit. Bayside do a great job with this one as well. With all due respect to Elvis Costello, Bayside take his song and make it so much more alive and just crush the original. Anthony vocals really shine on this one.
“Runaway” sounds like something that would have been on Shudder. The track showcases the little dark side that Bayside pulls out in most of their songs. “Wild Night” also has a little bit of a dark side but the harmonies strike pretty hard here as well.
Brooklyn, New York pop-punk quartet, On the Fifty, is a band hell-bent on hitting you with the most sophisticated, thought-provoking pop-punk nuggets this side of the new decade. It is no wonder their idol, Bayside’s Anthony Raneri, worked with the New York upstarts on their forthcoming debut EP, Fast Hands, Bad Timing. Combining personal experiences and youthful hardships with that quintessential New York flare, On the Fifty are poised to find out that good things happen to people who harbor sincere intentions (and a knack for writing powerful hooks). Not too shabby for four guys still in college.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Tim Dolan – Vocals/Guitar
Tom Dambro – Guitar
John Kantar – Bass
Anthony Imperato - Drums
What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Brooklyn, New York
How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Anthony and I have been playing together since the 6th grade and John and Tom have always been good friends of ours so when we decided to start getting serious with the band we asked them to join. We’ve been playing as OTF for about 2 ½ years now.
Why should people listen to your band?
I think people should take a listen to us in hopes that they can relate to the messages and ideas we’re creating. All of the songs on our EP come from past experiences in our everyday lives, so we hope that our experiences can be relatable to others.
How have you grown since you started?
I think time has been very good to us as far as growing and maturing as a band. We’ve been able to really concentrate on every little detail in every song so that it’s structured in the best possible way. The dozens of shows we’ve had in the last year have also allowed us to grow and feel more comfortable and natural on stage as well.
What sets you apart from other bands in the scene?
I believe this band has versatility. Pop-punk acts are commonly associated with three chords and bubblegum lyrics but we’re not really about that. We really take our time with the writing process and understanding exactly where parts, melodies and lyrical patterns need to be. Of course, it’s always super fun to write a quick and catchy jam, but there’s more to a great song than just that hook you can’t get out of your head. It takes time and lots of patience to write a complete song we’re all floored about and I think that’s a great glue to our band.
What’s the best part about being in your band?
I would have to say the camaraderie involved, since everyone in the band were good friends with each other far long before the band was formed. It’s crazy to see how everything panned out since we knew each other.
More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Some bands that I’m listening to now are Title Fight, Balance and Composure, Tigers Jaw and Into It. Over It.