by Brittany Oblak, edited by Erik van Rheenen
The (not really that long) awaited yet highly anticipated return of Basement from their post-Colourmeinkindness hiatus is nigh, and quite up to par with the band’s previous output. Although taking a little bit of a turn from their beloved 2012 full-length, Basement has managed to follow the LP up with two original songs and a cover which, unlike most others, actually does the original song justice.
Further Sky certainly gives us a poppier side of this U.K. outfit than we got from Colourmeinkindness, starting the EP out with a dreamy ode to a damsel, titled “Summer’s Colour” that’s as sweet as it is captivating and melodic. Slightly more driving and more instrumentally related to their older material, second song “Jet” gives fans more of what they might think of as the band’s traditional sound. The song doesn’t sound like a total retreat back to Colourmeinkindness, but enough so to know that their keeping enough of their signature sound while still going full steam ahead.
Head Automatic's Decadence was released ten years ago this week, and PropertyOfZack is launching our next Decade feature in honor of the album today! We have commentary on the album from POZ team members Adrienne Fisher andCaitlin DeWeese so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Decadenceten years later!
Legacy of Decadence
While the mid-2000s brought to the forefront plenty of pop-infused, mildly dance-y projects from those co-opting the “punk” aesthetic, few could compete with Head Automatica when it came to innovation and spirit. The Glassjaw frontman’s offshoot project differed from GJ in every way imaginable, dropping the serious faced Long Island-alt attitude in lieu of a musical endeavor that was completely at home on the dance floor rather than the floor of the mosh pit. But Decadence wasn’t just the side project’s record that allowed itself to be dismissed by fans of GJ and the genre, despite being as far as one could get from Palumbo’s tortured wailing on Worship and Tribute. Instead, very much in the spirit of its name, Decadence combines the free-falling party sensibilities of 70’s disco and funk with the proud tackiness of pop-synth 80’s music, which, to those deeply invested in that early 2000s wave of pop-punk and screamo, was an unheard-of combination. It’s music that can make suburban kids (including me) feel like they have the slightest idea what DJ and dance culture is about without the hallucinogens. It’s an exercise in guilty pleasures, except without all the embarrassment since the same person who sang “Ape Dos Mil” is now lightheartedly asking you “Maybe you can help me, I am looking for someone to dance with – “ and it is really, really fucking good. – Adrienne Fisher
How Decadence holds up in 2014
From the frenetic and boisterous opening of “At the Speed of a Yellow Bullet” to the calmer grooving pace of “Please Please Please (Young Hollywood),” Decadence is a record that hosts a bevy of funky influences, but all centered around the same “let’s let loose” mission statement – and for that, the record holds up tremendously. Modern EDM and techno styles of dance music can credit their popularity to repetitive sections and catchy-but-uncreative centerpieces, and for that, the songs within those trends will burn out just as quickly as their fans do the day after Electric Daisy Carnival. But Head Automatica wrote Decadence to be richly diverse and endlessly entertaining, with elements of hip-hop, funk, synth-pop, and rock bubbling over one another in a wildly creative whole. The unhinged and slick “King Caesar” sounds nothing like the driving force behind “Dance Party Plus” or that haunting hook in the chorus of “The Razor” – and it all feels timeless, immediate, and flat-out awesome. Seriously, where’s the ten-year tour for this record? Or just give us one last show at Gramercy, please. – Adrienne Fisher
Jesse and Zack talk about how bands create relationships, a desire to end TBA tours, album cycles + records deals, and what bands (good or bad) that got us into music
Please take a listen if you’re interested and make sure to check out the Off The Record website for show notes on the episode and for more information on how to keep up to date with us. Listen to the sixteenth episode below!
Light Years played the Acoustic Basement on Warped Tour this summer. Zero Platoon filmed videos of frontman Pat Kennedy playing their own “Hindsight,” but also blink-182's “Aliens Exist” acoustically. The band will also be releasing a new EP called Temporary on September 9th via Animal Style Records that can be picked up here. Watch the two videos below after the jump.
by Jason Stives, edited by Erik van Rheenen
Rock and roll. There slithers that term that crunches with nostalgia or sours like a Warhead candy. It’s been used before (and this reviewer is one of those guilty parties), but that’s because somewhere in the lonesome crowded west of our culture it exists as spirit and hope rather than an actual signifier of popular music. New Brunswick, New Jersey natives The Gaslight Anthem have been ridiculed at times for waving that banner, and were even unfairly called the new Nickelback by one “unbiased” publication. It’s a statement about how far guitar rock has come unhinged from the mainstream culture often bringing up a bad taste when there is a wealth of great rock music to be discovered and appreciated.
On their fifth studio album, Get Hurt, The Gaslight Anthem aimed for the fences to rid themselves of all ridicule and some unfair identities. Their rock and punk roots are often overlooked in favor of discussing how much they lean on a sound akin to fellow Jersey boy Bruce Springsteen’s. This time out everything is feverishly intense, often brandishing heavy rock fingers that take them as far away as possible from what their fans probably expect. The result is probably their most expansive effort to date.
Lead singer Brian Fallon is both humbled and dogged by the constant comparisons to the pride of the Garden State, and while Get Hurt does a damn good job of moving away from that it’s not entirely avoidable. It can’t be helped when Fallon’s rugged and whiskey soaked voice features the reserved small town woes and rebel working boy shouts of the Boss but this time out much like on 2012’s Handwritten, he channels his Horrible Crowes’ style singing. Soundwise, they have moved from the dingy bars to the arenas offering blistering tracks that are unlike anything they have dared to do before. Mike Crossey is behind the board producing this time out, an odd choice for the band considering his precedent for delivering high-gloss style to acts like Arctic Monkeys and the 1975.
Showcase features run every weekend, putting up & coming bands into the spotlight here on PropertyOfZack. We’re happy to present a series of Showcase Playlists, curated by the emerging artists themselves. Listen to Choir Vandals’ playlist on Spotify while reading their thoughts below.
The theme for our playlist is Overnight Drive. It’s all songs that we play when we are driving overnight in the van. Included are two songs from Jamie Moore, our TM/fifth wheel, too.
Good Charlotte- The Anthem
I like to listen to a lot of classic punk music when I’m driving, and this song is literally an anthem of punk rock! Not only is this song a jammer, but it’s also got an important message for the kids that I could get behind.
The Postal Service- Such Great Heights
I’m all about playing The Postal Service when I drive during the night. The album Give Up is super upbeat and catchy, but mellow at the same time. I feel like The Postal Service doesn’t suck as bad as most stuff would on my iPod for when the guys are trying to sleep. - Josh
Pixies- Monkey Gone to Heaven
The first time I heard this song, my mom was playing it. And I don’t think I cared too much at the time. But I liked it, and it eventually became one of my favorite songs.
Jawbreaker- Condition Oakland
One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands. It’s one of the sadder songs on 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, but it also has a lot of energy. - Micah
Monday means BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the new PropertyOfZack feature today with Jamie Houghton of Prawn. The band just put out a great record called Kingfisher, so check that out here.
In this week’s feature, Jamie talks about his love for Bombay Bicycle Club. Listen to songs by the band here and check out what Jamie had to say about one of his biggest influences below!
From Jamie Houghton:
All of Prawn became fans of the London, England indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club about three years ago. When our singer Tony first told me about the band, I was hesitant because their name comes from a chain of Indian restraints. I love Indian food so they had a lot to live up too. When I first heard their song “Shuffle,” I was pleasantly surprised.
I am actually a duel citizen of the States and England, so I frequently visit Britain. The last time I was over there I went hunting for their vinyl. I visited about five or six different stores before I found a small record shop in London that was able to order it for me.
Weatherbox dropped off of their summer tour with Dikembe at the start of August due to a medical emergency. Many fans have expressed concern and curiosity over details, and frontman Brian Warren took it upon himself to write a final Road Blog for PropertyOfZack to clue everyone in on what he has been experiencing and working through.
Head below to get clued in on Brian’s meltdown due to a lack of medication, a foray into drugs, and a hopeful restart.
Finch Announce Tour With Weatherbox, Maps & Atlases
Let me first start off by apologizing to everyone in the city of Salt and on for not being able to play those shows. Despite the meltdown that originally occurred behind/under/atop the merch table in Lawrence on July 29th, we were really trying to keep the train on the tracks. I/we have absolutely no idea how I/we played those shows in Lawrence and Denver. The delusion was intense and I slept maybe 5 hours in those last 6 or 7 days. These dudes are my brothers and did an amazing job trying to keep everything together as I descended into a spiral of insomnia, paranoia and Shane-shaming. Huge thanks to them for eventually delivering me safely into a facility where I could stabilize: I owe you. Big time.
If you been tuned into these tour reports, I know AJ has let most of you fair readers know what was happening up until Denver. Up until our day off after the St. Louis show, the tour had been going great. All the shows were well attended and Weatherbox was having our best tour since the glory days of American Art. Huge thanks to all the fans who have come out to these shows and showed their support, hopefully we played as you expected/hoped we would.
But then I took the drug…
The Sidekicks US Headlining Tour With Sundials, Dowsing
Holy cow, so much has happened since the first update. We arrived in Seattle without a hitch and checked in at the venue, Chop Suey. My best friend moved to Seattle last year, and he met up with us soon after we got into town. We went to the bear-bar next door for a beer, then everyone got some food and met up at the venue in time for The Exquisites to open up the show. They put out a fantastic record on Asian Man last year and it was great to finally see them live. After the show, all the bands went swimming in Lake Washington at a public beach. The moon and the stars were out, and the water was cold but not unbearable. I swam a ways out and floated on my back for a while, looked at the stars and enjoyed a calm moment 3000 miles from home. We all drank a beer on the shore and dried off before piling into our vehicles to go sleep for the night. We followed The Sidekicks out, but before we’d gone 30 yards they stopped and told us to get out of the bus. They pointed across the street, “That’s Kurt Cobain’s house.” We gathered around the memorial bench and quietly sang the first verse of “Come As You Are” because we are dorks like that. I couldn’t have asked for a better first night on the west coast.
The caravan got moving again, with The Sidekicks going to stay with Jason from The Exquisites. Most of us slept on the bus in front of our friend Max’s place, Cory and I split a one-person tent in the yard. The next morning we ran errands and got vegan donuts before hitting the road for Portland. As we got close to our destination, our bus started doing a weird wobbly thing, and when we got into town we discovered that our back-right tire had developed a big bump. Mikey, our live-in fixer of all things, changed the tire and then we drove to a shop to buy a new one. New tire on and the van’s equilibrium restored, we went to the show, which was at Slabtown with The Oddly Hot. The show was fun and we had good food and beer at Slabtown before going to a friend’s place of employment, a late-night food truck court. We did the smart thing and got something like five different versions of poutine before our overnight drive to San Francisco.
by Steve Ciccarelli, edited by Erik van Rheenen
The bombs begin to drop immediately. An act of war, through and through, “Serious Business” is indeed that. No punches are pulled, no caution at all, for that wouldn’t be the purest form of aggression. United Nations is back, and for the first time in their quasi-career, they have nothing to hide. Geoff Rickly’s guttural growl sits front and center, with the guitars doing something like an art-rock Orchid. A little over two minutes in, the doomy drums go into double-time while a descending chord progression feels like it’s dragging your ears down to some kind of hell where Lucifer grades stagedives like Joe Hardcore. It’s at once cathartic and slightly fun. Most importantly, though, The Next Four Years is interesting.
United Nations began life as little more than rumor of Rickly and Glassjaw’s Darryl Palumbo in the studio. Its first live incarnation brought in drummer Ben Koller of Converge, left Palumbo to a still-unreleased Head Automatica record and Rickly on guitar. For a subset of Thursday/Glassjaw/Converge/etc. fans, their first two releases were the perfect compliments to legendary bands like Four Hundred Years, Pg.99 and You & I. But where those bands dealt in guttural emotion, Rickly was more concerned with looking outward for what seemed like the first time in his career.
The Next Four Years, as a title, could be seen in two distinct ways—which is the point. January 2009 saw the debut performance of UN in Washington D.C. on the eve of President Obama’s inauguration, so it could justifiably be political. But the collection’s art, and name, both reference Black Flag’s The First Four Years. Double entendre is a perfect explanation for the mix of humor and frustration that United Nations represents. Their self-titled debut included “The Shape of Punk That Never Came” which directly asked the singer of Refused, “Dennis, are you listening?” In any other hands it would be a goof, but the song itself is a Molotov cocktail of fury.
There’s mainstream, there’s alternative, there’s more alternative, and then there’s Spillway. It’s not often that a single song will take the listener from head-banging punk rock to smooth jazz – and then back to punk rock – but “Atlas Carried” manages to do just that. While it may sound strange on paper, it’s such an oddly compatible combination of genres that you’re unlikely to forget your first listen to Spillway’s debut EP As Astronauts or Atoms, which you can name your own price for on Bandcamp.
For Fans Of: Joyce Manor, Hop Along, John Coltrane
Social Sites: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Bandcamp
by Ashley Aron
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Matt Palmer sings and plays guitar.
Lucas Bickford sings and plays guitar.
Matt Sokol drums and plays keyboard.
Dan Bogosian (speaking) plays bass and sometimes sing backup.
What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
We’re from a bunch of different towns in Connecticut, but now MP lives in Hartford, CT; Lucas lives in Worcester, MA; and Sokol and I live in Brooklyn, NY.
How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Matt Palmer & I were in and out of bands together for years. We finally decided to take a project seriously, had a drummer who introduced us to Lucas, then that drummer moved to Denver and Sokol was basically the only man for the job. MP and I have literally played together for about eight years. Everyone else has been together for about two.
How have you grown since you started?
When we started, we were just a bunch of former music majors fucking around. We still fuck around, but there are songs now. There’s an aim and a goal to our musical fuckery.
What sets you apart from other bands?
Spillway is probably the only band in history who can say their music is equally influenced by Joyce Manor and John Coltrane. All four of us have serious music training, but rather than approaching it with a “we’re-better-than-you” or a “we’re-going-to-be-this-kind-of-band” mentality, any song we think is good, we’ll write and play regardless of genre. We’re beyond eclectic.
What’s the best part about being in your band?
Being so musically diverse feels a whole lot more fulfilling than being in “just” a pop-punk band or “just” an alternative band or “just” anything. I’ve talked to a ton of musicians in a variety of bands, and it always bothered me that bands wouldn’t show all the music they love in the music they write, because they quickly and swiftly define themselves to fit into a cookie cutter that their fans accept. We don’t want to do that - not now, not ever. It’s way more fun than any other band I’ve ever been a part of.
More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I’ve been obsessed with PUP’s debut and Joyce Manor’s new record. MP would say Local Natives and Marc Broussard. Lucas would probably say Antemasque. Sokol would gush about Death Grips and American Football. Collectively, Hop Along. I’m looking forward to the new Hostage Calm record, but I don’t know how much the punk taste shines through.
What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
I’m happy with how well produced the EP is – it sounds like a professional recording when we recorded it in Lucas’ house. He’s a genius with mixing and mastering, and we sound like pros. It’s also rad that we’ve shared the stage with some bands I love – Pile, Giraffes? Giraffes!, You Me & Everyone We Know, and Strawberry Girls come to mind. Our next big goal is to go on a legitimate tour. Soon, hopefully.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
The first time we played the outro of “Low Tide”, it was perfect. MP and I wrote the whole song, and I had a specific sound in mind – this Explosions in the Sky meets Weezer kind of vibe. I didn’t think it would be easy to capture – still think most bands would struggle with it – but we nailed it the first time we brought it in for the full band, and it was just glorious. Some things click right away.
It’s time for The Weekly Tour Round-Up! There are a ton of great tours going on this fall and winter that are getting announced each week! Below you’ll find all the tours going on over the next few months, with newly announced tours listed above previously announced tours. So check out all the tours if you’ve missed any of them and make sure to mark them down on your calendars!
Being As An Ocean, Fit For A King [09/27-10/25]
Finch, Weatherbox, Maps & Atlases [09/30-11/08]
Suicide Silence, The Black Dahlia Murder [10/03-10/30]
Ryan Adams, Butch Walker [10/06-10/20] Fall Tour
Kevin Devine [10/09-10/12]
Black Veil Brides, Falling In Reverse, Set It Off [10/21-11/15]
The Ready Set, Metro Station, Against The Current, The Downtown Fiction [10/21-11/22]
Foxy Shazam, Masked Intruder, SycAmour [10/31-11/22]
Previously Announced Tours:
Colors in Mind has an atmospheric, almost dream-like quality that is plucked melodically through the eight tracks of their debut EP Solipsism. It is equal parts dark, otherworldly, and unclassifiable – the band members themselves have trouble defining their own genre. Take a listen for yourself by naming your own price for Solipsism on Colors In Mind’s bandcamp.
For Fans Of: Circa Survive, Radiohead, Tool
Social Sites: Facebook, Bandcamp
by Ashley Aron
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Andrew Bryant: Drums, Keys, Guitar Center Enthusiast, and all around networking dude
Aaron Hutzel: Bass and Sound Alchemist
Kelvin Mojica: Vocals, Guitars, and Diversity & Inclusion points for being a double minority!
What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Kelvin: I was raised here in Cincinnati and you can tell because I love Goetta and putting chili on my pasta. But I was actually born in a little country called the Dominican Republic and my parents immigrated here to the States. How I went from the tropics to the Midwest is beyond me honestly, but Colors in Mind calls Cincinnati home.
How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Aaron: Seemingly unfortunate circumstances brought us all together again about two years ago after a hiatus from playing music together, and now we look back and appreciate the events that kicked us back into gear. Life is bland without contrast, we need those bad times to bring out the good in others, and it helped us realize our abilities and motivated us to pursue our dreams.
Kelvin: I started talking to Andrew after not hearing from him in a while and we decide to just jam for fun. After a few really fun sessions, we decided to get some bass in and decided to see what our friend Hutzel was up to. We got together and the jams were fantastic and fun. Then some things happened and really cemented our bound together. We regrouped and after taking about two and half months to write our first song, “A Phoenix Down”, we felt the groove again and decided to pursue it. And thus, Colors in Mind was born. Colors in Mind formed at the beginning of 2013 so it’s been a little over a year since we formed this project.
How have you grown since you started?
Kelvin: We have grown a bit in terms of communicating with each other, whether it be during the creative process or outside of the basement when it comes to other band decisions and what not. I personally feel like the confidence level is also blossoming a bit.