We posted a PropertyOfZack Friday Discussion on The Best Album Openers last week, so we’re following it up this week with The Best Album Closers. Album closers have the ability to leave a truly emotional mark on the listener, and we’ve experienced quite a few memorable ones over the years in our scene. We put the closers together in an Rdio Playlist to listen to as you read the Discussion as well. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with some of your favorite album closers!
Brand New - Play Crack the Sky
From the classic punk energy of Your Favorite Weapon to the dark intricacies of Daisy, the amount of things that Brand New have gotten right throughout their career is monumental. “Play Crack The Sky” is one of the few songs in the Brand New catalogue that showcase what each one of their masterpieces started out as poignant lyrics carried simply by a single guitar. If there is anything more impressive than their ever-present brazen musicality, it is the fact that even stripped down to bare bones, Brand New can evoke emotion like nobody else. - Alyssa McKinley
Death Cab For Cutie - A Lack Of Color
Death Cab For Cutie always has a way of making you feel both happy and sad at the same time with heartbreaking and heartwarming songs. “A Lack Of Color” is a tragically beautiful ending to close Translanticism, similar to the aftermath of a torrential downpour. It’s almost like the raindrops that slowly roll down the glass window on your wall as the sun fights to shine between the pockets of dark clouds. Moving at a serene tempo, Benjamin Gibbard perfectly sings every harmony with gentle conviction while the acoustic guitar repeatedly calls back to the piano chord. Ten years later and Translanticism is still considered one of the best Death Cab For Cutie albums of all time. “This is fact not fiction for the first time in years.” - Sydney Gore
Dashboard Confessional - Several Ways to Die Trying
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar is Dashboard Confessional’s transitional album, the one that bridges the gap between Chris Carrabba’s deeply personal early work and the cinematic bombast of the band’s later LPs, and closing track “Several Ways to Die Trying” pinpoints the moment where that crossover happens. The six-minute epic swells seamlessly from ginger, cowering verses into a megalithic chorus — one of the strongest in Dashboard’s songbook —with Carrabba’s meticulously planned delivery pushing the song over the top. His measured crumble in the refrain’s “dying to live” apex coheres into a laser blast at song’s end, searing its way from here to forever and soaring the ashes left behind to the heavens. - Jesse Richman
Thrice – The Beltsville Crucible
I used to believe that the closing track to Thrice’s brilliant sophomore release The Illusion of Safety should have been “To Awake and Avenge the Dead,” a fan-favorite anthem and perennial show closer. Silly me. As any good storyteller knows, one does not end the story at the climax; a denouement is needed to resolve conflict and complete the story arc. Enter “The Beltsville Crucible.” Instead of ending the album with the lyric “to awake and avenge the dead,” Thrice was clever enough to end with, “and if you’re feeling all right, you’ve got to play it again.” The last two tracks of many lesser albums are just afterthoughts, but in this case, they’re just too damn good to be left out, and “The Beltsville Crucible” has the perfect intensity level to conclude this album and get the listener ready to let track one start all over again. - Marc Gary Gray
Fireworks - The Wild Bunch
“The Wild Bunch,” the final track on Fireworks’ 2011 album Gospel, is bold, unpredictable and wildly fun; splicing swirling finger-picked arpeggios, The-Who-via-Green-Day arena windmill riffs, double-time skate punk, gang vocals and love-your-friends-die-laughing lyrics into one of the most innovative punk songs in recent memory. Anyone who “grew up weird enough” to make a song like this grew up right. - Jesse Richman
Today PropertyOfZack is launching our fifth Decade feature in honor of The Postal Service’s Give Up, which is celebrating its ten year anniversary reissue today. We figured it would be perfect timing between the reissue and major touring coming this spring and summer. We have commentary on the album via team members Josh Hammond, Marc Gary Gray, Deanna Chapman, and Brittany Oblak. Enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Give Up ten years later!
Most important song on Give Up
The first time I listened to “Such Great Heights,” I knew instantly that I was listening to a defining piece of music history. I was sitting in my car the moment the intro notes began pinging around my head, forming one of the most consuming walls of sound I had ever experience. With flawless production, near perfect structuring and composition and absolutely stunning lyric approach, the song is as close to a modern masterpiece as possible.
Additionally, the song would gain a second life through a cover by Sub Pop label mate Iron & Wine. The song would find its way to the soundtrack of the film Garden State, gathering cult status and a reputation and fan base of its own, therefore altering the careers of both The Postal Service and Iron & Wine. Shifts could be noticed in the career of Gibber’s other project, Death Cab for Cutie. Transatlanticism’s first single would noticeably take more of a Postal Service approach to structure in the way it would mix depression with solid pop structuring.
It is no stretch to imply that the reach of this song extends past that of many indie releases. Locking in the legacy as the biggest asset on a stellar release the song should be remembered long after everything it has touched has faded into retirement. – Joshua Hammond (@endless_rambles)
How did The Postal Service follow up Give Up
Give Up was a great start for The Postal Service, until they decided at the time there would not be a follow up. The writing process had begun for a sophomore effort, but was never completed. However, The Postal Service by no means went away in regards to the number of fans they still maintained. Give Up was such an outstanding album that it left people wanting more, but it wasn’t until January 2013 that the band’s site was updated and they announced a re-issue of the album, which will include a two rarities. Their fan base went crazy and it was clear that the original success of the album brought the group very loyal fans. The re-issue is out now and I believe that will show just how many people still love the group and want another album. Ten years is a long time to wait. – Deanna Chapman (@deechapman21)
How does Give Up hold up in 2013
If this album came out today, would it be received equally well? Has the album aged well over the past ten years? Are those the same question or entirely different questions? For the sake of this next couple of paragraphs, I’m treating them as different questions, and answering them in reverse order. The album has aged gracefully over the past decade, but if it were released today, it would not have nearly the success or impact it saw in 2003. Before any diehard fans of The Postal Service skewer me as a consequence of my last sentence, please let me expound (for I mean this as a compliment).
Barsuk Records have issued an update on the mislabeled Death Cab For Cutie box set packages that cost over $200 a pop. Check out an email from the label below by clicking “Read More.”
Death Cab For Cutie’s Vinyl Collection Comes Mislabeled
Death Cab For Cutie’s Barsuk Records box set has still not shipped out to fans after months of waiting. The label has now confirmed that they are aiming to send out all orders by or on March 31st. Check out a message form the label below by clicking “Read More.” below by clicking “Read More.”
POZ Discussion: Albums That Deserve 10 Year Tours In 2013
Our music scene is going through an interesting cycle in the present day. There have been a large influx of young bands that have provided great excitement and passion for us all in the last few years, but we’re also entering a time where the influences of those bands are celebrating major anniversaries for their most loved albums. Bands like Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and New Found Glory, among many others, have seen ten year anniversaries come and go. We all expect there to be more than a few great ten year tours in 2013, but PropertyOfZack team members put together a list of a few more albums that we want more than anything to see toured in full in 2013. Check out the full Discussion and feel free to reblog with any albums you think need to be championed as underrated masterpieces too!
blink-182 - Untitled
My favorite blink-182 record. Untitled pushed blink past pop-punk sing-alongs and dick jokes. It showed a band that could create powerful song after powerful song yet still packed with hugely successful singles with “Feeling This,” “I Miss You,” and “Down.” Regardless of their initial success however, blink never quite got to capatlize on Untitled due to their break-up in early-2005. A tour on this album would be filled with fans who were too young to see them at that point in time and the rest of their passionate fan base. Imagine if this was a Dollar Bill kind of tour too? Please Mark, Tom, and Travis. Please? - Zack Zarrillo
Brand New - Deja Entendu
Brand New toes the “will-they-won’t-they” line down to a science. They’re one of a handful of bands that ended up on just about everyone’s most anticipated albums of 2013 lists, even though concrete evidence that they’ve actually been working on new material is pretty much nonexistent. One of the best ways they can tide over a restless fanbase before (finally!) releasing new songs is by performing a whole bunch of old favorites. Like touring on Deja Entendu ten years later and playing the whole damn album cover to cover.
A Deja tour would put nostalgia on full blast for Brand New’s fanbase, and would bring fans both old and new out in droves. Brand New’s enigmatic frontman Jesse Lacey is probably over some of the songs he penned ten years ago, and even more tired of playing others, but just the chance of hearing some underplayed classics would draw enormous crowds. Deja isn’t as refined or focused as Daisy or The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, but the sheer energy of the album’s forty-nine minute runtime would make for a killer concert.
It wouldn’t be new music, but for fans waiting on bated breath for news from Brand New’s camp, a Deja Entendu anniversary tour might be the next best alternative. - Erik van Rheenen
Fall Out Boy - Take This To Your Grave
I mean, duh. Fall Out Boy has been gone for a while and we’ve just heard confirmations of their reunion - what better way to make a splash in their first year back in the game than to do an anniversary tour for the record that kicked off their legendary career? Take This To Your Grave is more than just a part of Fall Out Boy lore, though; it’s a quintessential album for the genre. When someone asks you what pop-punk sounds like, you might as well just shoo them away and tell them to listen to this album. It’s near-perfect in every aspect, and nostalgia rings hard with a record like this. A 10-year tour would be an enormous event for these guys…and aside from the new album they announced yesterday, this should be No. 1 on every Fall Out Boy fan’s list this year. - Thomas Nassiff
Less Than Jake - Anthem
Less Than Jake fans love Anthem as much as, or more, than Losing Streak and Hello Rockview. I’d expect the ska-punk legends to celebrate Anthem’s 10 year anniversary as much as they celebrated their 20 year anniversary in 2013 with a full-album tour. Singles like “Look What Happened” and “The Science of Selling Yourself Short” were the band’s most successful releases, and just part of why Less Than Jake should make a big splash with an Anthem tour preceding their next full-length record. - Zack Zarrillo
Coheed And Cambria - In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
Coheed And Cambria debuted their unique blend of emo-tinged progressive rock in 2002, but it was 2003’s In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 that broke them to the masses. More than just their commercial breakthru, IKSOSE:3 is the perfect Cliff Notes for Coheed’s discography, with a little taste of everything that makes the band both great and distinctive. It has it all: an epic, sprawling opener with a rafter-rattling chant-along coda (the title track); a pair of concise, radio ready pop songs with huge hooks (“Blood Red Summer” and “A Favor House Atlantic”); a three part progressive suite (“The Camper Velourium”); and even a fragile acoustic ballad (“The Light And The Glass”).
But beyond all that, IKSOSE:3 belongs here because Coheed & Cambria albums are meant to be listened to in sequence and in full. The album exists as part of a rich, complex universe, and listening to these songs out of order is kind of like taking a book and shuffling the chapters. Even if you dont know a Keywork from a Kilgannon, there’s a deliberate pacing to the tracks on IKSOSE:3; it flows from number to number like a carefully crafted mixtape, and hearing those tracks in the order they were intended makes for an experience even greater than the sum of its parts.
Coheed held a series of “Neverender” shows in 2008, playing their entire catalog in order for a few select cities; 2013 would be the perfect time to let the rest of their fanbase experience a small slice of The Amory Wars the way it was truly intended. - Jesse Richman
The Postal Service have all but self-confirmed a 2013 reunion. It is not yet clear if the band will just be playing summer festivals or will be doing a full US (or worldwide) tour. Check out a teaser image from the band’s website below by clicking “Read More.”
The Postal Service Reunion Happening?; To Play Coachella?
The Postal Service recently denied album rumors, but BrooklynVegan are reporting that the band has a reunion in the works. BV does not typically post rumors, yet they have posted no additional information either. It’s worth noting that Coachella is also tagged in the posting, hinting that they may be playing the festival. Check out their teaser below by clicking “Read More.”
It’s the weekend again, so PropertyOfZack is back with a brand new Team Recommendation Playlist! Each weekend, different members of our team will be recommending both old and new songs for our viewers to listen to and enjoy, and we’re going with a Fall Songs themed playlist this round. Check out the Team Playlist and listen to the songs on Spotify while reading everyone’s thoughts!
Four Year Strong - Flannel Is The Color Of My Energy
So it’s a Fall Jamz playlist eh? Nothing is more fall than flannel! This song gets you pumped! It’s also “Movember”… or “No-Shave November”. And what fits better than some good ol’ Beard-core!? (Wish I could grow beards like theirs.) I miss this FYS. - Mike Sheffey
August Burns Red - Carpe Diem
This is the heavy song on all of my playlists this time of year. It’s a slow-burn type of metalcore song that fits the fall season perfectly, at least for me. Jake Luhrs’ and Dustin Davidson’s vocal deliveries are almost eery and haunting. Close your eyes and listen to this one at night before your more, ahem, peaceful songs get their turn. - Brandon Allin (@brandon_allin)
Agalloch - Limbs
My contributions to these playlists always stick out like a sore thumb but isn’t that what music reccomendation all about? In any event, Agalloch is one of the finest black metal bands from the US and this song puts you in such a contemplative mood with it’s atmosphere. I feel like I am walking through a tree-lined forest as the leaves are turning their oranges and reds. If that doesn’t paint a fall like picture for you I don’t know what else will. - Ray Harkins (@100wordspodcast)
REM - Half A World Away
A gorgeously amorphous story of love and loss and longing, three-and-a-half minutes of impressionist beauty painted by Michael Stipe’s slide-show imagery, borne on mandolin and harpsichord and tidal strings. Music scribe Matthew Perpetua wrote of its “gentle melancholy,” and that’s a pretty good description for Autumn itself. There’s a soft, enveloping sadness to the season carried on crackling leaves and bitter breezes, a sorrow you can nestle into, one that makes it feel ok to feel not ok. Four years ago, I sat down at Starbucks on a November day and put this song on repeat on my iPod while attempting to write my way out of a psychic hole; when I looked up again, I had listened to it 62 times. - Jesse Richman (@jrichmanesq)
The Wonder Years - Logan Circle
I just find myself wanting to listen to this song more during fall. The rainy days, or somewhat snowy days, of fall make me want to listen to pop punk more than most other genres for some reason. And this is just one of my favorite songs by these guys. Oh and because “I’m not even sad anymore, I’m just so tired most nights,” are wonderful lyrics, which happen to almost always be relevant. - Deanna Chapman (@deechapman21)
Death Cab for Cutie - Soul Meets Body
To me, this song just emanates “fall.” There’s a lot of natural, outdoorsy imagery, lyrically speaking, as well as some very present acoustic guitar—the whole thing kind of conjures, at least for me, the feeling of a drive through the woods on a picturesque autumn day. It’s weird, relating a song which isn’t explicitly seasonal to a certain time of year, but here we are. - Paul Adler (@jazzfuneralband)
Taking Back Sunday - Your Own Disaster
This is second favorite Taking Back Sunday song. I got into TBS in early-high school, and it somehow took me years to find this song. I still remember the day and the class I was in. What’s so magical about Tell All Your Friends to me is that a song like “Cute Without The E” seems to have ten choruses, and only choruses. “Your Own Disaster” is the same to me, and it’s such a fantastic sad, slow, and intense fall song. I’ve been told the band is closing their set with this on the TAYF10 Tour, and I can’t wait to see it three times within the next few weeks. Have fun, it’s the weekend. - Zack Zarrillo
- blink-182 Releasing EP For Christmas
- Angels & Airwaves Announce Double EP
- Fall Out Boy’s ‘TTTYG’ Being Reissued On Vinyl
- P!ATD’s ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’ Vinyl Reissue
- Death Cab For Cutie Barsuk Years Complete Vinyl Box Set For $225
- Issues Lose Another Member Before EP Release
- The All-American Rejects Announce Remix EP; Features Skrillex Remix
- Koji, Dads Announce Northeast Tour
- The Dillinger Escape Plan Begin Recording LP
- Say Anything Pre-IARB Box Set Coming Soon
Death Cab For Cutie have announced a gorgeous vinyl box set pressing of the collection of records released under their time with Barsuk Records, which includes all of the band’s releases leading up to Transatlanticism and Transatlanticism itself. Check out all the details and the artwork for the release below by clicking “Read More.”