# decade

POZ Decade: Head Automatica - Decadence

by Zack Zarrillo - Aug 19, 2014

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

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POZ Decade: Say Anything - …Is A Real Boy

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 29, 2014

Say Anything …Is A Real Boy 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, Caitlin DeWeese, and Erik van Rheenen, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on …Is A Real Boy ten years later! 

How …Is a Real Boy holds up in 2014
Ten years gone and after a cavalcade of other records that only orbit the core artistry that …Is a Real Boy demonstrated (well, in this writer’s opinion, anyway), Say Anything’s debut remains one of the finest yet most wildly bombastic records that’s ever been dropped into the laps of emo/punk fans. They may have gotten shuffled under the umbrella of the aforementioned scene with their initial signing to Doghouse Records back in the early 2000s, but …Is a Real Boy’s timeless nature has nothing to do with the aesthetics that immortalized classic records of the same ilk.
Furiously creative with rollercoaster theatrics and spitfire sentiments, the record’s artistic flair pushed the boundaries of the “scene” in widely dimensional directions, while still grasping onto a thread that somehow kept the whole damn thing from unraveling. “What say you and all your friends step up to my friends in the ally tonight” rallies the marginalized in a way that you might think would set the course for the rest of the record, but the swift delineation into the Bemis interior with the songs that follow is a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride through potent and colorful neurosis, paranoia, and imagery – some delightfully vivid (“Yellow Cat / Red Cat”), others notably perverse and unsettling (“Slowly, Through a Vector”). And while inescapable show tunes are eternally cheesy, there’s something extraordinarily theatrical permeating the album; every song feels written to be adapted for an ensemble choir, harmonizing alongside the young Jewish hero as he preens on during a number about Molly Connolly.

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POZ Decade: Taking Back Sunday - Where You Want To Be

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 22, 2014

Taking Back Sunday’s Where You Want to Be 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, Erik van Rheenen, and Deanna Chapman, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Where You Want to Be ten years later! 

How Where You Want to Be holds up in 2014

Where You Want To Be was the first time I really heard about Taking Back Sunday. I was almost 12 when the album came out, and the music video for “A Decade Under The Influence” seemed to constantly be on TV. To this day, I will still enjoy hearing that song. After listening to this album top to bottom for the first time in a while, I quickly remembered why it’s such a great album. The songwriting is brilliant, and the songs are the right mixture of heavy hitting and mellow. It makes for an extremely enjoyable and emotional album all at the same time, with songs like “A Decade Under The Influence,” “One Eighty By Summer,” and “New American Classic.” ‘Sophomore slump’ is a term that is thrown around quite a bit in music, but this album was by no means a slump for the band. I would easily say this album has stood the test of time so far for TBS fans. – Deanna Chapman

Most important song on Where You Want to Be

There’s a sense of poetic justice in christening “A Decade Under the Influence” the crown jewel of Where You Want to Be – since Adam Lazzara and Fred Mascherino first sang, “to hell with you and all your friends, it’s on,” Taking Back Sunday have labored under the song’s influence for ten straight years. “Decade” is easily as dynamic as the most reckless of Tell All Your Friends cuts, and Lou Giordano’s deftly punkish fingerprints mark the song as both a product of 2004 (a wonderfully heart-on-sleeve year when it comes to The Scene) and a catalyst for the shape of emo-rock to come.
The problem with being a Taking Back Sunday, though, comes from all the needless side-picking, like the band’s markedly different lineups are Red Rover teams, and you might as well take your side and stand your fucking ground lest one of the Lazzara/Nolan Era fans comes over. Truth is, Fred Mascherino was not, is not, and to the chagrin of Tell All Your Friends fanboys, will not ever be John Nolan. And while Nolan peppered TAYF with his signature vocals before maturing with Straylight Run, to hell with fans who wrote the band off as dead on Mascherino’s arrival. There’s a neurotic sort of nervous energy that punctuates “Decade,” and it’s that kind of jolt that spurred the band towards mainstream success. – Erik van Rheenen

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We Are The Ocean Welcome Decade, Boy Jumps Ship To Tour

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 8, 2014

We Are The Ocean will be taking Decade and Boy Jumps Ship on tour in October. Check out the dates below after the jump.

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POZ Decade: Midtown - Forget What You Know

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 1, 2014

Midtown’s Forget What You Know was released ten years ago last 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 Brittany Oblak, Sydney Gore, and Adrienne Fisher, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Forget What You Know ten years later! 

How Forget What You Know holds up in 2014
It’s no secret to anyone that Midtown is one of the bands with an intense, cult-like following. However, a lot of this “cult” seems to have formed after the band had (for the moment) parted ways. When Forget What You Know was originally released in 2004, neither critics nor fans really made a huge connection to the album. The band was not receiving attention the same way their pop-punk peers at the time were, and they were playing shows to barely 200 kids. However, as soon as the announcement of the band’s break-up came and lead-singer Gabe Saporta went full-steam ahead with his other project, (this little band you may have heard of named Cobra Starship), everyone seemed to be sipping the Kool-Aid. 
With the demise of Midtown and the birth of Cobra Starship, it seemed that the “grass is always greener on the other side” part of the human condition kicked in for most Midtown fans (even though I would personally venture to say Midtown is unarguably the better band in any case).  The mythology of Midtown more than the band or record itself seems to have created the most widespread appreciation of this album by fans over the past ten years, all building up to their long-awaited reunion at this year’s Skate and Surf festival. The blunt, adamant, and self-assured nature of Midtown’s Forget What You Know still holds a tight grip on its place in alternative music in the company of today’s (conversely) neurotic and unsure world of awkward, fumbling pop-punk bands. From the shouting, beseeching chorus of “Give It Up” to the unapologetic “Empty Like The Ocean”, Midtown certainly still saves. – Brittany Oblak
Most important song on Forget What You Know
Selecting a song from Forget What You Know is by no means a simple task. Some will take the easier way out and go with “Give It Up” or “Is It Me? Is It True?” and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with either of those choices. For me though, “Empty Like The Ocean” is the track that always sticks. That opening guitar intro sounds like an alarm is being set off, and Midtown is giving us a wake-up call.
The song is so raw, biting and brutally honest, and you can feel Gabe’s sense of dark desperation wash over you. “I don’t care where you come from/ If it’s awful there/ All of us are alone/ I forget where I come from/ And I don’t care,” he sings in the chorus. The energy from this song momentarily releases you from the heavy burdens weighing you down in your life, and the guitars build these intricate layers of intensity, giving the tune an eerie, sinister vibe. The emotion is dripping everywhere, as emphasized by every drumbeat, and nothing is faked or forced. (Like how many orgasms can you fake if you’re fucking someone meaningless, ya know? Gabe gets it.)
We all get lost inside our heads as we try to decipher what our individual purpose in this world is, but all we can really do is dance it off and sweat it out. This is why I’ve always loved Midtown, and when I listen to this track, I know that this is what they were all about for this album. - Sydney Gore

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POZ Decade: Underøath - They’re Only Chasing Safety

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 24, 2014


Underøath’s They’re Only Chasing Safety was released ten years ago last 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 Caitlin DeWeese, Connor Sheehan, Zack Zarrillo, Zac Lomas and Jason Stives, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on They’re Only Chasing Safety ten years later! 

How the album holds up in 2014
In order to properly write about how They’re Only Chasing Safety holds up in 2014, I had to dig it up from the pits of my Recently Played list on iTunes. I don’t know the last time I listened to the album from beginning to end. Released on June 15th, 2004 on Solid State Records, They’re Only Chasing Safety ended up going gold in 2011, and while that was only three years ago, it feels like an eternity has passed since I was screeching “I’M DROWNING IN MY SLEEP” in a mosh pit of sweaty, skinny, long-haired teenagers. But from the first note of “Young and Aspiring” to the last wail of “Some Will Seek Forgiveness,” I felt fifteen again. Feeling fifteen again is kind of a recurring thing in my life, but with this album it’s even more so. The Christian lyrics are the biggest throwback, as that ruled my life at one point. 
I had never listened to “screamo” until Underøath. I had a few CDs in my collection with some solid screams here and there: The Used, Finch, etc. Underøath was totally new, and god damn, was it rebellious blowing out of my bedroom. Once my mom found out they were just screaming about Jesus, things were okay. Spencer Chamberlain’s hair became an icon within my circle of friends; you’d never seen so many fashion mullets in your life.
Alas, here we are in 2014. I’ve graduated from high school, had my heart broken, given up on a god, graduated from college, and just finished my 3rd year of teaching whiny children. The meaning of these songs and phrases had such an impact on my fifteen year-old psyche, and now…we’ve all moved on. The album holds up to nostalgic expectations, but never could I listen to They’re Only Chasing Safety in a non-ironic way. I almost felt depressed revisiting the album; too many old feelings, flashbacks, and people related to the impassioned tracks. - Caitlin DeWeese
Most important song on the album
Remember the heady days of 2005-2010 where Christian metalcore was all the rage? You can blame Underøath for that. “A Boy Brushed Red… Living in Black and White” is what solidified the formula of alternating poppily-sung choruses and heavy-screamed verses that was then emulated by Attack Attack!, blessthefall, and just about every band that won a Battle of the Bands spot on Warped Tour. Now, by no means am I saying “A Boy Brushed Red…” is a bad song - in fact, it’s arguably my favorite song by Underøath, but there’s no doubt in my mind that this song is what influenced the neoncore pseudo-Christian trends of the late 2000’s, and that’s what makes it important.
Think of “A Boy Brushed Red…” and They’re Only Chasing Safety as a homemade cookie, and everything that came after is a Chips Ahoy (Chewy of course, I don’t mess with that original nonsense). They taste sort of similar, and the ingredients and steps to make them are pretty much the same, but one of them was made with heart, while the other was written and judged by a committee, based on what would sell.

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POZ Decade: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 10, 2014


My Chemical Romance's Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge just turned ten 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, Connor Sheehan, Steve Ciccarelli, Deanna Chapman, and Ashley Aron, so enjoy the read and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Sweet Cheers ten years later!

How Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge holds up in 2014

I never got into My Chemical Romance. I remember buying Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge at a Best Buy the summer of 2004 and I remember seeing them open for Jimmy Eat World at the Allentown fair two years prior to that. I remember hearing more and more about them buzzing through my friends list on my internet journals, and of course internalizing “I’m not o-fucking-kay” as a hysterically blatant frame of reference for my (and everyone’s) mental state during those teenaged days. But I never got into them and I had nothing to contribute to this Decade… until I thought it might be interesting to give the record a fighting chance, a legitimate listen, as a person in 2014 now far beyond the demographic that it was intended to reach and inspire.
You know, we discuss plenty about how the current state of our music scene really is a mixed bag in terms of different sounds and influences, but my first-in-many-years impression of Three Cheers is that there’s not really much within immediate reach anymore that sounds like this. It’s a pressurized balance of snarl and swagger, but just barely brushed with a bit of humility from the then-recent days of their basement shows (and this record probably should have been called Last Chance for Humility, in terms of the My Chem trajectory). The goth vibe for which they’re infamous hangs ever-presently, permeating and dementing the melodies into these bleak, almost anti-pop sentiments. In fact, listening to this record bears some sonic parallel to looking at a strip of film negatives – you can tell what the subjects of the art are, but you’re supremely creeped out and maybe even fascinated by how they appear.
So for what it’s worth, I do get why it was a thing – that chorus on “Thank You For the Venom” squeezes what remains inside of my 16-year old heart, and the mounting anxiety between the gunslinger guitars and relentless drumming plays out way more recklessly than most comparable bands today would attempt. But that being said, I’m glad this record got its due when it did, because I’m not sure that the same kind of scene in 2014 would have embraced such a release that’s as gothic and high-concept as this one is.  And since I’ve heard plenty of the new crop of quasi-adults citing their romance with My Chem as silly and perhaps overblown (see also: South Park’s emo kid vs. goth kid fussing), maybe safe in nostalgia is the best-kept place for this record, honey. - Adrienne Fisher

Most important song on Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
“You like D&D, Audrey Hepburn, Fangoria, Harry Houdini and croquet. You can’t swim, you can’t dance, and you don’t know karate. Face it, you’re never gonna make it.”
“I don’t want to make it, I just wanna …”
Those four sentences kicked off my introduction to My Chemical Romance.

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POZ Decade: The Killers - Hot Fuss

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 3, 2014


The Killers’ Hot Fuss was released ten years ago next 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 Jason Stives, Erik van Rheenen, Brittany Oblak, Zac Lomas, and Deanna Chapman, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Hot Fuss ten years later! 

How Hot Fuss holds up in 2014
Since their debut, The Killers have maintained a strong level of popularity, graduating easily from smaller venues to amphitheaters and arenas over the course of their career. Each album has had its share of notoriety and success, but never measures up to the level of Hot Fuss’s originality. A decade later, it’s still a defining staple of the mid 2000s, blending dance pop and indie rock that has aged incredibly well. Look no further than their often-touted live shows; there is a reason “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” and “Mr. Brightside” are usually reserved for encores. Unlike other noted debuts from that year, Hot Fuss doesn’t feel of its time, but it’s easy to remember when you first heard it as music was already in a state of flux from the Top 40 realm.
From the songwriting end, it is the epitome of their talents. And while not to dismiss subsequent records, they have often been criticized for going for a too-grandiose style of writing, even so far as to be accused of trying to be too much like Bruce Springsteen on sophomore effort Sam’s Town. As a friend of mine pointed out, the defining trait that allows Hot Fuss to stand the test of time is the voice of Brandon Flowers; no one had that kind of clarity and cavalier nature in their voice. It’s a quality that many frontmen lacked when all we had for a few years was somewhere between a hard rock snarl and the whispering, often light-on-its-feet vocal aesthetic of Top 40 appeal. His flexibility with any song he takes on (both original and cover songs) lifts him far beyond his own abilities as a commanding lead singer. For that, Hot Fuss is truly dynamic and impressionable ten years on.  – Jason Stives
Most important song on the album
“Mr. Brightside” was, is, and probably will be one of my favorite songs of all time. And, yeah, I’m prone to random bursts of hyperbole, but I have no problem backing up my boundless love for what basically amounts to a pretty standard pop song that doesn’t even bother with a second verse — because the first one is just that good.
The sheer simplicity of the structure of “Mr. Brightside” — one verse, one bridge, one chorus, repeat all three, outro — probably speaks to the reason the song is so flipping catchy. Its tempo is upbeat, its rhythm danceable, and its lyrics are all at once endlessly easy and innately tough to sing along with. To get to the bright-eyed innocence and enthusiastic optimism of the chorus, we have to slog through Brandon Flowers’ understanding that his girl is cheating on him, and that delicate balance of human emotion kept itself pinned on the Killers’ proverbial sleeve throughout their career.

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POZ Decade: blink-182 - Enema Of The State

by Zack Zarrillo - May 27, 2014


From radical fanboy rantings to bitter cynicism spurned from what Enema did to punk rock, we here at POZ really run the gamut of opinions when it comes to feelings on blink-182. So, for our next installment of Decade, we’re doing a special Decade-point-five for fifteen years of Enema of the State – and we even threw in some extra topics to let staffers wax poetic on just how much they love or hate the record that gave rise to the popularization of early 2000s pop-punk and lots of dudes wearing tube socks with Dickies shorts. So check out our commentary on Enema of the State from Brittany, Erik, Zac, Connor, Zack, Steve, and Jesse, and make sure to reblog with your thoughts on the album – or just with your favorite blink-182 dick joke.

How Enema holds up in 2014
Enema of the State, to put it frankly, is an iconic album not only in the world of alternative music, but in popular music as well. It’s honestly challenging even trying to appropriately and adequately describe what this album means not only to me, but also to blink-182 and music fans everywhere. There is not a doubt in my mind that this album is single-handedly responsible for mine and many others’ love of not just this band, but of punk rock in general. This was the first album I ever had to buy in secret (something I would eventually get really good at) being as I was in second or third grade when it hit shelves with its scandalous, cleavage-clad cover. Even if fans don’t remember exactly when it actually came out, for most of us, it would be the first release we ever heard from blink, and life would never be the same for a generation of loser kids. These Southern California natives took over both the Billboard Modern Rock and Top 100 charts, as well as the TRL countdown with their naked bodies, catchy riffs, quips at girls and jabs at guys, as well as the more somber subject of suicide. This was also the first album to feature our beloved Travis Barker, who, despite being the new addition, co-wrote the entire album. 

To me, this album can be described simply as legendary. The themes (in a nutshell: life sucks, parents suck, girls suck, guys suck) still ring true well after your friends (and you) turn 21. After having a “fuck everyone” kind of day, there is still no better song to drown out whatever bullshit has occurred than “Dumpweed.” Or, if you’re feeling a bit romantic, I’m sure no potential suitor would ever reject a note reading: “This world’s an ugly place, but you’re so beautiful to me.” 

This album doesn’t simply “hold up” more than a decade after its release - it continues to dominate. Most of the other similar albums released around the same time as Enema of the State have since faltered in the longevity and relevance that Enema manages to uphold.  This album, quite literally, changed everything. It arguably gave birth to everyone’s favorite sub-genre fondly known as “pop-punk”, and really catapulted punk into the popular music scope, making it accessible to the generation that wasn’t quite old enough for Dookie. And hey, if nobody liked you when you were 23, chances are they won’t like you when you’re 24 or 25 either, so you might as well keep Enema of the State on repeat for…well, ever.  – Brittany Oblak

Most important song on the album
What makes Enema of the State such a revered album in pop-punk circles, and pretty much worshiped by blink-182 fanboys and girls (here’s looking at you, Zack) is the album’s sheer irreverence. Scan the tracklisting — most of the songs that struck gold (“All The Small Things,” “What’s My Age Again?”) don’t take themselves very seriously at all, even with the desperate underpinnings of Mark Hoppus’ struggles with being 23 and immature. Then there are the songs that take themselves even less seriously (“The Party Song” and “Dysentery Gary” in particular bring the idea of highbrow pop-punk out to the backyard and piss on it) which, unlike the album’s biggest hits, which aren’t timely as much as they are timeless, feel transiently stuck in the late 1990s. Worth a laugh in 1999 and an eye-roll 15 years later.  

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POZ Decade: New Found Glory - Catalyst

by Zack Zarrillo - May 13, 2014


New Found Glory's Catalyst was released ten years ago next 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, Becky Kovach, Erik van Rheenen, Brittany Oblak, and Deanna Chapman, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Catalyst ten years later! 

How Catalyst holds up in 2014
There’s been a lot of discussion in the blogger world lately about the place of pop-punk within the gaping scope of “alternative” rock, but New Found Glory’s always stood proudly in their corner as the everyman of the dreaded double-P genre. They’ve found favor for years between being the hardcore scene’s approved pop-punk band and milking the nostalgia factor by always, always, always playing The Hits at every Warped Tour set. But we’re not complaining, because nostalgia is the reason that NFG’s catalog does hold up over the years. I’m not sure I’d be able to keep myself from rolling my eyes at the chugging quasi-breakdowns in “At Least I’m Known for Something” or the drawling sap on “I Don’t Wanna Know” if songs like the punchy “Doubt Full” and “Truth of My Youth” didn’t put a gigantic smile on my face.
Revisiting with Catalyst in full for the first time in probably half a decade puts me right back in the trenches with those textbook sugar-sweet melodies. If pop-punk were the chocolate factory, NFG are the Oompa Loompas guiding you through, feeding you pogo-jumping candy and hoping you don’t hop overboard as they croon earnestly “these are the things I can say when we’re alone.” “All Downhill From Here,” the breakout single that pushed them into TRL’s countdown ten years ago, is still a hugely fun standout of the record, amongst other underrated jams like “Failure’s Not Flattering” (shout out to James Dewees on those keys!) and “This Disaster.” Sure, there’s some filler on this record (14 songs?! Practically a marathon listen by today’s standards), and New Found can and always will be cheesy as hell, but they do it the best, and their solid legacy is evidence of that. – Adrienne Fisher
Most important song on Catalyst
New Found Glory has been at it for nearly 20 years, and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Despite recent drama, the band is still going strong, and has a number of festivals coming up, including Skate & Surf later this month, as well as a UK tour lined up for next fall. 

While Catalyst may not be New Found Glory’s most popular album, for a band that’s so influential and well-loved, that doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot. And there’s really no question as to what the most important song on Catalyst might be. “All Downhill From Here” was the album’s first single and peaked at number 11 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart. Since Catalyst’s release, “All Downhill From Here” has easily remained a fan favorite, as well as a set list staple - during the band’s live shows it garners one of the best crowd reactions. 

"All Downhill From Here" is catchy, energetic, and an ode to a doomed relationship that just about anyone can find solace in. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a New Found Glory fan that can’t sing along. – Becky Kovach

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POZ Decade: Sugarcult - Palm Trees And Power Lines

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 8, 2014


Sugarcult’s Palm Trees and Powerlineswas released ten years ago next 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 Deanna Chapman, Becky Kovach, Brandon Allin, and Zack Zarrillo, so enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Palm Trees and Powerlines ten years later! 

How Palm Trees and Powerlines holds up in 2014

Let’s talk about nostalgia for a moment, because that’s really what this album is in 2014. It’s a reminder of those early 2000s jams that we may or may not be embarrassed about in the present day. As I gave this a listen, I was immediately taken back to the days when the music video for “Memory” was all over MTV. You know, when they actually played music videos.

While Palm Trees and Powerlines takes us back to 2004, I wouldn’t say it does much else. This isn’t one of those albums I find myself still constantly listening to. Maybe if I want a quick blast-from-the-past, I’ll go listen to the angst of “She’s A Blade” or “Memory.” So the album doesn’t really hold up too well when you take into consideration some of the other albums from 2004 that are still very popular today. – Deanna Chapman

Most important song on the album

There was never really a doubt as to what song I’d be writing about as the most important on Sugarcult’s Palm Trees and Powerlines. Sure, arguments could probably be made for the explosive and captivating “She’s The Blade,” or even the woeful “Worst December.” But let’s be honest – neither comes close to the iconic “Memory.”

Because as soon as you hear those opening drums kick in, as soon as the guitar joins with that steadily warm and familiar pulse, you know what’s coming. And you know that it will inevitably lead to overly dramatic sing-alongs, frantic air drumming, and wannabe rock star guitar poses. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t end up doing all three when I sat down to begin writing.

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POZ Decade: Bayside – Sirens And Condolences

by Zack Zarrillo - Jan 28, 2014


Bayside's Sirens And Condolences turned 10 yesterday, and PropertyOfZack is launching our first Decade feature of 2014 in celebration of the record today! We have commentary on the album from POZ team members Brandon AllinAdrienne Fisher, Becky Kovach, and Zac Lomas. So enjoy the read and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Sirens And Condolences ten years later!

How Sirens & Condolences holds up in 2014
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since the powerhouse that is Bayside released its first album, Sirens & Condolences. The band’s career has been nothing but consistent ever since, with a following so dedicated that fans refer to themselves as a cult — this sense of kinship even prompted the title of Bayside’s upcoming album.
Sirens & Condolences might be Bayside’s oldest album, but it’s still a fan favorite. The songs are home to some of band’s most scathing and acrimonious lyrics, though the melodies provide a slower burn than the band’s most recent singles. It’s an album I return to often, sometimes putting it on repeat for weeks straight as I get lost in the record’s blasting guitars and Anthony Raneri’s passionate delivery of lines like, “I hate myself for hating myself/Just enough to love you.” 
It’s an album with a lot of heart, raw and beating and bleeding. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that I didn’t understand half of what I was singing along to when I first discovered Sirens & Condolences, but this isn’t really a bad thing. It’s an album that left itself some room to grow with its listeners as the years passed, rather than being left behind as a relic of an angsty youth. – Becky Kovach

Most important song on Sirens & Condolences
There’s something to be said for a record so expertly crafted, no one track feels like it holds more weight than another. Perhaps that’s Bayside’s knack for consistency on display in its earliest stages, or simply the mantra of a band seemingly hell bent on one-upping only themselves. That being said, for the sake of discussion, we’ll go ahead and elect a candidate. While the whole of Sirens’ forty minute running time is substantial in its own right, the record’s opening number “Masterpiece” likely still resonates the most with fans today, along with remaining a staple in the band’s live show. It’s aggressive, punchy, and encompasses everything that’s Bayside, ranging from frontman Anthony Raneri’s distinct, passionate croon, right down to the four-piece’s masterful musicianship. It was our very first listen to a Bayside masterpiece (pun absolutely intended), a trend that now feels commonplace, and unsurprisingly it still holds up today. – Brandon Allin

Was the band successful in following it up?
Where Sirens & Condolences offered an unfiltered, rough-around-the-edges look at the New York-based quartet, its successor, 2005’s Bayside, made it feel like little but an afterthought.  Arriving on the scene just one year later, Bayside’s self-titled LP dished out eleven tracks of raw, unbridled emotion, a monumental leap forward in every facet of the game, all while spawning a handful of the band’s most beloved cuts to date. It was bleak in the most beautiful kind of way, tugging at your heartstrings while it still gave you hope. For every dreary encounter vocalist Anthony Raneri detailed out loud, you felt like you had finally found a record you could find solace in; an album so enthralling, it was as if you were witnessing the defining moments of Bayside’s career so rapidly after their inception. What’s most hypnotizing in hindsight is that Bayside was only the calm before the storm. – Brandon Allin

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POZ Decade: The Best Of The Rest - Ataris, Blood Brothers, MCS, John Mayer, STD, Matchbook Romance

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 17, 2013


We here at PropertyOfZack have had a lot of fun wandering down memory lane this year, exploring and celebrating some of our favorite records of all time that are enjoying their 10 year birthday with Decade. But, no one’s perfect, and it turns out that we missed a few – some of them entirely essential. So we enlisted team members Erik van Rheenen, Jesse Richman, Deanna Chapman, Brittany Oblak, and Adrienne Fisher to tell us all about some of their favorites from 2003 that they felt needed a proper heralding in our last weeks of 2013. Enjoy the read and reblog to let us know your thoughts – and stay tuned next year for more Decade celebrations to mark the golden age of 2004!

The Ataris – So Long Astoria – 3/4/2003
Before Kris Roe threw a drumset in Asbury Park, before the band promised a record called Graveyard of the Atlantic (the idea of which, incidentally, might be as dead as its name suggests), before Welcome the Night slashed the tires of the group’s youthful, bright-eyed optimism, The Ataris were the Boys of Summer. Cue a chorus of non-fans cupping their hands and shouting, “Their one hit was a cover. A COVER!” like so many echo chambers. And yeah, The Ataris’ spin on the Don Henley Standard went the way of Alien Ant Farm…at least commercially. Even the album title for their gold-achieving 2003 record, So Long, Astoria, is a pastiche to a pop cultural property that doesn’t belong to them — for those of you without an affinity for schmaltzy 80s flicks, it’s a nudge-nudge-wink-wink to The Goonies. It was The Ataris one-and-done shot on a major label, and if Metacritic’s analytics have something to say about So Long, Astoria, it’s nothing very nice: the album earned a middling 57 with a whole bunch of lukewarm reviews.

But goddamn, do I love this record. I might be letting my starry-eyed nostalgia for So Long, Astoria use me as its ventriloquist dummy (I got the album sleeve signed by Roe at the first concert I ever went to in Syracuse, and the CD was one of the first in a young Vandy Man’s collection), but I’m not sure that’s really the case. I still spin this album at a common clip, and every time I do, I keep falling in love with the innocence and resilience and coming of age that the record undergoes. I’ll probably never fail to sing along with “Takeoffs and Landings” when I find myself stuck at an airport, or mime playing guitar along with “My Reply,” or wishing I had more summers and sleepovers like “In This Diary.” Though the album establishes its milieu up on the Pacific Coast, So Long, Astoria weaves its way through the States like a pop-punk road map, and if there was a name for that sensation of traveling without having to move your ass out of a chair (get on it, Merriam-Webster), it’d be the perfect descriptor for the album. Life is only as good as the memories we make, and man, is this record full of memories for me. – Erik van Rheenen

The Blood Brothers - …Burn, Piano Island, Burn – 3/31/2003
A decade after Kurt Cobain stage dove through the walls separating punk, metal and pop by tempering ferocious, wounded-animal hooks with deeply vulnerable sensibilities and an empathy that matched his animus, fellow Seattleites the Blood Brothers took similar aim at the traditionally-macho hardcore, grindcore and noise scenes. …Burn, Piano Island, Burn remains, unquestionably, one of the weirdest, most adventurous albums ever released on a major label (the Richard Branson-founded V2, and produced by mook-metal paterfamilias Ross Robinson, natch), and though their sound was far too scabrous to afford them anything like mainstream success, it left an indelible imprint on hardcore. Mark Gadjahar’s barely-on-the-edge-of-control drumming serves as the perfectly rickety platform for bassist/keyboardist Morgan Henderson and (especially) guitarist Cody Votaloto to launch themselves through mathy, corkscrew takes on punk, funk and withering noise, with the dual-scream attack of co-vocalists Johnny Whitney (his is the banshee-being-torn-apart-by-wolves howl) and Jordan Blilie (the slightly-more-gruff snarler) chainsawing a gaping hole through the center of it all. Somehow, the chaos never completely swallows the melody — songs like “Fucking’s Greatest Hits” and the title track are unreasonably hooky in spite of themselves. …Burn, Piano Island, Burn is an utterly unique, and uniquely great work of damaged art, and it’s far more deserving of a celebration that most of the second-tier albums by third-tier acts that got one this year. 

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POZ BandsOnBands: Shy, Low On Death Cab For Cutie

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 9, 2013

Monday means BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the new PropertyOfZack features today with each member of Shy, Low.

In this week’s feature, each member of the band talks about their love for Death Cab For Cutie. Listen to songs by Death Cab For Cutie here out what the band had to say about one of his biggest influences below!

Death Cab For Cutie was always one of those bands that I just passed over. I never really took the time to listen to them, and I always figured that they weren’t worth a damn due to my preteen disinterest in anything popular (at the time, I only wanted to listen to System of a Down). The first song I heard was “Soul Meets Body” when I was thirteen, and I literally turned it off after fifteen seconds. A few years later, I was 

driving with my girlfriend, and she put on Death Cab. It was the “Sound of Settling,” and  I really dug the structure, harmonies, and overall atmosphere of that song. That’s what got me into Transatlanticism. Later on, I listened to Plans and fell in love with it. The song “What Sarah Said” really hit me when my grandmother started dying. I was there with her in the hospital during the last moments of her life, and, among other things, that song was stuck in my head.

Death Cab For Cutie was the first band that ever metaphorically spoke to me. Up until I purchased Plans, I just looked at lyrics as another layer of the song, never really paying attention to what was being said. Songs like “Summer Skin” really resonated with me. The bassist of that band is so good. The drummer and the bassist lock in together so well, and it sends their music to a whole other level. On the first of every year, I make sure that I listen to “The New Year” of Transatlanticism. I think Narrow Stairs is a cool record, but it sort of solidified my fleeting interest in Death Cab. “Cath” and “Talking Bird”are both great songs, and it kept my love for Ben Gibbard’s poetry alive. 

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POZ Decade: Less Than Jake - 21 Years Old And Ready To Drink

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 3, 2013

This year on POZ, we’ve sounded the ceremonial trumpets for plenty of accomplished bands and records that have hit the holy-shit age of ten years old. But while all those bands were still playing their Fisher-Price xylophones in the early 90s, Less Than Jake were already formed, writing music, and touring the hell out of the United States without the use of a smartphone by their side. LTJ has been showrunning the ska/punk scene with impeccable consistency ever since their start in 1992, and today, PropertyOfZack is here to help the band celebrate its 21st year of existence. That’s right, Less Than Jake is finally of drinking age – and we’re quite certain that they’ve been obedient, law-abiding citizens when it comes to the consumption of spirits.

We’ve got commentary from the guys in LTJ themselves on their career, past and present, as well as some thoughts and anecdotes from friends and fans of the band alike. So raise your glass and enjoy the read – and be sure to pick up LTJ’s newest record, See the Light, out now on Fat Wreck Chords!

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POZ Decade: Less Than Jake - Anthem

From the band:

If there’s one thing you wanted people to know about your band that they may not already know, what would you tell them? 
LTJ is more than a band now; it’s family. It’s the chemistry among 5 guys and the extended family of fans we see year in and year out. When I see people that literally grew up seeing the band, it truly drives the point home that there’s more than words and music that bind us, and it feels like family at this point. – Vinnie Fiorello

If you’ve glossed over our band because we have horns and have ska elements in our music, you’re missing out. We have many layers to our song writing and have much more depth in music and lyrics than someone may catch on to on a first listen. Dig in.  – Roger Manganelli

Some bands have business meetings in their back lounge on tour, some have prayer sessions, while others party down till dawn with babes and dudes alike, but we like to have very rigorous twerking contests with each other in the back of the bus each night after the show. It’s kept our buns in the Adonis-like shape they’re in to this day. – Buddy Schaub

I force everyone to watch sports. Constantly. – JR Wasilewski

That we are one of the hardest working bands of the last two decades. In all of our 21 years as a band, we have never missed a show due to illness, band fighting, subspenance abuse, etc. etc. We will always show up and do what we do. If you paid to see us, we do our part to bring you a great show. No excuses. Period. – Chris Demakes

If you could change something about your career, what would it be? 
I honestly don’t think I’d change a thing. The things that you look back on in your career as mistakes are the things that make you what you are today. You have to live and learn from your own experiences. Without all the downs, there can be no ups. That’s what makes the ride so fun. – Buddy Schaub

Less Port O’ Potties. More NOFX tours. – JR Wasilewski

Demanded more from our managers and labels in the early days. We were content with our success and were basking in the joy of a career making music. We could have been bigger dicks and made those around us contribute more to our vision. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and early on, we weren’t making enough noise.  – Roger Manganelli

I wouldn’t change one thing. The ups and down make the foundation of bands strong, it creates character and commitment. Sure, there are regrets but that’s life at its best and worst. – Vinnie Fiorello

Not much. If anything, I wouldn’t have sweated the small stuff as much as I did when I was younger. Took the fun out of things sometimes.  – Chris Demakes

What’s your band’s biggest accomplishment from the last 21 years? 
Surviving. Being true to ourselves, writing honest music from the heart that we are happy to play night after night.  There are bands out there that play songs their fans want to hear while they’re no longer feeling it themselves. Luckily, we don’t have that problem.  And we really give it our ALL when we play live. We never phone in a performance and try to make each show special and fun for all involved.  – Roger Manganelli 

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