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 Review: Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 17, 2014

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by Sydney Gore, edited by Erik van Rheenen

When I listen to Ultraviolence, it fills me with an overwhelming and addictive amount of sadness that I also find an alarming sense of comfort in. There’s a trickling stream of wishful thinking in Lana Del Rey’s nostalgic narrative, a yearning to be someone else from somewhere else. This is a girl who struggles to identify with the woman she’s becoming, a dilemma that most people can relate to at some point in their lives. “They judge me like a picture book/ by the colors, like they forgot how to read,” she sings on her latest single, “Brooklyn Baby”.

Everything you think you know about Lana Del Rey is neither right nor wrong, but one thing is for certain: Lana Del Rey is an artist, and her sophomore album, Ultraviolence, is a figment of her vivid imagination. In this western fantasy, we follow the grim adventures of a sad heroine who travels from the ruins of hip Brooklyn to the golden West Coast with the hopes of obtaining money, power and glory. Her weakness is a man with multiple shades of cool who doesn’t give her the time of day, and poisons her with a virus called unrequited love. And, when she finally builds herself up again by fucking her way to the top, she still settles as the other woman who comes running back to her lover when he summons her. At the end, she probably died of a broken heart in the middle of the desert. But we’ll never find out.

The track titles serve as chapters in this complex tale that is driven by The Black Key’s Dan Auerbach. With Auerbach behind the wheel, gone are the alt-pop anthems that made beautiful captions for artsy selfies with Instagram filters. Instead, heavy, rock-steady rhythms take the lead so Del Rey is able to cultivate her old-fashioned saloon singer sound on the hummed hooks and chanted choruses. (There are a few flashbacks of Born To Die and Paradise on bonus tracks “Florida Kilos” and “Black Beauty,” though.) Auerbach is the water that replenishes Del Rey’s voice, and when you think she’s going to fully bloom and vocally drown you out, a thick vine wraps itself around her throat and causes her vocals to wither and wilt in the humid summer breeze.

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POZ Playlist: Summertime Sadness

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 12, 2014

PropertyOfZack is continuing a new string of Playlist features from individual team members to highlight specific feelings or desires. Next up is titled Summertime Sadness by Sydney Gore.

Check out our Playlist, let us know what your favorite songs on it are, and listen to these songs on Spotify while reading along below!



So I lived in London for a solid four months and it was one of the most isolating experiences of my so-called YA (young adult) life, but I learned so much about myself as a person. These songs reflect my time there and my overall transformation into a 21-year-old sad girl who couldn’t find a cat to become acquainted with, but fell in love with Paris. Cheers for an American summer that won’t be a bummer!

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POZ Discussion: Most Anticipated April Releases

by Zack Zarrillo - Mar 27, 2014

April is nearly here, and we’re continuing 2014 with a jam-packed month of releases that PropertyOfZack team members couldn’t be more stoked to hear. In today’s new Discussion, we’re highlighting our personal Most Anticipated April Releases. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with what you’re looking forward to as well!

Manchester Orchestra - COPE
So far in 2014, many bands have laid claim to missing honest rock music: something that is devoid of frills and just simply kicks you in the gut while still maintaining a certain craft to it. Add Manchester Orchestra frontman Andy Hull to that long list; on the Georgia rock outfits fourth effort, Cope, Hull has promised nothing but a red and black color pallet of brutal and impactful rock music.

The album’s first single “Top Notch” keeps its word in delivering just that and already it’s clear that the album’s direction is drastically different from the complicated and sprawling themes of 2011’s Simple Math. In title alone Cope already indicates the themes that are to be explored with Hull stating that the many ways one copes with good and bad things can bring out a range of emotions. Couple this with the promise of a straight forward rock style this album should be a great way to launch a busy month of new music. - Jason Stives

Punk Goes 90s Vol. II
When it comes to Punk Goes… compilations, Fearless Records doesn’t seem to know when to give up. It started with Punk Goes Metal in 2000 and over the years has expanded to include themes such as Pop, Classic Rock, various decades, and more. Not that each of the different editions has been equally worthy of note. In more recent years the Punk Goes institution has gone noticeably downhill, especially the Pop versions.

But last year’s Punk Goes Christmas was a pleasant surprise, and so far it seems like Punk Goes 90s Volume 2 might be as well. Its artist lineup includes notable names like Memphis May Fire, Mayday Parade, Yellowcard, and Ice Nine Kills, and the track list recalls the very best of the days that so many seem to remember with such fondness. 

As for me, I was born in 1992, making me old enough to remember the majority of the 90s but still too young to have fully appreciated any of its glory. And I see Punk Goes 90s Volume 2 as an opportunity to educate myself on the finer points of a scene I missed out on. - Becky Kovach

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POZ Discussion: Artists To Watch In 2014

by Zack Zarrillo - Jan 13, 2014

We’re all in check with when our favorite and well-established artists are releasing new music each year, but some of the greatest surprises often come from bands we just simply didn’t see coming. Today PropertyOfZack is stoked to take the wraps off of our five Artists To Watch In 2014 Discussion. Feel free to reblog with artists that you think are going to take us by storm in 2014 and check out our list below!  

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POZ Xmas Review: Something Corporate - “Forget December”

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 25, 2013

by Sydney Gore, edited by Erik van Rheenen

"Forget December, it won’t be better/ Than I remember it before/ and this month only, will be so lonely/ and not so holy anymore." Tis the season to get moshy, fa la la la la la la la la! "Forget December" was featured on the "We Won’t Be Home For Christmas" album from 2010, along with blink 182 and New Found Glory. This track is so good that I didn’t even realize it was about Christmas, so for all the Grinches out there, this song was made especially for you.

POZ Xmas Review: Bright Eyes - “Blue Christmas”

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 25, 2013

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by Sydney Gore, edited by Erik van Rheenen

Sometimes, the most wonderful time of the year can actually be the most depressing. If you experienced some heartbreak right before the holidays, the last thing you probably want to do is listen to cheerful Christmas tunes. After a long day of faking smiles around the whole family, sneak into your room and put Bright Eyes’ A Christmas Album on; I guarantee that it’ll make you feel slightly better. Wallow into the New Year and have a very merry BLUE Christmas!

POZ Xmas Review: Sufjan Stevens - “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 25, 2013

by Sydney Gore, edited by Erik van Rheenen

Hipster Holidaze would not be complete without Sufjan Stevens! The Songs For Christmas album contains five EPs worth of Christmas carols, so listeners have quite a selection to choose from. “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” always fills me with some holiday splendor in a subtle way with its calm, cool and collected demeanor. At a time where everything seems so artificial and consumerist, Sufjan Stevens is organic.

POZ Xmas Review: Jimmy Eat World - “Last Christmas”

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 25, 2013

by Sydney Gore, edited by Erik van Rheenen

"The O.C. Mix 3 Have A Very Merry Chrismukkah" is essential to anyone and everyone’s holiday playlist. While every track gets me in the Christmas spirit, this song is my favorite on the album. It’s times like these that I wish I had given my heart to Seth Cohen because I know that he would have cherished it for all of eternity…sorry about that. "Last Christmas" always makes me feel a twang of nostalgia, but in all honesty, if this tune doesn’t make you wish you were under the mistletoe with Seth Cohen, I can’t help you.

POZ Staff 10Of’13: Sydney Gore, Connor Sheehan

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 23, 2013

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We’ve been blasting our band and label 10Of’13 lists over the past week, and PropertyOfZack is now happy continue rolling on with staff lists as well for our year end feature. Up next are two lists from Managing Editor Sydney Gore and POZ lifer Connor Sheehan. Check out both lists below and check back each day for more!

Related Stories:
POZ 10Of’13: Staff Albums Of The Year 
POZ Discussion: Best Surprise Releases Of Second Half Of 2013  

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POZ Discussion: Memorial Service - Bands Who Broke Up In 2013

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 10, 2013

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2013 was a year filled with great music, but also one filled with an unfortunate amount of breakups. PropertyOfZack team members wanted to honor many of the fallen bands we love with a new Discussion called Memorial Service - Bands Who Broke Up In 2013. Check out our fallen favorites below and feel free to reblog with some of your most missed  bands as well!

Related Stories:
Friday Discussion: Bands Who Broke Up Too Soon 

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POZ Showcase: New Empire

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 24, 2013

New Empire is an Australian alternative rock pop band. Their sophomore LP “Symmetry” was released in 2011, and received much praise from MTV Buzzworthy, To Write Love On Her Arms, and AOL. After such positive reviews, New Empire was asked to join the 2011 Vans Warped Tour for the whole summer. “Say It Like You Mean It,” the first single off their upcoming LP “In A Breath,” evokes elements found in old-school rock and roll such with the use of synthesizers, gritty guitar riffs, and a catchy chorus to sing along to.

Social SitesFacebookTwitterMyspaceSoundcloud

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Jeremy Fowler - Vocals/Guitar
Kyle Lane - Guitar/B.Vox
Nate Cairns - Bass/B.Vox
Kale Kneale - Drums/B.Vox

What’s your hometown?
We’re all based from Cronulla.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
We’ve been a band for about 7 years now and the time has just flown by. Myself and Kale met in early primary school and have been friends since kids. Kyle came on board as a guitar tech 6 years ago and since moved into the band on guitar. Nate is our new bass player as of this year but we’ve been friends from the Cronulla beach area for many years. 

How have you grown since you started?
We’ve definitely come-of-age, like most bands do as time goes on. Starting out as more of a pop-punk band, we’ve now progressed into an indie-rock/alternative band, and are trying to explore more complex styles of melodies and lyrical writing.

What sets you apart from other bands?
We have a lot of big, anthemic songs that tend to resonate a lot with our listeners, and so when our fans come to see us play live, we love to give them that full experience that they hear on our records. 

What’s the best part about being in your band?
Touring is always fun, being on the road and travelling with some of your best mates. Can’t really complain about that.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
We’ve definitely taken a lot of influence from artists like M83, Coldplay, One Republic, but even some of the older artists like ToTo and Fleetwood Mac definitely have an impact on our music.

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
We’ve toured Australia quite extensively, and have even had a song as the main theme song for the TV Channel 7 broadcast of the London Olympics, which was surreal! But we’re definitely going to focus on touring internationally and broaden our listener and fan base.

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POZ Review: Sleigh Bells - Bitter Rivals

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 6, 2013

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by Sydney Gore, edited by Erik van Rheenen

Sleigh Bells’ third album “Bitter Rivals” attempts to pick up where “Reign of Terror” left off, and Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller should be applauded for their efforts. 

Based on the opening single “Bitter Rivals” alone, it’s obvious that there is far more instrumentation utilized on this record. Yet, “Sugarcane” tastes like something we’ve all had before— it literally sounds like a hyper, fast-forwarded re-write of “Born To Lose.” Next, there’s “Minnie,” which is jam packed with a whole lot of noise, but not much to say behind it. 

Warning: This album is all about being loud. “Sing Like A Wire” mentions static, and to be honest, that’s what most of the track sounds like. It’s dominated by synthesizers that loop around Krauss’ high-pitched oh oh ohs. 

Before anyone bangs their head out of frustration, “Bitter Rivals” twists and shouts (in a good way) on the second half of the album, completely turning the vibe around and redeeming the qualities that Sleigh Bells has always been praised for. 

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POZ Showcase: It’s Only a Story

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 3, 2013

It’s Only a Story is an alternative/pop-punk band based in Orange County, CA. Active since 2011, the band markets their handcrafted music as a DIY (Do It Yourself) experience. In additional to their musical endeavors, the members of It’s Only a Story are also passionate about art, film, photography and web design.

Social Sites: FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblrYoutube

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
-Will Gabriel (Vocals)
-Chris Hernandez (Vocals/Guitar)
-Shane Strachan (Guitar/Vocals)
-Kevin Moreno (Lead Guitar)
-Michael Shrewsbury (Bass)
-Vini Severino (Drums)
 
What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
The majority of us grew up in Orange County, CA. Some of us live in LA now, but as group everything takes place in our Bat Cave in OC.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Will started a solo acoustic project in late 2010. As the project progressed, it slowly started developing into a group, and by January it was a full-fledged band.

How have you grown since you started?
When the band first started we were just writing music, and releasing videos for the fun of it. But after seeing the seemingly random success of the “Bill & the Princess” music video, we realized that we had tapped into something that people wanted to hear more of. So we started writing a full-length record and released it back in May of this year. The response has been incredible, and we couldn’t be happier with what we’ve accomplished since then.

What sets you apart from other bands?
We’ve always prided ourselves on being a 100 percent DIY band. We have a creative hand in everything we put out. We shoot and edit our own music videos, our web videos, we record our own albums, we do most of our own graphic design, and in some cases we even take our own promotional photography. It’s pretty nuts. We all have a variety of talents and interests, and being in a band in this era allows you to be artistic in every aspect of your identity. 

What’s the best part about being in your band?
This band is funny because we aren’t all life long friends or anything, just a handful of guys that happened to come together and connect over a couple of stories. And in doing that, we’ve become really close friends. These songs are all based on real life, so we feel very passionate about the music we make. 

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
You can’t help but be influenced by the bands you love, so we just run with it and always set out to write the songs we want to hear. We are very influenced by bands we listened to when we were younger like Say Anything, Frank Turner, Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory, The Violent Femmes, and Taking Back Sunday. But we are also probably equally influenced by JJ Abrams, Breaking Bad, and The X-Men. 

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POZ Review: Moving Mountains - Moving Mountains

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 24, 2013

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by Sydney Gore, edited by Erik van Rheenen

Moving Mountain’s self-titled album is a wonderful compilation of 11 songs that calmly awaken our inner starry-eyed dreamers. A follow-up to 2011’s “Waves,” the immediate forecast I received from this record was dark and brooding. Opening track “Swing Set” eases the listener in with Greg Dunn’s breathy vocals and subdued instrumentation. “Burn Pile” and “Hands” build off this momentum, full of crashing harmonies, chorus bells and more.  

Moving Mountains has the ability to mute the background noise without having the vocals overpower the songs entirely. The dynamics are intense, especially on “Personal” as the guitars and drums almost face off. The overall sound comes off as monotone, but something about it is soothing. 

"Eastern Leaves" is the standout track, fusing beautiful piano chords with chimes behind a pulsing drum beat and acoustic guitars. Additionally, this song reveals Dunn at his most vulnerable as he sings, "Well I hope that you know that I can’t feel a thing/ From this high that I’ve got but everything is burning up/ inside my heart."

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