Random bands have started to follow me on twitter and tumblr, and it does amazing things for my ego. In this segment, we talk about the bands that have followed me recently.
I intern at a label that specializes in metal, but I will admit readily that I know nothing about straight up metal aside from the historical details of welding accidents and missing fingers. The history of drop tuning doesn't exactly help me determine whether or not a band is good, though. So I'm gonna have to keep this review pretty simple, lest I make a judgment that doesn't even apply to the music.
I'm not super into it, just because I'm not super into metal. I like metalcore, but that's kind of the punk baby of metal, or the punk niece or nephew. But just because I'm not into it doesn't mean Schemata Theory isn't a good band-- in fact, they're great. It's good music with a great reaction from listeners (I surveyed the youtube comments, sue me), which, in my book, means a positive review.
Ahhhh, pop rock, I know what I'm talking about again.
I like Jocelyn, they're fun, but still kind of angsty, like me (I love talking about myself, can you tell?) My only real complaint was that the lead singer Alex sounds a little out of key when he sings. His voice just doesn't sound quite right with the music. And it's pretty much your standard pop rock band. I feel like I'm being mean. Good thing I didn't become a teacher, I would have graded so harshly...
Lauren Elizabeth of Theody
I was obsessed with Flyleaf when I was seventeen. Like, I didn't listen to anything else for weeks at a time. I distinctly remember baking cookies while hardcore jamming to "Cassie." Lucky me, Theody came knocking, and I get to relive those glory days. And I have to apologize for going with the obvious comparison-- another female-fronted Christian rock band-- but Lauren's vocals are more melodic than Lacey's (yes, I'm still using Lacey as the point of comparison, I'm an early Flyleaf fan, I haven't adjusted to the changes in lineup just yet), and Theody utilizes keys and programming in a way that Flyleaf didn't. So I'm distinguishing. There.
Again, I have to draw a tiny issue with the vocals not meshing fantastically with the music. Her voice sounds a little strained, too, although my ear is untrained and I also strain my vocals all the time so I'm not exactly a great coach for these sorts of things.
Buckle up kiddos, Emily has a new favorite album and you're probably never going to hear the end of it. As always, my reviews come in two phases: phase 1, I scribble down profanity-labelled nonsense that barely counts as English as a way to cope with my feelings; phase 2, I try to make some insightful comments that kind of constitute an album review.
the vocal layering
shoot me in the fucking face
I WANT TO MARRY THIS SONG
THE DROP TUNING
I THINK MY HEART STOPPED
POP SONG WITH DROP TUNING
MY BODY WILL LIE IN THE CHAMBER FOREVER
THERES THE HIGH NOTE
Let's talk about Ghost Town. There are enough vocal layers to swim through, and I would if I could. And the intro gets you thinking- oh it's a nice strings/vocal intro like on their last album, that's nice. And then, what... what... drop tuning... is that double bass drum (seriously is it?)... is that programming... is this THE BEST SONG YOU'VE HEARD IN LIKE FIFTY YEARS? It goes from pop to metalcore and back and then everything kind of congeals together and oh look I accidentally made a masterpiece. Oops.
I've listened to A Mess Made Temporary about a thousand times already, and once again, it's the layers that get you. That's a factor that's become integral in setting Messenger Down apart-- every single inch of your sonic experience is going to be covered. There are never moments of "oh, I wonder what else they could have done" because every level has been considered and executed.
Even better, roads are crisscrossed so you can take the scenic route and the fast lane at the same time. Soft vocals and hard instrumentation, and then one song flows right into the next so you're basically just cruising along on a sonic cloud passing all the traffic and congestion of lackluster songs.
I keep attempting to draw comparisons, but I can't-- for a split second I'll think Fall Out Boy, and then I'll say, no, no it's All Time Low, but that, of course, is completely wrong, it's Mayday Parade, no it isn't, it's Panic! at The Disco if they had figured their shit out after Pretty. Odd... no that's not right. And that's what makes this album so exciting, what makes me say it's got the spark that makes it my new favorite new album. There's nothing derivative but everything I know I love (and didn't know I loved).
Ten out of ten, would listen to forever.
"What Should Have Been Said" is available on iTunes August 19th, and you can keep up with Messenger Down at any of the following links:
Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr
On the off chance you were wondering where I've been the past week and a half, here's your answer: I was on tour! Kind of. The tour involved a lot of staying at my apartment and my parents' house.
By now you all know about my deep love and devotion for Messenger Down, but what you may not have known was that I was helping them book their first tour outside of North Carolina. I mean, I wrote about it, but I don't know how many of you actually read all the nonsense I put up on this blog.
Due to a lot of things going wrong and a lot of things going right, the tour ended up being confined to New Jersey and New York, which happens to be my personal terrain. Since my ultimate life goal is to tour manage, Messenger Down's manager Amanda and I discussed the possibility of me joining the guys while they did their short run of the area. Everything was in hypotheticals until a few weeks ago, when all of my wildest hopes and dreams came true.
The guys let me join them on their first tour, acting as a tour manager/ travel agent/ hostess with the mostest/ videographer/ merch girl. Obviously, I made a binder. And spreadsheets. That's what I do.
I learned a lot on tour, but not the way I expected. I assumed my lessons would be in things like negotiating, keeping track of money, managing other people. In a nutshell, controlling things. Instead, they came in the form of me learning to just let shit happen.
I'm of the school where I expect myself to do everything perfectly on the first try. Guess what? On tour, that ain't gonna fly. You can't control how many people show up to a show, you can't control the other bands, you can't control anything but how you respond to the obstacles that pop up in your path along the way. And, to my own surprise, I responded well. I kept my head (most of the time) and got shit done. Yes, there were times when I felt like a failure, and wanted to just be a failure and leave it at that, but you know what was even better? Getting over it and moving on.
Anyway, this is turning into a bit of a diary entry, so I'll be a bit more concise: be prepared, expect things to not go according to plan, and really take the time to love where you are. I could have chalked the experience up to a loss, but I had so much fun and loved the people I was with, so it was easier to see the wins. And this experience was a win.