A few months ago, we got a hint of Mat Devine's new work with Wrongchilde when we heard "Falling In Love Will Kill You," featuring Gerard Way. With fans chomping at the bit after first exposure, we've now had the chance to hear Gold Blooded in its entirety. Like falling slowly through icy water, the sound seeps into your veins and coats them in the grey mist that hisses above the ground before sunrise. And your arteries slowly fill with gold, and your whole body starts to glow, and the album name becomes incredibly appropriate and you get very embarrassed by your tacky metaphors no matter how accurate they are.
"Just Call Me Crash" is a standout on the album, not a violent, sudden impact, but a slow motion intoxication of sunlight hitting your skin or a wave breaking above your head. It's the crash of surf, not the crash of cars. And if the album as a whole is the ocean, then "Crash" is the current, driving the sound in churning patterns across your skin.
Gold Blooded is like having the sun rise slowly in your chest and flowers bloom down along your arms... like having the ocean spray your feet and mist curl around your ankles. Listen and let the world open up inside of you.
Fall Out Boy have released the video for their new track "Centuries," our preview for their forthcoming album, about which we have absolutely no information.
But I don't even care because this song is sick as frick.
I am of the unpopular category of people that believes Folie a Deux was probably the greatest Fall Out Boy album, and Centuries feels like the proper follow up, but hugely evolved and stronger than what a pre-hiatus band could have given us. There's the imperative and some of the same structural elements as in Folie a Deux, but with the war-cry vocals and reclaiming of the youth of Save Rock and Roll. It almost could have come before Save Rock and Roll, but I'm glad it didn't because it's even better as a follow up.
Also worthy of note, the sample from Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner," which I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been obsessed with the song years ago.
Every once in a while, you'll hear me making whining noises and looking at the old space where CBGBs once was. But there are bands that keep the punk sound alive, and keep the whining noises out of my throat. I recently got the chance to talk to The Feed, one of those bands that brings back blues-y punk rock and makes us all feel a little better about belonging to this generation of music.
First, please introduce yourselves!
D: Dave Grelle (keys, vocals)
K: and Kevin Bowers (drums) of The Feed here
One of my go to openers is always to start at the beginning—what got you involved in music? What artists have inspired you the most?
D: Listening to music with my parents as a kid. Dancin around the house to Michael Jackson with my mom, rockin out to The Cars and Tom Petty with my dad in the car.
Kevin: I got into music from my parents’ 45 records at a very young age. Music from the 60s will always be close to my heart.
You guys are based out of St Louis, which historically has a very diverse music scene. Has this impacted your sound?
D: I think so. It’s hard to escape the blues and soul side of St. Louis. We definitely embrace our roots and spin hometown favorites Chuck Berry, Donny Hathaway, Ike and Tina Turner, and Miles Davis all the time. There’s a ton of new and exciting music coming outta St. Louis as well.
K: Yeah, getting to collaborate and share the stage with so many great players in this city has definitely been an influence on our original music. Everyone has their own creative spin on music. You learn new ideas from each other, and throw them into one big wash to see how it dries out.
You have a new album coming out in August, do you feel like it’s a follow up to your current releases or something in a new direction?
K: We are heading into new creative territory with more grit, and swinging harder in our music too.
D: There’s still some of that high energy, tongue in cheek delivery from the previous record, but there’s definitely some movement in a new direction as well.
Your band garners a lot of comparisons to The Black Keys and T. Rex. Do you ever feel the need to move away from those comparisons?
D: That’s kinda new to us. We’ve been around a few years now, and those comparisons just started poppin up.
We weren’t ever really trying to sound like either of those groups. They’re just 2 names that people know and they both have a lot of elements in their sound that I personally dig, so I take it as a compliment. If you listen to tracks off the new record like “Outsider”, and a few more of our uptempo edgy numbers, I think those two comparisons couldn’t be more off. Again, we’re just writing tunes. Everyone can call it whatever they want. I’m just glad so many people are listening.
Alt Press described your sound as having a classic influence with a modern energy— in one sentence, how would you describe your music?
K: Rock & roll played with fire and soul.
What are you most excited for with your upcoming album cycle?
D: I think the album has a great flow and I can’t wait to get it in people’s hands, especially the vinyl. The artwork is ace. Tyler Gross did an incredible job and it really enhances the ‘Outsider’ record as a whole.
K: I can’t wait for people to hear “Outsider” since I feel the audience is the final touch on the creative process of making an album.
The Feed's new single Stella just premiered on Nylon, and you can keep up with all the band news on their facebook page and website.
Messenger Down is always at the top of my list when it comes to exciting new bands, and what's better than an exciting new band making exciting new music? The guys recently took the time out of recording to answer some questions about their new album, their new members, and their plans for the summer.
Please introduce yourselves to everyone on the Internet!
G: I'm Garrett, I play the microphone and lots of other things in the studio!
A: Hey! My name's Arun and I play drums
C: Hey! I'm Connor, I play guitar and sometimes do some computery stuff for the band
You guys are working on a new EP, how is that going?
G: Really well! We just got vocals wrapped up, so just a few bits and pieces here and there and it's all finished!
A: It sounds adorable.
C: We got to use a bunch of BEAUTIFUL guitars for the recordings. All of the instruments are higher quality, all of the gear is higher quality, and we're using real guitar amps on the record instead of simulators. We added up a rough total of the cost of gear used on this record and it was something like $13,000 for just drums, bass, and guitar gear. Everything is just a million times better than [first EP] The Gentleman's Guide and I've loved every second of it. Haha.
You’re very open about what bands influence you, but manage to avoid what a lot of bands fall into these days, which is sounding too much like your influences and blending in with the rest of the scene, what do you think sets Messenger Down apart from other pop punk bands?
A: The drummer ;)
G: Not being "pop punk," haha. People these days are so quick to categorize music, and it leaves no room for experimentation with other sounds and styles. Messenger Down has always and will always just be a rock band.
C: Yeah, like Garrett said, we're not really pop punk. I'd say one thing that's really noticeable on this record is that you can't really pin any one song down to sounding like a particular band. All of the songs have TONS of influences. I honestly don't think there are many bands you can say "Messenger Down sounds like..." to.
That being said, what have been your influences on the new album? In a Q&A you did a few months ago you mentioned Taking Back Sunday and early Panic at The Disco.
G: Yeah, those are 2 big ones. Bands like those two, Marianas Trench, Mayday Parade, and Fall Out Boy are always big influences on me, but this time around there's a bit of influence from bands like The Used, Chiodos, The Story So Far, Sleeping With Sirens, and My Chemical Romance just to name a few.
C: WAY too many to count. If I had to narrow it down to the parts I helped write, I could say a lot of the lead guitar work is pretty strongly influenced by Alex Garcia of Mayday Parade. He is one of my favorite guitarists in modern rock.
In the same Q&A you mentioned having more cohesiveness between songs. Are you seeing any themes emerging on the new album?
G: It's really more of a cohesiveness in the sounds on the record. From front to finish just sounds like a Messenger Down record, where as the whole goal on The Gentleman's Guide... was to put out a wide variety of songs. There's still plenty of experimentation, no 2 songs sound the same, but you can definitely tell it's the same band from song to song. As far as lyrical themes, this has a bit more variety. You'll just have to listen to really figure out what these songs are about!
The band underwent a lot of lineup changes between writing The Gentleman’s Guide and recording the new EP— where are we going to see these changes reflected in the music?
C: A lot of the lineup changes happened during the recording of the EP so there wasn't really time for the new members to throw in much input. BUT we finally got to track real live drums on this record, as opposed to being constrained to programmed drums on TGG. Arun got to play on this record and throw in a lot of his own style of drumming on the songs. The drum sound on this record is SO much better than TGG. Everything is more human, and because of Arun everything is hit WAY harder
A: Yeah, I was brought into the band as an official member literally a few weeks before recording so I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to mess with the drums parts but I did throw in my own knick knacks and patty whacks where I could.
G: I wrote everything on The Gentleman's Guide myself, and everything was played on it by either Connor or myself because we started it before Nick or Bryan joined the band. This time around there's 2 songs Connor helped write and one song that our old bassist Nick contributed to. If anything, the most noticeable differences between TGG and [the new EP] WSHBS are going to be that the guitar parts are more interesting thanks to me no longer having to play and sing live, and the drum parts are actually real, haha.
What has the recording process been like with the new lineup?
C: Everything has been a ton of fun. We've had a great time working with Jeff Long of Trap Door Recordings. Jeff let Garrett and me stay there for like a week straight getting all of the guitar parts done, and when it came to Arun recording the drums, it went great. He is the only new member that really got a chance to play on the record, but it was a blast while he was doing it. He went through a ridiculous amount of sticks though haha
Are you seeing an increased interest in the band outside of North Carolina?
G: Definitely! The internet has helped us reach people from all over! I can't wait to finally tour and get out to some of them!
A: Well, pretty quickly after I joined the band I started getting messages from people from all over telling me that they liked Messenger Down which is incredible to me.
C: We've had a pretty good amount of interest out of state from the internet for a while, but with Garrett and our manager Amanda working as hard as they are, I can definitely see a rise. All the help from her and the Street Team has definitely bumped up our interest out of state.
And of course, what are you most excited about for the new album cycle? What are you hoping to accomplish this year?
G: I'm just stoked to get these songs out there so we can tour and get started on the next release!
C: I really really can't wait to get this record out and show everybody all the things we have in store for them. There is so much planned for this release and the next year or so that I could never point out something I'm most excited about. I'm hoping to meet a ton of new friends out on tour and see a bunch of cool places and people. Tour is high on that list of for the most exciting thing haha.
A: I can't tell if I'm more excited for the actual release of the new material or touring but definitely one of the two. It's going to be a cool year.
Messenger Down's new EP What Should Have Been Said will be released this summer, and you can keep up with all the band news on their facebook page and twitter.
In part two of our trek across the motherland, we're hitting up Illinois, home of the greatest pizza my New York roommates won't admit to liking. In addition to controversial pizza, Illinois is home to a fantastic music scene, which we'll be sampling in this segment of State of The Union.
She's Alive are a solid pop punk outfit that follow well in the footsteps of those that have come before them. In certain cases, they have a poppier mentality and more straightforward lyrics, a good match for All Time Low fans that want to dance to loathing and loss. In other instances, however, there's a heaviness that, paired with the sweet, youthful voice of lead singer Alex Rogers, pairs well with fellow Chicago band Fall Out Boy.
I hate working out. I love work out music. I love Workout Music even more. I live for shameless exuberance. I am the world's most low profile party girl, if you will. Workout Music brings the party to me when I'm sitting on the floor in my living room watching South Park reruns. This place has everything*: 80's synths, 70's disco beats, early 2000's pop-rock, and vocals from Tom Muldoon that could put Gabe Saporta out of a job. Workout Music are the band to listen to when you want to raise the roof on a Tuesday morning on the way to work.
*if you didn't catch the Stefon reference please go educate yourself
Call It Treason
Am I too young to yearn for the early days of pop punk? Probably, since I was like 9 and still wearing shirts with sequined lobsters on them. But, I no longer have to yearn, because Call It Treason is a modern band that plays up old school style. They still have the modern-minded pop sensibilities, but with a go-for-it punkiness that's often left out of the equation in today's scene.
Jordan Benker/ Look Out Love
Back to yearning-- early nevershoutnever was inadvertently my introduction to the Warped Tour scene. Jordan Benker keeps the faith burning, like a member of One Direction going solo to perform on a Glamour Kills tour (I say this in the most positive way-- I'm mad down with One Direction). Here's the positive pop that can get along in the rock scene without turning off listeners.