Punk Goes… is an album compilation series released through Fearless Records. Each artist has their own style to bring to the table, and listening to this album, it shows. Being honest, the previous releases were mediocre in comparison to this one. With Volume 5, the bar was raised and the standards were met.
Punk Goes Pop vol. 5 cover
“Grenade” is the first track off the record, originally recorded by Bruno Mars and covered by Memphis May Fire. The band really structured the around the style of the track but added a little bit of their own touch to it. It made it flow really fluently. The way the chorus is done shows their own post-hardcore roots, which is nice that they didn’t completely revise their musical style for this cover.
Upon This Dawning covered “Call Me Maybe” by Canadian recording artist Carly Rae Jepsen. What was really great about this cover is the different take they did for the track. The clean vocals sound very similar to YouTube music artist Alex Goot, which was interesting to hear when the unclean vocals came in. It was one of the best covers on this record, to be honest.
Mayday Parade took a really pop-punk style on “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye. In previous PGP records, they didn’t live up to how great they really could be. In this cover, they show that they can be versatile. The vocals were really soft, but at the same time, they remained powerful when necessary. A nice touch they added in this cover was the vocals from Vic Fuentes from Pierce The Veil. The different sound of their vocal ranges meshed really nicely together, and it made the track that much better.
“Glad You Came” is a track originally recorded by The Wanted, and We Came As Romans covered it for this record. It starts with soft clean vocals, with the piano in the background. It slowly adds in more electronic effects, and the band falls in soon after. We Came as Romans still follows the track’s original melody and rhythm, but in the same sense, they make it their own by keeping the heavy drums, prominent guitar, and unclean vocals. It’s a cover that they should be proud of overall.
Issues is a band that hasn’t gotten as much attention as much as others, but that doesn’t make them any less great compared to others. For this record, they covered “Boyfriend” by Canadian artist Justin Bieber. First listening to the cover, it was kind of odd hearing a different take on the track. On this cover, the band alternates between clean and unclean types of vocals while still keeping the heavy background they’re familiar with, along with the music from the original track.
Craig Owens is more known for his work in D.R.U.G.S or Chiodos. However for this record, he covered “Paradise” by Coldplay as a solo act. Overall, he stayed with the same style the track followed in the originally. The only thing that he could have done better with this cover was to stay within his vocal range. In the second chorus, he tries to hit a high note that he isn’t able to hit as nicely as Chris Martin. Despite the one thing he could have improved on, the track is still decent and worth a listen.
SECRETS is underrated as a band, but they’re phenomenal. In this cover, “Ass Back Home” which is originally recorded by Gym Class Heroes, they make themselves stand out and explore different musical styles. Only being a band since 2010, they really show their versatility and how much they’ve already grown in two years. Their unclean vocals flow nicely, and listener is still able to understand what’s being sung. The clean vocals are great, and they’re really well done. This band can only go up from here.
The remaining covers are one that could be improved on, as they aren’t ones that stand out compared to the others.
“Some Nights” covered by Like Moths To Flames didn’t hit the high points, because they didn’t do anything with the song besides make it sound like something completely different than the original.
“Billie Jean” covered by Breathe Carolina was too distorted, and the original is such an iconic track in Michael Jackson’s career. It could have been better without all the effects, despite it being the style that Breathe Carolina follows.
“We Found Love” covered by Forever The Sickest Kids is good, but there’s no real way to describe it. There are too many mixed feelings about it, and there’s no real category that this cover falls under.
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” covered by The Maine and Adam Lazzara from Taking Back Sunday sounds too sad, when the original is such a put-you-in-the-mood-to-jump-around-and-dance happy kind of track.
“Payphone” covered by Crown The Empire is overall a good cover, the only problem is that it’s so hard to follow where they are in the song because the clean and unclean vocals overlap and it’s difficult to understand what’s going on.
“Mercy” covered by The Word Alive just doesn’t sound anything like the original. The lyrics are barely audible, and it’s so challenging to understand what’s happening because it’s too different, and it’s so confusing. Check out these tracks:
Somebody That I Used To Know, Ass Back Home, Glad You Came
_by Chelsea McCormick
Toronto’s own glam-pop revivalist Diamond Rings, aka John O’Regan, flashes back onto musical radars with his futurist sophomore release Free Dimensional on October 23, 2012. O’Regan’s first bedroom recording, Special Affections was released October 2010 on Canadian label Secret City Records, and later re-released on New York label Astralwerks in June 2011. Promotion for the album saw the emerging artist opening for Robyn on her Body Talk tour. His latest release Free Dimensional attempts to channel a sound similar to the Swedish pop star by incorporating brighter, more sped up textures than his former.
Free Dimensional album cover
Being a record more dependent on strobe-light theatrics, my initial reactions to Free Dimensional
were mixed. Sensing O’Regan’s change in focus from enigmatic indie moans to glitzed out 90s dance party, first impressions noted distracting, unharmonious, and an overall less potent fusion of musicality than his last record. However on further rotation, there are many standout tracks that champion Diamond Rings’ new direction and make it an exciting exploratory effort.
O’Regan reprises rhythmic drum machine sequences and coaxing baritone vocals that established his aesthetics on Special Affections
. The new work layers fast paced synths, evoking racing shapes and Giacometti-like futurist comas. Trance riffs breathe between psalms of faith in, “All The Time”, and impractical love-longing grove-starter, “A to Z”.
It is an injection of producer Damian Taylor
(Robyn, Bjork, Austra) that likely gives the album its pulsing pop invigorations that O’Regan was supposedly after all along, remarking, "The last album was very much a product of my limitations as an artist, as a composer, as a musician" (Vancouver Sun 2012).
Diamond Rings leads the charge of metamorphosis with ambient oriented, omnipresent track, “Everything Speaks”, nodding to learned experience and self-growth. It foreshadows the journey of social autonomy the album explores on a whole, especially with 90s inspired hit single “I’m Just Me”.
Still, it isn’t all good news. Reaching 3:15 minutes into the earnest, heart throbbing poem “Hand Over Heart”, the album hits a snag when O’Regan reveals a rap unbefitting to his aesthetic. It is this unbalanced and out of place trace of hip-hop that infects, “(I Know) What I’m Made Of” making it feel amateur-esque, more so than the album he recorded in his bedroom.
Aside from hidden gems “Stand My Ground” and “A to Z” (which is dampened partly by its simplistic metaphoric structure) matters are made worse by O’Regan imploring a similarly simplistic numbers metaphor in, “Day & Night”: ABC, 123
… really? Alongside this track, “A to Z” is cheapened by what looks like an overarching lack of complexity - a final pothole in the journey of self-expression that is Free Dimensional
In this light, Free Dimensional has a few kinks O’Regan should be aware of in terms of composition and focus. Yet it also marks Diamond Rings as an exciting artist that is determined to be serving the ever-growing queer culture and expanding his own brand as he sees fit, no matter what the consequences. Tracks to Check Out
: “All The Time”, “Stand My Ground”, “I’m Just Me” Similar to Artists
: Twin Shadow, Hunx and his Punx, Robyn
Diamond Rings plays Toronto Nov 29th @ The Mod Club on College St.
_by Michael Natale
livemusicTO is proud to announce that we will be hosting Neverending White Lights at the El Mocambo in Downtown Toronto on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 with special guests Bed of Stars, Lyon, and Mr & Mrs Fox as part of our Holiday Kick-Off Party!
Neverending White Lights is a groundbreaking collaborative concept from recording artist/producer Daniel Victor, linking many diverse artists together as never before, from all corners of the globe to interpret his song ideas and lead them down a road of enhanced slow-core beauty. Members of such bands as Alexisonfire, 311, Mogwai, Shudder To Think, Finger Eleven, and Our Lady Peace have all participated in the project. With three releases to date, Victor continues to shift and reveal Neverending White Lights in new ways. There is no way to accurately describe, solidify, or pigeonhole it. Like trying to catch a ghost, or put a dream in your back pocket - it's not possible. Some things don't need defining. The journey here is about music, and only that.
RSVP on Facebook
Vans Warped Tour has posted the dates for 2013. Venues and acts have yet to be announced, but you can see when "punk rock summer-camp" is rolling through your nearest city below.
June 15 - Seattle, WA
June 16 - Portland, OR
June 19 - San Diego, CA
June 20 - Pomona, CA
June 21 - Pomona, CA [sic]
June 22 - San Fancisco, CA
June 23 - Ventura, CA
June 26 - Lac Cruces, NM
June 27 - Phoenix, AZ
June 28 - Las Vegas, NV
June 29 - Salt Lake City, Ut
June 30 - Denver, CO
July 2 - Indianapolis, IN
July 3 - Pittsburgh, PA
July 5 - Toronto, ON
July 6 - Montreal, QC
July 7- Holmdel, NJ
July 9 - Buffalo, NY
July 10 - Scranton, PA
July 11 - Boston, MA
July 12 - Philadelphia, PA
July 13 - New York, NY
July 14 - Hartford, CT
July 16 - Virginia Beach, VA
July 17 - Washington, DC
July 18 - Cleveland, OH
July 19 - Detroit, MI
July 20 - Chicago, IL
July 21 - Minneapolis, MN
July 23 - Kansas City, MO
July 24 - St. Louis, MO
July 25 - Atlanta, GA
July 26 - Tampa, FL
July 27 - West Palm Beach, FL
July 28 - Orlando, FL
July 29 - Charlotte, NC
July 30 - Cincinnati, Oh
July 31 - Milwaukee, WI
August 2 - Dallas, TX
August 3 - San Antonio, TX
August 4 - Houston, TX
Taylor Swift has been putting out albums since 2006. She has always been a classic country artist, making herself known for her big blonde curls, her soft yet powerful voice, and her true to the tale lyrics. Though, with this record, she has evolved and is experimenting with new styles, adding a more pop element to her fourth studio record.
'Red' album cover
Tracks like “State of Grace,” “22,” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” have a very pop feel to them that are comparable to say, Katy Perry, perhaps and are different than what we typically hear from Swift. The hit single, "We Are Never Getting Back Together" shot to No. 1 on the iTunes chart faster than any song in history. The lyrics are powerful, and the music is catchy. By exploring with her music abilities, it paid off and she has extended her audience.
Leading back into her country roots, however, they are still very much alive and they are shown in tracks like “All Too Well,” “I Almost Do,” “Stay Stay Stay,” and “Holy Ground.” The vocals, the guitars, all the elements that make up country music is outstanding. Swift is one of those artists that can pull almost anything off in her music, because she has the talent, and her songs can get stuck in anyone’s head (especially mine…).
Swift collaborated with two very interesting artists on this record. One of them being UK artist Ed Sheeran on the track “Everything Has Changed.” Their vocals fit together so beautifully; it’s almost like listening to a lullaby. Their voices compliment each other, not to mention the acoustic guitar does them justice as well. The second collaboration was with Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol on “The Last Time.” As in the previous track mentioned, Lightbody’s voice compliments Swift’s effortlessly. They have soft tones in this track, and with the slow music in the background, it works, and together they produced a beautiful song.
This record shows that at 22, Swift is wise beyond her years and has a story to tell to her fans through her music. She has grown up quite a bit since her previous record, Speak Now
released in 2010. There is so much potential for her career now. By playing around with new sounds, she has shown the world that she is more than just country music.
"Cause darling, it was good never looking down, and right there where we stood was holy ground."
1. State of Grace
4. I Knew You Were Trouble
5. All Too Well
7. I Almost Do
8. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
9. Stay Stay Stay
10. The Last Time (feat. Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol)
11. Holy Ground
12. Sad Beautiful Tragic
13. The Lucky One
14. Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran)
16. Being Again
_by Chelsea McCormick
Anberlin has sold over a million records and just released their sixth album, Vital, with Universal Republic Records Oct. 16. The theme of this album was to shadow the dark trend following Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place, the group’s 2010 album.
Stimulating vocals, screeching electronica sounds, ambitious drumming and heavy strumming is typical Anberlin nature. Within the progression of each track, the fury is always building and there’s no doubt melody comes easy to these Florida locals. Here’s what happens when an album is based on other influential artists and follows a previous album.
'Vital' album cover
Dancing and romancing to Stephen Christian’s calling mixed with the hard rocker feel of the band ensures a never-ending satisfaction for hearing intricate dynamics. Their approach aims to surprise and stand out among others.
With musical visionaries such as M83 and Active Child, these alternative rockers have crafted this work around the “interpretation of what [they’re] into without completely abandoning what Anberlin is,” said Nathan Young, drummer. “For us this is the closest it could be to what we’re kind of into without leaving behind everything that’s made us the band we are.”
The album’s first song, “Self Starter,” does just that – shows what makes this band. Teasing with delicate strumming for the first seconds escalates quickly to a powerhouse of fiery thrashing. Lyrics are belted viciously, “Why do you stay until you see blood / Why does the weight fall upon us / we’re on the same side in the same war / Why stay ‘till you see blood.” This raging rhythm only intensifies through war and anger as the seconds pass by.
Passionate anger doesn’t stop here. “Little Tyrants” thrashes just as hard. “You are the king of an island of one,” Christian screams. “A tyrant soon to come undone / All hail the king.” Raspy screams continue to grow. The whoa-oohs escalate to the glorious guitar solo to pressurize what is to come. “Dead inside yours is mine / Dead inside” includes hammering on drums and silence elsewhere to flatter the tension-driven propulsion of lyrics.
“Someone anyone” remembers this theme and continues the layered guitar strums with tidbits of synthesizer. The chorus, “Someone, someone tell me what they’re fighting for / anyone, anyone, anyone can start a war,” stays on track with the expression of war and aggression.
Though potentially portrayed as a destructive theme, Young sums up the vitality of this album in a few words far from the undesirable expression.
“I think the biggest testament of Anberlin is just how long we’ve been around,” Young states. “We’ve always joked around that Anberlin is going slow and steady to win the race. I’m thankful that I feel like we’re actually at that point where we’re a real band.”
Impressive ballad, “Innocent,” was a special creative touch to the band that goes well with the harsh tempo of the rest of the album and placed right in the middle for a soothing variation, but not without blissful synth melodies and relaxing vocals in agreement.
Whether you believe Anberlin should stick to the crushing rock songs or switch things up some more by other influential accounts, they’re trying out different angles – something many admire when a creative spin is accurately placed on an album for the sixth time around. Check out these tracks:
Little Tyrants, Innocent For fans of:
Switchfoot, Emery, M83
_by Rebecka Calderwood
Deluxe CD/DVD Bundle Out October 30th
Australian metal masters, Parkway Drive are currently streaming their enthralling and highly anticipated fourth album, Atlas, set to be released via Epitaph Records on October 30th. Parkway Drive are poised for world domination as one of the most significant purveyors of heavy music on Earth. The band recently debuted a track for their insanely metallic anthem, “Old Ghost/New Regrets” last week and fans are invited to stream the entire album below:
“Cohesive and engaging throughout, this is a sound of a band at their most fearless.” - (4.5/5 – Alternative Press) “Having steadily improved with each subsequent release, Parkway Drive’s fourth Album is hands down their best yet, and it’s also their most ambitious.” - (10/10 – Outburn Magazine)“Australian hardcore metal band Parkway Drive has done it again.” – (Aquarian Weekly) "Under the radar, Parkway Drive have become one of the most important heavy bands of
- (9/10 - Metal Hammer)“Parkway Drive put themselves in a tier of modern heavy music that not many others are
matching.” – (4.5/5 - Decoy Music)
Yet another creative leap forward for the chart-topping Australian band, Atlas
boasts some of the most up front and confrontational material Parkway Drive has ever released, while at the same time taking several unexpected turns into lush sonic terrain, redefining their trademark sound while reinforcing their position as leaders in their field.
The new record is positioned to be the most highly anticipated heavy album of the year and follows 2010’s phenomenally successful Deep Blue
. Building on a record that was regarded as “not just a landmark album for themselves, [but] a milestone album for modern metal, (Metal Hammer),” Atlas
cements Parkway Drive as the world’s most hardcore musical superpower.
Fans are invited to pre-order Atlas
, along with the "
Home Is For The Heartless"
DVD deluxe package to experience an exciting new chapter in the story of Australia’s most successful metalcore band by going here: http://kingsroadmerch.com/parkway-drive/
Metric - Austin City Limits, 10/13/12. Photo by: Lauren Graham
People of Tomorrow, I’m Stuck in Yesterday!
The last day of our US tour has come and gone and I find myself trying to grasp what just happened. I’m deeply accustomed to my life on the road, and I’m used to doing things most people think impossible, like flying from Sydney to Chicago via Singapore and Hong Kong within 36 hours for a show, or sleeping off bronchitis over a 17 hour drive in a tour bus bunk (aka my bed on wheels, which I’ve not-so-affectionately nicknamed “my bouncing shelf”). As I write this, I am stranded yet again at a random airport, staring out at the drizzly tarmac, counting the hours of my life I will never get back. It sounds so dramatic, I know, but you must understand – when I calculate my time spent in transit, I am confronted with an alarming figure. Multiply this number to include my bandmates and our dedicated road crew of 7 and you start to wonder… Are we all insane? Where do we get the energy to keep this thing going?
Of course there are always ways to improve the way you roll in show biz, so we step up our game every chance we get, eagerly absorbing any secondhand news of ways to do it better. Rumours circulate of tour bus waterbeds, walk-in closets and so-called “Star Coaches” with all the amenities of normalcy. Neil Young is said to have the back lounge of his bus equipped with a grand piano, and I’ve heard tales of stainless steel chef’s kitchens, traveling wine cellars and on-call medics with suggestive names like Dr. Buzz. Private jets are out of reach for most of us these days, but legends of past extravagance (and logistical bliss) live on. Meanwhile, somewhere warm and sunny, a DJ is “loading in” for his gig equipped with little more than a USB stick and a briefcase for his million bucks. Ha ha, good one. You can’t blame the guy, but damn! The fact (the problem?) with musicians is we have proven over and over again that our love of music means we’ll blindly tolerate all kinds of deprivation when it comes to creature comforts. In some circles, it’s almost a kind of sport to see how much you can endure as proof of your authenticity. It becomes a matter of principle. You don’t feel like you’re missing out on any basic human essentials because you’ve convinced yourself that you are above them, like spiritual aesthetes or men of the cloth. Living rooms that aren’t speeding down the highway through the night are so … static! Kitchens with more than a toaster oven are so… cluttered! Beds that aren’t stacked on top of each other like grown up summer camp bunks are so… boring! isolated! ordinary! domestic!
When everything stops and I go home for five minutes, it’s hard to believe these 65 shows since the release of Synthetica even happened, that we played “The Wanderlust” and “Pale Blue Eyes” at Radio City Music Hall with Lou Reed and made our mark at so many other historic venues across the country. It’s hard to place any objective value whatsoever on our efforts, it’s all so fleeting! I suppose this is a heightened version of what we all experience every day: the uneasy push and pull between wanting time to pass more quickly because of the challenges at hand, and simultaneously hoping that we’re making the most of every minute, constantly asking ourselves, “Is this my life?” knowing that the answer is “Yes.”
On any given day, nothing matters more to me than what happens on stage, and I know my bandmates have taken the same heavy oath. We all have friendships, families and loves to prioritize, but the commitment we have made to music, and all it demands, is immeasurable. Metric fans, for their part, continue to match us in their dedication. I’m amazed by the number of letters we received these past weeks, and although many of your stories describe heartbreaking times, I do feel a singular sense of purpose when you tell me the songs we wrote got you through those rough periods. Thank you for letting me know.
We’ve got some time off before we embark on our arena tour across Canada, and I’m looking forward to laying low at home, playing the piano. But the truth is, like a true addict, I’m already excited to get back out there and do it all again…this time in the snow!
As of now, 6 hours later, I’m still stranded at the airport, rereading the letters you wrote to us. I’d like to sign off with an excerpt from one we received from an extraordinary kid named Alex:
“Thank you for asking questions that made me want to seek out answers, such as why do people think apathy is something to be proud of?”
P.S. Got a new video for “Breathing Underwater” coming for you soon…
Bands: Jesse Giddings, Marianas Trench
Date: October 20, 2012
Venue: The Virgin Mobile Mod Club
Photographer: Matt Klopot