With Fall Out Boy and Paramore having enjoyed the saccharine taste of success, it's surprising that former label-mates Punchline are pretty much unheard of. Despite their somewhat unmemorable, vaguely ska-inspired first album, they grew into a pretty great band, releasing their last album under previous record label Fueled By Ramen in 2006, titled 37 Everywhere.
It all stared with a simple login to MySpace and a picture which caught my eye. It started with this photo
. Born and raised in Jacksonville Florida, this 28 year old traded in the bright sunshine for a different kind of light in L.A. Enter Tyler Shields. Probably the coolest person in L.A at this very moment. Why? Because he takes killer photographs and isn’t afraid of what he has to say, or better yet, display.
Most of us know or can somehow relate to what it’s like growing up in a monotonous, small town where there’s nothing to do. That’s what the boys of Bleeker Ridge experienced growing up in the Northern Ontario town of Orillia. Bleeker Ridge was formed in 2003, and consists of two sets of brothers, lead singer Taylor Perkins and guitarist Cole Perkins, and drummer Dustin Steinke and his guitarist brother Dan Steinke.
The German boys in The Ocean couldn't have chosen a better name for their newest album. Anthropocentric as English majors know, basically means "regarding humans as the most important element of existence; godly animals." That's exactly how Luc Hess, Robin Staps, Jonathan Nido, Louis Jucker, Loic Rossetti and Julien Fehlmann come across - godly. Their timing is impeccable and the new album is so slick; all with a huge dash of intensity.
The use of MySpace and other similar sites has made it easy for bands to spread their music and names around the world. Ultimately this oftentimes allows listeners to choose between the good, the bad and the ugly without having to spend a penny. Similarly, many bands, such as Ontario’s hardcore group Kingdoms, have offered their music online as a free download. This was the case with their debut EP Atlantis, which aided them in first breaking out in their scene.
One of the most successful rock groups of the 2000s has been Papa Roach. From their early days of nu-metal to the more recent near complete remodelling of their sound, the group has certainly changed with the times. Believe it or not, P. Roach has already released seven albums, the latest being 2010’s Time for Annihilation...On the Record and On the Road.
Due in large to their recent performances at various North American music festivals, Oholics have been fast-gaining the reputation of being one of the most talented, up and coming bands in rock music. Also, as one of Sweden’s latest musical groups to cross the pond, the group's hot new tunes are garnering more and more exposure.
Volbeat, as I'm sure some of you will remember, is a bug-type Pokemon. The alternative usage of the name 'Volbeat' refers to a Danish rock band. Please assume that for the remainder of this article, we will be considering the latter definition.
I always feel so out of touch when I discover a band I like, and then realise they broke up two years prior. My most recent experience of this was with Mumm-Ra, a British indie rock band who disbanded in 2008 after eight years of making music together. So why am I still recommending them? Well, they're just that good.
You should listen to Army of Freshmen! Of all the independent, unknown and obscure bands I've come across in recent years, Army of Freshmen are probably the one band I recommend most to people. You might be surprised to hear that the California-based six piece have been together for over ten years, and have played over 1,000 shows, including the UK's Download and Sonisphere Festivals, as well as sold out arena shows with…
Probably best known as the lead vocalist in Dream Theater, James LaBrie is definitely a veteran of the rock world. Since his first release with Dream Theater in 1992, (their '89 album When Dream and Day Unite featured Chris Collins as lead vocalist) LaBrie has appeared as a guest on countless records, put out two releases with the band MullMuzzler and released a solo album in 2005 entitled Elements of Persuasion. Enter present day and September 2010 welcomes his second solo effort into the world, Static Impulse.
In 2009, Ryan Ross and Jon Walker left the very successful pop-outfit Panic! At The Disco due to musical differences. The duo longed to leave the pop scene to fulfill their desire of playing 1960’s Beatles-esque tunes with a more mature sound. They formed The Young Veins, and recorded their 2010 debut Take A Vacation in a matter of months.
Few artists are rarely ever able to break away from successful bands and go solo. We’ve seen it done so many times before, from Chris Cornell’s less than stellar solo career (did anyone even hear "Scream"?) to the Scott Weiland solo releases (who even knew he released solo stuff?), it’s hard to break away from a popular band. Ed Kowalczyk of the massively successful '90s alt rock band Live is the latest to take the solo plunge with the July, 2010 release of his debut solo record Alive.
Wheatus is an odd band. They had a major hit back in 2001 with "Teenage Dirtbag", followed it up with an Erasure cover, then due to a dispute with their record label Sony, disappeared completely from the limelight. But it's a little known fact that they're still skulking around the music world, working totally autonomously out of their studio in Northport, Long Island. The band are now pioneers in Super Audio CD, a high resolution format that hasn't been widely accepted…
Long live grunge rock. It’s nice to see bands aren’t yet forgetting the best movement in rock and roll since the 1960s. Atom Smash, a five piece band from South Florida is a true throwback to the brilliance of the early ‘90s. The band, led by lead vocalist Sergio Sanchez, is modern grunge at its best, combining all the great elements of the era along with a few surprises. Describing the sound of the band, Sanchez says…
When you think of the music scene in Boston, Massachusetts, you most likely immediately visualize a crowd cheering their pints of beers to the sounds of homegrown punk-ska bands like Dropkick Murphys, Big D and the Kids Table and Mighty Might Bosstones. But for progressive-punk trio Elsewhere, whose music does not consist of brass instruments, the group still encompasses the same element of fun their hometown heroes possess.
The dynamic and genuine bringers of raw doom known as Place of Skulls have been evolving their sick sound since 2000. In their music fancy guitar riffs and other metal aesthetics abound and these elements are not only intriguing, but also serve to effectively suck the listener into their gloomy world. Yet beyond all the frills, the group's music has a deeper meaning - Place of Skulls creates music that reflects both beliefs in politics and faith in God.
It’s unfortunate but a lot of people aren’t aware that Canada has a fairly healthy hard rock/metal scene going. Several new bands are writing and releasing music on par with their U.S. counterparts including Hunter City Madness. The band is a five man metalcore act from Ottawa, Ontario that formed as recently as spring of last year. Rather than trying to describe the band myself I’ll offer a well worded quote from their official bio that says…
Influenced by everything from Tool to Black Sabbath and The Beatles and everything in between, The Reptilians have not let anything get in their way since they stormed the almost non existent Southeast Idaho music scene about ten years ago. Members Joey "The Hulk” Labato, Steve "Jesus" McMichael, Viktor "Bob Wilt and Chance "The 305" Smith recently released The Mentalist, an album mutantcolors at StonerRock.com says is "Not easy listening, but it is cleverly disguised as easy-to-listen-to."
I have a lot of pet peeves - more than someone as unattractive as I reasonably should to still expect to be well-liked, but that's beside the point (sort of). A few of those pet peeves involve answers to that all-to-frequent question that anyone bothering to check out this webzine probably gets more than once a week: "What kind of music do you like?"