Tag Archives: bands

Show 327

Topics discussed include strength trainer, how new bands should act, hibachi restaurants, sports and relationship advise.  Live calls are taken.  (Cast: Matthew, Santoro)

 

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Heartsounds – “Internal Eyes” album review

reviews_heartsounds-internal-eyes_400San Francisco’s Heartsounds seemingly sprang up out of nowhere a few years ago but have quickly joined the ranks of a handful of bands carrying the melodic, technical skatepunk flag.

But while the current kings of the sound, A Wilhelm Scream and Propagandhi, add a healthy dose of thrash metal to their punk, Heartsounds play a slightly less headspinning, but still ultra-catchy style of punk that pays homage to genre forbearers like Strung Out and 88 Fingers Louie.

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Fierce Bad Rabbit – The Maestro and the Elephant Album Review

FBR_joshneil.com_9_800Fierce Bad Rabbit was a new name to me, but after listening to their newest release, The Maestro and the Elephant, I don’t think that this will be the last time that I will hear from them. The band is very easy to listen to.
A popular release this year was The National’s new album, and I believe that fans of that band might like this release too. The vocals on this album are very easy to listen to, and the guitar parts matched with strings and horns make for a good backdrop. An occasional treat in the album is that lines will be sang together in harmonies that sound like something right off of an album by The Eagles. This band writes good songs that are good for relaxing and enjoying without having to rock out. A standout track on the album is Matter of Time, which is a good anthemic song without being too fist-pump-y. It is a good thing to see more bands like this getting attention. These guys seem to have their heads in the right places, they focus on sounding good and creating pure music without any sort of crazy post-production.
I would recommend this band for fans of the new folk/Springsteen-esque rock, The National, Gaslight Anthem, The Hold Steady etc and perhaps even to fans of bands like Nada Surf. If you want to pop on some music to relax and have a good time, Fierce Bad Rabbit will be a solid choice for you!

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Show 319

Replay of Show 189 from 6/26/11.  Santoro and Steel tip talk about lead singers in bands turning in to divas, do their hold music prank calls, talk about the top five things to do if time travel were possible, recap a day in the life of Santoro and play a new game trying to guess what different sexual terms really mean.  Case Closed is the featured band.

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The Swellers – “The Light Under Closed Doors” Album Review

The-SwellersIn some ways it’s hard to believe the Swellers have been around for more than a decade. That’s a lifetime for most bands.
On the other hand, if you’ve followed them since the beginning, it feels like they’ve kind of always been here. In a punk scene that’s just as prone to passing trends as any other genre (even if it would never admit it), the Swellers are like a reliable old friend, consistently churning out great records just under the radar.
They had their brief stint with the mainstream, signing to Fueled By Ramen for their third full-length (the stellar Ups and Downsizing) and touring with Paramore, but they’ve never had the makings of a band that would catch on with the kids whose interest in punk stops at Blink-182 and All Time Low.
They’re not flashy or gimmicky. They’re just remarkably adept at writing catchy, melodic punk rock with startling regularity.
In many ways, the band is reminiscent of another one of punk rock’s most unsung groups, No Use for a Name.
Both bands have displayed a knack for writing song after song packed with catchy melodies and clever lyrics. Both earned the respect of their peers and a devoted fanbase, but never quite rose to the same level of popularity some of their contemporaries have enjoyed.
It wasn’t until the untimely passing of frontman Tony Sly last year that NUFAN began to receive their due from the larger punk rock community. Here’s hoping The Swellers get the credit they deserve while they’re still an active band because The Light Under Closed Doors is one of their best albums yet.
Eschewing much of the galloping skate punk that dominated their early records and cropped up frequently on 2011′s Good For Me, this latest album settles into a midtempo swing on the opening track– the killer “Should” — and pretty much locks in from there.The effect is a fantastic power-pop album full of big hooks and driving guitars that often evokes Weezer’s Pinkerton more than anything by a traditional pop punk band.
Nowhere is the Pinkerton influence more apparent than on the album’s slowest and arguably best track, “High/Low.” Beginning with the type of squealing feedback you’d expect at the beginning of a hardcore record, the song quickly reveals itself as a pop tune, thinly disguised by heavy, overdriven guitars and a plodding beat. The song is like nothing else the band has done but they nail it.

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Show 301

Matthew and Santoro host.  Topics discussed include pop-punk bands, Area 51 and US history, bad ass Presidents, beer and games played.  Live calls are taken.  A live prank call is performed.

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We Still Dream – “Something to Smile About” review

1Florida’s We Still Dream! merge new-school pop punk in the vein of The Wonder Years and Man Overboard with the punk-inspired pop and alternative rock that found its way onto airwaves in the ’90s.
There are several moments throughout “Something to Smile About” that are strongly reminiscent of bands like Lit, particularly on “Back to Then,” a song about simpler times spent skateboarding with friends that even employs some of those spoken-word-through-a-megaphone asides (“Oh shit, the cops!”) you rarely hear anymore.
Some of it works pretty well.
Album opener “Happily Never After” is a head-bobbing, Movielife-esque rocker with spot-on harmonies and some impressive drum work.
“So Much Worse” brings to mind “From Under the Cork Tree”-era Fall Out Boy, allowing vocalist Dustin Monk to show off his impressive range.
Meanwhile, closing track “Dissipate” has a darker quality that makes it sound like a lost track from Jimmy Eat World’s “Futures.”
Unfortunately, the band’s lyrics don’t live up to the standards of any of the aforementioned bands.
It’s not that they’re bad necessarily, just bland. Whereas The Wonder Years can take what would otherwise be a standard pop punk song and infuse it with a harrowing, ultra-detailed and extremely personal narrative, We Still Dream are content to deal in much more generalized and, as a consequence, more generic lyrics.
While the band’s overall aesthetic occasionally brings back memories of some of the great emo from the early ’00s (Taking Back Sunday, mid-period Saves the Day), the broad, at times cliched lyrics keep the album from rising above the level of audio wallpaper and make a clearly talented sound cookie-cutter.
That’s unfortunate, because the crisp production, hooky melodies and songs that alternate between galloping punk and mid-tempo power-pop could have made for a memorable summer record.
Instead, what we’re left with is an album that’s pleasant enough, but ultimately too light to leave a mark.
Here’s hoping the band is able to reach down a little deeper for the next record and come up with some more unique lyrics because there’s clearly potential here for something more interesting than simply inoffensive background music.

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