Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: Banquets - Top Button, Bottom Shelf

Listen to the album over at Punknews.

I first heard about Banquets over at Absolute Punk a while back when they released an exclusive track from their debut album.  I was immediately impressed, and ever since that point I have been very interested in hearing the entire album.  Well, this week that wait was over.

I decided that I would listen to Top Button, Bottom Shelf while at work to develop some initial thoughts on the album.  After my first listen, I definitely felt it was catchy and fun, but I still wasn't set on my feeling toward the album.  However, before I knew it, it was the end of the day and I had been listening to the album on repeat the whole time.  At no point was I sick of it.  That's definitely a good thing.

Top Button, Bottom Shelf is packed with energy reminiscent of Rise Against's The Sufferer and the Witness combined with the edgier side of The Gaslight Anthem.  Everything about this album is catchy and anthemic, but don't expect any ballads here.  The opener, "377", playfully pulls the listener in before the onslaught of punk rock throughout the album.  Interestingly, no song really stands out among the rest.  Initially, this might make one think that the songs are relatively similar.  I can say that after a few listens (or listening for 8 hours straight, for example),  I really began to appreciate all the tight melodies and intricacies of each song.  My favorite song off the album is probably "Sometimes a Wolf".  If I owned a car, I would definitely be blasting that with the windows down all summer.

Banquets' Top Button, Bottom Shelf is a definite catchy and energetic album with all the fun one would expect from a solid punk rock album.  Definitely check it out!

You can purchase Top Button, Bottom Shelf on iTunes and Amazon.

Thrice's Major/Minor Pre-Order and Preview

You can now pre-order Thrice's upcoming album entitled Major/Minor over at iTunes here, which includes the extra exclusive acoustic tracks of "Yellow Belly" and "Promises".  Further, I have posted a 2-part album preview below.  Just from the snippets of each song, I feel a sort of resonance with the album, musically.  I have a feeling that come September 20th, I may have a new contender for my album of the year!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Playlist of the Week

You Me At Six debut "Loverboy"

Below you can listen to a new song from You Me At Six entitled "Loverboy".  This song comes from their upcoming album Sinners Never Sleep that drops on October 3rd.

New Jack's Mannequin Tunes!

You can now listen to two tracks from People and Things, the upcoming album from Jack's Mannequin that drops on October 4th.  You can listen to "Amy, I" and "My Racing Thoughts" below.  I have also posted "My Racing Thoughts" in For Your Ears.  These guys always produce fantastic pop-rock music, and these two songs are no exception.  They are already raving about this album over at Absolute Punk.  I can't wait to hear the whole thing.

"Amy, I"

My Racing Thoughts - People and Things by jacksmannequin

Take Cover Debut Full Length

If you're in need of another pop-rock band to blast on a sunny day as you drive, windows down, wherever it is you need to go, then look no further than Take Cover's debut full length, The Dreamer & the Realist, that dropped on July 12th.  This album has it all, foot-tapping rockers, heavy hooks, and full gang vocals.  I found myself really enjoying it.

You can listen to a couple songs from the album over at their Myspace page.  I've also posted a YouTube video of another song from the album, "When This Is Over" below.  The album can be purchased at iTunes and Amazon.

Listen to New Song from Four Year Strong

Below you can listen to a new song entitled "Stuck in the Middle" from Four Year Strong off of their new album, In Some Way, Shape or Form, that drops on October 11th.  All I have to say is "wow".  This song is so much better than anything on the previous album. They've definitely got me interested.

Have a listen and let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just a Couple of Cool Videos

New Thrice Tunes!

Below you can listen to (and read the lyrics) for a new Thrice song titled "Promises".  You can also watch them perform another song "Blur" over at  Both songs come from their new album, Major/Minor, that will drop on September 20th.  "Promises" is really rockin' and has some solid lyrics.   Having now heard a few songs from the album, September 20th can't come sooner.

What do y'all think?

Thrice - Promises [Lyric Video] from Vagrant Records on Vimeo.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Middle Class Rut are "Busy Bein' Born"

Below you can watch the video for Middle Class Rut's latest single "Busy Bein' Born" from their recent album, No Name No Color that was released last October.  I've noticed this duo, made up by Sean Stockham and Zach Lopez, has gained recent popularity.  "Busy Bein' Born" was featured in the Transformers 3 soundtrack (although dissappointingly it was not on the iTunes version), and the band has toured with Linkin Park as well as participated in the Vans Warped Tour.

I enjoyed this song.  My first listen, I immediately was reminded of bands like Stabbing Westward.  The video is quite dark -- a graphic portrayal of a young boy who is kidnapped and forced to fight other boys.  The video adds very interesting imagery to the lyrics of the song.  I haven't actually listened to the full album, but from what I've heard so far, these guys sound quite good.

Watch the video and let me know what you think!

Middle Class Rut - "Busy Bein' Born" (Unrated Cut)

You can buy No Name No Color on iTunes and Amazon.

Psychic Babble Full Album Stream

You can now listen to My Brother's Ears/My Sister's Eyes, the fantastic new album from Psychic Babble (Colin Frangicetto of Circa Survive) that drops tomorrow over at  Have a listen and let me know what you think of it!

The album will be available for purchase from iTunes and tomorrow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Download "New Fast Automatic" From Anberlin

You can download a b-side from one of Anberlin's early albums, Never Take Friendship Personal, called "New Fast Automatic" for free here.  The story behind it can be read over at Absolute Punk.  I love everything these guys pump out.

Hear Sainthood Reps - Monoculture

Sainthood Reps are prepared to release their debut full length album, Monoculture, via Tooth & Nail Records on August 9th.  You can now listen to the full album here.  This album will be particularly enjoyable for anyone who is a fan of bands like Brand New and Balance & Composure, and is a definite throw-back to early grunge rock.  After a few more listens, I will most likely have a full review posted.  Until then, have a listen and enjoy.

Banquets have "The Best Night of the Night"

Check out a new track, "The Best Night of the Night", from the Jersey City rockers, Banquets, streaming over at Alter The Press.  Great song.  Now that we've heard four songs from these guys, I'm really excited for their new album that drops on August 22nd.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Listen to Sins

Photo by Joshua Haller

Joey Milligan of Anberlin has started a new side project, Sins. You can listen to two new songs, "Keep Quiet" and "Here & Gone", on his facebook page.  The soon-to-be-released album was written, performed, produced, engineered, and mixed by Joey.

Listen to Every Avenue - Bad Habits

For some more pop punk awesomeness, you can listen to Every Avenue's new album, Bad Habits, in it's entirety over at AOL "Full CD Listening Party".  I wasn't a big fan of their earlier work, but this album is a huge step up.  Yes, the typical lyrics about heartache and cheesy love are still here, but the music is great and very solid.  Definitely check it out.  I'm definitely loving all the great pop punk music that's being released.  My ears are happy!

You can also buy Bad Habits on iTunes and

New Found Glory Release "Radiosurgery"

New Found Glory have released the first single "Radiosurgery" from their upcoming album with the same title that will come out on October 4th.  You can download it on iTunes and  You can also listen to a full stream below.  This band never disappoints.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Download 4 Song EP From Psychic Babble

You can download a FREE EP from Psychic Babble (Colin Frangicetto from Circa Survive), entitled My Own Stupid Mouth .  It includes the three songs previously released as well as a B-side, called "A Ride To The Country".  This is good to wet your appetite for My Brother's Ears/My Sister's Eyes that drops on August 16th.

Review: This Love - At War

Hear the full album here.

To start, At War is a solid debut pop-rock album from This Love.  Really, it's hard to believe this a debut full-length album.  It feels more like something from seasoned veterans.  Everything in this album, from the production to the political speeches, seems very well thought out and put together.

What really makes this album so much more, however, is the genuine optimism that emerges as Joe McFadden sings about the struggles of everyday life.  Being an optimistic person, myself, this album really resonated with me.  The core concept of At War is further structured around several carefully placed speeches from presidents, past and present, throughout the album.

The album starts with John F. Kennedy's American University Speech on June 10, 1963 in which he reflects on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, and leads into "Free", the first actual song on the album.  The uplifting lyrics about achieving independence and excellent instrumentation make "Free" a solid opener.  In "Shoot Out", McFadden lays out the persistent struggle that we endure throughout our lives, while "We Are the Brave" is a call to help and protect each other.

Another speech from JFK leads into "Motions", the best song on the album.  The chording in this song is fantastic, while the guitar solo at the song's midpoint sent chills down my spine.  And, the lyrics and vocal delivery really hit home.  "The Thief" is another hard-hitter that shines as it pounds solid rock music into the listener's ears.

This Love slow things down a bit with "Fly Away" and "Alive", letting McFadden's vocals shine.  The last track, "We All Know Well" is the home-run on the album.  It starts with President Obama's address to the nation after the death of bin Laden accompanied by the soft strum of a guitar.  McFaddin's vocals eventually emerge over Obama's words ending the album with a message of hope that the war is finally over.

This Love have put together a fantastic album.  Definitely go check this one out, but make sure to listen to it in it's entirety since it should be heard as a complete package.

You can buy At War on iTunes and on August 2nd.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Release New Song

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have released a new song "Where Are the Heroes" from their upcoming album Am I The Enemy that will be released on August 30th.  You can read about the recording process and listen to it over at Alternative Addiction.  I liked their first album, but their subsequent albums weren't so good.  This new song, however, sounds promising.  I am slightly worried that the album may be a bit "over-produced", but we'll see when it drops.  You can also grab "Reap", the first single from the album, over at

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