Weekly Music

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Avenged Sevenfold - "Bat Country"

He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Rating: 7/10
As opposed to the European metal I have posted a lot of with bands like Epica, Rhapsody, Avantasia, and Nightwish, this song is very Americany heavy metal to me, very heavy, very fast guitar riffs and less of a focus on the vocals. This is one of my favorite Avenged Sevenfold songs, and is a bit older than Nightmare which I posted earlier. It begins with an interesting quote by Samuel Johnson which to me is a quote about the fact that is is easier to do things which are bad for you such as drugs an alcohol to distract yourself, rather than face your responsibilities. This quote I feel sets the theme for the song. Overall, a quite good song by one of my favorite American heavy metal bands.

Epica - "Storm the Sorrow"

I’ve tried to peer into the core, but could not storm the sorrow.
Rating: 9/10
This song is so amazing, maybe I'm i'm a bit biased because I absolutely love European metal, but seriously, this song is really good. But I digress, for me, what I really like about this song is the combination of the powerful (one might say epic(a)) string ensemble and the guitar in the background, and really well though out and well sung lyrics in the foreground. This song is a song you can tell has some deep meaning right from the start, and was carefully crafted to convey a point. This is the meaning of the song according to the band's lead singer, "Storm the sorrow deals about all the negative criticism which everyone has to deal with in their life. Everybody has something to say about everyone and a lot of criticism comes from jealousy and envy. Besides being criticized by the public, you're also criticizing yourself. It is a struggle within and you alone can fight it." I feel this is a very relevant problem to a lot of people and is a good choice for a theme of a song. Also the music video for this song is absolutely incredibly well done, and if you think about it, it is very easy to see how the video shows the theme of the song. This song is one of the favorite songs I have found this year so seriously, give it a listen.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Matt Webb - "Stage I Remember"

push our way up front and leave it all behind, I can cross my dirty fingers and hope the stars align
Rating: 5/10
In 2011, Canada's Matt Webb released the EP Coda and Jacket. This was the first solo project from Marianas Trench's guitarist, but he assured everyone the band was very supportive, even helping on some of the tracks, including "Stage I Remember". Matt Webb has a good voice and can play music well, but I am a little disappointed in his music style: pop. The songs are catchy, but the sound is so mainstream and bubblegum pop. This song in particular is better than some of the others with its less predictable lyrics and themes. Talented as he is, I think Matt could put out better music.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sleeping With Sirens - "Four Corners and Two Sides"

you only do what you're told
you better hope that you're right
Rating: 7/10
Sleeping With Sirens is a post-hardcore band lead by vocalist Kellin Quinn. They released their sophomore album, Let's Cheers to This in 2011. Their sound often has hardcore beats and screams, but also adds cleaner vocals and lighter singing pushing them into the post-hardcore category. "Four Corners and Two Sides" is one of their heaviest songs both on the album and overall with its fast-paced drumming and screams. It has good screams, quite lovely singing, and some hardcore music. The first couple times I heard this song, I thought the screams done by Jesse Lawson seemed poor quality and unskilled; but I also couldn't get it out of my head and the more I listened I realized they sound good in the song and work well with Kellin's voice that is much higher in pitch. Most of the time I do not like higher vocals, but somehow I was taken by Kellin. Despite the fact he sometimes sounds like he belongs in a teenage-pop-boy band, he still sounds great in heavier music. I personally love this song and think it is a great track, but hardcore is definitely not everyone's preference.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Exo - "MAMA"

Careless, careless
Shoot anonymous, anonymous
Heartless, mindless
No one care about me
Rating: 8/10
Exo's 2012 debut single, MAMA, is a blend of several different genres, spanning pop, rock, and (surprisingly) screamo. Exo is a Chinese-South Korean boy band with two branches, one that performs in Korean, Exo-K, and another that performs in Mandarin, Exo-M. MAMA is about the general problems of the world, asking why people forsake love for war and hate. (If you want to see the English translation, here it is). The song itself has a classic, driving chord progression that brings up the original backing vocals in the chorus. All of Exo's members are talented singers and dancers, and this song beautifully showcases their talents. The music video is one of the most theatrical music videos I have ever seen, making Exo look like a team of dancing superhero demigods in a fantasy novel.

Ojos de Brujo - "Ventilaor R-80"

La mochila que llevamos... Va cargaita de piedras
Rating: 5/10
Disk scratches and jumping guitar strings head off this worldly flamenco track (that's got to be a first on here). Ojos de Brujo, a hip-hop/dance/world collective from Barcelona, Spain, brings this toe-tapping tune to life with excited female vocals and a rumba beat. And, naturally, this gives the track it's second title as the "Ventilaor Rumba". This track calls from the album Bari, and is filled with the sounds of romantic Spain, along with the bands own little hip-hop twist.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ben Harper - "Steal My Kisses"

Now I've been hangin' 'round you for days...
Rating: 6/10
This right here is a smooth, rolling song that matches Ben Harper's rich voice with fluttering guitar chords, bringing to life a relaxed lounge vibe. I really appreciate the hollow drums in this song, from the album Burn to Shine. They manage to fill the space with groove, and without detracting from the melodic piece. Also interspersed through this track are the beatboxed drum solos, underlaid by a deep bass each time, which drives home the homemade feel of this folk tune. Take a listen.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Black Sabbath - "Loner"

He's just a loner
He never says hello
A friend to no-one
He's got no place to go
Rating: 8/10
A while ago I did a post on God Is Dead? the first released single from Black Sabbath's new album, 13. It was my favorite song I have posted here receiving one of the only two 9s I have ever given out. Well the album is now and it lives up to the hype from that song, it is one the best heavy metal albums I have listened to, having a style very similar to the original Black Sabbath albums from the 70s; Powerful and catchy guitar riffs with a strong bass line and Ozzy Osbourn with his very unique voice. It is really an amazing album and this is probably my favorite song from the album besides God Is Dead. To me it is a story of a man who grows up being extremely quiet and shy, no one understands him. As he grows up, he begins to have some friends but eventually he gives up and goes back to his solitary life without any friends. The ending to the story can be interpreted in several ways, I interpret it as him committing suicide since he believes he will be happier when he is dead. Quite a deep song, which is a big part of what I like about this album and metal music in general.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Transglobal Underground - "Yellow and Black Taxi Cab"

Standing in the middle of the street, munchin' banana peel and swatting flies from your backside with your tail.
Rating: 8/10
Transglobal Underground is a London-based music collective who specialise in a fusion of western, oriental and African music styles. The two core members of the group are Tim Whelan (keyboards, guitar, flute, melodica, programming, vocals) and Hamilton Lee (percussion, drums, keyboards, programming). Throughout the group's history, Whelan and Lee have deliberately clouded their identities via multiple pseudonyms and obscure credits. Their first four albums featured Natacha Atlas as lead singer."Yellow and Black Taxi Cab" is featured on their 2004 release, "Impossible Broadcasting" The song has an infectious groove (rhythm) and really cool Island/British vocals, which suggests the early '80's British Ska bands, such as The Specials, Madness and The English Beat. Yellow and Black Taxi Cab is a dancehall sensation. "Blow your horn and drive on."

The Flaming Lips - "Haven’t Got a Clue"

You used your money and your friends...To try and trick me
Rating: 3/10
Well, it would seem that in fact psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips haven't got a clue as to what a good tune sounds like, despite their strong start in 1983, and continued performances today. This song, from the album At War with the Mystics, starts in with some heavily processed, and unnervingly excited voices. This is continued with an off-tone chorus rising with grating reversed cymbals, and some sort of laser beam being fired at either side of my head, assuring me that I have not actually been tricked; the song is really just that bad. I guess the drums are well-tempoed, and with bells this may be the saving point of this track. However, the more you listen, the more you'll want to punch their faces. Truly.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gogol Bordello - "Start Wearing Purple"

Start wearing purple wearing purple, start wearing purple for me now.
Rating: 4/10
I have no idea how I found this song, but it one the weirdest songs I have ever heard, it's not terrible, but it's definitely not anything to write home about either. Honestly I have no idea what is up with this song, it's kind of catchy, but at the same time it isn't really very good sounding at all. Probably worth one listen just because of how weird it is, but not much more than that. I'm also not really sure what genre this song/band is, they consider themselves, gypsy punk since their music incorporates many traditional gypsy influences, a very strange band to be sure.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Crowded House - "Anyone Can Tell"

I dream of a place that's overrun by children...
and the lord is in the kitchen
Rating: 5/10
Originally having started in 1985, grooving pop-rock band Crowded House has re-risen in 2006 for another great journey. However, this earthy track derives from their album Afterglow, and brings together their essential, soulful sound with what sounds like a countryside tale strung out on a wizened guitar. This slow-moving tune rocks and rolls with both lullaby vocals and sharp, pointed drum beats. This song, album, and band have all withstood the test of time, and I look forward to more.

Sirenia - "Seven Widows Weep"

Seven sailors from the north, set their sails for the island rock.
Rating: 8/10
This is the first single released off of Sirenia's new album, Perils of the Deep Blue and it is really good. I'm not the biggest fan of Sirenia's older work but they have something really good going with both this song, and it's music video. It is definitely one of the best music videos for a metal song I have seen in a long time. As seen in the music video, it seems to tell the story of seven sailor who encounter a group of seven sirens. I really like how they use the combination of male and female vocals to tell different parts of the story and I can't wait to hear the rest of the album since they seem to have some really good stuff going here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Beatles - "Within You Without You"

We were talking
About the love that's gone so cold
And the people
Who gain the world and lose their soul
They don't know... they can't see
Are you one of them?
Rating: 8/10
I'm sure most of you are wondering why I'm posting a song from one of the most popular albums of one of the most popular artists of all time on what is supposed to be a blog for eclectic music. Though Sgt. Pepper's is a very popular album, one song that is sometimes overlooked is Within You Without You, written by George Harrison. The Indian Classical roots of this song add to the theme of introspection and letting go of material possessions. Full of beautiful metaphors and poetic lyrics as well as a complex musical background, this song is a wonderful example both of the beauty and intricacy of Harrison's genius.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Imagine Dragons - "Amsterdam"

your time will come if you wait for it
it's hard, believe me, I've tried
Rating: 5/10
Last year in September, Imagine Dragons released their first studio LP, Night Visions. They are an indie rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada that was made popular by their single "Radioactive", which is considered the biggest rock hit of the year. Although the band is labeled rock, I find it difficult to call them such next to bands like Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, or Shinedown. It is possible to hear the rock roots in their music, but the sound is also noticeably pop. Regardless, Dan Reynolds is a great vocalist and the music is well written. The album overall is not brilliant, but it does have some finer rock songs, and "Amsterdam" is one of them. It has a nice beat, cheerful music and is lower on the pop style making it one of the better tracks on the record.