After a five year gap hard rock group 36 Crazyfists is back with Time And Trauma, their seventh studio album. If you've never heard of this band it's unfortunate. During the whole Post-hardcore, metalcore, nu-metal explosion in the late 90's and early 00's they were one of the few that managed to do it with any sort of personality and style. The only issue was they never quite found a particular style. They weren't quite hardcore, not quite metal, not quite anything. This was a blessing and a curse, on some songs it meant something completely unique from the waves of same sounding bands flooding the scene, but it also meant a lot of forgettable songs that failed to capture your interest. So after almost two decades in the business does Time And Trauma finally give 36 Crazyfists a true identity or is it just traumatic?
Mother is the debut LP from Runaway Brother. Coming after a few stellar EPs and splits they aim to make their mark on the industry. I reviewed one of their EPs titled Bedhead which you can check out here. In short this young band has shown a ton of promise, offering something that's not quite emo and not quite pop-punk, something that's indie in every sense of the word and overall fun. This debut definitely tries to please listeners looking for something fun. So is Mother what we've been looking for or should we all just runaway, brother?
Norah Jones was never really on my radar. Her early singles were slow adult contemporary songs, which is a nice way of saying 'Songs your middle aged probably white parents listen to because it's on that radio station'. However the cover of this album caught my eye and I had to check it out. It was emulating grindhouse movie posters of the 70's and admittedly she was looking very attractive on the cover. I figured she has an amazing voice from what I had heard, if she had captured that dirty grindhouse feel and style it could be very interesting. So was it worth the listen? Or should you just sneak this one back into Dad's collection of CDs?
We Cool? is the new solo album from Jeff Rosenstock formerly of the band Bomb The Music Industry. Falling somewhere between the emo revival and the pop punk revival this album is unique in it's own way. Emotionally charged lyrics, often depressing set against aggressive pop-punk instrumentals this album has it all. I never really got into Bomb The Music Industry, they were a band I had head name dropped quite a few times but never had any interest in checking out so I can really draw and comparisons to them. Jeff Rosenstock though is an impressive song writer however. Timeless themes about feeling lost at a crossroads, watching everyone else seemingly surpass you, lost loves, tragedies, and being alone are all found here, delivered in interesting ways from chants to very, very, grating and off key piano ballads. This album definitely leans more towards the punk side of the pop-punk spectrum. While often upbeat in sound featuring everything from horns to chimes and the aforementioned electronic piano, the themes are more darker in tone, it's really an album that doesn't take itself too seriously. So to answer his question, yes Jeff we cool.
I'm just going to say it, Kendrick Lamar is the greatest rapper/hip-hop artist alive today. Hyperbole? Perhaps. Narrow minded? Maybe. Out of my mind? Well yes, but not when it comes to that statement, To Pimp A Butterfly is proof of this. What Kendrick has delivered is one of his most complex and diverse albums yet. If you were expecting a repeat of good kid. m.A.A.d city then this is not the album for you. While that album was powerful and still had Kendrick's unique style and flair, it was full of singles and tracks that could easily see radio play. To Pimp A Butterfly on the flip side doesn't really have many singles, but it comes off as a more cohesive album and just more fun to listen to.
A Decade Under The Influence Of...Mindless Self Indulgence - You'll Rebel To Anything (As Long As It's Not Challenging)
You'll Rebel To Anything (As Long As It's Not Challenging) is technically only the third studio album from the band, coming five years after the masterpiece that is Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy. It represents a much different approach to the band's sound and marks their first attempt at a commercially accepted album. So does that mean they sold out?
It's hard to believe this album came out ten years ago now. Admittedly I didn't get to experience this during it's release seeing as how my first Norma Jean experience was with the 2006 followup, Redeemer. Yet this album was really a turning point for the band. Coming after the departure of their original frontman Josh Scogin, it was the beginning of a new era, The Cory Brandan era. It was a more chaotic sound than their debut, but yet featured more hooks at the same time. So after an entire decade passing since it's release how well does O' God The Aftermath hold up?