I'll always consider this a new era for Say Anything. The first album and EPs were Max Bemis going through high school and college and dealing with everything that comes with it, cliques, adolescent romances, the feelings of being an outcast. The next 2 albums ...Is A Real Boy and In Defense Of The Genre were where he was really finding himself as a song writer and as a person, dealing with anxiety, drug use, promiscuity, and self loathing. This album is a departure from that which is definitely polarizing. Off the drugs, doing much better in life, and in love, this album is no where near the neurotic mess the last two albums were (mean that in a good way) and instead a lot smoother and more polished. Some people who latched on to the rough edges of the previous albums will find this disheartening and probably not even give this album a chance. While it is not as rough as before it's still full of all the angst, brilliant lyrics, and catharsis that makes Say Anything so great.
So what happens when you take two of the biggest bands of the 2000's emo/indie rock scene and throw them in one band? Glorious magic, that's what. Two Tongues is the side project and collaboration between Saves The Day and Say Anything, two giants in their own right. Taking front man Max Bemis and Chris Conley combining vocal efforts and guitar work, bassist Dave Soloway, and drummer Coby Linder, into basically a super group, Two Tongues debut album is everything fans would expect and more.
I must have been out sick or something when Job For A Cowboy decided to not suck. 2012's Demonocracy marked the first time I could listen to the band without cringing or being bored out of my mind, even going as far as to impress me in some parts. Their follow up, Suneater, the fourth album from the band, progresses even further. Mixing elements of progressive metal, doom metal, grind-core, and death metal, Suneater is something even the stingiest of metal heads can easily get into.
Breathe Carolina have always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Mixing the whole emo/scene sound with synths and pop they were enjoyable but never anything I would call good. They never really sounded like they were aspiring to be anything more either, it was just fun, silly music. Their last two releases took a different turn and were way more ambitious in terms of sound and production. Savages is the first release without unclean vocalist Kyle Even relying on clean vocalist David Schmitt to carry on, bolstered by some guest appearances. So does their formula still work? Or is it time to stop breathing?
Life/Lost is the second EP from hard working band Shores. It's a lot heavier than their first release and a lot more polished up. I've been a fan of Shores ever since I first heard them. They were recommended to me by a good friend and I haven't found a reason to stop listening. Their second EP certainly doesn't do anything to change that. Everything is taken up to 11 on this album although it does give in a bit more to some of the pitfalls of the metal-core genre.
It seems like Architects (UK) hit a high point with 2009's Hollow Crown. It mixed math-metal with a more melodic side of metal-core. It was intense, the opening track alone was enough to damage some eardrums in a good way and at the same time it was progressive and different from the rest of the metal-core scene. Lyrically it was fairly deep and thought provoking, stylistically it was diverse and technical. Their next album The Here And Now slowed things down and felt a bit weaker because of it. Their last album Daybreaker they tried to bring back the technical prowess of Hollow Crown and it was harder, more core than metal, but a lot of the songs blurred together and just didn't stick. Not that either were bad albums, they were different styles for the band and were alright just they didn't reach the same heights as Hollow Crown.
So I already went over my most memorable albums of 2014, but what about the other albums? These are the albums that may not have left quite as big an impact (or came in after I did my list) but still are great listens for the year and deserve to be noticed. Again there's no particular order to these, also I shortened it to just 6, So read on!
Every band has that one album. Their holy grail, the album where seemingly everything comes together to form something that could be considered a masterpiece. An album that transcends their previous work and the album to which future albums are judged against. This is that album for Say Anything. People who don't even consider themselves Say Anything fans are fans of this album. It broke the band onto the scene with a fury and turned them from an underground 'emo' band into a band that was on the tip of everyone's tongue. What made it so ground breaking? Read on to explore ...Is A Real Boy.
I always feel Skindred is so overlooked and under rated as a band. They hit it big in the 2000's with their song Nobody, which featured a mix of heavy metal, ska, and hip-hop and was played across the radio and mainstream music video channels. Unfortunately they were lumped in with the mainstream nu-metal bands of the day and faded in the background. Take a listen to the rest of their work and it's easy to see that they were a lot more. They really had something that was fairly unique and not gimmicky. The combination of sounds they incorporate, mostly hip-hop, ska, and metal, are melded together so cohesively that one style is never sacrificed for another. Kill The Power is actually the fifth studio from the album and really some of their best work. If you've ever wondered where they went they've been right here the whole time.
2013 was an amazing year for music. A lot of my favorite albums were released, I discovered a lot of new bands. 2014 hasn't been quite as memorable however it's still been pretty impressive. There's been an onslaught of good music. I figure it's safe to post this now since it's November, but here's my list for the most memorable albums of 2014. There's no particular order to these, just a list of the ones that stood out the most. So here we go!