Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Day To Remember - Homesick (Review)

When Homesick starts up, the first seven seconds seem a bit confusing. Initially, I didn’t think I was listening to Ocala, Florida’s A Day To Remember, but then the double bass kicks-in, along with the band's song-opening breakdown, and the first song, “The Downfall of Us All” was on its way. Waiting almost a year until they finished touring, ADTR recorded their third album in their hometown behind producer Chad Gilbert. Chad seems to have helped give ADTR more direction on this record compared to their previous two records, which adds some meaning to their fun pop hooks and hardcore growls.

Homesick reflects the anxiety surrounding a group of guys who don’t spend much time in their comfort zones. This compilation of songs they created pays respect to their town, revealing every backstreet and alleyway they've traveled down. The sound on each song of Homesick is slightly different on every track. Unlike their previous releases, this album sounds like it was produced and mixed with a lot of care and has a generally uplifting sound throughout the disc.

Their last record, For Those Who Have Heart, was pretty simple and generic when it came to the music, but their ability to be super catchy while bringing fluid breakdowns into the mix snagged them a lot of fans. On their new record they’ve mastered how to now add sincerity to the equation. This newly found ability is best shown in “Have Faith in Me”. It’s light at first but then picks up during the chorus and carries on an upbeat melody until the end of the track.

ADTR still managed to keep their textbook pop-hardcore tools honed. The breakdown at the end of "I'm Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?", the sing-scream exchanges, and the “tit-tat” of the drums on the track “Homesick” -- they're patented ADTR moments. ADTR has a magic touch that allows them to pull off this seemingly generic form of music where the average band coming up in the music scene would most likely flop.

On Homesick, there are instantly three or four singles or possible singles that could easily make radio play. “The Downfall of Us All”, “I'm Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?”, “NJ Legion Iced Tea”, and “Have Faith In Me,” to name a few, are instantly catchy and poppy. The only things that would probably need to be toned down for mass consumption would be some of the screaming, but overall the album seems to be ready for mainstream superstardom.

ADTR has greatly improved the delivery of their music, but the overall sound is pretty much the same. With better production and newer content in their lyrics, Homesick is a step up from their last release. However, if you disliked For Those Who Have Heart, don’t expect to enjoy Homesick without a little effort. Cliché song structures aside, Homesick really is a good album. ADTR is improving as a group, and it shows on this album.

Rating: 4/5
Listen to A Day To Remember here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weezer's Got "Raditude"

It seems Weezer has gotten rid of coloring their albums once again with the announcement of their seventh record, Raditude. reveals the new album title is actually an inside joke between frontman Rivers Cuomo and The Office's Rainn Wilson.

"He has a super-rock persona," Cuomo said. "When it came time to find a title for the Weezer album, I asked him what he thought the ultimate album title would be and he said 'Raditude.'"

So far, everything from the track list to the album art shows the Weezer style of fun, laid back alternative/pop rock they're known for.

The first single off Raditude, "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" debuted at number 21 on The Billboard Rock Songs in August.

Raditude hits stores October 27th via Geffen Records.

Listen to the new single, "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" here.

Weezer-Raditude (10/27/09) [Album Art & Track List]:
1. “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To"
2. “I’m Your Daddy”
3. “The Girl Got Hot”
4. “Can’t Stop Partying”
5. “Put Me Back Together”
6. “Trippin’ Down The Freeway”
7. “Love Is the Answer”
8. “Let It All Hang Out”
9. “In The Mall”
10. “I Don’t Want To Let You Go”
11. “The Story Of My Life” – (iTunes bonus)
12. “Kids/Poker Face” – (iTunes pre-order bonus)

Raditude (Deluxe):
11. “Get Me Some”
12. “Run Over By A Truck”
13. “The Prettiest Girl In the Whole Wide World"
14. “The Underdogs”
15. “The Story Of My Life” – (iTunes bonus)
16. “Kids/Poker Face” – (iTunes pre-order bonus)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye West Burns More Bridges During VMA's

Kanye West is known for doing a lot of outrageous things. He lived up to his title during the MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday when he cut off Taylor Swift during her thank-you speech for the Best Female Video Award.

Swift’s video for “You Belong With Me” beat out Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” After a few minutes of Swift expressing her gratitude, West jumps on stage and swipes the microphone from her hand.

"Now Taylor I'm really happy for you, I’ll let you finish," West said. "But Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!”

An embarrassed Beyonce and Swift were left speechless as the show went to commercial.

Later that night, Beyonce won the leading award of Best Video of the Year for “Single Ladies.” After arriving to the stage, Beyonce called Swift to the stage to “have her moment.”

An apologetic West released a statement expressing his fault for that night.

"I'm in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment, Beyonce's video was the best of this decade... I'm sorry to my fans if I let you guys down... I'm sorry to my friends at MTV... I will apologize to Taylor,” said West, expressing regret.

Swift had mixed emotions due to what happened. "I was standing on stage and I was really excited because I'd just won the award and then I was really excited because Kanye West was on stage," she said. "And then I wasn't excited anymore after that."

Watch West stir things up at the VMA's.

Watch Beyonce give Taylor Swift her moment.

Update (9/15/09):
Watch Kanye West publicly apologies on Jay Leno.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Activision Resurrects Cobain, Love is Pissed

While playing the new Guitar Hero 5, you might come away disturbed like you've seen a ghost. Well that's because that is indeed Kurt Cobain on the latest installment of the multi-instrumental console game. While some fans enjoy Kurt's debut to Guitar Hero franchise, Courtney Love, widow of the famous grunge star finds the Kurt's presence in the game "vile."

While the game is already available in stores, Courtney is beginning to taking action against Activision, the makers of the game by threatening to take them to court.

Activision told Rolling Stone Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and Primary Wave Publishing had signed off on the agreement to use Kurt's image as a "fully playable" character in the game.

For now, the public waits until more information arises.

Until then, read the full story here.

UPDATE (9/10/09):
Message from Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl:
We want people to know that we are dismayed and very disappointed in the way a facsimile of Kurt is used in the Guitar Hero game. The name and likeness of Kurt Cobain are the sole property of his estate - we have no control whatsoever in that area.

While we were aware of Kurt's image being used with two Nirvana songs, we didn't know players have the ability to unlock the character. This feature allows the character to be used with any kind of song the player wants. We urge Activision to do the right thing in "re-locking" Kurt's character so that this won't continue in the future.

It's hard to watch an image of Kurt pantomiming other artists' music alongside cartoon characters. Kurt Cobain wrote songs that hold a lot of meaning to people all over the world. We feel he deserves better.

Watch Kurt Cobain rock out on Guitar Hero 5!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's Like A Shotgun Wedding!

Greetings fellow readers!

Well it seems that this blog is getting some loving now that I need it for my JLM 319 class. Cold Showers for Stereology was an blog idea I had came up with about a year ago. My plan was to fill it with music and entertainment in hopes I could someday watch it flourish. Sadly, being so many things to so many people (I.E. a college student, a writer, a fraternity brother, a Cooper Dining Hall employee) I really couldn't find time to "blog about my ideals."

But now that I have this class, for a good grade I'm going to practically be married to this blog. So come along cowboys and cowgirls and maybe you'll find a thing or two new and interesting.

So like I said before, I'm pretty much wed to this blog. I'm thinking in honor of the first post, I'd give you something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue in exchange for your gift of the same in the comments box.

Until next time, I'll leave you with something to laugh at.

Jose T.