We love music. This is probably a little obvious considering the fact we run a platform for sharing new and unreleased music with the entertainment industry at large, but it’s the truth. We consider ourselves very fortunate to wake up every day and have a wealth of new music waiting to be heard. Some we love, most we enjoy, and every so often something come along we simply do not ‘get.’ This post, which we hope to make a recurring feature on the site, highlights three albums hitting stores this week (which we all promoted through Haulix) that we feel you should make time to experience. Enjoy!
Microwave – Much Love (SideOneDummy Records)
Atlanta’s boys that could have become the man that have, and by that we mean they’ve risen to the challenge of topping a release as good as their debut, Stovall, by creating an album so emotionally-charged it might as well come with a warning label. Much Love is another ambitious collection of progressive alternative dripping with passion too rich to deny. When you hear Microwave tell their tales you can almost taste the sweat in the air of the tiny space where the songs where created, with amps turned up as loud as possible to help capture the perfect mood for whatever story they felt compelled to share in the moment. There is a mood to Much Love, or perhaps it is better to say a vibe, that grabs you early and never loosens its grip, but it’s all good because you’re still alive and there is another day to live with the knowledge you now have.
Yellowcard – Yellowcard (Hopeless Records)
Time is not linear, but life is a lot easier if you perceive it that way. Everything moves forwards, never backwards, and we carry the memory of what came before. This is the truth for everyone, and there is a beauty to the frustration that comes from such knowledge because it often produces the best art. Yellowcard have staked their career on this belief, weaving to tales of love and a huger for the great adventure that is life through Warped Tour ready pop-punk that was never afraid to sprinkle a few radio-ready pop rock sensibilities into the mix. No band in recent memory has found a way to top the alternative scene and Billboard charts, disappear almost completely, and once again rise to the forefront of a genre that is now littered with bands their initial hits helped inspire. We’ve seen other bands follow suit in their wake (looking at you, Good Charlotte and Sum 41), but there is only ever going to be one Yellowcard, and soon they will cease to exist.
The band’s tenth and final album, Yellowcard, handles the difficult task of saying farewell without forgetting to tie together whatever loose ends the themes and journeys their body of work needs to see concluded may have in a near-perfect bow. Ryan Key’s songwriting has always used hindsight as a leaping point for a motivation message or otherwise silver-lined message of surviving life’s reality, and that plays well into a record that is released with the public knowing it will be the band’s last. He touches on the themes of moving on, evolving, and learning to love the best and worst moments of his past as if writing an epilogue for his own life. In a way, he is.
It’s often easy to praise a band going out with a record the brings together the ideas that have worked in the past and channeling them through a perspective fully aware it is sharing a final message, but here the credit is praised is earned.
Famous Last Words – The Incubus (Revival Recordings)
If there is one band carrying the torch for the style of edgy, alternative hard rock that was first popular in the late 2000s their name is Famous Last Words. The group’s Sophomore release, arriving three years after their chart-topping debut, offers a collection of infectious anthems for the disenchanted that relies on good old fashioned hope to save the day. We sometimes fear bands like Famous Last Words will go the way of ska bands or the vast majority of jam bands in terms of popularity, but then we hear a release like Incubus and all bets are off. If the band’s previous record had not already performed incredibly well I would say this record could be a game-changer for them. Still, it could help elevate their circle of rock to the heights it once knew.
James Shotwell is the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also the Film Editor for Substream Magazine and a 10-year music industry veteran. When not blogging for us or hosting the Inside Music Podcast you can find James discussing pop culture and his struggles in the entertainment business on Twitter. Follow him.