Ed Sheeran- Divide
The typical nice-guys-finish-last music that Ed Sheeran puts out usually makes me want to roll my eyes so hard that the sheer g-forces will remove my head from my body and send it spinning into the cold, unfeeling universe. That is to say, he’s a bit of a whiner overall. This poor-me, rich, white, Ron-Weasley-lookin’-motherfucker over here often plays the songs that my 7th grade Creative Writing class would call trite and a little sanctimonious.
Tl;dr- Calm the fuck down, Sheeran.
Which is why, it almost pains me to admit that I find myself constantly listening to his new album “Divide” in my daily life. While Im a long way from joining the -utterly insane- fandom on his tumblr sites, I will always admit when I’ve been wrong about a musician. Even if its only the one time.
Buckle up, buttercup. This is a long one.
Robert Randolph and The Family Band
If you, our listener/reader have ever wondered what I – the more negative of the two-headed dragon that is “Distant Stations”- consider amazing music, listen to this album. I’m tempted to tell you to stop whatever you’re doing and go patronize this musician; Buy his music, go to his shows, and find whatever official merch you can so that he will continue to produce more albums.
This group has been making music since 2002 when they came out of the gate with “Live in the Wetlands” and since then, they’ve been featured with some of the best artists in their genre (i.e. opening for Eric fucking Clapton, or being featured with Elton John and Leon Russel’s song “Theres No Tomorrow”, and even with Buddy Guy and Sly and The Family Stone). Oddly enough they’ve also made appearances with some pretty weird pairings outside of their genre as well (Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osborne, O.A.R, Santana, and Rob Thomas). Honestly, they’re just showing off at this point.
What the fuck is wrong with 2017? Seriously. Did someone find my old iPod from the 10th grade and think: You know what? We need all these bands to release some new singles this year just to fuck with this guy. I feel like his nostalgic angst will be the fuel that lights 2017 ablaze.
…anyway here’s “Wonderwall”
Just kidding. This is a new Linkin Park song. Kind of.
I wasn’t aware that it was 1999 and Incubus was, once again, making me want to drive around all night tonelessly singing along with their new song. Get it? Because that song was also called “Drive”?
God, I’m funny.
In all seriousness, Incubus has always been a band known for their ability to transcend genres and for expertly crafted lyrics; this new single is no exception to that rule. The song hits hard with metal guitar riffs and a frenetic energy that is reminiscent of albums like “S.C.I.E.N.C.E”. However, that fact may also be the biggest flaw.
I cant help but wonder what a world where Papa Roach got good, solid, weekly therapy would look like. It seems like every song that Jacoby Shaddix writes comes from a place of self-harm and self-hatred, and yet there is an overt and powerful catharsis from their energy and song-writing that a part of me will always appreciate – even as I steadily grow out of the hardcore sound. I will say, after returning to this band 15 years later (yes, you read that right… the album “Infest” came out in 2002), its really nice to see they’ve put the Rap-Rock sound to pasture… hopefully with a swift, painless bolt-gun shot to the brain stem.
No Country for Old Chainsaws…
Once, in a great long while, an album comes out that speaks to a generation. Every track, a master class in prose and lyrical ingenuity. An album with music so powerful it makes the great masters- Chopin, Mozart, Mercury, Bowie – spin in their graves so hard, the friction causes a tectonic shift that would bring the Titans to their knees.
This is not that album.
“Is it finally true that we’re not getting any younger?” – “Boy Blue”, Track 8
Honestly? I kinda hate reviewing another album as impressive as this one. I’ve kinda become accustomed to tearing things down and yet, here we are: Listening to another master class in modern day Punk Rock that you should all start listening to right away.
The Menzingers knock it out of the park with their newest release “After The Party”, reaching deep into the nostalgia center of my brain while simultaneously forcing me to take a long look at my position in life; being forced to grow out of late nights, booze, and leather jackets. Like re-reading yearbook comments from friends you haven’t seen in a decade, just before walking in to your high school reunion.
It is as wonderful as it is heartbreaking.
Hey gang, as it turns out: Punk is not dead! Despite all evidence to the contrary; here we have one of the bands that is bringing it back in full force. Priests’ first official LP hits you with all the grace and subtlety of a chainsaw to the kneecap, and you’ll love it. Seriously, if you’ve ever had one punk rock bone in your body you should stop what you are doing and find a way to listen to this album. Maybe you could even click here and give it a listen? I don’t know. I’m not a doctor.
I don’t know about you but when I saw that they were making a Suicide Squad movie a few years ago, I was incredibly excited at the idea of seeing an on screen portrayal of one of my favorite female comic characters. The current character arcs show her as a strong, independent character who owns her sexuality, and works through extremely intense PTSD due to coming out of an abusive relationship with a psychopath. I was elated at the idea of seeing the idea of the “manic pixie dream girl” get turned on its ear and to have a powerhouse like Harley Quinn subvert the expectations.
However, after seeing the film, it turned out to be just another movie where a potentially interesting female character is treated like crap by an awful dude and its okay because “she’s craaaaaazy” or “well, she loves him and that’s just the way he is, she knows what she’s getting in to” …ugh.
I’m not sure I enjoy defaulting to calling out “the male gaze” in film, but its obvious what happened here. We came for Harley and we got 50 Shades of Problematic Patriarchal Bullshit instead.
What I’m saying is: I really wanted to like this album, but it was ultimately a letdown overall.
Hot off the heels of my time with (The Blood Album) I’ve found myself diving back in to the wild world of early 2000s hardcore and pop-punk; for better or for worse. With that I’ve been doing a sort of “Where Are They Now?!” with my old mix CDs; trying to see if their new songs are more like Fuller House or The Godfather: Part 2.