Tag Archives: count your lucky stars

REVIEW: JOIE DE VIVRE/PRAWN SPLIT

Bands – Joie De Vivre and Prawn

Labels – Topshelf Records and Count Your Lucky Stars Records

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It’ll come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that the news that Joie De Vivre and Prawn were putting out a split together got me more than a little excited. Any hint that new music was being released by either of these bands would normally be cause for celebration, a split EP with new songs from each band landing in my inbox for review feels like Christmas.  In the beautiful summer of 2012, Prawn and Joie De Vivre were separately making their ways around Europe on tour when their paths crossed as they ended up on the same bill in Toulouse. During a night of bonding and alcohol the idea to put out a split was had and as of February 11th 2014 it is becoming a reality.

Both Prawn and Joie De Vivre are huge parts of the current emo wave but at different ends of the spectrum, JDV with their perfect Midwest, heartfelt songs and Prawn with their more epic, almost post rock influences. But together they sit seamlessly next to each other which makes this split EP very easy to listen to again and again.

Joie De Vivre head up side A with 3 gorgeous songs that perfectly pick up where they left off with ‘We’re all better than this’, their last full length. They waste no time in getting started, ‘Martin Park’ kicks things off and straight away you have that beautiful, trademark JDV sound with Brandon Lutmer’s soaring vocals hugging you close like a long, lost friend. The track builds up to a crescendo of overdriven lead guitars and trumpets and now you’re chomping at the bit for more and luckily they deliver this with two more songs of the highest quality.

Prawn follow this up with two new tracks showcasing their crisp, clean sound and knack for a melody. I absolutely love the guitar tone that Prawn have made their own, they verge on ‘Low level owl’ era Appleseed Cast whilst never losing their own identity. Both songs here, ‘Why you always leave a note’ and ‘Fracture’, could have sat equally next to the brilliant 6 songs that made up the 2012 EP ‘Ships’. I’m on about my 5th straight listen to this split and it just keeps getting better.

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Trust me when I say that this split doesn’t disappoint. It both satisfies the need for new music by two of my favourite bands of the last few years but also makes me ravenous for more. Luckily more is in the pipeline, I hope we don’t have to wait long. Oh and Prawn/Joie De Vivre, here’s an idea: Now you’re best friends, come do a joint UK tour please!!! (PS if that now happens I’m totally taking the credit for it!!)

www.facebook.com/joiedevivreband

www.facebook.com/Prawnmusic

www.cylsrecords.com

www.topshelfrecords.com

Thanks for reading. As always get in touch here, on facebook www.facebook.com/isthisthingonblog, on twitter @alex_itto or by email ittoblog@gmail.com

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REVIEW: FOOTBALL, ETC. – AUDIBLE

Band – Football, etc.

Album – Audible

Label – Strictly No Capital Letters/Count Your Lucky Stars

The reason I started this blog was to say really nice things about new bands that I’ve fallen in love with. After years without finding any new bands that I felt a connection with all of a sudden there were a plethora of new bands that were exactly my cup of tea, so much so in fact that I can barely keep up. One of these bands are Football, etc. Over the last couple of years I’ve said plenty of overly lovely things about these guys and at the risk of becoming a Football, etc bore I’m about to say plenty more. But hey, these guys deserve it.

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People say second albums are tricky, I’d say they’re wrong as there’s an endless list of 2nd albums that are better than the debut and its 4th or 5th albums that are the tricky ones. If Football, etc found making ‘Audible’, the follow up to their superb debut LP ‘The Draft’ tricky then they’re making a damn good job of hiding it because ‘Audible’ is brilliant. And brilliant in the instantly likeable sense. Football, etc aren’t gonna make you work to like their record, it won’t require time to grown on you or you won’t have to revisit it in months to come to give it another chance. Just put it on and from that first listen you’ll be sold.

One thing that leaped straight out at me from the first time I listened is just how confident the record is. The way it sounds, the vocals and the way the band play together are all examples of a band that clearly know what they’re doing and know exactly how to put it across. This probably sounds a bit weird but Football, etc seem more of a band on this record. I think the addition of new drummer Edward Reisner has made a great difference because the rhythm section are now providing a great backbone to their already brilliant songwriting skills. The interplay between Ed and Mercy Harper on the bass VI really bring the album to life. I think also that one of the biggest reasons ‘Audible’ sounds so confident is how incredible Lindsay Minton’s voice sounds. Her vocal style used to remind me of Jeremy Enigk, which I guess it still does a bit in certain places, but now there is a great clarity in the way she sings. Her voice is high in the mix, it grabs your attention and invites you to sing along to every word. It really is Indie pop singing at its best. Also, it doesn’t hurt that they had somewhat of an emo legend in producer Ed Rose at the helm. The man behind the mixing desk for some of your favourite records (Low Level Owl!!!!!!!) has clearly captured Football, Etc at their best.

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Although none of the songs on ‘Audible’ will replace the mighty ‘Safety’ as my favourite Football, Etc song I think the overall quality of the songs are better on this record. The album really zips along and shows a greater depth in their songwriting ability. There are moments of classic emo, infectious pop songs, love songs about crossing the pond and moments where Sleater-Kinney comparisons could be drawn, all packed in to the 11 songs on display here. It also feels like a complete album, rather than a bunch of songs put together. Each one fits perfectly in its place, making the album flow so well that you must hear it all the way through from start to finish every time you put it on.

It’s hard to think of a band that plays this type of music as well as Football, etc. They are the ultimate indie emo band currently playing. And although ‘Audible’ sounds and feels different to their earlier out it’s still unmistakably Football, Etc and undeniably good. Go buy it now!!

You can purchase ‘Audible’ in the UK from Strictly No Capital Letters HERE. Or stream/download it from bandcamp HERE.

Thanks for reading. As always come say hi here, or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/isthisthingonblog or on twitter @alex_itto

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27.07.2013 A GOOD DAY TO BE ‘MO

Some days are just destined to be perfect, where everything comes together completely as it should and leaves you feeling as high as a kite about how wonderful life can sometimes be. Some days will stay with you forever, days you’ll find yourself on a dull, wet afternoon in the future daydreaming about, wishing you could be back there. On paper the 27th of July 2013 looked pretty damn good, in reality it was fucking incredible.

Everyone knows how much I love Football, Etc, last year I drove down to Brighton to see them play with Joie De Vivre and was blown away. A few months ago I was lucky enough to interview them for this blog and asked them about future UK tour plans. After we spoke I looked up the dates to make sure I could go and, as luck would have it, realised they were playing London on the 27th of July. My birthday! Yes!! I punched the air with joy at the thought of spending my birthday in London watching one of my favourite bands.

Going to this show was set in stone until a couple of weeks later Braid decided to throw a spanner in the works. I had seen that there was a campaign to get Braid to play in the UK and now it was actually going to happen and happen it was on the 27th of July!! Dilemma time, do I travel to London and spend my birthday watching one of my current favourite bands for the 2nd time or do I go and see one of the most legendary emo bands of all time for the first time playing an absolute classic album in its entirety??? Luckily in the end this was a decision I never had to make thanks to some genius thinking by Tommy/Zine and not heard who were putting on the Football, Etc. show. After an initial idea of making that show a Braid after party it was announced that the Football, Etc show was going to be a matinée and would finish before the Braid show started. And not only that it was going to be in the Buffalo Bar, a venue directly opposite the Garage where Braid were playing. Phew!

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The day finally arrived and after a morning of being spoilt by my wife and kids with a cooked breakfast and a stack of new records I set off on the train to London. Since I started this blog I have made some really good friends on twitter/Facebook etc.. with some lovely, like-minded folk who are all as nuts about emo as I am. My kid, Louis, refers to these people as my ‘e-friends’ and it was them I was going to be spending this day with. Turns out not everyone you meet online is a crazy psycho-sex pest like my mum always warned me they would be, in fact they were really bloody amazing people. We met up, shook hands, acknowledged how extremely hot it was in that there London and off we went for a whole day of ‘mo.

We turned up to the Buffalo Bar just in time to catch the last few moments of Wrestling, a shame really as the seemed really good. Next on were Doe, who despite the setback of having to spend most of their set restringing a guitar whilst listing their favourite paedophiles (you had to be there), played an enjoyable set of grunge pop. The show really kicked in to gear when the next band, Plaids, took to the stage. I was very excited to see this band, I’d heard that they were great live and I was already a fan of their recorded output so in my mind they couldn’t fail and fail they did not. Plaids bring it like any great punk band should, an abundance of energy and quality post-hardcore that really drew the crowd in, which by this time had swollen in size to pack the venue out. Plaids seem to tour a lot so I would highly recommend taking any chance to catch one of their shows.

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By the time Football, Etc took to the stage the venue must’ve been at capacity, I’m judging this by the fact that there were people crowded all the way up the stairs that lead in to the venue and the almost unbearable heat that came from being near the front. The reception they got was every bit as warm and was thoroughly deserved. Football, etc are the definitive indie emo band, a band who seemed to bring with them a new confidence that made them an even better live band than what they were last year. Maybe it was the addition of a new drummer or just the knowledge that they were on the verge of releasing a brilliant new album (an album which I will get round to writing about very soon), that was giving them this air of confidence. Usually a band who plays mainly new material that the majority of the crowd would be unfamiliar with would have a hard time getting the crowd on their side but this didn’t seem to be a problem at all. The fact they looked genuinely happy to be here and even played a song that stated this to be true made it impossible not to love their short but very excellent set. This first show of the day came to an end with Football, etc playing the mighty ‘Safety’. ‘Safety’ is one of the best songs of the last 5 years and live it takes on a whole new life of its own. The reaction from everyone present made the hair on my neck stand tall, the whole place was filled with the noise of a crowd singing in unison to not only the lyrics but also the opening guitar melody. Things got even better when Tommy Royds stormed the stage and gave Mercy from the band no option at all but to partake in some crowd surfing, Bass VI in hand, she was held aloft as the song was coming to its amazing climax and with that the show was finished leaving everyone in attendance suitably blown away.

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This would normally be enough for one day, but after a short break for some dinner we were in line at the Garage ready for the 2nd show of the day to begin. Once in and after eyeing up some more merch we made our way to the front ready to be blown away all over again. Up first on this 2nd show were a band that I’ve spent many an hour writing obscenely nice things about on this blog, Crash Of Rhino’s. If you haven’t read my review of Crash of Rhino’s new album then let me summarise by saying that I pretty much proclaimed it to be the best album of the last 10 years, a statement I still stand by. I had never seen them play live and I was probably more excited than a kid on Christmas morning as I stood waiting for them to come on, when they arrived and started playing ‘Everything Is’ quickly followed by ‘Interiors’ I realised that this was better than Christmas. I was watching one of the best bands this genre we call emo has ever produced and they were absolutely killing it. Crash of Rhino’s are a uniquely special and supremely talented band, they sounded incredibly huge that night and the joy of watching them play, swap instruments and take turns at singing is hard to convey by mere words. I’d show you by performing an illustrative dance but y’know, bad back and all that.

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I did start to wonder in the middle of Crash Of Rhino’s set if Braid had shot themselves in the foot by getting such an amazing band to open for them. But these thoughts were laid to rest as soon as Braid launched in to the opening song off ‘Frame & Canvas’, the classic ‘The New Nathan Detroits’. However good Crash Of Rhino’s were, this was Braid. BRAID!!! ‘Frame & Canvas’ is the stuff of legend, an album that hasn’t dated or lost any of its vast charm in the 15 years since it was released and Braid were here to play in full. As soon as Braid started the crowd were whipped in to a frenzy, pointed fingers were everywhere, every lyric was being screamed back at the band. The energy inside the Garage was palpable, Braid appeared to be really responding to this wave of adulation by giving it their all, in spite of the soaring temperatures. The only thing that nearly spoilt proceedings was some nasty sound issues, horrible feedback from one of the mics marred the end to ‘..Nathan Detroits’. Thankfully this was sorted quite quickly. It was so fantastic to be watching Braid play live at last. I can’t really work out why I hadn’t seen them the first time round and this more than making amends for that.

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By ‘Breathe In’ I gave in to the heat and retreated to the back of the venue to get some water and have a bit of a breather. I made the decision to watch the rest of the show from here which I do slightly regret because the atmosphere was a lot less intense at the back. It was so freakishly hot inside the Garage that night that getting some refreshment was probably the right thing to do and I was still able to really enjoy the encore. After Braid had played ‘Frame and canvas’ in its entirety they played a selection of fan favourites like ‘Please Drive Faster’, ‘Forever Got Shorter’ and ‘What a wonderful puddle’ as well as the two songs from the split they recently released with Balance & Composure. This led them on to say that a new album will be on its way, hopefully this will mean another tour too. Fingers crossed.

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What a day!! It will definitely remain one of my highlights of 2013 and a benchmark to measure all future birthdays against. I feel bad for you if you weren’t there, I’d like to say there’ll be days to come that will rival the 27th of July 2013 but I can’t picture there will be many. Just perfect!!

Thanks for reading. Feel free to get in touch on facebook www.facebook.com/isthisthingonblog or on twitter @alex_itto

Couldn’t find any videos of the London show but here is a video of Braid playing in Leeds on the same tour

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INTERVIEW WITH DOWSING

Who doesn’t like Dowsing?? If you just raised your hand then click off this site, shut your laptop and have a long hard think about your life!! Dowsing are one of the most likeable bands currently playing music, they recently toured Europe to great acclaim. At the end of this tour they were stuck on a 15 hour layover in Helsinki which they live tweeted, towards the end of this I decided to take advantage of their good nature and pushed them for an interview. Thankfully they happily said yes and here it is, all questions were answered by Singer/Guitarist Erik.

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Is This Thing On?: It’s still pretty terrible; it’s just going to get worse. Has it got any better yet?

Erik: I don’t even care anymore.

ITTO?: ‘It’s just going to get worse’ is a compilation of demos and covers etc… How did the idea for the album come about and how did you choose what to include on the album?

Erik: We thought as a band it be cool to make a discography tape of sorts to compile our musical accomplishments thus far.  However, once our van died on the way back from Stay Sweet Fest I thought putting up some unreleased/songs without homes on a release to raise funds for the van would be more of an incentive to others to help us with the costs. We were overwhelmed with the response and help from fans, family, and friends.  We had been discussing the tape with Jacob (Keep It Together) and Keith (Count Your Lucky Stars) and once they saw the 10 “rarities” playlist they thought it be neat to expand upon that idea and make it a longer release.  The best part is that I have really weird demos and live recordings of all of our songs so we were able to make it this chronological discography tape that we had desired from the start.  The cover songs were just fun to add as hidden tracks since most have never had a proper release and the comps they were for never came to fruition.

ITTO?: I missed your recent tour of Europe, but all my emo friends thought you were awesome. How was it for you? What kind of reaction did you get?

Erik: The tour was simply amazing.  Our friend Tommy Royds, who makes a zine called Zine & Not Heard, booked us the trip of a lifetime.  The reaction was more incredible than I could have ever imagined and I can’t thank all the people involved with making our trip successful enough.  When kids you’ve never met sing along to your songs it is always a bizarre and wonderful experience, but when kids who do not speak English as their first language are screaming in your face it is a completely different ballgame.  Europe rules and we are going to come back soon.

ITTO?: What did you learn from touring Europe that you would have never found out if you weren’t in a band?

Erik: European hospitality is outstanding and unmatched.  People were far too kind to our scruffy smelly faces (sans Delia).  Can you say band lofts?

ITTO?: Did you fall in love with any of your support bands? If so, who?

Erik: One of the strangest things was that most of our shows were booked as just Annabel and us.  This was scary at first, but it turned out to be fantastic.  Kids actually came when we didn’t have support bands which I found crazy and flattering.  So my favorite support band by default would be Annabel.  They are the best band in the world if you didn’t know that.  To answer your question though I would have to say Nai Harvest and Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson without a doubt.

ITTO?: Do you have any plans to come back?

Erik: You know it! We have to get our sorry selves to the West Coast first though.

ITTO?: What plans do you have for a new studio album?

Erik: New LP is coming out August 13, 2013.

ITTO?: Hooray!!!! Can you give us some background about the new album. Where you recorded? How long it took? Who you recorded with? Etc…

Erik: I Don’t Even Care Anymore was tracked and mixed in Chicago, IL by Matt Jordan (Stay Ahead of the Weather, Cut Teeth, Lifted Bells) at Atlas Studios and the Stay Ahead House.  It took 4 days to track and 1 day of mixing.  It was our first time not going to Rockford, IL to record and our first time not recording with Chris French.

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ITTO?: Is there a theme to the new record?

Erik: The record deals with my last relationship and my inner struggles to make myself happy and finally getting over it all.

ITTO?: What process do you follow when making a new album? Do you write as a band? Do you have everything ready and complete when you enter the studio?

Erik: It is a mix of all of those things.  I usually write and demo 85% of the songs (lyrics, guitar parts, key ideas).  I then show them to the band and ask them to help me flesh it all out.  Sometimes we don’t get to the B-sides and end up finishing them in the studio.  I think it is a good mix for us.

ITTO?: There seems to be a lot of Dowsing side projects, are you all now involved in one? Is Dowsing always your priority?

Erik: Until recently I had believed Delia was not in another band but I can no longer confirm this because she posted something on tumblr about starting a keyboard band.  I play in two other bands called Kittyhawk, and Pet Symmetry.  Marcus plays in Pet Symmetry, Mountains for Clouds, and The Please & Thank Yous. Gooey and Mikey both play in a band called Per Aspera.  With all these side projects though I would say Dowsing is definitely all our top priority.

ITTO?: The so-called emo revival is still going strong. What emo revival band do you think will be the equivalent of Jimmy Eat World and make it big? Which one will renounce emo and make a pretty awful Britpop sounding record? And which one will make two classic albums, split up, find God and then reform?

Erik: This might be my favorite question of all time.

– Modern Baseball because they will.

– Dowsing because why not.

– Old Gray because Cam.

ITTO?: I missed you on tour in the UK because my daughter, Indigo, had just been born. We were in the labour suite for 5 hours and ‘It’s still pretty terrible’ was one of the albums that sound tracked Indigo’s birth. What music would you want your baby to be born to?

Erik: ❤ I am glad we could help bring forth new life.  This has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard our band involved with.  Thank you for letting us be apart of this life changing event.  My babies will be born to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”

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ITTO?: Dowsing thank you so much!!!

Dowsing’s new record, ‘I Don’t Even Care Anymore’, will be released through Count Your Lucky Stars in August. ‘It’s just going to get worse’ is currently available to stream/download HERE

Thanks for reading, come say hi on facebook www.facebook.com/isthisthingonblog or on twitter @alex_itto
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NEWSLETTER #2

Hello!

Things are a bit slow over here at the Is this thing on? blog at the moment and there is a good reason for it. My awesome wife is now 9 months pregnant and we have 3 other kids so I’ve been busy looking after all these beautiful people as well as working and getting the house ready for the new arrival. This has left little time to keep the blog updated, I do this on my own and I’m a slow writer so hopefully you’ll forgive me. I will of course continue to write whenever I can, have lots of reviews, ideas and the like that I’ll post asap.

In the meantime though, I thought I’d post another of these newsletter’s that will appear sporadically, each focussing on a different subject. Todays theme is “VIDEOS!”. There has been so many videos that have caught my attention recently and in case you’d missed them why not take some time this sunny bank holiday weekend to watch and enjoy. Here goes.

First up is Warren Franklin & the Founding Fathers. The man who made watching Empire! Empire! (I was a lonely estate) last November in Brighton even more perfect than it already was is back with a new EP at the ready and a new video to boot. ‘Every letter and souvenir’ is the perfect indiemo pop to soundtrack the nice weather we’re having, so excited for the whole EP now. Enjoy!

You may have seen a few weeks ago that I posted a review of the amazing new Reiziger album, to go with the record Belgian film makers Swoon have put together some incredible promo videos for a few of the songs. Each of them as interesting and compelling as each other and all perfectly complementing Reizigers music. Here is my favourite video, for the song ‘Bended Trees’. Watch it!

Next up is Dikembe. Now, this video is a couple of months old now but well worth revisiting if you’ve already seen it. There ain’t many bands better than Dikembe around at the moment and this video lives up to their greatness, it features supernatural goings on at a Dikembe house show. Good freaky fun. Bring on the album!!!

You may or my not have seen this fantastic mini documentary, ‘My Basement is a Shithole’. It’s a 22 minute film about basement show scene in Philadelphia and it is so good. There needs to be more films like this and I wish this scene existed where I live, essential viewing.

Following in a similar vein to the hilarious audition video to find the singer for the Postal Service comes AIC23. A film to celebrate the release of the new Alice In Chains album, a failed look back at the band’s career. Literally every band should have a video like this made to promote new records!!

And finally, another video that is now a few months old but as they are touring the UK next month it’s definitely worth another look. Dowsing “Midwest Living”, simple and brilliant!

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back soon.

come say hi on facebook; www.facebook.com/isthisthingonblog and on twitter @alex_itto

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The end is nigh….

I’ve been mulling over this post for a while now. I’ve had little time to do any writing recently so very nearly jacked in the idea for this post but it does, kind of, follow on from a previous one I wrote last year so here goes.

Last week I bought Kerrang magazine, let me tell you for why (in a roundabout way).

Cast your minds back to last summer, you may or may not have read a post I wrote bemoaning an old copy of the NME from 2002 that I’d kept hold of. The issue in question was an emo special, a beginner’s guide to the new hip underground movement that the NME would make out they discovered on your behalf only to then trash it later on. Jimmy Eat World were on the cover, Hundred Reasons and Rival Schools were interviewed within and the whole thing was made to look like a fanzine, DIY style. My main grievance with the issue was that whilst it was trying to introduce its readers to the genre it was simultaneously mocking the whole thing which then made the issue completely pointless. No one who had never heard of it before would be interested and it would piss off and alienate those who were already part of it. At that time bands were trying to distance themselves enough from the emo tag and things like this only made things a lot worse.

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It probably seems weird that someone would care so much about what they did. I read way too much into the article and definitely took it too personally but at the time it came out of the blue and it felt like it was the beginning of the end. Having been into music since I was a kid in the 80’s, to being a long-haired grunger in my early teens to then falling in love with punk, pop punk, indie, post hardcore etc.. from the mid 90’s, music held a lot of importance in my life. In 1998 the band I was in (the babies three) were making the transition from playing throwaway pop punk into something more substantial. We would spend hours listening to Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate, Beezewax, Fugazi, The Promise Ring and so on and our music reflected this. We started to feel like we were part of something, bands were coming to play our small seaside town. Our singer, Paul, put on Harriet The Spy in his living room and Appleseed Cast at our local Friday night hangout. Come Easter of 1999 we were going out on a UK tour with two bands, Rydell & Sunfactor, with whom we had just put out a 3 way split CD. In all honesty some of the shows were terrible but some were the most amazing I’ve ever played, the whole time though it really felt like we were part of something that was happening there and then. Up until that point anything I’d been into I was either too young to be a proper part of or had already happened. But this was happening, we were a tiny part of it and it was fucking exciting, we didn’t want or need the mainstream music press to get involved.

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In the UK, in 2002, something definitely shifted. Jimmy Eat World were making appearances on Saturday morning kids shows and selling out Brixton Academy. At the Drive-In were being proclaimed the ‘best band in the world’ and you no longer had to seek out a distro or indie record shop because HMV suddenly had all the bands cd’s that you loved in massive amounts. After then most of my friends were moving on to other things, other bands, other genres. A couple of years later emo came to mean something entirely different and that weird goth definition really did enter the mainstream consciousness and duly pissed over everything I’d been part of that point. When the travesty that is the Daily Mail wrote an article warning parents of the danger of this new cult they called emo then that was the final nail in the coffin.

The next few years after that I became a little bit lost, musically speaking. I felt jaded and burnt, I wasn’t playing music/finding new bands/buying as many records any more. But that all changed when someone told me to check out Algernon Cadwallader and I was completely blown away. I couldn’t believe a band was playing music like this again and playing it this well, it was so fresh and exciting. This led on to discovering a whole wealth of other bands, a scene was happening again and somebody had declared it to be an emo revival. No one was mentioning the mid-noughties wilderness goth years anymore and instead bands were giving musical nods to the 90’s with bands like caP’n Jazz, Mineral and American Football.

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I was obviously in heaven at this point, I was finding new bands to fall in love with on a daily basis and I then started this blog to help share the good news. I started drawing comparisons with the late 90’s scene and it got me to thinking about what went wrong the last time around and whether that would be likely to happen again, would a band become really big? would bands start to shun the emo tag and start to release sub-standard records because of this? However I looked at it I couldn’t see an end in sight but then Twitter was about to change all that.

Twitter is incredible for finding out things before anywhere else but the news that Fall Out Boy were reforming I could’ve waited for. They were back and people were excited, EXCITED??!!?? In my mind Fall Out Boy have a lot to answer for, years ago a front cover of the NME again had caught my eye in a newsagent because it stated the emo was back in the form of Fall Out Boy. I went straight to their MySpace page, such was the fashion at the time, desperately wanting to hear what the NME was referring to. Instead of being happy that I’d found a new band, I was just left wondering “WHAT THE FLIPPING HECK IS THIS CRAP??” So, to learn they’re back filled me with absolute dread. Feels a bit weird that they’ve reformed during this revival, like when someone nobody likes turns up at a party and makes everyone feel uncomfortable. Are they thinking that there’s an emo scene happening again and if they’re quick they can cash in? Maybe, maybe not but who cares because it won’t change anything.

And this is where the aforementioned issue of Kerrang comes in. With its headline; “EMO, The amazing untold story”

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When I first saw it I felt deflated, do we really have to put up with this again? And then I started thinking how dumb it was that a 32-year-old was getting upset with what is essentially a kids magazine, a metal Smash Hits. I bought the issue and skipped to the middle section, ignoring the “6 awesome posters”, and read through the “history” of emo. It was obviously re-written in the time-honoured Kerrang tradition of just making it up as you go along because the kids that read the magazine are too young to know any different. A nod at the beginning to Rites of Spring and Embrace then quickly through Quicksand and Far on to Hundred Reasons and Jimmy Eat World to Panic at the Disco, My Chemical Romance and The Used with no time to mention Mineral at all. There was a time that I’d have been outraged by all this but after an initial, short-lived, pissed off reaction I’m now left thinking that I shouldn’t give a shit. Who is it really harming anyway? So some people like 30 Seconds to Mars, well more fool them. If I focus on all the amazing things, bands, records that are about today then its easy to ignore what mainstream magazines are saying. There is an incredible online community of people who I can still reminisce about the 90’s with or enthuse about the new band on Count Your Lucky Stars with.

When I boil it down, when I’m calm and rational I know nothing bad will happen because of this article. But wait a minute, whats this bit at the end when Kerrang talk about emo nowadays?? One of my favourite bands, Tigers Jaw, have their photo on the last page of the article with the tag “Tigers Jaw, the new face of emo”. Tigers Jaw split up on Thursday. What the hell have you done Kerrang, WHAT THE FUCKING HELL HAVE YOU DONE???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

tj

Thanks for reading, get in touch here or on facebook – www.facebook.com/isthisthingonblog or on twitter – @alex_itto

You can download my old bands song from the split mentioned in the post for free HERE

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Review: Brave Bird – Maybe You, No One Else Worth It

Band – Brave Bird

Album – Maybe you, no one else worth it

Label – Count Your Lucky Stars

Don’t you hate it when lazy blog writers write about records in January/February and proclaim them to already be the ‘album of the year’? Usually results in the same person saying this about a number of records only to go on and exclude from their end of year list. It’s annoying and, like I said, lazy. So, anyway, this brings me on to the new album by Brave Bird which could well end up being the best album you’ll hear all year, Hey!! I never said I wasn’t a lazy blog writer.

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Around Christmas time last year a lot of buzz started gathering for this record after a site had been streaming a preview of the record. My small group of Twitter friends were saying some amazing things about and they have taste you can trust (most of the time). I decided to wait until I was able to get a copy of the album myself to properly give this the time it deserves, by the time I did I was desperate to hear it. And I’m glad I did wait because one of the great things about this record is that it is still getting better with each listen. I’m not saying that I didn’t like it to begin with, i really did. But it was one the 4th or 5th listen that i really fell in love with this album. I was driving alone in my car with the album on and track 4, ‘Tired Enough’, came on and something just clicked, I put the song on straight again after it finished and that was me sold.

Like other albums of this genre from the last couple of years there is definitely a classic emo feel of the late 90’s/early 00’s to ‘Maybe you, no one else worth it’. But this is mixed in with a ton of youthful energy and invention and there are more hooks to be found than horsemeat in your ready meals. If you can imagine Jimmy Eat World putting out an album of Glocca Morra covers, or maybe vice-versa then you come close to knowing what to expect from this record. This is also a longer record than a lot of others released recently with most songs pushing the 4 minute mark, they never out stay their welcome though. The songs have plenty of breathing space, they’re perfectly paced and filled with gorgeous melodies and really interesting guitar work.

As for standout songs on ‘Maybe you, no one else worth it’, Brave Bird spoil you for choice. As already mentioned, ‘Tired Enough’ just about steals it but has strong competition from the lovely ‘Thick Skin (should I give in)’ and the near perfect ‘The worst things happen to me’. The latter being so catchy at the end that when I’ve had the album on in the car taking my kids places, I hear them singing it still later throughout the day. I’m sure Brave Bird will take it as a massive compliment that they are up there with ‘Gangnam Style’ for songs that get stuck in my kids heads.

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Needless to say ‘Maybe you, no one else worth it’ is an incredible record. If bands keep putting out albums like this than this wave of emo will no longer be thought of as a revival and instead as the definitive emo time with everything that came before in the 90’s just serving as a prequel to now. Brave Bird need to come to the UK so we can stand in a basement somewhere singing their songs back at them with our fingers pointing in the air, and they need to come soon!!!

Thanks for reading xx

Click HERE for the Count Your Lucky Stars store

Or click on these for Brave Bird’s Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter/Bandcamp

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