Tag Archives: Transit

THE ‘IS THIS THING ON?’ TOP 100 EMO SONGS OF ALL TIME PART 6 (50-41)

#emo100

Previously on the Top 100 emo songs of all time…….

100 – Reggie and the full effect – Thanx for stayin

99 – Roadside Monument – Sunken Anchor

98 – Boilermaker – Slow Down

97 – Hundred reasons – If I could

96 – Jets to Brazil – Chinatown

95 – Coping – F For now

94 – Inside – Ray Brower

93 – Basement – Grayscale

92 – The Jazz June – Viva La speed metal

91 – Everyone Everywhere – I feel fine by Everyone Everywhere

90 – Hunter Gatherer – Low standards for high fives

89 – Football, etc. – Safety

88 – Race Car Riot – Raincheck

87 – Taking Back Sunday – Bike scene

86 – Leiah – Tiglio

85 – Brandtson – Still life

84 – Polar Bear Club – Bottled wind

83 – Starmarket – Losing track

82 – Sunny Day Real Estate – Guitar and video games

81 – Grade – Stolen bikes ride faster

80 – Bob Tilton – September

79 – The Autumn Year – Little lost words

78 – Koufax – Going to happen

77 – Wavelets – Julio won’t get out of the car

76 – The Get Up Kids – Forgive and Forget

75 – Hot Rod Circuit – At nature’s mercy

74 – The Appleseed Cast – Steps and numbers

73 – Stapleton – International departures

72 – New End Original – Lukewarm

71 – Hundred Hands – A Replay

70 – Knapsack – Cellophane

69 – Elliott – Dionysus Burning

68 – The Lapse – We Must Move Backwards To Progress

67 – Owls – Everyone Is My Friend

66 – Suis La Lune – Quiet, Pull The Strings!

65 – Sunday’s Best – Winter Owned

64 – CSTVT – Hiccups

63 – Vitreous Humor – Sharin’ Stone

62 – Beezewax – Dead End Kids

61 – Death Cab For Cutie – A Movie Script Ending

60 – Grown Ups – Three Day Weekend

59 – Funeral Diner – We Become Buried

58 – Snowing – I Think We’re In Minsk

57 – Imbroco – You’re My Lionkiller

56 – Maritime – Tearing Up The Oxygen

55 – Engine Down – The Offer Of Something

54 – Boy’s Life – Sight Unseen

53 – Benton Falls – All These Things

52 – Further Seems Forever – Madison Prep

51 – The Casket Lottery – Ever Since Sulfur

To read more about these tracks click HERE for numbers 100-91, HERE for no’s 90-81, HERE for no’s 80-71, HERE for no’s 70-61, HERE for no’s 60-51. And for some background as to why I’m doing this list click HERE

50 – Ghosts and Vodka – Sex Is Popular

Emo verges on so many other musical styles, hardcore, indie, pop punk and sometimes most interestingly post rock. Ghosts and Vodka veer that way with a mix of instrumental mathy indie rock from members of Cap’n Jazz, Owls and Joan of Arc. Luckily, as with Cap’n Jazz, they released a complete anthology of all their releases on one cd ‘Addicts and Drunks’, which is a big help to lazy people like me who are a bit slow off the mark.

49 – Transit – Footwork

A lot of the bands that are helping bring emo back with this new revival are either from the more indie or screamo ends of the genre, Transit are heading up things from a pop punk perspective. Their latest album, ‘Listen & Forgive’, leans more to the emo way of things but on their previous effort, ‘Keep this to yourself’, there is a brilliant pop punk energy all the way through the album. ‘Footwork’ is a belter of a track, the part where it breaks down in the middle of the song is emo gold.

48 – Jejune – Solar

Beautiful indie emo from the late 90’s, ‘This afternoon’s Malady’ by Jejune is an album full of well crafted, catchy as hell pop songs. ‘Solar’ is slow paced, dreamy and gorgeous, the kind of music that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling by the end as it escapes into a mass of feedback and distortion.

47 – Hey Mercedes – Quality Revenge At Last

I read recently that Bob Nanna formed Hey Mercedes because loads of bands in the early 2000’s, who were clearly influenced by his former band ,Braid, were suddenly getting big and making a lot of money, money that Braid had never made. Whether that is true or not, I hope he got what he deserved because Braid are a legendary band. Hey Mercedes, which featured 2 other Braid members, were a more straight forward, streamlined emo rock band with a talent for knocking out instantly likeable tunes. ‘Quality revenge at last’ is the opening track of their 2nd album, ‘Loses control’.

46 – Jeremy Enigk – Lewis Hollow

Taken from an album that I guess is not strictly ’emo’, more an acoustic folk fantasy, Jeremy Enigk as part of Sunny Day Real Estate introduced me to the genre and so his fragile, amazing voice will always give me that emo connection. ‘Return of the frog queen’ was his first solo record, recorded after Sunny Day’s first break up in the mid 90’s. ‘Lewis Hollow’ is just under 2 minutes of delicate beauty, basic tender guitars with a hint of cello and vocals that could melt any heart. A gentle masterpiece.

45 – Cursive – The Radiator Hums

We had a pretty great scene in Margate, I left it in 2000 to go drama school on the outskirts of London and I feel like I missed out on a great deal. One of the biggest times I was reminded of this was on easter break in 2002 when Cursive played a joint headline show with the Appleseed Cast at the Lido in Margate. I was there and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to, not only did I get to hang out with the beautiful girl who would a few years later agree to marry me, both bands completely rocked that night. I bought ‘Domestica’ that night on CD, an album so good someone actually stole it from me sometime later, and it will always remind me of that blissful night. ‘The Radiator hums’ is my favourite song by this great band.

44 – Joan Of Arc – Post Coitus Rock

I have a friend that said that he loved Joan Of Arc because it would help him get to sleep every night. I guess you could take that the wrong way but I can see what he means because the albums can have an almost dream like quality, although that samples and weirder bits would freak me out if I tried to do as he did. ‘Post Coitus rock’ is one of the more regular songs in Joan Of Arc’s back catalogue but it’s far from ordinary. Perfectly twinkly guitar topped off with Tim Kinsella’s brilliant indie lo-fi voice.

43 – Pianos Become The Teeth – Cripples Can’t Shiver

Sometimes the term emo is misused or under played, used to describe any band singing about a broken heart. Sometimes a band can make music so packed full of emotion and intensity that ’emo’ hardly does the band justice. PBTT do something no other band does to me, I know I have gone on about their magnificence in a lot of my previous blog posts, they leave me exhausted. Seeing them live nearly brings me to tears, the gloriously heavy music with the touching lyrics and the intense vocal delivery combine to make a very special band indeed. I literally cannot say enough how much I love this band. They are also very approachable which I found out to my delight last week in Tunbridge Wells.

42 – The Get Up Kids – Coming Clean

One of the first emo albums I ever bought, little did I know as I stood alone in Tower Records in Picadilly Circus what a profound effect this would have on my life. I had heard people talk about them a lot before I got it but I was still unprepared that they would instantly become one of my favourite bands. ‘Coming Clean’ is a mammouth way to open an album, they hit the ground running with some of the best emo pop punk committed to tape. I remember getting completely swept up in the crowd during this song when I saw them at the Garage in London and loving every second.

41 – At The Drive-in – Heliotrope

I was first introduced to At The Drive-In by my friend who was sat in his flat holding ‘In/casino/Out’ on vinyl and proclaimed them to be the best emo band out there at the moment. At the time we were organising our European tour with our old band and there was a big hope that we were going to play some of these shows with At The Drive-In. Unfortunately, because of college dates, we had to go when it was the Easter holidays and the At The Drive-In dates were about a week before. We weren’t too worried and we had a great time on that tour but now when I look back I can’t believe we missed out and all because of some college play I was taking part in. Just to see At The Drive-In play on that tour just before they broke massive would have been an honour enough let alone actually getting to play and maybe meet the band. At The Drive-In are now a legendary band, their records make me wanna get up and jump around whenever I put them on. I promise my wife that I’ll stop telling this story of what may have been, maybe now I’ve put it here I will, it’s too painful.

Thank you for reading. Keep the comments coming either here or on twitter (@alex_itto) and feel free to share the link. Cheers again x

UPDATE: READ THE NEXT PART, PART 7 (40 to 31) HERE

The Spotify playlist has been updated as best I could, click below for the link.

Emo 100 (100-41)

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The 10 best records of 2011 (according to me)

2011 has been a very weird year!

If you’ve watched the news for more than 10 seconds at any given point during the last 12 months then you will be of the opinion that the world is ruined. What we need in these times is something to distract our worried minds, after all ignorance is indeed bliss. So, luckily, it’s been a very good year music wise. There have been so many amazing bands making amazing music that I’ve fallen behind and am still playing catch up.

This is a list of the 10 records released this year that have meant the most to me.

10 – Basement – I Wish I Could Stay Here

My favourite British band of this year and one of the only bands I actually got to see live in 2011, Basement, represent all that is good about underground music. Working towards a hardcore DIY ethic, making honest music and getting out, playing live with no hidden agenda. They released their debut full length ‘I wish I could stay here’ during the summer on Run For Cover records and it’s 10 tracks of brilliant, heartfelt post hardcore.

Click HERE to go to their site

9 – Polar Bear Club – Clash Battle Guilt Pride

Polar Bear Club brought a maturity to their sound and songwriting on this peach of an album. Still keeping the rawness of their previous output, ‘Clash Battle Guilt Pride’ saw the band come into their own. Instantly likeable, heart on their sleeve punk rock. And Jimmy Stadt has just about one of the best voices in rock and roll right now.

Click HERE to go their myspace page

8 – Touché Amoré – Parting the sea between brightness and me

‘Parting the sea….’ is 13 tracks of superb hardcore compacted in to 22 minutes. There is no messing about here, they had a job to do and they got that job done. Intense, precise, raw and powerful. A very good friend of mine, Paul (who also blogs HERE), recently stated that “Hardcore needs more hooks”. I do completely agree with that but you can definately find hooks, melody and more on this brilliant record. Touché Amoré do a brilliant job of mixing the quiet with the loud while at no point losing any of their power. 22 minutes of joy!!

Click HERE to go to their website

7 – Wavelets – Athaletics

I keep returning to this album time and time again. It’s deliciously warm charm has dug it’s claws deep into me. The songs are intricately complex and uplifting in equal measure. Embracing the indie emo sound from the late 90’s and with a perfectly lo-fi production this record sets itself apart from the over produced, copycat bands that claim to be from the same scene. And with song titles like ‘We’re really jazzed about the gig’ and ‘Bad scene, Jawbreakers fault’, how could you resist? Also has my favourite cover artwork of this year too.

Click HERE to go to their bandcamp page

6 – I am the avalanche – Avalanche United

Not many bands could leave SIX years between releasing their first and second albums and get away with it. IATA have pulled it off though, and with good reason. ‘Avalanche United’ is everything a good pop punk album should be, loud, in you face and catchy as hell. I was surprised how good an album this was, I didn’t think it would better the first album which has been on the stereo in our house consistently over the last 6 years, but that it did. They certainly deserve the adulation they receive just maybe don’t leave us hanging so long next time, huh??

Click HERE to go to their myspace

5 – Defeater – Empty Days & Sleepless nights

Defeater are setting the bar for modern hardcore bands. Environmentally conscious and socially aware, they are trying something different and succeeding. ‘Empty days & Sleepless nights’ continues with their narrative concept that begun with their debut album ‘Travels’. They back this up with brutally brilliant and infectious hardcore/post hardcore/screamo or whatever it is that describes them best. Fucking awesome is probably the best description I can give.

4 – Title Fight -Shed

Title Fight have been touring the UK recently and I am completely gutted that i’ve missed out. Their debut album, ‘Shed’, is a lesson in how fresh, honest and amazing pop punk can sound. Produced by the legend that is Walter Schreifels (Rival Schools, Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits), this is 12 punchy tracks delivered at pace with brilliantly delivered, almost screamed vocals. Watching them on youtube, they seem to stir up a stagediving frenzy every time they play live, so here’s hoping that they return to these shores sooner rather than later.

3 – Algernon Cadwallader – Parrot Flies

If I ever feel down in the dumps and it happens, this year has been hard at times, I know that if I reach for this record a smile on my face won’t be long in coming. There is something in the sound and the way that they play that brings me much pleasure, they manage to out Cap’n Jazz as the kings of Cap’n Jazz style emo pop. Not that they sound the same as other bands, they manage to bring originality and joy to the scene. Perfect indie fare that also brings to mind Built to Spill and Pavement in places. Especially at the end of the first track, ‘Springing Leaks’, when it tails off into the most gorgeous guitar solo that evokes summer like no other band could.

Click HERE to go and listen at bandcamp

2 – Transit – Listen & Forgive

Transit win the 2011 award for “Album I’ve most embarrassed myself by singing along very loudly in my car to!!!”. It’s not a very prestigious title but it’s definitely an amazing record. How could you put it on and not sing along? It’s hit after hit of Pop punk goodness but with a healthy 90’s emo leaning. The Get Up Kids must’ve listened to this record and wished they could still make them as good.
They were also on the tour with Title Fight in the UK recently and by all accounts were completely amazing, so that’s more reason for me to damn my stupid back to hell. I’ll just have to console myself with another hearty singalong.

1 – Pianos become the teeth – The Lack Long After

If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, and if you have can I just take this opportunity to say “wow, thanks and you have my pity x”, then it will come as no surprise that I have chosen ‘The lack long after’ as the best record of 2011. Pianos Become The Teeth are my current favourite band in the world and this album, to me, is an instant classic. Genuinely affecting and at times exhausting to listen to, this album stands head and shoulders above the rest this year. It is dark and heavy but also beautiful, Kyle Durfey has a voice full of pain and anguish that manages to be both powerful and fragile, sometimes even in the same song. Essential music that I can whole heartedly reccomend to anyone.

So, have I got it right? What do you think are the best records of 2011? What am I missing? Let me know.
Cheers xx

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Review: Transit – Listen & Forgive

Band: Transit

Album: Listen & Forgive

Label: Rise records

I feel like i’m being completely spoilt at the moment. Every week there seems to be a wrath of new albums to gorge on, so much so i’m finding it difficult to keep up. Top of the pile for me, currently, are Transit. If I didn’t know better i’d think that Transit exist purely to make me happy. They play music so appropriate to my taste that i’m convinced that at any moment I could wake up to realise they were nothing more than a perfect dream. I am a massive fan of Transit’s previous album ‘Keep this to yourself’, I think that its the quintessential pop punk album full of songs that Taking Back Sunday can only wish they were still capable of writing. But ‘Listen & Forgive’ is a step up. Transit have taken the late 90’s emo sound, dusted it off, mixed in their pop punk but now with added pop sensibilities. It’s an album so insanely catchy that you find yourself already singing along on your second listen. Every track is an immediate standout. The opening song ‘You can’t miss it (it’s everywhere) hits the ground running, The infectious up tempo beat grabs you by the lapels and forces you to climb on board. The guitar sound is so warm, lush and almost understated it gives the album an incredible glow. Combine that with the personal poetry of the lyrics and the memorable vocal melodies you get something very special. The record flows from track to track seamlessly. Using influences from several bands but never in an obvious way. Title track ‘Listen & forgive’ is a pop gem reminiscent of ‘Mass pike’ by Get up kids, there can be found elements of Braid and American Football in various places, ‘I think I know you’ has more of an indie sound and ‘Don’t make a sound’ reminds me of Maritime at their catchiest best.

I really hope ‘Listen & Forgive’ doesn’t alienate any of the fans from their earlier output. I can’t see how it could, the sound may be more accomplished but it’s still very much Transit. This is definitely a highlight in a year full of potentially classic albums. As the title suggests Listen! As for Forgive, Transit you ain’t got nothing to apologise for.

Perfect for: Soundtracking these autumn months.

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