The best song from the week of August 23-29.
Thorns – Being As An Ocean
BAAO took a huge risk by moving further away from their debut albums roots, and it seems to have paid off. They signed to Equal Vision Records for this LP, but allegedly EVR wasn’t happy with the direction BAAO decided to take with this album, and so it got stuck in limbo between the label owning it but not wanting to release it and the band being proud of the music and wanting it to be released to their fans who’d been waiting for a long time. The BAAO boys decided to take matters into their own hands and put every penny they had into buying the record back from the label to release it independently. This is a lot of words to say simply this: the departure of sound was enough for their new label to be unhappy. And upon hearing this song, it truly is a huge departure, but in the best way possible. While many bands decide to use different influences later into their career, it usually means they just end up writing some kind of pop-rock album with EDM infused into the chorus (see: Crown The Empire, Sleeping With Sirens, etc.), this band truly has steered into their influences to create works of art. The entire album is extremely artistic, and showcases the wide influences and variety of voices involved with this band. But, let’s get to the track at hand. If you’re around my age, the very first thing that will jump out at you is the sample used from the Justice vs. Simian song “We Are Your Friends” from 2006. It’s haunting layered over top of minor chords. The song opens with a looping crackle joined by string chords, all with the beautiful vocals of Michael and Joel right on top. Then, the sample drops. “WE ARE-!“ It feels almost out of place at first, but upon multiple listens, it adds a depth to this song that would otherwise be missing entirely. Joel’s vocals, as always, are as passionate as they come. The best part of the song is the chorus, with Joel screaming “Shake the death from your bones,” and a bell-like sound rings out overtop of a rhythmic, rolling floor tom and strings. It’s so atmospheric, so anthemic, and exactly where I think BAAO should be headed right now. Their use to sampling, electronica, chopping of the vocals, and symphonic influences is brilliant. They’ve left the breakdowns behind for art that suits them, and they don’t care what you, the label, or anyone else thinks.
RIYL: Bring Me The Horizon (That’s The Spirit era), Linkin Park (Hybrid Theory era), Nine Inch Nails
So Typical – Coldfront
Coldfront continue their assault of the pop-punk scene and also my ears. Following in the footsteps of Seaway and Like Pacific, Coldfront are on the cusp of blowing up. The dual vocalist approach, while not entirely original, really does add a dynamic that would otherwise be missing from this band. The part of this song that really stands out is the bridge, where Coldfront really steer into the punk portion of their pop-punk genre. The riff is great, the vocals really show their grit, and the power chords are off the chart! I really dig what these guys are doing and look forward to hearing the whole debut cover to cover. Another solid song from a great, up-and-coming band. Keep your eyes peeled.
RIYL: Like Pacific, Rarity, The Wonder Years
Silver Tongues (Feat. Tilian) – I the Mighty
I the Mighty have always been a band where I forget about them and then rediscover them like 6 months later. They’re incredibly talented and have their own sound, but I always forget about them for some reason. So here I am, showcasing them again because they again prove to me I should be listening to them on a consistent basis. This song showcases incredible musicianship in every form. Kicking the song off with one of the tastiest bass licks I’ve heard in years, overtop a beautiful, complex drum beat. Then, they’re joined by some guitars that are playing something different than what the bass guitar plays?? WHAT?? The vocals are awesome, always showing that little bit of raspyness. The chorus kicks in and everything comes together, proving that this band knows exactly how to make a song. Like many songs, this one really kicks in at the outro of the last chorus when Tilian jumps in and proves the beauty of having two vocalists who have a range and power unlike any others. The harmonies these guys hit so purely and cleanly. There’s so much power in both of these guys vocals, and the rest of the band is extremely talented. It’s everything you could want from a true post-hardcore band. Progressive rock band. Whatever, genres are overrated. This is a killer song.
RIYL: Dance Gavin Dance, Hands Like Houses, Hail The Sun
Curse Me Out – Seaway
I need to showcase these guys one more time, because quite honestly they are my favourite band right now. Seaway has shown clear maturity and artistic progression from their last album. There is far less of the typical new-wave pop-punk, and much more 90s influenced pop rock in the very best way. The influences of Weezer, Third Eye Blind, and Nine Days can be heard clear as day through various songs. This song is about being on the road and fighting with a significant other. I don’t think they would have used an acoustic sounding guitar if this song had been on their last album, and that shows how bold and ready they are to embrace the next stage of Seaway as a band apart from the genre. No posijumps during this song, no talking about pizza or getting out of this small town. This song is the product of being on the road for a few years and growing as musicians and as people. It’s pretty clear that this song is about real moments, where keeping a relationship going while on the road is incredibly different. “I could catch a train home, but you didn’t really like me much right now.” Great growth in this song. The dual vocals shine through again on the chorus with a great harmony line. Another solid track from what will probably end up being my Album of the Year.
RIYL: The All-American Rejects, Four Year Strong, Third Eye Blind