Friday, April 30, 2010

The Pretty Reckless - Make Me Wanna Die

The Pretty Reckless is an upcoming hard rock band whose unlikely front-woman is one of the demanding new names in music.  The band is led by sixteen year old vocalist Taylor Momsen.  She is probably best known for her role on the television drama series, Gossip Girl.  With The Pretty Reckless, Momsen completely sheds her role as an actress. She becomes the leader of a rock and roll band.

"Make Me Wanna Die" doesn't have lyrics that will make you smile. With a chorus of, "You make me wanna die, I'll never be good enough...", the song could be about heartbreak or anger.  Momsen's delivery of these lyrics is incredibly believable.  Her lower register is the highlight of the song.

While Momsen may seem to be the focus of the music, The Pretty Reckless is not a solo project. It is indeed a band.  The amazing instrumental and backing vocals prove that there are other band members worth paying attention to.  I feel that a band image will attract much more attention than only Momsen being on the promo shots.

The band's debut single is very reminiscent of 90's grunge.  The musical style of The Pretty Reckless is very similar to Hole.  While the music may be connected, Taylor Momsen's voice is much stronger than Courtney Love's.  The band's debut album is coming out later this year.  The band hasn't released any other official song's yet.  This adds even more anticipation to the record's release.  I would check out "Make Me Wanna Die" if you want a fresh rock song with a killer chorus.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nico Vega - So So Fresh

Here's another female fronted band that proves not every group with a girl is the same.  Nico Vega is a trio from Los Angeles.  They've been around since 2005, and released their debut album last year.  The song "So So Fresh" is just one of the great song's on their record.

"So So Fresh" is an all out rock song.  It has some dance-rock influences, such as the hi-hat in the chorus and the heavy bass during the verses.  Vocalist, Aja Volkman, has a similar roughness in her voice as Alison Mosshart of The Dead Weather.  Her gasping and screaming really gives a dangerous feel to the song.  The song's hook is actually her breathing.  That's something you don't hear often.

The high energy level of the song is the main attraction.  Nico Vega has an "in your face" attitude that many bands need.  This comes through in the chorus of "So So Fresh".  The main guitar riff, played by Rich Koehler, has a melody that will be in your head for days.

Nico Vega is currently on tour with Semi Precious Weapons.  These two seem like a perfect match.  They both play wild and crazy rock 'n roll.  You can find "So So Fresh" on their self-titled album.  I would check it out if you like The Kills, The Dead Weather, or The Duke Spirit.  Nico Vega has a long future ahead of them.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Picture Me Broken - Dearest (I'm So Sorry)

It seems that nowadays, whenever a new female fronted rock band is formed, they're immediately compared to Paramore or Evanescence.  These two bands have become the standards for women in rock.  This makes it harder for these new bands to get credit where credit is due.  Picture Me Broken definitely deserves credit.  While they do play the same type of music as Flyleaf and Lacuna Coil, they should be seen as a band to take notice of.

Their song "Dearest (I'm So Sorry)" is destined for modern rock radio.  The song opens with a riff played by, guitarist, Nick Loiacono that you would think belongs to Avenged Sevenfold or Disturbed.  Then, vocalist, Brooklyn Allman, comes in with her demanding voice.  The song's chorus is soaring and melodic.  The bridge after the breakdown is what surprised me the most.  Brooklyn can scream with the best of the genre.  She competes with Lacey Mosley of Flyleaf.  It really adds a roughness to the song.

You can find "Dearest (I'm So Sorry)" on their EP of the same name.  Picture Me Broken's music sounds incredibly professional for only being around a few years.  They have the potential to really break into the rock scene with a huge following.  I would definitely check them out if you like bands such as Escape The Fate, Flyleaf, Bullet For My Valentine, and maybe even Chiodos.  Be on the look out for Picture Me Broken's debut album, Wide Awake, later this year.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Good Old War - My Own Sinking Ship

Good Old War is a trio that plays folky pop music.  Their songs are usually focused on an acoustic guitar and harmonies.  The type of music that they play seems to be a dying genre.  It isn't quite folk, yet it also isn't pop.  The balance between the two genres works perfectly.  They just released a new song from their next record, and it's definitely a good sign for fans of the band's unique sound.

"My Own Sinking Ship" is the first single from the band's upcoming album.  The song has a great melody, just like their previous hits such as "Coney Island"  This song is a bit more mellow than the upbeat "Coney Island". The lower vibe doesn't make it any less of a song.  "My Own Sinking Ship" is such a refreshing sound for the music industry.

The band is releasing their self-titled sophomore album on June 1st.  You can download this new song for free, here.  I would definitely check it out.  It doesn't matter if you don't like acoustic based music.  This song is contagious enough to attract listeners of every genre.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Glass Candy - Feeling Without Touching

"Feeling Without Touching" is a piece of electronic goodness from Glass Candy.  The song resembles something from the 80's via Talking Heads.  With a beat that sounds like a robot, the song may be one of acquired taste.  The vocal style of, singer, Ida No channels the famous Yoko Ono.  Something about the tone of No's singing is incredibly similar to Yoko's distinct voice.  If you like odd and bouncy pop songs, then this quality is an added bonus.

The group's EP, Feeling Without Touching, was released in February of this year.  The tracks on the album are definitely out of the ordinary.  With spoken words and buzzing synth beats, you'll be turning your head in curiosity.  The instrumentals on the EP sound like they could also belong to Madonna during her early career.  If you like original and sometimes even questionable electronic or dance music, then check out Glass Candy.  Their music may be far out and weird at times, but it's also pretty interesting.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Pack A.D. - Crazy

As I mentioned in my review of "Gold And Warm" by Bad Veins, duos can be amazing.  This song by The Pack A.D. proves my point.  The Pack A.D. is a Canadian female duo that plays solid rock and roll music.  Their song "Crazy" borrows heavily from The White Stripes' style of music.  It's heavy, catchy, and raw.

Upon first listen, the opening riff to "Crazy" sounds almost exactly like "The Hardest Button To Button" by The White Stripes.  This may scare away loyal White Stripes fans.  The riff changes very quickly, but being so similar to an already famous song could make some listens scream "unoriginality".  If you aren't overly critical of this coincidence, then the song is great.  I love the heavy bass beat supplied by, drummer, Maya Miller.  If you add in the crunchy guitar of, vocalist, Becky Black, you have a winning combination.

"Crazy" can be found on the band's album, We Kill Computers.  You should check them out if you like The White Stripes, Billy Boy On Poison, The Black Keys, or Band Of Skulls.  The Pack A.D. have that garage, and sometimes bluesy, rock sound.  Give it a listen if you like that style of music.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ke$ha - Your Love Is My Drug

Ke$ha is taking over the radio at an incredibly fast rate.  First it was "TiK ToK".  This song was completely everywhere.  Her references to "jack" and P. Diddy caused her to go straight to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.  After her first single, she released "Blah Blah Blah" with 3OH!3.  While the song hasn't yet beat "TiK ToK's" record, the song is still making it's impact.  The third and upcoming single from her album, Animal, is "Your Love Is My Drug".  The song follows the same formula as her previous hits and isn't really groundbreaking in any way.

"Your Love Is My Drug" is by far the catchiest of her singles.  The song is about her addiction to a boy, he is her "drug".  I'm not sure who Ke$ha's target audience is, but I don't feel that using the term "crackhead" to describe herself is a great example for teenage girls.  She tends to glorify drugs, sex, and alcohol in her music. Ke$ha's definitely not a great role model, but nobody said she was trying to be one.

The most interesting part of the song is the ending.  The music is stripped down significantly, and the pop singer starts blurbing out random words.  Giggling and the odd line, "I like your beard." are just some of the things that are heard.  She definitely has a strange attitude.

In the end, the song isn't doing anything that hasn't already been thought of.  Ke$ha's songs are all very computerized and rely heavily on a bass filled beat.  It's bratty club music.  If you enjoy this style, you can find all of her hits on her debut album, Animal.  "Your Love Is My Drug" will most likely go to number one on the charts, but that doesn't mean it deserves that title.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work

Two Door Cinema Club is an indie rock band from Northern Ireland.  Their music is bouncy and catchy.  Imagine fusing together Vampire Weekend and Phoenix.  The end result would be Two Door Cinema Club.  By taking elements that these established bands have used, this young band could be on the cusp of success.

"Something Good Can Work" has the same sound as "Lisztomania" had for Phoenix.  It's very poppy and fast.  The lyrically packed verses have a great contrast from the chorus.  The tune also contains a clapping beat, which adds even more to the happy vibe.  "Something Good Can Work" has the same star power as the previous "iPod ad" hits.  It's has some sort of commercial appeal, yet it's "indie" enough to attract an entirely different crowd.

Hopefully this song won't be criticized for being a sound-alike to bands such as Hockey and Vampire Weekend.  While it does sound similar, it isn't to the point of confusion.  You can find "Something Good Can Work" on their debut album, Tourist History.  You can also download it for free on iTunes until April 20, US listeners only.  I would definitely check out this band, they're catchy and fun.  What more could you ask for?

Friday, April 9, 2010

LIGHTS - Saviour

As I said in a previous post, electro-pop is an immensely popular genre at the moment.  Owl City has proved this with his success.  LIGHTS (yes it really is capitalized), who is currently on tour with Owl City, is also an artist of this infectious genre.  With the focus on bouncy synths and sweet lyrics, LIGHTS has created the catchy and bubbly "Saviour".  This song is from her debut album, The Listening.  It has recently been remixed by Adam Young, and this song isn't going to stop there.

LIGHTS is actually Lights Valerie Poxleitner.  She has created the "LIGHTS" label as a stage name of some sort.  Her voice is very unique.  It's quite high, with a glassy tone.  At first listen, you may be put off by it.  It took me a couple listens to get used to it, but when I did, I found out how great of a song "Saviour" is.  The main attraction of the tune is it's chorus.  It's very big and romantic with the lyrics, "I just wanna run to you - I need a saviour".  The melody, while somewhat simple, will be implanted in your brain for hours upon hearing it.

LIGHTS' album, The Listening, is out now.  If you like synth filled electro-pop songs with catchy beats, then LIGHTS is for you.  Her ability to create innocent and bright sounding pop songs will take her far.  "Saviour" is just the tip of the iceberg for her.  I would definitely check out this song, it grows on you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Foxy Shazam - Oh Lord

When I first heard this band, I knew that I had to feature them in a post.  Not often does a band come around where you're completely absorbed by their music and performances.  Foxy Shazam is a rock band whose style is so unique that you won't know wether or not they're serious.  Their music is outrageous, over the top, and most of all... fun.

"Oh Lord" is a single off of their upcoming self-titled album.  The song is huge.  Taking notes from Queen, Foxy Shazam has created an epic rock anthem.  Vocalist, Eric Nally, has a voice like no other.  It's very cartoonish at first listen, but after you hear him for a while you realize that he can really sing.  His lower register is completely different from his soaring high notes.  It goes from a strange throaty tone to piercing cries.  It really caught me off guard.

Each instrument in the song is amazing.  "Oh Lord" starts with a trumpet intro, and then takes off with the full band.  Throughout the song, a piano plays the melody along with Nally's vocals.  The chorus' power and chord progression really adds an uplifting feel to the song.  Overall, the song leaves a lasting impression on the listener.

I must say, Foxy Shazam really isn't for everyone.  From the vocals to the genre, some people will be scared away.  Those who do enjoy theatrical and crazy music are in for a treat with this band.  Their album, Foxy Shazam, is out April 13th.  Check it out if you want a record that stands out from the crowd.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Young Veins - Change

In 2008, Panic! At The Disco was on top of the world.  The pop-punk band had just released the follow up to their massively successful debut album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, that year.  Their sophomore album, Pretty. Odd., wasn't quite as successful as their previous album, but that doesn't mean they should have expected what was to come.  In July of 2009, the band's bassist, Jon Walker, and guitarist, Ryan Ross, announced they were leaving the group.  With half of the band gone, Panic! At The Disco was left in a tough spot.  Meanwhile, the two former members started a new band of their own.  In the summer of 2009, The Young Veins were formed.

Their song "Change" has distinct classic rock influences.  It sounds very similar to Panic! At The Disco's, Pretty. Odd. album.  The same retro 60's influence can be heard.  While this isn't a bad sound, it makes me wonder why they left P!ATD in the first place.  Sure, theirs no orchestra or horn section, but a lot has remained unchanged.  The main difference is the lack of Brendon Urie's vocals.  The vocals in the song are great for the vibe that they're going for, very distinct.

The Young Veins need to be seen as an entire band of it's own.  The association with Panic! At The Disco might bring their chance at success down.  At the same time, fans of their previous band might also support them.  It's a tough situation that they're in.  I would download "Change" if you like classic rock 'n rock music.  That's probably the best genre to categorize the band into.  Their upcoming debut album, Take A Vacation!, will tell listeners which direction they are headed in.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Owl City - Vanilla Twilight

One of the biggest pop songs of last year came from Owl City.  "Fireflies" took over the radio charts almost instantly.  The feel good song proved that Owl City was here to stay.  The biggest question on everyone's mind was, "Could Owl City top Fireflies with an even better song?".  That question may be answered with the electro-pop acts second single off of his album, Ocean Eyes.

Owl City is, in fact, one person.  Adam Young is the mastermind behind these catchy pop tunes.  "Vanilla Twilight" is a ballad in some variety.  The song starts with a lone piano behind Young's honest voice.  Then, the full synth-ridden instrumentation that Owl City is known for kicks in.  The main element that stands out in Owl City's songs, are the lyrics.  Adam Young creates lyrics that might be simple, but they're also incredibly honest, cute, and maybe even a little childish.  "Vanilla Twilight" is truly a modern love song.

Many have said that Owl City is too similar to The Postal Service.  While their styles of music are closely related, Owl City has managed to separate itself from this comparison by musical theme.  Between the odd subject choices and obscure lyricism, you won't confuse the two artists for long.

I believe that Adam Young has topped his previous smash hit with "Vanilla Twilight".  The song is great from it's bright yet mellow beat to the emotion filled vocals.  If you enjoyed "Fireflies", then you will most likely also enjoy this song.  Owl City is currently on tour with his female equivalent, Lights.  After his current tour, he's hitting the road with John Mayer.  He clearly has big plans ahead of him.  I would definitely check out this song or buy his album, Ocean Eyes, if you enjoyed his previous work.  "Vanilla Twilight" has the potential to make Owl City top the charts all over again.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Charlotte Sometimes - Ooh Love

Pop music comes in two types. There's either mass produced pop, which is what makes up the majority of today's radio, or there's a more organic type of pop music.  The organic pop music uses real instruments, such as strings, piano, and guitar, and has a more natural production stage.  Charlotte Sometimes' (born Jessica Charlotte Poland) new single, "Ooh Love", is a light-hearted pop song of the organic variety.  The song focuses on pure instrumentation and bright vocals.

"Ooh Love" is whimsical and soaring. The verses are covered in a smooth wind section and a piano.  When the chorus arrives, the song shoots up.  Charlotte goes in and out of her falsetto during the chorus so flawlessly.  The vocals are truly the highlight of the song.  They're very... happy.  You can hear the joy in her voice.  I also really love the forceful strings in the chorus.  They add a sense of urgency to the song.

If you enjoy Ingrid Michaelson's music, you'll probably like Charlotte Sometimes.  They have a similar style of music.  The main difference is that Ingrid's music is a bit more simplified with less layers.  Although they are very similar, Charlotte Sometimes is not to be discarded.  Her music is unique to it's own.  "Ooh Love" is perfect if you're looking for some fresh and bright pop music.