Monday, 24 August 2009
There's no doubt about it, I used to dismiss this band. I never really let them register and even when I did it was a fleeting fancy for one or two of their big hits that more or less everyone could move to. I never thought of them as a band right at the forefront of making good music, they never were a totally amazing group of songwriters to me, Fall Out Boy didn't get the obsessive treatment I reserve for alot of the other big hitters I listen to. Nevertheless, as with anyone submerged in today's pop culture milieu they've always flirted with the boundaries of my listening radar.
For a group of guys who churn out solid hit after solid pop punk hit they possess somewhat double-edged sword charachteristics, take the very inception of Fall Out Boy; Joe Trohman overheard future lead singer Patrick Stump talking about Neurosis in a book store and went on to introduce himself. Not Bad Religion, not early Green Day but Neurosis! Pete Wentz, as preened and coiffed as you might like to think of him, played in a succession of hardcore punk and metalcore outfits, notably Arma Angelus (The Grave End of The Shovel), and Yellow Road Priest. Furthermore along with future drummer Andy Hurley, he played in the political straight edge act Racetraitor. It was only after the group discussed taking their musical aspirations in a direction that reflected their early pop punk listening habits (Descendants, The Get Up Kids), that Fall Out Boy came into being
I was really well and truly impressed with Folie á Deux, bringing it out roughly only a year after Infinity On High and still managing to pack in an abundance of delightfully well crafted songs aswell as furthering their musical maturity Is surely praise worthy in anyone's book. Bands don't do that nowadays, well not the gilded pop punk generation. They're so obsessed with the particulars of producing, mixing and mastering, to really put out what they want to put out. Pete Wentz, no longer the limelight thief with perfect teeth that i thought he was, is worthy of the recognition he gets. His lyrics are as satirical, layered, meaningful and seductively blazé. Metal has so many restrictions and boundaries that are watertight if you want to be deemed part of the fold, yet i have never seen a downside to 'wimpy' pop punk. It's just sailing in the sunshine, there's no downside to great hooks & great melody. Punk Rock is freedom, it is Art, someone great once said 'Art is expression, in expression you need 100% full freedom" .. and so i will advocate for Fall Out Boy.
So I've started my love affair, 5 years later than everyone else maybe, but hey, I'd like to think I listen to alot! The point of this blog? Probably to say that I was wrong to dismiss Fall Out Boy earlier on in their career, and also to say sorry to Pete Wentz - he's not the ego monster I labelled him as, he has quite a bit of wit about him, I love how he makes a complete mockery of young coked up Hollywood. Probably just a product of growing up listening to The Smiths.
For those who haven't heard Folie á Deux and feel like giving it a chance - Download
Saturday, 22 August 2009
My friend Josh alerted me to a band called Wolf Whistle, who play a brand of fast hardcore straight out of New Bedford MA. Pretty good on their own merit but dig a little deeper and you'll learn they're fronted by Pat Flynn from Have Heart; which is pretty special in itself especially to think that this might well take up more of his time once the final Have Heart tour is through. They're completed by Trevor Vaughan of XFilesX, Derek DaSilva, and Evan Radigan of The Rival Mob (Get Rival Mob's 'Raw Life' record) and wrote a 10 song demo followed by another 4 song demo with ideas now to get back in the studio and record further tracks.
Fans of Have Heart will no doubt throw themselves onto this wholeheartedly but on a purely sonic level they don't draw that many parallels with the Boston flag boys. Think faster, more sporadic drumming and frenetic guitars with the track times more than halved. Just a grittier approach to hardcore in general and a backlash against the soaring chants and thumping hooks of Have Heart. Pat Flynn's vocal prescense remains untarnished, he's just as relentless as hes previously known to be, spitting his lines like a brown bear on steroids. Pat Flynn's good friendship with Lee from Trash Talk might have rubbed off a little on Wolf Whistles style, who are definitely more aligned to that pissed off Sacramento/San Fran sound than anything Boston is tending to at the moment. Great Stuff, get listening!
Wolf Whistle - Demo '07
Wolf Whistle - Winter Demo 09 + Live on WERS
This is the last weekend before Leeds Fest 2009 lands and it's a definite case of 'the calm before the storm.' I feel the need to abstain from alcohol and other intoxicants in preparation for the four days of debauchery, kind of like the few days of fasting before the feast-banquet-marathon. Either way nothing but good times are in the pipeline. This is the finalised line-up, I could not be more stoked for Faith No More, after years and years of thinking i'd never get the chance to see them..
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
An actual Ladder. I kid you not, after what initialised as a trivial argument with my Dad's wife, my father saw fit to heave a bulky step ladder in my direction - all the while huffing and panting like a threatened silver back. It wasn't pretty and to be honest none of you fucks needed to know anything about my family quarrels but every story has a beginning. Yes even 'The Neverending Story'
Post Paternal Meltdown left me stranded with nowhere to stay so I packed up the only things that mattered; Ipod, thrashed skinny black shorts & some fresh T's and took off to Peterborough to get away from everything. All I could listen to for the 4 hour journey was Saves The Day's 'Through Being Cool' - A band who I will staunchly defend against anyone. For those who are blinking blearily with no Saves The Day framework, think Sunny Day Real Estate glazing over heartbreak with sugary melody. For fans of The Movielife, The Get Up Kids etc. They're really not you're average 'Punky Pop Rock' band, 6 albums under their belt puts them high up on the mantle of genre heavyweights. Always a delight to listen to and Chris Conley's lyrics deal with so much of his own torment which flies directly in the face of whatever happy care-free pop punk you're listening to this week.
I spent the subsequent few days partying with everyone and going to the beach, Alas the number of attractive females falling into the 16-25 catergory was so low I was reduced to passing the time by playing beach cricket for hours on end and Gnarkill really fucking loud in the car. 'Mustard Man', 'Golden Egg', 'Skeletor vs Beastman' .. we nailed all the classics. On the Thursday I went to see This Is Colour in Peterborough with my brother Lewi, Shane & Andy - Alex was at the gig aswell. Small world, figures. I wore my Throats shirt.
So for the past week it's been hightimes all round, right now it's 8:35 am and i'm propped up on a caffeine scaffold trying not to succumb to the lulls of Incubus. Going to some wine bar tonight to have a root through whats left of the local indie scene, hopefully my next post will be a bit more cohesive.
The other night I wrote what I thought was a killer Cold World review, Sod's Law then prompted my laptop to overheat and shutdown instantly, obliterating my unsaved work. I scurried to a notepad and jotted down everything I could remember so once thats been pieced back together I'll post it for all you arm chair critics to scrutinise.
August will consist of finding somewhere stable to rest my head, paying my scandalous £90 college bus pass, unleashing everything at Trash Talk in Huddersfield and mastering the art of partying at Leeds Fest '09. Bring on Municipal Waste, Bring on Thursday, Bring on Deftones! One month of freedom left so lets fucking RAGE! 'til then this is what i've been listening to...
Trapped Under Ice - Secrets of The World
Hardcore out of Baltimore, drawing a few similarities with Bitter End and older stuff like Crown of Thornz. Big & brass good tyme Hardcore, very refreshing.
The Shins - Oh Inverted World
Musing Alt Rock, soft & comforting with melody & meaning to boot. For those who've also been sucked into the cult of Death Cab.
Kylesa - Static Tensions
Dark, brooding metal, Not far from the sound Mastodon aim for. Some would say 'Stoner Metal' but I really hate that term. I like this album so much I'll probably go into more detail in a later post!