According to Decaydance’s twitter, Ryan Seacrest will be premiering Cobra Starship’s newest single “Good Girls Go Bad (featuring Leighton Meester)” tomorow morning on his radio show. For listings on where to hear the show click here.
“I’ve got my mind set/and i’ve been preparing” are the first lines to ring out on Mandy K’s latest self-titled EP, and no lines are more appropriate for the rest of the EP to be influenced by. With an album already under their belt, Mandy K have a lot to work with already in the way of re-working old songs, as well as introducing new ones for fans of the band. Their self-titled EP is a good mix of both that will introduce new fans to Mandy K and have them hooked at first listen.
The opening track “Plans” is bursting at the seams with hope and promise for the rest of the EP, as hints of bands like Motion City Soundtrack are ever present in the form of synths (most notably in the intro). Coupled with hook-filled lyrics and an enjoyable melody, “Plans” is a great start to this EP.
A common trend amongst most EP’s being released is the token “acoustic song” that showcases the heartwarming sentiments of said band, and how well they can wield an acoustic guitar. Mandy K does not escape this generalization with the song “Sunflower”. While on their previous album, they re-created it with higher production value for this EP, and the result is nothing short of charming and heart-warming (The chorus of “I Love You’s” helps a great deal). This song proves to be a step above most other acoustic songs as it retains a youthful and summery vibe that makes it an enjoyable listen (the full band ending helps boost the energy and sing-a-long quality of the song).
The rest of the EP showcases Mandy K’s ability to create all different kinds of definitions for the word “catchy”. The piano intro to “Come Back To Bed” adds a classic feel to it that is necessary to allow the track to stand on its own. “Are You From Tennessee? Cause You’re the Only Ten I See” shows the bands ability to let loose a little more and “rock out”. Another dimension to the EP is the “singer-scorned” effect of “Save Your Excuses”, which shows their ability to take their lyricism a bit more cynically to get back at someone, while still making it as catchy as possible.
Mandy K are obviously a band that have accomplished a fair amount in their time together, and as this EP as evidence shall remain on people’s radars as a band about ready to break through to people in a big way.
The Silent Years are going on tour with Jukebox The Ghost and Chiodos, the dates are as follows:
04/30: Chicago, IL @ Subterranean *
05/01: Des Moines, IA @ Vaudville Mews
05/02: Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive *
05/03: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
05/04: Boise, Idaho @ Visual Arts Collective
05/05: Seattle, WA @ The Sunset Tavern
05/07: Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
05/09: San Diego, CA @ Red Bull Air Races
05/09: Fullerton, CA @ Santa Fe Express
05/11: Phoenix, AZ @ Rythm Room
05/13: Lawrence, KS @ 8th St. Taproom
05/14: Lincoln, NE @ Box Awesome
05/15: Omaha, NE @ The Slowdown
05/21: Rochester, NY @ Abiline Lounge
05/22: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
05/29: Columbus, OH @ The Basement ^
05/30: De Kalib, IL @ House Cafe ^
05/31: Madison, WI @ Majestic Theater ^
* w/ Jukebox The Ghost
^ w/ Chiodos
Sometimes when we listen to music we learn to let go, let go of our previous conceptions of what we like and what we choose to listen to on a daily basis. In doing this can we evolve our musical standards and learn to listen to things all across the board. This leads us to The Silent Year’s newest EP, Let Go.
“Taking Drugs at the Amusement Park” is the first track to lead off Let Go, with a fuzzy bass intro and pounding drums this song might mean pure ecstasy for any indie lover, but as the song progresses it is learned that they are just as much about pop as they are indie (especially taking into consideration the “da-da-da”-like breakdown).
This brings us to the aforementioned point, that sometimes we need to let go of what we think a band should sound like. Sometimes it is hard to border indie and pop at the same time, because it is such a niche (indie) compared with the ability to access any kind of listener (pop). This is something that The Silent Years have done very well for themselves. Songs such as “Vampires Bite The Hands That Feed Them” is pure indie gold (horns and all), while “Madame Shocking” is a song that shows single potential with a rising string intro evolving into a fun drum beat with charming effects throughout.
Let Go is a wonderful taste of what the band is all about, that they can be just as good at being fun and catchy, while being instrumentally sound and ambient as your favorite indie band. In the end it is hard to resist the catchiness of songs like “TV>BJ”, or the six minute long finale “Claw Marks” with it’s spastic movement between sounds leaves the listener spellbound and wanting more after the last note fades away with the white noise.
A very tastefully constructed EP have made The Silent Years a band to keep paying attention to in the future as they polish their ability to create tunes that will not only appeal to everyone around them, but also allow them to retain artistic credibility in the most critical of circles. Above all else Let Go features fun, vibrant, sing-along songs that will have the entire audience singing along.
I recently had the oppurtunity to conduct an interview with David Cook of one of Virgin records latest signee’s My Favorite Highway. We discuss signing to a major label, flavour of the week scene bands, and Demi Lovato. Special thanks goes out to David and Frank at Empire Media Management for allowing this to happen
On your blog, you’ve been quoted as saying “Scene kids and hip-hop beats were never meant to breed, I can’t wait until the “party emo” trend is dead”. Do you feel at all cheated at seeing bands like these get signed and become accomplished so soon after only playing a couple shows and posting some “fun” songs on myspace, seeing how much you’ve had to go through to get to the level you’re at?
No, I don’t feel cheated, because I know that they’ll all be changing my oil at Jiffy Lube in a few years. Sorry, that was harsh, I just mean to say that those bands aren’t career bands, they’re the flavor of the week and will be hear today and gone tomorrow, there’s no real talent or effort involved. It’s not real music and I’m pretty sure that 95% of music listeners hate it and the other 5% don’t know any better.
How do you feel about sites like Myspace or Purevolume, like how they can allow for a directory of all different kinds of bands to put there songs out there and be discovered, while at the same time allowing bands like Brokencyde and Millionaires to exist and become successful in the same environment? is it just as much of a blessing as it is a curse?
That’s a really good question, and I have mixed feelings. Without websites like MySpace we would have never had a foundation to build our fan base or an outlet to sell our music and market our tours. The problem definitely is that now your friend Tommy across the hall can record himself farting, get someone to design him an awesome MySpace and sell 100,000 downloads of “Tommy’s Farts” on iTunes and make $70,000 doing so. The beauty of it is that anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset can turn their “music” into a semi-successful business rather quickly. The problem is that there are SO many bands out there that music in general is very over saturated right now, but the bottom line is that the real artists that have great songs will rise to the top and the ones who don’t will get to have some fun making their music.
Listen to a new untitled track from Mayday Parade performed acoustic live that will appear on their new album here. Let us know what you think
Luis Dubuc’s The Secret Handshake have been hard at work since the release of his debut, One Full Year. Amidst a whole lot of touring and gaining new fans each and every day, The Secret Handshake have made themselves known as a band with a lot of credit for being high energy on the road, but with only one full album under your belt you can only do so much. Now with a fresh sophomore album, My Name Up In Lights is an album set to take The Secret Handshake to higher levels then ever before.
The opening track “All For You” sets up the album at a fun, fast paced adventure into figuring out what you can accomplish with the rest of your life. the guitar splashes in the opening track really help to show what Luis has learned since he started out, adding more musical diversity and rock-appeal to songs.
While guitars can be fun, it’s hard to fight the catchiness of a well placed piano hook in songs like “Nothing To Change That” and “Saturday”. Which are both fun songs with piano parts that will have you youtube-ing all night finding out how to play them.
While Luis still remains within the whole hipster/scene vibe of his tunes, he is also able to switch up styles and still remain relevant to the rest of his album. Tracks like “Hey Girl” and “Make Up Your Mind” which rock with a certain swagger compliments of unique drum and bass parts that give the tracks a certain poise about them that make them unique from their contemporaries.
It’s all to apparent that The Secret Handshake has achieved a certain maturity through My Name Up In Lights. While some songs remember what has happened before (see: “TGIF”) and what could be (see: “Last Song”), there has obviously been some growing up in between One Full Year and this new release. There’s nothing better then seeing an artist you’ve enjoyed since the beginning mature as a musician and find their own place in the scene, it’s hard to deny that My Name Up In Lights has separated The Secret Handshake from a lot of other bands who have electronic beats and instruments, because experience breeds talent, and it’s something this album proves to be true.
Click here to preview/purchase All Time Low’s new single “Weightless” on iTunes.
Jimmy Eat World will be streaming the encore set from their show tonight live at 8 o’ clock here.
Watch interviews with Greta Salpeter, Brendon Urie, Max Bemis, Dan Young, and Thomas Dutton discussing the recording and creation of Razia’s Shadow here.