Tag Archives: punk

Rise Against – A Love Letter

I love Rise Against. So many of their songs compete to be my favourite. What I love about their music is that it is so full of strength. It motivates me, it keeps me going. They are my spinach to my Popeye.

Here are a few of my favourite Rise Against tunes, and why I love them.

Architects
The opening riff rings out like an alarm bell calling for your attention. Quickly followed by what only can be described as the band furiously punching their instruments. Calm. Quickly shattered by the band launch head first into the verse, where Tim McIlrath asks, nay, demands, “Are there no fighters left here any more? Are we the generation we’ve been waiting for?”.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Endgame – 2011

Give It All
Lyrically this is by no means Rise Against’s most articulate, or even most political song, but the muted strums and screaming of the verse contrasted with the poppy hooks of the chorus, turn an average song into something special.

This track never ever fails to lift me. I listen to this before sitting exams, before going into important meetings, when I’m down and when I feel that I’m veering off course. Like some marvellous medicine, it always works.

Siren Song Of The Counter Culture – 2004

Hero Of War
The first time I heard this track, the opening verse sent shivers down my spine. There is something so chilling and so striking about the clearness of just a voice and a acoustic guitar

That is of course, the desired effect. To grab you, and make you think twice about Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts with Western involvement. You don’t have to agree with the band and their message, but you do have to think.

Appeal To Reason – 2008

Built To Last
This is not a Rise Against song, but rather a cover of the punk legends, Sick Of It All.

Kicking off with a machine gun drum-roll intro, setting the pace for the next two minutes and fifty three seconds. The song does not relent for the entirety of the track. Speed and power.

When I’m running half marathons, I have this one timed to come on at the twelve mile point, with one mile to go. You should see me. Like Usain Bolt on Speed.

The Suffer and The Witness (Bonus Track) – 2006

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Awesome Bands I Like

Acoustic Jams

I’ve been playing a lot of acoustic guitar lately. This is for a few reasons:

i) it’s a lot easier just to pick up an acoustic and strum away than it is to set up a strat and plug everything in.
ii) I’ve been listening to a lot more acoustic guitar based music lately, like the ever fantastic Frank Turner, and Alkaline Trio’s amazing reworking of old songs on their album Damnesia.
iii) I’ve brought my acoustic guitar from my parents house to my flat.

The main driving factor in all of this is that I realised that I’m unlikely to ever be in a punk band again. Most people in their twenties just are to focused on their careers and watching telly with their girlfriends to harbour any ambitions to play in a band. And let’s be honest, punk-rock is a little childish.

I thought it would be much easier to get somewhere with writing songs and playing them to people if I wrote them all myself as cut down singer-songwriter tunes.

It would seem that my good friend Jacko has had similar ideas. He text me out of the blue a week or so ago and said about giving the music one more go. We did. Just two guys playing acoustic guitars. It was great! We came to the conclusion that less is more and we really should refrain from over complicating songs. Maybe if I learn to sing the two of us will be enough to complete a band after all.

Here is a nice video of Frank Turner

No songs from Damnesia are available of YouTube, however Dan Adriano (Alkaline Trio bassist) has his own solo album, Hollow Sounds, which is brilliant. Here’s a track from there.

Leave a comment

Filed under Band

New Releases = More Tunes

My two favourite band are both releasing new albums this month. This makes me extremely happy, not only do I adore their music, but it also means I get to buy music that’s current and wasn’t released a decade ago.

As with most upcoming major releases, singles have been released prior to both album’s launches. This is what I wanted to talk about. Hearing either song inspires me to pick up my guitar and get writing again, they both overwhelm me with a crushing need to play music and perform in front of an audience again. After listening to both the other night on spotify, I sat down with my guitar until I wrote something. It’s not much at the moment, but it’s got enough ideas and potential to bring together an entire song.

Anyway, let’s look at the bands!

Rise Against – Help Is On The Way
Since I was given Revolutions Per Minute for my birthday by my best friend some 5 years ago, I have become obsessed with Rise Against, buying every album, EP and going to every show I can possibly get to.

Their new song is taken from the album Endgame, which is released on 14 March 2011(sounds like a trip to HMV during my lunch break on Monday!)

There’s something about the opening riff that captures my attention, but unfortunately the majority of the song sounds like rehashes and reused harmonics from songs off their previous album, Appeal To Reason. Not a bad thing, but it’s not as good as their early stuff. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the rest of the record is like.

Sum 41 – Screaming Bloody Murder
These guys were my favourite bands until I discovered Rise Against. Sum 41’s music was some of the first rock I listened to, and Motivation was probably the first song I learnt to play in it’s entirety. Needless to say, they hold a special place in my heart.

The album is out on 29 March 2011. The first single is also the title track.

In contrast to Rise Against’s single, this is very different to anything that I’ve heard from Sum 41 before. It makes me wonder in which direction the album will go in. Each record the band have put out changes their sound, often going from pop-punk to metal and back.

The song however, feels rather disjointed, almost as it it was written in a studio and riffs were attached to each on a computer, rather than by sitting down with a couple guitars and seeing what worked.

That’s not to say I don’t like the track, the solo was a particular highlight, but given that the album has been repeatedly delayed you have to wonder what the band were doing all that time. Let’s hope the rest of the album has more polish.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome Bands I Like, Band, Song Writing

Mental Japanese New Wave Band? Yes Please!

I absolutely love Polysics!

Had the privilege of seeing them at The Garage way back in June 2006. That was one hot and sweaty gig.

The lead singer, being Japanese and all, wasn’t all that good at English. His crowd interaction consisted of him shouting
“We Polysics! You… UK!” much like the native little fat kid you meet on holiday who tries to communicate with you before running off with your frisbee.

Give the man his dues though, he speaks much better English than I do Japanese. That’s probably because I have learnt all my Japanese from JWOW. Here’s a nice example of JWOW for you:

PHOWAR!

2 Comments

Filed under Awesome Bands I Like

Missing Lyrics – Found!

Yesterday I was clearing out my rucksack. This is a lot like clearing out your school blazer at the end of term, you know, with the inside pockets full of letters you were meant to give to your Mum four weeks ago.

Amongst the eye drops, imodium and loose change I found a sheet with song lyrics scribbled down. I didn’t recognise this at all, but I knew that I must have written it; my god-awful handwriting was scrawled across the sheet.

I gave a it good read, and to my surprise I thought the lyrics were pretty sweet! This is notable because I usually despair when I re-read my lyrics. This harks back to when I first started writing music when I was 15/16. I would write songs about my first girlfriend breaking up with me in the middle of the night. As my pen struggled to keep up with my overactive mind I would think to myself “this is gold!”, and once I re-read them in the cold morning light I would realise that I was an emo twat.

Anyway, heres a sneakpeek. Some word arrangements will be changed, also I’ve clearly missed half a line off and need another verse, but I’m not too worried about that, lots of bands just repeat themselves.
img_0487-2011-01-29-22-38.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under Band, Song Writing

Old Jams. New Jams. No Jams.

The last post (written in June 2010, but posted in January 2011) shows how just how incomplete my little projects become. Maybe I should modify them, instead of taking on larger challenges, just tackle little chunks at a time. The only other option I can think of is giving up, which for me, is akin to rolling over and dying. To this end, I will aim to update with smaller posts, and much more regularly. I promise. Maybe.

So what’s happened in the last 6 months or so? Quite a lot and not a lot!

Jacko and I had stopped jamming with Rafferty, but had pretty much stopped jamming together as well.

When Jacko and I did get together on the odd occasion it was clear that he (and probably me as well) had lost all motivation. I was like trying to have sex with a flaccid penis. It clearly wasn’t going anywhere.

Being the proactive little man that I am, I began to look for other opportunities, again through GumTree. I had an audition for a band, which I won’t go into (it was awful, so maybe I’ll tell you about it in another post, once I have come to terms with the whole ordeal).

From GumTree some good did come; we met Manning, a classically trained guitarist, who has all the same influences as me and Jacko.

Better still, he had written a stack of awesome songs!

We jammed three or four times. Each time was great! His material was all there, we worked on fleshing out the sound and filling in the gaps. it was going great. Or so I thought.

All of this was just before Christmas. Manning being a student, and me being a non-local, we both went home for a few weeks to do the family thing. Jacko and I have both text him trying to get the next jam sorted, but neither of us have heard anything. Not a dickie bird.

Sigh. Back to square one.

Leave a comment

Filed under Band

Finding a Singer – Adverts and Auditions

After the last practice I told the other guys that I would put an advert on Gumtree. Although I have written the advert I haven’t yet posted it, and instead have replied to a few postings.

Had one response almost straight away for a guy that is keen to sing, so we are meeting him tomorrow. This one is a dude and has been in other punk bands before. Another Gumtree find, but this guy seems really keen!

Nothing really got going with the girl that I mentioned in previous posts. Every time we invited her along to her a jam she wouldn’t make it. We’ve pretty much given up hope there, until she asked if we wanted to jam on Sunday. Think I’ll have to let her down, but not sure how to say it.

1 Comment

Filed under audition, Band, singer