Very seldom is there an album that comes out that truly gets me excited.
I guess Pearl Jam’s recent album could count as one that I was stoked about, but that is about it. Enter Eric Church, country music’s modern day outlaw. He’s a man among boys in today’s world of country music. While Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean are selling out arena’s singing about beer drinking, riding trains and break-ups, Church is selling out his own concert’s with songs about whiskey drinking, fighting, and smoking weed. Church’s last album,”Chief,” was a chart-topping success, selling millions, and making the 36-year old a country music star. After touring in support of the album for two-plus years, Church is back with “The Outsiders.”
“The Outsiders” brings a little bit of everything to the table. If you’re a rock fan who first discovered Church opening for Metallica, you will love the lead track, which is the title of the album. While the song feels like it was forced into the new album, it’s a rousing country/rock piece that will surely be a crowd-pleaser at live shows.
One of the most influential bands in rock history is Pearl Jam.Eddie Vedder and his crew are releasing a new studio album, titled “Lightning Bolt” on Tuesday. Many bands’ have come and gone from Seattle’s grunge-rock era, but Pearl Jam has remained for 23 years. The band has influenced millions with their music and political stance. They are truly the type of band that comes along once in a lifetime. In honor of the release of their new album, I have decided to scour the vast catalog of Pearl Jam songs in hopes of listing their top ten songs. There are sure to be many who disagree with the list, but when you literally have hundreds of studio songs, live songs, and bootleg songs, there is sure to be some debate.
10. “Animal” – This was the third single for the “VS” album, and was fueled with a great guitar sound and Vedder’s dark, disturbing lyrics helped the song become an Alternative Rock hit.
There are some songs/albums that just beg to be played on a summer car ride with the windows rolled down. I could list a dozen of each that I’ve played from my iPod/phone countless times.
Beyond that, though, there are bands whose entire catalogs appear to be written in this manner. On a roadtrip with your best friends? Bust out some Of A Revolution. Having a barbecue tonight, maybe a little bocce in the backyard? You can’t go wrong with “How it is Son” or “All My Heroes” by Oxygen. If you’re into country, you can listen to…whatever country songs are popular. I don’t listen to it.
And so it is with Rookie of the Year, an indie rock band hailing from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Randomly perusing iTunes a couple summers ago, I stumbled upon The Goodnight Moon and was immediately intrigued. My curiosity was piqued by their ability to present simple riffs and concepts, yet convey complex emotions and vivid thoughts. Beyond that, at least for me, it just felt like I was listening to a summer night, four minutes at a time.
Back when I briefly played bass for a metal band(!), I was introduced to a metalcore band called Parkway Drive, an extremely talented brutal assault on your eardrums. After them I found The Amity Affliction, a post-hardcore/melodic hardcore band hailing from Gympie, Queensland. Not quite as intense as Parkway Drive, TAA tends to blend screaming with clean singing on every song and leans toward the melodic just as often as they churn out dissonant riffs.
Now, on the cleaner end of the spectrum comes Hands Like Houses, whose debut album Ground Dweller was released on Rise Records last year and received positive reviews. Featuring almost exclusively clean vocals and melodic riffs, Hands Like Houses may be ignored by most of the metal/hardcore crowd as well as the more traditional alternative/rock fans. To do so, though, would be a tremendous mistake. Less than a year after releasing Ground Dweller (as well as an acoustic EP called Snow Sessions), Hands Like Houses has released their sophomore effort, Unimagine. While the album’s not perfect, it’s a solid example of what a follow-up album should be.
Her latest video for “We Can’t Stop” is definitely pushing the envelope when it comes to “different,” and is teetering on the edge of weird and a bit disturbing. Eating money sandwiches? Check. French fry skull sculpture? Cutting fingers off at knuckle and bleeding Pepto-Bismol? Why, of course! The video is definitely a bit bizarre. But she’s just being Miley, right?