Friday, January 16, 2009

What is tenth post this week?

I've had a lot to say...and then a lot to correct...and a lot of things to add to what I already had said. I just checked and this is literally my tenth post if you count Sunday as the beginning of the week.

So what's so important that I have to post another one today? Ehh...nothing, really. I'm just kind going for it...nothing better to do.

It's supposed to get down to one degree tonight. We still got nothin' on Chicago, where it's been around -25 probably on average this week. Speaking of Chicago...well, I still have no idea where I want to go after high school and/or college. I'm thinking one of the top ten biggest cities. None in particular, but of those is probably where I'll want to end up. Even if Chicago is so cold that when you put your car key in your mouth (after it'd been in the warm car), it freezes to your tongue Christmas Story-style (as described by Brendan Kelly of Bad Sandwich Chronicles [BSC]), I'd still consider it.

That's not a topic I want to talk about right now...or ever. Instead, I'll tell you the follow-up to the Propagandhi news of yesterday. Well after reading Propagandhi's bulletin on their new album coming out, I messaged them back asking if their record was coming to stores around here (since it's not going to be on Fat Wreck this time). I might have told you that. Anyway, Todd wrote me back saying that it should come to our local record stores or the system has failed us all. He also said that they're playing "near [me]" in March. So that'll add another item to my year's To Do List.

In further "punknews" (as I read things from, Emily Wynne-Hughes from Go Betty Go was on American Idol earlier this week. She auditioned and, as you might have guessed, moved on to the next round. So if you see a girl that looks like this or this, it's probably her...unless she changed her hair again.

And in even further news, Blake Schwarzenbach will be doing a spoken word/reading in Brookyln this Saturday. How I wish I could attend...I'll consider that more reason to move to or towards New York after high school and/or college. Blake was the singer of Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil incase you didn't know or haven't caught that in my past posts. His new band is called Thorns of Life and I'm very excited to hear what they're like when they release recorded material. I've only seen a few videos on Youtube of them and they sound a lot punker than anything I've heard before. I think the government has gotten to his head and he's gotten angry over the past few years of not playing music. Good.

Oh, let me post this review on an All Time Low album. I think this guy's got it figured out, and I don't think he's being harsh in the least bit.

After spending a the day in Rochester yesterday, seeing the likes of How We Are, Polar Bear Club, Permanent, Pressure, and Invade, the ride back called for something different. Something universally agreeable amongst the four of us taking the three-hour drive back home. Something...special. That something, that something was Dude Ranch .

I think anyone who liked pop-punk during their high school years needs to be reminded of why they loved it in the first place every once in a while. No, we’re not 16 anymore, but the fact remains those songs still hold up, and can still make a three-hour ride seem less than half that. All Time Low, while sharing the basic premise of being a pop-punk band, hold none of that same magic. It’s hard to be a pop-punk band that’s even somewhat memorable, I understand that, but these songs leave so little an impact it’s often hard to remember they’re playing at all.

It’s hard to even articulate, some bands just have those intangibles, and some don’t. It’s apparent right from the get-go that this is a band that fits into the ‘don’t’ side of things. “Coffee Shop Sountrack,” though inadvertently so, is a very fitting name. The boredom of the everyday coffee shop is perfectly reflected in the chords and the vocals these three minutes provide. It took me a while to figure out just who it was that singer Alex Gasgarth reminded me of, but it’s actually Kenny Vasoli of the Starting Line. The noticeable difference being that Vasoli has a little something extra in his delivery, thus letting Starting Line songs build on a much stronger foundation than All Time Low is able to. It’s not that I don’t think they’re trying, because it does sound like an honest effort, but the fact remains that none of the songs have that ability to grab you at first, in the middle, or even at the end.

I can admit, the band does throw some catchy chord progressions together -- look no farther than “Jersey Rae” for that, but their ineptitude when it comes to tying the package together is what really does them in. Either the vocals outshine the instrumentation, or vice versa; it’s rare that both are on cue, and even then, the rope holding everything together is frayed at best. Furthermore, finding off-key vocals or lackluster chord progressions is not half as uncommon as it should be.

They’re able to hide a lot of the inconsistency with simplicity, but only so much can be held back before becoming painfully evident that the substance is lacking.

Amen and good night.


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