Telekinesis – Dormarion

The press kit to this album nails it: Dormarion, it says, “is the sound of a man figuring out exactly who he is.” Give the guy who wrote this a raise, or maybe fire him, because the problem with this album is that it can’t figure out what it is. Michael Benjamin Lerner, the man and the band who is Telekinesis is wildly talented, but also wildly … [Read more...]

Whirl – Distressor

Taken literally, the idea of a wall of sound has always been a misnomer. Walls don't move, but sound and music always do. Walls are barriers, while "wall of sound" music is immersive and inclusive. Taken literally, it seems a wall of sound would be the antithesis of music. Even with dubious descriptive accuracy, wall of sound is still the most … [Read more...]

The Saddest Landscape – You will Not Survive

Whether you are slowly making your way through Thomas Pynchon’s convoluted opus, Gravity’s Rainbow or you are marveling at Salvador Dali’s Freudian mindscape, The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory the universal goal behind these two works is singular and it is this; art should always challenge its audience to step outside the comfort zone … [Read more...]

Nigel Silverthorn – Homesick

I don’t know about the rest of you, but very often I wake up with a song in my head. I’m not talking about the last song I listened to before I went to bed, just a random song. For the last week I’ve woken up humming songs by this veteran of the emo-indie-hardcore scene of the Midwest. Nigel Silverthorn has fearlessly crafted Homesick with a unique … [Read more...]

Brand New – Daisy

Flooding the ‘emo’ subgenre for the last half-decade or so with glamorous thrashing, witty lyrics and an ever-evolving sound, Brand New return with a grittier, heavier set of tracks than ever before. On the previous album, The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, front man Jesse Lacey experienced a metamorphosis by writing more clever and powerful … [Read more...]

John Nolan – Height

Having done time as the front man for both Taking Back Sunday and Straylight Run, songwriter John Nolan has decided to break free and go the route of the solo artist. His first proper full length – fresh on the heels of Straylight Run’s About Time EP – finds Nolan digging through the vault and emerging with several songs that balance the volatile … [Read more...]

Dashboard Confessional- “Even Now”

And they’re back again, “Hands Down,” and still “Screaming Infidelities”. Dashboard Confessional came out with their new album, Alter The Ending, on November 11. The album as a whole is really deep and heartfelt, as DC always has been. Original fans will be proud, and new ones should definitely take a listen to DC’s previous albums. The acoustic … [Read more...]

Say Anything – s/t

Say Anything’s leader Max Bemis has grown up quite a bit. No longer the bipolar and perennially sarcastic teenager of …Is A Real Boy, Bemis is now happily married and devoutly Christian. His newer songs, therefore, are much more likely to be about God or marriage than girls who touch themselves over the phone. It’s almost a shame. Reigning in … [Read more...]

Alexander The Great – Faces Change

Alexander The Great specializes in songs about living and learning. The band flirts with but never quite commits to an emo aesthetic, as it seems to enjoy straight pop-rock as much as it does the punch of its heart-on-the-sleeve predecessors (e.g., Braid). That is to say, it doesn't always want to back its confessional narratives with just four … [Read more...]

Tigers Jaw – s/t

Tigers Jaw pretty much fucks themselves from the beginning of this self titled album. Opener "The Sun" starts as a Get Up Kids influenced pop punk, but then the the entire song stops less than 40 seconds in and suddenly becomes a clean midtempo minor key pop song.  The crunchy distortion kicks back in for the chorus, but what happened to the upbeat … [Read more...]