Our good friends over at leading independent music retailer VICTORY RECORDS sent us a note about a new video from CLOSE YOUR EYES premiering exclusively on MTVU (which I am told is still a thing). To be honest, this is the first time I actually listened to the band and definitely the first time I ever LOOKED at them. A few notes:
I thought this band was gonna be metalcore, or maybe an ADTR clone. But they’re more like soft grunge tumblrcore. Not what I expected!! Kinda sounds like IGNITE, only if they started listening to TRANSIT or something and were like “yo them jangley guitars doe”
First reaction when I heard the singer’s British accent coupled with the fact that he looks like Triple H off-cycle: wut. If this bands wants to make it stateside, they need an image makeover, and fast– someone get this guy a 50s dad haircut, some khakis and digi-floral print Janoskis, stat!! Oh, and tie-dye crewnecks with their logo in cholo font.
If you aren’t familiar with my buddy Jesse Cannon, you should be. Like I said, he is best known as “the Joey Sturgis of tr00 pop-punk,” having produced just about every band I’ve made fun of or called pussies over the past few years: MAN OVERBOARD, CITIZEN, HANDGUNS, SAVES THE DAY, as well as a laundry list of other bands like MISFITS, ANIMAL COLLECTIVE and RORSCHACH (insane discography here). He’s worked under some amazing producers like Ross Robinson and Steve Evetts, and spent a few years doing mastering at West West Side Music (who probably mastered most of the albums you own). He also managed MAN O and TRANSIT for a few years, until they got too big for him to handle. Oh, and did I mention that he also wrote a 700 page book called “Get More Fans” that’s the definitive guide to being in an independent band? MY GOD THIS RESUME. He’s also a really smart, insightful and nice guy– exactly the kind of of person I love working with.
u may be familiar with this album that Jesse produced, engineered and mixed brb defending pop-punk
I’m super stoked to announce that I am working with Jesse on a 2-day class called “DIY Mastering” on creativeLIVE. If you’re a bedroom producer, and you’re at the stage where you know that mastering is A Big Deal, but aren’t really sure how to do it, this class is for you. Of course the best option is to have someone like West West Side master your shit, but that’s just not feasible for a lot of bands/producers. We’ll teach you the next best thing: how to master your recordings yourself using affordable software.
Mastering is this big scary thing that seems like an impenetrable mystery like quantum physics or something, that only a select few wizards understand. And it IS hard, but we’ll break down the basic concepts for you, show you the basic process/tools for mastering a rock song, and go through a few examples of common problems and how to solve them.
It’s FREE to watch live, so please sign up and share this on all your social media– you’ll be doing a LOT to help me and Jesse and we will be your new best friends!
How the fuck are his arms so long it looks like he can scratch his knee without even bending down
Way back in 2010, we wrote a piece about this new band called ATTILA who called themselves “party deathcore.” To make a long story short, as much as we WANTED to love the band, we just couldn’t because, well, they weren’t very good. I gave them several more chances (“Party With The Devil” was pretty decent), but I just couldn’t get into it. So when their latest album “About That Life” came out a few months ago, I didn’t bother listening to it- I assumed it would just be another and I would end up beating off and crying myself to sleep to numb the painful disappointment. Well BIG FUCKING MISTAKE on my part because HOLY SHIT THIS ALBUM IS AWESOME.
The title track, featuring the amazing pre-chorus “She fucks me all night long / Then counts my money while I’m on my Playstation.” Also, I feel weird about Fronz’ lip piercing, because he has such a pretty face that I feel like I’m looking at some alt porn girl on Tumblr and I get a weird boner and I don’t like that :(
I’m glad that I’m a glutton for punishment and willingly listen to bands I do not like over and over again on the off chance that they’ll grow on me, or I would have slept on this album and I feel like a significant part of my life would have gone unfulfilled without this on my spotify playlist. ITS THAT GOOD!
“Callout” is a very advanced track in which they call out bands for being, well, “false scene.” That alone is mindbottlingly advanced, but there’s more!! Lyrics like “fuck the world / everyone sucks dick,” “EAT MY SHIT,” gang vocals and “if you hate gay people you’re a close-minded faggot”? *slow clap*
Sometimes it just takes a while for a band to come into their own, and that is certainly what ATTILA did– not just musically, but in terms of image as well. Their makeover into GOOD CHARLOTTE-style scene-wiggers was a shrewd move because it takes advantage of the fact that every girl’s favorite genre of music is top 40 rap. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Don’t believe me? Take a car ride with the most hc/metal girl you know, and “accidentally” put on a LIL JON or NELLY song on the radio and watch her be like “OMGGGGGGG I LOVE THIS SONG” and sing along to every word while white-girl-dancing in the passenger seat. Their new image allows them to use party rap lyrics/imagery but “just for a joke,” so girls who aren’t ready to admit to themselves or the world that they like club rap can get into it without sacrificing their scene points.
Broing down with Jake on a recent trip to SF #kawaii4L
Being old sucks in a lot of ways, but one of the cool things about it is seeing people who you’ve been following for years start leveling up- like how I first knew BIG CHOCOLATE as a junior in high school who made death metal songs in his parents’ house, and 6 or 7 years later he’s making songs for J-Lo and Ashton Kutcher movies. THAT ‘PROUD DAD’ FEELING.
I’ve also known Jake from DEFILER since he was 16 or 17. Not only is he a sick vocalist, but a really genuinely nice, good person, and that counts for a lot in my book. I’ve always believed in him, and I am super stoked to announce a bunch of cool shit they are doing this winter:
From what I understand, Soundwave is something like the Australian version of Warped, and the DEFILER boys just got confirmed for this year’s edition (alongside bands like ADTR, PATD, BLACK VEIL BRIDES, etc). So if you are in Aus, make sure to check them out on the Fleshlight stage at 9:35 AM!!
NEW #HARDROCK EP PRODUCED BY EYAL LEVI @ AUDIOHAMMER
As you can probably tell from the two demo songs above, DEFILER is working on going full-on #hardrock (srs)– imagine STONE SOUR meets SLUDGEWAVE. Since bands like that can actually make money, I fully back this decision. They’ve enlisted my good friend Eyal Levi (BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, THE WHITECHAPELS, AUGUST BURNS RED, etc) as producer and will be doing an EP with him in the next few months that I guarantee will be fucking amazing. People know Eyal as a great engineer/mixer, and he is– but he is 5x as good of a songwriter/composer as he is an engineer. This shit is going to rule.
But DEFILER needs your help to make this happen! You see, they got dropped by their label and are funding this themselves– click here to sign up for their Indiegogo campaign and help make this shit happen! Before u smartass armchair accountants chime in, they are looking to raise $4000. “But D,” you cry in an abrasive nasal whine, “it doesn’t cost $4000 to record 3 songs in 2013 y don’t they do it at home like my shitty band does??” Well, it costs $4000 when you work with a real producer at a real studio so jam it and your cracked copy of Pod Farm.
If you are anything like me, then you live and breathe easycore. You’re the realest of the real, the most posi of the posi, the most stoked out of everyone that has ever been stoked about anything. You’ve happily embraced the #ezcrab trend, but maybe it leaves you feeling a little cold, a little left out. It’s just not the same as the good ol days when Tom Denney still played in ADTR and Four Year Strong still had zany album covers. You’re wearing out your Sell Your Sky and Notimefor mp3s, and you’re scared that easydjent will never quite understand you the same way Fight Fair did.
Well fear no longer, because I’ve done the legwork for you. Sit back, relax and listen to the best bands that are still playing easycore 1.0 in the final months of 2013! Consider this this our last hurrah for oldschool easycore; let’s remember it fondly, smile and hug our bros and shed one final tear before we lower the casket and watch Abandoned by Bears perform at the funeral reception.
Before hearing the rest, let’s start with the best. This song by Truth Under Attack is easily the greatest female-fronted pop punk I have ever heard, bar none. Catchy riffs and bouncy breakdowns? Check. Lyrics about dealing with the same old smalltown shit? Check. Guest vocals by Bert Poncet of Chunk No Captain Chunk? Check. A tumblrbro of mine described this song as “it sounds like all the band members met each other in youth group”, which is as ringing an endorsement you can get in my opinion! These kids must have broken into the Worldwide Easycore Network earlier than most, because they’ve also got a song with Oshie from CITY LIGHTS. Their new EP The Takeover came out a few months ago, check it out on Spotify.
STAY POSI BRO! The Dialed are a sweet band from the Bay Area (that’s as specific as they get) that kinda sound like the first Chunk! No Captain Chunk album with the lulzy euro vocals stripped away. It’s only fitting that they demonstrate their retro zanyness by filming a music video where they reenact The Goonies. They’re not very active on Facebook anymore so maybe they’ve petered out, but their EP is on Spotify which is the most you can ask for when digging through dying microgenres like oldschool easycore.
Quinti Best Friend are a band from Germany with a female frontman, so you can expect kyut G-rated antics along with your thickly delivered accent. Musically these guys have a huge Sell Your Sky vibe, but their album is actually produced by the bros behind the City Lights album! The easyscene crosses borders and unites us all. It seems that easycore has been around long enough that bands like Quinti Best Friend are writing music with the intention of fitting exactly in the genre boundaries. I.e. the intro to this album proudly states “doing what we love, we’re mixing pop punk and breakdowns”. Their debut is available for as a free download on their Facebook page so you have no excuse to sleep on it!
When We Team Up are from Portland, and play well above-average steezycore with a vocalist a little more on the tr00 side of things. They’ve got a sweet demo free on bandcamp worth downloading, but what is really noteworthy about this band is something else entirely. When I first started watching the above video, I thought that one of the big dudes looked extremely familiar. Obviously there is no shortage of fat guys in the pop punk scene, but I just KNEW that I had seen one of these band members in another Stuff You Will Hate post. After some extensive research and many sleepless nights, I finally made the connection! Lo and behold, When We Team Up’s bassist (the “it’s always raining in Oregon” guy at the end) is none other than Brenden McBrayer AKA Grizz AKA the guy from Sergeant D’s My Hot Topic Modeling Portfolio post AKA Mr. DIY Easycore Hat. He’s finally upgraded from writing promo reviews and eating “sweet bagel sandwhiches” and is in his own band now! The student has become the master.
If I remember correctly, uppercut613 had declared In Her Own Words future as an easycore band to be over, after they released this particularly tr00wave song. However, now that the dust has settled, I feel like he spoke too quickly because this EP is much more nuanced than any of us gave it credit for! Rather than be pigeonholed into tr00 pop punk, IHOW’s new material also spans into classic easycore territory AND finishes off with a few #ezcrab jams too! Much credit is due to the EP’s excellent mix, courtesy of none other than Bert from CNCC. I’ll admit that none of it quite measures up to the complete fucking easydestruction that was Headed for Splitsville, but if these guys keep putting out solid jamz like these then they deserve the best of luck. Peep their new songs here and decide which ones you like best!
I feel like any easyseaman worth his salt is aware of France’s Can’t Bear This Party, but I don’t think they’ve ever gotten the attention they deserve other than this interview on Good Days and Cliches. These guys broke up a while ago but are now back together and teasing us with promises of a new album, and all of the new songs they’ve revealed are A+ stuff. They’ve added a lot of zany electronic elements which really sets them apart; definitely an improvement over their good but not great debut Ain’t No Princess. Also, does anyone else get the impression that the pop punk/metalcore scene in France isn’t very kind to their own local bands? It seems that C!NCC is way more popular in America than Europe, Rise of the North Star focuses on Japanese tours/imagery, and Can’t Bear This Party gets all of their love from… Indonesia? Check their FB wall for brutal hailz.
Madison Falls are pretty cool; they remind me of a heavier, simpler version of the last few Wonder Years albums with a pinch of ADTR in the breakdowns. To be honest the most memorable thing about this band is how informal and unenthused their online brand is. Most of their Youtube video descriptions and Facebook updates are along the lines of “yeah, we’re Madison Falls we kinda sound like Chunk No Captain Chunk and New Found Glory i guess… we try to do our own thing but i guess we sound like a lot of other, more popular bands… we’ve been considering switching up our style but idk if it’s worth it… would you guys still listen to us if we changed? if not that’s cool…” Also the band members look scene as fuck so that is always a plus. Stay tuned to find out if Madison Falls actually changes their style to sound more like Sleeping With Sirens or not!
Melrose definitely remind me of Sell Your Sky, mostly because they’re both from the UK and play crunchy, metallic riffs backed up by beefy production. Nothing screams “REAL easycore” than the inclusion of cheesy, almost-out-of-place-yet-still-endearing keyboard parts, a la The Wonder Year’s debut album. That next-level breakdown at 3:10 definitely puts these guys into above-average territory. Download their EP Let Me Remind You here!
I don’t know what they’re putting in the water in Yurop, but I’m not complaining because it seems like the best easycore always comes from across the pond. These guys are called Buddies Say: Ho; you can tell they’re from France because they have a terrible name just like Chunk! No Captain Chunk and Can’t Bear This Party. Is it just me or do these kids seem particularly young? Lots of babyfaces here, and even the dudes with beards don’t look any heavier than 9 stone. But that doesn’t matter, because you can’t go wrong with the “zany video of me and my bros hanging out in metalcore band merch” trope. These guys aren’t quite A+ material like their French compatriots, but they definitely have the potential to improve when they put out their debut album.
To be honest I don’t really have much to say about Take First Place; there are only so many variations of “hella rad” that I can call these bands. Cool fast riff with double bass, nasally pop punk vocals, and a Simpsons reference. Catchy stuff but nothing that really awakens the spirit of posi jumps and pizza fights (is that a thing?) within my soul.
I’m not gonna let this post end on a weak note, so I’ve saved one of the best for last: Last in Line from Harrisburg PA. These guys put out a self-titled debut record out this year, and I would highly recommend it. Chock full of catchy vocals, breakdowns and cool lyrics about partying and believing in aliens. I like this video a lot too, even though it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I guess it’s about the guys in the band imagining what their lives would be like if they weren’t band dudes, and how lame it would be to be a car salesman or be a newsman or whatever. Obviously that’s pretty dumb, but the part where the kid triumphantly hands his teacher a paper that says Di = C + K^2 is priceless. And then the teacher is all like “wtf man this is not wat i taught you AT ALL!! Get this signed by your parents and I’ll give you a C+”. Holler at their bandcamp to hear more songs.
Shout out to all these siqq bands still playing easycore for the weirdos who read Stuff You Will Hate! Shoutout to uppercut613 for awaring me of a few of these bands!
Photo credit: Chase Clymer, from their fall 2013 promo shoot
It’s been something like two years since CITY LIGHTS dropped their debut full-length “In It To Win It,” and a lot has happened since then. They went on tour with bands like CHUNK NO CAPTAIN CHUNK and STATE CHAMPS, recorded a whole album that they ended up not using, and finally re-recorded the album with the same guy who did the full-length. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s definitely been worth it– check out the new single “Promises,” which of course also comes with a lyric video like all the kids are doing these days:
I love it when an album is exactly what you want it to be, and that is definitely the case here. As you can tell, this is the same old CITY LIGHTS you know and love. No acoustic songs about coalminers, no artwork from 1940s war posters, and no tie dye tank tops with floral print logos on them. Cover art that’s all like ‘dont u wish u were a kid again when everything wuz simple’? Check. Blatantly Pod Farm guitar tone? Check. There’s even an easycore 1.0-style major key breakdown at 2:10– what more can you wish for?! It’s like Buzznet never died.
I always wanted to be the person who wrote the blurbs like this, just so I could challenge myself to see how many cliches and hackneyed phrases I could cram into one sentence- “buzzsaw guitars,” “machinegun drumming” and “vocalist that sounds like he’s been gargling glass” are a few favorites. But I applaud whoever wrote this for somehow finding a way to add a new phrase to the lexicon of marketing blurbs, yet somehow sounding even dumber than the above cliches– bravo!!
In any case, the new WOP album is out, and it’s hands down their best imo. Like the marketing blurb says in so many words, they’ve gone back to the mosh-oriented sound of their old stuff. Which is not to say that the DIMMU-isms aren’t there, because they definitely are. It’s just that unlike “The Great Stone War,” they’re only added in here and there as accents rather than being the foundation of the songs. Basically, it’s like “Decimate The Weak” only if they were much better at their instruments.
This is one of the songs where u can tell that John was like “hey don’t forget that we have to have a couple songs that remind everyone that we are the crappy version of DIMMU BORGIR” and Andrew rolled his eyes and was like “Sigh… OK, whatever you want” But don’t sleep on this song– 1:35 is one of the hardest riffs in WOP’s career!!
Given how many times people have called WOP white power (which obviously they are not at all), I am not so sure that calling the album “Resistance” and including a song entitled “United Through Hatred” was the best idea. I guess they can always just fall back on the old “Hey, our old drummer was Mexican!”
Of course, you know we are all thinking the same thing: before WOP decides to call it a day, they really need to do at least an EP of nothing but ignorant mosh songs like “Brotherhood,” “Reloaded” and “California.” It would probably be the single best hardcore record of all time, and I will be praying and fasting for the deathcore gods to make this dream come true.
Please welcome back Eyal Levi of AUDIOHAMMER STUDIOS to the SYWH podcast. You may know him for his work with bands like THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, THE WHITECHAPELS, DEVILDRIVER, CHELSEA GRIN, among many others. Aside from being a great producer, songwriter and engineer, he’s become one of my best friends and a great business partner.
We covered a bunch of topics, but most importantly an upcoming project that Eyal and I are working on: a three day class on “Advanced Drum Production” that he’ll be teaching on January 16-18. It’s free to watch live streaming on creativelive.com, and we’ll be showing you the real world Audiohammer drum production workflow: setting up and micing a drumset, using Superior Drummer, drum editing (Beat Detective and all that), sample replacement/layering, and everything else there is to say on this massive subject. This is literally the only place in the world you can learn this stuff, so sign up now to save yourself a spot!
We also covered a bunch of other stuff related to making a living off of doing what you love– for example, how to send an into email to an important person without sounding like a retard, the time that a bunch of black metal nazis threatened to kill Eyal when he was on tour in Europe, and other fun stuff. If you are interested in making a living in music or another creative field, you should probably listen to this one a few times and take notes.