Tag: Midwest Music

Midwest Monday (Episode 3)

Midwest Monday (Episode 3)

Hey all, it’s time for another Midwest Monday featuring Wisconsin’s own Treason This! The band consists of singer/songwriter Michael Ingle, guitarists Chris Merisalo and Jordan August, bassist Taylor Long, and drummer Zach Zander. This indie rock/pop-punk hybrid group formed around 2011 by Michael and Chris, with Michael writing most of the material. Jordan, Zach, and Taylor later joined around 2014 and 2015. The band has released three EPs to date: When Home’s A World Away (2013), Portraits (2013), and Always Perfect (2014). The first two EPs were rereleased as the Any Thoughts? Collection. If you like bands such as Say Anythig, Motion City Soundtrack, and Modern Baseball, then this incredible group is just right for you.

Some of my favorite things about this band are their relatable lyrics the deal with teen angst at it’s purest, the musicality of each individual member, and the fact that they are an amazing up-and-coming band from Wisconsin. This was the band that made me want to initially do a segment like this on the blog because these guys are so super talented. Oh, and it just got announced that not only do they have a new single out, “Joy,” but they are also a winner of the Ernie Ball “Battle Of the Bands” competition for this year’s Warped Tour, meaning that they will be playing the Milwaukee date (July 26th)!! Also, the song “Joy” will be featured on a new EP to be released very soon. I cannot recommend this band enough. My favorite songs include “Moviegoers Dilemma,” “Manic,” “I Hate You Please Die,” “Joy,” and “The Bus To Chicago Told It All.”

If you want to listen/buy Treason This’s music, follow these links below:

http://treasonthis.com/

http://www.youtube.com/Settochange
(music available on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, etc.)

I also did an interview with Michael for my podcast earlier this year, which you can check out right here: https://soundcloud.com/musicinthebasementpodcast/music-in-the-basement-episode-seven-treason-this

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Midwest Monday — On A Tuesday (Episode 2)

Midwest Monday — On A Tuesday (Episode 2)

Yes I know, it’s not Monday, but I do want this segment to continue. And I promise, I will be more on time with these things. I will say this though: be on the look out for something cool music-wise coming from me! That’s all I will say on that note…anyway, Midwest Monday is back again with another new band that’ll knock your teeth out.

Charlie Siren is a four-piece pop-punk band from Minneapolis, MN. The band consists of Tane Graves (vocals/guitar), Aaron Reed (guitar), Dustin Reed (bass), and Paeton Gillette (drums). The band formed back in 2012, and have three official releases: This Is Home (2013), a split EP with Chicago band Et Tu Brute (2014), and most recently Mood Swings (2016) on Loud, Broke, and Dumb Records. If I had to compare them to other bands, I’d say they’re a love child coming from Knuckle Puck, Yellowcard, New Found Glory, and 2004 era of Senses Fail (minus the screamo parts). Their latest album was the first album that I heard from them, as I was recommended to them from a friend. I could not get over how well the album was produced! Each instrument can be clearly heard through any speaker, not to mention the songs are catchy as all hell. This band definitely gives a huge shot in the arm to current pop-punk bands that are starting out in the Midwest.

Not only are these guys amazing at music, they did something special with the release of Mood Swings: for the first month of the release, they donated 50% of their album sales “My Pit Bull Is Family,” a non-profit organization that focuses on ending Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). This is one of my favorite things not just about Midwest bands, but bands from every corner of the globe: supporting a charity that means a lot to them. It just goes to show that the band is passionate not only in their music, but causes that mean just as much to them. Some of my favorite songs by the band include “Twenty-Five,” “So Long,” “Indigent Mindset,” and “The Fabulist.”

If you want to listen/buy Charlie Siren’s music, follow these links below:
https://charliesiren.bandcamp.com/?undefined=
https://www.youtube.com/user/CharlieSirenMN
(music also on iTunes, Spotify, etc.)

Social media links:
https://www.facebook.com/CharlieSiren/?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/CharlieSiren
https://www.instagram.com/charliesiren/

New In Review! (5/27)

New In Review! (5/27)

Oh yeah, this week’s New In Review is gonna be a good one: Real Friends have released their sophomore album The Home Inside My Head, and I am BEYOND stoked!! This album is the followup to their acclaimed debut full-length Maybe This Place Is The Same And We’re Just Changing. I also want to take some time first to say thank you to whoever reads my reviews/other blog posts. It really means a lot to me, and it’s been really fun with all of the pretty great albums that have been released this year so far. Which reminds me…let’s get this one started, shall we? The album opens with the heavy-hitter, “Stay In One Place.”Right away, the sound of the album’s production sets up how the rest of the album will sound: amazing! There’s an interesting incorporation of backup vocals in the chorus, which is not something the Illinois Sad Boys are known for. That being said, it’s working so far. And so far, this track is a surefire standout song. Great melodies, poetic lyrics, everything you want in Real Friends. Song number 2 is “Empty Picture Frames,” and it’s a bouncy little number. This is the song where the album’s title (and I guess the album artwork, as well) comes from. This song is definitely a vocal highlight on the album because there are a lot of different techniques/recording effects that are focused on in the song. The bridge is also groovy as hell! Definitely another powerful song that solidifies a one-two punch for the first two songs on this record. “Keep Lying To Me” is up next. This track feels like it could’ve been on the EP Put Yourself Back Together, but in reality, it trumps most of that EP anyway. Heavy guitars dominate the track, and the chorus has now become one of my favorites already!

Track 4 is “Scared To Be Alone,” which was the second single that was released prior to the album. I listened to this song a lot back when it was first released, and it is probably my favorite of the singles that were released; which is saying something, because all of the singles are amazing (but we’ll get to the rest of them shortly). Every single aspect of this song is perfection. From the vocal melodies, to the bit of punk in the drums, to the heavy guitars once again. It’s truly stunning, and that’s the only word that best captures the emotion that the song projects. Things begin to slow down with “Mokena,” song number five, and single number 4. Probably the saddest song the band has written since “I’ve Given Up On You” (on Put Yourself Back Together). It also has some of the most powerful/emotionally provoking lyrics the band has to offer. If they play this song live, tears will be shed. Song 6, and single number 3 “Mess,” picks the energy back up with a lively tune about who the narrator was throughout the last year, while claiming that he’s still a “Lost Boy” (reference to the song of the same name). This song actually could’ve been on the last album as a bonus track. The reason why I say bonus track is because it wouldn’t fully fit on that album. On this album, with this collection of songs, it does have a home.

The second half starts off with “Isolating Everything.” The song starts, and kicks you right in the gut, and it just doesn’t stop. The riffs in this song are crushing, and I do love the progressiveness (for lack of a better term) in the verses to show that it’s not just straight ahead 4/4. The only soft section in the song is in the bridge, and even that hits you in the gut. But then….it finishes! Leaving you wanting more!! “Well, I’m Sorry,” is up next, and this track is unapologetic in the best sense of the words. Hints of pop-punk cover the verses, whereas the choruses are half-timed to perfection. Mmmmmm, tasty (sorry about that). Another cool feature about this song: a sort of “guitar solo,” if you will. You’ll see why I put that in quotations when you listen to the song. Seriously, you should really listen to it. You’ll like it. I promise. Anyway, the next song is “Basement Stairs,” and it continues to pack that emotional gut punch, singing about getting over a breakup and thinking of the good times that were had. There is no “soft” moment in this song either, which is beautiful in its own right. It’s truly amazing that the excitement still hasn’t left me!!

“Door Without A Key” is track number ten. This track has one of the best choruses on the album. Bar none. The song as a whole is really flawless, but that melody, though. Makes me kick myself a little bit that I didn’t write it first! Same with the bridge, too, now that I listen to it. Dammit! Oh well. Song 11 is “Eastwick,” the only acoustic song on the album. That’s another thing about the band that I appreciate is that they put out powerful acoustic jams that are just as powerful as the electric jams (maybe even more powerful, at times). So add this to the pile of insanely great acoustic songs that the band has. This song also feels really short, even though it is 3 minutes. But I’m not even complaining about that. The album closer is “Colder Quicker.” This was the first song released as a song from the album, and the fact that it actually comes last on the album makes me very happy. This song, and “Scared To Be Alone,” really whetted my appetite for the album, and now that I’m listening to it as a closer, it’s just…I’m at a loss for words. I’m just gonna fucking cut it off right here and say this: GO BUY THIS ALBUM. You will not regret it at all!!

Rating: 10/10

Standout tracks: The whole album is amazing 🙂

Midwest Monday (Episode 1)

Midwest Monday (Episode 1)

So I’m gonna try something new here: I’ve been getting more and more into really, really cool Midwest/local bands that have been popping up over the last few years. That being said, this segment is going to be short blurbs of kind words about—you guessed it. Anyway, this first post is all about a band that’s doing really well in the genre of easycore.

They’re called Settle Your Scores from Cincinnati, Ohio. The five-piece group consists of vocalist Christian Fisher, guitarists Ricky Uhlenbrock and Patrick Bryant, bassist Jeffery Borer, and drummer Caleb Smith. This band is for fans of easycore bands like A Day To Remember & Four Year Strong, as well as pop-punk bands like ROAM and Seaway. Now I am normally not a fan of easycore, but this band was a really good find. They put their debut album The Wilderness back in January this year, and it is smokin’! The guitars have a very metallic sound similar to ADTR/FYS, even the vocals have a Jeremy McKinnon feel to it, but the cool thing is that it sounds very much SYS. That’s not an easy (no pun intended) thing to say when it comes to a genre of music such as easycore, but it really does work. The lyrics that easycore bands are very cliche, topics include girls, revenge, more girls, getting out of their hometown, and more girls. As much as those topics are present in SYS’s songs, they make it their own, and are pure, kickass tunes.

Not only are the songs amazing, but so are the song titles. They’re about as long as 2005 emo pop titles, but they’re extremely entertaining. My personal favorite song title is “How to Screw Up Your Future and Disappoint Your Love Ones.” Another personal favorite song of mine is “Cashing In Your Reality Check.” It has distinct ADTR sounding verses with a type of chorus that New Found Glory would be proud of. And the breakdown? Siiiiiick. But enough of my words, here’s the link to they’re album stream on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLISzAbhMLwM7dvClR162i-14lKN8eLIvv

I highly recommend this group because they’re really talented musicians that come from a scene where songs can sound the same, but this group definitely takes it to the max and shows the world that their genre isn’t dead/cliche. If you can, catch them on the “Guardians of Easycore Tour” opening up for Abandoned By Bears and For The Win. Dates are still up until June 12th, with the tour ending in San Diego, CA at the legendary SOMA. To get their album, The Widerness, here’s their Bandcamp link: https://settleyourscores.bandcamp.com/album/the-wilderness
(music also available on iTunes & Spotify)

Social media links:

https://twitter.com/syspoppunk
https://www.youtube.com/user/settleyourscores