Monday, June 26, 2006

Rx Bandits - ...And the Battle Begun

I'm sure I've made this point before, but Rx Bandits' The Resignation is my favorite album of all time. It's an unbelievable showcase of the band's once-hidden musical capabilities. Originally, they were just some ska-punk band to me; there were only a few tracks off of Halfway Between Here & There and Progress that stuck and impressed me. The Resignation changed everything. The band dropped the poppy get-up and evolved into a surprisingly powerful musical force. When tracks off of earlier records may only have consisted of a few power chords, every song off of The Resignation offered something unique and refreshing. The Bandits brought together punk, ska, reggae, and added their own special touch to bring to us a new experimental style of music of which I (at least) have never seen the likes of before. Now for three years I've had to sit impatiently and wait for the follow-up their 2003 masterpiece. I wasn't sure what to expect. Would they blow my mind with something completely different, or would they elaborate on the sound that they establish on The Resignation? After listening to the album, I suppose I could say yes and no to both questions. But let me begin by saying, ...And the Battle Begun is nothing short of amazing. Once again the band has impressed me with an album that I will be listening to over and over again for the next couple of weeks. I wouldn't say this album is as aggressive as The Resignation. Rather, Battle reveals a more soulful side of the band with cleaner guitars, heavier use of both horns and keyboards, and more passionate vocals. It isn't a movement towards a somewhat reggae sound, but it's more of a sign that the band has more of a grasp on what they're writing. And this definetly shows live; the RX Bandits have become masters of improvisation and put on a unique performance for every show. I'm always impressed by how the band blends every song together with a little jam, giving the show a constant flow (As a side note, I highly suggest going to this show if it comes by your town. Men Women & Children are touring with them, and they're one of the most fun bands I've seen live.) But back to the album! I feel that this is a logical step for the group to move in. I don't recommend going into this album and expecting a sequel to The Resignation. That album marked an evolution for the band. From now on, I don't think we can hold expectations for new material other than it will be nothing but impressive. So enough talk, here are some of my favorite tracks from ...And the Battle Begun... RX Bandits - ...And the Battle Begun RX Bandits - In Her Drawer RX Bandits - On A Lonely Screen RX Bandits - 1980 -Adrian

Saturday, June 24, 2006

New These Arms Are Snakes Song

Hey everybody! I'm not too sure what the rest of the ATG guys are doing, so I figured I might as well post something so you guys aren't too bored. Recently, I found a link to a new These Arms Are Snakes song on and I think it's pretty kick-ass. Give it a listen, I'm sure all you fans won't be disappointed. These Arms Are Snakes - Horse Girl Also, I encourage all of you to go pick up Underoath's Define the Great Line. As far as I can tell, it's the best album of 2006 so far. Each member of the band takes their musical skills to the next level on this album. It's quite impressive. I promise I'll write a full post tomorrow, sorry to keep you all waiting! -Adrian

Monday, June 19, 2006


I've spent the past ten days making my first trip ever to Detroit. Primarily here to visit my lovely girlfriend, I also wanted to see what the Motor City had to offer music-wise. Luckily, I've been able to see plenty of bands during my stay here, highlights of which include We Are Scientists, AFI, Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Say Anything, the Fall of Troy, and my newfound love, Showbread. I really didn't know what to expect. I stood outside of Alvin's, a sketchy but nonetheless cozy venue, for half an hour or so waiting to catch the Michigan stop for the Black Unicorn Tour featuring He Is Legend, The Fall of Troy, Classic Case, and of course, Showbread. I was surprised at the turnout of the show. I'm pretty sure most people were there for the Fall of Troy; it's great to see how much their fanbase has spread. Anyways, Classic Case began to play pretty much right after the club began to let people in. Once they finished up, five guys clad in black began to prepare the stage for Showbread. I stood there, armed only with the knowledge that the band was signed to Christian label Tooth and Nail. So basically, they could sound like anything. Now let me begin by saying that Showbread screams, a lot. But no, they are not just some hardcore band, far from it. To best describe them, take the vocal insanity of the Blood Brothers, mash that with the punk intensity of Refused, the glory of 80's hair metal, and top it all off with a keytar. Some songs lean towards a southern rock sound, while others take a faster punk approach. Their latest full-length, No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical also includes tracks of other varieties, such as acoustic and electronic, that were not played at the show. Regardless, I was blown away by the bands performance. Lately I've been getting sick of shitty hardcore bands giving screaming a bad name. But Showbread does it glory and brings something new and original to the table. If you don't enjoy their recorded material, then I highly suggest seeing them live. Vocal duties are split between two people, only fueling the chaos of their set. Be prepared to go crazy. Be prepared to dance. But most importantly, get ready to have a good ol' time. Even if you're not a fan of the whole screaming thing, Showbread put on quite an entertaining show. Showbread - A Llama Eats a Giraffe (and Vice Versa) Showbread - Mouth Like a Magazine Showbread - If You Like Me Check Yes, If You Don't Die Showbread - Dead By Dawn Also, check out their video for "Mouth is Like a Magazine." It's pretty cool. The logo on the bass drum pretty much sums up their music: Raw Rock Kills. -Adrian

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Situation

Austin and I had the luck to see The Situation at The Black Cat on June 1st, as part of our senior project. To be honest, I had no idea who they were, where they were from, or what they sounded like, but walking into the (very "intimate") back room stage at the club with no expectations, I was very happy with what I was hearing. Formed in 2001 in Philadelphia by singer/guitar player Christopher Tucker and Joe Castro, lead guitarist. After being joined by Laz on bass and John Paul Travis on drums, the band began work on writing and recording material. Both their debut, The Reece Nasty E.P., and their self-titled album showcase their guitar-driven indie with a flair of more traditional rock and folk. I take a particular liking to Castro's skill on guitar and the overall tone of the band. You can find more about The Situation at their website. The Situation- Amoralia The Situation- Modern Dances The Situation- Mocking Fate The Situation- Cherry -Ryan

Friday, June 16, 2006

Fingers Cut Megamachine

Sorry for the lack of updates on my part recently everybody. I've been up to a lot lately/been lazy, but I've definetly got several posts in the works already. So here's to making up for it all... The boundaries of punk often overlap with those of indie, folk, and even sometimes country. Artists in the scene often drop the usual get-up for an acoustic guitar, revealing different yet refreshing sides of themselves. Years after the band called it quits, Osker frontman Devon Williams has chosen a similar path. Rather than pursuing an endeavor in the same vein as Osker, Williams decided to try something new with his four-piece folk outfit Fingers Cut Megamachine. Five years ago Osker, pioneered by William's masterful songwriting, released what has been one of the most personally influental albums of all time, Idle Will Kill. While remaining faithful to the punk sound associated with their label Epitaph, the record also alluded to changes in the genre to come. It was passionate punk rock. Although his lyrics may not have been poetry, Williams belted out each word with as much soul as the last. The group also managed to keep their own trademark sound; Williams' distinctive style of distortioned guitar made Osker an easily identifiable band. Osker - Motionless Osker - Kinetic Osker - Disconnect Disconnect Williams' now stands at the helm of his new project, Fingers Cut Megamachine. Keep in mind this isn't just Osker going acoustic. Any bias towards Williams' previous band should be dropped; Fingers is a whole different project. You can't mosh to any of these songs. Rather, FCM is more appropriate for relaxing on a sunny day or watching a sunset, depending on the mood of the song. Don't expect anything revolutionary from Fingers; Williams isn't quite ready to bust through the ranks of indie songwriters (had Osker continued, that'd maybe be a different story). However, I still think this is music that would appeal to anybody. Although I am still deeply saddened by the split of one of my favorite bands, Williams has managed to satisfy me with a new effort that, although not as energetic or aggressive as Idle Will Kill, still manages to capture the passion of Osker. Fingers Cut Megamachine - Orange Barrel Fingers Cut Megamachine - Rough Dreams Fingers Cut Megamachine - Backseat -Adrian

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


So I was looking at my cell phone today and remembered that today is June 6th, 2006. This may not seem ominous until you realize that the date is 06/06/06, or 6/6/6. In honor of this very evil and devilish day, i have put together a few songs for download. Enjoy the apocalypse! Sufjan Stevens - In the Devil's Territory The Flaming Lips - Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell Kenna - Hell Bent Murder By Death - The Devil Drives TV on the Radio - Let the Devil In Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins - Run Devil Run Modest Mouse - This Devil's Workday I also noticed that Nathaniel over at I Guess I'm Floating has done the same thing, with some overlapping songs. Make sure you check out his tribute to this eerie day. -Zack

Monday, June 05, 2006

John Ralston - Needle Bed

I recently received Needle Bed, the debut album from Knoxville, Tennessee native John Ralston, in the mail and was pleasantly surprised. John seems to have heavily influences from artists such as Bright Eyes, Wilco, Ryan Adams, and others along those lines, but his voice, which seems to be different in every song, sets him apart from his peers. I haven't listened to this album enough, but a few tracks have stuck out, so I figured I'd share them with you. The first single, "I Believe in Ghosts" has a sort of creepy tone with John's up-and-down vocals, but is a simple, blogger-friendly track. "When We Are Cats" reminds me of a cross between Dashboard Confessional, an emo band playing acoustic material, and, for some reason, Simon & Garfunkel (see for yourself). "Gone Gone Gone" fits this mold as well, minus the Simon & Garfunkel. My favorite track, "It's Not Your Fault" is a blend of these two songs, with simple instrumentals and happy, floaty melodies. I definitely recommend you check out his album, Needle Bed, which was released April 22nd on Vagrant. John Ralston - I Believe in Ghosts John Ralston - When We Are Cats John Ralston - Gone, Gone, Gone [download or die] John Ralston - It's Not Your Fault [download or die] Check out John on Myspace. -Zack



Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Walkmen Live Recording

The humid Washington D.C. swamp air filled the dark streets. Trash and bones were scattered across the fragmented sidewalk. I could see the faint outline of crack heads stumbling around barb wire fences and abandoned warehouses. Then suddenly as I turned a corner, a massive line of hipsters appeared, and it was oddly refreshing. “The Walkmen have returned to D.C.” I exclaimed. As part of our ATG two week concert bonanza, the whole crew minus Adrian and + Alex’s little brother, ended up at Chocolate City’s beloved 9:30 club to witness The Walkmen. I’m sure all of you know who The Walkmen are, but there is more to their history than performing on everyone’s favorite drama, the cleverly named “THE OC.” To us ATG/DC people The Walkmen are much more than a cameo appearance. The Walkmen who most assume are from NYC are actually reppin’ DC. In fact Pete Bauer (the sweatiest of the walkmen) went to the same high school as Zack, Ryan, Alex, and yours truly! And if that isn’t enough, the other four members of The Walkmen attended the prestigious St. Albans school in DC, which is oddly enough where Adrian went to high school. The Walkmen even played at the St. Albans battle of the bands last year! In the GYM! Ok, back to the concert. The Walkmen took over the 9:30 club and blew me away. After seeing them this time, it is very clear to me that their music thrives live. The stage was shaking, bending, bleeding, crying, and begging for more by the end of the show. Matt Barrick brought the house down on drums, as he practically picked himself up so he could drop down harder on each snare and cymbal. The vintage Fender amps, and beat up guitars, added to the gritty drunken sound that the Walkmen have seemed to master. Hamilton Leithauser, the voice behind the Walkmen, also brought his top game, and displayed it in full force. Lifting the mic above his head, flexing his neck muscles and spitting out a passion filled performance. The Concert was well worth it, and I suggest everyone go see the Walkmen if you can. You can listen/download the entire concert and interviews with The Walkmen HERE. Thanks to NPR! -Austin