For this week’s entry of the Mind Equals Blown recommendation feature, I thought I’d feature songs from three bands that were on my most-anticipated list and have albums being released in the coming month. Though they are hardly close to one another in terms of genre, these are artists that I can’t say enough good things about and, with songs like these, it’s probably a safe bet that their respective albums will make them early choices as some of the best for 2011. It’s Bayside, Bright Eyes, and Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows. Consider this a preview of great things to come.
1. “Sick, Sick, Sick” – Bayside
There are few bands that strike me as being quite as unique as Bayside. Sure, there are punk elements and pop elements and everyone will make their comparisons, but I don’t think I could ever mistake their style for another. Anthony Raneri’s voice is unmatchable, soaring over this track in his usual witty heart-on-sleeve lyrical fashion. He has a way with matching melodies and words that few others could hope to equal, all while providing the backbone for Jack O’Shea’s intricate riffs. Though Shudder didn’t hit me quite as hard as their two releases prior, if “Sick, Sick, Sick” and lead single “Already Gone” are any indication of the rest of the album, Killing Time will be a return to form for one of my favorite bands and an easy top-five album of the year contender.
2. “Shell Games” – Bright Eyes
“Here it come, that heavy love.” The song may open with simple chords on the piano and Conor Oberst flexing his storytelling muscles, but this is the line that defines this great track. Featuring nearly everything there is to love from an upbeat Bright Eyes song, from memorable lyrics to interesting instrumentation to the feeling that each passing line is somewhat of a secret between you and Conor, I instantly fell in love with this song when I first heard it a few days before Christmas. With such a strong lead track, I can’t wait to hear the rest of it when I get my pre-order download link February first (there’s no reason you shouldn’t either! Download “Shell Games” for free from Saddle Creek with the link above and check out the pre-order options on their website – there are some really great options).
3. “Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm” – Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows
Though D.R.U.G.S. has been billed as Craig Owens‘s new heavy band, the songs the scene supergroup has released thus far are somewhat more pop-based than one might expect, with minimal amounts of screaming and some undeniably catchy melodies. With that said, Craig’s voice is stronger than ever on this track, and he shows a fair amount of vocal diversity throughout. On the instrumental side, the guitar and drum parts sound not unlike what Owens might have behind him in Chiodos. What sets D.R.U.G.S. apart is the brilliance present in the programming, which does a great job of creating the atmosphere of the track. All in all, comparisons of this song to The Used aren’t too far off-base, and that’s not a bad thing. “Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm” raised my excitement for the album, and I’m sure it will do the same for you.