The staff shows its amazing diversity yet again this week by bringing you some brand new tunes from Polyenso and Tegan & Sara, an old favorite from Fall Out Boy, a band called Infected Mushroom, an entire EP from Paper States, and much more. So check them all out and let us know what you’ve been jamming lately as well.
Megan’s Pick: “Chicago Is So Two Years Ago” – Fall Out Boy
The potential Fall Out Boy reunion and their song “Chicago Is So Two Years Ago” have completely taken over my week. This song takes emotions like sadness and anger and amplifies them, creating ideals about remorse and hatred. It sums up the general feeling of defeat with a catchy melody to boot. Serving as the anthem for individuals who have ever been disappointed or rejected, it’s a song to relate to in times of extreme self-doubt. It’s the perfect melody to a bad mood. Fall Out Boy means the world to me, and this song is the reason why.
Joe’s Pick: “I’m Not Your Hero” – Tegan and Sara
“I’m not your hero but that doesn’t mean we’re not one in the same,” declares Sara Quin on “I’m Not Your Hero,” the fourth track from the sisters’ brand new album Heartthrob. Discussing the pressures of being a role model and acknowledging the uncertainty within oneself, this song wholly exemplifies the girls’ transition to shiny synth-pop as well as their more mature and emotional lyrics. Big and catchy from front to back, Heartthrob is set to make Tegan and Sara 2013’s newest pop stars, so give this song a listen and then go buy the album – you won’t regret it.
Jacob’s Pick: Be Alone – Paper States
I’m going to be upfront about this and let you know I’m cheating and picking a whole EP. You shouldn’t mind at all, because it’s such a glorious piece of work. In essence, this is heartfelt rock with fantastic lyrics, and I messed up on my 2012 year-end EP list pretty badly, because this should’ve been at the top. The reason I went with the whole thing is because these songs play off of each other so well, with lines tying the entire release together and striking a balance between bigger sounds and more intimate numbers. There are lots of great guitar parts and memorable melodies, and there’s honestly nothing negative I can say about this EP. Just on the strength of Be Alone, I feel pretty confident in saying that Paper States is the best act to come out of Pittsburgh since Punchline, and I love that they’ve sprung out of my scene but would still be playing this out even if they hadn’t. You should be, too. Give this EP a few spins and it’ll do the rest on its own.
Kaitlin’s Pick: “Demon to Lean On” – Wavves
When I first heard the title track off 2010’s King of the Beach, I was immediately hooked by Wavves’ energetic surf-punk twist on noise-pop. This trademark sound — grittiness mixed with poppiness — was a fascinatingly catchy cacophony. Every offering since then, including collaborations with Best Coast and Fucked Up, has struck my fancy in some way or another. So naturally I pounced at the latest single, “Demon to Lean On,” when it was released earlier this week. While being much less poppy, this song maintains the typical lo-fi noise-rock while presenting something a bit new — and old. This track is reminiscent of Nirvana and the like; it sounds like grunge straight out of the ’90s. And you know what? I dig it.
Jason’s Pick: “Spirit Narrative” – Circle Takes the Square
On the second track of the arcing musical journey that is Circle Takes the Square’s Decompositions Vol. 1, we get essentially everything that this band is known for – blistering musical arrangements coupled with poetic dirges of the male and female variety. Yet for how safe this track might be as ambitious as Vol. 1 is at times, it contains some of the more emotionally latching moments in a record that is certainly not something to merely scratch at.
Steve’s Pick: “Counting Fish” – Polyenso
The remarkably smooth phasing of soft and warm melodies that swim between your ears. It’s the pleasant feeling of resting in water, looking up at a night sky, seeing all the bright lights and hearing all the gentle breezes that float in it. This in turn evokes an internal rhythm that emulates a heightened heartbeat, each one jumping farther than the last until the moment feels so soothing, your own body has been tricked to believe that it itself is lifeless. But the truth is you’ve never felt more alive. In fact, it’s the cumulation of every seemingly unimportant moment that eventually becomes one of the best you could experience. This is “Counting Fish.”
Nick’s Pick: “Whole” – Basement
The opening track off of Basement’s incredible final album, Colourmeinkindness, hits the listener like a ton of bricks. It’s a whirlwind of anger and aggression, with the guitars creating a dark, menacing sound that doesn’t sound like anything else out there right now. It’s a shame the band broke up, but at least it was after putting out this gem of an album.
Austin’s Pick: “The Longest Lasting Statement” – Norma Jean
As with a lot of bands’ music these days, when a band disappears for a little while they tend to be forgotten; for Norma Jean that isn’t the case. Their discography regularly blasts its way through my stereo in the form of aural buzz-cutting blasts of sonic dissonance and furious musicianship on all levels. This week I’ve been rounding off mainly to NJ’s third record Redeemer, which showed the group developing the sound that has made them a formidable machine of gritty brutality. This particular song off of the record is one of the shortest, and is essentially one stretched out breakdown, but the key here is how well it is done. This song is an absolute devastator from start to finish, with something NJ has specifically figured out how to do on their own terms – completely tear you down brick by broken brick. While I anxiously await their upcoming record, I’ll keep throwing down in my car to all of their other records, especially Redeemer.
Johnny’s Pick: “Send Me an Angel” – Infected Mushroom
In the mood for some trance? Good, me too! That’s why this week I have been jamming one of my favourite trance bands, Infected Mushroom. These guys have been at it since the late ’90s and manage to get better with every release. This track is off of 2012’s Army of Mushrooms, their first release under Steve Aoki‘s label, Dim Mak Records. This track has one of the most interesting buildups to any of their songs with anything from some bass, bells, synths, and even some Hebrew. The song goes everywhere from synths blaring over the chorus to a soaring guitar over a dance beat in the middle. It’s one of their best tracks.
Landon’s Pick: “Wild for the Night” – A$AP Rocky
In all of my wildest hip-hop fantasies, I would’ve never guessed that 2013 would start out with such a huge bang. A$AP Rocky and Skrillex have proven me wrong, as they’ve started January out with one of the catchiest, if not wildly obnoxious tracks of the year. As expected, Skrillex provides the beat for A$AP, allowing the artist to work his bass-filled magic. Long Live A$AP admittedly had its highs and lows as one cohesive package of music, but separately, “Wild for the Night” stands out the best as one of the strongest works.