Jason’s Pick: “Sleep” – Xerxes
In what has slowly but surely become one of the most played songs in my iTunes collection, this track hammers through 41 seconds of gritty, emotional ‘screamo’ that doesn’t leave songwriting out to dry. Energetic, cathartic and just damn good, it’s a part of a strong one-two punch to start off the band’s stellar debut LP Our Home is a Deathbed.
Drew’s Pick: “Decievement” – Humanity’s Last Breath
Sometimes you need something rough. Something less polished than the fantastic new The Faceless record. Something less mature than the amazing new The Chariot record. Something simple. Something raw. While my choice could have easily gone to the previous two bands – as they have dominated my playlist this last week – I’d like to use this space for Humanity’s Last Breath. Basic, breakdown and blast-beat fueled, “Decievement” has a relaxing interlude that leads into a crazy breakdown. Heavy, straightforward metal. I dig it.
Joe’s Pick: “The Garden” – Rush
Hailing from one of the best albums in their 44-year career – the 2012 release Clockwork Angels – this epic seven-minute closing track epitomizes what Rush is all about. Starting off with a combination of guitar plucking and violins, the track slowly builds and builds and you know you’re hearing something special as Geddy Lee croons these words of wisdom: “The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect.” “The Garden” has quickly become one of my favorite Rush songs of all-time.
Austin’s Pick: “Southern Comfort” – Envy On The Coast
Ah, nostalgia. Seems like yesterday I was hearing all kinds of buzz about Envy On The Coast; this was of course before their breakup in 2010. This band was one of the game changers in the genre, caustically blending post-hardcore with progressive rock to whip up track upon track of harmonically beautiful but feverish noise. This southern twangy track comes from their brilliant record Lowcountry that they released only months before their breakup. It showed them at their absolute best – combining maturity with elasticity, showing they could’ve taken any road they chose, and they would’ve come out on the other side with only mere scratches. Here’s to hoping they re-unite one day, as I will be ready with open arms. For now though, I’ll jam this number repeatedly along with the rest of the record.
John’s Pick: “Down the Road” – C2C
Despite entering an entirely new location and culture, I still find myself in the insatiable mood for French electronica. “Down the Road” by C2C is the perfect jam for those in the mood for something funky. The sporadic samples and catchy harmonica make it the ideal tune for walking into a building like that one guy who shows up at work thinking he’s the man as he greets everyone. Only with this in your ears will you not be able to hear your co-workers say behind your back that you are not, in fact, the man.
Eric’s Pick: “This Day’s Seen Better Bars” – Red City Radio
I’ve seen these guys two times already and I confidently dare to say that you won’t find many better live shows in today’s punk scene. This band transpires everything that punk rock should be, with every song being a memorable testament to who they are, where they’re from and what they believe. “This Day’s Seen Better Bars” may be just a part of the catchy swall that is their debut LP The Dangers of Standing Still, but it’s the song that screams the loudest, with effervescent passion and bearded honesty creating a three minute sing-along you will never stop singing.
Steve’s Pick: “Mr. Grey” – Nidus Expire
A lesson in dark melody, “Mr. Grey” is a swell of brooding instrumentals comprised of dark, bouncy guitar lines and punchy drums. A collective endeavor by Maxwell Stevens, the only official member of Nidus Expire, and talented musicians such as Oceana‘s Brennan Taulbee, the song features impressive vocal delivery and passionate music with electronic undertones. Picture an ominous Juturna by Circa Survive and you will have a glimpse at what this track provides. If that sounds like it’s up your alley, listen immediately.
Landon’s Pick: “The Horror of New York City” – Patton Oswalt
Patton Oswalt has always been one of my favorite stand-up comedians – and for good reason. His observations are spot-on, his timing is impeccable and his material is always fresh and topical. No better example can be found than on “The Horror of New York City.” Oswalt’s exceptional storytelling abilities are in full force for the first half of the track as he speaks of “the constant spray of shit and horror that you’re subjected to” in the Big Apple. This 15-minute marvel is equally hysterical, as it acts as an addendum to his famous rant to Kentucky Fried Chicken’s famous bowl and shows the hilarious aftermath that jokes can take on.
Dylan’s Pick: “Live Fast, Die Old” – Frank Turner
If you know me well at all then it is no secret how intense my undying love for Frank Turner is. He is an absolute staple in my rotation but sometimes I decide to listen to more stuff than normal (and by more than normal I mean his full discography in a day). I have a plethora of favorites from Frank but currently it’s the first track off of his 2009 release Poetry of the Deed, “Live Fast, Die Old.” Channeling his inner Springsteen, Frank delivers a great straight-up rock n’ roll track with one of his best, most meaningful choruses ever.
Megan’s Pick: “Kiss With a Fist” – Florence and the Machine
Florence Welch’s sense of humor is wild, and “Kiss With a Fist” is a perfect example of her quirkiness. This tune is catchy and slightly sadistic, but has consumed my week. Its message of empowerment and equality in relationships is something to grasp, while in general, its lightheartedness is satisfying. The fast pace and tricky nature are enjoyable and pleasing. It’s just the song to grab your attention and gather your mood up.