In celebration of the launch of the redesigned MEB, the staff decided we would all come up with a five song mixtape, our own personal EP, to showcase our tastes for any visitors to the site, with songs contributed by some of our favorite bands. When I was drawing up a list of the bands I wanted to acquire songs from, I bounced around a lot of different ideas for the “sound” I would hone in on. I landed on what I like to call “post-experimental-indie-hardcore.” A big thanks goes out to The Republic of Wolves, A Lot Like Birds, Troubled Coast, Colour Revolt and Seahaven for lending me their songs. I’m extremely gracious. For all the readers, make sure to stick around Mindequalsblown. The new site is going to be killer.
The Republic of Wolves– “Greek Fire” from Varuna
What more can I say about TROW? After all, I named Varuna my favorite album of 2010 , with one of the songs being my top track of the year, and their EP The Cartographer will more than likely be my top EP of this year. While “Greek Fire,” wasn’t my immediate favorite track on the album, it is definitely the one that has grown on me the most. Christian Van Deurs’ lead guitar on the track is VERY reminiscent of Thrice and the thunderous drums from Chris Wall are killer. This track also showcases the tremendous voice and writing ability of lead singer/rhythm guitarist Mason Maggio, who is truly one of music’s rising stars.
A Lot Like Birds– “Hallows or Horcruxes?” from Plan B
To quote fellow MEB-er Jack, “If there were sporting awards for bands, ALLB would be a pre-season All-American.” With the addition of ex-Dance Gavin Dance singer Kurt Travis, ALLB turned into a power house overnight. With their full-length on the way, anyone who has read the news NEEDS to check out their previous record, Plan B. While the record has a whole lot less vocals than we expect from their upcoming record, the instrumentation is the focus, and the band shines. On “Hallows or Horcruxes,” the band showcases their experimental/post-hardcore style, with weaving guitars, keys and pounding drums. The band takes post-rock to the heaviest place it’s ever been. When the blood-curling screams from Cory Lockwood come in towards the end of the track, it is the perfect climax to a phenomenal song.
Troubled Coast– “Absent Father, Holy Ghost” from Letters
Troubled Coast is definitely one of the most ambitious bands I’ve come across in a long time. To record two releases, albeit short ones, and then make a pretty obvious shift in style for the third release is a pretty daunting task, though they handle it remarkably. For a band that previously only recorded extremely fast and heavy tracks, with only shouted-style screams for vocals, to make an album that features numerous soft, gentle moments is commendable. Troubled Coast does it numerous times, most notably on “Absent Father, Holy Ghost,” which begins with some very touching lone guitars from Cory Bardwell and Brandon Wark, before launching into a brutal assault carried by singer Mike “Mile” Scornaienchi. This is stopped nearly immediately by another soft passage with acoustics and a harmonica, things unheard of from the scene, and some phenomenal clean vocals. These guys are definitely a band to keep your eyes on. Check out my review of Letters here!!
Colour Revolt– “8 Years” from The Cradle
I never thought I’d be able to get Colour Revolt to say yes for inclusion in the mixtape. Out of all the bands I inquired to, they were the only one that I thought would be too big and probably ignore me. When I got confirmation from the band’s manager, Will, I couldn’t have been happier. As someone who has followed the band from the beginning, waiting patiently for news after hearing a majority of the band split after the release of their first full-length, to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement. The Cradle was definitely one of my favorite releases of 2010 and “8 Years” is probably the best “calling-card” song for the band from the album. Jesse Coppenbarger’s hoarse style clean vocals may not be the prettiest, but I’ll be damned if they don’t get you hooked into the music. The mixture of guitars from the dirtier Coppenbarger and the cleaner tones from Sean Kirkpatrick are perfect. The lyrics are sure to be a favorite for anyone who likes the band, as they vaguely trace the history of the band.
Seahaven “Plague” from Ghost
Plenty of comparisons have been made between Seahaven and Long Island’s heroes Brand New. Unlike TROW, who also gets compared to Brand New, it isn’t because of a similarity in the voices of the singers, but rather the writing of the music. With guitars that scream Jesse Lacey and Vin Accardi and lyrics touching on inner turmoil and religion, the comparison is obvious. Setting them apart though are the wonderful vocals from Kyle Soto, who effortlessly shifts from singing softly to shouting gravelly. These guys are criminally not as big as they should be, if their Facebook fan total is any indication. “Plague” is one of the best written songs to come around in a while. Do yourself a favor and give it, and all of Ghost, a listen.