After a somewhat lackluster Week 5, it’s a brand new week with seven new acts being announced, ranging everywhere from pop-rock to ravecore, and reggae to hardcore. Get ready, readers. You’re in for a treat this week.
Band: The Green (All Dates)
Check Out: “Love & Affection” from Ways & Means
Similar To: Common Kings, The Aggrolites, The Supervillains
My Reaction: If any genre’s getting an appropriate amount of love so far with announcements for this summer, reggae is definitely one of the top contenders. With the inclusion of Mighty Mongo, Echo Movement and Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds on the festival already, it certainly seems that the tour is trying to recreate a ska-heavy line-up once again. Now being added to the line-up is Oahu, Hawaii’s own The Green, who’ll be providing the festival with some of the most laid-back music available thus far. As far as lyrical content goes, the band falls somewhere between Echo Movement’s ganja-happy good vibes and Mighty Mongo’s personal heartache, providing for a set that should prove to be both poignant and enjoyable.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: If you’re going to Warped Tour this year solely in hopes of watching mostly reggae-oriented groups, then you’ll want to see them. There’ll be more than enough time in your day to stop by their set. However, everybody else I would dissuade from attending. It’s nothing personal against the band or their members; it’s just that with there being such a wide variety of acts on the festival this year, The Green kind of fall flat in comparison to some of the more energetic acts. All around, with their music being as relaxed as it is, I can’t imagine their set being an experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Band: Make Do & Mend (All Dates)
Check Out: “Unknowingly Strong” from End Measured Mile
Similar To: Red City Radio, The Menzingers, Iron Chic
My Reaction: Keeping with this year’s trend of gritty pop-punk (see Polar Bear Club and Living With Lions), the tour has added Hartford, Connecticut quartet Make Do & Mend for a full run this summer. After signing with Rise Records last year, which was heavily anchored by the success of their latest Paper + Plastik release End Measured Mile, the band has really started to branch out of its relatively unknown status to reach great heights. Resultantly, the band has been on tours with similar up-and-comers such as The Wonder Years and Title Fight. Now with a soon to be sophomore album currently in the works, it definitely seems like MD&M will be a band that has the ability to make a splash in an already eclectic line-up.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: At the beginning of announcements, when everyone was anxiously awaiting the news of who would be gracing the festival with their presence, I was pleased to see such an abundance of pop-punk and hardcore being among the first announced. With Man Overboard, Polar Bear Club and Bayside being among these bands, I was delightfully ecstatic with the festival’s decision to expand their horizons as far as searching for new genres goes. However, with there being so many bands of this genre being announced, it’s getting to the point where bands are going to have to compete for the largest crowds. That being said, I personally think because of this, I’m only going to see Make Do & Mend if there aren’t any band conflicts. In no way does that mean I’m not recommending MD&M, but I still think there are better ways of filling the voids in your day.
Band: Mayday Parade (All Dates)
Check Out: “Call Me Hopeless, But Not Romantic” from Self-Titled
Similar To: The Maine, The Spill Canvas, Every Avenue
My Reaction: In a current scene overrun with countless imitators, bores and rehashes of the bands that came before them, it’s refreshing to know that no matter how unambitious some musicians continue to remain, there will always be a select group of elite bands that stand out above the rest in their genre. There’s no doubt in my mind that Tallahassee, Florida emo-pop quintet Mayday Parade will forever be one of those select few. Ever since their explosive indie success with 2007’s A Lesson in Romantics, mostly anchored by the stellar lyrics of ex-vocalist Jason Lancaster, the band has turned out countless teen anthems for today’s youth over the past five years. However, now that Lancaster is belting out lyrics for other Fearless Records band Go Radio, the remaining five members are attempting to stand out on their own merits, proving that though their style may have been altered, some change is for the best.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: Without hesitation. Though the band unfortunately received very little praise from fans for their 2009 release Anywhere But Here, the band is sure to win over Warped Tour audiences everywhere with their newest self-titled album. The new record, in my opinion, was a complete game-changer for the group, showing a wide range of musical styles and lyrical attitudes that showcase their best attributes. Not to mention, I personally can state that their live show is one that shouldn’t be missed. After seeing them twice, I can already tell that they’re the real deal when it comes to putting on one hell of a show. Whatever you do, don’t miss seeing Mayday Parade this summer.
Band: Sick of Sarah (7/19-8/5)
Check Out: “Autograph” from 2205
Similar To: The Donnas, The Go-Gos, Vanity Theft
My Reaction: For reasons unknown, over the past five years it has been extremely difficult to find a great female-fronted pop-punk band. However, with Paramore currently in the limelight for reasons besides their music and The Donnas remaining stagnant with making music for the time being, it’s time for bands like Dead Sara, Tonight Alive and Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Sick of Sarah to step up to the plate for their chance at mainstream success. Currently signed under indie label Adament Records, the all-female line-up of Sick of Sarah boasts radio-friendly pop-punk reminiscent of the classic punk-rock of the 1970’s with a modern new-wave twist all their own (imagine if The Go-Go’s Belinda Carlisle fronted The Ramones).
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: After playing a similar stint on last summer’s Warped Tour, Sick of Sarah proved to be one of the more energetic and entertaining bands to play the Kevin Says stage. Resultantly, it doesn’t surprise me that Kevin Lyman asked them to take part in this year’s edition of the tour. If they were playing Detroit’s stop of the tour, I’d probably be more excited for the band, but regardless, if you’re looking to fill a void in your day, make sure you give Sick of Sarah a shot. From what I’ve seen, they’re ready to jump out of the gate and show the world they know how to rock.
Band: Skip The Foreplay (All Dates)
Check Out: “This City (We’re Taking Over)” from Nightlife
Similar To: Attack Attack, Abandon All Ships, Emmure
My Reaction: Let’s face it: in today’s scene, there won’t be a lack of ravecore bands anytime soon. Ever since the trend became popular with bands such as Attack Attack and Abandon All Ships blowing up, it seems as if labels are trying to soak up every last ounce up of the frenzy before scene kids everywhere move on to the next big thing. And, by God, it looks like Epitaph Records found their piece of the ravecore pie. Skip The Foreplay, the Montreal, Canada based sextet, have certainly been making waves lately in the metalcore scene with the video for their latest single “This City (We’re Taking Over)”. Not to mention, it doesn’t hurt to virally release a heart-thumping, bass-pummeling cover of LMFAO’s “Champagne Showers” to help cross over to the mainstream subgenres.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: I’m not the kind of guy to go out recommending bands who I know will most likely be obsolete in the next year or so. I know for a fact that once a new trend starts to become more popular, all the bands that have put their time and effort into this genre will begin to fall by the wayside. However, because ravecore, or whatever you want to call it, is such a staple in today’s metalcore scene, I’m not going to immediately turn down a recommendation for Skip the Foreplay. From what I can tell through live performances on YouTube and reviews from my close friends, they do have the ability to put on a live show that’s just as infectious as Family Force 5 and can consistently stay that way through tours. So, for the sake of seeing a great live performance, I won’t totally dissuade those attending the festival this summer to “skip” this band.
Band: Twin Atlantic (7/10-8/5)
Check Out: “Edit Me” from Free
Similar To: Manchester Orchestra, Frightened Rabbit, Moving Mountains
My Reaction: Though the band will be as much as 5,000 miles away from their hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, indie-rock group Twin Atlantic are sure to make waves as they make their rounds on Warped Tour this summer. For over half a decade, Twin Atlantic has been making their homeland proud by boasting passionate, accent-heavy vocals, distortion-infused guitars and some of the finest drumwork I’ve heard in a long time. After putting their latest, heavily-acclaimed full length Free under Red Bull Records, Twin Atlantic has surely shown their ability to make great music on their own merits, which has allowed them to tour with everyone from The Gaslight Anthem to My Chemical Romance. With this impressive resume, it looks as if Twin Atlantic is set to make their Warped debut in style.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: If you’re looking for a healthy, alternative-rock substitute to make up for acts like T. Mills and It Boys being on the tour this summer, Twin Atlantic definitely will be the band for you. Providing enough of a hard-hitting rock sound to satisfy the rock crowds of Warped Tour, while simultaneously not conforming to the countless gimmicks of today’s music scene, Twin Atlantic is certainly planted in the right middle ground for music fans everywhere. This will, undoubtedly, give them the support they deserve this summer.
Band: Vanna (All Dates)
Check Out: “The Same Graceful Wind” from A New Hope
Similar To: Underoath, Gwen Stacy, Therefore I Am
My Reaction: Are you looking to punk out with your junk out this summer? Are you looking to satisfy your need for a legitimately talented and exciting post-hardcore band? If so, you may want to consider checking out Boston, Massachusetts’ own Vanna. Though the quartet has been together for eight years, altering their line-up and record label numerous times, it has in no way affected their ability to create some of the most hard-hitting and tenacious hardcore in ages. After a thorough listen to their 2009 Epitaph release A New Hope, I was immediately taken by the album’s raw, visceral qualities, producing tracks such as “Sleepwalker” and “The Same Graceful Wind”. However, that’s not to say one should discount the offerings on their latest Artery Recordings release And They Came Baring Bones, which continues to boast a lot of the same qualities, while attempting to push the boundaries of their music to greater heights.
Would I Recommend Seeing Him?: Yes. Though Vanna has played Warped Tour in the past, it’s only been through short, two-week stints on the Kevin Says stage. However, it looks like Vanna’s luck has certainly changed, being given their first ever full run on the festival. For good reason too: From what I can see through YouTube videos, lead singer Joe Bragel’s live screamed vocals closely mirror his recorded ones. This type of vocal enthusiasm should produce an energetic and fulfilling live set. Hold on to your hats…Vanna is ready to blow them off.
This week definitely provided the best announcements yet. With this week finally offering a wide variety of genres and acts, there was something for everyone. Keep up the good work, Warped Tour!