Welcome to another installment of the music that I’ve been obsessing over the past couple of weeks, because let’s face it, we’re always finding new music that’s so good we can’t help but listen to it on constant repeat.
Slaves – I’d Rather See Your Star Explode (Single)
Now when talking about Slaves, there’s unfortunately always some controversy about this band, which isn’t fair to how good this band is and what they are capable of. I’ve always been a supporter of Jonny Craig and all of his musical projects, and the new single they just put out from their unnamed album makes me think that this next Slaves album will be the best thing that this band has done.
In my opinion, Jonny has never sounded better than he does on this song. Somehow his vocals just get better with each album. Ever since the departure of three of their members after the Warped Tour fiasco, the band has stated that they want to move in a new direction now that they’re starting over. While there are things that still represent the old Slaves, this single explores a more polished sound and abandoning the heavy, chugging guitar tone that was present on their first two albums.
Hopefully as this band begins to move forward in their career, the negative stigma around the band can fade away and everyone can appreciate this band for who they are now, as opposed to who they were.
I See Stars – Treehouse
I’m going to preface this with a statement: If you were ever into this band at one point in your life, listen to this album because you will love it. I’m listening to the album as I’m writing this and it’s the third time I’ve listened to it today.
I remember loving I See Stars in middle school with the release of their album 3-D and after The End of the World Party, I kind of fell away from this band and hadn’t given any of their albums after that a chance, and at first, the same was true for this album. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine sat me down and told me to listen to it…and after that I was hooked. After the departure of unclean vocalist Zach Johnson and guitarist Jimmy Gregerson, much like Slaves, were ready to introduce a new direction for the band and redefine who I See Stars is.
Now don’t be too worried, there are still some elements of old I See Stars intertwined in these songs (electronic breakdowns, unclean vocals, etc.) but the sound that defined I See Stars as “electronic hardcore” has become more mature and defined. My favorite track Yellow King, features heavy tom fills that define the modern rock sound that lead up to the best chorus on the album, with Devin Oliver’s vocals soaring above the rest of the band and featuring Oliver’s unclean vocals that he has since taken over after the departure of Johnson.
Another one of my favorite things about this album is how the band uses the electronic elements not to overpower the instrumentation, but adds their own twist on each track and giving each song its own atmosphere with which to explore. Again, probably one of those albums that should have been in my top 10 of 2016.
Favorite Track: Yellow King
Basement – Promise Everything
Basement is definitely another band you don’t want to sleep on, like I did. For fans of Turnover, Citizen, and Superheaven, the five-piece group has just recently finished touring with Bring Me The Horizon, getting ready to head on their own headlining tour in Europe, and also just recently signed a new record deal with Fueled By Ramen, in which they will be releasing a deluxe edition of their album, Promise Everything.
The new album came off of a two-year hiatus, where Basement felt like they needed to start again instead of building off of their previous album Colourmeinkindness. As for vocalist Andrew Fisher, he was able to explore some new methods when approaching the lyrics and vocals encompassed in this album. “On previous records I had spent a long time trying to make sure my lyrics represented true feelings and experiences and that they came across in a very specific and meaningful way, to me at least. This time round I decided to try something a little different. I was interested in seeing how words sounded together in a verse or chorus, rather than specifically what they were saying,” (cited from Sarah Jamieson, from DIY Magazine).
The overall mellow, grungy sound of the album pairs perfectly with the dark and heavy lyrics featured on the 10-track album:
So I will run away from all I can see in front of me/
I will lay and talk of my hopes and dreams/
To make it seem that a light can shine/
And brighten up the darkest things/
But a light can’t shine enough to light up/
Each song on the album has its own feeling and emotion that distinguish each track from the next but all come together to form a very cohesive, dark, and simply amazing album. Be on the lookout for this band, because they are going to be big.
Favorite Track: Aquasun
Thanks for reading!