Wildcat! Wildcat!- No Moon at All

If you want different, look no further. Wildcat! Wildcat! is exactly what you are looking for. Starting off the album is Tower/ W.O.H.L with a long introduction made up of an almost scary electronic beat. A few seconds into the song you begin to feel as if you are going to dance with fairies in the meadow. It eventually goes into the smooth voice that is Wildcat! Wildcat! I have never heard such an easygoing voice in a song. The man could put a child to sleep. A very, very happy baby.

With only a self-titled EP under their belt before this full-length album, Wildcat! Wildcat! is working hard to prove themselves in their genre. They are classified as alternative, and that is what they are. They sound like nobody before them, and I’m almost positive no one will be able to replicate their sound. That is a very good thing, because music today needs originality. Wildcat! Wildcat! is not bubblegum-pop or even your typical alternative today ( which normally involves banjos, raspy vocals, or a combination of the two.) If you are looking for a band that stays true to their genre, you will be giddy when you hear this album.

The highlight of this album has got to be Up and Beyond.It’s a joyride, taking you down a path of “c’mons” and “whoo-oos”. It’s the closest to the sickeningly sweet nonsense you hear so much today, but it has many redeeming qualities, with the bubbly beats and enticing lyrics. You just have to hear the rest of the album once you hear that song. That will be the best decision you make that day. 

Next time you are trying to unwind, do some yoga, drink some hot tea, maybe get a massage, but do it all with No Moon at All in the background. This album is probably the most relaxing, yet not painful to listen to, one you will have heard this year.

 

Charlie Simpson- Long Road Home

Charlie Simpson has proved that he can do anything. Well, in the music world at least.

He has shifted seamlessly through all the realms of musical genres, starting in pop group Busted. After he realized that he had more to offer lyrically than “Year 3000” (Which includes the line, “I’ve been to the year three thousand, not much has changed but they lived underwater”), he transitioned to the post-hardcore act, Fightstar. While the lyrics were more mature, and better fitting for Simpson, he decided to break off and pursue a solo career. This time though, it was as an indie-rocker.

This was the perfect decision for him. He must have thought so also, because he is now on his sophomore album, Long Road Home. Simpson makes music look easy. With songs such as Haunted, the first official single off of the album, it’s not difficult to tell that he will be a constant presence in music lover’s hearts.

His songs make you feel good. They have an upbeat tone to them, even when the lyrics themselves aren’t happy. I don’t know of a much better quality music can have. If it doesn’t improve your mood, what is the point in listening to it?

Simpson’s voice is reminiscent of Chris Martin’s of Coldplay fame. The difference between the two? Charlie Simpson’s songs are GOOD. I don’t know of many solo musician’s out there right now who can combine music and lyrics to make a masterpiece. Some musician’s voices are good, but the music is not up to par. Others have a beautifully pieced together band, but the singing leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Simpson defies this, and goes into category not many can break into. There, the musicians have patented their blend, and lead the path for other musicians.

If you want to have your faith is today’s music redeemed, go online, sit down for the 41:00 minutes it takes to listen, and be amazed.

Anberlin-Lowborn

Not having any experience with Anberlin, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this review. I know, I know. This is their final album, the seventh at that (along with an EP and a couple compilation albums) and I had never listened to them. Judge me if you want, but I am glad I had the chance to listen before they were no longer a thing.

I have heard about Anberlin for a while now through the organization To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA). I am a huge supporter of the cause, so I had to check out one of their favorite bands. I see why they like the band so much. Lowborn is one of those albums you need to listen to a couple of times to truly appreciate it. The first time through I was just getting a feel for what the band was about. It seemed to all blur together and not really have any certain qualities popping out at you. I guess that’s one thing I like about it. It isn’t all in your face but as you listen on, the little differences make you think. What is this song about? Does it apply to me?  As you go on, asking the latter question, you realize YES. This completely applies to me. The album is completely relatable, with lyrics like “Memories circle like birds of prey; waiting for the right mind to drive insane” in my favorite off the album, Birds Of Prey. The songs make you want to scream the lyrics right along with the band.  I think this is the reason TWLOHA supports the act.

The music itself, not talking about the lyrics, is not as impressive. It is generic rock, like they are trying to sound like every other band of their genre out there, but with more electronics. I don’t like that. Try to be original. Your lyrics were so good, Anberlin. I would ask you to step it up, if this wasn’t your last album. Oh well. Sometimes I prefer the music, sometimes the lyrics. These tracks have top-notch verses and deeply meaningful choruses, so I’ll forgive them for what they lack in the guitar world. Anberlin, thanks for inspiring people. That seems to be the band’s main job, and I admire them greatly for that.  

 

 

Maybe I’ll Live The Dream

This is not a review, but I wanted to write, so here I am. Read on if you wish.

As you can most definitely tell, I am NOT a professional writer. That is my dream, but I am very far from it. My writing style is not always easy to read, I sometimes write cliché statements, and I don’t always post a completely edited product. I have had to, on my few posts, go back and change what I have written because of easy to miss when reading over my work, yet unforgivable , mistakes.

I want to be better. Writing, along with music, is my passion. Putting those two together and getting paid for it would be the perfect career for me. I know I wouldn’t be paid much, but money is not what I’m looking for. I am looking for a chance to truly enjoy life, and for me, that is the way to do it.

So what am I going to do to fix that? I will work my butt off. Writing a great story is not easy. I know that. My father is a part-time sportswriter for our local newspaper, and he takes hours writing a single story, reads over it several times, and has my mother read over it to make sure he hasn’t missed something. Even then, you will sometimes see a mistake. It is a long process, but to him, it is worth it.

I am like him. I love to write, and always have. I remember writing my first poem in second grade. It was called “Springtime” and it opened up a whole new world to me. Now, writing feels like second nature, even though I need to improve. It is what I want to do with my life.

Journalism, as I have been told several times, is a hard field to break into. You get paid very little, get freelance work, and eventually, with any luck, you catch a break.

It sort of hit me today that music journalism is seriously what I want to do. I was reading Alternative Press’s website, and saw everything that the editors were writing about. There were album reviews and news stories. I want to do that. I want to be the one who publishes something that thousands of people read. It is an inspiration to me, and I want to be that inspiration to others.

Someday, I might be lucky and get to do that, or maybe not. I might be an English teacher, or maybe in the medical field like I originally planned. Music has always been there for me, and I want to be there for it, telling the world all about it.

Crown the Empire- The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways

This album may have The Resistance in its title, but there is no way that I could resist it.  That sounds horribly cheesy, but it is the absolute truth. I reviewed Crown The Empire’s first album, The Fallout, on my Twitter page when I first started listening to them. I had heard about them, and had checked them out on Spotify, but only for a few songs. Then, Hayden Tree, the bassist, followed me on Twitter and I felt I owed it to him to listen. I was not looking forward to it, but that quickly faded away. That was not very long ago, but they have since become a band I listen to often, and keep up with.

Their follow-up album, The Resistance: Rise of The Runaways, hits the spot for fans looking for their fix of Crown The Empire. I know I have been looking forward to it, and have been listening quite a few times. Fans who were hoping for an album true to the band’s name got what they wanted. The band has changed, in only good ways.

They have definitely grown, adding more melodic tones in some places, but getting harder in others. For example, Millennia is softer than most of their other album throughout most of the song, while Bloodline stays true to hardcore through the whole song. Some of the songs have sounds of machine guns and explosions added to it, while the band is rocking out in the foreground. It’s like a party on a battlefield. I do like this to a certain extent. Sometimes the ammunition sounds go on too long, taking away from the music itself. If I could change one thing, I’d incorporate it into the song instead of having it by itself for more than a minute at the end. I understand that the album is telling a story, but it bothers me at times. That might make me a bad person, but I don’t really care. The storyline is good, but I am not into guns and gore.

Johnny’s Rebellion and Millennia are my personal favorites, showing off the best of the band. The best thing about Johnny’s Rebellion is that it is a perfect blend of hardcore and beautiful vocals. It could be the song they are best known for. Mnstr is another song that deserves recognition, with the vocals once again on point, but the melody is unique and, not common for a band like this, pretty.

I’ll stick by Crown The Empire’s side as long as they are making music. They are going to be around for a long while, and I’m here for the ride. Buckle up if you are with me.

 

 

Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties-We Don’t Have Each Other

Dan Campbell is a genius. That is the most simple way to put it.

You might be wondering , or you possibly know better than I, who that is. I’ll explain a little. Dan Campbell is the frontman for the group The Wonder Years. Their music is the true definition of pop-punk. It has the guitar, it has the drums, it has a rebellious feel to it. It even has the perfect combination of rough, yet easy on the ears, vocals and screaming every now and again.

But I’m not here to talk about The Wonder Years.

Campbell has branched off to start his own solo project, called Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties. His debut album is called We Don’t Have Each Other. Let me tell you, I fell in love from the first song. I heard Going to Georgia by The Mountain Goats, a bonus track on the album, and it was completely different than any Wonder Year’s music I had ever listened to. I immediately thought of The Counting Crows. The voice of Campbell sounds so much like Adam Duritz, I thought I was listening to them. That is not a bad thing at all.

As I went on, I heard Runnin’ Scared, and fell deeper under Campbell’s spell. Something about the music is mesmerizing, and I wanted to keep listening. Actually, I listened to the album at least five times, and I’m listening again now.

Continuing on through the album, hints of Mumford & Sons came to mind. A combination of The Counting Crows and the band previously mentioned? I would not complain if I had to listen to only this album for a month.

This is not to say that Campbell is ripping off other groups, as he brings his own sound to the scene. I have never heard songs like these before. Another album would be completely welcome, even though this one is barely over a week old.

All in all, this album is a hit, and will be on repeat for a long time. Acoustic music that pushes the limits on your everyday songs is what is needed in the world. Keep on doing what you are doing Dan.

 

An Attempt

I am not your average critic.

I am just a teenage girl, living in a small town with her family. I do not do this for a living, and I am definitely not qualified to be criticizing any artist’s work.

Yet here I am, attempting to do just that. I love music. It is my passion. I live and breathe the act of listening to the alluring songs from my favorite artists, and from any artist, really. I await new releases, and listen to old albums over and over. I have Fleetwood Mac to One Direction to Sleeping With Sirens on my playlists that I listen to everyday and all night long. Concerts call my name, and I often do not have the chance to respond, but when I do, it is magic. Magic is the right word for it, because music makes me feel alive.

I know a lot of people say that music saved their life, and that many people think that they are lying. For me, that is the absolute truth. Music keeps me up when I feel like the world is going to end.

I know this is sounding sappy, so I’ll stop, but my little rant rings true for many fans of a certain group, or song, or genre. Music is what made me who I am today, so I feel that I might have a tiny bit of a right to talk about it.

So welcome, and hopefully you will enjoy my reviews and random thoughts on whatever music I am listening to. I will take suggestions, and comments are more than allowed here. I want to hear from other music freaks.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully you will learn a bit, as I do the same.