This is the opening track from the bands recent "Selective Wreckage" release. It's manly just feedback and some guy talking.
Forgive Durden - "Razia's Shadow"
The more I listen to this album, the more I like it. Stand out tracks are "Genesis" and "The Oracle" whcih features TheAudition's Danny Stevens, a vocalist who impressed me on this track more than with his normal band.
Fall Out Boy - America's Suitehearts
I think I have wrote about this track before. It's from the new FOB album which is out in a few weeks.
Weezer - Susanne
A classic Weezer b-side from a classic film, "Mallrats". I'm not a huge fan of Weezer but the stuff from the self-titled Blue album period is their best work and a great album.
Kevin Devine - Just Stay
When I saw Kevin Devine at Give It A Name in 2007. I knew very little about him and I only watched his set because Brand New were his backing bacd. Since then I've listened to one or two of his albums with this track being my favorite Kevin Devine track.
This Will Destroy You - I Believe In Your Victory
Ever since discovering Explosions In The Sky, I've become increasingly intrested in Post-Rock bands like This Will Destroy You, Envy, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Yndi Halda and Mono.
In other volumes I've mostly talked about bands from the past. This volume will be about the present and more centrally, about one record label.
The label in question is Decaydance, a label owned by Fall Out Boy Bassist Pete Wentz and is a subside label of Fueled By Ramen, however that link is currently rumoured to be no longer.
Nevertheless Decaydance has produced a number of popular bands, who range over many genres including the Hip-Hop band, Gym Class Heroes and Jazz/Lounge singer Neumann. However it's roots are in Pop-Punk. Wentz, with his label and band, have evolved Pop-Punk to become a genre that is more mainstream and widespread, to the point where Pop-Punk music has mistakenly been branded as "emo". Who's to blame for this mistake? the bands? the labels? the press? That's an arguement that's left for a better day.
The Academy Is...
One of the first Decaydance bands to find major success was Chicago's The Academy Is.... The band's 2005 debut, "Almost Here", an album which gained quick success with songs such as "Checkmarks" and "Slow Down" proving popular.
The band's 2007 follow up, "Santi" was less popular and saw the band take more rock-orientated approach.
This year the band returned with "Fast Times At Barrington High", an album which was more Pop-Punk sounding and with song themes relating to being in High School and falling in and out of love (a common theme in Pop-Punk songs).
Next we have a band who have more success than The Academy Is... and could be considered to be on the same level as Wentz's band. The band in question is Panic At The Disco.
I'll admit Panic (for short) are not a Pop-Punk band but they're origins are; they started out as a Blink-182 cover band. They are a band that play pop music but on a grander level. In 2005 the band's debut "A Fever You Can't Sweet Out" saw the band gain mainstream success quickly, within a year the biggest song from the album, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" had won a MTV Video Music Award.
The band's latest album "Pretty Odd" is less dance-pop than their previous effort nor is it more punk. "Pretty. Odd" is a record that has had a split opinion. It's a change in direction from the band, who have removed the dance/electronic elements and replaced them with more traditional musical instruments and the songs are sound more mature.
Another Decaydance band from Las Vegas is The Cab, one of the more poppier bands from the Decaydance roster, that has been likened to funk-pop band Maroon 5 but still have Pop-Punk sensibilities within their music. So far the band have released one album, "Whisper War", which was released earlier this year.
Decaydance has been a label with many bands who are at a young age (late teens/early 20's) and this next band is no difference, Hey Monday, one of the most poppiest bands on the roster but with guitar-driven songs about heartbreak, I'm going to consider (just) a Pop-Punk band.
In conclusion Decaydance is a label that has proved to be successful very quickly. Is it due to good marketing? good music? or just being in the right place at the right time? The answer is all three. Decaydance has a winning formula, which may or may not last but for now, it will do.
The other week or day (or whenever it was) I wrote a bit about Fall Out Boy and how they utilize ther various methods of merchandizing. Today bassist Pete Wentz posted a picture of a new Fall Out Boy T-shirt, that I thought was quite funny:
Some people might think it's stupid, whilst others might think it's genius. In a way it shows Fall Out Boy's fanbase is divided between the bands old and new work.
So this is Volume 3. I have to admit I forgot some bands from 'the Essentials' list, so for the most part this Volume will be those bands. Starting with... New Found Glory
New Found Glory or A New Found Glory; if you want to refer to the band's old name, are band that when I first heard of them were "a Blink 182 rip-off" but since then I've changed and I have discovered NFG are much more than that. Their 2nd album, simply called 'New Found Glory' contained many songs that have gone to be highlights of the band's live show for example "Hit or Miss" and "Dressed To Kill".
The album saw NFG reach a new audience and the follow up, 'Sticks and Stones' which opened with the band reacting to it's new found fame on the track "Understatement". The album also had the typical Pop-punk song theme of being heartbroken and being a teenager. "My Friends Over You" is a fine example of this (and it had a funny video too).
The band's next album, 'Catalyst' saw the band performing slightly faster but with the Pop-punk sentiments still there. My favorites from this album include "Intro" a 37 second crazy track with added shoutng group vocals and the album's lead off single "All Downhill From Here". 'Catalyst' also saw the band writing a ballad called "I Don't Wanna Know".
This more slower, somewaht radio-friendly sound of NFG would continue with 2006's 'Coming Home' album. This has been an album that has split opinion with NFG fans, some like, some don't. I do. I admit it isn't the band's best work but I would call it an underrated album. A theme I got from listening to this album was the theme of 'being in love', songs such as "On My Mind", "Hold My Hand", "Too Good To Be" and the single "It's Not Your Fault" which also showed a couple of young lovers.
Since 'Coming Home' the band have released it's 2nd collection of covers made up of songs from movies, which saw the band having various guest vocalists from more recent bands such as Dashboard Confessional, Say Anything and Taking Back Sunday. Even more recently the band have returned to it's Punk/Hardcore roots and released an EP on Bridge 9 records.
Unfortunatly the band's old record label Geffen decided to release a Best Of collection after the band left the label. I'm not going to blame Drive-Thru for this; for those who don't know when Geffen dealed with Drive-Thru they basically took over Drive-Thru's biggest acts like NFG and Something Corporate and eventually they were treated quite poorly by Geffen, which would make Drive-Thru leave the deal as soon as they could.
Anyway NFG are now signed to permanent label, Epitaph. A label which in recent years has transformed itself from being a Punk Rock label to being a sub-genre label with bands and artists ranging from Politcal Rapper Sage Francis to Indie band The Weakerthans. I for one is eager to hear a new record from NFG in Febuary 2009.
Fall Out Boy
Ok let me put this straight for anyone who thinks the following: Fall Out Boy are NOT an "emo" band, they never have and never will be. They are a Pop-Punk through and through.
Present day Fall Out Boy are a very different band to what they were in their origins. Back in 2003 FOB released "Fall Out Boy's Evening Out with Your Girlfriend" an album which the band, for some reason, now ignore to an extent. This was quickly followed up by the band's Fueled By Ramen debut, "Take This To Your Grave", a collection of 12 songs, some of which have gone on to be considered the band's best work, for example "Dead On Arrival", "Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy" and "Saturday".
The follow up came in 2005 and just a few months after then-Pop-Punk kings Blink 182 had split up. So the mainstream Pop-Punk needed a heir and the band's 2005 album "From Under The Cork Tree". This album pushed the band to another level with it's radio-friendly song and clever lyrics by Pete Wentz, saw the band given much more exposure with 'Sugar, We're Going Down' receiving wide airplay in many countries.
The band use of clever and culture-refrenced lyrics continued with "Infinity On High" with the album's first single, "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race", seeing the band confronting the state of the so-called "emo scene" which has built up in recent years and the album musically saw the band develop a more pop sound then punk. This looks set to continue with the forthcoming "Folie à Deux" album.
The change in Fall Out Boy's sound has and will continue to divide listeners. However you have to give credit to them and Wentz especially for the clever ways in which the band continues to promote itself and their work, just look at the recent Viral Marketing campaign, which slowly led to the band revealing details of their new album.
It could be considered Fall Out Boy are more a product of consumerism; they have their own dolls, more than a Pop-Punk band? Because with Fall Out Boy, you don't just have your album and your regular merchandise etc. You have a social networking site, you have a blog, you have a clothing line and much more. Is it clever marketing or just plainly over the top? Nevertheless Fall Out Boy have influenced many bands, that have came out over the last year or so.