Everyone remembers those old Emo Diaries compilations Deep Elm used to put out in the late 90's/00's, right? Right. And you should if you don't; you'll discover a ton of awesome bands that way. It's the way I discovered a really cool band called Oliver when I was in 10th grade. They had a song on "The Hope I Hide Inside" called "Straightest Jacket" and at the time, I thought it was the catchiest song EVER. I was obsessed with it; it essentially became the anthem of my sophomore year of high school. I loved it.
They had a really cool pop-punk-ish second-wave emo vibe, not unlike a lot of the bands on the Emo Diaries comps. In fact, if you like current Deep Elm bands like Ride Your Bike and Les Sages, then these guys will definitely be right up your alley. Anyone into bands like Spitalfield, Down To Earth Approach, Hot Rod Circuit, etc. will really be into these guys.
The band was based out of Portland, OR. I never actually came across ANY of their material other than songs I would rip off their Myspace until my freshman year of college when, fed up with their lack of online distribution (no itunes or anything!), I sent the band a Myspace message asking if I could purchase some of their CD's and have them sent to me. As it turns out, they were so excited that they had "a fan not on the west coast" (they even said "You're probably our only fan on that part of the country!") that they asked for my address and shirt size and said they would send me a package, free of charge. They sent me burned copies of their 2 full-lengths and one of their EPs, along with a freshly-pressed t-shirt and hoodie. I still wear that hoodie to this day; it's awesome. I'd never had a band be THAT nice to me; especially a band THAT good.
They wrote such catchy pop songs. In some ways, they were almost unconventionally catchy. It reminds me of how a few of the songs on Spitalfield's swan song (album) "Better Than Knowing Where They Are" were catchy in a really...off-kilter way. It was almost awkward-sounding, but it would still get stuck in your head. And they had some really interesting lyrics a la Motion City Soundtrack, Schatzi, Ultimate Fakebook, etc. To this day, I'm still amazed that they never really did anything beyond a little west coast touring. No record deal. No cult following. Nothing.
Well, a few days ago, I got back into their album "Coming Back In Waves" big time, and I remembered seeing they had posted a video a long while back of a song that was supposed to be featured on an "upcoming album." But they had broken up just 3 or 4 months after they sent me that lovely package of awesomeness, and I'd kept checking their page from time to time to see if they would release it, and they never did. So I decided to look up some of the guys on Facebook to see if they would send it or anything else to me. It worked when I messaged Christian of Schatzi on Myspace; he sent me their unreleased album, "Snow Is For Saving Hearts". So I thought maybe it could work with these guys.
Lo and behold, I find their drummer Stephan, and he says they recorded it but never properly mixed or mastered it, and that he would send it along. 4 days later, today, he said that my message had inspired him to finish the album, so he spent the last few days mixing and mastering it and he sent it to me. So...here it is:
Just think about it. This is an unreleased album. It wouldn't be far fetched to say you could be one of the...probably less than 150 people, tops, who will ever listen to this album in its entirety. Ever. I think it's worth giving a shot just having that in mind, eh?
Please do. I'm currently downloading it, but when it's done and I get some listens in, I'll be sure to post my thoughts. I think it'd be really cool if some of you could do the same. Couldn't hurt, right?
If you can get their player to load, you can hear the song "Half Inch Hayden" from their last record on their old Myspace: http://myspace.com/oliver.
Please give these guys a shot. If you dig them, let me know and I'll upload all the rest of the material I have from them. Enjoy!
I've wanted to start doing this without making a new thread every time, so here we go, I guess.
Garrison: These guys broke up in 2004, but if they were still around, I think they'd be one of the best bands in the current soon. I've heard them described as "post-hardcore heroes" among other things. They put out 2 full-lengths, 3 EPs, and a couple of splits, mostly through Revelation Records. Them, Gameface, Sense Field, Texas Is The Reason, and On the Might of Princes, among other bands of course, made Revelation one of the best labels around in the mid-to-late 90's. You really can't get much better than these guys. Any fans of the aforementioned bands plus I'd say an edgier, more post-hardcore Get Up Kids would really dig these guys.
I feel like recommending these guys first, right off the bat, because I thin they're one of the most overlooked great bands on this site. I've made a thread or two about them in the past that received little to no attention. No one seems to realize they were making music a lot of like these days way before the bands making it now were.
A Wilhelm Scream: This is one of the two bands I've been listening to non-stop the last couple weeks. I love the intensity, the aggression, the emotion of every song. The musicianship is ridiculously good, especially the rhythm section. These guys center around their solid drumming & bass-playing, and I'm shocked these guys don't have the popularity of a lot of their peers in bands like Rise Against, Set Your Goals, among others. Fun, fast pop-punk without the gimmicks and bright colors. These guys make pop-punk like all of us should want all bands to do. Many can't decide if they prefer Mute Print or Ruiner. Me, I'm a Ruiner guy, but they can do no wrong in my book. They've put out 4 full-lengths now & they've all been solid gold.
Margot & the Nuclear So & So's: This is the other band I've been obsessed with lately. They made me change my avatar for the first time in over half a year, so to say they've had a profound affect on me would be a vast understatement. I get a lot of Chris Thile-esque vibe from them sometimes, especially when they incorporate strings. It's mostly acoustic driven, but it's not singer-songwriter at all. I don't listen to a lot of music like this, so it's kinda difficult for me to describe and even harder for me to compare it to another group, but any fans of passionate, beautiful, chill music can't go wrong with these guys. "The Dust of Retreat" has to be one of the best releases of the last 5 years, I can't believe I missed the wagon on these guys. Don't miss it yourself, or you'll regret it once their next album rolls around.
Your Best Friend: Your probably don't spend a lot of time in the General forum here on AP not to notice I've been pushing these guys everywhere. My band's now had the privilege of playing with them twice, and both times they've just blown me away. They put on one of the most intense, passionate live shows I've ever witnessed. No band has made me want to move around, jump around, and push my friends & scream the words at them this much since I saw TBS in 2004. These guys just make me want to move; I'm not entirely sure why. And their songs are so well-written & beautiful, you can't help but fall in love with them. 3 of them switch around on lead vocals, and sometimes all 4 of them sing at once, and it's great.
This band inspires me to not only be a better musician and songwriter through their music, but a better person, through their words. I can't describe how much this band has moved me the last few months; a band hasn't this kind of affect on me in years. It's a feeling of connection I've missed in music for a while now and these guys have brought it back.
if this song doesn't move you on any sort of emotional level, you're heartless:
Buy their album on iTunes now and/or go see them live, as their touring like crazy the next few months. If you don't, you'll regret a few months from now when they're one of the biggest bands around & you won't be able to be one of the people who can say "Yeah, I've been into these guys for forever."
Schatzi: This is a band I've been constantly trying to pimp for years & years, but as they went on indefinite quieatus in 2004, it hasn't been very easy. I first heard them in 8th grade on a Doghouse Records sampler. Doghouse was releasing a split EP with them and Motion City Soundtrack on it. I'm sure you've never heard of MCS in your life. Anyway, if you're a fan of Weezer, MCS, anything in between, and/or a perfect combination of those two, you can't go wrong here. They released their sophomore full-length "Fifty Reasons To Explode" in 2002 to little fanfare, but to say that it's one of the best powerpop albums of the last 10 years would be completely accurate. they recorded their follow-up "Snow Is For Saving Hearts" in 2004, but never released it. they're planning to release it digitally here in the next few months; they had their first show since 2004 last month with Cruiserweight in Austin, TX.
They're my favorite band in the world right up there with Limbeck & Jimmy Eat World, and they more than deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as those bands, so you can't doubt that they're worth a listen.
Four Star Alarm: Any fans of the Revelation Records roster in the mid-to-late 90's will kick themselves for not listening to these guys sooner. Fans of Seaweed, Samiam, and Swervedriver can't go wrong here. Their drummer either is/was in Strike Anywhere. Anyway, their debut EP from 2 years ago hit me hard. I listened to it constantly, especially when mowing the lawn every week for some reason. I have no idea, but that seemed like the perfect time to listen to them. Outside in the sun, sweating, moving, working but having a good time, these guys are everything 2nd/3rd-wave emo bands try & tried to be, and more. The vocals are rough & aggressive, but have more than enough mainstream appeal to push these guys into future success. their debut full-length has been for months, but they've yet to find a label to put it out, which completely baffles me when I listen to some of the bands who announce their signing here on AP sometimes. They're easily one of the best unsigned bands out there right now and should not be overlooked.