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Album Review: Justin Courtney Pierre ‘In the Drink’

When Motion City Soundtrack took an indefinite hiatus in 2016, fans were hit. Hard. Right smack in the face. Especially me. I was hoping for a 20th anniversary of the band (co-founded by Justin Courtney Pierre and Joshua Cain in 1997), but alas, they hit the pause button just a year short of that milestone. Known for their incredibly catchy beats, the Minneapolis alternative rock band managed to find a perfect balance between poppy synths, and dark, dismal, often dysfunctional lyrics. The clouds have cleared, and Justin Courtney Pierre is…

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Album Reviews Indie News Pop Pop Punk Reviews Rock 

Album Review: Super American ‘Tequila Sunrise’

The popular Los Angeles rock band the Eagles sang about a “Tequila Sunrise” on their Desperado album back in 1973.  This Friday, Sept. 14, Buffalo NY Indie rock duo Super American are releasing their debut album of the same name —Tequila Sunrise, via Take This To Heart Records. This time around, the record delivers a 13-track set of catchy songs and memorable lyrics perfectly matched to any non-committal, slacker, equipped with an ironically soft spot for falling in love. The record manages to remain upbeat, in what otherwise could be a…

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Album Reviews Alternative News Rock 

Album Review: Blue October – ‘I Hope You’re Happy’

“I hope you’re happy” is usually a snarky, slap-in-the-face retort, but for Texas band Blue October, it’s a genuine well wishing, and a genuinely fresh outlook.  An outlook that for many years, has been dark, dismal, and yes — pure rock. The 2018 release of I Hope You’re Happy, via Up/Down Records, and leadsinger Justin Furstenfeld’s label, Brando Records, is out Aug.17. Sobriety sounds good on the often tumultuous Blue October soundscapes, although — it is a stark contrast to what many fans may be used to. Furstenfeld doesn’t label…

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Album Reviews Alternative Post-hardcore Rock 

Album Review: Rise Against – ‘Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol. 1’

The day Rise Against posted a teaser video on Youtube, with a reimagined version of “House on Fire,” from their 2017 Wolves album, I scoured the internet for more details. I’d been waiting on an acoustic solo Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) album for years, and had missed the boat on the 2013 Revival Tour with him, Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids), Toh Kay (Streetlight Maniefesto), and others. Fail. If you’ve seen Rise Against live in concert, you might have experienced the lighter side of the punk rock Chicago…

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Album Reviews News Pop Punk Reviews Rock 

Album Review: Real Friends – ‘Composure’

You know the phrase, “It’s about to get real,” right? Well, Real Friends just released a brand-new record. For real. This is real life. Friday, July 13th, the Chicago pop punkers released their third record, Composure, via Fearless Records. The joke’s on you if you think Composure is anything but gimmicky though. The record has quite the tumultuous backstory, with lead singer Dan Lambton’s anxiety, depression and recent bi-polar diagnosis. He even took a break from the band in its entirety, after manic episodes, panic attacks and breakdowns. The band…

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Album Reviews Folk Reviews Singer/Songwriter 

ALBUM REVIEW: Mike Llerena & the Nerve

If The Decemberists and Green Day had a baby, they would conceive Mike Llerena & the Nerves. Hailing from Gainesville, FL., the band just dropped their first full length album on June 15th. The first song, “Last Words”, sets the tone for the album – high energy, feel good, real music that instantly gets stuck in your head. Tracks like “Crossfire” and “Mr. Favorite Son,” are the perfect recipe for a crowd of fans jumping and moshing. Halfway through, we hear a sentimental side with “Saturday Night” and “A Long Winter”. There…

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Album Reviews Alternative Indie Singer/Songwriter 

Album Review: William Ryan Key – ‘Thirteen’

There’s a place off Ocean Avenue, you know the one — we were both 18 and it felt so right sleeping all day staying up all night. In Spring 2017, pop punk rockers Yellowcard announced their farewell tour. Tears were shed as the violin shred for the last time on stages all across the world. Now, a year later, vocalist/guitarist William Ryan Key is releasing a new solo debut EP, Thirteen, out May 25 via Lone Tree Recordings. Key and his fans may no longer be 18 anymore, but after nearly two…

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Album Reviews Alternative News Rock 

ALBUM REVIEW : Black Veil Brides “Vale”

The leather-clad heavy rockers of Black Veil Brides are back with their fifth full-length album Vale released on January 12, 2018. With Vale being one the first few rock records of 2018, I was curious to see what this addition added to the already expansive discography of BVB, and what it would bring to the rock genre in the new year. On the first listen, Vale plays out as a combination of 2013’s Wretched & Divine and Andy Biersack’s solo record The Shadow Side, as musically the albums share a lot of similarities and themes. From showing…

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Album Reviews Alternative 

ALBUM REVIEW : Fall Out Boy – Mania

Fall Out Boy has been one of the few bands that still commands attention in both the pop and rock worlds. From their notable celebrity in the early 2000’s pop-punk scene to their growth post-hiatus with 2013’s Save Rock & Roll and follow up American Beauty/American Psycho, Fall Out Boy have proved their versatility and staying power again and again. With their new adventurous album Mania officially released through Island Records, the band showcases once again what it takes for an iconic rock band to break into the pop charts and remain relevant. Frontman and…

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Album Reviews Alternative Indie Rock Singer/Songwriter 

Album Review: Noah Gundersen ‘White Noise’

Seattle indie singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen released his third studio full-length album, White Noise, via Cooking Vinyl on Sept. 22. The release verges on the edge of a concept album, with its inspiration and namesake being the idea of sensory overload — fear, anxiety, desire, lust, and love. “White Noise is the place between waking and dreaming, where the edges blur and the light is strange. It’s a car crash, it’s a drowning, it’s everything all the time,” Gundersen said. Having seen Noah Gundersen’s name around a lot leading up to the release,…

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