A weekly breakdown of my Spotify playlists.

By Kolby Bergquist

#7.2. July 3, 2019

Every week I pray that the Spotify gods be good to me as I check my Discover Weekly playlist. They’ve lead astray once or twice, but they’ve also lead me to find some truly awesome tunes. So I’ve decided to use this platform to share my findings with you.

Twice a week, I’ll share with you my playlist, rate the songs, and give my opinions on each track. Hopefully, you can use this as a way to discover new artists, find what to avoid, and grow your catalog.

Scale from best to worst

Awesome – Great – Good – Fine – Whatever – Skip it

I’ll pick a favorite of the week, you’ll know it when you see the ghost. I will not pick my least favorite. You should be able to figure that out for yourselves anyway, and I’m already ripping into a band’s hard work, so theres no need for me to add insult to injury with a stupid sticker or something. Anyways,

Enjoy the read!

“Buried” Spraynard
Rating: 
Good
Genre: Punk, Pop Punk, Emo
The Verdict:
Again, this is just solid. It’s very much a simple post punk song, but it’s fast, it’s hard, and it’s fun. Spraynard has always been one of those go too bands when you want to listen to this stuff. It’s very good, but it doesn’t get in the way of your regular thought process, there’s nothing that stands out too far to capture your attention.

https://open.spotify.com/track/6FktNUVmUJAkBnwgciw5Ik? si=R8Z6iBHHSVub_Vigxw6osw

“How Selfish I Seem” Trash Boat
Rating: Skip It
Genre: Pop Punk, Post Punk
The Verdict:

Sum 41 was already a band guys, this stuff’s been done a million times. This really does sound like a mix between Sum 41 and The Story So Far, but it isn’t as good as either.

https://open.spotify.com/track/7JCzncOsHUjTUQcyC0iDHP? si=xPF3j29ZQqyM0gFFWBOBdA

“We Who Looked Like Giants” Death Cab For Cutie
Rating: Awesome
Genre: Emo, Indie, Post Punk
The Verdict:

Okay, so of course this was one of my favorite albums from my early days. Their music is perfectly crafted, their lyrics are smartly played and poetic, and I still love it to this day. Give it a listen if you haven’t already, but I’m guessing you have if you follow me at all.

“Punks” FIDLAR
Rating: 
Awesome
Genre: Post Punk, Punk, Alternative
The Verdict:
I love this band. They’ve been nothing but consistent since they released this record, and just about everything has been amazing. I love the production on this record specifically. It revels in how trashy it sounds, and it creates such a huge atmosphere to exist in. This particular song is a huge and wide open rock track. It sounds a little blues inspired, and obviously punk inspired, and is definitely worth a listen.

“Isolate” …Bender
Rating: 
Fine
Genre: Post Grunge, Alternative, Hard Rock, Nu Metal
The Verdict:
This band is part of that weird transition between Grunge and Post Hardcore. Trust Company was my favorite from that vein of musical style. That whole era was not bad, but it was also not that good. The market was flooded with bands like this for a short minute, and each had maybe one stand out song.

I had never heard of this particular band, but I liked the music. It was cool, they presented a nice atmosphere with their chord structure, and I felt like it could have been very good. But that voice! It’s so annoying! It’s everything I hate about that whole grunge movement. There were a few great artists, but anyone who incorporated the singing style that replaced all the vowels with R’s drives me insane. That simple fact ruined the whole piece for me.

https://open.spotify.com/track/7iTpGVso8hAz7q8fR9tfjG? si=dL0-5rEwRzaRJngu4_Q17g

House of Cards” Madina Lake
Rating: Good
Genre: Post Hardcore, Emo, Alternative
The Verdict:

Hey! I saw these guys at a christian music festival way back when. I got something signed by them I think, without knowing anything about them, after which I felt like I had to buy their CD. I was underwhelmed then as I’m under whelmed now.

“House of Cards” has an interesting Muse-ish quality to it, and there are plenty of very cool moments of songwriting on this track, but ultimately I find it a little bland. The whole album sounds like a weird rip off of The Used, with all the breaks for strange samples, and electronics, but it just falls a little short of greatness.

There was a song I really liked on this record but I don’t remember which one it was, and the more I’m listening to this one, the more I doubt I’m going to like anything off this record.

https://open.spotify.com/track/4orQFDcvhvyaPx8PPf35iI? si=Y_7YLXRoQHaZM1L64cYhTQ

“PDA” Interpol
Rating: 
Awesome
Genre: Post Punk, Electronic, Indie Rock
The Verdict:
This is one of my favorite Interpol tracks. The lyrics are so strange and the music has a beautiful 80’s goth quality. I love this band, listen to this song, please and thank you.

https://open.spotify.com/track/4Jcg7RJGHyCOjvALY6NAkx? si=ve6f9aYDRtGEAW4zFJAeyA

“Even Rats” The Slip
Rating: 
Awesome
Genre: Experimental Rock, Indie Rock, Emo, Post Punk
The Verdict:
This is perfectly chill. I really enjoyed the low key and muted approach they took here. I believe this can be put into the Emotronic category?

Whatever it is, the synths are so incredibly spacey, and play perfectly with the guitars, which are written very well. The final movement of the song was by far my favorite, it caught my attention with a very stand out riff, and held me till the very end.

https://open.spotify.com/track/0JbWsz5FEJuSuWHF9FGVS5? si=kyPwdgV5T7CiRRDa9LuUvw

“A Dozen Roses” Braid
Rating: 
Skip It
Genre: Post Hardcore, Emo, Indie Rock
The Verdict:
The guitar work was just too messy for my taste. It’s one thing to use tri-tones, and chromatic scales, for tension’s sake, but this was just gross. It felt like there were a lot of missing pieces, like the song wasn’t fully formed and they just left a bunch of filler sections in the song. It wasn’t good on any level for me. Production was trashy, guitar work was poor, song structure was boring, and the vocals were so insanely boring.

https://open.spotify.com/track/47wLFLAPdyFwQWn294xDcf? si=PtJVku76S7CGfjykHyemng

ghostly“Checkerboards & Cigarettes” Megosh
Rating: 
Awesome
Genre: Post Hardcore, Progressive Rock, Emo, Rock
The Verdict:
This was really cool. The vocal melodies were haunting, and were backed perfectly by equally entrancing guitar work. There were moments that were undeniably progressive, complimented by easy to follow, and relatively pop sensible verses. The vocals were top tier, the songwriting was beautiful from the driving and heavy intro to the creepy and childlike end. Definitely top pick material here.

https://open.spotify.com/track/1k4OxQVZjCnzgqxkmQz5mc? si=fn9USi6MRw60OxbKnsUxUA

“Please Don’t Tell My Father That I Used His 1996 Honda Accord To Destroy the Town of Willow, Pennsylvania in 2002”
Pet Symmetry
Rating: 
Fine
Genre: Post Punk, Emo

The Verdict:

Man, I kind of enjoyed the song, with the smartly written horns, and consistent driving beat, but I really don’t care about the dumb story. I’ve heard it too many times, and it’s overdone; the one crazy night filled with teenage angst and reckless abandon spelled out in great detail to a rhyme scheme and a simple beat. Plus, it’s easily recognizable that the band tried very hard to make the song title as long as they did, and it’s just obnoxious. Just call it “Honda Accord” there I fixed it, leave something vague why don’t you?

https://open.spotify.com/track/2xnRe4ajdGpRjWVB0loSHx?si=af- CVILgRvmuhS7Gy_fnmA

“Music Is Worth Living For” Andrew W.K.
Rating: 
Awesome
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative, Pop Punk
The Verdict:
I really just don’t like you if you can’t admit that Andrew W.K.’s music is at the very least, extremely fun. The guy is so goofy, he had a TV show on a children’s network.

I really enjoy the musical scale he works in, it gives his tunes an epic feel, and yet his lyrics are so silly and playful.

His music is a real dichotomy of feelings, and I appreciate that. This song isn’t his best, but I still find it as fun as the rest of his catalog. Party Metal, rock on.

https://open.spotify.com/track/5AVPiOi3De9WVR8ExWdyh3?si=-GvLUo7- TCmFNAZl5xFBhg

“Hinged by Spine” PEARS
Rating: Awesome
Genre: Post Punk, Punk
The Verdict:

These guys are one of my favorite newer punk bands. They always have really interesting chord structures, great vocals, and the speed and intensity you’d expect from a punk band. I really appreciate all the stops and starts in this song, I can just imagine how fun the show could get with all that happening. Check these guys out, they’re always awesome.

https://open.spotify.com/track/3lYEqnZ9PVQNteUaSB3A1d? si=Fnb54qHMRl-2xWjP3ZJd_A

“Give It Up” Midtown
Rating: 
Fine
Genre: Post Punk, Pop Punk, Emo
The Verdict:
I really loved this bands 2002 release “Living Well is the Best Revenge” I thought it was a lot of fun, and it had some great moments of pop punk writing. This song is off their next release, which by 2004, was pretty old hat. I didn’t think it stood out as much as their previous work, because it was by that point, swimming amongst a litany of other records that sounded too similar, or were better. Midtown might have been one of the earlier acts doing this sort of stuff, but they needed to do a little extra on their next release in order to stand out, and they didn’t. Seeing that this was their last record, I think they saw the writing on the wall as well, the scene had become overly flooded, and it was going to be very difficult to stand out anymore.

https://open.spotify.com/track/15VojnPQuAQleWQCBkcS5i? si=0zKOtSFaS96GTfA4XYf0_w

“Blast Off” Rivers Cumo
Rating: 
Skip It
Genre: Post Punk, Alternative, Indie
The Verdict:
I wish I liked this more, but I just don’t. I did enjoy the vocoder, I thought that was kind of fun, but everything else sounded like the MOST quintessential Weezer piece, bordering on self parody. I like Weezer sometimes, but not enough to enjoy this one at all. Sorry Rivers.

https://open.spotify.com/track/23Y8W5rtryzPiioTpzaiKW? si=jA1LnwClSySDhuOERycPmg

Cool, thanks gang. Happy America Day!

Stay Ghostly, Kolby Bergquist