Up on YouTube and podcast services is the latest episode. Four player stealth gaming is the name of Monaco’s game, and Twin Ponies is the band that joins Every Show Joe as we attempt our cooperative adventure on the Xbox 360 version. We chat about their band, music and games with it.
I’m biased. Emery is one of my favorite acts in the genre they work in. While there have been a few records that didn’t resonate with me over the years, they’ve always stayed true to themselves, and I respect that.
I just recently got to see them live for the first time since I was maybe 13 and, my god, it was fantastic. Collectively, their hair is beginning to gray, and wrinkles are starting to show on their faces, but the energy they bring to each new performance is more intense than most younger bands I’ve seen lately.
Live they were incredible. I hadn’t seen a more energetic group of musicians in quite a while (probably since last I saw Enter Shikari). On record, that energy is much more controlled; the music doesn’t feel nearly as explosive as it is live, and I’m unsure why that might be.
Obviously a concert is much louder than your car stereo, and watching an involved performance can add a bit of weight to the music, but I’m not sure that’s the only difference. It seems like this band has never been properly captured. The guitarists have such an incredible sense of harmony in their writing, and it never comes across as well record as well as it did from the stage the other night.
Toby Morrell has one of the most unique set of pipes amongst his contemporaries, which was one of the more intriguing parts of their live show. Over my many years of listening I had never picked up on how smooth his vocals were, outside of the “You Were Never Alone” track “Thrash”. To me, that voice would be the first thing I would want to preserve while doing a mix, but it, like the guitar harmonies, never came through while listening to their albums.
Again, I saw them when I was around 13 years old, and immediately after that show I really liked them. Over time though, I couldn’t remember what it was at the core that attracted me to the music. 15 years later, the other night at the Crescent Ballroom, I was reminded. Everything came together so well in a live setting.
Emery is fantastic on record, their songwriting is incredible, and their production always sounds good, but none of the previous recordings really capture how they actually play. They have such a clear distinction between guitar parts, live. They achieve a perfect harmony and timbre with their vocals, the way they fit the synths into the picture is smart; all of it gave a lot of previously unrecognized life to the songs I’d been listening to for ages.
With “Now What” I felt differently. I could really feel the weight of the instruments, the emotion behind the lyrics, the definition between guitars, and voices as well. This was, in my opinion, the best mix that Emery has ever put out. Of course ease of access to new technology, and better recording practices can contribute to the overall sound, but I didn’t feel this way about their last release, “Eve”. It was a great record, but I feel like it also suffered from the ail that plagued their other releases; it didn’t feel like Emery does live.
I really enjoyed the new track thru and thru. It felt like an Emery track in all it’s post-y glory, from the immersive, and intriguing guitar work, to the duo vocal performances. It’s full of old post hardcore soul, but at the same time, can definitely stack up against some of the more popular releases of the day. Everyone should absolutely be listening to this band in 2019, they’re just as good now as they’ve always been, if not better. The new single is fantastic, and Im very excited for this new record to drop.
Everyone who has ever been a fan of post hardcore needs to see this act live, they are the one band I can say it is an absolute must. And while I do really enjoy the mix on this new single, I don’t think it’s possible for an recording engineer to capture what they truly put forward in concert. I suppose it must be more than just a mix, it must be an energy. A pure, honest, and genuine energy that can only be experienced from the crowd.
Metalcore band Counterparts have officially announced their 6th full-length album, Nothing Left To Love. Life’s revolving door is front and center on the record, due out November 1 on Pure Noise Records. Bookended by the powerful lyric “Will you love me when there’s nothing left to love?” – a desperate plea on commitment in the face of both mortality and morality – the album muses on many of the topics vocalist Brendan Murphy has in the past: life’s darkness, self-destructive tendencies and the self-flagellation they beget. “I know I’ve said this for every record we’ve ever released but… Nothing Left to Love is best Counterparts record. I wouldn’t hold your breath for anything ground breaking, but as we grow and progress we just get better at writing Counterparts songs, and that’s all we’ve wanted to do. If you fuck with the band you’ll probably love it, and if you don’t then maybe we’ve finally honed our craft enough for you to give a shit.” shares Murphy on the forthcoming record.The first look at the forthcoming record came earlier today when the band dropped the music video for “Wings of Nightmares”, which, according to Murphy “is a no brainer first single because it’s a perfect blend of old and new Counterparts. Sounds like if we tried to rewrite a song off Prophets in our late 20’s. It’s one of the most “Counterparts” songs on the record if that makes sense. I think it’s got something for everyone.” Produced by Will Putney (Every Time I Die, The Acacia Strain), Nothing Left To Love shows the band moving their uniquely captivating sound forward without losing the musical DNA that broke them back in the early 2010s. It’s a musical tour through the band’s history, as more melodic elements sharply swerve into caustic breakdowns reminiscent of their debut album, 2010’s Prophets. Fans can stream “Wings of Nightmares” and pre-order Nothing Left To Love today at https://smarturl.it/NothingLeftToLove.
Melbourne metalcore five-piece Thornhill has announced details of their hugely-anticipated debut full-length album, The Dark Pool, set to be released on Friday, October 25 via UNFD. Introduced by pelting lead single and video “Nurture,” which originally premiered via Reddit, The Dark Pool marks Thornhill’s next assault on an expectant heavy scene. Since emerging in 2016, the band has made a playground of the Australian heavy sphere, earmarking themselves as one of the country’s most refreshing and unrelenting emerging acts. Having stretched their touring muscles alongside the likes of Northlane, Architects, Parkway Drive, In Hearts Wake, and Polaris, and impressed with releases including their 2018 EP Butterfly and recent single “Coven,” the clever and colorful The Dark Poolpromises to be a breakout for Thornhill. From the unrelenting riffage of ‘Nurture’, to the sweltering breakdown of “Views From The Sun,” and the breathy moment of rest on “All The Light We Don’t See,” The Dark Pool captures the breadth and depth of this group’s knockout brand of heavy. On its musicality, Thornhill lead vocalist Jacob Charlton explains: “We wanted it to have enough difference that people would be surprised, and it would also allow us to keep branching out down the track. We wanted to sprinkle enough in The Dark Pool that we could continue to build on, we never want to pigeon hole ourselves into a genre, that was never the point of Thornhill. We just want to be exactly who we want to be every single time.” Thematically, he shares that each track touches on various common threads of humanity. “Nurture” is a commentary on idolizing someone/something and losing yourself in the middle of that, and elsewhere the record touches on anxiety (“Coven“), body image (“In My Skin“), the afterlife (“Where We Go When We Die“) and loss (“Lily & The Moon“). On the genesis of its namesake, Jacob explains it refers to a dark, reflective pool where we can all see a mirror of ourselves and what makes us who we are. While each track is closely linked to Jacob’s reality, he encourages listeners to reflect on their own experiences and take their own meanings from his lyrics. “Every theme and meaning on this album is in direct relation to my life at any point of writing. It helps me to draw from experiences and moments that feel real to me so that I can translate that emotion into something people can relate to. You don’t have to listen to this and think about what I believe the song is to me, I would love for you to take away your own meaning and make your own story that makes you feel like this record is about you,” he says. “For example, ‘Lily & The Moon’ is about my dog, but it’s also broadly about loss so everyone can relate to that in their own way, it could be about anyone someone has lost or is losing. It’s not supposed to be a story of sadness either, it’s supposed to be a reminder to make sure that we care enough about the people that we love while we still have them.” Thornhill will celebrate The Dark Pool with a thumping hometown release show on Friday, November 15. It goes down at Melbourne’s Stay Gold with support from Deadlights, Mirrors, and Tapestry. Elsewhere, the band are due to support The Amity Affliction at Heaven and Hell Festival in September alongside Underoath, Crossfaith,Trophy Eyes, Void Of Vision, Pagan, and more. They’ll also join Wage War on their recently-announced European run in January. The Dark Pool will be released on October 25th via UNFD, and is available for pre-order now at unfd.lnk.to/TheDarkPool.
Self-proclaimed sad-pop act EXNATIONS is channeling the 80s in their brand new music video, “John Hughes Movie Soundtrack.” Inspired by scenes in movies like The Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink, fans can watch “John Hughes Movie Soundtrack” now exclusively on Substream. The song comes from their new EP, Pink Haze, which has recently been featured on EARMILK, All Things Go, PopDust, and more. Pink Haze is out now and available for purchase at www.exnations.com. “Our sonic palette draws pretty heavily from 80’s pop and new wave music. There’s nothing more fitting to compliment the driving grooves and 80s-inspired rhythms that this song is built on than a dance-heavy music video. Problem is, none of us can really dance all that well,” the band shares. “So we enlisted the help of the talented Zoe Allocco to be our lead dancer and compose the movements for this video. All that was left for the band to do was stay generally in rhythm and play the occasional air guitar solo. We also included a few not-so-subtle homages to classic dance scenes from John Hughes movies – so be on the lookout for those.” They continue: “Shot on a rainy night in Brooklyn, we romped around the wet streets – jumping over giant puddles, scattering from cars, and generally having the time of our lives. We shot the whole thing in a single night, thanks to the dedication, hard work, and vision of our amazing crew – Director Erin Bagwell, DP Max Nepstad, Camera Op Luis Trujillo, and Photographer Jenna Passmore.We hope you love this one as much as we do. John Hughes forever.” EXNATIONS are an indie pop band out of Brooklyn, NY; comprised of Sal Mastrocola, Taylor Hughes, and John O’Neill. Although self-defined as a ‘sad’ band, their color palette remains neon, penning compositions that steadily rise from somber lows of deep purple towards anthemic highs of vibrant pink and blue. The band’s debut release, Tiny Sound In The Dark, is a more-than-promising effort, laced with sparkle and anticipation. The group’s knack for memorable hooks and danceable rhythms are clear, but what’s even more compelling about EXNATIONS is the anthemic sense of empowerment the trio produces on their first effort. Their forthcoming sophomore EP, Pink Haze, deals from the warm halcyon embrace of nostalgia. Beautiful and all-enveloping, it’s so easy to get lost in. But over the course of the record, the band arrives at the conclusion that the haze of nostalgia best serves us when we find a way through it. When we can look at the past honestly and critically, we’ve got our best shot at true growth and progression.
Hazy and dream-like, yet bursting with passion and energy, EXNATIONS is a fitting metaphor for the world in 2019. It’s sad, but we’re still dancing.
Pink Haze is out now and available at www.exnations.com.
I absolutely love this band. They were actually one of the first heavy acts I ever saw live. I believe it was on one of their earlier tours when they were playing with Norma Jean. I wanted to review this record right as it came out, but I decided to wait. I had seen that Oh, Sleeper would be coming through Phoenix supporting Emery and Hawthorne Heights, and had decided to wait until I saw the record live to do a full review. I am very glad I took that route.
Firstly, Oh, Sleeper commands a crushing force of from their stage; something more than just their presence, and style. At this point, each band member has been touring to some capacity in one band or another since the late 90’s, and you can really feel that experienced energy they give off as a group. Micah Kinard’s vocals rip through the crowd like a chainsaw. Throughout the show, I caught quite a few “wow” looks from the crowd, specifically during the middle of “Vices Like Vipers” (if you know the track you know the part I’m talking about). I don’t think I’ve seen a more consistent or better sounding vocalist in the metalcore scene. In my opinion, Kinard should be heralded as one of the best metal voices of our time.
Zac Mayfield’s holds everything down, from the crushingly heavy breakdowns, to the technical movements. Not only is he an impressive drummer, but he’s just as fun to watch play as any of the other members.
Of course we can’t continue on without mentioning Shane Blay. He’s a well accomplished guitarist who has also been a part of the band Between The Buried And Me since 2005. It’s always more fun to see guitarists like this play at smaller clubs; you can watch just how intricate the parts are, and zoom in on their play style. Watching him shred through songs like “Endseekers” was truly impressive.
Finally, Seth Webster, the band’s current touring bassist, is by far one of the most energetic bass players I’ve seen live. I remember saying to myself at quite a few instances, “damn, that guy’s having a good time!”
The band themselves were great, and the set was awesome. They played a perfect mix of new and old songs which I think was the best way for them to do this tour. Being able to hear tracks from “Bloodied / Unbowed” juxtaposed with songs off of their earlier records is what really solidified my feelings about their newest release.
Metalcore has had its ups and downs in recent years. The genre as a whole is certainly not as popular as it was a decade ago, and the biggest names in the scene have taken plenty of missteps. The Devil Wears Prada announced a few years ago that they wouldn’t be playing anything from their early records in a live setting anymore, which was effectively a slap in the face to anyone like myself who hold that material as some of their best work. Underoath’s newest release dropped to mixed reviews, and a lot of confusion, Bring Me The Horizon’s most recent records show them distancing themselves from their original sound. Effectively, things have been fairly inconsistent in this scene, and there are few acts anymore that fans of the genre can really count on for persistent, true to form releases. Oh, Sleeper has always been one of those bands.
“Bloodied / Unbowed” feels like the perfect next step for Oh, Sleeper. It’s been quite a while since their last record, but this new one feels so true to their other works, it’s like they never left. The band has always had a very specific flavor to their music; a certain theme that distinguishes them from the rest.
Each record they’ve put out feels like a new take on the same thematic elements. Therefore, each new release sounds familiar, and yet also completely new. You can really hear this theme come forward during the lead line in the beginning of “Endseekers” as well as though the chaotic riffing in “We Are The Archers”. More importantly to me though, you can also hear this theme right up front in new tracks like “Decimation & Burial”, “The Island”, and “Of Bane & Disease”.
This record is not at all a departure from their signature sound, but at the same time, it doesn’t suffer from the repetitiveness that plagues so many other bands. The songwriting across the whole of “Bloodied / Unbowed” feels experienced, artistic, and downright smart. There were plenty of moments throughout that surprised me, like I was being lead to expect a certain cliche was approaching, only for that expectation to be crushed with some brilliantly written, and totally unpredictable movement.
“Bloodied / Unbowed” is all together a monster of a record, one of the best metalcore outings I’ve listened to in quite some time. It shows that the guys in Oh, Sleeper are far from being done, and very far from being out of ideas.
This band is absolutely one of the best in the metalcore business, their wealth of experience runs very deep, and it shows. Their dedication to their craft is commendable, and they have the musical skill to match their ambition. I’m very happy to see these guys at it again, and I’m already anxious to hear what’s next for them.
Up on the Podcast and YouTube feeds is the next episode of Concerts To Consoles with Tyler Silva of Rundown Roommates and Squared! The return of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the show for a The Gio and Meatbag Show challenge answered. We chat about Rundown Roommates, joining Squared, and more.
Interview, Music Video Preview, and Live In-The-Studio Footage
SoundworksMedia.com presents SWM episode 2 with Shane “The Brain” interviewing Eric Meyers of The Rev after one of their recording sessions for their new album at SER Soundworks Recording & Rehearsal in Chandler, AZ.
In addition to our interview with Eric, we got glimpses of the band playing a special live acoustic track in the studio as well as music video previews.
The swampy Americana rock band frontman and founder talks about their new album, new music videos, near death experiences, surfing and his never-ending love for all things aquatic.
Catchy melodies and rich harmonies abound in their new singles already out and watch out for The Rev’s new album to be released in the near future!
SoundWorks Media follows in the footsteps of show IMP-TV (Indie Music Phoenix), and IMTelevision.
This week Concerts to Consoles crosses over with the A Guy, A Car, And A Podcast, as Adam Blaylock joins Every Show Joe also from the band Evening The Score. They chat up his music roots including with old school Phoenix punk rockers, Two Dimes, Batman, Kevin Smith, and he asks questions of Every Show Joe on things like the origins of the Homemade Shaker and his approach to a few of these Every Show Joe projects. Check out what ended up the longest episode to date since the conversation just kept going while we played the Playstation Classic and Twisted Metal, Destruction Derby, Ridge Racer R4, and Super Puzzle Fighter! Available on YouTube and podcast services now!
Birth of Monsters joins Every Show Joe for playing as a few monsters in Rampage and a few others in the Midway Arcade Origins collection on Xbox 360 this time. Watch and listen as we chat about their music origins and around the Phoenix scene, plus what was my all time favorite concert I’ve attended? All on this episode.