I have long loved bands with two lead singers – Darwin’s Waiting Room, Linkin Park, Lacuna Coil, Atreyu, From Autumn the Ashes, to name a few – and now I can add Savage After Midnight… More
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Throughout all these years, Flaw has always been a band that has ebbed and flowed along with frontman Chris Volz. As he has endured struggle, so have they. Thankfully, both seem to be in a good place right now and as a result, we have Vol. IV: Because of the Brave, a refreshing new album that finds the band sounding the best they have in years. While Volz remains the only recognizable face from the bands heyday, this is still the same band you and I fell in love with during the height of nu-metal. The Flaw playbook hasn’t changed much after nearly two decades in the game; expect an immersive smattering of chunky, downtuned riffs paired with Volz’ dynamic ability to create pure melodic hooks while delivering devastating screams (“Persistence,” “Conquer This Climb,” “Wake Up,” “Sign Of The Times,” “On Your Feet”). And since this is a Flaw album (we all remember “Whole” and “My Letter,” right?), you can also expect an emotionally-penned ballad or two along the way (“Everything”). On Vol. IV: Because of the Brave, Volz and the rest of Flaw are as rejuvenated as ever, and we are all the benefactors.
Go Download: “Conquer This Climb”
TheOceanCure’s Re:Discover absolutely explodes with the powerful urgency of Reach-era Eyes Set To Kill on opener “Structures,” trading acerbic barbs with picture-perfect clean bars, a formula that continues to prove successful on the following “Huntress,” which finds those acerbic barbs trending even more venomous as frontwoman Pauline Taylor tips her proverbial cap to Paramore’s Hayley Williams during the track’s more serene moments. Taylor’s sparkling delivery carries much of “Crystalline,” though this time it’s the bands rhythm section of Casius Wray-Muto and Mike Di Monte that trends heavier, though screamer Wray-Muto gets his pummeling licks in towards the end of the track. “Divided” delivers everything you loved and still hold dear about the mid-aughts screamo scene, bringing all those nostalgic feels that still give us all goosebumps flooding back. Closer “Weapon” sees Taylor hitting new vocal highs, capping off a damn impressive EP. Re:Discover is an album that will remind you just why you fell in love with this type of music in the first place. And if the idea is to leave us all wanting more, kudos TheOceanCure, you succeeded in doing just that.
Go Download: “Structures”
I’m not saying that Postcards From The Moon are Yellowcard (that would be unfair), but it’s hard not to immediately think of the latter’s classic Ocean Avenue album as you listen to the violin-encrusted tones of “Just Make Sure You’re Happy,” the opening track of PFTM’s latest release Me Without You. The band goes right to the acoustic portion of their playbook on the following “Unbeknown,” which, again, conjures up memories of Yellowcard’s “Empty Apartment.” Speaking of plays out of the pop punk handbook, PFTM break out the piano for “Wish You The Best,” another emotional rager about the heartbreak of lost loves. “All I Really Needed” follows suit with more emotive lines to shed a tear or two too (‘I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault, I don’t want to hurt you ever again, is it wrong to say I miss you, I hope everything’s OK, I pushed you so far away,’ frontman Caleb Rangel sings) and Me Without You closes out with, what else, another sadgasm in the form of “Eighteen,” a plodding ballad full of acoustic six string plucks and lyrics lifted straight out of the last note you wrote to your crush in high school. Me Without You is more emo than pop punk, an album that would have benefitted from more tracks like its opener, and clearly more violin.
Go Download: “Just Make Sure You’re Happy”
Following the path most recently taken by All Time Low, Broadside transcends the youthful pop-punk exuberance they’ve made a name for themselves with on their two latest tracks, “King of Nothing” and “Empty,” the band’s first new music in nearly two years. “King of Nothing” presents something more mature than fans of the band are used to, combining elements of alt-pop and alt-rock with subtle underpinnings of synth; a track about the heartbreak of loneliness (‘I’m such a mess, I’ve lost all control, erased all I know…rotting here alone…feels like I’m running through a prison with the lights out, paranoia mixed with white clouds,’ vocalist Ollie Baxxter sings). “Empty” follows suit, giving off a distinct Every Avenue vibe, with similarly penned bars (‘How you got me feeling so empty, and I don’t wanna be alone, I’m a mess when I’m feelin empty’). Broadside is set to release a new album next year, the follow-up to 2017’s Paradise, and if “King of Nothing” and “Empty” are any indication of the sonic direction the band is headed, it appears good things are in store for all of us.
Go Download: “King of Nothing”