Tag Archives: music blog

5 songs I can’t get enough of: April 7, 2014

1. Beat Up Car by Taking Back Sunday

I know I’m totally bias since this band is my favorite band in all the lands, but this song makes me feel things deep inside. Not only do the escapist lyrics appeal to me (So if you’re interested, I’ll take you anywhere. I’ll buy some beat up car, we could get out of here. I’ll take you anywhere that you wanna go), but the vocals are stronger than ever and when the chorus hits, I feel the tunes in my soul. This is the most perfect song for this time of year as it’s beginning to warm up to spring – roll those windows down and blast this song and feel like you’re flying.


2. Yellow Paper by Royal Teeth

Since Spotify recommended this band to me a few days ago, I haven’t been able to get enough of them. I’m obsessed with their entire debut full length Glow (listen to this album now before you do anything else), but this song gets me every time. It’s slower than most of its surrounding counterparts, but it’s so sweet and mellow. The two sets of vocals are so smooth in this song that they almost melt completely together. It’s beautiful.


3. Haunt On by The Stationary Set

This is the title track from an album that I’ve listened to way too many times to count. Even when I was first jamming to this song, I wanted to sing along so badly that I’d throw in the words I knew and just ad-lib sounds for the rest. I can feel the passion in this song and that is something to take notice of. This song slowly builds on itself and about three minutes in, if you’re not feeling this song on a personal level, I’m worried about you. I love how the build up takes most of the song, then the band goes all out for a bit and then after some heartbeat-ish drumming, it’s over. Just, ah. So good.


4. The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn from The Broken Circle Breakdown Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

I just want to go ahead and say that this is not my normal style of music. I know I live in a small town in Southwest Virginia, and I know my area is ripe with bluegrass, but I’ve never really gotten into it. If you’ve seen this film, this will make sense to you. I guess that’s what does it for me – having seen the film and knowing the emotional impact this is going to give you in the film, this song is just perfect. The male vocals start it out, with some light banjo picking and after a bit, female vocals work in until everything picks up and you have a howling good time. But for real, all the instruments come together in such a beautiful arc that it’s hard not to at least appreciate it. (Also, I know I’m a music blog and not a movie blog, but this movie is one of the best movies I have ever seen – check it out)


5. Memoria by Fairweather

I just discovered this band a couple of days ago and if you’re in need of some new rock tunes, check out this self-titled album that just came out last week. This song in particular is my personal favorite from the album – probably because of the pulsing drums and insanity of the guitar workings. This band isn’t all prim and proper polished kind of rock, so turn away if that’s something you look for. I love the sounds that make me feel like I’m at a rock show – as if I could close my eyes and envision it surrounding me.


What are you all listening to right now?

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Interview: The Elephant in the Room

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the debut record by The Elephant in the Room. Lead singer and guitar player Joe was nice enough to answer some questions:

Back to the Music: How/when did the band get started?
Joseph Savino Jr., Guitar/Vocals: The band got started about three years ago. Me and Alfred have been in bands together since we were in eighth grade. Mostly metal and one crazy cover band. After getting bored with doing the cover thing, we built a home studio and just started writing.teitr

BTTM: Were you always sure you wanted to be involved with music in some way?
Joe: Music has always been a big part of our lives. Once you start playing music, it’s just something that you fall in love with and always want to do.
BTTM: How was the band name chosen?
Joe: We took a long time to choose a band name. We just never got around to it and already started booking shows. Every promoter would ask us our name and we had nothing to give them. To get them off our back we just threw out the name ThunderLips. That name only stuck for a few shows. We had a hard time finding a name that we thought fit us. Going through a bunch of conspiracy theory books, we came across “The Elephant in the Room.” Knowing the meaning of the saying, it just fit perfectly for the band name. We like to be the band that is hard to not notice.
BTTM: Who were your biggest musical influences growing up? Do you feel you can hear those influences in the album?
Joe: We butt heads sometimes when it comes to music but some that we can all agree on I would say would be Weezer, Muse, Radiohead, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Elvis, The Beatles, Queens of the StoneAge. I think you can hear a little bit of everything that we like in our music.

BTTM: How did you come up with the idea to do a KickStarter for the record?
Joe: We came up with the KickStarter idea after we found out Casey was going to work with us. We knew we had to do it, and knew the only way to make it happen was with the help of a KickStarter

BTTM: Why did you feel that was the right venue compared to the other fundraising sites?
Joe: Honestly, it was the only site that we knew about at the time.
BTTM: How did it feel when your goal was met and you knew this album would become a reality?
Joe: It was an amazing feeling when we hit that $5k mark. For people that have never even met us to put their own hard earned money to back us made us feel really good. We owe it all to our backers.

BTTM: Was there a backup plan in case the Kickstarter didn’t go as predicted?
Joe: We did not have a backup plan. We knew if we worked hard enough to get the word out we would make our goal.

BTTM: How was it working with Casey? What insights did he offer that may have changed your perception of the music or the album?
Joe: Working with Casey was such an amazing experience, he made it very easy and comfortable. Within the first hour, you would think we were friends for years. He was just that easy to get along with. He opened up our minds a lot when it came to suggestions with the music. He would have ideas that we would never have thought of and it would make a good part into a great part.

BTTM: How did the chance to work with Casey come about?
Joe: Alfred managed to book an Acoustic show at 10th Street Live in Kenilworth, NJ with Casey and us both on the bill. We talked a lot that night with Casey and were able to stay in contact with him. Going out on a limb, Alfred asked him and he said he was totally down to do it. 

BTTM: How long did it take to record the album?
Joe: It took about a month to record the record.

BTTM: What’s the song that you’re most proud of off of it?
Joe: We worked so hard on this record that every song is something we are proud of.

BTTM: Where will you be going from here? Is there a tour planned?
Joe: We plan to promote the album a lot. We will be booking as many shows as possible and hope to plan a tour in the near future.


Keep up with The Elephant in the Room on Facebook and Twitter. Their debut CD The Collective and The Individual is available now!

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Terrible Things: Pre-Transmission EP

I have loved Taking Back Sunday since middle school. If you know the band, you know members have come and gone – under all kinds of circumstances. That’s fine, whatever, it’s their ordeal. When someone leaves the band and starts another project, it’s almost a surefire bet that I’m going to listen. Enter Terrible Things. When I found out this was a new band with Fred Mascherino, I knew it would be golden. Mix in Andy Jackson of Hot Rod Circuit and Josh Eppard from Coheed and Cambria, and this was an instant play for me.

Their self-titled debut album is fantastic and remains a staple in my car. We’re going to have a listen to the recently released Pre-Transmission EP.terr

The EP comes in with the at-first-electronic History that quickly melts into pleasant rock notes with repeating Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it‘s. This song sets a softer tone than their full length debut, which is pretty strictly rock and roll.

History melts right into Confession, a 57 second beautiful, intriguing number that throws the album into what I’d expect from Terrible Things. Innocent starts right off with some great drums and guitar riffs. This song mildly reminds me of something Beatles-esque if you put those tunes in a shaker with modern rock and strained out variety shows and Warped tour. This number has a really great breakdown that puts a gleam on the drums.

Last Look keeps things slower, and for good reason. The lyrics take a somber tone as they tell of a loved one that’s been lost – to death or to unconsciousness. The transgressions in this song are beautiful – going from slow and somber to electrically charged and loud and back again within a few seconds. This number wraps up with a heartbeat monitor, footsteps, murmurs of conversation and then a flat line.

This EP reads as a whole instead of five separate songs. Hospital finishes the album, continuing right on from Last Look. This song feels like confusion and sounds like what the smell of a hospital waiting room would sound like if you could hear it. There’s no guarantee and no clear solution. Just as soon as the confusion reaches the highest point, the song fluxes into some acoustic guitar notes and then blanks out.

While emotionally charged, this five song EP is packed with impressive music turns. It’s not quite what I expected after their 2010 debut, but it makes me excited for the direction the trio is going. If you haven’t heard this band and are a fan of any of the bands these members have been in, I highly recommend checking out this EP and their 2010 full length. You won’t regret it.

Key Tracks
Last Look (track 4)
Innocent (track 3)

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Christina Aguilera: Lotus (Guest Blog)

I was asked to do a Guest Blog review on Christina’s new album Lotus! Here’s a sneak preview, but you can check the full review out over on Drunk On Pop at this link!

I still remember the first time I heard Christina Aguilera. I was walking around a mall with my cousin (dangerously without our parents behind us) and all of a sudden my cousin started singing along with the radio that was playing in the background. “Haven’t you heard this song?!” she said when she realized I wasn’t dancing to the beat along with her. That evening, at our sleepover, she put the Genie in a Bottle single in her cassette player. I was sold.

That album was one of the first CDs I purchased (right after Michael Jackson, BSB, and Britney Spears). Though Britney has always been my queen, I never disliked Christina. Many of the songs on her first two albums would go on the soundtrack to my adolescence if I had to make one. I’ve been rooting for her in the past couple of years when things have been going so terribly wrong. I’m really hoping Lotus will be that jumping point that she needs.

Click here to finish reading.

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One year anniversary!

Guys – I’m so excited! I realized a few days ago that this blog was nearing its one year anniversary and I went back to pinpoint it so I could know what day. Officially, Back to the Music is a year old!

I wanted to post a quick Thank You to everyone who follows the blog, reads the blog, leaves comments, and sends me emails. I couldn’t do this without you guys. I never thought I’d be sitting behind my computer screen a year later having kept up the blog – and I definitely didn’t think I’d have as many followers as I do!

Thank you!

I also wanted to say that I’ll be announcing a giveaway soon, so stay tuned for details on that. I’ll do a regular post about it and create a specific page with details following the announcement.

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The Maine: Pioneer

When my favorite bands announce their tour lineups, I have to promptly check out who they’re touring with if I don’t know the band. This fall, that happened when Taking Back Sunday announced a tour with The Maine (which I didn’t get to see because they didn’t come back to Charlotte, NC). Somehow, I had not discovered the wonder that was The Maine before this tour came about, but after this was announced, I became obsessed with the album Black & White. Today, the band released their third full-length album, Pioneer. And this, my friends, is the album of the day.

The first track off this brand spankin new album is a slow jam called Identify that showcases the band’s strengths musically. Vocally, it could be better for an opener, but it’s enough to make a person continue listening.

My Heroine starts off a bit nitty-gritty. The vocals are intriguing and the lyrics are enough to make my ears perk up. I can’t help but be reminded of a song (and album) by From First To Last of times past – but only in name,  not at all in sound.

I’m Sorry is a somber song with a twist of some really fine tuned guitar playing. O’Callaghan’s vocals croak out phrases that I’m sure we cal all relate to – ones about being only human, or about how hard it is to say you’re sorry. What’s better than something you can truly relate to? It makes the connection so much stronger.

My toes were tapping before I was ten seconds into Don’t Give Up On “Us” which is always a good sign of things to come. By the time the chorus hit, the involuntary movement from my body parts had only increased. Favorite.

Thinking of You is such a different tune than some of the rest of the album. It’s rather up beat and more dancey than some of the other thirteen tracks, but this one has such a care free attitude and would make you smile on any rainy day.

The vocals in Like We Did [Windows Down] almost remind me of The Boss in a scruffy kind of way. This song explodes into an amazing chorus that I would absolutely sing at the top of my lungs when I was home alone.

The album wraps up on a positive note with a song that is both slowed down and upbeat in the chorus. Waiting for My Sun to Shine is a great way to wrap up a really good album.

If you’ve never listened to them, The Maine has such a unique sound in a musical world where everyone sounds so similar that it’s robotic and frightening. I can’t decide if it’s in the way they intertwine the instruments or if it comes from John O’Callaghan’s lead vocals. Some bands I can at least come up with a couple of other bands who I would place on the same level, but that isn’t the case with this band. Go listen to this.

Key Tracks:
Don’t Give Up On “Us” (track 6)
When I’m At Home (track 8)
Like We Did [Windows Down] (track 11)

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The Cinema: My Blood is Full of Airplanes

I spent a good amount of time yesterday using Amazon and Spotify to investigate and find some new bands to listen to. Like I need any more. But the band I’m going to write about today is so great. I listened to the majority of this album on Spotify as I was doing some more investigating, but now that it’s on my iTunes, I need to listen again. Today we’re gonna listen to My Blood is Full of Airplanes by The Cinema.

The band, according to Facebook, is a side project of Leighton Antelman of Lydia and producer Matt Malpass. It’s a successful side project (I also listened to Lydia yesterday – there will probably be a post on them, too).

Satellites, the first track off the album, is the first track I listened to when I was surfing for some good tunes. It’s just such a catchy, upbeat song that you can dance to, but it’s also really good musically and lyrically. The vocals are toned down, especially compared to some other bands I’ve written about lately. The music also kind of feels like Fireflies mixed with Snow Patrol. In the best of ways. Intrigued? I hope so.

The band defines themselves under the “indie” and “pop” categories on their Facebook page. I’m not sure I would agree with those two. Maybe an IndiePopRock combination that’s swirled with some muted colors and a splash of bright sprinkles and some edible glitter. The Wolf is a little more toned down and relaxed, but it’s still something that I see myself listening to way more than once.

I really enjoy the vibe of Say It Like You Mean It. The lyrics are also on point: Come on, take it or leave it. Cause I don’t mean it like I say it, and you don’t say it like you mean it.

Banker has a different feel to it, even though it’s kind of hard to explain how it has a different feel. I guess after a few songs that seem to have muted sounds, it’s a change up to have something that has an injection of rambunctious life. I don’t want to be misleading – this band is very calm and more toned down, so when I describe this as a little heavier, I by no means mean there is any screaming or heavy guitars or anything. This band is playing hide and seek and Banker is the subtle locale clue.

All The Lights is back to the feeling of the band that I had the impression of since the first two songs. The title track wraps up the album with a magical feeling that leaves me wanting more. This actually is a really beautiful song (I’m throwing lassos at the sky, catching moments as big as my eyes) that ends a really beautiful album. I love this album and this band.
Key Tracks:
Satellites (track 1)
Say It Like You Mean It (track 4)
My Blood is Full of Airplanes (track 10)

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Armor For Sleep: Smile For Them

I’ve done nothing but sand, spackle , paint and repeat for the past three days. There is paint in my hair, between my toes, and under my fingernails. I was trying to decide on what to listen to tonight, and Armor for Sleep caught my eye. I was big on them in high school and I’m pretty sure if my arms were teenagers, they’d be listening to something like Car Under Water and crying right now because of how much they’ve been abused lately. So I’m going to listen to the one album of AfS’s that I haven’t heard: Smile For Them.

Like I mentioned, I used to be huge on this band, so when I heard that they were breaking up in 2009, I was pretty bummed out. This album is the last one they made together, released in 2007. Right off the bat with Smile For the Camera it sounds different from what I’m used to with this band. It’s much heavier and not as death-centric as most of their other songs. In other words, I wouldn’t be wasting eyeliner due to tears from this one.

Thankfully for me (and my mood), Williamsburg picks back up the very familiar Armor For Sleep that I know. There’s just something about Ben Jorgensen’s voice that gets me. It isn’t the prettiest thing, but it’s so perfect for the whiny music they make. (I say that in jest because I do love them.)

Ah, the band really is back in full force in Somebody Else’s Arms: You’re gonna die in somebody else’s arms and I have to live with that. These are the kind of lyrics that drove my teenage years and I turned out fine.

Snow Globe is a slowed down, drum line one-minute-and-forty-nine-second good time. I was surprised when it went off so suddenly – and actually pretty disappointed. The band quickly follows it with End of the World, which has a heavier beginning than majority of the song. The lyrics in this song are stronger, and again, less whiny. These lyrics are almost hopeful – or as hopeful as this band could get.

Stars In Your Eyes will end up being my favorite on the album. A little heavier with such good lyrics happening, this one will be played more than once.

My Saving Grace has a really great feel to it – almost like a grand Journey song that may have fell off the stage prematurely, but it’s still a pretty great effort toward a stadium busting sound.

While Stand in the Spotlight does have some cute lyrics, it’s a rather dull song musically to end the album on. There were definitely some stronger songs on the album that would’ve been a better farewell, especially for the last song on their last album together. I hoped for more for an album ender.

I miss this band. Wikipedia informs me that some members are now involved with other bands and I’m going to scope them on Spotify.
Key Tracks:
Stars In Your Eyes (track 8)
My Saving Grace (track 11)
End of the World (track 7)

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Call the Cops: Call the Cops

I used to love Alternative Press magazine. I would freak out every time I got the newest issue. Without a doubt, my favorite issues were the 100 Bands To Keep Your Eye On issues. I found a ton of bands through those magazines. Call the Cops is one of those bands – but I have no idea how long I’ve had this album lying around.

Like it Like That tells me what kind of band this is right off the bat – no questions asked. They’re a pop-punk band with an affinity for catchy lyrics and keyboards. Catchy lyrics as in dance party by yourself at 2 a.m. catchy. Catchy lyrics as in performing a concert to thousands in your car as you’re driving to school/work in the mornings.

If I had known of So Over You previously, I would’ve included it on a Breakup Mix for some friends that I’ve made them for. This should be the song everyone turns to when a breakup happens – I’m so-o-o-o over you, I know-o-o-ow there’s nothing you can do, so do-o-on’t dry your eyes, I hope you drown in all the lies you’ve been tellin’. See what I mean?

Get Up or Get Down is so catchy and infectious that I was already singing along before the song was even through. Have I mentioned how much I really, really love a good pop-punk song?

Room 410 was the first song by Call the Cops that I ever heard. After listening to the album, I remember hearing it on a social networking site. I’m pretty sure I had this on repeat. This rivals Get Up or Get Down for best track on the album. It’s just such a strong pop-punk jam, I can never deal with it. If you’re looking for a new jam – get at this song.

I Knew It Wasn’t Love (Girls) is a newer sound than the rest of the tracks on the album. It’s a bit grimier, with a bit more hostile lyrics than the majority of the songs. When the chorus hits, it starts going like a rave party when the glow sticks hit the scene. And I think some member is attempting to rap near the end of the song. This probably shouldn’t happen – I think certain members of bands like Good Charlotte have shown us that much.

Crash leaves me with a minty taste in my mouth as I come away from the album. It’s a more upbeat, less electronic feeling end to the album. I was looking the band up as I was writing/listening and their Facebook account tells me that their new album is written and they’re going to record it soon, if they haven’t already started. This excites me.

Hang on, I have to go listen to Room 410 again.
Key Tracks:
Room 410 (track 6)
Get Up or Get Down (track 4)
Crash (track 11)

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The Damned Things: Ironiclast

I somehow have the unmistakable talent of being late to the party – of course, this is the proverbial party of good music releases. With all other functions, I’m on time or early. But. This is my first listen to supergroup The Damed Things, featuring Scott Ian (Anthrax), Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy), Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy), Rob Caggiano (Anthrax), Josh Newton (Every Time I Die) and Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die). And if that isn’t an all-star lineup, I don’t know what is.

I have to admit, reading over the band members, I expected The Damned Things to have a very different feeling. Buckley’s vocals are quite toned down from what I’m used to with ETID, but I hear Ian’s Anthraxian input with the guitars. I might have not guessed that members of Fall Out Boy would mesh with these other heavy metal dudes, but I’m so wrong. The Damned Things is a new breed.

Being familiar with all of the bands that the members have been in, Handbook for the Recently Deceased shocked me. You can’t just imagine all of the groups meshed together –  no, this is above a band megamix.

Bad Blood twists the knife even harder. Buckley is wonderful in ETID, but his voice is magical in The Damned Things. I really like this combination. Two songs in and I’m kicking myself for being late to this music party.

Hurley holds up the drums, especially in Friday Night (Going Down In Flames). I always enjoyed Fall Out Boy, but this is legit.

We’ve Got A Situation Here is the first song that I heard the Buckley vocals that I’m used to. This group of fellows can really tackle any kind of song they want – but this one sounds fantastic with just a bit more of a heavy edge on it. I kept finding myself turning the volume up little by little.

The Blues Havin Blues is such a magnificent song to finish on. It’s probably the strongest song on the album and it leaves you with a feeling as though you were looking out over the edge of the world with this song echoing it’s remaining notes in the distance. Or maybe this is how Leo felt when he yelled “I’M KING OF THE WORLD!” in Titanic.

I had a really hard time deciding on a favorite, but The Blues Havin Blues has to be it. I think I’ve raved so much about the music, I haven’t touched on the lyrics or the song titles. The lyrics are what you would expect from a band of this caliber – they’re very above the bar and, not necessarily predicable, but probably what you would expect if you know these bands. My favorite line from the last  track goes a little like this: I’ve been blessed with a broken heart since the day I was born. Cleansed in the water, the sons and the daughters, stripped of the sins we’re destined for. See what I mean? Go listen to this album.

Key Tracks:
The Blues Havin Blues (track 10)
Ironiclast (track 8)
Bad Blood (track 2)

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