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Listening Party

“Temptress” by In Every Breath from JNP Productions on Vimeo.

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After more than three years, In Every Breath are back with four new songs in the form of their latest EP, Awakening. At first it might seem like a long time to wait for another EP, but during those three years they had to endure a few line-up changes. Awakening is the first In Every Breath recording to feature the band’s new guitar and bass player. The video is for the song ‘Temptress’ and is a pretty decent representation of their current sound. Awakening was released on February 8th and is currently available through iTunes and Amazon Digital. The full EP is also streaming here.

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In Every Breath – Awakening — Released February 8th

Stream the entire album at Bandcamp.com

 

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German melodic death metal/metalcore/metal (depending on the album you’re listening to) band, Deadlock, have released a video for the song “Virus Jones.” The song is taken from their upcoming album, Bizarro World, which is scheduled to be released on March 15th through Lifeforce Records.

Bizarro World is a continuation of the band’s push towards a mainstream sound. While the metalcore and death metal elements are still present, they’ve been injected with a strong pop influence. This has lead to some of the band’s strongest choruses to date, but the music itself isn’t nearly as powerful as it was in the past. Overall, Deadlock are only asking their fans to accept the ongoing transition that has been in progress since the band’s inception – a slow evolution towards an equal blend of soaring pop melodies and powerful metallic riffs combined with the divergent styles of Johannes Prem’s growls and Sabine Weniger’s powerful clean singing.

 

The Strokes broke the Internet earlier today when they released the first single from their upcoming album Angles on their website, which still isn’t functioning quite as it should. Because I’m a generous and loving person, thought I’d upload it for your listening pleasures here. “Under Cover of Darkness” finds the Strokes seemingly trying to recapture some of that Is This It magic, complete with bouncy guitar chords and Julian Casablancas’ ever-present cold. Angles is slated for release on March 21.

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Who says you can’t remix a classic? Sputnik favorite Pretty Lights certainly doesn’t seem to give a damn, as his newly released, uh, 2010 Unreleased Remixes EP, which you can download in all its seven-song glory here. “Time” might be my favorite, but check out his Steve Miller Band and Kanye remixes for some more electro glory.

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This weekend is a bumper one for fans of egg-chasing on both sides of the Atlantic.

For the Yanks among us, Sunday night is the big day on the football calendar (of which more later in the weekend). But for we Europeans of the oval ball persuasion, the first weekend in February ushers in the beginning of the Six Nations rugby union championships, fought every year between England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and, since 2000, Italy. It hasn’t got the popularity of real football (and by “real football” I mean Gaelic football, of course), but it is a unique event on the sporting calendar here since the demise of soccer’s Home Nations Championship.

As 2011 is a World Cup year, the championship comes packaged with an extra bite this year. As with the round-ball game, the English have taken it upon themselves to set aside the pessimism of the past three years, disregard all form and logic to install themselves as favourites to win everything in sight. It’s a lovable trait that only the English seem to possess and,with the tournament due to kick off in just under half an hour with England facing arch-rivals Wales in Cardiff, it’ll be interesting to see just how long it lasts.

For the time-being, we’ll have to make do with a comparison of the two countries’ respective singing prowess. Rugby is the closest thing Wales has to a national sport, but singing is not very far behind, and Katherine Jenkins’ regular appearance at the…

Eisley’s first album in almost four years is about to be released through Equal Vision Records on March 1st. The album is called The Valley, and this song “Ambulance” is taken from it.

The Valley was recorded at Rosewood Studios in their hometown of Tyler, Texas, with producer/engineers Gary Leach and Austin Deptula (LeAnn Rimes), and mixed by Andy Freeman at Bay Area Tone in San Francisco. The album’s title refers to the emotional turmoil that the DuPree sisters, who front Eisley, experienced as they crafted their third album: Sherri enduring a failed marriage; Chauntelle, a broken engagement; and Stacy, a painful breakup. The only relationship that ended on their terms was the split with Warner Bros. Records, the label that released their first two albums and several EPs. Promising to bring listeners through the band’s darkest and most trying times, “The Valley” reveals their strength, patience and perseverance. On tracks like “Smarter” and “Sad,” there’s a musical aggression and emotional urgency that transports you to the moment they were written, laying bare the open wound of the broken heart. And the chilling album closer, “Ambulance,” is an icy snapshot of the very moment of betrayal and abandonment. Elsewhere, there’s a stately solace in the hopeful “Kind” and whimsical “Mr. Moon,” and buoyant string arrangements decorate opener “The Valley” and “Watch It Die.”

I’m not sure how much I can actually say about this.

I mean, the first time I watched I was sure – I was convinced – that 1:10 was going to the moment I remember for the rest of my life. But then I saw 2:03 and, honestly, Oh my fucking God. And I mean that literally.

Any lingering fears that Patrick Stump’s second chin had imbued him, Samson-like, with his precocious musical talent have thus far proved unfounded – and a good thing, too, because the weight appears to be staying off and the erstwhile Fall Out Boy frontman has a solo career to launch.

As a prelude to the release of his first album on his lonesome, Soul Punk, in February Stump put together a fairly impressive medley of Grammy-nominated tracks, performed a capella with the man himself providing back-up vocals. Impressively, it’s all done on camera, so we quite literally get to see Stumpy playing with himself – he performs a fluid mash of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ ‘Empire State of Mind,’ Eminem and Rihanna’s ‘Love the Way You Lie,’ Lady Antebellum’s ‘Need You Now,’ B.o.B. and Bruno Mars’ ‘Nothin’ on You’ and Cee-Lo’s ‘Fuck You’ (mercifully uncensored).

It’s interesting to note that Stump’s studio looks more like an oversized emptied closet than a state-of-the-art recording space, though perhaps that’s fitting given his rather unfortunate choice of clothing.

How bad does a song have to be to get rejected from a free-to-download tribute album?  Listen to Thursday’s cover of Bad Religion’s  “Generator” and decide for yourself.

While Geoff Rickley & co. manage to redeem themselves ever so slightly in the song’s straightforward second half, it’s no small feat how the first half of the track turns a punk classic into a bunch of moaned gibberish. Listening to the first half of the song had me thinking that it might be the worst thing I’ve heard all year, and I just finished listening to a song by Clown from Slipknot’s side-project. How’s that for context?

If you think I’m being hyperbolic you obviously haven’t heard the cover, so click the play button and decide for yourself

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Your ears not bleed out? Why not listen to the original in it’s un-neutered glory.

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Oh, and if you want to download Germs of Perfection: A Tribute to Bad Religion, click here. Don’t worry, this song isn’t on it. Instead you’ll get covers by the Weakerthans, Frank Turner, Tegan and Sara and many more.

Yeah, that Hanks.

Chet Hanks, son of Oscar-winning actor Tom, is the latest celebrity offspring to try his hand at becoming a rapper. Hanks, rapping under the name Chet Haze, wisely sticks to the subjects he knows best. Not quite his cameo appearance in the recent Indiana Jones movie or the dastardly butler forgetting to fold his socks, but as a student at the somewhat prestigious Northwestern University in Chicago he’s clearly keen to show off his school spirit.

Haze’s debut release, ’White and Purple (Northwestern Remix),’ is a reworking of Wiz Khalifa’s 2010 hit ‘Black and Yellow‘ – white and purple being the school’s colours. It’s a more or less straight re-working of the original, except with lyrics tailored to reflect the life of a rich kid living away from home for the first time. Think a clubbier Asher Roth without the accidental racism and you’re more or less there.

Us? We just can’t wait for the remix of ‘This Halloween is Crazy.’

The first song from the Kanye West/Jay-Z project “Watch the Throne” dropped a few minutes ago. It is called Ham.

Hard as a Motherfucker

I think I what the song is called ham theres a chorus breakdown what

HAM

i dont even know what’s real anymore

Sometimes I write long, boring paragraphs to go with videos. This isn’t one of those times.

Alternative link for those behind the Iron Curtain.

I had a plan to close out this series’ final episode with an epic epilogue but whatdafuck it’s Christmas, and to celebrate here is the undisputed greatest Christmas song of all time.

Check back next year for all twelve songs in a slightly different order.

Merry Christmas everybody – enjoy it.

Over the course of the last 9 Days of Christmas, we’ve seen a wide range of emotional responses, from the romanticism of ‘White Christmas‘ and optimism of ‘Merry Xmas Everybody‘ to the longing of ‘All I Want for Christmas‘ and outright hostility in ‘Fuck Christmas.’

What we haven’t seen is perhaps the simplest joy of all: spending the Most Wonderful Time of the Year with the person you love. The Mighty Stef’s ‘Shit Christmas Without You’ might be crass and slightly ironic, but the ’50s rock swing, booming vocal and sweet higher-pitched notes all bring home the value of those pleasures  we all too often take for granted. For all those fortunate to be spending the Christmas period with somebody you love, make sure to make the most of what you’ve got.

But first, feel free to join me in a pint of Guinness or some other generic Irish drink for a singsong with one of Ireland’s greatest (and most overlooked) songwriters.

12 Days of Christmas: #1 - White Christmas / #2 – Popical Island / #3 – Last Christmas / #4 – Christmas in Harlem / #5 – All I Want For Christmas is You / #6 – Fuck Christmas / #7 – Merry Xmas Everybody#8 – Ferrell & Reilly / #9 – Shit Christmas Without You / #10 / #11 / #12

OK, I guess yesterday confirmed that people don’t take too kindly to hardcore punk and f-worded sentiments in their Christmas cheer. Their loss.

Today, we continue on a Christmas classic buzz, albeit a much more mainstream one.

One of the great ironies of Christmas music, in the pre-internet era at least, is that the songs tended to be written and recorded in the summer, such was the lead time required to prep for a December release. English glam rockers Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ – often incorrectly titled ‘Here it is Merry Christmas’ – is no exception, having been recorded at the tail end of the band’s 1973 summer tour of the US in a sweltering New York City in August.

The upbeat lyrical content – summed up by the line “look to the future now, it’s only just begun” – can be interpreted as more than just standard holiday season escapism. The song came about against a background of unrest in Britain’s mining and industrial heartlands and the lyrics reflected the need for a good dose of optimism. This explains why ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ is considered more than just a Christmas song in the UK. And if I can wear my Nick Butler hat for a moment, I’ll add that it was the UK’s Christmas #1 in ‘73.

Slade’s recording of the song is light and bouncy with a hint of abrasion in Noddy Holder’s gravelly vocals. By contrast, the 2000 cover by Noel Gallagher of…

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