Ponton
J. Ponton
Emeritus

Reviews 193
Approval 96%

Soundoffs 51
News Articles 417
Band Edits + Tags 556
Album Edits 566

Album Ratings 184
Objectivity 84%

Last Active 01-12-15 4:04 am
Joined 05-14-09

Forum Posts 226
Review Comments 5,841

 Lists
12.24.14 Observer 2014 10.31.14 She Smelled Exciting, I Wanted Some
10.14.14 Favorite Trio?12.31.13 Pontificating 2013
10.06.13 Flat Earth Society05.21.13 Pop Punkin Tunes In Recent Years
03.31.13 Looking For Catchy Metalcore Songs03.19.13 Vita Or 3ds, Or Something
11.29.12 Anti-seizure Meds For Depression 10.14.12 Training Long Distance Running
09.16.12 Off Hiatus08.23.12 Life's Weird
03.07.12 Will Be Getting Suspended Or, God Forbi02.27.12 Rec Me Some Threads

Observer 2014

Merry Christmas, dudes. I missed a lot this year, sputnikwise and music wise, but then again, I miss a lot every year since I went fucking A-wall. It's so true recently in years past that I spend literally half of the following year finding shit that I miss this (past) year. Anyway, it's been good on my end. Grew a lot and did some real dumb things, but I'm okay, which is more than I can say for the past four years or so. Wrote a book and working on my second. Also, new Damien Rice is sucky drivel lol, and there have been a lot of disappoints overall. Like I can't find an electronic release from this year that I actually like. Last year, it was a much different story. Also, a big shout out to ?Looking too Closely? by Fink for being the song of the year for me. God that acoustic riff/overall melody line.
1There Will Be Fireworks
The Dark, Dark Bright


I cheated here, and I don't give a fuck. I don't review really anymore, but when I heard this almost a year ago I was like fuck more people need to hear this shit, and lo and behold, I was triumphant in getting more people to listen. I'm bad for getting excited about albums, and then like a month or so later I don't give a fuck. But Dark Dark Bright doesn't lose its draw in the least. I mean, ?River? still throws me under the current and takes me so far away even now. Of course I loved and lost to this album, so there is this odd foreboding thing when I listen to it now, but even loose and bs feelings can't keep me away from this. Fucking stellar, classic, defining of 2014, even if released in 2013.
2Gates
Bloom and Breathe


Almost missed this but ha, I didn't. Like there's that Dallas Green-Dustin Kenrue thing about the vocals that everyone mentions in every review, which they should; it's obvious. But it's good. This guy croons (and screams) like butter, and the bombast post-rock shit sounds so uplifting and driving. The album's pretty much composed of the same song over and over (not really), so it really works to hear it all, and ignore the fact that these guys are really good at making one song (but again this is really good, and I stress it hard).
3This Wild Life
Clouded


I came upon this in the summer and at the perfect time really. I was angsty; I was lonely. So this really nailed that bitch mood that I'm ashamed to admit I was in. It's very reminiscent of early Dashboard Confessional, right. Like VERY reminiscent, so if swiss army romance gives your girlfriend the vagina tingles, then get this shit. Very consistent, and very well sung. Great debut (I think it's a debut, maybe? I didn't fuckin research these bands lol who the fuck cares?).
4Ben Howard
I Forget Where We Were


Now here we go. At first I heard some tracks and I wanted more of like ?Old Pine? stuff, cuz damn that's a fuckin good song. But instead you're given this moody, broody-drink a beer- type of album that grows with repeated listens, as all good ones do. I guess he did this more so for artistic credibility, maybe, but whatever his intent, Howard really brings the feels, and I've smoked many a cigarette to this in the background and thought about things, that's THOUGHT, in context of music. Also, goddamn ?Small Things?.
5Snowmine
Dialects


This is like wintry Vampire Weekend, and that's really the only way I can describe it. It's very happy but sad, maybe? Yeah, anyway, I don't listen to it quite as much as I did at the start of the year, but holy shit that album art is really one of my favorites ever. It's got good songs, too, promise. Like, if ever the rain lets up and changes to snow in North Carolina, I'll crack this out and be like, come at me weather, I've got my indie pop shield.
6Champs
Down Like Gold


Now, this is sad. Listen to ?St. Peters? and you might have a mood swing lol. But seriously it's brittle, I guess is a good way to put it, but not lo-fi in the least. The debut has sparse instrumentation, but the lyrics and whine of the singers' knock this tear-jerker out of the park. ?Take me on a wild ride,? yeah. They do.
7Unearth
Watchers of Rule


Darkest Hour let me down, but Unearth sure didn't. In fact, I never really cared much for them, but the riffs and furious melodies on display here are so fucking awesome and CONSISTENT throughout. Not really much more to say about it, really. Just grade-A shit that I can throw on and say, ?Hey good metalcore here.? That part at the end of ?Trail of Fire? where the guys changes direction and this godly riff comes out makes me omg it's so good.
8Mallory Knox
Asymmetry


Okay, I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. It's basically their debut but with better songwriting and like this killer track in ?She took him to the lake?. It's like a 7-minute song with mini-movements that just soars with each complementary chorus. The song is marked by the singers tag-teaming lines, which is something they do quite often on the rest of the album as well. I haven't found a consistent alt-pop-punk album like this since Deaf Havanna's Fools and Worthless Liars, meaning it's good.
9Pompeii
Loom


Okay, I'm told this is the return of a band heralded by the absolutepunk kids, which I know nothing about since this is the first time I've dabbled into their shit. Anyway, it's like Death Cab with a more bent post-rock edge that lets the music really guide the song as opposed to the guy's voice (which happens to be just fine as well). ?Sleeper? is a fucking monolithic piece that has the guy falsetto-ing like Thom Yorke, and it just fucking soars.
10Defeat the Low
A Nervous Smile


By far the most underrated and unheard of release on my list here, save for maybe Champs. This is growled alt rock in the stylings of early Blindside and a cleaner (barely) early Finch. Rise Records owner apparently leads these dudes, and I gotta say whatever the fuck you think of his label's music, the guy's vocals are exactly what this shit needs. Strong yet subdued melodies that last a while, good shit. I was jamming this on the way home last night from fucking hell in Christmas retail, and I was like fuck yeah. This hits like a hardrockin' Chevelle with small Letlive undertones. Fuck yeah.
11Climates
Body Clocks


This is in the Defeater/Counterparts end of things, except one thing: Their vocalist can and does sing, like during the melodic hardcore songs (no acoustic bs). And it works, which is a rare find. It's not in the harsh verse-soft chorus way of doing things either. They don't really have a set song structure here. It's just driving, aggressive-yet uplifing melodic hardcore with a great ear for melody lines and riffs. But it's not pussy shit, exactly. I respect his voice; I respect the music.
12Fact
Witness


Catching as fuck, dude, really. I never paid much attention to these guys at all, but I heard ?Miles Away? and especially ?Veil?, and I knew this had to be the shit. And it pretty much is, like, it's got their spastic take on pop-punk-metal-hardcore-and-pop-and-shit as always, but the songwriting is the kicker here: I remember these songs. And no matter what genre, or combination thereof, that's the most important thing to me when it comes to an album. With memory of songs, comes an inborn inclination to affect my emotions. And Fact does. Catchy, consistent and glossy as fuck. Grade A.
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