Hard rock quartet featuring front woman Emily Armstrong’s powerhouse vocals will be releasing an album sometime soon, although little is known about the album. In my household at least, anticipation is already building; especially after hearing their debut full-length Dead Sara, which boasted melodic but still gruff vocals, intelligent guitar work, and all around groovy melodies. From their self-titled record, “Weatherman” was listed as number one on Loudwire’s “Top Ten Songs of 2012.” This is definitely a band to look for.
| || |
Memphis May Fire
Dallas, Texas, metalcore band headed by diverse and intelligent vocalist Matty Mullins rocked the charts with their fourth full-length Unconditional, released on March 25th of this year. Peaking at number one on the US Indie chart and number four on the top 200 chart, Unconditional captivated listeners more than ever before. Single “No Ordinary Love” follows the story of a boy and his father and exhibits the emotional lyrics MMF is so good at writing. The video is heart wrenching, and parallels seamlessly with the video for “Beneath the Skin,” which details a struggling daughter who finds comfort in her father. With unbeatable stage presence and fantastic music, Memphis May Fire is a band you don’t want to miss.
| || |
Hailing from Chickasha, Oklahoma, true Southern rock band Anti-Mortem gets down like nobody else. Their debut album New Southern, released in April of this year, is genuine rock and tons of fun. Gruff and raspy vocals partnered with killer guitar solos puts Anti-Mortem on a level with classic Southern bands from ages ago.
| || |
Punk/hardcore band Rise Against from Chicago, Illinois, released another musical feat this year with their seventh studio album The Black Market. Peaking at number three on the US Billboard 200, number two on the UK Rock Chart, and number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, this record yet again awed the world with musical intelligence and lyrical genius. Selling 53,000 copies in its first week, The Black Market has the potential to surpass the popularity of their previous album Endgame. Single “I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore” is a throwback to their punk past and a testament to their lyrical skills; the song describes the feelings and tensions of being in a position—whether it is work, relationship, or family related—that causes discomfort. Ballad song “People Live Here” details the inner hurt felt by people who feel their god has abandoned them and who’s families are torn apart from religious intolerance, and truly touches the hearts of anyone who listens.
| || |
Seether, the post-grunge trio from South Africa, released their newest album Isolate and Medicate this year to much excitement. Peaking at four on the US Billboard 200, the album featured numerous songs telling the tolls drugs takes on the human body and mind, and the thought cycles addicts go through. Single “Words As Weapons” demonstrates Seether’s newer sound displayed on the album, which boasts harmonic key signatures, falsetto, and diverse musical composition. This single peaked at number one on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart and number ten on the Canada Active Rock Chart. The other single, “Weak,” takes a time travel back to the heavy, grungier sounds Seether has to offer.
| || |
Self-titled album Nothing More by the San Antonio hardrock band is a true masterpiece. This is most definitely THE BEST album to be released since Endgame by Rise Against. Lead singer Johnny Hawkins has a mind-blowing range and the ability to write the most harsh, angry, and political lyrics one song and intensely emotional and personal lyrics the next. Nothing More peaked at thirty-three on the Billboard 200 chart, but deserved so much more than that. Single “This Is the Time (Ballast)” has been the number one played song on Sirius XM Octane for over three weeks now and peaked at number two on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. The music exhibits the incredible musical intelligence each member possesses, and uses synthesizers and recordings to enhance the sound. Lyrically, the best songs are “Jenny” and “God Went North.” The first tells the story of Hawkins’ sister who struggled with drug addiction and was always in a downward spiral; the latter speaks of Hawkins’ mother who was fatally ill in a hospice and suffering from unspeakable pain. Hawkins speaks to God in the song, saying, “If you won’t save her, please just take her.” Not only does Nothing More boast incredible lyrical and musical skill, they also have an energy and presence on stage that leaves a heavy impact. Bassist Daniel Oliver is by far the most charismatic and active bassist in rock today; drummer Paul O’Brien has intense vigor; and guitarist Mark Vollelunga has skill with his instrument that’s truly awe-inspiring. Releasing the best album in over two years, Nothing More is a must-see, must-hear band.
| || |
Pop-punk Young Guns from Buckinghamshire and London, England, will be releasing their third full-length album in the next few months. The only single released so far is “I Want Out,” which plays to Young Guns’ more melodic side, showing off their impeccable ability to write catchy tunes. Look out for their album soon!
Look forward to reviews of these bands and more from AFTERSHOCK FESTIVAL!!!
Zoe Adler is a music journalist from Long Beach, California. Besides her website, which is her pride and joy, she works with the GRAMMY Foundation and the Long Beach Independent. Additionally, Ms. Adler is a musician, spending half of her time playing the flute, piccolo, trombone, and marching baritone. She has been with TeenView Music since the very start and hopes to make something of it in the future.