Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sometime Around Midnight

There's an interesting story behind my introduction to this song.

I heard it on the local alternative radio station in the car ... probably a month or so ago. And I remember being instantly drawn to the song; the simplistic, yet effective, styling of the band and their delivery of the music. I remembered how much I enjoyed listening to the song ... but not what the song itself was titled.
I must have spent weeks desperately trying to remember any significant lyric of the song that I could possibly Google in order to discover the identity of the track; which had come to me on a shady weekday morning and then seemed to have disappeared from my radio station's play list. The only word I could remember was "midnight" ... and that was too vague to look up song lyrics.
Finally, one day, the string solo to my elusive track soared over the radio and, frantically excited, I turned around in the passenger seat and said excitedly to my sister, "This is my 'minutes to midnight' song!"
Why I adopted the title of Linkin Park's 2007 studio album as the unofficial title of this song, I'm not entirely sure. However, I soon learned that the lyric in which I got my "midnight" reference simply stated, "It starts sometime around midnight ..." - and the official title of the song was; well, you know.

Having finally tracked down and added the song to my vast collection of digital music, Sometime Around Midnight has been playing on my iPod nonstop. Each time I listen to the song, I find something new to appreciate about it; the unique vocals, the passionate lyrics, the simple - yet painful - story the song tells. There are no secret meanings behind this track - at least, none that I've come to find. To me, this song is simply about a man seeing an old "friend" at a bar - and all the bittersweet memories that brings back, all the unsatisfied desires of this lonely man.
And yet, that simplicity, that honesty ... is what makes this track so beautiful. In making this song "simple and sweet", the band has managed to create a track that is not only pleasant to listen to, but also easy to relate to - and that's a winning combination.

No matter how many times I listen to this song, though, I have to say my favorite part is the viola solo at the very beginning and very end; it seems to be what brings the entire track together. There's an emotion emitted from the strings that cannot be matched by any other instrument, and this track just wouldn't be complete without the element the viola brings.
Second on my list of favorite things about this song is probably the vocals. This band's lead singer has a unique, memorable, passionate voice that is impossible not to appreciate.

This is The Airborne Toxic Event with Sometime Around Midnight.

The Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight Official Music Video

Sometime Around Midnight
The Airborn Toxic Event

And it starts sometime around midnight;
Or at least that’s when you lose yourself for a minute or two.
As you stand under the bar lights;
And the band plays some song about forgetting yourself for a while.
And the piano’s this melancholy soundtrack to her smile.
And that white dress she’s wearing, you haven’t seen her for a while.

But you know that she’s watching,
She’s laughing, she’s turning, she’s holding her tonic like a cross.
The room’s suddenly spinning, she walks up and asks how you are.
So you can smell her perfume, you can see her lying naked in your arms.

And so there’s a change, in your emotions.
And all these memories come rushing like feral waves to your mind.
Of the curl of your bodies, like two perfect circles entwined.
And you feel hopeless and homeless and lost in the haze of the wine.

Then she leaves, with someone you don’t know.
But she makes sure you saw her; she looks right at you and bolts.
As she walks out the door; your blood boiling, your stomach in ropes.
Oh and when your friends say, “What is it? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Then you walk, under the streetlights.
And you’re too drunk to notice that everyone is staring at you.
You just don’t care what you look like, the world is falling around you.

You just have to see her ...
You know that she’ll break you in two.

Made Of Bricks

I first found out about Kate Nash when watching MTV at like seven am (about the only time they ever actually play music anymore...). There was a video for "Foundations" playing, and I really liked it. I love her poppy sound and British accent, her playful and catchy lyrics and, lol, her hair xD. She came across to me as a more melodic, less rap-ish, Lilly Allen. Another artist whom I like, and someday will get around to reviewing. She also has the same poppy piano vibe as early Regina Spektor.

Made Of Bricks is a great album, perfect for smiling along to, or listening to while having a's just that kind of music.
Also, like Lilly Allen Nash brings a sense of irony to her music. Pairing the happiest melodies and catchiest tunes to some not-so-happy lyrics.

-Track List-

6.We Get On
8.S*** Song
9.Pumpkin Soup
10.Skeleton Song
11.Nicest Thing
12.Merry Happy

Merry Happy-Kate Nash-Fan Made Video


Watching me like you never watched no one
Don't tell me that you didn't try to check out my bum
'cause I know that you did 'cause your friend told me that you like it

Gave me those pearls and I thought they were ugly
though you try and tell me that you never loved me
I know that you did 'cause you said it and you wrote it down

Dancing and discos, eating cheese on toast
yeah you make me merry make me very, very happy but you obviously,
you didn't want to stick around
Dancing at discos, eating cheese on toast
yeah you make me merry make me very,
very happy but you obviously, you didn't want to stick around

So I learnt from you, do do do da do do do do do do da do do do
So I learnt from you, do do do da do do do do do do da do do do

I can can be alone, yeah, I can watch a sunset, on my own

Sitting in restaurants, thought we were so grown up
But I know that we were not the people that we turned out to be
Chatting on the phone can't take back these
hourse but I won't regret 'cause I can grow
From where dirt used to be

Dancing at discos, eating cheese on toast
yeah you make me merry make me very,
very happy but you obviously, you didn't want to stick around
Dancing at discos, eating cheese on toast
yeah you make me merry make me very,
very happy but you obviously, you didn't want to stick around

Monday, January 19, 2009

HIM - "And Love Said No: Greatest Hits 1997 - 2004"

My introduction to HIM (previously and sometimes still referred to as His Infernal Majesty, or shortened to H.I.M) was an introduction similar to many others I've experiences with other bands I've somehow gotten into. HIM was a name I had heard before ... I knew the genre was a melancholy mix of goth rock and metal, and I even knew they hailed not from the US, but Finland. I'd flirted with some of the band's tracks, listening to thirty-second previews on iTunes. I often caught myself staring in awe at some of the band's cover art, for albums such as Razorblade Romance (2000) or Greatest Lovesongs, Volume 666 (1997). However, for whatever reason, nothing could convince me to finally sit down and listen to any extent of the band's music.
But, as fate would have it, I finally had an HIM song thrust upon me; by watching a countdown on Fuse, as often occurs. The new music video for Killing Loneliness was airing, and I couldn't help but pay attention. From the very opening notes of the song - a piano melody, soon accompanied by heavy guitars and a whining keyboard - I was hooked, and as the song progressed, I fell more and more in love with everything about this band.
So, I finally forked over the cash and came home with HIM's greatest hits album, And Love Said No. Released in 2007, the album contains most every major track HIM has released since their first album was put out ten years prior.
And I must say, this album is anything but disappointing. Giving you a taste for every unique aspect of this band, And Love Said No draws you into a fantasy land of love ... and death.
This is an album review for HIM's And Love Said No: Greatest Hits 1997 - 2004.

HIM - And Love Said No: Greatest Hits 1997 - 2004 (2007)

1. And Love Said No - A soft track, the verses are formed mostly around one guitar theme. The choruses, however, pick up with crashing cymbals and powerful vocals. The lyrics in this song take my breath away and make it one of my favorites on the album.
2. Join Me In Death - Track Two embodies everything about H.I.M's obsession with love and death, and the combination of the two. The piano makes its first impact on the album, with the guitars taking a back seat to the drums which carry through the verses. And, as always, Ville Valo's exceptional vocal range creates a haunting mood around the entire track.
3. Buried Alive By Love - Picking up the pace, Track Three starts out strong and doesn't let up. While the volume or the tempo may waver, the intensity of this song never seems to wane. Some of my favorite vocals are on this track; specifically, in the pre-chorus. With powerful, desperate vocals and the strong guitar theme, this song is teeming with adrenaline.
4. Heartache Every Moment - The piano and keyboard open this track up and continue their presence in the choruses, giving this song its haunting presence. Rhythmic guitar and drum lines draw you in, and poetic lyrics tell another tale of love gone wrong. Not a standout, in my opinion, but not to be overlooked.
5. Solitary Man - Strumming guitars back up emotionally charged vocals to deliver another upbeat track. The chorus is definitely the highlight of Track Five, with it's catchy hook and melodies. Valo takes plenty of opportunities to exercises his vocal talents, especially noted before the brief guitar solo after the second chorus.
6. Right Here In My Arms - A lower vocal range during the verses gives this song a different sound from the others. Again, cymbal crashes carry us through the verses, with the guitars picking up right before the choruses and dying down afterwards. With lyrics and vocals both painful in essence, this track is certainly one which draws you in.
7. Funeral of Hearts - The band slows down the tempo without in Track Seven without losing any of the passion or desperation. An acoustic guitar strums in the background as the vocals rise and fall, with the piano and guitars each having their turn in the spotlight. The lyrics fill this track with so much raw emotion ... simply lovely.
8. In Joy And Sorrow - Track Eight keeps things soft and (bitter)sweet. Acoustic guitars and piano melodies take the stage behind another lower, captivating vocal range which tells this tragic love story. Simply a gorgeous track, it's impossible not to be drawn in.
9. Your Sweet 666 - One of the songs which has given HIM the label as a "satanic band". Whatever your opinion of the title or lyrics, this is the kind of song that you get stuck in your head. Personally, I adore this track, and find the lyrics heartbreaking and beautiful. Plenty of chances are taken throughout the band during this track, and it really pays off.
10. Gone With The Sin - Track Ten starts off almost inaudibly low and soft, with the same captivating vocals. When the lyrics are finally paired with acoustic guitars, keyboard, and drums, the passion behind it all is nearly overwhelming. A gorgeous love song and a perfect lullaby, this is definitely one of my album favorites.
11. Wicked Game - The guitars in this track give you an idea why HIM might be classified as any form of metal. As a whole, this track seems to have a lot more elements than the others on the album; the vocal range, from extremely low in the vocals to the high note which opens the chorus, keeps this song interesting throughout, and the background vocals during the chorus are a unique touch. Every chance taken on this track was 110% worth it.
12. The Sacrament - The piano theme of this track gives the entire song an almost fairytale quality. When paired with the strumming guitars, rhythmic drums, empowered vocals, and lovestruck lyrics, this song overflows with an other world-ly feel. A captivating track as a whole, with the piano definitely standing apart.
13. Close To The Flame - Soft, yet strong, this track moves quiet and slow as it tells its story. The keyboard and piano pair up once again to create a passionate, haunting theme. The bass also makes its first obvious appearance and, backing up Valo's voice, creates another beautiful lullaby.
14. Poison Girl - The guitars shine once again in Track Fourteen, with enough venom to make you forget this is a love song. The only truly angry, remorseful track on the album ... and yet, the entire band executes it flawlessly. A track which stands apart from the rest ... and yet, in some strange way, fits in perfectly.
15. Pretending - A few unique twists are added to this track to make it a little more than ordinary. The keyboard makes a conspicuous entrance in the intro and chorus of the song, accompanied by a nearly techno sound effect to give the track just enough "something extra" to make it a little different. Otherwise, not an outstanding track, besides the typically well-written lyrics.
16. When Love And Death Embrace - The keyboard gets one more chance to steal the stage on the final track of the album. The cymbal crashes and bass back up Valo's passionate, broken hearted vocals and lyrics, while the keyboard theme swells and dies during the chorus. A soft, desperate track, this is the perfect way to end such a phenomenal album.

This is just another example of why I should simply take the time to look up these bands I'm interested in, instead of waiting for them to find me. Because, had I done so, I would have been entranced by HIM's music a long, long time ago.
If you're interested in HIM, I encourage you to check out the following links.

HIM's website can keep you updated on the band's news, tour dates, and other information.

Lyrics to all the songs on this album as well as HIM's many other efforts can be found on this website.

I've decided to share with you the music video for The Sacrament. The video in itself is stunning, and the song, breathtaking ... but, together, it seems you can really appreciate the entire story the band is trying to tell.
So, please enjoy The Sacrament, by HIM. And, please, do yourself a favor; check out other music by this extraordinary band.

HIM - The Sacrament Official Music Video

H.I.M. - Sacrament - Omnes

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bodysnatchers 4 Ever (What's A Pulse Got To Do With It?)

Frank Iero is building up quite the resume.

Coming from humble beginnings in the punk act Pencey Prep and moving into a current and outstanding career in alternative rock band My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero has certainly gotten around in his days as a musician. However, this month marks a milestone for his latest project; the release of LeATHERMOUTH's very first album.

LeATHERMOUTH, another punk act hailing from Jersey and fronted by Iero, has come a long way in a very short amount of time. This is a band which wants to "vent about all the bull***t that I see going on in the world that makes me ill," as Iero put it. He goes on to say; "I try to belabor the topics people want to forget exist. LeATHERMOUTH is where I can vomit out all the aggression that has built up inside."

With their first single off their first album (XO; scheduled release January 27th, 2009), Bodysnatchers 4 Ever does just that. With pure, hardcore adrenaline pumping through the entire song, you can't help but feel any anger or upset inside you fall away while listening. The lyrics - if you can see past the screaming and take them at full value - are powerful, angry; easy to relate to. As a whole, this is music that speaks to people everywhere - of all ages, and of all walks of life. This music brings out in people whatever they're most afraid of, whatever it is they don't want to deal with; LeATHERMOUTH takes that fear and shoves it right in your face. And, after listening, you honestly feel better for it.

Bodysnatchers 4 Ever is a hard-hitting first single from what's sure to be a knockout new band. I encourage you to look up LeATHERMOUTH's other single, Sunsets Are For Muggings, and don't miss your chance to pick up XO on January 27th. I sure know I'll be getting my hands on a copy (:

So, if there's something you've got on your mind, something you need to get off your chest ... prepare for a release.
This is Bodysnatchers 4 Ever, by LeATHERMOUTH.

**EDIT 3.1.09 - LeATHERMOUTH released a music video for this track a while back. I'm sorry I didn't update this post sooner :( However, you can now enjoy the official video for Bodysnatchers 4 Ever. It's pretty much epic. May give certain individuals motion sickness and/or nightmares.
I'm also pleased to report that I purchased XO, and it is simply amazing (: Highly recommended.
After buying the album, I learned that this song actually has a subtitle. This post as been updated accordingly. Sweet deal.

LeATHERMOUTH - Bodysnatchers 4 Ever (What's A Pulse Got To Do With It?) Official Music Video

Bodysnatchers 4 Ever (What's A Pulse Got To Do With It?)

a second chance, take a life, another mission.
to steal a kiss from borrowed lips, i taste your prison
it feels like a lifetime, of leaving bodies on the sidelines.

i swear to God, girl, you're never gonna regret this.
close your eyes, this will only take a second.
though these veins are borrowed,
this heart only beats for you.


their shells disposable, oh so expendable.
shut it, shut it, shut it, shut it out
of your pretty mind,
they never cared for you.

here's our shot to insight a revolution.
they don't deserve to live, we are their evolution.
these veins are borrowed, these shells are borrowed.

a new life after death, it's fucking perfect.
don't you fear, they'll never hurt you darling.
these veins are borrowed, these veins are borrowed.

1, 2, 3, 4!

their shells disposable, oh so expendable.
shut it, shut it, shut it, shut it out.
they never cared for you;
how can you shed a tear?

don't worry old girl.
dry the tears from your eyes.
something better is bound to come around sometime ... let's go.

this face means nothing, these hands feel nothing.
these lungs are empty, and these eyes are blind.
this face means nothing, these hands hold nothing.
i'm here, this heart is yours.

our love never dies.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Use Somebody

Kings of Leon may be a new favorite of mine.

So far, I've only heard two songs by the band; the recently popular, upbeat Sex On Fire, which I have discovered to be the perfect song to turn up in the car when you're driving back roads on a sunny day ...
... and the track I'm going to tell you about in this post.

Use Somebody is a soft, simple track, with so much emotion it's impossible not to be drawn. Everything about this song captivates me; the quiet, straight-forward lyrics, the conspicuous bass line, the strumming of the rhythm guitar, the short guitar solo, not overdone ... and the drums, the crashing symbols, which seems to tie it all together.
However, what truly caught my attention in this song - and Sex On Fire, and probably any other Kings of Leon song I will listen to in the future - is the vocals. Caleb Followill's vocal styling is very unique, and his delivery is flawless. His great lead vocals are made that much more spectacular when they are paired with his backing vocals, which usually consist of alternating higher and lower notes in a range that gives you shivers. It's impossibly not to appreciate the emotion in these Kings of Leon tracks - and others, I'm sure - with Caleb's powerful voice delivering the lyrics.
As a whole, I just adore this track. I can't stop listening to it. Use Somebody is really an example of how you can say so much in so little words.

A final note, which is irrelevant to my opinions on the track, but which I found to be very interesting and just, sweet ...
Kings of Leon is made up of Caleb, Jared, Matthew and Nathan Followill. I would assume the relationships are brothers.
A band of four brothers. How cool is that? I've never seen a band whose members all shared the same last name (:

Use Somebody is simply a lovely track, and I think you'll appreciate it most if you take a listen to it yourself. Watching the video may also help you get a feel for the power behind this simple, quiet song.

This is Use Somebody, by Kings of Leon.

Kings of Leon - Use Somebody Official Music Video

Kings of Leon - Use Somebody

Use Somebody
Kings of Leon

I've been roaming around, always looking down at all I see.
Painted faces, fill the places I can't reach.

You know that I could use somebody ...

Someone like you, and all you know, and how you speak.
Countless lovers, under cover of the street.

You know that I could use somebody ...
Someone like you.

Off in the night, while you live it up, I'm off to sleep.
Waging wars to shape the poet and the beat.
I hope it's gonna make you notice ...

Someone like me;
Someone like me, somebody ...
Someone like you;
Someone like you, somebody ...

I've been roaming around, always looking down at all I see ...

Finally, I'd like to dedicate this review to Steven's Untitled Rock Show which, regretfully, has been cancelled.
I first discovered Use Somebody through Steven's show, and the video was played on the show in the final episodes.
Fuse won't be the same without SURS :(

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yngwie Malmsteen

The name's a bit of a tongue twister no? Just to get you started here's how you pronounce this guy's name, Ying-Wee Malm-Steen.

Now, who exactly is he?
A metal guitarist with the heart of a classical composer. Think of every variation of metal guitar you've heard to date, and then think even farther, you've got Yngwie and his amazing style.

He was trained classically as a child and went on to perform heavy metal guitar music, but what I'm interested in is his Symphonic Metal. He has composed classical concertos and symphonies for electric guitar and entire orchestras.
This is what classical music has evolved to for him...and it's amazing.

I discovered him when a friend gave me a CD with some of his classical tracks, I fell in love...this stuff is awesome.

I really don't want to say too much though, other than of course that you must listen!
Form your own opinion, I'd love to hear it. This is less a review and more me introducing you to his music and wanting to know what you think of it.

I think it's something else!


Cavallino Rampante (LIVE)-Yngwie Malmsteen and the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra