ALBUM REVIEW: The Wonder Years ‘Sister Cities’

By Kate Saia

It’s a wonder how I went so many years without listening to The Wonder Years.  The Wonder Years are a pop punk band based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that started out in 2005.  So far, they’ve released five albums and two EP’s, and I’m ashamed to say it took me this long to listen to their music.  Their latest album, Sister Cities, just dropped today and it caught my eyes (or ears).  I’m always looking for new bands to listen to, and The Wonder Years aren’t exactly new, but I’m glad I got to experience their music at a time where I could appreciate it.

My friends have been telling me to listen to The Wonder Years for a little bit now, but I was putting it off.  Even though I enjoy finding new music to listen to, I tend to listen to the same songs over and over that I know I like.  Looking back on it, I wish I had given their music a chance a while ago, because as I’m listening to this album right now, I’m realizing how much I’ve been missing out on.

What caught my attention the most about The Wonder Years’ new album is how different they sound from a lot of other pop punk bands.  They have a unique sound that sounds a bit alternative and chill, but also have some of the heavier-hitting punk elements to their songs as well.  I like that while listening to their album, I didn’t think about how they sounded like another band, because they don’t sound like anyone else.  They did a good job mixing upbeat, heavy songs with slower and more emotional songs.  I liked this aspect because I like to have a blend of both slow and fast songs, depending on the mood I’m in.  It’s nice to have the options all in one album.  Their lyrics remind me more of alternative music because they’re unique and don’t fit the typical pop punk mould, which I think is cool because branching out from what everyone expects usually pays off.  Even though the lyrics are different and personal, they’re still relatable, which allows us as listeners to connect with the band on some level.

So far, my favorite songs off the album are Pyramids of Salt, Sister Cities, The Ghost of Right Now, The Orange Grove, and The Ocean Grew Hands to Hold Me.  They’re all vastly different songs, some are more chill than others, and some have that heavier punk sound, but I like that both aspects are presented as options to me through these songs.  The lyrics that I related to the most after hearing the album the first time were the lyrics for The Ocean Grew Hands to Hold Me.  I liked that it started off slower, but then picked up a bit, just like the ocean does and how sometimes it can be unpredictable.  The lyrics sound so emotional and raw, and that makes them special, at least to me.  The line “I learned to lean on the people who love me” stuck out to me while I was listening, because it shows that it’s okay to ask for the help that you need from the people that are closest to you, and that’s an important lesson to learn.

Not only are their lyrics creative, but their song titles are as well.  I find them intriguing because I have no idea what they could really mean to the band and what the reasoning was behind calling them that.  I like that I can’t figure out what the song is about based on just the title, because then it means that I have to really listen to the song and figure it out for myself.

The Wonder Years’ new album was all in all a great success to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.  I’m happy that I gave the music a chance, because now I have a new album to go binge-listen to.  Now I can stop wondering and enjoy listening to The Wonder Years.

Let us know what your favourite song off the new album is!

THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS ALBUM ‘AMERICA’ OUT NOW!

By Maddie Birkett

Thirty Seconds To Mars have dropped their fifth studio album titled ‘America’ under Interscope Records featuring singles ‘Walk on Water’, ‘Dangerous Night’, ‘One Track Mind’ and ‘Rescue Me’.

 

The 12 track album features vocals from A$AP Rocky and Halsey.

The album explores “themes of war and peace, sexuality, freedom, and faith through concept albums and glossy videos”.

Leading up to the release, Jared Leto hitchhiked across five US states in 24 hours. See the send off here.

You can grab the new album ‘America’ here!

Let us know what your favourite track off the album is!

REVIEW: DODIE, 27/03, 02 ACADEMY BIRMINGHAM

By Yasmine Summan

In a show-stopping performance that included a lot of flower crowns and glitter, Singer, Song-writer and Youtube sensation, Dodie Clark, put on a dazzling performance last night as she sweeps through the nation on her current UK tour, Dodie, joined by non-other than the amazing talents of, Skinny Living and Fenne Lilly.

Opening the night, Fenne Lilly put on a respectable opening performance with transfixing, angelic vocals from Lily and powerful, metaphorical lyrics that had the crowd mesmerized and set a calm, relaxed atmosphere in the room. But Skinny Living kicked into their performance with a more upbeat, faster tempo that raised the energy in the room. They almost reminded me of a “new age Mumford and Sons”, with their niche indie sound and brisk, soothing vocals from lead singer, Ryan Johnston, that echoed to the furthest depths of the room. You could latch on to their high energy, catchy riffs and refreshing use of acoustic guitar in more up-tempo songs, that contrasts to how most pop and indie music typically play out acoustic songs, which is usually the same repetitive, overdone sad song. Both bands brought something different and unique to their act, Fenne Lilly had the crowd in awe with her mellowed out energy and soft, heavenly vocals, whereas Skinny Living brought a high energy to the room with a faster beat that everyone could dance around to.

Dodie graced the stage, opening to the excitement of many with her hit “would you be so kind?” Her vocals caressed the room, with every note floating through the air and every harmony weaving into one another almost effortlessly. I appreciated the use of unfamiliar instruments in the performance as they made the show more interesting, engaged the audience more and better translated slower, sadder songs to emphasize the raw emotion through the use of a simple violin, or a low humming bass guitar. The contrast between slow, mellow songs and high energy, upbeat songs in the set-list played out nicely as it gave Dodie a chance to seize the audience for a quiet moment of peaceful reflection as her soft vocals chimed through the room in songs like “Sick Of Lousing Soulmates”, only to raise the roof once again with more happy, high tempo songs that had everyone dancing around such as “In The Middle.”

 

 

Everything on this tour seemed strategically thought out to make it more than just her singing on stage and instead, an actual performance that is worth paying money for. Roses decorated the whole stage, dangling from the ceiling and wrapping around the microphones, whilst lighting arrangements set the mood of the room i.e. for sadder songs, blue and purple lights were cast on Dodie, but during happier songs, warm orange and red lights filled the room, as well the lighting changed with the lyrics i.e. in her hit song “You”, when she sang the lyrics “why do all the red flags look so fun?” the lighting changed to red. I think every single detail was completely thought and planned, and I thoroughly appreciate the effort her whole team went to, to truly make this an amazing night.

 

 

Energy bounced around the room, as Dodie and her band triumphed the stage with her sweet light-hearted spirit and upbeat tempo songs that encouraged the crowd to bounce along. Seeing her for the first time, you’d think she’d been preforming for years, as Dodie appears to have mastered the technique of climaxing crowd energy and connecting with her audience live. All around me, bright young faces were lit with ecstatic smiles or emotional tears, as Dodie waved her fans through a series of emotions in the short space of an hour. It was truly surreal to hear the crowd overpowering her vocals, and for the whole room to chime in for one powerful, heartfelt and emotional sing-along. Through-out the whole show, the Essex’s sensation conveyed a kind-hearted,loving and warm nature toward the audience, even stopping the show at certain points when fans had passed out and ushering the crowd to move out the way so security could help fans. After seeing her live, you’d find it hard to fight the temptation not to fall in love with her sweet personality and catchy tunes.

The night ended with a bittersweet closing number to “Sweet Caroline” where all the bands came out and bowed together. With another successful tour date sold, Dodie is dominating the UK on her current tour and will continue her adventures on her American tour starting in September 2018.

Check out Dodie’s music here.

Or watch her videos here.

 

FRY YOUR BRAIN WITH THE MAINE

By Mehlika Eski

On April 3rd, Arizona “Emo-Group” and rock band, The Maine, kicked off their first and last headlining tour of 2018 with a show in San Luis Obispo, California. This tour follows the release of their 2017 album, “Lovely Little Lonely,” as well as two previous headlining tours, including their “Modern Nostalgia” Tour last fall which showcased both “Lovely Little Lonely” and their 2015 album, “American Candy,” in their entirety.

The “Fry Your Brain” Tour is designed to reach cities that the band doesn’t typically play in, and the locations were determined after fans voiced their opinions of what cities should be included. After careful consideration, The Maine revealed the tour during their “8123 Day” event on January 21st and announced that bands The Wrecks and fellow 8123-friends The Technicolors would be opening during this tour. The Maine’s setlist includes songs from all six of their albums, as well as a different song every night that is voted on by the fans. The next few cities on this tour include Portland, OR on April 5th, Seattle, WA on April 6th, Spokane, WA on April 7th, and Vancouver, BC on April 8th.

The Maine has also announced that they will be playing Vans Warped Tour this summer.
Tickets and dates for the Fry You Brain Tour can be found at www.themaineband.com.



Music Fans Want Moose Blood Kicked Off Slam Dunk Festival 2018

By Yasmine Summan

Moose Blood have found themselves in a heat of controversy again, after a petition with over 2,616 signatures circulated to remove the band from the Slam Dunk Festival 2018 lineup only a week after they were announced. Music fans are outraged to see the band on such a big festival line up whilst there are still pending sexual allegations toward their lead singer, Eddy Brewerton.

The petition titled “Remove Moose Blood from the Slam Dunk Festival Lineup” made its way around the internet only a week after the band had been announced for Slam Dunk Festival 2018. It became a viral hit on Twitter with the amount of people who shared it and collecting 2,616 signatures so far. When we reached out to the creator of the petition, Edith Gervin said

“I made the petition to show how many people actually stand against festivals continuing to book bands like moose blood. There isn’t a place for people like that in the music industry and they shouldn’t continue to be rewarded after everything that’s happened”

Slam Dunk Festival, and Moose Blood have yet to make a comment on the band being on the line-up.

It seemed like they’d only just bounced back from the controversy that sprung early last year, when ex-drummer, Glenn Harvey, was outed for allegedly sending explicit pictures and videos to underage girls and allegedly sexually harassing women. Harvey left the band in late March, but only a year on, the sexual allegations toward current lead singer, Brewerton, still stand. Brewerton allegedly stole explicit photography from a fans phone and sent them to a Whats App group chat.

Taking to their social media, Moose Blood released a statement in regards to the allegations on February 23rd where they said “We are aware of an allegation made against us concerning alleged theft of photographs and invasion of privacy. This allegation is entirely false and we strongly refute. We are taking legal action. The process to resolve this issue is underway. We do not propose to comment further at this stage”

 

 

As well, anti-harassment group, Girls Against, pulled out of Truck Festival 2018 when Moose Blood were announced. In a statement published on their twitter, the activist group that is fighting against sexual harassment at gigs said “Girls against stand firmly with all victims of sexual assault and would like to formally say we are completely against Moose Blood performing at truck festival… this is not something we will be backing down about”

After they released their album “I don’t think I can do this anymore” on March 9th 2018, it received a critical response with some long-time fans loving it, but many boycotting the album and the rest of their music because of the allegations.

It seems that drama is inescapable for this British Band, but we’ll have to wait and see how they move on from this.