First Impression Fridays: Sorority Noise

After casually listening to them off and on for a couple months, I decided to pick Sorority Noise for my first “First Impression Friday”. I figured it would be the perfect time to buckle down and listen to them more extensively as I’ve been hearing about them non-stop in lieu of their new record You’re Not as _________ as You Think being released a couple weeks ago.

When I started listening, I started off with their newest album because of all the good things I had been reading about it on twitter, or hearing from my friends. I had this image of the band from the few other songs I had listened to in the past, but their newest record totally blew my image out of the water. I had known their music was emotional in the way that most pop punk music is, but You’re Not as _________ as You Think is entirely different; you can feel the raw emotion that went into writing it dripping from the tracks. The instrumentation will often go from being soft and more subdued, then building into these huge, almost “jam band” style sounds. The vocals usually crescendo with this as well, sometimes getting almost to scream from how aggressive they get. Many of the vocals though have an almost isolated sound to them where it sounds like they’re more exposed than what I’ve noticed in some of their other albums. It feels like you’re not just listening to a song that’s written by the band, but that you’re practically having a conversation with their vocalist, Cameron Boucher.

This is what I think I really like about Sorority Noise and everything I’ve heard so far: the lyrics are extremely well-written in that they feel real. A lot of bands I’ve been listening to sometimes have these cryptic, analogous lyrics that are trying really hard to be deep/just don’t make any sense at all. Sorority Noise appears to write from a place of real honesty (in all of their albums) and it shows in their lyrical content. It helps also to build a more emotional connection with the music because it feels like the band is exposing a part of themselves to the listener, it feels more personal. The best example of this is the last song on You’re Not as _________ as You Think called “New Room”, where Cam’s vocals sound almost distant, like he’s just alone in a room with a guitar and this is a recording that he sent out.

Overall, I’m really glad that I decided to check out Sorority Noise more in-depth! I think they’re really underrated when it comes to the whole “pop punk/emo” scene even though they’ve been around for a while now. My favorite tracks from them currently are Using (on Joy, Departed) or Car (You’re Not as _________ as You Think). I’ve been getting more into the style of music they make, the more indie sounding pop punk bands, and I look forward to listening to them more in the future. I think I’m going to see them in Chicago next month with Mat Kerekes and Remo Drive, so it will be exciting to see how they perform live as well.

If you love Sorority Noise, let me know what your favorite songs are by them and if you’ve never checked them out before, let me know what you think of them!

Track Review: Waste of Time – Early Eyes

If you’re from the Minneapolis area and haven’t checked out Early Eyes, you are seriously missing out. (Hell, if you’re from anywhere and haven’t these guys out, you need to get on it!) University of Minnesota freshmen Jake Berglove (vocals), Henry Patterson (guitar), Wyatt Fuller (drumkit), and Des Lawerence (bass), have been growing popularity exponentially, in part due to their unique sound and incredible live presence. My Wednesday track review is going to be focused on their newest release “Waste of Time”.

“Waste of Time” was released at midnight on March 24th as a taste of what is to be expected from their debut EP Minutes, set to come out sometime in early May. Even though this is one of their more laid back tracks, in my opinion, it’s still a funky little tune that represents their “jangle pop” type of alternative style. A lot of their songs, and this one in particular, is lead by Des, with a strong bass line. Where the song may lack in lyrical content, it is brought back up and driven melodically. The song is pretty consistent throughout but the build is developed through Jake’s vocals becoming more present, almost gravelly and aggressive towards the end. If I can be critical about anything in this single, the other instrumentation has something left to be desired; there isn’t a whole lot going on in the guitar and drum-kit. This track is such an easy listen though and it’s the type of song that will get stuck in your head after just one listen. I saw the band play at Triple Rock in Minneapolis last Thursday and spent the rest of the night singing “It’s just a waste of time…” over and over again while I waited for the song to drop on Spotify that night.

I’m so excited to hear the rest of Minutes and watch how this band continues to grow in the upcoming months. You can hear “Waste of Time” and other songs by Early Eyes on their Bandcamp and like their Facebook page to get updates on their upcoming shows and new releases. If you’re in the area and have the opportunity to see these guys live, you need to cash in on that and see the band where they shine the brightest.

Top 10 Songs from My Scene Phase

We’re starting out the first Monday post with a bang, a list I’ve been wanting to do for a while. You’re going to get a good idea of what kind of scene kid I was through these songs, I loved a lot of the sappy, electronic love songs that got me deep in my emotions. I’m not really sure why I related to these songs so much consider I was like 12 and never had been in a relationship, but it be like that sometimes. I always wanted to do a thread of these on twitter because I wouldn’t have to narrow any of them down and I could really stack them up. Getting 10 that really represent my scene phase as a whole is hard but I think you’ll get a good idea of what the years of 2007-2010 were like for me. (Okay, who am I kidding, I’m probably still in my scene phase because some of these songs still fuck.) Also, if this gets enough interest, I might do a part two!

10) Here (In Your Arms) – Hellogoodbye

Songs like this are probably in everyone’s “scene kid” playlists but it makes sense because it’s such a classic. Here (In Your Arms) comes in at #10 for me because I distinctly remember posting lyrics to this song on facebook at least 100 times during my scene phase. They come up now when I look at my “On This Day” and I just cringe at how often I posted them and all the embarrassing shit I would say with it. It’s a fun track though still to this day and always a good throwback song to put on at a party so you can find the people who were scene back in their day too.

9) Nine in the Afternoon – Panic! At the Disco

If you didn’t have a crush on 20 year old Brendon Urie, who were you?? Panic is one of those bands for me that will never get old and this song is the same thing. I was lucky enough to catch them when they played in Minneapolis a couple weeks ago and it took everything in me to not cry when they played this. There’s something so nostalgic about this song that gives me chills every time I listen to it, and never fails to put me in a good mood. The music video is kind of whack, the whole Pretty Odd era kind of seemed like an LSD trip…

8) If It Means a Lot to You – A Day to Remember

This was a track I got more into towards the end of my scene phase, when I was getting into high school and started listening to different music. I went through a HUGE A Day to Remember phase though so this song got played a lot. I’m kind of sick of it now because it’s so over-played and kind of lost the meaning it had for me at that time. It is a pretty cute song though and the crowd vocals kill when they play it live. This song is in every pop punk boy’s playlist for his girlfriend, I’m putting my bets in right now.

7) Cemetery Weather – Isles & Glaciers

I had honestly forgotten about this song until I was looking through my old iTunes to find songs for this list. I’m so glad I found it again, though, because I used to listen to this song bare minimum 3 times a day after I discovered it in middle school. I never was super big into Pierce the Veil until like 2013 but I found Isles & Glaciers before then and fell in love with this song. There’s something super unique about the blend of all the vocals and the almost acoustic but electronic instrumental that make this song so good, even today. If you never listened to Isles & Glaciers back when they were together, check this song out.

6) Run to You – The Rocket Summer

Oh my God, look at the cover art for this album (Do You Feel) and tell me that it doesn’t scream “Every scene girl played this in their room while they edited their pictures on Myspace”. Run to You is one of those classic scene kid love songs that I ate up back in the day. I found out later that The Rocket Summer was a Christian artist and this song could have been more about his relationship with God rather than with a significant other. That wild twist of events gives the song a whole new light, but I think it still stands as being a romantic track too.

5) Denial is not Just a River in Egypt – These Hearts

Coming from Fargo, ND, These Hearts was almost like a “local” band for me when I was growing up. They played a lot of shows in the commons area of my high school, or in small basements around my hometown back when I was in middle/high school. You were not a true scene kid from Brainerd, MN unless you saw this band multiple times at the “A-Commons Shows”. They broke up right after they got signed to Victory Records which is a bit of a bummer, but they’ve all grown up now, ditched the scene bangs, and married their scene queens from high school.

4) Take My Hand – The Perfect Measure

If you were looking for the perfect song to send to your crush on MySpace, this was it. Even his alias/band name reeks of MySpace/scene kid emotion. This is the perfect cutesy love song, it’s simple and gets the point across. I spent many a night as a middle-schooler playing this on my iPod Classic while I dreamt about having the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend. (I never had a scene significant other and I’m still kind of bitter about it). I still bump this in 2017 and it’s even in one of my lovey, mushy playlists on Spotify. Check it out if you’re a hopeless romantic like me.

3) Dakota – A Rocket to the Moon

A Rocket to the Moon is at the top of my list for “Bands that I Wish Never Broke Up” because Dakota, and all of their album On Your Side is one of my favorites. On Your Side was the first CD I ever bought with all my own earned money and that album was well-loved. I played it so much in my boom box that the CD got scratched up so when I got an iPod and tried to burn it on there, the tracks downloaded with all the skips in them and everything. Dakota was one of them and every time I listen to it on Spotify or Youtube or something I forget it doesn’t have the skips and I’m so confused to why it sounds different! I don’t have enough good words to say about this song, it really brings back all of the happy feelings from middle school and makes me think of simpler times. A classic.

2) Blue-Eyed Brunette – Nickasaur!

Even through all the hair dyeing I went through in my scene years, I’m a blue-eyed brunette naturally and so this song got me right where it hurts. I would still give an arm and a leg for someone to cover this song for me, because it’s so cute and makes me melt even now. If you listen to it, you can feel a wave of 2009 nostalgia with the electronic, synth sounds that all the songs back then had. Nickasaur was one of my favorites back in the day and I can’t lie when I say I had a fat crush on him too. Some of his other memorable songs, XOXO and Dear June also could have made this list but this one got the most plays by far.

1) She’s Got Style – Nevershoutnever

A list of songs from my scene phase would not be complete without something by nevershoutnever, and this is my favorite song by him by far. I was seriously in LOVE with Christofer Drew and spent many hours in middle school writing NSN lyrics all over my notebooks or fantasizing about having him as my boyfriend. Nevershoutnever was the artist that got me into the alternative scene, was the reason I discovered All Time Low, and will always hold a special place in my heart for being the first musician/band I ever loved with my whole heart. I’m seeing him tomorrow for the third time and hoping he plays this – wish me luck!!!

Song of the Week: Last Young Renegade – All Time Low

This is All Time Low’s newest release and I have not been able to get it out of my head since I first listened to it. Their next album, which shares the same name as this single, is set to drop some time in June and I was a bit underwhelmed by the first single they put out for it titled Dirty LaundryLast Young Renegade reminds me a lot more of the “Don’t Panic” era of All Time Low, which is one of their best albums in my opinion. The chorus is super catchy and I can guarantee with one listen, you’ll be hooked just like I am!

Listen to Last Young Renegade here and let me know what you think about it!

Welcome!

If you’ve stumbled upon my blog either from Twitter or Facebook, I’m glad you’re here! If not, I’m happy to introduce myself. I’m Lou and I live in Minneapolis, MN and I hope to use this blog as a way to communicate my thoughts about different types of music, and maybe give some insight for those who are interested. I go into more detail about myself under the “About” section, so this post is more to show you what kind of content you can expect from this blog.

I’d like to keep a sort of schedule to both hold myself accountable and to let you guys know what kind of content I’m going to be putting out each week. Starting this Sunday, this is what I’m thinking that it’s going to look like:

  • Sundays – Song of the Week
    Just a short little blurb about a song I’ve been loving recently to start off the week.
  • Mondays – A bit of a hodge-podge of everything: top 10 lists, favorites, concert reviews, etc.
    I’m hoping to use this day as a bit of a “free” day to where I kind of just post some original stuff. This can also be where you come in and suggest what you’d like to see on these days!
  • Wednesdays – Album or track reviews
    When new albums/tracks come out, this will be the day I take a look at them and let you know my thoughts! I’ll also be throwing in some of my favorite albums of all time and sharing what I love (or hate) most about them.
  • Friday – First impressions
    I’m planning on taking Friday’s to check out new bands I haven’t listened to yet and give you my thoughts on them. I have quite a few already lined up that I’m excited to check and get into their music!
    Also this may be a day I take to show you guys a band that I think is super underrated/up and coming and let you know why I think they’re sick.

I hope you guys are as stoked about this as I am! I’m excited to explore my music taste more and try to branch out. I want to develop both my writing skills and appreciation for this music scene.