Friday, August 22, 2008

Cinematic Sunrise

“A Coloring Storybook and Long Playing Record”

Side projects are often a fascinating glimpse into the fuller personality of your favorite musicians. Cinematic Sunrise is no exception. It is a glimpse into the pop rock sensibilities of Craig and Brad from Chiodos. Even if the ep wasn’t great it would win mass kudos for the creative package design. But, more than a gimmick, it is an expansion of the feeling of this disc. The production is tight, the vocals can only be described as dreamy, and my only complaint would be that it’s too short. If “You Told Me You Loved Me” doesn’t end up as some movie theme song I will be greatly surprised. Beautiful keys and crystalline vocals create just that right emotional tug, and as it builds in power it might as well scream pick me to whoever is looking to score the next big romantic movie.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Spill Canvas

‘No Really, I’m Fine”

South Dakota may not be the first place you think of as producing hot rock bands, but that is indeed what they have done as The Spill Canvas have recently released their third record ‘No Really, I’m Fine”. Oh, and by the way, judging by the lyrics, no Nick, you’re not fine, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Front man Nick Thomas, yet again exhibits his uninhibited ability to be both sorrowful and startlingly sexy on many of these new tunes. Andrew McMahon contributes piano on ‘Saved’ which alone is a good enough reason to buy this disc, but there happen to also be a number of solid songs surrounding it including the one getting a lot of video play these days, “All Over You”.

Caught them live last year on one of the Warped Tour smaller stages and can assure you they sound even better live than on disc. Very worth checking out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jimmy Eat World

"Chase This Light"

If you didn't learn years ago to buy everything this band does, it's high time you catch up. These boys are and always have been consistently great. With Butch Vig producing the band has yet again released a record where every track could be a successful single as many of them have already become.

Many of today's young bands site Jimmy Eat World as a major influence, sometimes even name checking them in songs, and yet they remain active contributors to the scene they have helped to mold. Excellent live show, well worth checking out if you have not yet had the

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blackpool Lights

"This Town's Disaster"
This disc came and went with a minimum of fanfare back in 2006, and that's a shame since it was definitely one of the best releases of that year. Helmed by Jim Suptic, formerly of The Get Up Kids, Blackpool Lights produced a very consistent and very good quality disc that few people seem to know about. This is one of those discs that is going to be considered timeless, because you are going to be able to pull it out in ten years and be just as impressed as when it came out. Highlights of the disc, for those of you silly people who insist on buying single songs, are "Empty Tank" and "The Truth About Love", but do yourself a favor and buy the actual cd, which is enhanced and includes videos, and has really great artwork.

I caught them live around the time this disc came out headlining mid-week at Chain Reaction and was blown away by a great set, despite the bulk of the kids having gone home early since it was a school night. Click their name above to be redirected to their myspace, and find the disc at Amazon among a number of places.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nine Days

"The Maddening Crowd"
Even though this disc only made them marginally famous for about a minute back in 2000, due to the overwhelming success of "Absolutely (story of a girl)", this was a really decent record and deserves to be in your collection. Had they not fallen victim to big label nightmares of redtape in releasing their followup they well could have ridden the strength of this record into a great deal more success. "Back to Me" and "Crazy", both of which are late on the disc are particularly good tracks.

See what they are up to now by clicking their name above to be connected to their myspace.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


“Call it what you want”
I saw these guys live, for the first time, a few years ago as they made the transition from being Run Home Jack to Fire Rocket Red. They’ve been through some lineup changes since then, but the core of the band, Brent and Chris, carry on. There are a couple newer tracks on their myspace worth checking out as well, including a cover of "What is Love" done as a bit of a goof, and an excellent new song "Lovesick".

This disc came out early last year, with very limited distribution, but was easily one of the best pop-punk discs of the year. It does a great job of capturing both the goofy charm of their live shows, and their solid writing skills for a very commercially saleable product to appeal to fans of Fall Out Boy and the like. They’ve had a little local exposure on KROQ’s Locals Only show where Kat played “There’s a new sheriff in town and this time it’s for keeps” for several weeks, but they remain largely a local, Orange County secret.
This disc is available on, and is well worth the purchase. Track 4 “Mothra is in our Sex Class” would be a huge radio hit if somebody like Panic or FOB had written it. Give these guys a chance. You won’t be sorry.