Saturday, February 28, 2009

25 Most Important Albums of My Life

inspired by the facebook trend thing but I spruced mine up a bit and turned it into a blog entry...I put these in as much chronological order as I possibly could...

1. Nirvana - Nevermind (cliche, I know, but it's the first real rock record I ever liked/owned)
2. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (my mom would play this all the time when I was a little kid and I fell in love with it at an early age...to this day it's one of my top 5 records of all time)
3. Limp Bizkit - Significant Other (yes, I'm ashamed of this, but I can't deny that this record marks a very definitive beginning to me being truly passionate about music...considering I heard it when I was starting freshman year of high school...)
4. Slipknot - Slipknot (I had never heard anything that heavy before...blew my mind)
5. Deftones - White Pony (part 1 of 3: The Always-Resonant Soundtrack to Summer 2000)
6. Stone Temple Pilots - Purple (part 2 of 3: The Always-Resonant Soundtrack to Summer 2000)
7. Stone Temple Pilots - No. 4 (part 3 of 3: The Always-Resonant Soundtrack to Summer 2000)
8. Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine (meet the band that introduced me to politics)
9. Metallica - ...And Justice for All (meet the band that introduced me to THRASH)
10. Tool - Ænima (I had this album for a while and never really got past the first song--or at least paid attention. Then one day I decided to lay down on my bed and listen to it in my headphones. By the time "Third Eye" was through, my life had been changed...they've been one of my top 5 favorite bands ever since)
11. Mudvayne - L.D. 50 (I don't care what anyone says this album is pretty decent...for nu metal, it's brilliant. Not only did this band introduce me to Terence McKenna but they did a lot to pique my interest in the "deeper" more melodic, unique, interesting side of not just heavy music but eventually all music)
12. Weezer - Pinkerton (I never related to an album the way I related to this one my first couple years of high school)
13. Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape (Popping this on can STILL immediately rocket me back in time to high school)
14. Poison the Well - The Opposite of December (this album is how I got into hardcore)
15. Converge - Jane Doe (this album completely obliterated my concept of what "music" is...the first time I listened to it I could only think: "Am I supposed to feel like this right now?")
16. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity (see above)
17. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity (for a while, I hated Jimmy Eat World...well what do you want, all I knew of them was the music video for "The Middle" on MTV2. Then my friend Matt demanded that I buy this album and refused to burn it for me because the songs bleed together--which I'm glad he did. MAN did this album blow me away...the most beautiful, intricate, twinkly, breathtaking journey through pop music I've ever heard. It's pretty much been my soundtrack to love and heartbreak ever since...sure there are other albums but none hold up to this opus. I'm so, so, SO happy I own it on vinyl. I'm gonna listen to this right now actually.)
18. Bright Eyes - Lifted -or- The Story Is In the Soil, Keep Your Ears to the Ground (another one Matt introduced me to...when I asked him once what Bright Eyes album was his favorite--as research to see which one I would buy--he said it "would be like choosing his favorite limb." Once I became immersed in the music of Conor Oberst, I completely understood that statement. This album was where that started. It was also a step in the right direction as far as less accessible, more off-tune vocals by people that can't necessarily sing particularly well...a big, huge paradigm that I'm glad I broke.)
19. Against Me! - Reinventing Axl Rose (one more to attribute to Matt--if he or anyone else who KNOW who they are are reading this...shut up. Where Bright Eyes bent the barrier between me and more "punk" sounding vocals,--punk in spirit, in the sense that they can't necessarily sing well, not literally "punk sounding"--Against Me! broke it. I think the first time I actually heard it was at our friend's house while she was making us breakfast and I didn't particularly care for it. But after that he burned me a copy and I gave it a few more chances and eventually my love for it grew and grew to a wonderful climax with the now-legendary Against Me! show that Matt booked and which was mentioned in a few earlier posts.)
20. Catch 22 - Keasbey Nights (I hated ska before I heard this album. Thank you OT.)
21. Blind Guardian - Nightfall In Middle-Earth (sooooo many college memories come rushing back when I listen to this album. It really blew me away when I first heard it because I was amazed that cheesy power metal could be SO well done and so...well...powerful. When I showed it to friends of mine and they laughed I knew I had busted through another paradigm :D)
22. Yaphet Kotto/This Machine Kills/Envy split CD (this one is incredibly specific. I first heard this album on Valentine's Day of 2004 and as I was hearing it for the first time so too was my good friend Rudo. Eventually when the two of us came to the Envy portion of the split, both our lives were changed forever. I can't speak for him but I know personally I have NEVER, EVER been that deeply affected by a piece of music on first listen in my LIFE. It was otherworldly, really. We could hardly believe that human beings had made these songs. And when we heard the collaboration song that closed out the album...forget about it. We knew we'd never be the same.)
23. Bestial Warlust - Vengeance War 'Til Death (back to Rudo: the story of me getting into this album is that Rudo decided he wanted to do an "experiment" on me. He sent me the last song on this record, "At the Graveyard of God" and told me to listen to it and see if I liked it. I did, so he sent me the rest of the album which I also liked. This was the beginning of the difficult process of me getting into black metal and while I don't listen to most black metal bands I used to like anymore, there certainly was an important and well-worth-documenting period of time while I was in college where I listened to a great deal of black metal.)
24. Kayo Dot - Choirs of the Eye (this album did kind of the same thing that Jane Doe and Calculating Infinity did for me but in an even bigger way--although less impactful since it was later on in my life. This unclassifiable record flies in the face of everything you think you know about music and everything you think music is.)
25. Thrice - Vheissu (I never used to think very much of Thrice until I heard this album in a friend's car one day and deemed it worth checking out--amid accusations of devolving into "Thrisis"--Thrice meets Isis. Personally I get the Isis comparisons but this album is sooo beyond that. It touched me in a way that no album has in a very long time, which, after hearing so much and evolving in my tastes so much in the last 10 years, is not so easy anymore.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Top 10 Encores I've Ever Seen

10. Dredg – Nothing particularly special about this one other than the fact that they closed with the combination of “Yatahaze”/“90 Hour Sleep” which couldn’t have possibly been a more perfect way to close the show.

9. Andrew W.K. – This whole set was one big fucking party and I’ve never felt so much positive energy at any show I’ve ever been to, easily the most joyful set I’ve ever seen and the most inspirational with some amazing words from Mr. W.K. Just seeing him close with “Party Hard” and seeing the most amazing circle pit open up would have been enough but this guy was somehow able to get fans rushed onto the stage at fucking Warped Tour! What an amazing site, he even had one kid riding around on his shoulders. What a guy.

8. Eric Clapton – I got to see “Layla” live. That’s all I have to say about that.

7. Radiohead – Radiohead scores major points for having TWO encores. Not only that but after ending their first set with “Videotape” (wow.) they opened their first encore with fucking “Optimistic” and then went straight into “Just (You Do It To Yourself)”…fucking AMAAAZING. Then, after a beautiful version of “Faust Arp” with just Thom and Jonny on acoustic guitar sitting across from each other on two stools, they played “Exit Music (For a Film).” Oh my god, you guys. I remember hearing my boy Robby say “this is about to get really fucking good” right before the epic explosion at the end of the song. It really did. If that wasn’t enough they closed out the first encore with Thom playing a second drum set on “Bangers and Mash” and then came back out with “House of Cards.” Then the close the whole deal, they did something I only used to be able to imagine I would see. Ended with “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” Wow. WOW.

6. Bright Eyes – There’s something poignant about ending the set, coming back for an encore and going right into “A Song To Pass the Time.” Really a perfect way to open the encore and then it went straight into a really fun, rockin Tom Petty cover that I really wish I knew the name of. The very last song was Conor Oberst all by himself in one spotlight singing an adorable acoustic ballad which he introduced as “a love song.” I can’t be certain but I want to say the song he played was “First Day of My Life” but I don’t remember the song especially well and it was way before that double album even came out.

5. Converge – They ended their set with fucking "Jane Doe." I fucking cried.

4. The Hold Steady – This one is probably the best closing/encore song choice ever for me. For starters they closed their original set with “Southtown Girls” which would have been a perfect closer in its own right. But then they came back and opened their encore with “First Night”…absolutely spellbinding. Then to top it all off they closed the whole deal with a wonderfully joyful rendition of “Killer Parties” in which a whole mess of people (myself included) joined them on stage. I actually danced with the keyboard player.

3. Reggie and the Full Effect – This show would probably rank 3rd on my list of most fun shows I’ve ever been to (which is really high because the only ones ahead of them are Andrew W.K.’s set at Warped Tour and GWAR). So…they played their last song and pretended they were done or whatever, blah blah blah yeah right. Then “Reggie” comes out in this British Parliament getup and does this really bouncy techno-ish song with really cute vocals/lyrics. Then they did another pretty anthemic song if I remember correctly...actually it might have been vice versa. I think it was. Anyway, when he finishes, Reggie says "Common Denominator is up next."

Oh...shit...

Without warning, a man with an incredibly distorted bass, black cape, and a fucking rubber skull mask comes on stage playing this DIRTY bassline. After a few minutes of this intro, the rest of the band emerged...and then...KLAUS (Reggie...with death metal make-up). He had this WEIRD pointy had and a wand of some sort and a vile of blood that he drank and smeared all over the skull guy's...skull. They did Dwarf Invasion and it was nuts. Everyone screamed "DWARF INVASION!" and shit. Good god what an amazing encore.

2. Against Me! – (taken from the excerpt posted below): I had been…imagining them closing with "We Laugh at Danger (and Break All the Rules)" [for months]...so Against Me! is wrapping up their amazing set and they say "this is our last song" and after a few moments of anticipation i flip my lid as Tom announces the final song as:

"WE LAUGH AT DANGER (AND BREAK ALL THE FUCKING RULES)"

as soon as the singing part kicked in, myself and a few others (Matt included) launched ourselves onto the stage and sang along. But then when the chorus hit...WHAM! The stage was fucking RUSHED. It was a sight to see. Kids were on the stage dancing with each other, singing to each other and just having so much fun. We even got the whole crowd clapping along to the little breakdown chorus and then we all let out the loudest WOOOOOO! we could muster as we brought the song to its crashing close. We all thought it was over then. Even as shouts of "BABY, I'M AN ANARCHIST" peppered the venue, people were beginning to file out...when suddenly...the motherfuckers BUSTED RIGHT INTO FUCKING "BABY, I'M AN ANARCHIST!!!!" What an AMAZINGLY PERFECT moment that was. Everyone was just on stage singing along in a circle around the band and it was so beautiful that it made me want to cry. What an ending to an amazing show.

1. Weezer – I feel so very privileged to have been able to see the once-mighty Weezer JUST before (or maybe slightly after) the beginning of their decline. It was just before the Green Album was coming out so, other than a small 4-5 song stretch of songs from that (including "The Christmas Song" which I maintain to this day should have been on the Green Album and is better than any song that was on it), every song they played was from Blue Album or Pinkerton. Truly an amazing show I’ll never forget but the encore cemented it in my mind forever. While they stood off stage with the crowd still begging them to come back, a blue light came up from the darkness. After a few seconds the band slow walk back on stage…and begin playing "Only In Dreams." Witnessing this might rank somewhere in the top 25 experiences of my entire life…they even extended the build-up/solo portion in the middle of the song to this incredible explosion that was just perfect. Then to cap it all off they closed with "Surf Wax America." Incredible.



honorable mention: Mastodon – they closed their set at The Fest 2 with two Ramones songs…that was rad.

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

I am so excited for this flick.

 
These are the best movie posters I've seen in a long time. 


This is how you sell a movie, not floating heads. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just Noise

I was just having an argument with a friend of mine (one that's fairly common between us) about "screamy" music or "hardcore" music...the kind of stuff that's not very accessible at all and most people would say is "just a bunch of noise." My argument to her was that I feel like there are certain kinds of music or maybe just certain bands that you might need to...well...try to like. They just require some effort from you because they exist so far outside of paradigms most people have about music that the first time they hear such sounds and such an absence of the normal ingrained structure and rhythm of mainstream music that it's just kind of a shock to your system and your immediate response is to reject it. I can't tell you how many bands in my iTunes playlist right now are bands that I didn't really like or wasn't sure if I liked the first time I heard them. Wait, actually I probably could do that. Anyway, my point I made to her is that I feel like people do themselves a disservice by spurning music like this without really giving it some effort because some of these bands (SOME) are really brilliant musicians and songwriters and are truly doing something unique and interesting with their music rather than what most people are doing with it. I also feel like when you're able to put that kind of effort into liking a band even if at first they don't necessarily rub you the right way that it can be rewarding in a way that no music can be which is immediately and innately pleasing to the ear. If I hadn't given certain bands 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 17th chances then I would never have gotten into:

Against Me!, Alkaline Trio, American Nightmare, ANY Black Metal (a true case study in what i'm talking about), At the Drive-In, The Beach Boys (you'll see how in a lot of ways this whole argument kind of works in reverse for me), Blink 182, ANY Ska (thank you Catch 22), Coalesce, Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan, Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, Gnarls Barkley, Incubus, Jimmy Eat World (though I guess if I heard Clarity first instead of The Middle it would have been different), John Mayer, King Crimson, Lightning Bolt, ANY hip hop (thank you Eminem and Outkast), New Found Glory (THAT'S RIGHT), ANY Death Metal (thank you Opeth), A Perfect Circle, Poison the Well, Radiohead (that's right...my favorite band in the entire world and I didn't like them the first time I heard them...didn't like Thom's voice...true story), Shai Hulud, Smashing Pumpkins, Sublime, Weezer

So in conclusion, I'm making a mix CD for my friend in the spirit of this argument that's titled "Just Noise (a.k.a. Homework)" and this is the tracklist:

1. Shai Hulud - Scornful of the Motives and Virtues of Others
2. Coalesce - What Happens On the Road Always Comes Home
3. Dillinger Escape Plan - 43% Burnt
4. City of Caterpillar - ...And You're Wondering How a Top Floor Could Replace Heaven
5. Funeral Diner - End On 6
6. Circle Takes the Square - In the Nervous Light of Sunday
7. Ampere - Woodlawn
8. Neil Perry - Nine Minutes of Non-Fiction
9. Off Minor - The Transient
10. The Assistant - Training Wheels or No Hands
11. Poison the Well - Slice Paper Wrists
12. Cave In - Juggernaut
13. Between the Buried and Me - Mordecai
14. Mare - They Sent You
15. Botch - To Our Friends In the Great White North
16. Converge - Heaven In Her Arms

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Top 10 Records of 2008

This is something I've done every year for the last five years and only now has it found a proper venue (rather than simply being relegated to my livejournal). You'll find out soon enough--provided you read this blog--that I am sort of in love with making lists...in fact come to think of it I bet I'll be posting a shit ton of track lists for mix tapes/CDs I make in this blog...anyway listed below is my top 10 for 2009 and if you're interested at all here are links to top 10 lists from previous years:

2004
2005
2006
2007

and now...2008...

1. Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vol. III & IV: Air and Earth
(I'd really like to give this consideration as a full album but the first disc came out last year...this one is way better though...the Earth disc is amazingly written and Broken Lungs and Daedalus are two of the most powerful songs this band has ever written...which is saying a lot, trust me)
2. Russian Circles - Station
(jesus the things this band can do without using any words...no other instrumental band is capable of what this one is and that's a hell of a compliment)
3. Sigur Rós - Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
(this band could just keep making records that sound like "( )" and everyone--myself included--would be happy...but for some reason they continue to do different things...when I first heard the romping acoustic intro to this album I was a little iffy but this band really has done it again)
4. Portishead - Third
(somewhere in between krautrock band Can, Bjork, and Radiohead lays this beautiful, catchy, grooving, and above all unique record...I'm now a Portishead fan)
5. Mouth of the Architect - Quietly
(not quite as great as The Ties That Blind, a little more simple, but this band continues to make epic, heavy music that is not contrived as so many slow, heavy, epic bands are nowadays...do yourself a favor and check this band out)
6. Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward
(it's truly a testament to this band's talent that this album really isn't that good by their standards...Choirs of the Eye is so ridiculously brilliant that you can only call this a shadow of that record...even then it's absolutely brilliant and this band is still one of the creative forces in underground music today even after losing and gaining so many members)
7. Meshuggah - ObZen
(this band sure has come a long way from the slow, crushing, off-time brutality of it's earlier work...this is a masterpiece of timing, precision, and ingenuity in the realm of metal)
8. Cult of Luna - Eternal Kingdom
(pretty much the same deal as Mouth of the Architect except that I think this might be my favorite album this band has done yet)
9. Flight of the Conchords - Flight of the Conchords
(it may have lost a few slots because I didn't particularly care for what they did with some of the songs--although rerecording songs is always hard to do without overdoing them cuz you want to make them different but the songs from the show were perfect--but the fact remains that not only are FOTC hilarious but they write great songs too...like Tenacious D but funnier and with better tunes--and I fuckin LOVE the D)
10. Gregor Samsa - Rest
(the most underrated band doing instrumental music right now and maybe the best until GY!BE come out of hiding)

same time next year

I'm sure I'll probably post at least one more entry this week so stay tuned

Blog Flux Local - Florida

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

OLD SCHOOL: Against Me! Live at The Alley in 2003

this is a "review" I posted in my livejournal (one of my first ever lj posts) of the Against Me! show that will forever go down in Miami punk rock history...pretty much everyone I know or knew that was at that show will get a weird, glazed look in their eyes when you ask them about this show as they slip away and get lost in a better time (for DIY music in Miami and definitely for Against Me!)...it's not exactly a great review as I wrote it when I was 17 and a few things in it probably won't make sense to anyone but it's ridiculously exhuberant, substantially embarrassing, somewhat interesting, and kinda fun to read so I figured I'd share...



The first band to play was Stop This Fall, hardcore punk with Pointless singer Johnny. They're a good band, Bane-type stuff but with screaming. They have good energy and some good songs, but nothing to cream your pants over (or get hard nipples over...not to mention any names)

Next up was the band formerly known as Lockjaw in the Locust Valley, who had Andres from Eat Shit on vocals and were replacing that same band on the bill. GREAT grindy metalcore kind of like Adore Miridia but different. Lots of energy, very intense set.

I didn't stay in for Never In Red but they're basically Glassjaw with pop punk parts and mosh breakdowns. A decent band for what they do. They also put on a great show. But from what i heard their set on this night was lacking. Oh well.

After them was Modern Day '84, Grimm's punk band. I didn't expect much of these guys but they turned out to be quite awesome. Good street-ish punk/ska stuff. Grimm dedicated a song to the fordapunx message board which was quite cool. We all humped him after the set.

Then came Revolver. DAMN! These guys are doing something really unique and special in the scene right now. This is beautiful music people. It's like Melodic Rockish Indie Pop with an almost Lounge-like touch. WOW they were excellent. Much respect to Adolfo for putting together such a great band with great musicianship and songwriting skills. The lead guitarist had some gorgeous solos too...not ripping solos but nice, real, soulful solos a la Carlos Santana. GREAT SET!

After them, Pygmy played by MATT's decision, not because they absolutely refused to play. They were hardly being assholes about it so let the rumors end now. They only played for about 20 minutes but in that time they ripped it up in usual Pygmy fashion. Blah blah Pygmy is sheer brilliance, blah, they're the best band in the scene right now, blah, you've heard it all before...tonight was no different.

and then...

AGAINST FUCKING ME!!! Wow, from the opening lines of "Those Anarcho Punx are Mysterious" to the AMAZING anthemic choruses of "Walking is Still Honest" and "Pints of Guiness Make You Strong", these guys were just INCREDIBLE. They played some new songs--one from the new EP and two TOTALLY NEW unreleased songs...all of which were SUPERB--and they blasted through a lot of great songs off Reinventing Axl Rose. The most amazing part of the entire show--and maybe even all the shows i've been to--was the end of Against Me's set. I had been creaming myself for months imagining them closing with "We Laugh at Danger (and Break All the Rules)"...so Against Me is wrapping up their amazing set and they say "this is our last song" and after a few moments of anticipation i flip my lid as Tom announces the final song as:

"WE LAUGH AT DANGER (AND BREAK ALL THE FUCKING RULES)"

as soon as the singing part kicked in, myself and a few others (Matt included) launched ourselves onto the stage and sang along. But then when the chorus hit...WHAM! The stage was fucking RUSHED. It was a sight to see. Kids were on the stage dancing with each other, singing to each other and just having so much fun. We even got the whole crowd clapping along to the little breakdown chorus and then we all let out the loudest WOOOOOO! we could muster as we brought the song to its crashing close. We all thought it was over then. Even as shouts of "BABY, I'M AN ANARCHIST" peppered the venue, people were beginning to file out...when suddenly...the motherfuckers BUSTED RIGHT INTO FUCKING "BABY, I'M AN ANARCHIST!!!!" What an AMAZINGLY PERFECT moment that was. Everyone was just on stage singing along in a circle around the band and it was so beautiful that it made me want to cry. What an ending to an amazing show. Matt, Mambo, TONS of props for putting this shit together, we love you!

Blog Flux Local - Florida

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Introduction/Thrice

A friend of mine told me that I "of all people should start a music blog." I thought she might be onto something, so here we are. I'm not exactly sure what this is going to be yet...probably mostly random record reviews, random musings and crap that's on my mind, maybe old concert reviews or whatever else I can dig up...the possibilities are endless really

I think it only fitting to make my first entry about Thrice, a band I've been obsessing over for a few months. "Obsessing? Isn't that a little bit of a strong word." On my last.fm page (this essentially pointless website that catalogues the statistics of what you've been listening to on whatever media player you have it synced up with...one feature of which is creating lists of the top songs and artists you've listened to in the last: 7 days, month, 3 months, 6 months, and year...really that's kind of the only feature...ANYWAY...) in the last 3 months, Thrice is the most played artist with 969 plays...second place is System of a Down with 88...

What really gets me about Thrice is their sense of dramatic structure in their songs. It's clear just from listening to their songs (specifically on the last three albums) that they know exactly where to go with a song and when. They have some of the most dizzying build-ups and most powerful, emotional, melodic releases. Some bands noticeably approach their songs in a very cinematic way and are able to take you on a journey where you can almost form the story in your mind as you listen to the song. The two best bands alive at doing this, in my opinion, are Tool and Thrice.



Vheissu has already cracked my all time top 25 but with their new opus "The Alchemy Index" they really pushed the envelope of what they're capable of. "The Alchemy Index" is a collection of four volumes, in EP form, each of which is "sonically and thematically" centered around one of the four natural elements (Volume I is Fire, Volume II is Water, Volume III is Air, and Volume IV is Earth). To top it all off, the 6th and final track of each volume comes in the form of a sonnet written from the point of view of the corresponding element (they are, however, songs, not readings, with the lyrics being in sonnet form...also the ending couplet of every sonnet is sung in the same melody and progression just in a different key each time). I hope you're beginning to see why I'm so obsessed with this band. Others probably think this is way too complicated and this band is a bunch of art fags. YOU all can kindly leave and never return. :)

One of the coolest things about "The Alchemy Index", to me, is the sonic aspect of the elements concept. The "Fire" disc is full of incendiary, raging, fiery material with plenty of corresponding imagery ("Firebreather", "Burn the Fleet", "The Flame Deluge", etc.). The "Water" is deep, dreamy, watery with songs like "Digital Sea" and "Open Water" (bookended by a dazzling sonnet about minding the power of the sea). "Air" is one of my favorite as it features an opening song ("Broken Lungs") essentially arguing in favor of 9/11 conspiracy theories ("are we fools and cowards all to let them cover up their lies? because we all watched the buildings fall...") with a breakdown so powerful that the first time I heard it my jaw literally dropped. It also features one of my favorite Thrice songs ever, "Daedalus" which is thematically wrapped around the story of Daedalus, Icarus's father, and is a strikingly beautiful metaphor for fatherhood ("oh son, please keep a steady wing, you know you're the only one that means anything to me...").

But nowhere does the elements concept shine through better sonically than on "Earth", the final volume. In a startling turn of Radiohead-like proportions, Volume IV of "The Alchemy Index" is a collection of old-timey, folky, beautifully earthy tunes with titles like "Moving Mountains" and "Digging My Own Grave" that sound like they're straight out of a John Steinbeck novel. There's even a brilliant, grooving cover of a Frodus song called "The Earth Isn't Humming." The last two songs really steal the show though. "Come All You Weary" is a powerful and uplifting song that reflects Dustin Kensrue's feeling about his music--in that he's said in interviews that he wants his music to help people and when he's in a dark place he likes to write about the light and lift himself out of the dark and hopefully be able to do that for other people too--with almost biblical imagery ("I've got a couple of loaves, sit down at my feet. Lend me your ears and we'll break bread and eat."). Then is the final sonnet of the opus, "Child of Dust", written from the point of view of the Earth. This has to be one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever heard. I remember the first time I really listened to the song while reading the lyrics, when I heard the line "And though I only ever gave you love/Like every child you've chosen to rebel" I almost cried. Seriously.

Don't even get me started on their older material, which I'm only recently (the last few weeks) starting to get obsessed with. Not so much "The Illusion of Safety", which is decent, but "The Artist In the Ambulance" has some seriously catchy, fun, heavy songs (the title track is one of the catchiest songs I've ever heard). But anyway, I should wrap this up. Do yourself a favor and go buy Vheissu...if nothing else you need to hear this album at least once. Tracks 5-8 are one of the most unbelievable four song stretches I've ever heard. Also make sure you read their lyrics too because some of them are just beautiful.



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