Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stone Sour

Because I've already mentioned multiple self-titled albums on this blog, I figured I might as well throw another one into the mix.

Album: Stone Sour
Artist: Stone Sour

The comedic principle of proposing yet another self-titled album wasn't the only reason behind today's suggestion. Also prompting it is the simple fact that this album is quite phenomenal. I know I've been leaning heavily on these guys for what now amounts to a handful of posts this past month, but despite the notoriety of singer Corey Taylor, Stone Sour still remains as one of the best bands you've never heard of.

Since this was Stone Sour's first real release, some of the tracks remain true to a heavier style more reflective of two of the members' former affiliate Slipknot. However, that's not always the case, as some songs employ a softer style that showcases their flexibility and immense talent. Overall, it's a hard rock record that is worthy of a faithful listen.

Some standout tracks include;
• Bother
• Omega (spoken word)
• Idle Hands
• Cold Reader
• Inhale
• Monolith
• Orchids
• Choose

I know it looks like I just referred to practically every song on the album as a standout, but the album actually contains 18 songs if you count bonus releases. And as I previously proved with "Freeze Dry Seal," you can never discount a track just because it was relegated to bonus status.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Rain

Even though where I hail from, we have a forecast of snow, not rain, in the near future, I felt that this video would be appropriate to suggest this month for obvious reasons.

Song: November Rain
Artist: Guns N' Roses

All too often, it seems like people only know Guns N' Roses for "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "Welcome to the Jungle". However, this song is a gem that cannot be overlooked. Clocking in just shy of 9 minutes, this track is the power-ballad of rock. Complete with three guitar solos and one of Axl Rose's best vocal performances, this is not a song for any real fan of rock to say they've never heard.

The video itself is also very emotional, and adds to the overall experience of "November Rain". I can't say too much about it, except that words would not do its glory justice. Sure, it's somewhat lengthy, but every minute is well worth it, trust me. In fact, near the end, Slash has a rather epic solo on the piano that you simply cannot miss. If all I've said is not incentive enough to watch the video, I honestly don't know what is.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Freeze Dry Seal

As with most of the other song suggestions I give, this one is something I just discovered under thirty minutes ago and have already absolutely fallen in love with.

Song: Freeze Dry Seal
Artist: Stone Sour

A bonus track off of Come What(ever) May, it's a song that often gets overlooked by many when exploring Stone Sour's somewhat extensive discography. However, it's far from deserving of that disregarded status.

The lyrics during the chorus convey the message that there's more than meets the eye to people, and just because someone exhibits a certain behavior doesn't mean that's the complete truth. It's pretty powerful, helped along by Taylor's voice and the chord progression put on show by the guitarists. Oh, and it's only 2 minutes and 44 seconds long.

As far as the title goes, I'm not entirely sure why it's called what it is. However, there's more than meets the eye to any song, especially anything Corey Taylor is involved with, so just because it has an awkward title it doesn't mean it's not an amazing song.

If you take this suggestion for what it's worth, come back and reread this post after your mind is blown. You just might be amused by some of the wording I chose.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No Bragging Rights

Today's suggestion is an artist that to me seems like a cross between Atreyu and A Day to Remember, and I'm pretty sure it's a blend that needed to happen.

Artist: No Bragging Rights

I'm a fan of discovering small, lesser-known bands that deserve to be recognized. I've been listening to this band for a little while now, and I must say I'm thoroughly impressed. A melodic hardcore band, they mix the catchy with the thrash-y in a style that's rather remarkable.

Having only experienced one album, I'm not the ultimate authority here. That would be you, if you decide to take this suggestion seriously. If you're looking for a new spin on some already popular styles, this is the artist to start with.

As far as "standout tracks" go, I can give you a few from the album I've been rocking out to;
• A Shot To End This All
• Ode To Logan (by the way, the "Logan" in question here is Wolverine)
• Home Away From Home

Sorry I don't have more to say about these guys, just that they are an amazing group that deserves far more attention than they've gotten.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Good Charlotte

How about another self-titled album? No witty nickname for this one; The cover is rather multicolored.

Album: Good Charlotte
Artist: Good Charlotte

Anyone who listens to Good Charlotte's more recent releases might question their inclusion on a site for the punk, rock and alternative. However, they were quite punk when they first started out, and this happens to have been their first full-length album.

This album is full of songs with teenage angst. The lyrics are very "punk" oriented, with themes revolving around doing your own thing and not needing/wanting to be accepted by society. It's a very nice blend of the faster and slower sides of the genre. Some of the songs are rather catchy, but not in that "poppy" way.

Some standout tracks include;
• Complicated
• Little Things
• I Heard You
• East Coast Anthem

Before Good Charlotte sang about love and parties, they were singing about hatred and just growing up. Naturally, they had to outgrow that stage in their lives as they got older and matured. However, this album still stands as a remarkable punk record that details some of the pains of an average teenager.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Driven Under

Although I do have mixed opinions regarding the artist of today's song suggestion, there's nothing mixed about my feelings for this amazing song.

Artist: Seether
Song: Driven Under

This song falls pretty solidly into the category of rock (not too hard to do, it is a rather big category after all) and when all is said and done, it's a pretty grooving track. One of those ones you find yourself involuntarily banging/nodding your head to, even singing along part of the time.

Shaun Morgan's voice adopts a haunting tone throughout the entirety of this track, maintained almost entirely throughout the softer and heavier parts. Towards the end, it gets a bit grungy, but then relapses into his previous style. It absolutely makes this song.

Like I said at the outset, I don't claim to be a huge fan of Seether. However, after having this song on replay for about a half-hour now, that statement is subject to change.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Say You'll Haunt Me

In case you haven't noticed, I'm into music videos that are about more than just the band performing their song. Not to say that I don't like music videos where they just perform, I just prefer it when there's more material there.

Song: Say You'll Haunt Me
Artist: Stone Sour

I find it a little hard to believe that I haven't mentioned these guys on here yet. Stone Sour has matured into one of the more prominent modern rock bands, and for good reason. Although the singer, Corey Taylor, doubles as the singer for Slipknot, his voice is purely amazing in Stone Sour's music. It's sensitive, yet sometimes very powerful, an awesome combination that compliments the outstanding rhythmical backups.

As for the song mentioned here, it's a perfect example of what Taylor can do, and why he's as famous as he is. In this typical rock-type track, the chorus is extremely catchy, and the lyrics are romantic at their base, springing off from that in a totally unique direction.

The video is confusing to say the least. It's neat to watch, but hard to follow. A lot of computer imaging technology was utilized, on top of the raw footage. I can't really explain what it's about, but I can say that it's a really cool video that does have an interesting plot (even though I'm not quite sure exactly what it is). Also, for having such a strong voice, it's pretty amusing to see just how short Corey Taylor actually is.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Misfits

I realized it had been a while since I had actually highlighted something truly punk. Today, I intend to make up for that.

Artist: The Misfits

You've probably seen at least one shirt or bag with the Misfits logo/skull emblazoned on the front of it. And that's because they're one of those bands that a lot of people have a shirt of, but don't all actually listen to them (most do, though). That being said, these guys had (and still have) a considerable cult following of sorts.

The Misfits created the genre of horror punk. For those of you unaware that such a genre existed, it's just as awesome as it seems. It's basically straight-up punk rock, but the lyrics are all macabre to varying degrees. Yeah. They went there.

Because they unfortunately had to transition to a different singer somewhere along the way, their "newer" tracks are nothing in comparison to those from their past, but they are still enjoyable to listen to.

Some standout tracks include;
• Die, Die My Darling (Metallica covered this... you should probably listen to the cover too)
• Don't Open 'Til Doomsday
• Dig Up Her Bones
• Horror Hotel
• Where Eagles Dare
• The Haunting
• London Dungeon
• Last Caress
• Astro Zombies (My Chemical Romance covered this... you should probably listen to it too)

See what I meant about the macabre theme? This is only a small sample from their large collection of the creepy and the ghoulish. Just look at a picture of them and you'll see that this genre fit them perfectly, and they exploited it for all it was worth. As one of the more prominent punk bands to roam the planet, you should probably add them to your music repertoire. And buy a shirt while you're at it. It seems to be the thing to do.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Avenged Sevenfold

When Metallica titled their 5th studio album after themselves, it was (and still is) colloquially referred to as the "Black Album", thanks to their choice in cover color. For sanity's sake, I think we should just refer to today's suggestion as the "White Album".

Album: Avenged Sevenfold
Artist: Avenged Sevenfold

Because I previously referred to this album in a fun factoid on here, I felt obligated to actually follow up on it. Well, that and I feel that anyone who calls his/herself a fan of (modern) rock better have at least heard of this masterpiece.

The "White Album" is rather short in length, featuring only ten different tracks. Yet, after you've listened to it, you'll probably think that you just listened to ten different bands. And honestly, that's not as much of a hyperbole as you want it to be.

Without describing in immense detail the specifics of each individual song, I'd like to list off some of the more "different" styles/influences/instruments/sounds featured in this album.
- orchestral backgrounds & melodies
- symphonic backgrounds & melodies
- country music
- organ solo
- vocal choir
- child vocalist(s)
- autotuned vocals
- harmonic scale
- "tribal" sounding percussion

I'll just stop there.

However, that list does omit the important fact that in addition to all of those ridiculous aspects, Avenged Sevenfold turns in a sensational rock performance, complete with outstanding drumming, amazing vocals, and some of the greatest guitar playing I've heard in a while.

Some standout tracks include;
• The entire album.

The "White Album" is not so much a record as it is an experience. Not in the sense that it's an emotional roller-coaster (that would be Nightmare) or anything like that, but instead that it's something you have to listen to in its entirety to fully appreciate it. For instance, if you listen only to "Afterlife", you might think this just another traditional rock album. Or, if you randomly select "Dear God", it would seem a country album.

The effort level put into this album is tremendous, leaving it standing head-and-shoulders above most of its counterparts. It's remarkable not just for what it contains musically, but what it represents. It was a leap off of the figurative music cliff for these guys, a huge risk to take for a band in a relatively young stage of their career. They wanted to push the envelope on what they could produce, not knowing how well it would be accepted. Plain and simple, that's a sign of a band making music for the sake of making music (not money). The fact that it turned out amazing is just a [really good] bonus.

I strongly recommend giving the "White Album" a listen, but definitely be prepared for the numerous double-takes that will occur when you stop headbanging only to find yourself caught up in a heartfelt county ballad.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Today's suggestion is a song I heard for the first time ever about 18 hours ago. I'm very disappointed that it took me this long to discover it.

Song: Downtown
Artist: Toh Kay

This is actually a cover song, originally having been done by the alternative group MU330. I've listened to both versions, and I must say, I favor this one over its successor, only partly because Toh Kay is actually the singer from Streetlight Manifesto.

This song has perhaps one of the most grooving Latin/gypsy vibes I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. I suppose there are some more common alternative facets if you look/listen hard enough. The lyrics seem to be some form of slight on the music industry, but that's not really the defining feature of this song.

The guitar is absolutely amazing. It captures that eastern European ambiance, complimented rather splendidly by the drums and vocals throughout. It's so catchy, prompting a likely outrageous number of repeated plays. All I can say is that you've been forewarned.