All photos by Sophia Zucker
Oh man, oh man, oh man. It’s that time of year again. We caught the Holmdel, NJ date of the 2016 Vans Warped Tour and had the good fortune of watching, photographing, and moshing to bands like Every Time I Die, Old Wounds, Capsize, Ice Nine Kills and more! Check out some of our shots from that hot, hot day and see you punks again next year!
Vanna have just premiered the music video for their new song “Pretty Grim” off the upcoming album All Hell, to be released via Pure Noise Records July 8th. The video follows a young man dressed to the nines in all black who turns out to be Death himself. The video definitely adheres to the name of the song, as yours truly Davey Muise appears to be on Death’s list by the end. Check out the video, pre-order the record, and be sure to catch Vanna on Warped Tour this summer!
The Vans Warped Tour unveiled the whole of their 2016 lineup yesterday, along with an announcement for 2017. Bands like Atreyu, Ice Nine Kills, Cane Hill, Sum 41, Every Time I Die and Vanna amongst many others were announced for this year’s Warped Tour, but probably the most uplifting piece of news was that The Ghost Inside was officially announced as the first band on the 2017 Warped Tour lineup. This will mark the band’s first confirmed live performance since a terrible bus wreck left them intensely hurt several months ago.
American hardcore is more popular than ever. While it may be long past the glory days of Black Flag and Minor Threat, contemporary bands like Terror, Defeater and Capsize are still dominating the underground world with their hard hitting riffs and bellowing lyrics. The latest group to leave their message on the hearts of their fans is Hundredth, whose latest full length, Free, is guaranteed to become a staple of the modern hardcore sound.
From the more traditional vibe of “Isolation” featuring Vogel-esque vocals and a Flash Point worthy drumming speed to the simplistic lyrical metaphors (“You were pulling me/Just to watch me unravel”) featured in “Unravel,” Free encompasses a range of sophistication throughout the entire record.
There’s a strong sense of intention rooted in all of the lyrics vocalized on Free. Lines like “He is the needle/I am the damage done” on “Burdens” and “I won’t allow/I don’t need validation to define me/I justify manipulation” in “See Beyond” prove that attention to detail and a verbose nature really can be successfully utilized in music today without feeling overworked or cluttered.
Free is not only a great record for its witty use of words, but also for its intense melodies and riffs. Banking on tempos to create an emotional ambiance, Hundredth is able to capture feelings of frustration (“Reach”), anger (“Break Free”), and even notions of inner and outer criticism with tracks like “Beggar.” Hundredth continuously places focus on the contradictions of slowed down riffs over deep, sped up vocals, making the intensities effortlessly meld with the various emotions lyrically put forth.
Hundredth created a very complex album in just 11 tracks and they did so by maintaining the basic elements of modern day hardcore but embellishing them in new ways to convey more concise, contemporary ideas. This kind of thinking and musical foresight is most likely why the group landed themselves a spot on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour and are still able to uphold a truly intimate club vibe while dominating a world famous outdoor music festival. And hopefully, all of the records to come from Hundredth in the near future are able to do the same.
A lot of bands fall into the easy trap of spitting out the same brand of metalcore that’s been heard a hundred times so long as they’ve got the leather jackets to back up their image. While Evacuate The City definitely hold true to the standard metalcore sound, their EP The Catastrophe switches it up with intriguing and fresh new elements. Tried and true chord progressions are sliced through with exciting embellishments on the guitar. Jonny Craig-esque melodies and killer uncleans mix with MIW-like keyboards and dubstep-inspired synth tones. And this all mixes together in a way that somehow manages to not only be coherent, but damn fun. Evacuate The City can hold their own and then some, even making it onto the Orlando, FL date of the 2015 Vans Warped Tour. And it looks like they’re just getting started.
Check out Evacuate The City’s music video for “Recollection” and stream The Catastrophe EP below. If you like what you hear, make sure to pick it up on the band’s bandcamp.
On June 19th, Yahoo! Screen streamed the first date of Vans Warped Tour 2015 on its Live Nation Channel from the Fairplex in Pomona, CA. The live stream kicks off a hugely important festival for the “underground,” but it also kicks off an important question: Do live concert streaming and hard rock shows really belong together?
We’re all used to seeing live performances on TV by now. Come the Super Bowl, the halftime show is all that matters for many viewers. We watch televised performances from the likes of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, The Oscars, and nightly programs like Jimmy Kimmel Live and Conan. While broadcasted musical events have become commonplace, live concert streaming takes the concept to a next level and thus raises next level questions. When a -core band’s show inside a local venue becomes easily viewable from remote locations, is it just cool or does it take something away? When you can watch Stick To Your Guns play a set from your laptop in bed with some hot cocoa, for example, it inarguably changes the experience. But is it for the better?
Vans Warped Tour and Stick To Your Guns aren’t the only examples of streamed shows, of course, and Yahoo! isn’t the only platform for this market. (Others include IROCKE and ConcertTV & Concert Window, for instance). Various acts from genres all across the board have dabbled in the new digital music phenomenon. Bands like The Ghost Inside, Falling In Reverse, Chelsea Grin, August Burns Red, and Bayside have live streamed their shows via Yahoo!, as have acts like Stone Temple Pilots, Infected Mushroom and Meghan Trainor. On one hand, you might note how fair the platform is to music of all types. Heavy bands aren’t usually deemed noteworthy enough to appear side-by-side with ultra-famous pop singers or widely-known psychedelic trance groups. Alternatively, though it may be nice to see your favorite bands emerge from the more shadowy corners of the music world, there is something about watching their performances from a computer screen that can justifiably raise an eyebrow or two.
I’ll admit, the first time I heard about live concert streaming, I thought it was pretty freakin’ awesome. “No way!” was followed by “I’ve gotta try that!” was followed by “I’m totally living in the future right now!” I actually tuned in to a couple of shows to see what it was like or to see how the bands actually performed live. Each time, I stared at my computer screen allowing that exact same train of thought to pass through my brain…for about 60 seconds. Then I got over it.
Then I started thinking, That’s cool. I’m sure the people who are actually there right now are having fun. Because although being able to watch a live show from your couch is admittedly a neat trick, the initial magic wears off rather quickly. Sure, with pop acts and more mainstream sounds it’s probably a bit different. After all, watching Super Bowl Halftime shows is always fun. But pop, hip-hop, and stadium rock acts are what the doorman of Oz would call a horse of a different color as compared to a hardcore outfit. Those streamline genres are more tailored to broadcast performances. For the most part, vocals are really most of what’s going on in a pop act, and the audio engineers are well-adjusted to those kinds of smooth vocals. But introduce some screaming and growling into the mic, some double bass pedals alongside intense cymbal work, and some crunchy guitars and most live music coming from your home speakers sounds crappy. Even though the actual live show at the venue could be insane, a live hardcore band will never sound as good over your internet connection as it will in person. As it always has with this kind of music, it comes down to the live show, and the thing about live shows is you should probably be there when they happen.
Half of hardcore is the live performance. The recorded tracks are what get you interested perhaps, and they’re definitely what keep you going, but the live show is what it’s all about: being between a certain set of a walls with a certain set of people playing your favorite set of tunes. You go to your favorite venue with familiar graffiti impetuously scribbled on the walls. You stand in a crowd of 50, 100, 500 people wearing shirts of bands you’ll be seeing next month or whose CD you have laying around your car. You get pushed around, jump up and down, thrown front to back, toppled, drowned in the sweat of strangers, get a beer spilled on you, and get close enough to the band that the spit as their screaming flies past your eyelids. To use precise terms, there’s a vibe, an energy you get from the sense of community and from the charisma of the musicians striking chords you’ve heard alone in your room a thousand times. You go to a show to not be alone in your room anymore. You go to a hardcore show because there’s nothing like being at a hardcore show.
True, live streaming can allow you to virtually attend a show you otherwise might not have been able to attend. Boiler Room streams music events from all around the world, making it possible for someone who lives in New York City to “attend” a concert in London. Live streaming also may introduce you to new bands before you decide you want to spend your money on a ticket. However, you don’t get an accurate depiction of what the band in question is actually like because you’re not physically in the space, and you could end up hating a band you might have otherwise loved.
Am I standing atop a hill with a torch in one hand and a mace in the other shouting, “Down with the internet!”? No. Is live concert streaming a terrible development in technology? By no means. However, does it make sense for genres that have historically and culturally found a home in dingy basements and mosh pits? Not in my book.
It’s been three years since San Diego natives Pierce The Veil released their monumental album, Collide With The Sky. Fans have been waiting eagerly for the post-hardcore band’s fourth album to drop ever since–an album that was supposed to be ready to go come spring 2015. After months of pushing back deadlines, PTV have released their first new single, “The Divine Zero,” via Fearless Records.
After a successful last album, finding ways to make exciting new material can be difficult. (Perhaps this is why fans have been kept waiting.) That in mind, “The Divine Zero” does have a lot in common with the sound of the band’s previous record. What elevates the track, however, are the dark and exhilarating bridges; the first at the 2-minute mark and the second that fades into the outro. It’s the trademark pop-infused post-hardcore we’re used to with a slightly more menacing flare.
Miss May I have released a single from their upcoming LP Deathless, and it certainly packs a punch. The new song entitled “I.H.E.” starts off strong and intense with biting screams and edgy riffs. After listening to “I.H.E.”, it seems as though the Ohio metalcore band have returned to their heavier roots. The vocals, both clean and screaming, are raw and ruthless. About two and a half minutes in, a quick but satisfying guitar solo brings us back to the chorus, chanting “I hate everything, I hate everyone” and closing the song on a powerful note.
Singer Levi Benton’s words about the upcoming LP gives fans of the band something to be excited about. In a recent interview with AP, Benton said the following about Deathless:
“This record is about how the last two years have tested us on many levels and how we have come through it all stronger and better. That’s where the title comes from, because we are deathless.”
Deathless is currently available for pre-order on iTunes and will be released on August 7th. You can also catch Miss May I on Warped Tour this summer. Stream the song below and let us know what you think in the comments.
by Kelly Fay
Deathless Track Listing:
01. I H.E
02. Trust My Heart (Never Hope To Die)
03. Psychotic Romantic
05. Bastards Left Behind
07. Turn Back The Time
08. Empty Promises
09. The Artificial
10. Born From Nothing
Metalcore titans Blessthefall have just announced the title and the date of release for their fifth full-length record. The album, To Those Left Behind, will be available via Fearless Records on September 18th. The band will also be playing the Vans Warped Tour main stage this summer, as they ride the success of their last album, Hollow Bodies, which came in at No. 1 on the Hard Rock Charts and No. 15 on Billboard’s Top 200.
No new singles have been released as of yet, but while you count down the seconds, remind yourself of what chart-topping Blessthefall sounds like with the title track of their last record.