Day 16: Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers – So Many Musicians to Kill

Day 16: Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers – So Many Musicians to Kill

Tracklist

  1. Failures
  2. Bad Mistakes
  3. Funny Little Feeling
  4. Leave This Place
  5. Gunz Out
  6. Money Well Spent
  7. Flag Song
  8. Hills
  9. High School Made Me Crazy
  10. Mud and Waste
  11. Behind Closed Doors
  12. Loose Arm Shake
  13. High And Low
  14. Waiting for One
  15. Anthem

About the Album

So Many Musicians to Kill is the debut album of hard, roughnecking, garage rockers, Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers. The album was released in 2006 and featuring songs “Funny Little Feeling”, “Flag Song”, and “Anthem”

About the tracklist

The songs “Gunz Out” “Funny Little Feeling,” “Flag Song”, and “Anthem” stick out the most. These are gems of the album. Not saying that the rest of the album is bad, it’s good, but these songs are the best of the best. I will say that “Gunz Out” is probably the best they’ve done so far, and along with “Flag Song” they really know how to craft a solid rock anthem.

Thoughts the Album

The album is definitely a rare one that’s for sure. The songs are catchy, but not so catchy where you’ll go “alright, I’m done.” The songs are relative short, quick, fast paced, will make you raise you fist in the air… majority of them under 3 minutes in length. The four longest songs are “Leave This Place” (3:56), “Hills” (3:23), “High and Low” (3:32), and “Waiting For One” (3:54). “Funny Little Feeling”, “Flag Song”, and the ironically titled “Anthem” are bonafide rock anthems. While lyrically, this album is nothing special, the sound makes up for it. It’s loud, in-your-face, fast pace, hard, edgy, full of sarcasm, sneer, and snark.

Conclusion

While this band never was to begin with, this album is good. Need something to pump you up? Want something to clap along to or rock out to? Listen to this. Good luck finding a copy though!

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Artist of the Day: Franz Ferdinand

In case you didn’t see today’s album, click this link. Today’s artist of the day comes to us from sunny Glasgow, Scotland. It is the ever catchy, alternative rockers, Franz Ferdinand.

The band was formed in 2002 and is composed of  Alex Kapranos (lead vocals and guitar), Bob Hardy (bass guitar), Nick McCarthy (rhythm guitar, keyboards and backing vocals), and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals).

The band’s name is in fact inspired by that of assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. It is also alliterative, for which Hardy has been quoted as saying, “Mainly we just liked the way it sounded.” “We liked the alliteration.” “He was an incredible figure as well,” Kapranos has been quoted as saying. Kapranos also said “His life, or at least the ending of it, was the catalyst for the complete transformation of the world and that is what we want our music to be. But I don’t want to over-intellectualize the name thing. Basically a name should just sound good … like music.”

The song “Take Me Out” on Franz Ferdinand, is allegorical to the assassination, not someone asking someone out.

The band has released three albums. Their self-titled debut, Franz Ferdinand was released in 2004. Their second album, You Could Have It So Much Better was released in 2005. And their third album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, was released in 2009.

Their sound can best be described as dance-rock, alternative rock. Their songs are catchy, designed to get you clapping your hands or dancing. They are a fun band to listen to.

 

Day 15: Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

Day 15: Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

Tracklist

  1. Jacqueline
  2. Tell Her Tonight
  3. Take Me Out
  4. Dark Side of the Matinée
  5. Auf Achse
  6. Cheating On You
  7. This Fire
  8. Darts of Pleasure
  9. Michael
  10. Come On Home
  11. 40′

About the Album

Franz Ferdinand is the self-titled debut album of Glasgow native band, Franz Ferdinand. The album was release in 2004. The album received universal acclaim from music critics worldwide.

Thoughts on the tracklist

The album opens with “Jacqueline.” The song opens softly with a light guitar and the vocals of the lead singer. The beat kicks in and soon begins a brilliant fast-paced rocker with a definite retro theme. Following this is the excellent “Tell Her Tonight.” With David Bowie-like vocals, the band sing about a girl who must be informed of something – the ‘something’ is rather ambiguous, however, making you think what it could be in the verses.

The band’s debut single is up next, “Take Me Out”. The song opens loudly and the beat soon kicks in, only to slow down steadily until anthemic bass line kicks in around the 0:50-0:55 mark. This is by far the greatest and probably most awesome hand-clapper of a song that I have ever heard. The lyrics are bright and vibrant, as are the vocals and the entire composition – absolute masterpiece!

“The Dark Of The Matinée” is up next and was the second single to be taken from the album. In this song, the band sing of meeting a girl in the matinée. It’s very old fashioned in style, but the music is relative to the time and fresh. It also captures romantic escapism via dazzling wordplay.

The next song is “Auf Achse” which is a great song with a brilliant one-minute musical intro, before the singing starts. The song sings of wanting a girl bad style, but not being able to have her. It’s a good song… not great… just an awkward fit.

“Cheating On You” begins like some 60’s-psychedelia song that sounds like it is coming straight out of a ’60s cult spy film. The lyrics are once again repetitive, but then again, when you can nod your head or clap your hands or dance to the beat, who cares, right?

“This Fire” and “Darts of Pleasure” follow. “This Fire” is a smoldering and burning song containing Hypnotic lyrics give way to a pounding, vibrant song that burns right into you….crack out the water hydrants…. While both are lyrically repetitive in each song respectively, they still maintain Franz Ferdinand’s style of sound. I will say this about “Darts of Pleasure,” is again another storming track, that packs in a lot of high energy and thumping bassline, that feels like it has its tongue firmly in its cheeks with its random German chorus of “Ich heisse superfantastiche!”

“Michael”: This song took a while to grow on me, but now I really like it. It has some crazy guitar work, and all in all is a very, well, frenetic song. The lyrics are hilarious, yet can be considered crude and offensive to some.

Thoughts on the album

Another one of my favorites from the mid-2000s. What I love about Franz Ferdinand, is that there are no filler songs. There are no songs that are there just to take up minutes. Every song fits their style and album. I love the cleverness that is smash hit “Take Me Out”. You would think it’s about someone asking someone out, right? NOPE. Wrong. The material of the songs usually fit relationships or dance type themes. HOWEVER, everyone should know that the assassination of Franz Ferdinand started World War I and “Take Me Out” is a song covering that subject rather than the assumed asking someone out.

Conclusion

The fact that there is a song that makes a reference to a historical event is a plus in my book. Every song had me jumping and dance. Each song is catchy and as a unique kind of pseudo-disco-funk-rock that only a bunch of Scotsmen could create.

Day 14: Foo Fighters – In Your Honor

Day 14: Foo Fighters – In Your Honor

Tracklist

(Disc 1)

  1. In Your Honor
  2. No Way Back
  3. Best of You
  4. DOA
  5. Hell
  6. The Last Song
  7. Free Me
  8. Resolve
  9. The Deepest Blues Are Black
  10. End Over End

(Disc 2)

  1. Still
  2. What If I Do
  3. Miracle
  4. Another Round
  5. Friend of a Friend
  6. Over and Out
  7. On the Mend
  8. Virginia Moon
  9. Cold Day in the Sun
  10. Razor

About the Album

In Your Honor, is the fifth studio album by the Foo Fighters released in 2005 through RCA Records. It is a two disc or double album… disc one features heavier sounding rock while disc two features mellower acoustic songs.

About the Tracklist

(Disc One only)

The songs on disc one features everything most people have come to love about the Foo Fighters. The titled track, opens with a thunderous, earsplitting guitar note and adds more sound—including Grohl’s shouty vocals—before letting pounding drums push it to a sweaty climax. This is a great introductory song, it starts off distant and epic, before getting closer and breaking free with a crazy chorus. The lyrics are profound and seem to build up towards something: the rest of this mammoth album.

The song that follows, “No Way Back” rides a monster riff and a bullying beat through words and music that would probably sound paltry had any other band tried playing the song. It has a very funky guitar solo and the rip will really stick in your head! The lyrics are pretty cool, and the way they are composed is very catchy.

“Best Of You” is possibly the heaviest most melodic thing the band has ever done period. It is a very powerful piece of rock, both sonically and emotionally. Grohl’s vocals are brilliant, staying par for the course, and the chorus is so catchy, the verses almost idyllic.

“DOA” was the second single from the album, and is another really brilliant song. The verses are very catchy and the guitars are hyper. The drum work in this song impresses me in particular.

“Hell” is a short song that is followed by the superb “The Last Song.” This song is superb, and the way the vocals mold brilliantly around Grohl’s voice at the start is always a delight. The drum work is very prominent too.

“Free Me” is one of the more crazier songs on the album. The guitar work in this song’s chorus is absolutely crazy. I believe guitar lovers with come to adore it. Grohl’s vocals are also incredibly powerful in the middle of the song.

“Resolve” sounds more like old Foo Fighters, with a heavier sound and some brilliant guitar work. The lyrics are pretty cool too. “The Deepest Blues Are Black” is another good song. “End Over End” is pretty much the same as the last song. It’s not a brilliant song, but it’s not a bad one either. I also think this song is too long, at just under six minutes in length. The first disc closes with “The Sign.” This is thankfully a better song, and the guitar work is so evocative in the verses. I find this a very powerful song, quite Nirvana-ish yet still unique.

Thoughts on the album

The Foo Fighters rank up there on the list of my favorite bands. Top 10 easily. In Your Honor, reinforces that. The second disc at first, with it’s mellower acoustic songs, really didn’t appeal to be me much. But after a few listens a few of the songs grew on me. While not quite my favorite Foo album (if you are wondering: The Colour and The Shape) it’s definitely top three. This album has everything a music lover needs: hard, arena rocking, Roy Halladay style face-breaking songs and mellower acoustics songs that calm the mind.

Conclusion

One of the best of 2005. A must own… not just for any Foo Fighters fan, but any music lover. While the first disc definitely overpowers the second and does detract overall, you will be pleasantly surprised by this album. Enjoy it!

Artist of the Day: Foo Fighters

Two weeks into this project, I am just now posting about the Foo Fighters.

The Foo Fighters are a Seattle based rock band, founded by former Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl. The band has released seven albums, four of which have won 11 Grammy awards.

The Foo Fighters have a unique sound that shifts between quiet verses and loud choruses. They are one of the few bands who accomplish this well.

So their first album, Foo Fighters was released was released in 1995, featuring hit songs “This Is A Call” and “Big Me”. Their second album, The Colour And The Shape was released in 1997, featuring smash hits, “Monkey Wrench,” “My Hero,” and “Everlong”.

The Foot Fighters’ third album, There is Nothing Left to Lose was released in 1999, featuring hit single “Learn to Fly”. Their fourth album, One by One was released in 2002, featuring concert stable, “All My Life” and “Times Like These”. Their fifth album, In Your Honor was released in 2005, which coincidentally was an excellent year for albums. In Your Honor, features hits “Best of You”, “No Way Back” and “DOA”.

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, the band’s sixth studio album was released in 2007, featuring singles “The Pretender” and “Long Road to Ruin”. Wasting Light is the band’s seventh studio album released in 2011 featuring “Rope” and “Walk”.

Day 13: Coldplay – X&Y

Day 13: Coldplay X&Y

Tracklist

  1. Square One – 4:47
  2. What If – 4:57
  3. White Shadows – 5:28
  4. Fix You – 4:54
  5. Talk – 5:11
  6. X&Y – 4:34
  7. Speed of Sound – 4:48
  8. A Message – 4:45
  9. Low – 5:32
  10. The Hardest Part – 4:35
  11. Swallowed in the Sea – 3:58
  12.  Twisted Logic – 5:01
  13. Til Kingdom Come* -4:10
*hidden track

About the Album

X&Y is the third studio album following their smash hit, A Rush of Blood to the Head. Recorded in 2004 through to 2005, it was released in June of 2005 through British record company, Parlophone. The album experienced significant commercial success, charting in many different countries and reaching number one in many as well. The album sold over 8 million units alone in 2005… it is considered 2005’s best selling album… selling over 13 million units worldwide.

Thoughts on the tracklist

First off, if you are looking for songs that will pump you up and get you ready to rock or take the bull by the horns… these songs aren’t it. Although for some, they could be.

The opening song, “Square One” it is apparent that the record is a little more sonically dense than the band’s previous efforts. “Square One”  picks up where ‘Politik’ left off, in my opinion. It starts quietly before Chris chimes in with that broken glass voice, now as identifiable as any in music, and Johnny Buckland works through The Edge’s collection of effects pedals. The song; about cracking puzzles and codes, solving riddles which is seemingly a recurring Coldplay obsession.

“What if” is a gentle, pulsing big ballad. This song, could be easily read as a simple message to his wife. It’s also not a stretch to see it as a message to fans. Martin, ever the pessimist, is very unsure if he pushed things too far, if Coldplay had been front and center for too long, and if he might lose the muse and never write another word or note of
worth.

When “Fix You” kicks in on track four, it’s an old-fashioned hair on the neck moment. It’s a wonderful song that shifts from simple stark piano and voice to a ringing, clattering burst of intent and a form of proto-progressive four-part harmony. It has become a massive live track.

“Speed of Sound” is built around a piano riff, the song builds into a huge, synthesizer-heavy chorus. It is a song that has a piano riff as memorable as the one in “Clocks,” ringing guitars, martial drums, orchestral pomp and, in the center, Chris Martin’s keening vocal, so vulnerable and yet forceful enough to stand out from the mass of sonic detail.

Thoughts on the Album

I love this album. It was one of the best from 2005 that had releases from the Foo Fighters (In Your Honor), Weezer (Make Believe), Franz Ferdinand (You Could Have It So Much Better), Bon Jovi (Have a Nice Day), and many more. This album is confident, bold, ambitious, bunged with singles and impossible to contain, X&Y doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it does reinforce Coldplay as the band of their time. Like on previous albums Parachutes and Rush of Blood, all the songs on X&Y are ruminations on Martin’s doubts, fears, hopes, and loves. Martin’s words are earnest and vague, so listeners can identify with the underlying themes in the songs. And with his plain, every-man voice, sighing as sweet as a schoolboy, is unthreatening and unassuming, so it’s all the easier for listeners to project their own emotions into the song.

Conclusion

This album, to me, is one of the best albums from the past decade. It is a good album to listen to, to decompress and relax. As with most albums, it is not without flaws. But X&Y, is the perfect follow up album to A Rush of Blood to the Head.

Artist of the Day: Coldplay

Day 13’s artist of the day, is British alternative rock band, Coldplay. Coldplay is a four-piece band lead by singer Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion.

The band was formed 1996.

Coldplay, released their first album, Parachutes in 2000 through U.K. record label, Parlophone. In 2002, the band released their second album, A Rush of Blood to the HeadA Rush of Blood to the Head is considered to be Coldplay’s best album. It is a very strong album.

Three years later, the band released their third album, X&Y. This album would become the best selling album of the year in 2005. In 2008, they released Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, which earned several Grammy nominations and wins at the Grammy Awards that year.

In 2011, their fifth album, Mylo Xyloto was released. The album is a concept album of sorts… a thematic rock-opera.

The band’s sound is different from bands of the genre. Most alternative rock bands have an edge to their sound… a hard edge to them. Coldplay is different. They are calmer, more… meditative if you could call them that.

Albums

  1. Parachutes
  2. A Rush of Blood to the Head
  3. X&Y
  4. Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
  5. Mylo Xyloto