Year 5, Day 27: Runner Runner’s entry into Modern Rock

Year 5, Day 27: Runner Runner – Runner Runner

41yi0yi4rhl

Track List

  1. So Obvious
  2. Unstoppable
  3. Paper Cuts
  4. Heart Attack
  5. Hey Alli
  6. Life After You
  7. Falling
  8. She’s My Kinda Girl
  9. Dedicate
  10. I Can’t Wait
  11. See You Around
  12. Running Away

About the Album

Runner Runner is the self-titled debut album from pop-rock band, Runner Runner. The album was recorded during 2010 and released on February 15th, 2011 through Clear Entertainment/Capitol RecordsClear Enterainment is the record label of David Letterman. The album peaked at 185 on the Billboard 200 and peaked at number three on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. Lead single So Obvious, peaked at number 37 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart.

Thoughts on the Album

Today I figured, “hey… let’s go with something that’s generally easier on the ears. Something that’s more modern and mainstream rock sounding.” And so I scoured my music library and found this hidden gem from 2011. Runner Runner‘s self-titled debut album. The band itself is a reinvention of the successful pop-punk band, Over It. The main drawback of the album (and arguably the band,) is that it sounds too much like other modern rock albums. The production of the album is sharp and clean with pop sheen flowing throughout. While some of the songs are kinda forgettable, over-produced and somewhat auto-tuned, for the genre of pop-rock/power pop, it’s top notch.

The album opens with the the lead single So Obvious. The song was originally off a 2008 EP, that had been reworked. The result is a song that lost some production from it’s predecessor. The subtleties added to the album version of So Obvious make it a much stronger, catchier, and much fuller song. What you get are effects that play off of both the instrumentation and the lyrics… which for example is the soft heartbeat heard at the end of the song and during the breakdown.

Unstoppable brings the power-pop to the album. Previously released as a single, the song received some more production. The hooks are catchier and will have you singing a long after a minute or two into. However the some slight auto-tune in the song is a drawback, but not one big enough to take down the song. She’s My Kinda Girl is another track in the vein of So Obvious. It’s a track that’ll have you singing and dancing along.

I Can’t Wait is a beautiful track that is stripped down. An acoustic number that while light, it soulful and heartfelt without being too cheesy and cliched. Hey Alli, is one of the band’s previously released songs. Much like the songs on the album that were previously released, it gets an update and that update helps the song overall.

Conclusion

Runner Runner brings together some of the bigger and biggest elements in pop, rock, and power pop. While the album has flaws, none of them are big enough drawbacks that distract the listener. The album brings together easily accessible pop rock that will have you dancing and singing along to it and more emotional elements that’ll pull at your emotions. This is pure, unadulterated mainstream rock at it’s finest.

(Previous Post)

Year 5, Day 26: Moneybrother’s Blood Panic

Year 5, Day 26: 

22630-54d00720b6785-l

Track List

  1. Reconsider Me
  2. It’s Been Hurting All the Way With You Joanna
  3. Don’t Call the Police
  4. Keep the Hurt At Bay
  5. The Pressure
  6. Positive Vibrations
  7. Golden Lonely
  8. Don’t Stop
  9. Feeling Getting Stronger in the Dark
  10. Can’t Stop
  11. Stormy Weather

About the Album

Blood Panic is the debut album from Swedish rocker, Anders Wendin and his solo project, Moneybrother. The album was released in Sweden and Europe on May 9th 2003, through Burning Heart Records. The album peaked at number seven on the Swedish charts, and was awarded a Swedish Grammy for Best Rock Album. The album is certified Gold in Sweden.

Thoughts on the Album

Moneybrother is the solo project of Swedish rock musician, Anders Wendin. Hailing from the the musically outstanding Kingdom of Sweden, Moneybrother is like a one-man wonder band. Blood Panic takes rock and makes it soulful. Anders Wendin‘s voice and vocal range is just as impressive as it is great. The album is full of power and vigor, creating a nice, new, and original sound. Take elements of soul, ska, reggae, and pop fused them together with alternative rock and you have a sound that is unique and original. From the hook laden opener, Reconsider Me to the rock of Positive Vibrations, the album has catchy melodies and hooks that’ll have you singing along to it.

One of the strengths of this album is is composition and production. With silky smooth production, the album feels like nothing is missing at all. Not many of the songs on this album lack a finishing touch. There is a huge sound complete with a brass section and a pounding and bouncing rhythm section that paces the album. The instrumentation is so elaborate, you’d think that you were listening to something else entirely. Not only that, no one section overpowers the other, allowing you really feel the big band backing Wendin. Songs like Reconsider MeIt’s Been Hurting All the Way With You Joanna, Positive Vibrations, and Stormy Weather all cross genres. But the songs leave you with a wonderful mix of rock, pop, and soul.

Conclusion

The Kingdom of Sweden is like a factory. It churns out rock bands and hockey players. Moneybrother is a product of this factory. Taking traditional Swedish rock and roll and combining it with elements of soul, reggae, and ska, Blood Panic gives you an aural sensation of a rock band with a big band sound.

(Previous Post)

Year 5, Day 25: More Loud and Local with Dave Hause

Year 5, Day 25: Dave Hause – Bury Me in Philly

50f3f36df9977e148631959ac93aa12e-960x960x1

Track List

  1. With You
  2. The Flinch
  3. My Mistake
  4. The Mermaid
  5. Shaky Jesus
  6. Divine Lorraine
  7. Dirty Fucker
  8. The Ride
  9. Helluva Home
  10. Wild Love
  11. Bury Me In Philly

About the Album

Bury Me In Philly is the third solo studio album from Dave Hause of The Loved Ones. The album was recorded from August to September 2016 and released on February 3rd 2017 through Rise Records. The album peaked at 79 on the German Albums Charts.

Thoughts on the Album

Bringing it back home to Philadelphia today with some more loud and local sounds from Roxborough native, Dave HauseHause has been a staple of the Philadelphia punk scene with the band The Loved Ones (among other bands). Hause looks to be making the transition that Frank Turner and Chuck Ragan have done: from punk rocker to folk rocker. Though that is easier said than done. But with his third solo studio album, Hause puts himself well on that path to success.

Bury Me In Philly builds off of his previous two solo releases. Hause puts on display his incredibly smart and clever songwriting abilities with this album. He cleverly and deftly fuses wit and heart-on-you-sleeve emotion throughout this album. Of course, what good is smart and great songwriting without a great voice? Dave Hause has a stellar voice, and if you’ve listened to his previous two solo efforts, you can tell how his voice compliments the mellower vibes.

Bury Me In Philly is Hause’s love letter to Philadelphia; references to the City of Brotherly Love is found all over the album, like a cheesesteak whiz wit. Helluva Home, a harmonica driven track that is an ode to one’s roots and about being far from home. Dirty Fucker, a working class rocker with slightly less snarl than a Dropkick Murphy’s song. The Flinch comes at you with some self-deprecation, while talking about soldiering on no matter what life may throw at you. The album opener, With You, has a piano driven melody that starts the album off on the right foot. It’s a foot stomping track that just dives the album.

Conclusion

As a Philadelphian, I constantly ask myself, “If I leave Philadelphia, does Philadelphia ever leave me?” And I can safely say without a doubt that Philadelphia stays with you some way shape or form. That’s what Dave Hause asks with Bury Me In Philly. Throughout the album, you can really sense and feel the city of Philadelphia. The city of underdogs. Constantly overlooked, underpaid, and territorial. It’s an album that reminds you that if you are a Philly native, you have community that’ll do just about anything for you. Bury Me In Philly, is the Philadelphian’s version of Americana and heartland rock; it’s less folksy and country, and more blue collar and punk.

(Previous Post)

Year 5, Day 24: Beatsteaks’ “.limbo messiah”

Year 5, Day 24: Beatsteaks – .limbo messiah

51hpxdmopfl

Track List

  1. As I Please
  2. Jane Became Insane
  3. Sharp, Cool & Collected
  4. Meantime
  5. Demons Galore
  6. Cut Off The Top
  7. Bad Brain
  8. She Was Great
  9. Soljanka
  10. Hail to the Freaks
  11. E-G-O

About the Album

.limbo messiah is the fifth studio album from German punk rock/alternative rock band, Beatsteaks. The album was released on April 2nd 2007 through Warner Music Group. The album released the European Top 100 Albums chart and peaked number 58 on the German Music Charts.

Thoughts on the Album

The Beatsteaks are one of the biggest names in German rock around. Hell, they are one of the biggest rock bands in Europe. A famous German rocker by the name of Farin Urlaub once asked, “How can you just sit down quietly with the Beatsteaks?” (rough English translation). The Beatsteaks may just be one of Germany’s and Europe’s best kept secrets. The album was released in 2007 throughout Europe, but took three years to reach our shores. But as a testament to just how great this album is, it sounds like a contemporary album.

I’ll admit that jumped around when it came to Beatsteaks albums. First starting off with Smack Smash, then going into Boombox, and finally arriving at .limbo messiah. Right from the get-go, the album opener As I Please, raises your eyebrows and makes you ask yourself, 1) “What the hell did I just listen to? and B) What have I been missing? It’sa track that cranks it up to 200 on the tempo. It’s a track that sets the bar high for the rest of the album, which is a great thing for an album opener to do. A great hard rock number that transitions into the second track…

Jane Became Insane. A cross-genre stomping track that has excellent vocals from frontman Arim Teutoburg-Weiss. Insanely catchy with a Schizophrenic guitar riff and a pre-chorus that sounds like it’s from a Rancid song. The drumming is what gives this song excellent flair. You can hear The Hives and some Queens of the Stone Age influences in this song, however light influences they are. Meantime is a track that could have been a massive smash hit if in the hands of someone like Dave Grohl and a massive music television friendly music video. Definitely a summer type song that is incredibly melodic. You can hear some Britpop mixed with some reggae and then punched out with easily accessible three-chord punk that permeates throughout the track. Meantime is a track that shines through melody, not force.

She Was Great, was a surprising find on this album for me. Given all the cross-genre splicing that the songs around this one do, this track is a revelation. With a simple and incredibly sexy bass line, some incredibly infectious falsetto vocals, and a great hook, it sounds like it could have been written in a post-Paul WellerThe Jam. The timeless hooks are what keeps this song with me at all times, enough when it came from out of nowhere.

Conclusion

“Wie kann man bei den Beatsteaks ruhig sitzen bleiben?!” Farin Urlaub sings on Die Ärzte‘s Unrockbar. The rough translation into English comes out to, “How can you just sit around quietly with the Beatsteaks?” And I have to agree with him. .limbo messiah is a hiding gem amidst a crowded sex of alternative rock and punk rock. An even more aggressive follow up to Smack Smash, this album had it’s home on the music app on my iPhone and probably won’t be evicted anytime soon. It’s an incredibly multifaceted album that crosses genres, but doesn’t lose any of it’s steam, heart, or feeling.

(Previous Post)

Year 5, Day 23: Pennywise’s anthem for the activist

Year 5, Day 23: Pennywise – Land of the Free?

0045778660063-png-1200x1200_q90_crop

Track List

  1. Time Marches On
  2. Land of the Free?
  3. The World
  4. Fuck Authority
  5. Something Wrong With Me
  6. Enemy
  7. My God
  8. Twist of Fate
  9. Who’s on Your Side
  10. It’s Up to You
  11. Set Me Free
  12. Divine Intervention
  13. WTO
  14. Anyone Listening

About the Album

Land of the Free? is the sixth studio album from American punk band, Pennywise. The album was recorded from February 2001 to March 2001 and released on June 19th 2001 through Epitaph RecordsLand of the Free? peaked number 67 on the Billboard 200.

Thoughts on the album

Political and activists have found solace in bands like Anti-FlagBad ReligionNo-FX, and Pennywise just to name a few. Bands whose music confronts social problems and make calls to action. That’s where we are today with Pennywise‘s 2001 album, Land of the Free?. If it was any other band, “Land of the Free?” would’ve been a brave rhetorical question to title an album. It is an excellent political anthem for the activist, issues a call to action for each and every listener. While the album does get repetitive (most punk and pop-punk albums do), it is incredibly strong musically and lyrically.

The album opens with the fast paced and catchy, Time Marches On. Right off the bat, it seems like this album will be full of fast paced tracks much like their previous albums. But it’s not like that. The album has songs that shift speeds and tempos, making it a an incredibly versatile album. The album was released in June 2001, which was months before 9/11, the Invasion of Afghanistan, and at least two years before the Invasion of Iraq. What could the band be so pissed off about one would think. The argument could be made it’s about President Bush, but the world has always had it’s social and societal problems… even before Bush took office.

What separates Pennywise from being just another “trendy” anti-establishment band? Pennywise has always been socially and politically conscious. Anyone Listening tackles tragedies that were occurring at the time. The World takes violence that happens everyday in the world and broadcasts it in a manner in way that makes the listener wonder if we’ll ever find our way. The titular track, Land of the Free?, is a criticism of the United States for being hypocritical for thriving on national unity.

Of course, then there is the fourth track… Fuck Authority. I’d censor it, but that’s the way it’s written on the album cover, so that’s way it is. It is a siren’s call for action, via it’s demand that “it’s time we had our say…” Musically speaking it’s the definition of a hardcore punk song. It’s fast paced and in-your-face. Some would also argue that it fill the “anarchist punk” category, for which, I certainly won’t disagree.

Conclusion

Land of the Free? certainly paints a perfect picture of life in the United States prior to 9/11. At times throughout the album, it seems like the band is calling out to deaf, while themselves stumbling blindly about in the dark. You can sense the frustration that the band feels with the way the current state of affairs were, but it’s like the solutions escape their grasp. The songs singe with emotion and with a bone-sharp edge. It is a great album that should open up conversations and grassroots movements for years to come.

(Previous Post)

Broad Street Playlist Recap for 3/20-3/27

Broad Street Playlist Recap (for 3/20 – 3/27)

Hi-diddly ho, neighborinos! Welcome back to the Broad Playlist Recap for the week of March 26th. Click on the following link to go to last week’s recap! Let’s just get right down to it, here is your weekly recap!

Monday, March 20th 2017

On Monday, we discussed Hall and Oates’ self-titled release, Daryl Hall & John Oates. Everyone has a favorite Hall and Oates song. Don’t lie, you know you do. It was an album that was a turning point for the duo as the album while maintaining it’s blue collar, Philadelphia blue-eyed soul, added an element of pop. The production is quite crisp and sharp.Containing the breakthrough smash hit, Sara Smile, this album is a remarkably consistent one. Click here to read about Daryl Hall & John Oates!

Tuesday, March 21st 2017

On Tuesday we took a trip to 1980’s West Germany and West Berlin for Die Toten Hosen‘s concept album… Ein Kleines Bisschen Horrorschau. Considered to be the band’s best album to date, and one can see why. Containing their trademark style of hardcore punk, the album is musical version of the movie A Clockwork Orange, which is based off the dystopian fiction novel of the same name. Combining elements of Beethoven‘s 9th Symphony, the music delves deep into life of Alex DeLarge, the main character of the movie/novel. It’s the German version of Pink Floyd‘s The Wall. Click here to read about Ein Kleinese Bisschen Horrorschau!

Wednesday, March 22nd 2017

From the 1980s German punk scene to the 1990s Seattle music scene, we took a look at Pearl Jam‘s Ten. Pearl Jam’s best selling album and most successful album to date, brought grunge rock to the mainstream. A classic album that made grunge music easily accessible to the masses. Ten is an album that help propel grunge and eventually alternative rock into the mainstream. An album that you feel the catharsis with every riff, howl, and drum hit. Click here to read more about Ten!

Thursday, March 23rd 2017

On the halfway point of the project, we went from the birth of alternative rock to the mid-2000s pop punk classic from Mayday ParadeA Lesson In Romantics, is an album that doesn’t try to change the world or save pop punk. Nope. What it does do is follow a formula that produces heavy catchy hooks. Chock full of sing-a-long choruses and magnificently catchy guitar riffs, A Lesson In Romantics, is an album that has the hooks, the heart, and the style that blows competitors and fellow pop-punk albums out of the water. Click here to read about A Lesson In Romantics!

Friday, March 24th 2017

On Friday, we stopped the clocks with German punk band, the Donots. Coma Chameleon is an album that is caught in between albums. It’s got a more mature sound to it, but tries to cling to the old in-your-face, lightning paced riffs. It’s album that marked an evolution into a more alternative rock sound. It’s a good album that has it’s flaws, it endears itself to the listener. This one is definitely for the do-it-yourself(er), click here to read about Coma Chameleon!

Saturday, March 25th 2017

On Saturday, we looked at and listened to Metallica‘s self-titled album, otherwise known as The Black AlbumMetallica‘s most successful album, marked a maturation in their heavy metal. Gone were the blistering thrash metal riffs and in were the heavy, powerful, and thunderous power chords and riffs. An album that contains at least three of the band’s most easily recognizable songs, it’s no wonder why the band’s popularity exploded. Click here to read more about The Black Album!

Previewing Next Week!

What does the next week have in store for us? Definitely thinking it’s time we when back to some loud and local products. Maybe some Swedish indie rock? Maybe some Canadian alternative? Come back next week to find out!

Spotify Playlist of the Week

See you all next week!

Year 5, Day 22: Metallica’s “Black” Album

Year 5, Day 22: Metallica – Metallica

1991

Track List

  1. Enter Sandman
  2. Sad but True
  3. Holier Than Thou
  4. The Unforgiven
  5. Wherever I May Roam
  6. Don’t Tread On Me
  7. Through the Never
  8. Nothing Else Matters
  9. Of Wolf and Man
  10. The God That Failed
  11. My Friend of Misery
  12. The Struggle Within

About the Album

Metallica or more commonly referred to as The Black Album, is the self-titled fifth album from heavy metal band, Metallica. The album was recorded from October 6th 1990 to June 16th 1991 and released August 12th 1991 through Elektra Records. The album peaked at number on several charts around the world and on the Billboard 200. The album is certified 16x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It’s the band’s most successful album to date.

Thoughts on the Album

Metallica, the self-titled fifth album from Metallica is considered to be the band’s most commercially successful album, but most controversial among their fans. Why would it be considered to be controversial by the band’s fans? Probably because the album marks a shift in sound from and style from previous albums. Gone were the blistering riffs and thrashing drums and entering a more mature and “radio-friendly” sound. The band also won their first GRAMMY Award with this album.

The album opens with the eerie rocker, Enter Sandman. Starting off with some clean and eerie guitar riffs that are accompanied by wah-wah effect throughout. The song picks up with thumping and powerful drums. The song is so much different from their previous work, and recognizable from the very first listen. The outcome of the song is an interesting and impressive one where the only semblance to previous work is a blistering and electrifying guitar solo. Completing the eerie theme is a vocal bridge that has frontman James Hetfield praying with a child. But it’s the rhythm guitar that powers and carries the song until the very end.

The Unforgiven, opens with something rare for the band: an acoustic opening. The acoustic opening gives away to a power metal ballad. Up until the verse, this soft opening plays and gives way to power and distortion. You can really feel the angst, distress, and anger in Hetfield’s lyrics and vocals. Wherever I May Roam is an interesting track. It has an atmosphere about it. The sitar effect on the guitar gives it an interest sound that gives way to distortion. The drums accompany the guitar and power the song excellently. The Unforgiven and Wherever I May Roam are an excellent mid-album pairing that helps keep the album from getting bogged down.

The real star and gem of the album is the powerful Nothing Else Matters. The lyrical emotion and the guitar melody are great and provide an edge to the song. The drums are powerful and simple and work with the bass to keep the rhythm moving. The solo at the end of the solo really provides some great emotion and helps take the track out on an emotional high note.

Conclusion

It’s obvious to see why this album has been so successful. It has easy accessability for those getting into metal, but manages to keep it’s heavy edge. It marks an maturation for the band: gone are the thunderous and blistering lightning-paced riffs, in are heavy and and powerful power chords. While the album does get repetitive at times, and does drag along at times, there is so much variation that those negatives don’t detract from the positives. It’s easy to see why the band’s popularity exploded with this album. The album is one of the best, if not the best of the 1990s.

(Previous Post)