The music world lost a great man today who was also a brother and a friend to so many. What is unknown is how it happened and many of us involved in the music scene are wondering why it had to happen.
Brandon lived the dream playing in Teenage Bottlerocket with family and friends. I was lucky enough to have seen him beat on the drums live. I never met him face to face, but my friends who have said he was straight up the nicest guy. One of my pals even mentioned how Brandon remembered him from a previous band that opened for TB.
Perhaps the biggest testament to the importance of this man was how much money was raised to help pal for his medical expenses. It was amazing to see so many contribute so quickly.
Facebook has been flooded with memories of Brandon and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I spent some time reading them today.
My conclusion? He was a seriously good human.
Everything will be ok. It’s just going to be sad around the scene for a bit.
I hope Brandon’s family finds peace in his passing and moves on without forgetting a single memory.
I am a little late to talk on this, but I still felt it necessary to post something. As many of you know, Mikey Herrera passed away last week.
Although I did not know him personally, some of my pals did and one of them even played in SleeperHorse with him. I have always appreciated what Mikey did and was really bummed to see the bad news.
Mikey’s Facebook page has flooded with comments, memories, and photos showcasing the love that surrounded him. I found myself spending some time on there the other night just looking through endless posts of love and support.
As this website is dedicated to sharing music that I like, I wanted to post material from some of the bands Mikey was in to pay my respects to him and anyone who ever knew him.
Cleveland’s Seafair is about to turn some heads this year.
I know I have talked about a lot of Cleveland acts on my site, but this is the first time I have spoken on a band that is this incredibly multi-genred.
Seafair has been doing their thing since 2012 and is comprised of six amazing musicians whose roots dip into an impressive and diverse dynamic of musical styles including everything from classical to punk rock. The Querencia is the band’s debut release and is dropping next month.
Lead vocalist Chayla Hope has a voice that demands to be heard by anyone willing to open their ears. Its deeper, powerful style is more Juliana Hatfield over Adele/Lorde (from what I have heard via mainstream radio, honestly I can’t stand either of those two). Seriously, it is a bit fierce and a whole ton of passionate.
Side note: Having been good pals with Seafair’s drummer Ryan Kelly for at least 10 years now, there was no way I was not going to talk about this new band. On another side note, I used to work with Andrea Bleding Elson’s husband at an EB Games back in the day. Small world…
A classical intro to the album set me back for a moment as I became enthralled in the peaceful composure that morphed into “Vultures”. I am not going to lie, I was not terribly impressed with this track and although Chayla Hope had a forceful and beautiful singing voice, the track itself did nothing for me.
“DIM”, however, was the complete opposite. I adored this track on so many levels. From the string playing to the infectious drumming of Sir Kelly, everything about this track was likable. Perhaps it was the Björk-like melodies and singing towards the end that grasped me. I almost hate myself for admitting I did not like the prior track, but then again, I am one one of millions of opinions out there. This track though was a solid jam and everyone needs to check it out.
“Inferno” followed with a bellowing Hope singing her heart out. This was one of the tracks I could image sounds so much better live on a hot summer night.
Hearing the “The Score” was like hearing an orchestrated indie rock track like none other. This song built up so nicely and once the guitar playing picked up at the peak of the track, I was quietly rocking out here to it. It was like one of those songs that is a story that builds with excitement. My only quarrel with this track, is I wish the story lasted a little longer.
I am fairly certain “Ohio” was written about me and my return back to my favorite state in the world. I am also positive that is not the case at all, but I’m ok with thinking that. Honestly, this track about love growing distant was amazing to listen to. I loved the breakdown at the end that changed things up. This was one of the best tracks on the album in my opinion.
“Discovery” was another fantastic track. I am sure this may be misconstrued in a sense, but this track was like listening to Foxy Shazam with a female singer. Hope’s range on this track was just all over the place and perfect throughout. I also got a kick out of the back up vocals that interjected throughout. The more and more I listened to it, the more I loved it.
Quick props need to be given to the Ween-like guitar solo in “Not A Cure”. The track overall was intense to listen to and it just erupted at the end.
Seafair to me is festival music, you know, the kind is best heard live during warm summer nights. I know they were trying to play Bonnaroo but sadly did not win a voting competition. That’s the voters loss, I think this band would kill it at the ‘Roo. Regardless, they will play shows and they will turn heads. I know it.
The Querencia is a beautifully put together album that is not over produced and spans over so many genres that I feel it will be difficult for anyone to not enjoy some part of it. The album really grasps your attention throughout and treats it to a fine listen.
I was not expecting Seafair to sound the way they did, and that’s ok. Surprises in music are one of my favorite things in life and I really hope others experience that feeling too.
Seattle’s Success does not suck. I repeat, Seattle’s Success does not suck.
In fact, this band has completely won me over almost instantaneously and I am still trying to figure out how the hell they snuck under my radar for so long.
Success are a hybrid of 90s SoCal pop punk and current DIY punk rock. I have no clue how they met or how many albums they have put out or any of the typical default bio stuff. I am sure I could find out, but right now I am focused on telling everyone how I am feeling. Deal.
I do know they covered a Spin Doctors song that I found while stalking them online the other night and I’ll be happy to post it at the bottom of this post as a reward for making it through my review.
It’s seriously being a while since I’ve gotten sucked into an album so quickly. Radio Recovery, dropping March 24th on Red Scare Records, did that in just about 30 minutes. I can not tell you how many times I have listened to this album over and over since the release was thrown my way (thanks Toby!).
“Believe In” opened strong with a pop-punk jam full of sing-alongable qualities. This track was produced well and impressed the hell out of me. I loved the bass playing and the guitar solos, but it was the dual singing style that did it for me. It reminded me of everything I loved about late-90s punk rock music.
“Revolution Schmevolution” continued to keep my attention with this powerhouse of a sing-along. I especially got a kick out of the lyrics, “what’s the problem with this world today is that every Batman thinks he’s a Bruce Wayne.”
Another track that caught my attention was “Lives That We Deserve”. Perhaps it was the piano playing that hid behind everything or just the fact that it was a quality tune. This track was motivational in a sense with the working man’s life being sung upon. This easily was one of my favorite tracks on the album.
“Flowers” was one of the tracks that that had a huge effect on me. It was not too personal by any means, but it was just real. This song was like the polite and caring Rancid that no one ever had the chance to meet. In fact, I would allow Success to steal my sediment and made a cartoon video of clean-cut versions of Tim and Lars picking bouquets of flowers for their special sweethearts. Beyond my puke of creativity, this song was incredible and perhaps did not sound anything like Rancid.
The acoustic “Impossible Truth” was a nice chance but was move Revival Tour material and did not necessarily go with the rest of the album. The organ playing was great throughout and I was really reminded of Frank Turner due to the style.
Closing the album up was “Resignation”, a harmonic punk rock track that pretty much solidifies why I love punk rock music so much. This track just built up so well and just exploded. Perfect way to end a great album.
If you like catchy punk rock jams, this band is for you. Success have won me over and Radio Recovery has earned a well-deserved spot in my Best Of 2015 list.
Hands down, this album rules and while produced well, it still is nothing too clean sounding and has plenty of reasons for multiple listens.
If only more newer bands could sound like Success. Then we could say stupid things like these guys sound like the sweet, sweet sounds of Success.