Kurtis Roy came to me with Songs You Can Sing Underwater back in 2012. I was in the middle of a New Found Glory Tour. Three years later I’m trying to figure out how I can see my favorite band at least once on their upcoming fall stop in LA. While my wallet became a joke, Sea Salt was working on new music and came up with this EP, Same. Last time I heard a lot of sadness but this time around I feel like he’d be the poster boy for hipster pop.
Lyrics are key to life on Same, and you can hear some interesting tales and recollections throughout, starting with “Atom Tattoo.” It’s one of the more obscure tracks I’ve heard in awhile, hopping place to place until we got into “Pilsen.” This one sounds like the love child of old and new Hellogoodbye. It has the fun of the past with the maturity of sound that Forrest Kline has adopted over recent years. The same can and is said of “Comfy” and “Surprise Party.” Both keep that entertaining momentum going while the feel slows down as things come to an end with “Parking Van.”
It’d be odd to not go through some big changes in three years of existence and it seems like me and Sea Salt’s Kurtis Roy both have. I’ve come to realize hustling is my life and he’s grown to embrace a happier tone when it comes to constructing the music that surrounds his collections of nouns, verbs and adjectives. If you’re a fan of the latest from Hellogoodbye and More Amor, check out Sea Salt’s Same, out now.
When a new person enters a room, I’m likely to remember their face more so than their name or occupation. I’m all about the visuals and over the years, with so many bands coming in and out of my inbox – I honestly can’t recall them all. However, when I saw The Press War’s album cover from 2013 on the side of their Bandcamp, I thought…now that’s familiar. Yup, then I was crying and listening to their hyper pop rock, today I’m tear free and hearing a band that has grown immensely, but who still know how to have a good time on their latest, When It All Goes to Hell.
New Again had a sexually induced song, but this record started out with a song you don’t lust after but rather, fall in love with. “Vespertine” got things off to a slow start, but with those beautiful and strong vocals…the pace was welcomed, because you wanted to be drowned in every second. Just under two minutes long, it was over before it began and in ran “I’m So Bored With Us.” Here was the hyperactive guys from a couple of years ago. Overall I’d call this a band with pop punk roots, but a pop rock shell. This track and “Kill You (Indie) Darlings” are proof of that. Those were the only ones showcasing that All Time Low like factor, so back to the more mature men The Press War are now. “Follow Me” unfortunately lost me, but “Lost Boys” brought me back with the simplicity of the line, “I’m fine, overwhelmed.”
The last time me and The Press War crossed paths I was a mess and they were a group of dudes all about the fun. Today I’ve cleaned up (a little) and they’ve grown (but not too much). We’ve both made progress with maturity, but I’ll admit they’re doing better. They have When It All Goes to Hell, a great pop rock record with bursts of pop punk to keep things light. It’s out now, so get on that – now!
Aliens are something that many can debate hours, even days. There will forever be a line between skeptics and believers, and the only reason this came to mind was because of Realism’s Back to the Battlefield. The music created not only a story, but a whole sci-fi world that had me in the beginning, middle and end of the action. So buckle up, because it’s’ going to be an out of this world ride.
The way this cinematic, musical experience starts off is rapid but slow. “Slightly Less Than Human” opens things up with a long build up, but the pace is rapid. It’s like the action is happening – it’s just happening over a long period of time. The pace of the music helps to ease the length. As we head into the second act, things get dark – it takes a turn with “My Flight (Is Nearly Over).” It comes across as an industrial club, but in this case it’s just the point in our tale when the main character has hit a major snag. It’s not the big climactic part though and things fall back into place as the fairy tale like “Escape (Between Battles)” comes in and puts listeners in a trance. No, that first snag was minimal and could be looked over because “Persistence (Splatterpuss North)” is when things go awry. This one has chaos written all over it, but the happy ending comes with the celebratory sounding ways of “They’re All Dead Now.” It’s like the good guy has prevailed.
Writing a story without words is something I could never do, mostly because I could never learn music. I’ll just leave it to people like Realism. It’s clear storytelling without actual nouns, adjectives and whatnot are not necessary when the emotion of the music comes through like crystal. If you’re a fan of fantasy sounding music that has an electronic base, check out Realism’s Back to the Battlefield, out now.