Friday Music: Call It What You Want, Call It All Punk Rock

After yesterday we are all now intimately familiar with the new Predator Jerseys. If you haven't seen them then take a look at my blog from yesterday. I do hope that the overall design grows on me, but I am highly apprehensive. Still, there were assurances from the team that what we were looking at was not in fact the final design. I guess you can upgrade me to anxiously excited.

I admit I was shocked to see Carter and Richards get shipped out to the Western Conference. Still, the moves don't bother me because the Flyers at least got picks and NHL caliber players in return, including the much touted Brayden Schenn. It will be interesting to see the Orange & Black come out next season with a brand new attitude on the ice. One can only assume that the fearsome Chris Pronger will be named the new captain of the team. I think this is a bold new direction for the team, and I'm looking forward to the next season.

The Swellers – Good For Me (iTunes)

The Swellers have become a frustrating band over the years. When I first listened to the band they seemed like they were working to revive the sound of ‘90s skate-punk. Since that time they have steadily been moving in other directions and growing the depth of their sound. Unfortunately, I don’t think the changes have served the band very well. On this year’s Good For Me we find the Swellers writing some melodic pop rock with tinges of their punk rock past. The record struck me similarly to how Millencolin experimented with their sound on 2002’s Home From Home and to a lesser extent 2005’s Kingwood. The difference between those albums and Good For Me is that the Swedish skate-punkers had a strong grasp on their identity. Meanwhile the Swellers are delivering ten tracks of modern alt-rock with catchy choruses, but those choruses don’t have much of impact. I think the strongest track is The Best I Ever Had, a song that would feel very comfortable on a Bouncing Souls album. Fortunately that track comes immediately after Parkview, which is lyrically cringe worthy. Overall the music is really tight, clean, and well arranged, but all together the album is a bit on the dull side.

Tin Armor – Life Abundance (album is "name your own price")

Upon listening to the first track on the newest Tin Armor album I was first stuck at the beauty of stark arrangement of piano and vocals. It worked, but it was mightily different from the springy introduction from 2007’s A Better Place Than I Have Been. The next thing that revealed itself was the fuller sound that the band achieved, part of that possibly due to an improved recording quality. The beginning tracks are pretty jaunty and casual in feel while still maintaining the sound defined on the band’s previous full length. The band is certainly having a lot of fun with rock & roll on Life Abundance. Tin Armor’s love for Ted Leo can still be hurt lurking around the edges of many of the songs, but it isn’t quite as pronounced on the new album as the band has further established their own sound. A couple of highlights are the bass lines in Wayward Kites and the wonderfully crafted lyrics in Shake Up. The lyrics are one of the real treats on the album, it is well worth the time to sit and absorb the poetry. I also really love the title track and I Am Resolved because singer/song-writer Matt Umland absolutely croons, and the effect is fantastic.

Since the band doesn't seem to have any videos of the new songs... you can stream them all below. Alternatively you could click the link up there and it will take you to a magic place where you can get the album for yourself and stream all the tracks.

1 comment:

BradPerala said...

After the review of The Swellers, I will forever now read your reviews with a grain of salt.