post hardcore

With Sails Ahead - Morning Sun Review

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We've been following With Sails Ahead for actual years now, and as one of the first bands to support The Hook, they'll always have a soft spot in our hearts. We recently watched them open up for bands like Emarosa and Jule Vera, which is our way of saying clearly our pals are going places, and it makes us so happy we could cry.

But we won't, and that's because Morning Sun, their brand new EP is out.

The NJ based five piece continues to impress us as they grow, and Morning Sun is an astonishing third addition to their discography, and their first release since June 2016's Years In Waiting. The 6-track EP is a heartfelt, passion infused open wound that With Sails Ahead lays out for listeners to witness and bare. 

Album Art: Caring Wong

Album Art: Caring Wong

Morning Sun Tracklist:
1. Dissappear
2. Willow
3. Always Clouded, Never Clear
4. Pixelated
5. Synapses Fire
6. Beesly


 

 

 

With Sails Ahead have solidified themselves as a force to be reckoned with, not only in their scene, but as they come up in the world of music. We're holding on tight for the journey, and you should be too!

Morning Sun is an emotional, angst ridden EP that keeps the listener in check. I was also sincerely impressed by the togetherness the band has shown in their growth, while maintaining the reason why we loved With Sails Ahead in the first place. Morning Sun is going to be more instrumentally technical and exciting, while also showing it's bravado and spirit in lyricism and contextual content. All of the tracks are superb, but my personal favorite would be closing track, "Beesly." For myself, this track really encapsulates this coming of age for With Sails Ahead. Morning Sun is the reawakening of the passion that this post hardcore quartet brings to the table.

With the recent announcement of a summer tour, you definitely don't want to miss an update from With Sails Ahead, so check out their social media links down below to remain up on the happenings of their lives!

We know we sure will be!

With Sails Ahead: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Tumblr

Shin Guard - Five Songs Review

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It's been a while since we've gotten some pop punk, Shin Guard is helping us change that, and we're all here for it. The Pittsburgh foursome are working hard to bring what the feel to the table in their latest release, Five Songs.

Five Songs is actually a four track EP released back in December, and Shin Guard have given themselves the title of 'Pittsburgh Sadness' so there's that. It's gonna be a lot of feelings, and some yelling, but if you're ready to throw down then we are, too.

Owen Traynor (vocals, guitar, songwriting, synthesis), Joe Bojarski (vocals, guitar, songwriting), Jake Yencik (bass, backing vocals), and Ryan Yester (drums) make up Shin Guard and have worked hard together to make leaps and bounds in improvement from their initial release, Leglike, back in April 2017. 

Check out their tracklist below to follow along!

Photography: Jake Yencik

Photography: Jake Yencik

Five Songs Tracklist:
1. Bemis Point
2. Corsages
3. You Turned Everything To Paper
4.Flubline


 

 

 

 

Opening track "Bemis Point" doesn't feel like the perfect fit for me, as a listener, for opening track. It shows off where the band's headspace is, but second track, "Corsages" holds a lot more weight for me, so I sort of wish the two were flip flopped as it would've made the listening experience better and more streamlined. "Corsages" also shows off a hell of a lot more of talent then "Bemis Point" which would've just aided the band in creating an EP that showed off their absolute best talent, track by track.

Five Songs definitely gets better as it goes on, as I really only stumbled on "Bemis Point" which felt out of place in comparison to the other three tracks that follow. "You Turned Everything To Paper" uses an interesting spoken word technique to open itself up, disenchanting the listener into melancholy. The lyricism is potent and good, and the instrumental synthetics that go into the track make it feel like a hybrid ambient bedroom track. Interesting stuff.

Closing track, "Flubline" is probably the most fitting with "Corsages" and the sound that the band feels the most proficient in. I wanted more tracks like this. Tracks that said a lot without having to say a lot - that spoke instrumentally to the listener, that used experiences that felt relatable to the emotion Shin Guard seemed to want to be going for. I think these four guys have a solid ground to work off of, and I'm interested to see where they're headed and what sound they decide to settle in on and hone.

Until then, you can keep up with Shin Guard down below with their social media links, and if you're ever in Pittsburgh, be sure to check them out!

Shin Guard: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Tumblr // YouTube

Copley Woods - Sightings Review

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On January 12, 2018, I ventured to the beloved DIY venue Boontunes on a rainy night in Boonton, New Jersey to see some local music.  While the weather was gloomy, it was a night that many from the scene gathered together for to support Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), a medical humanitarian organization. When the show commenced, a four-piece post-hardcore band named Copley Woods took the stage. Their performance was extremely hard-hitting and emotionally-driven, captivating the show-goers who showed up early and were lucky enough to catch them. I was taken by surprise when the vocalist, Jake, mentioned that this was their first show.

With a promising future ahead of them, Copley Woods are sure to win over listeners of emo and post-hardcore with their EP, Sightings.

Copley Woods started off the new year by dropping Sightings on Bandcamp New Year’s Day. Sightings is a fast-paced post-hardcore album influenced by early emo bands, while drawing parallels to newer post-hardcore bands (I personally heard some semblance of Touche Amore). With fervent, chaotic guitars and fervent vocal performances, this album is the epitome of post-hardcore that is true to the genre while offering a fresh new sound.  

Check out their tracklist below!

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Sightings Tracklist:
1. Mirage  
2. Haunted   
3. Emotion Engine
4. Intruders    
5. Always There

 

 

 

 

The album begins with the chaotic wrecking ball that is “Mirage;” it immediately pumps you up from the moment you press play.

It’s rhythmically interesting, and flows well. The words sung in “Mirage” are a stark warning of our earth crumbling due to the effects of harsh climate change from global warming. As the track slows to a driving drum beat to make way for an ambient guitar lead, nicely sung vocals and the following track, “Haunted.” On track two, the chaos continues with even more visceral relentlessness. Notably, the production on the vocals is dirty and distorted, which I love - it adds to the song’s overall mood.  

Sightings’ halfway point is marked by a melancholy but soothing mostly-instrumental track aptly titled “Emotion Engine.” It showcases that Copley Woods is not just a one-trick pony, and is a nice intermission in the midst of discord and disarray.  While being the longest track, it progresses well and never drags.  The music crescendos towards the track’s climax, where the vocals return to deliver some feelsy lyrics.  

Track four “Intruders” is moody and dark, with slightly less noise, but just as powerful.  It tells the story of having an encounter with an alien, lyrically depicting a person who firmly believes “I know what I saw”. I especially loved the vocal production on “Intruders” and thought the stacked vocals were a great fit for the track. To me, the tone colors in this song are reminiscent of 90’s alt-rock, but mesh well within the context of Copley Wood’s sound.

The final song, “Always There”, feels like a nod towards 00’s hardcore and is a strong finale before the album concludes. With lyrics surrounding the haunting feeling of anxiety, it ties into the albums’ various contextual themes nicely, especially the visual theme of the album art- the suspicion that extraterrestrial beings are watching us. 

Copley Woods is sure to see much success with their EP, Sightings.  With a solid first offering in Sightings, anyone is sure to enjoy the attention to songwriting, lyrical content, song structure and dynamics. Copley Wood’s album showcases musicianship that surely proves they have the makings for longevity. Sightings is a must-listen, and if you regularly spin emo/post hardcore- music, it’s going to be hard to stop listening.  

As always, thanks for reading and check out Copley Woods' social media to never miss an update below!

Copley Woods: Facebook // Bandcamp

The Broken Few - We Leave Pieces Of Ourselves

As Fall encroaches (hopefully) upon us, we're settling in with a good book and a good band. This time it's Providence, Rhode Island quintet The Broken Few. The post-hardcore screamo band bring out the sad boy in us all, and for the month of October, that's what we're into.

(Shut up, Mom this isn't a phase)

Way back in April, The Broken Few released We Leave Pieces Of Ourselves, a 9-track album that pushes and pulls at the innards of anyone who stumbles upon it. The Broken Few includes members Eddie Cote (Vocals), Joe Landriana (Guitar/Vocals), Chris Cordon (Bass), Jordon Collard (Drums), and Chris Michaels (Guitar) to create a nice slice of what you instrumentally like about post hardcore with the screams to go along with it.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

The Broken Few Tracklist:
1. Fuck Yeah, Bob Saget
2. Axe Body Spray
3. Smile
4. Winter
5. Hey Jealousy
6. Rose
7. To Whom It May Concern
8. You Don't Know Me
9. Wander

 



Opening track "Fuck yeah Bob Saget" lures listeners into to something that isn't always going to be very funny, but that's ok. I really dig the vibe of this album, it's soft in nature (or probably just recording), and it sneaks up on listeners in a lot of ways. I prefer this album instrumentally, and when Cote is singing rather than screaming, the tracks feel a little more impactful. Some tracks have an inconsistent type of vocal depth to them, one where I wish they'd choose between the two styles. 

For the most part, tracks 1-5 were preferred over the latter half of the album. They felt the most consistent, heartfelt and well put together. I wanted more tracks like that where I could get lost in sharing those feelings with the band as they pull them out of the listener. Overall, I like The Broken Few. I want to listen to more music for them and I want them to do well. I wonder where their path will take them in the future, and what things they want to hold onto or let go - and We Leave Pieces Of Ourselves is an ode to a time in which they did just that.

To keep up with The Broken Few, check out their social media down below!

The Broken Few: Bandcamp // Facebook

Franchise - Ghost Light Review

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Post-hardcore empaths, Franchise, have recently pushed their newest release, Ghost Light, for fans and listeners. The July 14th release is their most recent, and definitely heartfelt, heart-throb of an EP.

Produced by Jess Cannon (Man Overboard, Senses Fail, Transit), the 5-track EP bleeds itself dry for listeners thanks to core members Kenny Collette (vox/guitar), Edgar Martinez (guitar), Mark Costa (bass), and Corrado Rizzi (drums). 

Check out the tracklist below!

 

 

With a melodic background, the 5-track EP ebbs and flows between each track it explores. "Take It Or Leave It" bellows listeners into exactly where Franchise wants them to be. Disoriented between empathic, bruising emotions. With the harshness of Collette's voice against a tight knight instrumental beat, this opening track shoves you into Franchise's moment. 

"Empty Machine" and "Contact" dissipate into a more alternative sound, with an introspective vocal and pronounced chord that makes you want to move along with it. "Contact" was a really emotional listening experience for myself, especially in comparison to the rest of the album, a quiet track that speaks volumes where the lyrics don't exist. "Finally Meet You" brings listening energy back up to where opening track "Take It Or Leave It" brought us. However, I was a bit surprised by the order of the last few tracks on the EP, it seemed out of place for "Finally Meet You" to precede "Blood In The Water" which felt more similar to "Contact" or "Empty Machine" and I wonder about the choice of it as the final track on the album. 

Overall, I'm really into this jarring, moving EP. Ghost Light speaks volumes in the space it is allowed to breathe. The melodic elements of Franchise make the music exciting to listen to. While the band isn't doing anything particularly new, they are making something their own that feels familiar but new all at once. Ghost Light is sure to pull on your heart strings with the heavy hand it deals the listener. 

Check it out on bandcamp, or take a peek at Franchise's social media to stay up to date with everything the band is up to!

Franchise: Facebook // Website

Alteras - Grief Review

Alteras has been poised to make an impression, as they have on many, with their debut album Grief, which came out on August 5th!

This Youngstown, Ohio quintet are no strangers to impressions, having made a great one with their Shapeshifter EP in 2015. This release effectively caught the attention of Alesana's Shawn Milke, who signed the band to his label Revival Recordings in faith that their next moves would make waves. Was his a wise decision? What does Altera's newest release have in store for listeners?

Alteras is a band that gives a damn. They aren't just writing music in hopes of getting noticed, they're doing it to get their message of positivity to the public. As they have stated, their mission is to make music for the people who need it the most, and Grief is a direct reflection of this. Focusing on hardship in its many forms, the content of this album has gotten the band itself through hard times during the writing process, so hopefully by extension it can bring others that sense of fulfillment in their time of need.

Grief Track List:

1. Broke
2. Could Ever Love
3. Everything You Wanted

4. Scars
5. After All
6. Something More
7. Black Box
8. Can't Go Back
9. Oh, Tragedy
10. Out Of Reach
11. Feel


While I didn't feel this personally (probably because my life isn't particularly tumultuous at present), I did mostly enjoy the album. What's funny to me is that this band is labeled so many different things. I've seen them labeled as hard rock and then metal, then garner comparisons to Taking Back Sunday and Cute Is What We Aim For... It's ridiculous, because it's so clear to me from their sound that they are pure modern post-hardcore. Think Underoath. Think Memphis May Fire and Crown The Empire. Like these bands, Alteras features a wide range of stylistic mix-ups throughout their music, exploring the extremes of melody and heaviness in the frame which still stays true to their sound. Not every song conforms to a single genre. The first two songs on the album, "Broke" and "Could Ever Love" don't sound at all alike stylistically. On top of this, "Black Box" is a wonderful acoustic palette-cleanser in the middle of the album, while "Feel" is a pop-punky rise to the occasion and call to arms to feel more, which ties up the album very cleanly and leaves the listener some food for thought. The one and only constant is that it all sounds purely, unapologetically like Alteras, which is arguably the most crucial part of the whole formula.

Alteras throws me back to a more exciting time in the late aughts, when post-hardcore albums laden with real heart, bone-rattling rage, and unrequited love were coming out. In this sense, Grief is a return to form, and a welcome one at that. Those of us who truly found something we enjoyed in the musicality of the time will be satisfied by every twist and turn the music takes. 

Vocalist Jacob Clasen's performance is particularly heart-wrenching, and fluidly conforms to what the rest of the band is aiming to do with each cut off the album. He adds reserve to tracks that brim with aggression, making the moments that they let loose all the more poignant. The band is a cohesive unit, and the music is tight, ambient, and evocative.

My one qualm may be that a few of the songs on the album are a tad similar in feel. Songs like "Scars", "Oh, Tragedy", "Something More", and others are very straight-forwardly post-hardcore, which isn't necessarily to say that they're bad. I think as a debut album, Grief provides a solid foundation for this band to build on. Next time around, the vocals need be more emotive and the band needs to get more experimental. That being said, Alteras put together a stellar album and should be applauded for their efforts.

This album deserves a solid 8/10.


Alteras: Facebook