Something Like Sound

Tag: The Gaslight Anthem

Looking Forward To Warmer Times

by on Mar.05, 2009, under Blogs

Edit: I changed the permalink and removed the links in this article because of the ridiculous amounts of spam we were receiving.

Here in Colorado (and in most places), we’ve got a saying, “March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb.” Perhaps 2009 didn’t get the memo, because we’re five days into March and it’s balmy and beautiful in the Mile-High City. But, this is a blog about music, not the weather (do they have such things?). Either way, the recent warm weather got me thinking about the spring / summer music season, and I thought I’d hilight some shows and events that should be recognized.

March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day!): Akron/Family & Young Coyotes at the Oriental: What better way to celebrate St. Pattie’s day than with some great tunes. In what will likely be an explosion of indie-folk-experimental sound, Akron/Family will take the stage after the crowd gets warmed up on Denver’s own Young Coyotes.

March 24: The Academy Is… at the Hi-Dive: I remember seeing The Academy Is… a few years ago at Warped Tour, and they were on top of their game then. I haven’t kept up with the group since then, but it’s nice to see them playing and acoustic set at the Hi-Dive. Also featured: This Providence.

April 3: Flobots at the CSM E-Days Festival: The loudest, most rambunctious thing we do at Mines, the E-Days show this year will be unlike any we’ve seen before. For the first time in recent memory, hip-hop will be the predominant sound eminating from Steinhauer Field House. Also featured: Filthy T

April 8: Dredg at the Marquis (Downtown): As a group that is constantly updating and experimenting with their sound, Dredg has found a special place in my music library. Their 2005 album Catch Without Arms is still one of my favorites.

April 24: The Gaslight Anthem at the Gothic: If Bruce Springsteen and Black Flag had a baby, it would be the Gaslight Anthem. Recently in Denver opening for the Rise Against / Thrice / Alkaline Trio tour, the Gaslight Anthem has kept busy playing late-night television gigs and touring.

May 12: Manchester Orchestra at the Marquis (Downtown): There are very few bands who inspire me the way Manchester Orchestra does. Lead singer Andy Hull’s lyrics are deep and intensely delivered. After seeing M.O. open for mewithoutYou a couple years ago, I’m excited to see them again. This time around they should be playing material from their soon-to-be-released album Mean Everything To Nothing.

May 16: Flight of the Conchords & Iron and Wine at Red Rocks: New Zealand’s premier acoustic-guitar weilding comedy duo, Flight of the Conchords have made their mark on American television and music. Constantly playing with different genres, the Conchords will likely put on one of the best shows in the 2009 Red Rocks schedule. Also playing: Iron & Wine, possibly one of the best, most beautiful sounding bands on the indie scene.

June 2: Animal Collective at the Boulder Theater (Boulder): Critics have been kind to Animal Collective’s  neweset release Merriweather Post Pavillion, calling it “the greatest album of the year.” Although their brand of experimental-electro-pop might not sit well with lovers of more traditional music genres, Animal Collective will surely put on an amazing show.

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Top 10 Albums of 2008

by on Jan.19, 2009, under "Best of" Lists


This is a collaborative article, it’s the work of Jake, Spencer and myself.

Top Ten Mainstream Albums

1. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

Although a debut album, the Fleet Foxes sound more mature and together on their self-titled release than most bands ever sound. Harmonically, the band sounds almost immaculate. They create an ethereal mood which is hard to lose after listening to the album. Although lyrically straightforward, the music is the important part of this album and it is executed astonishingly well. Listen to “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song,” “White Winter Hymnal,” and “He Doesn’t Know Why.” -JR

2. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

The New York indie scene broke out nationally this year, and leading the wave was Vampire Weekend. Their sweater-vested semi-classical approach to music is infused with African drum beats and subtle pop-culture references. Catchy melodies and lyrics match the equally well orchestrated instruments on VW’s first album. Listen to “Mansard Roof,” “A-Punk,” and “I Stand Corrected.” -TW

3. Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords

It’s not often that a comedy album makes the top ten albums list for a year, but Flight of the Conchord’s self-titled album is more than your average comedy album. The first release from the New Zealand duo is satirical and sarcastic in every sense; even the music mocks popular styles. The songs are simultaneously well-produced musically and hilarious lyrically. Listen to “Think About It,” “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros,” and “Business Time.” -JR

4. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak

Innovation occurs when risks are taken. Kanye’s newest record does not pick up where 2007′s Graduation left off, but instead cuts a new track. Markedly simpler in production, 808s relies heavily on three things: drum machines, lyrics, and auto-tune. This move produced one of the most honest sounding hip-hop records released last year. Listen to “Paranoid,” “Street Lights,” and “RoboCop.” -TW

5. Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs

A mark of a great song is when the same melody from it can be repeatedly played without losing interest. Death Cab for Cutie tested this theory multiple occasions on this album and proved it true. Although being deceptively simple, many songs from this album have the potential to stay around for years. With a superb blend of light vocals and mixed instruments, this album will not soon be forgotten. Listen to “Cath…” and “No Sunlight.” -SN

6. TV On The Radio – Dear Science

In their newest album, TV On The Radio brilliantly uses drum loops and deep, eerie lyrics to present an interesting and fun record. Dear Science is at times chaotic, at times somber, and at times full of grandiose beauty. At all times, however, it is intelligent, entertaining, and deeply poignant. Listen to “Lover’s Day,” “Golden Age,” and “Halfway Home.” -JR

7. Anberlin – New Surrender

Shifting into a more mainstream sound has not stopped Anberlin from continuing their stream of catchy lyrics and melodies. Despite a deeper dependence on a synthesizer, Anberlin’s music continues to be driven by fast guitars and unforgettable lyrics. Listen to “Breaking” and “Haight St.” -SN

8. Coldplay – Viva La Vida (Or Death and All His Friends)

Hailed as the new U2, Coldplay shot to stardom unflinchingly with their previous albums. Holding up under the intense expectations of fans and critics alike, Viva la Vida portrays Coldplay’s classic sound in some songs, while musically progressing in others. Listen to “Lost!” and “Violet Hill.” -SN

9. Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns

Snow Patrol combines a fast-paced alternative rock sound with simple melodies and song structures for a relaxing album. With an unusual singing style that varies through the album, A Hundred Million Suns keeps originality close to its core. Listen to “If There’s a Rocket Tie Me To It” and “Disaster Button.” ­-SN

10. I Hate Kate – Embrace The Curse

This record mixes 80′s new wave with modern pop to produce an enjoyable listening experience. Perhaps one of the best parts of this album is that there is definite ebb and flow; not every song sounds the same. Listen to “Bed of Black Roses,” “It’s You,” and “I’m In Love With A Sociopath.” -TW

Albums You Should Know

1. Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line

With a strong string section composed of a violin and a cello, Ra Ra Riot’s quick yet relaxed sound is excellent for studying, but is also upbeat enough to dance to. With a perfect blend of all instruments, they skillfully move from songs reminiscent of the Beatles to an 80′s style synthesis-driven song to a Kate Bush cover written in waltz time. The phenomenal chemistry of the band is well represented by all aspects of the album. Listen to “Dying is Fine” and “St. Peter’s Day Festival.” -SN

2. Sigur Rós -Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Beautiful and unique soundscapes fill Icelandic band Sigur Rós’s newest release. Jónsi Birgisson’s falsetto voice at times soars above the background music in a piercing and intense way. Other times, he matches the tone and intensity of the sound he is singing with, creating some of the most ethereal and stunning sounds being produced by any band today. Listen to “Gobbledigook,” “Við spilum endalaust,” and “Suð í eyrum.” -JR

3. Colour Revolt – Plunder, Beg & Curse

Realization, raw vocals, and silvery-sounding guitars fill this record. Lyrically reminiscent of the epic poems, it maintains timeless ideas about the frailty of humanity and the fleeting nature of temptation. Musically, singer Jesse Coppenbarger’s intense delivery matches the well-produced instrumentation. Even with a few exceptionally strong tracks, this album should be taken as a whole. Listen to “Moses of the South,” “A Siren,” and “What Will Come of Us?” -TW

4. The Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride

In their 16th album, The Mountain Goats continue to impress with deep and touching lyrics, complimented with equally touching melodies. Lead singer John Darnielle’s vocal skills, which allow him to move from a warbled, but pure, quiet to a confident, and sometimes angry, crescendo, drive the album. However, brilliant guitar and drum playing accent the music more readily in any previous Mountain Goats releases. Listen to “San Bernadino,” “Heretic Pride,” and “So Desperate.” ­-JR

5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!

After a four year hiatus, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds returned in 2008 with their 14th studio album. In it, the band seems to forget that twenty-year-old groups are supposed to put out predictable albums, instead producing what may be their most exciting release to date. Lead singer Cave sounds like any punk rock frontman should – full of swagger and an attitude which compliments the driving bass and drum beats. Listen to “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!,” “Albert Goes West,” and “We Call Upon the Author.” -JR

6. Nada Surf – Lucky

Nada Surf is one of those bands that has been around for over 10 years and has not released a bad record. Lucky showcases a more mature and developed sound with beautiful melodies and bright lyrics. Listen to “Whose Authority,” “Weightless,” and “Are You Lightning?” -TW

7. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges

If My Morning Jacket wanted to make an album which was easily pigeon-holed, they wouldn’t have made Evil Urges. They spend time flirting with psychedelic hippie rock, play with folk roots, and throw in some late-80s electronica. However, each song is without genre, and distinctly My Morning Jacket. Listen to “I’m Amazed,” “Evil Urges,” and “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pts. 1 & 2.” -JR

8. The New Frontiers – Mending

A bold mix of indie-pop and alt-country, the only full length release of the now-disbanded New Frontiers is a monument to their musical prowess. Mending covers a broad range of emotions and poses deep questions. Listen to “Black Lungs,” “This Is My Home,” and “Who Will Give Us Love?” -TW

9. We Shot The Moon – Fear And Love

Formed in the wake of Waking Ashland’s breakup in 2007, We Shot the Moon managed to produce a well-put together album within a year. The piano-based songs are well-balanced with their lyrical style. Uplifting and upbeat, their songs leave the listener feeling quite positive. Listen to “LTFP” and “Julie.” -SN

10. The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound

The ’59 Sound channels the classic sound of Bruce Springsteen while adding straightforward punk sensibility and style. This record inspires a certain sense of nostalgia with enjoyable and danceable tunes. Listen to “Old White Lincoln,” “The ’59 Sound,” and “Miles Davis & The Cool.” -TW

Local Releases of Note

3OH!3 – Want

In an innovative fusion of rap and techno, these two white guys from Boulder certainly have gained massive popularity across Colorado. Selling out their highly energetic shows quickly, 3OH!3 has developed a large fan base in this state. Their album goes from one dance-worthy song to another with impossible to forget melodies. Listen to “I Can’t Do It Alone” and “Starstrukk.” -SN

Fear Before – Fear Before

Hardcore music has never been more accessible than with Fear Before’s newest release. Opting to focus more on melody and lyrics instead of sheer heavy sounds, this record is enjoyable even outside of a mosh pit. Listen to “Treeman” and “Review Our Lives (Epic).” -TW

DeVotchKa – A Mad & Faithful Telling

DeVotchKa, the Denver band made famous by their appearance on the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack, continues to use unique instrumentation and imitate unique music styles very effectively in their newest album. They incorporate Eastern European, Spanish, Mexican, and American music in a unique and interesting way. Listen to “Basso Profundo” and “Along the Way.” -JR

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Album Review: The ’59 Sound

by on Nov.15, 2008, under Album Reviews


Living in 2008 is a little odd. From this point in history we can look back on centuries of progress and identify trends. Enter the Gaslight Anthem, a New Jersey band that has taken the best parts of their home state’s music scene and created something great. Combining the Jersey punk scene and the musical styling of Bruce Springsteen, the Gaslight Anthem created a new subgenre, “Springsteen-punk.” Currently, this group is on tour with Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, and Thrice.

Best Song:

The catchiest tunes on the record are definitely “The ’59 Sound,” “Old White Lincoln,” and “Miles Davis & the Cool.” These songs are reminiscent of better days, good times, classic sounds, cars, and musicians. As far as musical sound is concerned, the Gaslight Anthem has found a mix of upbeat guitars and drums that compliment their reverb-laden vocals. These tracks are probably the best representation of the group’s unique sound.

Song To Skip:

It is hard to pick a low point for this album. The entire record has a certain ebb and flow, with a few slower songs thrown in to the mix. One song that let me down was “Here’s Looking at You, Kid.” Slow and steady guitars start the song and continue throughout the song. Although this is not bad, there were several places where this song could break through into a moving anthem, but instead it maintains a low-key sound until the end.

Final Thoughts:

The Gaslight Anthem is a proud band. Their signature style pervades almost every track on The ’59 Sound, and their reflections on relationships and times gone by evoke a positive response from the listener. However, do not listen if you are more interested in musical diversity: almost every song sounds similar, which is not necessarily bad when the album as a whole is catchy and fresh.

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