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Real Friends – Get By

Real FriendsChicago pop-punk outfit Real Friends has premiered a new single.  The video song is titled “Get By” and is the first new music since their latest album, The Home Inside My Head, which dropped in May 2016 via Fearless Records.  Bassist Kyle Fasel explains:

This is truly about the music and the music only… We focused on having higher energy and more melodic vocals with this track, and we hope everyone enjoys it and can take something away from it.

Check out the song below.

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Movements Stream Debut Full Length In Full

MovementsAlt/punk act Movements has premiered a full stream of their freshly dropped full length, Feel Something, which was released last week on October 20, 2017 via Fearless Records.

Listen to the full disc below.  Check out our review here.

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Movements

Movements

Feel Something

Fearless Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Fearless Records has been pushing California post-hardcore emo quartet Movements quite heavily on the lead up to the release of their debut full length, Feel Something.  Various press folks followed up on the album on multiple occasions until they finally wore me down and I thought, “hey, maybe there’s something this whole Movements things.”  So Feel Something made the next migration to my review playlist and I gave it a spin. I was shocked.  It’s been quite awhile since a band has so effortlessly wowed me with this type of pop infused emo, but Feel Something is of a calibur unto its own.

The band feels in complete control of their temperment, never once coming across as anything but pointed and sincere.  Vocalist Patrick Miranda demonstrates a fine range of control across opener “Full Circle.”  Starting with a low and carefully managed tone that draws parallels to calm talkers The American Scene, listeners are welcomed with reassurance that Movements will make Feel Something a carefully paced endeavour.  By the time the first chorus hits, likenesses to The Early November and Transit percolate through Miranda’s pitchy delivery.  That combination alone would have been enough for a solid debut, but suddenly and without warning Miranda unleashes a melodic, spoken-word monologue that feels like a more subdued take on The Saddest Landscape.  Miranda’s calm delivery of such  an underrated and underutilized style is second to none, and his adjustment between all three is fluid and complimentary.  He’s no jack of all trades, but rather a master of many.

Movements doesn’t fall into any particularly predictable pattern, which works to the quartet’s advantage. Take “Colorblind,” which primarily hovers around Taking Back Sunday/Senses Fail leaning alternative pop-punk, and contrast it with the hushed, mellow intonation of “Daylily.”  Even in “Deadly Dull,” when Miranda returns to his spoken-word style, the execution is entirely different, this time filling the place of a mid-song bridge that retreats to a place of sullen melodic vocals and the chillingly expressive chorus call, “What’s it like to be erased, every time you fall asleep?”  The song’s focus on late-life brain disease (presumably dementia/alzheimers) is powerful, poetic, and purposeful.  “Fever Dream” bucks trends further and embarks on a strictly acoustic mission, while “Under The Gun” embraces a crunchy  bass driven post-punk volly.

Feel Something’s ease of listening and emo orientation draws an intuitive comparison to the best of the Drive Thru Records back catalogue.  In other words, this isn’t your typical Fearless Records fare – it’s both artistic and marketable.  Imagine if Brand New had started rather than ended their career in 2017 – that’s Feel This‘ potential.  Any fan of pop-punk, post-hardcore or emo would be wise to invest in Feel Something and become acquainted with Movements.  Thanks for the extra nudge press people.

Video: Pierce The Veil – Today I Saw The Whole World

Fearless RecordsPierce The Veil has released a new music video for the new single, “Today I Saw The Whole World.” The band comments on the song:

“I grew up watching massive amounts of MTV music videos throughout the 90’s… I would record all of my favorites on VHS tape, watching them over and over until the tape wore out. Our new video was inspired by some of these artists that I loved back then like the Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill and Marilyn Manson.  We wanted to use this 90’s look to visually express the lyrics and fury inside of the song.”

The band’s latest full length, Misadventures, is out now via Fearless Records.  Watch the video below.

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Movements – Colourblind

MovementsAlt/punk act Movements has premiered a new song.  The track is titled “Colourblind” and is set to appear on the upcoming full length, Feel Something, which is set to drop on October 20, 2017 via Fearless Records. Lead-singer Patrick Miranda comments:

“’Colorblind’ is one of the songs off of Feel Something that we felt best embodied the progression of our music… We wanted the first new song everyone heard to be a heavy hitting banger that would really hit the ground running, and set a tone for the rest of the record.”

Listen to the song below.

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Moments Details New Album

MomentsAlternative-rock band Moments has announced details for their debut album.  The album will be titled Feel Something and is set to drop on October 20, 2017 via Fearless Records.

Pre-orders are live.  Track listing and album art can be found below.

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Video: I Prevail – ‘Lifelines’

I PrevailDetroit metalcore outfit I Prevail have posted a video for Lifelines. This is the title track from their most recent full length, which dropped back in October of last year via Fearless Records. This follows the news of their Rage on the Stage tour, which kicks off next month.

Check out the video for Lifelines below.

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I Prevail Announce ‘Rage on the Stage’ Autumn Tour

I PrevailMichigan metalcore outfit I Prevail have announced a run of autumn shows being billed as the Rage on the Stage tour. The quartet are still out on back of their debut full length Lifelines (Fearless Records, 2016), and support on all dates will come from fellow metalcore-ers We Came As Romans, The Word Alive, and Escape The Fate.

Check out the full list of dates below.

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Tours: Pierce The Veil / White Lung / Rise Against

Fearless RecordsPierce The Veil has announced that they will be touring in support of Rise Against with White Lung.  The video features the song “Drive In” and comes from their latest full length, Misadventures, out now via Fearless Records.

Tour dates are below.

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Video: Real Friends – Empty Picture Frames

Real FriendsChicago pop-punk outfit Real Friends has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Mess,” which appears on their latest album, The Home Inside My Head, which dropped in May 2016 via Fearless Records.

Check out the video below.

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Video: Pierce The Veil – Floral & Fading

Fearless RecordsPierce The Veil has debuted a brand new music video.  The video features the song “Drive In” and comes from their latest full length, Misadventures, out now via Fearless Records.

Watch the video below.

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Video: Pierce The Veil – Drive In

Fearless RecordsPierce The Veil has debuted a brand new music video.  The video features the song “Drive In” and comes from their latest full length, Misadventures, out now via Fearless Records.

Watch the video below.

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Video: Real Friends – Mess

Real FriendsChicago pop-punk outfit Real Friends has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Mess,” which appears on their latest album, The Home Inside My Head, which dropped back in May via Fearless Records.

Check out the video below.

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Tours: I Prevail

I PrevailDetroit rock band I Prevail will be heading on tour in support of their new debut album.  The disc will be titled Lifeless and is set to drop on October 21, 2016 via Fearless Records.  Pre-orders are live.  

Tour dates are below.

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I Prevail – Lifeless

I PrevailDetroit rock band I Prevail has premiered a new song from their debut, full length album.  The disc will be titled Lifeless and is set to drop on October 21, 2016 via Fearless Records.  Singer Brian Burkheiser comments:

‘Stuck In Your Head’ is a final send off to a bad relationship. I had reached my breaking point and the similarity of a worn and damaged record was all I could compare this relationship too.  I had to write about it but It couldn’t be an emotional break up song. It had to be straightforward, aggressive and in your face.  That’s exactly how I felt at the time. You lost me, and you’ll regret it.”

Listen to the song here.  Pre-orders are live.

Video: Pierce The Veil – Circles

Fearless RecordsPierce The Veil has debuted a brand new music video.  The video features the song “Circles” and comes from their latest full length, Misadventures, out now via Fearless Records.

Watch the video below.

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I Prevail Detail New LP; Premiere Music Video

I PrevailDetroit rock band I Prevail has announced details for their debut, full length album.  The disc will be titled Lifeless and is set to drop on October 21, 2016 via Fearless Records.  Pre-orders are live.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the song “Scars,” which can be heard below.

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Video: Real Friends – Scared To Be Alone

Real FriendsChicago pop-punk outfit Real Friends has premiered a new song and music video.  The video features the song “Scared To Be Alone,” which appears on their upcoming album, The Home Inside My Head, and is set to drop on May 27, 2016 via Fearless Records.

Check out the video below.

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The Word Alive Stream New Track ‘Trapped’

The Word AlivePhoenix, AZ metalcore band The Word Alive are streaming a new track. It is titled Trapped and will feature on the quintet’s upcoming LP Dark Matter, due for release on March 18th via Fearless Records. Frontman Telle Smith recently spoke to Kerrang!:

“If you know what it’s like to feel confined to your vices or someone who is, you’ll feel the intensity of ‘Trapped’.Whether your fix is drugs, alcohol, sex or phycological insecurities, we all have something that can hold us back. ‘Trapped’ is about that feeling, and trying to crawl out of the hole that can be our heads.”

Check out the stream of Trapped below.

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The White Noise Join Fearless Records; Post New Video

Fearless RecordsThe White Noise has signed on with Fearless Records.  To mark the occasion the band has premiered a new music video featuring the single “Bloom,” which is available digitally today.

Watch the video below.

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Chunk! No, Captain Chunk Post Lyric Video for ‘Playing Dead’

Chunk_No_Captain_ChunkFrench pop punk outfit Chunk! No, Captain Chunk (Aka C!NCC) have posted a lyric video for their track Playing Dead. The song features on their upcoming full length Get Lost, Find Yourself, due to drop on May 18th (UK) and 19th (US) via Fearless Records.

Check out the lyric video for Playing Dead below.

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As It Is Announce New Album, Stream ‘Concrete’

As_It_Is1Transatlantic pop punk band As It Is have announced that their new full length, Never Happy, Ever After is due for release on April 20th in the UK and a day later in the US (via Fearless Records). The band are hitting the road next month for a UK tour alongside Seaway, This Wild Life and Boston Manor.

Ahead of the album release the band are streaming the lead single Concrete, and the full list of tour dates below.

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Stream: Punk Goes Christmas

Punk goes ChristmasThe latest album in Fearless Records‘ Punk Goes… sampler can now be streamed online.

The titled, dubbed Punk Goes Christmas, sees bands such as New Found Glory, Yellowcard, Man Overboard and The Ready Set, doing Christmas and holiday songs. 

The album is available now and can be streamed here.

The World Alive - Deceiver

The World Alive

Deceiver

Fearless Records
By

Rating: 1.5/5

 
 

 

 

When I first saw The World Alive’s debut EP, Empire, I was surprised. It was unlike anything Fearless had put out recently, the artwork was intricate and impressive and the heavy metalcore EP showed potential despite it not being my style.

For the last year and a bit, they’ve stayed in my memory banks because of that surprising introduction. Sadly, they lost that surprising element now and Deceiver came through exactly as I expected – although this time they toned down the artwork and given the album a rather generic and forgettable front cover. 

Deceiver picks up where Empire left off:  the record is a heavy metalcore album. Low, guttural screams penetrate the tracks, punctuated by a never ending barrage of double bass kicks. It’s a technically proficient album, with lightning fast riffs that bring up visions of Protest The Hero (particularly on the opener The Hounds of Anubis). This heavy onslaught sounds like Bring Me The Horizon but with a fuller production value.

However, just like their EP – they constantly throw in melodic and smooth vocals in the mix; making for the occasional gang vocal and sing-along portion that require the band to tone their volume and slow it down ever so slightly. This adds some needed variety but often doesn’t fit the sound properly. An odd moment here and there and it works, but they do it too often that it just feels forced. Take Consider It Mutual; a song that pretty much leaves all the metal elements of their sound behind and instead deliver a song that is nearly all melodic vocals. This just sounds out of place – if it wasn’t for the never ending double bass kicks you wouldn’t know it was the same band for close to half the track. Instead, it’s just like every other overly polished nu-emo band.

And ultimately, it all seems kind of generic. While I am by no means an expert in the metalcore genre – it tends to be a style I avoid – The World Alive have failed to add anything new to the sound that I haven’t heard before; and haven’t been able to entice me to the metalcore fold.

Deceiver, like its cover art, is generic and eventually forgettable. Yes, there are flashes of intense musicianship but they throw in too many clichés that it becomes forgettable.  The band had promise on their EP – and they’ve built on it a bit here but it still falls short; and I can’t help but think that the only reason Empire really stood out in the first place was because I wasn’t expecting it to sound the way it did. Now I know what to expect and they failed to push the boundaries.

Punk Goes Pop 3

Various Artists

Punk Goes Pop Volume 3

Fearless Records
By

Rating: 0.5/5

 
 

 

 

Fearless Records’ annual Punk Goes… series used to be a compilation that I eagerly awaited. Punk Goes… Acoustic is still one of my favourite compilations despite its awful artwork. But now, ten years into the compilation series, the announcement of a new Punk Goes… compilation is treated with laughs and snickers instead of excitement and anticipation. These are not good compilations any longer sadly and have very little – close to nothing – to do with “punk” anymore.

At best, this should be called “Pop Rock Goes… Pop” but most is just “Pop Goes… Pop” with only three “Metalcore goes… pop” songs on the album. Because frankly, these are just pop bands who haven’t broken into the mainstream covering pop bands who have broken into the mainstream.

Plus,  I don’t know  about you – but I’ve only heard four of these original tunes. So to me, these just sound like generic pop songs and I have no idea whether they’ve changed them or not; and that takes away a major appeal of the concept of the album.

Take, for instance, the opening track of Down by Breathe Carolina. This is a synth-pop song with vo-coders and autotune vocals. To me, this is what pop is and even though I’ve never heard the original, I can’t help but think Lil’ Wayne’s vo-coders would be better.

Woe, Is Me’s cover of Katy Perry’s Hot n Cold is one of the metalcore tunes on the album (the others being The World Alive’s take on Kanye West’s Heartless and Miss May I’s Run This Town) but when they go for the melodic chorus, the only thing separating it from a top 40 tune is the double bass kick.

This Century’s Paper Planes cover is commendable but doesn’t hold up against the original or Street Sweeper Social Club’s cover and frankly nothing else is remotely memorable. Family Force 5 deliver a painful electro-pop song while The Ready Set is a bland pop song through and through. Cute Is What We Aim For at least mixes it up with an acoustic tune – but still, blah.

Really, blah sums up Punk Goes..Pop 3 perfectly. This is not punk and is just plain blah and doesn’t deserve any more in-depth examinations.

Punk Goes Pop 2

Various Artists

Punk Goes Pop Volume 2

Fearless Records
By

Rating: 0.5/5

 
 

 

 

So let’s make this simple by starting with the alum title: Punk Goes Pop: Volume Two.  The title implies that the disc within contains pop songs covered by punk artists.  Seems pretty simple, right?  Just gather a bunch of established punk bands, and then give them something to cover off the radio.  This isn’t anything new, Me First And The Gimme Gimmes have been doing it for years, and the formula is simple enough: increase the song in question’s tempo, give it a speedy drumbeat, bouncy guitars, and your done.  There’s usually a hint of comedic relief that comes with hearing your favourite pop tune all punked up, and then we move on, and repeat; pretty hard to mess up, right?

Wrong!  Volume Two fall flat on the first criteria.  There is no punk here, just an odd mix of “electro-pop goes pop” (figure that one out), or more often then not “hardcore goes pop.”  It’s insulting really; who do they think they’re fooling?  At the risk of sounding elitist, screamo group Alesania is not punk, hardcore outfit Silverstein is not punk, and metalcore band August Burns Red is certainly not punk. For that matter, Breathe Carolina is on here as well – you know, the same Breathe Carolina that sounds as if it belongs blaring on a rave floor?  What the hell?  Come to think of it, I’m not even being elitist; there are just simple facts in genre classification that Punk Goes Pop ignores.  I mean, you don’t see other labels going around classifying a traditional German polka as Hip-Hop, so why would you call something that’s blatantly hardcore or electro-pop punk?

If this album was called “hardcore goes pop” or “electro-pop goes pop” then I’d be in a very different position and would be judging these covers on a different set of criteria (which, for those interested, is quite a mixed bag).  But as it stands, the whole album simply reinforces the industry’s tendency to brand anything as “punk” in return for a quick buck.  What you really get in the deceptively titled Punk Goes Pop is a collection of laughable covers of tracks like Brittany Spear’s “…Baby One More Time” in the style of brutal hardcore – a songs I imagine hardcore enthusiasts never would never want permeating the sanctity of the genre – or tracks like Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” made even more poppy than their original incarnation.  None of these tracks work on any level.

The whole affair is frustratingly hard to listen to and criminally mislabeled.  The album’s sole saving grace is a cover of “Beautiful Girls” by pop-punk group Bayside, but really, in an iTunes age those who might be interested could easily enough just download the single by itself.  Punk Goes Pop: Volume Two is the type of industry cash-in that has helped discredit the merits of mainstream punk in recent years.  Please, do yourself a favour and treat this as if it never existed.

Punk Goes Acoustic 2

Various Artists

Punk Goes Acoustic 2

Fearless Records
By

 
 

 

 

The announcement of the second Punk Goes Acoustic release was greeted with mix feelings, but mostly anticipation. While the list of bands wasn’t quite as strong as it’s predecessor, Punk Goes Acoustic 2 still showed some promise. Sadly, when it comes down to it, the record seems to fall flat – especially when compared to the first attempt. Not only that, but Punk Goes Acoustic 2 is an oddly depressing record.

It’s depressing because it shows the lack of harmony in today’s scene as most of the new bands on here are quite painful to listen to. It’s as if the talent needed to be a singer has fallen to an all time low. All of these new power-pop/emo acts can not survive acoustically simply because the vocalists can’t handle the melody and so they become irritating fast. While a few new acts – The Audition, All Time Low, andSherwood – provide listenable tracks; it is mainly the older and established acts that really hold this release together. Andrew McMahon kicks it off nicely with Jack’s Mannequin‘s Bruised and Mark Hoppus shows us why he is a pop-punk icon with +44‘s Baby Come OnRelient K and Anti-Flag are able to hold their own too but Welcome To 1984 has been available for free online for over two yeas now, Justin Sane and company could have and should have supplied the compilation with a newer track.

Splitting up the more enticing tracks of the older pop-punk generation are songs which shows the sad state of music today. The vocalists just aren’t able to hold their own anymore, and it’s evident when you listen to Alesana, Silverstein or Daphne Loves Derby. The songs are generic and fail to evoke any passion acoustically and the nasally, high pitched vocals are just a depressing look at the current “scene.” Even bands that I do love, like All-American Rejects, Say Anything and Set Your Goals, are unable to transfer their songs into the acoustic format properly which just makes this album all the less enjoyable.

With only a few good tracks to select from, Punk Goes Acoustic 2 fails to live up to it’s expectations. The album is monotonous, it falls flat and becomes repetitive – which is hard for a compilation to do. Instead of picking a selection of acts with respected repertoires who are able to make acoustic songs work, Fearless Records went for a bunch of new bands who are the “in thing” but they won’t be the “in thing” for long.

 

Blessthefall Stream New Album

blessthefallPhoenix, AZ metalcore band Blessthefall have released a stream of their upcoming full length Hollow Bodies via Billboard.com.

The album’s official release is set for August 20th via Fearless Records, but fans can now get an early listen to what frontman Beau Bokan says: “.. is leaps and bounds beyond anything we’ve ever created and that this album will take us places we’ve never been before.”

Listen to the album here.

 

So They Say - Life in Surveillance

So They Say

Life in Surveillance

Fearless Records
By

Rating: 1.5/5

 
 

 

 

My bus ride to school in the mornings is approximately thirty minutes long. More often that not I use those thirty minutes to great advantage, by which I mean I simply pass out and sleep the entire ride. However, some days I find some reasons to stay awake for the trip. Sometimes it will be because a friend is also riding the bus so I have someone to talk to, other times it’s the fact that I need to read something before school starts and other times I stay awake so I can just zone out and listen to some great (or not so great) tunes. Yesterday was one of those days. I decided it was time I sat and listened to So They Say‘s sophomore album front and back, something I had been putting off for around a week. So I hopped on the bus and turned on my iPod and listened to Life In Surveillance for a while. It didn’t really grab me, but it wasn’t horrible either and my initial trepidations concerning the releases weren’t as strong as they were previously. Then the funniest thing happened, I was woken up by the buzzing of someone requesting a stop.

Turns out I couldn’t quite make it all the way through the album without, literally, falling asleep.

Now, I realized this was a slightly bias result. I mean, it was early in the morning and I was tired and just sitting there doing nothing, so the album can’t be the only thing held responsible for my little nap. Nevertheless, it couldn’t keep me awake either; and that says something too.

You see, Life In Surveillance is exactly what you’d expect from So They Say as the record contains absolutely no surprises. It’s a flawlessly produced conglomeration of post-hardcore, pop-punk and modern emo (I’ve heard the band been described as all three). Suffice to say, So They Say aren’t striving for anything ground breaking with the release but are instead treading softly in already worn out territory. The vocals are pitch perfect, making them rather bland and forgettable as they melt into the mixture of keyboards, guitars and bass. At times they’re able to elevate themselves to new heights and bring in a slight punch in the vocals (Close Range and Wake Me Up being prime examples), but for the most part they’re simply meh.

It’s like a mixture of Armor For Sleep, The Spill Canvas, and Hidden In Plain View with some Classic Case, Silverstein, National Product and Royden thrown in too. It makes for an album that is a tad better than a lot of the releases being spat out these past few years; but it also fails to strike any chord with the listener and it will be thrown to the pack of your CD pile within the first few weeks of getting it. It’s just a generic modern emo/post-hardcore output and while it has a few moments that aren’t completely bland, there’s not many.

So how would I describe the album? I’d say meh. M-E-H. Meh.

Tour: Sleeping With Sirens / The Summer Set (UK/Europe)

SirensOrlando screamo band Sleeping With Sirens are touring Europe this autumn in support of their latest full length Feel which was released on June 4th via Rise Records. Support on all dates will come from Arizona’s The Summer Set who are promoting their album Legendary which has been out since April via Fearless Records.

Full dates below.

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Yesterdays Rising - Lightworker

Yesterdays Rising

Lightworker

Fearless Records
By

Rating: 2/5

 
 

 

 

To say I was excited about Yesterdays Rising‘s follow up to 2004’s When We Speak We Breathe EP would be a lie. Because, I really wasn’t looking forward to it. Although the EP received some good press, I couldn’t stand it and found it painful to listen to in full. So the news Lightworker didn’t really give me much anticipation and when I got a copy, it took me a while to finally play it. But when I did, I was pleasantly surprised to see the band has grown a bit and that the CD wasn’t half bad.

Now sure, Lightworker is by no means a masterpiece – they still have a long way before they are anyway near that. It isn’t life changing, but in fact, moderately generic for the most part. Their music is a mix of emo, metal and screamo with slightly whiny singing vocals and powerful screams scattered about. They follow the trend of the uprising emo movement very well, and I’m sure many scenesters will jump at the opportunity of getting the CD; but they still can’t escape the fact that nothing really distinguishes them from the masses musically. Hell, nothing on the songs themselves really separate them from other songs on the album and they tend to fall into a drone after a while with nothing new kicking in.

Despite all of that though, Yesterdays Rising does have one thing that makes them standout in the crowd. That thing is the lyrics. Take the acoustic track My Conscious Curiosity for example, which asks “What am I a part of? What makes one Dream? And what makes a person have intuitive passion for something? What gives us touch, and a sweet taste? Who warms out inner soul and what makes us break?“. Or even better, search the lyrics for Experience To Write or Let Us and they will easily blow you away.

Sure, Yesterdays Rising are by no means my favorite band out there, they are far from it. But still, Lightworker has given me some hopes in the band. The CD isn’t life changing or epic, its kind of generic; but they do have a few good songs which are able to be played over again – and the lyrics are just great.