Monthly Archives: June 2011
TRACK BY TRACK DISCUSSION:
This Is A Need To Know Basis Compilation
Written by Nathaniel Lay, founder of Persistent Heart Media
Introduction: At the time of writing this, the compilation has not yet been released to the public. However, we have announced the bands and songs appearing on it, and a handful of the tracks have been heard by our followers. Being in the business of music press, I know that Track By Tracks can be rather interesting. That is why I decided to do one for This Is A Need To Know Basis, discussing why each band and song were chosen. Enjoy!
01 – JUNIOR BATTLES “Seventeen”
This was a band I wanted from the start, but did not think I’d be able to get. I really wasn’t sure if Paper + Plastick Records would lend them out for this compilation or not, but luckily they were kind enough to do so! Junior Battles become one of my favorite bands last year after the release of their 7” vinyl. I fell in love with it quickly and named it in the top 3 of best albums in 2010 for the magazines I write for. I also had the band’s upcoming new album, Idle Ages, and had been playing it nonstop for a week or two prior to asking for Junior Battles’ participation. It is a great album and the label gave us permission to use the first track off of it, titled “Seventeen”. With TIANTKB starting out on punk rock (and progressing heavier as the compilation goes on), I found this to be the perfect opening track for this album as well. It’s catchy, very memorable, and features excellent lyrics. This is also my chance to help spread the word of a great band I think way more people need to hear.
02 – JACOBS LADDER “Scream (Railroad Tracks)”
Sometime earlier this year, the publicist of Jacobs Ladder contacted my website (Lexington Music Press) for some coverage on their latest EP. I learned a bit about the band and loved what songs I heard. They had an impressive history behind them already and I thought they would fit in well with this compilation. Though I started off liking this band, I soon fell in love with their brand of rock the more and more I played this song. This is quite an addictive number. It’s no wonder these guys have already accomplished so much with their DIY ethic.
03 – OLIVER TROLLEY “Circles”
My friend Bob Bradley manages some great bands (like Elevate: I Am, who barely missed making this compilation), as well as run his own label (titled Gas Can Music). From the couple bands of his I’ve played, Oliver Trolley became my instant favorite. Not only that, they are now on constant play from my iTunes. These guys have an awesome Smash Mouth vibe to them that I love. Not only that, they are extremely catchy and fun. “Circles”, which is the title track off their current EP, is infectious and just “feel good” like the album itself. This is an awesome band that will easily turn any frown upside down.
04 – CAR PARTY “Pittsburgh”
Car Party has been a band I’ve been in love with for over a year now, and this is not the first compilation I’ve done that they’ve been featured on. Their 2010 EP, Excuses, blew me away (though I first fell in love with them months before that with their demo of “Love Online”). Their brand of melodic rock fused with subtle electronics is like a cross between Jimmy Eat World and Death Cab For Cutie. Though they do have some newer music now, we decided to go for a song released during 2011. The decision to use “Pittsburgh” was not an easy one, though. We bounced back and forth with almost every track on the EP I think. I eventually decided (out of the two the band wanted to focus on currently) that this was the one I wanted to use. “Pittsburgh” features this amazing and memorable section at the end where vocalist Michael Natzke sings repeats of “The promises you made to break / Are getting old and I can’t take / Another day with hazel eyes / Lying to my face”. I promise you, this part will get stuck in your head and you’re going to love it. This is an amazing band that would have been HUGE in the 90s alternative scene for sure. I’m going to do my best in getting them the recognition they deserve, starting with them on our publicity sector and the vinyl release of their next EP, High And Low Places. Look for Fall 2011!
05 – ICARUS THE OWL “She Taught Me Minesweeper”
This was another one of the bands on this compilation that I had known about for over a year’s time. They had already caught my ear some time ago and I would occasionally check in on their progress. When I started contacting bands for participation on this compilation, I remember shooting their management the question “hey, we want them on another one of the compilations. What song can we use?” We didn’t even ask for a specific track because their latest EP, Qualia, was just so damn unique that any track would work well. They said “She Taught Me Minesweeper” and here it is. This chorus is catchy, and I love the vocals behind Icarus the Owl. They have this soaring sound all of the time. It’s great.
06 – OH NO FIASCO “Stand In Lover”
In all honesty, I didn’t know this band’s music too well when I decided to ask their publicist for their participation. I had their EP on my computer and I had played it once or twice, but hadn’t learned any of the songs yet. They told me I could use their single, “Stand In Lover”, so I placed it in the track listing (which was still incomplete at the time). Well, all the while of adding band’s to this compilation, I would constantly play through the songs already chosen. As a result, I quickly fell in love with this song. The sexual nature of this track is great and infectious. This is definitely a sleazy song to play during a one night stand. Also, Lindsey has a great voice that will easily bring people into their music.
07 – AT OUR EXPENSE “Love Stories Don’t Come Like This”
This was a band that I had used in a past compilation for Lexington Music Press, maybe a year ago. I think we had used one of their faster and heavier tracks, so this time I wanted to find something on their album that was a bit in a different direction. I ended up quickly choosing “Love Stories Don’t Come Like This” because it has this cool punk rock feel to it throughout (even though there is a little bit of screaming used). The best thing about this song, however, is later into the track the band starts to go all “Starting Line” on us with the acoustic playing and gang singing of the chorus. Awesome.
08 – NO REGIME “Stand Up For The Weak”
I remember this band sending me their EP for review and thinking “What the fuck? This is weird” the first time or two I played it. But something kept me coming back…soon enough, I was ADDICTED. These guys have an unusual style that is weird, yes, but also unique and catchy. Even when they go ape shit and scream, it sounds bouncy and fun. “Stand Up For The Weak” was one of my favorites off the EP, so it got used. No Regime have a great sound that definitely grows on you, so don’t shrug them off too quickly! On a side note, I really would like to release their music on vinyl down the road…
09 – HANDS ON THE STEREO “Tara”
I think this was another band that contacted me first and then got the attention of my ears. Their latest EP featured some catchy punk rock that I definitely liked, so I think I just went ahead and asked the band if they wanted to participate on the compilation. They ended up choosing “Tara”, which was more than fine by me. It has a really memorable chorus and a fun breakdown a little more than two minutes in. The guys were built for anthems.
10 – BANQUETS “Lyndon B. Magic Johnson”
I really can’t remember what publicist suggested this band, but I remember falling in love with them instantly. Their punk rock is similar to that of Junior Battles, which is probably part of the reason I got into them so quickly. “Lyndon B. Magic Johnson” was a favorite off their album and the member who ran Black Numbers (which is their label management) gladly said that we could use it on the compilation. I think this band, Junior Battles, Great Cynics, and a few other punk rock favorites of mine will have to see a exclusive vinyl compilation release sometime later this year. They’re just too damn good not to receive more exposure.
11- THIS DAY WILL TELL “We Left What’s Left Of Us In A Cloud Of Dust”
This is the point on the compilation where things start going down the heavier path and moving away from the catchy nature of punk rock. This Day Will Tell is a great screamo act from Indianola Records that is made up of some great guys (and led by a great label and a friend, Matt Shelton). Their vocalist, Michael Silver, is a real cool guy that I’ve become friends with and I thought it was awesome that they were so stoked to appear on this compilation. That sort of thing puts a smile on my face. This song is one of my favorites from their debut full length, so I believe I specifically requested it before any others. They said “go for it” and hear it is! The chorus is memorable and the screamed lines of “I can’t fucking stand this position that I’m in right now” gets me every time. I’m definitively eager for their next record, as well as discovering any new ways me and Matt will find to promote their music.
12 – OH, MANHATTAN “Face Of Another”
This track is special for a couple reasons. For starters, it was put on the compilation weeks before I even heard it. Oh, Manhattan is another band from Indianola and Matt suggested we add them to the compilation as well. Trusting my friend, I put them on and waited a while before actually hearing their music. That is one of the reasons it’s special. Another is that is off of an unreleased record! Yes, this is from the band’s upcoming new album that won’t be out until sometime late Summer. The third reason it’s special is that it won my approval after just one listen! This screamo outfit is definitely my style, as it features the fast stuff, the breakdowns, and well sung vocal parts. The gang vocals heard three minutes in are my favorite, but this track as a whole is pretty fuckin’ sweet. It also goes out on some great, brutal shreds and screams. I definitely can’t wait to hear the new album will Matt sends it my way soon.
13 – VICES “Find A Way”
This is another band off our publicity roster that I can’t wait to spread the word of. Vices are a post hardcore duo that have extreme range to them, as heard on their latest EP. “Find A Way” is the first track off Thieves And Royalty, and also one of the heaviest. It has great energy and vocal work to it, whether you’re most attracted to the deep growls or well sung chorus. This song quickly took over my brain as it now plays in my head during the work day off and on. I can’t get enough of it. Expect to see some really cool things come from Vices and Persistent Heart Media later this year. They aren’t planned yet, but we’ll definitely figure something out.
14 – IN RETROSPECT “For I Am King”
This is a bit of an interesting case. In Retrospect had hit up Lexington Music Press for a review of their single, “For I Am King”, and it won me over. I soon asked for it to be used for the compilation, but the best part of this is it’s the only song I’ve heard from the band. They are currently without any other recordings, but if their other songs are anything like this, then they are definitely on the right path. “For I Am King” makes me think of a cross between Underoath and a number of Rise Records bands. The instrumental and electronical work found on this song work wonders, and the singing/screaming combo is great. Both styles of vocals are well done, and the track has some great writing behind it. I’d like to see something faster and more energetic next time around (I get the impression they could go ape shit like Ten After Two), but this is a very good introductory track showing off the band’s ability to provide balance and expansion with their music.
15 – WITHIN WOLVES “Biting the Hand That Feeds”
Lexington Music Press used to have a writer by the name of Mario Trevizo. He left of after a while to turn his complete focus on his own company, titled Fans4Bands. It really has turned into something cool, so we definitely think he made a good choice. The point of mentioning this friend is that Within Wolves is one of the bands in his music community that is getting promotion from Fans4Bands. Their electronic tinged metal is quite impressive and brutal (think of Asking Alexandria blended with Miss May I). The breakdown “If I am the devil, then I’ll see you in hell” will win you over easily, and you’ll want to blast it loud again and again.
16 – EVERY MINUTE CAN KILL “Purpose”
As I wrote in a review for this band, “Seriously, why have they not been picked up by a label yet?” That pretty much says it all. “Purpose” shows a new side of Every Minute Can Kill that totally destroys their older material. It is impressive, intense, polished, and well rounded. It features pretty much everything you could ask for, including brutal attacks, breakdowns, gradual builds, and gang vocal work. Both the singing and screaming sound superb (and improved from their last EP), and the overall presentation of it is of a band that has newly found themselves. “Purpose” is a damn near perfect track and it has turned many heads already since it’s online release a little earlier this year. You’ll be hearing more from these guys soon enough. “Just cuz you’re living doesn’t mean you’re alive / To fail is to live / And never try is to die”. Amen.
17 – DISMEMBER THE FALLEN “Overcoming Reality”
Though they no longer have the female vocalist accompanying the brutal assault that is Dismember the Fallen, these guys still have great range that is presented during their latest single “Overcoming Reality”. This track is downright brutal. While there is singing to be heard here, it has that atmospheric approach that makes it smooth over well with the metal apocalypse unfolding. Fans of really heavy music will love Dismember the Fallen. They’re kind of like a cross between older Bleeding Through and The Plot In You. Count me interested in hearing their next album.
18 – BURN THE WEAK “Praying For Savior”
This is one of the heaviest songs found on the compilation, with the exception of Dismember the Fallen and Final Sacrifice. Burn the Weak are one of the bands that I actually discovered on this leak website that focuses on unsigned bands. It is for this reason that it’s hard to say those kind of sites are bad for bands. Some need this kind of exposure to spread the word, especially when they’re across seas like Burn the Weak. These Germans are downright brutal and crazy sounding, so I’m glad I stumbled across them. Death metal fans will definitely be attracted to this section of This Is A Need To Know Basis.
19 – FINAL SACRIFICE “Send Forth Your Hope”
Kind of like Polish version of Black Dahlia Murder, Final Sacrifice do a lot of fast assaults and double tap breakdowns, molding high screeches and deep growls on the microphone. “Send Forth Your Hope” features some really cool guitar work that reeled me in, though it’s the overall ferocious and aggressive nature of the song that will bring in death metal fans the most probably. It’s a little longer than most of the tracks on this compilation, but that’s because it paints a dark landscape for exploration. On a side note, check these guys out on Facebook and ask for the link to the humorous douchebag review of their EP. You’ll laugh.
20 – AUTOMATIC STATIC “Drag Me Down”
At first, this track may seem out of place because the compilation gets progressively heavier and heavier as it plays through. Just before this song, you were hearing death metal. Now we’re onto hard rock. Why? This song is a perfect closer and luckily flowed well after the ending of the Final Sacrifice track. Automatic Static have this awesome Fuel vibe to them that I fell in love with instantly, and their latest EP is just damn rockin’ in every way possible. Also coming from Gas Can Music (just like Oliver Trolley from earlier), these guys belong on every rock fan’s iPod. “Drag Me Down” is a long song, but an excellent ride. Though it was one of the first songs chosen for this compilation, I knew from the start it had to be the closing track. It just has that epic feel to it that works best when bringing together a great ride (which is what TIANTKB is). You can’t tell me that after hearing this compilation from start to finish that this track had a better place to be. No, this was the spot. “Drag Me Down” was the perfect way to bring this album together.
Conclusion: Well, there you have it. This Is A Need To Know Basis has a public release date of 6.21.11 and will be available for FREE download. That’s 20 great bands, 20 great songs, all for free. Enjoy! Also, in preparation for its release, don’t forget to log into your Facebook profiles and “like” each of these bands! Phew, this took a lot longer to write than I thought…I’m burnt out. Goodnight!