Posts Tagged ‘Review’

This review is going to take a bit of a different route and is more personal than anything Stork Music has ever done. It’s more of an editorial review, which we try to shy away from, but we hope it’s something different that you can relate to.

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For those who aren’t familiar, welcome. I’m Thuy Lan (say it like twee-lawn), editor of Stork Music. For the past three years, All Time Low has played a show on or around the time of my birthday in cities near where I lived. For life up until two years ago, that was Milwaukee. For all those years, I never went because something was always in my way. This year looked like it would be no different.

I made an 1800 mile move across the country from a suburban Wisconsin town to the desert oven of a city, also known as Phoenix. My 20th birthday was approaching, and like clockwork, All Time Low was planning a fall tour.

Alex Gaskarth.  Marquee. Tempe, AZ. Photo credit Kyra Wennersten.

For a while, I’d been contemplating reaching out to All Time Low for some concert coverage, but always stopped myself, worried that Stork didn’t have a wide enough audience to be considered, or that a blog wouldn’t be credible enough for a band that was selling out cross continental tours.  And as every other year, All Time Low was playing a show in Milwaukee the week of my birthday.  But I was in Phoenix.

What was different about this year was an email I received, asking if I would be interested in doing some coverage on some band called All Time Low. I thought maybe this would finally be the year, where I finally got to see All Time Low in concert for my birthday. Three years of missed birthday concerts was coming to an end—in a horribly bittersweet way.

In the car on the way to the Marquee (Tempe, AZ), I knew for some reason this didn’t just feel different, it was different. For the first time in three years, I was letting someone else take the photographs [shout out to my amazing roommate and friend, Kyra Wennersten for her incredible pictures and being my voice of reason at times], and watch the show from the crowd. Since Stork was created two years ago, I had been watching from the pit or from side stage. I hadn’t realized how much of a dissonance there had been between actually experiencing a concert and covering it for the site.  Standing near the back of the crowd, I heard countless screams and gossip about the bands that were playing, and that was when I knew.  I had grown up.  Kids were talking about how their parents were going to pick them up after the show and how they hadn’t done their American history projects yet.  Some were exploiting their freedom to spew profanity without parental disdain as a consequence, shouting things like “OH MY GOD, I’m so GOD DAMN excited for this F**KING BAND to play my favorite F**KING SONG like F**KING EVER, you guys F**K.”

Jack Barakat. Marquee. Tempe, AZ. Photo credit Kyra Wennersten.

Seeing Hit The Lights brought back memories of my first Warped Tour, and hearing The Summer Set’s signature line about monsters in beds had me reminiscing of the AP Tour.  When All Time Low took the stage amidst deafening screams and a rhythmic cult-like “All-Time-Low” chant, I knew it would be my last show as a teenager.

Anyone who has ever seen All Time Low perform live knows that it’s high energy, fun, and wildly inappropriate.  They put on one of the most visually appealing shows with coordinated lighting—Peter Pan green for ‘Somewhere In Neverland’ and Ravens purple during ‘For Baltimore.’  Fun banter between front man Alex Gaskarth and guitarist Jack Barakat always evokes screams, whether the conversation is about Alex getting frisky with drummer Rian Dawson’s mom, or how sexy the band members are.

ATL played a handful of classic hits like ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In,’ ‘Poppin’ Champagne,’ ‘Remembering Sunday’ and ‘Jasey Rae.’  But it was their new track off Don’t Panic that got to me.  ‘Somewhere In Neverland’ sparked a train of thought—I’d been like Peter Pan.  I didn’t want to grow up.  But it didn’t really matter what I wanted, I knew from that moment it was inevitable.  What I also knew that from the genuine smiles on the face of every member on stage was that they were happy, doing exactly what they wanted.  I knew that I wanted what they had.  I’m doing that right now with Stork Music (though I’m not getting paid for it, boo) and I hope that in growing up, I’ll find that I can do what I love.

Alex Gaskarth, Zack Merrick. Marquee. Tempe, AZ. Photo credit Kyra Wennersten.

Seeing All Time Low then and now, I have watched them progress and grow into a band that’s matured lyrically and instrumentally and they continually put their all into every album and every show they play.  When I think of a band that defined my adolescence and growing up, it won’t be the Backstreet Boys or *Nsync.  Looking back, it will always be ATL—crying over boys while ‘Therapy’ played through my earphones, dancing to ‘Damned If I Do Ya’ in my room and watching almost every classic Disney movie after listening to ‘Somewhere in Neverland.’  I can safely say that All Time Low put on an amazing show, like they always do.

Thank you all for your support of Stork Music.  Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions at all.

Love,

Thuy Lan

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Two months ago, we announced the release date of Go Radio’s deluxe edition of Lucky Street.  It has finally arrived and we couldn’t be happier with all the time we waited.

After tapping my fingers and waiting in front of my computer for my pre-order to become available on iTunes, I nearly jumped out of my bed and woke my roommate with my screaming.  The only plus side to living on the west coast, beside the absence of frosty car windows in the morning at this time of year, is that while it’s midnight on the east coast, it’s still early here.  So what if we miss every single television show and every plot twist gets spoiled on Twitter before we even get a chance to watch the open credits…We get the Go Radio album without waiting until the wee hours of the morning to listen to it!  As of this point, Go Radio’s eight bonus tracks have been played over two-hundred and ten times on my iTunes alone—not counting the iPhone plays or the times they’ve been repeated in my head.  That might just be my personal affinity for Go Radio showing through though.  Now let’s get down to brass tacks.

‘Ready or Not,’ the first of the bonus tracks on Lucky Street (Deluxe Edition), is a polished rock track with carefully structured layers and specific elements adding to the overall sound of the finished piece.  The track is probably the most structured of the bonus features next to the ‘Rolling In The Deep’ cover, and the peppier ‘Worth All The While’ but in no way is that a bad thing.  ‘Ready or Not’ feeds any thirst for a louder, head-nod worthy, guitar and drum backed sound.  As always, the opening track always offers a sample of universally relatable lyrics to come.

Contrasting the stentorian bonus opener is an almost conversational ‘Stay Gone.’  Close your eyes and it sounds like an intimate Go Radio concert—a noisy little cafe, a wooden stool on a landing in the corner, an acoustic guitar and heartfelt lyrics echoing above the chatter.  The song offers a nice change of pace from the emotionless, auto tuned, meaningless fodder that often fills the top charts but falls into the same realm as fan favorite ‘Goodnight Moon,’ which also makes an appearance as a bonus, heartwrenching acoustic track.  It’s more than obvious Go Radio’s lyrics are a little more genuine and heartfelt than say LMFAO, no matter how much they may believe in the fact that they’re “sexy and they know it,” and it shows in all of their tracks.

The only thing that could possibly make those lyrics and masterful instrumental supports better would be Jason Lancaster’s raw vocals.  The honesty of the lyrics really shine through with the raspy, raw, yet impeccably delivered vocals.  Let’s not forget the vocal support, equally as fervent and sincere as the lead.  The minimalism, no-frills approach to ‘Thanks For Nothing,’ ‘Any Other Heart’ and ‘Forever My Father’ make the meaningful lyrics the focal point.  All we can say here at Stork Music is that we can’t wait for anything and everything else Go Radio to be released.

By the way, check out their newly released music video for ‘Goodnight Moon!’

Also this interview we did with Alex from Go Radio at Warped Tour this summer!

Or pictures from their set at Warped!

~T

Ain’t Too Childish

Posted: April 15, 2011 by storkmusic in Album Review
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I watch Community. I think it’s a funny show. Starring Joel McHale and Chevy Chase, Community makes up the first half hour of NBC’s comedy block. However, it’s not the stars that make the show great; it’s the ensemble cast and the great writing.

Donald Glover, who plays Troy “Butt Soup” Barnes on the show, is by far the funniest. His lines are always top notch (or for community fans “NOTCHES”) and sometimes improvisational. His wit also translated into the writing game. Glover even wrote for Emmy-winning “30 Rock.” But how would Glover act as a rapper?

That’s right. A rapper. Childish Gambino. Donald Glover. At first it doesn’t translate. If you look at Donald, he doesn’t scream “Gangsta.” But he is. Gambino is a dirty, lyrical genius.

His last two albums, both available online for free, have been written by Glover and composed by Community’s Ludwig Göransson. EP, his newest, features 5 tracks full of inappropriate rhymes and pop culture references. The jokes are even good enough to stand alone, without the music.

An elephant never forgets, so my dick remembers everything

Took the G out your waffle all you got left is your ego

And my clique make that dinero, so it’s time to meet the Fockers. I am running this bitch, you are just a dog walker.

Glover/Gambino’s indie raps are reminiscent of an old Kanye West, a clever, line-spitting lyricist. People just refer to him as “Troy” from “that one NBC show with the guy from The Hangover,” but he’s better than that. He’s one of the best undiscovered rappers of the decade.

Visit iamdonald.com for more info and to download the free EP

 Tracklist:

1. Be Alone

2. Freaks and Geeks

3. My Shine

4. Lights Turned On

5. Not Going Back ft. Beldina Makaika

Rating: KICK ASS. THAT IS ALL.

~S

Sometimes change goes unnoticed, merely adding an element that nobody can quite describe. Other times it fuels harsh criticism and deep nostalgia. In Asking Alexandria’s third full length album, Reckless and Relentless, both transformations blended for a slightly unsettling, yet moderately enjoyable album.

The pre-released song, Morte et Dabo, gave undeserving hope to those with an obsession for Asking Alexandria’s harsh breakdowns and talented high screams. Although it gave a new perspective to the band, it is still quite different from the general sound of the album. Deserving or not, audiences expect consistency from a band. This unrealistic expectation is often crushed, but can be reconsidered when altered aspects outweigh previous antics.

 The intro, Welcome, begins with a melodic, synthesized orchestra and breaks into screamed to vocals. At this point, I was not yet disenchanted. The balance of screamed vocals and clean vocals was relative to expectations in most of their songs, such as: Closure, A Lesson Never Learned, To The Stage, Breathless, and The Match. However, the other few songs were a grave upset, lacking the intense breakdowns and screamed vocals that were desired. Even in the songs with the optimal balance, the clean vocals were quite different from their previous album. It may be the band simply developing into their niche, but some are left unimpressed.

 Lack of enjoyment may be in part the listener’s fault.  Most bands will not remain identical for their entire career. Asking Alexandria was a fairly new band, and change in style should have been expected. Despite criticism of their “generic” tactics, they add a unique sound to the metal-core/ post-hardcore genre and have hooked many fans worldwide. They will be playing on the main stage this year at Warped Tour, and despite results from some of their other concerts, are expected to have a loyal audience.

Overall Rating- The awkward mark between satisfactory and pleasant.

~R