First off, for a band whose music is so heavy and full of rage, the dudes in Miss May I are some of the nicest guys we’ve ever interviewed. So we treated them to a five star experience by cornering them in a stable next to a hay bail and asking them why they weren’t invited to the WCAR vs Memphis May Fire eating contest. Both MMI and For Today were left out of the event, so we’re thinking a round two is in order. And for the record, Levi Benton is definitely down.
Take a minute to live in a dark snow globe with Call It Home‘s new lyric video for “The Departed.” The Long Island based band was recently named one of the top NY bands to look out for by Alternative Press, and maybe this new track can show you why.
A Day To Remember is one of the few bands that remains impressive as the years go on and the record sales go up. Releasing their new material through their very own ADTR Records, they stay true to themselves and their sound and yet still move forward. Their new single, “Paranoia,” proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt. The only thing that would’ve made this video better is if the ADTR dudes transformed into actual superheroes. But given the split second AP comic book cover shown at around 1:10, maybe they’re saving the tights and the capes for the next video.
Now I’ll flat out say it: I wasn’t around for the hype period of Aiden. I am 18. I remember being younger, though, and having older friends who were into Aiden. I remember being in my friend’s room, during the time when the band was on hiatus, and falling in love so fast with their 2006 Rain In Hell EP, especially the song “We Sleep Forever.” I kept hoping Aiden would return one day, but settled on seeing their former vocalist and frontman Wil Francis (a.k.a. William Control) do his solo act.
Aiden went on hiatus after their 2011 album Some Kind Of Hate, when the members decided the band was no longer sustainable. “Towards the end it was clear that punk rock wasn’t going to pay the bills,” stated William Control on his Facebook page nearly a year ago, “which is why both Angel [Ibarra] and Jake [Davison] left the band initially.” But some months ago, Wil announced that he was writing a new, final, and self-titled Aiden record in an open letter to his former bandmates. Word was then put out that Aiden would be playing a final tour, The Last Sunrise Tour, on which they would play their beloved 2005 record Nightmare Anatomy in full.
Finally, the day I wished for came. The show was a small basement show on November 7th at Backroom Studios in Rockaway, New Jersey. I know most of my friends had seen Aiden before this tour and just wanted this one last time. For me, it was going to be the first and the last.
I was packed in a small room filled with people. There was a 70 person cap at the venue, and there were no less than 70 people there for Aiden. There was no barricade, no stage. I was offered nicely to stand up in the front by a girl who I wish now I could find again. When the stage was being set up for Aiden, I realized the mic stand had been placed at my feet. “If this is how I’m going to see Aiden one last, first time,” I thought, “then this is perfect.”
Finally, with no other way to enter, the members came in through the crowd, with Wil being the only original member. I looked to him and saw William Control become Wil Francis of Aiden one final time. He came in front of me, grabbed the mic and screamed, “This is Aiden!” All of a sudden, my face was in the chest of leather and smoke.
“What a beautiful way to see the last Aiden show. This is the reason I started a band, to play basement shows,” William screamed out to us. It made me feel like he didn’t want this to end ever; he wanted Aiden to still be a part of his life. Due to bitter ties and bad behavior, it had been ended. But that was in the past now. This tour was about making the fans happy. No matter when it was that you discovered Aiden, this show was about making all 70 people in the room feel special.
I had many friends who went to Aiden shows before the hiatus. They used to say that Wil didn’t treat them right and that he just never looked interested to meet fans. It left a bitter taste in some people’s mouths. I knew people who met him later as William Control and said he seemed different; more open. This was the Wil that appeared that night, and for a lot of people, it was personal and lovely.
At the beginning of the set, before they played Nightmare, Wil fell on top of me by mistake. He looked at me, pulled me in for a hug, and kissed my cheek. I couldn’t stop smiling at him that whole night. He took a break to drink and a girl jokingly asked him if she could have some, too. “Please, I’m dying,” she said. He came to her, laughing, and poured water down on her. He screamed, “We’re all dying, darling.” I never saw a woman more happy in her life.
When the last song of the set came (“World By Storm”), Wil thanked us all while the crowd poured him all their love, physically and emotionally. What I saw next was the most powerful thing. Wil pressed his hands against people’s heads and kissed their foreheads. When he walked off the stage, he hugged every single human being in that room. This included myself, upon which he told me, “Thank you for coming and loving me, darling.”
While it sucked–really, still does–to see a band like Aiden go away, I know this was the best way of seeing them. And as a fan, I wanted to leave a small open letter of my own to end this:
Thank you. For making that whole room feel something. For letting that whole room wish you goodbye in one good fashion. I hope this made you realize we do care. You treated us like we were your friends. You let us become really personal with you in that hour. I met some new friends and became closer with my old ones during that show. Thank you for letting Aiden touch my life once again and the lives of the 70 people in that small room. You were right. It was the most beautiful place to see Aiden for the last time.
by Liz Rainey
Alternative Press has exclusively premiered news of the upcoming A Tribute To Taking Back Sunday record with a stream of Everyone Dies In Utah’s version of “A Decade Under The Influence.” While this is not the first tributary album Pacific Ridge Records has released, it signifies something tremendously important to this music scene generally and to me personally. (Take one look at my bio and you’ll get a small impression of why that is.) Though HXC Magazine is not purposed to delivering my personal narrative, my story is bound to HXC‘s mission of making the individuals of the scene just as valued as the bands who shape it.
That fifteen bands have come together to honor and celebrate Taking Back Sunday speaks to the Long Island band’s indelible legacy. Countless artists and fans alike have been moved and impacted by the band’s music since the first time they heard “Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)” and asked, “What the fuck was that?” and hit replay for the first of many hundreds of times. As for me, Tell All Your Friends (which I have tattooed on my hand) was the record that ignited an obsession for this kind of gritty yet deft emo punk sound that consequently evolved into my love for hardcore. I credit Taking Back Sunday with not only the development of my music taste but in part to the development of my person, and A Tribute To Taking Back Sunday, set to come out April 14th, proves that many of you have been impacted the same way.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes an album or a band revolutionary or memorable; what it is that makes them almost a larger than life institution or ideology rather than a collection of people and sounds. At the heart of it, though, lies a distinct kind of genuineness and spirit. When listening to a Taking Back Sunday album there is a sense that some part of the soul has been left there. It’s raw and it lives. This new catalog of covers serves to remind us that some albums are so seminal that they manifest lives of their own and last for generations; that any individual or collection of individuals can make a lasting impression worthy of remembrance; that our scene is one that converses and feeds back into itself and truly warrants the label of community. So to the all the undying Taking Back Sunday fans who have been so long under the influence, I hope these simple words find you well.
Check out the new Everyone Dies In Utah track over at AP and pre-order the record at Bandcamp.
A Timberwolf from New Jersey.
Falling In Reverse have released another track from their upcoming album, Just Like You, and you better have your hairbrush ready…and maybe a condom. The song, “Sexy Drug,” is a sinfully catchy romp that adds to the band’s already substantial catalogue of sexy tunes. Like “Good Girls Bad Guys,” “Pick Up The Phone,” and even way back to the “Situations” days, it leaves little to the imagination and a lot to the hips.
A band that have been and remain socially conscious to a point of great inspiration, Stick To Your Guns deliver an album which ignites passion equivalent to the kind it took to make it, inciting thought, and greater still, action from beginning to end. Not only is it a well-crafted installment in terms of composition and sound, but it does what truly impressive hardcore records do—it interacts. ‘Disobedient’ is not just a product but a living, breathing tool of engagement. It creates a dialogue, it establishes connection in energetic, honest, and heartfelt terms. STYG have not only recorded songs but they’ve captured a spirit. This is the kind of record that is dismissive of the capitalistic demands of the music industry. It’s a record that sounds like it was made purely because there was a need for it to be made, and to borrow from “I Choose No One,” made from men, not machines.
Each track is not widely different from the others; a quality generally to the detriment of a record, but not here. Rather, each song builds upon the last as one sustained effort. ‘Disobedient’ reveals itself to the listener more as a speech being dramatically delivered by an activist at a podium (emphasized by the intermittent sound bites sampled from a 1974 conversation between Jiddu Krishnamurti and Dr. Allen W. Anderson, transcript HERE) than a standard album. Even the effects put on the vocals serve at points to make it sound as though Jesse Barnett were shouting through a megaphone.
The record opens with the chanting vocals and warlike drums of “It Starts With Me,” as if to prepare us to enter battle with STYG as our leaders–and you better be okay with that. “What Choice Did You Give Us,” “Nothing You Can Do To Me,” and “The War Inside” are declaratory and combustible, provoking a guilty conscience should your feet remain on the ground. “Left You Behind” offers a softer conclusion to the record, a poetic and symphonic gesture that begs the listener to start from the beginning again and take it all in, which this reviewer highly seconds.