The second episode of HXC Magazine‘s Cellar Door Sessions podcast is here and this time we talk about the records that changed it all. The key records that shaped our music tastes and who we are today. Not only do we talk about blasts from the past, but we name a few contemporary records that you definitely need to check out right now! If you like Whitechapel, Senses Fail, Get Scared, Hundredth, Vanna, Beartooth, Taking Back Sunday and more, listen to this episode of The Cellar Door Sessions ~creeaaaakk~.
The White Noise are straight killing it right now. They’re freshly signed to Fearless Records (through which they just released their debut EP Aren’t You Glad?) and they already sound like they’ve been at the top of the game for a while. Check out their new music video for “Picture Day,” and if they’re headed your way, go see them on tour with I See Stars, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Get Scared and Palaye Royale!
Sometimes a band is just that good that their traction picks up like Speed Racer in The Mach 5. While The White Noise has only been a band since the summer of 2015, they have already signed to Fearless Records and booked a tour as support for Get Scared, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and I See Stars this February. So how do you go from fledgling beginnings to booking a label tour? You have something to offer to the industry.
In no particular order, here are the HXC Magazine staff’s favorite records from 2015!
Nowadays the only clear distinction between a lyric video and a traditional music video is the addition of, well, lyrics. Lyric videos, like this one for “R.I.P.” by Get Scared, now tend to carry the same kind of visual storytelling that regular music videos do, only with more graphics involved. This particular video is damn creepy and damn well done. A huge, decrepit, black and white mansion with otherworldly, painted black figures stalking the halls make this lyric video worth watching for more than just sing-a-long purposes. Check out the video below, and be sure to pick up a copy of Get Scared’s new album, Demons, on October 30th.
If Halloween isn’t your favorite holiday, you’re just not brutal enough. Here are 13 spooky, gory, and all-around badass tracks for you to get your creep on. And if your favorite horror-themed song isn’t on this list, let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear what you’re listening to this fall.
Several albums are about to drop on October 30th: Myka Relocate‘s The Young Souls, Escape The Fate‘s Hate Me, and Get Scared‘s Demons, to name a few. What you may not have heard so much about yet is hardcore band Insvrgence who are set to release their new record, Every Living Creature Dies Alone, on the same day. We were able to listen to the album a little early, and it’s definitely worth paying just as much attention to. Social and political commentary combine with brazen hardcore and metal influences for a really explosive sound. If you’re like us and you love bands like The Ghost Inside, you’ll certainly like Insvrgence. Check out the track listing and the album artwork below, and be sure to keep your eye out for these guys.
4. Social Darwinism
5. What Does It Mean to Be Human
6. Robber Barons
7. End Transmission
8. Mafia Wives
9. Superiority Complex
10. After Life
11. Birth Rights
12. Fed to the Wolves
13. Every Living Creature Dies Alone
Just in time for Halloween will be the release of Get Scared‘s new album Demons, out October 30th. This announcement also comes with the release of a new music video for opening track “Buried Alive.” (Sensing a theme here?) Accompanying the creepy titles is a hell of a lot of black and a slightly heavier sound for the always melodic Utah-born band. Check out the dark and enigmatic video for “Buried Alive” below, and visit the band’s website for preorder options!
1. Buried alive
4. Under My Skin
6. The Devil’s in the Details
7. What if I’m Right?
8. Take a Bow
9. Relax, Relapse
10. Second Guessing
Dear Capture The Crown, we’re glad you’re still alive.
But let’s start from the beginning. Alesana hit NYC’s Webster Hall on April 9th, almost a year to the day since the last time they played The Studio with Get Scared in 2014. Taking the larger Marlin Room upstairs this time with support from Capture The Crown, The Browning, Conquer Divide, and Revival Recordings mates The Funeral Portrait, the headliner’s cult status was never more obvious. Translation: Alesana don’t need space. No matter how many albums the sextet record, they will always be better suited to claustrophobic basement dens, partially because they’re such a niche band and because their live performance feeds off of the intimacy between artist and fan. Unfortunately, some indie folk band needed The Studio that night, so all the hardcore kids had to deal with awkwardly spacious mosh pits, which was essentially like popping a balloon with too much air.
Despite the yards of empty floor, openers The Funeral Portrait were able to get the crowd moving. In a peculiar but striking brand of showmanship, vocalist Lee Jennings fled the stage like he was wanted in four states before the last note could hold up a search warrant. But before making his hasty exit, Jennings hopped onto the floor to sing a chorus or two with the crowd and held “story time” with his “readers” on bended knee. While many bands in the scene like to put the audience on their knees to reinforce some sort of power dynamic (Asking Alexandria, BMTH, and *ahem* Capture The Crown), Jennings lowered himself alongside his audience to engage in the art of storytelling. We were all in on a fantasy, a secret, and I prefer that over bowing down to Your Royal Band-ness any day.
Conquer Divide came next, and while I’m thrilled about the idea of an all-girl post-hardcore band, the set fell flat. The songs were good enough, but the only two who had any semblance of stage presence were the unclean vocalist (Janel) and the drummer (Tamara). Here’s an example of a band that could afford to lord a little power over the crowd.
The Browning’s electronically infused metal was what really revved the fans into gear. Epic, danceable beats melded with As I Lay Dying-style vocals for killer, bouncy moshing–which isn’t as oxymoronic as it sounds. Maybe not everyone knew who The Browning were, but that didn’t stop them from partying and punching to each track. It was a set done with too soon.
Capture The Crown took the stage afterward. And if you think this is all happening a bit too quickly, you’re not wrong. Webster Hall was unnervingly punctual that night to a fault, imposing rapid set changes and even a 10pm curfew. The time restriction wasn’t the worst news of the night, however, as CTC bassist Maurice Morfaw announced that vocalist Jeffrey Wellfare wouldn’t be performing. In a dangerous turn of events, the band’s tour vehicle had put the members through some carbon monoxide poisoning, making vocal duties difficult for Wellfare (a name now slathered in irony). They brought on a friend to do replacement vocals; or rather, to pretend to do replacement vocals. The audio engineer essentially muted his mic and backtracked the vocals, which is disturbing on many levels for a live performance, but especially for a hardcore/metalcore show. After watching his band tank for two songs, Wellfare ran to the rescue and pushed past his initial coarseness to save the set. The old adage “the show must go on” held true, or how we at HXC like to phrase it, “STILL ALIVE!”
Finally, there are only so many ways to describe what it’s like to watch the frighteningly charismatic Alesana play live. The best way I can think to put it is this: When you watch Alesana live, you get the sense that you are watching modern day poets; artistry at its finest. They’re not just generic band dudes that win the crowd with ego. It is a much deeper, more transcendent experience than that. Like mad scientists in their laboratory, the band members laugh wide-eyed and maniacally, loving every minute of their intricately woven insanity. From creepy fan-favorite “The Murderer” to brand new “Oh, How The Mighty Have Fallen” to the reigning “Annabel”, Alesana filled the too-spacious room with passionate presence. Perhaps no one has ever hated curfew more. Until next year, boys. Same time same place? We’ll be there.
Ah, spring break. That mystical time of year when the world (supposedly) begins to thaw and stupid decisions become a mandatory cultural practice. Regardless of whether you’re in school or if you’ve just got a case of spring fever, it calls for some celebratory tunes. Even though we still wear black head to toe, we know how to appreciate a bit of sunshine. So we’ve assembled some star tracks to blare down the highway with or to chair dance to as you’re sipping your second margarita (which are hopefully mutually exclusive activities). All you’ve gotta do is scroll.
“Filth Friends Unite” by I See Stars
Sometimes when you want to have a good time, you’ve gotta get a little filthy. Self-destructive behavior shouldn’t be encouraged, but let’s be honest, it does happen from time to time, and being bad can feel oh so good. So if you’re into finding friends in the filthiest places, press play on this I See Stars anthem. –Taylor Markarian
“Another Song About the Weekend” by A Day To Remember
Everybody wants to get out of their hometown at some point, and your spring break is the best time to do it. This popcore ADTR jam is one of our favorite b-sides from the Florida rockers and the perfect tune to pop into your car stereo as you take your road trip to wherever the hell your heart desires. –Natasha Van Duser
“I Knew You Were Trouble” (Cover) by We Came As Romans
Melodic metalcore covers of pop songs are always a sinfully sweet treat, but nothing beats watching Kyle Pavone get the short end of the stick in WCAR’s version of Taylor Swift’s major hit. The guy just can’t win, and it’s hilarious. From bitching out during a tattoo session to getting ganged up on in a pool hall, it’s clear that the dude isn’t getting the girl anytime soon. The song itself is also a great adaptation that’s equally as catchy as the original and infinitely more badass. -TM
“Wake Me Up” by Crown The Empire
Crown The Empire blew up when their debut full length The Fallout dropped, however their Limitless EP in my humble opinion still holds some of the best work they’ve ever written with “Wake Me Up” being the staple. Combining catchy riffs, melodic vocals, heavy breakdowns and even dubstep, “Wake Me Up” is one of the most dynamic tracks to celebrate the warmer weather with. –NVD
“Deja Vu All Over Again” by Alesana
“Raise your glass to rock and roll” are the words we live by and this track from Alesana’s The Decade EP helps us celebrate that fact. Get yourself to a bar and toast to your friends and to the music you revel in, and on the way there blast this Ode to the Art Form. –TM
“For You” by Get Scared
If I could happy dance in my underwear like Tom Cruise all day to this song, I would. Hands down one of the most poppy things Get Scared has ever released, “For You” proves that warm weather and good feels can even make a heavily emo-influenced band smile. –NVD
“The Best Of Me” by The Starting Line
The Starting Line’s signature track, “The Best Of Me” has been a banner song for pop punk kids for years. Though The Starting Line have ceased active writing and touring, with the exception of a few one off shows, “we got older / but we’re still young / we never grew out of / this feeling that we won’t give up” is a sentiment that still holds true. (Besides, TSL are supposedly coming out with new material in 2015…#DefendPopPunk) –TM
“Elevated” by State Champs
Spring Break and summer are both seasons basically designed for going to music festivals, spending time in the sun, and listening to upbeat pop punk. And if there’s one new pop punk band to listen to, it’s definitely State Champs. Heavily supported by the hardcore scene (always touring with Vanna), State Champs delivers some of the most in-depth, yet still catchy tracks in today’s scene. Roll down your windows when you blast this one. –NVD
“Rodent” by The Menzingers
Even though the lyrics carry some tangible angst, “Rodent” is a modern punk rock track with a feel good vibe. Sure, it’s fed up with you and your bullshit, but the frank lines “I don’t care anymore / I’ll let it all go” make it all kind of okay. Roll the windows down, put some shades on, and drive down whatever highway you can and escape from the rodent in your wall. –TM
“A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More ‘Touch Me'” by Fall Out Boy
You can’t have a Spring Break playlist without at least one old school Fall Out Boy song. Before the foursome were selling out arenas around the world and writing songs with Courtney Love, they were growing up in the suburbs of Chicago trying to get the girl next door–and apparently failing miserably. Isn’t that just the story of everyone’s teenage and college years? It’s the perfect track to unwind to all week long. –NVD
Click below to listen to the full playlist on Spotify and YouTube!