Recommended download: Smoking Popes – I Need You Around
Hello everyone. As you can see, I’m back to writing my column. I took a few weeks away from it to chill for a bit, get my head right. But it’s all good now. Be sure to check out the recommended download for this week. They’re not a new band by any means, but they are new to me. I recently heard the song I Need You Around on the radio while driving home from my Mothers house. This song in particular reminds me a bit of Alkaline Trio, so I’m sure Alk3 fans would enjoy this track and probably more of their material. As for the column this week, I’ve got a couple quick album reviews as well as a couple news pieces. Enjoy.
Kanye West – The College Dropout It would’ve been all too easy for Kanye to follow the proven formula that most mainstream hip hop artists swear by…guns, drugs, and money. Fortunately, he strays from the norm and releases a breath of fresh air into mainstream hip hop. Kanye touches on many different subjects on the album, such as family(Family Business), work(Spaceship), and religion(Jesus Walks). There’s definitely something here that everyone can relate to. There are some great guest spots on the album including verses from Talib Kweli(Get ‘Em High), Common(Get ‘Em High), and Twista(Slow Jams) just to name a few. Overall, this is a solid debut from the producer turned rapper. Nice lyrics, great use of samples, and definitely some tight beats. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Recommended tracks – Get ‘Em High, Family Business, and Jesus Walks
Blindside – About A Burning Fire This is the fourth album from these guys, and they’ve changed quite a bit since their self-titled debut in 1997. No necessarily a bad thing, but not necessarily a good thing either. I was a big fan of their previous album, Silence. Naturally, when I saw their new album on the shelf I was excited and picked it up right away. The album starts off pretty strong with Eye Of The Storm, and keeps up with the pace set by the opener with the next couple of songs. From here on out, what had the opportunity to be a great album falls in line somewhere between good and mediocre. It’s not a horrible album by any means, and in no way do I regret buying it. It’s just not what I expected from these guys. Maybe my expectations were too high after their previous effort, but they certainly weren’t met by this album.
Recommended tracks – Eye Of The Storm, Follow You Down, and About A Burning Fire.
Here is the track listing for the Rock Against Bush album that is due out on Fat Wreck Chords April 26. The album will also include a bonus DVD with videos from Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, and NOFX among other things.
01. None More Black “Nothing To Do When You’re Locked In A Vacancy” (unreleased)
02. Sum 41 “Moron” (unreleased)
03. Alkaline Trio “Warbrain” (unreleased)
04. Epoxies “Need More Time”
05. Anti-Flag “Rights Back” (unreleased)
06. Against Me! “Sink, Florida, Sink” (Electric) (unreleased)
07. The Offspring “Baghdad” (rare)
08. The Get Up Kids “Lion And The Lamb” (unreleased)
09. Rise Against “Give It All” (unreleased)
10. Ministry “No-W” (unreleased)
11. Descendents “Sad State Of Affairs” (unreleased)
12. Authority Zero “Revolution” (unreleased)
13. The Soviettes “Paranoia Cha-Cha-Cha” (unreleased)
14. Jello Biafra & D.O.A. “That’s Progress”
15. RX Bandits “Overcome (The Recapitulation)”
16. Strung Out “No Voice Of Mine” (unreleased)
17. Strike Anywhere “To The World”
18. The Ataris “Heaven Is Falling” (unreleased)
19. Pennywise “God Save The USA”
20. Denali “Normal Days”
21. World/Inferno Friendship Society “The Expatriate Act”
22. New Found Glory “No News Is Good News” (unreleased)
23. The Frisk “Basket Of Snakes” (unreleased)
24. NOFX “Jaw, Knee, Music” (unreleased)
25. Social Distortion “It’s The Law”
26. Less Than Jake featuring Billy Bragg “The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out” (rare)
I had the unfortunate luck of catching the new Cypress Hill video last night. It’s for their new song, called What’s Your Number. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t cared much for these guys since Black Sunday, but this song is not typical Cypress Hill and I personally don’t care too much for it. Of course, it could be that I’m just too fond of their debut album, which featured How I Could Just Kill a Man, and nothing since then has lived up to it(in my opinion). Their new track samples The Clash’s Guns Of Brixton and also features Rancid’s Tim Armstrong on guitar. The video features quite a few cameos, including Travis Barker(Blink 182, Boxcar Racer, Transplants), Everlast, Skinhead Rob(Transplants), and Slash just to name a few. In related news, Cypress Hill will be touring with Blink 182 and Taking Back Sunday this spring before Blink embarks on their tour with No Doubt.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m out.