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6-Year-Old Girl Screams Her ‘America’s Got Talent’ Audition

The setup for reality singing competition is as engrained in our culture as Coca-Cola at this point, but on the off-chance you’re blissfully unaware, allow me to break it down: potential contestants appear the by the thousands, a select few make the show, and the best of the worst make it on TV anyway, because America Loves Trainwrecks™.

With that in mind, allow me to turn your attention to a 6-year-old girl who appeared on America’s Got Talent last night. For her audition, the young lady performed a screamo song. Yes, you read that right. A tiny girl performing the most abrasive style of music out there awaits you at the end of this post.

Though a few have attempted similar acts in the past, none have made it beyond the initial round. Will America ever see the talent in screams? Continue reading ’6-Year-Old Girl Screams Her ‘America’s Got Talent’ Audition’

Exclusive Q and A: Hawthorne Heights Talk Singles, Labels, And Industry Changes

If you’re anything like the scores of music-lovers whose teenage years were branded by the full-scale commercialization of emo in the early 2000s, it’s hard to forget the name Hawthorne Heights. Since releasing their 2004 debut studio album, The Silence in Black and White, the Ohio band has gone through some trying times, which included the accidental death of their guitarist Casey Calvert, and disputes with their label, Victory Records. But with every challenge, the band comes back stronger than ever—releasing albums and even forming their own independent label, Cardboard Empire, through which they self-released their new string of EPs. We caught up with drummer Eron Bucciarelli to talk about their new indie route, touring in Europe, and why he thinks the music industry should be single-centric.

OS: You’re going to be featured in a reality documentary series that chronicles the band’s challenges and successes, and will air in France and Germany. What has it been like to be part of that?

EB: It’s a lot of work because we’re filming it all ourselves. It may seem like a trivial matter, but it really takes some initiative to constantly film yourselves and be conscious of instances that might make for good video footage.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Hawthorne Heights Talk Singles, Labels, And Industry Changes’

Skrillex Gets Digitized In ‘Wreck–It Ralph’ Cameo

In addition to scoring Wreck–It Ralph, Disney’s new computer animated movie about the lives of arcade video game characters, Skrillex will also reportedly portray himself in an animated cameo role within the film. The former screamo frontman–turned–EDM megastar is slated to appear as a DJ at a party in the video game world. While Skrillex has stated that there will not be any “dancefloor bangers” on the soundtrack, we can’t help but hope that his DJ cameo lets some of the film’s video game characters get their “whomp” on.

Wreck–It Ralph depicts the existential career crisis of an arcade video game villain who tires of his unappreciated work as a digital bad guy. Similarly, Skrillex probably got sick of people making fun of him for fronting a post–hardcore band that wrote songs about designer jeans. Watch the trailer below.

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Parkway Drive – New Album, New Video

Australian metalcore band Parkway Drive have a new album coming out on October 30th called Atlas. Released by Epitaph Records, it will be the band’s fourth full-length studio album. This time around, they’re laying it all on the line and confronting some of the world’s most trying issues, such as global warming, as can be seen in their video for “Darker Days,” which features footage of pollution and other manmade destruction to accompany vocalist Winston McCall‘s enraged lyrics (“With narrow minds we decimate our one true home”). The metal heavyweights are sure to be dropping the world on our shoulders with the release of Atlas. Click here for pre-orders, and check out the video for their new single “Darker Days” below.

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Owl City Could Go Screamo

Widely known for his breakthrough single, “Fireflies”, Owl City has mentioned the possibility of recording a “screamo rock” album in the future. The electronica act, whose real name is Adam Young, told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat that he “grew up wanting to do nothing else except that. I haven’t had a chance to do it, and do it right.” Young is releasing his fourth album on Aug. 21 titled The Midsummer Station, featuring collaborations with Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry/Kelly Clarkson producer Dr. Luke, and Rihanna/Ne-Yo co-writing team Stargate. “Growing up I was really into the whole underground, obscure, artsy, heavy, screamo, chaotic, angry angst music. I love it. That was my thing – that’s what I identified with.”

Young expressed concern with whether or not his fans would take to the new project and the drastic change in style. “I feel like I could do it right. Do it all myself and record it all and make it sound good. It’s tempting. It might go over the heads of my fans but it might open some new doors and that’s what it’s all about. Every now and again I need to put on one of my old records [that] make me feel that same thing. There’s a place for that.”

There’s no word yet on whether the Owatonna, Minnesota multi-instrumentalist would pull a Snoop Lion and take on a fiercer animal name (though our vote is for ‘Pterodactyl Town). You can watch Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s video for “Good Time” below.

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Devil in the Details

Stateside

Stateside isn’t a band for the faint of heart. Made up of Mike Tarry, Chip Su, Jeff Meiers, Phil Zepeda, and Jeff Zager, the group crafts explosive hardcore that raises the hackles. “Bridges Worth Burning” combines serrated guitars, thunderous drums, and the guttural heaving of Tarry for polyrhythmic, bipolar screamo you can feel in your solar plexus. Like singers Mike Patton and Chester Bennington, Tarry tempers his barbaric bellows with melodic, plaintive singing. On “The Eve” surging guitars and drums create a tempest over which Tarry moans, “I’m wasting away.” But things aren’t always so bleak. “Make Your Move” is a motivational anthem about the city that never sleeps wrapped up in roiling guitars and semiautomatic drums. Maybe lyrics like “Broadway’s alive and calling me home” and hardcore make strange bedfellows, but even the devil gets to take a day off.

Metal Monday: Underoath Are Underrated

What happens when a band’s best and most critically acclaimed work is a genre of music most metalheads vehemently despise, and then the band transforms their sound into something a lot more heavy, removing a large percentage of their screamo legacy? Well, if they’re anything like Underoath, they’ll become really great but still be hated by a vast majority of the metal community. In 2002 and 2004 Underoath release The Changing of Times and They’re Only Chasing Safety, respectively—two incredibly successful releases on Solid State records. Two albums that were by-in-large of the screamo/post-hardcore variety.

In 2006 everything changes. The band releases Define The Great Line, now with producer Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage, and their sound takes a drastic turn away from their more pop roots in favor of a more pure metalcore style. Still riding the wave of success from their last record, Define The Great Line helped the band solidify their place among the more abrasive side of mainstream heavy acts. The downside, however, is the fact that the stigma attached to the overly-poppy style of They’re Only Chasing Safety still applies even though their approach drastically changed. All things considered, the album received immensely positive reviews from the likes of Alternative Press, Kerrang!, HM Magazine and Sputnikmusic. The record also debuted Number 2 on the Billboard Top 200, selling nearly 100,000 copies in its first week (not too shabby at all for a heavy record).

Fast forward two more years to 2008 when the band releases yet another increasingly heavy album, Lost In The Sound of Separation. Another giant step towards a heavier sound, further distancing themselves from the stigmatic “screamo” sound. Now filled to the brim with thunderous riffs, roaring vocals and harshly contrasted guitar sounds, Underoath finally had the thing that appeals to nearly all metalheads across the board; they replaced their more angst-ridden screams with rage-filled roars. But still the metal community had not fully embraced the band as a legitimate member of the metal community, despite the heaviness and pureness of Lost In The Sound of Separation as a metalcore record. Sure, there’s a bit of cleanly sung vocals on the record, but make no mistake, the album rips for almost its entire duration.

Even with the release of Ø (Disambiguation) in 2010, a vast majority of metalheads still dislike Underoath about as much as you could, as can be seen on any single MetalSucks comment section that mentions the band and the community scores on the band’s albums at MetalStorm. Whether it’s the band’s strong Christian beliefs, their supposed generic heavy metalcore sound or any other crazy reason, metalheads just aren’t on board.

If you’re reading this and have at least a passing interest in metalcore, I implore you to give Underoath a legitimate shot. Forget about their Christian-rooted themes, or that they used to be a pretty generic death metal band with forceful Christian themes (no, that’s not a joke)—heck, picture them singing all their songs praising Satan if you have to. Their last three albums are all incredibly well produced and feature a lot of cool riffs, choruses, breakdowns, tempo changes, etc. Flush your mind of all prejudices and biases about screamo or Christian bands and check out on of the singles from their latest album, “In Division” (which has a very cool video).

Rock ‘n’ Roll Call: Punk Goes Pop, Volume 3

It’s been ten years since the release of Punk Goes Metal, the first of a nine-disc set of cover compilations released by Fearless Records. Today, the tenth installment in the series, Punk Goes Pop, Volume 3, hits shelves.

Upon first view of the tracklisting, you may be surprised to see which artists appear on this record. While the early Punk Goes… albums featured scene staples like Yellowcard, The Starting Line, Thrice and Taking Back Sunday, Punk Goes Pop, Volume 3‘s lineup includes few artists that the average music listener would know (and certainly no bands that truly qualify as “punk”). The question from here on out, then, is: Can the underdogs pull their weight?

The album starts off with a cover of Jay Sean‘s “Down” by “crunkcore” duo Breathe Carolina. Unfortunately for Breathe Carolina, the very mention of “crunkcore” will be enough to keep many from giving this track a chance.

Crunkcore duo Breathe Carolina open the record with their cover of Jay Sean's "Down"

“Down” does set the tone for most of the record, though, which reflects the hottest trend in pop rock: the electronic-meets-screamo style made famous by bands like Attack Attack! and 3OH!3. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, be warned: you probably won’t like most of Punk Goes Pop, Volume 3.

The third track, a cover of Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance,” comes to us from OurStage band Artist Vs Poet. Though it’s been covered a million times already, this is a solid version of it and remains very true to the original.

Another highlight of the record is Mayday Parade‘s cover of Jason Derülo‘s “In My Head.” Vocalist Derek Sanders can hit all the high notes without relying on autotune, and the track as a whole is refreshingly straight forward and not overproduced.

We Came As Romans' cover of "My Love" might just give JT a run for his money

After the harmony-laden pop vocals of Sparks the Rescue‘s cover of “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum fade out, you may be caught off-guard by the growls of We Came As Romans vocalist David Stephens. Romans’ cover of “My Love” actually ends the record nicely, though, with clean vocalist Kyle Pavone’s Justin Timberlake-like croon going head-to-head with breakdowns and synth riffs.

Unfortunately, covers do not always do the original song justice (you’ll probably find yourself skipping The Ready Set‘s bland version of B.o.B and Hayley Williams’ “Airplanes”), but if you’re a fan of teen “popcore,” you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised with this collection.

Pick up Punk Goes Pop, Volume 3 in record stores and online today and check out Mayday Parade’s cover of “In My Head” below!

Tracklisting:

1. Breathe Carolina – “Down” (originally recorded by Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne)
2. Woe, Is Me – “Hot ‘N Cold” (originally recorded by Katy Perry)
3. Artist Vs Poet – “Bad Romance” (originally recorded by Lady GaGa)
4. Mayday Parade – “In My Head” (originally recorded by Jason Derülo)
5. Asking Alexandria – “Right Now (Na Na Na)” (originally recorded by Akon)
6. This Century – “Paper Planes” (originally recorded by M.I.A.)
7. The Word Alive – “Heartless” (originally recorded by Kanye West)
8. Family Force 5 – “Bulletproof” (originally recorded by La Roux)
9. Of Mice & Men – “Blame It” (originally recorded by Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain)
10. Miss May I – “Run This Town” (originally recorded by Jay-Z ft. Kanye West and Rihanna)
11. The Ready Set – “Airplanes” (originally recorded by B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams)
12. Cute Is What We Aim For – “Dead And Gone” (originally recorded by T.I. ft. Justin Timberlake)
13. Sparks The Rescue – “Need You Now” (originally recorded by Lady Antebellum)
14. We Came As Romans – “My Love” (originally recorded by Justin Timberlake ft. T.I.)


Generation DIY: Lookin’ Good, Good Lookin’

OSBlog02_GenDIY_MASTER_01Ever wonder why certain bands are signed and others are overlooked? Besides having “some” musical talent that can produce marketable music, most likely their name and look had something to do with it. The unfortunate truth is that nowadays many labels don’t look for groundbreaking sound anymore (remember the ’70s and ’80s anyone?). Instead labels seek out a marketable group that has not only a good sound but also a good look —  like anyone looking for the perfect date, they want the whole package!

This week we’ll visit different ways to create an overall look for your group, how to get a great press photo, as well as developing a persona.

As always, research different artists in your genre as well as different stores that cater to your “style” of music — urban outfitters for those of you in the indie rock scene, karma loop for those of you in the pop/hip hop scene, etc. If you want to make an impact with your look, try and get yourself ahead of the curve by getting ideas of what “the next big thing” may be. For instance, a band that really brought forth the skinny jean, blank t-shirt look back in 2003/2004 was NJ screamo/rock band Thursday. It was different enough to catch attention of large labels and high up execs — the “uniform” look has always been given a thumbs-up from the record industry, but it should be revamped to fit personal tastes. You have to be comfortable in your own skin, as well as the clothes that cover it up.

Continue reading ‘Generation DIY: Lookin’ Good, Good Lookin’’

 


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