Friday, June 26, 2009

Alexisonfire- The Math Sheet Demo

This three song demo from Ontario post-hardcore band Alexisonfire contains the first two songs the band wrote together (the first and third track). With that said it's pretty clear, even from an early demo, that this band is incredibly intense and versatile. The Math Sheet Demo ranges from bouncy hardcore-punk to progressive rock to screamo back to post-hardcore. Both tracks one and three (in my opinion) could benefit from being trimmed in length (both around 5 minutes) but the length of the tracks overall doesn't take away from them. The best song here is track two because it has a good amount of energy and neat tempo changes everywhere. If you're a fan of the band definitely check this out and Alexisonfire just released their new album, Old Crows/Young Cardinals, so check that out as well because it's pretty damn good.

Track Listing:
1. The Philosophical Significance of Shooting My Sister in the Face: An Essay By James Secord
2. Counterparts and Number Them
3. Little Girls Pointing and Laughing

Nirvana- In Utero (original Steve Albini mixes)

Someone recently posted this on the VC boards (danthemjfan23) and it's awesome. It's Nirvana's In Utero the way that producer Steve Albini intended it sound before it was changed. Here's the info:

"In Utero is the third and final studio album by the American grunge band Nirvana, released September 21, 1993 on DGC Records. Nirvana intended the record to diverge significantly from the polished production of its previous album, Nevermind (1991). To capture a more abrasive and natural sound, the group hired producer Steve Albini to record In Utero during a two-week period in February 1993 at Pachyderm Studio. The music was recorded quickly with few studio embellishments, and the song lyrics and album packaging incorporated medical imagery that conveyed frontman Kurt Cobain's outlook on his publicized personal life and his band's newfound fame.
Soon after recording was completed, rumors circulated in the press that DGC might not release the album in its original state, as the record label felt that the result was not commercially viable. Although Nirvana publicly denied the statements, the group was not fully satisfied with the sound Albini had captured. Albini declined to alter the album further, and ultimately the band hired Scott Litt to make minor changes to the album's sound and remix the singles "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies"

It's well worth the download and a really interesting listen to hear different versions of the songs that most of us know so well.

Track Listing:
1. Serve The Servants
2. Scentless Apprentice
3. Heart-Shaped Box
4. Rape Me
5. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle
6. Dumb
7. Very Ape
8. Milk It
9. Pennyroyal Tea
10. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
11. Tourette's
12. All Apologies

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weatherbox- New Unmastered Songs

These are the new, unmastered tracks that Brian posted up on the Weatherbox myspace a few days ago (and someone on so kindly ripped). First off, both tracks sound absolutely amazing. "Two Satchels of Light" is a choppy, catchy and upbeat song with amazing drumming and lyrics. "That M.A.N.N." is an acoustic number that takes a little bit to get going but once it does and Brian's lyrics kick in, it's clear this song is a classic. By listening to both of these tracks it's easy to assume that the Cosmic Drama is going to be one of the best albums of the year. And that's just listening to the unmastered tracks. The Cosmic Drama comes out on August 4th on vinyl and digital (no cds).

Track Listing:
1. That M.A.N.N.
2. Two Satchels of Light

Friday, June 19, 2009

As Tall As Lions- Blood and Aphorisms

Blood and Aphorisms was As Tall As Lions' first ep, released in 2002 and for a first release, it's pretty damn good. Musically, Blood isn't all that different from their later releases besides more fine tuning and creating bigger, more lustrous melodies. Some might also find singer Dan Nigro's voice on the ep to be almost winy at times but not enough to ruin the song. Several of the songs on this ep were re-recorded for their debut full length Lafcadio. If you're a fan of bands like Days Away and The Dear Hunter you'll definitely like As Tall As Lions' full lengths, both Lafcadio and their self titled album. They have a new album coming out August 18.

Track Listing:
1. Break Blossom
2. Dancing In The Rearview
3. And The Wick Burnt Black
4. A Fighting Word
5. If I'm Not Out Burning
6. Goodnite, Noises Everywhere

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jawbreaker "Kiss the Bottle" Covers

A few good people over on brought to my attention the cover Jawbreaker cover of "Kiss the Bottle" that Lucero did and have been doing for some time. Now, personally I have always had a problem with the recorded version of the song that Jawbreaker did and eventually ended up on their Etc. compilation. Don't get me wrong, here because it's probably one of the most powerful Jawbreaker songs in my opinion, I just don't think the recorded version shows that. Now is when the Lucero cover comes in. Spinning the song with a little country twang and slowing it down Lucero instills all of the anger and sorrow and self pity that are in the lyrics of the song. Although I still believe that the live versions of Jawbreaker preforming the song also achieve this (to a greater extent) the cover is still nothing short of amazing. I also found a few other "Kiss the Bottle" covers one by the Foo Fighters and one by Sparta but neither of them compare to the Lucero version.

Lucero- Kiss the Bottle
Foo Fighters- Kiss the Bottle
Sparta- Kiss the Bottle

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gatsby's American Dream- In the Land of Lost Monsters EP

The In the Land of Lost Monsters ep was Gatsby's American Dream's third release and the most controversial of their albums among fans. The album songs that are much more conventional than what the band usually wrote because of pressure from being told by record labels that no one would sign them because their songs didn't have choruses. The band later released the ep digitally on the Snakes and Suits website with four remixed tracks. Overall it's a solid, catchy ep but when compared to their later work it doesn't really compare. The remixed tracks are great additions to the ep, especially "The Dragon of Pendor". Gatsby's American Dream took an unofficial hiatus in 2007 and since then the band members have started various side projects (Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Search/Rescue, Wild Orchid Children etc). I highly recommend checking out the self titled debut from Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground. They sort of remind me of Portugal. the Man which is great.

Track Listing:
1. I Smell an Agenda
2. Red, Red, Blue
3. The Badlands
4. Yes, This Is About You (Remix)
5. A Conversation with the Devil (Remix)
6. The Dragon of Pendor (Remix)
7. You Stole My Story (Remix)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Gaslight Anthem- Film Noir on the Interface

This video is so worth watching for the ending, it's amazing.

Muse- Newton Abbot Demo

This is the second demo from English progressive rock band Muse. The demo was recorded between November 1996 and January 1997 and is great quality. As far as the music is concerned, the tracks, much like a lot of other early Muse, can be easily compared to Radiohead. That being said, they're definitely a much louder, harder Radiohead but still, it's pretty hard not to make the comparison. Many of the songs on this demo we later released as b-sides to Muse's debut album Showbiz (only the song "Sober" made the actual album). These are good songs by a great band and by listening to this it's a little hard to believe they would go on to create increasingly inventive and unique music with such a massive sound. Muse's fifth full length album is set to be released on September 14th and from what I've heard it's going to be another epic.

Track Listing:
1. Falling with the Crowd
2. Agitated
3. Coma
4. Balloonatic
5. Forameus
6. Boredom
7. Crazy Days
8. Sober
9. Jimmy Kane
10. Rain
11. Ashamed

Rival Schools- The Lost Album

The short lived New York post-hardcore band Rival Schools only officially released one full length album and one split ep in their four year career as a hardcore super group (they had members of Quicksand, CIV, Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today etc). The band was expected to release a second album (this one right here) in early 2003 but never did because guitarist Ian Love left the band to form another short lived super group, Cardia. All drama aside, the album is amazing. They create a huge sound of crashing guitars, melodic vocals, and pounding drums almost never lets up. There is also a great cover of the Buzzcocks' song "I Don't Know" included on the album. Rival Schools reunited in April of 2008 for some UK festivals and as of January 2009 are in the studio recording a new album.

Track Listing:
1. Just A Second
2. The Perspective Reach
3. I Don't Know
4. Your Answer
5. See What You Got
6. Looking
7. Don't Change
8. Shared Information
9. Surrending Positions
10. Seems So Real
11. Get Out Of This Place

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly- New Demos

The UK's "folktronica" band Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly posted some new demos on their myspace page recently. Of the demos so far "The Uprising" is my favorite. Sam's voice sounds amazing and the music is beautiful. "Tinsletown" is a simple, stripped down acoustic song with good lyrics (though they're not my favorite of his). The demos may or may not be showing up on GCWCF's third full length that the band said tentatively was going to be called Together There Is Hope. For those who have never heard of GCWCF, they're really the one-man-band of Sam Duckworth who sings socially conscious lyrics, plays acoustic guitar, and then adds electronic beats and other such layers to the songs.


GCWCF- The Uprising
GCWCF- Tinsletown

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jimmy Eat World- Clarity Demos

Arguably one of the most influential albums of the last 90's and early 00's, Jimmy Eat World's Clarity mixed emotional lyrics with elements of punk, pop, soft ballads as well as small doses of electronics to set them apart from the stereotypical emo bands. For me, it's a perfect album as it is. I can listen to it from start to finish and never get board, which is more than I can say about other albums (*cough* Chase This Light *cough*). Clarity was a great album for me because it was the time in their career that both Jim and Tom sang lead vocals and I feel like their efforts since without Tom's vocals are missing a spark that this album has. The demos for this album are incredible. Every song sounds the way it should; raw and filled with emotion. Several things should be noted that are differences from the actual studio album. One main difference is in the lyrics of the songs (most notably in "Your New Aesthetic"). Another is the length of "Goodbye Sky Harbor" (the demo is 5 minutes and the studio version is 16 minutes). Also there is an unnamed track that, to my knowledge, has never be rerecorded although it's a pretty good song. Jimmy Eat World recently finished their Clarity X10 tour in celebration of the album's 10th year anniversary and they have a recording of one the dates of the tour for sale on their website (it's completely worth it, you get the entire album plus "No Sensitivity" and "What I Would Say To You Now").

Track Listing:
1. Instrumental
2. Blister
3. A Sunday
4. Clarity
5. Secret Crush
6. What I Would Say To You Now
7. Your New Aesthetic
8. For Me This Is Heaven / Roller Queen
9. Believe In What You Want
10. Christmas Card
11. Untitled
12. Lucky Denver Mint
13. Goodbye Sky Harbor

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Say Anything- the EPs

Say Anything's 2004 album ...Is A Real Boy was, hands down, my favorite album that year and is still a great listen. But their last album In Defense of the Genre, I felt like while it was cool that the double discs told a story, a good number of the songs could have been cut. It was much less punk rock than IARB and all of the electronic effects that were added just made the album seem disposable. Anyways, these are the Say Anything eps all of which are great. My personal favorite is the Menorah/Mejora ep from 2002 even though it's a little sloppy in some parts. The For Sale ep is my next favorite. It has three songs from ...Is A Real Boy and two previously unreleased tracks that are excellent (I took out two tracks that were the same as the album versions and left a demo version for you). Junior Varsity is good although it does sound like their ripping off Saves the Day in most of the songs (that said, I'd still probably listen to it before the IDOTG). Say Anything are releasing their fourth full length album late this summer and it supposedly is musically different from any of their previous works.


1. A Walk Through Hell
2. You Help Them
3. Try to Remember, Forget
4. By Tonight
5. Baseball, but Better
6. Transylvanian
7. I Want to Know Your Plans

For Sale...:
1. Belt
2. We Will Erase All Life On Earth But Us
3. Slumming It With Johnny

Junior Varsity:
1. The Last Great Punk Rock Song
2. Dreaming of Manhattan
3. She Got Away
4. High School Low

Modest Mouse- The Moon and Antarctica Demos

I just realized recently that I haven't posted any MM rarities, which makes me look like a total dumbass because this blog is a word play on one of their albums. After I pulled my palm from my forehead I dug these babies out. First off, M&A is probably my favorite Modest Mouse album as a whole (though some of my favorite songs are on Lonesome Crowded West). Most of these demos are pretty similar to the versions that showed up on the album, especially the vocals. There are also two unreleased tracks on the demo that are well worth the listen ("Roof of My Mouth" (which is featured at the end of "A Different City" on the album) and "Willful Suspension"). There is also one track missing (thought to be either "Stars Are Projectors" or "Calculus Man"). But other than that they're an awesome listen, especially the raw and completely badass version of "A Different City". Modest Mouse is about to release a new EP in August.

Track Listing:
1. Third Planet
2. Gravity Rides Everything
3. Life Like Weeds
4. You're The Good Things
5. Dark Center Of The Universe
6. Perfect Disguise
7. What People Are Made Of
8. -missing-
9. Paper Thin Walls
10. Lives
11. Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes
12. Roof Of My Mouth
13. A Different City
14. The Cold Part
15. Alone Down There
16. Willful Suspension

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Straylight Run- Demos

Straylight Run have gotten a lot of shit over the past couple of years because of former Taking Back Sunday singer/guitarist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper supposedly turned into piano ballad loving pussies. And while Straylight Run may be tamer than the in-your-face pop-punk that was Taking Back Sunday, the only reason they got such a bad rep. is because their biggest song ("Existentialism on Prom Night") was in fact a slow, beautiful, piano ballad. Their music can be loud and heavy (think old school Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine) which is where this demo comes in. Sure it has their "hit" song on it but songs like "The Tension and the Terror" and "It's Everybody's Fault But Mine" prove they can hold their own as a rock band (just listen to the pounding ending of "Mistakes We Knew.." if you need more convincing). They just let out a new ep called About Time and it's one of my favorite releases of theirs to date.

Track Listing:
1. It’s Everybody’s Fault But Mine
2. Existentialism on Prom Night
3. A Slow Descent
4. It’s For The Best
5. Mistakes We Knew We Were Making
6. The Tension and the Terror
7. Costello
8. Play Crack the Sky (Brand New cover with Jesse Lacey)

Every Time I Die- Demo (1999)

This is southern rock/metalcore band Every Time I Die's 1999 demo tape. Much like the rest of their music, the demo is incredibly brutal even with the mediocre quality of the demo (can't hear Keith and his lyrics very well, some of the guitar parts are a little sloppy). The demo is, fittingly, more along the lines of Last Night In Town and Hot Damn! than their newer stuff. Almost any Every Time I Die is good stuff and this demo is no different. It gives you a look back at where the band came from. Their new album is supposed to be released this winter and I'm excited to see where they'll go next.

Track Listing:
1. Nobody Moves Nobody Gets Hurt
2. Prom Song
3. To Die For
4. Your Touch Versus Death

Set Your Goals-

I'm torn with how I feel about the new Set Your Goals music that has made its way onto the Internet. Before I get into this let me just say that I really do love the music that Set Your Goals makes. They are one of the few genuine bands in their genre (a genre that, for the most part, I detest). This is why when they posted the demo for the new song "the Fallen" a few months ago I got super excited for the new album. The song has their tag-team vocals, a simple and melodic guitar line, and relatable lyrics that are made even more effective by the emotion they sing them with. "the Fallen" gave me high hopes for the new album but with the new single they just released ("This will be the death.."), I don't know what to think. The single, to me, is boring and while it does get better after a few listens, it doesn't have the same spark as Mutiny or Reset. I guess I'll have to wait for this to be settled July 21.


Set Your Goals- The Fallen
Set Your Goals- This Will Be The Death Of Us

And here's something old school:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Pharmaceutical Bandits- Those Damn Bandits

Those Damn Bandits was the debut album of California ska band the Pharmaceutical Bandits (now known as Rx Bandits). This album had the Bandits starting out their careers as a part of the third wave ska revival. With punk rock tempos, interesting brass instrumentals, and creative lyrics, Those Damn Bandits is everything a ska album should be. Although the band left this sound behind for a more progressive sound, the Bandits are still kicking ass. Their new album comes out this July, so get stoked!

Track Listing:
1. Teen Idol
2. I Will Live
3. Milk
4. Innocence
5. S.A.M.
6. Maybe
7. Valentine's Day
8. Too Tone
9. More
10. Band-Aid
11. I Don't Care
12. ?!?

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists- "Where Was My Brain?" (Demo)

This gem was just added to the Ted Leo website and I figured I'd pass it on. Apparently it's the demo of a newer song from 2008. The song is completely badass. It's short, sweet and gets to the point. It reminds me of old school punk rock; fast verses and catchy choruses. Plus Leo adds some shredding on top of that to make it classic TL/Rx.

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists- "Where Was My Brain?"(Demo)

Here's a decent video of the song:

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sundowner- Demo

I figured I'd stick with the theme of front men going solo and post some Sundowner. For those who don't know Sundowner is Chris from The Lawrence Arms. This is his demo from before he recorded Four One Five Two. The songs are really upbeat, the vocals are good, the lyrics are compelling, and nothing is lost just because there is only acoustic guitar and vocals. What more could you ask for?

Track Listing:
1. The Sea Of Lights
2. Traffic Haze
3. War Is Noise
4. Your Self Portrait

Chuck Ragan- The Blueprint Sessions

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, been pretty busy with finals. Anyways, this is a group of four seven inches Chuck recorded in 2006. The sessions used to be available on iTunes but for some reason were taken off. Also a good number of the songs from the sessions made it onto Chuck's debut solo full length Feast or Famine. Now, back to the music. The sessions do a great job of capturing the raw emotion of Ragan's songs. All of them are simple stripped-down, acoustic with the occasional harmonica solo strategically placed. I think I may still prefer Rumbleseat to his solo work, but they're pretty close.

Track Listing:
1. The Boat
2. For Broken Ears
3. It's What You Will
4. Symmetry
5. Valentine
6. Do What You Do
7. Do You Pray
8. Congratulations Joe
9. The Grove
10. Above The Flames
11. Open Up And Wail
12. Sound Of A Gun (Panthro UK United 13)
13. Trenchfoot (Leatherface)
14. Done And Done
15. Hearts Of Stone
16. Hold My Bed (Chuck Ragan/Austin Lucas)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Moneen- Hold That Sound (Stream)

Hold That Sound is a collection of b-sides from Moneen's highly anticipated (especially by me) new album. The good people at vinyl collective have just put up the pre-orders for the album along with this stream. VC has already ran out of the clear color (theres 100 clear, 200 black, and 200 white) but you can still get that color if you're willing to buy the bundle over at my merch table (it includes all three colors for $35). The ep is well worth the listen, it's classic Moneen.