here goes nothing, eh?

Posted: September 16, 2013 in brand new, eargasm, punkrock

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The Flatliners - Dead Language (2013)

The Flatliners – Dead Language (2013)

Finally! It’s here. The long-awaited return of one of the Jedi. The Flatliners’ fourth studio album Dead Language has just been released a few days ago tomorrow… ??? What the hell? Why did Amazon then sell it already? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that I listened to Dead Language a few times now: Yesterday evening, on my way to work, at work (!), on my way back from work and just now. Enough times to get a preliminary impression of the record, though likely it will also be a lasting one. I never get the statement that you have to “get into” a record before it gets any good. More often than not it turned out that those records did not have a lasting impact on me, no matter how much time I spent and even succeeded in getting into them. I’m talking to you, Night At The Opera.

So, what is my impression then? First off, Dead Language is very similar to its two predecessors The Great Awake and Cavalcade. However, the already declining amount of ska parts on those last records has been reduced to zero now. Something which doesn’t bother me really. In the past I tended to skip those few songs anyway. Song structure and instrumentation are easily recognizable as The Flatliners on the other hand. So easy in fact, that you sometimes don’t get the impression of listening to a brand new record. Something which is both positive and negative, I think. On the one hand there really isn’t anything new about these songs except that they are in fact new. The aforementioned records though were already so amazingly awesome, that more of the same again is just – wait for it – awesome.

Dead Language starts out really strong with the first two songs Resusciation of the Year and Bury Me. Chris Cresswell’s raspy vocals on top of fast-paced punk rock with great drumming and even greater guitar work. The next few songs on the other hand feature some really catchy tunes, but don’t really ignite. Can you say that about music? I don’t know, but I do hope the message gets across. Typical Flatliners songs, however a bit too predictable in their own way. Still, the taste of steak is also predictable, and you still don’t get enough, do you?

Caskets Full is one of my highlights on this record. The first full-fledged hymn on Dead Language and such a beautiful guitar riff. Also, it’s a bit different from the previous songs and therefore makes you listen up while listening to the whole album. Tail Feathers is another such example. That song takes its time to get off the ground, but then it’s just mesmerizing. With its drawn-out finish I would have expected this song to end the record, as was the case with the closing songs on the previous records. However, the band really hits the gas pedal again and doesn’t let go for the last part of the album.

So, how to summarize all those impressions into a single statement of sorts. I think maybe The Flatliners remembered Konrad Adenauers old ’57 election campaign slogan: Keine Experimente. They already had the formula for creating truly amazing punk rock songs and records and therefore they didn’t change it at all. Is that really so bad? I don’t think so – yet. Maybe I will change my mind on this come future records. For now it’s just fine, because let’s admit it: Most other punk rock bands would kill for such songs and Dead Language is up there with the best records that were released this year so far. So to answer the title question: Wrong. Here goes hell!

Best song: Caskets Full. Backup Best Song: Bury Me. Special tip for Nebel: Dead Hands. Screamo!

The next song is a new one that you will hate

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guilty pleasure

Posted: September 1, 2013 in guilty pleasure, music, punkrock

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Sometimes I feel a bit ashamed of liking certain bands or records. At least I should. Somehow there is this unspoken resentment that you just don’t listen to these bands if you want to be taken seriously music-wise. Right now I’m knee-deep into something like this… I got serious case of blink-fever. Guilty pleasure-ish.

I don’t know how, but I went 15 years back in time (15 years already? whoa!) and listen to these old marvels over and over and over again. I think that’s what the kids call ‘blast from the past’. Or maybe not. Additionally – forfeiting any remainings of residual credibility – I like their new stuff as well and am really looking forward to any new records.

So, how did this come to pass? Back when blink-182 were huge, I never really actually listened to their records. However, you just couldn’t escape their music, even if you tried. At literally every party I went, at least some of their songs were played. For me it sort of started with their last record before the hiatus and really took off with Angels and Airwaves. At the risk of being heavily ridiculed, I hereby do admit to liking Angels and Airwaves to some extent. Guilty pleasure for sure, but I just adore the cinematic feeling of their songs. So I never really lost touch to what at least Tom DeLonge was up to. And when blink announced their reunion back in 2009 I was really psyched. And then nothing happened. Nothing at all.

Blink-182 - Neighborhoods (2011)

Blink-182 – Neighborhoods (2011)

Fast forward to this spring. Sitting on an airplane on the way to Houston, TX, I browsed the internal music database. Not much to choose from for a dedicated anti-heavy-rotation guy like me. Except blink’s 2011 record Neighborhoods. And then it happend: I listened to this one record through the flight and sort of fell in love with it. Now, I dont think it’s a masterpiece, but there is something there. It combines the cinematic feel of Angels and Airwaves with the blunt straightforwardness of old blink-182. Also, you just have to love and admire the absolutely shitty artwork. Best song: Natives. Backup Best song: Wishing Well. Also check out their latest EP Dogs Eating Dogs!

So, there it is then. Two of my many guilty pleasures revealed. Feel free to ridicule, scathe or just plain insult. Or just post examples of your own guilty pleasures in the comments. Would be more fun, wouldn’t it?

Been gone a long time
I kind of lost my way, can’t find it
And I caught a short ride
To the grave and back this season

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eargasm – part 1

Posted: July 29, 2013 in eargasm, music

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Today I listened to the following records while flying around in my spaceship, here at the outer limits of Oberschwaben:

Alkaline Trio - Crimson (2005)

Alkaline Trio – Crimson (2005)

Very good record by Alkaline Trio and in my opinion their best, although it actually doesn’t fully represent their signature style before and since then. Coincidentally the Trio’s only record I actually own. Best song: Mercy Me. Backup Best Song: Fall Victim.

Broadway Calls - Good Views, Bad News (2009)

Broadway Calls – Good Views, Bad News (2009)

Second of three records by Broadway Calls so far. So much better than this year’s Comfort/Distraction. The new record is actually not bad at all, but if you go back to listening to Good Views, Bad News, you realize that their latest longplayer is just mostly harmless in comparison. Best song: Midnight Hour. Backup Best Song: To The Sheets.

I’m like a river. Damned, dried up and losing time.
A great leader, shot down before his prime.

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this just in…

Posted: July 29, 2013 in anger management, music, rock

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This guy continues to amaze me.

And not in a good way.

I’ve done some things that I’m not too proud of…

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the gaslight anthology

Posted: September 28, 2012 in music, new, rock

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I don’t remember how or when exactly The Gaslight Anthem came to my attention. Which is odd, because it can’t be that long ago, can it?

I do remember still living in Braunschweig at that time and that The 59 Sound had quite recently been published and that I liked it a lot. So much, in fact, that I immediately ordered that album and its predecessor Sink or Swim, which I liked even more. I even remember thinking “Well, Oli got it right this time. The first album is always the best”. Of course, in all probability, I thought that thought in german. Or maybe in pictographs.

Anyway, I’m fairly sure that it must have been Urius, who played one of their songs to me. And I think I can even recall that particular song and the place he did so. ‘The Patient Ferris Wheel‘ and my mother’s kitchen. Yeah, feels right. So, as it turns out, I remember quite a lot. Very good, the old noodle still has its use apparently.

So, we now established me very much liking the first two of The Gaslight Anthems records. And then the band and german radio ruined it all. In 2010 the third album American Slang came along and german radio channels sought to make up for their previous – call it laziness or ignorance, it’s all the same to me – by hyping it and the band beyond all common sense. And American Slang was not even good and clearly the worst album the band had released so far. It really went to hell when random people in the fitness club started talking about the band and praising the album. By then the omnipresent message apparently had taken roots and the brainwashed masses eagerly followed suit. I hated it all.

And I hated American Slang even more. What a piece of crap, what utter garbage. To make things even worse, Brian Fallon piled on by making some ridiculously retarded statements, the kind of statements that leave you shaking your head in disbelief and frustration and just smash the delicate confidence you had in mankind. To be fair, much of my repugnance had to do with the amount of hype that was going on; a sort of counter-reaction to exaggerated praise. However the reasons, I was done with The Gaslight Anthem. I didn’t buy the album and I had no hopes for future releases. Even worse than that, I did not even care.

That’s why I completely overslept the release of their latest album Handwritten. Apparently so has german radio, because you hear nothing about it. This time it was the T-Horst who incidentally told me that The Gaslight Anthem had a new album. Because I had nothing better to do at the moment, I looked it up on Spotify and listened to it. And there it was again, that old familiar feeling, that sense of enjoyment while listening to well-made, hand-crafted rock music à la The Gaslight Anthem.

The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten (2012)

So I went and bought it and it’s been in repeat mode for days now. The music somehow just resonates with me and does so from the first tune on. The first three songs ‘45‘, ‘Handwritten‘ and ‘Here Comes My Man‘ are absolutely splendid. Especially ‘Handwritten’ will definitely make it into my Top 10 for this year. That song is just beautiful. The album’s first half may be a bit stronger that the second, but even those songs are streets ahead of what you normally get on a regular rock album. The additional songs of the limited deluxe edition don’t really do it for me, in fact they rarely do on any album, so I chose to ignore them and again make a mental note not to buy deluxe editions in the future. All in all Handwritten is an extraordinary good album and at one fell swoop restored my faith in The Gaslight Anthem. So for completeness’ sake I also bought American Slang.

I still hate it. I thought that I might like it better this time around, without all the hype going on, but it’s still absolutely tedious. What a piece of shit! Unbelievable.

Pages plead forgiveness.
Every word handwritten.

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the triumphant return of the tankbreaker

Posted: September 22, 2012 in music, new, rock

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*static noise*

Hello? Is there anyone out there?

Anyone still on this channel?

Ah, well.

As your well know, not much did happen over the last few months on this blog text-thingy from outer space, except maybe the five hours of AWESOME that the last entry was comprised of. Well, I experienced some technical difficulties with regard to the long beam transponder I transmit this on, i.e. I did not know what to write about and I did not really care either. Thankfully neither did you, and therefore nobody is to be blamed for anything.

But I’m back, as Arnold is wont to say, and I have a shitload of new (and old) music sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be presented on this virtual stage of mine. So I will just go on as if nothing ever happened (as is exactly what DID happen since May) and just ramble about a random album that I acquired during the last few weeks.

As I said I would, I bought the now-not-so-new-anymore album of The Menzingers: On The Impossible Past. It took me half a year to do so, but what the hell; beyond the Kuiper belt, where I’m located at, it just takes DHL some time to deliver the mail order. Actually it’s because – though I had quite a good impression of the band – the album never made it very high up my priority list. There you have it then, the very definition of the word ‘misjudgment’. But then again: Better late than never!

The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past (2012)

Lets begin this with a warning: This album is not really punk rock anymore. Older albums of The Menzingers may be (Spotify it!), but this is not. It reminds me a bit of Jimmy Eat World, seeing as it conveys a definite melancholic feeling and certain sadness, but more subdued and not as wannabe aggressive. If labeled would most likely fall under the much-loathed ‘Alternative Rock’ category. To hell with it, I don’t do in labels.

I’ve listened to it quite a few times now, and so far I could identify only one song out of thirteen which I tend to skip. So no clean sweep there, but on the other hand is not so bad as to severely diminish the albums overall rating. Anyway, the rest of the songs feature some really catchy tunes while avoiding obtrusive mainstream in-your-face-ness. In fact the whole album sounds very independent from the rest of the scene. Songs like ‘Burn After Writing’, ‘Mexican Guitars’ and the eponymous ‘On The Impossible Past’ really grab you by your musical balls and squeeze tight. Or maybe rub lightly? Depends on your preference. Overall it’s a great collection of songs with a very unique vibe to it.

To make short things short: I would give it seven ninth penises on my trademarked nine ninth penis scala.

Remember the days when I had a conscience?
Yeah, me neither.

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Ugh. Almost two months gone since my last entry. And what have I come up with? Nuttin’. Nada. Niente.

So enjoy the emptiness of my soul…


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