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  • PHOTO GALLERY: State Champs Performs at Gothic Theater in Denver

    PHOTO GALLERY: State Champs Performs at Gothic Theater in Denver

    State Champs took the stage in Denver for their Kings Of A New Age tour. Check out these moments from the show.

  • Maggie Lindemann Has Something to Say About Her New Album and So Do We

    Maggie Lindemann Has Something to Say About Her New Album and So Do We

    After being an alt-rock and pop-punk fan for as long as she can remember, Maggie Lindemann has finally released her own pop-punk album, SUCKERPUNCH. Like the title, the album showcases raw emotions out of nowhere and unexpectedly. Described as a more “elevated” version of her debut ep PARANOIA, which was released in 2021.

    Explaining how she felt that PARANOIA was an experience of figuring out who she is as a songwriter in this new genre she was stepping into, Lindemann goes on to say how she feels that prepped her for writing SUCKERPUNCH. She says “As a songwriter, for PARANOIA, I was getting into it, seeing what I liked, what I don’t like… how I like using words. Writing SUCKERPUNCH I tapped into that and let myself be more free to say the things I wanted to and freely create. Instead of trying to figure it out, I was already figured out.”  This evolution of Maggie Lindemann is something that listeners take away from listening to SUCKERPUNCH for the first time. She goes on to say, “I hope that people can see the evolution of myself and hear the growth in my writing and the production.”

    Details such as the track order and the visuals of the album are contributions to the story that Maggie Lindemann is telling. Each song has a corresponding lyric video or music video to show what Lindemann sees when she is writing songs. “Whenever I make music, I see things. I see the picture in my head. Making SUCKERPUNCH, I already had the music videos in mind. I already had some images in mind,” Lindemann explained. She goes on to talk about some of the concepts of the visuals corresponding to the album.

    The “break me” lyric video has fonts that look like a spider web. This subtle detail is intended to visualize being tangled and wrapped up, to carry a deeper meaning. On a more fun fresh note, the “cages” was heavily influenced by Avril Lavigne‘s “Sk8er Boy” music video. Unlike the “break me” video, the “cages” video does not hold any deep meaning, showing the different vibes of the album. 

    These different vibes of the album also tie into the storytelling of the album through the order of songs. Starting off with the perfect flow of the intro to “take me nowhere”, listeners are encouraged to listen to the album in full and in order. Focusing on the frustration of a situation, the angst of “take me nowhere” is a good start to the story that is intended to be told. Lindemann describes the intent of the order by saying, “I wanted it to be a progression of being upset, angry and sad, then happy, then going through a bad relationship. Then towards the end, it gets like ‘how could you do this to me?’ which is more about you taking back the power. Then the final song is ‘cages’ which is supposed to leave you with hope.” With the fun and free concept of the “cages” video already discussed, the story that Maggie Lindemann is telling is clear through the lyrics, visuals, and emotion of her voice.

    Listening to the album, the intent and message are beautifully told in every detail. You can hear the anger and frustration at the beginning of the album with tracks like “take me nowhere” and “self sabotage”. Described as one of the most self-reflective songs on the album, “self sabotage” showcases the frustration of ruining things for yourself because of letting anxiety get the best of you. On top of the lyrics, details in the production such as the glitches that can be heard in the song contribute to the storytelling. Following “self sabotage” is “phases”  and “i’m so lonely with you” reflecting the bad relationship journey of the album. Towards the end of the album is “hear me out” which not only illustrates the “how could you do this to me” part of the album, but Lindemann said that it is the most emotional to her and means the most. Finishing off with the very hyped-up track “cages” gives an important message of being independent and healed. From being wrapped up in a spiderweb in “break me”, to the lyric “lions aren’t meant for cages” shows the progression of emotion and growth intended.

    The “Pretty Girl” singer also opened up about what made her switch genres. Growing up in a family who loves metal music, Lindemann finally started to dip her toes into the alt-rock and pop-punk scene recently after being in the music industry since 2015/2016. She explains that this came to be at a time while on tour when inconveniences happened that made her question where she was at with her career.

    She describes that the “resurgence” of pop-punk happened shortly after this realization of hers, which she says felt like “divine timing”. One thing made clear was the genre might’ve changed, but Maggie Lindemann has not, she is just now expressing a different side of herself. Lindemann touched on this by saying, “A lot of people don’t realize, I am the same person that I was, I just had this mask up. I was listening to the same stuff that I am now and still have all the same interests, I was just presenting myself in a different way.” 

    Releasing a debut album is not the only new experience for Maggie Lindeman, the singer is headlining her first ever headline shows taking place in Los Angeles and New York this fall. At said headlining shows, PARANOIA and SUCKERPUNCH will be performed live for the first time.

     

    Loving the resurgence of young pop punk? Guess which Gen Z shocked us with an amazingly emo performance.

  • Photo Gallery: DREAMERS Takes Over Fonda Theater in Los Angeles

    Photo Gallery: DREAMERS Takes Over Fonda Theater in Los Angeles

    Pop rock duo DREAMERS wrapped up their No More Bad Days Tour at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles.

    Peep more photo galleries this way.

  • Ghost Makes a Bang in New Jersey After Three Years

    Ghost Makes a Bang in New Jersey After Three Years

    On September 9th, 2022, Ghost performed in Trenton New Jersey at the Cure Insurance Arena. The opening acts were Spiritbox and Mastodon. When I walked into the arena I was looking forward to seeing both opening bands, especially Spiritbox. To prepare for the show I listened to all the music for each band and loved being able to hear an iconic women-fronted metal band. Both opening acts were amazing segues into Ghost’s performance.

    After Mastodon’s set, Ghost and the lighting and sound crew started to set up. Even behind a curtain, the band was creating intense anticipation. At first, the band was quiet. Then, the keyboard player started playing on an organ-inspired synth. After the insane display of talent, the songs “Klara stjarnor” and “Miserere Mei, Deus” started to play. The songs are choral church hymns that included crazy harmonies that filled the stadium.

    The crowd started to cheer as they heard the hymns of Ghost.

    The lights shut off and the guitarists and drummer started to play. The arena roared as the curtains fell down and the lights turned on bright with a bang. The anticipation for the set to start and the love the crowd had for Ghost made the crowd feel alive. The momentum Ghost had with the crowd came through with the infamous song “Rats” and their third song “Faith.” In the third song, we had a view of a Catholic-styled set with church window art.

    Before the fourth song, “Spillways,” the guitarist had an epic guitar duel. Both of the guitarists were playing back and forth with the spotlight moving between them. They had to crowd infatuated by their guitar hero-type solos. The solos had a level of mystery with a synth drone playing in the background to add texture and an ominous vibe and reverberance.

    “Devil’s Church” was my personal favorite. The lights filled the stage with red while the guitar parts sounded heavy metal. During the song “Con Clavi Con Dio,” Papa Emeritus IV came on stage wearing a crown and robe and the crowd went ballistic. To finish off the night, Ghost played “Mary on a Cross” which caused the whole arena to sing. The last songs were, “Mummy Dust,” and “Dance Macabre,” and a special encore song “Square Hammer.”

    Ghost is a band worth seeing live, and I would do so again in a heartbeat.

    Set List

    1. Kaisarion
    2. Rats
    3. Faith
    4. Spillways
    5. Devil Church
    6. Circe
    7. Hunter’s Moon
    8. Ritual
    9. Call Me Little Sunshine
    10. Con Clavi Con Dio
    11. Prime Mover
    12. Watcher in the Sky
    13. Year Zero
    14. He Is
    15. Miasma
    16. Mary on a Cross
    17. Mummy Dust
    18. Dance Macabre
    19. Square Hammer

    Need more rock in your life? Find a new fave band here.

  • Best Bear Stands Out with Colorful NYC Debut

    Best Bear Stands Out with Colorful NYC Debut

    Indie/pop band Best Bear rocked the night away in NYC. Walking into a venue I was like a deer in headlights. It was dark but the lights were bright. The stage was barely a foot away from my face in the remote bar and venue Rockwood Music Hall. The Lower Eastside venue stage was packed with friends and fans who came out to support the band. The crowd was energetic full and of dancing and cheering. A few nights before, Best Bear played in Philly and Trenton, NJ. Best Bear made a strong debut on the NYC stage with their songs “Peaches and Cream,” and “Gaslighter.”

    The band kept a closeness with fans with talks in between songs about Philly and how they managed to go on tour. Truthfully, touring is a real commitment. Vocalist and guitarist Blue mentioned how she sold her guitar and car to pay for the tour. This made it clear that for Best Bear, performing was a priority and passion.

    Unfortunately, the band’s bassist was unable to attend.

    Even with obstacles, the band rocked the crowd and completely shined when they could have struggled. Best Bear is a band I will be seeing again.

    Tour life = best life. Here are some of the best tour moments.

  • MUSIC REVIEW: Semi-Rotted Releases EP “Deader Than Dead”

    MUSIC REVIEW: Semi-Rotted Releases EP “Deader Than Dead”

    Death metal band Semi-Rotted has released their tortured debut album “Deader Than Dead.” Semi-Rotted’s blood-curdling sound is enriched with old-school death metal style.

    The Las Vegas, Nevada band’s sound came from lead vocalist Spencer’s love for metal in high school. From Slayer to Death and Obituary, his love for death metal became solidified. After playing drums for sold-out arena tours with the legendary metal band Five Finger Death Punch, Spencer fell in love with death metal all over again.

    Spencer’s found again love for death metal became the EP “Deader Than Dead.”

    The EP starts off strong with “Shotgun Symphony.” The track starts off with a guitar sound trailing off. Suddenly, there are fierce, punchy drums. The intro to the single will get any metal fan headbanging. Spencer’s vocals are raw and raspy in all the best ways. The guitar and drums are as traditional death metal as it comes.

    The second track is my personal favorite, “Torture Congregation” ft. Lorna Shore’s Will Ramos. The rhythm is energetic and bouncy in the guitar accompanied by many vocal layers between both vocalists. The breakdown has the exact energy needed for a mosh pit.

    “I kept hearing Lorna Shore on Liquid Metal and on playlists,” vocalist Spencer recalls. “Will does really unique things with his voice. It’s amazing. When they were in Las Vegas, I went to the show, and I was blown away. We reached out, and Will sent back his vocal in like two days. He’s at the top of the genre. It’s a killer collaboration.”

    Next, we sink our teeth into “Hammer Teeth.” It starts off lively like an epilogue to the second song. Then it begins to pace itself. The breakdown includes unique glass sounds accompanied by the drums.

    Check out “Deader Than Dead” out now!

    There’s more where that came from! Find more reviews here.

  • MUSIC REVIEW: Beat Stu’s Skankin Debut EP is a Must Listen

    MUSIC REVIEW: Beat Stu’s Skankin Debut EP is a Must Listen

    Beat Stu‘s debut EP “First is the Worst” is out now. The ska-punk band is turning their live show momentum into streaming success. They have gone from playing at New Jersey bars to the infamous Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Beat Stu has been inspired by the band’s Reel Big Fish, Operation Ivy, and Mustard Plug.

    The EP demonstrates the band’s versatility from performing live to recording in a studio. “First is the Worst is about distracting yourself from the realities of life and giving our audience a break from how depressing things can be. We want people to let loose, skank, and have some fun” says Jacob Rubenstein, bass player of Beat Stu.

    “First is the Worst” starts off with the monstrous single “Monster in Disguise.” The band keeps to a traditional ska sound with a joyful melody. The song starts subtly with a bouncy bass line and then takes off from there. The instrumentation juxtaposes the lyrics with bright sounds mixed with break-up-inspired lyrics.

    “Kevin,” the third track, is a fan favorite. The lead guitar builds up to the very ska rhythm guitar. The song is about how everyone knows a “Kevin,” the same idea as a Karen. The song is fun, energetic, and lighthearted.

    “Romeo and Juliet,” a song inspired by Prokofiev’s “Dance of the Knights” finishes off the EP. As a classical music lover, this one is my personal favorite. The horn parts keep to the traditional chord progressions while the guitar stays within the ska style.

    The band’s next show is at The Crossroads in Garwood, NJ.

    Check out “First is the Worst,” out now!

     

    Need new music? Here’s what we’re listening to.

  • HUDDY’s New Jersey Performance Proves His Place In Pop Punk

    HUDDY’s New Jersey Performance Proves His Place In Pop Punk

    Drizzly New Jersey greeted us at the famous Starland Ballroom. For most, rain is a foreboding sign of despair, but huddled under the awning by the fans who call themselves Huddy Gang, I had the sinking feeling this rain represented a new beginning.

    huddy

    via Ali Fitzgerald, @alfitzpics

    For Chase Hudson, he had a lot to prove on this tour. He began his rise to fame on TikTok where he was a founder of the viral collective the Hype House. After grappling with who he wanted to be, he decided it was time to embrace his passion — music. Under his stage name “HUDDY” (previously known as Lil Huddy) he released the first taste of his sound and genuinely shocked both his fanbase and the general public. Huddy was reaching for a pop punk sound that was just starting to come back into popularity.

    Career transitions are never easy. If Chase wanted to make it, he’d need to be able to prove that he wasn’t the e-boy TikToker that everyone knew him as. If he wanted to be considered a serious musician, he’d need to deliver unforgettable performances every night on tour.

    Was he ready to live up to his new beginning?

    On tour with Oliver Tree’s “Cowboy Tears: One Last Ride” tour meant he finally would get to share his music with a live audience. If we’re candid, he was the odd man out on the tour lineup, which typically would be an issue. His pop-rock sound with an early 2000s mainstream punk influence truly felt out of place on the bill.

    Nonetheless, he proved my anxieties about that wrong. He wasn’t the odd man; Huddy was the stand-out star.

    The front of the crowd was lined with his dedicated fangirls pressed eagerly against the barricade.

    Continue Reading on Our Partner Site: All Punked Up

  • MUSIC REVIEW: “Breathe” with Airyen Vay as She Drops Her New Song

    MUSIC REVIEW: “Breathe” with Airyen Vay as She Drops Her New Song

    With musical inspiration from multiple genres such as R&B, soul, and pop, singer-songwriter Airyen Vay shares a powerful message about standing up for yourself in “Breathe.”

    The influence of these genres in the song is incredibly present, bolstering the song’s power. With soul-like lyrics and melodies, and pop instrumental, the genre influence is very cohesive. The song contains a strong message of feeling free and comfortable in your own skin

    Starting the song are deep breaths, a very clever detail complimenting the title. The effortless vocals and soothing instrumental are calm and relaxing. Airyen truly knows how to immerse the listener into a feeling rather than just a song. She takes us on a journey of relaxation as we get a peek into her world.

    The cover art shows what appears to be a march with posters including messages for equality. This contributes to the message of equality, unity, human rights, and freedom that Airyen Vay wants to show her audience. This being her message as an artist, “Breathe.” This single is a great welcome to new listeners of Airyen Vay. 

    A message of unity and equality is also conveyed in the lyrics. “They say we’re young, What a crazy way of life, To them it’s black and white,” Airyen sings in the song. These lyrics stuck with me. Airyen pours herself into this song and provides listeners with an uplifting and comforting message.

    “You have worked so hard, You’ve come so far,” she adds reassuringly in the song. Addressing negatives in the beginning, then following with comforting words is such a beautiful way of telling a story.

    Airyen Vay is working on her debut album, which she hopes listeners have high expectations for. Considering so much detail was put into one song, the album will be a must-listen. “Breathe” shows Airyen Vay’s potential as an artist, and as someone who can use their art to influence positive and powerful messages. 

    For the next-big-things in music, check out what we’ve been listening to!

  • Photo Gallery: Shakey Graves Performs at the Wiltern on August 22

    Shakey Graves took to the stage at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on August 22 with support from Jade Bird. The setlist included acoustic and electric hits and a thrilling version of “Family and Genus” as the opening number. Complete with a cover of “Time” by Pink Floyd, Shakey Graves left his audience yearning to hear more.

    Check out the photos from his performance:

    More photo galleries this way!