Exclusive: Life On The Sideline EP announcement, music video premiere

Since releasing Honesty Is A Dying Breed two years ago, Life On The Sideline has remained active on the road and is now ready to unveil its upcoming EP, Never Settle. To kick things off, we're premiering the music video for the band's new single, "Echo", which tells the sad story of a young girl reminiscing times spent with her deceased partner. While not a pop punk song per se, it's as catchy as one with an infectious chorus that you'll inevitably get stuck in your head. The band's sound could be compared to that of Transit's and The Early November's. Fans can pre-order the EP on iTunes and CD here, before it's released on June 7th. […]

Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: Rust Belt Lights - "Religion & My Ex"

Release InfoRust Belt Lights - Religion & My Ex
Release Date: February 24th, 2014
Record Label: Adeline Records
Buy: CD/vinyl

Honest and sincere, melodic punk veterans Rust Belt Lights belt out another lighthearted and heavy-hitting album this year with their new release, Religion & My Ex, an emotional package of songs that defines what it truly means to wear your heart on your sleeve. Considering the title of this record literally speaks for itself, RBL definitely hit close to home from start to finish by introducing a contemporary, yet mature, appeal to writing songs about reflecting on the past and love loss.

Flooring into first gear with the opening track, "Wasted Wishing", dwells upon lingering regret with haunting thoughts expressed through the lines, "Like time we wasted wishing to have been with someone else, those things you take for granted slip away". In contrast to "Wasted Wishing", fetching tracks like "Dead Letters" "and "Stolen Lines" revolve around blissful nostalgic feelings that will take listeners back to simpler days of their past. With that desire embedded in mind, "How To Live Without" is a comforting song that definitely dwells on longing for a second chance to make amends with a former love, expressing these feelings through sentimental lyrics like "They say the best thing about photographs is that they never change".

While the notion of "lingering back on thoughts of what could have been" plays a major role in shaping the atmopshere of this release, "Pack Up And Let Go" is one song that, in some regards, contemplates on the anxieties of uncertainty.

Straying away from the album's lyrical theme with deep-cutting lines like, "Tell me I am invincible/Tell that my body call it quits/Lately I've been feeling sick", embedded in the chorus of this song, "Pack Up And Let Go" is a thought-provoking song that calls for a sense of reassurance to move forward, despite the possibilities of indifference and physical stress weighing you down. In many ways this song stands alone because of its painfully-honest connection for those who can relate with the struggle to fight forward with the world on their shoulders.

As far as the "religion" aspect of the album's title goes, while a few songs on this release rarely imply any themes that tie closely to this ideology, "Stay Young Or Try Dying" subtly leans toward the theme of reflection and self-discovery. While words like, "To be honest as I can be, we haven't changed much since we were sixteen", charmingly reflect back at the past, this somewhat nostalgic track carries an underlying message of sticking to yourself through the lines "When everybody told us there was only one way and all we've done since then was prove them wrong".

Finishing out this record on a blissful note, "Just Words" is an explosive and fast-paced song that ties together similar themes of "SYODT". In terms of existing in this world out of step, "Just Words" also incorporates the notion of finding out the answers to your own questions; regardless of any overbearing ideologies.

Religion & My Excis an extravagant release that captures the intensity and heart of the band's emotional appeal through the embellishment of touching leads and melodic chords. Combining honesty and nostalgia within the soothing motivational incentives of their lyrics, this is an album that is simply more than your average "love sick brake-up record".

While Rust Belt Lights engages listeners with catchy and relatable songs that clings onto reflecting back on pasts heartache, R&ME digs deep within the context other standalone songs by introducing insightful messages of hope, reassurance and self-discovery. In turn along with these ideals, this record also provide an uplifting perspective on coping with these feelings in order live for another day.

1. Wasted Wishing
2. Old Ghost
3. Dead Letters
4. How To Live Without
5. Stolen Lines
6. Parkside
7. If Nothing Ever Changes
8. Stay Young Or Die Trying
9. There Is An Ocean
10. Selfish Boys
11. Pack Up And Let Go
12. Just Words

RIYL: Self-Titled by Pentimento, The Light Under Closed Doors by The Swellers, Before It Caves by A Loss For Words, Stand Tall EP by Such Gold, I Never Deserve The Things I Need by On My Honor

More reviews by Ryan McGrath