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. […]

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Me Vs Hero - "I'm Completely Fine"

Release InfoMe Vs Hero - I'm Completely Fine
Release Date: September 1st, 2014
Record Label: Self-released
Pre-order: Digital, CD, vinyl

Disregarding the occasional single, it’s been four years since we last received new music from the UK’s Me Vs Hero, and a rough time it’s been for the band. The members of Me Vs Hero have overcome a massive amount of obstacles to release their follow-up to 2010's Days That Shape Our Lives.

What they’ve given us is a collection of twelve songs called I’m Completely Fine, which lyrically and thematically sounds like anything but completely fine. While it took a little bit of time to warm up to the vocals of Samuel Thompson, his lyrics immediately struck a chord by being very personal and quite heavy thematically, and refreshingly so -- even the posi-punk acoustic ballad “Hang In”, which rides the line of too cliche and predictable, still comes off as genuine and engaging.

The record starts off with title track “I’m Completely Fine”. This short intro does exactly what it’s supposed to before disappearing right before overstaying its welcome. We’re immediately thrown into the single “Opposites”, which received the music video treatment back in mid July. What makes the song so successful is that every single note played, sang, or hit feels necessary as if even one was missing the song would be lacking a crucial part. Also, this is the first of many times we’re treated to some stellar and innovative drumming, which litters the entire album, as well as some stellar guitar riffs, particularly in the outro.

“Skin And Bones” embraces the feeling of being quick and catchy. I’m also a huge fan of the song in terms of lyrics (“Just skin and bones. There’s nothing special hiding underneath those clothes”) and how easy the song is to sing along to after just one listen, despite having a somewhat complicated rhythmic chorus. We also get our first taste of screamed and harsh vocals in this song, but they truly make their presence known at the end of the song “Virtues”; one of the songs that contains a riff Four Year Strong would’ve loved to write.

“Home Alone”, “Marks Of A Slave”, and “Heisenberg” are all great songs in their own right, but none really stand out on the record. In fact, the next song that truly stands out is the second-to-last song: “Things We Know”. This is the song on the record that makes everything worth it. It’s catchy, heavy, honest, and truly a representation of how this genre can be gloriously powerful.

Me Vs Hero have delivered something that’s somehow both poppier and heavier than their last record, while also showcasing experience and maturity. Every instrument sounds beautiful, from the performances to the audible qualities. The only thing that really holds back the record is that it’s not bringing anything new to the party. We’ve all heard everything on this record done before. Admittedly, Me Vs Hero does it all extremely well and there are flashes of truly remarkable musicianship, but I wasn’t surprised by anything on the record.

What I’m Completely Fine really does is set the stage for success to come to Me Vs Hero. They’re a band with talent and potential that truly deserve every fan they gain. The album will undoubtedly bring in those new fans, please those loyal fans who have stuck with the band through these past few years, and bring back those old fans like myself who disappeared when the band did as well.

1. I'm Completely Fine
2. Opposites
3. Skin And Bones
4. Rush For Gold
5. Virtues
6. Home Alone
7. Marks Of A Slave
8. Truth (Interlude)
9. Heisenberg
10. Hang In
11. Things We Know
12. Past Five Years

RIYL: City Lights, Four Year Strong, New Found Glory


More reviews by Josh Jurss