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, October 23, 2014

Review: This Legend - "It’s In The Streets"

Release InfoThis Legend - It's In The Streets
Release Date: November 11th, 2014
Record Label: Cyber Tracks
Pre-order: Digital, CD

This Legend have impressively and efficiently set the gears in the machine of what can usually be the taxing task of producing anticipation around an outfit before any release prior. It’s In The Streets is the blueprint of this California quartet's (which comprises of former members of Yellowcard, Stanley And The Search, and HeyMike!) extensive plot to take control of every soul that happens to come across the twelve-song effort.

Opener “Lyrics With My Pen” materializes as a minefield with the syncopation of rudimental storm-clashing drum beats and sliding bass grooves that play off each other, in a display of call and response. “Lyrics With My Pen” smoothly shifts to the classic galloping rhythm dragging a wall of guitar. The song is an apt opener and oath of honesty from frontman Chris Castillo as a penman. An example of this is evident in the self-reflexive nature (of writing songs) as Castillo says “I’m missing out on everything I always hear about...” and immediately praises the therapeutic nature of songwriting with “But then I hear the music in my head, strike these lyrics with my pen. You don’t know what this does for me...”.

“Feeling Like I Should” is an all-encompassing (in the sense of the scope of resonance to listeners) that ties the everyday "devil" to paper and allows readers to deconstruct their own and sift through the shreds with a fighting spirit. “Holiday Like Crazy” is by far one of the most melodic songs on the record with a melody that seizes each limb and tugs them in all directions, and of course the textbook whoas only exacerbate the severity of the condition.

Musically, the record's title track is a shift away from the typical time signatures present on the preceding songs and emulates an expansive sound that could fill the space of a hundred arenas. It's also a dark horse on the record, providing an angular narrative that vocalist/guitarist Chris Castillo alludes to indirectly, elevating the mystique of the hysteria and "evil" that humans are subjected to in everyday life.

This Legend have emulated a core pop punk sound with an overt '90s punk edge that lathers the surface and provides a Pulley-esque edgier exterior to their sound. “My City”, for instance, emulates the whirling brunt force of the three-chord tyranny that is as much simple as it is effective, while also courteously bowing to the elders of this sound such as Lagwagon, who have stencilled their names on the pavestones in the lineage of pop punk.

It’s In The Streets displays classic examples of the undeniable charm of infectious and refreshing songs within the domain of the punk rock spectrum. However, there are also songs on the record that when placed against the height of the memorable songs, appear as formulaic caricatures. “Skin And Bones” lacks the grit and bouncy poignancy of “Life Pushes Hard”, while “I Deserve Better” is prone to continuous falling while trying to catch up to the sweeping clarity on “Moving On”.

Following on, “Regrets” is the riffiest song on the record, offering listeners a glimpse into the technical scope of the musicianship of guitarists Castillo and Harper. Its breakdown is jaw-dropping, where the band sways with every stomp of drummer LP’s blasts, while Castillo defiantly rises in octaves expressing a cathartic release, as he repeats “I won’t regret this, no, not for a minute, not me...”. “Get Fast” is another solid staple in the band's strong ability to craft Earth-splitting memorable songs with honest sentiments, such as tackling the tendency of humans fixating on acquiring goods as a sign of wealth. Lastly, closer “Josh Lights A Fire” is sadly an anti-climax on account of the severity of the way it fizzles out long before the record has actually ended.

It’s In The Streets is a beautifully produced modern punk rock record with a gleaming pop element within the folds. There are easily gems on this first effort from the band, however the resource of creativity sustaining the energy of this record falters miserably occasionally, hindering a potential cohesive strong body of work.

1. Lyrics With My Pen
2. Feeling Like I Should
3. Holiday From Crazy
4. It’s In The Streets
5. My City
6. Skin & Bones
7. Life Pushes Hard
8. I Deserve Better
9. Moving On
10. Regrets
11. Get Fast
12. Josh Lights A Fire

RIYL: Early Stanley And The Search, Religion And My Ex-era Rust Belt Lights, Pulley


More reviews by Aaron Akeredolu