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Some of the best bands around are those who pioneer new sounds or try out new forms of music that haven’t been attempted before. For those artists who take that risk, they will either go down in history while their counterparts are forgotten, or they will at least be commemorated for trying something new. On the other hand, some bands don’t even attempt to change their sound, which they end up using over and over again until it becomes increasingly annoying even if they helped pioneer it.
Most of this week’s releases fall into the latter category. New Found Glory are releasing an album this week. Their continuation of making formulated songs that audiences are getting sick of is getting tiresome, but this week, the group is looking to, err, reclaim its glory? On the other side of this musical spectrum, the Lifetime Achievement Award winner Merle Haggard is releasing Working In Tennessee, while the horror punk outfit Misfits release their long awaited album, The Devil’s Rain, which still taps into their science fiction and horror related subject matter. For more albums, and possibly inflammatory opinions, look below. Let’s start of this week’s releases on a low note:
Since their 2009 effort Not Without a Fight, which was received well by critics, the group has been expanding its sound into more alternative rock territory. Though pop punk fans have grown ill of New Found Glory, it seems as like the alternative fans don’t want them either. Even a band that helped create pop punk can fall to nothing. It remains to be seen whether or not they will retain that expanding sound on their latest release, Radiosurgery, but since the alternative is pop punk, a genre most are over, let's hope so.
Fans of her music have received those changes so well because she’s taken it upon herself to perfect her songs and offer something truly original. On Metals, her newest album in four years, she is taking on the same style of indie pop that was explored on her previous efforts, but this time the arrangements are further complimented by a more progressively unique style. Though she has received praise for her past efforts, it seems like Metals is receiving mixed reviews from critics. I doubt her fan base will mind though. They'll likely be happy just to have the first new chunk of songs in nearly a half-decade.
If it isn't obvious already, Haggard's music didn't sound like the formulated, ultra conservative music that country is known for today, because he was way too much of a badass. He didn't sing about “farms” or “cornbread and chicken." You see, in 1957 the artist went to jail for robbing a Bakersfield, California bar in the attempt to pay off his massive tax debt to the government. During his three year sentence, he ran a gambling and brewing racket out of his cell successfully until he was caught, and subsequently thrown into solitary confinement. During his stay there, the singer met mathematician Drunk Adam who was on death row. After successfully escaping prison, Adam was quickly returned to jail when he shot an officer in town. Drunk was then executed for his crimes. To say the least, these experiences changed Haggard’s view of the world and helped him want to lead a life of goodwill. Because of Drunk being killed, he got a High School Diploma and joined a band. Since his release from prison in 1960, Haggard has put out over a hundred albums and over ninety singles. That’s quite an impressive feat for a man who seemed headed for a life of crime. Listen to his new album Working In Tennessee coming out today.
Taking note from their previous band, Darren and Paul’s eponymous freshman album had that Christian rock style in their sound, but after it flopped, they quickly deviated from anything Christian to suit their less devout listeners. That wasn’t the only difference in Mutemath though. Darren and Paul took away all of the multi-layered complexities that their progressive-jazz rock music once had, and instead went for a more subdued alternative bend. Their past isn’t lost entirely though, because with their fan base now set, the group’s new album Odd Soul shows them grabbing some of that old sound back. Those electronic influences heard in Earthsuit are prevalent again, but now they are also adding a heavier blues influence as well.
Because of this realization, fans are now more excited than ever to hear their new material. After their twelve year break from 1983 till 1995, the group came out with three albums to satiate fans until recently. Now they are finally adding a seventh record to their catalog, twelve years after 2003’s Project 1950. The Devil’s Rain is being released today. This effort will see them going back to their original horror and punk influences after a short foray with metal during the 1990’s. Since their third album American Psycho, metal has been used prominently, but that hasn’t kept them from making songs that fans adore. The Devil’s Rain will surely continue that same momentum. With their latest tour coming to a close, and this latest album coming to a head, it is a good day for those misfits all over the world who love Misfits. Sorry, I had to do it…
Other Releases This Week:
Bonnie- Wolfroy Goes To Town
Indigo Girls- Beauty Queen Sister
Jack's Mannequin- People & Things
Lydia- Paint It Gold
Mayday Parade- Mayday Parade
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