Citizen- “Silo”



Citizen are about to go on tour with You Blew It!, Hostage Calm, True Love, and Praise, and they just debuted a new single, “Silo,” that will be released as a tour-only 7″.  It will be limited to 500 copies, with the full band version on the a-side and a stripped down version on the b-side.  It sounds even more raw and gritty than the material on their 2013 LP “Youth,” and calls to mind “The Devil and God…”-era Brand New.

If you like the intersection of grunge and post-hardcore, or if you’re a fan of bands like Brand New and Balance and Composure, this one will be right up your alley.  Stream “Silo” courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan and purchase it for $1 on the Run For Cover Records Bandcamp page.




No Sleep Records- “A Comp For Mom”


No Sleep Records will release a compilation tomorrow called “A Comp For Mom,” to celebrate the life of label founder Chris Hansen’s mother, who recently passed away. The compilation’s 16 tracks are a mix of original songs and covers. Some highlights for me include an unreleased song by The Swellers, a new acoustic song by Major League, a full band version of The Wonder Years’ “Living Room Song,” a solo track by Balance and Composure lead singer Jon Simmons, and an excellent cover of The National’s “Available” by Touché Amoré that showcases lead singer Jeremy Bolm’s “clean” (non-screamy) vocals for the first time ever.

You can stream the entire compilation at Brooklyn Vegan, but I would encourage you to purchase the compilation if you like what you hear, as the proceeds will all go toward medical bills and other expenses incurred after Hansen’s mother’s passing and also to a memorial fund that he has set up in her honor. The tracks are listed below:

A Comp for Mom – tracklist

1. Allison Weiss – In My Life (originally by the Beatles)
2. Daisyhead – Work (originally by Jimmy Eat World)
3. Grey Gordon – Safe (originally by Dag Nasty)
4. Into It. Over It. – For Agnes
5. Jon Simmons – Veins
6. Koji – Matches (live version)
7. La Dispute – First Reactions After Falling Through The Ice
8. Major League – Montreal (acoustic version)
9. Moose Blood – Orlando (2014 version)
10. Now, Now – Neighbors
11. Run Forever – Warmer Weather
12. Sainthood Reps – Occurrent (acoustic version)
13. State Faults – Chin Up (originally by Copeland)
14. The Swellers – Possibilities (unreleased b-side)
15. The Wonder Years – Living Room Song (full band version)
16. Touché Amore – Available (The National cover)

The 10 Best Smiths Covers

smiths cover montage

After hearing a pretty decent cover of “This Charming Band” by Skaters this morning, I decided to add it to my “10 Best Smiths Covers” playlist on Soundcloud. So now there are 11 songs on it.

It includes everyone from Balance and Composure and At The Drive In to Radiohead, Death Cab For Cutie and Owen.

Not included is Jeff Buckely’s stunning cover of ” I know it’s Over” because it’s not on Soundcloud and I can’t upload it due to copyright infringements….

Listen here:

The 10 Best Smiths Covers

Say Anything- “Six Six Six” (featuring Jon Simmons of Balance & Composure)


Wow, two of my favorite lead singers ever teaming up=amazing. And their raw, gravelly, passionate vocals complement each other perfectly. I think Max Bemis needs to start a side project with Jon Simmons, much like he did with Chris Conely of Saves The Day. I can only imagine how awesome their band would sound.

I’m beyond excited for the new Say Anything album, “Hebrews” and for their upcoming tour. Max Bemis has a songwriting style like no other, and his theatrical, witty, sardonic style is unparalleled. This first new song off the upcoming album is no exception.

Listen to “Six Six Six” here, courtesy of Billboard:

Balance and Composure- My Current Addiction


I really can’t get enough of this band lately and can’t stop listening to their latest album, “The Things We Think We’re Missing.” I felt compelled to write about them after trying to describe their sound to a friend today and then later listening to a new album from another “hard to categorize” band, La Dispute. To be honest, it took more than a few listens to grow on me. I had listened to their 2011 album “Separation” a few times and enjoyed it, but kind of forgot about the band until I saw that they would be touring with Manchester Orchestra this spring. When I purchased my tickets for the show, I became determined to fall in love with Balance and Composure, and although it took a little effort at first, I fell pretty hard. I don’t think I’ve been as addicted to an album since Senses Fail’s masterpiece, “Renacer” came out this time last year. “The Things We Think We’re Missing” has been in heavy rotation pretty much everywhere I go for the past few months. If I had published a “Best Albums of 2013” list, this album would be right near the top.

The album speaks to my “emo”/post hardcore sensibilities in almost the same way that Thursday’s “War All The Time” did ten years ago. Although B&C’s sound and lyricism are remarkably different from Thursday’s, they do have similar hard hitting, emotionally intense and reflective qualities that always leave quite an imprint on me every time I listen to them. I have a feeling that much like “War All The Time,” this album will always sound fresh to me. Like rereading a really good book or rewatching one of my favorite TV series, I keep finding new little things to appreciate about the album, and I know it will stay in my rotation, earning a place among my favorite albums of all time.

Sonically, it evokes both the heavier alt-rock and emo bands I liked from the 90’s, such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and Smashing Pumpkins, and some of my favorite post-hardcore bands from the 00’s, such as Brand New. The lyrics are simple but powerful (my favorite: “A roller coaster ride in the dark to places I don’t want to go / Parachutes to break my fall, tangled up in deeper thought / Make falling faster, I’m falling faster”), and Jon Simmons’ delivery is emotive, authentic and well nuanced, as he shifts easefully between softer, low tones of desperation and sadness and more escalated gritty, throaty screams. The three songs that stand out for me and that transition beautifully from one to the next are “Reflection,” “I’m Swimming,” and “When I Come Undone.”

I truly can’t get enough of this band, I’m beyond excited to see them open for Manchester Orchestra, and I expect that they’ll get some wider recognition and appreciation as a result.

Side note: they have some amazing merch and their t-shirts/hoodies are like a whole line of clothing that I kind of want to own in its entirety. Not your average band t-shirt. Check it out: