‘Spill Game Week 14: Don’t Bother Trying To Explain, Angel…

Michelle Nolan (now Michelle DaRosa) of Straylight Run and Destry. The line “Don’t bother trying…” in the title of this post is probably about her…

As per a discussion that took place here and on RR a few weeks ago, I decided to theme my playlist for the ‘Spill game around infidelity, just for the lolz. In terms of the tracks I’ve picked, I have a few general points to make:

  1. I could have chosen eleven songs by Brand New, Taking Back Sunday and Straylight Run, so entangled and messy were those three bands’ love lives. But I figured that would be pointless in terms of the game…
  2. I have a sneaking suspicion I know which song is most likely to be kept.
  3. I feel obliged to follow Aba last week in saying that your problem is likely to be finding a song you’d want to listen to!

And here’s a track-by-track breakdown:

  1. Brand New – Seventy x 7: Imagine that you’re Jesse Lacey, and it’s 1999 and you play the bass in an unknown, unsigned emo band called Taking Back Sunday. Your best friend John Nolan plays guitar in the band, and one day you get what you believe to be incontrovertible proof that he has slept with your girlfriend. What do you do? Isn’t it obvious, you quit, form a band called Brand New where you sing and play guitar, and then write and entire album of songs attacking your ex-girlfriend and/or Nolan and/or the rest of TBS. This incongruously upbeat track is one of my favourites from Brand New’s debut Your Favourite Weapon, and it’s an unashamedly vindictive message to John.
  2. Taking Back Sunday – Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team): After touring their debut album Tell All Your Friends, Taking Back Sunday’s creative core was ruptured by the departure of guitarist/backing-vocalist John Nolan along with bassist Shaun Cooper. The split was partly due to John’s musical differences with lead singer Adam Lazarra, but was mostly caused by the breakup of Lazarra and Nolan’s little sister Michelle, in which both claimed the other had cheated on them. Several songs on TBS’s next album, notably ‘Little Devotional’ and ‘…Slowdance On The Inside’ seem to suggest that Lazarra did cheat on Michelle, but only after she cheated on him. Indeed, two songs on Tell All Your Friends would seem to support this theory. One of them is ‘You’re So Last Summer’ and the other is this track. Opening with one of the most disdainful lines in the history of alternative music (“Your lipstick, his collar… don’t bother angel:/I know exactly what goes on”) and containing the line that appears in the title of this post, the ironic thing is that if this is about Michelle than John Nolan unknowingly sang lines like “She’ll destroy us all before she’s through/and find a way to blame somebody else” about his own little sister!
  3. Straylight Run – Now It’s Done: Well, after that it’d be unfair to leave the Long Island post-hardcore scene without giving Michelle her say, wouldn’t it? John and Shaun formed Straylight with Will Noon of Breaking Pangea when they left TBS, and Michelle joined soon after. They were performing this song live under the title ‘Michelle’s Song’ as early as autumn 2003, just a few months after the split in TBS. This is a far more delicate piece than anything you’ve heard so far: I really love Michelle’s ethereal, haunting voice.
  4. Go:Audio – Made Up Stories: A far poppier track than anything you’ve heard so far, this isn’t really my kind of thing and yet it’s so damn catchy. All together now: “Don’t come round and pretend to tell me/nights you’ve had with your made up stories/I was there but you didn’t see me…”
  5. Dashboard Confessional – Screaming Infidelities: Simply put, without this band and this song, there would have been no Long Island post-hardcore, No South Wales post-harcore and no Fall Out Boy (and therefore no paramore and no DecayDance Records…) The shape of modern music would have been very different… and therefore you might be surprised to find that it’s a gentle little acoustic piece!
  6. Blink-182 – Obvious: Well, there’s the subtle way to accuse someone of cheating on you (like ‘Now It’s Done’), there’s the unsubtle way (like ‘Cute Without…’) and then there’s the Blink way. “I saw you again/I know you f***ed him again” really leaves no room for doubt or ambiguity, doesn’t it?
  7. Bring Me The Horizon – Blessed With A Curse: In which Oli Sykes informs his girlfriend that “I know I said my heart beats for you/I was lying girl/I’ve been lying to you…” In this case, however, the problem isn’t another women but rather his vices. Great atmospherics and sodding brilliant guitar work.
  8. Fall Out Boy – Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet: Described by Pete Wentz as “a love song written from the perspective of the hips”, this song is addressed from a man to the married woman he’s sleeping with. The verses are swaggering and cocky, albeit with undercurrents of unease (“I don’t just want to be a footnote in someone else’s happiness”, anyone?) The chorus, by contrast (which was reprised by Elvis Costello on the middle-eight of FOB’s song ‘What A Catch, Donnie’) shows the hollowness and insecurity that lies at the heart of this cheating relationship (note the ‘him’ is the woman’s husband): “But I will never end up like him/behind my back I already am”.
  9. Panic! At The Disco – I Write Sins, Not Tragedies: “Oh, well imagine, as I’m pacing the pews in the church corridor/and I can’t help but to hear, no I can’t help but to hear an exchanging of words/’What a beautiful wedding, what a beautiful wedding!’ says a bridesmaid to a waiter/’Yes but what a shame, what a shame the poor groom’s bride is a whore’…” That just about sums it up, really! I’ll never understand why the US single version (which is what you’re listening to) censors the ‘God’ in ‘Goddamn’ but not the word ‘whore’. Any thoughts from the Americans on here? Trivia: after the lines quoted above, the song originally continued “Oh dear, her infidelity just spilled all over the floor/Can somebody help her?” but it was cut before the album was released.
  10. You Me At Six – There’s No Such Thing As Accidental Infidelity: Only our second (and last) British band for today (the other being BMTH). You don’t get much more defiant in the face of discovering your girlfriend’s cheating on you than “I’ve got a question/Did you think that we would ever believe you?/And I’ve been out of rejection/The line you walk is getting thin, so thin/…/Go back home now and go back to sleep/And we’ll say, go back with someone else who,/Who wants you more than me”
  11. Cute Is What We Aim For – The Curse Of Curves: From a cheating guy to his suspicious girlfriend. The chorus is up there in terms of great put-downs: “I want someone provocative and talkative/but it’s so hard when you’re shallow as a shower”, while his desperate attempts to reassure her are hilarious “It seems I’m too hip to keep tight-lipped/and you’re on the gossip team/you’re making something out of nothing, baby/and jealousy’s the cousin, the cousin of greed”. Rest assured, she poisons him at the end of the video!

Enjoy! Cut ruthlessly! And if you like a song or a band, tell me. They all have at least two albums to their names and most of them have other songs about infidelity. It’s a bit of an emo hang-up, to be honest…

111 thoughts on “‘Spill Game Week 14: Don’t Bother Trying To Explain, Angel…

  1. OK, deep breath as I dive into an unfamiliar pond…

    Brand New: Yeah, nice bubble-gum thrash sound. Catchy. And nice to have the quiet bit in the middle. Keep.

    Taking Back Sunday: D’you know my problem with this sort of music? I think it’s how very American the singers sound. Even if the lyrical content might resonate, the snotty Yank teen vocals start to give me a “the music that they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life” feeling. No racism intended – it just feels quite specific to an experience I haven’t had. Or perhaps I really am just ‘pissed’ at how ubiquitous American youth culture is. Or maybe it’s a generation thing. I may just be too old to get it. Eek! I’m not racist; I’m ageist! This track didn’t make much impression – might be one for the dumper.

    Straylight Run: Nice vocal. Why don’t I mind the Americanisms from a female vocalist, I wonder. Maybe I’m sexist rather than racist and ageist. Bit dirgey a tune but saved by the strings. Keep.

    Go:Audio: I quite like chuggy guitars like this. Make me want to pogo. Keep.

    Dashboard Confessional: I clearly don’t have any idea of “the shape of modern music” (how did I get to be so old?!) but this is pleasant enough. Intriguing title, which is somewhat let down by the rather prosaic lyrics that follow. But it sounds honest. I just can’t help feeling there are more interesting sorts of music out there.

    Blink 182: Maybe it’s not the American-ness; maybe it’s how defiantly boysy and heterosexual this all sounds. Angry boys being shouty. So I’m not racist or ageist or sexist… I’m a heterophobe! Oh good grief… But seriously, where’s the uncertainty and the questioning and the self-doubt? Maybe I’m looking/listening too close to the surface, but I want some vulnerability in there, a bit of emotional maturity and self-awareness.

    Bring Me The Horizon: Oh no, my least favourite so far. The vocals don’t seem to match the backing for me (at least in the verse). Might have to skip this one.

    Fall Out Boy: Strikes me as a little more complex, musically and lyrically, than a lot of the tracks that have preceded it. Keep.

    Panic! At the Disco: Again, I favourably predisposed to this based on a good title. Beyond that, I’m not terribly excited by it.

    You Me At Six: They’re British? And so were BMTH? You’d never know… I don’t have the attention span for this much genre music, I’m afraid. Or the ears to hear the nuanced differences between it all. I had the same problem last week really. It’s all just a bit samey. What to say about this one? Another good song title. Ummm…

    Cute Is What We Aim For: Ooh, I like this one. Don’t ask me why. Maybe just a gentler tune. And another great title. Keep.

    Well, despite finding it all a bit samey, it’s a surprisingly easy choice for the dumper: bye bye Bring Me The Horizon. Sorry to be so negative, angryirishpunk – and thanks for the education!

    • Yeah, ‘Obvious’ is very shouty. Tom recorded this chorus vocal in a 10ft-long dining-room with the mics 5 feet from him. But I needed a song about infidelity that wasn’t by TBS, OK?

      YMAS were VERY mid-Atlantic on their earlier stuff, but their most recent album shows them finding their own sound. It might be worth your while checking out the most recent TBS album (called Taking Back Sunday): they reformed the Tell All Your Friends line-up and they’re all in their 30s with kids, so it’s much more mature and non-whiny-teen-sounding and they’re singing about a wider variety of experiences πŸ™‚

      That’s not negativity, that’s a different opinion, which is what I want to hear. Although the mind boggles at how you can object to Blink and TBS and like early Brand New and Cute Is What We Aim For… πŸ˜€

      • You’re very gracious, sir. Far more so than I expect I would be! I can imagine these bands are great live. And there’s something very appealing about belonging to a ‘tribe’, having a music that is ‘yours’, being in the know about all the interband to-ings and fro-ings/having friends who follow them as religiously as you do, etc. I briefly attempted it myself with goth back in the late 80s. And I went through a phase of being obsessed with the Liverpool bands formed at Eric’s (Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, Wah, etc).

        I wonder how broad these bands’ fanbase is though. I must admit to suspecting them of only really appealing to white (sub)urban boys in their mid-teens to mid-20s (which is what I once was, so I’ve no real cause to be snotty about that!), but I expect I’m doing them a disservice!

      • Come to think of it, maybe most bands have a particular type of fan. I don’t know! I’m sure there’s an element of birds-of-a-featherism* with all genres of music.

        *Official sociological term

      • OK, I’m going to go on a bit of a rant now bish, and PLEASE don’t take it personally πŸ™‚ I’ve touched on this before: how these bands get ignored by the mainstream media. Yes, their fanbases aren’t necessarily as broad as, say, Dylan’s, but they’re only at the stage of their careers where Dylan was having ‘Judas!’ yelled at him. In 15 years’ time, if you ask a bunch of young musicians what inspired them to play, they’ll probably name bands from this genre.

        paramore have released three albums and a live cd/dvd and have outsold Mariah Carey in the space of 7 years. Fall Out Boy played at Obama’s inauguration. Frank Turner started out in a hardcore band and it’s him, not Noah & The Whale and Mumford & Sons, who kicked off the current London anti-folk scene. Springsteen loves The Gaslight Anthem, Costello loves Fall Out Boy, Bragg and Frank Turner are friends. Every time a manufactured pop musician wants some ‘credibility’ they appropriate the genre’s image.

        Skrillex began life as the screamer in From First To Last. Elbow are (or were up until ‘Build A Rocket Boys’) a post-hardcore band in the vein of Jimmy Eat World, Manchester Orchestra, Kevin Devine and later Brand New.

        And these musicians aren’t just writing songs. They run record labels, they’re music producers, they own clothing companies, they make films (Angles & Airwaves have recently done an award-winning SciFi movie called ‘Love’). They write novels and columns in magazines, and when they get bored they try out solo careers as pop, reggae or folk musicians. They collaborate with the new generation of not-quite-as-awful rappers, and Fall Out Boy made Jay-Z a fortune because when they got massive they signed to Def Jam.

        The biggest selling (including gigs) UK artists of the last decade aren’t Leona Lewis or Girls Aloud, they’re LostProphets and Biffy Clyro. The biggest selling UK artists of the last 18 months aren’t One Direction and Little Mix, they’re YMAS and BMTH.

        These people are involved in social & political campaigns, notably Obama 2008 & 2012, Show Your Colours (for the ‘September’s Children’ suicides in the US) and To Write Love On Her Arms.

        Yes, some of them are crap. No, nobody HAS to like them. But the fact of the matter is that they’re out there and they won’t go away. Sure, some of the bands I like are obscure. Lots aren’t. They just seem that way because unless you watch MTV Rocks, listen to Zane Lowe (who is pretty hit-and-miss) or read Rock Sound, the traditional media tries its best to ignore them. Brand New are now considered America’s Radiohead. Try putting them into the Guardian search engine and seeing how many hits you get.

        My dad has great, very wide, taste in music, and he’s got me into a lot of good stuff. When he started liking bands like Elbow and Mumford and Sons, I started telling him about Brand New, Turner, etc. At first he didn’t really believe me, because he knows I’m obsessed with alt rock, but when I got him to listen to some of it he was really surprised that he wasn’t hearing more about these bands. I don’t know why its like this. Rock Sound’s editor is in his 40s, so why can’t a 30 yo Guardian journo cover this stuff?

        The point is that you said you don’t know much about modern music based on what I was saying about Dashboard Confessional. The only thing that it has to do with age is the fact that I have an advantage: I grew up with the older of these bands and the younger ones are my contemporaries. But you don’t know about it because it rarely gets discussed. It’s the big open secret. A band like Elbow will discuss their influences, but a review of their latest album sure as hell won’t.

        Now I just sound like a conspiracy theorist, but you get the point…

      • Nothing to take personally there, aip! Very interesting stuff – you’re clearly very knowledgeable. I like what I’ve heard of Frank Turner and a fair few Elbow tracks – wouldn’t have bracketed either of them in with the above playlist though, so it’s interesting to hear you connect them up. And yes, I never see any of the bands in your list covered in the Guardian. Maybe there are too many of ‘me’ in Graun-land and not enough of ‘you’!

      • If you like Elbow, definitely check out Manchester Orchestra! There is a point where when these bands become so big they can’t get ignored, the media says “Oh, but they’re just a good rock band now, thank got they’ve matured and left all that awful post-hardcore stuff behind them.” This is what happened with FOB’s last two albums, and it also happened to paramore because their most recent album (No.1 in the UK, Ireland, the US, Australia & the Philippines within an hour of going on sale) contained two acoustic tracks (despite the long history of acoustic post-hardcore, speaking of which, check out Dave Haus’ solo stuff and Destry). So unless you’ve been following the band before they got famous enough to get into a serious media outlet, you’ll never be told about the connections they have to other artists beyond “Thank God! We’ve decided they don’t do that anymore.” It’s a shame, really.

        What killed me was an editorial in the Saturday Guardian complaining about Lady Gaga and saying rock was providing no female role models to oppose her & her ilk. While paramore’s third album Brand New Eyes was in the UK Top 10…

      • OK, at random I’m picking “Simple Math” from youtube to listen to. Despite being mildly irritated by the title (“Simple Maths“! I’m guessing they’re not actually Mancunians…) , I really rather like this. Lovely vocal, nice anthemic tune. I shall definitely keep an eye out for them in future.

      • Re bands having a particular type of audience , my wife once commented on a Killing Joke dvd I was watching that most of the audience were male. True – but I’m still not sure why that matters.

    • Oh, and I’m glad you liked the FOB song. When I was in my teens, I though Pete Wentz’s lyrics where whiny and pretentious, but after four years studying English Lit as part of my degree, I’ve ended up thinking he’s absolutely brilliant. Probably for the same reasons that I like Eliot & Emilt Dickinson…

      • Isn’t Bish’s running stream-of-conciousness commentary the best thing about this playlist series! πŸ™‚

        I have to work today may not get back for a full listen till tomorrow, but i’m off the next 2 days.

      • Yes, I’m seriously considering adopting Bish’s method for next week (I came pretty close to it with my own descriptions: I was listening as I wrote them!) I look forward to hearing what you’ve got to say πŸ™‚

      • I can tell you right now that there’s one band on there that i absolutely loathe. I don’t know the song though so it will be interesting to see if you can convince me. Starnger things have happened – Fuel got me to like some later Stones.

  2. 1.Brand New sounds so cheery, not the biggest fan of that style of vocal ( always think of it as Sum 41 ish), but that is a pretty evil message and I admire them for that.

    2.I detect a similarity in sound here, but I prefer this to the first one, nice clipped guitar line. I’d have been here sooner, but I was listening to some Finnish doom metal, every song is about 9 minutes long, not good for a speed listen. In comparison this is refreshingly taut.

    3.Straylight Run is very appealing, I do like her voice too and the more melodic. Sounds a bit like it could be a band playing at The Bronze in an Angel left me and went bad episode of Buffy. I shall remember the name, hey, 2 of my last.fm friends listen to them already, that’s interesting.

    4.Go:Audio’s vocalist reminds me of dear little Brian from Placebo to begin with. It is catchy. I feel that I’m probably not the target audience for the bands so far, but I am enjoying them more than anticipated. Thanks for posting these, nothing has made me run for the ff button yet.

    5. I have heard of them before, bit whiny, but I like the guitar, back later πŸ™‚

    • Yes, Sum 41-ish is a good way to describe Jesse’s vocals on that album! Gotta love the middle-eight though, especially as I nommed it for this week’s topic (webby’s going to kill me…) His singing had improved massively by their next album, and it keeps getting better. Glad you like TBS & Straylight, the Straylight song is a bit of a dirge, but most of that album is pretty upbeat-sounding. Again, I love the middle-eight on ‘Cute Without…’, even if “I will never ask if you don’t ever tell me/I know you well enough to know you never loved me” is a bit of a melodramatic teen clichΓ© πŸ™‚

  3. Okay, I fear that I’m going to show my age this week: not in the “call that music? sounds like noise to me” manner, ‘cos I like a nice lot of noise, but in the perhaps even more irritating “you know, that sounds almost exactly like stuff I was listening to thirty years ago” vein. I’m really sorry; all I can do is say what I hear, while being as open-minded as I can. Please don’t shout at me…

    1: Rather fun, especially the ramshackle ending, and the quiet bit was really good. Otherwise rather generic mid-period punk thrash – but with a curiously NWOBHM lead guitar line at the beginning.

    2: Unexpectedly complex vocal interactions which remind me slightly of Kenickie – always a good thing. Does become a bit self-indulgent and less tuneful in the second half – I suspect the wish to express complex emotions won out over the song-writing.

    3: Wouldn’t have sounded out of place in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – again, a good thing – but for me the chorus just isn’t distinctive enough to make the most of the build-up in the verse. Rather than the clod-hopping guitar solo at the end, could do with a nice lot of feedback (a la REM’s Drive).

    4: Reminds me a bit of Green Day (which isn’t such a great thing) – but it is definitely better than that. The most generic-sounding so far.

    5: I’m trying, but I can’t see how this could possibly have been a major turning-point in modern music; it just doesn’t strike me as distinctive in any way – anguished adolescents have been writing this sort of angst-laden acoustic stuff for decades, and sometimes they manage to make the words scan better. I’m not trying to provoke you; I would honestly like to know what is so important about this. Or is it the band but not this song? I keep trying not to be reminded of Extreme’s More Than Words – at least the lyrics are better.

    6: I think I’m going to have to join bishbosh in the heterophobes corner. Lumpen and rather nasty. A bit of catharsis for self-pitying adolescents who blame a girl rejecting them on her character flaws.

    7: I rather enjoyed this, if only for the weird juxtaposition of Napalm Death vocals and Brothers In Arms guitar. Can imagine this being fun live. Not sure I’d actually want to listen to it again, mind you.

    8: Loved the first eight seconds, before it settled into a fairly ordinary plod – if only he’d built the whole song around that sound. For the rest, the sudden shifts of style and sound started reminding me of Queen, of all things; interesting but not completely convincing, and frankly I hated the chorus. Sometimes becomes terribly generic rock (almost Bon Jovi), sometimes much more interesting. Don’t think I’d want to listen to this one much, but I am inclined to listen to some other tracks to get a better sense of what Fall-Out Boy is all about.

    9: Couldn’t they have spent another ten minutes on the lyrics to make sure that they actually scanned, rather than having to ditch the tune every so often so they could fit all the words into the line? Undermined any chance of this persuading me. Cut-price Joe Jackson.

    10: Nice guitar sound. Otherwise rather generic, but perfectly competent. I can imagine that I might have really liked this when younger, which is more than I can say for most of these. Again, probably good live.

    11: Hmm. I can see something of what bish sees in this – interesting lyrics, clever tune, all a little bit They Might Be Giants but less annoying. On the other hand his voice gets on my nerves on first hearing.

    So, death to Blink-182. As for which one I’d keep, the fact that I’m persuaded to give some of their other tracks a listen, however briefly, means that it’s a toss-up between Fall-Out Boy and Cute Is What We Aim For. Out of interest, what sort of genre(s) would you describe this lot as?

    • Trying to answer key points quickly: yes to all on track one. Yes, with track 2 it was the emotions winning out but (whisper it) that was the point. BMTH are…interesting…live. FOB have had a career so varied that every album is at least 3 different styles, so do listen to more of their stuff. In general, their 1st two albums (Take This To Your Grave and From Under The Cork Tree) lean more towards pop-punk and hardcore, while their 3rd & 4th (Infinity On High and Folie a Deux) bring in some more pop influences. ‘Headfirst Slide…’ is from Folie A Deux. Yes, the singer in Cute Is What We Aim for is a bit annoying, just wait til you see him (or find out that his name is Shaant!) Be warned: they’re an odd band, sort of “I’m so sensitive and emo so will you please go out with me, but I’m a bit of a dick and by the way… I’m sleeping with your sister and your best friend”.

      All the bands here can be clumped under ‘post-hardcore’. Within that, Dashboard Confessional are first-generation emo, TBS, Brand New and Straylight are Long Island post-hardcore (basically Emo 1.5). Fall Out Boy are technically a hardcore supergroup, but they play 2nd-gen emo (often confused with pop-punk) or post-hardcore. Cute Is What We Aim For are pop-punk. Panic! are pop-punk/2nd-gen emo/steampunk/whatever they feel like at the time. Again, not a band to judge on the basis of one song or even one album… Blink-182 were pop-punk, showing signs of maturity on the album ‘Obvious’ is from. No idea what they are now… YMAS are pop-punk/British emo, BMTH are metalcore, bringing in post-hardcore influences on the album ‘Blessed…’ is from. Go:Audio are basically pop-rock disguised as pop-punk, and despite what I said in the post are actually the third British band in the playlist.

      *deep breath*

  4. Nothing wrong with a melodramatic teen clichΓ©, many a career has been based on it!

    6. I’ve heard before, I don’t mind it, if it has an amusing video, I might not swtich over on Kerrang TV, but doesn’t do much for me.

    7. Bring Me The Horizon sound quite serious and grown up in this company, but that isn’t really a compliment. I quite like the classic rock guitar solo near the end, pity that the vocalist comes back.

    8. I didn’t know Fall Out Boy sounded like this, surprisingly interesting.

    9. Panic at the Disco. Mm, this isn’t grabbing me at all, I don’t like the vocal and harmonies, it’s kind of chuggy, but sort of slightly rockier indie landfill to my ears. Apologies.

    10. You Me At Six I have tried to listen to them a few times, quite like the instrumentation, but the chorus sounds like a boy band and it seems to last forever. Apparently I preferred the first half of the list.

    11. I don’t think I like the sound of the subject of the song, based on your description. Is the vocalist the long haired one? The singing is not for me.

    Overall then, my favourites are Straylight Run and Brand New, I think, as I listen to growly vocals in other music I like, I can’t really dump BMTH so I’ll jettison Panic! At the Disco despite the interesting name, I can’t say why, it just wasn’t my thang.

    Sorry if I’ve been a bit negative, I try to be open minded with metal/rock as this has led me to discovering some music I now really like (Opeth have opened my ears to a load of bands I had no idea existed) and my adorable hubby used to be a metaller, so I have tolerance for noisy stuff, I hear that they have talent and skill, but I think, maybe like Bish, now I’ve read his comments, that they just don’t speak to me.

    • πŸ™‚ Yeah, I’ve really done Panic! a disservice by choosing ‘I Write Sins’ over their other song about infidelity… How did you feel about BMTH? Music-vocals dissonance? Not metal enough? Their early stuff is like being pounded repeatedly in the head by a piledriver… Oh, and FOB are frickin’ awesome, see my reply to Aba in terms of what to look for from each part of their career to date πŸ™‚

      • BMTH. I am currently listening to some random tracks on last.fm by them. Pray for Plagues is quite amusing, I like a bit of classic noisy shouting. Deathcore- is that the correct term? The trouble is I know if hubby was listening he’d list for me 10 bands for 1985 who did it better first, it’s good to hear where they’ve come from. I do admire metal bands for not being afraid to evolve.

        I will persevere with them, there probably is an album of theirs that I’d like, but overall I think I prefer long haired, doomy Scandinavians.

  5. By the way, AIP, as there are people who think goths like emo, I have known people who share some of my musical taste and like what I call emo, not sure if it really is so I would like to ask you your opinion on the following bands

    1. My Chemical Romance – a friend’s ex wife went out with the lead singer, they seem quite sweet, but are they emo and do you like them?

    2. Funeral For A Friend – again there seems to be a goth cross over are they what you’d consider emo?

    3. Black Veil Brides, gorgeous to look at, bit wimpy to listen to IMO, any thoughts?

    Are these bands that emo girls like? Is there a difference? I am genuinely interested if you have time to share…

      • good luck with the meeting. I shall look forward to reading your opinions when you have time. I will not be offended in the least whatever you say about these bands, but Andy Six is pretty (although half my age I expect).

    • In an ideal world, I’d begin this answer with a potted history of ’emo’ aka post-hardcore since Minor Threat. But I have neither the time nor the energy to do that properly…

      To answer your last question first, there is no such thing as an ’emo girl’. ‘Emo kid’ was always, from the earliest days of the music with Dashboard Confessional, The Get Up Kids and Jimmy Eat World, a derogatory term applied to people who listened to the type of alt-rock that was more about feelings than screaming. The MUSIC might be called emo (although Adam Lazarra only began conceding that the word might be applicable to TBS in 2003 or 04, in a interview promoting their 2nd album, and I don’t believe Straylight ever conceeded the point).

      Even if there was such a thing as an emo fan, for the most part fans of proper emo are now between 18 and 28. There’s a whole subculture: writers such as Rowling, Pratchett, Gaiman, Le Guin, Eliot, Emily Dickenson and China MiΓ©ville, theorists like Gramsci and the whole ‘new historicism’ shebang, Studio Ghibli films, Amilie (great film), drinking cider and fancy coffees and wearing suit jackets with ripped jeans & band t-shirts…

      When you say ’emo girls’, I assume you mean what gets derogatorily called a ‘scene chick’ or a ‘scene kid’ these days. Panic! occasionally get wrongfully accused of spawning this, but they hate it & it existed long before them – Brand New recorded a song (very different to the one in the playlist) called Mixtape accusing John Nolan of being scene way back in 2001. It’s the kind of girl who grows her hair to below her shoulders and then tries to style it into an emo fringe, meaning that she can’t actually see anything. She wears too much eyeliner, has a stupid nickname, and is ‘married’ to one of her closest friends (gender irrelevant). She listens to some emo (probably paramore), modern pop-punk and a lot of metalcore (Of Mice & Men are a shoe-in here). She is capable of gushing about how Black Veil Brides saved her life and how she loves Andy Six (or Andy Biersack, as he calls himself now) and then joking about how all emos self-harm. Oh, and she generally likes Twilight, a film which all true emos hate. If she’s under 16, she probably also likes One Direction, and I won’t go there…

      1. MCR – You know someone who went out with Gerard Way? Cool. MCR used to be an emo band. In fact, they formed in NY in the wake of 9/11, which makes then the 2nd-youngest Long Island post-hardcore band (just above Straylight). Like FOB, they kind of got an unfair rep for being whiny, but Gerard’s lyrics on their early albums are pretty scathing and witty. Then they released their major-label debut ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’, which wasn’t an emo album (it’s pseudo-goth stadium-pop with a pop-punk garnish) but which basically destroyed emo’s chances of ever being taken seriously by the mainstream. Some good tunes, but pompous, self-pitying and overblown to a degree that would make Pete Wentz at the trough of a depressive cycle go “Whoa, man, where’s the ironic self-awareness?” It also completely overshadowed the other major-label debuts by emo bands that year, TBS’s Louder Now and FOB’s From Under The Cork Tree, both of which are vastly superior in terms of lyricism, musicianship, production and maturity. Fuckers. I actually kind of like their latest album, Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, but it’s about as emo as the Teletubbies.

      2. FFAF – NOW we’re talking! They might balk at being called emo, but they’re part of that whole South Wales post-harcore/emo scene with LostProphets etc, and ‘Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation’ is the quintessential British emo album. Interestingly, it’s UK bands like FFAF who were responsible for bringing the metal influence into emo, thus precipitating the rise of the ‘scene kid’, but they’re so good I forgive them.

      3. BVB – NO. JUST NO. NO FUCKING WAY. Wannabe-metalcore sellouts who think they’re so cool. Andy – in fairness, you can’t fault his honesty – is completely open about the fact that he views the band as a business above anything else, even though he insists he’s still all artistic. Now, all successful bands ARE businesses, or have strong business elements, but he’s particularly cynical in the way he’s crafted the band’s image and the cult of personality around him. Frankly, I’d be unsurprised if there’s some awful scandal about him in later life. Manipulative little shite.

      Hope this helps! πŸ™‚

      • This morning’s gratuitous pedantry: I want to insert a couple of words into your third paragraph: “There’s a whole subculture that consumes the works of writers like etc.” Otherwise it might seem to imply that these writers are actually producing for this group, as the musicians do, whereas I suspect that Gramsi for one would have hated it. [is there an emoticon for ‘smiley face but with pipe and spectacles’?]

        I’m actually very interested by the absence of Nietzsche from that list, partly because he was the angsty philosopher of choice for post-punk slightly goth angsty teenagers in my day.

      • Pedantry taken on board with a willing smile, and I WANT THAT EMOTICON!!! Nah, while Nietzsche’s interesting he’s a bit TOO angsty and tainted by the whole Nazi thing, to be honest someone like Bertrand Russell would be more up emo’s alleyway, along with plenty of historians: Hobsbawn and RJ Evans for example. I mean, there is no definitive list (The Book Of Tea is a favourite read of mine), but the ones I gave are the ones most or all of the scene would have in common.

      • Thank you very much for that discussion, really interesting to hear about the bands from someone who knows about these things. I wasn’t really trying to be rude about emo girls, as I said, some people I know who have pretty similar goth taste to me also like Paramore and those bands mentioned, I wondered if they were generally disliked by male fans as they have more attractive lead singers and seem to have a dress code.

        The intersecting bit of my taste and yours are likely to be where the bands wear big boots and make up. Interesting to hear the lowdown on BVB, My knowledge of them is very limited.

      • I wasn’t really trying to be rude about emo girls

        I was…

        I wondered if they were generally disliked by male fans as they have more attractive lead singers and seem to have a dress code.

        Yes and no. Adam Lazarra and Pete Wentz are pretty good-looking, 50% of FOB are snazzy dressers, Hayley Williams and Michelle Nolan are HOT. I think the problem for older emo fans (of both genders) is the pseudo-cult element of these scene bands’ fanbases. Now, FOB briefly toyed with that, and hardcore paramore fans like myself jokingly call ourselves ‘parawhores’, but that’s different to a top-down imposition of a super-exclusive tribal mentality by the band themselves. 30 Seconds To Mars do it (We are the Echelon. We aren’t a band, we’re a cult). MCR have done it (during the Black Parade era, the fanbase called themselves the MCRmy, with the slogan “We aren’t a cult, we’re an army.” Now they’re the Killjoys, apparently). And Black Veil Brides set out from the very earliest stages of their careers to do it, as are Motionless In White.

        Of course, there’s a point where older emo fans like myself will resent younger kids on their turf, but when the younger kids are 14yo girls who like paramore because they did a song for the 1st Twilight film (now much regretted) or who go “Oh, Pete is so hot! I love Fall Out Boy! What are you talking about, Take This To Your Grave? Is that the name of a band or something?” we can’t really be blamed for it, can we?

        The intersecting bit of my taste and yours are likely to be where the bands wear big boots and make up.

        I wouldn’t

        be so

        sure about that

        Although that last one might actually appeal to you and my whole argument here is based on the vagueness in your statement as to the gender of the person wearing the boots and makeup πŸ˜›

      • apologies for not being clearer, I meant boys in make up and big boots (as opposed to trainers or emo sneakers) in the bands, the audience can do what it likes. I slightly liked Hearts Under Fire (did you post them before, I think I liked them then too), but can happily not hear the other two again.

        I still hope to find a band within this kind of genre that will make me want to rush out and buy an album, but it hasn’t happened yet. By the way, hope the meeting went well and thanks again.

      • I post HUF at every available opportunity πŸ™‚ I put them in my ‘Spill post on UK rock, so that may be what you’re thinking of. They’re my favourite band. The third group, Try Me/Love Me, aren’t really my thing, but their drummer is Lexi Clark, the drummer from HUF.

        Yes, I knew what you meant with the boots and make-up, but I couldn’t resist πŸ˜‰

        And thanks, my meeting went well! Not as enjoyable as the conversations on here, though πŸ™‚

  6. Sorry, AIP, but I’m another oldie who feels he’s heard all this before (and wasn’t particularly impressed first time around). I started doing a track-by-track critique but my own comments were getting repetitive.
    The music is fairly generic rock or singer-songwritery and some of the lyrics are just slapdash (β€˜A thousand clever lines unread on clever napkins’ is almost great, but napkins aren’t ever clever. Unused, mis-used, wasted, pointless, dumb-ass would all have been better.) I’ll keep Straylight Run as it’s the only one not in (very) common time, I like her voice and the lyrics are pretty good (although they run out of new ones fairly quickly).

    You are, of course, correct that the best artists are often ignored by the mainstream (in some cases the media conspire to sideline and mock them for decades!). You have to think of it as the mainstream being stupid and blinkered.

    On a personal note, having climbed/been skewered by all three points on the eternal triangle, I didn’t find any of the songs provided any particularly useful insights.

    • Yeah, early TBS had some lyrical mishaps, although they tend to fuck around with the lyrics live anyway. Again, maybe try their latest, self-titled album for something completely different.

      Some of the songs aren’t supposed to provide useful insights. ‘Cute Without…’ and ‘Seventy x 7’ are purely exercises in catharsis, and they are pretty theraputic to play when you’ve just been cheated on and you feel like the only thing you can trust is your guitar. To an extent ‘Headfirst Slide…’ is Pete moralising, indeed the whole album is a ‘State of the Nation’ address on US society interspersed with some personal stuff, unlike their usual “OK, let’s set Pete’s diary entries for the last 6 months to music” approach.

      It is also a cultural and generational thing. I grew up with these bands. paramore, YMAS, Deaf Havana, Hearts Under Fire, BMTH and the whole young generation of alt-rock musicians are my age. TBS and Brand New released their 1st albums when I was 11. Blink-182 released their breakthrough album Enema Of The State when I was 9. I love the Dead, but the milieu that they were writing in is completely alien to me, so I don’t see them as providing useful insights for life. Frankly, only Dylan, the Band and Fairport really come close to transcending that part of the age gap for me. If you consider that my favourite Fairport songs are ‘Genesis Hall’ and ‘Tam Lin’ and my fave Dylan songs are ‘Like A Rollin’ Stone’, the live version of ‘…Watchtower’ from Before The Flood and ‘Idiot Wind’ (in my opinion the ultimate prototype for proper emo and very much like early TBS at their best), the relationships these bands have to the kind of stuff that makes up the bulk of my musical fare are pretty obvious…

      • ‘….a cultural and generational thing. I grew up with these bands.’ I get that, of course. We’re all eternally attached to the music that merged with our DNA as it settled into place and it’s often difficult to understand why others don’t hear what we hear (I say that from personal experience, of course).

        I’m very curious about the ‘anomalies’, particularly the Fairport tracks. I’m assuming these came gift-wrapped from your Dad but I’d love to hear you explain what you like about them, as they lie at some distance from this playlist (for example).

  7. A challenge, that’s for sure – I usually run a mile whenever I hear phrases like post-hardcore, emo, and pop punk. Anyway I gave it a go and found as I suspected it wasn’t really my thing but for the opposite reason to one or two other Spillers – ie to me it sounded nothing like punk as I know it. I also really can’t cope with the vocal style on most of these tracks. It might have been interesting to play “spot the British bands” though!
    I won’t go through track by track but a couple to keep

    Bring Me The Horizon – I liked the “spaghetti western” feel in the verses – more bands should do that sort of thing. Not so keen on the over-angsty vocals – sounds as if he needs to get out more.

    My favourite to my surprise was Blink 182 – not a phrase I ever thought I’d type. Slightly nastier guitar than the other bands, I like the bit from 1.30 onwards. I don’t mind songs that are straight to the point either.

  8. Having made the mistake of reading these comments before listening, I’ve decided to NOT keep my attention on which track is playing, so that I don’t end up sounding like another BOF on a track-by-track critique. They’re almost all bands I know OF, whilst knowing very little BY, so to speak. Back in a while, then …

  9. I’m going to comment without reading other people’s comments, to save prejudicing my prejudices still further… I’ll confess I’m not expecting to enjoy this particularly – sorry! – being in no way a fan of emo, post-hardcore or anything of the sort. So, deep breath…

    1. Brand New – the chorus could come from any number of similar things, but there’s some genuinely impressive bitchiness in the quieter moments.

    2. Taking Back Sunday – nah, not hearing anything in this.

    3. Straylight Run – now this is good. Lovely vocal, proper melody – reminds me a bit of Emma Pollock of The Delgados, which is definitely a good thing. I’d be surprised if this doesn’t turn out to be my favourite.

    4. Go:Audio: sanitised angst punk-pop. ‘s OK.

    5. Dashboard Confessional – well, I’ll confess that modern music wouldn’t look much different from my perspective without the genres and names you mention. I think there could be quite a powerful song here – I’d like to hear a different vocalist and a different arrangement, that brings a greater depth of emotion to the sense of betrayal. This guy just sounds a bit pissed off.

    6. Blink-182 – again, ‘s OK. I quite enjoy them in their goofier moments.

    7. Bring Me The Horizon – now, this is so far from the kind of thing that I listen to that I’m quite enjoying it. I like the contrast between the shouty vocals and the really rather tasteful guitar that would probably appeal to Chris Rea fans.

    8. Fall Out Boy – yes, quite like this too – there’s a swagger to it, as you say, and the vocals almost break away from the standard angsty-ness (though it creeps back in at times) – almost wants to turn into an indie song.

    9. Panic At The Disco – ah, one I know, and like – the lyrics are interesting – the wordiness is awkward, but works – as do the pizzicato strings

    10. You Me At Six – quite an anthemic chorus. It doesn’t move me personally, but I can see how someone could find it very moving.

    11. Cute… – this is catchy, though I’m not sure he’s as clever a lyricist as he thinks he is.

    Straylight Run is my winner, no contest in the slightest. The fact that it’s a female vocalist has a lot to do with it – to be honest, most of the other singers sounded the same to me. As did a lot of the choruses, the drums and the guitar sounds. Taking Back Sunday made the least impression, so they’re out. I hope this won’t cause flaming rows in the Nolan household.

    There’s no way to say this without coming across as a patronising old git [I’m actually not that old…] but most of this sounds very adolescent. I can see that it could make the perfect soundtrack to the all-important-at-the-time intrigues and tribulations of being a teenager – but it doesn’t really speak to a 30-something who’s relieved to have left all that behind.

    But thank you, genuinely, for sharing – I did enjoy this, and if it hasn’t exactly made me re-examine my prejudices, I might yet have a sneaky listen to one or two of these again.

    • You bring up a very interesting point here about adolescence. I wanted to compile a themed playlist just to make life easier for myself, and we’d discussed an infidelity playlist as long ago as ‘Songs For My Teenage Self’, but it does mean – given the loose umbrella genre I’m choosing from – a lot of stuff that bands wrote when they were in their late teens/early twenties and to an extent probably regret now. I suspect one of the reasons that the FOB track seems to be going down better is that Wentz wrote it when he was 29 and it’s not inspired by personal experience…

      I am thinking about just starting to compile “What’s in Punky’s head at the moment” playlists, which would give a far wider range of songs from a far wider time period (and older members of the community will probably
      spot a few old favourites…)

      What I mean is, if you look at the dates for the tracks:

      1. 2001
      2. 2001
      3. 2003
      4. 2005
      5. 2000
      6. 2004
      7. 2011
      8. 2008
      9. 2005
      10. 2008
      11. 2005

      So, with the exception of BMTH, Blink and FOB, all these songs were written by bands at the beginning of their musical careers: they’re all from debut albums bar tracks 6, 7, 8 and 10, and there’s a cluster around the first four years of the noughties. So it’s not spectacularly representative of what have been long and chequered careers from most of the musicians involved.

      And as John Nolan played in Straylight as well as TBS, he won’t get too mad at you!

      Oh, and it’s good to know I’m not the only one who feels that way about Cute Is What We Aim For’s songwriting! Nah, Pete Wentz in an infinitely better lyricist, and nobody who has tried to compete with him on his own snarky terms has ever pulled it off πŸ™‚

  10. Third one: Straylight Run. I like that. Not just for its change of pace & gender from the first two, but I liked the solo, liked the percussion, and whilst I wouldn’t be as gushing about the vocal as you wrote, AIP, I liked that too.

    Fifth one: blimey, that’s Dashboard Confessional! That’s not par for their course, is it? I just kept thinking “oh stop whining, man!” A front-runner for going home from the party early and alone.

    Seventh hits the spot very well indeed: ah, Bring Me The Horizon. Shoulda realised. I was going to say it was a shame the singer couldn’t resist doing an Oli Sykes, til I went back to check who the band was!

    Eighth & tenth ones: very polished, both excellent stuff. Fall Out Boy and You Me At Six thus make –
    Ninth one: Panic! At The Disco sound like amateur wannabees.

    * an awkward silence ensues *

    • So, which one deserves a heartfelt declaration of love, and which one needs cutting out of old photos and forgetting the bastard ever existed?

      Both are hard decisions actually, but I think I’m going to woo Fall Out Boy and shoo Dashboard Confessional. I’m programming the mobile numbers for SR, BMTH and YMAS into my mobile, and deliberately letting P!ATD’s address fall off my Christmas card list.

      Cheers, AIP.

    • Panic! were amateur wannabes. They formed as a Blink cover band in 2003, they were all around 17 in 2004 when they sent Pete Wentz a demo of the only song they’d written and he liked it so much they became the first band he signed to DecayDance Records. Their first album (which ‘I Write Sins…’ is from) was released in 2005 and is a mash-up of dance, indie, punk, emo and vaudeville, their second is basically a tribute to the Beatles and the Kinks, and their third is a very different proposition entirely…

  11. Headache. 19 hour day, 10 of which at work and 3 commuting. Not feeling predisposed to new experiences or challenging music … but …what is this Emo of which you speak? (brandishes ear trumpet and paracetamol) –

    Brand New: Thrashes along nicely. Good one for getting rid of all that angst. Interesting bit in the middle. Keep.

    Taking Back Sunday: Similar vein, quite like this too – get it out of yer system, mate.

    Straylight Run: Nice voice, lots of feeling – a keeper.

    Go:Audio: More poppy but I like this too, struggling to dislike anything so far although nothing leaps out either. I think having a young son (and a stepson) helps, as I’m fairly used to this sort of music in the background, although it kind of washes over me in a wave of indulgent motherliness – or something – and yes, it’s catchy.

    Dashboard Confessional: Nice guitar, almost folky, made me think of Lindisfarne for some reason

    Blink 182: Not so instant but it’s OK. Starting to sound a bit samey now.

    Bring Me The Horizon: Oh good, I don’t like the vocal. Finally. A bit meh.

    Fall Out Boy: A bit poppy again but the guitar lifts it. Keep.

    Panic! At the Disco: Oh, I like this. No idea why – everyone is so erudite; I’m afraid I either like it or I don’t!

    You Me At Six: Hmm, almost anthemic, like Elbow or someone like that. Let’s all sway together. At least it will keep me awake.

    Cute Is What We Aim For: Very pleasant, like the vocal.

    OK, so nothing profound from me but if I have to bin one it’s Bring Me the Horizon.

    And an extra 2 votes for T S Eliot and Emily Dickinson. Thanks, AIP!

  12. 1. This is good but doesn’t connect with me the way Weekend or Japandroids do.
    2. Chugs like a punk song and all the voices overlapping are something I like but ATDI, 50 Foot Wave and Hot Water Music are the bands for me when it comes to that type of driving, pounding sound.
    3. Maybe this goes a bit too anthemic for me. I imagine a really lovely country rock version.
    4. This is fine, building all the time. A nice pop song.
    5. I really don’t connect with the vocals: too strident. I just don’t find the emotion. A strange observation cos it’s only a short step to HWM or Alkaline Trio from that, but it’s a step I can’t make.
    6. Go on, go faster. I just wouldn’t address someone like that – in that tone, so I again I can’t connect. I’m missing lots of nuances
    7. Again it’s the vocals. He sounds overwhelming and overwhelmed but it just doesn’t move me.
    8. Ah FOB. This is the keeper. They’re smart. All the changes and the ear for snippets of conversation. They’re like Okkervil river in that they know their musical references and can throw the kitchen sink at it but still step back, still prefer OR’s lyrics and sound though.
    9. Again I don’t connect.
    10. Too much like stadium rock for me. The sound is too big; there needs to be less of the epic drum sound and vocals.
    11. This is more like it. All the changes keep it catchy. A pop song.

    Thanks for this. I guess I’ll like individual songs but I’ll stick with Bad Brains, Descendents and the sounds of newer bands like Downtown Struts, who are slightly less strident or the slightly edgier sound and incomprehensible lyrics of Iceage.

  13. Was just rereading an old issue of Rock Sound magazine: the 101 most influential rock albums since 1999 or so. The first TBS album, Tell All Your Friends, is in at number seven with the comment “This perfectly encapsulates what it is to be young, slightly over-sensitive and very, very excitable.” Perhaps this is part of the reason why ‘Cute Without…” is going down like a lead balloon? πŸ˜€

    • I’m old, very over-sensitive and very, very excitable –

      I had to analyse ‘The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch’ for the record shop / label I helped out – but today is the first day I’ve got past the first few seconds of each track – nowt to do with the music – loved the illustration on the cover.

      BUT BUT BUT –

      Cute Is What We Aim For – feck OFF.

      I just couldn’t get past the name:

      1 – cute is a 3 year old child
      2 – cute is the term female ‘friends’ use to gently let down sensitive males who are their best buddies – don’t throw the word in the face of those over-sensitive blokes – reminding them that ‘you’ don’t make females hot and juicy. Don’t aim for CUTE – idiots – aim for fecking ‘sex machine’ – then fail and become lovely content fathers and partners.

      Cute Is What We Aim For – sick puppies the lot of them… just for the name.

      (did I just say that out loud? – I’ve been waiting since 2006 to say that out loud)

  14. Twice I’ve written a long post and lost it. I believe the problem was my attempt to link to Violent femmes, Bad Brains, Descendents, Big Black, ATDI, Hot Water Music, Iceage and the Downtown Struts. Should be a short step from those bands to the sounds here but it’s mostly a step too far.

    Keep FOB. (he has such a great ear for overheard conversation). Like Brand New, TBS, Cute Is What We Aim For. Send You Me At Six to stadium rock wilderness.

    The vocals are mostly just too strident for me, so I like the bands more when they aren’t so full-throated, even though I love it when ATDI do it, Also, I just don’t connect with the emotions they’re trying to express cos I’m quieter and would never express myself the way they do about infidelity. (That’s only true for some tracks in this selection.)

    Yeah! That’s it: I often find the expression of in the songs just too overwhelming, but fail to identify on any level with the singer or sympathise with their plight. I’m old. I think I’d like some songs better as instrumental pieces.

    Finally, a genre that makes me feel old. I’ll get some slippers.

    • I love all the bands you were trying to link to, and ATDI (THEY’RE BACK TOGETHER!!!) and Hot Water Music are both technically post-hardcore and HWM have toured with the older bands on this playlist. Indeed, Chuck Ragan is a friend/collaborator of Dave Haus, who I mentioned in one of my earlier comments. πŸ™‚

      • Hi AIP, Fuel here, Have you seen the clips of the first gig ATDI did after reforming. Looked really good. I love their cut up and paste lyrics. They just conjure up so many images and they’re rather surreal. Rln of Cmnd is an all time fave.

        I’ve also nommed Hot Water MUsic a few times on RR. “Caution is another big fave. They don’t always interest me but I think a song like Trusty Chords deserves a place in every home. Do you like Chuck Ragan’s solo stuff? Forms a nice bridge between that Americana style and, say, Gaslight Anthem, who’ve played with HWM many a time. Downtown Struts head for that Gaslight Anthem style, too. My sister saw them at Rebellion in Blackpool and hasn’t stopped raving about them since. I’ll investigate the bands on your list a bit more, although I should note that a band like Alkaline Trio have several songs that I love but several that leave me cold. Still, who says you have to like everything in a genre.


      • Hi Fuel! No, I haven’t seen any clips of ATDI since they reformed, but I’ve read reviews of their recent lives shows (and of Refused’s return!). And I love Relationship of Command. I’ve heard some of Chuck’s solo stuff (Gold Country is very good, reminds me a bit of Levon Helm’s last few solo albums). Not a big fan of Alkaline Trio myself, and as for Matt Skiba and the Sekrets, well the less said, the better!

  15. Ok. From the first songs –

    Oddly, i’m with Bish here – enough with the snotnose stoner surf accents, kids! Jeebus. If Bish is a racist, I must be a self-loathing racist. Not big on the first one, but TBS isn’t bad. But by the time i got to Blink, which i would have ordinarily liked, i was ready to smack them. The Straylight was lovely, that’s a keeper. Go:Audio didn’t do much for me.

    Now – Dashboard. This is the band i loathe, and this song didn’t do much to change that. Dont even tell Barbryn about their butchery of Automatic For The People.

    Ok, off to hear the rest.

    • Ok. I think Bring Me For the Horizon is for the toss. Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco were both not bad. Really liked You Had Me at Six, keep. Could take or leave Cute.

      But overall i’m kind of with the other old folks here. Now as you know i like my bit of Blink and the like every now and again. But it’s a genre overall that i can take in small doses. And i expect that i would have liked a lot of these songs a lot more if i had heard them singly instead of all together. But still in these lists you do i find some nuggets worth noting here. Here it’s the Straylight and You Had Me at Six. I noted Sum 41 and Amanda Palmer from your last list. So keep at it!


      • My initial reaction was “I had Sum 41 in a playlist? WTF?” but then I remembered the context… somehow, I’m unsurprised about your reaction to Dashboard Confessional, but consider that they inspired an entire generation of American and British teens to form bands, and without that, what would I be listening to?

    • Rob is doing an excellent job on pnotrayirg Edward feelings. We will only be privy to the workings of his mind and emotions once Midnight Sum is published and fully understand him. In the meantime I trust Rob to carry out this formidable task, he’s a terrific actor.

  16. Just thinking I wouldn’t mind doing a Spill Challenge in a free slot. Only problem is I don’t know what an MP3 is , in fact I’d never even heard of them until someone mentioned them just now. Is there anyway round this? Would a Spill challenge with 11 youtube links be remotely acceptable? I could break it into a couple of parts I suppose….

    My theme would be “Which track is actually by Discharge?”! …JOKE I promise to make it a bit more varied than that.

    • “Just thinking I wouldn’t mind doing a Spill Challenge in a free slot.”

      Awesome! Dec 4 is yours. That’s not too close to holiday season, we can get that in no problem.

      “Would a Spill challenge with 11 youtube links be remotely acceptable?”

      Sure, don’t see why not. However, you may find that this link can be your friend –


      You can google others too.

      Maki has a guide to creating a Spill player under the “Manual” tab at the top. If you need help, you can email me at botanicalphoto[at]gmail.com, happy to help or set it up for you if you have problems.

      DsD, mate – you’re up next week. If you need help, don’t wait till the last minute, i think you already have my email.

      Nov 20 – DsD

      Nov 27th – Fuel

      Dec 4 – Wyngate

      • Amy,

        I’ve not forgotten. I’ve not written it yet, mind, but I’ve not forgotten!
        Hoping to post a small, multi-track thread tomorrow, to test my abilities to post music files in a sensible order.

        Nonetheless, the offer remains appreciated, and if tomorrow evening goes badly, I’ll be in touch on Friday!!!!


      • “I promise to make it a bit more varied than that.”

        The poor foolks of the ‘Spill might need a bit of light relief after my list, which will be 11 Finnish folk songs, in Finnish, of course.

      • Just wanted to interject to say that I tried both Maki’s instructions and ones tfd emailed to me. Maki’s gave me a media player that looks different to the ones we’re used to on the ‘Spill and none of the songs played, tfd’s worked. That may have just been me screwing up somewhere, but it’s worth bearing in mind if anyone’s having difficulties!

      • Maybe you or Tfd can post those instructions somewhere then? Or update the tab? I noticed that some things in Maki’s are a bit out of date due to WP changes.

      • I’m heading out to college in a few minutes, so if you want me to do it it’ll probs be tomorrow. I think tfd is on RR at the moment, so it might be worth asking her πŸ™‚

      • Sorry Abahachi, I’m going for Tenhi and their peculiar brand of doom folk. They have a similar feel to Kauan, Sorry that I never got round to saying that Aava Tuulen Maa is the one Kauan CD I’ve heard and it’s very good. Apparently, TietΓ€jΓ€n Laulu is similar and the first Lumikuuro is more metal. I’m stretching the definition of folk though and have dumped the battle metal/folk metal in favour of something else.

    • You can also download on iTunes uk or Amazon uk if you’re worried about karma.

      Just for fun – here’s what i found when searching for the Test Tubes on iTunes


      looks like about 79p to download a song.

      And here’s one for Amazon –


      I have the feeling that half your stuff won’t even be available on those though, so the link in the last post will be useful.

      • I’ll accept the Dec 4th slot, although I can’t guarantee I’ll have made sense of MP3s by then. But then if a whale can learn to imitate the human voice and an elephant can learn to say hello in Korean maybe it could happen. Just remember though I have never downloaded a single note of music in my life.
        The other thing is I strangely no longer seem able to post a youtube link without it being embedded – strange as I use the same method I always have. In other words it may be a bit of unweildy post – I may even split it into two posts and post them both together on Dec 4th.

    • Rich – No worries, i’m around most of the weekend, but i have to work on Monday.

      Fuel – I’m around most of next weekend from Thursday (our Thanksgiving holiday) on.

  17. Hi AIP ! ! !

    I think my favourite was Straylight Run and the one I would cut would be Taking Back Sunday

    It is a genre that where the risk of failure is that you sound like a pretentious idiot and so you have to really get it right, and you need to have the sincerity and convey it, or you will just sound like a high school-er trying out hook up lines.

    It is a very nice play list and I really enjoyed it, Sorry but I am going to be rude about Taking Back Sunday

    But first I will be nice about Straylight Run It seemed to have the most depth to me and is was a good performance and I liked her voice. I think it is nice to have a girl vocalist also in the playlist it breaks it up a little. I really enjoyed this track actually and it made me want to find out more about them.

    Taking Back Sunday This just sounded like an average high school band singing about something they only know about from movies and manga. I found it very insincere actually and it was completely lost on me.

    Thanks for making the playlist, there were some new bands for me and I will definitely check out some of the bands more.

    • Hi Sakura ! ! !

      I forgot to say to you before, I really liked the song by nano.RIPE you put on the Attack Of The Japanese Schoolgirls post! I’ll be checking out more of their stuff πŸ™‚

      “It is a genre that where the risk of failure is that you sound like a pretentious idiot and so you have to really get it right, and you need to have the sincerity and convey it, or you will just sound like a high school-er trying out hook up lines.”

      Very true! The border between good and awful is just a thin line πŸ™‚

      “Taking Back Sunday This just sounded like an average high school band singing about something they only know about from movies and manga. I found it very insincere actually and it was completely lost on me.”

      It’s funny you should say that: the video for the song is a parody of Fight Club with John Nolan in the Ed Norton role and Adam Lazarra in the Brad Pitt role ! ! ! It’s actually quite interesting that you find it insincere: of the songs on the playlist that were inspired directly by personal experience, it’s the song that was written closest to the incident: when Adam wrote it, he knew/strongly suspected that Michelle was cheating on him, but they were still going out and he hadn’t confronted her about it yet. Perhaps a little bit of distance from the event makes the lyrics a bit more mature, reflective and by extension sincere/identifiable-with?

      I do think it’s funny how well Michelle is doing out of this playlist: she is a brilliant musician and I love her work with Straylight Run and Destry, but the popularity of a song by her from Straylight’s first album is probably proof of the old saying that the Devil has all the best tunes πŸ˜€

  18. Right folks, I’m off to mediate in an intellectual dispute between a brilliant former lecturer of mine and an equally brilliant very special friend of mine so they don’t kill each other, or at least so my friend doesn’t have a nervous breakdown (again). Oh, for a quiet life… PLEASE keep the comments coming, and I’ll be back on to reply when I can!

  19. A bit late to the fray but finally had a listen while cleaning house. Made the mistake of reading replies before listening and I’m kinda appalled at some of the criticism. Since when did – I heard someone else do this 30 years ago so it doesn’t count – become a valid criterion. Hell, people still do straight 12 bar blues and as long as the lyrics go somewhere interesting who gives a rat’s ass. Most of these songs have a very heady dose of testosterone & hormones but I don’t view that as something bad necessarily. Hey, we were all 17 once and as we’ve discussed around before it’s often those songs stay with you the rest of your life. We can pretend we were never mindless wankers once ( even those without) but what’s the fun in that. These all have great energy & a lot of lyrics attempting to define & understand moments unique in the authors life experience when written. It’s that makes ’em good I think. That they’ve yet to achieve the breadth of living to give it something viewed as deeper meaning doesn’t mean squat. It’ll be interesting to see which of these survive to make AIP’s list when he’s 40. No doubt one or two will have personal meaning for him but there may be another one or two make it just ’cause they make his blood boil a bit. Gotta love that I say. As to a keeper – Taking Back Sunday have a relentless attack I love & it’s now going to be added to this year’s first day ski list(hopefully next week). Bring Me The Horizon get the toss for the use of Ogre vocals. Can’t tell you the number of good songs ruined by the use of this. GAH!!

    • Thanks, Fintan! I suspect most of these (except Go:Audio & possibly BMTH and Cute Is What We Aim For) will stay with me. Of course, I’m biased because I’m familiar with the other stuff these bands have done, and so these songs are just part of a wider collection for me, which impacts on how I perceive them. As I said before, the theme lends itself for catharsis, not reflection (in this genre, that is…) so I fully agree with the fact that some of the musicians can sound like “mindless wankers”, to an extent it’s understandable why they do, but it’s also perfectly reasonable that such a sound could put people off their other music. I THINK you’re the first to save TBS, so good on ya! BMTH are kind of having a Marmite effect, aren’t they?

      • amylee – isn’t this a conversation from pre-results RR that’s ended up in the wrong place? πŸ˜› And we got pretty foul-mouthed (and foul-minded) on Sakura’s last ‘Spill post πŸ˜€

      • Fintan has a better command of the language than i do. Once he said something long and convoluted on the mothership to someone about an epidermis – after i deciphered that it was calling bullshit on someone for having a thin skin i laughed my ass off. I just stick to a cut-to-the-chace fuck off.

      • But if your epistemological reading of the intersection of societal, material and personal hegemonies behind a particular RR player’s projection of the specific false consciousness that has led to them expressing a particular attitude that you object to is mistaken or in Debating Union parlance NOT A THING, then you could be engaging in entirely avoidable conflict by dropping an f-bomb πŸ˜›

      • In American, bitches be trippin’ and we all have our problems, and someone may be having a bad day and/or be coming from a mental/emotional/social place so different to your own that a clash of personalities happens, in which case it’s generally best to disengage without confrontation, because none of us know exactly what’s happening to our fellow-players in real life at any given moment πŸ™‚

      • Sorry I missed out on the wit 7 repartee. Promised Murphy a trip to the dog park & met Di for lunch. Just for the record I wasn’t referring to the bands as mindless wankers ( though there are plenty of great mindless axe wankers about). More the state of being 17 & reveling in mindless wankery of all sorts. Some of the most fun times occur when you give up all pretense of sensibility. And now to the new topic.

    • We have lot’s of highland cows here, they’re at least 90% emo frigne there’s an emoo pun in there, but I’m certainly not doing it.(lol thanks for the contact form comment btw raincoaster, I was in a bad mood and it cheered me up considerably as did photos of emo ponies lost in contemplation how of how mainstream sugar lumps are)

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