Most people know OK Go more for the choreographed treadmill work of their YouTube sensation video than their actual music. For the uninitiated: The L.A.-via-Chicago band build wild disco-jam pop songs that sound as if The Strokes were crammed through a Prince filter. On their latest, the drums are big, the bass slinky, and the vocals soaring. Start with “Needing/Getting”; the beat thumps and singer Damian Kulash wails, “It don’t get much dumber than trying to forget a girl when you know that you love her” before things crumble into a dub jam. “White Knuckles” is a rump-shaker with hand claps and funk riffs, and “All Is Not Lost” is indie rock ABBA—in a good way. The big, dreamy “In the Glass” is a great closer. It just needs a video.
Twenty-six hundred miles from his Virginia home and it’s all the same deal to Strike Anywhere singer Thomas Barnett. Signs of urban conflict and ghosts of the subverted and forgotten...
After 15 years of kicking goth ass and taking names, AFI put out their best album ever.
As Dashboard Confessional’s fan base grew, so did their sound. What started as Chris Carrabba wrestling out heartache alone on a stage with an acoustic guitar has grown into a full-size band with a big sound designed to back the singer’s growing songwriting skills. The center of that sound will always be Carrabba’s voice diving from a high falsetto to a shaky whisper, as it does on “Blame It on the Changes,” in which he builds to the climactic confession, “I need you more than you know now.” The centerpiece of the album is “Belle of the Boulevard,” a Springsteen-style character study that shifts between twangy guitar and a soaring chorus, complete with strings and piano. The sound is expanding, but Carrabba stays true to himself in the center of it all.
When modern hardcore went metal, Hatebreed, Terror, and SoCal’s own Throwdown were left as kings of the pit. Throwdown know the formula: Keep the chugga chugga guitar riffs churning, leave room for vocalist Dave Peters to fire off Phil Anselmo–inspired vocals, and watch the kids go utterly bonkers in the pit. The slow grind of Deathless centers on the band’s ability to build intricate, hard-hitting guitar riffs and stab them into the middle of mid-tempo headbanger numbers. “This Continuum” gallops on swirling guitars until Peters blasts, “I can’t face this hell alone!” The guitars on “Skeleton Vanguard,” filled with chugs and squeals, would make Dimebag Darrell smile.
Strip any given Clipse song of references to drugs, exotic cars, lavish locales, and, of course, money—what’s left? Still enough lyric-driven hip-hop...
Heidi Minx profiles recording engineer / owner of Empire State Recording Studio and his devotion to animal shelters.
Which is wilder to consider: that it’s been 18 years since Nirvana released Nevermind or that Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters have released six albums since? While Nirvana was dragged kicking and screaming into playing arenas, Grohl built the Foos and their sound to fill them. Among the 16 tracks assembled on their first greatest hits collection are obvious tracks such as “Monkeywrench,” “Best of You,” and “My Hero,” all well-worn staples of any rock bar. Later, and slightly less obviously, tracks such as “Long Road to Ruin” and “Times Like These” also show up. Of course, no hits collection is complete without a few unreleased tracks designed to draw you in, so Grohl includes the light Tom Petty twang of “Wheels” and the raging, if slightly flat, “Word Forward.”