Summer of Gainz Playlist: 20 Songs to Help You Get Jacked pt2

All right, meatheads, summer is officially on its last legs and you’re probably in need of some much-deserved motivation. You’ve probably been killing it in the gym for the last few months and have poured a solid concrete foundation to the brick house you have become. That being said, you may feel like you are running out of time and energy to continue to fight the good fight of fitness. After all, abs were not built in a day.

Well I have news of you, pal. Just because summer is almost over doesn’t mean that your journey to the land of gainz and honey has to be! We here at Atomic Sky have decided that now is the perfect time to release the second part to out carefully crafted playlist designed so both your iPod and yourself can be shredded.

SO, in order to facilitate your continued success, I present to you part two of the Summer of Gains playlist.

Can’t Deny It – Turnstile

Embrace The Madness – Black Tusk

We’ve Tried Nothing and We’re All Out of Ideas – Kill Your Idols

The Bed is Burning- Full of Hell

Manipulate – Mind Eraser

Back Burner – August Burns Read

Mother Abyss – Black Breath

Sacrifice – Motorhead

Hanging By a Thread – Suburban Scum

Isolation – Harms Way

Eat, lift and be merry!

Summer of Gainz Playlist: 20 Songs to Help You Get Jacked Pt. 1

*Banner courtesy of Rise Above Fitness

In case you hadn’t noticed, the summer season is officially under way. Many a gym rat has been working hard all year with diet and exercise so they can go out and show off their sick bods in a Top Gun-esque show of manhood.

Then, there are probably those of you who have not. Those who eye their beefy peers jealously and wish in vain to be blessed with a six-pack so chiseled you could do laundry on it and the shoulders of a linebacker. But fear not! There is hope!

Whether you look like Magic Mike or Newman the mailman, getting stoked can help you achieve the energy or mental state of mind needed to crush your workout. Thankfully, the gods of music have given us hardcore and metal to aid in such a quest. Here are 10 songs to help you do just that gang. Click the links below to kick the jams.

BEHOLD THE SOUNDTRACK TO THE HARBINGER OF GAINZ.

  1. No Serenity – Xibalba
  2. The Rising End – Zao
  3. Hammer of Doubt – Power Trip
  4. Unsilent Death – Nails
  5. Altercate – Nomads
  6. Soul Swallower – Steel Nation
  7. Manufacturing Political Leverage – The Holy Mountain
  8. No Chain – Dead in the Dirt
  9. Jock Powerviolence – Weekend Nachos
  10. Persevere and Overcome – Reign Supreme

Be on the lookout for part two of the Summer of Gainz Playlist, coming soon.

Ty Segall – Manipulator

When I first heard the term “Flower Punk”, my brain kind of exploded. Not only had I never heard of anything similar to that term before, but I wasn’t entirely sure that I wanted to. Being a fan of garage rock/punk, I liked many of Ty Segall’s previous works, particularly Reverse Shark Attack and one of his few recordings with a full band entitled Slaughterhouse. I knew that he had since expanded his genre list even more on his more recent records and covered what seemed to be a slightly different genre for each release. All were good, but not necessarily my cup of tea. So when I heard about his first double vinyl release which took the longest amount of time out of any of his albums yet to create (about 14 weeks), I was naturally curious. I had to check it out.

Manipulator is the most well rounded album that Ty Segall has released. He has managed to infuse all of his previous sounds in to one cohesive sonic emission, the likes of which are stunning. The tracks on Manipulator are an impressive amalgam of power pop, 70’s psych rock, and garage rock with considerably less (but still prevalent), punk and noise influences. The psych rock influence is far from subtle but isn’t quite enough to make the album annoying (although it does come close at times). The album also is pretty synth-heavy and super groovy throughout (Not a bad 70’s joke folks; every song is a toe-tapper or a foot-stomper).

The mid to slow tempo songs that make up this album are very well produced, straying from the lo-fi sound that Segall championed in many of his early releases. Segall also managed to track the whole album by himself, with the exception of track 6, entitled “The Faker.” Considering the comparatively polished sound of this record, mixed with the fact that Segall is the sole performer as well as the catchiness and technical prowess which abounds throughout the entire album, Manipulator is quite a feat. I strongly recommend picking this album up if you are a fan of any of the aforementioned musical genres or even if you are just in the mood for something original and creative. You can pick it up through Drag City Records, or ITunes if you’re lazy.

Score: 4.25/5

Track List

1.”Manipulator” 3:10
2.”Tall Man Skinny Lady” 4:03
3.”The Singer” 4:16
4.”It’s Over” 3:01
5.”Feel” 4:17
6.”The Faker” 4:09
7.”The Clock” 2:53
8.”Green Belly” 2:33
9.”The Connection Man” 2:19
10.”Mister Main” 2:48
11.”The Hand” 4:45
12.”Susie Thumb” 2:30
13.”Don’t You Want To Know? (Sue)” 2:36
14.”The Crawler” 2:25
15.”Who’s Producing You?” 2:55
16.”The Feels” 3:09
17.”Stick Around” 4:34

The Copyrights – Report

Have you ever had a moment when listening to a record where you put your head in you hands and wonder, “How in the hell are these guys so talented? How is it possible to write an album that is so consistently catchy?” Well folks, wait no more, because if you like pop-punk in the vein of Screeching Weasel, The Lillingtons, and The Riptides then this album will do it for you.

Report, the newest effort from Illinois’ The Copyrights, is their most solid release to date. The boys pump out 14 songs where each one is equally as catchy and anthemic as the last. The album’s opening track “Slider” kicks the record off with a cool and low-key bass riff that then explodes into an unapologetically powerful intro that firmly plants the standard for the rest of the record.The melodies and hooks on this album are insane, drawing from what seems to be every instrument in their ensemble to contribute to the sing along choruses. Innovative and interesting bridges (see “Stuck in The Fall”) remind the listeners that this is a band that has over a decade of writing and touring under their belts and are only getting better. The sheer singability (see what I did there?) of this record alone makes it everything that this reviewer could want from a modern day pop-punk album.

The only gripe that I have with this album is the lyrics. The Copyrights have a knack for being able to cleverly say the same things on each of their records. For the most part, the standard pop-punk themes of struggling with money, relationships, and trying to have a good time through it all abound. The saving grace in this respect is that the lyrics are so catchy that it makes me want to claw my eyes out (in a good way). They didn’t try to reinvent the lyrical wheel on this release and that adds to its charm. They are what they are, and what they are is a pop-punk band that has honed their specific sound to the best version of themselves yet.

You can check out Report via Red Scare Industries.

Score: 5/5

1. Slider
2. Heart Of Glue
3. Telescope
4. Stuck In The Fall
5. This World Is Such A Drag
6. Keep The Change
7. Worlds On Fire
8. No Knocks
9. Fireworks
10. Wishbone
11. The New Frontier
12. Try So Hard
13. Basement
15. Away We Go

The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt

7851871_orig

If you are anything like me, then you have been following The Gaslight Anthem’s career for a while now. You fell in love with their gritty yet whimsical sound in Sink or Swim and Senor and the Queen, then again with the 1950’s-esque heartfelt and innovative sound of The ’59 Sound. You were probably a little surprised by the almost London Calling ethos (not sound) of American Slang but thought, “This is still obviously the Gaslight Anthem, so I can get behind it.” Then when Handwritten came out, you probably thought “This is kind of boring but still good songwriting. Way more mainstream than their other releases, but whatever. They are still pretty close to the band I love.”

If all of this is true then 1: We should probably hang out (because we like, TOTALLY click, you know?) and 2: When the Gaslight Anthem’s newest release Get Hurt dropped last month you were probably a little bit…confused. Track one, entitled “Stay Vicious”, sounds like they are trying way too hard to sound like a worse Audioslave. Then they tried to remind everyone that they were still The Gaslight Anthem by going back to a light and melodic kind-of chorus. In its entirety, the song just sounds inorganic and forced, which makes me uncomfortable as a listener.

Their next song “1,000 Years” is kind of a bridge between “Stay Vicious” and the more classic Gaslight sound. The lyrics are a little more personal, and the over all sound is a little less comically abrasive. The feel of the song is more reminiscent of The Hold Steady as opposed to a weird Sound Garden yielding a more organic feel that makes a little bit more sense when looking at Gaslights larger body of work. Then, out of the mist and confusion comes the albums title track, Get Hurt. Track three sets the tone for the rest of the album both sonically and lyrically. The bulk of the lyrics are the musings of a sensitive man dealing with love, loss, starting over and deciding where to go from here. Instrumentally speaking, the rest of the album fits nicely in a category with the other slow and mid tempo songs in the Gaslight catalogue. Granted, the album is lacking its songs similar to “We Came to Dance”, “The 59 Sound”, “American Slang” and “Handwritten”, but singles don’t define a band. The personality is between the hits, and Get Hurt has a ton of personality.

I realize saying this will put me in the minority of reviewers but overall, I really like this album. Yes it is different and yes I HATE the opening track, but after track one every song has its place within the album and makes sense aesthetically speaking. In an interview with Noisey, lyricist and front man Brian Fallon admitted that critics probably wouldn’t like Get Hurt at all but the fans will grow to love it and accept the album as a practical next step in the progression of the band. This seems to ring true, but I think that it’s a little of an overstatement. Anyone who appreciates The Gaslight Anthem’s more bluesy songs and lyrics will like this album from the get go. I would be surprised if the long time fans were not at least accepting of the album, providing they went into it with an open mind.

Get Hurt is a personal favorite of mine overtaking both American Slang and Handwritten in songwriting, both sonically and lyrically. After the initial speed bump of the opening track, it becomes one of the better put together albums they have released in recent memory. To the skeptical die-hard fans I say this: Just give it a chance, kids. You may be surprised.

Track List:

1. “Stay Vicious” 3:33
2. “1,000 Years” 3:38
3. “Get Hurt” 3:43
4. “Stray Paper” 2:48
5. “Helter Skeleton” 3:13
6. “Underneath the Ground” 4:05
7. “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” 2:50
8. “Red Violins” 3:20
9. “Selected Poems” 2:53
10. “Ain’t That a Shame” 3:02
11. “Break Your Heart” 4:20
12. “Dark Places” 3:44

Score: 4.25/5

Artists to Watch: Nomads

photo

Nomads are a hardcore-punk band from Los Angeles California, featuring ex members of Furious Styles, ACxDC and Sleepwalkers. They produce a raw and abrasive type of crust inspired d-beat/hardcore-punk that will make you want to kick the living shit out of something. The fast angry street punk sound infused with breakneck guitar solos, keeps the music interesting throughout their as of yet small discography. Lyrically, the band deals with experiences brought on by former drug abuse as well as distrust and blatant hatred for the L.A. police force. The equation this band has written yields a sum, which emits an aura of danger to it that had me hooked from the very beginning.

The ferocity of this bands sound should probably come as no surprise, considering that Nomads is the union of powerviolence and New York style hardcore. This equation is not entirely unique in the hardcore punk and metal scenes as of late, but Nomads has found a way to derive a sound from it all their own. You can check out their upcoming self released and self titled EP via the link at the bottom of the article as well as streams of their split 7” with Treacherous Kin and their demo.

http://www.cvltnation.com/nomads/

http://melotovrecords.bigcartel.com/product/mltvr018-nomads-treacherouskin-violent-fucking-world-split-7

http://nomadspunk.bandcamp.com/

Artist to Watch: Modern Baseball

Modern-Baseball1-600x398

If you would have told me five years ago that an underground pop-punk band on a independent record label would have a record debut at #84 on the Billboard Top 200, I would have laughed in your face. Little would I have known that in 2014 Philadelphia’s Modern Baseball would make me eat my words. Not only does MB have the distinction of being on the same list as (and only a few places under) Nickleback and Justin Timberlake, but the record that made it all happen entitled You’re Gonna Miss It All also debuted at number #1 for vinyl sales.

Modern Baseball’s sound is an interesting blend of underground pop-punk and a more mainstream (and dare I say marketable) incarnation of pop-punk, creating a vibe that has a little something for everyone. You’re Gonna Miss It All consists of twelve fun, mid-tempo songs chock full of positive energy. At first glance, the melodies on this album, both guitar and vocal, are what make this release stick out. Upon further inspection however, one will find the honesty and earnestness of the lyrics as well as the sarcastic wit peppered throughout as that which will give this album staying power that pretty guitar chords alone would not be able to offer.

The fact that Modern Baseball not only made the upper half of the Billboard Top 200 but also has the #1 Vinyl release under their belt shows that we as listeners now have the power to give bands the recognition that they actually deserve. I personally think that Modern Baseball has earned the recognition they are receiving based specifically on how solid of a record You’re Gonna Miss It All is. You can decide for yourself by going to Run for Cover Records’ band camp and giving the album a listen. If you are a fan of any type of pop-punk then you probably wont be disappointed.

http://runforcoverrecords.bandcamp.com/album/youre-gonna-miss-it-all

https://www.facebook.com/ModernBaseball