Tuesday, October 21, 2014

XTRMST Shows Off Its "Dirty Nails"

  XTRMST has just released another song, "Dirty Nails," that can be automatically downloaded if you preorder its debut album aptly named XTRMST. I heard "Dirty Nails" a few months ago when the waves started kicking up about this band and, I have to say, it's my favorite song out of what I've heard so far. It's got the great breakdowns, the screaming, the anger that Davey Havok is so skilled at delivering.

 If there's one album all the hardcore, early AFI fans should be preordering this year, this is it.

 The album is due out Nov. 18 but you can head over to iTunes and download the album now.

 This is not an album you guys want to miss.

New Music and a Contest from The 1975

So, the lovely boys from Macclesfield have been teasing their fans for quite some time now. Little Facebook and Twitter posts proclaiming, "Big news coming soon! Sign up for the mailing list," would pop up from time to time and they were posting images, like the one above, on their social media accounts. Now, I just thought they were adding more tour dates, considering they just did that here in the U.S. (they are playing maybe fifteen minutes from my house but I have class that night; thank God I already bought tickets to two other shows.)

Then the announcement came.

Unfortunately, I didn't get my email until way into the night (I'm looking at whoever runs the mailing list for The 1975) but, around 12:30 yesterday afternoon, Tumblr was buzzing about a new song that will be included on something quite special.

Back in 2011, there was this little flick called Drive. It's an incredible film starring my beloved Ryan Gosling as a stunt driver who moonlights as a get away driver. The driver gets embroiled in all this mob business and, in the end, has to go on the run. Not important. The important thing is that BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe is rescoring the film.

Not too many people are thrilled with the re-scoring thing but I happen to be quite excited. Not only is the line up amazing- CHVRCHES, Bring Me the Horizon, and The 1975 just to name a few- but the concept it amazing. How many times have you had your own playlist for different movies or TV shows? Zane Lowe is getting the chance to do something we have all only dreamed of doing.

I'm a bit jealous.

Well, Matty Healy had some incredibly thoughtful things to say about the song and what it means to be a part of the new score. He called it one of his most "personal and best loved pieces of music to date." Considering other songs that have earned those words of praise are "Me" and "Woman", I'm pretty sure "Medicine" is going to turn out just as amazing.

Well, The 1975 didn't stop there. They're going to release 1000 limited edition, clear, pressed vinyl versions of the song for lucky fans randomly drawn from those signed up for the mailing list.

Haven't signed up for their mailing list yet? Head on over to the band's website and get on it. I'm sure all the little diehards are just itching to get their hands on that clear vinyl.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Davey Havok and Jade Puget are BACK

My friend and I were talking about this just the other day; AFI has cycles that we, as fans, unfortunately have to suffer through. There's an album and a tour (which, thank God, comes around New York in October/November each time because AFI is a Halloween band and no one can fight me on this) and then three or more years of silence. It's killer.

But Davey and Jade have decided to be kind to us and grace us with new music that isn't quite so electronic (not that I don't love Blaqk Audio but that's a more every other month but Halloween Month band). I previously reported on their new side project, XTRMST, and talked about how there was probably more to come. Well, they just announced that they will be releasing their first LP in November with a pre-order available starting October 7.

What's XTRMST?

The band just posted this whole little manifesto on its website:

So, apparently, this band is a musical expression of the straightedge ideology, which is kind of cool. A whole band dedicated to an ideal that doesn't preach excess. In this era of twerking and less is more when it comes to clothes and more is more when it comes to sex and drugs, it's going to be almost surreal to have a band whose music is inspired by a life of control.

What is straightedge? It's a movement that essentially requires that an individual have respect for him or herself by not engage in sexual activities when there isn't an emotional bond and not ingesting addictive substances such as drugs and alcohol. Honestly, it's not a terrible life style. It had its beginnings with Ian MacKaye and Minor Threat in the 80's and has held on pretty well. Granted, not too many kids are flocking to this idea of no promiscuous sex, no drugs, and no alcohol but it's still something of value, especially in an era of "my Anaconda don't want none unless you got buns, hun." I'm still gagging over those lyrics.

XTRMST will just be one of a number of straightedge bands- X-Files, Champion, and Have Heart are just a few- but they sound different and they should; the band has the songwriters of AFI as its founders. These are songwriters that are up there with Morrissey and Robert Smith and, if you've loved AFI as long as I have, you know its roots are in hardcore. But it's not straight up hardcore. It's creative and full of an almost gothic, Danny Elfman vibe.

The great thing about the few tracks that I've heard so far- they sound like tracks from the Black Sails on the Horizon or Art of Drowning eras with a bit more malice. There's an incredible amount of darkness in the songs I've heard so far, a darkness that AFI fans are going to be drawn to. But there's also grit and cacophonous guitar and bass melodies that make your eyes twitch and skin crawl...in a good way. It's the kind of music you can get lost in.

The songs are something incredibly new while incredibly familiar and I'm sure AFI fans and new fans alike will be clambering over each other to get to the shows.

Check out their website, where you can hear one of their new songs.

Now, hopefully, this means that they'll be touring soon. Fingers crossed. Until then, I'll be preordering this baby and planning to find the vinyl somewhere (even if it means I need to brave the dark, cavernous depths of Hot Topic where Justin Bieber mingles with Joy Division).