Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Guest List(s): Corrina, Corrina Give Us Four, Four, Four Posts In One!

Corrina, Corrina at Red Bank Rehearsal Studios on Thanksgiving Eve

Essay Question

I asked the guys in Corrina, Corrina if they'd like to do a year-end list for the site this year. They said sure. They must have still been in end-of-semester exam mode because they gave me four full-on lists, one from each member.

Corrina, Corrina had a big year in 2014, releasing their first full-length, American Short Stories, on Little Dickman Records. Three of the four members graduated from high school and joined new bassist, Kyle Donovan, at Rowan University. So the band lives to fight another day.

School's out now for winter break, and Corrina, Corrina have promised some new songs and some new recorded material in the not-too-distant future. For now, check out each member's take on 2014.


My Favorite Songs of 2014

5. PUP, “Guilt Trip”

PUP is a straight up, kick-ya-in-the-dick rock band. The opener of their self-titled debut, “Guilt Trip,” has everything anyone would want in a song. Kinda freaky timing, SICK guitar lines and a SICKER guitar solo, gang vocals, harmonies / guitarmonies, hella distortion and feedback, and a crazy sing along chorus. If that doesn't convince you that this is one of the best songs ever, nothing will. Long live PUP. Shouts out to the other 30 kids that went out and saw them at the Lanes this past summer.

4. Against Me!, “Transgender Dysphoria Blues”

Probably the most important song to come out this year off the most important album to come out this year is its the title track. Against Me! telling it how it is. Heartbreaking yet up-lifting. Seriously, so so so so so important. Laura Jane Grace is a badass. 

3.  Ryan Adams, “My Wrecking Ball”

I’ve been a huge Ryan Adams fan since my introduction to him during freshman year of high school with his debut solo album Heartbreaker. His self titled release this year was a favorite of mine, and this song really stood out to me. This album was my go to “walking to class” album when it was released, and this song always blew me away every time I listened to it. Ryan Adams has one of the most effortless voices in music, and it really shines through on this track. I want him to sing me to sleep every night.

2.  Cloud Nothings, “I’m Not Part of Me”

This song became an instant favorite as soon as it was released as a single. I enjoyed Cloud Nothings’ previous release, Attack on Memory, but this song seemed to do it for me more than their previous hit, “Stay Useless.” I absolutely love how the bass drops out throughout the song, the floor tom verses vs the cymbal choruses, and that guitar tone. Damn. It's flawless. 

1.  Beach Slang, “Filthy Luck”

Beach Slang have to be the best band to come out of 2014. All of their songs are just absolute anthems. I remember hearing this on “Jaded Punk” the day it came out, when it was just a single. I must have replayed that fifty times that day. Beach Slang just keep getting better, but it will be hard to top this song. 

Other songs I absolutely adored: Radiator Hospital, “Fireworks,” Allison Crutchfield, “Supermoon,” Bob Mould, “I Dont Know You Anymore,” Smith Street Band, “Surrender,” The Lawrence Arms, “Seventeener (17th & 37th),” Eagulls, “Tough Luck,” Diarrhea Planet, “Heat Wave,” Mikey Erg, “You’ve Never Heard ‘My Aim is True,’” Chain and The Gang, “Never Been Properly Loved”

Thanks, CoolDad. Happy Festivus!


My Top 5 Favorite Songs From Local Bands of 2014

5.  Teenage Halloween, “Comic Book Love Song

Teenage Halloween have recently taken the local New Jersey scene by storm, and with a song like this, there’s good reason. It wasn't until I experienced this song live at the Red Bank Rehearsal Studios, when it was upgraded to a full band delivery from its former acoustic recording, that I absolutely fell in love with it. Screaming “Little Johnny Robinson was saved by Rock’N’Roll” with the 9 other kids made that a song that I never wanna miss live. Super excited to hear it on the new Teenage Halloween album being released at some point in time probably / maybe / I think. 

4.  Black Flamingos, “Devil’s Punch Bowl”

This is the surf jazz /spy /sci-fi / spaghetti western song I’ve been waiting for my entire life. Black Flamingos have a special place in my heart because I first met frontman Rob when I started playing guitar back in 2009 and one day he played every single vocal part to a Beach Boys song on guitar and I think I might’ve cried in the bathroom shortly after. Fast-forward to a couple of months ago when I caught Black Flamingos at The Brighton Bar and they absolutely blew me away. Such technical bass, guitar, and drum parts all working together to make a song that makes me wish I was in a tuxedo every time I heard it. Check out the live version of this song to see its raw amazingness. 

3.  Hot Blood, “Class Warfare” 

What needs to be said about this song other than, THIS IS A WARRRRRRRRRR!!!!! Nothing. Literally nothing. This song is an anthem for all who just want to get their anger out with some aggressive moshing. I can’t think of a Hot Blood set where my favorite part wasn’t chanting “They’ve got the power, but we’ve got the numbers” with all my friends and familiar faces surrounding the microphone, only to be interrupted by a blood curdling scream from Mat Kiley, which sends the room erupting in a swarm of sweaty human bodies. Awesome rhythm section, anthemic lyrics, killer song. 

2.  The Vansaders, “Bullet”

This song, this damn song, is one of my favorite songs ever. I was just recently introduced to The Vansaders, and my God, I’m glad I was. From the powerful instrumental opening, to Doug Zambon’s first vocals, the fast-paced rhythm section pushing the song, to the incredibly awesome group vocals, nothing about this song could be any better. This album is a must-listen and I hope to see more from this band for years to come. There are two types of people in the world: people who love The Vansaders, and people that are wrong. 

1.  The Battery Electric, “Heathen”

Okay I know what you’re thinking: “Matt that song wasn’t released yet.” “Matt you’re biased because Brent was your guitar teacher and you’ve known him for almost a decade.” “Matt you play drums. Your opinion doesn't matter.” Well listen up, fictional jerk, because I’m about to justify why “Heathen” is my, and should be your, favorite song of the year.

If you are part of the Asbury Park scene, wear denim, have facial hair, or have ever said the word pimp, you know The Battery Electric. They are the most rock and roll band I have ever met, and their party powers would give Andrew WK a run for his money. “Heathen,” while not having been released yet, is without a doubt one of the best songs this band has ever written. It has rad vocals by frontman Ron Santee, punchy-as-hell guitar from my guitar idol Brent “Thor God of Rock” Bergholm, and mega-hunk rhythm from bassist Alex Rosen and drummer Kevin Troeller. The falsetto backup vocals sung by the band and the crowd are really the icing on this sexy cake of hunk-rock. This is without a doubt the most fun, energetic, and pimp-tastic song that has come from a local band this year, and I seriously can’t wait for their new album to be released. #RockPimps


My Top 3 Small Releases of 2014

First off, I would like to send a HUUUUUGE thank you to CoolDad for asking us to do this. This is mega-cool. Now, onto the good stuff. As resident "New Guy" of Corrina, Corrina I realize that not many people in the area know me or what I'm into. So, here are three of my favorite small releases from the past year.

The Moms, Buy American

I'm from north Jersey (*boo* *hiss* yeah, I get it). We don't have as much of a local music community as the Asbury Park area, but we can produce some pretty solid bands. One of those bands is The Moms, hailing from New Brunswick. I had the pleasure of hearing them for the first time a little over two years ago at a back yard show in Clark, NJ, and I've been hooked ever since. Buy American, their debut full-length album, released by Paper + Plastick, is solid gold from end to end. This trio does an unbelievable job of pouring everything they have into a song. Their punchy, distorted chords are paired beautifully with surprisingly melodic yells. I have a feeling that these guys are going somewhere big.

Donovan Wolfington, Scary Stories You Tell in the Dark

At five songs, and a total running time of about eleven minutes, Donovan Wolfington (which is a fantastic name, by the way) managed to cram about 10 different genres of music into this EP. Transitioning from party punk into noise-pop and back into 90s grunge, often in the same song, it is hard to keep track of when one song ends and another begins. Of the five members in the band, three of them share singing duties and they come together wonderfully with lyrics that perfectly express the top-of-the-world mindset of a 21 year old college student: "And I still do whatever I want whenever I damn-well please and I mean everything I say, always."

Posture & The Grizzly, Busch Hymns

I am absolutely in love with this band. Posture & The Grizzly is the side project of a few members of Connecticut-based emo band, The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die. Quite the mouthful. Posture is more like TWIABP's pissed off little brother. This album is jam packed with eight beautiful, bite-sized, in your face punk songs. Although this is probably the most aggressive sounding selection from my list, I feel that the lyrics are the most heartfelt. The album's closing track, "Jordan Michael's Space Jam,” is my personal favorite. After seven energy filled songs, none of which were much over two minutes long, the eighth track starts with a much slower pace and ends in a refrain that begs to be shouted until your lungs collapse.

Honorable Mention: Head North / A Will Away, Split EP

I strongly encourage everyone to check out The Mayflower Collective. They're a DIY label started by members of local NJ bands Cross Town Train and On Your Marks. They're doing an awesome thing for the local scene and should be acknowledged for it. 


My Top 10 Albums of 2014

Beach Slang, Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken? 

I fell in love with this record immediately. It is a perfect combination of everything I love. There’s a real dreamy 80s/90s vibe throughout. I hear a lot of Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and Jawbreaker in the band; but the songs are still completely their own. The four songs really just sound like Beach Slang. Frontman, Jim Snyder, can do no wrong. As a long time fan of his old band, Weston, I got into Beach Slang very early on; and I’m really glad to see that they’re getting a lot of attention and doing some awesome tours. This is the best thing to come out this year. Best thing to come out in 1996… Weston, Got Beat Up. Peep it. 


I’m so happy I heard this band. This band has everything. Huge gang vocals and catchy choruses, accompanied by fuzzed out guitars ripping freaky solos. Imagine what Weezer would sound like if J. Mascis joined as a guitar player. Then multiply how awesome that would be by ten and you’re almost getting close to understanding how magnificent PUP is. I was able to catch them at the Lanes earlier this year and was blown away. They closed with a Beastie Boys cover, and the singer dove into the crowd off the monitor. They really looked like they enjoyed what they were doing. This has become my favorite LP of the year.

Against Me!, Transgender Dysphoria Blues

This is the most important album to come out in a long time. I’ve loved Against Me! since I was really just a little kid. My older cousin showed me some of their music when I was in the 6th or 7th grade. I loved their early records but I really couldn’t get into their newer material like White Crosses. But a year or two ago, when Laura Jane Grace came out as a transgender woman, Against Me! totally changed, and they went back to making amazing music again. This is the most personal record I think I’ve ever heard. Really something special. I was lucky to have seen them play some of these songs at the Pony earlier this year. 

The Menzingers, Rented World

The Menzingers are my favorite current band. Everything they do is perfect to me. Their 2012 record, On The Impossible Past, is one of the best melodic punk records of the past ten years and one of my favorite albums of all time. Rented World, lacks some of what made On The Impossible Past great, but it’s the same band, and it’s really goddamn good. I’d say out of all the bands my band rips off on a daily basis, this is the band we rip off the most. This is the record that had the most plays for me this year. 

Joyce Manor, Never Hungover Again

This year Joyce Manor saw their biggest commercial success with Never Hungover Again. The kids love it. Because it totally rips. Okay, maybe it doesn’t “rip.”  It’s just kind of nice music to listen to driving around. The songs are quite a bit more poppy than the songs on the band’s other releases. Basically, Joyce Manor trim away all the fat, and what you get on this record are hooks. Hook after hook. In less than 20 minutes, this record does more for me than any hour-long shoegaze bullshit. 

The Lawrence Arms, Metropole

I grew up on the Epitaph and Fat Wreck rosters, so the return of The Lawrence Arms was the most exciting thing to happen for me this year. This year, eight years after their last album Oh! Calcutta!, they released Metropole and it is exactly what I needed. It’s the same old Larry Arms singing really great punk songs, reminding me that they are one of my favorite bands ever. If my band rips off The Menzingers more than any other band, we’re probably just unsuccessfully trying to rip off The Lawrence Arms. 

Restorations, LP3

Restorations put out consistently amazing records. This one is still relatively new but I’ve given it a lot of plays. Actually according to my Spotify, their song “Separate Songs” is my most played song this year. This may not have topped their 2013 release LP2 for me, but I totally think “Separate Songs” is their best song, and probably my favorite song of the year. 

Cheap Girls, Famous Graves

Cheap Girls could never put out a record that doesn’t make my year-end list. It’s actually pretty hard to talk about a Cheap Girls record. You can’t really compare their records to each other because they’re all so similar aside from slight differences in production. All I can say is that this record is great. I love it, and the song “Knock Me Over” really rules. 

Alex G, DSU

I had to include Alex G because he just impressed the hell out of me with DSU. This is a really soft, melodic, lo-fi, mostly acoustic record with 13 really perfect songs. In retrospect I’m pretty pissed I missed him at the Wunder Loft because I didn’t feel like driving in the rain. Alex G is only a college student, and the stuff he’s doing has me really excited about the direction music is headed.

The Hotelier, Home, Like No Place Is There

Wow. So this one is sort of “emo.” For a while that was a word used to describe something bad, and then more recently it was a word used to describe something good, and even more recently I sense it is starting to become a word to describe something bad again. Well, there is nothing bad about this record. So much emotion is packed into every chord and every lyric. This record sounds like it took a lot of hard work. The songs are crafted perfectly. One of the best newer bands. Totally worth a listen. #EmoRevival2014

Records I had all the reason but no time to write about: Chumped, The Smith Street Band, Hard Girls, Radiator Hospital, Bob Mould, Caves, Single Mothers, Allison Crutchfield, Antarctigo Vespucci, Little Big League, LVL Up, Cayetana, Modern Baseball, Sorority Noise, The Holy Mess, Andrew Jackson Jihad

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