Pop music is great, but if you’re looking for emotional depth, you may not find it in an LMFAO song. So when Chase Manhattan was recalibrating after his band short-circuited midway to their big breakthrough, he turned his focus to making pop music with substance. Enter Goodnight Argent, a nod to an old studio on Argent Road in the band’s hometown of Pasco, Wash. The band crafts burning, soulful pop, part Justin Timberlake, part Ben Gibbard. Those Were The Days is a smoldering look at summer love, driven by a simple back beat and panging piano. When the sun comes up will the stars remember our love? Manhattan wonders. Then, like an admonishment, the band fires back with Don’t Get Sentimental, a track filled with spacy sequences and piercing guitars. The only thing these guys have in common with LMFAO is that they’re sexy and they know it.
MSF hails from Boston, so it’s not surprising one of their biggest influences is the seminal post-punk Beantown band, the Pixies. You can hear that influence best in their dark and cheeky track, Oven Head. Over piercing guitars that sound like they were recorded in a silo, David Michaels intones, That’s all I want, to die. Like the Pixies, the music is galvanizing, fitful and manic, but Michaels’ adenoidal croon brings an element of Elvis Costello to the mix. Oven Head is the sound of unraveling, but on the catchy Walking Jealousy frothy guitars and galloping, polyrhythmic drums lighten the mood. Who cares if you can’t decipher what the chorus is (We haven’t got our keys? We’ve all forgot our drinks?)? Your body will move regardless of what your brain understands.
Some bands use music as catharsis, grinding their axe against the injustices of the world. Some use it to broadcast emotion, bearing their hearts for all to see. And maybe some use it to ask questions”to ponder the inner workings of the universe. Canons, out of Tecumseh, Mich., uses music to celebrate their faith. But it’s not all choirs of angels and heavenly trumpets. Their music draws not only from divine inspiration, but from secular bands like Jimmy Eat World and Coldplay. Someday Soon is angular and turbulent, a caveat for those wasting their time here on Earth. Someday we’ll wake up and see the dream is gone, sings Dustin Lolli over crystalline guitars and thrashing drums. If that’s too dark a thought for you, skip over to Take Hold Of My Hand, a power ballad that compels you to wave your lighter in the air. Reverent rock isn’t for everyone, but if the spirit moves you, let there be light.
This summer OurStage, Guitar Player magazine, and Ernie Ball teamed up to offer aspiring guitarists a chance to win the ultimate Grand Prize with the Guitar Player “Take The Lead” Competition. The judges are deliberating on a winner as we speak! The winner be featured in an upcoming edition of Guitar Player. While you wait for the big news, here’s some exclusive editorial content fresh from guitarplayer.com”enjoy.
“When I was a little kid, I was just consumed by the fact that Tommy Bolin was all over the map,” says producer Greg Hampton, who recently partnered with Warren Haynes to release the labor of love, Tommy Bolin and Friends: Great Gypsy Soul [Samson/429 Records]. “He was incredibly diverse musically, and that’s what attracted me to him. He became a huge influence on me.”
Published by Michael Molenda, Guitar Player magazine
OurStage, Guitar Player magazine, and Ernie Ball are teaming up this summer to offer aspiring guitarists a chance to win the ultimate Grand Prize, and there’s only one day left to enter! Enter the Guitar Player “Take The Lead” Competition by August 17 for your shot to win your very own feature in Guitar Player magazine, and a year’s supply of strings and accessories from Ernie Ball! Throughout the competition, we’ll be bringing you exclusive editorial content fresh from guitarplayer.com”enjoy!
It kind of sounds like atmospheric rockabilly, but that doesn’t account for the strains of tango, 1920’s jazz, and Weimar Republic cabaret that Carver Combo bandleader Peter Murphy (not the Bauhaus lead singer) cites as his band’s influences. In any case, the broad musical spectrum of the Stockholm, Sweden group definitely keeps its guitarist Staffan Johansson on his toes. But rather than attack Carver Combo’s stylistic Smí¶rgí¥stí¥rta with multi-textural orchestrations, Johansson embraces savvy dashes of minimalism to punctuate the music’s ebb and flow.
OurStage, Guitar Player magazine, and Ernie Ball are teaming up this summer to offer aspiring guitarists a chance to win the ultimate Grand Prize. Enter the Guitar Player “Take The Lead” Competition by August 17 for your shot to win your very own feature in Guitar Player magazine, a year’s supply of strings and accessories from Ernie Ball, and more! Throughout the competition, we’ll be bringing you exclusive editorial content fresh from guitarplayer.com”enjoy!
“When Carolyn Wonderland took the stage at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California, the crowd didn’t know exactly what to make of her at first. She appeared somewhat shy and unassuming, armed with a Tele, a lap-steel, and a tiny Fender combo. As the band went into the opener, the first thing listeners were struck by was her singing voice, an amazing instrument unto itself, with uncommon power, dynamics, and range. Comparisons to Janis Joplin are inevitable, but Wonderland possesses a purity of tone that is all her own.”
Published by Matt Blackett, Guitar Player Magazine
OurStage, Guitar Player magazine, and Ernie Ball are teaming up this summer to offer aspiring guitarists a chance to win the ultimate Grand Prize. Enter the Guitar Player “Take The Lead” Competition by August 17 for your shot to win your very own feature in Guitar Player magazine, a year’s supply of strings and accessories from Ernie Ball, and more! Throughout the competition, we’ll be bringing you exclusive editorial content, fresh from guitarplayer.com”enjoy!
Certain people are very mental, ” says legendary guitarist Carlos Santana, “they need to have rules and concepts and directions and scales and theory in order to play. But that’s not what music is about. Music has the same significance as beams of light coming out of the clouds and giving information to plants. Every note should be like a beam of light. You’re giving information to the listener, and you’re reminding them they also have light and significance. That’s improvising to me. The other stuff is just like going ˜da-da-da-da-da.’ It’s nothing.
-Published by Matt Blackett, Guitar Player magazine
Brothers Nicholas and Lucas James may have had a wholesome upbringing”home school, Quaker school, Connecticut suburbs”but they didn’t let that corrupt their rock and roll souls. The brothers stood by their hot sauce-lovin’, God-fearin’, skinny jeans-wearin’ values, joining up with likeminded brethren Kevin Clymer and Dean Miller to form Ula Ruth in 2011. Their rock is steeped in distortion, with banged up and bruised grooves. Exhibit A: Empty, a stylish and subversive rocker with zig-zagging guitars engulfed in feedback. Exhibit B: Call To The Lonely, where handclaps, reverb riffs, guttural bass lines and throaty hollers combine for the New England version of Kings of Leon. I always open my mouth instead of walking away, Nick laments. Be glad he does”Ula Ruth’s rebel yell is worth the listen.