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Signed and Sealed in Blood – Dropkick Murphys

Posted in Dropkick Murphys with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2013 by Kristen

Signed and Sealed in Blood

Dropkick Murphys

Born & Bred Records

2013

Surely you’ve never heard a punk rock band with as much gusto as this seven-piece from Massachusetts. Originally formed in ’96, the band made a name for themselves on Hellcat Records, marrying the sounds of punk rock with a classic Irish sound that makes you want to grab a pint and have some fun. I had been wondering what happened to singer Al Barr and the boys for a while, until I discovered — alas! — a new album! Signed and Sealed in Blood, released January 8th, is the band’s eighth studio album and is fucking brilliant.

The album opens with “The Boys Are Back” — not a bad opener, I must say. However, the lyrical content is a little lacking — repetitive is an understatement — nonetheless though, this isn’t arena rock; it’s punk rock. So I give it a free pass for that one. The one thing that fills my heart with joy while listening to “The Boys Are Back” is the unique blend of distortion and fast tempos with bagpipes and heavy unison chorus vocals. Nothing makes you feel like having a good time more than that.

Banjos, accordions, and bagpipes — punk at its punkest.

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Kristen’s Top EIGHT of 2012

Posted in Band of Horses, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, LISTS, Mumford & Sons, Norah Jones, Regina Spektor, The Gaslight Anthem, The Killers, the shins with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2013 by Kristen

I’m hungover. I’m only giving you eight. Ryan is a tyrant. Here’s my list.

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Handwritten

The Gaslight Anthem

2012

Mercury

It took me being bored at work to find this gem streaming for free on NPR, and I’m oh-so-glad I did. I let it repeat at least three times because the first time just blew me away. Perhaps you’ve heard the single “45” on the radio over and over and over again? It’s only one of the many jam-worthy songs on this album. Clearly, I’m the worst for having never listened to this band prior to the release of this NJ native band’s fourth album, Handwritten. But, better late than never.

Best track: “Handwritten” Continue reading

Kristen’s Apocalyptic Picks

Posted in LISTS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2012 by Kristen

I guess today — at an unspecified time? — we’ll find out if the Mayans were right and the world will engulf itself and we’ll turn to space dust and the zombies will come on full-force from Florida and Lindsay Lohan will rekindle her music career. If the end of the world is truly upon us, there are some tunes I hope that I’ll never have to hear on that day — and a few others that I wouldn’t mind hearing one last time while our planet spins into oblivion.

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I suppose, if today is the last day on this Earth and I hear one of these songs again, I will die horribly ashamed and/or embarrassed at the irony.  Either way, here are the dozen of tracks I hope I don’t have to hear.

12. “Butterfly” — Crazytown: If I could have gone through the late ’90s without ever hearing this song, that would have been even better. But this song is one of the dumbest and graces this list because it was overplayed, and I’m embarrassed for anyone who ever liked it. Continue reading

Tell All Your Friends – Taking Back Sunday

Posted in Taking Back Sunday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by Kristen

Tell All Your Friends

Taking Back Sunday

2002

Victory Records

Cue the shit I’m going to get for this review (waiting on the bitch-nasty comments in 5…4…3..2..) — but hey, who cares? Back in 2002, I had a grand time making fun of my sister for the “emo” songs coming out of her stereo, but secretly I was enjoying what I was hearing from this disc (sorry, girl). Tell All Your Friends the debut album of Taking Back Sunday just celebrated its 10th birthday and I was able to catch them live to play the album recently — which, by the way, was beautifully executed. Maybe it’s a bit terrifying that albums I grew up with are aging like fine little wines and bands are touring to celebrate these milestones — the scary part being the scene children who were five when these albums were released moshing in the pit and flying high into the rafters like the lightweight little fuckers they are. But, I digress.

Back in 1999, Eddie Reyes formed the band Taking Back Sunday choosing energetic, chaotic free spirit Adam Lazzara to front the band. Might I add Lazzara is the kind of front man you need to see to believe — Bamboozle 2009 anyone? TBS’ line up has changed so much since then that it’s a little hard for me to keep up with it.

Here, this one is old and emo.

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Kristen’s Mystery Song Reviews

Posted in LISTS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by Kristen

I don’t like mysteries. I don’t. I don’t read them. I don’t like watching mystery movies (don’t watch them with me because I will just ask you questions the whole time). I didn’t read Nancy Drew as a youngin’, and I don’t like not knowing what I’m listening to. Granted, I don’t mind indulging in a game of Clue, but that’s totally different.

Okay, so Steve sent me some songs to listen to. Here goes:

1. Mystery Song 1 – (!!! – “Must Be The Moon”) The intro is a bit of an LSD induced thing that I don’t dig. Then it goes high-hat crazy like some dance-infused version out of “Slow Ride.” The singer is talk-singing. Unsuccessfully. The lyrics, from what I can gather, are lacking. The ending gets super electro-dancey and I can’t deal with this. Ugh. Next.

2. Mystery Song 2 – (Broken Social Scene – “Ungrateful Little Father”) This one starts off with some sitar and drums that don’t sound too bad. Then the singing starts, and that’s where they lose me. There’s a bit of a lazy vocal aspect to the singing. In the middle of the song, there’s a dub over it with someone talking with I find to be crazy annoying. This song sucks. Continue reading

Kristen’s Ten Song Shuffle

Posted in LISTS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2012 by Kristen

I whipped out my iPod and threw that bitch on shuffle — bitches love shuffle. Turns out I’m not a Metal snob like Nick, or an Indie queen like Ryan, or…whatever Mike’s picks were. But, hey, this was fun and cringe-worthy, both at the same time. Music isn’t really embarrassing, but do you guys know the shit storm I’d get for having Miley Cyrus pop up on here?

1.  “Dumb” – Nirvana

In Utero has to be one of my favorite albums Nirvana put out. With the perfect amount of distortion, “Dumb” is a winner. There are a lot of feelings under the surface of this song. “Dumb” is catchy and poetic in a way that Kurt Cobain can only put off. How can you not sing along?

2. “Blood, Sex And Booze” – Green Day

Yes, iTunes, roll on with the ’90s bands. This track is off of Green Day’s first acoustic, and probably the last album I really enjoyed, Warning. Lots of good minimally distorted tunes on this one, and “Blood, Sex and Booze” is one of them. It’s sassy. It’s punchy. It’s fun. You know, when Green Day was still kind of fun and original. Continue reading

¡Uno! – Green Day

Posted in Green Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2012 by Kristen

¡Uno!

Green Day

2012

Reprise

Confession: I’ve been a Green Day fan since before kindergarten back when Dookie made its way onto the scene and into my parents’ stereo. Sure, I can admit I winced when American Idiot happened — the album, the shudder came with the musical. I barely made it through 21st Century Breakdown when I realized I was growing, but Green Day wasn’t going with me. So, when the band announced their ninth studio album was going to be a three-part series my mind was buzzing. I went into the first of the series,  ¡Uno! — set to release on September 25th — with an open-mind, and left feeling a bit brokenhearted.

In what has become Green Day’s signature style, the album kicks off with “Nuclear Family” in this highly-caffeinated, ready to party (but not too hardy, tweens), let’s kinda sorta fuck shit up in the Hot Topic outfits our parents bought us and stay out until 10:30 tonight because fuck the government and homework and shit kind of attitude. This sugar-high lasts the length of the album, for the most part. Maybe I’m a little old now, but it was exhausting. Continue reading