Tag Archives: Kurt Travis

Top 10 2019 by Yannick

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And yet another year comes to an end. 2019 has been an exciting musical year and it definitely allowed this decade to go out with a bang. As usual I put together a small list of records that particularly stood out to me, which you can either use as inspiration for a last minute gift or just to pass the time during the (boring) holidays!

#10 Andrés – Once Upon A Time In Bakersfield

Andrés is one of those artists that can’t really be put into a specific genre and so far each of his three records sounded fairly different. The style of this one appealed less to me than the other ones’, but nevertheless it still is a killer record for those sad boy moments. Also, added bonus: I got to experience him live in London this year, which was an absolute blast!

#9 Kurt Travis – There’s A Place I Want To Take You

I was very excited when it was announced that one of my favorite vocalists was finally releasing the follow-up to his 2014 solo record. The fact that it includes a studio version of one of my favorite songs (It’s You) by him, which he only performed live thus far, definitely added immensely to how much I liked this album.

#8 Sleeping With Sirens – How It Feels To Be Lost

I’ve been a SWS fan for quite a while now and I stuck to them even through their two less-stellar records, this year it all paid off because their sixth record might just be my favorite one thus far. A real retour-de-force and an absolute beast live!

#7 Fusion Bomb – Concrete Jungle (review)

While there were quite a few very solid Luxembourgish releases this year, I think it’s safe to say that Fusion Bomb trumped them all. The ferocity of their debut full-length is just out of this world and the immense success they’ve had locally and internationally speaks volumes. If you haven’t jumped into the Slam Tornado yet, what are you waiting for?

#6 Thank You Scientist – Terraformer

Despite writing reviews and “having to” listen to new music regularly, I am usually very reluctant to get into new bands. But when a friend of mine sent me the title track of this record, I immediately fell in love and went ahead and ordered it immediately. The video clip alone is worth your while, and the whole album will keep your ear holes busy for a while.

#5 Bring Me The Horizon – amo

Ever since their style change BMTH have been either loved or hated by the music scene. Their newest release saw some more musical experimentation and, at least in my eyes, it led to a beautiful result. Nihilist Blues has such a spacey vibe that when I first heard it, I had to check if I was still on planet earth.

#4 Knocked Loose – A Different Shade Of Blue

I had first properly noticed Knocked Loose in 2017 when I saw them open for Comeback Kid & Every Time I Die and they definitely delivered a powerful show, but it wasn’t enough to win me over. However, when they released the first single off their second record this year it blew me away completely. I recommended the record to friends as the most genuinely hate-filled record since IOWA, and a high-speed ride on the highway while being dragged behind the car, naked, while somebody punches you in the face simultaneously. Don’t ask.

#3 Emarosa – Peach Club

Another band that strayed very far away from their post-hardcore roots, and opted for a much more pop-orientated sound, where it absolutely paid off. Peach Club is an experience from start to finish that will have you shaking your butt and crying your heart out just minutes later. Give it a listen!

#2 Issues – Beautiful Oblivion

Headspace was a nearly perfect record, which is why it landed so high on my list back when it was released. The follow-up is something else for sure, since it lacks screams almost entirely, but this to me is the definitive Issues sound. While it is not for everyone, I would recommend a listen to everyone!

EP-Special
Nova Charisma – Exposition I & II
Origami Button – Button Season
Unimagined – Friendless
Wolf & Bear – Wolf & Bear EP

Continuing the tradition of the EP shout-outs: Nova Charisma is a side-project of Hail The Sun‘s Donovan Melero on vocals and Royal Coda‘s Sergio Medina on guitar that is very experimental and their two EPs are very varied releases. Origami Button is a band that really caught me with their melodic approach to post-hardcore and their EP has been in my playlist at different times all throughout the year. Unimagined is a horror-themed post-hardcore band that has a very unique vibe and is a perfect pallet cleanser. Finally, Wolf & Bear are a band that have enormous potential and it is, once again, proven on this amazing EP.

#1 Royal Coda – Compassion
Secret Band – LP2
Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind

I said it once before: if Slipknot release a record, it is a given that it will land on my top ten somewhere. This year they managed to make it to my number one spot because We Are Not Your Kind was definitely what I wanted after a, in hindsight, mediocre fifth record. Secret Band released their second full-length by surprise on 4/20 this year and when I first listened to it on my train ride from Vienna to Bratislava, I smiled the entire time. This is, by far, the most ferocious album of the year for me, despite being with filled with utter nonsensical lyrics, and if you do not like this record, I do not like you. I kid. I think. Last but not least, Royal Coda followed their fairly good debut with an amazing album this year and it’s been on heavy rotation since its release a bit more than six weeks ago.

All in all, 2019 was a super interesting musical year, with many unlisted records from all sorts of genres that I discovered and thoroughly enjoyed. However, I am salivating when I’m thinking about 2020, because it will see the release of the tenth studio record by my favorites Dance Gavin Dance, the new Eidola record is also finally due to be released, as well as a new Every Time I Die album. Locally, most likely the new Scarred record at some point and some other interesting releases fairly early in the year. So, with that being said, I hope to be able to welcome you back next decade! Party hard and be safe!

Dance Gavin Dance – Artificial Selection

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How do I even begin this review? Ever since re-discovering today’s band in 2013, my musical taste and horizon has widened to lengths that I would have never imagined, I’ve overcome personal limitations, partially, due to their music, and I don’t think that I’ve ever enjoyed listening and really getting into music more in all the years prior to today. Basically: Dance Gavin Dance changed my life drastically and you can imagine my excitement when I got the chance to listen to their eighth full-length, Artificial Selection, ahead of its release this Friday, June 8th. So let’s dig in!

First off, some facts for the uninitiated: DGD is, or rather was, known for frequent member changes, especially when it came to clean vocalists, ever since their inception in 2006 and with the release of their 2013 record, Acceptance Speech, they had reached clean vocalist number three: Tilian Pearson, previously of Tides Of Man. However, the band had struck gold, and started gaining a lot of traction with the follow-up Instant Gratification barely a year and a half later. The success was apparent when they followed that one up a bit more than a year later by their, arguably, best received album to date: Mothership. It comes as no surprise that expectations were extremely high when the quintet announced their fourth record in a row with no major line-up changes and to take the suspense ahead of time: they delivered on every level.

Full disclosure: I am probably the least unbiased person you can come across when it comes to Dance Gavin Dance, but hear me out here.

Artificial Selection is, in my opinion, the band’s most accessible record while at the same time featuring some of the most hard-hitting songs that will even blow long-time fans away. During the fifty-two minutes, technically the band’s longest record, there is not a single filler song and every track has enough individual highlights, be it in the instrumental or the vocal department, to make fast forwarding a sin. While the vast majority of ArSe is post-hardcore, the band also adds elements of genres that they’ve never truly dabbled in, like pop-punk on Story Of My Bros, and manages to incorporate even more pop-sounding elements without ever losing their edge.

While the guitar work has always been stellar on every DGD release, I feel like the bass guitar and the drums definitely steal the show this time around. Among these fourteen songs are, I would say, some of the best bass lines in not-so-recent memory that stand out so well, largely due to the really on-point mixing job, and mesh perfectly with the drums.

It is no secret that the “who is the best vocalist” debate has and always will be a major talking point in the fan community. But I think that if some people still aren’t convinced that this vocalist constellation is the ideal one for the band as a whole, it is time for them to move on. I am absolutely “all in” and I’m impressed by the minor tweaks, such as more intentional straining and a controlled raspiness, in some passages and super catchy vocal melodies in others. The screams remain largely unchanged, because let’s face it: they were perfect to begin with.

Two major highlights come in the form of the first vocal features since the self-titled album, ten years ago, by none other than former singer Kurt Travis on Shelf Life, as well as Andrew Wells, the band’s touring guitarist and vocalist of the criminally underrated band Eidola, on Evaporate. Both guest spots elevate the respective songs to a whole new level and make them definite stand-outs!

All in all, Dance Gavin Dance have managed to maintain, even surpass, their extremely high standards, and deliver another masterpiece with Artificial Selection. I really wish that more people, especially here in Europe, would discover the genius that hides behind these guys’ music, and I will continue to spread the word as much as possible. So, do yourself a favor and check out the song below, then head over to the band’s Facebook page to keep up to date with their news, finally just jam this record once it’s out…you won’t be disappointed.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJULfw3xVas]