I See Stars
I SEE STARS captured the hearts of America's youth in 2010 on Warped Tour and a highly acclaimed run with A Day To Remember, but refusing to rest of their laurels the band quickly went back into the studio to start tracking the long awaited follow-up to their groundbreaking 3D release. That album strayed away from all the musical cliches blending all musical genres to set the bar for a new unique sound. Since there has been a surplus of "electronica/hardcore" music as of late, the pages will be turned once again, and new eyes will be opened, to bands and fans alike. The much anticipated new effort, The End of The World Party, is going to be one of 2011's most talked about albums within the rock genre and perfectly demonstrates the band's impressive depth, maturity and originality.
3D is currently over 30,000 units sold in North America mainly as a direct result of the band's relentless touring that also supported Attack Attack, Forever The Sickest Kids, We The Kids and Emarosa. The group's first headliner with We Came As Romans as direct support selling 500 - 1000 tickets in many markets. I SEE STARS also continues to be one of the top selling bands at retail in Hot Topic.
I SEE STARS is a band made up of lifelong friends and it's that exact dynamic that makes them so entertaining. All members; Devin Oliver (vocals), Andrew Oliver (drums), Brent Allen (guitars) and Jeff Valentine (bass) lived in the same neighborhood as kids. The friendship goes back as far as elementary school. Zach Johnson (keyboards, screaming vocals) later joined in middle school to help the band evolve adding in synth and samples. Jimmy Gregerson (guitars) then completed the six piece group taking Devin off guitar and making him the permanent lead vocalist. Over time as the album 3D was being created people all over the map were already starting to become familiar with the band. Sumerian Records quickly signed the band and released the debut album, 3D, on April 14th, 2009 to rave reviews.
I SEE STARS will be doing their first overseas tour in 2011 with We The Kings in the UK and will also be stopping in Indonesia before performing at the Soundwave Festival in Australia with such genre titans as 30 Seconds To Mars, Iron Maiden, Queens Of The Stone Age and Bring Me The Horizon. Their sophomore record, The End Of The World Party, could possibly be the heaviest pop album yet. This new offering has lots of substance and is very theatric in scope. There is literally something for everyone. The culmination of all this hard work pays off in the spring of 2011 as the band is featured on the Alternative Press tour with Black Veil Bride, D.R.U.G.S and Verse Emerge.
I SEE STARS states: "We are taking I SEE STARS to the next level. This new chapter is bringing mainstream pop to hardcore music alongside build ups that spawn from the core of techno/dub-step/electro music. Catchy and melodic vocals that illustrate a concept that we feel raises the bar. You're going to dance way more, you're going to want to throw your fists way more. When you put those two together, you have a whole different game. We didn't limit ourselves, and teaming up with 3D producer, our buddy Cameron Mizell and a balls to the wall producer like Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada, Attack Attack, Asking Alexandria), further proved that the sky is the limit to what we can do. The wait is over, and the end is near"
In 2011, I SEE STARS further cemented their status as visionaries of the genre and gain legions of new diehard followers.
For The Fallen Dreams
In today's hardcore/metal scene, it's easy for anyone to become jaded by the constant clones of, what is basically, the same band with hundreds of different names. We've all heard it; the same riff accompanied by the growling vocals and simultaneous "chug-chug" breakdowns. So, we wait and maybe search the music section on Myspace for a breath of fresh air. Thankfully, hidden in the obscure depths of the internet are bands that give this genre hope, and if you look hard enough, you can find them.
One of these noteworthy bands is Lansing, Michigan's well kept secret, For the Fallen Dreams. Formed in late 2003 and recently signing with Rise Records (The Devil Wears Prada, Drop Dead Gorgeous) in the summer of 2007, these young men show incredible promise through songs that showcase poignant and powerful writing, both lyrically and musically while still staying in touch with their hardcore/metal roots. Their music displays a well-done balance of metal and melody. Guitarists, Jim Hocking and Chris Cain show a variety of ranges while shifting back and forth between hard-hitting metal riffs and some rather melodic guitar lines. Given their ability to draw the listener in with brutally honest lyrics about life, relationships, and struggle, the band shows solidarity for their future as a band to be taken seriously.
With 2010 shaping up to be a pretty big year for For the Fallen Dreams, I think we'll be hearing a lot more from them. Dylan, Jim, Chris, Joe and Andrew certainly seem to be on their way to setting the bar for the future of hardcore.
Stray From The Path
It is no coincidence that listeners of Stray From The Path will often have a difficult time confining them to a specific genre. The Long Island outfit, has made it a point to remain unpredictable, intricate, and intelligent. Listeners can expect their Sumerian Records debut 'Villains' to surpass the gratuitous and/or contrived music that is all too common today, and instead perform articulate songs that refuse to compromise their precision, honesty, and genuine desire to impress. Expect "Villains" to arrive in stores everywhere May 13th!
Ice Nine Kills
It is unusual for a band to be equally influenced by hard-hitting groups like He Is Legend and Diecast, as well as the epic balladry of musicals like Les Miserables and Phantom. Yet, on Ice Nine Kills' debut album, Last Chance to Make Amends (Out Now), the sound of earth-shattering double bass drums and lacerating guitar riffs on a song like Last Words, share space with ballads like Chapter Two that gently move the listener with little more than a soft piano and a clean guitar.
Ice Nine Kills, The band, named after the ultimate weapon of mass destruction- the Ice Nine isotope from Kurt Vonneguts novel, Cats Cradle -will, like its namesake, awe you. The group seamlessly weaves the soaring melodies of punk rock and emo with the raw emotion and aggression of post hardcore and metal, creating in the process a refreshing sound that both soothes and knocks-over the listener.
Even in their most aggressive of moments, Ice Nine Kills, unlike many bands in todays scene, does not rely on unnecessary screaming to make up for lack of depth or meaning. The whole screaming thing seems really played out these days, everyone is doing it excessively. We try to only use an aggressive vocal style when it fits the part, and when it truly intensifies the song, says Jeremy.
The band provides the listener with multi textured guitar hooks, a dual vocal attack, and a pummeling rhythm section which takes the listener by the throat, and refuses to let go We try and tell our stories not only with our lyrics but with our music as well, says Jeremy, who pens the lyrics for INK. Every song I write comes from either personal experience or that of a close friend. Of course some of the stories are exaggerated, but they are all based on things that I have been through, I think thats why kids can relate to our band.
Ice Nine Kills was founded by Jeremy and Spencer in 2002, in a small town on the Massachusetts coast. After several member changes, the band got lucky in the winter of 2003 when drummer Grant Newsted, a highly skilled and technical drummer from Petoskey Michigan, responded to a flier the band had posted at Berklee College of music. The line up was finalized in fall 2004 when long-time friend Hobie Boeschenstein, a skilled guitarist, took over bass and back up vocal duties.
The self-produced new album explodes from the very first track Last Words, a socially relevant song that deals with the excessive pressure that many parents put on their kids to achieve unreasonable goals, and the consequences that can ensue. The band also showcases its dark sense of humor with the song, Murders and Acquisitions, a tongue-and-cheek tale of a jealous ex boyfriend who takes revenge to a level you dont want to know about, but cant help listening to. This track owes its macabre theme, no doubt, to the bands love of horror movies, which influence not only the musical expression but sometimes, the bands hair color.
As energy charged as their new album is, Ice Nine Kills cannot be fully appreciated until they are seen in a live evironment. The band not only writes enthralling music, but their live show crackles with an explosive energy. Yet, with this band, energy is not an excuse for out of time, unfocused amateurism. They are always playing extremely tight and on time. I think a lot of bands these days either lack energy when they play live in order to concentrate more on playing tight, or some bands just go nuts on stage and dont play competently. With a lot of hard work, I think we have found the perfect middle ground, says Jeremy.
Unlike most groups, the band members try to reply to each and every email they receive, allowing them to forge an unusually strong bond with their fans and create an incredibly loyal following. Our fans are really supportive of what we do, and we consider them as much a part of this band as we are, says Spencer.
Its obvious from their intensity and dedication that these boys are in this for the long haul. As Spencer said in a recent interview, Were not going to stop until every person that might enjoy our music gets a chance to hear us. There are so many great bands out there that never get discovered. We dont believe in just being lucky. We'll make our own luck.