Last post, I talked about the evolution of a band’s sound. Now, I was a bit biased, and I spoke with one example, that being Fall Out Boy. This was more of my personal experiences with the changes and evolution, and how it made me feel, rather than the technical and broad impression I wanted to give off. There have been MANY other musical evolutions… take The Beatles, for instance. From leading the way of pop rock, to the beautifully strange and psychedelic rock, and back again.
There are many things I didn’t discuss in the previous post… but I just want to make it clear that those were my thoughts there. More opinion than fact, and a whole lot of relative impressions, so take it as you will.
Now, the purpose of this post, is to finalize those thoughts, and give you the reviews of the singles I discussed as the latest evolution of those two bands. As we did last time, let’s start with Fall Out Boy… and their song, Centuries.
Centuries, for me, is a mixed bag. As a song, it’s brilliant. Loud and proud and roaring and more than a bit arrogant. Patrick Stump’s vocals are brilliant as usual, the guitar is well played… (from what I can hear of it), and the drums are very obviously there.
The lyrics are clever, rhyme well, although they do seem to feed off of a narcissistic theme. I don’t know if it’s a gimmick/joke or what, but Fall Out Boy has been on an arrogance kick since their comeback. What with them saving rock and rock last album, (although there wasn’t much rock and roll there. I didn’t think pop and hip-hop was going to save rock and roll, but okay), and now them declaring that you will ‘remember them for centuries’, and that they’ll ‘go down in history’.
It is a powerful track. As a song, it is a GOOD song, don’t let that be mistaken. But from a fan’s perspective… gone is the punk. Let me make that clear. This is not a punk song, everything is clean cut, there is no roaring guitar or brash vocals. It’s very… systematic. They are, as I have said many times throughout the past two posts, are becoming a pop band with hip-hop influences, while they used to be a punk rock band with pop influences.
When I go to listen to Fall Out Boy, I usually turn to the median of their discography spectrum; Under the Cork Tree, and Infinity on High. These albums seem to be the golden eggs.
Under the Cork Tree is a great album that has a lot of the raw punk rock, all the while being nicely clean cut and produced. It isn’t too brash, and it isn’t too studio. It’s a very nice in between.
And Infinity on High, while very nearly another genre, maintains a solid Fall Out Boy vibe with the lyrics, Pete Wentz’s attempts to scream in a couple of the songs, and Patick’s Stump’s soulful vocals. This one did lean on pop rock, emphasis on the rock, and although they collaborated with some rappers for a couple songs, (namely ‘This ain’t a scene, it’s an arm’s race’), they didn’t let it affect it to the point of being unpleasant. In fact, I enjoyed ‘This ain’t a scene, it’s an arm’s race’ music video a lot… because the rap/hip-hop influences were sort of explained and dealt with. In the video, the band is dealing with the famous lifestyle, it made fun of a nude photo scandal Pete Wentz went through, and all in all was a fun song.
Save Rock and Roll was tough for me. It is a great album, but it is still hard for be to comprehend it being Fall Out Boy. ‘Centuries’ is more of the same… but they are going further and further away from what made them famous in the first place.
I’m going to wait for the rest of the album to make it’s way, then I’ll buy it, take a listen, and make a final judgement. But for today, Fall Out Boy’s ‘Centuries’ gets a 3 out of 5.
Now let’s look at Black Veil Brides. I’m going to cover both of their singles, ‘Heart of Fire’ and ‘Faithless’, together.
These songs are… to put it simply, great.
I am a huge fan of classic metal, i.e Judas Priest, Dio, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden… so on and so forth. These days, the meaning of the metal genre has gotten skewed. Today, what used to be metal is hardly considered hard rock. And what today’s metal USUALLY is, is so terrible that they didn’t have an equivalent back then.
Now, I’m not an expert on all of the various subgenres of metal… death metal, black metal, death core, thrash, I mean… all I know is metal, and heavy metal. There isn’t a need for all of these extra meanings and genres. And I gotta tell you, Black Veil Brides achieved something I never thought any modern band could… especially one that started off screamo.
Black Veil Brides has achieved the sound of classic metal.
Now, they label themselves as simply ‘rock ‘n roll’, and starting last album I could definitely go with that. Whatever you want to call it, they have achieved the sort of ‘classic’ sound that has been lost with many modern bands. I mean, I couldn’t even name a simple ‘rock ‘n roll’ band if I tried. Punk rock? Sure. Pop rock? Yup. Folk rock? Got a couple. But I haven’t a band that I could simple call rock and roll for a long time, because there is usually the need to add a prefix to it to define it even further. But good, classic rock doesn’t NEED to be defined. Rock and roll simply ‘is’.
And that is what Black Veil Brides achieved here. Both songs are fairly heavy, yes, but not heavy enough to ruin it. The single I listened to first, ‘Faithless’ is rather comparable to the Judas Priest song, ‘Dragonaut’ off of their latest album. The drum is a little similar, but what I really mean is that they are just the same style. And when a band that formed in 2006 can even be compared to a legend like Judas Priest, then there is something that needs to be said.
Out of the two songs, ‘Heart of Fire’ and ‘Faithless’, the latter is my favorite. This is where a lot of my compliments are directed. Now don’t get me wrong, both are GREAT songs. But for the pure classic vibe I was talking about… ‘Faithless’ just showcases it a bit better.
And look at the cover art! Don’t tell me that couldn’t easily be on any other classic metal band’s album. (Minus the BVB emblem.)
‘Heart of Fire’ gets a solid four out of five stars. The only thing that keeps it from being a five is there is a small scream around the two minute mark, and I’m sorry but I’m not a fan of screaming. Everything else is superb, and is a treat to the ears.
‘Faithless’ gets a four and a half out of five stars. Black Veil Brides has come a LONG way. And I am thoroughly enjoying their evolution through the rock and metal genres. Say what you will about them, (and people do), as a classic metal lover, Black Veil Brides just gets something right as a modern band that many other bands of their age do.
And that’s about it. Both songs have their merits, that is for sure, but Black Veil Brides have made the cleaner, more progressive evolution, and I’ve simply enjoyed it more. Each album gets better and better, and they’ve continuously stayed on track. That means something.
I will be back on Wednesday… I’ve gotten a bit off track on what this blog was about, and we’re going further off track. Wednesday I’ll be discussing. comparing, and contrasting Apple products and Android products. How I’ll be covering that in a single blog, I don’t know… but I’ll get it done.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
– Brandon, 1:32 PM