ON TOUR: December 2006

Five Great Bands You Should Know

Today my school paper was finally released (after a printing mishap), and so I give to you, as the first of many Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/belated Diwali gifts, the December 2006 edition of On Tour.

Jack’s Mannequin – After his time with Something Corporate, lead singer Andrew McMahon started a new side project: Jack’s Mannequin.  The debut album Everything In Transit is in every way an evolution of what his first band did: the lyrics are more thoughtful, the piano is more melodic, and the rhythms are much more complex.  Their song “Dark Blue” occupies the number-one position in my Top 25 Most-Played list, but every song on that album has something to sing about.  You can tell that they’re style is Alt-Rock, but their frequent use of piano and tempos of a slow-song allow them to rise above the typical Alternative scene.

Better Than Ezra – Having grown up in the ‘90s, many of you probably know the famous lines, “I remember running through the wet grass/falling a step behind,” but not the artist responsible, Better Than Ezra.  Yes, the only real hit they have produced was their 1996 track, “Desperately Wanting,” but many of their other songs deserve some merit.  From the pleasantly screeching guitars of, “Hollow,” to the thoughtful lyrics of the ballad, “Our Last Night,” which will paint a classic (perhaps clichéd) picture, their most-recent album Before The Robots will please old fans and newcomers alike.

Mae – This band’s 2005 album, The Everglow was and still is one of the most well-composed and compiled albums that I’ve heard.  The music is pure modern rock (think older Fall Out Boy mixed with Relient K), but the album’s main selling point is that it seems more like one long song rather than fifteen separate tracks.  Indeed, the band took an entire album into consideration, having included “Prologue” and “Epilogue” tracks.  The transition between “We’re So Far Away,” a slow piano ballad, and “Someone Else’s Arms,” a loud and heavy rock piece with near-constant use of power chords and the crash cymbal, is both the hardest to pull off, and the best of the album.

Paramore – Imagine the best Avril Lavigne song you can think of (I know, it’s hard).  Now take away the whole corporate, MTV feel of it and add some (better) talent.  What you’re imagining now is a band called, “Paramore,” unfortunately one of least known bands on the Fueled By Ramen label, which hosts more famous bands like Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco.  But this band is different, and not just because of their female lead vocalist.  They have a raw, unchecked sound, and each musician compliments the next exceptionally well.  To be sure, they have a lot of growing to do, but at the same time, I’m not complaining about what they have right now (one album, All We Know Is Falling).

The Academy Is… – If I had to name my favorite modern band, I would most definitely choose The Academy Is….  Their rhythms, their lyrics, their entire style are all so unique that it is hard to bind them to one genre, let alone describe them with words.  “Classifieds” occupies the number-two spot in my Top 25, but every single song on their 2005 debut Almost Here, from “Slow Down,” to “Checkmarks,” is a deep, original piece that breaks the bounds of modern rock.  I cannot do this, or really any album justice with my words; you’ll just have to hear them for yourself.

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2 responses to “ON TOUR: December 2006

  1. Pingback: Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Tracks of 2006 « Markfive Blog

  2. That would be sweet to go see Avril Lavigne in concert in Beijing China. Her tour date says it’s October 6th. After watching the olympics, I really want to visit Beijing now.

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