6 Bands I Def Would Have Seen Had I Attended Warped Tour

I missed Vans Warped Tour, and I regret it entirely. This is the second straight year that I wanted to go but couldn’t get myself to purchase the tickets. My first two Warped experiences were extremely memorable and enjoyable, and I honestly wish I went this year to relive the fun moments and catch some of my favorite bands.

Did I miss getting nasty tan-lines from the scorching sun or extreme thirst that even the coldest of waters couldn’t quench? Nope, but I missed jamming to my favorite bands singing some of my favorite songs.

Here are some of the bands that made me regret not going to Vans Warped Tour this year.

Dance Gavin Dance

Discovering this band a few months before their sixth studio album Instant Gratification in 2015 was the best moment of my life. They quickly became my favorite band (or at least top three since my favorite often changes between them and two other choices), and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since. I saw them for the first time back in March of this year, and it was the most wild concert I’ve attended, which is odd since they aren’t a heavy act at all. They blend post-hardcore with progressive rock, doused heavily in funk. I simply cannot get enough of their jolly, infectious sound.

Sylar

I had always been aware of this young band, but I didn’t fall in love with them until they dropped Help! in the summer of last year. Trading in their blistering metalcore for some polished nu-metal, Sylar instantly became one of the hottest acts around. Shifting from more or less a generic sound to something innovative and fresh was the band’s great accomplishment to this point, and the future is theirs for the taking.

Attila

I was watching these guys at Warped long before I became a fan, and I remember thinking, “Damn, these guys can throw a show.” I’ve been raging to their stuff ever since. Easily one of the most controversial bands out there, Attila never fails to be on the minds of others. Whether you listen because you love it or listen because you hate it, you listen to it nonetheless because Attila is just that different. Their boisterous, vulgar party death metal brand chock full of rapped lyrics and deathly breakdowns is unique to them, and they own it. Led by one of the most well-known vocalists Fronz, the band continues to ascend higher and higher, picking up more fans and haters along the way.

Sworn In

I just recently became infatuated with this band, and seeing them live would have made me die. Sworn In is vicious, dark, and dreary—in other words, they’re amazing. Their unique chaotic style of deathcore is game-changing. Although they catch a ton of hate, they truly are exceptional when you give them a chance. Their latest album is a contender for the best album of 2017, and I don’t say they lightly.

The White Noise

This band is punk af. Yet they do it extremely well because they weave metalcore into it. The White Noise is a new band with only an EP and freshly released album to their name. However, with their growth in a relatively short period, I know for a fact that this band will grow monumentally. They are what Crown the Empire could have been had they not decided to drop Retrograde. In other words, The White Noise is just better now, and I couldn’t get to see them be better.

Emmure

Along the same vein of Attila, Emmure gets a lot of hate. I believe it is because they followed a simple formula and did it extremely well. Yet with a overhaul of the band lineup and more focused approach to music, Emmure dropped one of the best projects 2017 with Look At Yourself. Destroying eardrums with their raucous deathcore, Emmure keeps it real and raw at all times. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to witness them live, and I spend many moments self-loathing because of it.

 

 

The Epidemic of Selling Out

Seems like nowadays the trend is for bands to trade instruments for straight synths. For example, Panic! At The Disco, Linkin Park, and most recently Fall Out Boy have all fallen victim to this lame trend. Yet they won’t ever admit to selling out. No, no, no. They will claim that they are simply being forward thinking and innovating in a scene of music that can grow rather stale. They will cite that their new sound is what is most authentic for them. Sure, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they are telling the truth. I mean, who wants to make music that they don’t like or feel happy making? But I believe they are telling a half-truth.

See, this innovation should not result in a dramatic shift in sound. I should still be able to listen to a band’s song and be like, “Yea, this is still [insert band name here].” I shouldn’t have to question if all the members but the singer(s) have left. I shouldn’t have to question whether they just forgot to bring their instruments when they recorded the track. I shouldn’t have to say “It’s just one song; maybe the rest of the songs are gonna be different.” Yet this is what has been happening on a regular basis now.

I’ve listened to both Panic! and Fall Out Boy when they first started. I could vibe to their songs because they were fresh at the time. I knew the popular Linkin Park tracks that offered me a sufficient understanding of the scope of their music and how influential they are for the scene. I knew who they were before they’ve changed. Yet this change is simply too much. These bands sold out.

As far as I’m concerned, Panic! is simply Brendon Urie, evidenced best by “Death Of A Bachelor“, so he should simply scratch the name and use his own. His last album was catchy and enjoyable, I’ll grant him that, but it contrasts sharply with his older records with the ex-member(s). What ever happened to dark, cinematic altrock that existed in tracks like “Build God, Then We’ll Talk” and “The Ballad Of Mona Lisa”? Linkin Park too dropped the ball on their last single “Heavy” featuring glitch pop talent Kiiara. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve assumed that it was a sub-par track by The Chainsmokers. The song is bland, not even worth two listens, and sounds nothing like “Faint” or “Wastelands”. Then there’s Fall Out Boy who started their pop sound two albums ago with “Save Rock and Roll”, which is quite ironic since they shifted away from it instead. Gone are the emo altrock days that got them much acclaim. No more “Dance, Dance” and “Thnks fr th mmrs”, just a lame, revolting new track called “Young and Menace”, which is their most blatant pop song yet, and it’s not even done well. As if their latest album wasn’t pop enough, they decided to do some weird dubstep rock mixture that doesn’t sit well with me and should not sit well with any fan of Fall Out Boy or music alone.

If you don’t believe me when I say that selling out is a new epidemic, then here’s two videos, one from Fall Out Boys alt-rock days and the track they just released today.

You cannot, I mean, CANNOT tell me that they are simply being progressive. No, they are SELLING OUT. Hell, they already sold out, but this is just too much. The difference between these two videos is too drastic to chalk it up to just innovation. Nope, its an attempt at commercializing their sound for the sake of multiplying their fans and positions on the charts.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay for bands to desire an increase in audience. They should want to try to attract the casual listener. But they shouldn’t do so much sacrificing who they are and abandoning what got them where they are. They cite that they simply want to be authentic with the music they create, but adding synths, removing instruments, and simplifying lyrics is the opposite of authentic. And the fact that there exists people who defend this is beyond me.

All in all, selling out is both the latest trend and the latest epidemic. In the end, it works out for the bands because they sell out more arenas, sell more records, and chart higher. For every fan they lose, they gain another 10 fans. So unfortunately selling out works. But that one fan that they lose is the fan who was with them from the beginning, who admired them for what they brought to the table. And many will say that if that individual was a true fan then they would stick with the band and love them anyway. But the hypocrisy is overwhelming. We can’t even apply that logic to real situations apart from music. So why should it serve as the justification for diluting true music into commercialized cash-grabs?

 

Why It’s Good That Kendrick Lamar Didn’t Drop Another Album

Kendrick Lamar silences the game with his latest release DAMN., which arrived on Friday. However, there was a theory that a second album would come out on Easter Sunday. The double album theory seemed plausible, backed by some believable evidences found in the lyrics throughout DAMN. and “The Heart Pt. IV”. Yet when midnight Easter Sunday came, no new album came. Even during/after Kendrick’s Coachella performance, there was no new album dropped. Thus the double album theory fell short, despite how delectable it sounded. Yet I don’t find that as a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s good that Kendrick didn’t drop another album.

If he had dropped another album on Easter Sunday, I believe it would have diminished the attention DAMN. deserves. DAMN. is a phenomenal album, one that is unforgettable and with lasting quality (click the read more tag/scroll to bottom for album review). From its overall theme to the individual aspects, DAMN. stands out against the backdrop of what’s been flooding the rap game. The album is different from untitled unmastered, To Pimp A Butterfly, good kid, m.A.A.d city, and his other previous works. This difference, however, should be expected and cherished, due to how Kendrick always switches things up from project to project. Yet this difference would be minimized if he had dropped another album. We would quickly shift our attention from DAMN. to the other album, not allowing DAMN. to truly enrapture us.

Moreover, if he dropped another album, it would cause an instant comparison between the two projects. Now Kendrick is a phenomenal artist, but even for him it would be challenging to drop two masterpieces within the same weekend. We would instantly compare the two albums, and most of us would prefer one or the other, forgetting about the one we deem as inferior. This is evident in Future’s two albums that he released back to back earlier in the year. Only a week separated the albums, but that’s all it took for people to pick and choose their favorite between the two. Now of course there are some who love both of FUTURE and HNDRXX, but there’s a lot of those who gravitate to one or the other. This allows for one of the projects to be either forgotten or overlooked.

Lastly, Kendrick doesn’t need to drop two albums in three days to solidify his spot in at least the top 10 of all time. Personally I believe Kendrick to the be the GOAT. His lyricism, storytelling, influence, and importance is just too outstanding. So Kendrick doesn’t need to drop two albums to be considered amazing. Consider how Tom Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Whether you like him or not, he’s amazing. Yet with this past Super Bowl against the Falcons, a victory would not have been necessary to label him as one of the greats. He has 4 Super Bowl victories out of 6 attempts,  has been a key part of the most successful NFL franchise of this century, and continues to play at a high caliber level throughout the years, constantly bringing his team to the playoffs. He was one of the greats before the Super Bowl against the Falcons. The tremendous comeback against the Falcons is proof. The same thing applies to Kendrick Lamar. Good kid, m.A.A.d city and To Pimp A Butterfly are surefire classics and his other projects are amazing also. DAMN. is another masterpiece that further propels Kendrick into GOAT status or at least just increased stardom. Releasing another project wouldn’t have been necessary. Kendrick doesn’t have to try extra hard to prove to the rest that he’s one of the greatest of all time. He already is one of the greatest of all time.

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Why Do People Care About Drake Stealing X’s Flow?

A lot of opinions are flung around with little thought when it comes to issues, especially on social media. One recent issue that has a lot of people heated in the comments and abroad is how Drake seemingly stole Xxxtentacion’s flow. It’s up to the individual to situate yourself on one side of the fence: either on Drake’s side or X’s side. It’s this antagonistic division that is pitting one fan against another, but I would venture to say that this doesn’t have to be so. It may seem like your only option is to defend Drake or X, but their is another side that one can subscribe to. It is built upon the acceptance of the fact that Drake stole X’s flow and the admittance that it’s not X’s flow to begin with, which coupled together would show why this “beef” between both parties and their fans is inconsequential.

Drake’s hot track “KMT” off of More Life is certainly a copy of Xxxtentacion’s “Look At Me!”. You have to be deaf or in adamant denial if you don’t agree. However, the amount of attention this is getting seems to be excessive. Flow refers to the style of delivery that a rapper possesses. Many experiment with different types of flows while others focus on the flows that they are comfortable with. The flow in question is the 7 syllable per bar delivery that X employs on his popular track. Drake uses the same flow on “KMT” on top of production that is similar to “Look At Me!”, but at a slightly slower pace. So it’s no question that Drake took X’s flow.

But what makes it X’s flow?

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