March Loud Rock Wrap-Up

Written by on April 2, 2013

Hey all! It’s me, Ben, the Loud Rock genre director, here to give you a taste of what’s awesome, and what you should be listening to, that gets the ‘Loud Rock’ distinction thrust upon it. Loud Rock is everything that’s loud, and what’s loud isn’t necessarily what’s good. So I wade through the shit to give you the best, the beautiful genius pressed into plastic, to treat your ears to some radness. This month was particularly tough to get through.

1. Off with Their Heads – Home
By far one of my favorite albums that came up through the floor this month was “Home,” the third proper album by Minneapolis punks Off With their Heads. Though “Home” follows the somewhat derivative and overproduced footsteps that “In Desolation” started going in, it is still one of the best records of the month. The desperate angst used to guide the band’s music and the lyrics, and while ‘Home’ keeps the lyricism, the Epitaph gloss takes a lot of the raw energy out of the music. There are bands whose sound lends itself to glossy production. Unfortunately, Off With their Heads are not one of them. “Home” is good, but not great. 6/10.

2. The Photo Atlas – Stuck in a Honeytrap
The Photo Atlas describe themselves as ‘dance-punk,’ but on their second album, “Stuck in a Honeytrap,” the band sounds more like a poppy math rock band, similar to a Minus the Bear, or a Fall of Troy turned down. The album is super bouncy and pretty enjoyable, but there’s a lack of emotional depth or real musical complexity that will give this album a spot on many year-end lists. Definitely enjoyable for what it is, but not fantastic. 6/10.

3. RVIVR – The Beauty Between
As I said before, not a lot of fantastic stuff came across my desk in March for whatever reason, so I’m instead going to feature what is likely going to be my album of the year, which dropped this month. From the beginning of “The Seam,” to the end of “Party Queen,” this thing is a fucking masterpiece. The Olympia band brings themes of community, vulnerability and social justice and wrap it in a delicious pop-punk package. On their self-titled debut, RVIVR introduced their fantastic sound, but on “The Beauty Between,” they perfected it. This will be on my top 10 albums of 2013, for sure. 9/10.





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