If you have heard of SR-71 at all (the band, not the aircraft), it’s probably because of their 2000’s hit single Right Now, which got a lot of airplay back then. It was their only hit from their underrated debut album, Now You See Inside, but I consider it to be barely the fourth best song on that record. The band from Baltimore, Maryland, went on to release two additional studio albums before calling it quits in 2004 (they had a brief reunion playing some shows together around 2009) and SR-71‘s frontman, Mitch Allan, is still active today as a pretty successful music producer. While they never had another hit as big as Right Now, it could be argued that one track from their last studio album was even bigger because the version of 1985 played by Bowling For Soup became a huge hit without most people even being aware that it was a cover.
Anyway, going back to SR-71’s debut album, the song I tend to play again and again is usually Last Man On The Moon. I love those drums and the overall melody of the track, as well as the way the bridge transitions back into the chorus. The lyrics are enjoyable although not as good as the lyrics for another track in that album: Alive, but I will leave that for another post. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry as much as I do.
Earlier this week, I mentioned My Favorite Highway as an “obscure” reference. That’s because after one album and a couple of EPs as independent releases, they only released one full album, How To Call a Bluff –in 2008, and then re-released with a couple of extra songs in 2009 under a different label–, as signed artists before quickly disbanding in 2010. Some of their songs from that album appear on some popular shows around that time and they toured with artists such as Hellogoodbye and Kelly Clarkson; but, nevertheless, chances are that you have never heard of them. They never became that popular.
That is a shame, though. This band, originally formed in 2004 by two brothers from Fairfax, Virginia, was really good at writing infectious #poprock tunes that you simply could not get enough of. I think the best example of that was their single Getaway Car, which has a chorus to die for. I really mean it. No matter what mood you are in on any given day, as soon as that chorus starts, it is impossible to remain neutral to it. As this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry, please let me introduce you to a #musicalcrush of mine from the late 2000s. Hope you like it!
Ryan Sizemore and Derek Gilreath from Winston-Salem, North Carolina –also known as “The Camel City”–with a shared love for punk rock and having a good time. This prompted them to form their own band in 2015, The Camel City Blackouts, with their debut album being published in late 2019. This year, they released an EP titled 13 that consists of 2 tracks: Angels and Another Night, plus an acoustic version of the latter. All in all, this EP showcases what The Camel City Blackouts are about.
Another Night is a fun and energetic punk song about being addicted to something (alcohol, in particular) and not being able to keep it under control. The Camel City Blackouts grab your attention from the start with this track and never let it go. What I really like about Another Night is that the band found the right balance between a vibrant rhythm and noise (which is something many punk songs don’t achieve), and the result is quite an enjoyable rock song delivered flawlessly. In addition to that, as you can perceive in their self-made music video below, it is evident that they have lots of fun playing music and that has a positive impact over what they do. Also, is it just me or there is a hint of The Strokes in this song? Anyway, don’t sleep on this fun band.
To me, there are two sides to Sum 41: a lighter, punk-rock embracing one and a darker, guitar-heavy, metal-flirting side. They used to oscillate from one side to another with each album but after switching to the darker side on the album that followed 2009’s excellent Underclass Hero, they seem to have decided to stay there. This coincides with the return of lead guitarist and founding member Dave Baksh to the band in 2013, after a 9-year break. They have released a handful of songs that I like during this time, but the above mentioned Underclass Hero was their last album I truly loved. What can I say? I don’t enjoy metal that much.
That record includes several standout tracks but I’ve decided to feature today one that I didn’t love right away. I don’t know why though, because With Me is truly a great song. As with a few other tracks from Underclass Hero, it’s likely based on frontman’s Deryck Whibley failing relationship with Avril Lavigne, his wife at the time. Besides Deryck’s ability to transmit his raw emotions, what sets this song apart is the great drum part from former band member Steve Jocz. It’s really hard to get those drums out of your head.
Anyway, here’s this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry: With Me by Sum 41.
To say that I’m Sorry was a catchy song would be a massive understatement. It’s hard not to get hooked with it after just a couple of seconds in. Nashville-based chill-pop singer and producer Mokita wrote it after a conversation with his brother about past relationships and how regretful they felt about mistakes they made. Trying to make it sound even more nostalgic, he decided to make it a duet and managed to convince Bonnie from Stand Atlantic (remember them?) to join forces with him. I’m glad this happened because her voice gives the tune a really nice touch that makes it even more haunting.
Pop-punk is far less popular today than 15 years ago but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t young artists exploring that genre. We have featured a few here already and today’s artist is another example. Mystery Rose is a 17-year-old indie artists from L.A who writes and records her own music, which ranges from Amy Winehouse-style blues ballads to the genre mentioned earlier. Unlike most teenagers in the music business today, she is not interested in fame, which is why she chose the Mystery Rose moniker. She can show her face from time to time but, for the most part, she prefers to remain largely a mystery.
Mystery Rose‘s debut album, the cleverly titled Socially Distant, will be released this year and its first official single is Stability. A catchy tune about feeling vulnerable after a break-up, it reminisces early ‘00s indie rock tracks, While it doesn’t get bonus points for innovation, it delivers way more than enough in terms of quality rock music. Definitely, check this young artist out.
To be honest, the first couple of times I heard Hellogoodbye‘s Here (In Your Arms), I didn’t like it. I couldn’t deny the extremely infectious chorus, but everything else about the tune seemed odd to me. It was a classic example of a song that grows on you the more times you listen to it. And listening to this song I did. A lot. Because my then girlfriend (now wife) loved it from the first time, to the point that it was her ringtone for a good while (back when that was still a thing). It’s hard to believe it’s been so long already.
Here (In Your Arms) was the lead single from Hellogoodbye‘s debut album, Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, released in 2006. It peaked a number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum in the US. I don’t think the Californian band has been able to replicate that level of success since then, but they’re still around, with a few lineup changes but still led by lead singer Forrest Kline.
I hope you like this catchy song, because it is this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.
Lomon is a Seattle-based musician who feels out of place, as if he had been born a thousand years early. His style is described as psychedelic indie electronic, and perhaps that is the case in general, but this particular song we are featuring today, Little Visitors, is actually closer to glam rock. There’s certainly a David Bowie vibe to it.
Passionate about science fiction and all things related to space, Lomon, aka Zander Chocron, usually writes songs about our planet, taking care of it, and space exploration. Little Visitors, for example, is a metaphor for the human race not appreciating the beautiful planet we have. All in all, Lomon is certainly an artist with plenty to say and the creativity to do so in quirky and interesting ways. Check him out below.
Kat Victoria is a young and multifaceted artist that cannot really be tied to any genre in particular. She has released six singles so far and each one of them is different. I mean, one of them is even categorised as freestyle rap. However, the song I’m featuring today, Tell Him, lies in the grey area between alternative rock and pop-punk.
Tell Him is an interesting track with an infectious chorus that I’m sure many listeners will enjoy. I think it’s really impressive what Kat can do pretty much by herself, including shooting a music video for her song (which you can watch below). As her bio on social media pages say, this talented songwriter makes music from her bedroom. I can only imagine what she would be able to do in a top-notch music studio. Definitely, check her out.
Punk-rock is still alive. Wishful Thinking is an example of a new generation of pop punk bands ready to take the baton from Blink-182, New Found Glory, and All Time Low (in fact, at times you might think Tom DeLonge is the one singing) . This New Jersey act is not trying to reinvent the wheel as much as simply injecting a breath of fresh air into the genre. They started out in 2016 but after releasing an EP then, the band members decided to take a break to get better at songwriting. They returned this year with new tracks ahead of their debut album, which was released on the 22nd. Preoccupied is one of its singles.
This is a classic pop-punk song with a fast tempo, loud guitars and a catchy chorus. It is a clear example of what Wishful Thinking can do now and the potential they have to keep improving. If you like this genre, you should definitely check them out. You will like it.