Today’s post is, as the title says, a comparison of a newly released cover to the original song. The song in question is “Periscope” by Papa Roach featuring Skylar Grey; the cover is by ÆLONIA, a new band consisting of husband and wife Jake and Inna Pitts.
Let’s start with the original:
The song is definitely a sonic change for the veteran rockers who first broke onto the scene in 2000 with “Last Resort”. This track is a soaring pop song about love, and is very well composed. It is definitely not my favorite P-Roach song by any means, but it’s nice enough, and Grey’s vocals compliment singer Jacoby Shaddix beautifully.
Now here’s the cover:
While the two versions are very similar, I prefer this one. It could possibly be that I’m biased toward Jake Pitts, seeing as he is a member of one of my all-time favorite bands, Black Veil Brides. However, I also enjoyed this cover because Jake’s wife Inna is also a beautiful singer, and I think their voices sound phenomenal together. I also enjoyed the use of acoustic guitar on this version, whereas the original is more synth-driven.
In conclusion, while both versions are decent, I personally prefer ÆLONIA’s take on the track.
Earlier this week, veteran pop songstress P!nk released the music video for the title track from her new album, Beautiful Trauma. The clip features a husband and wife (portrayed by P!nk and actor Channing Tatum) dancing around a colorful set consisting of various places such as a house and a bar. The song is about the fact that love is not easy, but being able to overcome hardships together helps make a relationship stronger. The cinematography of the video was well done, and the choreography was beautiful. My personal favorite part was when “Ginger Hart” caught “Fred Hart” trying on one of her dresses, then she puts on a suit and the two dance around the bedroom. I loved this part because it challenges gender roles, which P!nk has been known for doing, plus seeing Channing Tatum in a dress was amusing. Overall, it was a very well made video for a great song.
You can watch the video here: (warning: explicit language)
I just want to take a moment to share the music video for one of my favorite songs by a band that has very recently become one of my favorites. That band is Palaye Royale, and the song/video is “Mr. Doctor Man.” The track is taken from their 2016 debut album Boom Boom Room, Side A. The video shows the band performing in a type of circus funhouse-inspired venue, and plays off of the My Chemical Romance-inspired vibe that I feel from the song. It’s a very hip and edgy tune that is also reminiscent of multiple theatrical rock acts of the past. I could go on about why I Love Palaye Royale, but I dedicated an entire post to that last month. I hope they come to Oklahoma sometime in 2018(and not only for something like Rocklahoma…) so that I can see them live.
Yesterday, alt-rockers Sleeping With Sirens released a beautiful Christmas single, titled “Christmas On the Road”, seemingly about the struggles of being away from family during the holidays. The track is very simplistic, and, sonically, sounds like a typical acoustic song. The only holiday association is the mention of Christmas. However, I believe this simplicity is what makes the track work so well. Too often, holiday songs try too hard to be festive and end up sounding cheesy and campy. Instead, the Sirens ofter an emotional track that evokes positive holiday feelings but is also subtle enough to keep your local Grinch from complaining about having to hear the same thing over and over.
Tuesday, former Automatic Loveletter vocalist and The Voice alum Juliet Simms released the music video for her song “Say Hello” from her 2016 EP From the Grave. The clip, which was directed by Joshua Schultz shows Simms dancing around an apartment singing along to her song. Though the video is somewhat simplistic, it is also relatable in that most of us like to dance to our favorite songs when we’re home alone. The video is also well edited, so much so that it looks like it could be part of a clothing commercial. The song itself is a fun pop-rock tune that sounds perfect for a party with friends, or channeling your inner Juliet and dancing around your room.
Perhaps the best part of the video comes at the very end, when Simms’ husband, Andy Biersack of rock band Black Veil Brides, walks in on her dancing around and asks what she’s doing, then proceeds to take a picture of her laying on the floor surrounded by clothes. It was an amusing addition, and shows how adorable they are as a couple.
On Wednesday, November 8, I had the pleasure of seeing Nothing More live at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City, OK. This was my fourth time seeing the band, and their performance was even better than it was the first time I saw them back in 2014. This concert was the third-to-last stop on the first leg of their “Stories We Tell Ourselves” tour in support of their new album of the same name. They were joined by fellow rock groups Hell or Highwater, Palisades, and My Ticket Home.
The first band to perform was Hell or Highwater, a blues-influenced rock group based out of Vista, California. They are fronted by Brandon Saller of Atreyu fame. I had listened to a few of their songs on Spotify in anticipation of this concert but I hadn’t been particularly impressed. However, the energy that they brought to their live performance won me over, and I am excited to hear more from them. Their brief, 25 minute performance was energetic, and they were very involved with the crowd, with Saller singing in the middle of the crowd during a couple of songs and high-fiving audience members (myself included).
The next band to perform was New Jersey-based group Palisades. I was already a fan of theirs, and they were the opener I was most looking forward to. Their set was also highly energetic as they performed songs from their self-titled album released earlier this year. Highlights included a dedication of their song “Dark” to late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, and set closer “Let Down”, one of my personal favorite songs. I even had the pleasure of meeting three of their members at the merch table, two at the beginning of the night when I was purchasing their CD, and vocalist Lou Miceli Jr. after their performance.
The last of the opening bands was My Ticket Home, from Columbus, Ohio. I honestly don’t have much to say about their performance other than that, in my opinion, they are one of the worst bands I have EVER seen live. (Which is saying a lot considering I’ve been to fifteen concerts in my lifetime…) Then again, they’ve coined their sound as “puke rock” so what would one expect?
Finally, around 9:45, Nothing More took the stage. As previously stated, their performance was perhaps the best I’ve ever seen from them. The set began with fan-favorite “Christ Copyright” from their 2014 self-titled record. Their set was a good mix of songs from their new album, such as “Let ‘Em Burn”, “Ripping Me Apart”, acoustic song “Just Say When”, and lead single “Go To War” as well as past favorites such as “This is the Time (Ballast)” “Jenny” and “I’ll Be OK”. They have also become known for their unique instrumental solos, including a bass rig, and their new “Scorpion Tail” contraption. Honestly, I can’t convey the wonder of a Nothing More live set purely through words; you have to see them for yourself. They closed their set with “Salem (Burn the Witch)” from their 2009 record “The Few Not Fleeting”.
The only negative experiences I had were venue related. I have contacted the venue multiple times and been told that e-cigarettes are not allowed inside, yet I saw AT LEAST fifteen people vaping. As a concertgoer with asthma, this was incredibly distracting, and is an issue that has plagued my concert experiences for the past three years. Despite this, however, the show itself was still phenomenal.
In today’s world, we are completely surrounded by music. Everywhere we go, people are listening to music on their phones, and in their cars. However, what we are hearing is merely a shell of the original recording. This is because, in order to shrink the files down so that they can be stored digitally, the audio is compressed, and up to 90 percent of the original recording is removed. As a self-proclaimed “music junkie”, watching the documentary “The Distortion of Sound” and learning this was concerning.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect is that most music consumers don’t know that there’s a difference, or they know but don’t care, because of the convenience of digital services. For many people, digital is all they know, and they have yet to experience music at its full quality.
For me, watching this documentary also led to a realization: The compression of audio files is likely one of the main reasons I love live music so much. I have been an avid concert-goer since the age of 13, but I didn’t have much of a valid explanation as to why, other than enjoying the energy provided by being in a crowded room surrounded by other music fans. Now, however, I have realized that another reason I enjoy live music so much is because it is one of the only ways to hear songs as the artist intended, rather than a crappy low-res rendering.
To learn more, and to watch the film for yourself, visit www.distortionofsound.com
Yesterday, Five Finger Death Punch released their first single since 2015’s Got Your Six album, titled “Trouble”. The track is one of two new songs being released on their upcoming greatest hits record. While it’s a solid rock track, and it does contain the distinct “FFDP” sound, it barely grows from their past material. It’s a decent song, but it also sounds like it could be pulled directly from any of their past efforts (except maybe their debut The Way of the Fist, which was more metal-esque). The guitar patterns and drum fills sound all too familiar, and while vocalist Ivan Moody does seem to be in a better place following a tumultuous year of on-stage meltdowns, if they want to stay relevant, they’re going to need to do some evolving.
Cover songs have been an integral part of the music industry for decades, dating back to times when “race charts” existed, and white artists would cover songs by minority artists, often making more of a profit than the original artist. Today, though, covers are done purely for artistic reason. Here, in no particular order, are ten of my favorites.
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) [originally performed by Eurythmics]-Marilyn Manson
Dark Horse (originally performed by Katy Perry)-Our Last Night
Rebel Yell (originally performed by Billy Idol)-Black Veil Brides
Hell is For Children (originally performed by Pat Benatar)-The Relentless
Bad Romance (originally performed by Lady Gaga)-Halestorm
All I Ever Wanted (originally performed by Aranda)-Kelly Clarkson
Radioactive (originally by Imagine Dragons)-Pentatonix and Lindsey Stirling
Somewhere Only We Know (originally by Keane)-Glee Cast
The Sound of Silence (originally by Simon & Garfunkel)-Disturbed
Careless Whisper (originally by George Michael)-Seether
Today I want to show some appreciation for a band I have been recently introduced to, Palaye Royale. The Canadian rockers are signed to Sumerian Records, and released their debut album Boom Boom Room: Side A last year. Here are five reasons I believe they are bound for success.
Soundtrack Features: Several of their songs were featured in the recently released film American Satan, and vocalist Remington Leith also provided vocals to the film’s fictional band, The Relentless. They were beginning to gain popularity prior to this, but now their music is being heard by fans of rock scene staples Black Veil Brides and labelmates Asking Alexandria who saw the movie for its starring roles by Andy Biersack and Ben Bruce.
Unique Fashion: This band prides themselves on being a “fashion-art” band, allowing themselves to stand out from their peers. The band recently played during Los Angeles Fashion Week, where Leith wore a dress on stage.
Youtube Popularity: The music video for their song Morning Light has amassed 20 million views, and most of their other music videos range in views from 500k to 1.3 million. I find this to be impressive since the album most of these songs are from is only a year old.
Festival Attendance: They recently played for their largest crowd ever at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California, on a lineup alongside other rock artists such as Nothing More.
Remington Leith’s Vocals: Despite only being 23 years old, Leith’s vocals are very raspy and are reminiscent of rock artists of the past. He’s also quite attractive. There. I said it.
ANYWAY… I think anyone looking for new rock music should check this group out.
(Side note: I found one of their shirts at Hot Topic and am very excited to wear it.)
Mr. Doctor Man video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzM134EhSFQ