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"Fuck Kevin Durant" - Lil' B.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Ten Steps to Being a Totally Cool Emo Kid in 2013

Remember back in high school when you used to make fun of emo kids because they were the only people softer than you? Well guess what? Thanks to a bunch of bands from the Midwest with stupid names like "Dads" and "Pity Sex", emo couldn't be cooler in the year 2013! That's right, emo revival has had dudes just like you turning their lingering chronic depression/inability to gain muscle mass into COLD HARD POONTANG since 2010, and now that SPIN and NPR have hopped on the bandwagon, the floodgates have officially opened. 

Wanna get a piece of the action but don't know where to start? Well fear not, loyal reader; just follow these ten important steps and you'll be hopping on a plane to Champaign, Illinois to fuck a girl you met online in no time. Here goes...

Crucial #emorevival jamz.

Ten Steps to Being an Emo Kid

1: Dress like a poor hipster. Wear Chucks.

2: Talk about the Get Up Kids a lot.

3: Overly romanticize the Midwest.

4: Date a girl named Sadie or Rachel. Write a song about her.

5: Guyliner is your call, but proceed with EXTREME caution.

6: Wear a cardigan or some shit.

7: Own cassette tapes.

8: Talk about makeoutclub like you weren't 11 years old in it's heyday.

9: Pretend you've actually listened to Pinkerton.

10: Build a time machine and transport yourself back to 2001 when anybody actually gave a fuck.

So there ya have it! Just follow those ten simple steps and you'll be the coolest guy at your local VFW/campus library/loft party/wherever the fuck emos hang out these days. Good luck!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A Review of Safeplace's "Little Terror" EP (2013)

This song sounds like Arcade Fire if Arcade Fire were cool

If you've been following the sporadic posts I've been making on this little blog for the past couple years, you may be familiar with a band called Rain Over Battle. They were an orgcore 5-piece from somewhere in Virginia that had put out an impressive catalog of music considering the fact that they were like 19 years old, and I was stoked to hear music from them for years to come. Unbeknownst to me, however, was the fact that they were pretty much inactive by the time I wrote about them, and would officially break up a couple months later. Fortunately enough though, ROB's frontman and principal songwriter, Bennett Wales, isn't done making music. He's started a new band called Safeplace, who recently released their debut EP Little Terror on Soul Jolt Records.

The first thing you notice about Safeplace is their almost vehement desire to sound like no other punk band on the face of the planet. From the noisy thrashing that opens the EP on “To the Native and the Ghost” to the reverb-soaked folk licks on the title track, Safeplace are exploring new musical horizons with an energy intense enough to burn a stack of No Idea  releases. But oddly enough, the aggressiveness with which the band is trying to ditch the confines of punk only makes Little Terror sound more like a punk album. Being pissed off about playing bar chords isn’t all that different in spirit from being pissed off at your dad, and it’s clear that these dudes are still angry about something.

But what separates Safeplace from other post-“punk kid” musical projects is their refusal to shy away from their roots. When most people finish their infatuation with punk music, they start a shoegaze band or some shit. Naturally, those bands fall flat, because ripping off MBV is no more creative than ripping off Against Me!. Safeplace, on the other hand, are far less concerned with what’s trendy and far more concerned with developing their craft. Sure, the bassline to “Tribes” could’ve been lifted straight from A Flight and a Crash; sure, some of the noodling on “Curtains” sounds a little “wave-like”; but you can’t fault a band for doing what they know, especially if that’s what makes their music cohesive and digestible. Shit, to call Little Terror cohesive and digestible would be a grave disservice – these songs are actually pretty damn interesting.


For those of you who were familiar with Rain Over Battle, Safeplace proves to be an impressive step forward. Wales seems a lot more comfortable in his own skin as a songwriter, and even where the band’s influences are overt, they never stray into derivative territory. On top of that, the fat that bogged down ROB’s These Rocks in Our Bodies has been all but trimmed away. Sure, Safeplace stumble through a couple transitions and could have fleshed some of the parts out a bit more, but there’s not a whole lot of filler on Little Terror. Besides, bands who are genuinely trying to do something innovative can expect to stumble a fair bit in the beginning. That’s where Safeplace is at right now, but if this EP is any indication, they won’t be there for long.