{Music Reviews}

The rock genre has put out four unique sounds since this summer through the bands New Found Glory, Blue Meanies, Nonpoint and Crushdown. These four bands have and will to continue to grow in the number of live performances across the Lower 48. Here's a taste of the rock music the rest of America has been partying to this year.

 

New Found Glory

self-titled album – $16.99 at Samgoody.com

The neighbor's mutt: It's worth your time if you're bord, but don't plan your week around it.

This band is true punk rock that is a little more grown up than the likes of Blink 182. Their lyrics deal mainly with breakups and romantic hang-ups. Singer Jordan Pundik likes to focus on dealing with life after you've been let down or heart-broken. A common theme in this album's songs is to repeat a simple, but appealing phrase over and over. That makes it easy to get any one of the songs stuck in your head all day. Listening to this album gives you energy and ambition. It's good for studying.

All in all, the members of New Found Glory work well together, adding to the whole instead of distracting from each other. Track eight, “Tell me (about your first kiss),” is a favorite because the lyrics deal with the source of heartbreak and demand an answer for it. The low, marcato guitar riffs and perforated drumming lend to the feeling of demand.

 

Blue Meanies

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The Post Wave – $12.98 at Samgoody.com

The lone wolf: Yeah, maybe a decade from now I'd pick this up at a garage sale for less than a buck

Can ska and punk coexist peacefully? Well, no, but that's the tension-based concoction you get with the Blue Meanies. Their sound is a weird mix of harsh riffs and bold, upbeat brass instruments. To add to melting pot, their lyrics tackle subjects ranging from the destruction of the environment to a fantasy girl on the television. set. Their song “Momma Getting High on Chardonney,” invokes a vision of twelve year olds learning to play music in the garage while ditching junior high. There's nothing wrong with that, but the band does has a very impish vibe. Two guitars, one drum set, a saxophone, an organ, a megaphone and four voices are utilized by the seven band members to make a unique sound. So, now that their originality has been established, does it work well as music? Their growing following of fans seems to think so.

 

Nonpoint

Statement – $12.98 at Samgoody.com

Man's best friend: Good company. This is sure to make your time enjoyable.

“I wanna take you on a mind trip,” opens the album on track one, and how true that message is. This hardcore rock group employs screeching guitar frets, a classic metal chord system, angry drums and in-your-face vocals. It's easy to start throwing your head around and tossing your body to the music. The beat is securely in place, and the energy is raw and basic. Track three, “Endure,” starts off a lot softer than usual, but don't let that fool you. The base in the beginning is easy for the ear to latch onto, and it will then lead you by the hand through the softer vocals, building up with the crescendos of the other guitar and drums until the frenzy explodes with the screaming chorus.

 

Crushdown

Like This – $15.99 at Amazon.com

The neighbor's mutt: It's worth your time if you're bord, but don't plan your week around it.

Their song “Dosage” pretty much explains the band. Singer Justin Raymond claims to be a “holy roller” while Bruce Sonneburg rips a solo off lead guitar. The industrial, metal-piercing and grinding opening to “Dosage” asks for the listener's full attention. It will not be content if left in the background. Despite the amount of harmony backup of their drummer, bassist and background guitar, Crushdown's focus is producing a strong melody. They pull it off nicely, too. This album is good for anger management or emotional therapy.