"I see a new day coming, maybe tomorrow...Woe to t
If I haven't told you yet, everyone should go out check out these bands' albums:
Stone Gods - Silver Spoons & Broken Bones (They have a great classic rock feel to them.)
Black Stone Cherry - Black Stone Cherry (I have yet to check out their new one.)
House of Heroes - The End Is Not the End (Great pop sensibilities, vocals, interesting song structures....)
You, Me, and Everyone We Know - So Young, So Insane (Comes out Nov. 18. If you want, check out their MYSPACE, they have a FREE 8 song EP out right now. It's catchy like herpes.)
Gatsbys American Dream - Volcano (Great concept record on the potentially volatile nature of man. These guys are just off the scale, I think. Tastefully done key signatures, melodic minor scale riffs, tempo changes all over - any GAD fan will know where the fucking chorus is.)
The Answer - Rise (They're opening for AC/DC. Isn't that enough street cred?)
The Feelings Mutual - EP (Local band from San Diego, they've got a lot of potential, and I wish them nothing but luck. Their 5 song EP shows a lot of promise - sounds like the Kings of Leon turned to 11.)
Maylene & the Sons of Disaster - II (I can't recommend these guys enough. Their album is chock full of fist pounding riffs, dual guitar harmonies, gut renching screams, and a dash of teh br00tz. I can leave this record on repeat for hours.)
that's it for now.
Also, I really like the look of Explorer guitars right now. Dunno what it is...
Demos from me and my band, Copilot. Just really quick recordings we did in my drummer's kitchen with a shitty computer mic. My bassist was unfortunately not available at the time of the recording sesh...
Apparently, I wrote this last year, and never finished it! Here's some of the blog I had written. I added a bit of more contemporary commentary.
"5 surprisingly good albums (of 2006):
5 - Cobra Starship - While The City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets - With the break-up of Midtown, Gabe Saporta formed this band, and created a surprisingly addictive pop album. They play with a keytar live. That's amazing. I listened to Midtown's last album, Forget What You Know, a little while ago. A really solid album. I feel bad for not supporting this band more when they were active. I feel their lack of a strong fanbase contributed to their breakup.
4 - John Mayer - Continuum - Known for solid releases under the genre I call "elevator music", John Mayer pulls out his guitar chops for this album. despite his soft rock sensibilities, this man can play the blues. I'm looking forward to more John Mayer Trio stuff. Now that's some good old funky, bluesy, rock.Seriously, check the John Mayer Trio's live album, Try!. It's a really good album. Even has a nice Hendrix cover. Mayer really shows off on that one.
3 - The Who - Endless Wire - Although not really a surprise to me, the Who still got it, with only two surviving members, after 24 years of inactivity, in regards to original material.
2 - Justin Timberlake - Futuresex/LoveSounds - What is it with his collaboration with Timbaland? Do they find that name thing hilarious, or something?
1 - My Chemical Romance - Hailed by many as the best 70's rock album in the 2000's....Ray Toro comes out onto his own as a rocker on this album, puttin his guitar chops to use and effectively showing everyone that MCR is more than just an "emo" band."I saw these guys on Project Revolution this year, and was really impressed - the show only bolstered my opinion of them. They've graduated from pop-punk scene band to an arena rock band. They really put on an amazing show. Ray Toro nailed his solos AND the Black Parade guitar tones, which I was impressed by...The band put on an impressive and exciting performance, complete with rotating drum set, confetti, fireworks, smoke...They might've upstaged Link Park, to be honest..
I mean, I don't really expect there to be a whole slew of classic rock-esque bands to just form. Don't get me wrong, I think Wolfmother and Jet (to name examples) are two great bands...I enjoy several of their songs...But I believe Joe Satriani said in a recent Guitar World magazine - paraphrasing, of course - that a classic album must be timeless, yet a product of its own time. And that makes perfect sense to me. Sure, you could write an album that's a complete rehash of the late 60's and the 70's. It'd probably be good. But I don't think it would be a classic album. "A product of its own time"...That phrase really should be something to think about. Yeah, it's awesome to take elements of bands you admire, and bands you've been inspired from...But make it your own. I don't know, I'm getting off on a tangent, kind of. What I miss about classic rock... Several things, really. One big thing: Beautiful tone. Whether it be smooth and silky lead lines, or raunchy, rude, and gritty riffs....It's a sound I miss. The tones of the 60's and 70's. I was listening to a few unsigned bands demos(those names escape me at the moment...), and even some of the more popular contemporary bands....Underoath(Pretty preampy..Shame, since the JCM 800 is an awesome amp, if you can dial it in right.), Paramore(I think I saw them using Mesa Dual Rectos, going to a PA live? Yeck. All preamp there.), My Chemical Romance (at times on some songs...Their lead lines on their latest sounded good), The Used, Madina Lake (Meh tone overall.) Nickelback use EMG active pickups and Mesa Dual Rectos, and somehow do not dial in a metal tone, or even a decent hard rock tone.
I don't know, those are some of the bands that come to mind off hand. And I just can't say I like their guitar tones. This is mostly coming from my experience as a guitarist, but the distortion I hear on the tracks I listen to these days often sounds dry, harsh but not bold clipping...It doesn't have that organic feel that you hear in classic rock guitar tones. That awesome overdrive, or fuzz. I blame that on bad recording techniques, and using 100 watt tube amps in the studio, and just cranking up the gain. Lots of preamp distortion. As I read in a Laney humorous (to me, at least) ad the other day..."an age where guitar players have developed an unhealthy fascinatrion with pre-amp distortion, the fabled sound of a power amp being pushed hard has almost passed into history."
At the same time, there are bands who do dial in some great tones. The White Stripes get some nice grit from their Silvertones. Say Anything have this nice biting mid-to-treble sound. The Shins and Death Cab for Cutie dial in some great shimmering cleans.
But go listen to The Who, one of their live albums, like Live at Leeds, Led Zeppelin's II or Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced? or Queen's News of the World, or their album Sheer Heart Attack. Now those are some legendary guitar tones. Inspiring guitar tones. The kind that make you want to pick up a guitar and play. Beautiful cleans, laden with emotion and a certain kind of sparkle. Riffs built by powerful, but not overwhelming distortion, overdrive and fuzz. The guitar tones of the past are certainly a kind of beast from today's.
This isn't even taking technique or compositional styles into consideration here.
I also don't expect any artists out there to put out an album and just have everyone embrace it. Music is too diverse now, and people just scramble for reasons to hate music that isn't "cool" or music that's just different form their own, or even just because someone else they know likes it. It's all pretty silly. But that doesn't mean you can't make a good album.
So, in conclusion, musicians out there...build up your guitar chops, use smaller tube amps in the studio, and try to be original. At the same time, don't be afraid to make your own sound, while letting your influences inspire you, but not become you. Make something timeless.