The Thanksgiving Rock Block: The Midnight Youth, Golden State & The Ruse

I am a sucker for rock n’ roll of all kinds…but one of my biggest weaknesses is Brit rock, or faux Brit rock, as some may call it.  I blame Lee Garrett, really, for introducing me to The Stereophonics a decade ago and making me fall in love… and ever since then, it’s just been an obsession.

I’ve been craving screaming guitar, thrumming bass and pounding drums like a pregnant woman wants pickles lately.  Luckily, I’ve got the cure.  Three cures, actually.  And not a one of ’em British.

To help rock you through your long Thanksgiving weekend, let me introduce you to:  The Midnight Youth, hailing from New Zealand; and two long-time go-tos for blistering rock, both out of California, The Golden State & The Ruse.

You’re welcome.  Happy Turkey Rock.

THE MIDNIGHT YOUTH | Web | Facebook | Twitter
Recently, a New Zealand band I follow on Twitter mentioned The Midnight Youth and how they were releasing a new album soon; said they couldn’t wait for it.  Can’t explain what it was about that tweet that made me click on the link, but I did.  And I tripped into the rock n’ roll wonderland of The Midnight Youth.  After watching their French Girl video, I knew I had to have more.  A week later, their World Comes Calling album was released, and it has literally been on repeat ever since.  I am hypnotized by lead singer Jeremy Redmore’s clean, soaring vocals that are reminiscent of the best 70s rock bands.  If that didn’t win me over, the incredible, beatastic smashing drums and cymbals of Aidan Bartlett would have. This is 2011’s answer to arena rock. The whole album is tremendous, but I am especially in love with “Listen” and the title track – nicely captured in the video below.  Seriously, you need to own this record, people. It is baffling to me that we are not promoting music like this in the U.S.


GOLDEN STATE | Web | Facebook | Twitter
Oh, Golden State.  A stumbled upon this brit-esque band a few years back when I was looking for a track to round out one of my mix CDs.  I’ve been following them ever since.  Lead singer James Grundler started in a band called Paloalto that broke up in 2004, and Golden State got together soon after.  They’ve released two full lengths, including their latest album Division, and a number of EPs (some that you can’t get any more), been featured music on “Deadliest Catch” in several seasons (particularly poignant was the use of their song “All Roads Lead Home” during the scenes during and following Captain Phil’s death).  Again, win me over with vocals, woo me with guitar shredding and heartpounding rhythms… These boys have it.  Today, they released their video for “World on Fire” and it just makes me love ’em more.  Graceful, beautiful rock n’ roll.


THE RUSE | Web | Facebook | Twitter

The Ruse's Rebellion dropped today...and it's fab!

Years ago, The Ruse came and played at The Evening Muse in Charlotte.  I was instantly sold on them; the influence from Brit and Euro bands like U2 is fairly obvious, but their writing was what won me over.  Absolutely gorgeous lyrics, and we all know I’m a lyrics girl.   Then came their 2008 release Midnight in the City, which made #1 on my Top Ten list… And, might I add, spawned an iTunes free single of the week with “Beautiful Is Gone.” Last year’s Love, Sex, Confusion just added to my minor obsession, especially after the creative video for “I Can’t Stop” came out. They’re simply one of the best unknown rock bands in the U.S.   So I was pretty excited to download their new EP, Rebellion, today… And I’m pleased as punch with it!  This little five song EP is scaled back a bit from their previous records…less “wall of sound,” quieter guitars, softer edges, lots of melodic “whoas” and “ohs”…but it really showcases the songwriting and the individual band members contributions to the music.  My favorite track right now is the hardest rocker on the album, “In Defense of the Rebellion” (quite appropriate given the political climate/Occupy movement going on right now), but I’m also quickly falling in love with “Ten Thousand Years.”  Epic love story, really, and I’m one of those sappy romantic types.  At under $5, you can definitely afford to drop $5 of your Black Friday spending money on this as a gift to yourself!

The Sunday Funday Playlist – July 24, 2011

Another Sunday, and this week’s playlist is a doozy!  I’ve been craving rock music lately, and that’s totally evident in this week’s selections.  Enjoy!

1.  It’s Time – Imagine Dragons

If you ever want to argue how successful iTunes is, I am THEE perfect example.  I will click on the “Other listeners who bought this also bought…” links EVERY time.  On a recent clicking adventure, I came across this band from Vegas.  Awesome melodic rock.  Love it.  And we know how I love the clapping songs.  This is my favorite track on their latest album, but I also adore the 80s sound of “America” (It reminds me of Neverending Story for some reason, and that movie will make me bawl like a baby every time).

2.  Perfect Day – The Constellations

Shelia loves The Constellations and has been kind enough to invite me to several shows with her.  This past Friday, we embraced our inner teenagers and ventured out to the hotter than Hades Tremont Music Hall with a big mess of our friends to see them with AWOL Nation. At first, I didn’t quite “get” their music, but they’ve started to grow on me… and their high energy show could win over anyone.  This song has become my favorite of theirs.  So, in tribute to my Gin Mill gang…thanks for a perfect day!

3.  The Bright Lights – Saints of Valory

If you follow me on Twitter, are friends with me on Facebook or follow this blog in any minor way, there’s no way you’ve missed me totally drooling over this Austin, TX-based band lately.   I am wildly in love with their music and am so excited because this week, I’ll get to see them live!  So flipping excited! This multi-cultural band (Brazilian, French, Canadian and American!) has a very unique writing style, yet their songs are completely worthy of sunroof open, windows down sing alongs.  It will be hard for them to shake comparisons to Coldplay because of Gavin’s plaintive tenor, but they are actually quite different.  This is probably my favorite song on their album by the same name.

4. World On Fire – Golden State
I spent most of this week checking iTunes, Amazon and every other potential music outlet two or three times a day for the new record, Division, from this California band.  Alas, Division has remained elusive, and the band posted that there were some issues with the distribution, so I’m guessing it will be out this Tuesday.  So, in the interim, I’ve been listening to their Problem, Reaction, Solution releases from last summer (if you really want to rock out, put on “Lightspeed” from Vol. 1 full blast), along with this single, which they released on their Standing on the Edge of It All EP last fall.  I fully expect this band to take off in the next twelve months…mark my words.

5. Talk to Me – Lovedrug

I was so super late on the train for this Ohio band.  They’ve been around for a decade, and I’ve really only just learned about them in the past year, thanks to my modern day music pen pal, Fred, out in Colorado.  Lead singer Michael Shepard has the most haunting voice – I love it.  As a result of their PledgeMuse campaign, the guys put out a cover album last month that includes songs like “Billie Jean,” Third Eye Blind’s “God of Wine,” and this amazing version of Stevie Nicks’ “Talk to Me.”  Pick up the Best of I Am Lovedrug for a host of silly great covers.