With Confidence-Better Weather reivew

If you’re a fan of pop punk and have not heard of Aussie pop-rocker’s, With Confidence you need to look them up right now. Well, maybe you can spare some time to read this review of their debut album, Better Weather, first. They created their own unique sound during a time where pop punk is thriving and they created music that stands out and holds its own with bands like State Champs and Neck Deep.

The album contains multiple allusions to weather through many of their lyrics with alludes to the title, Better Weather. Like in song “We’ll Be Okay:” “I could be fire, I could be rain,” “Long Night:” “Oh how it’s raining” and in “Higher:” I’ll be the sun.” It was a fun idea to put those kind of lyrics in their songs to create a more cohesive album.

Better Weather is full of true catchy, simple pop punk tunes like “Voldemort,” “Keeper,” “We’ll Be Okay,” and “Higher.”

“Voldemort” is the perfect choice for the song to introduce their music and allow listeners to understand their sound. “Keeper” is similar to “Voldemort” because it is not complex lyrically or instrumentally but that is not bad at all.

Delving deeper, however; the album seems to increase in complexity as the album continues, which is something I can appreciate. Songs like “Archers” and “Gravity” hold ideas like not following the status quo and keeping away from normality. These kind of songs describe the band since this is their debut and they are being introduced to their career and what they have been working so hard towards. When the album hits song six, the ideas of the songs change to that of heartbreak. “Keys,” “Long Night,” “Dinner Bell” and “Waterfall” follow this theme.

“Archers” is my favorite song, it highlights choosing your own path and following your passions rather than doing what makes the most money or what everyone else wants you to do. The band knows what it is like to follow a path where no one seems to believe in you or in what you’re doing. This is a theme that sticks with me since I have been told that my career path gets you no where. Lyrics like, “We wanted more than a normal structure so live it up for the ones who told us to lead a live that we never wanted,” portray this song perfectly.

“Gravity” takes this further by vocalist, Jayden Seeley explaining that instead of following what his father did and was successful with, he wanted to forge his own path for himself. “Could’ve been a tradesman, I’d work a 6 till 3, follow my father’s footsteps,” are lyrics that vividly shows what he has most likely been told to do his whole life.

Then the songs change gears to the theme of heartbreak, another concept that many people at my age can relate to at least one point in their lives. “Long Night” is the perfect song on Better Weather that describes exactly how heartbreak feels. The song is beautiful, the piano is lovely and the previous song, “Keys ” is a successful transition into this one. The lyrics, “but now it’s just me and I lie awake and I toss and I turn and I see your face when I wake from a dream it won’t go away,” describes what it’s like to have someone on your mind and not being able to shake those memories, not even to fall asleep. It’s a real song that hits home.

“Waterfall” is the most unique song on this record, I can’t describe what makes it that way but I know it’s a special song .The lyrics are incredibly vivid and as someone who really enjoys that kind of thing, I appreciate it greatly. However, the coolest part of the song is the ending. It ends with an automated voice saying , “You may now hang up to send your message…” and then the click of a phone turning off. Since “Waterfall” is the last song, the band is trying to get across that the whole album is representative of the thing they want to say to someone but cannot. That’s such a powerful way to end this record and it shows With Confidence’s talent in creatively as well.

Better Weather is formatted surprisingly well for the band’s debut and it shows off that the boys have a lot of special music and talent to be offered to those who want to listen to it. This song is not only a perfect record for the summer, but any season and any weather.

Stay Connected:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/withconfidence

Twitter: https://twitter.com/withconfidence_

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jaaaayden

You can also find them on Hopeless Records: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCToUNe4i9j_SlKGFl8MrQHg




As It Is-Never Happy, Ever After review

I’ve been following As It Is since their second EP, This Mind of Mine, and easily fell in love with the band. Now that I have been listening to Never Happy, Ever After since release (and I still am), I can call this album a true masterpiece created by a talented up and coming band.

The album follows a theme that is all about one person the musician either broke up with or left him and feels that it is all his fault, and the songs “Speak Soft,” “Sorry,” “Dial Tones,” “Concrete” and “Turn Back to Me” portray this in the lyrics. He blames himself for everything that happened between them. This theme makes the album really powerful and repeatable to anyone who lost someone they care about and blame themselves for the break up/why they left.

Never Happy, Ever After starts of strong with “Speak Soft,” and they chose the perfect song to begin the album with. Lead vocalist, Patty Walters holds nothing back, especially in the first five seconds. Those seconds sold me on this song and in turn, the whole record. It shows off Patty’s vocalist capabilities in the very beginning. The absence of instruments in the first three really add something special to this song. Guitarists Andy Westhead and Benjamin Biss create unique guitar riffs, not only on this track, but on the whole album. Lyrics that connect back to the theme include, “Why should I stick around when all I do is let you down.” The musician accepts that he is at fault and already hurt this person before. He could have had a second chance but he knows he will only mess up again.

“Sorry” feels like a true pop punk song, the beginning guitar riff gives off a State Champs vibe, which many pop punk fans will appreciate. The chorus is a beautiful mix between Walters and Biss vocals and how well they blend together. Biss’s deeper voice when singing, “On my own,” transitions nicely into Walter’s higher notes of “I’m trying not to feel ’cause I’m feeling like the world forgot me.”In addition, the band references the title of the album in this song. “I’m just a reader, you’re every chapter. Never happy, ever after.” I like how they took this approach instead of making a title track. It was a unique idea and executed very well.

“Dial Tones” is not only the band’s first single for this album, a fan favorite but an amazing track all around. The guitar riff alongside Patrick Foley’s drums creates a different yet familiar feel to the sound of the album all together. Not only is the chorus my favorite chorus the band’s created but Biss’s vocals are superb. He demonstrates that he can sing softly in the background, which we know and love, but also that he has an aggressive side that is shown off in this song and in only one verse.
“Cause I promised myself I’d never hurt you and I did. If you can’t trust a liar how can you trust me again? I’m running out of ways to say I’m sorry.” These lyrics reflect to the theme of the album once again because the musician continues to blame himself for hurting this person and he does not know how to correct what he has done.

With fast tight drums (especially after the bridge), great guitars and powerful pop punk vocalist, “Concrete” is another one of the tracks that fits in with the pop punk scene. This song is impossible not to love. This song’s lyrics are shown off in a different way that the musician understands who he is and how he acts. “My concrete’s set, it’s permanent, I’m stuck this way and I can never change.” He’s trying to cope with losing this special person that he hurt by accepting this may be how it is supposed to be.

“Turn Back to Me” is the last track that seems to demonstrate the musician blaming himself. The chorus repeats, “It’s all fault and I know it,” he stills wants the person back in his life but because of the previous song, he can now accept being without her by understanding himself.

Never Happy, Ever After is a record that does not get old, in fact it only gets better after each listen. The band did an excellent job creating songs that blend well together and each one has that As It Is feel to it, especially with the guitars, while still creating ones that felt unique and with their own differences. This album is a must have for fans of not only pop punk but the rock lovers all around.

The Summer Set-Stories for Monday Review

Being a fan of The Summer Set, when I heard about the new album, Stories for Monday, I was thrilled. I haven’t heard anything new since the additional songs to their previous release, Legendary, and just listening to songs like “Accidental Billionaire” and “Slip Away” I could tell their sound was changing and growing more mature.

So this leads us to Stories for Monday, which is crafted wonderfully, it is the prime example of how albums are supposed to be listened to. From Track 1 to the end, telling a story the whole way through. I love how The Summer Set, well, set this one up. All eleven songs take place over the course of a weekend (my perspective is from Friday night to Sunday night/Monday morning.) In addition to that, they all, in their own way, are memories of the band’s teenage years. This shows how much the band has maturated and like they have stated, it took this record to realize their potential and question their break up. Which, if you’re a fan like me, then that was news you were quite happy to hear.

This is my breakdown of the songs and how I think they fit into the “weekend” theme. “Figure Me Out” doesn’t necessarily fit in the weekend to me, but describes the overall vibe of the album and the message they are trying to send.

Friday Night:

  • “The Night is Young,” “All My Friends” and possibly “Change Your Mind.


  • “All Downhill From Here,” “All In” and “Wonder Years.” I think “Change Your Mind could go here too.”


  • “When the Party Ends” and “Wasted.”

“Figure Me Out” is the perfect song to introduce the band back to old fans and especially act as a gateway to link new fans to them. The message they send through this song is something I love because listeners can tell they found their sound. They know what they want now and have figured themselves out in order to achieve it.

One of my favorite songs is, “Change Your Mind,” because it reminds me of Legendary era The Summer Set but with the new sound they discovered mixed into it. The part that instantly hooked me is the techno beat in the beginning of the song that spans during the rest and how it blends with the piano and guitars, especially.

“All Downhill From Here” sends a message to me that might be my own thinking but maybe it is shared by others. It seems at this point, people could be doubting the band and this is their response to that. They “feel fine” doing things the way they want to and feel comfortable doing. Examples like not breaking up and making this album all on their own supports my thinking in this aspect.

Listeners who crave that classic feeling of The Summer Set are bound to enjoy “All In,” it is about as fun and feel-good as songs can get. It’s a really nice throwback to have that ‘party’ song that most of their previous albums are comprised of. And it’s definitely catchy as hell, especially the bridge. One listen to it and I already felt myself dancing and shouting the lyrics. If anyone needs a song to lift your spirits, I guarantee this one will do the trick.

The best transition song on the album is for sure, “Wonder Years,” the mood is toned down and the music is less upbeat. It brings out the most mature side of the band and can be really appreciated. This song also holds some of my favorite lyrics of the album, “Promise you’ll remember, don’t you ever change your colors…forever, no surrender, yeah we’re only getting younger always in our wonder years.” In addition, the use of the techno is beautiful; it creates an image of sitting under the stars with someone you love or someone you care about enjoying their presence. It is the epitome of living for the moment and captures that perfectly.

“When the Party Ends,” is when drummer, Jess Bowen really shines. By using less techno effects in this song and letting the rhythm of the drums be shown off was a really smart move.

“Wasted” shows how the album pulled a 180, from “The Night is Young” and the parties of the weekend, to Monday morning. Nothing emphasizes this quite like the bridge. “Turn the lights on, party’s over, maybe someday we’ll never get older.” The band knows what point they are at, they know that their youth wasn’t wasted. They lived how they wanted to and this song shows they are at the level of maturity in their music that they can turn the page on the party life and begin the new chapter in their careers.

Listen after listen, I discover new parts of the songs I missed the times before and each one gets better and better. After thinking that nothing could be better than Legendary, I was pleasantly surprised that this was. This record is so important not only because they found their sound but because it kept a band with so much talent and potential together. This album shows that this is only the beginning for The Summer Set.

The Ready Set-The Bad and the Better Review

I have listened to the Ready Set since 2010 and the evolution of his music and songwriting is unbelievable. Hearing the growth of his voice, lyrics and overall talent is a rewarding experience.This album demonstrates that he can keep up with other artists in the pop rock game. In order to celebrate the soon release of his new album, I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love on April 8, and recent signing to Hopeless Records, this is my review of his most recent full length, The Bad and the Better.

This album can be broken down into three major themes, not every song on the album fits each one but for the most part they do. Love, heartbreak and loving yourself are the three that stood out to me the most.

Most of the songs fit into the love category and this comes at no surprise to seasoned listeners of the Ready Set, many of his older records are for the most part about love. Songs like “Luxury,” “More Than This” and “Bitter and the Sweetness” are the ideal songs for this theme.

Out of these songs, “More Than This” is definitely a favorite. Once I heard the beginning I knew I was going to love this song and the lyrics represent love perfectly. “I wanna be more than this/ I got it bad for you” and “I would do anything but let go.” They are a bit cliche but it’s the upbeat background with cheesy love lyrics that makes me love this song so much.

Another song that fits into the love category is “Freakin’ Me Out,” although not as much as the previous tracks. The lyrics are not what really shine in this song, what does is the
get up and dance vibe it gives off. This vibe is precisely what keeps fans coming back to the Ready Set. I love the way he shows off his lows and highs that blend so well with the electronic sound.

Heartbreak is the second theme that the Ready Set uses in his songs and “Don’t You Need Me,” “Bleeding” and “Carry Me Home” are the three that stand out with heartbreak on this record. “Carry Me Home” has multiple parts that remind me of the Ready Set’s previous release, I’m Alive, I’m Dreaming. The verses and the bridge have a dreamy beat behind them and even the simple “la da da” parts remind me so much of 2010 Witzigreuter.

The last theme is loving yourself (no I’m not talking about Justin Bieber). “Castaway” and “Fangz” are the only two that stuck out to me for this topic but I’m sure there are hidden messages in the songs that I didn’t uncover.

Lyrically, “Castaway” is my favorite song on the whole album. The lyrics really speak and when put behind Witzigreuter’s voice and musical talent, they really shine. “Do you feel you’re not enough?/and impossible to love/…well I’ll be with you in the dark, and give you light when you’re afraid/…Everyone is a castaway.” This song isn’t a stereotypical ‘You’re worth it’ song and is delivered better than those. Witzigreuter isn’t saying that everyone who feels worthless is perfect like other songs, but that “Everyone is a castaway.” This means that everyone feels lost and like an outcast but they are strong enough to overcome it.

“Fangz” is much different than “Castaway” but still sends a similar message. The two things that I got out of it were to never let fears stop you and know that you have the power to take control of your life. He exhibits this through lyrics of “Stack up your fears, that s*** you’ll never need.” and “Don’t let go, you are in control and you’re ready/Take what’s yours.” It’s a more ‘in your face’ song since it is very electronically based and feels like something you would hear in a club which seems different than the typical electronic beats that the Ready Set usually uses. But still give it a couple listens because even if you don’t like it at first, it really does grow on you.

After putting out EP after EP for the past four or so years, the delivery of a full length that doesn’t disappoint shows how much Witzigreuter has grown and that he is meant to create music. I love that he isn’t afraid to try new techniques in order to further him and his song with songs like “Fangz” and “Terrible Things.” His lyrics are definitely one of his strengths, and the fact that it’s practically impossible for him to craft a song that’s not catchy and a blast to listen to over and over again.

State Champs-Around the World and Back review

Pop punk’s not dead and State Champs is proving that statement with every release. Around the World and Back is only their second album but they sure are defending pop punk, one beautifully crafted song after another.

Every one of the 11 tracks on this album tells a story with its many themes like heartbreak, finally getting over someone, and learning important life lessons. There’s nothing quite as special than an album that is created to teach themes in each individual song but when brought together present a story with a cohesive sound.

The two singles, “Secrets” and “All You Are Is History” were the right songs to put out and give fans a taste for what they would be hearing in the full length. Derek DiScanio’s aggressive vocals during “Secrets” gives that true pop punk gritty sound paired with a different one in “All You Are Is History” when compared to other songs in the genre. There’s something so special about beginning a song with no instruments so the raw voice of the vocalist can be heard and State Champs delivered it wonderfully.

“Eyes Closed” and “Breaking Ground” are tracks with heavy drums that should make every fan want to rock out, eat pizza, wear a snapback and your favorite pair of vans, and maybe even leave your hometown. They are drum pounding goodness that makes pop punk so rewarding to listen to.

Two tracks that show off State Champ’s ability to be diverse is “All or Nothing” and “Around the World and Back.” Both songs are toned and slowed down a bit, “Around the World and Back” more so because it is more of an acoustic song. Also, lyrically these two songs stand out the most and are my favorite.

“All or Nothing” is unique (because I am an English geek) because the lyrics unfold and connect with each other in the first and second verses. “The postcards on your walls/I left them blank because they don’t exist at all/You moved on and that’s common sense.” This is repeated but in a different way in the second verse. “The postcards on my walls/say what you mean to me, but always seem to fall/you moved on, and that’s common sense.”

The title track was the perfect song to have a guest vocalist and Ansley Newman’s voice paired with DiScanio’s are such a pleasure to listen to. They each compliment the other so well, it really makes for an enjoyable listening session. One of my favorite aspects of this song is the lyrics. It is slightly generic, but that makes it relatable and it’s honest. With lyrics like “I’m falling in love and it’s scaring me,” so simple but it has such an impact. Anyone who has been in love or know heartbreak can relate to the frightening part of giving your heart to someone who has the power to light up or tear apart your world.

This album is pure gold and State Champs is setting the bar higher and higher with each release but I know the boys are able to live up to the expectations they are setting. They are simply that kind of band. So if you aren’t listening to State Champs then you need to awaken your inner pop punk self (everyone has one), jam out to Around the World and Back, and enjoy the story that will unfold in the next 36 minutes.