Friday, March 16, 2012

Pop Rock Picks

Let’s take a break from all the bookwormism’s, dorkology’s, and personal blah’s that have been frequenting my online havens for a while now, shall we? Music perpetually occupies a corner of the triangulation of my everyday life, and I now find it ridiculous that there are only drizzles of my musical fangirlism here on my blog. There should be hurricanes of them!

From now on, I’ll make it a point to put up “weeklies” about music—what’s been dominating my player during jeepney and train rides, new discoveries, old songs I forgot I loved until they replayed on the Sunday radio, or even fanmixes and literary mixed tapes. (The latter is a guilty pleasure. After reading a certain book, I always create playlists that will click with the novel’s storyline. :) I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who do this, since I know a lot of bookworms that are also music junkies.)

Anyhoo…today, let’s take a detour from the usual indie rock (I’ll get back to you, Arctic Monkeys) and climb a few notch to mainstream. Let’s talk about my pop rock picks!

Symphony Soldier

Symphony Soldier (The Cab).  

I first heard of The Cab when I researched about Dayly Entertainment’s SMASH Project that is supposed to be featured in our magazine. An officemate assured me they’re amazing, so I tried listening to them. I liked their first album (Whisper War) all right, what with amazing collab songs like “One of Those Nights” (Patrick Stump, Brendon Urie, its lyrics heavily reminiscent of A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out) and songs that sound pop-punkish like “I’ll Run” and “Take my Hand.” But their sophomore release—Symphony Soldier—has a different kind of charm that tickled my slumbering, inner high schoolgirl awake. Go figure.

First things first—can I just say how I freaking love the album art?! Aside from clicking perfectly with the compilation’s title, its symbolism is simple but impactful—music is a weapon indeed! :p  This is officially my favorite album art this year (but then again, it’s only March, and I haven’t seen a lot of new albums). I think  Symphony Soldier is a mixed bag content-wise, but it’s definitely got more thumb-up’s from me. Catchy, piano-driven, string-laced, head-bopping…you name it, this pop rock package has it. There’s a song about living louder and dreaming longer (so inspiring), about the wonders and joys of being a carefree kid (strangely nostalgic and very relatable), about a liaison (so freaking sexy and desperate and…I don’t know, just a sad-and-angry kind of sexy), about true love (sweet but not really cloying—the usual Bruno Mars stuff), know, more songs about love. Quite understandable. What’s interesting here is that a majority of them are tinged with the themes of war and religion.

Confession time: I don’t shout out to the whole world how I love this band, although I sort of do. They’re like my guilty pleasure band of 2012, haha! There’s just something…boy band-ish about their sounds, I guess. And I never really liked boy bands even when I was in grade school. This is a change. :p


The Singles Club EP (Paramore).

The Singles Club is a foursome I’ve been listening to since last year. Truth be told, this extended play is a mini treasure box, a precious proof that the post-Farro era is not the “dark age” or “collapsing stage” for Paramore. They’re still in the musical warzone, and they’re still ready to fight. Way to go! *flails  pom-poms*

"Hello Cold World" and "Renegade" are reminiscent of their Riot! songs, while their relaxing albeit sad "In The Mourning" sounds as if it came from their album Brand New Eyes. "Monster" became known as a single from the official soundtrack of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and because of the heavy guitars and crunching riffs in it that Paramore don’t usually use,  it easily became my favorite. Change is good. :) Also, I love how some of the lyrics contain slightly veiled references to the departure of the Farro brothers:
I’ll stop the whole world, I’ll stop the whole world / From turning into a monster, eating us alive / Don’t you ever wonder how we survive? / Well now that you’re gone, the world is ours.
Paramore can indeed survive even as a trio! I believe that. I’m eagerly waiting for their next release!

Best Intentions

Best Intentions (We Are the In Crowd).

This is a personal recommendation from PULP Magazine’s publisher, Vernon Go. Well, you know it’s impossible not to talk about music when you’re interviewing a musician/music columnist/major concert-promoter. When he mentioned pop punk and alternative rock, I blurted out Paramore, and he told me to check out the band We Are the In Crowd. “I’m a heavy metal guy, but I grew to be a fan of We Are the In Crowd!” he exclaimed. We cracked up, but he said he’s not kidding.

I haven’t listened to all the tracks yet, but based on the few songs I devoured in my free time, I can totally see why Sir Vernon recommended it to me. If you’ll ask me, I’ll say they’re like Paramore meets Fall Out Boy. They produce good stuff, but I think they need to establish their own identity as a band to escape comparisons. Some fans can be horribly possessive—they’ll always ready to accuse someone or something of being a rip-off.  :)


  1. Because of you, I listened to these bands. THANK YOU! They are all great, especially Paramore's new EP.

    1. Thanks (and welcome!). I'll post more recommendations soon! :)