• Alex Kilgore

With nearly constant buzz surrounding the release of A Reason to Get Home EP, Chicago-based rock band Bonfires was sure to have a hit on their hands.

Tracks: 1. Untitled 2. Walls 3. Sympathy 4. Never Meant 5. Colorblind

Brad Harvey (Guitar/Vocals), Kyle Grzejka (Bass), Nathan Thompson (Guitar) and Kevin Provencher (Drums) work so well together that this EP has left people in utter disbelief at how good it is – seriously, it’s all we can talk about. The most prominent attributes of Bonfires and this EP are the way they create high levels of emotional diversity and it’s full of angst, despair, feeling dispirited and it certainly doesn’t shy away from those rocky moments in life. A running theme throughout the EP seems to be rumination and being left in a shattered state. A Reason to Get Home is one of those albums that just gets it.

‘Untitled’ is a short, ambient and instrumental track. Not many bands decide to (or maybe aren’t brave enough to) put a song like this on their albums; but it serves as a sort of introduction into the EP (the first with vocalist Brad Harvey) and it is exactly what new and old Bonfires fans needed. There’s something peaceful yet understanding about ‘Untitled’. Upon first reaction, it felt like a fresh start that doesn’t seem too abrupt or strange. It’s fascinating that this track said so much without having any words at all, and it could easily be listened to on repeat. I guess you could say it’s a nearly minute and a half reflection. Just from ‘Untitled’, I knew this was going to be an EP that will continue to be celebrated.

Bonfires takes no time at all after ‘Untitled’ to go right back to that rock sound we all love. ‘Walls’ is my favorite off of the EP (okay, maybe a tie with ‘Colorblind’…and the others) and is frequently stuck in my head. One of the most profound and striking lines for me was, “so tell me what’s it like, tell me what’s it like to set yourself free?” This track is essentially about the demons someone has left you with, while they aren’t dealing with any of the torment and battles you now face. It’s tough when someone is clearly feeling free and seem better off without you, while you’re a mess and can’t shake it – it’s definitely not fair. ‘Walls’ is in a great position following what ‘Untitled’ provided.

‘Sympathy’ seems to be a fan favorite, and I have to say I completely understand the appeal. While it’s slower than ‘Walls’, it picks up the perfect amount and becomes this movingly relatable song with fantastic instrumentals. This could possibly be popular among Bonfires fans because almost every line can be easily quoted to accurately depict what you’re going through. Lines such as: “what a shame that this all went to waste; I’d never ask you to stay” and “change came at a time when I needed it most”. The chorus is immensely powerful and simply stunning but complex– it will leave you speechless and with chills.

What I like most about ‘Never Meant’ is that it doesn’t sugarcoat pain. Too often in society we are told to suppress the sadness, the uselessness, unworthiness, etc. that is attributed to real-life moments of failure. Because I’m a person who always tries to see the positive buried in the negative, I assumed that by the end of ‘Never Meant’, it would turn into a story of hope and coming out of that dark place after the notion of “everything I built came crumbling down”, but it didn’t, and I’m surprisingly glad. This is reality, and people will feel like this at some point in their lives. ‘Never Meant’ fits well into Bonfires newish sound, and it’ll be interesting to see what direction they’ll take next.

‘Colorblind’ is the first single from the EP. Again, starts with an almost ambient sound, similar to ‘Untitled’, but quickly becomes filled with strong vibes. I mentioned above that A Reason to Get Home just somehow effortlessly knows what I’m going through, and ‘Colorblind’ is the best example of why that’s true. No matter what your specific situation might be, ‘Colorblind’ will be able to hit that part of you just the right way to where you’ll be stunned at how much it makes sense and how it’s that song you didn’t know you needed.  ‘Colorblind’ is one of the most dynamic tracks on A Reason to Get Home. Check out the music video below:

Bonfires has blown everyone away with their phenomenal new EP A Reason to Get Home. The outpouring of support and amazement towards the release has been brimming with praises and bona fide hype. If you like what you hear, Bonfires is going on tour with Fossil Youth, The Weekend Classic, and Living Means throughout August. Take a look at the dates HERE, and hopefully you’re lucky enough to listen to the songs from A Reason to Get Home live (I’m not jealous or upset that they aren’t playing a show near me. Nope. Not at all…) Make sure you also follow Bonfires at the places listed below so you can stay current on what I’m sure will be a wild ride for this extraordinary band.

Twitter Facebook iTunes Spotify YouTube Instagram

Alex Kilgore, Untold Music Promotion

  • Alex Kilgore

Melbourne, Australia based pop-punk trio Snark released their debut EP Juggernauts in April. 

Tracks: 1. City Lights 2. Reap 3. Beaches & Shores 4. Awkward

Stefan Sepulveda (Guitar/Vocals), Matias Cantavenera (Drums), and Pat Lester (Bass/Vocals) say, “we feel our music shows a bit [of a] different side to pop-punk and captures some of the rawness that epitomized the genre back in its heyday, while having a distinctly modern sound to it”. I agree that Snark has contributed something great to the pop-punk “genre” with the release of JuggernautsMany of us have noticed the devastating lack of stand-out bands within the pop-punk community. Thankfully there has been a recent increase, and Snark is one of those bands that brought back music that embodies everything we all know and love about the best years of pop-punk; but they made sure to put their own spin on it. Juggernauts is definitely a game changer.

‘City Lights’ has an intro that immediately sparked curiosity. It’s about breaking free from routine and a job you hate. There’s something nice about the way it starts more melancholy, then picks up… like a symbol of the slow, same day by day, and then deciding you don’t want that anymore and life has a chance of getting exciting again. A lot of people will be able to understand the intention behind ‘City Lights’. This track is actually quite long, and there are frequent moments where the focus is on the instrumentals, and I really like that. Even in those instances where the vocals/lyrics end, the message is still present and continues to be gripping. If you’ve ever experienced the struggle of wanting to pursue your dreams, or just do something with your life, but there’s always a pull that’s holding you back into a standard, unfulfilling life, ‘City Lights’ is for you.

‘Reap’ is possibly my favorite sound-wise on Juggernauts. It’s reminiscent of a failing/failed relationship and delaying the inevitable. When someone is used to you coming back but you’re not going to this time; you’re moving on. The vocal delivery on this track is striking and engaging. One way that Snark describes their music is, “music to bitch about your ex to”. ‘Reap’ completely fits into that category. If you’re thinking about someone or dwelling on a breakup, listening to this song is persuasive in that it creates this mindset where you honestly just don’t care about it anymore. I needed a song like this in my life. ‘Reap’ has familiarity but it’s not comparative to anything, and it’s effectively different.

‘Beaches & Shores’ made me instantly energized. I would say that this track sounds the most like classic pop-punk. The chorus says, “you took everything and now I’m starting over” and that fully exemplifies what ‘Beaches & Shores’ is portraying. One of the easiest songs on the EP to learn all the words to, and it’s also the song that is most likely to get stuck in your head. Due to the lyrics repeating quite a lot throughout ‘Beaches & Shores’, this track’s instrumentals are what really grasped my attention. The drums especially stood out to me and this song shows what talented musicians the guys in Snark are.

‘Awkward’ is a fun and interesting cover of a FIDLAR song. A compellingly good cover song choice, which is fitting for Snark and blends well with the rest of Juggernauts. It’s similar to the original, but Snark put enough of their own twist and sound on it; their version is clear and refreshing. There’s about a 3-year gap between the release of FIDLAR’s ‘Awkward’ and Snark’s cover of it. Regardless of any differences or similarities between the two, they captured the essence of the song brilliantly and it’s nice when a cover song does the original justice. 

Snark and their Juggernauts EP had me intrigued from the beginning, and I’m already stoked to see what they do next. They are currently in the final stages of planning an East Coast tour which you can look forward to in late August/early September 2016. Make sure you check out the links below so you don’t miss out on any of the fun times ahead for Snark.  

Website iTunes Bandcamp Spotify YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter

Alex Kilgore, Untold Music Promotion 

After lots of anticipation and eagerly awaiting its release, I couldn’t be more excited to talk about Oh, Weatherly’s brand new EP Long Nights and Heavy Hearts!

Tracks: 1. One for the Rose 2. Get It Right 3. Lost and Found 4. Long Nights 5. A Story to Tell

The incredibly talented Dallas, Texas based Alternative/Rock band, which consists of Blake Roses (Vocals), Dallas Martinez (Lead Guitar), Angel Bedoy (Rhythm Guitar), Jackson Bailey (Drums) and Beau Harris (Bass), has completely blown me away by what they have accomplished with Long Nights and Heavy Hearts. The EP is written radiantly, and there is a relatively seamless correspondence between lyrics, the ardent emotions expressed and felt through the vocals, and the wordless storytelling provided by the music of each track. There is so much to explore within Oh, Weatherly’s songs on this EP, and it’s one of those albums where you’ll learn and feel more with each listen.

In the first track, ‘One for the Rose’, there is an instantly recognizable beginning where, if the EP was put on shuffle, you’d immediately know which track it was. It’s the sounds of tuning through a radio and hearing all of the different stations that come up. Of course, it finally settles on Oh, Weatherly’s ‘One for the Rose’. This technique for an intro isn’t necessarily a new one; and in some cases it doesn’t seem to make sense in correlation with the message of the song, which ultimately causes it to not work too well. However, with ‘One for the Rose’, it set the stage and created an attention-grabbing intro that really accompanied the essence of the song. It is well written and I’ve been having fun trying to learn every word and sing along. The song is enticing and almost suspenseful – like watching a captivating movie. Maybe a little bit of a game of cat and mouse? Great opening track to Long Nights and Heavy Hearts. The music and the lyrics were perfectly in sync and worked hand-in-hand to ignite the intensity in ‘One for the Rose’.

‘Get It Right’ is definitely not as fast-paced and energetic as ‘One for the Rose’. What I found to be really impressive is how vibrantly you could feel elements of pain and disappointment in Blake Roses’ voice. Two of my favorite lines are “I hope you feel the weight of this song while you’re singing along” and “I’m a mess you created”. It is immensely relatable and if it’s something that you’ve gone through recently, it has potential to be a quite emotional listening experience. But it’s also highly reflective, which I think is crucial to surviving anything in life. I’m a fan of albums like this one where a little bit of everything is touched upon. Oh, Weatherly fulfilled that and then some.

‘Lost and Found’ is the first single off of Long Nights and Heavy Hearts. I recommend listening before watching the music video below. It’s important to create your own visuals and find your own meaning of the song before the concepts featured in the video influence your thoughts towards it. It’s essentially about losing someone and finding a way to cope with that. Even without listening to the message in the lyrics, you can understand what this song is saying. It’s like this plea for some kind of answer that you know you can’t and won’t get.  Lyrics such as in the chorus:

Do I have to let you go, Do I have to scream out loud, Until you hear the sound, Echo through your heartbeat

showcase how meaningful this song is. It also might be quite surprising that it doesn’t possess slower instrumentals as you’d assume would be the case for a song with a message like this. But, it’s perfect and exactly what was needed. ‘Lost and Found’ embodies an unspoken “I miss you” and going through that process until you’re finally able to move forward. One of the most impactful songs on the EP.

While listening to ‘Long Nights’, you’ll notice that there is this almost romantically haunting sound. It’s about getting closure; and a lot of people can attest to the reality of how much worse something like a breakup can be when you aren’t able to get that. A noteworthy line from the song for me was, “Hope has been keeping me company”. I feel a strong connection and relatability with ‘Long Nights’, making it potentially my favorite track on the EP. I might have cried, just saying. Long Nights and Heavy Hearts is brimming with lots of  passion and is very profound – not only through the vocals, but the music speaks to you as well.

‘A Story to Tell’ has a nice tempo, and features great guitar moments throughout. The title makes you assume it’ll be the cliché “everyone ends up happy” story… but it’s not. It’s a bit of expectations vs. reality. This song is an intriguing finish to the EP, and I found this subtle progression and personal journey as you listen to each track (especially in order). A lot of the songs are very prominent in the emotions of not being able to let go. Ending with ‘A Story to Tell’ is as if finally accepting and coming to the realization that it’s better to find a way to move on than to dwell on the heartache.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this review, I was stoked about this EP for quite some time prior to its release. I’m ecstatic that it is everything I hoped for and more. Oh, Weatherly has truly given us something special with Long Nights and Heavy Hearts. I know that, even though I’ve had it on repeat for over a week straight, it will continue to be an EP that completely impresses me.

Oh, Weatherly is currently booking tours starting this Fall going through 2017 (check out the MERCH link so you can rock an awesome Oh, Weatherly shirt at a show near you).  If you like what you hear on Long Nights and Heavy Hearts, you can stay updated on news from the band at the places below!

Twitter Instagram Website YouTube iTunes Spotify

Alex Kilgore, Untold Music Promotion

Untold Music Promotion Music Blog

  • Twitter
  • Instagram