Non-mainstream essentials: May 2010

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By: Nicholas DiNatale

Staff writer

Last month’s largest success: Circa Survive’s Blue Sky Noise

Without a doubt, Blue Sky Noise deserves the most attention amongst April’s releases. The long awaited follow up to 2007’s On Letting Go was finally released on April 20th. It can easily be said that the wait was well justified by the product. The twelve track album possesses the ability to impress virtually anyone, from an avid follower of the band, to one who was previously unaware of their existence. (Although, if you’re familiar with similar bands, this would prove to be fairly difficult). The true beauty of Blue Sky Noise simply cannot be described in a brief article. For that matter, it couldn’t be described substantially in a full length article either. With tracks ranging from the catchy introduction track, “Strange Terrain” to the heartfelt track, “Spirit of the Stairwell”, the album is very dynamic. Once you’re drawn into the album, it proves to be a difficult task to stop it. With outstanding musicianship displayed by Anthony Green and company, the album is a huge success and shows that Circa Survive truly deserves the publicity that they are receiving due to the album’s release.

Looking forward to June:

1. Attack Attack’s self-titled album (6/8):

Attack Attack!’s sophomore album will be a vital test for the band. With the departure of screaming vocalist Nick Barham, (who screamed on their debut record, Someday Came Suddenly) keyboardist Caleb Shomo took over the position last October. With the new vocalist, the band has naturally acquired a slightly altered sound which they will have to prove as worthy to their fans. Expect the album on June 8th.

2. Pierce The Veil’s Selfish Machines (6/22):

With almost a three year waiting period between their last album, A Flair For The Dramatic and the new release, Pierce The Veil will need to show that the three year gap was worth the wait. With more of a thrashy, less melodic style than others of their genre, the past three years have hopefully matured the band and will make for a successful release. The record is set to drop on June 22nd.

3. Hawthorne Heights’ Skeletons (6/1):

Skeletons will be the second album that Hawthorne Heights has released since the tragic death of guitarist and vocalist Casey Calvert, which left them as a four piece band. With no intentions of replacing Casey, their last album, Fragile Future was somewhat of a disappointment after two very strong albums which featured Casey’s guitar and screams. Fragile Future came off as a very pop-like effort, which the band previously had a limited amount of experience with. If all goes well, Skeletons will be a better concocted effort at a pop/alternative rock album, and will even feature some minimal use of screaming vocals. The album will be available on June 1st. As always, rest in peace, Casey.

4. Hey Monday’s Beneath It All (Mid-June):

Hey Monday will be releasing their sophomore album, Beneath It All at some point during mid-June. The power-pop band’s newest creation will only contain eight songs, forcing them to put a lot into such a short record in order to set themselves apart from other similar power-pop and pop-punk bands. Cassadee Pope’s vocals do a lot to accomplish this, but another hill that the band will need to conquer with the new record is to not sound exactly like they did on their debut album, Hold On Tight. Look for a release date soon.

EDIT: Beneath It All‘s release date was pushed to 8/17

5. In Fear and Faith’s Imperial (6/15):

A year and a half after their debut album with Rise Records, In Fear and Faith is gearing for their second album release. The six-piece post-hardcore band has spent the intermittent time constantly touring and writing new material. They have released two tracks from the new album on their MySpace page. Both replicate their original sound from Your World On Fire pretty closely. Therefore, the band will need to show some progression with their sound for the album to be successful and not redundant. Either way, the band is a great up and coming force among their genre and should be recognized more than they are. Imperial will be available on June 15th.