A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: Digital Summer – Cause And Effect

Sometimes a band comes across your ears that you just like.

Digital Summer is one such band. They fuse a combination of other styles, but it’s delivered in a way, which is easily assessable and executed with a high degree of technicality.

It was the “Counting The Hours” release in 2010 that got me interested. And I was on board for the fan funding campaign on the “Breaking Point” album and the reason why I got their CDs and other gear all signed.

They are from Phoenix, Arizona, formed in 2006. Up until this day, they have remained independent and unsigned, while still getting radio airplay and building a fan base. They are a great story to read about.

“Cause And Effect” came out in 2007 and the band for the album is Kyle Winterstein on vocals, Ian Winterstein and Johnmark Cenfield on Guitar, Anthony Hernandez on Bass and Chris Carlson on Drums.

I’ve seen em labeled as Post Grunge, Hard Rock, Alternative Metal, Post Rock, Nu-Metal, Modern Rock and Alternative Rock.

To me it’s all Rock And Metal.

Disconnect

A Nu Metal like intro (think Godsmack) gives way to a heavy and melodic verse (think Staind) and an AOR Chorus (think Fuel). And I love it.

There must be a way to cut the cord.

So much harder to do these days as we live in a society which thrives on connection.

I reject this reality

Social media is a one size fits all approach. You either comply with the regulations the providers have or you get booted from the service or your smart enough to have never joined in the first place.

Crash

This one reminds me so much of Staind and I like it.

Press play on this for the Chorus.

When life crashes down around you

What do we do next?

Pick ourselves up and start again or find someone to blame and go one like nothing happened.

Suffocate

Press play for the mood and feeling in the verse.

The Chorus feels like a Seether Chorus with Fuel added in for spice.

What would you do with the whole world / Rolled in your hands? / I’d like to watch it burn

The best way to sum up the darkness when your feeling down and depressed.

Now Or Never

If you like Three Days Grace and Seether, then you’ll like this.

Vocally in the verses, Kyle Winterstein comes across like Aaron Lewis.

Lyrically it’s got that 80s attitude of don’t look back to the past because if you want to change your life, the door is open but you’ll need to act fast as opportunities don’t last forever.

So don’t hesitate because it’s now or never.

Broken

Arpeggios start the song and then distorted guitars kick in.

Its aggressive and Three Days Grace/Fuel definitely cones to mind.

So break my wings and watch me fall / Cause I’m broken

A true way to describe a feeling post relationship break up.

One More Day

A clean tone strummed riff that reminds me of Incubus starts everything off.

But press play for the Chorus and allow the emotion and the mood take you away.

Just tryin to make it one more day

You can tattoo this as a slogan.

Like how Art Of Dying had the Chorus hook of “if I can get through this, I can get through anything”.

That’s life in a nutshell. Trying to make it one more day.

Chasing Tomorrow

Press play for the Chorus which brings memories of Hoobastank’s debut album which I’m a big fan of.

I cut myself / Made a brand new scar today

The scar is a reminder of a time and a place so you don’t make the same mistakes again.

Sick Inside

It feels like a Heavy Rock cut with a bit of Tool like grooves in the Intro.

And check out the super melodic Chorus which Staind would be proud off.

YOU! / Everything you do / MAKES ME SO SICK INSIDE

A lot of rage as the writer wishes they never met their partner.

This Time

A piano melody plays briefly before the guitars crash in. This song is a favorite as well as it reminds me of Breaking Benjamin.

I don’t care what it takes this time / I’ll do anything to make things right / The hardest day of my whole damn life / Was the day that I said goodbye

From the rage in the previous song to the emotion of loss in this one.

Whatever It Takes

It sounds like a Bush cut and I like it.

And this one is back to theme of doing whatever it takes to get someone out of their life.

Love And Tragedy

The song begins with a feed backing guitar with the use of an eBow to keep the notes sustaining.

Then a digital delay The Edge like progression kicks in and I’m all in.

Press play on this especially for the Chorus.

Violent cries of love and tragedy

There is a target to Kyle’s anger and you hear it.

Sxxxoxxxe

The album closer is like a soundtrack song, with a haunting piano, sampled voices and drums and a vocal line processed through a tremolo effect.

Throughout it, you hear guitars feed backing.

And then a vocal melody kicks in without any effects, repeating “just to suffocate with me”.

If you haven’t heard em, get cranking.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 3.4: Saliva – Every Six Seconds

“Back Into Your System” released in 2002 was the album that got me into the band. I purchased it because it had ONE song on it, written by Nikki Sixx and James Michael called “Rest In Pieces”. That’s right folks, I purchased an album that I’ve never heard from a band that I’d never heard off, based on ONE song written by an artist I was familiar with.

And man, that album blew me away, so I went back and listened to the first one “Every Six Seconds”.

Released in 2001, it’s listed as their second album on their Wikipedia discography, however on Spotify it is their first. Their independently released debut from 1997 doesn’t rate a mention on Spotify.

In July 2008, “Every Six Seconds” was certified platinum by the RIAA.

Saliva for this album are Josey Scott on vocals, Wayne Swinny on lead guitar, Chris D’Abaldo on rhythm guitar, Dave Novotny on bass and Paul Crosby on drums.

The cover is like a Glam Rock disco album but the influences are Sabbath, Crue, Steve Earle, Metallica, Sevendust and Skynard.

“Superstar”

Sitting at 18.1 million streams on Spotify.

Written by vocalist Josey Scott.

I think it appeared in a “Fast and Furious” movie as well.

It’s like a Guns’N’Roses cut on some sections, and even the vocal melody of the “all that I” section sounds like an Axl vocal melody.

“Musta Been Wrong”

It’s got a metal groove which sounds like Bush or the groove which is known as the “post grunge” or “Nu-Metal” riff, but vocally it’s an amalgamation of what Oasis created in the mid 90’s and hard rock from the 80’s.

“Click Click Boom”

Sitting at 146.799 million streams on Spotify. Written by Scott, D’Abaldo, Swinny and producer Bob Marlette. I was listening to P.O.D at the time and this song could be interchanged with a track from their “Satellite” album or anything from Kid Rock’s “Devil Without A Cause”.

The riff is sleazy and as good as any hard rock riff that I grew up with. Production wise, it’s got all those Korn sound effects with arpeggios and downtuned industrial sounding guitars

Vocally, the word rapping is different, but it works.

Check out the section from 3.16 to 3.30 when Josey Scott is singing, “it’s all inside of me”.

“Your Disease”

Its a heavy Dropped D bluesy in the riff department.

“After Me”

The vocal melodies get me interested in this song.

There is also a brief guitar melodic lead which enhances the interlude.

“Greater Than/Less Than”

It feels like an Alice Cooper cut, from his “Brutal Planet” and “Dragontown” era’s.

Six songs in, I wasn’t bored at all.

“Lackluster”

Sevendust comes to mind listening to this.

“Faultline”

A tremolo effect shimmering chord progression starts the song. Under it, is a heavy palm muted groove. The shimmering guitar part changes to a shimmering arpeggio riff.

“Beg”

Another heavy riff to start it off, with a loudspeaker vocal melody in the verses. The octave melodic idea reminds of Tool and the song “Sober”.

“Hollywood”

Another cut written by Josey Scott as the strummed acoustic guitar riff starts it all off. “Take A Picture” from Filter comes to mind. Also “Life Is A Highway”. And for some reason “New Tattoo” from Motley Crue also comes to mind.

“Doperide”

It’s been a skip since day one and still is.

“My Goodbyes”

An ominous tritone arpeggio riff starts it all off. The longest song on the album and a perfect closer.

Overall, Saliva’s has a dropped D rock/metal “Soundgarden” meets “Bush” meets “Tool” meets “Alice In Chains” sound with bluesy Southern/Country Rock influences.

Bob Marlette as the producer got those Mesa Boogie Rectifiers sounding big, loud and messy (but tight as a G-string tuned to A).

Check it out.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories

1996 – Part 2.5: Matchbox 20 – Yourself Or Someone Like You

It’s all rock to me.

Writers of the music mags back in the day did their best to give Matchbox 20 a more “current” or “hip” genre.

Modern Rock, Alternative Rock, Traditional Rock, Post Grunge and Grunge Rock are a few that come to mind today. I would even say hard rock as well, as structurally some of the songs have Cinderella and Tesla vibes. These two bands got lumped into glam rock and glam metal, but goddamn they had so much variation on their albums with each subsequent release.

Everyone knows Rob Thomas.

But the rest of the band, while they didn’t write any of the songs, performed and added their own uniqueness to the songs. That is Kyle Cook on lead guitar, Adam Gaynor on rhythm guitar, Brian Yale on bass and Paul Doucette on drums.

And man, didn’t people get behind em on this one. In Australia, it went 10x Platinum. In New Zealand, it went 5x Platinum. In Canada it’s 8x Platinum. In the U.S, its certified Diamond for 10 million in sales and at the moment its sitting at 12 million.

Production is done by Matt Serletic.

“Real World”

A John Cougar Mellencamp/Bryan Adams chord progression and guitar lead starts the song off.

I wish the real world would just stop hassling me

Sometimes I just need to get away and block the noise. It’s my own fault as I used to have a problem saying “no” to people. I’m a lot better at saying no these days, but sometimes it’s back to the old ways.

“Long Day”

What an intro?

The voice, an infectious vocal melody and an acoustic guitar. Then the rest of the band crashes in, as the melody continues.

And the Chorus.

Reach down your hand in your pocket
Pull out some hope for me
It’s been a long day, always ain’t that right

The guitar solos are little melodic interludes instead of the usual (towards the late 80’s/early 90’s) “play a million notes per second”.

“3AM”

We used to cover this song when we played 3 sets.

The first set was all originals, then the second set was 60’s/70’s and 80’s and the last set covered the 90’s, along with tracks like “If You Could Only See” from Tonic.

She’s got a little bit of something,
God, it’s better than nothing

Sometimes nothing is better than something because when you have something to lose, you are not free.

“Push”

It was a hit but it never resonated with me.

“Girl Like That”

If AC/DC used acoustic guitars, it would sound like this. If you don’t believe me, listen to the rhythm guitars.

But I roll with the changes is all
I’m same old trailer trash in new shoes

I rolled with the changes in the musical landscape that the labels wanted us to go with, back when they had control of the distribution. But I was always the hard rocker that grew up in the 80s.

“Back 2 Good”

The Chorus is excellent.

And I would like to know, how do we get things back to good?

Relationships are hard and when words are said in a breakup, the disconnect gets wider and resentment seeps in.

Then it’s done.

And the second half of the album is okay.

I remember “Kody”, about a person using alcohol to numb themselves. But the album was sold because of the tracks mentioned.

Standard