You Should Watch This Video About “Dance Monkey”

We bring you a break from our scheduled programming of absolutely nothing for literally years.

YouTube documentarian SunnyV2 released a fascinating video about Tones & I’s smash hit Dance Monkey and I highly recommend you watch it.

Full disclosure, I hate the song. The vocals are objectively awful, the song is annoyingly repetitive and it was overplayed beyond belief. But SunnyV2’s video made me see the song in a different light.

The song is ironically meta, highlighting how audiences beg for the thing that entertains them over and over again, which is exactly what happened with this song, to the point where it’s attracted a ton of hate due to how it’s been played excessively. It’s almost like a self fulfilling prophesy. I hadn’t paid much attention to the lyrics before, due to how much I dislike it, but seeing it now, the song has quite a poignant meaning.

It also highlights what I hate about pop music (and adjacent genres). Dance Monkey, lyrically, is a dark, insightful song, yet the upbeat and catchy tune completely robs the song of it’s seriousness, and as a result audiences missed the point entirely and acted out the very behaviour this song is criticising. It’s a prevalent problem in pop music as a whole, where the meaning of a song’s lyrics are lost in pursuit of catchiness and virality. That’s not to say that songs with darker meanings should sound like Lorna Shore or Impending Doom, a sound similar to artists like SKYND for example would achieve the same thing without becoming significantly less accessible for mainstream audiences.

I’m glad that SunnyV2’s video has highlighted the true meaning of the song, and while I’ll never like it, I have a lot more respect for both the song and the artist now.

Australian based band “Captives” forces UK band of the same name to change their name

Surprise, surprise, fans weren’t happy.

The UK band Captives has been forced to change their name after an Australian band by the same name registered the trademark in the UK, sending a cease and desist and getting their music removed from online platforms like iTunes and Spotify. The UK band have now rebranded as Caskets, and their music has started to become available again.

While disappointing and annoying, I do support the notion that bands shouldn’t have the same name. Platforms like Last.fm and iTunes can’t really separate them if they have the same name. Obviously it can be difficult to come up with an original band name, and usually of little consequence if a little band no-one has heard of that just plays a few local gigs has the same name as another band. Additionally, the Australian band has clearly been using the name a lot longer, so it’s only fair they get to use the name.

Since then, the Australian band has claimed to have suffered “an absolute barrage of abuse” from fans of the UK band, and give a little insight into how this situation came about. The statement very quickly goes from complaining about unacceptable comments to slandering the UK band, before supporting some very similar comments made by their own fans directed at the UK band. This reeks of hypocrisy, and leads me at least to believe this whole situation is born out of jealousy. The UK band’s least popular song on Spotify has almost as many plays as the Australian bands entire catalogue.

Obviously, it goes without saying that those sorts of comments are disgusting and unacceptable. It’s also obvious, that fans of the Australian band would have reacted the exact same way had the roles been reversed. Thing is, this situation didn’t need to happen. There have been plenty of artists using the same names, and while it can be confusing, both artists could easily have coexisted without changing their names, and could definitely at least have had a resolution that didn’t involve attempting to wipe all trace of one band off the face of the earth. While I wholeheartedly support the Australian band’s right to have priority use of the name, the way they’ve handled this situation says more about them than it does the UK band, and it doesn’t say good things.

My Top 5 Albums of 2018

1. Ice Nine Kills – The Silver Scream

Release date: 5 October

Favourite song: A Grave Mistake

Inspired by horror and thriller movies, The Silver Scream is an absolute masterpiece. Pretty much every song perfectly captures the tone of the movie it’s inspired by, and the ongoing music video narrative is just amazing. The fact that my favourite band also released an amazing album this year only highlights just how good it is.

2. Secrets – Secrets

Release date: 23 February

Favourite song: Lost Cause

An almost perfect post-hardcore album from my favourite band. You could even say that’s it’s incredible. Filled with catchy songs that balance clean and unclean vocals exceptionally well, picking a favourite song is pretty tough.

3. Fit For A King – Dark Skies

Release date: 14 September

Favourite song: Oblivion

Fit For A King get better and better with every release. This album takes their trademark heaviness and refines it beautifully. It probably didn’t live up to the power of the singles, but it’s still a fantastic album. The biggest criticism would be that the album isn’t long enough.

4. blessthefall – Hard Feelings

Release date: 23 March

Favourite song: Welcome Home

While this is more of a rock album that the usual metalcore we’ve come to expect from blessthefall, it gets better an better with every listen. It’s a lot lighter and softer but still harbours a lot of what we’ve come to expect from them. Lots of bands talk about maturing when they change their style dramatically, but this is on album where it actually comes off.

5. Silent Planet – When The End Began

Release date: 2 November

Favourite song: Firstborn (Ya’aburnee)

Silent Planet’s music is so difficult to define and explain. When The End Began explores the cyclical nature of humanity and produces a social exposition, and like their past albums uses Garrett’s dreams and historical events to present their message in their blend of metalcore and spoken word. Lyrical complexity and epic musical ability produces an awe-inspiring album.

What was your favourite album of 2018?

5 Bands That Went Ridiculously Soft

Too many bands dramatically change styles, leaving legions of fans disappointed.

5. Fireflight

Fireflight went from hard rock to poppy EDM and it didn’t work. I actually didn’t mind Resuscitate when I first heard it on RadioU… until the staticy electronic bridge. But aside from that (and Anberlin’s Stephen Christian’s guest vocals on Safety) the rest of the album falls flat. It doesn’t sound like Fireflight, and all the songs kinda sound the same.

For Those Who Wait (2010)

We Are Alive (2015)

4. Nine Lashes

When I first heard Galaxy I was convinced that Spotify had stuck a track from another band with the same name on the wrong profile. I was wrong, and it was then followed by a whole album in the same vein. To be fair, Ascend isn’t that bad, once you come to expect it to sound like Hillsong Young & Free instead of hard rock. The album does get better as it progresses, and Christ In Me is definitely one of their best.

The band has hinted they will make heavier music again, but under a different name. This doesn’t really bode well with me, if you’re going to make your original style of music under a different name and produce a vastly different genre in your original band, it just doesn’t make sense to me. All it does is alienate fans.

Anthem Of The Lonely (2011)

Galaxy (2016)

3. Bring Me The Horizon

Bring Me The Horizon is one of the few bands that the change in style worked for. I believe the reason for this is that they didn’t go too soft. Going from deathcore to effectively mainstream rock is still a big change, but they would still be classified as a “heavy” band. I’m not a fan of their earlier stuff, and their change in style has brought in a whole new demographic of fans, including me (though Sempiternal was my introduction to the band). There’s still hard aggressive songs with unclean vocals such as Throne and Happy Song, and Bring Me The Horizon’s style now more closely resembles early 2000s Linkin Park than it does the mainstream pop/EDM of other bands here.

The Sadness Will Never End feat. Sam Carter from Architects (2008)

Oh No (2015)

2. Asking Alexandria

Fans were pretty happy when Danny Worsnop returned in late 2016 after about 18 months away from the band. Despite The Black being a fantastic album, fans were excited about new music with the vocalist whose voice defined the metalcore band. The comeback album released in December 2017 however was a disappointing radio rock album at best and featured the especially hated rap song “Empire”.

The Final Episode (2009)

Alone In A Room (2017)

1. Linkin Park

I’m a big fan of ballads, so I rank songs such as Castle Of Glass, Powerless and Breaking The Habit alongside the classics like Numb, What I’ve Done and In The End as their best work. When I first heard Heavy, I quite liked it. The song works well and would work well on an album in the way Castle Of Glass does. Unfortunately the rest of the album (aside from the beautiful title track) is poppier, more electronic and frankly boring.

One Step Closer (2000)

Invisible (2017)

RIP Chester Bennington (Linkin Park)

This morning I woke up to the devastating news that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park had sadly committed suicide.

Unsurprisingly, Last.fm were flooded by Linkin Park in the top tracks, top artist and most loved charts (One More Light is probably too old to chart in recent releases now).

Linkin Park dominated the Last.fm charts after the news of Chester’s passing broke.

Some people have blamed Chester’s death on the negative reception to their latest album One More Light. I disagree. A Thousand Suns was also very poorly received, and even Minutes To Midnight was polarising. One More Light was definitely weaker and probably more controversial than either of those, but that’s not why Chester committed suicide. Not on Chris Cornell’s birthday and in the same manner.

To me this is clearly a copycat suicide. Not that I’m judging him for it, I’ve already lost one friend to suicide this year, and came awfully close to losing someone even closer late last year and I don’t know how I would have coped. But we need to remember that our actions have consequences for the people we leave behind.

Musicians die all the time. Hugely influential musicians. But this was different. This wasn’t like Chris Cornell, who I’d honestly never heard of before (I’d heard of his bands but never listened to them). Lemmy was the same, I knew of him and his band but never really listened to them. This wasn’t like Michael Jackson, an artist from another era. I was way too young to know of Michael Hutchence let alone remember his death.

This was different. This was my era. My music. One of my bands.

And it fucking hurts.

Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CgwL14IDDJY

Get my Best Of Linkin Park playlist here.

Stressed Out Music Video Passes 1 BILLION Views

The music video for alt-pop duo Twenty One Pilots‘ hit song Stressed Out has passed 1 billion views on YouTube. The song comes from their 2015 album Blurryface and while they were fairly popular by that stage, this song was their breakout track that introduced them to the mainstream audience. The video is currently ranked 63rd for plays of music videos, with Gangnam Style and See You Again way out in front with nearly 3 billion each.

I loved the whole album but I feel that Stressed Out is overrated. It’s not the best song in their discography or even on the record. Maybe it’s just that I’ve heard this song way too many times now that I’m a little over it. I still enjoy it though. That said, I didn’t like the band when I first heard them on RadioU back when Vessel was first released but now I love them so who knows what my thoughts mean anymore.

I had the privilege of seeing the band perform live in March earlier this year. Congratulations boys, I know I for one am looking forward to a new album in the near future.