A River Runs Thru It – Fire & Brimstone
Some people tend to take emo music and the subculture associated with it in jest. However, as John Lydon so eloquently put it “anger is an energy”. And, just like energy, it comes in different forms, all varying in terms of purity and intensity.
The absolute pure anger cannot be manufactured. Yet, for those that can get close, there is certainly room in movies, music, or some other form of entertainment where acting angry is required. This is, perhaps, because we are inherently fascinated by people that are brought to the brink.
A River Runs Thru It, a band named after the book by Norman Maclean, possess that kind of teenage anger. It deserves attention and a bit of study. They might never have it in crystal clear form again. Screamo and Post-hardcore labels aside, Fire & Brimstone is the confession of a man exasperated. It’s the equivalent of sticking your ears into a stadium concert speaker for the benefit of drowning out the inward noise. For those reasons and more, it’s worth a listen.
Nick Testa Jr – Let’s Make a Flag
It’s interesting to note how riled up the 60s generation was about war and big business. It’s also strange to note how used we have become with these things and how tolerant of these we are viewing them as ordinary evils that just happen to pass through once in a while like hurricanes and floods. Not much can be done about them.
Since they have entered the public lexicon, in a certain North American country especially, it seems fitting that they would make their way into the power-pop songs of the day that prize humour, big hooks and the occasional social commentary. People still get pretty excited about flags and, so, it seems only fair some pop songs might get written about them.
A 90s college rock arrangement stands at the heart of the single. The vocals and lyrics meant to share the wisdom that the singer has accumulated over the years would also have made it a prime candidate for success during the same period. A big melodic chorus complete with Freebird-styled guitars is the terrific payoff.