Twilight Creeps – Kick
Genre: Punk, Pop Punk, Commercial
How many albums by a band are really required to kick start a scene? Usually, only one delivered at just the right time. After all, scenes have a tendency to stop and start spontaneously. And, the bands that start them have a tendency to move on with their sound, in a bid to update and improve.
AFI means a lot of things to a lot of people. Their one discographic material that has no precedent yet maybe their shining moment in their notable career, is their horor-theme inspired All Hallows Eve EP. Full of gang background vocals, big hooks and a love for the macabre, the rushed EP has proven immensely influential.
Out of the groups that have taken on the task of continuing down this path, few do it better than Twilight Creeps on their excellent Kick. Their melodic brand of punk is punctuated by excellent singing, and shameless, and tasty pop hooks. Frankly, as a long-time fan of the All Hallows Eve EP, I couldn’t be happier that this exists, and that the level of quality of the original is maintained here.
Red Zero – Sirens (Radio Edit)
Genre: Rap Metal, Alternative Rock
I have a theory about good vs. not so good protest music. I think that the difference between the two is made by the power of the sound to immediate, and by its vitality. The greatest rock protest songs sound inevitable, like a broadcast from an underground movement set to take over the nation.
They are the ones that, if the authors maintain their good intentions, can genuinely make a change in the world. On the other hand, if the writer gets corrupted by power that comes along with the attention they’ve been given, the music will be co-opted for the purpose of selling product. This is, largely, what is happening currently with 60s-era counterculture music.
Public Enemy sounded like an inevitability. They sounded like music being recorded as the palace fell in a people’s revolution. However, Chuck D’s group was not a one trick pony either. The clever rhymes, the machine gun rhythms of the vocal delivery, and the funk-derived rhythms still stand up today.
We always need new heroes when it comes to protest music. These are endeavors that require ambition and strength. Red Zero is a band that possesses these qualities, as well as a respectful hero-worship of Chuck D, as exemplified by the single Sirens. The song’s ageless message and modern production help keep the protest alive.