Sometimes a band can become so commercially successful that their artistic merit vanishes underneath the fame. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the punk rock movement was sweeping across the UK and America in reaction to the psychedelic rock of the 1960s and the yacht rock that dominated radio in the early 1970s. Punk was simple and aggressive, and it didn’t care about airplay, or authority or convention.
The Police were a band that brought together several threads and wove them into radio friendly rock that was simply inescapable from their first album in 1977 onward. The Police were sui generis. There was no other band that sounded like them. From the first few notes or moments of a song, you could easily tell that it was a Police song.
I was catching up with LVU Contributor Lisa Robinson last night during a visit to Hardball Cider in Bethlehem. As you might expect from two people so involved in our local music scene, the conversation included the music that is important to us.
With the live scene coming down from its summertime peak, fall seems like a fine time to release some new material.
Artist: The Wildlings
Album: Shed Sounds
Released: March 26, 2017
Genre: Alternative/Surf/Psychedelic Rock
Allentown’s The Wildlings have recently released “Shed Sounds,” a hazy, lo-fi surf rock collection recorded at the compound of frontman Isaac Brieninger’s family.
Hey, in case you haven’t heard, the year changed over to a new one on Sunday.
In our pledge to reach more of our scene than ever in 2017, we’re making a point to reach out more to you, People of the Underground, to see what you have going on. Obviously, that includes anything released by those of you who are musicians.
Artist: The Gone
Album: Self-titled (LISTEN)
Released: Jan. 2016
Lancaster’s The Gone pay homage to so many of rock’s titans, past and present. Whether coming in with a hook that is reminiscent of Stone Temple Pilots, or playing a melody that recalls the Foo Fighters, their influences have a clear and defined presence in the band’s sound.
That’s what makes the band’s self-titled album so exciting.
Right away, a listener will notice the band’s influences shining through a thin, but ever-present layer of punk sensibility. They play loud and with purpose, offering ten energetic pieces of music. A track like “Scapegoat,” a true headbanger, can set the tone for an entire live set, while “So” is punk with a dash of grunge that would light up CBGB in its heyday.
The album’s closing track, “Worlds End,” is perhaps the album’s highlight. The track features blistering guitar work and gunshot sound effects that make its texture as chaotic as its title suggests. For sure, The Gone should employ “Worlds End” at the conclusion of each of its sets. I can’t imagine a better way to leave each night with a bang.
Down in the Garden
Hit the Wall
Always the Same
Change Your Mind
Middle of Life
The Road to Hate