Tag Archives: post hardcore

A Night with Night Verses

What does Night Verses lead singer Doug Robinson and Ellie Goulding have in common? They both believe that “anything could happen”. Just as Ellie embodies that the-possibilities-are-endless inspiration, Robinson had a similar glint in his eye when he told me, “Everything happens for a reason.” This was the highlight of my time spent with the singer, who exuded a humbling demeanor and a vibrant love for music during our interview at SOMA San Diego.

I arrived at SOMA to speak with Robinson, and I didn’t know what to expect. His internet presence is whimsical and fun-loving — at least a glance at Tumblr will show that. But in person, a very down-to-earth Robinson walked me to a side hallway so that we could get down to music business. To say that I was nervous (and a bit starstruck — I’m admitting it!), would be an understatement. I was already familiar with Robinson’s previous musical enterprise The Sleeping, and he surprisingly opened up a lot about his former band.

When I was first introduced to the music of The Sleeping, I had barely gotten my feet wet in the world of post-hardcore. But I’ve always been easily attracted to music that not only is relatable but can be felt, from the riffs to the lyrics. Robinson has an uncanny ability to pour his heart out in every word, and the same could be said from talking to him in person.

He spoke like a scholar when it came to the Sleeping, as if he knew their time has passed, but it passed for a reason. A series of events, both personal and business related, would lead him up to his new project, Night Verses.

Much like his earlier musical ventures, Night Verses brings a similar attention to detail with powerful rhythm and riffs you can mosh to, while also seeming to offer a cathartic outlet for Robinson’s thoughtful lyrics. Add in the modern acumen and flair of Nick DePirro on guitar, Reilly Herrera on bass, and drummer Aric Improta, and you have a serious contender in the hardcore game.

Though whether or not Night Verses will play the music “game” remains to be seen. Robinson almost laments when he discusses the music industry’s obsession with “mainstream” fare, as he promises that with him, it’s always been about the art. Where a few bands have created what he describes as a “cash crop” experience with their careers, Robinson tells me that he’s in it for the feels.

His use of the term “cash crop” is so smart (and so intuitive of someone who’s been in the music industry for nearly ten years), that I find myself using the term still to this day. Robinson is spot on with his analysis of the music market, whether he’s offering insight or gushing over his influences. Either way, I quickly find that he has truly learned — a lot.

We even share a moment of scholarly clarity when Robinson mentions that reading a certain novel created a catalyst for change in his life. My eyes light up and I fan-girl when he names that novel, a book that also moved me when I first read it — Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. (And if you haven’t read it, go read it now! It will change your life, much like it did mine, and much like it did Robinson’s.)

Robinson offers a few insights into his personal life, and he dances on the cusp of letting me know exactly what events in his life helped to propel his decisions in his music career. While all the circumstances aren’t clear, it’s almost obvious that Robinson came to a few crossroads in his journey, and he chose the paths that continued to create and spark music worth listening to.

And Night Verses is definitely worth listening to. If there’s anything I have learned about the fans of post-hardcore music, it’s that they can sniff out any artist who isn’t being genuine. They crave sincerity in their music choices and artists, a trait that is pretty noble, if I might add. Night Verses only offers the best, and their debut album  Lift Your Existence will not disappoint any of those detail-oriented fans.

Lift Your Existence, which will be out June 25th via Easy Killer Records, is a hardcore dream, complete with beautifully sculpted melodies and those insightful lyrics that fans have come to love with Robinson’s music. Tracks like “Rage”  paint emotions with finesse instead of bashing them over your head with crude and cliche themes. “Time Erases Time” translates with just the right balance of power and pathos as Robinson screams the word “passionate” over syncopated rhythms. You can hear a bit of The Sleeping as an influence of course, but by the end of the album it’s clear that Night Verses is its own powerful machine with the influences of DePirro, Herrera and Improta keeping that machine very well oiled.

What started as almost a chance meet for Robinson, turned out to be just the right series of events to get him back on track with his creative music outlet. And the product of that encounter, Night Verses, has proved that for some musicians, everything happens for a reason.

Check out this preview for Lift Your Existence below, and let me know your thoughts! Lift Your Existence drops next week on June 25th, but pre-order is available now through the band’s website.

More new music

Sleeping With Sirens’ new album Feel

SWS_LP_FEEL_PRINT_sleeping_with_sirens_the_indie_sdThis coming Tuesday marks the release of Sleeping with Sirens much-anticipated third studio album, Feel. While many bands who don’t frequent popular radio find themselves in some sort of hard-core limbo, either playing local shows for the entirety of their career or traveling the world with the likes of Pierce the Veil or Chiodos, it’s pretty clear you either make it or you don’t. That can usually be determined by the time a band drops their third album, if they ever make one, but something tells me Sleeping with Sirens is here for the long haul.

These Florida boys have made a name for themselves since their beginning in 2009 with their debut album With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear. Their latest release Feel carries the band’s original sound to new levels with such singles as “Alone”, which features rapper Machine Gun Kelly. Feel opens with an upbeat anthem,  detouring a bit from the band’s usual post hardcore sound, and perhaps opening the door to the possibility of reaching new listeners who would have otherwise not given this genre a chance.

SWS has kept up a trend of putting a few slower ballads in the mix, and this trend continues with contemplative songs like “Sorry”. It’s obvious that these guys have grown as a band and this can be heard not only instrumentally, but through their lyrics as well. “Free Now” is such an amazing combination of emotion and strength; lead singer Kellin Quinn opens up about his mother, father and daughter in such a forthright way with the lyrics “I wrote this song for my father/Sometimes I feel he never gave a damn about me”. After listening to these songs just once, I found myself humming the melodies and singing the few lines that really stuck in my head.

Anyone can come up with a gimmick and out music, but it takes something extra to write songs that stick with people, songs that make them want to keep coming back to the album until they’ve memorized it in its entirety, and this is one of those albums. This summer, the band will play the main stage for Vans Warped Tour and they have just finished wrapping up a sold out UK tour.

So perhaps you don’t listen to punk, scream, or post hardcore or anything along those lines, but in any case I would give this album a listen. You might be pleasantly surprised!

New Sleeping With Sirens album Feel will be out June 4th! In the meantime, you can stream the album in its entirety below via the band’s Youtube:

Silver Snakes is getting a little more colorful

Silver Snakes Album CoverIt takes a lot these days to stand out. You get a lot of bands that blend right into one another and it makes listening to new music rather tedious. However, every now and then comes a band that catches your ear for one reason or another, and this band (at least in my opinion) is about to release their debut on vinyl on July 24th.

Los Angeles’ Silver Snakes, who actually dropped this album late last year, is re-releasing “Pictures of a Floating World” in limited quantities in three different colors, all pressings coming with a special code to digitally download two new songs from their digital single “Old Light.”

The real question is this – how does it play?

Well for post-hardcore fans, people who found themselves with bands like Thursday and At the Drive-In will probably find themselves enjoying this band, and the music actually even gave me flashbacks to other things in that vein as well. For those of you into vocalists who aren’t necessarily screaming every lyric, this will do you well. For the rest of you that enjoy a good scream, you’ll probably enjoy this too. There’s definitely elements of Underoath circa They’re Only Chasing Safety-era. These are the kind of things that I enjoy putting in my iPod, and the news over its re-release in a few short days is a great chance for you to experience this band for the first time if you haven’t checked them out.

If you need a pedigree, or even just a small hint that this band has chops, know that Steve Choi (RX Bandits) and Roger Camero (No Motiv) actually helmed the effort, who has been out on tour with Aegis and has a show coming up in Tuscon on August 7th. Who do they happen to be playing with that night? Why, Coheed and Cambria of course.

Animal Style Records is the one responsible for putting out the vinyl, and tracks like “Lungs and Lanterns” and “Rebuild Us” are fairly catchy and could keep you wanting more. If you’re ready to give these throwbacks a chance, you can pre-order the vinyl before its release on the 24th, or head on over to iTunes and pick up the release now.



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