Tag Archives: Debut Album

REVIEW: The Messenger Birds Doom-pocalypse Debut — Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually

Album To Be Played In Its Entirety Live From Rustbelt Studios at 8pm EST This Friday, October 9 on Band’s Youtube Channel

When approaching any new band, it’s best to avoid assumptions to keep from pigeonholing them as this or that instead of just themselves, Still though, it would be understandable that The Messenger Birds, a Detroit two-piece rock band made up of members Parker Bengry and Chris Williams, whose debut album is being pressed at Jack White’s Third Man Press, might cause people to assume they are a band in the same vein as another great Detroit band: The White Stripes. If that was anyone’s assumption going in, Bengry and Williams quickly dispel it with extreme prejudice just moments into their debut full-length Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually

What’s instantly shocking about the album is that it was, according to the band, written in 2018 and recorded mostly in 2019, because the music feels immediate, like the band is bunkered down somewhere, inundated by the relentlessly bleak news of the day, and cranking out these songs to express their frustration and rage. Make no mistake: Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually is not just a great rock record – it’s an emotional journey. 

The Messenger Birds | Photography: Koda Hult

The opening track, “Play Dead (Just For Tonight)” opens with a somberness of a funeral dirge, with a slow-building guitar, picking up more and more momentum with each note. Lyrically, some connections are made because of what we, the listener, are feeling inside at the moment. But one can’t help but feel the line “Keep your mask up on the nearest shelf,” even if its meaning is about the need to escape into another persona to get away from everything that feels horrible. The further references to “another day for the Holocaust” – a shooting at a synagogue, pipe bombs, and false-flag conspiracies – lay open the song’s ominous tone of fear and paranoia, like it’s anticipating an oncoming apocalypse, complimented by the creeping feeling of dread of the music that eventually explodes into chaos of drums and guitar with the song title repeated as a refrain “Just play dead for tonight,” like needed advice to survive these times. 

“Play Dead (For Tonight)” is just an opening salvo. “The Phantom Limb,” which has hit 5 million plays since it debuted on Spotify in 2018, is where the record really kicks into high gear. It’s the kind of fist-pumping, all-out rocker that’s been missing from our recent music landscape. It’s a song that forces you to remind yourself that it’s being played by two guys on two instruments, and is the best that dynamic has produced since The White Stripes. One of the many things that stand out about Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually is how much Bengry and Williams are able to pull off with each song, reaching sonic landscapes that seem impossible for a two-piece band. 

If the release’s ominous, paranoid tone is merely hinted at in the first two tracks, the one-two punch of “What You Want to Hear” and “Self Destruct” releases it like a primal scream. The Messenger Birds clearly didn’t set out to write songs about how we are inundated every day with bleak news brought to us by society’s most heinous monsters – these songs are merely a byproduct of what it’s like living in these times. 

Even a cursory glance of a news feed or comment thread sees people desperately clinging to a vision of our society that is far from reality, and “What You Want to Hear” is the ballad of confirmation bias: a song directed at everyone who wants to live in an insular bubble and shut out any challenges to their flawed beliefs. “Self Destruct” is where we’re headed as our country seems to be handed off more and more to hate groups that have been emboldened in the past few years. “My tv’s like a time machine/Takes me back… 1943/Tiki torch, marching up the street/Flying flags of a dead dream” is a lyric that is clearly inspired by the events in Charlottesville just three years ago, but sadly are still too relevant in light of The Proud Boys and other supremacist groups trying to bully and intimidate those who push back against their messages of hate.  

The first single and true emotional centerpiece is the title track “Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually.” As hopelessness seems pervasive and the walls start closing in, we’re too often left with our own thoughts screaming inside our heads. While we all hope for the best, we fear the worst, and the narrator of the song knows this better than anyone. It’s the anthem for fighting back when fighting back feels pointless, and for when loss and tragedy feel too inevitable to resist anymore. As the song closes with the repeated “Hope we make it through,” we can all close our eyes, nod for a moment, and mouth “I hope so, too.” 

If the title track is the emotional apex, then the acoustic “When You’ve Had Enough,” gives us a moment to scale it all back for a breather and some introspection before gearing up again. It’s a song that seems perfectly placed at the end of the record that has been an intense rollercoaster of emotion, like the moment when the ride hits a long stretch of gentle hills and you feel for a moment a cool breeze on your face and gain a sense of peace. It’s providing comfort through the reminder that we are not alone in this, even if, like the song intones, “Most days I’m only getting by,” which we all have felt in these past 10 months. 

The world we are living in is a constant rollercoaster that never seems to end, and the album closes with “Start Again” to remind us of that. The lyrics reference the Greek myth of Sisyphus (“I feel like Sisyphus just got it started again…”) who angered the gods by putting Death in chains so no one else had to die. As punishment, he is forced to push a heavy boulder up a hill only for it to roll back to the bottom again, forcing him to start again. I’ve always loved the myth of Sisyphus because it is a tale that defines determination, even in the face of that which is unavoidable. French philosopher Albert Camus wrote an essay about Sisyphus’s pursuit of getting the boulder to the top without rolling back down again, even though he knew it would. Camus tells the reader that it is important to picture Sisyphus as happy. If we can picture Sisyphus as happy, then we too can be happy and believe in our collective potential to survive all of this horribleness. Even as the song descends once more into a chaos of screeching guitars and drums, The Messenger Birds seem to want us to do the same. 

Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually is one of the most self-assured debut records I’ve heard in recent memory and one that feels the rafters begin to shake as the foundation of our reality cracks underneath and knows it’s all caving in on us. Even if the lyrics warn us that we are at the forefront of an apocalypse, it implores us to stand together against every wretched monster carrying tiki torches and trying to shout us down with hate. We will fight back and reclaim our world and our sanity and do it together, pushing back those who are only concerned with power. 

Let’s hope for that return soon, because with our world being on pause for the moment, live shows won’t be happening for a while. This is a shame because this album is an album that demands – cries out – to be heard live. In the meantime, blast it from your speakers and let it pulsate through your body and reverberate through your soul. The Messenger Birds are a band for this moment and could define a third phase of Detroit born-and-bred rock ‘n’ roll. The Messenger Birds Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually was released October 7th through Earshot Media. You can order the record, buy some merch, watch videos, and get the latest news on the band on their website.

(Burning Hot Events earns from qualifying purchases.)

The Messenger Birds will continue to celebrate the new release with fans as direct support for Steel Panther’s upcoming socially-distanced ‘Fast Cars and Loud Guitars- Live at The Drive-In’ show taking place on October 16 at Pontiac, MI’s Crofoot Festival Grounds. Tickets for the event are now available here.

Website | Facebook | Instagram
| Twitter
| YouTube | Spotify | Bandcamp

San Diego’s Hey, Chels Release Debut Full-Length, Everything Goes

Now Streaming and Available as FREE Download on Bandcamp

San Diego’s Hey, Chels have released their debut full-length Everything Goes digitally for FREE on Bandcamp. The LP is also streaming on DSPs and will be released on vinyl later this year via Brainworm Records.

The band says, “Our reasoning is that we don’t feel right asking for money right now with the current state of everything. If you feel like helping the band out, share us with a friend, add us to a playlist, share us on your socials, we would very much appreciate it.”

A music video for the new track “You’ve Got You Now” is streaming here:

The follow up to the band’s well-received 2019 self-titled EP, Everything Goes was recorded by Pat Hills at Earthtone Studios in Sacramento, CA.

Due to the current state of the world Hey, Chels had to cancel all tour plans but will be back out as soon as it’s safe again.

Hey, Chels – Everything Goes
|
Cover Art by SICKPLEASURE

Everything Goes Track Listing:

  1. Clear
  2. Crumbling
  3. Masterpiece
  4. Pulse Check
  5. You’ve Got You Now
  6. Okay
  7. Everything Goes
  8. Floating Through Days
  9. Tough
  10. Away

About Hey, Chels

Hey, Chels

Hey, Chels is what you get when you spend 10 years of your life working for a degree you’ll never pay off. It’s realizing the whole world is terrible, while also serving as a reassuring pat on the cheek that everything is going to be ok. It’s a warm summer day and a cold winter night. Hey, Chels is a four-piece rock n roll band from San Diego fronted by Jax Mendez (New Way On) and featuring Stephanie Presz (The Newports) on drums, Kevin White (Squarecrow) on guitar, and Ricky Schmidt (Western Settings) on bass.

Hey, Chels Online

Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram
Twitter | Spotify

INTERVIEW: My Immortal Enemy Singer Discusses Impending Debut Album — ‘Akuma’

Rock and punk fans should keep an ear out for the band My Immortal Enemy, especially if some of your favorite bands include Beartooth, Avenged Sevenfold, My Chemical Romance, and AFI.  Steven Juliano is their vocalist, Joel Chandler is bassist, Ryan Loomis is on drums, and Ryan Heggum is the guitarist.

My Immortal Enemy
Photography:
Cats Eye View Photography

If Juliano’s name sounds familiar, then perhaps you’ve heard of the band I Am Ghost from Epitaph records. Juliano is hitting the ground running with My Immortal Enemy, and their new duet album Akuma, featuring 12 head-banging rock songs, is coming out soon on January 10th, 2020. Their album was recorded at Indigital Studios in Santa Cruz, CA. It was mixed/mastered by Zack Ohren who has previously worked with Machine Head, All Shall Perish, and Set Your Goals.

Most of the members are still in their early 20’s and are excited to hear what music lovers think of their new record. They can’t wait to hit the road and meet their fans on tour, hopefully sometime in 2020.

Juliano generously gave Burning Hot Events some of his time to discuss the album concept, choices behind its development, and band evolution:

Interview with Steven Juliano, Singer of My Immortal Enemy

Q & A with music journalist Brittney Coon

The word “akuma” is Japanese for “demon” or “devil”, and Akuma is also the name of a character from Street Fighter. What is the inspiration for your album title?

Juliano: From the very beginning, before we had even written a song, I had a concept for this record. With my last band (I Am Ghost), rock-opera-albums was our thing, but after the band disbanded I started a few other music projects and kind of steered away from all that. The reason being concept albums are a lot of work. Mentally hard work. I wasn’t ready to wrap my head around such a large endeavor then.

This time I felt I was ready again, knowing all too well I was making a lot more work for myself lyrically. But I like challenges, I guess. I’m a glutton for punishment as they say. So, I created this detailed story; a semi-fictional tale with me as the protagonist, the devil (Akuma) the main antagonist. It’s a life journey story in a sense, something I believe we can all relate to.  

On your website and on SoundCloud, the track “Paradise” shows an image of Baphomet, a Satanic deity. Lyrically, does your album contain a lot of occult elements? If so, does this reflect your personal beliefs, or is it more of a stylistic choice?

Juliano: It’s all about the concept of the album, honestly, and has nothing to do with our religious beliefs. None of us in My Immortal Enemy are Satanist. None of us are very religious to begin with. I’ve been asked by a lot by people on what the artwork means, why all the dark/religious undertones, etc… and it’s hard to explain since the album isn’t out yet. Once you hear it all in context, it makes sense. 

What drew you to having Zack Ohren produce your debut album?

Juliano: The band actually wrote/produced the album ourselves and Zack did the entire mixing/mastering. Before he came on board we had another guy, a semi-famous gentleman whose band had sold millions and millions of albums in the past. So we thought it was a no brainer to have him mix our album. Well, his mixes were turning out… terrible. And not only terrible, he was taking months to get mixes back. There was a definite low period in the band. I had never gone through anything like that before in my career. We all felt helpless, like our album had been hijacked. Finally, I just called up the guy and fired him.

Soon after the search was on for a new mixing-engineer. My bass player told me about a guy he’d worked with in the past, a guy whose discography of bands was perfect for what we’re trying to convey. At the time, Zack was working on the new Machine Head album but graciously took on our project. 

Out of all the tracks on your new album, why did you choose “The Laughing Heart” as your first single?

Juliano:  Figuring out the first song to release is always difficult. Especially from a new band no one’s heard of yet. You have all these questions swirling in your head: “Do we release an aggressive song? A “radio song”? What if no one likes it? Blah blah blah.” All artists are insecure in a way. If they say they’re not they are lying. We decided it was best to release something that had a little bit of everything.

What I’ve learned from doing this for so long is that not everyone is going to like your music. It took me quite some time to realize that. Easier said than done… I know. But in the end you just have to put out songs you dig and keep moving forward. Second thing I’ve learned (mostly by trial and error) is that if you’re writing honest music with honest lyrics, people tend to lean towards that more often than not.   

Currently showing four men as your band members, who is the female vocalist on tracks such as “Into the Blue”?

Juliano:  At the early conception of the band we had a female guitarist who played and sang on the album. But, as in life, shit happened… shit that was completely out of our control. One minute she’s all about that tour life… the next minute she’s like “I’m going to get married and I don’t want to be in a band anymore.” Ultimately she moved away and gave up.

That’s the hardest part of being in a serious band; finding people who are all on the same page. Some would think finding great, seasoned musicians is the hardest part, but that’s not true at all. That’s the easy part actually. Finding musicians who you get along with and are willing to put in the long hours is definitely the hardest part. 

We know how difficult it can be to retain band members in a new band. With six members listed on your Facebook page, have you gained and lost many members over the past year? If so, how were you able to recover?

Juliano: We’ve been lucky enough to keep the four main members, all of whom are the main song writers of the group. So in retrospect it’s been rather painless. Most touring bands have members who are really just hired guns anyways, so the fact we’ve kept our core unit in tact is a blessing. 

How is this band different, in sound or otherwise, than I Am Ghost?

I Am Ghost’s Those We Leave Behind Album Cover

Juliano: The biggest difference with My Immortal Enemy and I Am Ghost is that I Am Ghost had a strong, almost ungodly major label push from day one. I Am Ghost was signed by Epitaph Records very early in our career. We signed a three album deal after only a couple of shows under our belts. And when I say couple, I mean only like three of four shows… ever.  After that we became another monster. We had real management and agents and a team of publicists… big dogs that would never even return my emails in any of my previous bands… and all this happened literally overnight.

My Immortal Enemy’s Akuma Album Artwork
By:
Steven Juliano

My Immortal Enemy, on the other hand, is all DIY. We do everything ourselves. We paid for the recording and mixing of our album ourselves… which was very expensive. Our upcoming music video we paid ourselves. We book all our own shows. I design all the artwork in the band. The negative in all that is its financially draining. The positive, and you have to always look at the positive being in a band, is that there is zero outside influence regarding our music, and for the moment, we rather enjoy the freedom. As to the actual musical styles between the two, My Immortal Enemy is definitely very similar, although I wasn’t trying for that to happen at all. It just kind of happened, I guess. 

Your website currently shows a “coming soon” message under the “Tour” section. Are tour plans currently in the works to support the album release?

Juliano: We wanted to take off a few months and get the album release in order. All that takes a lot of work since we are doing it ourselves. Also, being that it’s winter, there really is no reason to hop into a van and travel the US battling all that darn rain and snow. Again, I’ve been touring since I was 19 years old, so subsequently I know how it goes. Winter dates more likely than not get canceled because of bad weather, and most importantly it’s too dangerous traveling. We will be back early 2020 with tour dates, so rest assured. We hope to play as many shows and in as many different places as we possibly can. 

What headlining bands would you love to tour with?

Juliano: The cool thing about our band is I feel we could tour with anyone and do ok. We have that definite metal vibe but I’m a punk kid at heart and I think we’d do well on a punk tour, or a hard rock tour. I think we’d fit in well on a pop punk tour… hell, throw us on a ska tour we’d survive. But bands that would be fun to tour with would be bands like Beartooth or Avenged Sevenfold, or even My Chemical Romance now that they have gotten back together. 

How are you going to celebrate the release of your new album?

Juliano: This might sound stupid but it feels as though we’ve gone to war in some far off country and have finally returned home… like years later.  There’s definitely this “Holy shit man, we did it. We made it home alive…” type mentality with the four of us, which in the end has only brought us closer together. Ultimately, bad things happen in life… things completely out of your control and you can either be resilient or just give up.

But we honestly believe in this album. We think it’s not just good, but rather exceptional. Especially if you know all the history surrounding its inception… of how many times we were knocked down but kept getting back up. My Immortal Enemy are fighters, that’s for damn sure.

Order Akuma:

Arrives in stores everywhere January 10th, 2020. You can now pre-order your physical copy of My Immortal Enemy’s debut 12 song album, “Akuma” HERE. Signed by entire band. Includes two stickers and 1.5 inch button. Bundle pack includes Black Skull/Coffin T-Shirt. FREE shipping (if in the USA). Album ships world-wide.

Also Available for Pre-Order at:

Amazon | Apple Music

Track Listing:

  1. Dangerous
  2. I Devil’lyn
  3. Into The Blue
  4. The Laughing Heart
  5. Atlas
  6. Paradise
  7. Blood On My Hands
  8. Chances Are
  9. After the Funeral
  10. Shiver
  11. Dearly Departed
  12. Hellos Are Harder Than Goodbyes

Stream My Immortal Enemy:

Spotify | SoundCloud | Deezer
YouTube | Play Music | iHeartRadio

Connect with My Immortal Enemy

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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The Faim Release Long-Awaited Debut Album, State of Mind, Today Via BMG

Los Angeles, CA — Emerging Aussie four-piece, The Faim, have released their long-awaited debut album, State of Mind, today via BMG. The full-length effort is available to stream and download HERE.

State of Mind Track Listing:

1. Tongue Tied
2. Humans
3. Summer Is a Curse
4. Beautiful Drama
5. Buying Time
6. Infamous
7. Amelie
8. Words Apart
9. Where the River Runs
10. State of Mind

Created over the course of two years with numerous songwriters and producers, the record includes a collection of songs that showcase a vast range of styles and tones. Upbeat anthems like “Humans,” “Summer Is a Curse,” and “Beautiful Drama,” reveal the group’s skill at crafting resonant pop-rock hits, while “Tongue Tied,” “Buying Time,” and “Amelie” are saturated with fiery rock riffs. Melodic closing tracks, “Where the River Runs” and “State of Mind,” also underscore the quartet’s knack for authentic and raw songwriting. Overall, the album shows a band on the ascent, and a group of musicians who are all about making genuine songs that bring people together to create a community.

“We can’t believe that our debut album, State of Mind, is finally out! This record has been a long time coming and highlights our development since the writing process began a few years ago,” says The Faim.State of Mind is a huge step for the sonic direction of our band, delving into territories that push the boundaries of what we’ve experimented with previously. We hope that people find something special and unique in these songs and enjoy them as much as we do!”

Currently on the cover of Rock Sound Magazine and fresh off of a successful headline run across the U.K. and Europe, The Faim will be heading back out on the road in celebration of State of Mind this fall. The outfit will first embark on a massive co-headline tour across the U.S. with fellow Aussie band, Stand Atlantic. Live Nation’s Ones To Watch and The Noise are confirmed to present the entire run of dates. The trek kicks off next week on Tuesday, September 17 in Houston TX and plays in 25 total cities nationwide, including major stops in Atlanta, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles. After a short break, the band is set to close out the year with another batch of headline dates overseas. A complete touring itinerary can be found below, and all tickets can be purchased on The Faim’s official website HERE.

Over the past year, The Faim has amassed a strong following around the world, to say the least. To date, the group has played 183 shows across 16 countries, in addition to performing at European festival staples including Reading & Leeds, Lollapalooza Berlin, Download, and Slam Dunk. They’ve also sold out shows in London, Sydney, Amsterdam, and Hamburg, toured globally with PVRIS, Andy Black, and Sleeping With Sirens, and collaborated with the likes of John Feldmann, Pete Wentz, Mark Hoppus, Josh Dun, Ashton Irwin, and more. “Summer Is a Curse,” the title-track from their critically acclaimed debut EP (2018 via BMG), has become a bona fide hit in Germany, hitting #12 on the airplay charts after being played 24,000 times on German radio that year. The earworm, which appears in a Jeep commercial in France, hit #2 at radio in the Czech Republic. The Faim also scored the soundtrack to Coca-Cola‘s global advertising campaign for Coke Zero, which was shown in 18 countries worldwide.

The Faim Tour Dates:

United States


9/17 – Houston, TX @ HOB Bronze Peacock *
9/18 – Dallas, TX @ HOB Cambridge Room *
9/20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Loft *
9/21 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar *
9/22 – Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 *
9/24 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre *
9/25 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Rex Theater *
9/26 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery *
9/28 – Boston, MA @ Once Ballroom *
9/29 – Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage Lounge *
10/1 – Detroit, MI @ The Shelter *
10/2 – Cleveland, OH @ The Foundry *
10/4 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hoosier Dome *
10/5 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar *
10/6 – Chicago, IL @ Chop Shop *
10/7 – St. Paul, MN @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall *
10/9 – Denver, CO @ Marquis *
10/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Complex *
10/12 – Seattle, WA @ The Vera *
10/13 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater *
10/14 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver *
10/16 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
10/17 – San Diego, CA @ Soma *
10/18 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction *
10/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo *

Europe & The U.K.

11/22 – Madrid, Spain @ Kithai ^
11/23 – Barcelona, Spain @ Sala Laut ^
11/24 – Toulouse, France @ Rex ^
11/25 – Paris, France @ Maroquinerie ^
11/27 – Zürich, Switzerland @ Dynamo Werk 21 ^
11/28 – Dornbirn, Austria @ Conrad Sohm ^
11/29 – Dresden, Germany @ Pushkin ^
12/1 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Pumpehuset ^
12/3 – Hamburg, Germany @ Uebel & Gefahrlich ^
12/4 – Munich, Germany @ Technikum ^
12/5 – Cologne, Germany @ Die Kantine
12/7 – Birmingham, U.K. @ O2 Institute ^
12/8 – Manchester, U.K. @ Academy 3 ^
12/9 – Glasgow, U.K. @ SWG3 Warehouse ^
12/11 – Cardiff, U.K. @ The Globe ^
12/12 – Portsmouth, U.K. @ Wedgewood Rooms ^
12/13 – London, U.K. @ Electric Ballroom ^

* Co-Headline w/ Stand Atlantic
^ Headline

The Faim (pictured L-R):

Sam Tye / Guitar
Josh Raven / Lead vocals
Linden Marissen / Drums, percussion
Stephen Beerkens / Bass, keyboard

Follow The Faim:

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Instagram | YouTube


Featured photo (top) by Michelle Grace Hunder