RAMONES: 45 Years Later
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Earlier this year, the debut self-titled Ramones album celebrated its forty-fifth birthday, and for many this was a monumental turn in the punk rock movement. Prior to Johnny and co., you had bands such as New York Dolls, The Stooges, and Death (Michigan) laying down the prototypes for this movement. Some will see them as the actual pioneers, and many will see Ramones dropping in 1976 as the actual start. This is a heavily discussed topic that is obviously important, but today, rather than argue about that, I’d like to take a retrospective look at this infamous debut on its own.
The biggest selling point that the Ramones seemed to have was their ability to use the utmost simplest of riffs and song structure, yet manage to get a clear message across to bring listeners back for repeat visits. This is clearly evident on the debut, and considering that the album opener “Blitzkrieg Bop” is still heavily referenced today, I’d say this idea holds up. (Side note; anybody remember this song being in the Jimmy Neutron movie?). This structure basically paints itself on the entire twenty-nine minute runtime of the album, allowing it to work as the perfect format for many a punk and hardcore band to come.
We do a lot of ridiculous stuff here at the Sleeping Village--that, I can not deny. However, this mammothian effort on the part of Ancient Hand serves as a response to said frivolity. Nothing--and I mean nothing--is more serious than dissecting, in painstaking detail, the seminal debut of early 2000's pop-punk monarch Avril Lavinge. This, dear readers, is a magnum opus. Also, for the haters: Avril is metal as fuck. There. I said it.
The miniseries before ye is divided into a glorious fifteen parts. After a long hiatus, today marks the fifth installment: "I'm With You." If you missed our introductory statement, check it out here! - Ed.
"I'M WITH YOU"
Written by: Ancient Hand
Balladry is an art form long explored, revered, and judged by humans. The act of composing a ballad is a long-documented and discussed one, with many people seeing William Shakespeare as a popularizer, pushing balladry to the forefront of human entertainment. While he certainly did write entertaining ballads that have withstood the test of time, his reputation has stretched beyond the intent of his work. While there are moments of genius relating to the communicability found in his catalog--most notably Romeo and Juliet--this can give us an interesting insight into responses to the plague during his time. His works were created to simply be entertainment, and this should be kept in mind when we run the risk of pushing an artist that only seeks to entertain us into a spotlight deemed for legends.
You may be asking yourself, “Uh… did this guy just say don’t elevate people too high, but he’s calling Avril Lavigne’s Let Go one of the single most important pieces of art ever created?” And to that, I would say: yes! You are exactly right! Because while we run the risk of idolizing people that are undeserving of being placed on a pedestal so high we can’t see the top, Let Go is being examined, in the context of this long-winded review, as a piece of art to be studied and applied to the world around us, not as a person we should be praising and considering the savior of art and integrity.
SEEKING ESCAPE: A Comprehensive Look at the Musical Life, Death, and Rebirth of Underoath
Examining the Years 2004 to 2019
Written by: Ancient Hand
Underoath: A group of musicians that stretch the definition of “metalcore” to its limits. Also defined as: “Christian Metalcore”; more accurately defined as: A tidal wave of experimentation in a dry desert of formulaic metalcore in the mid-2000s (with the exception of Converge).
After years of experimenting with black metal sounds and lyrics dealing with topics ranging from sexual assault to failing relationships, all under the lens of Christian faith, Underoath reinvented itself. With a new vocalist, Spencer Chamberlain, front-manning the group, the sound of the band began an evolution that would never cease-- even to this day. This era of Underoath, often dubbed “The Spencer Era,” is all the band considers themselves to be nowadays, even stating that their famous album, They’re Only Chasing Safety, is their “first album.” To many fans, this is a slap in the face to the band’s beginnings, but it is important to note the drastic shift between the band’s first 3 releases (Act of Depression, Cries of the Past, and The Changing of Times) and their world-famous 2004 release, They’re Only Chasing Safety. While I will not spend my time discussing these first few releases, I still do consider them a part of Underoath. What I do want to discuss are the many aspects of the band post-2003. The shift in the Underoath’s sound, musical stylings, lyrics, and approach to making music all culminate in a band that can only be described as important.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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