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Bands I Got Into Too Late

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another personal blog post. Oh music, it is part of life and it affects in many ways and normally it is in a good way coming from a number of different artists/bands. However, there are cases where you come across some music, but then realize that you’re listening experience may have been a little better if you have found that artist/band beforehand. Today I’ll be mentioning a few of my favourite bands who I wish I had found earlier in life.

Audioslave

Audioslave-lineup

Audioslave, this is the band on the top of this list. More so than any other artist/band ever, Audioslave are the ones I wish I have found while they were in their prime. They were a supergroup formed of Chris Cornell from Soundgarden and the instrumental side of Rage Against The Machine and were active between 2001 til 2007. I started listening to them in 2008/9, I was too damn late! Their first two albums Audioslave and Out of Exile are some of my favourite sounds in rock and some of that music really solidified my love for rock music. And since seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers live in 2011, I really get sad to know that I’ll never have the chance to see Audioslave live. With Cornell’s vocals and the awesome musicians of RAT M, I feel like it would have been a beastly experience live. But I’ll never have that chance, especially since both original bands have reformed. Sad times.

Alexisonfire

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This is a band that really hurts me to listen to these days. Alexisonfire was a band I found by accident, then found one song by them three years laters and then didn’t start listening to properly until the year when they announced their farewell tour… And I proper got into their sound. Talk about messed up. Alexisonfire are probably the only band in my life who I’ve got addicted to in the space of a week. Crisis, Old Crows/Young Cardinals and the self-titled album has some of the most amazing and addictive songs ever, and when I saw them live it was the best experience ever. So it crushed me to know that the beginning of my love for this band was too late as they were breaking up and never going to make new material ever again.

Anberlin

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Much like Alexisonfire, I found the band randomly, really got into their music and saw them live in the year when they broke up and went on a farewell tour. Bloody painful. I think Anberlin are the most recent band in this list, so my connection to them isn’t as strong as the others, that being said I still have a strong love for their music, so it bugs me that I didn’t find them sooner. A lot of their music is my kind of sound when it comes to hard-hitting and soft introspective songs and since going through their material after their gig in London I really wished I had found them while I was in college or something.

AFI

AFI

When it comes to AFI I’m kind of glad I found them the way I did. I mean it was through a cover version of “Miss Murder” in a Guitar Hero-styled Wii video game in 2008, and then after that I spent a day going though their material on Deezer. I caught this band when they were pretty much at the height of their popularity just a few years after Decemberunderground had been released, and over the years my love for this group has grown significantly. With all that being said, I feel like if I had found this band just a few years earlier I would be able to appreciate how long they’ve been making music and see their visual and musical transformation since the 1990’s into the 2000’s. Also I would have been able to see them live at least once, since I think 2009 or 2010, AFI have not come back to the UK to tour and it pains me considering how much I love this band. Something tells me it is not too late and there may be a chance that they will come back, but I’m not sure.

Blur

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After seeing No Distance Left to Run, I realized two things: 1) That I was not as much a fan as I had thought and 2) That there was a lot of amazing live shows that they’ve done over the years that I’ve never got to see. I’ve always liked Blur since childhood, their music was just very cool, fun and emotional, but it wasn’t until around 2012 when I really started going through their albums and appreciating all of the beautiful work that they’ve done. But obviously by that point it was too late, the band had already separated and even though they made a few comebacks, I wasn’t invested in them and their music enough to go to a gig. If I had at least gotten into them proper around my mid-teens I think I would have at least stood a chance of seeing them live while also being better associated with their music.

No Doubt

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Ah No Doubt, one of my favourite bands ever and probably the most nostalgic-based of all the bands on this list. This band is part of my childhood, I adore their sound and their music makes me feel so good. Even though I’ve been listening to the band for years, I didn’t become a mega fan until uni when I listened to all six of their albums, and it was at that point when I came to really appreciate the dedication, variation and love that went into their music with Return of Saturn being my favourite album. For years they were on hiatus, then released Push and Shove in 2012 and started touring, but they didn’t do too many shows and never made it beyond America. And now with Gwen Stefani doing her solo stuff again, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see her together with the band live. If only I had gotten into them sooner.

The Smashing Pumpkins

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This is one of the bands I’ve been listening to a lot more recently. The Smashing Pumpkins are a band I’ve been aware of for many years, but  didn’t start listening to their music until around 2008/9 and even then it was just a few songs here and there. I’d say it was when I got to uni that I started to really explore their music and last year I heard their first and second last albums, Siamese Dream and Oceania, both of which are really great albums. While I’ve not heard all of their material and not all of it is good from what I’ve researched, it does pain me to know that the entire band line-up has changed so dramatically and been in such turmoil to the point where only Billy Corgan is only original member left. I would have liked to have seen the group in their prime or at least with their 2012 line-up. I love revisiting old music, but it does feel like I’ve been missing out for years on some great material.

Well that’s been my list, let me know in the comments if you’re into these bands or not and if there are any bands/artists that you got into too late as well. Until next time people, laters! 🙂

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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Life, Media, Music

 

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Favourite Songs #1: No Doubt – I Throw My Toys Around

Howdy people of the interweb, today I was walking back from uni listening to some music and thought to myself that maybe it’s time for a new series of blog posts, but I couldn’t think of a theme. Then while listening to one of my favourite songs it hit me; music! Music is one of the quintessential things in life that we all listen and relate to and I personally love it more so than most things in life.

So today shall be the start of my new series of blogs dedicated to some of my favourite songs ever in life! And so the song I’m going to start with is the one that gave me the idea in the first place and it is “I Throw My Toys Around” by No Doubt featuring Elvis Costello.

Back in the 90s when cartoons were still awesome the hit show Rugrats on Nickelodeon got it’s film adaptation in the shape of Rugrats The Movie. I loved the film as a kid and I still think it kick ass to this day. The film also had a pretty awesome soundtrack too and that’s where “I Throw My Toys Around” comes into play, this song was featured in the credit sequence at the end of the film and to this day it is a song I have never forgotten. Ever since I was young this song has always resonated with me and I’ve always loved it. This song has always had a beautiful sound to it, so completely mellow with a great flow and melody and Gwen Stefani’s vocals just make this song sound so good. Also with the addition of Elvis Costello’s vocals this song sounds truly awesome, Gwen and Elvis work well together in this song. Back when I was younger I always associated some of the lyrics with Angelica Pickles from the Rugrats TV show, in the verses the lyrics there seem to fit her character personality and traits right down to a tee.

Anyways to conclude, “I Throw My Toys Around” by No Doubt featuring Elvis Costello is a fabulous piece of nostalgia for me. I’ve loved the song ever since I was young and it really worked well in the Rugrats Movie soundtrack and I recommend you have a listen, it is definitely worth your time yo 😀

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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Still in love with No Doubt

It’s funny how many artists/bands I have revisited and gotten back into after I came to university and one of the bands I have gotten back into and love more than ever is No Doubt.

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Now their music has always been part of my life since childhood right up into my late teens. It was at the age of 18 that I heard the Tragic Kingdom album and I fell in love with it! However after a while No Doubt had fallen off my radar when I started pursuing after music genres, but then in October last year I decided to start listening to them again and that was a turning point for me, it was at that point I realised that I love this band.

For you to fully understand what this band means to me I’m going to have to give you the full history of my experience with their sound and this takes us back to the 90’s. Back then I listened to so much music on the radio, TV and via the CDs my parents owned too so my music palette was pretty varied, but there was one song on the radio that I heard many times that I never forgot and that was “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt. It was one of those songs that not only had a great sound, but it also had great lyrics too, even though I was young I understood that context of the song and it’s always been one of my favourite nostalgic tunes.

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This is the cover art for No Doubt’s most famous single which solidified them in my life forever.

Another song I partially remember was “Just A Girl“, it was a loud and proud tune which had rocky kind of edge to it and I think that’s what I really love about the song upon reflection, I guess I’m really into rock music these days lol. But yeah “Just A Girl” really holds up well after all these years and love to listen to the song to be reminded of simpler times. Then it wasn’t until 2001 when No Doubt released the single “Hey Baby” featuring Bounty Killer when their music flew under my radar again. It was one of the best songs I had ever heard and it was super addictive, it was everywhere and had constant airplay on the radio from what I can remember and with the dancehall element of the song it made this song very enjoyable for me as a kid. And even today it’s a fun song me and my sister like to sing on the odd occasion.

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Hey Baby” is the second most dominant song in my life by No Doubt, it really left a big impression on me.

I also remember the single “Hella Good” coming out and though I remember the song being good, I haven’t heard it in years so I can’t recall much. But one song I can remember very clearly was No Doubt’s last single to be released and that was the cover of the Talk Talk song “It’s My Life“. Back then I never knew the song was a cover, I thought it was No Doubt’s own original material, either way I loved the song. It was soft with Gwen Stefani’s vocals and edgy with the rock element from the guitars too. I heard the song so many times on the radio back when I was 14-16 and it was cemented in my mind for eternity. I still love this version of “It’s My Life“, it just sounds so perfect and I think it’s beautiful, I didn’t hear the original version until I saw it on TV at some point in 2011 and I was like “What!?! This is the original?” Also this is the song where I first discovered the name of the band as No Doubt, because up until that time I never knew the band’s name. I know it’s terrible and it’s almost as embarrassing as the fact that it took me until 2005 to know U2’s band name.

So when I was around 18/19 when I listened to the whole of No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom and I fell in love with their ska-based sound, it was a heavenly experience. I’ve heard the album a few times since then and it was at that point that I constantly looked online to see if No Doubt would make any new material, though they had reformed after Gwen was done with her solo stuff and had started touring again there was still no sign of a date for any of their new material. Then fast forward to October 2011 when I rediscovered Tragic Kingdom and funnily enough I didn’t love it as much as I did before. Don’t get me wrong the album is still great and the songs “Don’t Speak”, “Just A Girl”, “Spiderwebs”, “Sunday Morning”, “Excuse Me Mr.?” and “Hey You” are my favourite tunes, but overall there are some other songs in the album that just don’t gel with me anymore.

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No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom… A brilliant album full of great songs and lots of nostalgia.

However when I listened to their follow-up album, Return of Saturn which is viewed by many as a weaker album when compared to the previous one, I actually enjoyed it a lot upon my first listen and replayed a few songs afterwards. Then I left the album for a bit and revisited it again in February this year and then I fell in love with it. With time I’ve found myself listening to several songs from the album, at first it was just the songs “Ex Girlfriend” and “New“, but after a few weeks I found myself becoming obsessed with some songs in particular. Firstly we have “Staring Problem” which I have to say is one of my favourite No Doubt songs ever, it’s so mad, loud and just incredible. The song is so addictive and feels like a rush of energy passing through you. Following straight after that song is “Suspension Without Suspense” which I think is my favourite song off of that album. I became obsessed with this song. After my second listen to this song I listened to it again another 8 times on that day and for me to listen to one song that many times is very surprising. The song is so beautiful, soft and heartfelt and descriptive when it comes to the lyrics. I just love it. Then there’s the song “New” which is just a great song with a lovely chorus and loads of replay value and the last song that has a great level of significance is “A Simple Kind of Life” which I swear is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt songs I have ever heard. You can’t help but fall in love with Gwen’s vocals here and the lyrics get me teary every time. Oh and one other track to mention is “Big Distraction” which has a very addictive sound to it, with Gwen’s brilliant vocals, a great chorus and an overall good sound and let’s not forget the instrumental version of the song “Too Late” that’s hidden on the second half of “Big Distraction” which is amazing and features some beautiful piano work.

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As you can tell I really love Return of Saturn,  I think it is much better than Tragic Kingdom because it’s much more involved in its themes, there are some absolutely beautiful melodies to be found and Gwen Stefani’s amazing vocals just capture the soul. It’s just my kind of sound and I highly recommend it.

So now that Tragic Kingdom and Return of Saturn have reinvigorated my love for No Doubt I can honestly say that I’m a fan of their work. I really want them to return with a new album and do a worldwide tour so I could see them live, it would make my life that much better. Now sure I haven’t listened to all of their material and some could say that’s not enough of a reason to yourself a fan, but say screw that. I appreciate No Doubt’s work and I will get around to their other albums soon enough, the point is for now I am discovering this band’s sound and letting it become part of my life. But I can admit right now I love No Doubt, they are one of my favourite bands in existence and their music will be forever part of my life! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Life, Media, Music

 

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