Quintet Conway (@conwayband) has paid their dues by touring across the U.S. in support of their unique take on pop-punk. Their most recent EP Open Your Eyes will get listeners’ attention as the Michigan five-piece demonstrate a great effort into recording it with its recurring main idea of relationships gone awry. This makes the band and their music more relatable to everyday people who can find solace knowing they are not alone in being broken.
The first tune ‘On Your Own’ is a song of love gone awry with splendid arrangements and spot-on vocals. It seems clear the band has spent some time listening to Simple Plan, A Day To Remember and The All-American Rejects for inspiration. It is an anthem that the heartbroken and neglected can relate to. The EP‘s longest track ‘All Wrong’ is another tune with the same imperfect relationship theme. Some of these songs will likely hit close to home with listeners who have experienced what the songwriter(s) have. It is often that the worst situations make the best stories.
Much like the previous two tunes, ‘Currents’ has surefire hit written all over it and maintains the album’s continuity of imperfect social situations. From start to finish, this track is their best chance at obtaining a Top 10 Alternative Chart hit off this record. Coming in at under two and one-quarter minutes, the finale ‘Meant To Seem’ is an ideal ending to the EP with solid musicianship on display and poignant lyrics such as, Sail away from the safe harbor / Catch trade winds to the east / Cause every part of me knows I should leave / But that’s not happening.
Open Your Eyes is a commendable effort from Conway as it cannot be easy to take dark subject matter and turn them into danceable, headbanging, songs. Although the lyrics are grim, the vocals and musicianship are on point and high energy from beginning to end. Another thing that is amazing is how they have managed to fly under the radar for so long. It is in every pop-punk fan’s best interest to pick up the EP and check the band out live. Their tour kicks off in Columbus, OH tomorrow, November 17 before they head back to their home state for a show and head west. Conway is in possession of four coping mechanisms for today’s depressed and confused youth and this EP along with their back catalog going unnoticed is a travesty.
Steve Schiltz now leads @hurricanebells, a group that emerged after the hiatus of ex-RCA group Longwave. The former band released two records under that label and although they were highly regarded, the radio programmers did not show the band much love. To this day, Longwave has yet to yield a Billboard Top 40 hit along any chart.
Hurricane Bells has been active since 2009 and has technically already charted in that Schiltz contributed to The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack, which reached the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. An EP was released three years ago and more music has been released since then. Schiltz has a bevy of contributors to the act and when on tour the band is a quartet. It is unknown when the group will be back on the road, but from the Facebook buzz regarding the group, attendance is mandatory at their live shows.
From the views of the video above for one of the group’s most notable tracks, Schiltz has surpassed the success of his prior band. Longwave received a raw deal from radio stations, but marched on making respected music on their terms. This is a results-driven business, however. Hurricane Bells appears to be doing quite well and in 2014 the momentum should continue.
Clemency (@ClemencyMusic on Twitter) is an American two-piece outfit consisting of the brothers Watkins, Paul and Jason. The track “My Heart Is the Eastern Horizon” is easily a brilliant piece of art (musically and vocally) that could be heard on AC and Adult Rock stations. Per the band’s Facebook page, the Watkins’ faith is very important to them. Could some airplay on non-profit entity Radio U be in the cards?
“My Heart Is the Eastern Horizon” could easily be in the background of heartwarming TV show or movie scenes (think of a couple’s breakup on “Grey’s Anatomy”). Coincidentally, a YouTube user wants to use the band’s music for a film. Hopefully, the band will give their consent and be handsomely rewarded for it in the end. This is one of many tunes from Clemency due to be exposed to the buying public.
This band is ready for prime time, with their music available on national online retailers Amazon and iTunes. They currently call Nashville home, but starting on Wednesday, October 16, Clemency will embark on a U.S. tour with highly regarded indie rockers Abandon Kansas and (for select dates) Seabird. Please check the group’s social media platforms for details. If they are half as good live as they are recorded, the music world should be hearing from Clemency for years to come.
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