Review: Anthony Green – Would You Still Be In Love

My first thought upon first listen to Anthony Green’s surprise solo album, Would You Still Be In Love, was, “How the hell can he be this prolific?!” In the last decade, Green has been the frontman for both Circa Survive and Saosin while releasing five solo records. Somehow, Would You Still Be In Love is as beautiful as it is terrifying. For each image beautifully painted of absolute love, there is a tear in the canvas showing the struggle with mental illness on the other side.

You can buy Would You Still Be In Love on Apple Music.

Green’s solo albums have always experimented with genre, but they have usually been at their best at the acoustic level. Aside from sparsely used percussion and a haunting violin, the majority of Would You Still Be In Love consists of gorgeously melodic acoustic tracks that make the lyrics much darker than they otherwise may have been. While Green pours over his struggles and things begin crashing down, you can hear the beauty of the world around him that he’s trying to reach.

As usual, Green’s lyrics are stunning. The album is a surprisingly dark one that uses stark imagery to show the struggles of mental illness in a relationship. Opener “Vera Lynn” is arguably the poppiest song Green has ever written. It also is a song about the fear of becoming musically irrelevant. It’s both a warning to himself and an understanding of his profession as he sings, “Someday if you hit the big one, everybody wants some from you / It won’t last / Cause then one day you’ll bite the big one / Everyone will move onto somebody new”.

“Love”, a cover from the song made famous in Disney’s Robin Hood animated movie, is a sweet homage to his family. It also sets the tone for how wonderful things can be before collapsing. “You’re So Dead Meat” is where the first doubts begin to pour in about his music. There are lines that show the struggle with art in ways I have never heard before, such as, “These strings are so dead / Holding off on changing them / until one day they will just break”, or “Why should I put everything into all these songs you just steal?”

“When I Come Home” is the showstopper of the record. It highlights the struggle of dealing with personal issues and watching against your own will as things appear to fall to pieces. The song weighs the pressure between true and failed love as Green sings, “Don’t blame me if I’m right / You were always on your way out / You can take your time, I’ll be patient / Don’t hate me if I say, ‘If there’s something I can change’ / You’d still be in love when I come home”.

Closer “Real Magic” manages to find solace with his struggles and ties off his fears. Coming to terms with his fears as a musician from earlier in the album, “Real Magic” justifies the struggles of writing such personal songs as he sings, “Everyday there’s something tragic that helps somebody else”.

Would You Still Be In Love sits amongst Anthony Green’s best solo albums. As tragic as it is redeeming, the record feels complete at nine songs long. Extremely personal, thematic and honest, Green shows yet again that he’s never left the top of his game.

4/5

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and listened to this album at 6 am on a Saturday morning because sleeping in is for quitters.

 

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Circa Survive to Release “The Amulet” on September 22

Following a brief hiatus last year while vocalist Anthony Green reunited with Saosin for their first album and tour in seven years, Circa Survive has announced their return. The progressive rock act will release their fifth full length album, The Amulet, on September 22 via Hopeless Records.

One of the most original and creative bands in the scene, Circa Survive has consistently released solid, challenging material, including their last album, 2014’s Descensus. To prepare us for The Amulet, the band has released the album’s first single, “Lustration”, which you can hear below:

You can also check out the album’s artwork, created once again by artist Esao Andrews.

If you like what you hear, be sure to pre-order The Amulet from the band’s webstore. What are your thoughts on the new song? Share in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Circa Survive begin recording fifth full-length album

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Anthony Green is a busy man. It looks like Circa Survive are back in the studio recording their fifth full length album, according to a recent tweet from Green. The band self-released their fourth album, Violent Waves, in 2012 to critical acclaim. Will Yip is set to be the producer of the new album, having co-produced Violent Waves and produced Anthony Green’s 2013 solo album Young Legs.

What Circa Survive album is your favorite? What are you hoping to hear from the new record? Let us know in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Vinyl Spotlight: Sunny Day Real Estate and Circa Survive split

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Every so often, our resident vinyl lover, Kiel Hauck, takes the time to talk about a recent vinyl release and gives a breakdown about everything from packaging to sound quality. Here’s his latest installment.

So, Record Store Day 2014 has come and gone. Now it’s time to enjoy all of our purchases! The first release I’m focusing in on is the Circa Survive/Sunny Day Real Estate split 7-inch. This was likely my most sought after release for the day – Why? Well, to put it simply, this is a beautiful pairing of a legendary band (Sunny Day Real Estate) and a band heavily influenced and inspired by the former band (Circa Survive).

Incredibly, the song provided by Sunny Day Real Estate, titled “Lipton Witch”, is their first release since the band put out The Rising Tide in 2000. The band had been rumored to be working on new music back in 2009, but things fell through, much to their fans’ dismay. Meanwhile, Circa Survive’s contribution, titled “Bad Heart” is their first release since 2012’s Violent Waves.

Packaging and Presentation

The packaging is both striking to the eye and appropriately in line with both bands’ previous releases. The artwork was done by Chris Thompson, who handled the art for Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary and How It Feels to Be Something On. It’s a bit weird and a bit ambiguous, which means that it’s perfectly suited as a package for both bands.

This pressing was numbered to 2,500 with 2,400 being pressed on burgundy vinyl and the other 100 being pressed on clear vinyl. While I wasn’t fortunate enough to pick out one of the clear copies, the burgundy pressing looks pretty splendid. Not only does it mesh well with the cover art, but the classic-feeling label gives the disc a retro feel. No matter which variant you get, it’s hard to complain.

Sound and Quality

Even more than critiquing the actual sound of the record itself, people are likely most interested in the sound of the individual songs. Truly, it’s a pretty fantastic experience all the way around. “Lipton Witch” is one of the most enjoyable rock songs I’ve heard this year. Could it be because of the 14 year wait between new music from Sunny Day Real Estate?

Maybe, but this song is pretty fantastic in its own right – truly a Sunny Day track, but with a fresh kick that makes it feel relevant. I think this will have most fans itching to hear what else the band has been up to during their absence. We may never get another full length from the band, but “Lipton Witch” proves that the band still has “it.”

Likewise, “Bad Heart” is a fantastic new song from Circa Survive. The track is much more mellow than the majority of the band’s catalogue, but caries that eerie vibe that makes the band so special. Truthfully, “Bad Heart” wouldn’t have felt too out of place on the back half of Violent Waves, but it’s a great stand alone song in its own right. Here’s hoping that this song isn’t the end of the band’s new music in 2014.

What’s even more wonderful than the new tracks themselves is how well both sound on the vinyl format. Both of these songs deserve to be heard on record – don’t settle for YouTube versions. If you can get your hands on a copy of this release, definitely do it. The release also comes with a free MP3 download of both songs, should you choose to use it. Personally, I plan to spin these songs on vinyl on the regular.

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by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Circa Survive to release split with Sunny Day Real Estate on Record Store Day

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In what may be the most surprising news of the week, it looks like Circa Survive and Sunny Day Real Estate will be releasing a split 7” for Record Store Day (April 19). The Sunny Day Real Estate track, titled “Lipton Witch”, is the first song released by the band in 14 years. The Circa Survive track, “Bad Heart”, was recorded by the band after the release of Violent Waves.

The pressing is limited to 2,500 copies, with 2,400 being pressed on burgundy vinyl and 100 being pressed on clear vinyl. You can check out the artwork below:

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For more information on Record Store Day releases, you can visit the official website.

Posted by Kiel Hauck

5 bands we want to see return to Warped Tour in 2014

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With each passing day, we’re drawing closer to this summer’s Warped Tour. The last batch of lineup announcements will be coming over the next few weeks and we’re excited to see who’s on the list.

Even though we all know it’s wildly unlikely, we’ve all taken a moment to daydream about some of the past Warped greats that we’d love to see grace the stage once again. Since Fall Out Boy and Paramore are heading out on the Monumentour this summer, we know they’re out of the question, but what about some of the other big names?

We decided to take a moment to list out five bands that would make us shout with joy should they once again be announced for the Vans Warped Tour. We know, these are all long shots, but hey – we can dream, can’t we?

1. Blink-182

blink_182It’s been 13 years since Blink graced the stage at Warped, and we’re pretty sure they’d draw more fans than every other band combined if they joined the lineup this summer. Two years ago, Warped made a big push to bring back older bands in what could almost have been considered a throwback year for the tour. With this year’s lineup being so top heavy with young bands on the scene, what better band to level out the playing field between the old guard and new than Blink?

2. Saosin

saosin_anthony_greenAccording to Saosin, their upcoming reunion performance with original vocalist Anthony Green at this year’s Skate and Surf Festival will be their last. However, we can’t imagine a better way for these post-hardcore legends to go out than one last trek on Warped Tour. Can you imagine the uproar if the band were to release one final EP with Green before hitting the road on Warped as a farewell to their fans? Yeah, this needs to happen.

3. MxPx

mxpx1If pop punk legends Blink-182 were to come back, why not bring back their longtime contemporaries, MxPx? The last time these left coast rawkers were on the tour was in 2007, in which they looked just as energized and rowdy as they did on their initial run in 1998. Over two decades into their career, the MxPx fanbase is still strong and always hungry for new music and fresh performances. There’s no doubt that MxPx would add a healthy dose of punk to this year’s lineup.

4. Say Anything

say_anythingSurprisingly, Say Anything has only joined Warped Tour one time (2008). With a new album on the way, we think 2014 would be a prime time for Say Anything to make another appearance on the tour. The live performances of vocalist Max Bemis were made for large crowds and massive sing-a-longs, something every Warped main stage can provide. We’d even be up for throwing in Eisley and Merriment for a full-family Warped Tour run.

5. Circa Survive

circasurvive1What would be better than a double dose of Anthony Green on this year’s Warped Tour? If Saosin were to make the trip, we’d want to see Circa too – imagine the wild back-to-back sets these bands would perform. Circa was last on the tour in 2007 and has added a whole lot of new music to their arsenal since then, including last year’s triumphant Violent Waves.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Review: Anthony Green – Young Legs

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There’s a little something for everyone when it comes to the music of Anthony Green. The man has become one of the more notable icons in the scene through his array of projects, each showcasing a different angle of his recognizable vocal abilities. Not a fan of the post-hardcore chaos of Saosin? Check out the experimental art rock of The Sound of Animals Fighting. Not into the ambient alt-rock of Circa Survive? Throw on the mellow indie rock of his solo outings.

Of course, with so many different musical personalities, it’s easy to understand why one might feel a bit fragmented when following his work. Over time though, Green’s musical endeavors have begun to swing closer and closer to a central point, melding into his most recent release, Young Legs. This new album is the most seamless and unified effort of his solo career, and thus, it is certainly his best.

A large reason for the uniform atmosphere of Young Legs is the addition of Good Old War, a band that has often contributed backing assistance to Green, but this time provides the soundscape of the entire record. With ease, they transition themselves to fit whatever emotion Green is emitting and provide the perfect backdrop.

The album’s opener, “Breaker”, sounds like an extension of last year’s Circa Survive outing, Violent Waves, but with a more personal feel. The guitar work on the latter half of the song is captivating and grabs your attention without distracting from the song itself. It’s an excellent choice to kick of the album. “100 Steps” is a piano driven number with a building chorus that sounds like it belongs somewhere on soft-rock radio.

As for Green’s vocals, they’ve never sounded better. “When You Sang to Me” finds Green at his best, effortlessly crooning the ghostly chorus of “I wasn’t the only one awake when you sang to me”. Likewise, the quiet and somber “I’ll Miss You” showcases the soft layered, haunting vocals that Green pulls off better than anyone. The slow acoustic track, “Conversation Piece”, is simple in sound, but complex in its delivery, with Green painfully singing, “The very thing that made me want you in the first place is what’s driving me away”.

Anthony Green has always been well adored for his vocal ability, but what makes Young Legs so special is his willingness to corral and harness his delivery. His vocals manage to express pain, confusion and joy throughout the album’s 11 tracks without ever resorting to his screechy upper register. The constraint is appropriate and allows the richness of his voice to shine through on each and every song. It turns out, Anthony Green is an even better singer than we knew.

Green’s solo releases have always felt like a special treat for those who clung tightly to his other projects. However, both Avalon and last year’s Beautiful Things often felt more like collections of b-sides and random ideas – not poor work, but disjointed in their presentation. Young Legs triumphs by standing alone as a cohesive work of art that feels complete from front to back. As Green has grown as an artist, he has become noticeably more confident and controlled in his output, and with Young Legs, he has once again set a new standard for himself and generated even more excitement for his future work.

4/5

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Anthony Green streams new album “Young Legs”

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Anthony Green is currently streaming his new album Young Legs at his website.

The album is a follow-up to last year’s Beautiful Things and was recorded earlier this year with Good Old War serving as the back up band. The official release date for the album is November 12. You can preorder the album on iTunes.