Warped Tour 2016: Make Some Noise

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Warped Tour can be an oppressive affair. Sweltering heat, oversized crowds and a fair amount of uncomfortable controversy all make for a cruel mixture. Yet for all of the obstacles, Warped Tour still offers a platform for up and coming bands and a meeting ground for music fans of all kinds. Now in its 22nd year of existence, the country’s largest traveling music festival is a well-oiled machine.

Per usual, this year’s trek offers up a variety of acts, both new and old, that span across multiple genres. Some bands are using the tour as a chance to say “goodbye,” while others are just making an introduction.

After attending Warped Tour’s recent stop in Indianapolis, we decided to highlight a few of the bands that are shining bright this summer. Whether you’re a fan of pop punk, metalcore, post-hardcore or pop, there’s no shortage of sets you won’t want to miss on this year’s tour. Take a look below!

Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade has come a long way since their days following Warped Tour in a van in 2006, handing out CDs to bystanders in line. The Tallahassee, Florida, outfit is a full-scale rock behemoth that once again finds itself gracing the main stage. With the release of last year’s Black Lines, Mayday Parade has fully transitioned from pop punk heroes to an alt-rock powerhouse. Even with an impressive new collection of songs at their disposal, the band still finds time to play fan favorites like “Black Cat”, “Jersey” and “Jamie All Over”

Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade

Against the Current

After signing with Fueled by Ramen and releasing their smash debut album In Our Bones, pop rockers Against the Current look primed to take over the scene. With the confident Chrissy Constanza behind the mic, the band deliver loads of melody perfect for summer sing-alongs. With a solid debut under their belt and a fan base growing larger by the day, don’t be surprised if Against the Current find themselves on the main stage in the very near future.

Against the Current

Against the Current

Yellowcard

Parting is such sweet sorrow. Sure, it’s devastating to consider Yellowcard’s upcoming disbandment following the release of their self-titled album in September, but at least fans are getting another chance to hear their favorite songs. This summer on Warped, Yellowcard reaches back, playing a variety of fan favorites, including four tracks from their smash album Ocean Avenue. Warped Tour won’t be the same without Yellowcard, but we’re thankful that we get to say goodbye.

Yellowcard

Yellowcard

The Word Alive

Even though Phoenix metalcore act The Word Alive are still a relatively young band, they’re now Warped veterans, spending their fourth summer on the tour. With Dark Matter, the band has evolved from their beginnings, offering a taste of experimental rock and even nu metal sounds. Their setlist is a wild ride, especially with Tyler “Telle” Smith on the mic, working the crowd into a frenzy.

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

Secrets

San Diego’s Secrets have had their fair share of re-birth, now enlisting their third vocalist in Wade Walters to handle screaming duties. Multiple changes behind the mic have done little to slow the band down, though, with last year’s Everything That Got Us Here being the band’s strongest work to date. Walters and clean vocalist and guitarist Richard Rogers are now one of the scene’s best one-two punches, providing fans with plenty of reason to jump around in the pit.

Secrets

Secrets

Sleeping with Sirens

Sleeping with Sirens have not only climbed the Warped ladder through the years, they’ve also covered a lot of sonic ground that has kept the band fresh in the eyes and ears of their fans. Last year’s Madness finds the band experimenting with pop elements in addition to ragers like “We Like it Loud” and “Kick Me”, which elicit excitement from the Warped Tour crowd.

Sleeping with Sirens

Sleeping with Sirens

Emarosa

Moments after the rest of Emarosa takes the stage for their set at Warped, vocalist Bradley Walden shoots into the crowd, performing “Miracle” from inside the pit. It’s the kind of energy that makes this summer tour such a blast for fans, especially when you consider the heart and soul poured into the band’s latest release, 131. Walden and company have taken their game to a whole new level, which is saying a lot for one of the most captivating bands in the post-hardcore scene.

Emarosa

Emarosa

Real Friends

Considering the clamor surrounding their debut, it’s still incredible to see how much Real Friends has upped the ante with their new release, The Home Inside My Head. The band continues to come into their own, now gracing the main stage for this summer’s Warped Tour. Dan Lambton bounds about the stage wailing with passion while the rest of the band drives their set forward, much to the crowd’s delight. Sometimes singing the saddest songs can still be a joyous affair.

Real Friends

Real Friends

I See Stars

It’s possible that Treehouse is the most criminally underrated album of 2016. The latest from electronicore act I See Stars finds Devin Oliver handling full vocal duty for the first time, and his stage presence at Warped is something to behold. The band still brings the house down with hits like “Murder Mitten” and “Filth Friends Unite”, but showcase newfound potential with new tracks like “Mobbin’ Out”. On their third full trek on the summer tour, I See Stars are sounding better than ever.

I See Stars

I See Stars

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.

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Review: Secrets – Everything That Got Us Here

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With the mid-to-late aughts creating such a quagmire of melodic metalcore acts, it’s easy to see why one might want to abandon ship in favor of fresher waters. But with a risk of alienating an established fanbase or falling prey to the siren song of radio rock pretension that continues to burrow it’s way into the scene, how do you change course without losing credibility? Sometimes a little tweaking is all that’s needed.

You can buy Everything That Got Us Here on iTunes.

You can buy Everything That Got Us Here on iTunes.

San Diego post-hardcore outfit Secrets may have found the formula for reinvention on their latest release, Everything That Got Us Here. Despite the loss of the band’s second unclean vocalist (Aaron Melzer) in as many releases earlier this year, Secrets have soldiered on, but have made some significant sonic upgrades that serve the band well without feeling cheap or inauthentic.

Melzer’s replacement, Wade Walters, also handles bass duties, but his vocal role is one of support – indeed, guitarist Richard Rogers is now the voice of Secrets. Already deemed as one of the strongest (and most underrated) vocalists in the scene, Rogers shines mightily in this new revamped version of Secrets. No longer confined to chorus duty, Rogers’ melodies are more enticing than ever.

While remnants remain of Secrets’ metalcore roots, Everything That Got Us Here is more akin to the self-titled era of Saosin than to your garden variety Rise-core. Lead single “Rise Up” is a fist-pumping anthem, fueled by the soaring vocals of Rogers, relying on guitars and drums to lift the song higher without the need to bring it all crashing down. Although there’s not much meat to the track lyrically, the song serves as a microcosm for this new melodically aggressive rendering of Secrets.

During the best moments of Everything That Got Us Here, the band show flashes of the metalcore crunch that fueled Fragile Figures, but rely much more on pop sensibilities and driving guitar melodies. On the stellar “Half Alive”, Rogers seethes in response to scene apathy, singing “Blend in, blend in to the mess, it’s better to fit in / They scream give in, give up what’s left of your innocence”. His fuming chorus of, “Ring me out to dry / Nothing left inside cause my passion left me half alive / Have I lost the fight? / Was it meant to be or should I let this die?” is a highlight of the album.

Similarly, “The Man That Never Was” is another big step forward for the band with a track that wouldn’t sound out of place on They’re Only Chasing Safety. Even when Secrets reveal their influences, the take is refreshing enough that it doesn’t feel re-hashed. “In Loving Memory” may be the closest the band comes to relying on old tendencies, with Walters screaming, “Agony is my reality” over a powerful breakdown, but even this rendering feels more inspired than you’d expect.

Even so, Everything That Got Us Here has its flaws – “For What it’s Worth” is a wannabe pop punk track that falls flat thanks to some uninspired songwriting, while the acoustic “The One With No One” attempts to capture the spark that made this summer’s Renditions so pleasing, but ends up feeling hollow. These blemishes are certainly acceptable in light of the band’s overhaul and don’t detract from how fun the rest of this record is.

In light of this year’s member upheaval, no one would have blamed Secrets for hanging it up. Instead, the band regrouped and pieced together the best album of their career thus far. Everything That Got Us Here is an acknowledgement of how turbulent the ride has been, but with a slick new sound and a solid album under their belt, chances are that clear skies lie ahead.

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.

Secrets Release Music Video for “Rise Up”

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Post-hardcore act Secrets are gearing up for the release of their new album, Everything That Got Us Here, which drops December 11 via Rise Records. Recently, the band released a music video for the first single from the album, “Rise Up”. You can read a write-up on the band over at Billboard and preorder the album on iTunes.

Check out the video below:

What do you think of the new song? Tell us in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Review: Secrets – Renditions

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Since the release of their breakthrough album Fragile Figures in the summer of 2013, Rise Records act Secrets have literally been on the rise. The band resonated with the Warped crowd over the past two years and have landed on some major national tours alongside the likes of The Devil Wears Prada, Dance Gavin Dance and more.

A large part of what makes the band so enjoyable is their knack for melding metalcore and melody in a way that goes down easy for all kinds of listeners. Their catchy choruses reverberate with the pop punk pack while the band’s crunchy breakdowns strike a chord within hardcore circles. But what happens when the flash and flair are stripped away? Secrets have provided us the answer in the form of their new acoustic EP, Renditions.

This sort of outing isn’t uncommon: label mates Hands Like Houses and Issues released their own stripped down recordings in the form of Reimagine and Diamond Dreams just last year. What makes Renditions unique is its simplicity. This isn’t some experimental endeavor for the band – it’s a bare bones presentation in every sense of the word.

Recorded with Saosin’s Beau Burchell, Renditions is a truly intimate affair. The delicate nature of these recordings makes it sound as though the band were right in your living room. Gone is the violent delivery of Aaron Melzer and the band’s typical flair for the dramatic. Instead, gentle acoustic guitar notes back clean vocalist Richard Rogers as he delicately delivers each song.

“Forever and Never” opens the EP, fully capturing the band’s transition from heavy to light. The song’s new feel gives its chorus a poppy summertime vibe, even as the lyrics still sting. Somehow, lines like “How could you expect a boy like me to ever stand a chance against a girl like you?” take on an even weightier meaning in this new venue.

“Dance of the Dead” stands in stark contrast to its original form. This stripped down adaptation captures the song’s crushing emotion in a completely new way, backed by a plucking acoustic guitar. Rogers shines brightly on a new, tender version of “Fragile Figures”, which features cool harmonies during the song’s catchy chorus. You can still feel the original track within each of these songs, but it never feels as though something is missing.

Secrets slightly misstep on Renditions with a new song titled “What’s Left of Us”. While the strings and keys are a pleasant addition to the mix, the track is unable to overcome tired, cliché lyrics on the part of Rogers, even as his vocals plead. Nevertheless, the closer does little to pull down the EP as a whole.

The only major drawback to Renditions is that it’s not a new full length from the band. Rest assured, Secrets’ much-awaited third album is in the works and is sure to satiate those that desire a heavier edge. In the meantime, Renditions is a perfect soundtrack for summer nights and sing-alongs, cementing the band’s songwriting prowess and adding a new dimension to a handful of already impressive tracks.

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.

Secrets to Release “Renditions” on April 7

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Rise Records band Secrets have announced the release of an acoustic EP titled Renditions on April 7. Renditions will features three tracks from the band’s breakthrough 2013 album Fragile Figures, along with a brand new song titled “What’s Left of Us”. You can preorder Renditions here and stream the new song below:

Share your thoughts on the new song in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

10 must-see bands on this summer’s Warped Tour

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We’re creeping closer and closer to this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, which kicks off on June 13 in Houston, Texas. As usual, the lineup is massive, likely leaving you with touch choices to make on the day of the tour as to which bands to watch. What happens when two or more bands you want to see are taking the stage at nearly the same time?

Lucky for you, we’re spotlighting ten must see bands at this year’s tour, making your selection process just a tad simpler. Take a look below to see a few of the bands we think you should watch for and let us know which bands you’re looking forward to seeing in the replies!

Anberlin

anberlin_newAs if being one of the most important emo/alt-rock bands of the past decade wasn’t already enough of a reason see Anberlin on this year’s Warped Tour, the band is calling it quits this year, meaning this may be your last chance to see them. Vocalist Stephen Christian is one of the best true performers in the scene and the band has a monstrous back catalogue with too many incredible jams to fit them all into one set. Anberlin will be releasing their final album, Lowborn, on June 23, so be sure to pick up a copy at their merch table after catching their set! – Kiel Hauck

Saves The Day

saves_the_dayRegardless of your stance on the band, Saves the Day are staples to the pop punk genre. Chris Conley’s massive and legendary arsenal of songs were designed to play loud during hot summer days. Warped Tour is the ideal venue for the band, as it’s a massive mash up of newer and old-school fans watching a band born from the influences of the early days of Warped Tour. Saves the Day are pretty stationary on stage, but with sing-a-longs as immortal as theirs, it doesn’t even matter; the crowd will do the hard work for them. – Kyle Schultz

Every Time I Die

every_time_i_dieEvery Time I Die is becoming something of a Warped staple, making their sixth trek on the tour this summer. The metalcore giants always put on an insanely entertaining show and will be dropping a new album, From Parts Unknown, later this summer. If the first song, “Thirst”, is any indication, the band is sure to be shredding the Monster Energy Stage with some thunderous new tracks. Frontman Keith Buckley is one of the best live screamers around and the rest of his band mates know how to put on a show. If you see one heavy band on this year’s tour, make sure it’s Every Time I Die. – KH

Real Friends

real_friendsThis is a pivotal year for Real Friends: Their debut album Maybe This Place Is The Same and We’re Just Changing releases in July, midway through their first full run of the tour. After playing a good portion of the tour last year, they’re returning as veterans with the same energetic performances that got them there in the first place. Real Friends provide a fork in the road for pop punk, as their melodies are harsh, beautiful and poetic, but it manages to find a way to sound like the unrefined classic punk that forged the genre. – KS

Issues

issuesIssues made their first Warped Tour appearance last year on the Kevin Says Stage. They’ve upgraded to the Journeys Stage this year and will be playing jams from their self-titled full length debut throughout the summer. The tradeoff vocals between Michael Bohn and crooner Tyler Carter, coupled with their metalcore/nu-metal hybrid make this an intriguing band to watch. Not only are they one of the fastest rising bands in the scene, they put on an extremely fun set, complete with a live DJ. Don’t let the scene police fool you – Issues have something to prove this summer and are sure to be main stage material in the very near future. – KH

One OK Rock

One OK RockRepresenting one of the few JRock bands to extensively tour the US, One OK Rock is an experiment of blended cultures and one of the few non-European bands to attempt to break into the scene. Blending the pop of Fall Out Boy with the heavy metal  chords of early Linkin Park, the bands links the sounds together with strong pop punk to keep their sound diverse, edgy and nostalgic. Though they mostly sing in Japanese, there are a few songs in English to help them attract new fans. They might seem slightly out of place amidst the young punk acts, but it’s just another battleground for a band that wants to prove themselves at every possible challenge. – KS

We Are the In Crowd

we_are_the_in_crowd_2014Hopeless Records pop punk act We Are the In Crowd will be making their third appearance on Warped Tour this summer and look primed to explode. The band’s recent sophomore release Weird Kids is a true testament to the band’s growth as songwriters. Weird Kids is an eclectic collection of songs that pack a lot of heart – many of which beg to be heard at high volume in the summer heat. Lead vocalist Tay Jardine has a knack for commanding the stage and the charisma to draw increasingly large Warped crowds. Don’t be surprised to see these guys storm the main stage very soon. – KH

Teenage Bottlerocket

Teenage_bottlerocketPerhaps one of the most ‘classic’ bands of the tour, Teenage Bottlerocket is the band that punk was made for. Their songs are fast, simple and incredibly catchy. They sound similar to The Ramones, but only because it’s the perfect formula for songwriting when all you want to do is make noise. With the heat of Warped Tour to give them energy, Teenage Bottlerocket are sure to pump the crowd into an absolute frenzy. There is no other band as straightforward as that. – KS

Secrets

secretsSan Diego post-hardcore band Secrets made a short appearance on Warped Tour last year, but will be making the full trek in 2014. On the heels of last year’s sophomore album Fragile Figures, Secrets is certainly on the rise. The back and forth vocals between Aaron Melzer and Richard Rogers put many other metalcore acts to shame, while the band’s ability to transition between heavy and light has caught the ear of many. Expect the band’s set on the Journey Stage to attract a slew of new fans and feature plenty of breakdowns and sing-a-longs. – KH

Bowling For Soup

bowling_for_soupDespite being a successful band for twenty years, you don’t hear from Bowling For Soup too often. However, they’re a band that grew up with the early players of Warped Tour and have kept on after many of their peers fell apart. With their perfect hooks and dedicated choruses that never take themselves seriously, they’ll absolutely crush the stage. BFS are a band dedicated to enjoying themselves and entertaining anyone willing to listen. As the old pros of the tour, I can’t wait to see what they have in store compared to so many younger bands still trying to make a name for themselves. – KS

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.