A Playlist from WBER’s DJ David

May 25, 2012

Drawing inspiration from a Library Journal article about two librarians, Andrew Coulon and Matthew Moyer from the Jacksonville, Florida Public Library, that have reached out to DJs in their community for inspiration to expand their CD collection and to create playlists for their patrons. I immediately thought of Rochester’s alternative rock station WBER. I sent an e-mail to the station manager and within a day DJ David  visited me in the library and was totally on board with a collaboration. David is an Irondequoit native and volunteers at the station. He has already become a wonderful resource by giving me names of bands and artists to become aware of. Here is the first of hopefully many playlists that David has put together for me.  He describes this playlist,

“The common denominator is that they’re (mostly) hard rock artists (with a couple of them leaning more towards hardcore/metal).  They’re all very energetic.”

New Noise/ Refused

Many who listen to this album will say “Hey, this isn’t punk” after not finding the power chords and I-IV-V structures that they associate with poppy skatepunk bands like NOFX and Lagwagon, but this is what revolution is all about — taking an industry of specifications and expectations and turning it fully on its head, yet holding on to some semblance of what once was. Refused are pure innovation and passion spouting Nation of Ulysses-esque doctrine while fusing together the bite and flavor of fist-raised, Dillinger Escape Plan-style hardcore with ambient textures, jazz breakdowns, and other such deviations. – All Music Guide

All I Want/ A Day To Remember

The fourth full-length offering from Ocala, FL-based punk-pop/metalcore outfit A Day to Remember opens with vocalist Jeremy McKinnon screaming “I am fueled by all forms of failure”. What Separates Me from You is whiney, petulant, immature, hopeless, and thoroughly addicting, as the ten songs contained within the gatefold packaging (with the not-so-subtle painting of a man on a busy city street, trapped in an hourglass as the sand piles up around him) are as immaculately crafted and engaging as they are blindingly self-absorbed. Produced by New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert, WSMFY blurs the line between clean vocal emo-punk and throat-exploding metalcore with great success.- All Music Guide

Wake the Dead/ Comeback Kid

The hardcore vets in Comeback Kid have been road warriors for years, and Through the Noise captures the band’s live show in slick CD/DVD format. The videodisc includes a full-length concert in Leipzig, Germany; shot with six cameras, it provides a better view of the group’s on-stage presence than most concert DVDs, and the added documentary, “Our Distance,” gives a retrospective view of the band both on and off the stage. The accompanying CD is quite similar, of course, comprised entirely of tracks from the Leipzig show. Through the Noise is a fans-only release, but those who’ve followed Comeback Kid previously will be pleased with this all-encompassing package.- All Music Guide

Welcome Home/ Coheed and Cambria

The emo chords and songwriting dynamics have been shed in favor of a more prog rock, heavy metal sound that was so dominant throughout the ’80s. Nowhere is this more evident than in the album’s opener, “Welcome Home”; with its bombastic strings, dramatic buildups, breakdowns, and dual guitar solos, it’s one of the best metal licks that 1985 never made. The album concludes with a four-part song cycle that acts as a subplot within the album, and will most likely act as a bridge for volume two when it’s released. But conceptual plots aside, this is an album that finally lives up to the heavy metal promise and unapologetically delivers the goods with a full head of steam.- All Music Guide

Digital Bath/Deftones

Hard rockers Deftones take their heavy post-grunge ways to another level on their third album White Pony. Sensing painful frustrations and personal rediscovery with its allusive microcosm of an album title, the Californian alt-rock five piece were periodically stifled while making White Pony. Their 1997 sophomore effort Around the Fur was hailed to blast out commercially, but such pressure crippled the band musically and personally. The band struggled with leading its direction, trudging through weighed emotion, but White Pony was the tantalizing outcome.-All Music Guide

Lateralus/ Tool

Complex rhythm changes, haunting vocals, and an onslaught of changes in dynamics make this an album other so-called metal groups could learn from. While some compositions seem out of place, others fit together seamlessly, such as the 23-minute song cycle serving as the climax and resolution of the album. However, the album’s most disturbing moment arrives at the end, with dissonant electronic noises placed randomly with a drum solo over a phone call to a talk show discussing the secrets behind Area 51, once again serving as a symbolic gesture from the band encouraging people not to take things at face value and to think for themselves. -All Music Guide

Jars/ Chevelle

Sci-Fi Crimes, the hard rock trio’s fifth album, isn’t so much a change of pace as it is a change in source material from which to draw the group’s fiercely dynamic sound. First single “Jars” explores the down side of “going green” in typical Chevelle style. This is most certainly the same band that draws frequent comparisons to Tool, with its crunchy guitar attack and Loeffler’s unforgettable vocal delivery. – All Music Guide

Satellite/ Rise Against

Following in the footsteps of the wildly successful Appeal to Reason, Rise Against deliver another blast of driving, politically charged, melodic hardcore with Endgame. Musically, Rise Against are as solid as ever, but this time around, it feels like a lot of the heavy lifting is being done by singer Tim McIlrath. The great thing about punk is that it’s not how you say something, it’s what you’re saying, and Rise Against are still a band with plenty to say. All the d-beats and raw vocals in the world don’t mean a thing if you don’t have a message you believe in.  – All Music Guide

Sleep Now in the Fire/ Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine isn’t really the only metal band that matters, but their aggressive social and political activism is refreshing, especially in an age of blind (or usually self-directed) rage due to groups like Limp Bizkit, Bush, or Nine Inch Nails. If anything less than one of the most talented and fiery bands in the music world were backing Zack de la Rocha, The Battle of Los Angeles wouldn’t be nearly as high-rated as it is. -All Music Guide

The Sound of Truth/ As I Lay Dying

An Ocean Between Us offers several new aspects in the band’s sound: the churning hardcore is still very much at the center of the band’s sound, as are the twin lead guitars of Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso. Tim Lambesis is still the growling, razorbladed behemoth he always was, but Gilbert now offers melodic vocals on some choruses, effectively widening the band’s reach even if it takes fans a while to get used to it. The elements that made As I Lay Dying such a successful thrashing metallic unit are still in place; they are the marrow in the band’s sound. These new developments reveal one thing: As I Lay Dying’s members understand that progress is necessary for satisfaction and survival.  -All Music Guide

 

 

 

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