Hey! Listen to James Blake!

There are few artists in the entirety of music who have the level of impact on my emotional state that James Blake does. His debut, self-titled record was on constant repeat during my college years, and each subsequent EP, single, and record only made me fall more deeply in love…

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Matt Mingus & Will Swan of Dance Gavin Dance: The Heavy Blog Interview

Thanks to the editor gods, I was given an opportunity to talk to the two founding members of my favorite band of all time, Dance Gavin Dance. For me, this is a dream come true. For you, it’s an insight into the minds of drummer Matt Mingus and guitarist Will Swan, two essential components that are integral to one of the most unique bands of the last 15 years. On the last day of their tour with Underoath and Veil of Maya (the only other band I’ve interviewed), we had a chat over Skype. We talked about how they select album titles, how they view bands getting softer as they get older and the legendary Paul Blart.

Stepping Stone: INXS’s Kick

Like many metalheads, I spent many a year condemning anything verging on pop as simplistic, saccharine drivel manufactured to appeal to the lowest common denominator of music listeners. Over time I’ve softened and come to appreciate that not all pop-infused music can be painted with the same brush. More than…

In Defense Of Linkin Park’s New Generic Pop Sound

Linkin Park are pop now. With their last three tracks – “Heavy,’’ “Battle Symphony’’ and “Good Goodbye’’ – they are one step closer to becoming an all-out boyband. Even for a band who are hated by a significant portion of metal circles, the new tracks have incurred the wrath and mockery of haters and fans alike. But it’s not that much of a grand departure either; Linkin Park has always been rooted in pop music to an extent. When they arrived on the scene during the apex of nu-metal, they brought a polished shine to the genre that was much more accessible than that of their peers. Hybrid Theory was a groundbreaking album in many ways, but it lacked the abrasiveness of Limp Bizkit and Korn records, offering a squeaky clean alternative to many of their peers. While pop elements can be found in the music of most popular nu-metal bands from the genre’s heyday, Linkin Park embraced them more on a grander scale from the get go.

Indie Rapidfire Roundup – La Sera, Nicolas Jaar & Preoccupations

With Heavy Blog having changed the kind of content we publish and how we publish it, we’ve decided to retire our recurring Unmetal Monday column in favor of more ongoing/mercurial coverage of unmetal genres like indie rock, alternative, EDM, and more. One of the side effects of this is that we no longer had a central place to write about new music and albums from these kinds of artists/bands in a more informal way – things we might want to talk about but not necessarily in long-form. In light of that and our tradition of combining certain metal releases into groups to form “Rapidfire Reviews,” we’ve established this semi-regular column to take three recent or upcoming releases from the world of “indie” in the pejorative sense and offer some quick takes on them. In our latest Indie Rapidfire Roundup, contributor Mike McMahan and editors Nick Cusworth and Scott Murphy offer their thoughts on three very different, yet all well-anticipated albums: La Sera’s Queens, Nicolas Jaar’s Sirens and Preoccupations self-titled debut.

Unmetal Monday – 7/11/16 (The Avalanches, Daymé Arocena, Pity Sex, Unconscious Disturbance)

Like the grand majority of modern metal fans, our tastes here at Heavy Blog are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a recurring column which covers noteworthy news, tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:

In Defense Of – Issues

With the recent release of the new Issues album Headspace, I think now is as good a time as any to contend with something that’s sat with me for years. In 2014, our beloved creator Jimmy posted a review for their self-titled debut. I encourage you to read his full thoughts on the album, but if you want the long story short, he wasn’t a fan of it due to bad production choices, banal lyrics and lack of strong songwriting. He gave it a 1.5/5, even going so far as to accuse the record of being “cringe-inducing.” Jimmy’s review has haunted me on and off ever since he posted it, as the record was my 2014 album of the year, so I think it’s time that I got into Issues’ corner to defend its honor by addressing some of Jimmy’s gripes while throwing in my own points of positivity.

The Body – No One Deserves Happiness

However, despite what the name implies, No One Deserves Happiness is NOT the warm, fuzzy Rom-Com soundtrack we all thought it might be, instead proving itself to be a strange, savage piece of music that fits somewhere between the usual output of The Body and a Rihanna album. It is odd in all the best ways, a true testament of counter-counter-culture, perfect for listening to while lurking in a basement somewhere with the lights off, refusing to shower, refusing to use even a smidgeon of deodorant for fear that it may actually attract someone of the opposite sex. Yes, this album is nasty, a true central pillar in a world of grime, but oddly enough, poppy in the most perverse way possible, a contrast that proves once again that The Body is unafraid to tread where others fear to go, refusing to set trends because the music is abrasive to the point where no one in their right mind would want to copy it. With all of this in mind, enter No One Deserves Happiness, a masterpiece of perverted pop music.

Something Different: The Cover Up

After not having visited the blog for a few days due to some medical hiccups I stumbled upon Jimmy’s post detailing some of the complaints for the blog. One of them being variety of bands discussed at HBIH. I have to agree that what attracted me to this website was…