The Relationship, “Break Me Open”
Clara Obscura (Platoon)
Recommended If You Like: Weezer, obviously (read on for why)
When you’re in Weezer and your name is not Rivers Cuomo, you’re going to have to look elsewhere if you want to record your songs. Such is the case with rhythm guitarist Brian Bell, who has been moonlighting on his own as The Relationship since 2006. Although this second album (don’t confuse this project with his other bands, Space Twins, Carnival Art or Homie) sounds all California-beachy, it’s actually a breakup band. You’ve been warned.
Taylor Knox, “The Stars”
RIYL: Stepping in from the shadows.
There’s a very good chance you’ve already seen and heard Taylor Knox without knowing it. Knox is an in-demand sideman who has been hired by groups as diverse as Sloan and Owen Pallett. He’s now decided after playing music for other people for years, he’s ready to release his first full album. Building on a 2015 EP called Lines, Taylor’s first full album features eleven tracks that are basically love songs without sounding mushy.
All-American Rejects, “Sweat”
RIYL: Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, Fall Out Boy
It’s been more than five years since the last AMR album and fans are still wondering what’s going on. This track is part of a double A-side release (the band prefers the term “two-song EP,” but ‘c’mon!) with a ballad-y track called “Close Your Eyes”. They promise that a new album is coming, but aren’t really sure when it’ll be out.
Linkin Park, “Talking To Myself”
One More (Warner Brothers)
RIYL: Extreme makeovers
The jury is still way, WAY out when it comes to Linkin Park’s change in direction for their seventh album. Some reviewers have not been kind to the band’s embrace of pure pop (NME gave this record a 2 out of 10) while others have hailed this a brave new direction for the group. Me? I’ll be over here listening to Hybrid Theory.
Broken Social Scene, “Protest Song”
Hug of Thunder (Arts & Crafts)
RIYL: Proper indie CanRock
Seven years is a long time between albums. And I can’t imagine how difficult it was to round up more than a dozen current and former members of the collective to make this record. And when you listen to the album, you slowly realize that this is a protest record. This is one of the great songs from the record. Love the guitar interplay.