Citizen Announces New Album

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Ohio based band Citizen announced today that they will be releasing a new full length album entitled “Everyone is Going to Heaven.”  The album will be released on June 23 via Run For Cover Records.

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Pre-orders have yet to be announced. A teaser video for the album can be seen below.

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Review: The SoCal Pop Punk Coalition Presents WINTER FEST

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Flyer used with permission from The SoCal Pop Punk Coalition

Winter Fest was nothing short of successful. The SoCal Pop Punk Coalition brought out over 200 attendees to the city of Perris, California to enjoy local music from 15 bands and to have a great time.

The event started promptly at 1:00 p.m. and lasted throughout the afternoon. This was the first time the coalition put on a festival, or any show for that matter. As anticipated, the event had its own setbacks, but it was nothing the coalition could not bounce back from with a little hard work and D.I.Y. ethic.

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Photo by Alex Corona

“When I created the SoCal Pop Punk Coalition, I had no idea that it would have grown the way it has and in the direction that it has gone… I’m stoked that this group has stayed true to what was intended,” said Collin Marchese, creator of the SoCal Pop Punk Coalition and vocalist of Graveler (ex-Go For Gold).

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Photo by Alex Corona

The event had two “stages.” The first was where the full bands would set up and play. The other stage was a bonfire where acoustic acts could serenade their fans. Unfortunately, the bonfire stage had to be taken down later on, but show did not slow down. Bands set up merch tables in between these two stages. In addition to the catchy music and intimate setting, a taco truck came to serve hungry attendants around 5:30 p.m.

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Photo by Alex Corona

“Although Perris is far from pretty much everything, the actual layout was really cool…The tacos were an absolute hit! I think the tacos are a big reason why people stayed at the venue all day,” adds Marchese

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Photo by Alex Corona

Although the event was a huge success, it did have its setbacks. Luckily, the coalition rose to the challenges with its talented staff. Trenton Hall was definitely “the real MVP” of the event.

“Having Trenton on board was definitely a major strength for us. We had some issues with some sound equipment during the set up, and I’m grateful to have a partner like Trenton navigating us through those things. Trenton isn’t a guy who is just going to let bands plug in and play. He takes a tremendous amount of pride in his work and it really showed out there,” says Joshua Suchánek, media and promotions coordinator of the SoCal Pop Punk Coalition.

“I met Trenton in college and he has always been that guy you know is going to do something big in life… Trenton is super professional, knows the ‘in’s and out’s’ of live sound, and has a pretty impressive background in live events. Plus, he has done sound for us before and it’s always perfect. We could not have done this without Trenton, I wouldn’t event attempt it,” adds Marchese

The event lasted until the early hours of the evening, allowing attendants to arrive home at a reasonable time and also presented the opportunity to see the other local gigs happening that same night.

“Honestly, I think I can speak for Collin and Trenton when I say that it went better than we planned. It’s really difficult to organize even getting 3 or 4 bands to come together and play a show, so organizing 15 bands was something else entirely,” said Suchánek

This festival was a first attempt for the SoCal Pop Punk Coalition. The coalition plans, and has confirmed, on doing another festival soon in the spring. The next festival is expected to be at the same venue.

How To Safely Buy Merch Online

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Merch can make for a good Christmas gift for a passionate music fan. Photo by Matthew Saunders

With Christmas approaching, many people resort to online shopping for their gift giving needs. One of the most popular gift giving ideas in the independent music scene is giving some form of band merchandise.

Merchandise, commonly know as just “merch,” can range from a variety of collectible items. The most common form of merch is a band t-shirt, but merch can range from a variety of practically endless options including, pillow cases, bags of coffee, and candles.

Regardless of what you plan to buy online, proceed with caution. With all of the recent cyber attacks on multi-million dollar franchises, it is now more than ever easier to fall victim to a cyber attack. Here are a few tips to shop safely online this holiday season.

  1. Always shop on a secure connection
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It may be tempting to buy that limited edition vinyl record from your smartphone using Starbuck’s wifi, but I urge you not to. Businesses that offer complementary wifi are often unsecured wifi networks. This means a trained hacker could easily access the personal information on your phone if they want it that badly. Use common sense when shopping online. Always use a trusted, secure connection.

  1. Know your card

Know how your card works. Know what type of card it is (debit, prepaid or credit), how much money can be used on the card, and refund policies in the event of a cyber attack. The more educated you are on your form of payment, the better defensive strategy you can employ when shopping. Prepaid cards work the best since there is a finite amount on the card and can be used in most cases without the need of personal information.

  1. Study the website

Always buy from a trusted source. Some trusted stores include MerchNow, Merch Connection and Kings Road Merch. Some artists have their own web stores to increase their profit margin. Most of the time, bands will have the URL of their merch store on one their social media pages. If the band does not explicitly imply they have ties with said website, chances are it is not a good idea to shop there. Also, look at your browser’s address bar. A picture with a lock is a must when putting in credit card information. It means that part of the site is encrypted for privacy. Also, look out for “https:” as that means a webpage is encrypted as well. The add-one “HTTPS Everywhere” can force these sites to appear.

  1. Monitor your bank statements

It’s good practice if you’re not doing it already. Most of the time, fraudulent charges are in the high figures, but there will be instances where a few dollars here and there will be taken out and these attacks are harder to spot. Look out for them and report any suspicious activity to your bank immediately.

Online shopping can be fast, easy and convenient, but always be cautious and forward thinking. “The best defense is a good offense.”

The Five Stages of a Breakup Defined by Pop Punk Songs

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Sometimes the “perfect relationship” wasn’t meant to be. It’s good to know the pop punk bands below have been through the same ordeal and are here to remind you it gets better.

The genre of pop punk has built a reputation on the lyrical themes of love and relationships. Ever since the inception of the genre, bands have been singing about sweet and sour relationships alike. With that said, here are the five songs that outline the five stages of a breakup.

  1. Denial:

Sometimes it’s hard to accept the end of a relationship. Real Friends knows that feeling very well. In “Hebron” the verse “You still run through my head every night when I lay in bed, “ rings the strongest.

  1. Anger

Anger naturally occurs to someone post breakup. The Story So Far is familiar with this anger. “You embody everything I hate,” sings Parker Cannon in “High Regard.”

  1. Bargaining

Derek Sanders (Mayday Parade) was willing to give his heart “as an offering.” Love can make people do crazy thing that they wouldn’t normally do.

  1. Depression

Man Overboard has made a reputation off of catchy love songs, but the band also has written depressing sad songs. The song “She’s Got Her Own Man Now” is self-explanatory.

  1. Acceptance

We can’t control the outcome of a breakup, but we can control how we react. No matter what happens, always try to be like Neck Deep and find a “Silver Lining.”

Seasons Change: The Band You Need to Listen To

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Seasons Change (used with permission from the band)

 

With the recent wave of pop punk music hitting the mainstream, teenagers and young adults alike are trying to form pop punk bands of their own. There are a plethora of young and hopeful newcomers all across the country; however, one band from California has been able to stand out from the rest and go against the grain. That band is Seasons Change.

Seasons Change is a pop punk band from Pico Rivera, California, that has recently signed to No Sleep Records. Yes, this local band has done what many bands hope to one day accomplish, which is to sign to a record label. This poses the question of how Seasons Change amount to their success.

Seasons Change went through a few lineup changes in their first year of existence. It wasn’t until a show with the band Major League did the band settle on the lineup that they have today. After Major League saw Seasons Change live and noted their work ethic, word quickly spread about the band.

“We owe a lot to Pomona and the Inland Empire. Every time we came to play in Fontana, Rialto, and Rancho Cucamonga, kids at these shows would show us mad love and support. Andrew Glover (bassist of Winds of Plague) noticed us from these shows and wanted to record an EP with us. Andrew eventually became our manager,” says guitarist Johnny Ozeta.

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Johnny Ozeta, guitarist of Seasons Change (used with permission from Krystina Alfonso photography)

Seasons Change’s “Nothing and Everything” record release show

“We worked with him to produce ‘Nothing and Everything.’ We had a record release show for the EP at Aladdin Jr’s in Pomona. We had such a positive crowd response and turnout that Nate of Xibalba wanted to be our booking agent. We owe a lot to both Nate and Andrew,” adds Ozeta.

After the record release show, Seasons Change started booking tours D.I.Y style. Shortly after touring and some more self-promotion, the band’s manager received a call from No Sleep Records. The rest is history.

The band has received critical acclaim since their signing. Seasons Change has received the opportunity to perform with some of their favorite acts including: Handguns, Stickup Kid and Forever Came Calling.

“These kids are in it for the real reason. They are in it for the music, not for some trendy tumblr act,” said Major League guitarist Brian Anthony Joyce at Major League’s headline show at Chain Reaction this past March.

The reason Season Change got offered a record deal is because every member in the band is a passionate and hard working individual. The band has always gone out of their way to promote and network at local showcase. Even after signing to No Sleep Records, the band can still be found forging new friendship at local shows.

The band recently wrapped up touring on the “Death to False Music Tour.” Seasons Change is set to do a string of dates with Turnstile, Superheaven and Take Offense.

EHM: The Next Big Genre of Music

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Vocalist Zack Johnson of the band I See Stars. I See Stars is known for coining the term “EHM.”

Amongst the sea of subgenres, Electronic Hardcore Music (EHM for short) has been making strides in the past two years.

EHM takes the popular sound of Dubstep of the late ’00s/early ’10s and pairs it with the intensity of post-hardcore and metalcore. EHM is not to be confused with the sub genre “happy hardcore.”

The earliest form of EHM can be traced back to the band Enter Shikari. The politically active group from the United Kingdom had made a name for themselves with their blend of electronic and post-hardcore music. However, Enter Shikari was not out to create a subgenre. The band just wanted to write music they liked.

The term EHM wasn’t coined until the band I See Stars put out an album entitled “New Demons.” I See Stars wanted a more aggressive and vengeful sound for their new album. Since the release of New Demons, I See Stars having been pushing the term all over social media.

Even nü metal legend Korn collaborated with critically acclaimed dubstep artist Skrillex to make the jump between the genres.

It is now more common to see a mix of metal and dubsteb. More bands have been emerging from the genre including: Palisades, Abandon All Ships and Exotype. The genre is still developing, but interest and composition within the genre are rising exponentially.

Artist Spotlight: The Bear Season

The Bear Season is an easycore sextet hailing from Montevideo, Uruguay. The band formed in 2010, a year many easycore fans agree was the peak of the genre.

The band’s sound pulls influence from similar bands of the genre including: A Day to Remember, Four Year Strong and Chunk! No Captain Chunk!

Although the band is heavily influenced by the easycore genre, the band draws influence from other genres of rock as well. The band covered Say Anything’s “Woe” back in 2012.

“Woe” is softer material compared to what the band is known for playing. This goes to show the diverse background of The Bear Season.

In addition to the hard hitting, synthesizer driven easycore music the band is known for, The Bear Season makes catchy and beautifully written acoustic music, demonstrated in their single “This Is Not A Test.”

With the plethora of covers the band has made their own, as well as their catchy originals, The Bear Season proves the easycore scene is alive and well in Uruguay. The band has been quite for the majority of 2014, but fans are hopefully The Bear Season will pick up with new music soon.