Surrender The Ghost-We Don’t Do Pity: First impression, first few notes, “This sounds like Sunny Day Real Estate, I’m going to like this.” As the song went on, the more I liked it and it stayed true to the era of bands like SDRE, Jawbreaker, and Braid. Surrender the Ghost is a newer band to the Columbus, OH scene but don’t be fooled, they are veterans of the scene. Members have spent time in bands such as Lowmen, Move Home, and My Freshman Year. STG recently played their first show and the reaction from the crowd was great, especially for this song, as it was the only song most of us knew. Their second show is next week opening for Every Avenue. Remember this name.

Stand Still-Steps Ascending: This is a band to know. I have been waiting for their debut album since I first heard them. They dropped a few singles before the album was released last Friday. This is my favorite of them, but the album as a whole is fantastic. This single however is everything I would expect from a Long Island Post-Hardcore/Emo band. There is something in the water there, I swear. The passion in the vocalist’s voice is next level, especially during the chorus. You feel what he is feeling through the speakers. And the instruments take me back to 2000-2006 when the last crop of LI bands was blowing up.

Point North-Unholy Confessions: I love a good cover and this is just that. Yes, this is the Avenged Sevenfold song by the way. This year Hopeless Records is celebrating 30 years. They had present bands cover past and present bands on the label. This is one I did not see coming. While they made it their own, it still sticks to what made the original so popular. The vocals are what instantly stuck out to me. Jon Lundin did a great job with them. I would love to know what M. Shadows thinks of this.

Cigarettes After Sex-Baby Blue Moon: This is one of those bands that it does not matter what they put out, there is a 90% chance I am going to like it. This is no different. Cigarettes After Sex do not miss. The first time I heard this was on Friday night, it set the tone for the rest of my evening. Very relaxing and somber. If you like to listen to calmer music after a long day or a good show, this is it. I am very excited about their new album. If this single is any indication, this album is going to be the one that makes them a household name. You heard it here first.

American Aquarium-Cherokee Purples: Lyrics make the song for me. BJ Barham is one the best songwriters you will find today. He is a natural storyteller and that’s what’s going on here. Everything in this song is things I experienced during my summers as a child, from drinking out the hose to putting tobacco on a bug bite, to chasing fireflies, to my grandma. Summers were the best time of my life as a child and I always think about those times this time of the year as my students are enjoying their summer break. I always tell them to be free, run wild, and enjoy it. That’s what this song is about, enjoying that time. I appreciate that. And of course, we down south know the best ‘Mater Sandwiches are made with Duke’s Mayonnaise.

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