Paper Tongues – “Amen”: This is the first song to be released from their to be titled sophomore album, and it’s a catchy one. The melody is oddly familiar sounding, and doesn’t quite carry as much muscle as the first single from their first record, “Trinity.” Aswan North’s vocals are spot on as usual, and the band sounds good but I’d like to see a bit more evolution in the next record as a whole. Here’s hoping they’ll get the break-out they deserve.
Linkin Park – “Burn it Down”: This Linkin Park blends the old and the new of the band. Sonically, it sounds much like Minutes to Midnight but doesn’t carry the same epic soaring melodies of “New Divide.” It’s nice to hear Mike Shinoda’s rapped vocals again. Think of it as “In the End” and “Iridescent” plus a little something new. I like it.
Pioneer – “Dreams”: Stellar Kart-esque vocals carry a song that soars, albeit not too far into unknown territory. It does so enough to fit the lyrical themes, though. Production is good, and I could see this becoming a summer anthem of sorts. Ok, lyrics may or may not fit but songs like this are what I enjoy blasting whilst driving late at night in July and August. This small band already has a number one hit on the Christian rock charts, keep an eye on them too.
Write This Down – “Red 7″: The genre-bending rock trio is back this summer, and this song is one of the first previews of the new record we have. They find themselves embracing their hardcore side in a way that is much more effective than “Renegade” off their first record. Call/answer vocals in a huge chorus (albeit one where you can tell hitting those notes was a challenge) are for the most part a good choice.