NEW TRACKS: Jack White, “Lazaretto”

Leave it to the musical genius, Jack White, of our generation to combine a rap, throw in a few spanish lyrics, a steady guitar riff, and a fiddle solo in the title track of his upcoming album. After, hearing his first single release “High Ball Stepper” it is clear that the album is going to be boisterous, loud and unrestrained. But seriously, who else can pull this off? Lyrics explain, “They put me down in a lazaretto,” which for those of you who don’t know is a hospital for those with infectious diseases. Maybe we can’t completely identify with the bizarre meaning of the song, but one thing is for certain, Jack White continues to create the most unique and transcendent music of today. I can’t wait to see what songs continue to come from this album and what record he might set next, since he surprised audiophiles by making “Lazaretto” in just under four hours.

-Lauren Rosalanko

GETTING TO ECHOSTAGE: M.I.A. + A$AP Ferg Edition!
This will be one for the ages. Bad girl M.I.A. will take the (Echo)stage to stun us with her new record, Matangi, a unique fusion of international beats and good ol’ fashioned hip hop. Can it get better? Yes it can, because your favorite Trap Lord, A$AP Ferg, will join her! And to further sweeten the deal, we’ve made it super easy for you to figure out your transportation to and from the venue. Hailo even threw in a deal for you: for first-time users, download the app for your iPhone or Android and enter promo code MIARIDE to get up to $15 off your first ride! Have at it!

GETTING TO ECHOSTAGE: M.I.A. + A$AP Ferg Edition!

This will be one for the ages. Bad girl M.I.A. will take the (Echo)stage to stun us with her new record, Matangi, a unique fusion of international beats and good ol’ fashioned hip hop. Can it get better? Yes it can, because your favorite Trap Lord, A$AP Ferg, will join her! And to further sweeten the deal, we’ve made it super easy for you to figure out your transportation to and from the venue. Hailo even threw in a deal for you: for first-time users, download the app for your iPhone or Android and enter promo code MIARIDE to get up to $15 off your first ride! Have at it!

ALBUM REVIEW: The Menzingers, Rented World
Of all the words one could employ to describe Scranton, Pa.’s The Menzingers, straightforward is perhaps the most appropriate. There is nothing technically elaborate about the quartet’s brand of deeply moving, melodic punk rock. They rely only on the basics: guitar, bass, drums, and a steady dose of heartbreak. Their latest effort, Rented World, is no different, but perhaps the most sophisticated of this foolproof formula as of yet.
The album begins on a—you guessed it—straightforward note with “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore.” Vocalist Greg Barnett earnestly apologizes to some nameless love interest for his past indiscretions. Among these, he lists drinking too much, lying, and prying over his lover’s whereabouts. And yet, in true Menzingers fashion, it boils down to one phrase.
This pattern is consistent throughout most of the record. They take millennial angst to its most basic, taking one blatant declaration of feeling and repeating it for added effect. On track four, they repeat, “I know where your heartache exists, it’s when you’re alone or around me.” On track seven, “The Talk,” it’s “I’m not like you.” Track eight, “Nothing Feels Good Anymore,” it’s shockingly just that. Track ten, “In Remission,” it’s “If everyone needs a clutch, then I need a wheelchair.” All of this is layered over the most earnest of punk rock, heavy with vocal harmonization. And though there is an obvious formula to most of the songs on the record, it never becomes stale. Rather it transports you, listener with headphones, to the correct setting. These are lyrics meant for a live show. You can practically see the hoards of late teens/early twenty-somethings climbing over one another in the pit to scream closer to Barnett’s microphone.
That being said, the highlight of the album is the third track, “Rodent.” In terms of lyrical imagery, this one shoots the furthest outside the box. Still ripe with angst, Barnett compares the way he feels trapped in adulthood to the way a mouse is trapped in the walls of a house. The lyrics are powerful, and the harmonization is so, so good. 
This is a record worth checking out, for sure.
-Mandy Brownholtz

ALBUM REVIEW: The Menzingers, Rented World

Of all the words one could employ to describe Scranton, Pa.’s The Menzingers, straightforward is perhaps the most appropriate. There is nothing technically elaborate about the quartet’s brand of deeply moving, melodic punk rock. They rely only on the basics: guitar, bass, drums, and a steady dose of heartbreak. Their latest effort, Rented World, is no different, but perhaps the most sophisticated of this foolproof formula as of yet.

The album begins on a—you guessed it—straightforward note with “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore.” Vocalist Greg Barnett earnestly apologizes to some nameless love interest for his past indiscretions. Among these, he lists drinking too much, lying, and prying over his lover’s whereabouts. And yet, in true Menzingers fashion, it boils down to one phrase.

This pattern is consistent throughout most of the record. They take millennial angst to its most basic, taking one blatant declaration of feeling and repeating it for added effect. On track four, they repeat, “I know where your heartache exists, it’s when you’re alone or around me.” On track seven, “The Talk,” it’s “I’m not like you.” Track eight, “Nothing Feels Good Anymore,” it’s shockingly just that. Track ten, “In Remission,” it’s “If everyone needs a clutch, then I need a wheelchair.” All of this is layered over the most earnest of punk rock, heavy with vocal harmonization. And though there is an obvious formula to most of the songs on the record, it never becomes stale. Rather it transports you, listener with headphones, to the correct setting. These are lyrics meant for a live show. You can practically see the hoards of late teens/early twenty-somethings climbing over one another in the pit to scream closer to Barnett’s microphone.

That being said, the highlight of the album is the third track, “Rodent.” In terms of lyrical imagery, this one shoots the furthest outside the box. Still ripe with angst, Barnett compares the way he feels trapped in adulthood to the way a mouse is trapped in the walls of a house. The lyrics are powerful, and the harmonization is so, so good. 

This is a record worth checking out, for sure.

-Mandy Brownholtz

VOTD: Wild Beasts, “A Simple Beautiful Mind”

What do you get when you take a dreamy electronic track, mix in synchronized dance moves, and set it all against a beautiful landscape? Well, just throw in some space-age light reflective jackets and you get the new Wild Beasts video for “A Simple Beautiful Truth.” Members Hayden Thorpe, Ben Little, Tom Fleming, and Chris Talbot pair robotic dance sequences with their harmonic lyrics and sweeping views of the British countryside in this new video. The awesome new track can stand steadily on its own and the simple video allows the viewer to focus on the music. The outfits and dance may seem silly but they match the futuristic feel of the track. This video is like a pleasant electronic dream, so press play and get ready to escape.

-Janice Freeman  

NEW TRACKS: Sunny Day Real Estate, “Lipton Witch”

They say we shouldn’t call it a comeback, but we at Half Past are absolutely thrilled by the apparent emo revival taking place this year, its most recent form being a new single from storied emo founding fathers Sunny Day Real Estate. “Lipton Witch” was released as a Record Store Day 7” split with Circa Survive, and SDRE hasn’t lost a beat. Lead singer Jeremy Enigk’s voice has picked up some roadside gravel, but the guitars still chime as sharply as they did 20 years ago when the group released their acclaimed debut Diary. 

-Kelsey Butterworth 

NEW TRACKS: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, “Eurydice”

If you’ve ever been driving on a summer night with the windows down and left looking for the perfect song, look no further. New York’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s new single has got you covered. The group’s newest track “Eurydice” comes from the forthcoming album Days of Abandon. It’s as dreamy and smooth as their previous releases but contains a soaring chorus that feels fresh and new. Lead singer Kip Berman and keyboardist Peggy Wang blend their voices seamlessly, and when backed by a floaty keyboard and guitar track, the song feels light and spirited. Whether you’re already a fan of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s music or have never heard of ‘em, wait no longer and make this your new warm weather track. 

-Janice Freeman