With over 2,000 votes cast the Fan Poll for Scene SC album of the year, the race was very tight. Four bands held the majority of the votes and were all within 3 percentage points of each other, so the last couple of days before the polls closed it was exciting to see who pulled it out. While we will be doing staff top 10′s and also an official Scene SC top 10, it was exciting to see the fans speak.
You, Me and Us describe their music as “Loud,Fast, Angry and Over.” My band was practicing in the Sumter Street sheds at the time I was introduced to these guys. On our back wall was spray painted the words “Play Fast Mother Fucker.” From that point forward I always thought of You,Me and Us when I saw those words. I’m not a punk aficionado, but these guys represent everything I know to be great about punk music and music in general for that fact. They question Government and authority and call out all of our society’s flaws. They express themselves through their music and to me that is what music is really all about. No, punk rock is still not dead and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. Some bands aren’t happy with the genres they are placed in, but You, Me and Us stand proud as a punk band and I couldn’t be happier that these guys are carrying the punk flag from Columbia throughout South Carolina.
#2 Tie between American Gun and This Machine Is Me
I remember a Right Bank Rails at the Red Tub about a year ago when Todd Mathis previewed a handful of songs off of The Means and The Machine. It isn’t often when you hear a song on first listen it sticks with you, but all of these songs did. I remember listening to The Means and The Machine for the first time and already knowing the words to “Horses,” “First Impressions,” “Neil Young Mood” and “Fast One.” There is something familiar to me in all of these songs, and I can’t place it solely on the lyrics or the melody. I have a feeling it has more to do with a mutual appreciation for Southern music and a common music background. This album comes out swinging with Donald Merckle’s confident yet laid back vocals on “Drunk Girls” and “Fight Song” and does nothing but keep your interest with change ups of styles and vocals all the way through to “Jesus Gave Us Rock N Roll.” A fitting ending to an all around solid album.
#2 This Machine Is Me-Make Your Move
Over the last year, This Machine Is Me has grown up as a band and found their market in South Carolina. They established a solid lineup and recorded an EP that has gotten the attention of media all over the east coast. So what do we think? This album does a good job of showing what This Machine Is Me is all about. Everyone has mentioned the fact that they play dance synth rock. I’m sure they have gotten the comparison between The Killers/Paramore a good amount of times. But it all comes down to this. They have good songs. Blake, Jayna and Scott can sit down with acoustic guitars and have the same quality product as when they wrap it in synths and distorted guitars. My favorite song is “Choke” which is now on their myspace acoustic style. We’re ready for the full length. Expect a big 2009 for TMIM.
#4 The Fire Tonight-No One Is Fine
It was an honor to get to play with these guys at their CD release party with my band. After we played I planned on shooting video for The Fire Tonight. I ended up not getting any video of the performance. Why was that you ask? They were too loud for my camera and peaked out the microphone. That is a lot of noise for a three piece. This CD straight up rocks from the opening seconds and from then on sends you into a roller coaster ride of piano driven tracks and riff driven guitar rockers. My favorite tracks are Daniel McClean, Black Confetti and Don’t Look Back. Reminds me a lot of the flow of an Oasis CD. Check it out if you haven’t already.
#5 Attalaya- Escape
The top 5 must run in the family. Lucas Arambula, the bass player of Attalaya, is also the brother of Blake Arambula, guitarist of This Machine Is Me. Attalaya is a young band out of Myrtle Beach that are really starting to establish themselves in the music scene there and hopefully in Columbia soon. Blake Monroe’s songwriting and voice is reminiscent of Jesse Lacey’s in the way he pushes his emotion through his vocals to the point that listeners can feel it. Attention Bands-Bring these guys to Columbia.
So there was a 4 way tie between these bands for the last 2 spots.