*Top Five Acts You Can't Miss at Rock the Bells
*Top Five Hits: Vinyl Solution in Huntington Beach
*Top Five Hits: Pepperland Records in Orange
For this week, we got in touch with Second Spin, 1781 Newport Blvd. in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8870. This week's top seller might be the first rap album to beat out the rest… It's about damn time.
5. Testament, Dark Roots of Earth (Nuclear Blast)
The crazy flurry of subgenres within the metal genre has always amazed me. So many people think that metal is just drop-d and shredding, screaming or croaking… But the music is so much more complex than that. I've always actually compared modern metal to jazz because some of the best metal comes with a technical complexity that arguably rivals jazz-level greatness. Testament's tenth studio album falls into the category of Thrash, and it's noticeably different than something like black metal. If you're unfamiliar with the subgenres, do yourself a favor and do a sampling of some metal. Start with Dark Roots of Earth. Thank me later.
4. Insane Clown Posse, The Mighty Death Pop! (Psychopath)
If you don't know Insane Clown Posse, there isn't much I can do to help you. I'd suggest a quick Google search, a foray into Wikipedia and some quality time on YouTube to try to explain what comes out when Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope come together. If you're brave, try attending an ICP concert, but be warned. Their style might be best epitomized by their motto: “Fuck keepin' it real. We just keep it entertaining.”
3. The Lumineers, The Lumineers (Dualtone)
The Lumineers have just released their first, self-titled album earlier this year. Strolling in with the kind of sweet acoustic sincerity and organic rhythms that catapulted Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros into relative fame, the Lumineers take their album more in the direction of early Dylan, a vaguely country take on new city indie acoustic.
2. The Gaslight Anthem, Handwritten (Mercury)
Though the new Gaslight Anthem album adheres to the kind of tangible realness implied by its album name, the music itself still maintains a level of pop-punk that a band like Green Day could never transition into. Though I've always thought that Green Day got the short end of the stick when they tried to transition from the iconoclastic Insomniac into the abysmal American Idiot and beyond, the pop-punk genre that arose from their failed ashes feels better and is fun to dance to — it might not be gold, but it's catchy.
1. 2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)
When I was growing up, I held the stereotypical alternative-punk kid stance that all rap was evil and shit music. I've since educated myself on a lot of rap and realized that a lot of it is more poetic than a lot of the pseudo-emotional crap thrown around your local open mic. Now, I'm not saying that “I Luv Dem Strippers” is going to persist as a classic, but I still have a soft spot for this entire genre that I ignored for the better part of my lifetime.