More AM than FM: Off The Ground


An Album Review

By Jeff Orrence

More AM than FM is a hard hitting, honest, and heavy rock band from all over Maryland. I had the pleasure of playing with them at the IOTA club in Arlington. They were a great live band, but their album really stands out as something unique and worth listening to.

The album starts off strong with some fantastic lead guitar. Andre is a song that bites hard, with heavy guitar distortion leading into a great lead. This is a song about facing reality, a theme that comes up often in this album. The lyrical melodies and hooks in this song are fantastic, and will stay in your head long after the song has ended. The best part to me has to be the ending. In the breakdown leading up to the final chorus. “I am a stranger to myself, I am a hazard to my health”. There’s something about these lines that sticks with me.

Cause for Alarm beings with a clean sound, with some very pleasant chords. The outlaw country and blues rock influences really shine here. The song picks right up after the revealing introspection of Andre.I love the drumming in this song, it flows seamlessly in and out of verse and chorus. The talent of the rhythm section really stands out here. To me, this song is about releasing held in frustrations. There may be no escape from mistakes, but there is still room to overcome them. Nothing will ever make mistakes go away, but our wrong choices are a huge part of what makes us who we are, and more easily remembered than our accomplishments at times. Definitely my favorite song off of the album, and a great track all around.

Juliette has the spirit of a classic late 70s punk rock song. The clean electric strumming and vocal harmonies are excellent. Listening to it, it kind of makes me want to tattoo my knuckles and get drunk in a city by the sea. The end of the song is full of great vocal overlays, and the bass guitar stands out a lot here. Not as heavy as the rest of the album, but a nice change of pace. The dynamics and songwriting really showcase how diverse More AM than FM is, and how much talent is in this trio.

Kitchen starts off with a palm muted guitar and quickly builds into some amazing leads carried along by the strong rhythm section. The bass is impressive in all the tracks, but I have to say I was very impressed by this one. It pulls you in fast and doesn’t stop hitting. Listening to this album, I would recommend really taking the time to appreciate the nuance and subtlety presented. Listen to all the pieces that make up the whole.

Forty Five. I got so invested in this song I had to listen to it a few times before I could focus enough to take notes. Its deep, quick, bass driven and as always the drums are excellent. This song, in my opinion, has the best drumming on the entire album. There are some new ideas expressed in the songwriting that I really appreciated. Some things you can only get in a trio. The bass responding to the guitar riffs, the drums directing the course, More AM than FM has serious talent. I would say more about the lyrics, but honestly, do yourself a favor and listen to them yourself. Go in with fresh ears and find the meaning that stands out to you.

More AM than FM really has made something special here. The only complaint I have with the album is that is has me so eager for more. With relatable stories and concepts, a truly impressive bassist with a unique style, a drummer that not only keeps the beat but directs it in new an interesting ways, a guitar that can write a great hook and incredible leads, there is so much being offered here. I highly recommend listening to and purchasing this album, and if possible seeing them preform live.

You can listen to the album here:

More AM than FM: Off The Ground

Interview with PAIN!


Interview with Timmy Pain, of Pain!

By Jeff Orrence

Last Friday I got an interview with Timmy Pain, to talk about the local music scene, performing, and the future of punk rock. Here’s what he had to say:
J: Tell me about the local music scene.
TP: It’s got too many cliques. Too many people are cliquey. I do believe there’s a lot of good people, and a lot of bands trying to help each other. The problem is, it’s too cliquey. We need to expand

We need to accept people that aren’t necessarily our style, or our type of music, this that and the other where we are sandboxing ourselves by playing with just the same bands, and doing just the same things, when we can go out and play with other rock bands or hardcore bands or metal bands. Or metal bands playing with rock bands.

Like I said, two years ago we played with Black Veil Brides and it was a packed place. We got shit for doing it because we are a punk band and they’re not. I’ll be honest we played with a band before that was supposed to be one of the biggest old school punk bands ever, and they were more assholes. Actually, Black Veil Brides was appreciative, and nice to us.

They were like, ‘Dude it’s so cool to have a real punk band on the bill’, and their fans freakin’ loved us. It grew our fanbase. So, unless punk rock goes out, and goes to other bands and plays in different places and places we don’t normally play, we are killing our own genre. We aren’t spreading punk rock, and people don’t get to hear it.
There are a lot of boys and girls, kids that don’t know what Bad Religion is, Face to Face, or Alkaline Trio, because they’ve never had anyone stick it in their face. When you play with a band like Black Veil Brides or Mushroom head (etc) you are putting it in their face. If you’re good, and you’re fun, the kids will grasp onto it and then they’ll start looking. I had the parents of the kids who came out write me saying things like, ‘Oh this is so cool, now my kids are checking out the misfits’, and old stuff like that.

Imagine how many kids saw a horror punk band like PAIN, and we aren’t 100% punk rock, we do have a lot of metal in us, some of the new style to us, but at our core we are a punk rock band. We’re just fun, and that’s what you want to be. There’s a lot of good (local) punk rock bands out there, Sonic Creeps, Last Call Hooligans, that are willing to play with bands other than punk rock. That’s what is going to keep punk rock alive, not playing with your little clique because you’re too cool to play for, you know, Three Doors Down or some shit like that, you know? I don’t give a crap. There’s a lot of rock and roll bands on the radio, and their fans just don’t know what good music is. When you show it to them, like we played with Sevendust, 9 Point and Taproot, those kinds of bands. Their fans loved us because we were different.

And that’s the thing, a lot of these bands should go and do that. Play with these other radio rock bands to get the exposure, but also to get punk rock out there. Anybody who says that’s a sellout is fucking stupid, because Rancid is on the radio right now, I guarantee you, and every punk rocker in the area has got a Rancid patch on their butt, so, I’m just saying, we need to get it out there, and we need to stop being worried about what someone is going to say about how cool or uncool it looks. In the end, it’s not about how cool or uncool you are.
It’s about how much fun you’re having!-

For more merchandise, tickets to shows, and information about PAIN!,  check out their website:
Interview with PAIN!