Archive for wes eisold

Song of the Week – “(We Are)” by American Nightmare/Give Up the Ghost

Posted in song of the week with tags , , , , on February 16, 2009 by sae

Welcome to The Testing Ground’s very first Song of the Week review.  Even though it’s the Song of the Week, expect it to be more bi/tri monthly until I really get into the swing of things.  Without further ado, one of my favorites…

“(We Are)” by American Nightmare, later known as Give Up the Ghost, is one of the most amazing pieces of music I have discovered in the last two years. I started listening to American Nightmare in 2008, long after their 2004 breakup, but despite my late arrival, I am certainly glad I eventually made it to their party .

I won’t bore you with the details of my descent into their music, but I will say that the first times I heard Year One and Background Music I could not believe the musical gems I was unearthing. I got that feeling I get every time I discover music that will truly stick with me. My eyes get wide, I turn to whoever is next to me and I ask, “How the hell didn’t we already know about this?” The same thing happened the first time I heard Red Sparowes’s At the Soundless Dawn.

American Nightmare’s singer Wes Eisold sets the tone of this lonesome anthem about having given up and being absolutely set upon that decision with the first line of the song, “This is the soundtrack to saying goodbye.”

I’ve shown the lyrics of (We Are) to a lot of my friends who don’t listen to aggressive music. In general they’ve liked the lyrics, but have almost universally commented that these words are some of the most depressing writing they have ever read. I certainly cannot deny this, because Wes writes using very bleak imagery, but I believe my friends all miss something I feel in these words. What my friends miss, I hear in the delivery of the lyrics juxtaposed with the aggressive tone of the music. While the words alone sound tragic, when I hear this song, I am always filled with hope.

Something I love about American Nightmare is how their music creates this space where, for the moment, it is completely okay to say, “Fuck everything, I give up. The world sucks, life sucks, I’m drowning in emotional torment and everything is going to hell. I am angrier than I’ve ever been and it’s not going to get better.” While this attitude will get you nowhere, many of us have moments where we feel this way, though we know life is really not that bad. Just because we know it won’t get us anywhere does not mean we can simply push those feelings aside. You have to accept these emotions and work through them. and I find American Nightmare’s music to be one of the best places to work through these feelings, one of the best places to purge them.

“we are dropping coins/into dead payphones/to hear the sound of our voice/just to know we’re alone”

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checkin in and rambling

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 12, 2008 by sae

so wow it’s been sometime. no no no, this little project hasn’t been forgotten, i’ve just been caught up in so many other things in life lately. there’s also already a million people out there doing what i’m trying to do and doing it better, so i don’t really feel bad about dropping off the face of this project for a while…plus, this is just a testing ground – it’s still on the real thing.

now for the real babbling though, this entry isn’t going to be very coherent, but i’m just gonna take some time to ramble about what i’ve been listening to lately and other musical nonsense. unless you’re extremely bored, you should probably skip this.

i saw the Subhumans the other night. i won’t lie, i’ve never really listened to them before. i know who they are, but i never listened to them. walking to show was pretty funny. i was wearing my Tool hoodie and some dipshit punk kid yells at me “TOOL’S NOT PUNK.” no fucking shit genius, they should give you a fucking award for being able to point that one out. and beyond that, punk shows aren’t about proving you are punker than everyone else, they are about finally having our fucking night out and hopefully avoiding the cops. if you really wanna prove who’s punk though, grab a length of rope and let’s go hang out in logan park asshole. show was good though, Subhuman’s rocked it. there was this opening band La Pueble that was some spanish punk band. you could tell who all that watsonville kids were during their set. i liked it a lot.

the Ashes Divide cd came out last tuesday. i’m enjoying it. it’s not quite what i was hoping for, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad or anything. i’ll digest it slowly though. doesn’t help that this comes out in the middle of me delving deep into a lot of hardcore.

i also picked up the Isis single for Holy Tears. the Melvins/Lustmord remix of Not in Rivers, But in Drops is so fucking amazing. i’m dying for more newer Isis remixes like this, and just, remixes of music like this by mixers like this. the live version of Holy Tears with Justin Chancellor (Tool) is fucking great too. QUESTION:: DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THE 12″ OF THIS IS OUT OR WHEN IT’S COMING OUT?!?!

Thrice’s Alchemy Index Volumes III & IV (Air & Earth) comes out tuesday. i’m excited, but not dying over it. i liked some songs of vols. I &II a lot, but i wasn’t in love with it all. however, i do think it’s a really interesting project so i wanna hear what this shit sounds like.

was listening to a lot of Death By Stereo for a while there. i fucking love those guys and i can’t wait for the next album and a touring schedule that takes them out of so cal. i know, i know, they came to SF with The Cult but fuck paying $40 to see DBS open for some band i don’t even really know (apparently The Cult is something cool though, i dunno).

also, been listening to a crazy fucking amount of American Nightmare/Give Up The Ghost. i got a hold of their cover of Black Flag’s Depression and just couldn’t stop listening to it which led me to doing something i haven’t done in a long time – i went out and bought their cd with no idea anything about the songs on it, or what the band sounded like other than that one cover song. so yeah, picked up Year One and it’s absolutely mind blowing. the music is amazing and intense. Wes’ lyrics are so beautiful and he is the most frantic singer ever. i love it. i’m hoping to get a hold of their other cds when i can (and if you are some i love American Nightmare but Give Up The Ghost sucks and i’m so hardcore kid – don’t fucking leave me comments that everything after Year One sucks – grow up and see beyond your scene). with this i’m dying to get a hold of the S/T EP or Year One on vinyl. fuck yeah that would be tight.

all of this naturally led to me checking out XO Skeletons, who actually just put out a new cd that i love. the best i can describe it is it’s MSI meets Give Up The Ghost. all this hardcore craziness mixed with electronics and a lot of fucking fun. go check it out. you’ve got 8 bucks, support the band and by the new EP directly from the band, then dance around naked in your room with a beer or glass of wine and have a good fucking 20 minutes. go go go! (oh, and you can download their 7″ for free from their blog – just beware, when you open that shit, click get info on tracks 2 and 4 and change the volume to normal. for some reason when i downloaded them they were on full blast)

so yeah, i guess that’s about it.
i love vinyl
i’m really interested is wes eisold’s creative output
oh, and i think the world is ending