Several months ago, in anticipation of the birth of my son, I wrote “Atlas” for him. At the time, I could only imagine the feelings I’d have for him when I’d have to leave for tour. I didn’t truly understand the power and relevance of the song’s sentiment. Now, after having him in my life for almost three months and with Neverender just a few weeks away, I’m starting to feel it. This will be my first tour away from Atlas. And sure, it will be hard, but it’s all for him. I’d like to share that song with you.
CHIN SKYWARD, FAITHFUL COMPANION! TODAY IS A DAY OF GLORY! A CELEBRATION OF YOUR PHYSICAL PROWESS AND INBORN GRACE! AND YET YOU SEEM GLUM!
… I’M FINE. I’M JUST TIRED.
COME NOW, DON’T MAKE ME SAY IT.
DON’T SAY IT. I JUST NEED SOME TEA, THAT’S ALL.
I DON’T FIND MYSELF CONVINCED. SO … WHY THE-
DON’T SAY IT.
YES, BUT WHY THE-
KNOCK IT OFF, GEORGE.
WHY THE LONG FACE, OLD FRIEND? WHY THE LONG FACE! AH HA HA HA! OHHHHHH! OH MY. OH MY, YES. DO YOU GET IT? DO YOU?
I GET IT, GEORGE.
YOUR FACE, STRUCTURALLY, IS QUITE-
I GET IT, GEORGE.
Forging an Unbiased Review
I vividly remember the summer before my freshman year of college, and how excited I was to start the next chapter of my life at Plymouth State. Coming from a small town in northern New Hampshire, you could say I was pretty stoked to get to school and find some people a little more like-minded in a musical sense. This is not a knock to the people I grew up with, I just think I was the only dude in a 45 mile radius with an AFI t-shirt. It doesn’t matter.
What does matter is the first time I went to a PSU open mic, I heard Forging Reverie. Kind of. Really it was just Tyler and Derek acoustic, but I got the gist. Not having grown up with people with crazy musical talent, I remember being pretty taken aback. Tyler could fucking wail. A few days later I bumped into him in an upstairs common room in Blair Hall, and we shot the shit for a little while about Head Automatica and which Jonah Matranga bands we liked best, and I thought he was a pretty eccentric, cool dude. I also thought he was on drugs, which it turns out he wasn’t. He’s just a weird fucking guy. Derek is super normal though and we agree about most things concerning Jimmy Eat World. I have also never seen him without glasses. I wonder what that looks like.
Jesus, what am I talking about? So yeah, I met these dudes and whenever we crossed paths we would inevitably talk for a really long time about music. I caught Forging a number of times throughout college, and I always thought they were a very good band. They had this one song called “Satellite” that I remember thinking “Sweet fuck if I owned a modern rock label blah blah blah” but really, I just always supported them because they were nice people and I got along with them and they always sounded great (if that caveman looking motherfucker Grandi wasn’t doing sound), and because one of my best friends (and probably the most intelligent person I know) was their bass player. But their new album, Motion Canvas, is really really good.
I used to give Tyler shit all the time about sounding like Brandon Boyd, but this time around I was super surprised to hear how much he has found his own sound (although I have no doubt he still masturbates to Morning View). All the things I always loved about hearing this dude sing are here in spades: lithe, winding phrasing in the verses and the way he bursts into a chorus like a football team leaving the tunnel. He has so many speeds and strengths, from the rapidfire he demonstrates on “The Art of Change” to the tender aural lovemaking (guaranteed to make you wet) on “in a smile.” Throughout, drummer Sean Gregoire and bassist Ryan Kynghorn are an absolute fucking powerhouse of a rhythm section. As someone who has played music with Ryan, I can tell you he’s a really inspiring person to watch create. He comes up with the craziest basslines that you would never think of and lays them down so convincingly. I really enjoy listening to him play. Same with Sean. This dude hits really, really hard on Motion Canvas, and it’s never more evident than the last third of “Short Fictions,” where he steals Newton’s thunder and becomes the absolute focal point of the song. Justin Newton’s production is absolutely stellar. He perfectly captures that quiet/LOUD dynamic the band are so good at. This thing sounds like it was recorded at NASA, if that makes sense, or in that studio Dr. Pepper built for that Cartel record. Anyway.
There is a lot of praise to throw around here. This is a band I have watched grow for almost 6 years, and it’s crazy to hear how far they’ve come. But make no mistake about it, Derek Heidemann is the star here. From the Morrello-esque solo on “Short Fictions” to the grungy lickage on “Tunnel Vision” to the delicate acoustics on “Gratitude,” the guitars pretty much steal every moment of this record. Heidemann’s 6 string assault is as muscular as it is tight, and there’s not an ounce of far on any of these riffs. Motion Canvas is an example of a guitar record, if there ever was one.
I have confessed that I know these people IRL (Just got absolutely obliterated and watched Pantera videos on YouTube with Ryan a few nights ago), but I’m not speaking from a point of bias here. This record is pretty damn good. It’s nothing fancy; Forging aren’t a band to throw a bunch of bells and whistles at you. This is straight up, meat and potatoes rock n’ roll, and it’s well worth a listen. Support some good people and give Motion Canvas a shot.
I was these guys roadies in college.
TEN MINUTES AGO I WAS READY TO GO AND NAIL THIS JOB INTERVIEW, BUT THE SILENT PRESSURE EXERTED UPON THE POPULATION BY THE MEDIA HAS TURNED A SIMPLE FEATHER CHECK INTO A ROLLERCOASTER OF NEUROSES AND DESPAIR.
MY EYES ARE GROSS, MY BEAK IS TOO STRAIGHT, AND I’VE GOT THE COLORING OF SOMEONE TWICE MY AGE.
WHY WOULD ANYONE HIRE SUCH A HIDEOUS FREAK?
DAMN IT ALL TO HELL.
And I have a job interview tomorrow morning…
CAN WE PLEASE QUIT PLAYING OUT SOME ELABORATE MODERN MATING RITUAL OF TUMBLR LIKES AND TWITTER RETWEETS AND JUST OPENLY ADMIT THAT WE WANT TO GET TOGETHER AND DO SOME SHIT TO EACH OTHER THAT NORMALLY ONLY HAPPENS IN USHER SONGS?
MY KEYBOARD IS FALLING APART.