home to the brewers and so much more

I love the Midwestern rock sound. Maybe it’s because I was raised there, maybe there’s something in Lake Michigan’s water, or maybe it’s just a good bit of luck that great bands end up forming in America’s heartland. In any case, I can add Milwaukee’s From the Headline to the list of Midwest love.

Opening track “Monologue” gets right to business on the band’s self-titled EP, mixing tight instrumentals with downy melodic vocals. “Fourteen” is effects-laden and a bit discordant, while “So Long” takes a different approach as a lush ballad centering around dark piano.

The gamboling drumbeat and danceable bass and guitar make “Loose Fit” stand out, and closer “In Exchange for Payment” has an that extra something that puts the driving and energetic tune on top.

One of From the Headline’s most impressive qualities is their ability to walk the line between softer acts like Copeland and Mae and rougher peers Hey Mercedes and The Response without losing their own sound and fitting comfortably within both camps.

Find out more about From the Headline here, and listen to “In Exchange for Payment” below.

my assault on the world begins now

Milwaukee, WI’s The Response has finally harnessed the live energy from their performances and poured it into the full-length With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies?

While the album starts off with a Jimmy Eat World-esque track full of bells and echoes (“‘I’ve Made A Huge Mistake'”), it closes on a screamingly aggressive cut that leaves the listener feeling like he or she has been either beaten up or broken up with (“Paint the Town Red”).

The Response’s sound is established with “Our Friend Got Caught Having A Threesome In A Confessional”, a catchy and upbeat power-punk jam. The album is peppered with a couple down-tempo tracks, but the most memorable songs are the same ones that fans walk away from the live shows humming.

These songs include the title track – which comes in with an electronic drum beat and gives way to a full-on rock attack and introduces screams and layered vocals – and The Response’s signature “…I’m Lloyd Dobler”. Appropriately filled with references to 80s cult favorite Say Anything, if offers both a string accompaniment and sing-along worthy lyrics.

With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies? drops Summer 2007.
For more information about The Response, check out their MySpace page.