Five for Friday │ 04.22.16

Parachute fills my need for upbeat, toe-tapping, smile-inducing music.


I love writing this column. There were so many good albums I found this week, but alas, only five can make the cut. I present to you, my readers, five stellar tracks that will keep you rocking all week long.

Tax the Heat: “Under Watchful Eye” | When R&B meets rock, it can be a beautiful thing. Both genres deal with passion, emotion, and soul, and Tax the Heat harnesses each of these elements with fantastic flair. This track is sexy, ballsy, and unexpected. The singer is serving a bit of Bowie; the chorus kicks you in the chest; and that bassline is so funky and so delicious it made me an instant fan.

Doll Skin: “Family of Strangers” | Female punk banks always move to the front of my line. This track has every aspect of punk rock I adore: high energy, devil-may-care vocals, and killer guitar riffs. It makes no difference I am in my late 40s and couldn’t even mosh if I wanted to, but this song made me dance like an octopus as I sat in my chair—so punk rock.

Parachute: “Without You” | Positive pop-rock music is a rarity nowadays. Parachute fills my need for upbeat, toe-tapping, smile-inducing music. The lead singer’s vocals are adorable, the music is so cheery it borders on Christian, and the lyrics are just so darn inspiring. Say what you will about mainstream pop-rock bands, but Parachute’s album is chock full of amazing songs; it was hard to pick just one.

The Young Wild: “Not a One” | Bands like The Young Wild fascinate me; they are a bit mysterious. Finding information on them was challenging. They have a website, but it offers little information. Now I become obsessed: How is it, in the age of oversharing and TMI, can I not find particulars on this band? Where are they from? Who are their influences? Details, boys—I need details! What I can tell you is their sound is breathtaking. Soulful lyrics, neck snap–inducing rhythms, and a dominant rhythm section all combine for a gorgeous track. Just wait until you hit the chorus: musical heaven.

Culture Abuse: “Jealous” | On their Facebook page, Culture Abuse dare you to try to categorize them. Challenge accepted! If I had to use three words to describe their sound, I would use freeballing, unpretentious, and fun. A bit of shoegaze rock mixed with indie vibe, “Jealous” reminds me of alt rock of the late ’80s, bands like Hüsker Dü, The Lemonheads, and even a bit of The Pixies. No matter how you slice it, this band is just fun—and that is what the world needs now.

If you want to hear these songs—and others by these bands, as well as from previous columns—check out my Five for Friday playlist on Spotify. It will become your new radio station! Enjoy! | Jim Ryan

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