I’m not actually sure how long I’m going to continue this series but I thought I might as well keep going for the time being! If you want to check out the previous bands covered you can follow the links here: Neck Deep, Waterparks, Movements, As It Is and Knuckle Puck.
This time I’ll be analysing Grayscale’s album ‘Adornment’ which I think is one of the most unique covers of them all. On first glance you don’t really notice that it’s actually a head floating in the water but I love how it’s disguised as a piece of land. I think it’s been created this way to show the ways in which we hide ourselves from our pain. The man here is drowning in water and yet he puts on this front that everything is okay, that he is making a home out of his life (or his head, literally) even though he’s struggling. He’s invested in sunglasses to protect him from the light – a minor problem – but he won’t invest in sorting out his major problem – the fact that he’s almost drowning and doing absolutely nothing about it. As crazy as it sounds, I actually really relate to this. I often ignore all my major problems and like to focus on other things that don’t matter as much instead. I’m starting to emerge from those waters now though and actually face things head on which is definitely a good thing. Don’t be this dude making an island of himself in a shore no one can reach. You’re a lot more important than that.
The band As It Is announced their new album ‘The Great Depression’ a few days ago, about the societal romanticisation of depression and aiming to destigmatise this. Being mental health awareness week, this is such a great time to start putting this view in place and I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of the album – whether I like the music or not, because I think the lyrics will be what are most important.
I do, however, absolutely love the first single they’ve released! It’s called ‘The Wounded World’ and Patty has gone all out and dyed his hair black for the cause. I love the repetitive echoes of ‘we’re all to blame for the wounded world’ that frame the song and 2:18 is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard. You have to listen. I am actually obsessed. There is also a lyric that I particularly wanted to share because I think it holds an important message:
‘You can’t pull back the trigger and then point the same finger.’
For me, it seems this line is calling those out who dare to pull the trigger on people (manipulate, bully, harrass, whatever it may be), and then blame someone else for their own actions. And I think this is so important when it comes to mental health, because part of what affects someone’s mental wellbeing is when people can’t take responsibility for their actions and instead lead others into a world of lies and deceit. I love the way Patty screams these lines because it really gets the anger across at those who do this and to remind them that it really does hurt the victim. Pointing that finger at someone else might as well be equivalent to pulling back the trigger and actually releasing it.
I’ve been a fan of As It Is since their album ‘Never Happy Ever After’, but with their following album ‘okay.’ they took on a more pop-py vibe and I didn’t like it as much (with a few exceptions such as Austen, Soap and No Way Out). However, if ‘The Wounded World’ is anything to go by, their new album could be going into a harder direction and I’m totally loving it!
I’ll leave the link to the song below. If you’re fan of pop punk, you’ve 100% got to check it out! If not, give it a listen anyway simply for the lyrics more than anything.
So far I’ve analysed album covers from Neck Deep, Waterparks, Movements and As It Is, so now for another popular band in pop punk, Knuckle Puck!
When I first came across this album, I had no idea what the word Copacetic meant. I guess I didn’t really question it until I heard the lyric “Everything’s copacetic” said so many times I thought, yeah I should probably google that. Turns out it means “in excellent order” but the lyrics surrounding are far from suggesting it’s true. Instead, the album’s title is ironic, playing on the way we pretend things are in excellent order when they’re not. It’s this constant convincing and reassuring ourselves that everything is fine but as the song ‘Untitled’ suggests in its long instrumental ending, eventually we realise the silence is too much.
This album cover is slightly more difficult to analyse because I feel like it’s not so obvious. The clock is the clearest in its relation to time and how this perhaps affects our mood when we leave our emotions repressed for too long. I feel like the glasses represent clouded vision and how it’s hard to treat ourselves with the same outlook that we give to other people, since often we don’t help ourselves as much as we should. I guess the dice is the lottery of pain. We roll the dice and we either feel great or we don’t and that luck is just part of life. The frog and the flowers, however, are a bit more ambiguous. I initially saw the flowers as four leaf clovers at first, tying in with the idea of luck, but they’re not. But maybe, that’s the whole point. Maybe the point is that sometimes we see things in a certain way even though that’s not how they are. The frog could be this obstacle in our mind jumping to conclusions and causing conflictions to bounce around inside our heads. There’s so many different ways you could interpret this cover but that’s what I love so much about it.
What do you think?
Recently State Champs have announced their new album that will be released on June 15th (can it not be any sooner?!) and I love their old songs but oh my god their new music is on an entirely new level. So far they have released two singles: “Dead and Gone” and “Crystal Ball” and I just absolutely love them. I couldn’t even tell you why because it’s everything about them. They just put me in such a good mood but they also make me feel so much, like maybe it’s just because I feel music on such a high scale but I can just totally get into the songs and I love it. They’re ridiculously catchy and I actually can’t stop singing them (or miming because I can’t actually sing rip), so I’m here to get them stuck in your head too. Have a listen! (also listen out for the cool Friends reference in “Dead and Gone” I love it)
The fourth band of this series is As It Is! Whilst Neck Deep and Movements have their own thing going on, as shown in previous posts, As It Is is very similar to Waterparks in their happy-but-not-really-so-happy approach.
I’m going to be analysing their most recent album ‘okay.’ where the title, in itself, speaks of a false pretense of pretending you’re okay when you’re not. What I love about the cover, and also all the artwork surrounding this album, is the way on first glance you initially see a perfect family scenario. There are happy faces and ‘perfect’ houses and it just looks like a typical idyllic day. That is until you notice the hidden details, like the grenade casually sitting in the bicycle basket, and suddenly you’re like wait, has that always been there?
For me this typifies the perspective on family as something that isn’t really known until you look closely. We see other people’s lives from the outside and we try to understand but we never could. We see these small details if we look hard enough but they don’t sit quite right with the context. On looking at this album cover it’s hard to comprehend how a smiling lady and a grenade go hand in hand. Except we see this all the time.
A lot of the time I think about what people are hiding, because I find it interesting to think how much people can keep hidden whilst still remaining an open person. A lot of people hide more than you think. This album wraps these feelings into a single cover that takes us off guard but reminds us that we’re not the only ones pretending or moving forward whilst wary of a grenade blowing up right in front of us – because sometimes it really does feel like we’re that close to everything being over.
As It Is really take this idea forward and push it on throughout the songs in the album and I love that each song is like a window into this reserved house that we would not have known or understood otherwise. It’s like a step into the invisible grenade. It’s like a step into acceptance.
The third installment of this series, after Neck Deep and Waterparks, is Movements! They are also a band I’ve recently got into and I don’t think there’s any others quite like them!
What I love about the cover of their album ‘Feel Something’ is its originality. The setting of the forest embodies a sense of isolation, particularly associated to when we feel deepest as we tend to withdraw or are alone. The girl spinning adds to the whirlwind of emotions but also this sense that if everything is out of focus then maybe nothing is real – maybe nothing has to be. It’s an escape from feeling something, which is looming above at all times – literally here, strung from the trees. The fact that it’s above suggests that we know the bad emotions are lurking and that they’re there, but most of the time we can’t see them or we choose to ignore them. I relate a lot to these things as someone who is very reserved about how I feel and am often in denial about things until I’m spinning out of control and realise I need to find my balance. I guess this album is all about acknowledging when we feel something and accepting it.
Continuing on in the series, I move from Neck Deep to Waterparks!
Waterparks are a farily recent band I’ve started listening to so I thought I’d analyse their new album cover for ‘Entertainment’ that came out a few months ago. It’s a pretty simple cover when you think about it, but it really works! What I love most about Waterparks is the fact that their lyrics are pretty deep and meaningful, but their songs sound so upbeat. It’s like an ironic happiness. I think this cover represents that through the idea of “entertainment” where feelings are almost manipulated into a show to please people when really they are destructive. All the blank space around it could be said to belittle the entertainment and the feelings through the small tape in the centre. The fact that it’s also a tape suggests that the feelings aren’t accessible to everyone – you need the right equipment or the right personality/friendship to hear it. It suggests emotions that aren’t necessarily new but old – feelings we’ve grown out of over time, like we’ve grown out of tapes, but ones that come back to hit us in the face when we least expect them. And the irony of this irony is that the album itself actually will be entertainment for all its listeners to hear. Maybe none of that was intentional, but I think it’s pretty cool.