1. 3Oh!3. This Colorado duo first caught the mainstream media’s attention with ‘Don’t Trust Me,’ and ‘Starstrukk’ on their 2008 album, ‘Want.’ Two years later, their release of ‘My First Kiss’ featuring ‘Tik Tok’ singer, Ke$ha, did well, getting quite a bit of radio play. Admittedly, 30h!3 probably doesn’t have the most friendly stereotypes associated with them. Much of their music falls in line with the general rap music expectations–drugs, drinking, partying, women, etc. So why do I like them so much? Because they are the underdogs.
They’ve been playing at Warped Tour on and off since 2008, they have an utterly bewildering debut album (check out ‘Dragon Backpack’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5nS-HuGYYQ), and even after putting off the release of their most recent album, ‘Omens,’ for years, they managed to finish it up. Apart from that, there are some random hidden gems within all their albums. Take ‘Colorado Sunrise,’ for example. Here’s the opening verse:
And if I had something to say to you I’d whisper it softly
Kiss you on your rosy lips and never let you off me
Shiver on your roof and see your face lit by starlight
Hold you through the night and watch that Colorado sunrise
If that’s not beautiful, I don’t know what is. Among 30h!3’s other ‘deep’ songs are, ‘I’m Not the One,’ ‘See You Go,’ ‘R.I.P.,’ ‘Set You Free,’ ‘Still Around,’ and ‘I’ve Become.’ See for yourself.
2. Pierce the Veil. Ah yes, ‘screamo’ music. The frightening and satan-inspired music your parents warned you about, right? In all honesty, that’s what I thought too, up until middle school. Created by brothers Vic and Mike Fuentes (and with Jaime Preciado and Tony Perry) in 2007, PTV has been extremely active ever since, with three albums and multiple international tours.
Here’s the thing: hardcore music is, to say the least, an acquired taste. As coffee goes, it’s dark roast. And PTV isn’t even the darkest of the dark. But let’s take a closer look at some of their music before you blow it off as disturbing and ear-bleed inducing.
PTV covers every theme possible; love, loss, heartbreak, revenge, pain–you name it. But something that PTV does that many other artists don’t is acknowledge the hardships, while still maintaining a positive attitude. Take ‘The Boy Who Could Fly,’ for example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ8vc5OTpP0):
I hope you like the stars I stole for you,
One hundred million twinkle lights in neon blue.
I’ll be the brightest someday!
I’ll be the brightest someday!
I’ll be the brightest, you’ll see!
Don’t rain on my parade, it’s gonna glow in the dark.
I like it better when you can’t keep warm.
Don’t ruin a perfect thing, a perfect thing.
The boy on the blue moon dreams of sun.
You certainly don’t see that in mainstream music. Taylor Swift complains about old boyfriends, Justin Bieber swags on new girlfriends, and 1D watches you smile at the ground. Personally, when I want some sympathy or perspective, I’ll stick with listening to Pierce the Veil. Like the messages, but want an even mellower delivery? Try Sleeping With Sirens, Mayday Parade, or All Time Low.