As this is the the inaugural year of Sound Scene Press, we (Nick and Ethan) thought that it would be only fitting for us to start an annual tradition. We ended up deciding that assigning our own awards for our selections throughout various categories would be a good idea. Thus, the SSP Awards were born. This year’s selections feature music from many different genres and showcase awards in five categories. Please voice your opinions below, while remembering that these are our opinions. You’re certainly entitled to your own, just as we are. In years to come, more categories may be added, but we felt that this was a solid starting place. So, without further adieu, we reveal the nominations for the 2010 SSP Awards!
P.S. Please note that the winners will be announced on December 23rd. Be sure to check back!
-Band of the year-
1.) My Chemical Romance – With a four year gap since they released their last album, The Black Parade, My Chemical Romance was expected to finally release a new album during 2010. They did not disappoint, and the resulting effort, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys certainly made up for the long wait. In addition to releasing one of the most anticipated albums of the year, they also set up what looks to be another record with a long list of music videos. With two already, it seems as though they will film more videos that will be set in their post-apocalyptic scenario.
2.) Avenged Sevenfold – Avenged Sevenfold had a pretty rough year. Last December they had to deal with the tragic death of their drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. Nevertheless, the band thought it would be best to honor Jimmy and go ahead with producing their new album, which ended up as a nominee for our album of the year, Nightmare. The band also headlined Rockstar Energy Drink’s Uproar Fest over the summer and have a U.S. headlining tour planned for this winter. They have shown true perseverance through their own tough times.
3.) Bring Me The Horizon – Bring Me the Horizon have accomplished a lot in the past year. They released a remix album of their 2008 hit Suicide Season in the early spring. They went on to headline the Vans Warped Tour over this past summer. In October, they released their newest record There Is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It, There Is a Heaven Let’s Keep It a Secret and subsequently headlined the Alternative Press Tour in support of the new album.
4.) The Maine - One of the two underdog nominees for band of the year, The Maine have had quite a subtle, yet successful year. They released their sophomore album, Black & White, which debuted at #16 on the Billboard 200, while also headlining their first tour during the summer and then touring with fangirl-sensation Never Shout Never. They also produced a music video which made our list of five nominees for music video of the year for their first single from Black & White, “Inside Of You”.
5.) Chiodos – As the second of the underdog nominees for band of the year, Chiodos also had a very solid year. Since they fired frontman Craig Owens, their expectations for the future were significantly lowered as a large amount of people believed that Owens made the band what it was. However, Chiodos answered their critics back with replacement Brandon Bolmer, and a stellar new album, Illuminaudio. They also toured with some big names as well, including Atreyu, blessthefall, and Bullet For My Valentine.
-Album of the year-
1.) My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys – As previously mentioned, Danger Days is a very strong album. My Chemical Romance did a great job by progressing with their sound, but not becoming mainstream. The addition of synthesizers adds a nice, modern touch to the album, while the twelve full tracks are all very diverse and fulfilling with both faster songs and slower ones. Another aspect that the band added into the record were the narration tracks by Dr. Death Defying, which gives the album a storyline to follow, and also sets up many opportunities for music videos.
2.) Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare – As previously mentioned, Avenged Sevenfold were able to put out a new album over the summer, titled Nightmare, even with the death of their drummer, Jimmy Sullivan. They recruited Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, The Rev’s favorite drummer, to help them record the new album. The record showcases much of the newer Avenged Sevenfold, with aspects that are similar to the bands previous album, 2007’s self-titled work, but with tastes of the past, specifically singer M. Shadows screaming vocals on “God Hates Us”; something he has not done since the bands sophomore album Waking The Fallen.
3.) Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise – The long awaited follow up album to Circa Survive’s 2007 release, On Letting Go, Blue Sky Noise is a masterpiece. Anthony Green is arguably at the best of his entire career, and the band behind him isn’t too shabby either. From “Strange Terrain”, the record’s opening track, to “Spirit of the Stairwell”, arguably one of the most heartfelt songs that Anthony has ever written, the album is one to be remembered. Whether or not you appreciated Circa’s previous releases, Blue Sky Noise deserves a chance. In the three years after releasing On Letting Go, the band has matured drastically. This is one of the best, most dynamic albums of the year without a doubt.
4.) Pierce The Veil – Selfish Machines – Pierce The Veil’s sophomore effort, Selfish Machines brings back much of what was featured in the band’s debut album, A Flair For The Dramatic, such as Vic Fuentes’s wide range of vocal abilities, and Mike Fuentes’s dynamic work behind his drum set. However, with tracks like “The Boy Who Could Fly” they added in more evidence of their Southern Californian punk-rock roots. However, in addition to becoming heavier, they also mixed some slower, more meaningful songs into the record, such as “Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)”. With outstanding musicianship by the band, and a wide variety of tracks on the album, Selfish Machines is certainly a valid nominee for album of the year.
5.) Of Mice & Men – Of Mice & Men – As the only debut album nominated for our album of the year, it’s needless to say that Of Mice & Men’s self-titled debut was quite the debut indeed. Musician of the year nominee Austin Carlile’s screamed vocals on the album are very strong, just as they were when he was still with Attack Attack!. Although the album lacks a large amount of difference between each track, it makes up for that with both it’s use of very strong clean and screamed vocals, heavy breakdowns, and impressive guitar riffs. It will be interesting to see how Of Mice & Men sounds on their next album without Austin on screamed vocals and with Jerry Roush replacing him.
-Music video of the year-
1.) “Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted” – blessthefall – Blessthefall’s video for “Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted” is nothing short of a riot. For anyone who has ever seen The Hangover, this video is a welcome sight. The eight-minute video strongly follows a story line which is similar to The Hangover, with the band members waking up in a trashed hotel room and having no recollection of the previous night. The ensuing events are comical and feature interspersed bits of the song. The band obviously had a lot of fun making this video, and we certainly had fun watching it.
2.) “Here We Are Juggernaut” – Coheed and Cambria – “Here We Are Juggernaut” was the second single off of Coheed and Cambria’s newest album, Year of the Black Rainbow. While the video may seem simplistic and ordinary in its’ nature, it is actually very intriguing to any devoted Coheed fan. The video features many references to the overall storyline that is the theme of all of Coheed’s music. The band even held a contest for the fans if they could name the 10 of the 12 references to the story. Full details of the story can be found here.
3.) “This Too Shall Pass” (Rube Goldberg Machine version) – OK Go – OK Go’s second video for their song “This Too Shall Pass” is nothing short of amazing. Shot in a two story factory, the video displays a huge sequence of items being thrown, and smashed in order to propel the video forward. If one thing were to have gone wrong, the whole video would have to be re-shot or abandoned, presumably. Miraculously though, it all came together, and in the end, the band members were shot with paint from cannons as the finale. A simple description certainly doesn’t do the job though; you need to see it to believe it.
4.) “Inside Of You” – The Maine - The Maine’s first music video off of their new album, Black & White was also the album’s first single, “Inside Of You”. The video keeps the theme of the album, as it is primarily shot in black and white. However, when the main character, a young boy, looks through a kaleidoscope which was given to him by a man who is presumably his grandfather, he sees images reminiscent of the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour in vibrant colors. It’s certainly an intriguing video. Make sure to check it out.
5.) “If You Think This Song Is About You, It Probably Is” – D.R.U.G.S. – The debut song and video from D.R.U.G.S. (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows), Craig Owens’ new super-group, is not something to be overlooked. As part of a buildup to the release of the video, the band released several short pieces of what would turn out to be a short film that roughly explains the background for the video. The video itself is nothing short of creepy, showcasing Owens cavorting with a female character while singing a rather angry song. Nice touch.
-Musician of the year-
1.) Austin Carlile – Similar to fellow musician of the year nominee Craig Owens, Austin Carlile also spent a portion of 2010 working on a new project. Although he has yet to reveal any major details regarding the new band, they are supposedly going to be releasing demos fairly soon. After having to leave Of Mice & Men in order to undergo heart surgery this year, and the band not being willing to wait around for him, Austin was forced to start all over again. As with Of Mice & Men and Attack Attack! before them, whatever Austin starts is bound to be good. Hopefully he finds a band that will actually work out this time.
2.) Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan – Our second nominee is one of posthumous nomination. Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan passed away last year during the month of December, as previously mentioned. Nonetheless, he was a mastermind behind much of the pre-recording work done on Avenged Sevenfold’s new album, Nightmare. In addition to helping write many of the songs, The Rev’s vocals can be found on the album in the track “Fiction”, as they were recorded only a few days before his death. Little creepy isn’t it?
3.) LIGHTS – After starting the year by supporting mainstream synth-pop artist Owl City, Lights (Valerie Poxleitner), went on to release an acoustic EP and record vocals on Bring Me The Horizon’s new album There Is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It, There Is a Heaven Let’s Keep It a Secret. She then went on to release her first single “My Boots” from her upcoming sophomore album, in addition to headlining a U.S. tour which was supported by Jeremy Fisher.
4.) Jonny Craig – Jonny Craig may be a controversial figure, but whether you like him or not, face it: he’s an exceptional musician. Craig recorded his second album with Emarosa, and also appeared on Isles & Glaciers’ EP along with Craig Owens. He then played Warped Tour with Emarosa, rejoined his former band Dance Gavin Dance, and played with Emarosa on Alternative Press Tour. Jonny Craig may be a busy man that lacks a spotless reputation, but either way, he’s a great musician with a lot ahead of him.
5.) Craig Owens – Since being fired by his former band, Chiodos, Craig Owens has worked hard to build a brand new band from the ground up. The resulting effort is Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S. for short). The band’s first two songs are nothing short of impressive, so it seems that Craig did a successful job in building a new band; one which was also nominated for our emerging artist of the year award. Along with fellow musician of the year nominee Jonny Craig, Owens was also part of super-group Isles & Glaciers’ EP, The Hearts of the Lonely People.
-Emerging artist of the year-
1.) D.R.U.G.S. – D.R.U.G.S (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows) is a super group created by ex-Chiodos frontman, Craig Owens. The band is yet to release their debut album but has officially released two tracks via YouTube and one music video, which we nominated for music video of the year. Their full-length is rumored to be coming out between January and March of 2011, but no specific date has been confirmed yet. The band has been playing shows and will be touring throughout December with Eyes Set To Kill. We predict that many good things are to come from them, based on the two singles that they’ve released so far.
2.) Black Veil Brides – Most people throughout the music scene wouldn’t call Black Veil Brides an emerging artist, as they already have a very large fan base, particularly those female fans who show their devotion for vocalist Andy Sixx. Whether it’s for his vocal abilities, or his looks, we may never know. Either way, Black Veil Brides finally released their debut album this past July. We Stitch These Wounds is different from the original tracks that the band produced, however, it is still undeniably still Black Veil Brides. The band also embarked on two headlining tours over the summer and fall. They are sure to continue on with the support that they are given from their “BVB Army” and produce many more albums with the theme of not letting others’ judgment put you down.
3.) Woe, Is Me – The synthesizer-laced metalcore/post-hardcore sound of the 2010-born Woe, Is Me has made quite a splash throughout the music scene this year. Since starting up early in the year, the band has toured with many scene-veterans, along with recording and releasing their debut album, Number[s]. The band also appeared on Fearless Records’ third volume of Punk Goes Pop, with a cover of Katy Perry’s “Hot N’ Cold”. Woe, Is Me has already made a splash onto the scene; look for them to make an even bigger one in the future.
4.) VersaEmerge - Although they have been around for a decent amount of time, alternative rock act VersaEmerge just released their debut full-length album, Fixed At Zero, this past June. Fixed At Zero was a very solid effort that displays both strong musicianship and a high level of catchiness. The band played at The Bamboozle and also went on to play Warped Tour and headline a U.S. tour this fall. Another major achievement that VersaEmerge made was the breaking of the assumption that since they have a female singer, they are simply version 2.0 of Paramore; a very large accomplishment indeed.
5.) I Am Alpha and Omega – For a band that seems to be virtually unknown, I Am Alpha and Omega is surprisingly mature for a band who just released their debut album, The Roar And The Whisper, as a free download this year. Their music is both powerful and melodic, as it incorporates melodic guitar parts with gruffly screamed vocals. They are a young post-hardcore band and with some exposure, they’ll have great things ahead of themselves.