Much like Ska, Punk Rock is something that will never go out of style for us, or just in general, no matter what anyone else says. This week, on the RF20XX Livewire Reviews, we head into tracks that amplify what makes different subgenres of Rock absolute treasures, with newcomer to the CLT Scene, Two Eyes Open’s “The Ceiling”, and Dayton’s finest bridging over with a rock/rap mix-up, Sidekick Complex’s “Water Cooler Affair”.
The Charlotte Scene
By Two Eyes Open
In an almost 13-Month span of time, the start of the 2020’s became an almost do-or-die period, where creatives, especially ones that might constantly overtax themselves in their artistic pursuits, were forced to sit down and consider their lives more closely. For Dustin Parlier, the singer/songwriter behind the solo Pop-Punk project dubbed Two Eyes Open, enough was enough after stacking books of songs for years.
“The Ceiling”, as first reported by New Noise Magazine in an interview with Dustin about the song, has its origins as being written in 2015, but takes listeners way back to the feel of the 2000’s Rock catalogue, invoking the early days of the Foo Fighters, as well as New Found Glory and The Ataris.
The song itself hits at the struggle of letting an old flame go, caught up between the anger and just wanting to move onto the next stage of life. Dustin’s writing weaves in constantly on the regrets and double-think on “how it could be” between the two sets of lyrics, putting on full display the battle many can relate to, all the while circling back to the thought that “She” is going through the exact same thing.
This track is a perfect anthem to moving on, both recognizing the pain, but also realizing that maybe even as we walk forward, there’s still something shining through to those memories that even time can’t erase completely.
“The Ceiling” is the 5th in the line of the tracks the Two Eyes Open project has dropped in 2021. Get caught up on the rest of Dustin’s music and moves in the Charlotte Scene at the Links Below!
by Sidekick Complex
When it comes to music, more often than not, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and one artist that embodies that ideology completely is TINO, the Ohioan Emcee that’s as much about the narrative as he is about the sound. Coming straight off of tag-teaming with K.Carter on “Safe Money”, the Dayton transplant found the time to flip back onto the stage, and into an entirely different genre, with the rock trio called “Sidekick Complex”.
Now, just because the feel of the tracks is switched out doesn’t mean the artist isn’t riding the bassline like a pro. Teamed up with Chris Barnett on bass and Paige Beller on drums, the group bends side-to-side continuously as the vocals reflect the artist’s rap roots while the instrumentals battle to break in the collaborative fusion of concepts. Each member shines brightly in each changed-up track, especially in the first single released, “Water Cooler Affair”.
The constant practice TINO throws at storytelling shines brightly here as he describes the sticky situation in a believable way, making one wonder if he drew the tale from early in his life or from a friend. Other than the lyrics describing the risky choice to console a broken-hearted coworker by more “intimate” means, the way each part of the band is so tightly in sync is guaranteed to draw listeners in the most. I love how beautifully timed the drum kicks are on the end of each line, and how the bass plays leads in every set of prose. The clean mastering on the track also allows every member to get their moments in the spotlight, from start to finish.
In the same vein of Safe Money’s “Mimosas”, TINO kicks his next great story out of the park, and though the delivery might not be what his general audience expects, there’s nothing stopping them from stepping into the next frontier with him as the artist climbs his next mountain in music.
There’s much more to TINO’s journey than what can be observed here. If you like this track, be sure to go back to the beginning of 2021 with the collaborative EP known as “Safe Money” (Check our our complete review of it if you don’t believe your ears). His complete catalogue is available on Bandcamp, listen in on him today!
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