Thursday 14 December 2017

2017 End-Of-The-Year List - Albums & Gigs by Brandon Kellum (American Standards)

I mentioned on social media recently that I hadn't finished with my American Standards related pieces and here's two in one. Brandon kindly sent me his top-20 records of 2017 and not only that, but he wrote about the top-10 gigs that American Standards has played this year along with a tour-flyer collage, which I couldn't resist posting up here.

Top-20 Records of 2017

1. Converge - The Dusk In Us

2. Employee To Serve - The Warmth Of A Dying Sun

3. At The Drive In - In • ter a • li • a

4. Zao -  Pyrrhic Victory

5. Dangers - The Bend In The Break (technically from 2016)

6. Dead Kiwis - Karate Karnage

7. SeeYouSpaceCowboy - Fashion Statements Of The Socially Aware

8. '68 - Two Parts Viper

9. Code Orange - Forever

10. Heck - BGs & Rarities Vol. 1

11. Left Behind - Blessed by the Burn

12. MouthBreather - Pig

13. Bungler - The Nature Of Being New

14. Cons - Slowhealer

15. Common War - Possess Yourself

16. Stray from the Path - Only Death is Real

17. The Arson Choir - Trophy Nation

18. Lifelink - Love Lost

19. The Black Dahlia Murder - Nightbringers

20. Eighteen Visions - XVIII

Top-10 Gigs of 2017

Zao w/ Columbian Necktie, Seizures & Flying Scorpion at The Nile Theater [Mesa, AZ]
Zao has always been one of my favorite bands and one that I would include whenever asked about dream show line ups. I never really thought that we’d get the chance to share the stage with them though seeing as they hadn’t played our area in over a decade. When I saw they announced a tour, I tweeted them from the band page saying that we should have a few beers and wreck some stages together. Who would of thought just a few months later it would actual happen.

Stick To Your Guns w/ Eighteen Visions, Stone & Modern Color at The Nile Theater [Mesa, AZ]
We’ve played a few shows with Stick To Your Guns in the past and they always bring a fun a crowd. This one happened to be on our bassist’s birthday as a joke he said in the group chat that he wanted to do the show as his bday party. Just days before the show we got asked to jump on it. 

The Number Twelve Looks Like You w/ Stolas, Fero Lux & Lifelink at The Rebel Lounge [Phoenix, AZ]
Our drummer is a huge fan of The Number 12 Looks Like You and we had all just recently got into Fero Lux. It was really cool to do this show in such an intimate venue.

He Is Legend w/ Islander, To Speak Of Wolves, Bad Seed Rising & As Thick As Thieves at Club Red [Mesa, AZ]
He Is Legend is another band that we’ve played a handful of shows with in the past and we’ve always loved them since the I Am Hollywood album. It was also cool to have Islander on the show since we had just recently played a show with them and Atreyu.

Arsonists Get All The Girls w/ I Set My Friends On Fire, Kingdom Of Giants, West Cliffs, Avenda & Reflectionless at Pub Rock [Scottsdale, AZ]
This was another blast from the past. AGATG was doing a 10 year anniversary of their album The Game Of Life which my old band The Hostage Situation had actually toured with them on when it first came out. The nostalgia mixed with the fact that our good buddies from Steaksauce Mustache were filling in as touring members for Arsonists made this night one to remember.

Hundred Suns w/ Cons & Paranova at Pub Rock [Scottsdale, AZ]
Hundred Suns is a “super group” made up of members from some of our favorite bands like Norma Jean, Every Time I Die and Dead And Divine. It was awesome to do their first Arizona show and be able to share it with our good friends in Cons.

Death By Stereo w/ Common War, Hard Pipe Hitters & Zom Sawyer (Punk Rock Bowling) at The Beauty Bar [Las Vegas, NV]
This show was a last minute addition to The Anti-Melody Tour. We had played in Reno the night before and planned on making the 12 hour drive back home. While on the road we found out that our friends in Death By Stereo were doing a 15 anniversary for their album Into The Valley Of Death. On top of that, it was at a cool outdoor venue on the old Vegas strip during Punk Rock Bowling. We were beyond stoked to get the invite to join.

Scewtape Album Release w/ Dreamcast, King Kaleb & SASP at Seventh Circle Music Collective [Denver, CO]
This is up there as one of the most fun crowds that we’ve ever played for. It was at 7th Circle Music Venue in Denver which we’ve done a few shows at before. The combo of 2 locals releasing albums and another using it as their tour kick off made it a really high energy environment. We also got some great footage of the night that we turned into a fan sourced music video for our song “Danger Music #9”.

Holiday Drive w/ Makarah & Commoner at Bubba Spins Flop House [Kansas City, Missouri]
Possibly the most unexpected show of the year. Going into it we knew Bubba Spins was a DIY spot but we didn’t know that it was actually a house in the middle of a nice neighbourhood. That being said, we crammed maybe 80 people into this place, sweated a few gallons and loved every minute of it. We can’t wait to go back.

Anti-Melody Album Release Show w/ Eclipses For Eyes, Amor, Havana & Teammate Markus at The Rebel Lounge [Phoenix, AZ]

It’d be weird if we didn’t include our album release show, right? This was a really special night that we actually got to share with Eclipses For Eyes who were also releasing their album “Polaris”. Even better, we booked it as a mix genre show at one of our favorite venues in the valley. It really felt like there was a little something for everyone.

Thanks once again to Brandon and American Standards for being so awesome and taking the time to contribute and allow me to publish not one but three articles. Keep up to date with their plans for 2018 and check out/purchase their latest record "Anti-Melody" below:-

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