One of my favorite Maryland bands, Me and This Army, recently released their latest single, “Let Down.” Listening to it, I remembered why I fell in love with the band in the first place. From lead singer Courtney Hargrove’s powerful voice, to the groovy soulful- rock sound the band embodies, “Let Down” is anything but a let down.
The EP opens with the high energy “Wrist Control.” The band does well to complement the purposefully screechy vocals (Jaime Marcelo) with fast drums and crazy guitar riffs where the vocals call for it. The song shows the band’s pop punk side; it has the radio appeal of Good Charlotte (when they were still on the radio).While there is a hint of screamo toward the end, it’s not overbearing to the point that metal-haters (like myself) want to turn it off. The vocals are actually rather impressive and you have to give the band their due credit for having all that talent being displayed in one song.
P.S. “Wrist Control” is free:
The band lowers the gusto a bit with “Human Superglue.” While the guitars are almost as insane as the first track, the main vocals (Aremo Massa) aren’t pushed to their limits (though the background vocals are still kinda crazy). The guitar solo at the end is very AC/DC and it leads into the coolest lyrics ever:
It’s a long way
You can taste the pain
It’s a long way
On and on through the rain
Finally, we have “Easy Way Out,” a more calm and slowed-down track from the band. It starts with eerie piano keys playing, and consistently chill guitar chords and drums. The vocals(Marcelo), though more mellow, are still full of talent. The song relies more on the instruments, but Marcelo’s voice has a beautiful tremble to it that translates into obvious control. The vocals build back into Marcelo’s signature scream-singing that isn’t brash enough to be screamo, but is definitely tougher sounding than any pop-punk band in your iPod.
I like the way album starts off like a giant fire of energy, that becomes a manageable but insane blaze, but simmers into a dark ash of lyrics. The band describes the concept of the album below:
The “Narrow Escape Singles” are three very different songs that we have melded together into one release to capture where we are at this point in our lives and in this band. The release gets darker as it goes along, but we don’t want to spoil anything for you.
LIWTF has so much potential. With the band members’ versatility and their ability to create a good album, conceptually, lyrically, and production-wise, likeiwasthefire can develop that growing fanbase they deserve.
Recently, I wrote a feature article on teen sensation, Avery. Now, Avery took the time out to answer some questions. Learn what the powerhouse singer and role model had to say about “Go Screw Yourself,” bullying, and being a regular kid.
You’ve gained popularity with your hit single “Love Me or Let Me Go,“ and your latest hit, “Go Screw Yourself.“ How does it feel to be recognized for your talent at such a young age?
It’s crazy to be doing all of this. It’s cool that while I may be only 16, I can still make a big impact on the world with my music, and be a role model for kids my age. I definitely feel blessed, because getting to do all this at a young age, is what I dreamed of. Whenever I was at school dances…I was always wishing deep down that I was instead in a studio, making music, or performing on a stage.
What inspired your latest single, “Go Screw Yourself”?
There are going to be people in life that try to bring you down…in my case, there were boys that didn’t treat me right, people that bullied me at school, and haters. This song was dedicated to all those people; and I wanted it to be an anthem, because everyone has someone in their life that they can sing this song too. Everyone has someone that has tried to bring them down.
Did you come up with the concept of the video?
It was a collaborative effort between the director Chris Greider (who also directed Love Me or Let Me Go), my manager, and myself. We wanted to make the video empowering with a strong message, but also have some humor to it.
Bullying is a touchy subject to talk about, much less sing about. Why did you decide to write a song all about it?
Bullying can cause kids to take their lives. I wanted to sing an empowering song that told people to NEVER let anyone have the power to take your life. If you don’t let them bring you down, they no longer have the power. And I wanted to spread that message through my song.
Did you think it would get the positive response that it’s getting now?
I didn’t really know what to expect. The title “Go Screw Yourself” may be a deceiving title…some people may not understand the song actually has a good meaning. But people actually really seemed to like it; I get messages everyday telling me about their different stories, and how GSY helped them to stay strong.
Why did you choose to perform under the name, “Avery”?
Well, for several different reasons. The name Anna Marie, is pretty common, and there are a lot of Anna Marie’s. Plus, it sounds a bit country. So, I wanted a name that was unique, and fit my music. We came up with Avery, and it stuck to me.
What do you do for fun when you’re not “Avery,” the singer?
For fun…well I like baking. I bake rainbow cakes a lot. I enjoy watching TV, and messing around on the computer. I go on my Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. I watch movies..hang with friends..pretty normal stuff.
What has been the best performance you’ve done so far?
Well I played the Pepsi Center in Denver…there were thousands of people there, and it was SO much fun. Seeing all those people out there, just really got me hyped up and jumping around that stage. I had such a great time…I can’t wait to do more performances like that. The energy is crazy.
Who is the coolest person you’ve met because of your music?
I was backstage at the Justin Bieber concert, and I happened to meet Johnny Depp. He was really cool and nice… He’s just an amazing actor.
Can we expect a full length album anytime soon?
Yes, it’s pretty close to finished. I would say it’ll be released sometime beginning of next yearish!
What would you say to fans who want to get into singing like you?
Well youtube is how I got discovered…so I would definitely say youtube is a good tool to get your music out there. Also, writing original songs is important. You should try to write songs, and figure out what kind of music you wanna do, and who you want to be as an artist. Then, put your music on the internet for people to hear.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I wanna do a collab with Green Day…that would be dope. I love the way Billie Joe from Green Day sings.
Would you ever branch out into acting?
Yes! I actually started out doing musical theatre, so I think I would have a lot of fun getting into acting someday.
What’s your guilty pleasure tv show?
My guilty pleasure TV show…well I really like “Cupcake Wars.” I’ll sit and watch it and my mouth will water as I’m watching these people make tons and tons of delicious cupcakes…I’m honestly torturing myself. But I can’t help it, I still watch it. Ya know, just in case I ever open a cupcake shop someday…I’m learning from watching all these shows!
What’s the weirdest song on your iPod?
The weirdest song on my iPod….maybe the Spongebob Squarepants theme song. I mean it’s an awesome song. But it startles me when I’m listening to a chill song and my iPod is on shuffle…and all of a sudden i hear..”OOOHHH…WHO LIVES IN A PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA? SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!”