The pairing of Blacktop Mourning and Adam Duritz’s new Tyrannosaurus Records underscores the importance of not only MySpace and their attentive outreach to music lovers the world over by providing promotional pages to bands, it also shows that a band’s success can depend on the internet.
Once Blacktop Mourning set up their MySpace page, interest skyrocketed leading to their first album, No Regret. Led by youthful guitar virtuoso, Max Steger (who was once heralded by Atlantic Records’ Ahmet Ertegun as “…one of the best guitar players I’ve ever seen”), Blacktop Mourning is completed by four other musicians. With over half a million plays from their MySpace page and being called one of the “…bands to watch in 2006,” by Chicago’s Q101FM, Blacktop Mourning certainly has things tilted their way.
Although the music that Blacktop Mourning plays is similar in style to bands like Blue October, they do provide an energetically talented core of musicians with good songwriting skills, which helps them to stand out a little better. Standing out in this age of a deluge of pop-punk is necessary and Steger’s band provides a top-tier of songs. I like the blend of piano and guitar in “6AM,” the opening track to the album. The song sets the pace for the rest of the album. As compositions, lots of their 11 songs are radio-ready, with rich melody and music.
Another thing that I like about Blacktop Mourning is the ability to pick out their influences from an earlier era of music. This means that while many current bands learn chords and then follow the current stream of music, it is evident that Blacktop Mourning are serious music lovers from their snippets of detectable influences that extend over a decade and a half. And if you want to hear some real Steger guitar work, listen to “My Only Heart.”
No Regret is current culture pop-punk music that should easily strike a chord with younger audiences.