Amo is AMMO

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Recently Bring me the Horizon just released their newest album entitled “amo.” And the reviews have been mixed. Which is just what I like.

It means that my favorite band is living up to what they do best: changing up their sound. Now, this is exactly why so many people get frustrated with them, but it is the reason why I absolutely love them.

They never get old.

Every new album is totally new, but at the same time it retains the band’s unique signature. This is extremely hard to do, but they do it flawlessly every singe time.

The best part about this band too is their roots. They started from the Metal subgenre of Deathcore which at the time was so ridiculously over the top in its intensity that it was controversial in the metal scene. I mean if you listened to the band’s first album “pray for plagues” today you would have no idea its them. It’s so different. But, if you listen to every album in succession from the first to the new 6th one, then you would easily be able to see the progression. And I totally recommend doing so.

But do it backwards.

If you try to start with the first album that is going to be much too hard and honestly vile for most of you. But if you start out with the new Pop-influenced album (which I think is fantastic) and then go to the last alternative album, to the Alternative Metal album, to the Metal album, to the Hardcore album, then finally to the Metalcore album you will slowly adjust yourself to the beautiful madness that is Bring me the Horizon.

This is why they are brilliant.

They are the band that can get people into Rock and into Metal who previously were not. I remember how I got into Metal. It was through a band named Dance Gavin Dance. This band is very unique not only because of their sound, but also because they have always had two singers: one screamer and one singer. Now, I absolutely used to despise screaming vocals.

I flat out could not stand screams.

But this band had Johnny Craig on lead clean vocals, and he seriously has the voice of an angel. (And also a raging drug problem which unfortunately got him kicked out from the band. Just sing, don’t do drugs reader.) Anyways, I would relish listening to his parts, but then I would honestly suffer through Jon Mess’ scream vocals. But one day I found that I liked one song in particular that Jon Mess screamed on entitled “Uneasy Hearts weigh the most” in which Mess screamed for only a few lines. It was short, to the point, and the lyrics were cool. The way he screamed “WHAT THE FUCK” made sense to me.

I thought, dang this is actually pretty cool.

And this made sense to me. Jon is literally saying what the fuck, he does not know what is happening, and thus the loudness and the intense nature of a scream fit well with the vocals. I was about it.

And from then on it was history, and now I absolutely love the growls. I also appreciate the technique. It is not as easy one might think. Just try screaming without killing your vocal chords, its not so easy.

Note: If you are seriously interested in learning how to scream look up how to do it properly because if you do not know how, you can seriously damage your vocal cords permanently. Scream with caution reader.

My whole experience getting into Metal was interesting because I got into seriously hardcore Metal bands when I was getting a Theology degree at a Roman Catholic College, oddly enough. And I remember showing songs to my friends of which they almost all thought it was Satanic. In futility I kept trying to convince them that Metal truly was music and that they just had to ease their way into it, but alas I could not figure out how to get through to them.

Now, I have the answer.

Bring me the Horizon is the perfect band to get people into Metal. First they should listen to the newer Pop and Alternative albums, namely “amo” and “That’s the Spirit,” and soon enough they will want more so they will begin to explore their past albums such as “Suicide Season,” and maybe even “Count your Blessings.” Before they know it they will have neck tattoos and will be death growling in their cars on their way to that 9 to 5.

(And maybe at their boss too.)

Now, I must note that Bring me the Horizon does what they do with serious risk. Every time they make a new album that strays from their older Metal sound they truly do risk losing their fanbase, or at least parts of it. And they are very aware of this. On “Heavy Metal” the lead singer Oliver Sykes sings,

“And I keep picking battles…

I fear you don’t love me anymore…

Because the kid on the gram in the Black Dahlia Tank says it aint Heavy Metal”

I fucking love it. The Black Dahlia Murder is another very popular Hardcore Metal band for those who don’t know, and yes the name comes from the grisly murder case, which was never solved. Link is below to the wikipedia page if you would like to become more familiar with the case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Dahlia

Back to the song, Oliver responds to the haters saying that he hears what they are saying to which he responds,

“And that’s alright.”

And further, at the end of that track they turn up the gain and blast the end screaming “IT AINT HEAVY METAL” as a way of showing to these ex-fans that the band still “got bounce” like they used to. They just make the new albums so they have something new and fresh to crank out.

Take that kid in the tank.

Too many bands today make the same music. The first two albums sound great, then the third gets stale, and by the fourth I have completely lost interest. But not with this band. Every album they make is fresh and is a complete banger. I will listen to the album on repeat. And I repeat.

I listen to the entire album on repeat.

Not just a single, or one track. The whole album. This is a lost art by the way. In fact, many musicians don’t even make albums anymore. They just make singles. But, again, not with this band. They stay true to their roots as a Rock Band but they make their music for the modern age.

I absolutely love them. So I hope I sold you on the band and have convinced you to check them out. Go listen to “amo” on Spotify or iTunes or wherever you can find it. Then leave a comment or come to my stream and tell me what you think of it. Hell, I will probably be playing it in the background on my channel for a good while now.

It’s too good not to be bumping on repeat.

 

Stay Fresh and Keep Smiling,

Nolan

When is it enough?

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Yesterday I made the same stupid mistake that I made early in the Summer of 2018. I wasted money buying in game skins. Yes, skins. What are skins you might ask? Well, basically they are in game fashion. They add no real gameplay modifiers such as increased damage or speed or etc., all they are is a re-working on a character or weapons outfit.

Yup, that’s it. Just an outfit.

And people spend lots of money on these things; myself included. Now, I am not entirely against skins at all. I think if you play a game a lot if it nice to have some sort of fashion that distinguishes you from the other players, but there is a line when you are spending just too much. For example, how many skins do you really need to buy? If you aren’t cautious it can get out of hand extremely quickly. And then when you have skins for many different characters but you only play one of them, then talk about a real waste of money.

Skins are the proverbial clothes that you have kept in your closet for years but never have worn. Just dead weight.

Last night I spent 50$ on crap that I really did not need at all. I got so lost in the moment of buying this skin that I wanted that I kept persisting through all these glitches in the Ubisoft purchase system of which it took me over 2 hours to but the skin I wanted.

Talk about the universe trying to tell me something. Further, someone in my chat literally said that to me too. I think I responded with something like,

“Fuck the universe.”

Lol. I literally am too funny. Especially because I now only one day after the purchase am regretting it and am writing a blog post to encourage others to limit their spending. And I have to thank one of my oldest and most trusted fans Lots_of_Pyro. He sent me a message on twitter calling me out. Paraphrasing, He said,

“Dude, you wrote me a letter telling me to save my money instead of giving it to you because I should save for my computer parts since that is really what I want. You too should save your money instead of buying it on stupid skins which you already have when you should save it for rent since finding a good place for your stream is really what you want.”

And Pyro was 100% on the mark. He caught me red-handed being a hypocrite. And I am glad that he did. It’s high time that I stopped wasting my money on these in game items. I mean seriously I am going to be 27 years old soon, spending my money on junk like this is totally childish.

So here we go chat. I am done with skins. I don’t need to buy them. If someone wants to give me a skin that I would like hey that is cool, (I won’t lie I still like them) but as for spending money on them, I am done. I have so many skins already. In Fortnite, in World of Warcraft, in Counter Strike, in Rainbow Six, etc. The list goes on. But the real question is,

How much is enough?

I say that I have enough. It’s time to chill out and stop this wasteful spending. And not just on in game skins, also in other areas of life. Especially on food, clothes, books, and other junk that I don’t need and don’t use.

But I am going to start with skins. This is the easiest area for my get this habit under control, since I stream every night so I literally will be fighting my temptation to buy skins nightly. And Pyro also made a good point that as a streamer I have a responsibility to my chat and followers such that I do not become a bad influence on them. If I am spending and spending I am also encouraging them to follow in foolish behavior. And this is even more ridiculous considering I am such a self-proclaimed “intelligent” streamer.

It’s kind of hard to give advice when you are concurrently making foolish decisions.

So here we go everyone. We are a month into the new year but heck let’s just act as if it is Day 1. This year we say goodbye to skins. Too much is too much. I have enough and I need to learn to be happy with what I have. Because here is the core lesson.

Nothing is ever enough. You will always want more.

And that’s not just skins. I am talking about money, cars, women, clothes, etc. If you cannot get your appetite under control it will destroy you. You will spend all your money very quickly, you will ruin your best relationships because you simply cannot choose to have one, and your life will become a mess surrounded by meaningless junk that is at best only temporary happiness.

So get it under control. Stop the spending. And let’s start with the skins. If you don’t have any, that’s one thing. But if you have plenty, it’s time to stop.

Say no skins.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

How I stay Positive

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Probably one of the most frequent questions that I get on my twitch stream is ,

“Nolan how do you stay positive?”

I’ll tell you. It’s not because bad things or bullshit doesn’t happen to me. I’m just like everyone else, I deal with issues: both those that I make for myself and those that other make for me. But I handle them decently well I would say.

First, I have to thank my number one pillar of support: my mother. She is always there for me and has helped me through so much. She is just a wealth of knowledge and practical insight and without her advice through so many of my troubles I do not know where I would be.

I prize my relationship with my Mother, and I am very thankful for what I have.

Now, for those of you that do not have a good relationship with your mother, it’s not over for you, it doesn’t have to be with a mother in particular. Maybe you might have your Father, or a family member, or another friend. The point is, having someone in your life that can offer solid advice as well as be there for you when you need to talk is paramount.

Life is very hard at times, don’t try to do it alone.

Now, I realize that I come from a privileged position. I have someone in my life to help me through these kinds of moments, and I know that some of you reading this don’t. And that honestly saddens me. I know how tough those nights must be, where you don’t have anyone. But don’t give up hope. Keep meeting people and extending yourself, and someday you just might be able to forge a relationship that will be one that you will prize as well. After all, if you don’t then there will be nothing that you can do to improve your situation. So stay strong, put yourself out there, and make a new friend.

Don’t try too hard though, this often has a way of turning people away. Just let it happen through natural encounters. Maybe I should write a post on how to meet people and make friends some day. That would be a good post.

 

Second, I keep myself busy. The best way to let something to get to you is to keep on moving and get onto the very next thing: whatever that is. It doesn’t necessarily even have to be important but it just has to keep you occupied. Time truly does heal all things, so let time takes its course and help heal you.

If something is driving you crazy, or distressing you, get away from it as much as possible. Now some things out there have to be dealt with and you cannot escape them, and in these cases I would say that while you cannot just distract yourself, limit your involvement. If you are going through a really tough breakup, or divorce, or death of a loved one, foreclosure, etc., make sure that you do not let this problem consume your life. Spend time playing a game you enjoy, work, or a creative outlet so that you have some time away from the issue. Too much time dwelling on the problem is just going to get you down and likely make your handling of the situation even worse.

I don’t tell people to “not think about it” because we all know that that just does not work. This is why I advise distracting yourself. This effectively does make your brain not think about it, but in a way that actually works.

If I say “don’t think about a purple elephant.” What do you think you are thinking about now.

A purple elephant.

But If you start working on a creative project that is about anything other than a purple elephant, I sure bet you aren’t thinking about a purple elephant now are you. And there is my point. Keep yourself distracted and keep the bullshit away.

 

My first tip for staying positive was relational, my second tip was practical, but my third tips is stranger one. It is honestly very spiritual. Just think about how you are alive for a second. You actually get to be alive and be conscious. This is a very peculiar thing. At times very scary, but also immensely beautiful and humbling. You could just literally not be. And in fact one day you will not be. So remember, your time is numbered. Life is finite. So enjoy it. Sure, today might suck. Or this one video game match might suck. Or this one relationship really sucked.

But you are alive. Don’t use your one life thinking about things that suck.

Make the most of it. Every second you had is now gone in just a moment. So often times, remembering my mortal state can put things in perspective for me. This method doesn’t always work to keep my positive, but there are times it does.

 

My last tip would be to drown yourself in what moves you. For me, that is music. If I am feeling a certain way I can put on a song and it just resonates through my entire being. If you are like me, listen to music. But also, be smart. Don’t listen to music that makes you more depressed. Listen to a genre or song that helps move you in the right direction. It’s what I do every day. I use my playlists as a way to be an effective soundtrack to my life and get from point A to point B.

This is why I really need to start making music. It means so much to me, I need to just get on it more. Today I was going through some drama and I wrote some lyrics that really reflected what I was going through and honestly I think would make a great song.

Taylor Swift I get you.

 

On that note, I think I will end this post. Staying positive is not an easy thing, but the more you try to do it and set it as your goal, e.g. to be a positive, happy human being, then it becomes more natural and gets easier. I still get down from time to time, but I almost always bounce back the next day and return to my chipper self. And I appreciate everyone on my twitch stream who realizes this. I’m not going to always be 100% positive every night on stream, but I promise that if I am being sad, or salty, that I will get back to my real self quickly.

And tonight I will be.

 

See you in the chat, and keep smiling,

 

Something to keep me busy

Today’s post is kind of silly but it’s also serious. It’s all about how I keep myself from going nuts.

The answer is to always think.

I always have something going through my head so I’m never bored. When I was young, and even at times when I was older, I thought about card games. Which cards I would draw and how to play them, and all the different scenarios.

Thinking about possible permutations would keep my brain engaged and gave me something to dwell on when nothing else was going on.

A sort of way to stay creative if you will.

When I bought my Subaru STI hatchback the mental games really turned up a notch. I moved from cards to car parts. And my wallet took a hit.

But this has proven to be a great way to keep my brain busy. Cars are infinite sources of change and modification. So many things to change like tires, wheels, suspension, body kits, tunes, towhooks, etc.

The list literally goes on forever. It’s amazing. It always gives me something to think about, even when I don’t ever actually purchase anything.

Oddly enough, when I had my BMW M4 there was nothing to do. The car was already such a beast what was I to upgrade? The suspension was insane, the horsepower was more insane, the body kit already was outfitted with carbon fiber, and the wheels were beyond clean. There was nothing to change, and this nothing to think about.

But then it got totaled.

So it was back to the drawing board with getting a new car and this time around I decided to lower the monthly payment. I suck with BMW and the 4 Series but instead of another M4 I was more responsible and went with the 435i. And this car is nice. Totally outfitted with the technology package, the convenience package, heated seats, heads up display, and the M-Sport package along with M-Sport brakes.

But still it ain’t no M4. As such, there are lots of things to things to think about again.

Hooray! I guess it all worked out lol.

So now I spend the time when my brain isn’t occupied with work or something necessary with thoughts on modifying my car.

What I am thinking about now is sort of a pipe dream, but hey that’s the point, a man can dream right?

So here’s the list everyone. Feel free to send me the money by PayPal if you want to help a brother out.

Bronze TE-37 Volks Wheels

KW-3 Coilovers

JB4 Berger Motorsports tune

I haven’t made my mind up on the tires, and there will always be something else but what I am trying to do with my 435i is keep it looking really classy and low key but have it be much more than what meets the eye. The Volks obviously would make it pop and man I think white on bronze just looks fly. Black wheels are cool but as my friend John says,

“Just played out too much.”

The coil overs are definitely necessary because I won’t lie, the suspension in the 4 series just flat out isn’t stiff enough. Something needs to be done.

Change that and add a Berger tune? We’re talking another 80+ HP just with stock parts only? Oh man this is now a whole new car.

Well, at this point it’s time for the stream so I’m going to head on over there. Stop by and watch sometime people. We can talk about car parts too.

Keep Smiling,

Nolan