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  • Writer's pictureR’nR With Rylo

Spin #74 : Parkway Drive : Deep Blue


Welcome to our 74th Sunday drop from the R'nR with Rylo collection! I thought that I would choose another favourite of ours here at R'nR and an Australian band too! Parkway Drive with their third studio effort, 'Deep Blue' is our choice this week and I feel that it's a quintessential album to have in your collection.

Parkway Drive have exploded into super stardom, and I don't see them slowing down anytime soon. I wasn't lucky enough to go see them at Knotfest in Australia this year but have seen them perform a couple of years ago at Sydney's Hordern Pavillion. They were impressive and I feel that the next time they tour on home soil that they will be packing out larger venues. Fingers crossed that they announce a concert with Killswitch Engage, Thy Art is Murder and Of Mice & Men (c'mon guys!). I remember the year 2010 so well because it was full of good and bad moments, but mostly good. This album came to me at the exact moment that I needed it and thought you might enjoy it for our 74th go-around. This one is best played loud or through headphones, so if you have a nice set of headphones - crank it up loud and dance around like no-one is watching. This is a blog, I can't see you, I promise.

To get the most out of this one I have placed it on the loungeroom turntable, as it provides a better range of sound coming through 4 x speakers. I love our set-up for the time being - Sherwood Turntable (PM-9805) and Sherwood Receiver (RX-4508). During the week I was working in the front room office and played Side A on the sunroom set-up. It sounded great coming out of the Marshall Woburn II speaker but had to calm down as the music was amping me up too much for working from home.

ALBUMS OF NOTE (2010): My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West, Recovery - Eminem, Doo-Wops & Hooligans - Bruno Mars, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys - My Chemical Romance, Brothers - The Black Keys, Opus Eponymous - Ghost, Nightmare - Avenged Sevenfold, The Final Frontier - Iron Maiden, Contra - Vampire Weekend, Teenage Dream - Katy Perry

Image: Luke Kilpatrick (Rhythm guitar), Jeff Ling (Lead guitar), Winston McCall (Lead vocals), Ben Gordon (Drums) and Jia O'Connor (Bass)


If you have space in your record collection for Parkway Drive's entire discography, get online and purchase a couple of them as we #dropthestylus on this '10s classic!

If you have never heard a Parkway Drive album before, then you are in for a real treat. Especially if you love your bassline dirty, guitars with the ability to melt faces, drums that make you feel like your heart is going to explode out of your chest and of course, vocals that sound like the personification of Satan himself. Each album they release has such a unique style and subtle changes over the catalogue of music allow for new fans to be hooked on their sound. I know a lot of fans came in when they released an album called, 'IRE' and at the same time they lost a few. Strange how that works isn't it. I can honestly say that I like each album on its own merits - early stuff is raw but you can feel the high energy within the songs. Production gets better over time and particularly on this album with the 'Evil' Joe Barresi helping the boys out. A couple of other albums that he's had a hand in producing are - Self-titled & Lullabies to Paralyze - Queens of the Stone Age, New Maps of Hell - Bad Religion, Life is but a Dream.... & The Stage - Avenged Sevenfold and The End, So Far - Slipknot.

Another busy week has come and gone, and it was a welcome relief that the interest rate was paused for the time being. I don't know where we will be in the next 6-12 months if the prices keep climbing but right now, at this moment, we are pretty content sitting down with our cuppas (coffee) and soaking in 'Deep Blue'. Remember if you are doing it tough or feel the need to vent, hit us up on the socials by direct message. Sometimes you don't even need a response and the magic happens when you say something to a stranger or out loud to no-one. As parents, Night Kat Kiz and I get a lot of time overhearing our children and their impressive imaginations. Our son loves Paw Patrol at the moment and there was a hilarious episode where baked pies were too hot and because there was a lot of pies in a small space, the steam created a wait sorry, a Pie-clone. I don't know how they come up with this stuff, but our children were hanging on every word during that episode. Sometimes, something stupid or silly can make you escape your troubles for a short while and help you breathe again.

'SAMSARA' is a term that basically means the human race is on a hamster wheel of constant suffering. Well, not exactly but the cycle of life and death can sometimes feel like you are. This album tells the story of the persona who experiences a journey to the bottom of the ocean and back again from the 'Deep Blue', making way for re-birth and new perspective of life. With the opening track or introduction, you slowly get drawn into the album as McCall sings in his growl, "Existence is Suffering". Its atmospheric and one that punches straight into next song, 'UNREST'. If you follow along with the imagery of the artwork or inside sleeve artwork, it will paint a clear picture of the persona walking through the city towards the ocean in order to get away from their current, un-happy life. Lyrically speaking this album is up there with the best of the metalcore style and there are very few clean vocals across the album. Conceptually and production wise, 'Deep Blue' is their best album at the time of its release and my favourite of theirs for sentimental reasons. It was the very first album that got me into PWD and I can remember where I was when I was listening to it for the first time. Ben Gordon behind the drum kit manages to become some kind of superhero as he drives the back beat on this entire album. If you isolate his drumming as you listen, you will be hugely impressed as I was. So, the persona isn't happy with what he has become and doesn't want to look back upon his life in the city......"Retrace the steps, retrace the steps. Is this what I have become? Retrace the steps, retrace the steps. What the fuck have I become? Security, illusion for the weak. Refuge, sought in routine. Another gear in their fucking machine. See, you can win the rat race but you're still, nothing but a fucking rat. So seek that crown, cause in this kingdom of fools, true ignorance reigns supreme".

I was surprised to find that they only released one track as a single and could have bet it would have been 'UNREST' at the time. It was however the next track called 'SLEEPWALKER', which is a song that deals with isolation and that most people are currently happy to sleepwalk their way through life. The persona isn't one of those people and isn't looking to enter the ocean in order to kill himself but instead, to give his life purpose again and be born again with new ambition and desires. I don't know if it's exactly the same, but I've been through some personal re-births over the last decade or so in terms of career choices. I listen to my gut and try to make the best choices for my family and myself. I owe my strong level of fortitude to my younger days of captaining my local football team and the desire to leave everything I had on that field in order to help the team. I'm not playing football anymore, but I still am a part of a team that needs me to have the same level of purpose on a daily basis. Imagery that doesn't appear nicely is when McCall is singing, "Sleepwalk our lives away, In search for shallow graves. Sleepwalk our lives away, Lost Souls, Lost......Just bodies through the teeth of the combine". Looking back on this one I can see why the chose it as the album single, but I think they easily could have selected a couple more songs due to their high calibre.

The persona is sinking towards the bottom of the ocean on next song called, 'WRECKAGE'. I like how they have likened them to that of a sunken ship, a wreckage left on the bottom of the ocean. I find myself hitting the cymbal everytime this song starts and is one that my son has seen me drumming on the steering wheel of the car along with once or twice. The weather during the week had been quite nice but as i sit here listening to this one, the rain is starting to fall outside. I love the guitars on this track particularly and how it sounds coming out of the 4 x speakers. If you are following along with headphones, then you will hear a bit of left and right going on. It's time to flip LP1 over for Side B and drop the stylus.

'DEADWEIGHT' starts with the kick drum of Gordon and increasing tension being raised before it gets a bit chaotic. I've heard the mantra of , in order to build yourself back up again, you need to break yourself down, strip everything negative you have and re-build from within. Sometimes you have to take chances in order to get to you're next destination and that is something not taken lightly. One of the best moments of this song is when it gets to the headbang stage and McCall sings, "The nothingness confronts me, Vexed by the hands of time". So many good breakdowns and moments on this track, very underrated. 'ALONE' is probably the one you want to follow along with the lyrics the most on this album as it really describes the whole storyline. It has one of the best guitar riffs by Ling and Kilpatrick while the bass work of O'Connor compliments them.

Final track on LP1 is called, 'PRESSURES' and is something that we all have in our lives to varying degrees. Night Kat Kiz and I had a window of opportunity to get some 'us' time on Friday by trying something new and wrestle some of those anxieties that we both share. There is something cathartic about an infrared sauna and magnesium floating pool that has great health benefits. We did a couples session and it was a lovely moment to hit pause and recharge our batteries, thank you Grammy and Gubby for babysitting for us. Plus we managed to become, so relaxed and sleepy that we went to bed around 9-9.30PM on a Friday night! We didn't really get to spin records but we felt calmer, happier and had less aches. You are in your own private and lockable room with some calming music playing and there is no issue with floating as they dump around 300-400kg of magnesium into a 1000L pool. Thank you Night Kat Kiz, great idea and can't wait to go again with you. I wasn't able to listen to 'Deep Blue' but the sense of floating in a dark room has similarities to the persona of this album being in the dark and water all around them. It's funny how the timing works with these Sunday Drop choices because I would have listed all of these picks at least 3-4 months ago - maybe even longer. I am thinking about the lyrics of this song and pondering, "My solitude, My shield, My armour, Tested with full force". The rawness and layering of his vocals is so strong on this one but now its time to swap LP1 for LP2 and place it on your turntable.

It's not all relaxing moments though as we spin this one, our daughter (Q) has decided to start stripping her socks and pants off. Has the music got her so pumped up that she is stripping clothes before entering the mosh pit.... no, she just needs to go to the toilet. 'DELIVER ME' has some of the best tempo changes and works so well to kick off the second half of the album. One of the best moments is when McCall sings the following, "Guilt draws me down like a stone.

It chokes my throat and gnaws my bones, Regret breeds a heavy heart, Reality, torn in two. Torn in two. Torn in two".

It rolls into one of my favourite songs on the album and it's easy to tell when you hear the drumming introduction by Gordon. My sister and I were watching them in concert and this track, 'KARMA' had Gordon drumming upside down as the cage he was secured to had flames everywhere. He did the opening drum sequence before McCall stopped and spoke to the crowd, telling us all he wanted all the energy we had left on this song. I got to then hear my favourite drumming sequence live twice as they dominated on this one. It is about the karma that is to come and the surfacing of the persona on this way home. This track is very motivational and enjoy singing along to, "A body, locked in the vice grip of conflict. A mind, sharpened on the shards of disappointment and from the depths of Hell I rise, From gilded cage, my spirit flies. Memories of another life call me home. Surfacing". If you aren't pumped up after this track, then nothing will.

'HOME IS FOR THE HEARTLESS' is about the persona returning to the city you see on the front cover of this album and realising that love and hope no longer exist here. This realisation and acceptance then makes them become a hollow shell of themselves in the following track. I enjoy this song when it comes on as it makes the album flow before it gets heavy again. I'll have to look at the other artworks by artist Dan Mumford but feel it was a good choice for this album. There is also a feature on this track of Brett Gurewitz from the band 'Bad Religion'. I haven't heard a lot of their stuff so that will be something that I will add to my list of music to follow up on. Time for the LP2 to be flipped over and drop the stylus on Side D and the track called, 'HOLLOW'.

Side D starts with the song that has the persona letting go of who they were and all they cared for in order to become the creature from the abyss. 'HOLLOW' has such a darkness to the guitar playing and reminds me a lot of '90s metal bands.

There is another feature on this song by Marshall Lichtenwaldt from American band, 'The Warriors'. I didn't know until now, but McCall has featured on one of their songs called 'Panic' on the album, See How You Are. Some of the best lyrics are in this song and I always sing along when he sings, "The failings of yesterday, become the catalyst to seek my change". Up next is another favourite of mine and one that really pumps up the listener, 'LEVIATHAN I'.

This one shows the transformation of the persona from man to the monster from the depths of the ocean. I was about to turn Leviathan in the grocery store yesterday because they have replaced all the working metal trolleys with smaller, plastic trolleys, making them narrower and unable to seat two children. Also, the seats are slanted so the child slides towards the parent and the seatbelt moves up their bodies choking them. Absolutely ridiculous that they couldn't design a better trolley for bigger families. There were people pushing full trolleys everywhere, or more than one and things were falling on the ground and spilling. Had to have a Rylo Rant because I can't believe that they got rid of all the working trolleys. I love singing the chorus on this one and will be one I play when we get a music room and drum kit in the future - "Show me War, Show me Pestilence, Show me the blood red hands of retribution....and the abyss stares back, Leviathan I". Our children are all rugged up now and watching some cartoons as the rain keeps falling and it is getting colder tonight.

There is one more song to spin before this Sunday drop is completed and that is one called, 'SET TO DESTROY'. This one is about dismantling the establishment and a call to arms to everyone to stick together through dark times. Breakdowns and energy - tick! This song has it all in its 1 minute 34 seconds and will leave you exhausted if you are moshing around. Don't worry, Night Kat Kiz and I didn't feel the need to destroy everyone at the grocery store yesterday. The album ends with McCall singing, "Your flame is faded, so sink below. Rest now your heavy head upon your bed of bones. Too far removed, Too far to care, Set to Destroy".

I hear the stylus reach the dead wax and it's time to lift the stylus without our children coming over to 'help me'. One of the shortest and punchiest tracks ends the album and leaves us all wanting more! Our children loved the energy of this one and our son (K) loves showing off his metal face as he pretends to drum or play guitar around the room. I love these moments and hopefully you have your own moments throughout the week that re-fuel your mind and soul. Remember that if you are on a continuous cycle of unhappiness, you need to be like the persona on this album and challenge your own personal 'Leviathans' in order to get smiling again. It's not easy, but small steps. I'm travelling for part of next week but home in time for Vinyl Friday and the Sunday Drop! Let me know what you are liking or not and I'm always up for some ideas or music chat. If you haven't seen PWD in concert yet, look at some tour dates and go if you can.

“Kindness is just love with its work boots on” Shelley Darlingson

Until our next Spin, be Kind to people from Byron Bay and be Kind to your Wax!











45 RPM




ATLAS (2012)









Favourite lyric:

"Show me war, Show me pestilence, Show me the blood red hands of retribution....and the abyss stares back, Leviathan I" ~ Leviathan I - Side D



































Parkway Drive (look at their live show now to see just how far they have come since 2010)

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