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Falling in Reverse’s new album, Just Like You, dropped with the tenacity of a sonic boom this last week.  Breaking into iTunes’s top 50 charts and with their top song reaching well over half a million viewers on YouTube, this may be their biggest hit yet.

Falling in Reverse is a post-metal core band out of Las Vegas, Nevada who got their start in 2010.  After the lead singer, Ronnie Radke, had left his prior band Escape the Fate, due to personal complications, he immediately looked to start a new one.  He gathered some guys and by 2011 Falling In Reverse’s first album titled, The Drug In Me Is You, was released with the support of Epitath Records.  Within the first week of its release it had sold over 18,000 copies ranking them 13th on the Billboard top 100 bands list.

The band sky rocketed right from the beginning and with the use of this new album, they have only managed to climb up the totem pole.  This new album consists of 14 new songs which many alternative rock magazines are considering to be some of the best work to be put out into the genre. Among these 14 songs, the ones gaining the most popularity consist of God if you are above and Just Like You.  These songs are not your classic FIR tunes.  They both have a unique twist on their bridges which adds to the feel of the song’s ending.  Falling In reverse has always stuffed a variety of unique ideas and ornamentation into a their music but they accomplished a new feat by with putting out this album.

As a fan of this band from their start, I have had the advantage of  having seen their development and how their music has changed; however, even if you are new to listening to this band or even just curious about their sound they are a truly talented band and deserve all the credit they have received.  They will most likely be making an appearance at this year’s Vans Warped Tour so if you get the chance to go I would recommend putting them on the list of bands you plan to see.

For many of us here at the Pulse, 2005 was the year we were trudging through middle or junior high school, just starting to get exposed to new ideas and especially new forms of music. These albums helped us along the way. We look back 10 years ago…

Bloc Party – Silent Alarm

Back in 2004, I was 11 years old and beginning my music collection. Silent Alarm was one of two albums that I was introduced to by an older brother of a friend. I came from a heavily influenced classic rock background and this was far from that. Initially, I didn’t like it, but as I listened, it grew on me. Silent Alarm became one of the first albums that I listened to 20 times over. It seemed perfectly normal back then, but now I rarely get the chance. Here is my favorite song from Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm, “Helicopter”. – Michael

The Mars Volta – Frances the Mute

Probably my favorite Mars Volta album. You will either love this or hate this for its proggy excess (in fact, this album practically defines the term “proggy excess”). No track here times out under 5 minutes, and the most epic track here, the eight-part “Cassandra Gemini” runs for over an astounding 30 minutes. You could write this off immediately right then and there if the band didn’t make things so interesting and full of crazy Latin-flavored energy. – Ryan

Jack Johnson – In Between Dreams

Maybe it was just me and my particular group of friends, but I feel like everyone had a Jack Johnson phase. Especially after In Between Dreams came out. His music is simple and to-the-point, perfect for road trips and Sunday afternoon homework sessions. Or, in the event that there is a beach near you, spending time there. Here is my favorite tune from the album. – Michael

Beck – Guero

Working with production duo The Dust Brothers again after their famous collaboration with Beck in the 90’s with Odelay, Guero doesn’t necessarily sound like that album, but applies a similar aesthetic touch in its white-boy rap beats, rawk n’ roll noise and obscure samples. Accordingly, the album proved to be Beck’s most commercially successful album since Odelay itself. – Ryan

Limp Bizkit – The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1)

Yeah, yeah, I know, Fred Durst and all that. Actually, this is possibly the band’s most underrated work. Twisty guitar and bass lines, high-energy drums and eerie soundscapes typify the band’s instrumental work here, while Durst goes lyrically serious for a change and covers topics like politics and Catholic sex abuse scandals. Granted, his lyrics are still a little goofy and cringe-worthy at times, but the best tracks here, like “The Truth”, signify a new direction for a band unfairly pigeonholed as all that was wrong with nu-metal. – Ryan

Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth

Although this may rank as my least favorite NIN album, it’s still got its fair share of rock-solid tunes.  Apart from singles “Only”, “Every Day Is Exactly the Same” and “The Hand that Feeds”, which introduced Reznor’s songcraft to a new generation of industrial rockers, tracks like “All the Love in the World” have choruses that will be stuck in your head for months at a time, and melancholy album closer “Right Where It Belongs” ranks as one of the band’s most tender moments. – Ryan

System of a Down – Hypnotize

This was my first System album, and I bought it when it came out around my 12th birthday in November ’05. Ironically enough, after years of listening to the rest of System’s discography, this turns out to be my least favorite of the group’s. However, as with NIN, System have never made a truly bad album, and Hypnotize contains some of the band’s finest moments, including “Holy Mountains”, an impassioned track about the Armenian genocide that System have always tried to raise awareness of. “Vicinity of Obscenity”, on the opposite side of the serious spectrum, is simply a fun track to sing along to (Banana-banana terracotta PIE!). – Ryan

Gorillaz – Demon Days

Demon Days was the second album that my friend’s older brother introduced me to. “Feel Good Inc.” is still one of my favorite tunes ever. And “Dirty Harry”, what a song. This album was simply amazing; unique and ahead of its time. Gorillaz have secured a spot in my music library for a long time to come. Much electronic music comes and goes, making the timelessness of this album even more impressive. Although it was the most popular song on the album, I will still go ahead and share “Feel Good Inc.”, a great tune indeed. – Michael

Coldplay – X&Y

AKA, when Coldplay’s critical backlash started to set in. Which, in my opinion, was always unfair, seeing as how X&Y is an important step in the band’s evolution from writing piano-based rockers to developing more electronic and ethereal art-rock textures on their next two or three albums. Of course, “Fix You” is the one everybody knows, but the title track might be my favorite, with its swaying orchestral sweep that really feels like the listener is “drifting into outer space” or “floating on a tidal wave”. – Ryan

Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil

The album that catapulted them into mainstream attention, with “Bat Country” and “Seize the Day” constantly played on rock radio ever since. “Beast and the Harlot” ranks up there as one of A7X’s best openers, while the entire second half of the record is one long, winding metal epic after another. While I personally prefer Waking the Fallen to this one in terms of the band’s “classic” era, I cannot deny the musicianship and prowess A7X displays here. – Ryan

The All-American Rejects – Move Along

One of my first and only pop-punk albums I ever bought, I initially wanted this for the singles and only the singles (the title track, “Dirty Little Secret” and “It Ends Tonight”), but found a plethora of jamz (with a z!) on the rest of the album when I sat down and heard it front to back. Move Along still remains the Rejects’ most successful effort, and the sales are justified by how much the songs here instantly transport me back to 6th grade. – Ryan

Paramore – All We Know Is Falling

Girl power! Before Paramore’s All We Know Is Falling, I didn’t care about girl-fronted bands at all. I was a terrible 12 year old who thought those groups or bands were silly. After hearing “Pressure” on Fuse.Tv for the first time, I knew that I was wrong. I immediately wanted to be Hayley Williams. I wanted to dye my hair, wear skinny jeans and sing in a band. The whole album is an anthem for girls like me in this era. The album is straight pop-rock but with Williams’ voice, it became a staple album of every (cool) 12-16 year old in 2005. – Alisha

Jason Mraz – Mr. A-Z

I know, I know – you’re probably thinking “what was Jason Mraz doing in 2005?? Was he even doing anything?!” Well, he was. Mr. A-Z is such a rad, low-key album. It’s poppy, filled with great vocals, white-boy rapping, and songs that made me swoon every time I listened to it. This album is nothing like any of his singles that you may know him by now (“I’m Yours”, “I Won’t Give Up”). This album is sexy and silly all at the same time. If you are a fan of him (or not!), you should take some time to listen to this album. These were his origins and it’s a great 2nd album. Take a listen to “Plane”, “O. Lover” and “Please Don’t Tell Her”, or to one of his sillier songs, “Wordplay”, which is below. – Alisha

30 Seconds to Mars – A Beautiful Lie

A Beautiful Lie was one of the first albums I ever bought by myself. I had a huge crush on the band and loved everything the band did. The album was “mainstream” enough to have videos on Fuse.Tv and MTV, but had parts where the lead singer screamed (GASP) and felt like a progressive alternative rock album. There was mystery behind everything the band did and that always caught my attention. What I like best about this album is that it almost plays out like a novel. Jared Leto still has some of the best vocals in music today. Listen to “The Kill” and “The Fantasy” (my favorite off the album). – Alisha

Disturbed – Ten Thousand Fists

When artists make their third album, oftentimes the end result can be described as a combination of their first two efforts. Muse’s proggy tendencies on their major-label debut Origin of Symmetry and more straightforward alternative/hard rock songwriting on Absolution resulted in a nice balance between the two on Black Holes and Revelations; likewise, Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral could be said to mix the synthpop of Pretty Hate Machine and the industrial metal of the Broken EP. Disturbed followed suit, mashing the industrial-tinged alt-metal of The Sickness and the straight-up groove metal of Believe into Ten Thousand Fists. Non-fans of the band may not be converted by this album, but for the faithful, it offers up some of David Draiman and co.’s best songs to date, including single “Stricken”, “Just Stop” and “Sacred Lie”. – Ryan

Panic! at the Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out

This is one of those albums that people always talked about when it came out when I was younger, but that I never got into until more recently. The structure of this album is pretty genius; the first half is devoted to uptempo tracks that combine the emo pop-punk of the era and electronic synths and beats, then transitions into a quirky, orchestral pop-rock record with mostly acoustic instruments. On paper, it sounds a little funny, but in execution, it’s hugely enjoyable. – Ryan

I remember seeing the video for “Lying is the Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off” on Fuse.Tv and listening to the lyrics of this video right when it came out. The song was SO DIRTY. And I loved it. I was only 12 at the time, so when I heard the lyrics “I’ve got more wit, a better kiss, a hotter touch, a better fuck than any boy you’ll ever meet”, my 12 year old self was hooked and intrigued. The album was so nice and poppy but so dirty! I loved it! I remember listening to this album at my friend’s house because I wasn’t allowed to at home. This whole album is still catchy, dirty and overall fun. I love re-visiting this album and singing along to every song. – Alisha

Wolfmother – Wolfmother (US Edition)

Like many people, I liked “Woman” enough to check out the rest of the album, and boy, was I not disappointed. Hard rocker after hard rocker, Wolfmother’s self-titled debut became a mainstay on my boombox for some time. While nowadays I feel like the album’s sequencing could be improved and some musical moments are too heavily reminiscent of their garage-rock peers, it’s still nice to jam out to this record with my air guitar raised high. – Ryan

Madonna – Confessions on a Dance Floor

First licensed ABBA sample in a lead single that blew up the dance charts across the globe? Must be Madge. Famously structured like a DJ set, Confessions is a trip through the lightest, and then, darkest recesses of the dance floor. “Forbidden Love” may be the most sensual song here, while “Sorry” may be the grooviest. – Ryan

Fort Minor – The Rising Tied

Cue epic string orchestra and much weightlifting. Just like that, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park’s hip-hop side project begins with one of the go-to sports anthems of the decade, “Remember the Name”. Throughout the album, Shinoda touches on topics from urban life to hip-hop radio and music critics writing off his main band. The most stunning tune here, though, has to be “Kenji”, a harrowing and emotional tale of a Japanese-American citizen and his family being taken to a WWII internment camp, loosely based on Shinoda’s own grandfather’s experiences. The Rising Tied is not quite a classic, and some of the aspects of the record, like LP bandmate Mr. Hahn’s guest feature on “Slip Out the Back”, feel woefully underutilized, but as a start to Shinoda’s rap career, it’s pretty great. Still waiting on a new album, Mike; get on it! – Ryan

Armor for Sleep – What to Do When You Are Dead

Emo concept album about death, ghosts and suicide? Sounds pretty awful, but Armor for Sleep’s What to Do When You Are Dead is one of my favorite albums. It was the first concept album I had ever consciously listened to (OBSESSIVELY). Oddly enough, I got a random iPod from a pawn shop in Boise when I turned 13 from my parents. There was still 100+ songs on this thing and this album was on it. I listened to it over and over again on the drive home and didn’t stop the rest of that year. This album pulls at your heart strings with every song describing this person’s journey in the afterlife and his notes back home to the people he left behind. “The Truth About Heaven” is a perfect song to showcase this; “don’t believe that the weather is perfect the day that you die.” - Alisha

Gonzaga is primed to be a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but will Gonzaga perform in this years tournament like that have in the past?

The Year of Gonzaga


What makes a program elite? Do we define a team to be elite by analyzing its win over an extended period of time, or do we decide on an “elite” program by the amount of championships that they win. Here in the Pacific Northwest, a small school in Washington is pushing itself into conversation as one of the most elite programs in collegiate sports in the last decade. With a winning percentage of eighty percent since 1999, Gonzaga basketball has been one of the most elite programs when it comes to wins since the turn of the century, yet after all these years we are still left to ask. Is Gonzaga elite?

Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina. A strong case can be made for other programs right now (Louisville, UCLA, Syracuse, Michigan State) but for the most part I think that the general public would agree that those first four programs are the class of college basketball in the last 15 years. These four teams have combined for six championships over the last fifteen years, and all the praise and glory they receive is earned. These schools play in some of the most difficult conferences in basketball, they have some of the most talented players in the country, and year after year you can expect at least one of these teams to be competing for a championship. There is no argument that programs like Kentucky and Kansas are elite, but whether a team like Gonzaga deserves to be in the conversation. Since the 2001-2002 season, Gonzaga has won 376 games. The winningest college basketball team in this same time frame is Kansas, who has a combined win total of 407 games since the start of the 2001 season. If we measure a team by wins, then Gonzaga would have to be in the same conversation of college basketball elites, alongside the likes of Kansas and Kentucky. If a team is measured by the number of championships it has won, then Gonzaga isn’t far away. While they haven’t won a National Championship, Kansas and Kentucky both only have one since the start of the century.

What’s most impressive about Gonzaga, and what they have accomplished as a program isn’t the amount of win’s they have, but the players that they have been able to win with. The everyday person can go on to ESPN.com right now, and look at recruiting class ranking since 2009. Since 2009, Kansas has four classes that rank in the Top-10. Gonzaga? They have 0. The next argument that one would make against a team like Gonzaga (actually any mid-major) is that Gonzaga hasn’t played as hard of a schedule as Kansas has. While this does hold true, and a team like Kansas play’s stronger competition night-in night-out, it’s important to see that Gonzaga has played elite opponents. Since Mark Few’s arrival in 1999, Gonzaga has played a total of 69 games against Top-25 teams.  The downfall for this Gonzaga team, and something that lingers in all of our minds when we’re filling out our brackets in March, is that this team struggles to win in the NCAA tournament. Since 1999, the Zags have failed to get out of the first round 5 times. Kansas meanwhile, hasn’t made it past the first round of the NCAA tournament twice.

When you get to the bottom of it, Gonzaga is not an elite program. While Gonzaga’s win total is impressive, and their supremacy in the WCC is historically great, and the end of the day a team has to be measured by its play in the post-season, and that’s something that Gonzaga simply doesn’t have on their resume. Gonzaga has had elite talent on their team before, and are talented again this year, but anything less than a Final-Four appearance has to be a disappointment to the Zags.

The Oscars are this Sunday, and before the awards are given out, here are my Oscar predictions on who will and who should walk away with the gold.

Best Supporting Actor

Who will win: JK Simmons for “Whiplash” – Simmons is a lock for this award and rightly so; he gives the best performance of his career in a mesmerizing role.

Who should win: JK Simmons. Adding to what I have already he said, he has won every single award up to this point and there is no reason he won’t add the Oscar to his collection of hardware.

Dark Horse: Edward Norton for “Birdman”. While I don’t think anyone else has any shot at all, Norton like always delivers a great performance worthy of recognition.

Best Supporting Actress

Who will win: Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood.” Once again, The Academy is enamored with “Boyhood” and that includes Arquette’s performance as a mom trying to raise her two children. To top it all off, she has won numerous awards for her performance that includes the Golden Globe.

Who should win: Keira Knightley for “ The Imitation Game.” Knightley was brilliant in her performance opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. She provided a great counter to his performance and their chemistry was tremendous.

Dark horse to win: Emma Stone for “Birdman.” Emma Stone gives a surprising and fantastic performance and is able to stand out among a plethora of great actors that includes Keaton, Norton, and Watts.

Best Director

Who will win: Richard Linklater for “Boyhood.” Given the fact that the movie was filmed over 12 years and turned out to be pretty good, plus the fact that “Boyhood” is the Oscar darling of this season, he should be walking away with the gold.

Who should win: Linklater. This was a gigantic risk for Linklater, but he took it and it paid off. He deserves to be recognized for this historic achievement to cinema.

Dark Horse to win: Alejandro G. Inarritu for “Birdman.”  He was responsible for bringing the most original movie of the year, both in story and in which it was filmed. It’s incredible one-shot technique made the movie stand out among all the others of 2014.

Best Actress

Who will win: Julianne Moore for “Still Alice”. She is basically a shoe in at this point and has been sweeping up all the awards prior to the Oscars. She gives such a powerful performance of a woman struggling with early set Alzheimer’s that will stay with you long after.

Who should win: Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl”. She gave the best performance of her career and in my opinion the year. She really showed a lot of range in her portrayal of a wife that will do whatever it takes to get what she wants.

Dark Horse to win: Felicity Jones – She could be the Oscar darling as everyone is buzzing for her performance as Stephen Hawking’s wife. The fact that she is able to hold her own against Redmayne’s incredible performance speaks volume to her performance.

Best Actor

Who will win: Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything”- His performance as Stephen Hawking has garnered critical praise and has already won numerous awards including the Golden Globe. Despite spending most of the movie not being able to talk, he still is able to illustrate the incredible life of Hawking.

Who should win: Michael Keaton for “Birdman” – Talk about a career-defining role. Keaton makes his comeback to the big screen and gives the best performance of the year where he isn’t afraid to take shots at himself.

Dark horse to win: Benedict Cumberbatch for “Imitation Game”- His portrayal of Alan Turing was spectacular and brought great emotional depth to the unsung hero of WWII.

Best Picture

Who will win: “Boyhood”. The Academy is clearly in love with this movie and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It has been cleaning up all the other awards and should be considered the favorite to walk away with the Oscar gold.

Who should win: “Birdman”- The most original movie of the year is just absolutely fantastic and should be recognized for its achievement to cinema.

Dark horse to win: “Imitation Game”- An emotional roller coaster ride and a great look at Alan Turing, the man that was instrumental in helping the Allies win WWII.

Below this series of words lies the  inaugural Turning Politricks podcast of the 2015 spring semester. In this mind-boggling hour-ish-long edition of the great TP, Stephen Troxel and McAlister Mallory kick off the season with some liberal ranting and questioning of all the events that happened during our not so officially sanctioned sabbatical/late start. In this edition we mention such topics as “things Obama said”, “Things other people said about thingsObama said”, and of course “things that happen in Idaho for some reason that confuse us”. If any of these topics peak your interest or if either of the host peak your interest, or if nothing peaked your interest you will probably enjoy the podcast so please tune in and kick off the semester of remarkable liberalism with your friends at Turning Politricks,click the read more link and dive in.