The Bricks – Here We Come

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The Bricks – Here We Come
© 2015 Raven Faith Records

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

the-bricksSup y’all, here’s something for you to try on. Here We Come is the debut album from punk rock / street punk band, The Bricks. Coming at you straight out of Omaha, NE. The band hasn’t been around for more than half a year and they already have an album out. Freakin’ kudos to that. I know what a pain in the ass it can be to even get everyone to the studio.

Maybe you’re like me and you know about jack shit about the Omaha music scene other than 311 was from there, them and some sort of ironic emo hipster guy. Based on that The Bricks are a bit of fresh air to my perspective on the Omaha Sound. The album was described as punk, street punk, oi. I get that I suppose, but I think I’d probably just throw them under the good ol’ “Punk Rock” label. Probably more semantics than anything.

Here We Come has 10 tracks of gunka-gunka-gunka rock with surly vocals, a guitar hook here and there, and song titles such as Punk’s Not Dead, Yahweh, and Omaha Punks. As much as I like the idea of punk from Omaha, I’m having a hard time deciding if there is more potential here or more of a novelty that I’m momentarily amused by. I sense that it is likely the latter, but I’m willing to give this band the benefit of the doubt.

I think what might be the holdback for me is the intensity of delivery. Sadly this is a problem that I’ve identified often in faith-based music. It’s as though the bands are holding back. I’m not suggesting a band can’t celebrate their faith, but if that’s the case, use it as a stepping stone and not an anchor. That aside, I’d like to hear the band push the envelope away from the almost “slow chant” nature of the vocal lines on every song. There’s some bits early on that drift into Social Distortion territory. That maybe isn’t a bad area for this band to explore.

Bottom line is that while I’m not left speechless, I think this band has some potential with what their doing. Take this idea, fellas and run wild with it.

–Jerry Actually

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The Krayons – Gaza

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Skapunk’s not dead! Hells Yeah!

The Krayons are a new fast, raw, energetic punk / ska band from Wakefield West Yorkshire. Their songs pick up on relevant world issues and politics in a high energy ball of sonic punk passion. “Ready, Steady, Nuke” is the debut album from the angry Yorkshire 3 piece and is available now via . Digital versions of the album are avlialbe via iTunes, Amazon, CD baby, Band Camp, Spotify and all leading online download services.

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MUSINK Returns To OC Fair & Event Center On March 20-22 with Performances From Blink 182 w/Matt Skiba, Bad Religion, Rancid, Yelawolf, Sick of it All, OFF!, Ignite and More!
January 26, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA – Southern California’s highly anticipated music and tattoo festival MUSINK will return to the OC Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa, CA on March 20th-22nd with an impressive lineup of musical acts including Blink 182 w/Matt Skiba, Bad Religion, Rancid, Yelawolf, OFF!, SIck of It All, Ignite and more! Presented by Blink 182’s Travis Barker, MUSINK will also feature hundreds of world renowned tattoo artists including Robert Atkinson, Jojo Ackermann, Corey Miller, Eric Jones and BJ Betts among others. Tickets for MUSINK will go on sale at 10:00AM PT on Friday, January 30th at
Over the last seven years, MUSINK has become the pinnacle festival in Southern California and throughout the country for celebrating music and tattoo culture. Some of punk rock’s most influential bands have graced the stage like The Descendents, Pennywise, Tiger Army, Alkaline Trio, Against Me!, New Found Glory, Suicidal Tendencies, Thrice, The Used, The Cult, NOFX, Danzig, Gorilla Biscuits, H20, Transplants and Rev. Horton Heat, to name a few.
This year MUSINK ups the ante with three nights headlined by punk legends Blink 182 with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio, Rancid and Bad Religion! In addition to the music, MUSINK will host hundreds of tattoo artists, local punk rock vendors and a bevy of food and drink.
Fans can also purchase special VIP tickets to the NEW Johnny’s Saloon & 2nd Floor VIP area in the Baja Bar & Grill. Tickets include in & out privileges, side stage viewing area, access to a very nice VIP area next to the band area with complimentary drinks (21+ only) and discounts on food by the 2nd floor. Single day general admission and VIP passes are available, as well as 3-Day general admission and VIP passes.
Tickets will go on sale to the public on Friday, January 30th at
Stay tuned to for additional news and updates.
March 20, 2015
Sick of it All
The Interrupters
March 21, 2015
Bad Religion
March 22, 2015
Blink 182 w/Matt Skiba
Featured Tattoo Artists:
GTC’s Tattooland, Robert Atkinson, Jojo Ackermann, Corey Miller, Eric Jones, Spotlight Tattoo, BJ Betts, Nikko Hurtado, Small Paul, Juan Puente, Baba, True Tattoo, Yushi, Tom Moser, Carlos Torres, Bob Tyrrell, Franco Vescovi, Luke Wessman, Civ, Todd Noble, Tommy Montoya, Little Linda, London Reese, Alexis Vaatete, Kyle Crowell, Latisha Wood, Zero, Picasso, Shuryu, Gold Rush Tattoo, Jamie Schene, Carlos Rojas, Elm St. Tattoo, Chuey Quintanar, Big Sleeps and many more…
For More Information:

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Blame Mary

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Rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆

blame-maryBlame Mary are an energetic garage punk rock trio out of Montreal Quebec. formed on March 10th, 2013 by members Josiah Toufexis, Marie Tilbe and Jon Cleveland. The band’s mission, from their one-sheet is, “about creating simple music that is raw and soulful, while keeping to a very basic set-up.” The statement seems to be accurate.

The band’s self-titled debut EP came out at the end of January 2015. It consists of four tracks captured live at Dirty Church recording studio in Montreal. As the “garage punk” moniker would indicate the songs have a sense of raw urgency. There is clear intensity and an intentional lack of polish.

Overall I like the effort, but on the next round I’d like to hear discrete tracking as opposed to the live capture. Not that I don’t dig raw and edgy, so much as I think there is some potential for a little bit of polish on the bands songs and sound. Not too much, but enough.

Have a listen for yourself and see.

–Jerry Actually

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Too Close To Touch Announce Debut Album

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TOO CLOSE TO TOUCH ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUMNerve Endings Out March 24 via Epitaph

Alternative Press Premieres “Perfect World” Video:

Too Close To Touch has announced details of their debut album, Nerve Endings, out March 24 on Epitaph. Alternative Press has the premiere of the brand new Too Close To Touch video “Perfect World”

Pre-orders for Nerve Endings are available digitally at iTunes with CDs available at


We’re thrilled to announce our debut record ‘Nerve Endings’. First impressions are everything, you’ve really got to kick the door down. We couldn’t be more proud of this record and can’t wait to share these songs.”– Keaton Pierce (vocals)

Though Too Close To Touch is in their infancy as a band guitarists Mason Marble and Thomas Kidd, bassist Travis Moore, drummer Kenneth Downey, and Keaton Pierce have made full use of their time by making sure to never miss a beat. Since officially coming together in late 2013, the Lexington, Kentucky band focused on refining their songwriting and artistic vision as a band. Too Close To Touch began to grow in popularity thanks to their DIY work ethic, buzz on social media and impressive demos, which caught the eyes (and ears) of Epitaph. In 2014, Too Close To Touch signed to Epitaph for the release of their self-titled EP, garnering the undivided attention of fans with their single “Deep End” that clocks in at 79k YouTube streams.

In true Too Close To Touch fashion of making no haste, the band entered the studio with producer Erik Ron (Motionless In White, I The Mighty, Crown The Empire). The result of the relentless hard work of Ron and the band is Nerve Endings; an album that flows effortlessly from alternative to theatrical rock to post-hardcore. Nerve Endings is the perfect balance of dark and light. And just as meticulously cared for by band is their aesthetic. Taking cues from the 1975, Walk The Moon and the Neighbourhood, they’ve refined it to a look that’s mixes indie and classic cool, all while remaining 100-percent them.

Nerve Endings Track List:

1. Someday
2. Pretty Little Thing
3. Perfect World
4. The Deep End
5. The Chase (feat. Kellin Quinn)
6. Nerve Endings
7. Restless
8. Hell To Pay (feat. Telle Smith)
9. The Air In Me
10. Sinking So Long
11. Until I Collapse

For more information on Too Close To Touch, visit:
Instagram: @tooclosetotouchband

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Retox Beneath California Out Now

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Los Angeles-based hardcore punk band Retox has a new album Beneath California out today via Epitaph. Visit The FADER to watch the video premiere of “Without Money, We’d Be Rich The video documents the popular pastime of spider fighting in the Philippines. (Arachnophobes, look away.)

The Retox lineup consists of Justin Pearson (The Locust, Head Wound City, All Leather, Swing Kids), Michael Crain (Festival of Dead Deer, Kill the Capulets), Brian Evans, and Keith Hendriksen (Kill the Capulets, Virginia Reed). Since their conception in 2011, they have toured with similarly like-minded acts such as Melt-Banana, Tomahawk, OFF!, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Trash Talk. Retox is a band that aims to simultaneously reflect and defy, using music as a way of holding a broken mirror to the rest of us, exposing different pieces of our own fucked up realities, and forcing the acknowledgement of the inevitable self-imposed apocalypse we are creating for ourselves.

Retox kicks off their month long tour tonight in San Diego at The Casbah. Full tour dates listed below and tickets are on sale now.

Beneath California Track List

1. Die In Your Own Cathedral
2. We Know Who’s The Prick
3. The Savior, The Swear Word
4. Let’s Not Keep In Touch
5. Disappointing Grade
6. The Inevitable End
7. This Should Hurt A Little Bit
8. Death Will Change Your Life
9. Without Money, We’d All Be Rich
10. You’re Only A Crook If You Get Caught
11. Wooden Nickels
12. Strong Wrong Opinion

Retox Tour Dates

Feb 10 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
Feb 11 Tempe, AZ – 51 West
Feb 12 Las Cruces, NM – Trainyard
Feb 13 Dallas, TX – Three Links
Feb 14 Austin, TX – Red 7
Feb 15 Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds
Feb 17 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
Feb 18 Chapel Hill, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Feb 19 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
Feb 20 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
Feb 21 Brooklyn – NY – St Vitus
Feb 22 Cambridge, MA – The Middle East
Feb 24 Montreal, Quebec – Turbo Haus
Feb 25 Toronto, Ontario – The Cave @ Lee’s Palace
Feb 26 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
Feb 27 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick Lounge
Feb 28 Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge
Mar 01 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
Mar 02 Omaha, NE – Slowdown
Mar 03 Kansas City – Minibar
Mar 04 Denver, CO – High Dive
Mar 05 Salt Lake City, UT – Bar Deluxe
Mar 06 Boise, ID – The Shredder
Mar 07 Seattle, WA – Black Lodge
Mar 08 Portland, OR – Ash Street Saloon
Mar 09 Oakland, CA – Metro Oakland Operahouse
Mar 10 Los Angeles, CA – Los Globos

For more information on Retox, visit:

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Getting Back on Track

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Wow have I ever fallen off the beaten path. It’s been over two months since I’ve bothered to post anything. Even before that I noticed myself beginning to slack off. I seem to keep making excuses. Here’s some more. It has been a tumultuous prior six months. I changed jobs. The kind that pay. Not this. A lot of my energy has gone into that. Suddenly the holidays showed up. Lately I’ve been looking for a house. Things have been hectic. I apologize. After this weekend I’m seriously going to make an honest effort to get things back in line. !upstarter isn’t dead yet, just tired.

–Jerry Actually

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Downtown Struts Debut Latest Single “Abused”

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DOWNTOWN STRUTS have premiered “Abused” on AbsolutePunk. The track is the second single from the band’s upcoming EP Hope You’re Dope out Nov. 18th on Pirates Press Records.

The EP is currently available for pre-order at

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Swingin’ Utters – Fistful of Hollow

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© 2014 Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

fistful-of-hollow-croppedIt’s been a long time since I could drag my ass in front of a computer and be bothered to write anything at all. I’d like to blame it on a lot of things, but in truth, it’s my own fault. Thankfully there is a new album from $wingin’ Utter$ to kick me in the pants. Officially released today, the new album has been streamable through several outlets for a couple weeks now. If you haven’t already heard it, get on this!

15 tracks of both class sounding Utters and a new eclectic sound that brings new dimension to the bands punk rock pedigree. The tracks are arranged in a tilt-a-whirl of back and forth styles. From the angular opener, Alice and into the the title track, Fistfull of Hollow sees the band back to form and then bolting off of standard form into Tell Them Told You So. The album progresses in this manner throughout.

I can understand if it might be a bit off putting at first. There’s a lot of experimenting with styles that might leave some questioning the direction of the band. It’s my opinion that as a band matures, they’re going to either give over to experimentation or grow stale. To that end, it makes me think of how things changed on Let’s Go Bowling’s Stay Tuned release, or later era Clash. Yeah, maybe it wasn’t you thought it was supposed to be, but it was damn good.

Overall it’s a rewarding listen for old and new fans alike. At the end of the day, there’s nothing so far out of form that the familiar tracks won’t drag you back in to give the next tune a try.

–Jerry Actually

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Awesome and The Asskickers

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© 2014

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

aak_cropsAll hope was lost. Children and goats cried out in the dark of night. Productivity was high, yet morale was low. Suddenly things were different. Somehow all hope was not lost. A new album appeared and it was Awesome … … … … … and the Asskickers!

Following up on their bold and dashing EP from 2008 comes a new full length release from Orlando’s most rocking luchadores, AAK, heretofore known as Awesome and the Asskickers.

Quit Fucking With Our Crops brings 11 songs, many of which are new, seemingly better, renditions of “classic” AAK tunes. Naturally when your band is this powerful, you don’t just live on the legacy of your past material, even if you easily could. New sweet track faves include: “Tombstone”, an homage to delicious frozen bake-in-your-own-oven pizzas, (One wonders if the AAK crew ever got to enjoy sweet sweet Tombstone Pizza before their terrible corporate takeover in the 80s?) “I like Making Friends”, a wonderful song of friendship and nachos, and Still Alive, a bit more, how shall I say, musically mature, instrumental.

But enough about that. Now it’s time for this. If you are unaware of the sound that AAK’s putting down, it’s a wacky blend of Ramonesesque punk riffs, a dab of surf guitar, the Grease soundtrack, Meatmen style gruffness, a Broadway musical, and the Latino flair of Manic Hispanic. So dig on that if you can.

At any rate, there’s a new AAK release. It is your new immediate favorite. If you need to contact the band to play your sister’s quinceanera or something, you can google ‘em up on the interwebs at

If that all ain’t enough to get your guts in a bunch, I got two more questions to ask you. Are you ready? Are you ready for meatball spaghetti?

–Jerry Actually

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