The Pope Virgins – Confessions

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

How about a little bit of “Local Punk Friday”? That’s a thing now. I said so. So, for Local Punk Friday I’m listening to the debut album from San Diego punk upstarts, The Pope Virgins. (It is important to note that this does not include all popes, as some may assume. To that end, here’s a list of sexually active popes.) Historical footnotes aside, I’m rocking out right now to “Confessions” which is, as I mentioned, the debut release from The Pope Virgins.

According to the band, and I’m paraphrasing here, they are working on reviving the local punk scene. They are a genre diverse band with ska and metal influences as well as straight up punk rock. The songs are largely politically driven, but also include songs about struggles with poverty and a joke song or two.

I should also note that the band supports a very community / scene minded effort to produce physical products, to promote the people and bands involved. (as opposed to streaming content that has become all too popular and convenient these days)

On the whole the music is raw and very “punk”; 4:4 tracks with chunky guitars, bass, snotty vocals, and spitfire drums. There’s a sense of chaos in the tracks as if they are a bit unhinged and could fly apart at any moment. I like that. The band’s sound is reminiscent of older influences like Reagan Youth, Black Flag, DRI, Vandals (after Peace Through Vandalism) and a sound, occasionally similar to, Awesome and the Asskickers. (this is likely a coincidence)

I like the album, by and large. One thing I could live without thought is songs about boning. It just does nothing for me to have a porno script set to a punk rock track. Maybe I’ve made it over the hill and juvenile antics just don’t cut it for me. To each their own though.

One more thing I suppose, the horn playing, while admirable in its attempt, is hilariously bad. Ska is not for everyone, but hell yeah get out there and strangle that fucking saxophone! (I assume it’s a saxophone. It could be a really really sad clarinet.)

Bottom line is fresh faced punk rock in my town. Fuck yeah!

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Happy
2. Keep Your Beer Close But Your Cocaine Closer
3. Confessions
4. God is Sold
5. Amerecock
6. Chromes Lullaby
7. City Streets
8. Muhnolo
9. I Kinda Love You
10. Process of Elimination
11. Humes Paradox
12. Unnamed Poem
13. Now He Watches Anime
14. Virgins Good, Trump Bad
15. Jesus Fucked Up
16. Sad Man

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Less Thank Jake New Album on Feb 3rd

LESS THAN JAKE WILL RELEASE NEW EP, ‘SOUND THE ALARM,’ ON FEB 3RD;
PRE-ORDER THE RECORD AND STREAM THEIR NEW SONG, “THINGS CHANGE,” NOW!
January 4, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA – Influential Gainesville punk band Less Than Jake has announced plans to release a new EP titled Sound The Alarm on February 3rd with their new label Pure Noise Records.
Fans can pre-order the record and stream a brand new song called “Things Change” now at http://smarturl.it/LTJ.
Speaking about the new song, lyricist and drummer Vinnie Fiorello says “the only thing constant is change” is one of the lines in the chorus of the song and such a massive truth to me. The sooner you could realize this, digest it, and embrace it the better off you’re going to be. Let it all move forward, at lightning speed. Everything and everyone changes, the world keeps on spinning like it or not.”
Less Than Jake’s new EP, Sound The Alarm, marks an exciting new chapter for the band as they celebrate 25 years together and a newly inked deal with Pure Noise Records. Featuring 7, ska infused punk songs that quickly remind listeners of the band’s incredible ability to craft memorable, hook-filled music.
“We started writing this set of songs, similar to our last record See The Light, sitting around a table in our warehouse with some acoustic guitars, lyrics scribbled on scraps of paper, and a constant barrage of ideas,” Fiorello explains. “Trying ideas as they would come out, sometimes chasing the idea, or getting connected or not connected to an idea right away. We had been writing and were planning on fleshing out the ideas while on Warped Tour.” 
Sound The Alarm was recorded and produced by Roger Lima and mixed at the famed punk recording studio, The Blasting Room, in Fort Collins, CO. The band wrapped the record following their run on last summer’s Vans Warped Tour.
After years of releasing records through various major and independent labels Less Than Jake has found a new home at the Southern California based Pure Noise Records.
“When I met Jake at the San Francisco stop of Warped Tour, we talked about working together,” Fiorello adds. “He is a longtime fan, knows the history and the arch of LTJ and that’s important to know where we have to go. It’s always great to have a mutual respect between band and label and that is exactly what we have between LTJ and Pure Noise.”
Fans can catch Less Than Jake live this winter on their co-headline U.S. tour with San Diego rock band Pepper, which starts in Dallas, TX on January 20th and wraps in St. Petersburg, FL on February 28th. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.lessthanjake.com/.
Follow the band at https://www.facebook.com/lessthanjake for additional updates.
Less Than Jake Tour Dates (w/Pepper):
Jan 20 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey
Jan 21 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Jan 22 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
Jan 25 – San Diego, CA – North Park
Jan 26 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Jan 27 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Jan 28 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield
Jan 30 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Jan 31 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Feb 02 – SLC, UT – The Complex
Feb 03 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Feb 04 – Sioux City, IA – Hard Rock
Feb 06 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
Feb 07 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Feb 08 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
Feb 09 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
Feb 10 – Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
Feb 11 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
Feb 12 – Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
Feb 15 – Portland, ME – State Theater
Feb 16 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues
Feb 17 – NYC, NY – Playstation Theater
Feb 18 – Huntington, NY – Paramount
Feb 19 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
Feb 21 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
Feb 22 – Richmond, VA – The National
Feb 23 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
Feb 24 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Feb 25 – St Augustine, FL – St Augustine Amphitheater
Feb 26 – Ft Lauderdale, FL – Revolution (Outdoor Stage)
Feb 28 – St Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
For More Information:

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Corrupted Youth – Class Struggle

© 2016 Evacuate Record

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

What’s this that I’ve got course through my earholes? I’ll tell you what som’bitch. I’ve got some screaming bloody fucking murder, backyard crust punk from right out of East L.A. Class Struggle, the recently released album by L.A. underground punk band Corrupted Youth is a blistering salvo aimed squarely at the shit storm that has hit the USA hard in 2016.

Straight out of the gate the band establishes a breakneck pace and rarely lets up during the 40 minute audio assault. The album features 14 scathing tracks. The tracks cut to the bone and continue beyond that. These are songs that call out the problems of war, abuse, life on the streets, poverty, degradation, immigrant life, and the day to day struggle that the working class, the poor, the disenfranchised, the despised, the down and out face in the day of holier-than-though, self-aggrandizing, knee-jerk douche canoes everywhere.

Lyrics are done in both English and Spanish, depending on the track. I’m not fluent in Spanish, but based on the lyrical content of the ones in English, I will suffice it to assume that the core message doesn’t deviate. Thank goodness, by the way for the lyric sheet on the album. If it weren’t for that I’d never be able to discern half the things being spouted. Which brings me to my only real complaint about the release.

SCREAMO vocals. I don’t dig ‘em. … some folks are inclined to disagree. They can disagree all they want. I’m not the one who’s going to blow out my vocal chords and fuck up my throat. Bare that in mind and have a damn lozenge or something. My personal gripes aside, the album is solid in both message and music. The band reminds me sonically of The Casualties meets Leftover Crack (and Star Fucking Hipsters due to the guest vox on track 7, Abuse)

The big take away is that people are still struggling. It’s recognized at the lower spectrum of our society, and people are pissed. How long does this go on before something breaks? As they say, something’s gotta give. So get out there, read something, make yourself aware. Go see shows and support the ones who are calling out the struggle and if anything at least providing a brief reprieve to the day-to-day crap that a lot of people face.

They have some shows coming up in the LA area. Go check ’em.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
War
Immigrantes
Wasted Youth
Confusion
Beer for Breakfast
Death on the Streets
Abuse
Heartless Bastards
Class Struggle
Bigotry
No End
Power for Control
Endless Blockades (GISM)
System Corruption

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Bitter Grounds – Hollowlands

© 2016


Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

bitter-grounds-hollowlandsBoom! Ska-tinged punk rock fired like a rocket out of Netherlands. I’m rocking a brand new release (December 2016) from Bitter Grounds. 11 smashing tracks that are simultaneously, a breath of fresh air, and a nod to late 90’s punk / ska punk. Hollowlands is a DIY effort done in conjunction with the band and Ring of Fire Records, Bad Granola Records, and Nextpunk Records.

On initial listen, the vocals strike me as a curious approximation of Lemmy, Leatherface, and Lars Frederiksen. Layer this on top of very fluid guitar melodies, reggae chop, and solid backing rhythms and you’re at the core of Bitter Ground’s sound. Don’t let me pigeonhole the album, however, that’s merely the gist of it. There’s plenty more variety going on up here.

As much as there’s Rancid influence, I’m also picking up reminders of Classic’s of Love and the vocal delivery method of Jesse Michaels. Maybe I’m inventing it in my head, or perhaps the band is as big of Op Ivy fans as I am.

Bottom line is that though the struggle continues, music is still being made. Art that addresses life’s concerns, society’s problems, humanity, solidarity, all the feelings that are challenging to express outside of the realm of art. Without struggle we wouldn’t find catharsis. Maybe struggle is worth it? Just remember, Ska’s not dead. Punk’s not dead. Check this shit out. It’s got all things that are good.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Hollowlands 02:39
2. Struck Out 03:11
3. Tell Me Now 02:46
4. Life of Violence 03:27
5. Human Touch 02:55
6. Patience 02:31
7. Pressure 03:04
8. Fine, Alright 02:10
9. Dead in my Head 01:30
10. Breakdown 03:46
11. Trouble 03:11

Labels:
Ring of Fire records ( http://rof-records.com/ )
Nextpunk Records ( http://www.nextpunk.ch/ )
Bad Granola Records ( https://www.facebook.com/Badgranola/ )

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Behind Deadlines – Status Quo

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

behind_deadlines_status_quo

Yay! New Ska!

I’m listening to “Status Quo” the forthcoming debut full-length album from Philadelphia based ska punk band, Behind Deadlines. The release features 10 peppy tracks, and is a damn nice way to start into this holiday season. [Edit, the album actually will have 11 tracks when released. The updated track listing is below.] I think the band and I may differ slightly with the punk to ska ratio. I’d say, that the punk portion is tempered a bit with funk. But hey, I’m not the arbiter of such things (or am I) Overall it’s a winning combination and more of what this world needs.

The album sounds polished. Mix is clean and the levels all seem to sit right where they ought to. I suppose this stands to reason. The production has a solid pedigree, having been recorded by Dan Malsch (Bigwig, Four Year Strong, Forever the Sickest Kids) and mixed by Mark Michalik (The Swellers, We Are The Union, Fireworks, Into It Over It, The Wonder Years).

Over the years I swear it’s become more challenging for me to decide on specific influences that bands have. They have to be pretty blatantly obvious. If I had to throw a few out there, I’d suggest Less Than Jake, Mustard Plug, Deal’s Gone Bad, and Bosstones. I might just be name dropping. Who knows? The takeaway is that fan’s of the aforementioned bands, will probably find some affinity for Behind Deadlines as well. Give it a whirl.

A few notes on individual tracks: I’m not a big fan of guitar solos, but the first solo on track 4, “Hey Dear Friend” is tasteful as all getout. I fully approve. As well, the horns that kick in around the 8 second mark on track 5, “Making Change” are damn tasty too.

I won’t spend a whole lot of time telling you what you already know. If you like ska, punk, fun danceable rock and roll, or any combination thereof, please checkout Status Quo and if you can, go check out a live show. If you’re not on the East Coast, the band is playing a few select dates on the Best Coast too.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Biochemistry
2. Sick Of It All
3. Laid Off
4. Hey Dear Friend
5. Making Change
6. Six Months
7. Sink or Swim
8. Optimism
9. Worthless
10. Escape From Philadelphia
11. Drinking to Brazil

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Neverlearn – Start Tomorrow EP

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

neverlearn

I know I sometimes slack off, a lot, the last few years, but something that still inspires me to “pick up the pen” as it were, is getting refreshing new music from around the globe. Today is one of those days. Seriously, music, from around the planet, is linking us all. That is a seriously awesome connection. The technology we have available makes so much more possible. I suppose that maybe it takes away the former coveted knowledge, secret band thing of the old tape trading days, but waxing nostalgic aside, the unprecedented access to new music from far flung markets is fantastic. But I digress.

I’m listening to the Start Tomorrow EP by Finnish (Oulu, Finland) band Neverlearn. The four tracks are a quick burst of energetic, melodic punk rock. It’s maybe a bit on the pop punk tip with a hint of AFI-esque emo to it. On the whole I dig it.

The guitar leads are as smooth as the rhythm is tight. This is especially present on track 3, Gravel Pit. The vocals are pulled back and ever so slightly washed out. It gives the song an interesting far away sound.

Though there are only four tracks on the EP, it starts strong, keeps ramping up, and finishes stronger that it started.

Get some!

-Jerry Actually

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LESS THAN JAKE SIGN WITH PURE NOISE RECORDS

November 15, 2016 – Los Angeles, CA – Pasadena based independent label Pure Noise Records is proud to welcome to their roster influential Gainesville punk band Less Than Jake! The band joins the label’s eclectic family which includes acts like The Story So Far, Senses Fail, Four Year Strong and State Champs among others.
“These days putting out new records for LTJ has become a lesson in record collecting, but the choice of label is always about mutual respect. Watching Pure Noise work hard over the years and maneuver through the modern music industry should be a lesson for any labels that are just starting out. Couple that with how much they understand the history of LTJ, that they have favorite songs by the band, and understand where we are right now in our career, makes Pure Noise a perfect place for LTJ and the new release.” –  Less Than Jake
The news comes in conjunction with the band’s announcement of a co-headline winter U.S. tour with San Diego rock band Pepper, which starts in Dallas, TX on January 20th and wraps in St. Petersburg, FL on February 28th and is sponsored by Hamburg, Germany based St. Pauli football club. Dates are listed below. Spotify Pre-sale takes place Wednesday, November 16 (10AM-10PM Local Time) and Public Onsale is Friday, November 18th (10AM Local Time).
“LTJ and Pepper will be bringing some summer to your winter in 2017 and the fact we get to tour with some good friends always makes for the best energy for a night of live music.” – Less Than Jake
Follow the band at https://www.facebook.com/lessthanjake for additional updates.
Less Than Jake Tour Dates (w/Pepper):
Jan 20 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey
Jan 21 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Jan 22 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
Jan 25 – San Diego, CA – North Park
Jan 26 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Jan 27 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Jan 28 – San Franciso, CA – Warfield
Jan 30 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Jan 31 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Feb 02 – SLC, UT – The Complex
Feb 03 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Feb 04 – Sioux City, IA – Hard Rock
Feb 06 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
Feb 07 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Feb 08 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
Feb 09 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
Feb 10 – Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
Feb 11 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
Feb 12 – Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
Feb 15 – Portland, ME – State Theater
Feb 16 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues
Feb 17 – NYC, NY – Playstation Theater
Feb 18 – Huntington, NY – Paramount
Feb 19 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
Feb 21 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
Feb 22 – Richmond, VA – The National
Feb 23 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
Feb 24 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Feb 25 – St Augustine, FL – St Augustine Amphitheater
Feb 26 – Ft Lauderdale, FL – Revolution (Outdoor Stage)
Feb 28 – St Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
For More Information:

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The Digs release video for their track Gunslinger

Gunslinger is one of the first songs The Digs ever wrote and falls in at track 4 on their 2015 full length which is now available on vinyl, cd, cassette and digital for just $5.00 through the end of 2016. The song was remixed and mastered for the video by Richard Marr at Galaxy Park Studios in Massachusetts and features label mate Dug McCormack of the band Psychic Dog on keys. The video was edited and arranged by Ocelot Records owner and The Digs drummer, Steve Knowles. Original cinematography and editing by Russ Meyer, “Wild Gals of the Naked West”.

55dccd1aef283e1a4a693cdb_original

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DESCENDENTS COLLABORATE WITH MIKKELLER BREWING SAN DIEGO BREWERY ON SIGNATURE BEER

DESCENDENTS COLLABORATE WITH MIKKELLER BREWING SAN DIEGO BREWERY ON SIGNATURE BEER

‘FEEL THIS COFFEE IPA’ DEBUTING AT SAN DIEGO BEER WEEK NOVEMBER 4th
Feel This Coffee IPA 3

Descendents have announced that they have partnered with San Diego’s Mikkeller Brewery to create a new beer called Feel This – a 7.3 % coffee IPA brewed with Dark Matter Hypercaffium Spazzinate coffee beans.

“Having grown up in the punk rock and skate punk scene, it was an honor to be given the opportunity to create a beer for the Descendents to celebrate their recently released album,” said Bill Batten, Mikkeller SD Brew Master). “While doing this collaboration we got an opportunity to meet the Dark Matter boys and learn about their coffee process. Using their roasting profiles, in combination with our passion for hop-forward IPA’s, we were able to create a special beer as unique as the band.”

The beer ships from the brewery to distribution outlets in 25 states across the United States. It will be available to retailer and consumers while supplies last. A portion will be sold through Mikkeller’s webshop in Europe.

The beer is named after the legendary punk band’s song “Feel This” from the Descendents most-recent album Hypercaffium Spazzinate, which is out now on Epitaph.

Fans in the San Diego, California area will get a chance to taste the Feel This Coffee IPA for the first time at the San Diego Beer Week on November 4th.

About Mikkeller:

Mikkeller Brewing San Diego is a new brand deeply rooted in the friendship of two world renowned breweries, (gypsy trailblazers) Mikkeller and (legendary) AleSmith. The vision is to merge the best craft beer traditions of Europe and Southern California, while employing a curiosity in exploring the boundaries for modern beer brewing. Expect super fresh, hoppy beers as well as classic European styles.

For more information on Descendents, visit http://descendents.tumblr.com/.

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NOBODYS – Hussy

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

©2016 Rad Girlfriend Records

nobodys-hussyColorado’s porno-punks NOBODYS are back with HUSSY, their first record in 15 years! Original members JJ Nobody (Drag The River) & Randy “The Kid” Schumacher join forces with Adam Huscher & Steve Bauer (Buck O Nine)to take NOBODYS brash attitude, that you know so well, and have evolved into a full blown Rock N Fucking Roll Band.

Produced and Engineered by Chris Fogal (The Gamits) at Black In Bluhm studios. Hussy comes out late October of 2016 from Rad Girlfriend Records.

15 years is a mighty long time to go without a new record. Usually if there’s that much of a lapse in band activity, the band is essentially dead, but ya know, sometimes shit happens. Well that’s what we have here. Some shit happened and brand new batch of a musically aggressive breed of ramones-core has once again sprung forth out of Colorado. Hells yeah.

I’ve not been overly pleased for the last few iterations about the crap that I’m hearing. Everything’s been “postpunk” this and “prerock” that. Everybody has an angle. Well cut the crap and let’s get back to the Sex Drug (Sex) and Rock & Roll that we loved in the first place.

Thankfully there are bands such as NOBODYS that can muster up the gumption to kick out 13 new tracks of noteworthy punk rock. Oh sure, that averages less than a track per year in their hiatus, but you know what, I’ll take what I can get and I’ll like it!

Standout numbers include the aforementioned “Sex Drugs Sex and Rock & Roll”, “Beer for Breakfast”, (I really like the stripped down hollow sound on this track) and the auto-biographical “Joe Queer Kicked Me Out.” (The exceedingly Queers sounding riffs on this one are hilariously fantastic)

The band will have an album release show at JJ Nobody’s bar, The Triple Nickel Tavern in Colorado Springs on October 29th with Ray Carlisle from Teenage Bottlerocket will be performing acoustic at the release show. Limited Midwestern tour dates, including shows with The Mr. T Experience will follow.

You’ve got a day to be early. Get some!

Pre-order the record from Bandcamp at: http://radgirlfriendrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hussy

Or pre-order the color copies directly from the website at:
http://radgirlfriendrecords.storenvy.com/products/18103847-rgf-062-nobodys-hussy-lp

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

nobodys

Track listing:
Not Loving You
Know It All
Sex Drugs Sex And Rock & Roll
He Moved To Denver
Do It All Again
Beer For Breakfast
Drop What You’re Doing
Joe Queer Kicked Me Out
Kick Me While I’m Down
Who Invited You
She Thinks I’m Sexist
Bad Business
She’s Nuts

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