BUFFET – All-American

Cover image curtesy of the Anacortes History Museum.

DIY Punk is alive and well in Anacortes, Washington. For the unaware, Anacortes is a small town in Northwest Washington State, damn near up to the Canadian border. It’s great to hear tunes coming out of small town USA. As testament to this, I’m listening to “All-American” the debut full-length by BUFFET.

The album is all all jagged edges and garage spirit. 14 tracks of rock and roll energy. While the sound is familiar, it’s also refreshingly new. The intro track, “Land” has a lot of the same vibe as “Possessed” by Suicidal. The band professes to be influenced by Circle Jerks and Descendents, and I can totally hear that.

The tunes progress rapidly, ADD fashion. The bulk of the songs clock in under the 2 minute mark. It’s important. There’s a lot of shit going on. No one needs to be weighed down by the burden of epic ballads, unless they choose that. Viva short songs!

There is a small selection of the songs that slow down the pace and pick up the emotion. Track 6, “Throne” is the pinnacle of this. It works well as a point to catch your breath. After that it’s back into the full swing.

The structures are simple and repetitive, great for driving home the point. The notes claim the album was recorded “live” at Anacortes Unknown. I take this to mean it was recorded as the full band, at once. This is as opposed to individual multi-tracks. If this isn’t the case, damn there must not have been a single person at that show.

Personal favorite is track 8, “4 Brides For 4 Guys”. It’s short and sweet. Autobiographical, perhaps, or maybe just wishful thinking.

Nevertheless, if you like punk rock, check this out: https://buffet.bandcamp.com/

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

Support these lads:

Dick Turner: Vocals

Nick Rennis: Guitar

John Van Deusen: Bass

Braydn Kreuger: Drums    

Tracks:

1. Land 00:57

2. Too Many Things 01:50

3. Victim 01:01

4. IDKU 00:59

5. Big Bomb 01:27

6. Throne 04:01

7. My Favorite Things 01:35

8. 4 Brides For 4 Guys 00:49

9. DoHo 01:31

10. I Like To Shop 02:15

11. Family Dinner 05:41

12. NY Slice 01:30

13. All-American 03:44

14. That’s What Dick Says 02:14

The New Enemy – Illusion of Choice

Full speed ahead!

Frenzied fast paced, metallic punk rock from Toronto.

Illusion of Choice is the new album from The New Enemy. I’ll admit to not being at all familiar with the band, prior to listening right now, but I’m full on rocking to what I’m listening to right now.

The eight tracks (five original, three covers) are chock to the freakin’ brim with crushing riffs, call and response vocals, staccato breakdowns, and an overall sense of urgency.

The tracks are short and sweet, with most songs clocking in just barely under the two minute mark. Right in the sweet spot for hardcore punk. To that end, while firmly in the vein of hardcore punk ala Agnostic Front, H20, and Snapcase, (the final track, “Ambition Now” being a cover of the aforementioned.) there is no shortage of thrash metal on this release. It channels the spirit of old DRI and Suicidal, but still maintains an East Coast Hardcore sound all its own. As a bit of a side note, there are few instances where I’m very reminded of Leftover Crack.

The band is clearly one with a message and a cause. “Since forming, The New Enemy has donated all Bandcamp revenues to charity. For “Illusion of Choice”, we’ll be raising funds for YMCA Sprott House, the first LGBTQ2S transitional housing program for youth in Canada.”

You can listen to and buy copies here:

https://thenewenemy.bandcamp.com/album/illusion-of-choice

If you’re not down with that, then fuck you!

Cheers!

-Jerry Actually

Tracks:

  1. You Want It Darker 01:45
  2. Scattered 01:54
  3. Thread 02:35
  4. Pressure Cooker 01:52
  5. Reign On Your Parade 02:07
  6. Death By Committee 02:23
  7. Shrine 03:00
  8. Ambition Now 03:36

Shot Balowski – S/T

As I’m sure you can tell from the dust around here, I don’t get around to writing about much anymore. Another phase of my life I suppose. What’s a fella to do? Every now and then I get a brief impetus to write something though. Today I shall grace you with the results of one of those urges.

I’ve got Shot Balowski’s self-titled debut album, out 03/29/2019, fired up on ye olde hifi and I’m rocking out to it. There’s a bit of a Ramonescore vibe as well as secondary source influence like Teenage Bottlerocket and Masked Intruder, combine that with a mix of The Pixies, an odd dash of Motorhead, add in a left-leaning bent and somewhat more raw of a sound and that’ll give you the gist.

The album provides 12 tracks of mostly up-tempo 3-piece punk rock, interlaced with the occasional folksy ballad on track six, Kitchen Sink / Girl in the Call Centre. There’s a bit of spoken word poetry as well mixed into the overall pastiche of a protest album. This isn’t to say it’s derivative in an overt way, so much as the song writing seems aware of its roots.

Overall it’s a great debut and I look forward to more from Shot Balowski in the future.

Hit the band up online to find out where to buy the new album, or catch a live show! Twitter:@shotbalowski

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

Bio:

ShoT BAlowSki is a three-piece UK rock band with a leftist attitude and punk leanings. Debbie, Simon and Tef take grit, melody and acerbic lyrics and spit them out in two minutes flat.

Their self-titled debut album is released by Abnormal Product on Friday 29 March 2019 – it will be available on CD, download and streaming. It’s high-octane, classic punk rock from the dis-United Kingdom, tackling subjects like far right populism, and corrupt media, organisations and governments, while giving props to radical heroes like Emily Wilding Davison and Muhammad Ali.

The album’s tracks include Commander in Cheat (about Trump’s sexist, racist presidency), Nissan Poppy 24/7 (about patriotism and the politicisation of remembrance), Emily Does (about militant suffragette martyr Emily Wilding Davison), In the Suicide Forest (a short tone poem about vacuous vlogger Logan Paul), and a punk rock cover of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.

Destroy the Daily Mail features a section written and performed by Wales’ most prominent living literary figure, poet and playwright Patrick Jones (see patrick-jones.info), elder brother of Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers and a frequent collaborator with the Welsh chart-topping band. Jones adds a stream-of-consciousness set of Mail-esque headlines. He agreed to the collaboration after reading the lyrics and listening to the raw track, calling the song “important and powerful”.

Tef, Debbie, and Simon of Shot Balowski


Happy Anniversary, Upstarter!

There’s not a lot of fanfare. No major celebration. I had contemplated orchestrating something, but perhaps low-key is for the best.

Happy 20 Year Anniversary to Upstarter!

There are so many people I’d like to thank for their help and support over the years. None of this could have happened alone.

A very special thanks to Mike Park and Asian Man Records, who believed in my Web Zine when Web Zines were barely even a thing. Thanks to all the labels, bands, authors, and review writers who have supported Upstarter in one way or another through the years. There have been so many:

Asian Man Records, BYO Records, Jump Up Records, Epitaph, Hellcat, Fat Wreck Chords, Hopeless Records, Hannibal’s Records, Go Kart Records…

The list is exhaustive. I’m sorry for not thanking each and everyone of you in person, but please know how important you are to me, and how much I appreciate the support.

Labels, bands, friends worldwide, thank you!

-Jerry Actually

We Know John – A Shot In The Dark

I’m listening to a Pop Punk band based in the South of England called ‘We Know John‘ They’ve just completed their first album ‘A Shot in the Dark’ and it’s due for release on January 4th.

This brand sparkin’ new album serves up 11 tracks of peppy, upbeat, often horn-fueled pop punk. It reminds me of things. These things, as the often do, escape me. The one influence that keeps surfacing is, especially with the horns, Less Than Jake. There are worse things to be reminded of.

Some of the structure reminds me of an parallel universe Alkaline Trio, where everyone is a bit more happy. In an overarching sense, the band seems like a “happy” band. They would probably be cool to hang with.

The entire album isn’t up-note, however. The album takes a bit of a plunge into sadder territory as track 5, “Not OK” begins. So, um, you know, diversity! Anywho, it’s good stuff. Listen to it. Feel the joy that can only be derived from pop punk or from drugs.

Unrelated, but when I think of the band’s name, in my head, it comes out like the scene between Ed and Shaun in Shaun of the Dead, when Ed says, “I’m sorry, Shaun” … so um, “We know, John.”

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Bio:

We Know John are a 7 piece pop punk band hailing from Southampton UK; playing powerful and energetic music that will make you want to jump and bounce along. Their guitars, bass and drums provide the driving force that will lure you in, whilst their catchy melodies and punchy horn lines get stuck in your head until you are hooked.

Formed In May 2013, We Know John have had a slow start to life. With a few local gigs and a lot of practising behind them, the band are ready kick on and make 2018 a great year to remember.

Vocals, Trombone / Sam Weller
Vocals, Trumpet / Toby Brimson
Bass / Sam Rees
Guitar, Sass / Ben Peckham
Guitar / Ben Harker
Drums / John Townend
Saxophone / Rory SomethingOrOther

The Amalgamated – Premium Quality


San Diego’s own trad-ska combo The Amalgamated are back with some Premium Quality recordings. Putting their soulful reggae ska spin on some legendary tracks. Step lively now and give it a whirl.

If you aren’t familiar with the band, here’s a bit of their bio:

The Amalgamated are a traditional ska/jazz band, influenced very much by early SKA styles, old reggae tunes, great jazz standards and soulful ballads in the vain of the late 60’s. A 10-member ensemble that includes vocals, two guitars, stand-up bass, dual saxophones, trumpets, trombone, keys and percussion.

About the album:

This is a tribute to the artists that influence and inspire the band. These crowd pleasing tunes done in the style of Traditional Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae will have you dancing all night long. Recorded in 2013 at After hours Studio Ramona, CA

The new album boasts covers as diverse as All of Me, Crazy, and Twistin’ the Night Away, all performed with The Amalgamated’s signature swagger. It’s a covers album, sure, but it’s the bands take on songs that influenced and inspire them.

Above all, it’s fun album. Get some.

Tracks:
01 – My Little Suede Shoes
02 – All of Me
03 – Crazy
04 – I Love Paris
05 – Run Down
06 – A Love I Can Feel
07 – Black Orpheus
08 – That’ll Do Nicely
09 – Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White
10 – Twistin’ the Night Away
11 – La Cumparsita

Brendan Kelly and The Wandering Birds – Keep Walkin’ Pal

The new Brendan Kelly and The Wandering Birds album exists. It sounds like Joe Cocker and Bruce Springsteen had a baby with a Casio.

Here is a picture of the album cover.

It’s got a weird 80s Kristofferson meets Miami Vice rambling feel too it.

The album contains songs.

Here is another picture.

I think it’s a country album.

 

Here is some information:

Brendan Kelly and The Wandering Birds – 2018 Tour Dates:

10/28 – Gainesville, FL @ The Fest

12/1 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village

12/6 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie (with Sincere Engineer)

12/7 – Somerville, MA @ ONCE (with Sincere Engineer)

12/8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Gold Sounds (with Sincere Engineer

1/11 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club (with Sincere Engineer)

1/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Resident

1/19 – San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar

KEEP WALKIN’ PAL track listing:

01. Keep Walkin’ Pal

02. Shitty Margarita

03. Huggz

04. The Lies

05. Black Cat Boy

06. Up In Them Guts

07. Boardin’ USA!

08. The Ballad of Buffalo Bill

09. Bottle and Tray

10. I’m The Man

SICK OF IT ALL TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM, WAKE THE SLEEPING DRAGON! VIA FAT WRECK CHORDS & CENTURY MEDIA ON NOVEMBER 2

FIRST SINGLE, “INNER VISION,” NOW STREAMING 

“It’s a blasting, screamer of a song in the vein of early Discharge or Exploited” – Consequence of Sound

 

Fat Wreck Chords is thrilled to welcome SICK OF IT ALL back to the FAT family! On November 2nd, we’ll join forces with Century Media to release their latest opus, Wake The Sleeping Dragon! We could not be more excited to be handling the CD and LP in the US, as well as the vinyl in Canada. SOIA once again teamed up with producer Jerry Farley (Lamb of God/Every Time I Die) and came out with an absolute banger. If you missed the premiere of the lead single, “Inner Vision,” Consequence of Sound has you covered. Then, once you’ve had a chance to catch your breath, pre-order your copy! Check out what SOIA had to say about returning to FAT, below:

Having a long history with both Century Media and Fat Wreck Chords, and knowing how much they care about us and the music we make, we are psyched about this joint effort! Both labels have been friends and champions of SOIA, on their roster or not.


Photo credit: Joerg Baumgarten

New York City hardcore legends SICK OF IT ALL aren’t slowing down with age, the long-standing quartet are still pissed off, and the genre stalwarts still see many years ahead. SICK OF IT ALL remain a beacon of continuity, integrity, and resolve. That’s good news for SICK OF IT ALL fans and the hardcore scene. Since forming in 1986, SICK OF IT ALL have traveled the world many times over, played in front of hundreds of thousands, and released 11 acclaimed full-length albums, the latest of which is the riotous if anthemic Wake the Sleeping Dragon!. That SICK OF IT ALL continue to live by the standards in their original charter isn’t a matter of course, it’s part of their respective DNA. Hardcore is SICK OF IT ALL. “We’re a band that thrives from frustration,” says drummer Armand Majidi. “Aging seems to work well with our message, as opposed to a good-time band who sings about partying all night. There are so many horrible aspects of the world that become more obvious to us year after year, which we didn’t see or understand before, which fuel our frustration every day. We’ve lived long enough now to see through the matrix, and thank goodness we have this band, so we can vent about it.”

And SICK OF IT ALL will voice, express, and declare their anger. As with pivotal albums Blood, Sweat and No Tears (1989), Scratch the Surface (1994), and The Last Act of Defiance (2014), the New Yorkers aren’t afraid to cut the crap on Wake the Sleeping Dragon!. Written and arranged with friend and producer The Jerry Farley (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die)—a first—opener “Inner Vision,” “Robert Moses Was A Racist,” “Hardcore Horseshoe,” and “The Snake (Break Free)” retain SICK OF IT ALL’s signature sound but add melody, heaviness, and speed to the equation. Guest vocals by Tim McIlrath and Chuck Ragan add a new dynamic as well. Across Wake the Sleeping Dragon!’s 17 songs, SICK OF IT ALL have an album that observes tradition but has its eye on the future. “We didn’t shy away from stronger melodies on this album,” Majidi says. “So, there are some strikingly musical moments. Basically, we chose not to limit ourselves. The songs stand apart from each other by representing many different musical styles that have influenced us.”

On Wake the Sleeping Dragon!, SICK OF IT ALL opted to change up the lyrical approach. While daily frustrations, political idiocy, war, power imbalances, and general inequality have long fueled SICK OF IT ALL’s no-bullshit lyrics—the album title Wake the Sleeping Dragon! refers to a protest mechanism—today they’re focusing on the bigger picture while also injecting a bit of levity into the songs. “On this record, we had a more open, communal, tongue-in-cheek approach to lyric writing,” says Majidi. “So many different topics were covered, some way more lighthearted than others. We’ve done ‘serious’ so often, that what might stand out most to people is how much fun we had with the lyrics. It’s always time for revolution, so that message is loud and clear on multiple songs, but we also sing about musical heroes like the Bad Brains (‘That Crazy White Boy Shit’), inner demons (‘The Snake (Break Free.)’), our distaste of animal abuse (‘Bull’s Anthem’), annoying narcissism on social media, friends we’ve lost, life on the road, impending wars for resources, as well as mosh pit patterns that can be linked to male pattern baldness. We’ve allowed ourselves greater lyrical freedom on this record for sure!”

For the cover, SICK OF IT ALL wanted it to tie directly into the lyrics. Designed by Ernie Parada from Hellgate Industries but inspired by Lou Koller and Parada’s ‘50s era monster movie poster idea, the cover to Wake the Sleeping Dragon! is striking in its use of yellows, oranges, reds, and black. That it also brings in SICK OF IT ALL’s Alleyway Dragon mascot captures not just the mind but part of the band’s history as well. “Lou and Ernie came up with the idea of doing monster-movie styled art as the cover,” Majidi says. “The dragon climbing the Empire State was a concept I always wanted to see brought to life, so the two ideas were destined to come together this way.  I love the fact that although it’s the same artist, there’s no obvious aspect linking Ernie’s style from his first cover (2010’s Based On A True Story) to this one.”

Wake the Sleeping Dragon! was put to proverbial tape by The Jerry Farley at Nova Studios in Staten Island, New York over two weeks and a half, while Danish producer Tue Madsen (Meshuggah, The Haunted) mixed and mastered SICK OF IT ALL’s latest rager at Antfarm Studios in Aabyhøj, Denmark. What helped the process run smoothly was Farley’s early involvement, the two five-day pre-production sessions, and the ability to record as SICK OF IT ALL progressed with the songwriting. “The Jerry Farley also became a very important part of the creation of this album,” Majidi says. “This is the first time we’ve ever had a producer involved from start to finish, including the songwriting process. His objective viewpoints helped settle a lot of little issues that could have easily become stumbling blocks, and the songs themselves ended up benefitting from them. SICK OF IT ALL and Tue Madsen have maintained a long-lasting relationship based on understanding, friendship, and most importantly, good results—three factors any band would be very happy with.”

As for SICK OF IT ALL’s next steps, the picture is clear. Majidi and team are looking for a warm reception to Wake the Sleeping Dragon! and more rounds of tours around the globe. The sleeping dragon is awakening! And SICK OF IT ALL want you to join the rebellion!

Wake the Sleeping Dragon tracklisting:
1.    Inner Vision                              01:54
2.    That Crazy White Boy Shit     02:05
3.    The Snake (Break Free)          01:57
4.    Bull’s Anthem                           02:02
5.    Robert Moses Was A Racist    01:28
6.    Self Important Shithead          00:58
7.    To The Wolves                         01:39
8.    Always With Us                        02:26
9.    Wake The Sleeping Dragon     02:02
10.  2+2                                            01:49
11.  Beef Between Vegans             02:12
12.  Hardcore Horseshoe                01:52
13.  Mental Furlough                       02:16
14.  Deep State                               01:53
15.  Bad Hombres                           02:01
16.  Work The System                    01:46
17.  The New Slavery                     02:38
SICK OF IT ALL online:
www.sickofitall.com
www.facebook.com/sickofitallny
www.instagram.com/sickofitallnyc
twitter.com/SOIANYC

Night Birds – 2018 Tour Dates

09/27/18 Denver, CO at 7th Circle Music Collective
09/28/18 Minneapolis, MN at MortimersBar
09/29/18 Chicago, IL at Cobra Lounge
10/19/18 Brooklyn, NY at Market Hotel w/ Spiritual Cramp, Radioactivity
10/20/18 Baltimore, MD at Ottobar w/ Radioactivity
10/24/18 Ybor City, FL at PRE-FEST
10/26/18 Gainesville, FL at THE FEST 17
11/09/18 Asbury Park, NJ at Asbury Park Brewery w/ Dark Thoughts
11/10/18 Asbury Park, NJ at Asbury Park Brewery w/ Conmen
11/23/18 Philadelphia, PA at Everybody Hits
12/05/18 Los Angeles, CA at Zebulon
12/06/18 Albany, CA at Ivy Room
12/07/18 Portland, OR at Tonic Lounge
12/08/18 Vancouver, BC Canada at SBC Restaurant
12/15/18 Allston, MA at Great Scott w/ Dark Thoughts

Pope Paul & the Illegals – Start Gettin’ Serious

Hey y’all, want to read about some Cowpunk from SoCal? Read on.

I’m spinning “Start Gettin’ Serious”, the new album from Santa Ana eclectic combo, Pope Paul & the Illegals. The album provides 11 tracks of a variety of Americana; Country, Cow Punk, Swing Revival, Western Swing, Rockabilly, Gospel sounds, sure, why not? There’s even a bit of Hank III / Assjack sounding metal on the album.

Per the band, regarding the new release “It features a slew of excellent guest musicians, including members of Squirrel Nut Zippers (Jimbo Mathus, Hank West) and the Reverend Horton Heat (Matt Jordan).” So it’s got some pedigree straight out the gate. I’m not sure who is playing what, but the music is tight, and the guitars rip. Track seven, Demented Swing certainly has a pronounced Squirrel Nut Zippers sound.

I suspect the above gets to the gist of what the band is aiming for. What you’re looking for, I suppose though, is the answer to the question, “Is this a good album?” The answer, friends, is yes. It is a good album. I think the caveat is, as always, if you are in anyway interested in the sounds mentioned above, than you oughta give Pope Paul & the Illegals a whirl. Go to their Facebook page and listen to some tracks. Hear it with your own ears, and go out and support local music!

Personal favorite is the extremently guitar-driven, rippin’ Rockabilly end track, Rip It Off.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Up in the Clouds
2. Altered State
3. Let’ Ragnarok
4. Start Gettin’ Serious
5. Heartsick on the Road
6. It Wasn’t Enough
7. Demented Swing
8. Sugar Spots
9. Off My Chest
10. Santa Ana Flu
11. Rip It Off

Band Members:
Pope Paul – Guitar/Vocals
John the Bassist – Upright Bass
Fat Sal – Drums

Bio:
Pope Paul & The Illegals started up in 2014 in their hometown of Santa Ana, CA. Their style combines most elements of Americana music including rockabilly, psychobilly, punk, swing, country, honky-tonk, blues, surf rock, and rock n roll. They bring a fun, high-energy show guaranteed to get crowds dancing, drinking, and having a great time.

Touring frequently, Pope Paul & The Illegals have entertained crowds in 34 different states with a mix of their original material and classic cover tunes. They have opened up for high-profile Americana acts such as Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Supersuckers, Shooter Jennings, The Blasters, The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Slim Jim Phantom (of the Stray Cats), Hillbilly Casino, The Bellfuries, Gamblers Mark, The Delta Bombers, Deke Dickerson, and Wanda Jackson. They have performed at several festivals throughout the USA including the So-Cal Hoedown (Santa Ana, CA), the Rockabilly Extravaganza (Riverside, CA), the Nashville Boogie (Nashville, TN), the Great American Rockabilly Riot (El Paso, TX), Viva East (Boxborough, MA), and the ApalachOktoberfest (Apalachicola, FL) which they headlined.

They have released three full-length albums, “White Smoke Rises” (recorded at Orange Blossom Studios, Placentia, CA) and “Dial Back Boogie” (recorded at Dial Back Sound, Water Valley, MS). Their 3rd release, “Start Gettin’ Serious” (Dial Back Sound) is now available as a CD and can be bought from the Illegals themselves or bought/streamed online through CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Pandora, and Spotify. It features a slew of excellent guest musicians, including members of Squirrel Nut Zippers (Jimbo Mathus, Hank West) and the Reverend Horton Heat (Matt Jordan).

Pope Paul & The Illegals gig frequently and will happily play your bar, lounge, saloon, brewery, festival, private party, wedding, private jet, historical ruins, barn dance, local prison, swanky mansion, religious ceremony, satanic ritual, political event, anniversary, habadashery, seedy alley, Mexican restaurant, Waffle House and more! Just message us here on our Facebook page and we will get back to you ASAP.