FEATURING MEMBERS OF RANCID, THE INTERRUPTERS, FISHBONE, THE PIETASTERS, THE SPECIALS AND MORE
Hellcat Records is pleased to welcome the progenitors of ska, The Mighty Mighty BossToneS to the family.
Today, the band shares their new track “The Final Parade.” The track heralds the ups and downs of the band’s journey, the history of ska, and features vocal cameos and guest appearances from many ska-punk luminaries. At nearly 8-mintues, the track has been referred as “The Ska Summit” by Tim Armstrong, who co-produced the track with fellow Grammy award winner Ted Hutt. “It’s a love letter to Ska music and the people that make Ska music and it’s a whole lot of fun,” says vocalist Dicky Barrett.
The features on the track include Tim Armstrong (Rancid), Aimee Interrupter & The Interrupters, Stranger Cole, Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), Jay Navarro (Suicide Machines), Chris DeMakes, Pete Wesilewski, Roger Lima (Less Than Jake), Jimmy G (Murphy’s Law), Toby Morse, Rusty Pistachio (H2O), John Feldman (Goldfinger), Laila Khan (Sonic Boom Six), Robert Hingley (Toasters), Dan Vitale (Bim Skala Bim), Dave McWane (Big D and The Kids Table), Sirae Richardson, Erin Mackenzie, Brie McWane (The Doped Up Dollys), Jesse Wagner (Aggrolites), Karina Denike (The Dance Hall Crashers), Christian Jaccobs (The Aquabats), Jon Pebsworth (Buck O Nine), Peter Porker (The Porkers), Steve Jackson (The Pietasters), Felipe Galvan (Los Skanarles), Jet Baker (Buster Shuffle), Fumio Ito (Kemuri), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy), and Roddy Radiation (The Specials).
Since their formation in 1983, the BossToneS have been credited as one of the forefathers of ska punk and the creators of its subgenre, ska-core. With a career spanning over 30-years Boston’s best dressed band has built and continued to build a devoted following with their unique brass-infused brand of punk rock. To date they have released ten studio records; Devil’s Night Out (1989), More Noise and Other Disturbances (1992), Don’t Know How to Party (1993), Question the Answers (1994), Let’s Face It (1997), Pay Attention (2000), A Jackknife to a Swan (2002), Pin Points and Gin Joints (2009), The Magic of Youth (2011), and While We’re at It (2018).
The Mighty Mighty BossToneS are vocalist Dicky Barrett, bassist Joe Gittleman, saxophonists Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton and Leon Silva, Bosstone Ben Carr, drummer Joe Sirois, guitarists Nate Albert and Lawrence Katz, keyboardist John Goetchius, and trombonist Chris Rhodes.
Preeminent Los Angeles band Bad Religion have just released “Emancipation Of The Mind,” an outtake from the band’s critically acclaimed 2019 album Age Of Unreason. The track’s upbeat messaging calls for reason and open-mindedness as a new administration is welcomed into the White House today. Bad Religion have always advocated for humanism, reason, and individualism, which has never been more essential.
“I think the song really is a celebration of enlightenment values that can be cultivated through enthusiastic learning and open-mindedness,” says co-songwriter and vocalist Greg Graffin. “So often we’re told what to think. But learning how to think (as opposed to learning what to think) is a true feeling of emancipation from the constraints of indoctrination that are so commonplace in our society.”
ABOUT BAD RELIGION Bad Religion, formed in 1980 in the suburbs of Los Angeles, has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Bad Religion has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen.
The band’s critically acclaimed 17th studio album Age of Unreason offers a fiery and intensely relevant musical response to the times, with songs that address a myriad of socio-political maladies, including conspiracy theories, racist rallies, Trump’s election, the erosion of the middle class, alternative facts and more. There is a stylistic consistency to the band’s iconic and influential sound – hard fast beats, big hooks and rousing choruses, yet each new song remains distinctive, utilizing composition, melody and lyrics to deliver a unique narrative consistent with the band’s longstanding humanist worldview.
Today, legendary punk band Descendents share their new track “That’s The Breaks.” The track follows the politically-charged two-song single Suffrage, released ahead of the 2020 general election encouraging voting to take down the Trump administration. In triumph, “That’s The Breaks” serves as a farewell to 45 ahead of the upcoming inauguration.
“Loser. Big time loser. Delusional loser. SORE loser. The time has come. The time is now. Just go, go, GO. I don’t care how. Donald J. Trump, will you please go now!,” adds vocalist Milo Aukerman. “What’s it gonna take? A gazillion dollars? (Oh wait, you already grifted that from supporters)… A get out of jail free card? (Only if our judicial system totally fails us)… A wooden stake through the heart? Whatever we can do to make you go away, we need to do it. And I don’t mean just leave the White House, I mean crawl back into your hole of hate and live out the rest of your life as a nobody. A loser. Because that’s what you are. Worst. President. Ever.”
Formed in 1978 Descendents are Milo Aukerman (vocals), Stephen Egerton (guitar), Karl Alvarez (bass), and Bill Stevenson (drums). They have released seven studio albums, Milo Goes to College (1982), I Don’t Want to Grow Up (1985), Enjoy! (1986), All (1987), Everything Sucks (1996), Cool to Be You (2004), and Hypercaffium Spazzinate (2016).
INFLUENTIAL PUNK BAND NOFX ANNOUNCE NEW FULL-LENGTH, SINGLE ALBUM
WATCH: AVENGED SEVENFOLD, AND MORE, IN NOFX’S NEW VIDEO FOR THEIR FIRST SINGLE, “LINEWLEUM”
SINGLE ALBUM, PRODUCED BY BILL STEVENSON & JASON LIVERMORE (BLASTING ROOM), IN STORES AND ONLINE VIA FAT WRECK CHORDS ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26 WITH PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE NOW
Photo credit: Jonathan Weiner
Fat Wreck Chords and longstanding California punk band NOFX are excited to announce Single Album, the band’s 14th full-length album, due out on Friday, February 26 (pre-order). Boasting 12 new tracks and recorded at Motor Studios in San Francisco with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore (Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Teenage Bottlerocket), Single Album is their most personal album to date. Check out the new video for the lead single “Linewleum,” and get the nitty gritty from the fat one himself:
“I have no idea why “Linoleum” is THE NOFX song that is covered by so many bands while other NOFX songs get hardly any attention. “Linoleum” wasn’t a single, it had no video, it got no radio play, and most importantly, it didn’t even have a chorus!!! All popular songs have choruses! WTF! So, One night I stayed up till 4:00 am checking out all the different versions on YouTube. Watching hundreds of bands from over 28 countries (mostly Indonesia) doing “Linoleum” was a humbling experience for me. So I decided to write a song that was a shout out to all those people that learned those four chords and remembered the non-rhyming lyrics. Then I asked the biggest of all the bands (Avenged Sevenfold) to play some leads on the song. Then M Shadows suggested we do a video together. Then I figured I should put all of the bands in the video. Well, I couldn’t fit all the bands, but I picked a bunch of cool ones! A song about not playing a song that’s not a hit song with a video about other bands covering the song! This is why I love punk rock writing punk songs. Rules out the door!”
Watch the music video for “Linewleum” on YouTube HERE and stream the track on all platforms HERE
Nearly 40 years in, what else is there to say about NOFX?
And aside from the occasional negative headline, how can one of the pioneers of SoCal punk—a style hardly known for experimentation—surprise anyone these days?
The answers lie on Single Album (Fat Wreck Chords, Feb. 26), NOFX’s 14th full-length studio album. There’s the nearly six-minute post-hardcore opener (“The Big Drag”). The meta sendoff for the band’s best-known song (“Linewleum”). The reggae-inflected song about a mass shooting (“Fish in a Gun Barrel”). Even a piano ballad (“Your Last Resort”).
It is, as frontman and bassist Fat Mike repeatedly describes, “a dark album.” That wasn’t the original intent. By early 2020, NOFX—which includes guitarist El Hefe, guitarist Eric Melvin, and drummer Smelly—had written and recorded enough songs for a planned double album to be released that fall. Like so much about 2020, those plans changed.
“When you write a double album, you write differently,” Mike says. “I was writing really different songs, and some fun songs, but you have to make a double album interesting enough to listen to the whole way. I wanted to make a perfect double album, and I didn’t accomplish that. So I decided to just make a single album, hence the title.”
Recorded at Motor Studios in San Francisco with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore (Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Teenage Bottlerocket), Single Album pares down the roughly 23 songs NOFX tracked. “I just kept adding songs,” Mike says. “I was maybe a little out of my mind.”
How so? “I was pretty high on drugs that year,” he adds. While fans may wonder what else is new, Single Album casts the frontman’s habits in a surprisingly harsh light. While “Grieve Soto” eulogizes beloved Adolescents founder Steve Soto, it takes a meta turn when Eric Melvin warns Mike to be “cautious, more respectful, less obnoxious.”“Birmingham” has what people in recovery call “a moment of clarity,” when he realized he was an addict.
“That was a clarity moment in my life when I was by myself, and the sun’s coming up, and I’m scraping cocaine off the floor, like, ‘Eww, gross. I shouldn’t be doing this,’” Mike says. “So what did I do? I ordered more.” After being hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer—a terrifying experience that caused him to vomit blood—Mike entered rehab in fall 2020. He promptly wrote another new album while there and has been sober since.
Unsurprisingly, Single Album represents his most personal work to date. Heartbreak permeates “I Love You More Than I Hate Me” and “Your Last Resort.” “Fuck Euphemism” dives into Mike’s sexuality for a “pronoun bar fight.” “Doors and Fours” is a grim look into the early ’80s LA punk scene, when dozens of people—many of them Mike’s friends—overdosed on a prescription drug combo. “The Big Drag” is a personal vow to make the most of life, even when it undeniably sucks. “It’s one of my favorite NOFX songs ever. I don’t get sick of listening to that song,” Mike says of “The Big Drag.” “No measure is the same length. Every time a new chord change happens, there’s a different rhythm to the guitar. The bass never stays on one note. You’re not sure when the chords are going to change because they always change at a different point.”
In other words, it’s unpredictable—just like NOFX. Turns out there is a lot to say about them, even after all this time.
Fat Wreck Chords will release Single Album on Feb. 26, 2021. Single Album track-listing
1. The Big Drag 2. I Love You More Than I Hate Me 3. Fuck Euphemism 4. Fish in a Gun Barrel 5. Birmingham 6. Linewleum 7. My Bro Cancervive Cancer 8. Grieve Soto 9. Doors and Fours 10. Your Last Resort
2020 was a crap year. It’s also another year where I couldn’t often find the motivation to write, or to do much of anything, really. Here’s to 2021 being a bit better. I don’t want to be too negative, but I’m not holding my breath.
As I didn’t really write much, the best album of the year honors were among limited choices. So with all due respect to anyone who got it together enough to produce material in 2020, cheers to you!
Burning Nickels (containing members of Trashed Ambulance and The Moröns) has dropped their latest release – a 5 song EP called Bernie Goes To College via High End Denim Records. Recorded and mixed at Overserved Studios in Red Deer, Alberta, the songs are a heaping pile of fun, bubblegum pop punk. With subject matter ranging from the excellence of their niece to the unstoppable force known as Jerome the dog, listeners are encouraged to kick off their shoes, put their feet up, and forget about their worries for the 15 minutes it takes to spin this EP!
Guitarist/Singer/A-hole Josh Hauta comments on the creation of the EP.: “We had a bunch of silly songs in our repertoire that certainly didn’t fit in with our other bands so we decided that since the only rule we have in Burning Nickels is that there are no rules, we made the call to go super fluffy fun punk with this one. Walking and Waiting was actually a song that Ozone and I’s wives grandfather (they’re sisters, not the same person) had written and recorded onto a 45 back in the 50’s so we gave it the old Nickels twist. He’s sure to hate it. Then I blew my voice out singing along to the Boney M Christmas album so luckily, Rob and Ozone stepped up to write and sing on Summer Boner and Long Minute, respectively. I think it all turned out wonderful!”
You can pick up the album on the High End Denim Records bandcamp or stream it on your favourite platform. There is currently no plan to release these songs physically but stranger things have happened! Stay safe!
Here’s a quick shout out to Terminal City Rats with their new album, Year of the Rat. Hailing from Vancouver BC, these neighbors to the north have kicked out a solid punk rock record.
13 tracks of punk. largely in the vein of some of the crack rocksteady sounds of Leftover Crack, Star Fucking Hipsters, Morning Glory etc. Not a carbon copy, of course, but clearly going down that path.
It’s good, so give it a listen. You aren’t doing anything right now anyway.
Cheers! Jerry Actually
Tracks: 1. Intro 00:58 2. Year of the Rat 00:17 3. TCRA 01:11 4. Stand Proud 02:14 5. More than a Scene 01:32 6. Lion’s Roar 01:37 7. Never Surrender 02:00 8. The Struggle 01:53 9. Hastings 01:29 10. Stay Sharp 01:21 11. Here’s to You (Broken and Alone) 01:33 12. Queens 01:41 13. Wants and Needs 01:56
Bio: Started sometime in early 2018 by founding members, bassist and songwriter Jeremy Starcok and drummer Liam Ready, Terminal City Rats were just two new friends brought together by their mutual love for punk rock. The duo spent a couple of months jamming and composing ideas before guitarist Chris “Crash” Campbell (F’Neh / The Receptionists) joined. “I ran into Crash at a show and casually mentioned that I had started a new project when he pretty much informed me that he was going to be our guitar player”, recalls Jeremy. “He basically told me right there on the spot that he was coming to our next practice without me even asking.”
Having played together in the short lived Vancouver punk band Struck A Nerve years earlier, the two knew they shared some musical chemistry and common tastes. Eager to find a singer, the trio made a social media post in search of someone. Bed ridden and recovering from a nasty knee injury, Jameson Trenholm (Obscene Being) answered jokingly with “I’ll join your band”, not expecting anything to actually come of it. “…I had turned my knee into mashed potato. I somehow managed to hobble my broke self to a few jams where I was crowned the Singer”.
Now a four piece and the addition of a second songwriter in Jameson, the band spent the next few months crafting a collection of songs, three of which would be recorded on their debut self titled demo recorded at Rain City Recorders by Stu McKillop in the fall of 2018. For the next year or so, Terminal City Rats played a handful of shows at venues around Vancouver including the Have A Good Laugh festival and legendary local haunts such as the Alf house, Pub 340 and SBC. “Those were really fun shows and we played with some killer local and touring bands but when we started this band, it was always the plan to have two guitar players. Two differently styled players who complimented each other.” says Jeremy.
Enter Mandy Green (Frank Love) in August of 2019. “…having known Jameson through the Vancouver music scene, he said they were looking for a second guitarist and after hearing their fast, raw, high energy sound I said ‘I’m in.’” With the long time plan of being a 5 piece finally coming to fruition, the band set out to incorporate Mandy’s guitar playing into their set. More shows followed including a sold out night at the Cambie in downtown Vancouver playing with some of Vancouver’s finest in Space Chimp, Alien Boys, Chain Whip and The Vicious Cycles. Riding the high of that night, the band again decided to enter the studio to record the follow up to their first release.
Whilst practicing and preparing to record, the Covid-19 pandemic hit, essentially halting the band’s ability to get together and jam. Months passed, during which time founding member Liam decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of Terminal City Rats and left to focus on other areas of his life. The band, now without a drummer and quickly approaching studio time, started to consider cancelling their scheduled recording session. As some of the pandemic restrictions started to be lifted, the band was able to begin jamming again but was still without a drummer.
Through friendship and connections in the local community, Jameson approached drummer Marco Bieri (Space Chimp, ATD, The Dreadnoughts) about the possibility of helping the band in the studio. With his various projects also on hold due to the pandemic and itching to play, Marco welcomed the opportunity. Learning 5 songs in only a few practices, the band entered Rain City Recorders for two days in June 2020 again with Stu McKillop at the helm. With the reinvigorated energy of a new drummer in addition to the results of that session, Marco asked “Why not do a full length album?” 8 more songs and two weeks later, Terminal City Rats returned to the studio to finish their debut full length album “The Year of the Rat”.
“I DECLARE THIS THE BOOK OF THE YEAR” -Josh Fernandez (Hard Times)
“Aaron Carnes knows that ska needs defending, and he’s highly equipped to defend it. Aaron wanted to set out to change the public’s perception of this unfairly-maligned genre.” -Andrew Sacher (Brooklyn Vegan)
“Honestly, I wasn’t a giant fan of ska. But the stories he gives snippets, I’m definitely getting this book. It’s fucking great.” -Mike Doyle (This Was The Scene podcast)
“I love In Defense of Ska and I can’t wait until it’s officially released.” -Cam Brio (Cam Brio Music)
Why doesn’t ska get its due as a rich, diverse genre the way punk, metal, hip-hop and electronic music does? Or more to the point, why are ska fans so embarrassed of this music they love? The era of ska shame is officially over. In Defense of Ska is the much-needed response to years of ska-mockery. No longer do ska fans need to hide in the basement, skanking alone in their sharp suits, slim ties and porkpie hats. Now the time to take to the streets and fight music snobbery, or at least crank up the ska without being teased ruthlessly.
In a mix of interviews, essays, personal stories, historical snapshots, obscure anecdotes, and think pieces, In Defense of Ska dissects, analyzes and celebrates ska in exactly the way fans have been craving for decades. This book will enlist ska-lovers as soldiers in the ska army, and challenge ska-haters’ prejudices to the core.
Since hardly anyone takes ska seriously, author Aaron Carnes, has uncovered a bunch of untold stories. Geoffrey Hales, the “music and surf consultant” for the film Back To The Beach speaks on why he chose Fishbone to appear in the film. His decision was in part because Walt Disney was a racist and pro-Nazi; having his darling Annette Funicello backed by a black band would make him “roll in his grave.”
There’s also the story of Fresno ska band Let’s Go Bowling who, in 1998, had their touring van shot up on the freeway as they were heading home after a show. The only injury was a bullet fragment the keyboardist found in his hand. And how about Riverside skacore legends Voodoo Glow Skulls, who abandoned their first “Fat Randy” video shoot. They cast the real-life Fat Randy—a weird Polish kid they went to school with—and a bunch of old high school friends. These old buddies got drunk and dogpiled on Randy, hurting him, shutting down the video, wasting 10,000 dollars of Epitaph’s money in production costs.
Since ska is a global phenomenon, Aaron flew to Mexico to report on biggest, and most political, ska scene in the world. Many of these bands rose from the most impoverished neighborhoods in Mexico City. Few musicians in Mexico speak on political and social issues, but the ska bands do, and they’re incredibly popular with the kids from these same poor neighborhoods. Today these bands play all-ska festivals that draw 25,000 people and more.
After the ’90s, when ska was considered dead, the music continued to have a cult audience. Current-day Pitchfork darling Jeff Rosenstock used to fronted ska-core band Arrogant Sons of Bitches in the early 2000s. They traversed the country vehemently and defiantly defending ska amidst the ska-hating early 2000s musical landscape. They played to small but devoted crowds that loved that they didn’t abandon ska in the name of “rock with horn” like so many of the 90s ska bands did. It was such an arduous task, defending ska, they ended many shows injured, usually self-inflicted.
In Defense of Ska takes readers on a journey through the last several decades of music to illustrate how important ska has always been, and highlights hundreds of great, underrated bands, completely destroying the popular narrative that ska was just a zany trend in the ’90s. It’s a way of life. It’ll never die.