Mutiny Self-Titled EP

Wanna listen to the new Mutiny EP? Sure you do. Get some here:

Mutiny is a skacore supergroup formed during the COVID Pandemic by Eric Fazzini, Jordan Pepper and Chris Ruckus.
But in case you forgot, the members of Mutiny are:

Efrem Schulz (who is in Death by Stereo, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and Manic Hispanic)
Mike Cambra (Death by Stereo and the Adolescents)
Chris Ruckus (Dissidente)
Eric Fazzini (Voodoo Glow Skulls and PWRUP)
Jordan Pepper
Jose Pazlodan (Voodoo Glow Skulls)
Adam Shah

The honorary members of Mutiny are:
Ryo (Frail)
Shinji (Frail)

I’m Having a Really Nice Time and Jim Wilbur is The King of Punk: A Superchunk Concert Review.

I went and saw Superchunk last week for what I think was the seventh or eighth time. I try and make an effort to go to a lot of Superchunk shows because they’re the greatest American rock band of all time. I’ll kind of tell you why through a series of meandering personal anecdotes and fun facts, but let’s first start by turning the clock back thirty years. 

The year is 1994. All of my shirts are XL for some reason. There’s a stick of Nag Champa burning next to a skateboard. A newly acquired CD boombox is blasting In On The Kill Taker. A pair of shredded Etnies lay on the floor. They stink. I’m a little stoned. (This is the abridged version of me setting the scene for something that’s happening in 1994, it was a lot longer in the original draft). My older sister has just brought home a copy of Foolish by Superchunk. 

I’ve been a fan ever since then, and their live shows over the years have more than lived up to the band’s vast and storied catalog. They don’t put out bad records. They’re always there for you. Sure, they had the hiatus after Here’s To Shutting Up for a few years, but they more than made up for it in 2010 with an album to rival any of their older material, Majesty Shredding, followed by three more great full lengths and a 50 song B-sides comp. They also just released another new single a few weeks ago, and it’s an absolute banger. 

When Laura Ballance quit touring with them about ten years ago, indie rock Swiss army knife Jason Narducy seamlessly filled in on the bass. No momentum lost. Their last record, 2022’s Wild Lonliness did feel a bit like a swan song, however. I enjoyed it, and would pit “If You’re Not Dark” against any of their classic songs, but it had a feeling of finality to it. This concern was further intensified when I saw them on that tour in April of 2022. For the first time in my entire adult life, Superchunk didn’t look like they were having much fun. The remainder of that tour was cancelled because they got Covid, so maybe they were just drained. Even Superchunk are entitled to an off night, no judgment. I’m often not great at least 3 times a week for no reason. 

I was excited to see they were coming through Portland again this February, wanting to dispel the possibility that they were perhaps on the wane. Jon Wurster has recently left the band, having been the drummer since 1991, and so too was touring bassist Jason Narducy absent. Laura (a different one) King and Betsy Wright from Bat Fangs have replaced them in the lineup, further adding to the mystery of what I’d be in for.  Fucked Up being on the bill was a bonus.

Four of my friends committed to coming with me. That’s an extraordinary number for a middle-aged group of men on a Tuesday. One of them bailed, so I gave away the ticket to someone on Reddit. Given the likelihood this person wanting a last minute single ticket to a Tuesday night Superchunk show is someone I’d probably have a lot in common with, coupled with how bad men my age are at making and maintaining friendships, I’m going to go ahead and count effinwhatever with an alien avatar from Reddit as one of the four friends I went with. 

Fucked Up were the solitary opener, hitting the stage promptly at 8pm by belting out “Baiting The Public”. I have a hard time gauging the popularity of this band. I feel like there was a time they were courted by the Coachella and Pitchfork types, and received a lot hype for Damian’s stage antics. In my mind, they were maybe bigger than Superchunk, but not many people appeared to be here for them. Folks were still filtering in during the set, which sounded great. “Queen of Hearts” is about as good as songs get. The highlight was them closing with a ripping version of “Dose Your Dreams”. They did one of those extended outros where members stop playing and leave the stage one at a time, but staggering it until it’s just drums and feedback. Worth the price of admission already. I tried really hard to get some decent pictures of both bands, but it cannot be overstated how much I suck at taking pictures at shows. I wouldn’t feel so bad about it, but I’m looking around at other people’s phones in the air, and their footage looks incredible.

None of my pictures turned out, so here’s a picture of another guy. (perhaps effinwhatever from RedditI don’t know) who was good at taking show pictures. 

Here is a picture of me taking shitty pictures.

Here is a shitty picture I took.

This is honestly the best one, and I took it from the hallway outside the entry. 

Between sets we head back to the bar and get another drink. We’re all being responsible because of the normal reasons people are, but also because we’ve become increasingly terrified of hangovers as we get older. I’m drinking wine. This is the first time I’ve ever done this at a show. It’s what I do at home for fun when I’m hanging out with my wife, so it should be a transferable skill. It was. 

Superchunk come out on stage and Jim Wilbur says something funny. I’m excited, but aware of the delicate balance of the waterline in my small $8 cup of pinot noir. Show wine is not like show beers. One must be careful. There’s not as much of it, and it’s red. As I take sip, they open with “Swallow That”, not only one of my favorite underrated songs off On The Mouth, but also an affirmation of my drink choice. This is followed by two more from the same album, “Package Thief” and “New Low”. If you’re familiar with their catalog, you recognize this is an almost unfathomably excellent run to start the show. They continue with “Crossed Wires”, the precursor single to the aforementioned 2010 comeback record, followed by a 1991’s “Seed Toss”. 

I forgot to mention, the band sounds fucking great. Betsy and Laura K have great chemistry with Jim and Mac, and they’re a proper unit. Any worries I had of them slipping have been completely forgotten. They then break into a couple songs from 1995’s Here’s Where The Strings Come In, starting with “Detroit Has A Skyline”. Mac starts jumping around, and everyone in the building has a huge smile on their face, including the four people in Superchunk. “Silvery Leaf and Snowy Tears” follows, an unexpected treat and real hidden gem of their catalog. 

I think every time I’ve seen them they play “Water Wings”, and this time was no different. It sounded fantastic and was the first selection of the evening from Foolish, the album my sister brought home 30 years prior. “Low F” and it’s ripping solo is next, and then they really shine with their new one “Everybody Dies”. That a band who has been around for so long can still write a song like that is unreal. My number one jam from Foolish, “Driveway to Driveway” happens next. This song holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first song by the band to really hook me. Jon Wurster’s portrayal of the aloof millionaire at the wedding in the music video is worth looking up on YouTube. The regular set closes out with songs from all eras of their catalog, “Break The Glass”, “Cast Iron”, “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo”, and the anthemic “Slack Motherfucker”. 

Hold on though, the people want more! “If You’re Not Dark”, the brooding closing track off 2022’s Wild Loneliness kicks off the encore. Damiam from Fucked Up comes out and does a duet on “Our Work Is Done”, and it’s cool because, being the ultimate punk nerd he is, he’s really enjoying himself out there. The classic hit, “Precision Auto” is next, and although Damian has exited the stage, you can still see him rocking out by himself behind the curtains and amps like he’s in the crowd. That weirdo is one of us. The show ends the way On The Mouth does, with “The Only Piece You Get”. Such an awesome closer, and bringing it full circle. It fit so well to have the show open with the slow final song on side A of On The Mouth, and then have it end with the final slow song from side B. We’re left standing there exchanging thoughtful analysis to each other like, “that was sick!” and “dude!”, grinning like complete idiots.

The excitement isn’t over though. We head over to the merch table and Mac himself is manning it. I pick up a CD copy of the new B-sides collection, and my friend talks himself into buying an On The Mouth t shirt that’s only available in small. We chit chat with Mac for a minute, and as we leave he thanks us for coming and wishes my friend luck with fitting into his tiny shirt. 

I had a hard time falling asleep that night because I was still buzzing from the show. I laid there thinking about where I was in my life when different Superchunk records came out, and how really more than any other band they are the soundtrack to me being an adult. They’re incredibly special, and remarkably consistent. I have no doubt that the hundreds of songs they’ve written, along with hopefully the hundreds they have yet to get to, will always be a part of my life. 

The next morning I woke up to look at the notes I had tried to write during the show. Aside from a cryptic and nearly illegible setlist, I had only two things written down. 

1.) I’m having a really nice time.
2.) Jim Wilbur is the king of punk.

–Zack Akenson

Mean Jeans – Blasted




Get ready to shred, Mean Jeans fans! The Portland punks have unleashed their killer new album, “Blasted,” today. Crank it up on YouTube or your favorite streaming service – it’s a guaranteed party. Missed the epic “Lost My Mind” video? Don’t worry; Mean Jeans brings the Judge Judy-inspired courtroom justice straight to your screen

For our Aussie fans, gear up to catch Mean Jeans live alongside The Chats on their tour, which kicks off today! Additional tour dates worldwide will be announced soon, so stay tuned. Here’s a snippet from what Billy Jeans shared: Getting back on tour post-pandemic and doing 9 weeks with The Chats in the US and Australia reignited our appetite for shredding. We got home, wrote a new album, and recorded it by ourselves in Portland over 5 days. Blasted’s got more fast + wild loser anthems, a couple tearjerkers, more Houndy singing, and I finally figured out how to do a guitar solo. We’re kicking the year off with another Australian tour, this time a punk cavalcade of 6 bands.

From the moment they started 15 years ago, Mean Jeans have been creating their own slime punk fantasy world. Study their six previous album covers and you’ll find junkyards full of bongs and yo-yos, macaroni galaxies, Jägermeister spaceships, alien saxophonists and pink slugs in bondage dripping ooze. On their newest full-length album Blasted, the goofball trio have clearly been through wild years and seen some shit—on the cover, the three members peer out of toxic waste bins, no longer cartoons of themselves but instead incredulous country-fried maniacs who are still following a slime punk dream, and dealing with where it’s led them. 
Which isn’t to say the Jeans are jaded. In fact, the band—Billy Jeans, Houndy and Junior Jeans—seem to be having as much fun as ever on this record, ripping through these 15 rapid fire ear worms without coming up for air. They seem equally focused on tight catchy songwriting and packing in Easter eggs and absurd lyrical references, including (but certainly not limited to) Tim Armstrong’s X-Filescameo, Mike Schank’s PCP overdose story in American Movie, multiple songs with lyrics about their space-obsessed kindred pop-punker Tom DeLonge, a chorus borrowed from Seal, and a not-very-legal piano collage of well-known pop-punk melodies. 
Anyway, this record is a frantic and frenetic joyride, though probably one made in Rick from Rick And Morty’s Space Cruiser and through time and space, rather than any form of road-based vehicle here on Earth. But that energy was probably enhanced by the fact the band recorded Blasted all by themselves here on this planet. Well, at The Trash Treasury in Portland, OR, at any rate—the city where the band first got together and which is one of the least Earth-like cities on, well, Earth. At their own behest, the trio were left entirely to their own devices, putting themselves through their own physical paces by trying to be in two places—the control room and the recording room—at once. One of Rick’s portal guns might have helped make it easier, but who needs a producer or engineer? It’s just another cook waiting to spoil that delicious, fluorescent green, slime punk broth. 

“Studio time is just more fun when no one’s in charge,” says Billy Jeans. “To some extent, I know what I’m doing, and to some extent the other dudes know what they’re doing, but none of us are pro at all. Like, Junior would have to run over to the control room, hit the record button and then run back, all while holding the bass, and then we’d play. It’s idiotic, but when it’s just the three of us fucking around, the vibe is there.”
You can hear that all throughout Blasted. It’s a weird, wonderful and wacky album, but also not without its occasional serious moments. Mean Jeans are—still, after all these years—a band that love to party, and that’s what they continue to do on these songs. Every once in a while, though, you might catch a little regret about doing so, if not a full-on hangover. Opener “I Don’t Give A Shit Anymore” might sound like a statement of nihilistic intent, but it’s more what Billy calls an “underthinkers anthem”, a direct response to him overthinking everything all the time, while “Look What Punk’s Done To You”, “Took Too Much” and “I Don’t Know What I Did Last Summer” all address the comedown of life lived in the fast lane. But then there’s also “Something’s Going On”, which is the best (and possibly only) song that’s ever been written about  the cult 1986 comedy horror b-movie Class Of Nuke ’Em High.

At the same time, the album also serves as a kind of meditation on pop-punk, about what it means to be a punk band as opposed to a band playing music in the style of punk. Can you be both? Does it even matter? Maybe. Maybe not. What matters is that, with Blasted, Mean Jeans have made a record that defines what they are and what they’re not at the same time. Most importantly, it was fun for them to make, and it’s an absolute joy to listen to. For Billy, that’s always the aim.
“We’re a band in it for the good times,” he says. I’ve always thought if we’re not having fun, then it isn’t Mean Jeans. Which isn’t a recipe for success in the music biz, but I could bitch about that all day if you want. What’s the difference between being a bitch and being punk?” He doesn’t answer his own question, but it might be found somewhere in these songs

Mean Jeans Tour Dates – Tickets Available Here.

  • 9 Feb 2024 in Maroochydore, QLD, Australia @ The Solbar
  • 10 Feb 2024 in Brisbane, QLD, Australia @ The Tivoli
  • 11 Feb 2024 in Gold Coast, Australia @ Vinnie’s Dive
  • 13 Feb 2024 in Byron Bay, NSW, Australia @ The Northern
  • 14 Feb 2024 in Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia @ The Hoey Moey
  • 15 Feb 2024 in Newcastle, NSW, Australia @ King Street Band Room
  • 16 Feb 2024 in Gosford, NSW, Australia @ Drifters Wharf
  • 17 Feb 2024 in Sydney, AU @ Metro Theatre
  • 18 Feb 2024 in Sydney, AU @ Crowbar (FREE SHOW)
  • 20 Feb 2024 in Castlemaine, VIC, Australia @ Theatre Royal
  • 21 Feb 2024 in Melbourne, AU @ Haba Rye
  • 22 Feb 2024 in Frankston, VIC, Australia @ Pelly Bar – Pier Hotel
  • 23 Feb 2024 in Melbourne, AU @ Northcote Theatre
  • 24 Feb 2024 in Melbourne, AU @ The Tote
  • 19 Apr 2024 in Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive

BLASTED  track-listing 1. I Don’t Give a Shit Anymore
2. Let’s Go
3. Diagnosis
4. Lost My Mind
5. Blasted to the Moon
6. Something’s Going On
7. Reggie
8. Taco Bell Parking Lot
9. Look What Punk’s Done to You
10. Slugs
11. Break up With You
12. Took Too Much
13. I Don’t Know What I Did Last Summer
14. Living Large on a Credit Card
15. Pop Punk Casualty

SPI Fest 2


Windsor, CT-
The highlight of 2023 for many concert goers was Ska Punk International Records’ inaugural SPI Fest at the Flamingo Cantina, in Austin, TX, headlined by the Toasters, Tsunami Bomb, the Littlest Man Band, and Hans Gruber and the Die Hards. The event sold out and was full of so much love and chaotic good. Ska lovers traveled from all over the USA and Canada last March to meet their many internet friends and musicians from the Ska Punk International community. Ever since, there’s been folks asking when the next festival would be? And where? 

With the intention of making each SPI Fest a travel destination, Ska Punk international will be moving the location from year to year.  Ska Punk International Records, in partnership with CT Ska Productions, is proud to announce that the 2nd annual SPI Fest will be held on May 17 and 18th at 25 Central St in Windsor, CT.

Gary Woodruff of CT Ska Productions jumped at the chance to partner with SPI, stating, “When Chris asked me to work with him on the festival, I knew it was fit. Part of our mission is to bring acts to CT that might otherwise skip the state.”

SPI Fest will be held at a new all ages venue known as 25 Central Street. 

About the venue, Woodruff says,  “Partnering with 25 Central Street as a venue was a logical choice. The new space is a former vaudeville theater with a main floor and a mezzanine that’s perfect for the event, accommodating vendors, and most importantly allowing all ages attendance.“

25 Central Street is in the Windsor Historic District within walking distance of Windsor Railroad Station. Windsor, CT is just outside of Hartford, CT and one of the first English settlements in North America. Windsor is on the land of the Pequot and Mohegan Native Americans.

SPI Fest will take place across two days, May 17 and May 18, 2024. The lineup consists of bands from Ska Punk International Records as well as friends of the Dallas based record label. Many of the groups perform ska music and its various subgenres. As part of today’s announcement, the record label announces they are proud to bring back their own Hans Gruber and the Die Hards (Austin, TX) and Mega Infinity (Wantagh, NY) for a second year in a row. PWRUP (Agawam, MA), Bumsy and the Moochers (Chicago, IL), and Eevie Echoes and the Locations (Brooklyn, NY) from Ska Punk International Records are also announced today. In addition to performers from SPI Records, they are proud to be working with headliner and crowd favorite Catbite (Philadelphia, PA), Call Me Malcolm (UK) and Matamoska (Los Angeles, CA).

The label and festival team and all of the bands hope to bring the same chaotic good energy as the 2023 festival. In addition to the community values being reflected in the event itself, the label’s initiative to give back will include Punk Rock Saves Lives, who will be present to raise funds and awareness for their projects and swab guests for the bone marrow registry. Ska Punk International has been raising funds for life saving initiatives to prevent cancer from the first compilation the label released in 2021, Songs for Moms. 

Tickets are now available at

About Ska Punk International Records
Ska Punk International is a record label run out of founder Chris Reeves’ home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. When Chris founded SPI Records in 2021, he founded the record label on 3 principles, community, accessibility and giving back. 

About CT Ska Productions 

CT Ska Productions is an all volunteer organization that provides safe spaces for awesome bands to play dope shows while raising money for charities that support diversity equity and inclusion.

States of Nature – Brighter Than Before

Let me tell you something about States of Nature. They are a really good band. This is some professional shit, and it’s precisely stuff like this that makes volunteering here at the Upstarter Foundation worthwhile. 

“Brighter Than Before” is the upcoming debut full length from the band, coming out on Sell The Heart Records (who are really building an impressive roster) later this month. If you send them money, they will mail one to your house. This information will be important later, because after you read this review and listen to it, you’re going to want a copy. 

Hailing from Oakland, California, their Bandcamp page describes them as “A danceable hybrid of Post-Hardcore and Rock N’Roll.,” which is accurate. It’s danceable, but not in an annoying kitchy way, and the riffs have some serious Reis/Froberg muscle to them. States of Nature are danceable in a DC sort of way, not in a band with exclamation marks in their name sort of way. I think it’s actually a very difficult thing to properly execute in punk and punk adjacent music. Being danceable without the appropriate amount of anger, or the absence of actually being able to write great songs, does not equate to enjoyable music. Good news is that State of Nature write great songs. Great songs you can dance to. You’ll want to mosh creatively to these ten tracks, or in my case, bob your head up and down on the Peloton while saying, “Oh hell yeah!” (the highest possible compliment, really). 

The opening track “Brighter Than Before” comes out blazing like something off the first Hot Snakes record, and immediately got my attention. Huge chorus, and also kind of has the vibe and energy of something off “In/Casino/Out” by ATDI. This power and bounce continue with track 2, “Wicked World”, this time perhaps leaning a bit into (International) Noise Conspiracy as well. This is followed by “Papered News” and “Tides”, where we get a chance to catch our breath for second, but still full of hooks. There’s a video for the former, so check it out below. “Undone” is the most Fugazi sounding jam on here, which always seems like a lazy comparison for anything considered post-punk, but States of Nature are worthy company for such a tag. “New Foundations”, “God With A Gun”, and “American Drone” follow, comprising my favorite 3 song run on the album. These songs have everything. The dark rage of Mission of Burma, the attitude and delivery of Ian Svenonius, a bit of spacey Mind Spiders weirdness, and the aforementioned massive riffs of Hot Snakes. The record tapers off with the rather upbeat “The Return” and the perfect slow closer “Oh The Light”, which is also one of my personal favorites. 

So there it is, a bunch of “sounds-like” comparisons that hopefully convince you to invest in joy and purchase this record. I’m a music fan, not a journalist. At least I didn’t say “angular”. This is my favorite new album I’ve heard so far this year,  and it will definitely see repeated listens from me for the foreseeable future. Rumor has it they will be swinging up the West Coast this Spring, and I’m going to make a serious middle-aged effort to go see them. 

–Zack Akenson