I’m giving a quick listen to the new three track EP by ska/punk/reggae band Ease Up. I suppose that two and a half songs may be more apt. There are certainly three tracks, but two are very distinct versions of the same song, “Return to Sender” (not a cover). Bear in mind, the order that I am listening to the tracks is not the order that they will be on the release. (See below)
If you are down with any of the above mentioned genres, I think you’ll be pleased with the results of the band’s efforts. The two versions of “Return to Sender” alternate between a decidedly 3rd wave initial take into an sun-drenched island reggae version, heavy on the sleepy ganja-laced vibe. The final track cuts back to the faster and heavier vibe of the first, but with a rather Sublime vs. Less Than Jake appeal.
At the end of it all, this is quintessential SoCal summer beach music. Ska and Reggae vibes mixed with a decent dose of punk swagger.
1. Return to Sender (2:43)
2. Turnaround (2:58)
3. Return to Sender (Mix) (3:35)
I’ve not heard of Fire Next Time until just today, but in all fairness, I’m so far out of the loop that I don’t know shit from Shinola any longer. Nevertheless, Knives is the brand new release from the punk rock band out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The one sheet says the band is “folk punk”. I don’t know that’s really the case. We can nitpick about genres/subgenres all damn day and never agree. I’m going to go ahead and call them punk. The tunes aren’t out of place on set with Against Me, Dead to Me, American Steel, Street Dogs or Social Distortion, so you file that however ya like.
Knives provides 10 tracks of riff heavy, hard rocking storytelling. I suppose that is where people might slap on the “folk” badge. The band has something to say. Good for them, say it.
What I hear though, is a great album of heavy driving punk rock, with some amount of sensible pop melody.
The band is on tour this spring / summer in Canada, if you live in the area, or are visiting our neighbors to the North, check ‘em out:
05.11 – Calgary, AB – Dickens
05.12 – Edmonton, AB – Brixx
05.13 – Saskatoon, SK – Black Cat Tavern
05.14 – Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
05.16 – Timmons, ON – The Working Class
05.17 – Hamilton, AB – Absinthe
05.18 – Toronto, ON – Hard Luck
05.19 – Montreal, QC – Pouzza Fest!
05.20 – Ottawa, ON – Maverick’s
05.25 – Regina, SK – The Mercury
05.26 – Medicine Hat, AB – The Silver Buckle
FIRE NEXT TIME – Knives
CD/LP/DIGI Release Date: May 4, 2018
With ten years under their belt, Fire Next Time’s latest album KNIVES is a culmination of shared experience, heartbreak and triumph. “My spirit is broken” are the first words screamed over a sea of distortion on the first track Wanderlust. The anthemic anguish meanders with Collars reading like a confession letter that will never be sent. Never afraid to proudly display their influences, a haunting Nebraska-esque quality is brought to Old Scratch thanks to the support of stellar Vancouver vocalist Jody Glenham. KNIVES is Packed with visceral imagery and leaves little room to breathe. The themes explored on the album are sure to please your inner cynic. In Walking Blind they are eager to remind us that, in the end, “we all choke.”
For Fans of: Against Me, Gaslight Anthem, Flatliners, Tom Waits, Off With Their Heads
SQUIDHAT RECORDS WELCOMES BAY AREA SKA LEGENDS MONKEY TO THEIR ROSTER WITH THE RELEASE OF “INTERMITTENT” ON CD & LIMITED EDITION ORANGE VINYL
Las Vegas, NV, April 14, 2018 –SquidHat Records is proud to announce the release of Intermittent waves, the new album from Monkey. Available digitally, on CD or limited edition orange vinyl nationally and internationally through MVD Entertainment. The street date is 5/5/18.
The hardest working band on the West Coast is back with their sizzling sixth album! This 5 piece high-energy ska group from the SF Bay Area is famous for intense live shows and rock-steady rhythms that not only get the crowds dancing but have won them several awards, including the prestigious California Music Award. Monkey sets the pace for in-your-face ska, performing over 200 shows per year, while constantly recording and touring.
Songs From The Lodge Out 4/20 on Dirty Water Records (pre-order)
Archie and The Bunkers is the Cleveland-based duo of Emmett and Cullen O’Connor, brothers who have been playing music together for as long as they can remember. With Cullen on organ and Emmett on drums, they play “hi-fi organ punk” and have made a big splash since forming in 2013, sharing stages with everyone from Iggy Pop and The Sonics to Echo and the Bunnymen, Black Lips, and Thee Oh Sees and releasing music on Norton, In The Red, and Jack White’s Third Man Records.
Today, they share a cover by one of their biggest influences, LA synth-punk band The Screamers. Dangerous Minds caught up with the O’Connors to chat about their journey — which started when they were just thirteen and fifteen years old — and their new album, Songs From The Lodge, due out next week on Dirty Water Records. You can read the piece (which also includes anecdotes from former Cramps member Nick Knox & Norton Records founder Miriam Linna) here, and stream the duo’s take on “122 Hours of Fear” via SoundCloud.
Archie and The Bunkers will celebrate the release of their new album with a hometown show at Mahall’s on April 28th — more info here.
Songs From The Lodge is currently available for pre-order.
1. Bill’s Bad Day
2. You’re My Pacemaker
3. She’s A Rockin’ Machine
4. The Cutting Edge
5. Riot City
6. Fire Walk With Me
7. The Roaring ’20s
9. Lost in Today
10. Midnight Attraction
11. 122 Hours of Fear
I had this album collecting a little bit of dust on my desk and I feel a bit remiss about not having reviewed it sooner. The album actually came out late 2017. I’m sorry I didn’t get to it sooner, because I think these guys need a shoutout. At any rate, I’m here now, and here it is.
RISE! Is the debut full length from Rebel Spies, a Detroit area hardcore punk band featuring past and present members of the Suicide Machines, Telegraph, Hellmouth, HiFi Handgrenades, fordirelifesake and many more. Pedigree aside, the album rocks through 11 tracks of punk rock, with solid riffs, compelling intelligible vocals, and whole lot of guts and heart.
I’m going to offer you a bit of an odd comparison as to what I’m making of the sound, so bear with me here. Rebel Spies sounds a bit like if Rob Hellford’s slightly more gravely throated brother was singing lead vocals for a bit more punk/metal version of The Lawrence Arms. … Maybe I’m off my rocker here, or maybe it’s that I’m a bit hungover, but that’s the vibe I’m picking up.
While the band bills itself as a hardcore punk band, the riffery doesn’t stick strictly in the punk/hardcore vein. Track four, A Domain of Evil (Chapter One) delves into some ska territory, but track five, A Certain Point of View brings it back solidly with an aggressive old school sound. Track six, See You In Hell takes it you into a more straight up Rock and Roll direction.
It’s punk rock. It’s hardcore. It’s rock and roll. It’s got a lotta fucking balls. Get some!
Currently listening to a self-titled release from No Takers. The seven track release is aggressive, hardcore punk, with tinges of speed metal nicely interwoven into the mix. Hints of Agnostic Front, Madball, and Sick Of It All, and D.R.I. are dancing through my head as the tracks spin on.
The band, while certainly a product of its influences, manages to provide a take on the genre that is simultaneously brand new, yet oddly familiar. It’s as though a band you loved from the late 80s found a previously unreleased album somewhere in a vault. You’ve never heard it before, but you totally know where it’s coming from.
As a product of 80’s metal, punk, and hardcore, I’m definitely onboard with the sound. It’s well crafted, fast, intense, and articulate. What’s not to like?
No Takers, from Denver, CO, combine the speed and ferocity of 90s street punk with the passion, intensity and creativity of 80s hardcore. Drawing influence from bands across genres, this 4 piece uses intricate metal-inspired riffs over an unrelenting rhythm section to create a sound of their own.
Brandon Davis – Vocals
Delon Beckett– Guitar
Jason Chavez – Bass
Ryan Longenecker – Drums
STRUNG OUT U.S. & CANADA WITH PENNYWISE ANNOUNCED!
We’re fired up to finally share with you the details of the new Strung Out EP, Black Out the Sky, to be released on May 11th. While Strung Out has made their name on intense, frenetic slabs of metal-influenced tech-punk, there is more to the band than meets the eye. It might come as a shock to learn that the band’s new eight-song release is an acoustic affair, but as vocalist Jason Cruz explains, it’s not nearly as surprising for the band members.
“Every song starts on an acoustic guitar for the most part,” Cruz begins. “If it’s a good song, it can be played acoustic. For about the past five years, I’ve been pushing the band to release a record in this format.”
The result is six brand new songs, as well as two re-worked older songs, “Matchbook” and “UnKoil.” Today, you can hear the first new track from the EP, “Town of Corazon,” over at Brooklyn Vegan. It’s a surprisingly subdued song from a band who is usually anything but that. As if that weren’t enough, Strung Out is touring the US and Canada with Pennywise, which kicks off this week!
Cruz and his bandmates—Kiley, Ramos and bassist Chris Aiken—began working on Black Out The Sky in January 2017 with producer Kyle Black, who they had previously teamed up with on 2015’s blistering Transmission.Alpha.Delta, and who played a role in the band deciding to re-work two older songs, “Matchbook” and “UnKoil,” for the release.
“Kyle is a fan of the band,” the singer says. “I am the kind of person who wants to stray and go out into the unknown when I’m in the studio, but Kyle represents our fans. He didn’t let me stray too far with the melody or the music—just far enough to keep it fresh.”
With no set deadline on the release, the recording process went on for nearly the entirety of 2017, allowing for song arrangements to bloom in ways Strung Out songs never had before. “The songs came out really super-dark, not jingly-jangly acoustic stuff,” Cruz says. “We had to get other musicians involved. Some of it is sparse and intimate, and some of it has a lot going on.”
During the recording process, the band decided they needed to part ways with Jordan Burns, the band’s drummer since 1993. Cruz stresses that this decision was not an easy one to make, but it had to happen for the continued existence of Strung Out. “I think the band needed it,” Cruz admits. “It needed to happen for the band to survive and grow. We got to a point where we were going to break up if it didn’t.”
While in the studio, Strung Out realized some of the acoustic songs still needed drums. So the band enlisted their friend Sean Winchester, an accomplished drummer who has played with Everclear, Buckcherry and more, to fill out their sound. For their upcoming live shows, Strung Out will enlist RJ Shankle of California skate-punk band (and former tourmates) Runaway Kids to man the throne. Cruz is ecstatic about not only the fresh blood in his band, but what it means moving forward.
“Really, the whole theme of this record is rebirth,” he explains. “It’s the rebirth of our brotherhood and being a band. It’s astounding when you can keep a relationship together for three decades. There’s something so special about the music we write. We’re brothers beyond any kind of blood. It vindicates that we’re doing something right.
“I always ask myself, ‘What nerve do I have to get in front of a microphone?’” Cruz continues. “The fact that I kept this relationship together for 30 years says we worked through some shit. In our darkest times, we always came out with something beautiful because of it. In my mind, that gives me the right to get in front of that microphone.”
On Black Out The Sky, Cruz continues to dig deep internally, exploring parts of himself he’s yet to fully understand, taking the listener along for the ride, no matter how bumpy it may get.
“When we were kids, we all said, ‘Fuck God, fuck religion, fuck the government, let’s destroy it all,’” the frontman states. “Great. We did that. Punk rock did that. What are you gonna replace it with? Black Out The Sky is all about looking inward and finding what’s always been there, that intuition, that something to all of us. I don’t know what it is, but it’s the journey to find it and acknowledge it.”
Musically, the EP careens from songs that could be ported to full-band electric arrangements easily (“Requiem,” the title track) to mid-tempo grunge indebted to Alice In Chains (“The Architect”) to a full-on rollicking country song (“Duke Of Sorrow”). Cruz’s favorite number is “Town Of Corazon,” a surprisingly fragile song from a band who is usually anything but that. “’Town Of Corazon’ has the most balls we’ve ever displayed because it’s sweet and tender,” he admits. “It brings reference to spring and a new awakening. I’m so tired of screaming, the same riff, the same breakdown… I can’t stomach it anymore. Slipping in a sweet melody is the punkest thing we could do.”
Nearly three decades in, Strung Out is not driven by trends but instead by each other. As Cruz relays, “There is no ‘me’ in this band. It’s us. Whatever we think of, we’re gonna do it. Sometimes, people want to maintain a youthful aura about their band. That’s gone. We’re old dudes. But we’ve learned a thing or two. There’s nothing wrong with being an old dude. Lemme show you a road that I found; come with me.”
STRUNG OUT Tour Dates:
03/09/18 Boise, ID at Knitting Factory w/ Pennywise
03/10/18 Bend, OR at Midtown w/ Pennywise
03/11/18 Spokane, WA at Knitting Factory w/ Pennywise
03/13/18 Victoria, BC Canada at Capital Ballroom w/ Pennywise
03/14/18 Vancouver, BC Canada at Commodore w/ Pennywise
03/16/18 Costa Mesa, CA at OC Fair & Event Center Musink w/ Descendents, Blink 182
03/17/18 Edmonton, AB Canada at Union Hall w/ Pennywise
03/19/18 Saskatoon, SK Canada at O’Brians Event Center w/ Pennywise
03/20/18 Winnipeg, MB Canada at Garrick w/ Pennywise
03/22/18 Des Moines, IA at Woolys w/ Pennywise
03/23/18 Omaha, NE at Sokol w/ Pennywise 05/18/18 Los Angeles, CA at Regent Theater w/ Strife, La Armada, Twilight (Record Release Show)
BLACK OUT THE SKY track listing:
1. The Architect
2. Black Out the Sky
3. Town of Corazon
4. Unkoil (from An American Paradox)
6. Duke of Sorrow
7. Matchbook (from Twisted by Design)
Matching witty, tongue-in-cheek lyrics to jagged guitars, GRAVVES are noise merchants bar none.
They occupy a space where punk fury, alt-rock hugeness and truly infectious songs coexist. Blasts of vicious feedback live alongside a swagger ladened with naggingly catchy hooks.
This Spring will see the emerging trio from North Wales release their new EP Oh, The Joy through Loner Noise Records on the 27th April. The EP is loud, infectious and downright cataclysmic – The 6 songs of Oh, The Joy showcases a band taking aim at bigger things.
“We’re super excited for people to finally hear the new songs we’ve been working on.” said vocalist Adam Hughes. “The EP took us a bit longer than it should of to finish, but we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We are now just looking ahead to losing our voices and breaking our bodies on the road.”
In support, GRAVVES will take to the road, including appearances at Wrong Festival, Sound City and Focus Wales.
28 APR 2018 – Liverpool UK, Wrong Festival
06 MAY 2018 – Liverpool UK, Sound City
10 MAY 2018 – Wrexham UK, Focus Wales Festival
11 MAY 2018 – Preston UK, The Ferret
12 MAY 2018 – Wrexham UK, Focus Wales Festival
26 MAY 2018 – Llanidloes UK, Kingsfest
27 MAY 2018 – Birmingham UK, Die Das Der
Oh, The Joy follows the bands 2017 debut EP Rattle, also released through Liverpool-based Loner Noise Records. Singles ‘Tribes’ and ‘My Pet Rihanna’ received widespread airplay by the likes of BBC Radio 6, BBC Radio Wales, Amazing Radio and Kerrang! Radio. The release also received numerous gleaming reviews online, being described as “a bratty, scuzzy brand of balls-out grunge rock, bursting with snarling punk attitude.”
Oh, The Joy will be available on CD and Digital Download from the 27th April 2018
Adam Hughes – Bass, Vocals
David Thomas – Guitar, Vocals
Tom Williams – Drums
Liam and Mark from Booze & Glory are fanatical about Jamaican music. From Ska to Rocksteady, from Calypso to Reggae. From Trojan Records, Studio 1 to Crab Records. From Desmond Dekker, The Maytals to Jimmy Cliff, from Alton Ellis, Kingstonians to Derrick Morgan. From Pressure Drop to Liquidator, from Long Shot Kick De Bucket to Skinhead Revolt…
Just before completing their new (punk) full length “Chapter IV” (Burning Heart), Mark and Liam, and THE LONDONIANS (UK) laid down these amazing tracks with VESPA, from Poland.
These “Jamaican” versions of “London Skinhead Crew”, “Only Fools Get Caught” and “Leave The Kids Alone” are just the start – they were as much fun to record as they are going to be for all of us to dance to for years to come. And the best part is that it is called “Volume 1” for a reason.
“A record that feels like a generous gesture, an invigorating beacon of hope amid so much despair.”
–Steven Hyden, Uproxx
“Ultimately Jeff Rosenstock is an avowed pessimist constantly surrendering to creative optimism.” -Ken Tucker, NPR’s Fresh Air
Jeff Rosenstock certainly knows how to start 2018 the right way – by surprise releasing his brand new album POST- on New Year’s Day for free download/donation on Bandcamp via Quote Unquote Records. He also announced his new label home – Polyvinyl Record Co. – who will give POST- a physical release on vinyl, cassette and CD on March 23, 2018. Pre-order is currently available.
After receiving rave reviews almost everywhere imaginable (NPR, Pitchfork, Uproxx, The Ringer, Stereogum, MTV, VICE, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Paste, BrooklynVegan, Billboard, AV Club, the list goes on…), Jeff is dropping a new video today for the song “Melba” off POST-. Directed by Ben Epstein and David Combs, the video packs the kinetic, off-kilter, destructive punch that’s everything you’d expect in a Jeff Rosenstock video.
Co-director David Combs says of the concept, “Jeff wanted to make a video featuring a character who, consequence free, carelessly destroys everything around them. The idea of such a character reminded me of how often the abuse of power is a thoughtless exercise for those who hold it, so we decided to expand on the idea and make it a commentary on how abusive patterns get replicated — where the effects are passed downward hierarchically and the people with the least power experience the consequences most intensely. You know, also it’s fun to watch people smash shit, so we tried to have a good time with that too.”
Upcoming tour dates (tour starts today!) and a full bio on Jeff and the record can be found below. Get ready for more exciting news – 2018 promises to be a big year for Jeff.
Fuck white power, fuck the NRA, viva punk rock, viva Jeff Rosenstock!
02) Yr Throat
03) All This Useless Energy
05) TV Stars
07) Beating My Head Against A Wall
09) Let Them Win
2018 Tour Dates:
02/15 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge %^
02/16 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room %^
02/17 – San Diego, CA @ SOMA San Diego @ You’re Going To Hate This Fest
02/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom %^ [SOLD OUT]
02/22 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall @ Noise Pop %^
02/24 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium %^
03/06 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger #$
03/07 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada #$
03/08 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda #$
03/09 – Houston, TX @ Secret Group #$
03/10 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa @ Community Records Block Party
04/07 – Las Vegas, NV @ Emerge Music & Impact Conference