Mutiny Self-Titled EP

Wanna listen to the new Mutiny EP? Sure you do. Get some here: https://li.sten.to/thebandmutiny

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

MEAN JEANS RELEASE NEW ALBUM, BLASTED, TODAY VIA FAT WRECK CHORDS

BLASTED NOW STREAMING ON ALL PLATFORMS
 
AUSTRALIAN TOUR WITH THE CHATS 

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR “LOST MY MIND” (YOUTUBE)

 
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

SKA PUNK INTERNATIONAL FEST REVEALS LOCATION AND FIRST WAVE OF LINEUP FOR SPI FEST 2024


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 SPIFest.org

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

Strung Out Announce New Album – Dead Rebellion

CALIFORNIA ROCK BAND STRUNG OUT ANNOUNCE BRAND
NEW STUDIO ALBUM, DEAD REBELLION
 
FIRST SINGLE, “CAGES,” NOW STREAMING ON ALL DIGITAL PLATFORMS
 
SONGS OF DEAD REBELLION PRODUCED BY SHAWN MCGEE
IN STORES AND ONLINE
VIA FAT WRECK CHORDS ON FRIDAY, APRIL 5
 
WATCH: “CAGES” (ON YOUTUBE)
STREAM: “CAGES” (ON SPOTIFY)
 
  

(January 17, 2024 – San Francisco) California rock band Strung Out is set to release their 10th album, Dead Rebellion (pre-order), on Fat Wreck Chords on April 5th. Crafted amidst the challenges of the global pandemic, “Dead Rebellion” signifies a pivotal juncture for the band as they celebrate 35 years of musical prowess. The album embraces a distinctive mid-tempo and heavy vibe, prioritizing melody over speed. Dead Rebellion’s thematic core delves into the complexities of societal issues, personal struggles, and the divisive impact of our technology-driven world. Vocalist, Jason Cruz shares:
 
Dead Rebellion is a love letter to our fans, and the product of a 34-year negotiation with ourselves and the world. It was written, performed, and produced with a deep conviction that none of this is in vain, and if you love something enough, it will always take care of you in the end. For example, the song “Cages” explores the self-imposed limitations that hold us back, like blame and self-victimization. Only by eliminating these from the equation can true growth occur.
 
Catch the video on YouTube or tune in to the song across various digital platforms.
 

Photo Credit: Rick Kosick 


It was always going to be different. Regardless of what ended up happening between Strung Out’s previous record—2019’s Songs of Armor and Devotion—and this new collection of songs, it was always the band’s intention to step away from themselves a little bit with it. Although Dead Rebellion-the band’s 10th album of their remarkable 35-year career—was written during the height of the pandemic and is, as all Strung Out albums have been, a reaction to the world at large and their own personal experiences within it, the band had already decided to end that chapter before Covid. A new beginning had long been in the works.
 
“We got to that point where I felt like if we kept going, we’d be repeating ourselves,” explains vocalist Jason Cruz. “And you know, we’re a metal band—a punk metal band—and there’s only so much you can do before people start writing you off as losing your roots or whatever. We all have side projects, so we use those to go into leftfield, but I think that this is the most we can do and keep our fan base and take them in just a little bit of a slightly different direction. It’s more mid-tempo and heavier, less worrying about speed. We were trying to be more melodic.”
 
That’s not to say these 12 songs don’t pack a punch, but, at the same time, the way the five-piece—these days completed by guitarists (and founding members) Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos, bassist Chris Aiken and drummer Daniel Blume—focus on melody over riffs is definitely noticeable. Take, for instance, the way opener “Future Ghosts” begins in a frenzy of riffs and drumbeats before settling into a kind of hypnotic aggression, or how the frenetic undercurrent of “White Owls” quietens down, its power condensed into a hushed whisper before once again soaring off in an impassioned burst of emotion. Similarly, “Life You Bleed”—one of many requiems here for modern living—tiptoes quietly at first but then accelerates into a fully-fledged rock anthem.
 
Elsewhere, “Cages” is a vicious indictment of the fractious, polarized and technology-driven nature of society, while “Empire Down” is a self-reflective ode about living up to the pressures and expectations of being in this band. ‘We are the orphans of a revolution song,’ sings Cruz; elsewhere in the song, he quotes the chorus of the 1964 Nina Simone song, ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.’ When the album ends a few tracks later with the breakneck (yet still melodic) intensity of ‘Plastic Skeletons,’ Cruz returns to the importance of that same revolution song. ‘Everybody dancing for applause,’ he sings, ‘when the song is how we rise above.’
 
“People always talk shit about religious people and spirituality,” says Cruz, “like ‘Oh, you believe in a man in the sky.’ But then the same people come up to me and look to me like I, or my songs, have the answers to their questions. Because everyone’s looking for something, everybody needs something. Sometimes, as a dad and as a husband, I wish I could call my dad or somebody and just ask ‘What the fuck do I do here?’ Everybody needs a Northern star. So, while those two lines kind of contradict each other, at the same time they lend to each other that we’re all just looking for something and we all put our belief in something, no matter how ridiculous or superstitious it is. And those things can let you down, but they also can rise you up.”
 
Regardless of the pressure it may have put on the band, and despite Cruz’s insecurity that being a Northern star could let people down, Strung Out’s songs have been lifting people up for three-and-a-half decades now. Dead Rebellion is no different. In a world that Cruz sees as incredibly divided, one that—as he outlines in the afore-mentioned “Cages”—sees people constantly building what he calls “ideological walls” around each other, his hopes are this record can help tear them down.
 
“The key to this record,” says Cruz, “is technology and divisiveness—divisive language, divisive attitudes, divisive ideologies. I feel I was abandoned in a way, by a lot of things. What happened to bringing people together? I thought that that’s what we started doing this for. It’s still a huge part of who I am, and it seeps into the lyrics – trying to just find some common ground with people again and remind people that we’re all the same. At the end of the day, when the lights go out, we all want the same thing. And that’s where the title Dead Rebellion came from – like, we got so far and here we are right back again, just fragmented and at each other’s throats constantly.”
 
That, then, is the crux of Dead Rebellion. Produced, mixed, and recorded by Shawn McGee at Artistry Recording Studio in Las Vegas, it might represent a new chapter for Strung Out, but it’s guided by the same principles that have always driven them. And while Cruz says he’s never thought of Strung Out as a political band, this record—like all Strung Out records—has captured the zeitgeist and the self-destructive political climate, especially in the USA, perfectly.
 
“I struggle with the political thing,” says Cruz. “I don’t think we’re political. I think we’re just human. We’re a bunch of guys who are like everybody else. We’re not that smart. We’re just five guys that had nothing in common and we’ve proved to the world that you can come together and make something beautiful if you put your bullshit aside. It’s as simple as that.”
 
Overtly political or otherwise, Dead Rebellion is nevertheless a record informed by and reacting to the world we live in and all the experience and wisdom that Cruz has attained over the years. It’s also one built on the unwavering principles that the band has had at their core from the very beginning. So, while Cruz hopes that it can help unify people, he’s more than aware that that’s very likely too much to ask. But that doesn’t mean he’s not going to try.
 
“I know that’s not going to happen,” he admits. “We’re too far gone. There’s a saying ‘You can never go back home’, and I feel like the horses are out the stable and they’re running wild. So this is my declaration of war, in a way—a war to stay true and to just go down like the person I know I am, to stay true to myself and to stay true to my brothers–and go down believing what I know is right, to look people in the eye and give them a chance, and to listen and to try my best to bring people together. And that’s the hill that I’m going to die on.”

         Tour Dates with Less Than Jake:

  • 15 Mar 2024 in St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
  • 16 Mar 2024 in Charleston, SC, US @ Music Farm
  • 17 Mar 2024 in Asheville, NC, US @ The Orange Peel
  • 18 Mar 2024 in Norfolk, VA, US @ The NorVa
  • 20 Mar 2024 in Boston, MA, US @ Big Night Live
  • 21 Mar 2024 in Brooklyn, NY, US @ Warsaw
  • 22 Mar 2024 in Montreal, QC, Canada @ L’Olympia
  • 23 Mar 2024 in Ottawa, ON, Canada @ Bronson Centre
  • 24 Mar 2024 in Toronto, ON, Canada @ History
  • 26 Mar 2024 in Grand Rapids, MI, US @ The Intersection
  • 27 Mar 2024 in Bloomington, IL, US @ The Castle Theatre
  • 28 Mar 2024 in Cincinnati, OH, US @ Bogart’s
  • 29 Mar 2024 in Reading, PA, US @ Reverb


Dead Rebellion Track-listing:

1.    Future Ghosts
2.    Signal Fires
3.    New Gods
4.    White Owls
5.    Life You Bleed
6.    Cages
7.    Empire Down
8.    Resistance
9.    Ceremony
10.  Veronica’s Song
11.  Dystopian Party Bus
12.  Plastic Skeletons

Urgent Care – Fast Medicine

Are you in need of a new primary rock and roll provider? Look no further than Cleveland’s own Urgent Care. They are the nation’s preeminent Healthcore band, and are out to get you the help you need. 

Coming in at the tail end of 2023, “Fast Medicine” is a 14 track back alley lobotomy of snarling, snotty, punk rock and roll. The songs are firmly rooted in rock, with a lot of fuzz and growl. Lyrically things are tongue depressor in cheek, with songs about various medical issues and minor ailments. Songs of Frostbite and Allergens abound. 

All in all, it’s a fun release and reminiscent of bands such as Boris the Sprinkler and  Quincy Punx. There’s some DK influence and some more obvious Ramones-core lineage as well. 

So trip and fall your way over to Urgent Care’s Bandcamp page, and get patched up with some Punk Rock. If you’re lucky, your insurance will pick up the tab. 

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

COCK SPARRER ANNOUNCE NEW & FINAL ALBUM: “HAND IN HEART”

COCK SPARRER ANNOUNCE NEW & FINAL ALBUM: “HAND IN HEART”

BAND TO PLAY TWO UK SHOWS IN APRIL 2024

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER
London, EnglandDecember 18, 2023 – Some bands say all they have to say at the very beginning of their career, with diminishing returns the longer they hang around. That could not be further from the truth, however, for the legendary Cock Sparrer, the “biggest punk band most people have never heard of.” As the band gears up for the April 5th, 2024 release of their eighth and final studio album, “Hand On Heart,” and looks forward to celebrating their 52nd year with headlining shows and festival appearances, it’s never been a better time to be Cock Sparrer than right now!

To celebrate the album, the band has announced two special record release shows in the UK:

04/06/2024: London, UK – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
04/13/2024: Glasgow, UK – O2 Academy

The 10 tracks that comprise Hand on Heart will thrill the Cock Sparrer faithful with their iconic, anthemic sound, but the band still has surprises and new tricks up their sleeves, including a string arrangement by Simon Dobson (Bring Me The Horizon / Mike Oldfield) that lends a touch of class to the affair. With production overseen by James Bragg & guitarist Daryl Smith, as well as mastering by Grammy-winning engineer Kevin Tuffy, the lads sound better than ever, and for once, more of the budget went into the studio than down the pub!

Pirates Press Records have teamed up with Cock Sparrer to make “Hand On Heart” available for pre-order on classic 12” 180 gram black vinyl, 12” 180 gram Milky Clear vinyl, 12” 180 gram Claret & Blue AsideBside vinyl in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, 12” picture disc with alternative artwork, digipak compact disc, and limited edition cassette!
ABOUT COCK SPARRER:

Astoundingly, the four core members present at the band’s 1972 inception – vocalist Colin McFaull, guitarist Mick Beaufoy, bassist Steve Burgess, and drummer Steve Bruce – are still the ones in the studio and onstage today, joined by their “new member,” guitarist Daryl Smith, who has a “mere” 31 years under his belt! This atypical longevity and stability are a part of Sparrer’s legacy of shoving any rules and expectations put on them by anyone else. They were childhood friends, and were already well underway playing, drinking, and rabble rousing by the time punk became a recognized social movement.

While Cock Sparrer found a level of kinship with punk, their relentless independence meant they wouldn’t go down with the ship when the pop culture attention span moved on to the next big thing. While most bands were only getting started, Sparrer had already logged touring miles with luminaries like the Small Faces, Thin Lizzy, Motörhead, and Slade, and had already seen a contract with Decca Records go up in flames. Sex Pistols impresario Malcolm McLaren’s offer of management was rebuffed due to his refusal to pick up a round of drinks. So the decline of punk was yet another opportunity for the band to soldier on on their own terms, as they have continued to do for decades ever since!

Nowadays, the band’s “career in reverse” sees them enjoying more success than they ever experienced in the “good old days.” Cover songs from a huge and diverse array of artists from Rancid to Against Me!, The Bouncing Souls, The Interrupters, Ted Leo, and more are a testament to their wide ranging influence, as is their status as an in-demand live act at festivals all over the world.

However, as always, it is at their own headlining club shows that Cock Sparrer are most in their element, playing for sold out crowds of adoring fans of all ages. It turns out, over 50 years of doing things their own way has attracted legions of like-minded faithful!
Photo by: Roberto Pavic
Track listing:
1. With My Hand on My Heart
2. Mind Your Own Business
3. I Belong to You
4. Rags to Riches
5. No Way Out
6. Take It on the Chin
7. Nowhere to Be Found
8. One Way Ticket
9. My Forgotten Dream
10. Here We Stand

Cock Sparrer are: Colin McFaull – vocals
Daryl Smith – guitar
Steve Burgess – bass
Steve Bruce – drums
Mick Beaufoy – guitar

For more information on Cock Sparrer: Instagram // Facebook

Free Sergio signs to High End Denim

Hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel, Free Sergio is a high-octane skate punk band with elements of ska sprinkled into the chaos. After a successful European tour and debut record, the guys are back with 16 new songs. “The Nail in the Coffee” is a fast and furious release and will drop on January 19 via High End Denim Records.

You can hear “מהזהפהקרה” now – a tune sung entirely in their native tongue of Hebrew.

Social Distortion Announces Co-Headline Tour With Bad Religion

Today, Southern California punk legends Social Distortion announce an epic co-headlining tour across the US with fellow Epitaph label mates Bad Religion that kicks off in Bakersfield, California on April 9th 2024. With additional support from The Lovebombs, the two iconic bands will join forces to bring their signature sounds and beloved catalogs to stages across the continent, showcasing their enduring legacy and influence on the punk rock movement.  

Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness comments, “It gives me great pleasure to announce that in April we will be going on a nationwide co- headlining tour with our friends in Bad Religion. Yes, we are back in action and can’t wait for this tour!! We did this with them in Australia in 2022 and the shows were amazing!” 

He continues, “We have also decided in celebration of the 40-year anniversary and re-release of ‘Mommy’s Little Monster’ that we will be playing the album in its entirety. This should be a very special tour and we are all looking forward to it.” 

Bad Religion and Social Distortion first played together in 1980,Bad Religion singer Greg Graffin adds. “Though we evolved in different directions, we both carried the torch of Southern California punk all along the way. Now we’re so excited to be on the same stage again.”  

Formed as rebellious teenage punks in the working-class suburb of Fullerton, California, Social Distortion survived their tumultuous youth to pioneer an undeniably honest and fiery brand of rock ‘n’ roll that would incorporate outlaw country, classic seventies punk and primal blues. Seven studio albums and countless electrifying live shows have earned the band a dedicated worldwide fanbase and catalog of timeless anthems including “Story Of My Life,” ”Ball And Chain,” “Prison Bound” and more. The band’s last release, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes entered the Billboard 200 at #4 and in 2019 they celebrated 40 years as a band.  

Social Distortion also share rescheduled dates for their previously postponed tour with follow SoCal rockers, The Bellrays. Ness enthuses, “I am also happy to announce the tour with “The Bellrays” from last summer will now be happening in September & October 2024. I’d like thank the fans who bought tickets for their patience while we worked on the rescheduled dates. Words can’t describe how happy I am to be back onstage doing what I love. See you all soon.” 

Artist Pre-sale tickets are live today at 12 noon local time with codes:  BALLANDCHAIN or SUFFER 

The general on-sale will be December 15th, 10 AM local time. 

All tickets will be available HERE 

SOCIAL DISTORTION TOUR DATES

W/ Bad Religion 

April 9 – Bakersfield, CA – Mechanics Bank Theater 

April 10 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl 

April 11 – San Diego, CA – PETCO Park 

April 13 – Las Vegas, NV – Virgin Hotels Las Vegas – The Theater 

April 14 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheater 

April 16 – Lubbock, TX – Lonestar Amphitheater 

April 18 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory 

April 19 – San Antonio, TX – Boeing Center at Tech Port 

April 20 – Austin, TX – Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Greenway 

April 22 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center 

April 23 – New Orleans, LA – The Filmore Harrah’s New Orleans 

April 26 – St. Augustine, FL – The Saint Augustine Amphitheatre 

April 27 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live 

April 28 – Clearwater, FL – Coachman Park – The Sound 

April 30 – Atlanta, GA – Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre 

May 1 – North Charleston, SC – Firefly Distillery Lawn 

May 3 – Oxon Hill, MD – The Theater at MGM National Harbor 

May 4 – New York, NY – Pier 17 The Rooftop 

May 5 – Philadelphia, PA – The Filmore Philadelphia 

May 7 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway 

May 10 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE 

May 11 – Detroit, MI – The Masonic Temple Theatre 

May 12 – Cincinnati, OH – The Andrew J Brady Music Center 

May 14 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave/Eagles Club – Eagles Ballroom 

May 15 – West Des Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom 

May 17 – Indianapolis, IN – Everwise Amphitheater 

May 18 – Chicago, IL – Salt Shed – Indoors 

May 19 – Columbus, OH – Historic Crew Stadium 

w/ The Bellrays 

Sept. 13 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox 

Sept. 14 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox 

Sept. 15 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox 

Sept. 18 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom 

Sept. 19 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom 

Sept. 21 – Edmonton, AB – Midway Music Hall 

Sept. 22 – Edmonton, AB – Midway Music Hall 

Sept. 23 – Calgary, AB – Macewan Hall 

Sept. 25 – Winnipeg, MB – Buron Cummings Theatre 

Oct. 1 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom 

Oct. 2 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom 

Oct. 4 – Guelph, ON – Guelph Concert Theatre 

Oct. 5 – Toronto, ON – History 

Oct. 6 – Montreal, QC – M Telus 

Oct. 8 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall 

Oct. 9 – Hampton Beach, NH – Casino Ballroom 

Oct. 11 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount 

Oct. 12 – Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theater 

Oct. 13 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom 

Oct. 15 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva 

Oct. 16 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte 

Oct. 17 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz 

Oct. 19 – Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall 

Oct. 20 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom 

Oct. 22 – Albuquerque, NM – Rio Rancho Event Center 

Oct. 23 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre 

Social Distortion by Danny Clinch 

For More Info On Social Distortion Visit: 

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