SKUM City – Rise of the Skum

Gonna bust out a dirty one here for NY punk rockers, SKUM CITY.

Rise of the Skum is an 11 track blast of aural assault that will simultaneously stab you in an ear and peel your face off. Old school East Coast HC vibes on short punchy tracks.

Gritty by snotty vocals and vintage shred, clock radio speaker distorted guitars, combine with stripped down drums and bass definitely impart a garage / basement vibe.

Excepting track 5. “Don’t Worry/Maggots” (arguably two songs) is well under the two minute mark. (Which, as you may well know, the appropriate time span for songs to exist in.)

By and large a punk rock / hardcore release, the signature drifts a little towards speed metal turf with track 8. “People You May Know” … It doesn’t drift too far mind you, just enough.

Vintage / old school aside, the sound isn’t lost in the pas. It’s fully engaged in the present and showcases the fact punk and hardcore remain vital forces in music to this day.

End of the line it’s a kick ass new release from SKUM CITY. It’s old. It’s new. It’s fucking true.

Tracks:

1. Rise of the Skum 01:38

2. Diazepam 02:07

3. Stay Home and Fuck 01:28

4. 24×4 01:09

5. Don’t Worry/Maggots 03:17

6. Front Me A Quarter 01:23

7. Coexist 01:57

8. People You May Know 01:44

9. Why Even Have Friends 01:06

10. Leg Rub Steve 01:02

11. Driven By Distraction 02:14

Bio:

Skum City is a bone crushing hardcore punk rock powerhouse that hails from NYC. They’ve been around the block a few times and like aged BEEF, they only get better with time. Beef ages well with time, right? RIGHT?! Their songs are hook-driven, guitar- heavy blasts of energy that will leave you breathless, yet begging for more. The band was started in 2007 by the hell raising husband and wife team of Mike Moosehead, on searing guitar, and Xtene on scintillating bass. The two most recent additions to the band are drummer Gisel, who plays so fast that her wrists look like humming birds fluttering above barrels on honey, and vocalist Christopher Thee Wailing-Siren. Christopher is a charismatic singer who is equal parts fearless front man, as well as a no-holds-barred, poet, borderline stand up comic in the vein of say a Lenny Bruce or a Don Rickles.

World War IX – Phoning It In

Nodding my head along to “Phoning It In”, the new 7” / EP from World War IX. Five tracks of uptempo, hard partying punk rock, and every last one of them is a banger.

I suppose I’ve head my head up my ass for a while now, because I’ve not heard of WWIX prior, and they appear to have about a brazillion albums. Where the hell have I been?

Despite being from Brooklyn, NY, the band positively reeks of old school SoCal punk rock. Black Flag, Angry Samoans, Circle Jerks, etc. The lyrics are boozy and the vibe is fast and loose.

“Phoning It In” kicks down a brief glimpse into the nostalgia-inducing, punk rock stylings of, what is surely to be a brand new favorite of mine, World War IX.

Tracks:

1. Fired For Partying 01:26

2. Coke Machine 01:06

3. Larry’s House 01:28

4. Portrait Of Sobriety 02:33

5. NYC Tonight 01:59

Shout out to Justin for throwing in some Comics as well

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

The Fauxriginals – It’s Not a Lie…

the Fauxriginals album cover for It's Not a Lie...

Pop/Ska/Punk/Northwest/Rockandroll/Hellzyeah!

A couple days late, as per my usual, I’m just now checking out the new EP “It’s Not a Lie”, from Portland, Oregon based The Fauxriginals. You know what? I like ska. I like punk. Let’s go!

The EP pops out seven fresh tracks of punky ska. It’s diggable. Very reminiscent of LTJ, but it also reminds me of an unsung band, Orangetree. (If you’re not familiar w/ Orangetree, they were a band fronted by Jason Nelson of MU330)

Damn, as I listen to this, especially “Being Alive in the 21st Century”, I’m really feeling the Orangetree vibe. Not in a copped sort of way mind you, just compellingly similar.

Sonically I would pin this more in the rock vein than punk, per se. It’s peppy, and bouncy. Not overly aggressive with respect to the punk portion. I’d venture that it’s damn near friendly. That’s not a bad thing. Sometimes you need a little bit more friendly in the world.

Don’t let the friendly fool you though, just based on the song titles, I’d say the band is at least almost entirely jaded.

Bottom line, it’s a fun release. I wouldn’t hesitate to go see them live either. So, yeah, listen at your leisure and support local bands!

-Jerry Actually

Tracks:

  1. My, Myself, and Idioms
  2. Bfff’s
  3. Painted on My Spine
  4. Level of Malevolence
  5. Being Alive in the 21st Century 
  6. Some of a Kind
  7. Rsvp

Portland, Oregon-based three piece The Fauxriginals dropped their debut EP “It’s Not a Lie…” on 9/29/19. This EP will be the first of a two-part set, with the second drop “…If You Believe It” coming shortly thereafter. Both will be streamable everywhere you get music.

After releasing a steady stream of demos and playing a year’s worth of punk and ska shows in the Pacific Northwest, the band created a two-part release filled with the definitive versions of these songs.

Featuring songs written by Tyler Rothe (Lead Vox/Guitar), the band’s focus is to combine elements of pop-punk, skate punk, ska, and punk rock while focusing on hooks and technical chops.

The Fauxriginals are playing regular shows in the PNW and have music videos available on YouTube. Music streaming everywhere you stream music.

For fans of: Less Than Jake, Blink-182, Descendents, Offspring, Green Day, and Queen.


RAM ONES – Real Tree Camo

This is the best cover art I’ve seen in some time.

Currently rocking to the crushing rhythms of Real Tree Camo, the new album by Cleveland hardcore quartet, RAM ONES. (The band name is comedy gold, btw.)

This brief bit of skullcrushamania brings about 10 tracks of what I would consider 90s style Hardcore. Reminiscent of early Jughead’s Revenge and mid-career M.O.D.

The guitar work vacillates between rapid and plodding with equal verve. Rhythm is rock solid, and the vocals, though gritty, are still intelligible. The tracks are brief. In essence, it checks all the boxes.

In the words of Billy Milano, Short, but sweet!

Check ‘em out on their Bandcamp page.

Cheers!

-Jerry Actually

BUFFET – All-American

Cover image curtesy of the Anacortes History Museum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

Support these lads:

Dick Turner: Vocals

Nick Rennis: Guitar

John Van Deusen: Bass

Braydn Kreuger: Drums    

Tracks:

1. Land 00:57

2. Too Many Things 01:50

3. Victim 01:01

4. IDKU 00:59

5. Big Bomb 01:27

6. Throne 04:01

7. My Favorite Things 01:35

8. 4 Brides For 4 Guys 00:49

9. DoHo 01:31

10. I Like To Shop 02:15

11. Family Dinner 05:41

12. NY Slice 01:30

13. All-American 03:44

14. That’s What Dick Says 02:14

The New Enemy – Illusion of Choice

Full speed ahead!

Frenzied fast paced, metallic punk rock from Toronto.

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

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

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

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

You can listen to and buy copies here:

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

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

Cheers!

-Jerry Actually

Tracks:

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

Shot Balowski – S/T

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

Bio:

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

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

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

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

Tef, Debbie, and Simon of Shot Balowski


We Know John – A Shot In The Dark

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Bio:

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

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

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

The Amalgamated – Premium Quality


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

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

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

About the album:

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

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

Above all, it’s fun album. Get some.

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

Brendan Kelly and The Wandering Birds – Keep Walkin’ Pal

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

Here is a picture of the album cover.

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

The album contains songs.

Here is another picture.

I think it’s a country album.

 

Here is some information:

Brendan Kelly and The Wandering Birds – 2018 Tour Dates:

10/28 – Gainesville, FL @ The Fest

12/1 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village

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

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

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

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

1/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Resident

1/19 – San Diego, CA @ Tower Bar

KEEP WALKIN’ PAL track listing:

01. Keep Walkin’ Pal

02. Shitty Margarita

03. Huggz

04. The Lies

05. Black Cat Boy

06. Up In Them Guts

07. Boardin’ USA!

08. The Ballad of Buffalo Bill

09. Bottle and Tray

10. I’m The Man