No time to mince words. We’re all starving for entertainment during the pandemic. So unjam your earholes and stuff some rock and roll into ‘em.
Now listening to “Cop Bait” by Sex Cuts, a lo-fi rager from Gothenburg Sweden’s Sex Cuts. This collection of six tracks of Apocolyptica will blast new and/or additional holes in your head.
Very garage, anti-music vibe going on. I dig the dissonance. Feels a bit like old Sonic Youth meets Rollins Band. It’s a raw release. Straight to cassette, which is cool I suppose for easy and cost effective media production. Thankfully there’s digital copies, because my cassette deck is fucked and I’d never hear it otherwise.
Cheers to Sex Cuts for a banger of an EP. Check them out at their Bandcamp site. Buy some shit. Support independent music!
Tracks: 1. Designer Thoughts 03:10 2. 1994:137 03:17 3. The Politics of Sinking 02:35 4. Chaos Rites 04:15 5. Cultural Sale 03:52 6. 52 Hertz 01:40
2020 was a crap year. It’s also another year where I couldn’t often find the motivation to write, or to do much of anything, really. Here’s to 2021 being a bit better. I don’t want to be too negative, but I’m not holding my breath.
As I didn’t really write much, the best album of the year honors were among limited choices. So with all due respect to anyone who got it together enough to produce material in 2020, cheers to you!
Here’s a quick shout out to Terminal City Rats with their new album, Year of the Rat. Hailing from Vancouver BC, these neighbors to the north have kicked out a solid punk rock record.
13 tracks of punk. largely in the vein of some of the crack rocksteady sounds of Leftover Crack, Star Fucking Hipsters, Morning Glory etc. Not a carbon copy, of course, but clearly going down that path.
It’s good, so give it a listen. You aren’t doing anything right now anyway.
Cheers! Jerry Actually
Tracks: 1. Intro 00:58 2. Year of the Rat 00:17 3. TCRA 01:11 4. Stand Proud 02:14 5. More than a Scene 01:32 6. Lion’s Roar 01:37 7. Never Surrender 02:00 8. The Struggle 01:53 9. Hastings 01:29 10. Stay Sharp 01:21 11. Here’s to You (Broken and Alone) 01:33 12. Queens 01:41 13. Wants and Needs 01:56
Bio: Started sometime in early 2018 by founding members, bassist and songwriter Jeremy Starcok and drummer Liam Ready, Terminal City Rats were just two new friends brought together by their mutual love for punk rock. The duo spent a couple of months jamming and composing ideas before guitarist Chris “Crash” Campbell (F’Neh / The Receptionists) joined. “I ran into Crash at a show and casually mentioned that I had started a new project when he pretty much informed me that he was going to be our guitar player”, recalls Jeremy. “He basically told me right there on the spot that he was coming to our next practice without me even asking.”
Having played together in the short lived Vancouver punk band Struck A Nerve years earlier, the two knew they shared some musical chemistry and common tastes. Eager to find a singer, the trio made a social media post in search of someone. Bed ridden and recovering from a nasty knee injury, Jameson Trenholm (Obscene Being) answered jokingly with “I’ll join your band”, not expecting anything to actually come of it. “…I had turned my knee into mashed potato. I somehow managed to hobble my broke self to a few jams where I was crowned the Singer”.
Now a four piece and the addition of a second songwriter in Jameson, the band spent the next few months crafting a collection of songs, three of which would be recorded on their debut self titled demo recorded at Rain City Recorders by Stu McKillop in the fall of 2018. For the next year or so, Terminal City Rats played a handful of shows at venues around Vancouver including the Have A Good Laugh festival and legendary local haunts such as the Alf house, Pub 340 and SBC. “Those were really fun shows and we played with some killer local and touring bands but when we started this band, it was always the plan to have two guitar players. Two differently styled players who complimented each other.” says Jeremy.
Enter Mandy Green (Frank Love) in August of 2019. “…having known Jameson through the Vancouver music scene, he said they were looking for a second guitarist and after hearing their fast, raw, high energy sound I said ‘I’m in.’” With the long time plan of being a 5 piece finally coming to fruition, the band set out to incorporate Mandy’s guitar playing into their set. More shows followed including a sold out night at the Cambie in downtown Vancouver playing with some of Vancouver’s finest in Space Chimp, Alien Boys, Chain Whip and The Vicious Cycles. Riding the high of that night, the band again decided to enter the studio to record the follow up to their first release.
Whilst practicing and preparing to record, the Covid-19 pandemic hit, essentially halting the band’s ability to get together and jam. Months passed, during which time founding member Liam decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of Terminal City Rats and left to focus on other areas of his life. The band, now without a drummer and quickly approaching studio time, started to consider cancelling their scheduled recording session. As some of the pandemic restrictions started to be lifted, the band was able to begin jamming again but was still without a drummer.
Through friendship and connections in the local community, Jameson approached drummer Marco Bieri (Space Chimp, ATD, The Dreadnoughts) about the possibility of helping the band in the studio. With his various projects also on hold due to the pandemic and itching to play, Marco welcomed the opportunity. Learning 5 songs in only a few practices, the band entered Rain City Recorders for two days in June 2020 again with Stu McKillop at the helm. With the reinvigorated energy of a new drummer in addition to the results of that session, Marco asked “Why not do a full length album?” 8 more songs and two weeks later, Terminal City Rats returned to the studio to finish their debut full length album “The Year of the Rat”.
Listening to Gibberish, the recently released album from Lafayette, Louisiana punk band, Subliminal Landmines. 12 tracks of bouncy, mid-tempo, rock and roll songs, with enough grit and sneer to take the more poppy edges off, and keep it just dangerous enough to not drift into pure rock territory. The sound is defiantly out of garageland, and totally suits the band. Three piece, three chords, 1. 2. 3. Go!
Everything reminds me of everything these days, but Subliminal Landmines has a vocal style that is similar to something, but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s good and it’s cool, so there’s that at any rate. Maybe I’m wrong, but as I’ve continued listening, the vocals kind of strike me as being like psychobilly/rockabilly act The Blackjakits. I dunno maybe I’m nuts.
I’ve half listened to the Gibberish a couple times now and it is growing on me with each successive run. The album as a whole sounds great and is entirely listenable, however standout Track six, Crutch, comes out of the gate like a Cheap Trick number. The intro really hooks in, and it’s totally a song about lost friendship, and about the things that you do to get by. Great stuff musically and lyrically.
The songs speak of loss, lament, drugs illicit or otherwise, and the type of soul searching that comes along with life on an isolated and often bleak planet. The effect is cathartic though. It helps to diffuse the pain of living.
From Crutch: “Staring at the ceiling while thinking bout way too much Having trouble standing without you as my crutch”
Bonus Green Day cover at the end, which I suppose puts a finer point on the sound and spirit Subliminal Landmines are trying to capture.
There’s a bunch of links below if you’d like to check them out. I think that perhaps you should.
Cheers! Jerry Actually
Tracks: 1. Criticized 02:13 2. Where’s My Coke? 03:54 3. Room for 3 02:36 4. She May Be 03:01 5. I’m Okay 02:53 6. Crutch 03:17 7. Suit Up 05:09 8. Target (Twenty-20) 02:59 9. I Love You a Camel 02:45 10. Ungrateful 01:48 11. Losing Heartbeats 03:16 12. Brain Stew / Jaded 04:30
Bio: Taking form in 2017, Subliminal Landmines exploded onto the South Louisiana Music scene with their energetic punk. Influenced by the grimey dive bars, garages, and smoke stained lungs of their youth, Subliminal Landmines released their debut EP “Captivity” which was received with open arms. Currently writing their first full length album to be called “Gibberish” which is set to release in the fall of 2020
Members: Grant Duhon: Vocals and Guitar Chris Hayes: Vocals and Bass Lee Gauthreaux: Drums
I’ve been pretty uninspired for a few months now. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was pretty upbeat. Working from home, being creative, and generally enjoying things to the fullest extent possible with the obvious restrictions. As spring drifted, summer languished, somehow we careened straight into fall. With that passage of time I have become a bit despondent. Colors have dulled. Highlights and lows have all reached their eventual entropy. Sometimes though, every now and again, you get a little bit of a boost.
Today’s boost arrived in the form of a brand new album from San Francisco’s Get Dead. “Dancing With The Curse” is out on October 9th, on the now venerable Fat Wreck Chords. What can I say, it’s a cathartic delight.
We were given a teaser of the album at the end of summer, via video for the intro track Disruption, a syncopated punk/rap number. The lead track segues into the remaining 11 tracks in a seamless fashion. The tracks move in and out of tempos from the fast-slow-fast-faster-slow-slower-fast-faster-slow keeping the sound swirling around in your gray matter.
Elements of folk, rap, ska, and reggae flavor the tracks and the band’s punk rock DNA. It makes for a lively album, one which repaves well worn ground with fresh new layers. It’s good stuff. It’s dynamic. You know what I’m saying?
Things, of course, are delivered in a patently dark fashion, tonally, but especially lyrically. That’s what keeps us coming back, right? Take some lines from track 4: Stickup
Did you really think You could start again This place is collapsing Hordes of incontrollable bastards They are coming for you It feels like this place is cursed So do your worst We are all going down
It’s not the sort of thing that engenders a lot of hope, not in a traditional way at least. There’s a certain comfort in knowing that you’re doomed, and it’s always nice to have a soundtrack to that feeling.
But, you know, there is hope. From track 7: Hard Times
Trouble breathing? Feel like something’s wrong? Have you felt like It’s been like this for too long? Is your heart beating? Can you hear this song? Then everything is okay
Maybe there will be better days? I know it made my day better.
Here’s the deal, there’s a new album by Get Dead and it’s the shit, as the kids used to say.
Cheers! Jerry Actually
There aren’t a lot of bands like Get Dead around these days. Instead of worrying about gimmicks and trends, this fivesome from San Francisco, California have always focused on the music and that’s evident with every passion-filled note they play. Get Dead started out performing together in 2007 after their respective bands called it quits and eventually attracted the attention of NOFX frontman Fat Mike who produced the band’s first full-length, “Bad News”, as well as their new full-length, “Honesty Lives Elsewhere”, and released both records on his label Fat Wreck Chords.
We are living in a fucked up world, engulfed in chaos. Everything is fucking broken. Occasionally though, a small burst of joy breaks through. One such joy is unsolicited albums arriving at my door.
The new album, In Transit by New York trio, Quaker Wedding landed on my doorstep, predicated on the assumption that “Upstarter” generally digs The Lawrence Arms. That assumption has shown to be true, because “Upstarter” digs the hell out of Quaker Wedding.
Anyone that’s been here for a few know that I am a bit partial to the punk trio format. I like the rawness it often creates. It has more guts; seems more real. In Transit is no exception.
Gruff, exasperated, and emotive vocals are draped over chunky 4:4 punk rock riffs. The tracks, though clearly forged in punk rock, are delivered in an ethereal, dreamlike manner. Flitting and drifting from one angsty bit to the next. In another world, this album would be emo, and I’m totally alright with that.
Quaker Wedding’s In Transit has got it where it counts, right in the guts. A fine recording, for your listening pleasure. My only lament, I suppose, is that this album needs to be longer.
For fans of: The Lawrence Arms, American Steel, Hot Water Music, Soul Asylum, Things that are filled with angst.
1. Sinking Ship 01:19 2. Dark Thoughts II 02:56 3. Jilted Lover 03:56 4. Wrecking Ball 03:50 5. Vermont 03:56 6. Sleep 01:48 7. Aching 00:53 8. Knowing Smile 03:12 9. Searching 03:32 10. On An Island 07:29
I was in the mood for something a little more brutal today, and well, I guess I’m in luck. I’m listening to the new split with Deconvolution and Voidcrawler; Four tracks of pure fucking onlsaught!
The EP opens with blistering metal as Deconvolution belts out “Sanctimonious”. A track lodged between some seriously dark metal, and later era Hardcore. Razor vocals, but not screamo, inserted into a crushing metal cacophony of bass, guitar, and drums.
Track two, “Guillotine” introduces itself at a slightly slower pace, only to accelerate into Slayer speeds. It owes as much to 80s Thrash as it does to 90s Death metal.
Track three brings us into Voidcrawler territory. “Certain Fatality” offers further sonic assault. Relentless chugging riffs and an angry growl grip you straight by the throat. The song winds down with what I can only describe as death by weed wacker.
The final track “Torment” bursts at the seams with unbridled anguish, the very torment the title invokes. Extreme metal solos lace the tracks and neatly sew up its bone crushing grind.
A brief, yet brutal split from bands who, if they haven’t been, would be right at home at Wacken Open Air. (During some better year, when music festivals return)
1 Deconvolution- Sanctimonious
2 Deconvolution- Guillotine
3 Voidcrawler- Certain Fatality
4 Voidcrawler- Torment
Blindsided Records’ 4th release is about to be unleashed into the world. A 7” vinyl record featuring Voidcrawler (NL) & Deconvolution (CH), each taking up one side of the wax. Having played together several times the combination was a slamdunk as the music from both outfits complement each other perfectly. The riff filled record will drop both digitally and physically on 7” vinyl on June 12th, 2020.
DECONVOLUTION will kick off the record with raw hardcore combined with juicy thrash metal riffs. The Swiss band, hailing from Solothurn, has been working hard since 2015 and released their first EP ‘Fool’s Path’ in 2017. Sharing the stage with major hardcore bands Terror, Broken Teeth, Hawser and Expire to name a few, they gained momentum in the European hardcore scene. A promo cassette was released in 2019 and Blindsided Records is more than proud to feature them on this record.
On ‘Sanctimonious’ the band talks about the annihilation of our world, two faced politicians and the destruction of the environment. ‘Guillotine’ is about a group of people suffering and rising up against their leader through violent means. It’s easy to draw parallels with certain US leaders as the symbolic monarch, especially in these trying times.
Side two is occupied by the most terrifying band in the Netherlands, VOIDCRAWLER. In just two years the Dutch band have already played shows all over Europe and released their acclaimed EP ‘Maddening Descent’ last year. The band produces an unique blend of extremely angry metal and hardcore. Lyrically frontman Lennart explores similar themes as DECONVOLUTION, for example he imagines the end of the world on ‘Certain Fatality’.
A quick and dirty one for Indecent Exposure, the debut full-length from Kansas City based Broken Trojan. 16 spankin’ tracks from the BBQ ravaged, storm-addled hellscape of the midwest.
The sound is definitely old school, a defiant low-fi, wash of sound, with gruff, but not growling vocals. Crunchy distorted riffs, with rumble bass, and popping drums. Guitar solos are sometimes tinny and dissonant, yet oddly compelling.
Tracks hover slightly in the power ballad territory of the two and a half minute average, but tempo changes help to keep things fresh and keep your attention. The style is an eclectic blend of punk and sludge with a smattering of other styles, e.g. some darker ska-esque sounds on Track 5. “Modern Day Slavery” and Track 12. “Fuck Boy”. Lyrics across the album are in both English and Spanish, depending on track, adding to the dynamic style blend.
Personal favorite part is likely the spongy/springy bass intro on Track 10. “Parasitic Memories”. Favorite track is: 15. “Rot”.
All and all Indecent Exposure is a solid if mildly perverted romp through the raw sounds of Kansas City’s Broken Trojan.
1. Indecent Exposure 03:36
2. Grimace the Menace 01:48
3. Bonafide 02:05
4. Triggered 02:41
5. Modern Day Slavery 02:45
6. Necio y Travieso 02:14
7. What Comes Around 02:16
8. Shattered Sexpectations 02:31
9. Mindfuck 02:46
10. Parasitic Memories 02:01
11. Bruce Jenner 02:37
12. Fuck Boy 02:19
13. Me Too 02:53
14. Me Vale Madre 02:28
15. Rot 02:38
16. Serial Cheater 03:06
BrokenTrojan were formed in Kansas City, Missouri in 2017 by former members of Blindfolded Hero; A unique style of punk rock with a variety of punk related influences. The band was formed after being introduced to a Vermonter neophyte whose gothic metal influences immediately meshed with the BrokenTrojan “straight-up, no bullshit.” attitude.
The Elected Officials are back with a blistering punk rock political salvo. Death For Sale is aimed squarely at the fucked up status quo.
The band hails from Austin, TX and Santa Fe, NM collectively. From what I can tell, this group is not fucking around. They want you to be quite aware how pissed off they are at a broken system. Musically, their full force punk rawk assault is very much in your face. The intensity like a mountain of Texas fire ants relocated to your crotch.
The production has a very “live” feel I guess, as in I think what you hear is pretty close to what you get. I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing them in person, so I could be way off.
If you feel like you’re slipping and you need a wakeup call to pull your head out of your own ass, grab yourself a copy of Death For Sale and fucking crank it up loud!
For fans of: MDC, Dead Kennedys, L7, DRI
Death For Sale
Times Like These
Marriage Made In Hell
Jay Riff Raff: Guitar
The Elected Officials have toured over 20 countries and continue to produce irate, informed, and insightful hardcore reminiscent of the early days of the genre. Plus, the band is involved in the creation of a new record label, Grimace Records, which is dedicated to donating a large percentage of proceeds to various social justice causes. The new global compilation they are releasing will benefit the #nokidsincages campaign, which fights brutal immigration laws imposed by Trump and his gang, and will feature awe-inspiring bands from around the world who mean to fight for justice and equality in the world of tumult and repressive governments.
“One of the many deep dark secrets this country has is that we sell more guns and buy more drugs than anywhere else. In a nation where everyone could be fed and happy, our culture is so stressful in pushing us to be productive, consume, and conform that nearly 20% of Americans are on psych meds, and Americans are 25 times more likely to die from gun violence than other developed nations. This is a sign of something wrong in our culture,” vocalist Sophie Rousmaniere asserts from stage. Recently, she has joined hardcore-punk legends Millions of Dead Cops for numerous tours as a co-vocalist alongside Dave Dictor, a political punk icon known for pushing critical issues across the globe. The bands toured together and registered people to vote on an East Coast route that engaged punk voters.”
I flipping love getting mystery vinyl in the mail. Especially right now when I can leave the house. Last week I was blessed with a copy of MethMatics self-titled release. Super cool!
The Columbus, OH quintet brings their brand of rock and roll with an old school 70’s glam vibe, Dolls, Stooges, Dead Boys, Cheap Trick etc. but they also remind me of another Columbus band, The Newbomb Turks. They are definitely energetic. Maybe they’re too energetic if you catch my drift. 😉 … or possibly their name is a play on words. You gotta roll your own dice on that one friend.
The album is oozing with sludge from a thunderous rhythm section and dripping with sex of sultry vocals and wailing guitar. It’s not all David Johanson trying to mind-hump you though. The political leanings of track 7. Dear Leader is juxtaposed with the more 50s crooning of track 9. Precious Love. There’s a critical punk urgency to like track 4. You Bring Me Down, and the straight up rock and roll of track 6. Have A Nice Day.
It’s a good mix of style and theme and overall, a fine piece of debut release from an animated Ohio punk/rock/metal/glam band.