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.
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.
Got another banger here from PDX Punk-Ska-Rockers, the Fauxriginals. …If You Believe It is out today and you’re locked down with nothing better to do, so listen to this and buy a copy or something.
The new EP drops eight fresh tracks of well polished pop punk with ska hooks and a great rock and roll swagger. Aside from previous mentions to Orangetree, this new release kinda reminds me a bit of Johnny Socko, and that ain’t a bad thing, kids.
The songs run the gamut of the laments of not being “Punk Enough” to the spiritual lifestyle coaching of “Beeritual Advisor” A strong range if you ask me. Tracks are largely rapid paced interspersed with more pedestrian speeds on tracks such as “Spelling Lessons”
Everything has a solid polish to it, musicianship and recording are full on quality, nothing to report by goodness there. If you enjoy pop punk that straddles the late tail of 3rd Wave Ska, then this is totally up your alley.
A bit over a decade ago I reviewed a release from UK band, The Bolsheviks. Action Reaction was a great release, and I had wondered what became of the band. It turns out the band sort of imploded shortly after the release and they called it quits.
Fast forward to the current apocalypse.
The band decided to give it another go, and once again things happen. This time though, it was the entirety of society that shit the bed. Right in the midst of working on a new album, everyone civilized got put on lockdown.
You can’t keep a good band down though, and the Bolsheviks have released a two song live EP (available wherever you stream anything)
The tracks are all in the hardcore punk vein to a greater degree. Track four “Toilet Paper is my Business” drifts perhaps a bit more into Zappa-esque territory.
Overall a fun bit of distraction from being locked in the house and banging your head on the floor.
As Nick says, “I’m stuck inside writing music during the great Corona Virus World Shutdown Party 2020! What else am I gonna do? Just because you’re all alone doesn’t mean you can’t have a little throwdown. Break out your best mosh pit moves, you could probably use some aerobics right now.”
Ever find yourself missing a band from the past and serendipitously stumbling into them, or an iteration of the sound you missed, some time in the future?
Well biggity bam, fam, here I am.
I got an email a couple weeks ago about a new 7” from Duck & Cover. The name of the band didn’t ring a bell at all, but as I started listening, there was a familiarity that couldn’t be missed. A quick scan of the sidebar revealed “(ex/current The Coffin Lids, The Acro-brats, Bang Camaro, Black Cheers, Vampire Lezbos, The Throwaways, The Drags, Wild Zero…)”
I want to digress a bit here to say that anyone currently aged 15 – 80 is very likely also a ex/current member of Bang Camaro, it’s just one of those things.
Anyway, I’ve long enjoyed The Acro-brats, specifically. This is documented by the long since faded sticker on my car. It’s nice to hear some new material with a familiar sound.
I don’t want to detract from Duck & Cover with my nostalgic opine, however. The band and their new 7” Two Shots have merit on their own.
Three tracks of bouncy rock and roll, with a bit of a post new wave vibe about it. It’s like what an alternate 80s timeline could have been if hair metal never took to the high seas and bomb-blasted us all with their Hollywood sleaze.
I suppose this all distills down to where I tell you what you get. Well, what you get is a solid rock and roll band, tempered by punk and new wave of yesteryear. The culmination of that is a damn fine 7” record.
In December 2019, Fat Mike dropped a list of albums that were coming out in 2020. One of them was The Suicide Machines, and today we finally get to unveil the details! Their debut FAT full-length, Revolution Spring, streets on March 27th, and is available for pre-order now! What’s
more, this new album is filled to the brim with blistering, rousing
songs that combine hardcore, ska, and anthemic punk rock. Recorded in
“about 12 days” at Rancho Recordo, and produced by Less Than Jake’s bassist Roger Lima, you can get your first contagious kiss of their lead track, “Awkward Always,” below.
Vocalist, Jason Navarro, had this to share about joining the FAT family: We
all felt we wrote such a good record that there could be no home for us
other than FAT. It’s an honor to be in the DIY house they built and be
included with so many Legendary bands. Feels like we are finally home.
Photo: Mark Marfa Capodanno It was in 2006 that Detroit punks The Suicide Machines called it a day after 15 years and six full-throttle, super-charged and confrontational albums. The break didn’t last too long – in 2009, the four-piece crew reconvened to play the occasional local shows and embarked on some even less frequent tours. There was no sign of new material – until now!
Revolution Spring, the band’s seventh album, and first new material since 2005’s War Profiteering Is Killing Us All, will be released March 27th, 2020. What’s more, this new album full of blistering, rousing songs finds the band on truly explosive and energetic form. So why now you may ask? “Everyone just kind of got inspired,” chuckles vocalist Jason Navarro, about the band’s decision to begin making music again. “That’s all. I think we were watching all these other bands ride a wave of nostalgia and we didn’t want to be lumped into that, so we started writing a couple of songs and it went from there.”
Over the course of a couple of years, the band – completed by drummer Ryan Vandeberghe, bassist Rich Tschirhart and guitarist Justin Malek (who is also the drummer in Navarro’s post Suicide Machines outfit Hellmouth) – wrote a total 30 songs. With the help of both Less Than Jake’s bassist Roger Lima, who produced Revolution Spring, and The Code’s frontman Marc Code, who is their longtime friend and now manager, The Suicide Machines whittled those 30 songs down to the 16 that make up this record. While on the one hand, these songs serve as an overview of the band’s career and the different permutations of punk they’ve dabbled in over the years, it also possess the energy, spontaneity and enthusiasm of a band many years their junior – albeit with the wisdom that comes from being alive for a few decades.
Recorded in “about 12 days” at Rancho Recordo – the studio run by Marc Jacob Hudson, who also plays bass for Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers – Revolution Spring is a powerful and cohesive combination of hardcore, ska and anthemic punk rock. That, says Navarro, was all fueled by “Awkward Always”, “Black Tar Halo” and “Impossible Possibilities”, the first three songs that the band wrote, all of which made the cut for the record. “We did those three right off the bat,” says Navarro, “and we were like ‘Wow, these are better than most of the songs Suicide Machines have ever written in any form. That was the start of the spark. It was a long process after that because we were very picky about it, because we wanted to put out the record we wanted to put out and nothing else.”
While Revolution Spring harnesses the belligerent energy that has defined The Suicide Machines since their inception, there are, Navarro says, two marked differences this time around. The first is that these songs are particularly personal.
“This album is legitimately pretty autobiographical,” he says. “A lot of it is very personal – about how I am and where I am now and how I got where I am now mentally. I kind of wanted to leave my children with an understanding of who I am as an older person. Maybe years from now when I’ve passed away, they can pick up the record and look at the lyrics and listen to it and, if they didn’t already know exactly, go ‘Okay, so this is what dad is about.’” The personal component is especially obvious on “Trapped in A Bomb”, a poignant ode to a close friend Navarro lost to suicide that made the singer open up lyrically, perhaps more than he ever had before.
“I completely burst into tears the first time I had to sing that one,” he admits. “It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to sing. I’ve definitely tried to kill myself, but my friend did it. He called me, and an hour later he was dead. This is me saying ‘I’ve made it to this point, and I wish you could have, too.’”
The second overriding difference on this album is the (relatively) newfound optimism possessed by the singer. He started becoming aware of this when he made Oblivion, Hellmouth’s 2016 third full-length. “You wouldn’t think this would be the case with the way the world is looking now,” he admits, “but I’ve become a lot more positive about things. And I stopped pointing fingers and started doing things instead – I feed the homeless a couple of times a week with a bunch of friends of mine, I’ve protested against ICE here in Detroit, I’ve done things locally like water drives for Flint – and I feel like doing these things has created more positivity in my head, whereas before I was being pissed off and not doing anything.”
That’s not to say The Suicide Machines aren’t pissed off on this record, let’s be clear on that point. Opener “Bully In Blue” is a breakneck anthem that rallies against police brutality; the jaunty, ska-punk tones of “Babylon of Ours” overlay a harsh indictment of capitalism and American imperialism, and “Flint Hostage Crisis” is a brutal takedown that addresses the lack of clean water in that city – and the fact that nothing has been done to address it. ‘This is what class war really looks like’ snarls Navarro viciously at the end of the brief, belligerent track. Still, he insists, he’s just writing about things close to him, and that he stopped far short of where he otherwise would have done in the past.
“I’m from here,” he says, “so I feel like it’s something we know. My best friend works for the water department there. He’s sold merch for us, so I know a lot about it. I didn’t say ‘Hey, we should hang our governor and kill him’, whereas, maybe 10 years ago I would have. I’m just saying that this is fucked, and this is how these things work and if you think that’s a surprise, it’s not.”
Yet despite all that, and despite the messed-up world these songs reflect so well… and despite this record’s provocative, insurrectionary title – Revolution Spring, is not, first and foremost, a political record. Although it reasserts The Suicide Machines as one of the most formidable and relevant punk bands around, more importantly for Navarro, it documents his personal growth as a human being and where he is at this very moment in time.
“It represents the change inside of me,” he explains. “People might think it’s political, but really it’s me thinking about springtime as rebirth. There’s change inside of me at 46 years old that’s strangely positive somehow. That’s not something I ever expected, because I’ve been a pretty angry person. And I think the other guys are in the same boat. But I could be dead tomorrow – and I’d be absolutely alright with leaving the world with this record.”
Old and new fans alike will find Revolution Spring an energetic homage to the band’s past anthemic, hardcore, ska-punk roots, mixed with the newfound optimism and raw personal life experiences of the band. It’s good to have them back.
Revolution Spring track listing:
1 Bully in Blue 2 Awkward Always 3 Babylon of Ours 4 Flint Hostage Crisis 5 To Play Caesar (Is to Be Stabbed to Death) 6 Trapped in a Bomb 7 Detroit Is the New Miami 8 Eternal Contrarian 9 Well Whiskey Wishes 10 Black Tar Halo 11 Empty Time 12 Impossible Possibilities 13 Potter’s Song 14 Simple 15 Anarchist Wedding 16 Cheers to Ya
The Suicide Machines Tour Dates:
28 Mar in McKees Rocks, PA, US @ Roxian Theatre w/ Anti-Flag 04 Apr in Atlantic City, NJ, US @ Atlantic City Beer Festival 09 May in Wels, Austria @ Sbam Fest 2020 23 May in Leeds, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival North 24 May in Hatfield, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival South