Get Dead – Dancing With The Curse

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   

Tracks:

  1. Disruption
  2. Nickel Plated
  3. Fire Sale
  4. Stickup
  5. Glitch
  6. Confrontation
  7. Hard Times
  8. 8 Track
  9. Green’s Girl
  10. Pepperspray
  11. Confidence Game
  12. Take It

Bio:

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.

Quaker Weddings – In Transit

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.  

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

Tracks:

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

Split – Voidcrawler & Deconvolution

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. 

Photo by Reikon Devore

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) 

Tracks:

1 Deconvolution- Sanctimonious

2 Deconvolution- Guillotine

3 Voidcrawler- Certain Fatality

4 Voidcrawler- Torment

Press Release:

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’.

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Broken Trojan – Indecent Exposure

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.

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

Tracks:

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

Bio:

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 – Death For Sale

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

Tracks:

  1. Death For Sale
  2. Fallout
  3. Determination
  4. Battle Inside
  5. Times Like These
  6. Water War
  7. Derrumbando
  8. Marriage Made In Hell
  9. Slaving Away 

Members:

Sophie: Vox

Jay Riff Raff: Guitar

Brian: Bass

Shane: Drums

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.”

MethMatics

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.

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

Tracks:

1. I’m A Good Boy 02:29

2. Vacation 03:33

3. Let Me Let You Down 03:05

4. You Bring Me Down 01:52

5. All The Time 02:24

6. Have A Nice Day 02:26

7. Russian Bride 02:43

8. Dear Leader 02:54

9. Precious Love 02:38

10. Submoron 02:10

11. Vicious Lie 01:58

12. Love Somebody 03:58

13. Falling Apart 01:51

The Fauxriginals – … If You Believe It

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.

Cheers and stay safe!

-Jerry Actually

The Bolsheviks – Live Recordings

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)

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The band still has the rock and roll core that I spoke of in the previous review, but this time they’re pitching woo to a live crowd.

Go check out the tracks and when all this blows over, hopefully there’ll be a new studio recording to look forward to.

Tracks:

  1. Land of the Giants
  2. Perpetual Distortion

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

COVID​-​CORE 2020: Hardcore Anthems to Quarantine Yourself to

So many of us are feeling the same. We’re on softcore lock down. We watched all the porn. What the fuck are we going to do now? We’re going to make some music, muchacho!

Nick Leonard has done this very thing with his new Corona Virus themed EP, COVID​-​CORE 2020: Hardcore Anthems to Quarantine Yourself to. Four tracks of self-recorded, self-produced punk rock about this brave new stupid world we’re living in.

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.

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

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.”

Tracks:

  1. Self-Quarantined 01:56
  2. Viral Strain 02:09
  3. Kombucha Kills the Plague 01:09
  4. Toilet Paper is my Business… 03:16

Duck & Cover – Two Shots

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.

Tracks:

1. Two Shots

2. Bleeding Edge

3. Unlucky 17