|Alberta Canada’s Trashed Ambulance has unveiled the new standalone single “Cyntax Error,” which follows on the heels of the band’s third LP, 2022’s critically celebrated ‘Future Considerations.’|
The single is a loving tribute to Thousand Islands Records label co-owner and label manager Cynthia Charpentier, in honor of her recent birthday. The band says, “When a great friend/mom-ager turns 40, you have to make sure she feels the love. This song is an ode to Cynthia for always kicking ass and taking names while being the best gal East of the Saskatchewan River!”
Stream “Cyntax Error” here: https://bfan.link/cyntax-error.
Cyntax Error Written by Josh Hauta, Jason Ezeard, and Riley Bourne Guitar/Vocals – Josh Hauta Bass/Vocals – Jason Ezeard Drum/Vocals – Riley Bourne Additional Vocals – Casey Lewis Recorded at Echo Base Studio in Calgary, Alberta Recorded, engineered, and produced by Casey Lewis. Mixed and mastered by Casey Lewis.
Inspired by the likes of Pulley, Face to Face, and The Flatliners, Trashed Ambulance continues to churn out gloriously angry yet hopeful punk anthems! Formed in 2014, Trashed Ambulance has survived a plethora of member changes and hangovers to continue forging ahead as a reputable option in the Central Alberta punk scene.
With a handful of EPs, LPs, CDs, and cassettes already under their belt, the boys hit Echo Base Studio in Calgary to work with Casey Lewis (Belvedere) on their most recent LP ‘Future Considerations.’ To date, the band has shared the stage with such punk juggernauts as Face to Face, Belvedere, Voodoo Glowskulls, The Real McKenzies, The Murderburgers, and Ten Foot Pole and have even made an appearance at Pouzza Fest – Montreal’s annual premiere punk fest.
The guys already have some Western Canadian tour dates lined up and plan on terrorizing as many pubs, curling rinks, and bowling alleys as they can play this year.
Bar Tape – S/T
If forced to make a wild guess about where and when this album was recorded after a blind listen, you might say somewhere in the Twin Cities around 1995. As it turns out, Bar Tape are currently a band from Dublin, Ireland, but consist entirely of ex-pats from the US. Perhaps because they don’t sound Irish at all, or because my raging ADHD didn’t allow me to digest the final 25% of their Bandcamp header “Bar Tape: Dublin, Ireland”, I assumed they were from Dublin, Ohio. I like to treat every review as a geographical learning opportunity, so I started reading up on the Columbus suburb while listening to these songs. It’s no longer relevant, but that’s where Wendy’s has its headquarters. The depths of Dublin, Ireland’s history is far too heavy to be trivialized by the opening paragraph in an online punk review, so we’ll leave that one alone too.
I’d be doing Bar Tape a disservice if I didn’t first talk about how excellent the band members’ punk names are. On vocals/guitar we have Cory Hotline, which is a reference to a golden age Simpsons episode that they also sample before one of the songs. On guitar we have Barry Tape. Classic. On drums/vocals we have Colin Sick, which has to be one of the greatest punk names of all time. Lastly, on bass/vocals we have Juvenile Delinquent, which strikes me as funny because there’s no effort in word play whatsoever.
I’d like to think there’s a fun story here as to why an American punk band moved to Ireland, but the only thing I could find about them aside from the music was a one question interview from Scene Point Blank. In it Cory Hotline says, “I figure if we were around 20 years ago, we’d be more popular. We’re still delighted with the reaction we’ve received from Irish punks/hardcore kids and rockers, despite the lack of local press.” It’s funny to think of this sound as retro now, but I guess it is, and I guess we’re all old. I read somewhere (there will be no footnotes, so please don’t look for them) once where Paddy from D4 talked about how his Ramones were Naked Raygun. That’s the type of pop punk we’re talking about here.
Any one of Sara Kirsch’s early 90s projects mixed together with Dillinger Four seems like a fair comparison, or maybe Sludgeworth meets Shang-A-Lang. Another old Minneapolis band Man Afraid also comes to mind. Like all those bands, Bar Tape makes sing along punk songs full of hooks that also manage to sound hard. The production is raw, but in a special way an old Ebullition 7″ with a photocopied sleeve is. I wouldn’t say anyone in the band knows how to sing, but nobody is over-fabricating a contrived punk voice to make up for it. The vocalists sound like Sarah Kirsch on those early Pinhead Gunpowder and Fuel records, which I love. Mix that together with the awesome rawness of Shang-A-Lang, the leads of Sludgeworth, and the power of Man Afraid, and you have yourself a record you should probably get your hands on.
Pre-order here: https://distrotable.com/products/bar-tape-s-t-lp
Video Premiere – Dead End Drive-in – Human Spirit.
Check out Human Spirit, off of “A Worthwhile Endeavour” the 2nd full-length by Vancouver BC punks, Dead End Drive-in, out January 13th 2023 on Early Onset Records
Record Release Show on January 28th 2023 at Red Gate Society.
The Amalgamated – True Tone
True Tone is the brand new album from San Diego, CA’s smooth Ska stars, The Amalgamated. Recorded at The After Hours Studio in Ramona, CA by Dub Robot (Brian Wallace). The band says, “We are very proud of the original songs we have written and it is mostly Ska with a few Sweet Rocksteady and Boss Reggae tunes.”
This release provides 12 tracks of, as mentioned, Ska performed by the 10-member ensemble. The sound is heavily influenced by 60s Ska and Jazz with Rocksteady and Reggae influences as well. Musicianship is top notch, as it really has to be to coordinate with that many band members. Vocal delivery is reminiscent of Dr. Ringding, or at times Ansis Purins of Skavoovie and the Epitones, and always smooth.
Standout tracks include “Is It Wrong” with its Dub style winding out the song, and the amazing horn lines on “Deal With It.”
I won’t belabor the point here. Do you like Traditional Ska? If you do, please do yourself a favor and check out True Tone, the latest release for The Amalgamated. You won’t be disappointed.
Formed in 2007 in San Diego, CA, The Amalgamated are an incredible live band that makes everyone dance to up-tempo beats and also get the audience into a groove with light reggae textures.
Hit The Dirt Release Lyric Video for Heart Social Chlamedia
Berlin skate punker’s Hit The Dirt have released a lyric video for their song “<3 Social Chlamedia”. The track appeared on their Six Pack EP that was released earlier this year via High End Denim Records.
The band had this to say about the song: “<3 Social Chlamedia is a song about how our phones, social media and the modern digital world in general has taken over our lives. From the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep, we are mostly addicted to this crazy digital world inside of our phones.”
Conditions Apply – Rage & Ignorance
I’m listening to Rage & Ignorance, the debut full-length by Montreal punk rockers Conditions Apply. 14 tracks of angry, snotty, riff heavy rock and roll. The band blends a lot of sub-genres into the mix: punk, hardcore, bits of metal. It’s worth your time to check this out.
It’s all you can really ask for in a punk rock record, short catchy songs, great guitar chug, driving rhythm, and vocal snarl that remains articulate. I am a fan, as always, of the trio format. I think it delivers the stripped down, concise nature that drives punk rock, at least the punk that I’m into.
I’ll keep this brief, but seriously check this band out, because Rage & Ignorance is a kick ass album.
1. Bulletproof Boots 02:09
2. Watching It All Crumble 01:26
3. Consolation Prize 02:41
4. Who’s The Victim 01:34
5. Carrot Meets Sticks 01:49
6. Sketchy Oi! 01:11
7. The Mad Dog 02:04
8. Time To Get Loose 02:36
9. Destroy My Quiet 01:29
10. Of Things 02:00
11. Small Print 01:33
12. Sentimental Fiction 01:52
13. 2 Words 1 Finger 02:00
14. Angry All The Time 01:49
Conditions Apply began in 2019. Playing a few shows before the world shut down, the three-piece have been making up for lost time by recording a debut full-length album, shooting a video and making a name for themselves as one of Montreal’s most exciting live punk bands.
Melding hardcore-punk with aspects of oi! and street-punk, adding melody and blistering guitar leads, Conditions Apply have taken different genres and created a sound all their own.
The members started playing and touring in the early 90’s in punk bands Lumpin Proletariat and All The Answers. They’ve continued making music throughout the 2000’s in such bands as Ballast, …And The Saga Continues, Mental Fix and Hard Charger.
After putting out their video single, Bulletproof Boots, Conditions Apply are set to release their debut album Rage & Ignorance on November 22, 2022.
Conditions Apply are raw, angry and passionate.
Sludgeworth Release Losers of the Year on Vinyl
SLUDGEWORTH, CHICAGO PUNK PIONEERS, TO RELEASE ’95 COMPILATION, LOSERS OF THE YEAR, ON VINYL FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME
|For the uninitiated, Sludgeworth are Chicago punk pioneers from the 1980’s that released a posthumous collection/discography album on Lookout Records back in the day — and it sold tens of thousands of copies, which was impressive for a defunct band. With members of Screeching Weasel, they had obvious leanings towards melodic punk, but they also had a quintessential Midwest sound mixed in with some post-punk. Think Naked Raygun and Fugazi.|
And now, for the first time ever, Red Scare Industries is releasing Sludgeworth’s first and only LP, Losers of the Year, on vinyl and streaming services. The CD/digital version is getting two previously unreleased tracks: “To Be The Same” and “Here For A While.”
The reissue also comes with live photos from back in the day and liner notes featuring contributions from Naked Raygun’s Jeff Pezzati, Rise Against’s Joe Principe, Mikey Erg, Dillinger Four’s Patrick Costello, and more. It comes out on Friday, December 9 (pre-order).
|“This has been in the works for well over 5 years. I know Dan (Sludgeworth singer) from The Methadones records we did. He gave me the green light, but it took ages to track down the audio for this. When I finally had the good sense to contact Chrisser (Appelgren, President/Owner of Lookout Records) he immediately wrote back that he had one last shoe box of tapes, but it was unlikely. Minutes later I got an email that was basically, ‘Ope, I’ll be damned, it’s in here!’ He overnighted me the DAT tape and that was the first promising sign! He’s one of the real heroes of this salvage project. Something else I found out: not easy to transfer a DAT tape these days! I know all sortsa fancy studios, but no one can keep a machine in working order because they’re impossible to maintain. And since THE VERY LAST copy of the master audio were in my hands, I wasn’t about to put it in the mail. Next stroke of luck was that I learned Arik from Creep Records still had a working machine and he hooked me up. He’s hero #2 in this tale! When we were transferring files he was like, ‘Damn, this is good!’ Yet another promising sign! Obviously the art was lost to the winds and there’s literally no band pic or promo shot, so Eric from Wall of Youth had his work cut out for him, but he pulled it off. The final package came out great: we got a buncha live shots and some blurbs from Sludgeworth’s contemporaries. Folks like Jeff from Naked Raygun, Joe from Rise Against, Mikey Erg, Patrick from Dillinger Four, etc. It took some time to cobble together, but I think people will be stoked to finally have a vinyl copy of this.” – Toby, Red Scare|
|1. Waste It Away|
4. Only One
5. Another Day
6. I Analyze
7. Never Say Never
9. Over And Over
10. She’s Not Disposable
11. Cry Baby
12. Nearest One To Stand Behind
13. Angry Man
14. Two Feet On The Ground
15. You And I
16. To Be The Same*
17. Here For A While*
*CD Only Bonus Tracks
Topsy Turvy’s Release “You Don’t Know”
French Punks Topsy Turvy’s Release “You Don’t Know” The Second Single Off Upcoming LP ‘It Can’t Be Easy’ Out January 13
Watch the video for No Surrender below.
CF98 – This is Fine
I’m always a little more interested in music when it’s happening in seasonally cold and unfashionable places, so I was pretty excited to receive the link for “This is Fine” and see that CF98 hail from Poland. Proto-punk legend Ian Hunter often spoke of the magic of these parts of the world after touring with Mott the Hoople in the 70s. He noticed that their weekday shows in central parts of Western continents were always packed out with people having a blast, whereas fans often appeared too cool to outwardly enjoy themselves during their more high profile gigs in London, New York, and LA. This was the inspiration for the song “Cleveland Rocks”, which was later covered by Presidents of the United States of America, and became the well known theme song for The Drew Carey Show. Ian referred to Ohio affectionately as “The Poland of America”, making the point that both places were relatively flat and knew how to party. I think what he was getting at was that rock and roll is better when it’s unpretentious and fun, which is something people from these locales are particularly adept at.
A little Discogs research shows that this is the band’s sixth full length, and that they’ve already been at it nearly 20 years. In every photo of them I’ve come across they appear to be making each other laugh, and genuinely look like old friends. They haven’t run out of ideas for great songs, however, and man are they tight! They have that flawless poppy technical precision that avoids sounding metallic, much like Chad Price era ALL. Albeit with an excellent female vocalist, CF98 sound like a cross between Rad Owl and Vanilla Pod, but comparisons could also be drawn to No Use For a Name in regards to how catchy these songs are. They wouldn’t be out of place stateside on Fat’s roster, or in the UK on Brassneck or Boss Tuneage, both in style and quality of the product.
The lead off track “Double Sunrise” is one of those songs that not only rips, but also self-references the band, touring, and how much they appreciate what they get to do together. I love songs that do this, much in the same way I enjoy reading autobiographies or watching documentaries about bands I’m interested in. Although on a smaller scale in a song, it gives the listener some buy-in with the characters involved, and ultimately makes you care more about what you’re hearing. Thematically it brings to mind “An Indie Rock Daydream” by Sicko, “Victory Lap” by Riverboat Gamblers, and probably like 50% of all the songs by Bouncing Souls. It’s a great song, and one that’s hard not to put on repeat.
Thankfully, the album doesn’t let up from there and gives us another 13 rippers over the course of the next half an hour. There really isn’t a skippable track on here, but some other favorites include “Catastrophist”, “Love Is Never Wrong”, and the album closer, “One Day At A Time”. I’d love to get my hands on a physical copy of this one, so here’s to hoping there’s some US distribution.
01 – Intro
02 – Double Sunrise
03 – She Doesn’t Like
04 – Catastrophist
05 – Plot Twist
06 – Clever
07 – Better Than Cocaine
08 – Love Is Never Wrong
09 – Sad But True
10 – I’m So Tired
11 – Fuck You
12 – Infinity Stones
13 – Get Old Nicely
14 – One Day At A Time
Celebration Summer – Patience In Presence
Celebration Summer hail from Washington DC and the name, one assumes, is a tip of the hat to Husker Du’s seminal “Celebrated Summer” and the Revolution Summer movement from their hometown. Both of which appear to have heavily influenced and helped shape their musical journey.
I was stoked to hear news of their forthcoming debut long player “Patience in Presence” and when the opportunity to review this one presented itself, I jumped at it. Even in this digital age it can still take what seems like an eternity for music to traverse the huge distance between the U.S. and Scotland, so being late to this particular party means their brilliant debut e.p. “Against the Gun” still features heavily in my current listening.
“Patience in Presence” is a rock-solid collection of eleven tracks that paint a picture of the challenges of living life through these troubled, divided and uncertain times post Trump and post pandemic. The album includes the two choicest cuts from the aforementioned debut e.p. and in this case that’s a good thing as those songs really warrant more attention. The fact that this album is being put out on A-F Records in the U.S should give the band a well-deserved opportunity to reach a much wider audience for this one, and boy do they deserve it. No disrespect to Shield who put out previous releases and are putting out the Album in Europe.
Musically, there are obvious similarities with Leatherface, Hot Water Music and Tiltwheel amongst others. The pounding rhythms, melodic bass lines, tight drumming, hooks a plenty and with subtle progression often eschewed in favour of a more angular style which is topped off with poignant lyrics that are times angst ridden, self-doubting, sensitive, full of raw emotion and politically charged and delivered with a fantastic gruff rasping vocal.
The album kicks off with the title track, the instruments announce themselves one by one and we hear the lyrics of someone feeling trapped and struggling to cope with the burden of a weight on their shoulders unsure when to act, when to stay or when to go. Next up is the more up-tempo “Disconnected” which reminds us of the new normal we lived through when the lifestyles we all took for granted were, at least temporarily, taken from us by a world-wide pandemic and how much we miss and rely on those contacts with family and friends.
Without letting up we reach my personal favourite, “Bitter End”. This song is about the challenges of trying to make a relationship work rather than giving up and the one that hooked me on first play with its infectious riffs, melodies and sing-a-long chorus, this is Celebration Summer at their absolute best.
The highlights on this album are many and another notable track is the more melancholy “The Listener” which wouldn’t be out of place with the latter-day Leatherface of The Last and The Stormy Petrel.
This is quite a long album with only one song coming in at under three minutes and the longest, “Against the Gun” clocking in at just over six minutes. It is six minutes well spent though as we hear how the singer perceives he is viewed by those in society and how that affects his own self esteem but how he won’t blink and back down from it. Is it paranoia or is it real and driven by the divisions in the world we live?
The Album closes out with an absolutely stellar cover of the Tiltwheel song “Hold my hand to make them go away”. I’m not usually a huge fan of cover versions however Celebration Summer have nailed a couple of notable covers now.
As huge Leatherface fan this style of music is always going to appeal to me so this album was always going to get a solid rating from me and this is a solid 8/10 and probably my favourite album of the year so far and I hope to see them over touring the UK on the back of this release.
1. Patience In Presence 4:05
2. Disconnected 3:20
3. Bitter End 3:17
4. Silly Me 3:33
5. The Listener 4:02
6. Fraud 2:34
7. Resin 3:00
8. Take My Love 3:17
9. Against The Gun 6:22
10. A Good Year to Forget 3:46
11. Hold My Hand to Make Them Go Away 4:25
Patience In Presence is due for release in the U.S. on A-F records later on this month with limited edition vinyl release in some lovely colours to follow mid-October. For those in Europe the vinyl on Shield Recordings has been delayed and is on pre-order for dispatch in December.
I’m off now to order my copy.