JAYA THE CAT – ‘FAKE CARRERAS’

Originating from Boston and currently based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Jaya The Cat are one of the premiere bands on the European live circuit.
The quartet, who coin their style as “Drunk Reggae Punk” have shared the new video for ‘Fake Carreras’, taken from the 2012 album, ‘The New International Sound Of Hedonism’.
Speaking on the video, vocalist Geoff Lagadec says, “So, we took a little time off from working on our new album to make this sweet tour video for ‘Fake Carreras’. We hope you love it as much as we love you!

The Welch Boys – Bring Back The Fight

© 2013

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Welch-Boys-BBTF-coverThe Welch Boys are indeed bringing back the fight. Hand’s down my favorite release so far this year brings back these Boston stalwarts. I haven’t taken much time to write as of late, but I felt I owed it to you to tell you about this. If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m talking about “Bring Back The Fight”, the brand new album from The Welch Boys. Grit, vitriol, and punk rock are all well intact in the new one. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This time around, the tunes bring a whole new level of polish. Not that things were shabby before, but time, and time well spent, bring about the next level of songcraft. It’s fucking here. It’s fucking now. It lets you realize that hardcore punk rock and roll is still alive!

Slight aside, but I’m a little bit concerned that The Welch Boys are so poorly represented here on the left coast, and hopefully my little bit of lip service will help to remedy that. Maybe it’s California where the sun never sets and it never gets cold where folks just don’t appreciate anthems of angst, hardship, and hope? I don’t know. Maybe I have an east coast soul that draws me to the aforementioned. No matter what it is, this is the real deal.

I’ll quit boring you with my gushing. At the end of the of a hard working day, what more do you need than a fist full of beers and a new album to ease you back into the world of the living?

–Jerry Actually

Dead Ellington – Refuse

© 2012 Dead Ellington

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Refuse is the 3rd release from Boston’s Dead Ellington and the first EP in a three part series. Recorded at Little Eden Studios, Asbury Park, NJ with Pete Steinkopf (of Bouncing Souls), the EP delivers 5 solid punk rock tracks.

The recording, upon listening, is obviously punk rock, but there is definitely an emo-ish feel to it in both the vocals and the tempo downturns on the majority of the tracks. As well, there is a very 80’s poppy feel on the closer, “Miracle”. I’m thinking Plimsouls maybe, but what do I know? I’m not familiar with previous material from the band, so I can’t suggest that this is normal for them or otherwise. Either way, it isn’t my cup of tea, but not an unpleasant experience either.

Lyrically, the band brings a very positive message. To wit, from track three, “Network”, “There ain’t no power like the power of people, ‘cause the power of people don’t stop.” I think the band sums up their message well from their website with these words: ‘Refuse, Rethink, Rebuild is a new way of thinking. It is about looking at the reality of ones surroundings and creating something new. It’s all about refusing the present, rethinking the future, and rebuilding the past. “It’s a way of life not just music, it’s our manifesto, embracing the D.I.Y scene from street art to punk rock.”’

So, in the end, heartfelt punk rock, coming at ya straight outta Boston; Support your local scene and pick up a copy for yourself and/or your mother. You can find out more here: http://www.deadellington.com

–Jerry Actually

Flatout Jones – Closed Doors and Weird Situations

©2010 Flatout Jones

A. I love punk rock.
B. I love skapunk.
C. I love comedic overtones (and undertones)

Flatout Jones provides all of the above.

Consider this: the more punk side of Less Than Jake and the ska side of the Suicide Machines; add those together, recalibrate to those settings, set the dial a bit more towards punk rock, plant tongue firmly in cheek and I think you’ll get a decent idea of what I’m picking up from Flatout Jones.

Once again I’m faced with some music outta Mass that sounds badass. Closed Doors and Weird Situations from Boston quartet Flatout Jones has it where it counts. (See the above list)

In a nutshell you’ve got a punk rock band that isn’t afraid to bring the ska and interject an ample amount of humor into the tracks. Don’t, however, let the idea of humor scare you off, ya know if you’re a totally serious jackhole that can’t for a second let down your guard and everything has to be toughguy or die. … you know who you are. I like party songs. So sue me.

The intro track/song makes me think of Killface, that muscular talon-footed fella from Frisky Dingo, Not so much from direction more from intonation and intent. For my money you don’t get better sarcastic humor than that. I digress. You’ll probably want to know a bit more about the music contained on said release.

Certainly the band offers bang for the buck. 17, count ‘em, 17 tracks contained on one release. If you we’re to compare that to, oh say The Decline from NOFX, you’d have 16 more tracks. Beat that! Really though, the tracks rip, they’re played well and the mix of mostly punk with the occasional ska break doesn’t disappoint. (Assuming that sort of thing doesn’t disappoint you.)
If you wanna hear a bit for yourself, you can check the band out here in their online cemetery/museum: http://www.myspace.com/flatoutjones

Step 1. Listen
Step 2. Rock

–Jerry Actually

Getting to know Blue Collar Convicts


Getting to know Blue Collar Convicts:

Where are you from and when did you get started?

Keith: Where to even start? Blue Collar Convicts got started back in 2002 (I think) up in Pepperell, MA. I’m only going by copyright paperwork and it seems we started more presently than the dates the paper work reveal anyway. Most bands get rolling with a focus on something, but in this case BCC was supposed to be a side-project and nothing more. I was playing in a band with two biological brothers that hired me to play bass for them on a studio project. Somewhere during pre-production for our sophomore effort I decided I needed a break to record some of the material I’d been writing for a few years. Gratefully the brothers were willing to learn and rehearse the stuff I’d created. We rehearsed for two months and hit the studio. The sessions were brutal at first. Too much arguing and alcohol consumption left some songs far from completion. Overall the 5-song EP that came out of it received great critical acclaim nationwide but because of the bickering I finished the album with only myself and Dave Minehan (“The Neighborhoods) turning the knobs.

The brothers wanted to go back to the other gig and finish the follow up record but I bailed because I knew in my heart that the Blue Collar Convict journey was going be special. After a year off writing and playing solo acoustic gigs I decided to get it up and rolling again. I called my longtime comrade Jonny “Smash” Doty (“The Bloodsuckers”) to come aboard and start writing new material together. Coyotero and Delorenzo (drums & bass respectively) came on to help us get rehearsals going, however they left the band due to differences and the “$2 & Change” Album was finished up with only Smash and myself. BCC was effectively dead before we could even get the album a proper release party. After about 3 years of ripping through rhythm sections we came across Steve (Drums) and Dean (Bass) and the Blue Collar Convicts lineup has been the same ever since.

Who are you and who does what in the band?

Steve: Well for starters, I’m the drummer. I also handle our entire web presence and most of the bookings for the greater Boston area. Jonny Smash is our lead guitarist/vocs and does a lot of work on our flyers and merch. He’s been in a number of bands over the years and has ridiculous skills on the strings. Keith Jerszyk is our founder and lead song writer on rhythm guitar and lead vocals and covers booking for our northern MA/southern NH constituents. Dean Rider is our voice of dissent and bassist. He’s really good at getting Keith all sorts of riled up.

How would you best describe the sound?

Keith: We have many influences and desires when it comes to music. They range from our mutual love of all things punk rock to our basic foundations of classic rock, early 50’s/60’s rock & rockabilly to your staple blues and country.

Steve: We put forth a combination of all these genres that can be best described (we think) as “Garage Punk”. It’s nitty, it’s gritty, it’s catchy, the lyrics are hard working blue-collar relatable, and it hold true to both the punk and rock ‘n roll genres.

Dream rock moment (real or not)?

Jonny: I had a dream where I went to see KISS and they were old, not in makeup, and wearing their 80’s glam garb. They were at an arena but nobody was there. I just walked up to the stage and chatted them up and they invited me up on stage. We started running through their old 70’s stuff and the crowd started showing up and we really rocked the house. Everything was fine until Paul wanted to play “Lick It Up” (which I do, regrettably, know how to play) and then I woke up!

Does the time I took mescaline and watched Headbangers Ball and Gene Simmons stuck his head out of the TV and wagged his tongue in 3D count?

Steve: I am a die-hard Fat Wreck Chords fan. In that, my biggest (real) dream is to be in a band that either gets on the label or at least gets recognition from them. I think we have the sound and the ingenuity for it, but are just lacking in the notability nationwide. Now that things are moving, hopefully that will change.

Dean: To tour oversees (or anywhere for that matter) without coming home in the hole.

Still got day jobs?

Dean: While there is definitely great potential for BCC, we do have families and jobs to tend to. Keith works his ass off (10-12 hour days 5-6 days a week) has a wife and two sons that he needs to keep a lot of time for. Jonny works full-time and has a newborn son and a beautiful wife. Steve works behind a desk full-time and has to take on side-contracts to barely squeak by. I’m a truck driver with a newborn on the way (6 months or so down the line).

Any regrets?

Steve: I think our only real regret is not getting the band together as the line-up stands sooner. BCC has ripped through rhythm sections like one may cheap whores. Bassist after bassist, drummer after drummer and only 8-9 years later did we finally settle on a lineup that is all of what Blue Collar Convicts is, wants to be and stands for. The only problem now is that many of us have full fledged families making large-based touring pretty much out of the question and an ever growing shitty economy makes it hard to pay the personal bills, let alone keeping the gas flowing for local gigs, the electricity pumping for our rehearsal studio and the extra funds to cover things such as merch or studio time for a new album.

Jonny: That I squandered most of my talent for drugs. That I sold my VoxAC10TS for rent (and drugs/smokes). That I should’ve gone to Berklee on guitar instead of taking the flute scholarship. That my date with Winona Ryder fell through..frickin’ Johnny Depp…true story…

The Acrobrats – Hair Trigger

© 2010 Susspool Records

Rating: ★★★½☆

Well, it’s been a little while since we last heard anything from Boston four-piece The Acrobrats. Four some years after the first review, (for us) I’m pleased to present their new EP, “Hair Trigger” The five track (one of which is totally super secret) 7” Brings more of the [previously] familiar alterna-punk-pop-rock that I enjoyed on …Go Down Swinging.

All the tracks on Hair Trigger are short and punchy and filled with just enough rock to temper the pop punk sound and make the whole release sound just a little bit more edgy than it otherwise might. Speaking of the rock and roll, The tracks really bring me back to earlier days. Maybe it is because its on vinyl? Maybe there is just a genuine old-80s vibe to it. Then again it could be track B2, “Crave”. It’s a little more aggressive than the others and really picks things up at the end.

At any rate, I dig it. Several more cheers for the boys in The Acrobrats. Keep up the good work. Incidentally, the only thing that keeps me from a higher rating is that the star scale is only broken down by halves. I would totally go 3.75 if I could.

–Jerry Actually

 

Track Listing:

A1 – Hair Trigger

A2 – Well Enough Alone

B1 – Simpleton

B2 – Crave

The Welch Boys – Drinkin’ Angry

(c) 2008 I Scream Records
Rating: ★★★½☆

welch_boys_drinkin_angryThe Welch Boys had a new album a few months ago. I’m just now getting around to reviewing it. I’m sure glad I don’t have somebody breathing down make neck about deadlines. Drinkin’ Angry is 18 tracks of blue collar anthems and street punk grit. Like their Boston brothers the Dropkick Murphys, The Welch Boys bring it to ya wit the credible sounds of hard livin’ and songs that are about real life and a whole lot about drinkin’. Raw rockin’ punk with a sing-a-long quality that is hard to resist.

–Jerry Actually

Roll the Tanks – Suffer City

(c) 2008 INR
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Fire the guns and Roll the Tanks! Here’s the new disc from (now) L.A. based band Roll the Tanks. Suffer City is the sophomore effort from the band. Originally from the Boston area, the band now contends with sunshine and smog. I’m not familiar with the bands prior work, but what I’m hearing on the new disc is enjoyable so far. What you get is 11 tracks of somewhat unique sounding punkish rock somewhere between The Clash and Modest Mouse. In all honesty, I’m rushing through this, but for real I do like what I’m hearing. It (the disc) has a distinct early 80’s vibe to it. I’d even go so far as to say I’ll listen to it again.

–Jerry Actually