Fire Next Time – Knives

I’ve not heard of Fire Next Time until just today, but in all fairness, I’m so far out of the loop that I don’t know shit from Shinola any longer. Nevertheless, Knives is the brand new release from the punk rock band out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The one sheet says the band is “folk punk”. I don’t know that’s really the case. We can nitpick about genres/subgenres all damn day and never agree. I’m going to go ahead and call them punk. The tunes aren’t out of place on set with Against Me, Dead to Me, American Steel, Street Dogs or Social Distortion, so you file that however ya like.

Knives provides 10 tracks of riff heavy, hard rocking storytelling. I suppose that is where people might slap on the “folk” badge. The band has something to say. Good for them, say it.

What I hear though, is a great album of heavy driving punk rock, with some amount of sensible pop melody.

The band is on tour this spring / summer in Canada, if you live in the area, or are visiting our neighbors to the North, check ‘em out:

05.11 – Calgary, AB – Dickens
05.12 – Edmonton, AB – Brixx
05.13 – Saskatoon, SK – Black Cat Tavern
05.14 – Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
05.16 – Timmons, ON – The Working Class
05.17 – Hamilton, AB – Absinthe
05.18 – Toronto, ON – Hard Luck
05.19 – Montreal, QC – Pouzza Fest!
05.20 – Ottawa, ON – Maverick’s
05.25 – Regina, SK – The Mercury
05.26 – Medicine Hat, AB – The Silver Buckle

CD/LP/DIGI Release Date: May 4, 2018
With ten years under their belt, Fire Next Time’s latest album KNIVES is a culmination of shared experience, heartbreak and triumph. “My spirit is broken” are the first words screamed over a sea of distortion on the first track Wanderlust. The anthemic anguish meanders with Collars reading like a confession letter that will never be sent. Never afraid to proudly display their influences, a haunting Nebraska-esque quality is brought to Old Scratch thanks to the support of stellar Vancouver vocalist Jody Glenham. KNIVES is Packed with visceral imagery and leaves little room to breathe. The themes explored on the album are sure to please your inner cynic. In Walking Blind they are eager to remind us that, in the end, “we all choke.”

For Fans of: Against Me, Gaslight Anthem, Flatliners, Tom Waits, Off With Their Heads

Society’s Ills – Full Length


© 2011 Society’s Ills
Rating: ★★★½☆

I don’t want to be the guy that throws labels around. Honestly, there are just too many of them, but since I’m a jerk, I’ll throw one more in the mix. Montreal’s Society’s Ills is (and you can quote me on this) “post-punk-core/hardcore/semi-melodic”

No, but really, I’m listening to the new full length by Society’s Ills and it is pretty damn rockin’. My goofy labels aside, it is 14 tracks of short burst hardcore laced punk with a lot of energy and decent amount of grit. As I listen to this, the tracks get better and better. I can see this becoming a regular rotation release on my car ride to work, ‘cause nothing makes the ride into work better than some kickass fastbreak punk rock.

So, um yeah, 14 fast tracks of hardcore punk with great guitar work, intelligible vocals, and a rock solid rhythm section. It reminds me of H2O a bit with undertones of way fast Black Sabbath, but more punk less posicore (regarding H2O, not Sabbath) if you know what I’m saying.
Bottom line is, great stuff, buy it now!

–Jerry Actually

The Flatliners – Cavalcade

© 2010 Fat Wreck Chords


Rating: ★★★☆☆

Call me confused. When I saw this CD in the ‘inbox’ I was super excited that I had some new psychobilly from “Thee Flatliners” … turns out that an extra e makes all the difference in the world. Immediately I was disappointed. Have you ever gone to take a drink of soda or beer or whatever and grabbed someone else’s beverage instead? Even if it isn’t something bad, the initial confusion of it not being what you expected can leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Well that is what I was experiencing with The Flatliners right off the bat. I’m glad that I stuck it out. I’ve been listening to Cavalcade for the last few days on my way to and from work. Over these last few days I’ve found a lot to enjoy. I also found some things to be concerned about, but I’ll discuss that later.

The disc provides 14 tracks of surprisingly diverse punk flavored tracks, each one with its own distinct flavor. There is a subtle Lawrence Arms quality as well as touches of Bracket. I think it speaks wonders for the roster consistency of Fat, no? Aside from the label mate similarities I hear bits of Bruce (Springsteen) and the other Bruce (Dickinson). Maybe I read too much into things though.

Aside from my initial disenchantment and eventual rock and roll epiphany, I can offer these words for The Flatliners – Cavalcade: Don’t be like me by almost not giving it a chance. That is wrong and I should know better and so should you.

A final word for the band, while I now appreciate what you’ve got going on, you’re flying dangerously close to the radio rock sun. Be careful Icarus. Be careful.


Braincell Graveyard – Drunk Punk Anthems


(c) 2010 Braincell Graveyard
Rating: ★★½☆☆

Here’s another odd review coming out of the dark (and apparently perverted) land of Canada. Toronto, to be more specific, but that hardly matter since most of you reading this don’t really have much grasp on geography anyway. (Yeah I’m talking to you USA)

“Drunk Punk Anthems” (or what may possibly be entitled, “Pink on the Inside”) knuckle shuffles forth 11 tracks of sophomoric sexual frustration remarkably disguised as punk rock. It’s a whole lot like Stephen Lynch got a distortion pedal. The music (lyrical content notwithstanding) on the other hand is actually rather enjoyable. I really brings back the late 80’s thrash that I grew up on. Seriously though, the goofy, campy, pervy nature of the lyrics prevent my from really latching on to this release. It’s the exact reason that I never really got into Mucky Pup or Scatterbrain.

It is almost too bad though, because musically it is spot on for a bygone era that I miss and love, even down to the metal ballad ways of track six, Canadian Psycho. If I could give more points for effort, I probably would. (Who am I kidding? I can give or take points as I see fit)

What it really all boils down to is some rockin’ thrash punk that I enjoy horribly entwined with a far too lowbrow theme. To be fair, however, there are 2.5 positive stars. This would seriously kick ass at a frat party and if I was still in high school I might be a bit more forgiving of the thematic elements.

I look forward to hearing more for Braincell Graveyard in the future, if only to see if stop writing songs straight from the crotch. … Time will tell.

-Jerry Actually

The Decay – This Months Rent

(c) 2010 The Decay
Rating: ★★★½☆


The Decay, hailing from Guelph, Ontario, Canada (which makes me think of the 12th/13th century conflict between the papacy and the holy roman empire, but I digress) are a punk rock band and they graciously sent me a CD. I happen to be listening to it right now.

“This Months Rent” contains 14 tracks and an intro of reasonably snotty and rowdy punk rock, but with more song-craft than you’d initially suspect from my pigeon hole description. I’m lead to believe that the cost to produce and distribute this disc was the cost of a month’s rent. Presumably the band is either now homeless or have successfully worked things out with their landlord. … and I digress further.

The Decay bridges the gap between straight up punk and rock and roll by adding emphasis on melodic hooks and well structured choruses as evident on track four, The Street. Speaking of that particular track, it reminds me a lot of Gaslight Anthem. Without being overly verbose, because I keep getting distracted, let it suffice that “This Months Rent” is a rock solid DIY punk rock release with a serious nod to its roots of rock and roll.

On another note, there is a track on here that is over the four minute mark. Normally I’d start to complain about anything past three. In this case, I think the harmonica interlude divided it up enough to maintain my attention. When all is said and done, I like this and it makes a damn fine road CD.

–Jerry Actually

For fans of: Street Dogs, Gaslight Anthem, Hudson Falcons, Welchboys

The Real McKenzies – Off The Leash

(c) 2008 Fat Wreck Chords
Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Real McKenzies are to Scotland what the Dropkick Murphy’s are to Ireland. That is punk rock music with strong ties to cultural heritage. Like Dropkick, The Real McKenzies are displaced from their roots, but those roots still run deep. The new release, “Off the Leash”, will have you swearing that, “If it ain’t Scottish, it’s crap!” Though these fellows hail from the land of DOA and Michael J. Fox, their music still has the rebellious power of William Wallace. “Off The Leash” delivers 13 tracks of Scotted up punk, all of them totally sweet. If you like your punk anthemic and Celtic culturalocentric, don’t hesitate to let your self off the leash and go buy this disc. Ha! I made a less than humorous reference to the title of the CD in the review itself. That makes it a good review; kinda like movies that use the name of the movie in the dialog of the movie. I win! One to nothin’

–Jerry Actually