I’m listening to the new EP by Liverpool based “Stadt Skulls”. The band is a punk rock trio heavily in the vein of early Asian Man Records bands like Alkaline Trio, and The Lawrence Arms, along with some more aggressive bursts ala Off With Their Heads Dead To Me.
Intriguingly, perhaps, is listening to how they’ve evolved over the last couple years. They’ve moved away from more poppy takes into a darker sound. Good choice if you ask me.
I certainly don’t want to pigeonhole the band. They do have their own sound going on. Track 3, the title track, “Against the Cult of the Reptile God”, I feel, is more resplendent of this. It’s a bit more frenetic and anxious, if you will. The overall point of the comparison is that fans of the former are exceedingly likely to be fans of the latter.
The tracks are brief and have a slightly lo-fi feel to the mix. The end result is definitely very listenable. I’d suggest you check ‘em out.
1. Leif the Lucky
2. Nostalgia for what?
3. Against the Cult of the Reptile God
4. Ink and Spear
Noteworthy: These chaps’ noggins fit inside jack-o-lanterns!
Boston band Burning Streets has a new release. “Sit Still” is out now on Sailor’s Grave Records and with it you get 11 tracks of emotionally charged rock and roll. On the whole, Sit Still hovers in the punk rock vein, but is heavily laced with a melancholy that accompanies other similar acts like The Loved Ones or American Steel and to a lesser degree, Dead to Me.
The songs, averaging around the four minute mark, tend to be longer than what usually sits well with me. However the individual tracks have enough variety to maintain interest. The album is also well arranged, so the lengthy tracks aren’t as much a hindrance as they might otherwise be.
Nearly all the tracks are of the emotive and moody variety. In the right frame of mind I can get into this more mellow side of punk rock. The album begins to gain momentum around track five, “The Safety”. After which the velocity appears to be too much and begins to lose control of itself as it careens into the oddly Black Crows gone glam rock sounding “Let Me Go”.
Once the wreck is over “Sit Still” falls back into its more familiar, and frankly more enjoyable, paces. The disc winds down through a few more tracks and culminates into the feedback and tape hiss of its final track leaving you, I can only hope, feeling cathartic.
So as a final note, while I prefer my punk faster, a bit more raw, and a little less emo, this is still pretty good stuff and great if you’re a fan of the sub-genre. Don’t believe me? Check out some tracks for yourself over at Sailor’s Grave Records
1 Distance Between
3 Blood I Need
4 Different Drums
5 The Safety
6 Let Me Go
7 Comfort In Confusion
9 Full-Time Gamblers
10 Strange Me
11 M.I.A. (Hold On)
Adding slightly distorted power chords and brutish drumming isn’t enough to make emo any less bland. “The Ghost of You and I” has a clever intro, but that’s about the only bright spot on this album. Fans of emo: surely you can find something better than this.
I’ve got a soft spot for Alkaline Trio. I’ve been listening to them for the better part of the last 12 years. After I first heard Goddamnit I was hooked. I have to admit that after they left Asianman Records I got a little disenchanted. Not that I begrudge them the popularity and a little recognition for their hard work, and don’t get me wrong major labels are a collective bag of douche, but I don’t blame A3 for that. However when I heard they were starting their own Heart and Skull label in conjunction with Epitaph I was relieved. I hoped that things might get back a bit closer to the earlier days. I heard that that the new release was going to rock it a bit harder. Well I finally got a copy of This Addiction and I’m fairly convinced that the rumors I heard were right. The 11 tracks are more reminiscent of something around From Here to Infirmary. The content has a little more edge and a little less emo to it. For fans of the more downtrodden of A3’s work, don’t be disappointed (or do, if that is what you’re into) I’m just saying that they brought it back a bit, but this time with a lot bigger production. There are lot more layers to the songs and a lot more variety. The zip of track two, “Dine, Dine my Darling” is refreshing. So are the 80’s keyboard sounds on “Eating Me Alive”. Hell there is even a horn track on the also up-tempo track three, “Lead Poisoning”. When it’s all said and done you know this is Alkaline Trio, but it’s an Alkaline Trio that seems somehow revitalized. This Addiction is well worth it.
ALKALINE TRIO FORM HEART & SKULL LABEL; NEW ALBUM TO BE RELEASED EARLY 2010 ON EPITAPH / HEART & SKULL
Alkaline Trio has announced the birth of Heart & Skull, the band’s own label formed in partnership with Epitaph Records. The band will release its seventh album through Epitaph/Heart & Skull in early 2010.
Commenting on the formation of the new imprint, named for the band’s longstanding logo, Alkaline Trio singer/guitarist Matt Skiba said, “We made the decision to form Heart & Skull to put out our own records after having been through every kind of label deal in the industry, big indies, small indies, majors. We knew it was time to adapt to the shifting tides of the music industry and we could not be more thrilled about doing that in conjunction with the team at Epitaph. Taking control of our own label situation was something we always wanted to do but never thought was possible, but now thanks to Brett Gurewitz and the fine folks at Epitaph, it is. All three of us in Alkaline Trio have always had the utmost respect for the music and the work ethic of the Epitaph, Anti- and Hellcat family and now we’re honored to be working together under one big happy roof. Heart & Skull/Epitaph is truly a dream come true for us.”
Alkaline Trio bassist/vocalist Dan Andriano added, “For our band at this time it really makes sense to release our own records, but we wanted to make sure we could partner up with good people who we would want to share in something very special to us. When Brett called and said he wanted to be involved, that was it. Epitaph is a label I’ve admired and supported for more than half of my life! I couldn’t be more excited for how this is turning out!”
Alkaline Trio first emerged from Chicago in 1996 and has since released the full length studio albums Goddamnit, Maybe I’ll Catch Fire, From Here To Infirmary, Good Mourning, Crimson and last year’s Agony & Irony, which was the highest charting record of the band’s career to date. The band is comprised of Skiba, Andriano and drummer Derek Grant, all of whom are partners in Heart & Skull.
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thelastplaceyoulook – The Lies We Tell Ourselves (c) 2005 thelastplaceyoulook"The Lies We Tell Ourselves" is the newest EP from Houston's own thelastplaceyoulook. the 5 tracks bristle w/ emotion and rock sweet rock. Most folks would probably consider them to be "Screamo" (for the laymen, screamo is heavy emotional music w/ often gutteral and growling death metal like vocals. I mean they really let you feel the pain man.) despite the moniker, thelastplaceyoulook is much more articulate vocally. Don't get me wrong, there is some angst going on there, but we're not looking at Napalm Death or anything. I'm personally not a major fan of the genre, but the songs here are well executed and produced and the press kit that I was sent was phenomenal. just for the record though, you fellas may want to save a few bucks on the press kit and go w/ a simple black and white 1-sheet. I suspect most people gloss over the material and then send it to file 13. Incidentally, when I saw this picture, I went out and got some Shiner Bock. Tasty Stuff. But enough of the rambling, thelastblaceyoulook kicks down a metallic emo assault to the senses. If that is your cup o' tea, head over to www.interpunk.com to pick up a copy of "The Lies We Tell Ourselves".