One year ago today, on July 31, 2012, we lost a true original, Tony Sly. While we continue to mourn Tony our friend, we also celebrate Tony the artist through his songs. On October 29th, we will officially release The Songs of Tony Sly: A Tribute. we can’t express how much it means to us and Tony’s family that each of the artists and bands on this album took the time and effort to contribute such meaningful and interesting interpretations of Tony’s songs. All proceeds from this compilation will go to the Tony Sly Memorial Fund.
Well, it’s been a long dang time since I listened to Bracket. Honestly I didn’t know that they were still around. A few weeks ago, outta the blue, I get an email inquiring if I’d review their latest material. Given the horrible job I did back in 2000 reviewing the Fat Wreck Chords release “When All Else Fails” I figure I owe them at least this much.
Bracket, if you aren’t old enough to remember, is a pop-punkish band from the North Bay town of Forestville. Their tracks generally had the sounds familiar to the pop punk genre, but with a bit more of an emo factor, if you will. Rare Cuts Vol. 1 is no different in this regard. That stands well to reason, given that the tracks on the recent effort are all rarities and/or previously unreleased material. Also of note is that this release is the first in a series to be released exclusively through Bandcamp in order to fund two future Bracket projects. So, by all means check out their Bandcamp page and support some DIY rock! http://bracket.bandcamp.com/
For better or worse, Rare Cuts Vol. 1 offers 10 tracks of vintage and/or rare Bracket tracks. You get things like string mixes, live acoustic versions, 4-track demos, alternate mixes and covers. For the discriminating Bracket fan, what more could you want?
If you’re not already a past or present fan, I recommend you start with my introduction to the band, the aforementioned “When All Else Fails” to get you started. After that you can transition into some of these more challenging tracks. Beyond that there’s some good stuff on here. The John Wilkes Isolation Booth (Demo) with its juxtaposed blues breakdown is particularly intriguing.
If you’re curious, hit the Bandcamp link about and help support one of your old, or possibly new, favorite bands. Seriously, what have you got to lose? For your $10 bucks, no matter what, you get the warm all over feeling of having helped a band put out records DIY and what’s more, a Bracket cover of “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?”! Enjoy.
We’re stoked: Cobra Skulls have an urgent political message and are one of the hottest bands in the punk scene. And with a name like Cobra Skulls, their music has to be extra good, right?!? Originally from Reno, they released a couple great LPs with Red Scare and have been playing clubs and basements in North America and Europe over the past couple years. Their dynamic sound takes influences from all sorts of bands: classic punk like Misfits and Clash mixed with newer stuff akin to Against Me! and Bad Religion. Whether it’s leftist anthems or punky love songs, Cobra Skulls craft the hits for the pit. These guys are busy in 2010 as they will be on tour from March through June and already have upcoming shows with Dead To Me, Strike Anywhere, Flatliners, and some dates on Warped Tour. We welcome these sexy serpents to the Fat family and hope to bring you a new record from them soon.
All aboard the Lagwagon party goers. The original Fat band is back with a new release. By my account it is an EP. Seven tracks clocking in at minus 20 total, not that EP’s are a bad thing by any means. An EP is a great amount of work when your band is focused on more than one project. (Two of the members are also in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.) Side projects notwithstanding, the obviously back dating and self-depricating “I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To Lagwagon” is exactly what one should expect from an older and wiser Lagwagon. The songs have more depth, both sonically and contextually. Along with additional depth comes additional weight. I’m pretty sure that must be what is making the songs a bit slower than I like 🙂 In all seriousness though, this is a must have for any fan and for all the new kids to the punk rock block, pick up a newie but a goodie from an oldie but a still goodie band. As I said, “All aboard the Lagwagon!”
Following up 2006’s “Keep Your Heart”, The Loved Ones are back with 10 news tracks on “Build & Burn”. I wasn’t familiar with the band prior to this release, but I like what I hear. They have a blue collar, american anthemic rock’n punk sound akin to the Street Dogs and Hudson Falcons. Mix that with riffs akin to No Use For A Name and a vocalist that reminds me a bit of Milo (Aukerman) and you get a pretty damn well rounded punk band. So cheers for the sophomore effort of The Loved Ones. 10 songs of choices and consequence to help you through your dreary workaday life.