Anti-Nowhere League – The Cage

© 2016 Cleopatra Records
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

the_cageFile under old punks don’t die. For the second time this week, I’m listening to brand new music by an old school Brit band. Yesterday I was checking out a new track by trash stalwarts, Lawnmower Deth, and now I’m rocking a brand new album from veteran punk rockers, Anti-Nowhere league.

If you’re like me, your familiarity with ANL is from Metallica’s cover of So What off of Garage Days. Outside of that I had very little knowledge of the band until this new album. Kinda crazy how times changes and influence circles around. Now I’m listening to the bands that influenced the sounds I liked in the day instead of the bands that were under the influence, so to speak.

At any rate, I’m listening to a brand new album, The Cage by Anti-Nowhere League, out today (05/13/2016) and I’m digging it. 13 tracks of energetic punk rock with enough maturity under its belt that you know that it says what it means and means what it says. Tracks are tight and well produced. The songs are well balanced sonically. Vocals don’t overpower the backing tracks and the bass isn’t drowned out by the guitar. It’s got guts; quality guts!

As much as I’m enjoying it, there is some wanking solos that I could totally live without. Sometimes I dislike (ok, most of the time) when punks grow up, learn how to play and then have to prove it. … God damn punks! I trade the guitar solos for more songs for more awesome alcohol fueled sing-a-long tracks like #9 God Bless Alcohol!

For reals though, this release is some solid brand new punk rock by some serious veterans of the game. Look for them live at some of the upcoming Punk Rock Bowling events.

On a side note, WTF festival franchises? Festival events used to be cool and almost mythical. Now there’s a dozen in every town. Perhaps I’m being a bit of a snob, but I think it waters down the scene.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Exalter – Obituary For The Living

© 2016 Transcending Obscurity

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

exalter-coverOk, so funny thing. I’ve been waxing nostalgic a bit lately and listening to a lot of the 80s Thrash Metal that I grew up on. I still love it, but it kind of went away when Metallica and Megadeth got so damn popular. Well outta nowhere and into my inbox comes some brand new Thrash that sounds like it’s from the days of old. Freaking awesome! Wilder still these cats are cranking the volume and firing metal missiles from Dhaka, Bangladesh! Crazy. Oh yeah, it happens that the new album drops today.

Obituary For The Living busts it out old school correct with rampant riffs, shred solos, and guts and gristle vocals. The songs certainly run a bit longer than my more recent short attention span can contend with, but the intensity is so high that I’m not left feeling bored. I may be off base, but I can hear influences of Sacred Reich, Nuclear Assault, Exodus, Testament and the whole core sound of late 80’s Bay area (and beyond) Thrash scene.

exalter

Don’t think that this is just a rehash of yesteryear though. The songs are all legit in their own right and writhe and undulate with their own dark energy. If I weren’t sitting at a desk typing this right now, I’d be bouncing off the walls making my own circle pit with the house cats, for realz.

So if you’re a fan of the old school of thrash, do yourself (and the band) a big ol’ favor and checkout “Obituary For The Living” the brand new release from Exalter.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Tortured Innocents
2. Surrounded by Evil
3. Sacrificial Immolation
4. Nuclear Punishment
5. Throat Cutters
6. Thrash Resurgence
7. White Phosphorus Shell

Mad Caddies – Dirty Rice

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

© 2014 Fat Wreck Chords

mad_caddies_dirty_riceI apologize for not having this review up before the official release date Tuesday, May 13th, but I suppose if you can wait seven years for a new Mad Caddies release, a late review isn’t going to concern you in the least. So, if you did not read the prior sentence, there’s a new Mad Caddies album. Fresh off the presses, once again on (the now venerable) Fat Wreck Chords, I present to you Dirty Rice!

First things first, though. If you’re aren’t familiar with The Mad Caddies, let me give you a brief back story. The band started back in their high school days, way back in 1995 in Solvang, CA (Santa Barbara County). Over their illustrious career, the band have produced multiple full-length recordings and E.Ps. Their sound, while very firmly footed in 3rd wave ska-punk has influences from wide ranging styles including, dixieland, polka, swing, reggae, jazz, punk, and traditional ska. What I’m saying is that you get a whole lot of flavor from this one sweet band. I digress; back to the review.

The new album is a nicely polished example of what a 3rd wave SoCal ska band can do after close to two decades of rocking. For those who are familiar with Mad Caddies at all, youl know that while they come correct, they don’t come traditional. They’ve definitely got their own brand going; This album is no exception. A fine mixture of ska, punk, ragtime, dixieland, and soul are well represented on the new album, though sometimes on a more subtle note. It reminds me a little bit of Stay Tuned by Let’s Go Bowling, another awesome record that is a departure from prior work, yet completely badass after you succumb to its charms.

12 new tracks. Mad Caddies are back. Get the album. Find them on Tour!

–Jerry Actually

Scream – Complete Control Sessions

Washington DC’s punk rock is back!
By Stella Bruk

The boy’s grew up and went their separate ways, and now they return, and come back with surprises.

Since 1993’s Fumble album which was actually recorded in 1990, Pete, Franz, Skeeter and Kent haven’t met for a single project.

The idea of getting together began to take shape in 2009 when Pete and Franz played together at Black Cat in Washington on December 2009 and again almost a year later in October 2010 at the Echo in LA. They all met at the Redwood last February to an insane audience, with the presence of former band member Dave Grohl, as the ordinary fan. When Dave joined Scream in 1987 he lied about his age claiming he was 20 when he was actually 17. On that night they played old songs “Still Screaming” and “This Side Up,” and new ones that included – “Stopwatch” and the one off “Jammin’ at Redwood” (originally titled Jammin’ at 606). The barrier separating the audience from the band no longer mattered because Pete Stahl and members of the audience were crowd surfing in true punk rock style.

In February2011, the four original band members Pete Stahl (vocals), Franz Stahl (guitar), Skeeter Thompson (bass) and Kent Stax (drums), went in the studio to record plus the new guitarist Clint Walsh and Dave Grohl, who ‘indirectly participated’, coz the new album was recorded entirely at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606. They met and practised what would be the second album of the project Complete Control Session. These series of studio recordings are on Side One of Dummy Records co-owners nationally syndicated all punk rock “Complete Control Radio” show. The music is released on 10” vinyl and via digital download on August 16th, 2011 via Side One Dummy Records. The first official release in the series was done by The Bouncing Souls in April 2011.

To complete this and give the album the Midas touch, John Lousteau was in charge of producing the seven-track EP Scream’s Complete Control Session which features the following tracks : Stopwatch, Get Free, Jamin at 606, Elevate, The Year Bald Head Singers Were In, Move All, Demolition Dancing.

With loads of post-hardcore riffs, power chords, multi-tracked duelling guitar tones and raw screams, the EP makes us push the furniture to the side of the room and mosh like we did years ago.

Listen the track “Stopwatch”, on their website http://www.screamdc.com/

Punk rock is not dead that’s for sure!

The Adicts – Life Goes On

© 2010 People Like You Records

Rating: ★★★½☆

I have to admit that I’m not terribly familiar with The Adicts at all. Sure I’ve seen their logo safety pinned to the backs of countless punk rock jackets. I even know them well enough to identify them by their Clockwork Orange style. I’m sure I’ve heard plenty of their material on comps and over the PA before shows, however this is the first CD that I’ve actually sat down and listened to; Better late than never, right?

As I’m sure you all know well more than I about the band, I’ll skip the drudgery of the last 30 some years and get straight to the fresh meat. Life Goes On is a 13 track peppy catchy punk rock dish that keeps interesting and lively throughout. And while I’m admittedly a bit in the dark about the band, I can certainly tell you that it is refreshing for a band that has been playing punk rock for as many decades as The Adicts to not have watered it down.

The majority of the tracks on Life Goes On will have you singing along. Some of my personal favs for the sing along bits are tracks 3. Reaky Deaky Boys & Girls and 4. I’m Not Scared of You. Honestly, its a pretty decent disc altogether. Its chock filled with quirky and somewhat sophomoric punk rock and albeit a bit on the cartoonish side, it still has the maturity of a band that has been at it for this long. My one gripe is track 12. Mr. Hard. Every time I hear it I just can’t stop thinking that it should be about Michael Caine instead. … oh well they can’t all be songs about Michael Caine.

–Jerry Actually

Good Riddance – Capricorn One

© 2010 Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: ★★★½☆

I’ll admit that I’m not super familiar with Good Riddance. Ok, sure I know who they are. I have a couple discs but I was never that into them. From this singles collection that I’m listening to right now, I’m thinking that I have been quite remiss. Capricorn One is some seriously sweet punk rock that spans a career that I intend to spend more time looking into. The earlier more hardcore material easily evolves into the tighter more articulate punk rock that I am more familiar with.

My lack of familiarity notwithstanding, Capricorn One dishes up 21 track of to-the-point punk rock and leaves you wanting more. I’d like to note, however, that this disc, thankfully doesn’t leave me wanting more of a “Phenomenon of Craving” … not my favorite Good Riddance.

At any rate, if you’re a fan, get this. If you’re not a fan, start.

-Jerry Actually

Damn The Empire – With Trends Like These

(c) 2009 Pee Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

damn_the_empire_300This CD works straight out the gate! Damn The Empire is pissed. The world is going to hell. The government is fucked. The music industry is right down the toilet. The scene sucks. Prius owners are self-righteous pricks. “With Trends Like These…” doesn’t hold back on the anti-everything vitriol. I find it refreshing. This disc has something that a lot of punk rock has been lacking as of late, conviction. Damn The Empire means it without being smug or overly attitudinal. The band is fuming about meaningful timely issues, almost as if they were culturally aware with what is going on in America. … Here’s the thing though, they’re from Melbourne. It really serves to hammer home the homogeneity of the problems of the world (at least the Western World) Despite the gravity of the content, the band, thankfully, isn’t humorless. Tracks like 3. The Last Gasp Of An Entire Scene, Neutered and 12. This Free Music Download Brought To You Courtesy of Metallica’s Lars Ulrich let in some welcome cynical comedy. So here’s what you get 16 tracks of punk rock that is about as real as anything out there. I detect a lot of H2O and Down by Law as I’m listening to it. Of note, this disc was mixed at The Blasting Room. There is something magical about that place I tell ya. Cheers to Damn The Empire for a damn fine disc from Down Under and for uniting the world one punk rock song at a time.

–Jerry Actually

U.S. Bombs – We Are The Problem

(c) 2006 Sailor's Grave Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

The U.S. Bombs are back with a new CD — fronted per usual by the venerable Duane Peters. Peter's is arguably one of the hardest working guys in punk rock with The skating, the shoe and clothing lines and of course the myriad of musical projects: U.S. Bombs, Die' Huns and The Duane Peters Gunfight.

"We Are The Problem" brings 15 new surprisingly diverse tracks of punk, from sing-a-long anthems like the opening title track, flanged out 50's style punk like "Just Like You" and near folksy ballads like "Guns of the West"

"We Are The Problem" shows that old punks need not fade away, but why? because they're a shit ton better than the bullshit radio baby pablum that the hot topic punks can muster today.

–Jerry Actually