The Melders – S/T

The debut self-titled EP from Portland’s The Melders throws down five tracks (17 minutes) of guitar-driven, punk informed, heavy rock and roll. The tunes are uptempo with a lot of snarl and attitude. The rhythm section is solid, and the guitar work is rife with hooks and changes.

According to the band bio, The Melders is a punk rock-n-roll band from Portland, OR. The band formed in June of 2021 with Luke Valley on vocals and guitar, Guil Halstead on guitar, Marcus Irland on bass and Matt Danger on drums.

When COVID hit, it led to the demise of Luke and Guil’s 16 year project My New Vice but they weren’t ready to hang it up. They contacted long time friends and fellow musicians Marc and Matt. They knew it’d be a great fit; you know who you’re working with, what you’re going to get and that everyone can get along.

I struggle to offer comparisons sometimes, and sometimes comparisons aren’t really fair. They can, however, provide a loose relatability for an unfamiliar artist. With that in mind, The Melders make me think if Stone Temple Pilots would have been a punk band, or perhaps a more melodic Welch Boys. Do with that what you will.

Aptness of comparisons notwithstanding, I dig it and am looking forward to hearing more from The Melders. The debut EP is available now on all your favorite streaming services, and probably some streaming services you’ve never even heard of. Go on, give The Melders a whirl. You’ll dig it.

Jerry Actually

1. Oil The Snake
2. Codswalloped
3. Stitched Apart
4. The Empty
5. Moons Die Here

Luke Valley – vocals, guitar
Guil Halstead – guitar
Marcus Irland- bass
Matt Danger – drums

The Fauxriginals – It’s Not a Lie…

the Fauxriginals album cover for It's Not a Lie...


A couple days late, as per my usual, I’m just now checking out the new EP “It’s Not a Lie”, from Portland, Oregon based The Fauxriginals. You know what? I like ska. I like punk. Let’s go!

The EP pops out seven fresh tracks of punky ska. It’s diggable. Very reminiscent of LTJ, but it also reminds me of an unsung band, Orangetree. (If you’re not familiar w/ Orangetree, they were a band fronted by Jason Nelson of MU330)

Damn, as I listen to this, especially “Being Alive in the 21st Century”, I’m really feeling the Orangetree vibe. Not in a copped sort of way mind you, just compellingly similar.

Sonically I would pin this more in the rock vein than punk, per se. It’s peppy, and bouncy. Not overly aggressive with respect to the punk portion. I’d venture that it’s damn near friendly. That’s not a bad thing. Sometimes you need a little bit more friendly in the world.

Don’t let the friendly fool you though, just based on the song titles, I’d say the band is at least almost entirely jaded.

Bottom line, it’s a fun release. I wouldn’t hesitate to go see them live either. So, yeah, listen at your leisure and support local bands!

-Jerry Actually


  1. My, Myself, and Idioms
  2. Bfff’s
  3. Painted on My Spine
  4. Level of Malevolence
  5. Being Alive in the 21st Century 
  6. Some of a Kind
  7. Rsvp

Portland, Oregon-based three piece The Fauxriginals dropped their debut EP “It’s Not a Lie…” on 9/29/19. This EP will be the first of a two-part set, with the second drop “…If You Believe It” coming shortly thereafter. Both will be streamable everywhere you get music.

After releasing a steady stream of demos and playing a year’s worth of punk and ska shows in the Pacific Northwest, the band created a two-part release filled with the definitive versions of these songs.

Featuring songs written by Tyler Rothe (Lead Vox/Guitar), the band’s focus is to combine elements of pop-punk, skate punk, ska, and punk rock while focusing on hooks and technical chops.

The Fauxriginals are playing regular shows in the PNW and have music videos available on YouTube. Music streaming everywhere you stream music.

For fans of: Less Than Jake, Blink-182, Descendents, Offspring, Green Day, and Queen.

Solid Gold Balls – Dream Is Real

© 2014
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

solid-gold-ballsSo, of course, I’m going to mention that this band is named Solid Gold Balls. Right off the bat it garners attention. After you get past the initial thoughts of “is this going to be schlock?”, “um, ok, humor band?”, or “seriously?” and you start to listen to the tracks, you are rewarded with something perhaps better than expected.

The songs are straight forward rock and roll with musical influences ranging from Sonic Youth, Presidents of the United States of America, and maybe Beck. Lyrically the tracks are fun and generally speaking very kid/family friendly. (at least on the surface). Rhyming pony with Rice-a-Roni, for example gives you an inkling of an idea about how the other songs might go. On an amusing note, Google Play Music has every last of the 14 tracks on Dream Is Real listed as explicit. … I feel this is akin to the PMRC advisory labels of yore.

Heck, I think if this release were cleaned up a little bit, especially in regards to track 11: Favorite Things, it would be a potential candidate for Mike Park’s family/kids label Fun Fun Records.

Content, or interpretation thereof notwithstanding, Dream Is Real brings you 14 solid tracks of catchy fun poppy punk rock delivered with a solid band and song craft behind them. The only major drawback for me is that perhaps the songs are too saccharine. If you listen to hard things can come off as trite. So I suggest sitting back, relaxing a bit, and not taking things so damn seriously.

–Jerry Actually

Getting to Know Solid Gold Balls


Who are you and who does what in the band?
I’m Matt Souther. I play bass and really bring the backup singing to the next level.

How would you best describe the sound?
Not really basement rock, but more garage rock, with lyrics about how the fucking kids have made a mess out of the garage.

Dream rock moment (real or not)?
My dream has always been to see the country in a van. I’ve seen the west half of it in previous bands, but still wish to see the east, and now I’m pretty keene on seeing Europe from a van too.
And I too fantasize about playing SNL. Hopefully on a night when Natalie Portman hosts.

Still got day jobs?
Sort of, I own my own business, and co-own another business with Dan the drummer, laser engraving shit.

Any regrets?
Not doing this band sooner, back in the 90’s when they were handing out record deals to anyone with a shitty guitar and a loud amp who was also head to toe in flannel.
Continue reading Getting to Know Solid Gold Balls

Becca’s U.S. Debut CD






“the stage presence of Joan Jett and Suzy Quattro all rolled into one 20 year old young woman with a bit of a chip on her shoulder and a edge that we’ve not

seen since those two artists hit rock in the late 70s”

– Young Poor And Angry Press, September 2009

Hailing from Portland, OR and now based out of Los Angeles Becca has already made a mark on the international music charts and she is gearing up to do the same in the U.S. as she gears up for the release for her U.S. debut CD ALIVE!! co-written and produced by singer-songwriter Meredith Brooks who had hits herself with such songs as “Bitch” and “What Would Happen.”  Becca’s ALIVE!! to drop on January 5 at all digital outlets and Amazon Disc On Demand via SIN – SonyMusic Independent Network.

Equally adept at belting out full-throttle, female empowering rockers as she is crooning big arena-sized power ballads Becca carves a melodic blast on songs like “I’m ALIVE!,” her vow to live life to the fullest in the wake of the premature death of a friend, and “Turn Up the Stereo,” a cautionary tale to her peers about the dead-end offered by non-stop partying as well as songs examining personal relationships, such as “Turn to Stone,” “Lose You Now” and “Perfect Me,” the expressions of an artist who is wise beyond her years.  Sugary enough to give you a tooth ache until she throws you a sucker punch to the gut!

Look for US tour dates to be announced soon.

ALIVE!! Track listing:

  1. I’m ALIVE!
  4. Turn Up The Stereo
  5. Guilty Pleasure
  6. Kickin’ & Screamin’
  7. Lose You Now
  8. EMPTY
  9. Without You
  10. Make You Mad
  11. Perfect Me
  12. Falling Down

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Ska Is Dead

Portland 2009

It’s the Fourth Coming of the Ska Is Dead Tour (, and there are signs that the resurrection is keeping. Marking a return of the all-ska tour after a three-year hiatus, SID4 is bringing ass-shaking good times to an all-ages venue near you RIGHT NOW (see site for tour dates). Saturday’s 6 hour set from 5 great bands proved SID founder Dave Kirchgessner’s posit: Ska is anything but dead.

Continue reading Ska Is Dead

My Life In Black & White

Cloudy Skies
(c) 2008 Horns Up Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

Where the heck were these guys when I lived in Portland? Not around I guess. I wish I would have would have been in town though. They sound like a hella good band. Folksy and punky with songs of sailing the seas and the drinking of beer. They swagger like Swingin’ Utters and The Pogues and rock out with less melodrama than most of the rain-addled cock-n-roll of many Portland bands. Cloudy Skies contains 12.5 tracks of the aforementioned variety of rock and it does not dissapoint. If you like the drinking and the singalongs and music that may make you want to steal a boat, then this one is for you. There’s more to it of course, but the jist of it is good time rock and roll. Enjoy!

–Jerry Actually