Pink Muscles – The Signal


Angular is the new curve, at least a curve on the regular old garage punk you’ve been jamming up your ear-orifices lately. To alter that in a direction that maybe you’ll enjoy, I offer, Pink Muscles new LP “The Signal.” 14 tracks of absolutely mental psych-garage-punk-noise. It is angular as fuck!

The band hails from Seattle, and that is about all I know of them, aside from the album that I’m listening to right now. Best I can tell you is that I’m getting a vibe. I don’t know what the vibe means or represents. I mean it might be a drug flashback, or maybe it’s a flash forward to drugs I may be required to do in the future. It really is hard to tell.

The music is swirling and shouty, punctuated with computer-like, precision supersonics. It’s as though a less distorted, or perhaps differently distorted Al Jourgensen was fronting for an alternate history of Voivoid ala Dimension Hatröss, throw in some Prong outtakes of Steady Decline for good measure. Does that give you a feel for what’s going on here? Yeah, probably not. I think you’re just gonna have to give ‘em a listen.

The tunes are brief, but in the time allotted, they go in a myriad of directions, sometimes simultaneously. Frenetic like Mr. Bungle, but not so circusy, more robotic. However, the scattered, yet robotic nature of the music belies its underlying humanity, humanity that is in end stage. It feels like a world in breakdown mode and from these crumbling ruins a new world will rise, Phoenix-like, with more printed circuits and transistors the next time around.

At the end of the day, if you like your music odd, and noisy, and something that will still probably scare the crap out of your parents, teachers, friends, and neighbors, then by all means, give The Signal, by Pink Muscles a whirl.

-Jerry Actually

Find out more about the band:
https://pinkmuscles.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/pinkmuscles/

Tracks:
1 Resumption
2 Teenage Rainbows
3 Infestopus
4 Star Grove
5 The Man at the End of My Street
6 Black Market Tampons
7 Battery Acid
8 Party at Murder Beach
9 The Egg Lady
10 I Wrote This Song With My Father’s Guitar
11 The Master
12 Officers of the Universe
13 Heaven is for Real
14 Mouth House

Brash Bullets – Radio Therapy

If you like your punk served up old school British style, but want something new to be mad chuffed about, then here’s your ticket, kiddies.

“Radio Therapy” is the debut EP by South UK, “‘77 style” punkers, Brash Bullets. While you only get six tracks, what you get is chock full of punk tunes tempered by the influence of bands like, Crass, Business, Sham 69, Stiff Little Fingers, etc. I ain’t gonna lie to ya, if you’re not into the “77” sound you’re probably going to pan it as derivative. However, if you ARE into that, I think this will be right up your alley.

The tracks are mostly mid to up tempo and clock in around the two minute mark on average. This is great for short attention span folks like myself. Oddly the epic length track, Girl Next Door, registering in at a mind bending 2:34 is my personal fav on the EP.

As far as the “sound” coming from my speakers, the recording seems efficient, and there’s a rather garage/basement vibe. Not that the tracks aren’t clean, so much as they are minimalist. It seems that overdubs are used sparingly if at all and I’d suspect that it was recorded in as few tracks, with as few takes as possible. I like the result, it’s sharp, yet raw. I think overproduction would diminish that feel.

At any rate, a solid dose of new punk from some old soul upstarts in the South of the UK, check ‘em out.

Here’s a grip o’ ways you can get in touch with the band:
Listen: https://m.soundcloud.com/brash-bullets
Buy: https://www.cdbaby.com/m/cd/brashbullets
Harass: https://m.facebook.com/BrashBulletsPunk/
Twitter: @BrashBullets

Bio:
Brash Bullets started gigging in mid 2015 flying the punk flag in the south of the UK. Taking inspiration from many of the ’77 punk bands and adding a pinch of modern life, Brash Bullets’ aim is to leave you questioning the existence of glossy la-dee-dah talent shows & mainstream pop. Ripping through their set lists at rapid pace, they have found themselves sharing the stage of punk royalty such as Richie Ramone, Anti-Nowhere League, GBH, Angelic Upstarts and Peter & The Test Tube Babies to name a few. Their debut ep ‘Radio Therapy’ is available now!

Tracks:
1. Snap!
2. I Wanna Buy Her Love
3. Indoctrinated
4. Girl Next Door
5. Capital City Disappointment
6. Soldier On

At Both Ends – Wheel’s Out The Window

At Both Ends is a pop-punk ska band reminiscent of the big 90’s 3rd wave era. They come from Sacramento and “Wheel’s Out the Window”, released under Morning Wood Records! Is their second album.

Alright, let’s get into it. One word I would use to describe this album is dynamic, and my opinion changed several times as the album progressed. As a predominately hardcore and ska-core fan, I was pleasantly surprised by some elements in this work. From the great rumbling bass riff to a thrash-like breakdown, I found many things to enjoy. Don’t let me paint this as a heavy ska-punk album though. The majority of the riffs are built around a poppy electric (emphasis on electric) guitar that most of the time got on my nerves, as did the singing which I will get into soon.

I do have to say I am a big fan of the horns on this album. Although they aren’t in every song I found them fantastic and well linked with the guitar, but were also original and crisp similar to that of Streetlight Manifesto’s many hits. Overall I am a fan of the music except for the voice. The lyrics and singer definitely put a damper on my appreciation of the piece. Though the songs have themes of unconformity (“Your Way”) and freedom (“Freedom”), the lead singer Gene sounds similar to the tone you think of when someone says pop-punk and not in a good way. Not to mention cheesy lyrics and rhymes, I found the album at its best when there wasn’t any singing at all. However, if Reel Big Fish, Green Day, and Less Than Jake are your jams, I think you will enjoy this album. Personally if Gene could pull off a kind of Jason Navarro of The Suicide Machines this album would be twice as good.

Overall I would recommend the album due to an overall appreciation for creating something fresh in the ska scene that announces similar values to that of the masters. Although I critiqued the guitar heavily, it did have its moments as well as the rest of the instruments. About 2/3 of the songs I can see myself listening to again, leaving about 5 or so songs that were in my opinion mediocre due to a pop sound and vocals.

You can find it at bancamp at:
https://atbothendspunk.bandcamp.com/album/wheels-out-the-window

Thanks for reading and leave your comments and opinions below! What did you think of the album?

-PW

The Best of the Worst – Painted Fools

Ska, Punk, Rock and Roll!

New Jersey based The Best of the Worst is back at it with a brand new EP. Painted Fools (available on 04/20/2017) offers up 7 new tracks of, well, ska, punk, and rock and roll.

From dreamy to screamy the band hits a wide range of sounds both across and within individual tracks. I’ll be honest here, I’m not at all familiar with this band, so I’m going to go out on a limb here with who their influences might be. I hear the subtle guiding hand of Bomb the Music Industry, Less Than Jake, Isaac Green and the Skalars, Lawrence Arms and, I don’t know, maybe some Tom Petty.

I am honestly a bit disappointed that I haven’t heard of them before, because I’m rather enjoying what I’m hearing. They’ve got track complexity, without being obtuse. The songs are well crafted with subtlety and nuance. Good takes. Good mix. There’s a link below. Go and buy a copy. Support local music, even if local is 1000s of miles away from where you really are.

We have the internet people! You can listen to sweet new music and then give a band some of your hard earned ducats so that they too can enjoy the sweet life of top shelf ramen on occasion.

http://chokeartist.storenvy.com/products/19480255-the-best-of-the-worst-painted-fools-cd

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Habits Live Hard
2. Inside My Apartment
3. Where Complacency Lives.
4. Spoiler Alert:
5. Doesn’t Really Matter, (feat. Tom Etts)
6. Like Bugs in Amber
7. We’ve Been Held Captive

THE MENZINGERS SHARE VIDEO FOR “AFTER THE PARTY”

PHILADELPHIA PUNK BAND NOW ON NATIONAL HEADLINE TOUR

(Photo Credit Charles Wzresniewski)

Today marks the premiere of the video for “After the Party,” the title track from The Menzingers’ latest album. The Philadelphia punk band’s fifth full-length, After the Party was released last month to much critical acclaim.

Directed by Kyle Thrash, “After the Party” unfolds as a frenetic short film following a young couple through Dairy Queen parking lots, trashed apartments, house parties, motel rooms, pool halls, and rooftops. The video’s gritty yet romantic sensibility perfectly captures the spirit of the song—a bittersweet anthem that Menzingers singer/guitarist Greg Barnett has described as “mundane moments etched behind eyelids that culminate into meaningful realizations, and of course give way to the beautiful trifecta of Sex! Drugs! Rock n Roll!”

Watch the video for “After the Party” here:

Produced by Will Yip (Title Fight, Balance & Composure, Pianos Become the Teeth), After the Party offers a raw yet nuanced look at getting older but not quite growing up. In a five-star review, Blurt praised the album as “one of the best punk records you’ll hear this year.” Also hailing After the Party as the band’s best album to date, Blurt noted that The Menzingers “have been progressively growing from their fiery, aggressive earlier years into something more reflective and introspective, while never compromising energy or attitude.”

AFTER THE PARTY TRACKLIST:

1. Tellin’ Lies
2. Thick as Thieves
3. Lookers
4. Midwestern States
5. Charlie’s Army
6. House on Fire
7. Black Mass
8. Boy Blue
9. Bad Catholics
10. Your Wild Years
11. The Bars
12. After the Party
13. Livin’ Ain’t Easy

The Menzingers are currently on tour in support of After the Party, with Jeff Rosenstock and Rozwell Kid opening up.

Tickets for the tour are on sale now.

THE MENZINGERS TOUR DATES:

Mar 23 Orlando, FL – The Social
Mar 24 Orlando, FL – The Social (Sold Out)
Mar 25 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
Mar 26 Tampa, FL – The State Theatre
Mar 28 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Mar 29 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel (Sold Out)
Mar 30 New York, NY – Irving Plaza (Sold Out)
Mar 31 Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
Apr 01 Boston, MA – Royale (Sold Out)
Apr 04 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg

For more information on The Menzingers, visit:

And The Wasters – State of Repair EP

© 2017
Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

Here’s an interesting little slice of audio for ya. State of Repair, a forthcoming EP by Bristol based folk-ska-punk act “And The Wasters”. Five tracks of music spanning several decades of influence.

I’m immediately struck by how much it reminds me of many of my favorite late 70s / early 80s UK favorites: The Specials and Fun Boy Three, Madness, Pogues, Clash, then throw in a bit of more modern influence of Flogging Molly and Gogol Bordello. Blend it up even more with some dub ska instrumental jams ala Skatalites and I think you’ll get a sense of what I’m picking up.

The opening track, Lion’s Share sets the tone of disenchantment. Without picking apart each track, I get a strong sense of anarcho/pirate punk and a bit of an anti-establishment bent, certainly helpful for any sort of protest music. The tracks are up-tempo and catchy and at only five songs, I’m left with wanting more.

I feel like maybe the tracks I’ve been given to listen to are a bit out of order, what with “Intro Dub” occurring last, but hey, who am I to judge? At any rate, I’ve listened to the EP about 10x through now and I am totally into it. If you haven’t heard And The Wasters, I demand you check them out!

“After many years touring Festivals, Squats and far-flung venues, And the Wasters have evolved from their Folk-Punk-Ska roots through elements of Hip-hop, Balkan & Latin. They weld this explosive musical concoction with an empowering political message to create a relentless live energy!” ~And The Wasters

https://willtunandthewasters1.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/willtunandthewasters

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Lion’s Share
2. Small Victories
3. Reduce, Reuse, Rebel
4. Bound as One
5. Intro Dub

The Scutches announce west coast tour dates

New York punk act, The Scutches, have announced a handful of west coast tour dates.

TOUR DATES:
4/6- Double Down Saloon, Las Vegas, NV
4/7- Palo Verde Lounge, Tempe/Phoenix, AZ
4/8- Tower Bar, San Diego, CA
4/9- Redwood Bar, Manhattan Beach, LA
4/10- The Caravan, San Jose, CA

SOCIAL LINKS:
https://twitter.com/theScutches
https://www.facebook.com/thescutches/
https://thescutches.bandcamp.com/

The Pope Virgins – Confessions

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

How about a little bit of “Local Punk Friday”? That’s a thing now. I said so. So, for Local Punk Friday I’m listening to the debut album from San Diego punk upstarts, The Pope Virgins. (It is important to note that this does not include all popes, as some may assume. To that end, here’s a list of sexually active popes.) Historical footnotes aside, I’m rocking out right now to “Confessions” which is, as I mentioned, the debut release from The Pope Virgins.

According to the band, and I’m paraphrasing here, they are working on reviving the local punk scene. They are a genre diverse band with ska and metal influences as well as straight up punk rock. The songs are largely politically driven, but also include songs about struggles with poverty and a joke song or two.

I should also note that the band supports a very community / scene minded effort to produce physical products, to promote the people and bands involved. (as opposed to streaming content that has become all too popular and convenient these days)

On the whole the music is raw and very “punk”; 4:4 tracks with chunky guitars, bass, snotty vocals, and spitfire drums. There’s a sense of chaos in the tracks as if they are a bit unhinged and could fly apart at any moment. I like that. The band’s sound is reminiscent of older influences like Reagan Youth, Black Flag, DRI, Vandals (after Peace Through Vandalism) and a sound, occasionally similar to, Awesome and the Asskickers. (this is likely a coincidence)

I like the album, by and large. One thing I could live without thought is songs about boning. It just does nothing for me to have a porno script set to a punk rock track. Maybe I’ve made it over the hill and juvenile antics just don’t cut it for me. To each their own though.

One more thing I suppose, the horn playing, while admirable in its attempt, is hilariously bad. Ska is not for everyone, but hell yeah get out there and strangle that fucking saxophone! (I assume it’s a saxophone. It could be a really really sad clarinet.)

Bottom line is fresh faced punk rock in my town. Fuck yeah!

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Happy
2. Keep Your Beer Close But Your Cocaine Closer
3. Confessions
4. God is Sold
5. Amerecock
6. Chromes Lullaby
7. City Streets
8. Muhnolo
9. I Kinda Love You
10. Process of Elimination
11. Humes Paradox
12. Unnamed Poem
13. Now He Watches Anime
14. Virgins Good, Trump Bad
15. Jesus Fucked Up
16. Sad Man

Corrupted Youth – Class Struggle

© 2016 Evacuate Record

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

What’s this that I’ve got course through my earholes? I’ll tell you what som’bitch. I’ve got some screaming bloody fucking murder, backyard crust punk from right out of East L.A. Class Struggle, the recently released album by L.A. underground punk band Corrupted Youth is a blistering salvo aimed squarely at the shit storm that has hit the USA hard in 2016.

Straight out of the gate the band establishes a breakneck pace and rarely lets up during the 40 minute audio assault. The album features 14 scathing tracks. The tracks cut to the bone and continue beyond that. These are songs that call out the problems of war, abuse, life on the streets, poverty, degradation, immigrant life, and the day to day struggle that the working class, the poor, the disenfranchised, the despised, the down and out face in the day of holier-than-though, self-aggrandizing, knee-jerk douche canoes everywhere.

Lyrics are done in both English and Spanish, depending on the track. I’m not fluent in Spanish, but based on the lyrical content of the ones in English, I will suffice it to assume that the core message doesn’t deviate. Thank goodness, by the way for the lyric sheet on the album. If it weren’t for that I’d never be able to discern half the things being spouted. Which brings me to my only real complaint about the release.

SCREAMO vocals. I don’t dig ‘em. … some folks are inclined to disagree. They can disagree all they want. I’m not the one who’s going to blow out my vocal chords and fuck up my throat. Bare that in mind and have a damn lozenge or something. My personal gripes aside, the album is solid in both message and music. The band reminds me sonically of The Casualties meets Leftover Crack (and Star Fucking Hipsters due to the guest vox on track 7, Abuse)

The big take away is that people are still struggling. It’s recognized at the lower spectrum of our society, and people are pissed. How long does this go on before something breaks? As they say, something’s gotta give. So get out there, read something, make yourself aware. Go see shows and support the ones who are calling out the struggle and if anything at least providing a brief reprieve to the day-to-day crap that a lot of people face.

They have some shows coming up in the LA area. Go check ’em.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
War
Immigrantes
Wasted Youth
Confusion
Beer for Breakfast
Death on the Streets
Abuse
Heartless Bastards
Class Struggle
Bigotry
No End
Power for Control
Endless Blockades (GISM)
System Corruption