The Barstool Preachers – Grazie Governo

Currently listening to The Barstool Preachers forthcoming album, Grazie Governo. (Out Aug 24th on Pirates Press) The new album proffers 13 tracks of rather polished sounding punk-based rock and roll. I like the sound, a lot of the time, I think… Well I’m a bit on the fence honestly.

Let me try to give an example. A track will start, like track four, “Choose My Friends” and it sort of drifts in feeling a bit more like Blue October than a ska punk song. I’m sort of not feeling it, but then the chorus kicks in and I’m suddenly way into it. Most of the tracks have given me a similar feeling thus far.

Don’t get me wrong though. The material is solid. It’s well written, played, recorded etc, but there’s something hanging over it that leaves me feeling a slight bit insecure about it I suppose.

I was reading through their bio just now and I think one line in particular helped put a finer point on what I’m feeling. “The Bar Stool Preachers are a band for EVERYONE”. This is exactly what is shining through. Having a broad appeal is fine, but it can stretch too thin sometimes. Imagine a restaurant that has a sweeping wide menu covering food and drinks in a thousand directions. Sure they’ll satisfy the needs of a wide range of customers. It’s rare however that all the items are particularly amazing. I’m more the type who likes places that offers a handful of things they do exceedingly well. You go to them when you know what you want.

I had pretty high hopes for the band when I reviewed an earlier EP. I was anticipating things would take a different turn, or rather be a continuum in a determined direction. I don’t like panning something, and I hope I’m not doing so here. I really do enjoy the opener/title track and the overall gist of the sound. I enjoy the spirit of the album, and honestly from the photos they seem like a fun and happy bunch of blokes. I like most of the choruses as well. Heck, I’ll go on record and say that if this album was all chorus, I would be entirely on board.

There are some additional tracks that have a little more of what I’m looking for. Including the title track:

1. Grazie Governo
11. Since You
12. Force Fed

The bottom line is it ain’t bad, it just ain’t for me.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually
Continue reading The Barstool Preachers – Grazie Governo

SWINGIN’ UTTERS TO RELEASE NEW LP, PEACE AND LOVE, ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 31!

FIRST SINGLE, “HUMAN POTENTIAL,” NOW STREAMING via Brooklyn Vegan

SWINGIN’ UTTERS ANNOUNCE HEADLINING DATES!

SWINGIN’ UTTERS are readying themselves for a busy year. Coming off the heels of celebrating thirty years as a band, and releasing a greatest-hits collection last year, they also managed to write and record a brand new full-length! Today, we’re thrilled to present the first song from the SWINGIN’ UTTERS dynamic new album, Peace and Love. The lead single is called “Human Potential,” and you can take a listen over at Brooklyn VeganPeace and Love will hit the streets on August 31st, and you can pre-order it now! Then, don’t miss them on tour. For all the dates and info, head here!

While its origin story has gone through more reboots than Batman, Superman and Spider-Man combined, punk rock has been a consistent presence on the musical landscape for more than 40 years. You might be surprised to know, however, that the Swingin’ Utters have been around for nearly as long —the band celebrated their 30th anniversary with a greatest-hits collection last year. Hell, this Bay Area street-punk band is so well-respected among their peers, there’s even a whole tribute compilation dedicated to their extensive catalog, including covers by the likes of Dropkick Murphys, Fucked Up and Teenage Bottlerocket.

Since that comp came out in 2010, the Utters have issued three more full-lengths, each more fiery than the last, and now sit on the verge of releasing their ninth proper LP. Recorded at Nu-Tune Studios in Pittsburg, California, this past March by Chris Dugan (Green Day, Iggy Pop), the album is titled Peace And Love, but don’t let that fool you: This isn’t some Haight and Ashbury hippie shit. In fact, according to guitarist/vocalist Darius Koski, Peace And Love’s content is as politically outspoken as the Utters have ever been.

“This is, by far, our absolutely most political record we’ve ever done,” Koski says. “We don’t generally write very pointedly political songs. We tend to be a little more vague and abstract. But this one is pretty pointedly disgusted and pissed off and really directly attacking these fuckin’ people in office.”
“I agree it is our most political record,” remarks singer Johnny Bonnel. “When sexism, racism, and nationalism is the agenda, it’s time to speak up.”

Peace And Love certainly pulls no lyrical punches — we’ll give you three guesses as to who “Yes I Hope He Dies” is about, and the first two don’t count — but the Utters also keep things interesting from a musical perspective, whether it’s the Ramones worship of “E.C.T.” (think of it as the long-gestating counterpoint to “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment”), the surprisingly melodic, Beatles-esque “Seeds Of Satisfaction” (which Koski lovingly refers to as his “surf-goth song”) or the gorgeous, haunting closing track H.L.S., written and performed by guitarist/vocalist Jack Dalrymple and inspired by the sudden death of his former One Man Army bandmate Heiko Schrepel, who passed away in 2015. “Jack actually emailed me that song several years ago, right after Heiko died,” Koski recalls. “Immediately, I knew this is the last song on the record. My only suggestion was that it started with him acoustic, then the band joins in. You don’t really hear Jack that naked ever. That song gives me chills when I hear it.”

The rebellious spirit of the Swingin’ Utters is as present as ever on Peace And Love, although the band looks and sounds a little bit different this time around, thanks to their new rhythm section of Tony Teixeira on bass and Luke Ray on drums. “Both Luke and Tony are stellar musicians who study their work,” says Bonnel. “Luke has amazing ability, but all his drumming is tasteful—it’s never overkill. Tony managed to come up with classic bass lines that made every song a little bit stronger.”Koski echoes Bonnel’s praise, commenting, “We love having these new dudes in the band. Tony is a really melodic, pretty player, whereas Luke is a fucking monster. Tony and Luke are best friends, and they’ve been playing together for years in other bands like Cobra Skulls and Sciatic Nerve, so that really helps.”

It’s been four years since the Utters’ last full-length, so all three songwriters in the band had a stockpile of material when they headed into the studio. That means what you’re getting on Peace And Love is the cream of the crop.
“We usually abandon songs if we think they’re shitty or filler,” Koski admits. “I still have tons of songs; Johnny does too. But we try not to make records super-long.”

Given that the last time the Utters came off a prolonged hiatus, the band ended up cranking out three full-lengths in four years; one has to wonder if Peace And Love is going to be the start of another extended burst of creativity for these punk lifers. Koski isn’t thinking that far ahead, though. In fact, he finds it hard to even enjoy the present. Even though his band has achieved three decades and nine albums together—two feats nearly impossible for most bands—Koski wrestles with his legacy a bit.

“We just keep on going,” he says. “I’m glad we’re still doing it. Johnny’s 50; I’m in my late 40s. I don’t think anything particularly new is gonna happen—we’re not gonna be on TRL any time soon. That’s fine. It’s a total accomplishment to stay together this long, but I’m a total pessimist. I should be totally grateful—and I am! But it’s hard to be a plumber when you wanna be a full-time musician. But wah wah wah—I still get paid to travel and play my songs all over the world. I’m not a millionaire, but who cares? I get to make records, and someone out there cares about them.”

Swingin’ Utters — 2018 Tour Dates
08/23/18 Morro Bay, CA at The Siren
08/24/18 Long Beach, CA at Alex’s Bar
08/25/18 San Diego, CA at Casbah
08/26/18 Las Vegas, NV at Dive Bar
08/28/18 Tempe, AZ at Yucca Tap Room
08/30/18 Albuquerque, NM at Launchpad
08/31/18 Colorado Springs, CO at The Black Sheep
09/01/18 Denver, CO at Streets of London
09/02/18 Salt Lake City, UT at Urban Lounge
09/04/18 Reno, NV at Shea’s Tavern
09/05/18 Sacramento, CA at Harlow’s
09/06/18 Albany, CA at Ivy Room
09/07/18 San Jose, CA at The Ritz
09/08/18 Redding, CA at The Dip
Peace and Love  track listing:
Undertaker, Undertake
Sirens
Louise and Her Spider
E.C.T.
Dubstep
Constant Companion
Deranged
Demons of Springtime
Human Potential
Seeds of Satisfaction
Yes I Hope He Dies
Sleeping
Imitation of Silence
Drinkist
H.L.S.

The Filaments – Look To The Skies

Fuck yeah!

Here’s something I didn’t even know that I needed. “Look to the Skies”, a the brand new album from The Filaments. Punk, Oi, Ska from Essex, UK. Evidently I’ve been under a rock, as this band has been around since 2009 and here it is the first time I’m hearing them.

I’ve got the new album rolling right now and it’s entirely crushing it. You don’t start out your new album with a track titled ‘Fuck the “Alt” – Right’ without meaning absolute business.

11 tracks of badass punk rock in the vein of Rancid, Bosstones, Street Dogs, Leatherface, The Clash, and more. It’s essentially all of the sounds that I’ve opined about through the years, crammed into a singular action packed album.

I see limited point these days explaining that the band is capable of playing their instruments. It’s getting damn hard to find bands that ain’t worth their salt anymore. Suffice it to say, they do not suck.

Vocals range between Oi style gang vocals on the intro track into Dickie Barrett gravely on track five, “Living in the Crosshairs”. The music follows just as much dynamic shift. Full on ska, in-your-face punk, blistering pick-scratch guitars intros to full orchestral sounds.

This is a bully of a release. Get some!

-Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Fuck The “Alt”-Right 01:15
2. Look To The Skies 02:42
3. Rip-Off World 02:21
4. No Men To Parade 02:31
5. Living In The Crosshairs 03:10
6. Underdogs 03:25
7. Tread Carefully 01:57
8. Ask No Favours 04:21
9. All We’ve Ever Known 01:54
10. The Verge 02:30
11. Killing Machine 01:33

THE FILAMENTS – LOOK TO THE SKIES

 
THE FILAMENTS have released a new track called “Rip-Off World” from their new LP “Look To The Skies,” out June 15th. You can listen to the new song HERE.
 
The band previously released the title track, “Look To The Skies,” which can be listened to HERE.
 
Since The Filaments reformed in 2009, they’ve taken their long-established track record of amazing songwriting and energetic stage performances to new heights, and have been steadily attracting swaths of new fans across England, Europe and the world. With multiple full-lengths and countless tours under their belts, these veterans are still full of drive, and roaring to deliver this amazing new album to the world.
 
This music, like the band, is really one-of-a-kind. Almost like UK ’82 style punk battered by a barrage of dub, 2-tone ska, psychobilly and even a bit of traditional Oi!/streetpunk. It creates an overall sound that is like nothing else; it has something for everyone, and a general appeal that gets people from all segments of the punk community dancing and singing along.
 
The Filaments are now absolute staples in the punk world, especially at the essential European festivals like Rebellion and Punk ‘n’ Disorderly; but they have also graced the stage at larger outdoor getups like Glastonbury (UK), and others. They are as punk as it gets, but because their music is so unique and SO FUN, and their positive message is so clear, they are by no means ‘too punk’ to scare off the masses. In fact, their very clear message rings even louder, and they stand out even more amidst a backdrop of so much banality.
 
TRACK LISTING:
1. Fuck The “Alt”-Right
2. Look to the Skies
3. Rip-Off World
4. No Men to Parade
5. Living in the Crosshairs
6. Underdogs
7. Tread Carefully
8. Ask No Favors
9. All We’ve Ever Known
10. The Verge
11. Killing Machine
 
CATCH THE FILAMENTS ON TOUR!
06/08/2018 – Dijon, France – Maloka Fest
06/09/2018 – Opwijk, Belgium – Loco Fest
06/16/2018 – London, UK – Underworld Camden (Record release show)
08/04/2018 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Rebellion Festival
08/09/2018 – Bristol, UK – Boomtown Festival
09/14/2018 – Derby, UK – Hairy Dog
10/06/2018 – Rennes, France – The Bobbleshop Rennes
 
Find THE FILAMENTS online:

¡No Acción! – Hymns of the Working Class

Gut and grit, check. A street punk old school hardcore vibe, check. Call / response bilingual vocals, check. Rock and roll, CHECK! I’m rocking the new EP, Hymns of the Working Class by Santa Cruz based ¡No Acción! and it is punk rock and roll that’s right up my alley. They tracks are brief, fast, and intelligible.

I’m not going to delve into lyrics and meaning. I’m just going to scratch the surface a bit. The songs are about fast cars, fast women, the working class, and social justice. I think that is something that might resonate with the kids, ya know.

The music is akin to SoCal staples like Social Distortion, The Cadillac Tramps, tempered with more NorCal punk like Rancid, all founded in the roots of whatever hardcore punk anyones listened to since before your dad could drive.

Here’s their website, http://noaccion.net Check ‘em out! Go see a show. Support local music!

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1 Stand Together 02:14
2 Breaking Tides 02:17
3 Faster 02:00
4 Salad Bowl Rock’n’Roll 02:30
5 ¡No Accion! 01:50

Bio
¡No Acción! is a four-piece band with a Punk Rock attitude and a RockN’Roll soul. We grew up in the Salad Bowl of the Salinas Valley, stretching through Watsonville and on to Santa Cruz California. We’re the sons of the working class… los hijos de campesinos y la clase obrera.

Ease Up – Return to Sender

I’m giving a quick listen to the new three track EP by ska/punk/reggae band Ease Up. I suppose that two and a half songs may be more apt. There are certainly three tracks, but two are very distinct versions of the same song, “Return to Sender” (not a cover). Bear in mind, the order that I am listening to the tracks is not the order that they will be on the release. (See below)

If you are down with any of the above mentioned genres, I think you’ll be pleased with the results of the band’s efforts. The two versions of “Return to Sender” alternate between a decidedly 3rd wave initial take into an sun-drenched island reggae version, heavy on the sleepy ganja-laced vibe. The final track cuts back to the faster and heavier vibe of the first, but with a rather Sublime vs. Less Than Jake appeal.

At the end of it all, this is quintessential SoCal summer beach music. Ska and Reggae vibes mixed with a decent dose of punk swagger.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Track Listing:
1. Return to Sender (2:43)
2. Turnaround (2:58)
3. Return to Sender (Mix) (3:35)

Get some: http://www.easeupmusic.net

No Takers – S/T

Currently listening to a self-titled release from No Takers. The seven track release is aggressive, hardcore punk, with tinges of speed metal nicely interwoven into the mix. Hints of Agnostic Front, Madball, and Sick Of It All, and D.R.I. are dancing through my head as the tracks spin on.

The band, while certainly a product of its influences, manages to provide a take on the genre that is simultaneously brand new, yet oddly familiar. It’s as though a band you loved from the late 80s found a previously unreleased album somewhere in a vault. You’ve never heard it before, but you totally know where it’s coming from.

As a product of 80’s metal, punk, and hardcore, I’m definitely onboard with the sound. It’s well crafted, fast, intense, and articulate. What’s not to like?

Cheers!
-Jerry Actually

No Takers, from Denver, CO, combine the speed and ferocity of 90s street punk with the passion, intensity and creativity of 80s hardcore. Drawing influence from bands across genres, this 4 piece uses intricate metal-inspired riffs over an unrelenting rhythm section to create a sound of their own.

Brandon Davis – Vocals
Delon Beckett– Guitar
Jason Chavez – Bass
Ryan Longenecker – Drums

NoTakersMusic.com

@NoTakersMusic

The Jukebox Romantics – Sleepwalk Me Home

Generally a bit behind the curve here at good ol’ Upstarter, I’m just now getting around to listening to Sleepwalk Me Home, the late 2017 release from The Jukebox Romantics. As wise wise people have espoused for millennia before me, better late than never.

I can’t say that I’ve listened to the band before. Well, I could say it, but it probably wouldn’t be truthful. If I have though, it was maybe on a comp, or I thought it was Blink 182 or something. With that said, the band captures the finer points of pop punk, namely being poppy, whilst being punk rock. Seriously though, 10 tracks, mostly under the three minute mark, stemming from a peppy rock trio? This is entirely up my alley.

The band lists Alkaline Trio and The Bouncing Souls as influences and I can definitely hear them, but I really pick up a Blink vibe. Maybe it’s in the way they sound so SoCal sardonic, despite being from downstate NY (I initially suspected this was a secret code for New Jersey) No matter. They sound good. They sound especially good if you like pop punk.

It’s funny, to me at least. My “reviews” have rather devolved to the point of, “here’s my opinions about things while I’m listening to this new (to me) music) I don’t know that it is expressly helpful to anyone at this point. I hope that it is.

The takeaway here: Pop punk. Good. Fast. Fun. New!

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

illicitor – self-titled


Illicitor is a 3 piece punk/hardcore band born out of the ashes of prolific Las Vegas favorites: Holding Onto Sound. Their debut album arrived December 2017.

I was somewhat familiar with Holding Onto Sound (HOTS). I spent a little time listening to their music, an interview, and a review. I have also seen them perform live in the past, so I was excited to hear about illicitor. Stripped down 3-piece punk rock born from some familiar faces and voice. Thus far the self-titled debut does not disappoint.

The core of the nine tracks are uptempo punk rock with some hardcore aggression. There are some departures from the formula with track 4. The Body and The Dirt with its acoustic guitar and vocal intro, climbing into full arrangement and eventual insistence on a complete sonic uprising. For a trio, the soundscape is quite full. Studio magic goes a long way, but then again so does competent musicianship, none of which are in short supply on this release.

The band ticks a lot of boxes on my list of favorite rock and roll features: fast paced, trio, clear vocals, short tracks with a bit of grit. If you’re of a similar mind, and I know that you are, check out illicitor. I have no doubt that you will dig the hell out of them.

Nothing on the album gives me cause to be overly critical, but nothing can be completely perfect I suppose. There is a bit of psychedelic guitar noodling that I could probably live without, but overall a solid debut from Las Vegas’ illicitor.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Members:
Zabi Naqshband – bass, vocals
Bob Gates – guitar, vocals
Micah Malcolm – drums


(Photo by Aaron Mattern)

Senior Discount – The Christmas Medley

Rhode Island punk rock band Senior Discount has their song “The Christmas Medley” (consisting of eight Christmas songs) up TODAY (12/22/17) on iTunes/Google Play Music/Amazon Mp3, etc!
Senior Discount will be direct support next weekend for the one-off Pietasters show at the Met in Providence, RI on Friday, December 29th (the day before the Pietasters join the Mighty Mighty Bosstones for their Hometown Throwdown Show in Boston).

Merry Christmas, Fuckers!