Ever find yourself missing a band from the past and serendipitously stumbling into them, or an iteration of the sound you missed, some time in the future?
Well biggity bam, fam, here I am.
I got an email a couple weeks ago about a new 7” from Duck & Cover. The name of the band didn’t ring a bell at all, but as I started listening, there was a familiarity that couldn’t be missed. A quick scan of the sidebar revealed “(ex/current The Coffin Lids, The Acro-brats, Bang Camaro, Black Cheers, Vampire Lezbos, The Throwaways, The Drags, Wild Zero…)”
I want to digress a bit here to say that anyone currently aged 15 – 80 is very likely also a ex/current member of Bang Camaro, it’s just one of those things.
Anyway, I’ve long enjoyed The Acro-brats, specifically. This is documented by the long since faded sticker on my car. It’s nice to hear some new material with a familiar sound.
I don’t want to detract from Duck & Cover with my nostalgic opine, however. The band and their new 7” Two Shots have merit on their own.
Three tracks of bouncy rock and roll, with a bit of a post new wave vibe about it. It’s like what an alternate 80s timeline could have been if hair metal never took to the high seas and bomb-blasted us all with their Hollywood sleaze.
I suppose this all distills down to where I tell you what you get. Well, what you get is a solid rock and roll band, tempered by punk and new wave of yesteryear. The culmination of that is a damn fine 7” record.
Ok, so I’m a total newbie to DC based Supreme Commander, and boy howdy have I been missing out. Right now listening to Tooth And Nail, the newest release from this hardcore quartet, and it’s shaking the dust off my ceiling.
The album features 10 tracks of defiant and decidedly East Coast Hardcore. The sound is reminiscent of the likes of Sick Of It All, Madball, Slapshot, and so many other bands that typify the 80s/90s HXC sound.
The songs are brief and intense. The lyrics are both relevant and topical, with tunes about everybody’s daily grind, ala track four, “Rat Race”. Track five, “Logos” brings reference to the piercing pain that most folks know, “stepping on a lego, in the dark.” Track nine, “Keyboard Warrior” delves into the world of the online badass. As a bonus at the end, you get a solid cover of Minor Threat’s “Guilty of Being White”.
Front to end, a solid release. From slow mosh grind to complete windmill-inducing frenetics, Tooth And Nail covers all the bases. Don’t believe me, go check it for yourself: https://supremecommander.bandcamp.com/
In December 2019, Fat Mike dropped a list of albums that were coming out in 2020. One of them was The Suicide Machines, and today we finally get to unveil the details! Their debut FAT full-length, Revolution Spring, streets on March 27th, and is available for pre-order now! What’s
more, this new album is filled to the brim with blistering, rousing
songs that combine hardcore, ska, and anthemic punk rock. Recorded in
“about 12 days” at Rancho Recordo, and produced by Less Than Jake’s bassist Roger Lima, you can get your first contagious kiss of their lead track, “Awkward Always,” below.
Vocalist, Jason Navarro, had this to share about joining the FAT family: We
all felt we wrote such a good record that there could be no home for us
other than FAT. It’s an honor to be in the DIY house they built and be
included with so many Legendary bands. Feels like we are finally home.
Photo: Mark Marfa Capodanno It was in 2006 that Detroit punks The Suicide Machines called it a day after 15 years and six full-throttle, super-charged and confrontational albums. The break didn’t last too long – in 2009, the four-piece crew reconvened to play the occasional local shows and embarked on some even less frequent tours. There was no sign of new material – until now!
Revolution Spring, the band’s seventh album, and first new material since 2005’s War Profiteering Is Killing Us All, will be released March 27th, 2020. What’s more, this new album full of blistering, rousing songs finds the band on truly explosive and energetic form. So why now you may ask? “Everyone just kind of got inspired,” chuckles vocalist Jason Navarro, about the band’s decision to begin making music again. “That’s all. I think we were watching all these other bands ride a wave of nostalgia and we didn’t want to be lumped into that, so we started writing a couple of songs and it went from there.”
Over the course of a couple of years, the band – completed by drummer Ryan Vandeberghe, bassist Rich Tschirhart and guitarist Justin Malek (who is also the drummer in Navarro’s post Suicide Machines outfit Hellmouth) – wrote a total 30 songs. With the help of both Less Than Jake’s bassist Roger Lima, who produced Revolution Spring, and The Code’s frontman Marc Code, who is their longtime friend and now manager, The Suicide Machines whittled those 30 songs down to the 16 that make up this record. While on the one hand, these songs serve as an overview of the band’s career and the different permutations of punk they’ve dabbled in over the years, it also possess the energy, spontaneity and enthusiasm of a band many years their junior – albeit with the wisdom that comes from being alive for a few decades.
Recorded in “about 12 days” at Rancho Recordo – the studio run by Marc Jacob Hudson, who also plays bass for Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers – Revolution Spring is a powerful and cohesive combination of hardcore, ska and anthemic punk rock. That, says Navarro, was all fueled by “Awkward Always”, “Black Tar Halo” and “Impossible Possibilities”, the first three songs that the band wrote, all of which made the cut for the record. “We did those three right off the bat,” says Navarro, “and we were like ‘Wow, these are better than most of the songs Suicide Machines have ever written in any form. That was the start of the spark. It was a long process after that because we were very picky about it, because we wanted to put out the record we wanted to put out and nothing else.”
While Revolution Spring harnesses the belligerent energy that has defined The Suicide Machines since their inception, there are, Navarro says, two marked differences this time around. The first is that these songs are particularly personal.
“This album is legitimately pretty autobiographical,” he says. “A lot of it is very personal – about how I am and where I am now and how I got where I am now mentally. I kind of wanted to leave my children with an understanding of who I am as an older person. Maybe years from now when I’ve passed away, they can pick up the record and look at the lyrics and listen to it and, if they didn’t already know exactly, go ‘Okay, so this is what dad is about.’” The personal component is especially obvious on “Trapped in A Bomb”, a poignant ode to a close friend Navarro lost to suicide that made the singer open up lyrically, perhaps more than he ever had before.
“I completely burst into tears the first time I had to sing that one,” he admits. “It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to sing. I’ve definitely tried to kill myself, but my friend did it. He called me, and an hour later he was dead. This is me saying ‘I’ve made it to this point, and I wish you could have, too.’”
The second overriding difference on this album is the (relatively) newfound optimism possessed by the singer. He started becoming aware of this when he made Oblivion, Hellmouth’s 2016 third full-length. “You wouldn’t think this would be the case with the way the world is looking now,” he admits, “but I’ve become a lot more positive about things. And I stopped pointing fingers and started doing things instead – I feed the homeless a couple of times a week with a bunch of friends of mine, I’ve protested against ICE here in Detroit, I’ve done things locally like water drives for Flint – and I feel like doing these things has created more positivity in my head, whereas before I was being pissed off and not doing anything.”
That’s not to say The Suicide Machines aren’t pissed off on this record, let’s be clear on that point. Opener “Bully In Blue” is a breakneck anthem that rallies against police brutality; the jaunty, ska-punk tones of “Babylon of Ours” overlay a harsh indictment of capitalism and American imperialism, and “Flint Hostage Crisis” is a brutal takedown that addresses the lack of clean water in that city – and the fact that nothing has been done to address it. ‘This is what class war really looks like’ snarls Navarro viciously at the end of the brief, belligerent track. Still, he insists, he’s just writing about things close to him, and that he stopped far short of where he otherwise would have done in the past.
“I’m from here,” he says, “so I feel like it’s something we know. My best friend works for the water department there. He’s sold merch for us, so I know a lot about it. I didn’t say ‘Hey, we should hang our governor and kill him’, whereas, maybe 10 years ago I would have. I’m just saying that this is fucked, and this is how these things work and if you think that’s a surprise, it’s not.”
Yet despite all that, and despite the messed-up world these songs reflect so well… and despite this record’s provocative, insurrectionary title – Revolution Spring, is not, first and foremost, a political record. Although it reasserts The Suicide Machines as one of the most formidable and relevant punk bands around, more importantly for Navarro, it documents his personal growth as a human being and where he is at this very moment in time.
“It represents the change inside of me,” he explains. “People might think it’s political, but really it’s me thinking about springtime as rebirth. There’s change inside of me at 46 years old that’s strangely positive somehow. That’s not something I ever expected, because I’ve been a pretty angry person. And I think the other guys are in the same boat. But I could be dead tomorrow – and I’d be absolutely alright with leaving the world with this record.”
Old and new fans alike will find Revolution Spring an energetic homage to the band’s past anthemic, hardcore, ska-punk roots, mixed with the newfound optimism and raw personal life experiences of the band. It’s good to have them back.
Revolution Spring track listing:
1 Bully in Blue 2 Awkward Always 3 Babylon of Ours 4 Flint Hostage Crisis 5 To Play Caesar (Is to Be Stabbed to Death) 6 Trapped in a Bomb 7 Detroit Is the New Miami 8 Eternal Contrarian 9 Well Whiskey Wishes 10 Black Tar Halo 11 Empty Time 12 Impossible Possibilities 13 Potter’s Song 14 Simple 15 Anarchist Wedding 16 Cheers to Ya
The Suicide Machines Tour Dates:
28 Mar in McKees Rocks, PA, US @ Roxian Theatre w/ Anti-Flag 04 Apr in Atlantic City, NJ, US @ Atlantic City Beer Festival 09 May in Wels, Austria @ Sbam Fest 2020 23 May in Leeds, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival North 24 May in Hatfield, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival South
It’s a new year. It’s a new decade. It’s friday and it’s time to let loose. So pry your head from your desk and read about some Florida punk ska courtesy of Victims of Circumstance.
Five is the brand new album from Clearwater-based VOC. It throws down 12 rowdy rock-n-ska tracks. Pop sensibility, rock hooks, horns, and a punk attitude all line up for a fairly contagious release.
The bands decade and a half together is evident in the songcraft and musicianship. The sound isn’t overproduced however, merely polished. It is reminiscent of the transition that Mustard Plug made over the years. Bands grow and learn as they do and eventually gel in a way that doesn’t often manifest in the nascent years. I’m hearing that here is what I’m saying.
You’ve heard ska and punk combined before. If you like how that made you feel, I can’t imagine how you’re not going to dig this album. Absolutely for fans of Bosstons, Mustard Plug, Buck-0-Nine, and tbh, vocally I keep picking up hints of Dropkick. I certainly don’t want to typecast though, so for fans of, and the fans to be, get on up and check out a copy of Five
01 Sober 3:36 02 Tonight We’re Getting Loud 2:34 03 The X 4:25 04 Involuntary 2:48 05 Aggravated 3:38 06 Obey The Rules 4:51 07 Enemy 3:23 08 Quit Looking for the Win (Vinnie Owes us a S… 3:40 09 Never Have I Ever 3:47 10 Roll the Dice 3:42 11 The Edge 3:21 12 Ready to Go 2:25
Founded in 2005 in Clearwater, Florida, Victims of Circumstance is a punk and ska band known for blending pop-hooks with a unique style of ska. The current line-up includes band members: Michael Smyth (vocals & guitar), Glenn Stewart (drums), Lindsey Pittard (bass), Jason Atheney (saxophone), and Devin Johnson (trumpet).
The VOC, as they are known by fans, built a loyal following while playing around their home state of Florida before setting out on a tour that ended with an invitation to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones tenth Hometown Throwdown in Boston, MA in 2007. Victims of Circumstance has performed with numerous national acts including Less Than Jake, Big D & the Kids Table, The Pietasters, The Aquabats, Mustard Plug, Whole Wheat Bread, The Toasters and many, many others.
In 2007 they tapped The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ saxophone player and skacore veteran Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton to produce their first full-length album, Do It Yourself. At the end of 2008, Steve Foote of Big D and the Kids Table produced their second album, Roll the Dice, released in 2009.
In early 2011, the VOC flew to Japan and recorded their first live album, 2011’s Live in Japan.
After returning from their first 3 week European Tour in the summer of 2011, The VOC released their self produced album Acupunkture and received rave reviews such as – “This album is Great!. It stands up with the best in the genre.” – Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
In July and August 2012 the VOC completed another successful 3 week European tour which included playing at the world’s biggest Punk Rock Festival, “Rebellion”, in Blackpool UK. The VOC also provided support on their tour for bands such as MXPX, Snuff and The Creepshow.
In the fall of 2012 the band recorded a six song EP of cover tunes. The album, titled Decades, featured one song from each decade from the ’50s through the 2000’s. Including an all out Punk and Ska version of UK Boy Band One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”. Following that release, VOC returned to the studio to write and record their fourth studio album, No More Heroes.
In the summer of 2014 Victims of Circumstance released their fourth studio album No More Heroes and provided support for bands such as Streetlight Manifesto and The Dropkick Murphys. Online punk news organization, Dying Scene, selected No More Heroes as their top pick for best punk-ska album of 2014.
During 2015, VOC continued to tour in support of the new album. During the summer they completed their third – 3 week European tour to help celebrate their 10th anniversary. Tour dates included several festivals such as “The Boom Town Fair” and playing an all out killer set on the main stage during the final day of “Rebellion”.
2016 had the band continuing to play in support of No More Heroes as well as re-entering the studio to record the follow up to Decades, “Decades Volume #2”, which was released in the spring of 2017 receiving heavy play across college and internet radio.
While VOC continued to play numerous shows and festivals across the southeast for the next few years, they also re-entered the studio in 2018 – 2019 to record their 5th full length all original studio album “FIVE”. The album stretches the boundaries of their Punk and Ska roots and launches them into their 15th year as a band. “FIVE” will be released in January 2020.
Gonna bust out a dirty one here for NY punk rockers, SKUM CITY.
Rise of the Skum is an 11 track blast of aural assault that will simultaneously stab you in an ear and peel your face off. Old school East Coast HC vibes on short punchy tracks.
Gritty by snotty vocals and vintage shred, clock radio speaker distorted guitars, combine with stripped down drums and bass definitely impart a garage / basement vibe.
Excepting track 5. “Don’t Worry/Maggots” (arguably two songs) is well under the two minute mark. (Which, as you may well know, the appropriate time span for songs to exist in.)
By and large a punk rock / hardcore release, the signature drifts a little towards speed metal turf with track 8. “People You May Know” … It doesn’t drift too far mind you, just enough.
Vintage / old school aside, the sound isn’t lost in the pas. It’s fully engaged in the present and showcases the fact punk and hardcore remain vital forces in music to this day.
End of the line it’s a kick ass new release from SKUM CITY. It’s old. It’s new. It’s fucking true.
1. Rise of the Skum 01:38
2. Diazepam 02:07
3. Stay Home and Fuck 01:28
4. 24×4 01:09
5. Don’t Worry/Maggots 03:17
6. Front Me A Quarter 01:23
7. Coexist 01:57
8. People You May Know 01:44
9. Why Even Have Friends 01:06
10. Leg Rub Steve 01:02
11. Driven By Distraction 02:14
Skum City is a bone crushing hardcore punk rock powerhouse that hails from NYC. They’ve been around the block a few times and like aged BEEF, they only get better with time. Beef ages well with time, right? RIGHT?! Their songs are hook-driven, guitar- heavy blasts of energy that will leave you breathless, yet begging for more. The band was started in 2007 by the hell raising husband and wife team of Mike Moosehead, on searing guitar, and Xtene on scintillating bass. The two most recent additions to the band are drummer Gisel, who plays so fast that her wrists look like humming birds fluttering above barrels on honey, and vocalist Christopher Thee Wailing-Siren. Christopher is a charismatic singer who is equal parts fearless front man, as well as a no-holds-barred, poet, borderline stand up comic in the vein of say a Lenny Bruce or a Don Rickles.
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!
My, Myself, and Idioms
Painted on My Spine
Level of Malevolence
Being Alive in the 21st Century
Some of a Kind
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.
It’s certainly a good morning knowing that there is a new Omnigone song for everyone to enjoy.
As announced a few weeks back, Omnigone is a new ska-punk project helmed by Adam Davis (Link 80/Desa) that picks up where Link 80 left off. Davis collaborates with a rotating cast of musicians from bands such as: Rx Bandits, Link 80, We are the Union, Kitty Kat Fan Club, Ogikubo Station, and more! Their debut LP, No Faith, releases on September 13th via Bad Time Records. Today, you can stream “Rather Be Alone” on Rebel Noise. The track steps outside of the ska-punk realm in favor of a more traditional ska groove and features former Rx Bandits member, Steve Borth, on sax & keys.
Tour Dates: 9/13 @ 924 Gilman – Berkeley, CA w/ Dan P. (Mu330) and Kill Lincoln
Bio: Omnigone may be a new name in the East Bay CA ska punk scene, but they’re certainly no strangers to the genre. Twenty years ago Adam Davis joined Link 80, a band that seamlessly combined ska rhythms with aggressive and politically charged hardcore punk, leaving a legacy and a sound that would change the meaning of “ska punk” indefinitely. While Link 80 is no more, Adam (Guitar/Vocals) has picked up the torch and is lighting the way with Omnigone. Joined by Barry Krippene (Link 80/Blast Bandits) and a rotating cast of players including: Brent Friedman (We Are The Union), Steve Borth (Rx Bandits / Link 80), Justin Amans (Kitty Kat Fan Club/Ogikubo Station), Jeremy Hunter (Skatune Network/We Are The Union), Bootie Pook (Beat the Red Light), Aaron Carnes (Flat Planet) & Reece Noble, Omnigone recorded thirteen tracks that make up their debut full length No Faith. No Faith hits you quick band doesn’t let up, weaving aggressive anthems across genres to make up a fun, intense, but ultimately dynamic record. Whether you’re a fan of hardcore, punk, or ska there is something for everyone on this promising debut.
DIRECTED BY JONAH RAY AND FEATURING COMEDIAN KYLE KINANE
Off With Their
Heads announce details on their forthcoming album Be Good, set for
release on August 16. The band has shared video for the track
“Disappear,” directed by Jonah Ray and featuring comedian Kyle Kinane. Watch the video for “Disappear” now.
“All the other records were about moping around and feeling sorry for
yourself,” says frontman Ryan Young. “This one is less about feeling
sorry for yourself and more about accepting how goddamn miserable you
Young and the band members—bassist Robbie Smartwood, guitarist John
Polydoros, and new drummer Kyle Manning—holed up at The Hideaway in
Minneapolis with additional recording at Pachyderm Studios, a
mid-century mansion where Nirvana recorded In Utero, to make Be Good.
Young produced the record himself, and it was the first time he enjoyed
the process, or at least tolerated it. “I don’t like how the old
records sound, and I hate recording so much,” he says. “You could just
hear all the dumb shit on them where I was like, whatever, just let it
go, I want to get out of here.”
Forced acceptance is a big theme of Be Good, though it’s a
hard-learned one, often emerging in the form of primal screams in the
band’s trademark style of gruff-punk. “Hands up to the sky and shout at
the top of your lungs, ‘til the floor falls out!” Young yells on the
title track, sounding somewhere between motivational speaker and
Much of the self-deprecation that defined the band’s previous work has
been adjusted. It was the years spent out of the van, developing a life
at home in Chicago, that gave Young his newfound, slightly more positive
perspective. “Not being on the road 250 days a year, actually trying to
develop some sort of life outside of playing shows and drinking, you’d
be surprised what that does,” he says.
If ever there was a time for Ryan Young’s distinct brand on cautious
optimism, it’s now. “The title is an answer to that question of what
you’re supposed to do now that the world is so awful and the climate of
this stupid country is so shitty,” he says. “Be good, be loud—that’s
sometimes all you can do, I guess, as cheesy as that sounds.”
Be Good Track Listing
1. Disappear – 3:15
2. Be Good – 3:32
3. You Will Die – 3:11
4. No Love – 2:53
5. Take Me Away – 4:07
6. Tear Me Apart – 2:35
7. Trash It – 3:31
8. Let It All – 2:18
9. Severe Errand – 2:53
10. Locking Eyes – 4:51
11. Death – 2:49
Off With Their Heads – Promo Photo – Credit Patrick Houdek [hi-res]
DIY Punk is alive and well in Anacortes, Washington. For the unaware, Anacortes is a small town in Northwest Washington State, damn near up to the Canadian border. It’s great to hear tunes coming out of small town USA. As testament to this, I’m listening to “All-American” the debut full-length by BUFFET.
The album is all all jagged edges and garage spirit. 14 tracks of rock and roll energy. While the sound is familiar, it’s also refreshingly new. The intro track, “Land” has a lot of the same vibe as “Possessed” by Suicidal. The band professes to be influenced by Circle Jerks and Descendents, and I can totally hear that.
The tunes progress rapidly, ADD fashion. The bulk of the songs clock in under the 2 minute mark. It’s important. There’s a lot of shit going on. No one needs to be weighed down by the burden of epic ballads, unless they choose that. Viva short songs!
There is a small selection of the songs that slow down the pace and pick up the emotion. Track 6, “Throne” is the pinnacle of this. It works well as a point to catch your breath. After that it’s back into the full swing.
The structures are simple and repetitive, great for driving home the point. The notes claim the album was recorded “live” at Anacortes Unknown. I take this to mean it was recorded as the full band, at once. This is as opposed to individual multi-tracks. If this isn’t the case, damn there must not have been a single person at that show.
Personal favorite is track 8, “4 Brides For 4 Guys”. It’s short and sweet. Autobiographical, perhaps, or maybe just wishful thinking.