Handheld are a friendly looking punk band from Kitchener, Ontario. When I saw their picture I thought to myself, “They seem fine”. After seeing the music video for “Leaving Candyland,” off their forthcoming album, that feeling only intensified. Before we get into the music, the band, and the history of Kitchener formerly being called Berlin before anti-German sentiment during World War I resulted in changing the name to a former British field marshal (we might not actually get to that part), let’s talk about this amazing music video in greater detail.
Both the song and the video pay homage to the peerless John Candy, who is a Canadian treasure of the highest order. If you don’t love John Candy, then you’re a bad person who hates punk, and must only be here for those stupid Google ads about that company who makes tech fiber cargo shorts with knife holsters. This video brings back to life many of John Candy’s best roles, with the band dressing up as Barf from Spaceballs, Uncle Buck, Del from Planes, Train, and Automobiles, and more. Famous scenes from these seminal films are reenacted, but with guitars. It’s well done, and a lot of fun to watch. The song itself is catchy early Fat style punk that should appeal to anyone who snowboarded with blue hair in the 90s. In particular I hear the first two Strung Out albums, but with some Blink 182 in there as well. It’s got the young goofiness of the latter, but also there are multiple kick drums firing off at rapid speed the whole time, bits of metallic noodling, and tons of dudes going, “Aaahhhh, laaahhh”. I think if you like either of those bands, you’ll like this record too. It’s got a lot of good things going for it. John Candy for one, it’s a comeback album (their first in 14 years, which I love), and they’re from non-Toronto Ontario, which has churned out some of the best punk rock the world has ever known.
These guys seem like they’re having a good time and actually like each other, which is something that always translates well into the music. Look at Oasis for example, they’re terrible. I bet catching Handheld live in their hometown, especially after a long hiatus, is not a bad way to spend a night out in Kitchener.
Man, Scott Radinsky is an interesting guy. The level of success he’s achieved in both professional athletics and punk rock is unparalleled. It’s especially impressive when you factor in that his punk career not only includes being in a hardcore band that put out a record on Mystic in the 80s, but also in Pulley who were at the top tier of the 90s Fat/Epitaph melodic punk boom.
I can think of a few other people who have had some sort of career in both sport and punk rock, but those who come to mind have only a peripheral or brief affiliation with the former. Ross Knight from Cosmic Psychos won a world championship in weightlifting, Mick Jones reportedly had a tryout with Crystal Palace, Bob Mould wrote scripts for the WCW, and Russ Rankin from Good Riddance is a talent scout for the WHL.
Scott, on the other hand, was a legit Major League Baseball pitcher, most notably for the White Sox and Dodgers. According to his Wikipedia page, his teammates in Chicago called him “Rad” (which is how he will be referred to from this point forward in the review) and he rode his bike to Cominsky Park for games. He later became a fan favorite local hero while in LA.
I like to envision a scenario where Rad is just super focused in the bullpen during a game listening to his Walkman, and Bobby Thigpen walks up and is like, “Hey, Rad. What are you listening to that’s got you so jacked up?”. To which he replies, “RKL” and then stands up and throws a flaming 120 mph fastball into the bullpen catcher’s mitt. The catcher then has to remove his mitt because of the heat. Rad lowers sunglasses onto his face and looks into the camera just as the bassline to “Hangover” starts. Then the White Sox lose the game to the world champion 1991 Minnesota Twins.
There are a lot of different iterations of this. Make up your own! It basically just needs to include Rad, any random Nardcore band, sunglasses, another MLB player of that era (preferably American League for accuracy), a flaming baseball, and the bassline to “Hangover”.
Moving along, Rad put up solid numbers throughout the 90s, despite missing the entirety of the 1994 season winning a battle against Hodgkin’s Disease. His playing career squeezed him out of being in Ten Foot Pole (who his 80s band Scared Straight had morphed into), due to his inability to tour during the MLB season. Rad just went ahead and started a better, more successful melodic punk band, who began a string of well received records on Epitaph in 1996. As his playing career came to a close, Pulley kept active and Rad began a career as a pitching coach for a variety of MLB and minor league squads.
This album is Pulley’s first in six years, and only their second in the last 17. I had to go back and refresh my memory of what the “classic” Pulley records sounded like, but stylistically this one does not seem to stray too far from the winning formula. It’s a strong batch of songs that their fanbase will be stoked on. Rad has the perfect vocals for melodic SoCal punk, similar to contemporaries like Tony Sly. Although I don’t listen to this type of punk very often as a man deep into his forties, I sure as hell did as a teenager deep into his 40s (of Olde English), and that nostalgia will always be there for this sound. If you’ve ever moshed in a pair of Arnettes and would like to revisit that period of your life, then check this one out.
Tracks: 01 Repeat Offender 02 Lonely 03 Wake Up 04 Two Winds 05 Align The Planets 06 Northbound 07 Sad Song 08 Golden Life 09 Frances 10 Dust Off The Dreams 11 Transmigration 12 California
You’re probably like me. You just want a little bit of Ska Punk to listen to. Maybe you want it to be flavored with a delicate hint of Bluebonnets? Why wouldn’t you? Well then dig into this. “With A Vengeance” is the 4th full album from Austin TX band Hans Gruber and the Die Hards, and it’s pretty damn kickass!
Pre-order’s for the 2nd pressing can be found here.
The album opens with a cumbia inspired track, “Nothing Like a Good Old Fashioned Witch Hunt”. The band has this to say about it:
“Nothing Like a Good Old Fashioned Witch Hunt” started as a musical exploration into Kurt’s obsession with the horn heavy Cumbia sounds he was introduced to while living in Texas. Not being one to shy away from cramming several genres together, we also managed to flow through some hardcore and punk rhythms in the piece.
Lyrically, this song represents some stream of consciousness frustrations Kurt had with some of his friends, family and self, that, in retrospect, also reflect some of the more bizarre aspects of modern American culture.
We’d love to tell you the old fashioned 3D effects applied to this music video is about world views and our split nation. But it’s just because we thought it looked cool. Feel free to read into it and give the video some depth and meaning for us.
“With a Vengeance” is the most “Hans Gruber and the Die Hards-y” album we’ve done. Cliche as it is to say, it’s been a weird time getting this out and we can’t be more proud.
~Kurt, Rosey and Chris
The music and lyrical content is diverse. From the highly controversial “No No Bronto”, a ska punk treatise on the non-existence of the Brontosaurus to the sweep arpeggios accompanying the doom metal sounds of “My Friend Chuck”, into the haunting proto-occult wailings of “Vril Society”, each track rings out a distinct piece of the cohesive whole.
The clearly tongue-in-cheek lyrics of “Let’s Drive Everywhere” provided a glimpse into the band’s environmental standpoint. “Squatcore” featuring Omnigone is a shout along punk rock banger extolling the virtues of physical fitness, obviously.
16 tracks in 29 minutes sets for a breakneck pace, punctuated by an interesting theatrical intermission with their cover of Brazil. It’s a fantastic album. I highly encourage you to check it out, if you haven’t already. As a final note, if you have dandruff, you may want to double check that it isn’t actually ghosts and/or demons. Can’t be too safe.
Cheers! Jerry Actually
Tracks: 1. Nothing Like a Good Old Fashioned Witch Hunt 01:59 2. No No Bronto 01:46 3. My Friend Chuck 01:20 4. Vril Society 02:18 5. No Outside Tanks 01:52 6. Time, I Don’t Want It Anymore 01:25 7. Blood on the Walls 00:42 8. Brazil 02:21 9. Let’s Drive Everywhere 01:58 10. An Old Man Like Me 02:17 11. Monster of Walgren Lake 02:26 12. Credit Cards are a Product of Satan 01:33 13. Dandruff 01:21 14. You’re Being Watched 01:49 15. Squatcore feat. Adam Davis 01:14 16. Praise to the Algorithm 02:30
Hans Gruber and the Die Hards is: Chris Thompson – Drums, Vocals, Theremin, Ukulele Rosey Armstrong – Tenor Saxophone, Vocals Kurt Armstrong – Vocals, Bass, Trombone, Kazoo
Additional musicians: Hans Emanuelson – Guitars, Keys, Trumpet, Ukulele, Backing Vocals Nick Tozzo – Timbales, Congas, Triangle, Guira, Shaker, Tambourine on Tracks 1, 8 and 9 Eric Molina – Baritone Saxophone on Track 1 Jose Noriega – Sousaphone on Tracks 2, 8 and 13 Dave Cavallo – Backup Vocals on Tracks 3 and 8 Drew Leclaire – Backup Vocals on Track 8, Theremin on Track 4 Adam Davis – Vocals on Track 15 Co-Produced, Mixed and Recorded by Drew Leclair
Recorded at Studio 8522, Hokus Tracks and Vine Recording. Mixed at Vine Recording.
Mastered by Luis Crivelli
Bio: Menacingly fun, Hans Gruber and the Die Hards brand of punk/ska mashes genres together like a toddler eating chocolate cake – with messy intensity for maximum enjoyment. From Boston hardcore to Colombian cumbia, southern gospel to crossover thrash, their live shows are filled with pits, sock puppets, conga lines and confusion – if you are nihilistic enough to jump in feet first.
Formed in Austin, TX as a four piece in 2014, the band shamelessly embraces change. Over the years they added a full time Saxophone player, as well as parted ways with two of their founding members. Their newest album, “With A Vengeance,” represents the best of times with the former lineup, the struggles of a new era after their departure, and finding a new voice through these very same songs.
Much like their ability to combine musical genres, their lyrics tread a fine line between metaphor, truth, sarcasm and lies, assuming their audiences have the know-how to join them on this magical journey.
Possessed by unbridled joy for music, Hans Gruber and the Die Hards continue to push forward looking for the next venue to haunt as they chant: IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!
We are stoked to announce the latest addition to our Live in a Dive series with RKL! This is our tenth installment of the series, and takes us back over 30 years to Eindhoven, Holland. The 17-song tracklist is mainly culled from their 1987 album Rock’ n Roll Nightmare, and was recorded at the famed Eindhoven squat-turned-venue De Efenaar. The album cover features the incredible art by longtime RKL cover artist Dan Sites, who recently sat down with Fat Mike on Fat Mike’s Fat Mic to discuss his iconic career, and all things RKL, with founding member, Chris Rest. The album drops on June 3rd and is available for pre-order. Check out the absolute banger of a single, “Scab on My Brain,” streaming everywhere and anywhere that you can stream music!
The tenth installment of Fat Wreck’s Live in a Dive series takes us back over 30 years to Eindhoven, Holland. The date is May 12, 1989, not too long before Montecito, CA punks RKL – aka Rich Kids On LSD – will call it quits (for the first time, anyway). In fact, at this point, the wheels are wobbly and are starting to fall off the band. Their time in Europe is surrounded by hash smoke, booze, drugs, and debauchery that is only exacerbated by their youthful, carefree abandon. Strain is also taking its toll from hard van touring, sleepless nights, heavy drinking, drug use, and tension that is beginning to form like barnacles on the RKL ship. Especially between vocalist Jason Sears & drummer Richard ‘Bomer’ Manzullo who are struggling with the direction of the band seven years into its career. Not that you can tell that from these songs. The 17-song set – a good chunk of which is culled from 1987’s album Rock ’nRoll Nightmare – was recorded at famed Eindhoven squat-turned-venue De Effenaar, and is beautifully ragged and raw. In fact, it sounds like the band members are having the time of their lives. Probably because, despite everything going on behind the scenes, when they were onstage they were having the time of their lives!
“This definitely brings back the excitement of those days,” says Joe Raposo, who joined the band as a bassist in 1987. “Even the rough times, which were harsh, were still exciting, I have to admit. Having to deal with the musical direction change that Bomer was adamant about was definitely a bummer, as we all loved the sound of Rock N Roll Nightmare and wanted to pursue that sound for new songs. Which I think is kinda ironic, because Bomer was the one that wrote most of all the music on that album! But that’s just how he was, always progressing. Dealing with the escalation of heavy drug use was not fun and taking a toll on the members not participating. But listening to this album also brings back all of the wonderful memories of the fun we had on the road, touring in a van with [Destiny Records founder] Dave Pollack. We were all really young and just living life and going for it. We were in our teens and early twenties, and we were literally having the best time of our lives together, you know? It was like live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse!”
Although the band would get back together – twice! – after its initial break-up, things were never quite the same after the members went their separate ways the first time. As such, this record is a document of one of the last points before everything took a dive, of a band holding it together – incredibly well, it has to be said – before everything unraveled. And even though you can’t really hear that tension (“It was mostly in the background when we were on the road,” says Raposo, “but it became very evident when we were trying to write new songs”), when compared to the Double Live in Berlin live album, recorded the year before this one, there does seem to be an extra sense of urgency in these songs. They’re more primal and more ferocious, more intense and more nihilistic. Above all, though, they still sound fun as hell.
“I think we were all still just happy playing together,” says Raposo. “For the most part – I would say 95% of the time or even more than that – we were just having a blast playing every night together. And that was the most important thing. We were all on top of our game, Bomer was a fucking beast on the drums, and Jason was one of the best frontmen ever. He could get a crowd going, he could incite a riot, he could make everybody laugh, he could puke onstage at will!”
Even if there’s no puking at this gig, all of that is nevertheless clear, even 30-something years later and on record. But RKL’s Live in a Dive album – which features incredible art by longtime RKL cover artist Dan Sites – isn’t just a pure representation of the band in all its twisted, untamed glory. It’s not just the sound of a band about to fall off the cliff edge. It also serves as a bittersweet tribute to both Manzullo and Sears, who died in 2005 and 2006 respectively. These songs capture both members in their element – onstage, doing what they love, surrounded by people who love what they do. Just listen to the frantic run-through of “Break the Camel’s Back”, the guttural desperation of “Hangover”, the nervous energy of “Blocked Out”, the blistering frenzy of “Rock N Roll Nightmare”. It’s one of the last times – and certainly the last time caught on tape – that the band would sound this imperfectly perfect, this happily carefree.
“When the band got back together,” remembers Raposo, “drugs had taken a strong hold on some people, and at that point the addictions were just so bad that it couldn’t be resolved, not even with going to rehab or anything else like that. So that’s really sad. And then, of course, shortly after, death started occurring and that became the end of it. So what I really love about this record is that I can always play it and hear my friends playing, and me playing with my friends, hearing us all play together, and sharing that love on stage with one another. That’s the best thing ever. It’s a great memorial.
Track Listing 1. Lies 2. Beautiful Feeling 3. Break the Camel’s Back 4. Hangover 5. Coming Home 6. Lay Your Weapons Down 7. Scab on My Brain 8. Drink Positive 9. Tribute to the Jester 10. Blocked Out 11. Rumors 12. Life in a Bottle 13. Meltdown 14. Rock N Roll Nightmare 15. Pothead 16. Why? 17. Ded Teds
Seattle, WA — May 3, 2022 — Seattle rockers THE DROWNS have announced June tour dates along the west coast in support of their new EP “Lunatics.” The EP is available on Pirates Press Records’ webstore.
The tour begins on June 8th in Albany, California and ends on June 24th with a hometown show at the famed El Corazon in Seattle, Washington. In addition, the band will be playing three shows alongside fellow Pacific Northwest punk act Defiance.
Following this west coast tour, the band will head over to Europe for the Stomp & Shout Tour which will include several festival appearances including Rebellion, Paris Punk Rock Summer Fest, and Back To Future Festival.
“Lunatics” is the follow-up to the band’s recently released 7” “Know Who You Are” and their previous full-length “Under Tension.” For “Lunatics,” The Drowns once again got back into the studio with producer Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys, The Bouncing Souls) to re-capture the magic they created for “Under Tension.”
The EP showcases incredible growth in The Drowns’ songwriting – revealing an array of influences the band has not showcased in their prior releases.
Catch The Drowns on tour all summer long supporting “Lunatics!”
Catch The Drowns on tour:
06/08/2022 – Albany, CA – Ivy Room 06/09/2022 – Ventura, CA – Gigi’s 06/10/2022 – Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar (w/ Defiance) 06/11/2022 – San Diego, CA – Kensington Club (w/ Defiance) 06/12/2022 – Los Angeles, CA – First St. Billiards (w/ Defiance) 06/13/2022 – Tempe, AZ – Yucca Tap Room 06/16/2022 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger 06/17/2022 – Dallas, TX – Three Links 06/18/2022 – Austin, TX – Sunny’s Backyard 06/20/2022 – Denver, CO – HQ 06/22/2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – Aces High Saloon 06/23/2022 – Boise, ID – The Shredder 06/24/2022 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
Stomp & Shout Tour 2022: 07/19/2022 – Koln, DE – Sonic Ballroom 07/20/2022 – Hamburg, DE – Indra 07/21/2022 – Glaubitz, DE – Back to Future Festival 07/22/2022 – Winsen, DE – Südwinsen Festival 07/23/2022 – Berlin, DE – Wild at Heart 07/24/2022 – Hannover, DE – Vereinsgaststätte SV Arminia Hannover 07/25/2022 – Bochum, DE – Trompete 07/26/2022 – Aachen, DE – Wild Rover 07/27/2022 – Karlsruhe, DE – Alte Hackerel 07/28/2022 – Zürich, CH – Dynamo 07/29/2022 – München, DE – Import / Export 07/30/2022 – Bocholt, DE – Vogelhaus 07/31/2022 – Oostmaale, BE – Klub Kmalle 08/01/2022 – Paris, FR – Paris Punk Rock Summer 08/02/2022 – Nürnberg, DE – Kantine 08/03/2022 – Leipzig, DE – Conne Island 08/04/2022 – Eisenhüttenstadt, DE – Subculture Holiday 08/05/2022 – Münster, DE – Sputnikhalle 08/06/2022 – Duffel, BE – Brakrock 08/07/2022 – Blackpool, UK – Rebellion Festival
I’ve been putting off having to write this review because although I could tell this was a very good record, I didn’t really like it at first. Being as I’m a nice young man from Minnesota, I don’t generally care for badmouthing. I just sat on it instead, and periodically gave it a spin. I found myself doing this more and more as the weeks passed, and I’m glad I did because this album kicks ass.
That it took me several listens to come around on “I Am Not Here”, in many ways speaks more to its strengths than weaknesses. No matter how good a record is, if it’s not your type of music (almost especially if it’s not your type of punk, as we’re the most fickle of bastards) you’re probably not going to dig it right away. It doesn’t have the advantage of sounding like your favorite band to immediately grab you. It needs to grow on you with its hooks, and keep your attention by staying interesting. It’s a circuitous route to the happy part of your brain that likes stuff, but the end result is the same. The immensely talented One Hidden Frame have successfully trailblazed this path in my brain.
To give my questionable taste some context, I’m the sort of loser who didn’t like Potemkin City Limits when it came out. On the other hand, I can listen to Ramones-core songs about outer space all day long, and that shit is stupid as fuck. I am under no false pretenses that what I like is pretty dumb.
One Hidden Frame are very much a mash up of newer Propagandhi and Ignite. I came up with this equation independently of their bio, but it also says the same thing. They thankfully do not indulge too much in the operatic howling of the latter, which is something I would have a hard time getting past. Some noises should be private, and the guy from Ignite is one of them. Because I’m not super familiar with post-“Today’s Empires…” Propagandhi, I put some on to make sure this comparison was accurate, and had difficulty remembering which band I was playing as I switched back and forth. The only way I could tell was that the dude from One Hidden Frame (who are from Finland) has a slight accent, but otherwise the difference was negligible. In song structure, style, and quality they are definitely FFO the aforementioned Canadian heroes.
It always seems a bit insulting to compare a band so strongly to another, but I really don’t mean it that way. These songs may sound like another band, but that band is fucking incredible, and these guys are right up there with them. The songs on “I Am Not Here” are unskippable if you’re paying attention. There’s something interesting and different around every corner, and each track has like 8 different cool parts that avoid seeming unnecessary. Because I’m a gentle boy, I prefer the poppier tracks, namely the one-two punch of “Watch For Your Head On The Way Out” and “You Are Free To Go”. I do recommend playing the album all the way through though, the songs compliment each other so well, and the entire package is just solid.
Although my Propagandhi collection ends in 2001, I am all in on “I Am Not Here”.
Despite my initial stylistic distaste, this is some of the best shit I’ve heard all year. Some records are good enough to transcend genres. If you like Propagandhi, I don’t see why you aren’t already throwing money at One Hidden Frame’s Bandcamp page. This’ll be your new favorite band.
Tracks: 1 – Run To The Rescue With Love 2 – Information Blackout 3 – Distract And Digress 4 – Watch For Your Head On The Way Out 5 – You Are Free To Go 6 – Dry Out 7 – Obstacles 8 – The Playground 9 – Tunnel Vision 10 – And The Crowd Roars 11 – I Am Not Here 12 – Wipe The Slate Clean
Bio: One Hidden Frame was established in the year 2002 in Lappeenranta, South East Finland, close to the Russian border. Bowing down to the direction of Bad Religion, Propagandhi and Adhesive, their main focus was to create energetic melodic punk rock, spiced with melancholy and aggression and meaningful lyrics towards a more solidary world.
OHF has musically moved forward all the time with 5 albums released: Time To React (2005), Comforting Illusion (2007), Giant Steps (2009), the Water Seems Inviting (2013), Harmful Content (2017) and a split 7″ with Thousand Oaks (2018). They’ve been happy to perform at Manchester Punk Festival, twice in Punk Rock Holiday and +20 countries.
One Hidden Frame: Pekka Multaharju – Lead vocals / guitar Vesa Sinkko – Guitar/backing vocals Emil Stenbäck – Drums Vesa Ahonen – Bass/backing vocals
Today, Beach Rats announce their debut album Rat Beat, out on July 29th via Epitaph Records. An impressive lineup of punk rock lifers, the band is comprised of vocalist Ari Katz (Lifetime), guitarist Pete Steinkopf (Bouncing Souls,) bassist Bryan Keinlen (Bouncing Souls,) guitarist Brian Baker (Bad Religion, Minor Threat) & Danny Windas (Let It Burn) on drums. They also share the music video for the album’s title track “Rat Beat” which embodies the nature of punk in its purest form; hard, fast and loud.
Beach Rats came to be as each member found themselves settled in the beach community of Asbury Park, New Jersey. After releasing an EP in 2018 and performing a slew of high-energy shows, the global pandemic gave the band a reason to get back to recording. The majority of the songs on Rat Beat were conceptualized and rehearsed in the basement of Brian Baker’s home and then tracked by Eric Bennett at Lakehouse Studios in only one day.
Baker recalls, “We’d go down in the basement, put on masks, open the windows and we could play – within CDC guidelines! We couldn’t go to dinner at each other’s houses but we could practice.”
The DIY spirit of punk music is very much alive in Beach Rats. With the fervor to create something new, yet nostalgic, the band intentionally wrote the 12 tracks on Rat Beat how they used to back when they were teenagers. Or as Baker puts it, “like we did before we knew how to write songs.“
Not wanting to take themselves too seriously, the band formed merely over a love of the genre. These are veterans of punk rock just having fun and trying replicate that feeling and sound of what it was like to make punk music in the 80’s.
“You’re gonna get authentic punk and hardcore from BEACH RATS because we are all from the 80’s,” Bryan Kienlen comments. “It’s literally taking it back to some of our biggest influences like Negative Approach and Poison Idea, And of course, Minor Threat.”
Pulley Releasing New Album ‘The Golden Life’ on May 13 via SBÄM Records Stream The Title Track and Video Band Touring Europe in May (Including Shows with Bad Religion and Pennywise) “Will they ever find the golden life, Passing by the speed of light, It will come and be gone, Our system was wrong….”
Long-running Southern California punks Pulley, will release their new studio album “The Golden Life” on May 13, 2022 via SBÄM Records. The first single “Golden Life” is now streaming everywhere along with a lyric video (animated by Roland Pilz). Pre-save the album here:https://bfan.link/the-golden-life Stream the single “Golden Life” here: Spotify Apple Music Amazon Music Deezer Tidal
Of the song, frontman (and former Major League Baseball pitcher) Scott Radinsky says, “Golden life.Observing a generation of kids who have seemingly been robbed of an experience. Life without ease of access to good, and/or bad. Much of what they have seen in the world has been negative, unimaginable terrorist acts, war and violence, a division of people. In regards to music, our generation really had to earn it if we wanted to get a proper listen or visual. Technology, although having its good aspects, has removed an experience that offered a deeper appreciation of life.”
Catch Pulley on their upcoming European dates with Bad Religion and Pennywise (separately) and on their summer Canadian tour.
Pulley is an American punk rock band from Simi Valley, California. Shortly after forming in 1995, the group signed to Epitaph Records. Over the next ten years, with the backing of the influential Los Angeles based independent label, the band issued five full length records, helping to build a cult following of supportive fans.
As time went on, Pulley members, Scott Radinsky (vocals), Mike Harder (guitar), and Tyler Rebbe (bass), continued to tour and release new music regularly, eventually adding longtime friends Trey Clinesmith on guitar and Sean Sellers on drums.
In 2019, after more than two decades performing live, both nearby and in some of the further reaches the planet, Pulley was honored to be inducted into the Ventura County Music Hall of Fame.
Furious, fast punk has always been a Pulley special. Mix it with California melodies and some serious production and you have one of the best bands around.
Band members: Scott Radinsky – Vocals Mike Harder – Guitar Trey Clinesmith – Guitar Tyler Rebbe – Bass Sean Sellers – Drums
Tracklist – The Golden Life 01 Repeat Offender 02 Lonely 03 Wake Up 04 Two Winds 05 Align The Planets 06 Northbound 07 Sad Song 08 Golden Life 09 Frances 10 Dust Off The Dreams 11 Transmigration 12 California
Long-running UK punks Snuff are releasing a new album titled ‘Crepuscolo Dorato Della Bruschetta Borsetta Calzetta Cacchetta Trombetta Lambretta Giallo Ossido, Ooooooh Così Magnifico!’ ( or ‘Crepuscolo Dorato’ for short)
Following on the heels of “There’s A Lot Of It About” (well, heels and a pandemic) Crepuscolo Dorato offers 10 tracks of inimitable Snuff style. I’ve heard it likened to Motown Punk, or Punk Soul Blues, but no matter how you want to define the band’s sound, it’s unmistakably Snuff.
I’m sure you know about Snuff, if not you can read a bit more about them here. It’s a wild ride. The band has gone through fits and starts since ‘86, with name changes and numerous side projects such as Guns N Wankers, and Billy No Mates. Despite the hurdles of time and personnel changes, Snuff has managed to put out solid material over the years.
The songs are of a shortish nature and rarely break the three minute mark. There is a rather rhythmic, punchy feel to the album that helps lock you into its groove. It makes all the Motown references make a lot of sense. The core is still very much punk rock, however, with all that you’d want punk rock to entail.
Standout tracks on the new album include “Green Glass Chippings”, and a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Hard Times”. The keys on the latter are electric, no pun intended.
Grab a copy when you can. The pre-order is up now.
Cheers! Jerry Actually
FFO: Leatherface, No Use For A Name, Hi-Standard
1. Looks Alright From Here 2. Green Glass Chippings 3. One Of Those Days 4. Fish N’ Chips 5. Hard Times 6. Barba Gelata 7. Lemon Curd 8. Stolen From View 9. Small F 10. Bing Bong
In this cursed golden age of music availability, it’s not hard to find a band or record that suits your taste. I feel like I’m always sifting through countless Bandcamp pages of stuff that’s ok, but never really gets me to stick with it after a couple listens. Part of this problem is that you can listen to basically any band on earth whenever you want to, often without having to pay any extra money. It’s a mixed blessing, because even though you can find a new band every day that sounds like your favorite music, if anything it becomes more challenging to find something that really grabs you. Then sometimes you get lucky, and Jerry sends you a link to review the new Moonraker record.
Moonraker describe themselves as “The Michael Jordan of baseball of punk rock”. It’s not a very useful descriptor, but I like it, so I’ve decided to include it here. Stylistically, I would say Moonraker are a blend of UK bands Reverse and Stay Clean Jolene, crossed with Banner Pilot. I also hear some 1995 throwback SoCal punk, a la Rhythm Collision. Their most redeemable quality, however, is that they can really write a fucking hook. This collection of songs have some huge choruses, and take plenty of interesting turns. Some bands have that extra gear where they can turn a decent song into an excellent one with a special little bridge or something, and Moonraker definitely have that ability.
The subject matter seems to mostly be of a dark, personal nature, but the lyrics are well written and only add to the quality of the songs. I had intended to reference specific tracks here, but I’m writing this at work and cannot stretch the illusion of doing my actual job any thinner than it already is. Alas, Upstarter is a budget operation and we are required to maintain day jobs. Listen to the entire thing, I won’t spoil it for you.
I found time to listen to this all the way through pretty much every day during a week where I’m working a ton, have young children, a new Superchunk record that I enjoy, and am also studying up for the Jawbreaker/Jawbox show this Sunday. It’s that good. If you like catchy punk rock, I can’t imagine how you won’t be pumped when you hear this.
Tracks: Incendium My First Rodeo Mouth Full of Rust Vanishing Act The Great Glass Elevator Autumn Crickets Fogdancing I Really Wanted To In Confidence The Better Man Soot