Fire Next Time – Knives

I’ve not heard of Fire Next Time until just today, but in all fairness, I’m so far out of the loop that I don’t know shit from Shinola any longer. Nevertheless, Knives is the brand new release from the punk rock band out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The one sheet says the band is “folk punk”. I don’t know that’s really the case. We can nitpick about genres/subgenres all damn day and never agree. I’m going to go ahead and call them punk. The tunes aren’t out of place on set with Against Me, Dead to Me, American Steel, Street Dogs or Social Distortion, so you file that however ya like.

Knives provides 10 tracks of riff heavy, hard rocking storytelling. I suppose that is where people might slap on the “folk” badge. The band has something to say. Good for them, say it.

What I hear though, is a great album of heavy driving punk rock, with some amount of sensible pop melody.

The band is on tour this spring / summer in Canada, if you live in the area, or are visiting our neighbors to the North, check ‘em out:

ON TOUR!
05.11 – Calgary, AB – Dickens
05.12 – Edmonton, AB – Brixx
05.13 – Saskatoon, SK – Black Cat Tavern
05.14 – Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
05.16 – Timmons, ON – The Working Class
05.17 – Hamilton, AB – Absinthe
05.18 – Toronto, ON – Hard Luck
05.19 – Montreal, QC – Pouzza Fest!
05.20 – Ottawa, ON – Maverick’s
05.25 – Regina, SK – The Mercury
05.26 – Medicine Hat, AB – The Silver Buckle

https://twitter.com/firenexttime

FIRE NEXT TIME – Knives
CD/LP/DIGI Release Date: May 4, 2018
With ten years under their belt, Fire Next Time’s latest album KNIVES is a culmination of shared experience, heartbreak and triumph. “My spirit is broken” are the first words screamed over a sea of distortion on the first track Wanderlust. The anthemic anguish meanders with Collars reading like a confession letter that will never be sent. Never afraid to proudly display their influences, a haunting Nebraska-esque quality is brought to Old Scratch thanks to the support of stellar Vancouver vocalist Jody Glenham. KNIVES is Packed with visceral imagery and leaves little room to breathe. The themes explored on the album are sure to please your inner cynic. In Walking Blind they are eager to remind us that, in the end, “we all choke.”

For Fans of: Against Me, Gaslight Anthem, Flatliners, Tom Waits, Off With Their Heads

Rebel Spies – RISE!

I had this album collecting a little bit of dust on my desk and I feel a bit remiss about not having reviewed it sooner. The album actually came out late 2017. I’m sorry I didn’t get to it sooner, because I think these guys need a shoutout. At any rate, I’m here now, and here it is.

RISE! Is the debut full length from Rebel Spies, a Detroit area hardcore punk band featuring past and present members of the Suicide Machines, Telegraph, Hellmouth, HiFi Handgrenades, fordirelifesake and many more. Pedigree aside, the album rocks through 11 tracks of punk rock, with solid riffs, compelling intelligible vocals, and whole lot of guts and heart.

I’m going to offer you a bit of an odd comparison as to what I’m making of the sound, so bear with me here. Rebel Spies sounds a bit like if Rob Hellford’s slightly more gravely throated brother was singing lead vocals for a bit more punk/metal version of The Lawrence Arms. … Maybe I’m off my rocker here, or maybe it’s that I’m a bit hungover, but that’s the vibe I’m picking up.

While the band bills itself as a hardcore punk band, the riffery doesn’t stick strictly in the punk/hardcore vein. Track four, A Domain of Evil (Chapter One) delves into some ska territory, but track five, A Certain Point of View brings it back solidly with an aggressive old school sound. Track six, See You In Hell takes it you into a more straight up Rock and Roll direction.

It’s punk rock. It’s hardcore. It’s rock and roll. It’s got a lotta fucking balls. Get some!

Cheers!

Jerry Actually

https://rebelspies.bandcamp.com/

https://undercomm.bandcamp.com/album/rise

 

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!

Neverlearn – Start Tomorrow EP

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

neverlearn

I know I sometimes slack off, a lot, the last few years, but something that still inspires me to “pick up the pen” as it were, is getting refreshing new music from around the globe. Today is one of those days. Seriously, music, from around the planet, is linking us all. That is a seriously awesome connection. The technology we have available makes so much more possible. I suppose that maybe it takes away the former coveted knowledge, secret band thing of the old tape trading days, but waxing nostalgic aside, the unprecedented access to new music from far flung markets is fantastic. But I digress.

I’m listening to the Start Tomorrow EP by Finnish (Oulu, Finland) band Neverlearn. The four tracks are a quick burst of energetic, melodic punk rock. It’s maybe a bit on the pop punk tip with a hint of AFI-esque emo to it. On the whole I dig it.

The guitar leads are as smooth as the rhythm is tight. This is especially present on track 3, Gravel Pit. The vocals are pulled back and ever so slightly washed out. It gives the song an interesting far away sound.

Though there are only four tracks on the EP, it starts strong, keeps ramping up, and finishes stronger that it started.

Get some!

-Jerry Actually

NOBODYS – Hussy

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

©2016 Rad Girlfriend Records

nobodys-hussyColorado’s porno-punks NOBODYS are back with HUSSY, their first record in 15 years! Original members JJ Nobody (Drag The River) & Randy “The Kid” Schumacher join forces with Adam Huscher & Steve Bauer (Buck O Nine)to take NOBODYS brash attitude, that you know so well, and have evolved into a full blown Rock N Fucking Roll Band.

Produced and Engineered by Chris Fogal (The Gamits) at Black In Bluhm studios. Hussy comes out late October of 2016 from Rad Girlfriend Records.

15 years is a mighty long time to go without a new record. Usually if there’s that much of a lapse in band activity, the band is essentially dead, but ya know, sometimes shit happens. Well that’s what we have here. Some shit happened and brand new batch of a musically aggressive breed of ramones-core has once again sprung forth out of Colorado. Hells yeah.

I’ve not been overly pleased for the last few iterations about the crap that I’m hearing. Everything’s been “postpunk” this and “prerock” that. Everybody has an angle. Well cut the crap and let’s get back to the Sex Drug (Sex) and Rock & Roll that we loved in the first place.

Thankfully there are bands such as NOBODYS that can muster up the gumption to kick out 13 new tracks of noteworthy punk rock. Oh sure, that averages less than a track per year in their hiatus, but you know what, I’ll take what I can get and I’ll like it!

Standout numbers include the aforementioned “Sex Drugs Sex and Rock & Roll”, “Beer for Breakfast”, (I really like the stripped down hollow sound on this track) and the auto-biographical “Joe Queer Kicked Me Out.” (The exceedingly Queers sounding riffs on this one are hilariously fantastic)

The band will have an album release show at JJ Nobody’s bar, The Triple Nickel Tavern in Colorado Springs on October 29th with Ray Carlisle from Teenage Bottlerocket will be performing acoustic at the release show. Limited Midwestern tour dates, including shows with The Mr. T Experience will follow.

You’ve got a day to be early. Get some!

Pre-order the record from Bandcamp at: http://radgirlfriendrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hussy

Or pre-order the color copies directly from the website at:
http://radgirlfriendrecords.storenvy.com/products/18103847-rgf-062-nobodys-hussy-lp

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

nobodys

Track listing:
Not Loving You
Know It All
Sex Drugs Sex And Rock & Roll
He Moved To Denver
Do It All Again
Beer For Breakfast
Drop What You’re Doing
Joe Queer Kicked Me Out
Kick Me While I’m Down
Who Invited You
She Thinks I’m Sexist
Bad Business
She’s Nuts

Anti-Nowhere League – The Cage

© 2016 Cleopatra Records
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

the_cageFile under old punks don’t die. For the second time this week, I’m listening to brand new music by an old school Brit band. Yesterday I was checking out a new track by trash stalwarts, Lawnmower Deth, and now I’m rocking a brand new album from veteran punk rockers, Anti-Nowhere league.

If you’re like me, your familiarity with ANL is from Metallica’s cover of So What off of Garage Days. Outside of that I had very little knowledge of the band until this new album. Kinda crazy how times changes and influence circles around. Now I’m listening to the bands that influenced the sounds I liked in the day instead of the bands that were under the influence, so to speak.

At any rate, I’m listening to a brand new album, The Cage by Anti-Nowhere League, out today (05/13/2016) and I’m digging it. 13 tracks of energetic punk rock with enough maturity under its belt that you know that it says what it means and means what it says. Tracks are tight and well produced. The songs are well balanced sonically. Vocals don’t overpower the backing tracks and the bass isn’t drowned out by the guitar. It’s got guts; quality guts!

As much as I’m enjoying it, there is some wanking solos that I could totally live without. Sometimes I dislike (ok, most of the time) when punks grow up, learn how to play and then have to prove it. … God damn punks! I trade the guitar solos for more songs for more awesome alcohol fueled sing-a-long tracks like #9 God Bless Alcohol!

For reals though, this release is some solid brand new punk rock by some serious veterans of the game. Look for them live at some of the upcoming Punk Rock Bowling events.

On a side note, WTF festival franchises? Festival events used to be cool and almost mythical. Now there’s a dozen in every town. Perhaps I’m being a bit of a snob, but I think it waters down the scene.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

The Lumber Jerks – First Three E.P.

© 2014
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

lumber_jerks_first_threeWhat’s up friends? Craving something new in your ear holes? Bam! Done. I’ve got a tasty little EP here from Joliet, IL (yeah, like as in the prison town, and Joliet Jake for you older kids) band The Lumber Jerks. I humbly present the “First Three E.P.”

As you might expect, there are three full tracks. All of which are fast paced punk rock. The songs are sweet and short and chock full of the fervor that is rarely found outside of youthful three piece combos. Not coincidentally, The Lumber Jerks are such a combo.

If I were to try to compare the sounds being kicked down by this EP, I’d mash it up somewhere around 7 Seconds, Newbomb Turks and The Humbers. It’s a great effect. You should check it out.

I guess the fellas recorded on full analog reel to reel. That’s pretty sweet. As much as I’m a proponent of the modern digital studio, there’s something just so straight up badass about rocking the analog. Of course, I’m listening to mp3s on half good PC speakers, so a lot of that is likely falling on deaf ears.

Anyways, here’s some brand new fresh faced punk rocks for you all to get your grubby little hands on.

http://www.thelumberjerks.com/
http://lumberjerks.bandcamp.com/

Cheers!
-Jerry Actually

Szewska Pasja – trzy, dwa…

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

© 2014

szewska_pasjaIt’s been a bit since I’ve done any reviews. I guess I kind of hit a wall with words. Occasionally, something shows up in the mail box that makes me remember why I keep doing this. A few weeks ago I received a CD from Poland. Here’s some more words about that experience:

Szewska Pasja is a four piece punk band from Łódź Poland. If you are from the USA, chances are you’re saying Where the hell is that? Well, I looked it up, ‘cause I didn’t know either. It looks to be about smack in the middle of country. Since we’re taking a bit of an instructional turn, Google Translate indicates that the band and album are: Shoemaker Passion – three, two … Take that with a grain of salt. I don’t speak Polish. Enough with the lesson though.

Szewska Pasja seems like a pretty rocking band with a mix of surf and street into their brand of punk rock. All the vocals are in Polish, which is pretty rad. It gives me a sense of how it feels to be a kid rocking out and singing along phonetically to some big pop hit from another country, well minus the pop part I guess.

Trzy, dwa provides 11 tracks of fun and often bouncy punk, heightened for me by virtue of understanding nothing but the language of the music. The musicianship is solid and the recording is quite acceptable for what, as far as I can tell, is a DIY effort from a seemingly young band.

I wish I had some mp3 links for you, but alas, all I have is this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/szewskapasja.12 Perhaps if you speak Polish you can find some on your own.

The takeaway: Sweet Punk Rock from the (former) Eastern Bloc!

–Jerry Actually

Blossom Hill – Sidetracks

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

There’s a common theme in music and especially punk music where band’s that have been around for awhile will have fans who will say “their music was better when…..” and they yearn for the “the good old days.”. Enter Blossom Hill, a pop punk band from Finland who released their debut LP, Sidetracks, in October.

On Sidetracks, the group seems to have (fairly successfully whether intentional or not) melded together what sounds like two different eras of Green Day inspired music. From the get go a listener can expect vocals that sound like they are inspired by 39/Smooth or Kerplunk eras and guitar riffs that sound derived right from the Insomniac/Nimrod timeline.

This is what I hear when I listen, and is what I am going to base my critique on. To me they sound like one my favorite Green Day eras (Insomniac/Nimrod) and my least favorite (39/Smooth). Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy Sidetracks, but my feelings are very mixed. I hate to make direct comparisons to bands as they take time to create something their own but I can’t get over my first impressions of the album, and for a person who can still tell you what he was doing when he first heard Dookie in ’94, nothing will ever compare. At the same time, I can’t think of another band that has brought me back in time to a groups (so-called) glory days the way they have.

With that said, Sidetracks does not really have tracks that stand out in my mind either good or bad, and it had things I liked and things I didn’t. But if you are one of those nostalgic Green Day fans who thinks “they were better when….” check out Blossom Hill, maybe they can transport you back there.

T.J.

Dead End Story

Rating: ★★★☆☆
© 2011 Dead End Story

I feel so privileged to get to listen to all the music (from all over the world) that I do. Right now I’m listening to a new single from Finland’s Dead End Story. They are a reasonably aggressive punk band with quite a bit of hardcore influence.

With this being a single, there are only two tracks, so I won’t draw this out so much, but what I’m hearing I mostly like. The guitar work is a little more melodic that I normally go for, but not so over the top that it detracts from the rest of the music. The tracks are still solid and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to go see this band live.

It’s a more modern style of punk rock; It makes me think a bit of Rise Against.

Bottom line: new model punkcore from Finland.

–Jerry Actually