(c) 1999 Asian Man Records
Clouded by depression and gilt with anger, bearing a jaded outlook for today and the future, The Lawrence Arms grind out 10 Emo-Laden tracks on their debut CD “A Guided Tour of Chicago”. These former members of the Broadways and Baxters turn out some decent suburban angst-ridden punk rock, albeit a little on the emotionally torn side. These guys are not the fastest, they’re not the most hardcore, and they’re not aiming for the hip and trendy set. In these day were in that get slammed in the head like a runaway cement truck, It’s refreshing to hear a little bit of good ol’ Punk Rock -n- Roll. With bleak view of the future and a hope for better yesterdays, Chicago’s The Lawrence Arms leave me with a feeling of inner turmoil of my own. It is the kind of CD that fits well on a rainy day and evokes a bit of a cathartic feeling. Given that I am in Portland, This may get quite a bit of play throughout the winter. Final assessment, Good, like seeing a bitter drama flick that leaves you pissed off when you leave the theatre, a difficult situation with no resolution.
(c) 1999 – BYO Records
Swingin’ Utters is a damn good band. Youth Brigade is still a damn good band. Both of them together on one CD?? Stop, you say. It can’t be so. Ah, but it is true. This spit series CD is a fucking cool idea. This is the first time that I, personally, have run across one of these (that’s not saying a whole hell of a lot.) Anyway, for those of you who have never heard of these bands, Go BUY IT NOW!!! This is not necessarily 100% hardcore, but a little Oi, a little traditional, a little hard-core, and a little (oh shit!) pop. Could you really ask for more? Guaranteed you will find at least 4 songs that you will play again. My personal favorites, not that you give a stinky hippie, are Haven’t Seen Yourself In Years (Swinging Utters) and Let them Know (Youth Brigade.)
(c) 2008 Sorry About Your Couch
In a world where you bust your ass somewhere around 20/7 (a fella’s got to sleep sometime) you occasionally get the reviews out a little late. I have a serious stack of material in my inbox, so without further adieu, here is Sorry About You Couch. Hailing from the darkest depths of Central Wisconsin and the home of Point Special Beer comes some rude young lads and their new album Greeen! (Though the mailing address on the back is listed as Wisconsin Dells they claim to be from Stevens Point) No matter which place they are from, I spent plenty of my youth in both of those towns and though it was many years ago, I never expected much out of either area musically. Fortunately for me, time or fate has intervened and saw fit to send this disc to my door. SAYC is a raw blend of punk and roots. Frankly they remind me of Rudiments. The sound is a bit on the lofi side, but the raw nature of the tracks only serves to amplify the angst of youth. But what you get is 14 tracks and a bonus one. Running from raw rock to ska punk while trading verses like throwing around the ol’ pigskin, Greeen! makes for a good listen. Incidentally, with an album name like this, I really expected more overt stoner-rasta content. Not that is absent mind you, I just expected more. On another note, there is a cuddly green monster on the cover that appears to be destroying Toronto. I’d like to provide a slightly more in depth analysis, however I am beat. Sufficed to say that if you like the 3rd wave a bit more to the punk side then odds are fair you’ll like Sorry About Your Couch.
(c) 2008 PiaRRecords
First and foremost I’d like to point out that we (that usually being me) here at !upstarter review HQ really dig it when bands from across the world find their way to my inbox. I absolutely love the positive exchange of music and ideas from across this big ol’ punk rock community that I would like to refer to as the Earth. That said I’d like to introduce you to Bankrupt. Readers meet Bankrupt. Bankrupt meet my readers. Right now I’m listening to a five song EP from straight outta Budapest, Hungary. “Rocket to Riot City” is a catchy little number, albeit a short one, but full of substance despite its lack of duration. With a sound somewhere between the rockabilly of the Peacocks and the punk rock of Millencolin, Bankrupt’s Rocket to Riot City blasts back at a messed up world. I suspect there’s nothing like rioting and economic crisis amidst political disarray to make life a waking nightmare. (not that we aren’t becoming a frightening reflection of that here in the states) Despite all the chaos, Bankrupt has made a kick ass EP. I strongly urge everyone to do their part for their local economy and international relations and buy a couple copies.