Hollowpoints – Rocket to Rainier

© 2015 Sailor’s Grave Records

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

hollowpointsIt’s been a statistically significant amount of time since I’ve heard anything from the Seattle, WA punk rock getup The Hollowpoints. It’s been over five years since I reviewed “Old Haunts”, and well, that’s just been too damn long. Hell, it’s damn near a third of the time that I’ve been reviewing music. I’d just about given up. Thankfully now I can continue trucking on.

A bit over five years ago, the previous Hollowpoints release was the darling of the day. I pegged it as a must have album and my favorite thus far in 2010. (It actually landed at the #5 spot for my Top 10 or 2010) Now I’ve got my hot little hands on Rocket to Rainier. The new album drops on October 2, 2015 (Did you totally just read me saying “The new album DROPS?” Yeah, I’m pretty insidery and shit, but enough about me. Here’s some important things that you might want to know about the new record: It contains 13 songs. They are all rad. The material is face paced and melodic but with the rough edges left intact.

The band has stayed consistent to my perception of them from time past. The songs are sonically rich with excellent arrangement. However, I don’t want to mislead you. The songs are not technically complex or all bizarre wanking fusion or some such thing. They are orchestrated well, musically and sonically, for fast-paced punk rock tunes. The tracks still resonate with my lyrically as well; poignant, anthemic, without attempting to become (too) epic. Combined, it’s the kind of music that captures the existential angst of a begrudgingly depressing life in America. It’s the kind of tunes that I’d imagine that Springsteen or Petty would make if they would have been born decades after their respective births. (except with vocals that sound eerily reminiscent of Roger from Less Than Jake on occasion)

As I dig my heels into this record, it is in turn latching its hooks into my brain. I have a feeling that this is going to get a bit of heavy rotation though this month. As far as influences go, at least ones that I’m perceiving, the reminders of the Clash and Cheap Trick are still there. I can’t help thinking of American Steele too. In fact, everything I loved about the last album is here, only perhaps more so. Once again I am inclined to highly recommend Hollowpoints. Support your local punk rock band kids. Go to the shows. Buy some records and t-shirts!

–Jerry Actually

Morning Glory – Poets Were My Heroes

© 2012 Fat Wreck Chords
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★½

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been waiting years for this CD to come out. Ever since way back in the day when the world was all Choking Victim this and Leftover Crack (rock steady) that, I’ve been looking forward to hearing more from Morning Glory. Well about ten long years after the bands formation and nearly as many since I was listening to “This Is No Time Ta Sleep” and “The Whole World Is Watching”, there is finally something new for me to jam into my ears.

“Poets Were My Heroes” is the brand new full length from Morning Glory. You might be familiar with the band if you are familiar with front man Ezra Kire’s past projects, the aforementioned Choking Victim and Leftover Crack as well as InDK, or perhaps not. Morning Glory presents a more orchestrated and compellingly complex example of sounds perpetuated by the other bands; more anthemic and more epic.

The new release consists of “official” tracks, 1 – 13 and an unlisted track. They are all, seriously, stellar. The overall sound blends more common place punk and ska beats and riffs with sing-a-long chorus melodies and eerie horn stabs. Overall the effect is pretty damned impressive. The arrangement flows well from each track to the next, building, swelling, subsiding, and continually progressing until the album culminates in the alarmingly sincere, not unlike a shockingly sober Shane McGowan, vocals and piano of the final track, “Care of Me”.  (I have it on good faith that the whole CD was opted just based on this track.)

To close, this album is one of those rare classics that exemplify the idea of being more than the sum of its parts. Each piece builds together to form a whole that is, thus far, the best release of 2012.

–Jerry Actually

For fans of: Chocking Victim, InDK, Team Spider

Tracks:
01. Stevie Dinner
02. Everything’s A Song (To Me)
03. Shelter From The Spoon
04. Poets Were My Heroes
05. March Of The Asylum
06. Quemar Las Fronteras
07. Divide By
08. Orphan’s Holiday
09. Touch
10. Patiently
11. Life’s A Long Revenge
12. Another Way (Outside The Walls Of Eden)
13. Born To December
14. Care Of Me

http://www.fatwreck.com/band/index/105

Swingin’ Utters – Brand New Lungs

Brand New Lungs marks the first release of new material from the Swingin’ Utters in seven years! The 7” will be available via vinyl and digitally and will feature two songs from their upcoming fall full-length and one exclusive to the 7”. Additionally, we’ve pressed this 7” in two different colors, one you can procure from our mail order, the other will be available exclusively at the Swingin’ Utters shows. Check their tour dates below and stay tuned for details on their upcoming full-length. Please let me know if you would like a copy for review, or would like to attend a show. Best, Vanessa

06/11/10 Apple Valley, CA Angel’s Roadhouse w/ Hurry Up and Die
06/12/10 Long Beach, CA INK & IRON FEST w/ Hepcat, Stiff Little Fingers, X
06/13/10 Carlsbad, CA Hensley’s Flying Elephants Pub & Grill
06/25/10 Carson, CA Home Depot Center VAN’S WARPED TOUR
06/26/10 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre VAN’S WARPED TOUR
06/27/10 Ventura , CA Seaside Park VAN’S WARPED TOUR
07/16/10 Portland, OR Dante’s w/ The Cute Lepers
07/17/10 Seattle, WA Funhouse w/ The Cute Lepers
07/18/10 Vancouver, BC Canada Venue 19+ w/ The jolts
07/22/10 Boise, ID The Red Room w/ The Cute Lepers
07/23/10 Salt Lake City, UT Burt’s Tiki Lounge w/ The Cute Lepers
07/24/10 Denver, CO Marquis Theatre w/ The Cute Lepers
07/28/10 San Diego, CA The Casbah w/ The Cute Lepers
07/29/10 Riverside, CA The Vibe 18+ w/ The Cute Lepers, Lost Cabras, Madison Bloodbath
07/30/10 West Hollywood, CA Troubador w/ The Cute Lepers
07/31/10 San Francisco, CA Slim’s w/ The Cute Lepers