The Pope Virgins – Confessions

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

How about a little bit of “Local Punk Friday”? That’s a thing now. I said so. So, for Local Punk Friday I’m listening to the debut album from San Diego punk upstarts, The Pope Virgins. (It is important to note that this does not include all popes, as some may assume. To that end, here’s a list of sexually active popes.) Historical footnotes aside, I’m rocking out right now to “Confessions” which is, as I mentioned, the debut release from The Pope Virgins.

According to the band, and I’m paraphrasing here, they are working on reviving the local punk scene. They are a genre diverse band with ska and metal influences as well as straight up punk rock. The songs are largely politically driven, but also include songs about struggles with poverty and a joke song or two.

I should also note that the band supports a very community / scene minded effort to produce physical products, to promote the people and bands involved. (as opposed to streaming content that has become all too popular and convenient these days)

On the whole the music is raw and very “punk”; 4:4 tracks with chunky guitars, bass, snotty vocals, and spitfire drums. There’s a sense of chaos in the tracks as if they are a bit unhinged and could fly apart at any moment. I like that. The band’s sound is reminiscent of older influences like Reagan Youth, Black Flag, DRI, Vandals (after Peace Through Vandalism) and a sound, occasionally similar to, Awesome and the Asskickers. (this is likely a coincidence)

I like the album, by and large. One thing I could live without thought is songs about boning. It just does nothing for me to have a porno script set to a punk rock track. Maybe I’ve made it over the hill and juvenile antics just don’t cut it for me. To each their own though.

One more thing I suppose, the horn playing, while admirable in its attempt, is hilariously bad. Ska is not for everyone, but hell yeah get out there and strangle that fucking saxophone! (I assume it’s a saxophone. It could be a really really sad clarinet.)

Bottom line is fresh faced punk rock in my town. Fuck yeah!

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Happy
2. Keep Your Beer Close But Your Cocaine Closer
3. Confessions
4. God is Sold
5. Amerecock
6. Chromes Lullaby
7. City Streets
8. Muhnolo
9. I Kinda Love You
10. Process of Elimination
11. Humes Paradox
12. Unnamed Poem
13. Now He Watches Anime
14. Virgins Good, Trump Bad
15. Jesus Fucked Up
16. Sad Man

Unwritten Law Announce Digital Preorder Via Cyber Tracks

New Album ‘Acoustic’ – Out April 1st 2016
Feat. 2 New Songs & Acoustic Versions Of Fan Favourites

Preorder Here: http://www.cyber-tracks.com/store/music/unwritten-law-acoustic/

LOS ANGELES || February 9, 2016
Formed in San Diego in the early 90’s Unwritten Law has undeniably paved the way for Rock/Alternative musicians around the world with staple Multi­Platinum releases like Elva, Unwritten Law and Live and Lawless. Last month, the band announced their highly anticipated eighth studio album, Acoustic due out April 1, 2016, via Cyber Tracks, owned by El Hefe (guitarist of NOFX) and wife Jen Abeyta.

Today, fans are able to pre­order a digital copy of Acoustic for $9 via Cyber Tracks website here and sample 30 second clips of all 13 tracks.
Upon initial purchase of the pre­order, fans will receive an instant surprise gratification track immediately with two additional surprise tracks to be rewarded on March 1st and March 22nd which are before  the actual release date.
Fans can be on the lookout for more exciting announcements to come soon!

Acoustic is a masterful 13­track record filled with newly re­recorded Unwritten Law hits from Unwritten Law, Elva, Here’s To The Mourning, Swan, and The Hit List into flawless acoustic renditions. The emotionally rich album will also feature two brand new tracks including “Huartbreaker” a cover originally performed by John Legend and MSTRKRFT and “Belongs To You,” written by Scott Russo. The album features Scott Russo (Vocals/Guitar), Chris Lewis (Guitar, currently in Fenix TX), Jonny Grill (Bass), and original drummer Wade Youman; produced by Jim Perkins and Scott Russo, Additional production by Chris Lewis and Joe Marlett, Mixed by Joe Marlett, and Mastered by Tom Baker of Baker Mastering.

TRACKLISTING:
1. “Celebration” (Originally “Celebration Song” Here’s to the Mourning, 2005)
2. “Nevermind”  ( Swan, 2011)
3. “Oblivion” (Originally “Welcome to Oblivion” The Hit List, 2007  (also on Live and Lawless, 2008))
4. “Huartbreaker” (Originally performed by John Legend and MSTRKRFT)
5. “Up All Night” ( Elva, 2002)
6. “ Seeing Red”  ( Elva, 2002)
7. “Teenage” (Originally “Teenage Suicide” Unwritten Law, 98)
8. “Starships” (Originally“Starships and Apocalypse” Swan, 2011)
9. “Shoulda” (Originally “I Shoulda Known Better” Live and Lawless, 08)
10. “I Like The Way”  ( Here’s To The Mourning, 2005)
11. “Save Me” (Originally “Save Me (Wake Up Call)” Here’s To The Mourning, 2005)
12. “ Cailin”  ( Unwritten Law, 1998)
13. “Belongs To You”

Unwritten Law will be hitting the road with Fenix TX this March kicking off their tour Pomona, CA at The Glass House and hitting Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, and Las Vegas to name a few.

In addition, the band has two VIP options for fans:
(1) Band Hangout (ticket not included): includes early entry, first access to merch, exclusive CD featuring tracks by both bands, intimate soundcheck performance, M&G with Unwritten Law and Fenix TX, photo opportunity, signings and VIP Laminate.
(2) Band Hangout & Access (ticket not included): includes early entry, first access to merch, exclusive CD featuring tracks by both bands, intimate soundcheck performance, M&G with Unwritten Law and Fenix TX, photo opportunity, signings, VIP Laminate and watch the show from the stage (NOTE only 2 available per show)!
VIP ticket packages can be ordered here: http://ticketspin.com/ul­ftx

Unwritten Law Tour Dates 
All dates are with Fenix TX except for the shows marked
March
9 ­ Pomona, CA @ Glass House
10 ­ Los Angeles, CA. @ The Palladium (with Pennywise)
11 ­ Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock Live
13 ­ Flagstaff, AZ @ The Green Room (No Fenix TX)
15 ­ Kansas City, KS @ Riot Room (No Fenix TX)
16 ­ Nashville, TN @ City Winery (No Fenix TX)
18 ­ Austin, TX @ SXSW
19 ­ Dallas, TX @ So What?! Music Festival
20 ­ Houston, TX @ House of Blues (with NOFX)
21 ­ San Antonio, TX @ 502 Bar
24 ­ St. Petersburg, FL. @ The State Theatre
25 ­ Cape Canaveral, FL. @Millikens Reef
26 ­ Fort Pierce, FL @ The Inlet
27 ­ Cape Coral, FL @ Dixie Roadhouse
28 ­ Jacksonville, FL. @ Freebird Live
29 ­ Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
30 ­ Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
31 ­ Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts

April
1 — Boston, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
2 — New York City, NY @ Marlin Room (Webster Hall)
4 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
5 — Cleveland, OH @ The Grog Shop
6 — Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
7 —­ Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
8 — Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
9 — Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
10 — Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
11 — Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
12 — Reno, NV. @ PB & J’s
13 — Las Vegas, NV @ Backstage Bar
14 — Long Beach, CA @ The Federal (No Fenix TX)
15— ­Santa Ana, CA @ The Ritz (No Fenix TX)
16 — Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst (No Fenix TX)

UNWRITTEN LAW SOCIAL MEDIA:  
http://facebook.com/unwrittenlaw.music
http://twitter.com/unwritten_law  
youtube.com/unwrittenlaw

Joshua Lanes – The Dance Thunder EP

(c)2008 Spillway Records

Rating: ★★★★½

dancethunderThe Dance Thunder EP is strange and good and cool…reminds me of weird early 90’s bootleg tapes that we’d listen to in the high school photo lab, or mid 90’s albums you’d hear wafting through dorm halls on move-in day.  It’s a bit Pixies, a tad Modest Mouse, a smidge mellow Sonic Youth.  The songs have that fun sound of indie tracks peppered into Chuck or this-season’s-Juno movies.

I adore what they say on their press sheet: “Joshua Lanes never proclaim to be creating music that has never been done before, like so many of the delusional bands today. All Joshua Lanes want is to play music that they enjoy rocking out to on a daily basis and play it for the world.”  Play on.

-HK-47

Buck-O-Nine – Sustain

(c) 2007 Asian Man Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

I got the increasingly rare opportunity to attend a Buck-O-Nine CD release show last Saturday at their, and my newly re-adopted, hometown stomping grounds. The show was at The Casbah, a downtown San Diego ska friendly staple. It is a great little venue, perfect for intimate shows with your favorite bands and the 24oz. cans of PBR aren’t stupid expensive. As a bonus for attending the show, every ticket holder received a copy of Sustain, their first new release in seven years. For fans of Buck-O-Nine, you wont be disappointed. As far as I’m concerned the disc is an instant ska classic. The songs are tight. The horns hit. They can hold muster to a couple adult beverages and remain dance-able. The shout along choruses are intact. If you are new to ska, (wow that cave must have been crazy dark and quiet all these years) dig into their back catalog. There is more good stuff to be had. What more can I say about the disc other than it is a great piece of work from one of my favorites and now on one of my favorite labels too. For those that didn’t get to attend the show. Buck-O-Nine was opened by another local ska act, The Lifters. They too put on a great show. Check ’em out if you have a chance.

–Jerry Actually