Bum City Saints – Ride The Storm

© 2014 Pirates Press Records
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

bum_city_saints_ride_the_stormArriving more or less hot off the heels of their prior full-length, Spirit of the City, San Francisco’s own hard as fuck punk rockers, Bum City Saints are back with a new EP. (See, I told you new stuff was on the way, didn’t I?)

The “Ride The Storm” EP batters its way through five original tracks and one glorious cover. The songs are almost entirely done at a breakneck pace and clocking in at, for the most part, well under the two minute mark. If the track times alone are an indication, let me reinforce that by saying this EP rocks it out hard core from start to finish.

If you’re not all that familiar with the band, they’ve been rocking the Bay area since around 2007. Their music is a tight blend of punk and hardcore. The band, at least by sound, wears the street punk mantle with the Oi style sing-along whoa whoa whoas and the blue collar ethos. I’ve also noticed a progression towards some trash-esque melody in their later releases.

With multiple releases this year, the band is continuing strong. Three cheers for Bum City Saints! If you’d like to find out more about the band or check out their summer tour dates, hit up their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BumCitySaints

–Jerry Actually

1. Crush All
2. Bury Me
3. Into The Fire
4. From Ashes Rise
5. Calling Us Away
6. Eye Of The Tiger

Bum City Saints – Spirit of the City

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

bum_city_saints_spirit_of_the_citySpirit of the City is fast becoming one of my favorite releases. The disc came out in 2013. I’m just getting around to reviewing. My laziness often betrays me. As a saving grace, I had this CD in my car for a couple weeks and kept listening to it on my daily commute. The more I listen, the more hooked I become.

For those that don’t know about this band, (including myself) They hail from the bay area and have been rocking the fuck out since around 2007. Like many other badass rock and rollers, they’re a trio. And, as if you didn’t already know it, the triangle is the strongest geometric shape found in nature. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

At any rate, Spirit of the City is an intense blast of punk rock channeling the energy of both West Coast punk and East Coast hardcore. The sound, while distinct is reminiscient of Rancid, Jughead’s Revenge and Agnostic Front (albeit with more whoa whoa whoas)

The release kicks out 13 tracks. You can check out their Reverb Nation (http://www.reverbnation.com/bumcitysaints) page for a sample.

Support local punk rock, kids! Go find some of this and go see them live if you can. And stay tuned, ‘cause I hear there’s some new music from Bum City Saints coming out in the next few months.

–Jerry Actually

The Singularity – A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Drunkenness

(c) 2009

Rating: ★★★★☆

In the interest of brevity (no, I’m not running late on deadline again. I make my own deadlines, so just shut it already.) I want to say that I love the f-ing guts out of this EP. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Drunkenness brings five originals and a Crimpshrine cover (Another Day) and let me say that it brings it well. If you like your punk rock with nicely layered and alternated vocals and hook laden riffs then by all means head on over to www.myspace.com/thesingularity and check this Bay Area band out and help spread the word. My only regret is that it is only an EP. (Oh, I also dig the album artwork)

–Jerry Actually

Dead To Me – African Elephants

© 2009 Fat Wreck Chords
Rating: ★★★★☆

dead_to_me_300Somehow along the way I missed the bus when it comes to Dead To Me. I’m not sure how, but that is in the past now and we don’t have to dwell on it, do we? I can’t help but be curious about the prior LP and EP that I missed, but what if I listen to them and it takes away from how I feel about the new album African Elephants? I think I’ll hold off for now and bask in the glory of what is currently my favorite disc. San Francisco punk rockers, Dead To Me, have crafted an album that is at once both familiar, yet novel. The band wears their influences on their sleeve. The Clash, Police, Nirvana, perhaps even Violent Femmes? The effort, however, is far from cookie cutter or pandering to fans of their influences. Instead it is 13 tracks of diverse and unique punk rock. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but there is something about trios. When done right, as it is here, they are a musical powerhouse. Flat out, African Elephants has the guts and sincerity to be a serious contender as one of my all time favorite discs.

–Jerry Actually

Get Dead – Letters Home

(c) 2008 Horns Up Records
Rating: ★★★½☆

Have you ever, as an ever tough punk rocker wanted to let you inner-emo out?  But how could you and still  save face with all your extra tough punk rock friends?  San Francisco’s Get Dead holds the answers to your fears.  Their “punkcoustic” anthems reek with their innermost feelings but still come across as cool and nonchalant.  I venture to say that you can safely listen to Letters Home and you will still command the respect of your spike-bedazzled friends and maybe you’ll even show that cute little pale girl all dressed in black a little bit of your own tortured soul (but not too much) Aside all that, Get Dead brings some fine non-electrical punk rock in an anthemic and almost piratical way. If I had to make up some adjectives that you can use to tell your friends about them, I’d go so far as to say that they are both Clashtastic and SwinginUtteriffic.  For those of you back east, you can say that they’re wicked sweet!

–Jerry Actually

Swingin’ Utters – Hatest Grits

(c) 2008 Fat Wreck Chords
Rating: ★★★★☆

Welcome to the B-side. What have we here but no less than 32 tracks of B-side, demos, 4-track takes and BS schlock from none other than Swingin’ Utters. It is generally easy to dismiss B-side compilations as strictly for the die hard fan. Generally they consist of crap to lackluster to otherwise distribute. That is only partially true for Hatest Grits. Instead of the usual 90% garbage 10% diamond, the Utters give you a sketchbook chronology of one of the best bands of the hybrid folk punk genre. Of course you also get some crap to lackluster to otherwise distribute, meant only for the die hard fan. But thanks to the good graces of the band, the ratio is more like 75% kick ass takes and 25% filler. You slice it how you like it though. I for one am down with their brand of rock and roll. Highly recommended from your friends at !upstarter.

–Jerry Actually