Wednesday, 4 July 2018

DROPKICK MURPHYS

















"11 short stories of pain and glory"
Year:  2017
Country:  US
City:  Boston, MA
Label:  none
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  11
Time:  38 min.
Genre:  rock, acoustic
Style:        Punk        Folk















The hardcore punk/Celtic folk outfit Dropkick Murphys formed in South Boston in 1995; vocalist Mike McColgan, guitarist Rick Barton, and bassist Ken Casey comprised the original nucleus of the group, with a series of drummers passing through the lineup before the addition of Matt Kelly in 1997. After a series of EPs, including Fire & Brimstone, Tattoos & Scally Caps, and Boys on the Docks, the Dropkick Murphys signed to Hellcat Records to issue their 1998 full-length Do or Die, produced by Rancid's Lars Frederiksen; McColgan exited the group soon after (he later went on to form the like-minded Street Dogs) and was replaced by vocalist Al Barr for the follow-up, 1999's The Gang's All Here. Mob Mentality, a split release with the Business, appeared in mid-2000, but at the same time the band was going through an extensive redesign. Their five-piece arrangement expanded into a septet, as Marc Orrell stepped in after original guitarist Rick Barton left the band to get married. James Lynch (guitar), Spicy McHaggis (bagpipes), and Ryan Foltz (mandolin) were also added to the lineup to enhance the band's growling sound. Frederiksen, who produced the band's first two albums, left the Dropkicks to venture out on their own for their third studio effort, Sing Loud, Sing Proud. Bassist Ken Casey took over, and the album, which featured collaborations with ex-Pogue Shane MacGowan and Cock Sparrer's Colin McFaull, was issued in early 2001. Their Irish pride shone through the next year, when Live on St. Patrick's Day from Boston, MA was released in the summer. Recorded at the biggest Irish-American celebration of the year in a town known for its widespread Irish heritage, the set was a blistering example of their intense and lively gigs. As the band prepped for the annual Vans Warped Tour in summer 2003, they released Blackout in June; the album featured new bagpipe player Scruffy Wallace and accordionist Tim Brennan (who further took over mandolin and tin whistle after Foltz left following some touring). The Murphys reworked the Boston Red Sox anthem "Tessie" on their mid-2004 EP Tessie, which subsequently became the theme song to the Sox's World Series run that year. Warrior's Code followed in 2005, and one of its songs, "I'm Shipping Up to Boston," was later used in the 2006 Martin Scorsese film The Departed. Soon after, the band recorded The Meanest of Times, a collection of songs about family loyalty, featured guest appearances by Spider Stacy of the Pogues and Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners, and was released in mid-September 2007. In January 2008, however, Orrell announced his decision to leave the band in order to pursue other projects. Live on Lansdowne, Boston MA, a CD/DVD of tracks culled from the week of St. Patrick's Day shows in Boston in 2009, was released in 2010. For their next studio effort, the band looked inward to create a concept album, combining their own experiences to create the fictional character Cornelius Larkin. The result was their seventh album, Going Out in Style, which was released in 2011 on their Born & Bred label. 2012 saw the band follow up with Live at Fenway before returning the next year with their eighth studio effort, Signed and Sealed in Blood. The Murphys returned in early 2017 with their ninth studio effort, 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory. The album was their first to be recorded outside of Massachusetts, with the band relocating to El Paso, Texas for the entire creative process. Inspired by the group’s work with the Claddagh Fund for recovering addicts, it was released once again through their own imprint, Born & Bred Records. ~ Jason Ankeny
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"do or die"
Year:  1997
Label:  HellCat
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  16
Time:  40 min.
Genre:  rock, acoustic
Style:        Punk        Folk







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Sunday, 10 June 2018

HARD LEFT


















"we are hard left"
Year:  2015
Country:  US
City:  Oakland , CA
Label:  Future Perfect
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  20
Time:  37 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Oi!















Hard Left is a hard-mod and skinhead band from members of Lunchbox, Boyracer and Black Tambourine. Hard Left wear their politics on their sleeves. Hard Left hearken back to the early days of street rock to tell stories about now and to motivate the listeners. Hard Left is about action – lift every voice and chant, join arms and resist. Musicallly the band can to remind the classics of Oi! music such as: Angelic Upstarts, Cockney Rejects or Cock Sparrer, but also the clean, few distorted and elegant mod sounds of the 60's decade. But the band's politics are more anachronistic than nostalgic. Unions are relatively weak nowadays. Even in the Bay Area, public opinion has not sided with BART strikers in the last couple of years. Still, even if history has conspired to vilify communism and annex the notion of a "labor movement" to textbooks in most people's view, Hard Left's propaganda in our era of inequality feels highly relevant. Their knowing adherence to outmoded album cover iconography shows that Brown and Schulman are confident enough to own their unfashionable idealism. "Since the collapse of the Soviet Union - of course, that sort of communism needed to fall - but it paved the way for this end-of-history thought and sort of liberal triumphalism," Brown said. His wife, McKean, he continued, put it best when she dubbed Hard Left "Utopian Oi!".
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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

LITHICS

















"mating surfaces"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Portland, OR
Label:  kill rock stars 
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  38 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Post Punk


















Now that we’ve had enough time to retrospectively digest it all, let’s face it: the would-be ‘revivalism’ of post-punk in the mid-2000s dredged up some insufferable trash from both sides of the Atlantic. With a name directly referencing something that consists of stone, Portland, Oregon, quartet Lithics are, forty years on, a rock solid pay-off in the genealogy of what once made the architects of DIY post-punk – from the Slits and Pere Ubu to Devo and Gang of Four – so compelling. Released via Olympia, Washington, indie imprint par excellence Kill Rock Stars, Lithics’ sonic cubism consistently intrigues on their second album. From fist-clenched opener ‘Excuse Generator’ to breakneck closing blitz ‘Dancing Guy’, it’s an unfurling tapestry of interlocking DIY minimalist art-punk where precision and abandon prove uniquely compatible. Despite pinning early 1980s Fall worship a little too visibly on its sleeve, the bobbing ‘Still Forms’ is a real triumph early on, while the five-minute ‘Boyce’ – the longest track by some distance – wields dissonance with remarkable aplomb. Elevating promise to certain brilliance, Aubrey Hornor’s languid vocals are fully present yet deftly unemotional on ‘Mating Surfaces’’ dozen combustions. On each of them, Lithics, bona fide post-punk revivalists, have zero dearth of confidence and it really stands to reason (*Review by Brian Coney ).
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Thursday, 24 May 2018

THE BROKEDOWNS


















"sick of space"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Chicago
Label:  Red Scare
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  13
Time:    32 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock

















These guys are one of the funniest bands around, but they ain't playin' when their songs take on issues like misguided nationalism or technology or Midwestern despair. We think they have the best bullshit detector in the scene. But this foursome is a little weirder, a little smarter, and a little heavier-sounding than your average punk band, and they have 13 new ones on "Sick Of Space". Just look at the goddamn song titles and tell us you don't wanna party with this LP?! "Sick Of Space" will be their third album on Red Scare and that's usually when our bands achieve mainstream success, so get on board while they're still cool.
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"life is breeze"
Year:  2014
 Label:  Red Scare
 Format:  CD, LP
 Tracks:  16
 Time:  33 min.
 Genre:  rock
 Style:        Punk  Rock


















This is The Brokedowns that all the nerds and drunks get down with: Jon brings the thunder, Kris brings the laughs, Eric will inevitably be shirtless, and Mustafa keeps a mean beat and rolls the spliffs. They take growly Midwest punk (à la D4, Lawrence Arms) and make it heavier, angular, and a little Hot Snakes-y. Laugh along with the song titles, sure, but these boys aren't fucking around when it comes to social commentary. The Brokedowns know how to have a good time and they know how to write punchy punk jams, but what they do best is smack you on the ass with their words. "Life Is A Breeze" is an album for the party punks and the smart punks.
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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

RED HARE


















"little acts of destruction"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Milestones
Label:  Dischord
Format:  LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  30 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Post Hardcore



















Red Hare is Shawn Brown, Dave Eight, and Jason Farrell (all formerly of Washington, DC’s, Swiz), and Joe Gorelick. The band has recorded one full-length, “Nites of Midnite,” and a single, “Lexicon Mist,” both released in a collaboration between Dischord and Hellfire Records. Red Hare notably features Swiz, Bluetip, Garden Variety, Retisonic, Jesus Eater, etc... members.
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THE FALCON

















"gather up the chaps"
Year:  2016
Country:  US
City:  Chicago
Label:  Red Scare
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  26 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Pop Punk
















The Falcon is a punk rock supergroup from Chicago. The band features The Lawrence Arms members Brendan Kelly (guitar and vocals) and Neil Hennessy (drums), as well as Alkaline Trio's Dan Andriano (bass). Todd Mohney, former member of Rise Against, played guitar on the 2004 EP God Don't Make No Trash or Up Your Ass With Broken Glass, but was unable to attend the recording session for the band's first full length, Unicornography, and his spot was temporarily filled in by Hennessy. Kelly, the creative force behind the band, has said in interviews that the lineup would almost definitely change in order to tour successfully. Specifically, he cited Andriano's role in Alkaline Trio as making the bass player's availability for touring limited. According to the band's MySpace, the current lineup consists of Kelly, Hennessy, Eli Caterer (Smoking Popes), and Chris McCaughan (The Lawrence Arms). The band has so far released one EP on Red Scare, God Don't Make No Trash or Up Your Ass With Broken Glass. Released in 2004, it has a unique trait in that all the songs, as well as EP itself, have two different names. Unicornography, The Falcon's debut full-length, was released on September 26, 2006. Kelly, the creative force behind the band, has said in interviews that the line-up would almost definitely change in order to tour successfully. Specifically, he cited Andriano's role in the Alkaline Trio as making the bass player's availability for touring limited. Kelly and Andriano previously played together from 1993-1996 in the ska/punk band Slapstick. In December 2004, the band released the EP God Don't Make No Trash -or- Up Your Ass With Broken Glass. An interesting trait of the EP is that, like the name of the EP, each song has two different names in a style mimicking that of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show episode titles. The EP received a number of positive reviews. On September 26, 2006, the band released their first full-length album Unicornography. The album has a very fast paced, hard sound with strong raspy vocals, in comparison to The Lawrence Arms older works, and is more similar in tone and style to their 2006 album, Oh! Calcutta!. The album also features re-recorded versions of the songs "I'm So Happy I Could Just Cry Myself to Sleep -or- The Routes We Wander" and "Building the Perfect Asshole Parade -or- Scratching Off the Fleas", both of which were originally featured on the band's 2004 God Don't Make No Trash or Up Your Ass with Broken Glass EP. In 2007 they made their first music video for the song "The La-Z-Boy 500." At an intimate show at the borderline in London on July 7, 2012, Brendan Kelly and Dan Andriano admitted Sam Russo into the band as touring guitarist and backing vocalist. On March 21, 2015, Dave Hause announced that he had joined the band in his e-newsletter.
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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

YOUTH AVOIDERS

















"relentless"
Year:  2018
Country:  France
City:  Paris
Label:  Build me a bomb
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  15
Time:  28 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk        Hardcore
















Relentless" is the long awaited Youth Avoiders second album. The five years between this new full lenght and their debut have been really intense for the band, made of constant live appearances everywhere around the globe. Intensity is the trademark of Youth Avoiders. Their combination of classic rock'n'roll, punk and hardcore, with few distorted guitars and clear voices, become Youth Avoiders probably in one of the best french punk bands of nowadays.
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Saturday, 19 May 2018

HIGLEY

















"idem"
Year:  2017
Country:  US
City: Rimrock, AZ
Label:  Boss Tuneage
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  34 min.
Lyrical themes:  social issues, politics
Genre:  rock
Style:        Pop Punk
















Higley, the long-gestating project of G-WHIZ's Kevin Carl, have released the LP, CD and digital version of their self-titled debut album today via multiple digital download sites. The band features quite a roster on the other positions with various musicians filling out certain roles during the album's multi-year conception: Bill Stevenson (Descendents), Bob Hoag (Pollen) and James Menefee (River City High), and G-WHIZ bandmates Duane Kiener and Greg Gleason have all contributed at some point or another. Considering the people involved, I think I'm a little surprised that it's a similarity to Pollen that I hear the most.  The slick, distorted guitar and slightly gravely vocals mesh well with the steady, mid tempo rhythm section churning the songs along.  By the books pop hooks and chorus melodies pepper throughout the album and you can't deny their potency and effectiveness. Sometimes the songs feel a little too polished and somewhat clinical.  I wouldn't mind if things went off the rails a bit more and some of the perfection was traded in for a little chaotic energy.  Also the lyrics do lean towards a sort of confessional travel journal direction.  They can get overly heartfelt at times, particularly on "For A Minute," but the band is powerful enough to keep things from getting too sentimental.  It's a totally solid debut album and worth checking out, particularly if you dig Pollen or G-Whiz. The combination of veteran musicians, brilliant melodic voice, punk rock and intelligent lyrics become in a brilliant debut album highly recommended for all those fans of mature punk rock, power pop and conscious lyrics. Excellent
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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

WESTERN ADDICTION

















"tremulous"
 Year:  2017
 Couuntry:  US
 City:  San Francisco
 Label:  Fat Wreck Chords
 Format:  CD, LP
 Tracks:  11
Time:  32 min.
Genre:  rock
 Style:        Punk Rock
















Western Addiction is a punk rock band based in San Francisco. The band was formed by four veterans of the HC / punk scene in 2003. Some of the members work for Fat Wreck Chords. They have toured internationally in both the USA and Europe. While the San Francisco band’s sophomore effort comes nearly 12 years after their debut, don’t think they have grown out of hardcore. Tremulous rips its way through 11 explosive tracks, delivering a consistent sound strongly rooted in the past that is plenty aggressive and surprisingly melodic. It sounds like the same band that made Cognicide, just older, wiser - but still pissed off.A large part of that consistency can be attributed to the band’s current form, which consists of founding members Hall on vocals, Ken Yamazaki (also of Dead To Me) on guitar and Chad Williams on drums, as well as 2014 recruit Tony Teixeira moving to guitar. When it came time to record Tremulous, Western Addiction re-connected with original bassist, Tyson “Chicken” Annicharico, who was happy to assist his friends in the studio, adding another connection between the band’s past and present. He even had a hand in shaping Tremulous’ most intense song, the album-closing, five-and-a-half-minute dirge “Your Life Is Precious,” written in tribute to friend (and Enemy You frontman) David Jones, whose unexpected death in 2015 had a profound effect on the band. “I don’t usually write songs in one burst, but I did with that one—every single lyric means something very specific,” Hall says, going on to explain how the song features his first-ever attempt at singing. When he says singing, he really means singing, not your average hardcore throat-bellow. Luckily, he had one of punk’s finest vocalists, Joey Cape, in the producer’s seat for Tremulous, who coaxed him to new heights in his overall performance. “One of the things we asked Joey to work on with us was vocal melodies. He had great input on many songs, especially ‘Ditch Riders,’ ‘Taedium’ and ‘Your Life Is Precious.’” Tremulous fires off salvo after salvo of incendiary hardcore containing a surprising amount of melodicism, but Cape wasn’t the only member of the Fat Wreck family to offer assistance: Propagandhi’s Todd Kowalski delivers guest vocals on “Taedium” (“Propagandhi has continually influenced and enlightened my life, and I respect Todd as a human,” Hall praises). And while the bulk of the album was recorded with Cape and engineer Ian MacGregor in Los Angeles, the band finished up the vocals in San Francisco with Cape at Fat Mike’s Motor Studios.
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Friday, 11 May 2018

WAR ON WOMEN

















"capture the flag"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Baltimore
Label:  Bridge nine
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Hardcore        Rock
















As soon as Shawna Porter lets loose in opening track ‘Lone Wolves,’ a song that touches on the gun violence epidemic that’s plaguing America, you know this is going to be good. This Baltimore-based band already placed themselves on the map with their debut, but with ‘Capture The Flag’ they sound ready to take over a whole country. Coined as a ‘co-ed, feminist hardcore punk’ band, Porter definitely doesn’t hold back in her lyrics or her vocal delivery. Songs like ‘Dick Pics’, ‘Predator In Chief’ and ‘Divisive Shit’ leave little to the imagination and are as high on raw urgency as they are low on subtlety. You could be forgiven to think that this is going to be all about the message and not so much the music. Don’t fret. Because just like the messages in these songs are strong, so is the songwriting. There’s plenty of everything to go around. Shreddding riffs, melodic hooks, unbridled aggression and outrage… it’s all present and accounted for. Oh, and the album even comes with a reading list. Except for the abovementioned cuts, War On Women have the perfect single in the form of the catchy and powerful ‘Silence Is The Gift’. And there is more goodness to be found in the form of the gripping ‘Beauty And The Beast’ and the downright ferocious ‘The Violence Of Bureaucracy’. Meanwhile Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna makes a noteworthy appearance on ‘YDHTML’ while more guest appearances can be found in the form of Sharptooth’s Lauren Kashan and adult film actress Joanna Angel (who created the punk rock porn site Burning Angel). The only song I can’t wrap my head around is ‘Childbirth’. But hey, luckily that one calls it a day after a mere 76 seconds. Other than that, War On Women released one helluva solid album with ‘Capture The Flag" (*Review writen by Thomas ).
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"idem"
Year:  2015
Label:  none
Format:  LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Hardcore        Rock








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