Monday, 3 September 2018

ONE SQUARE MILE

















"the system"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Hermosa Beach, CA
Label:  Epitaph
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  15
Time:  30 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk        Hardcore
















The system is starting to break!!!!” screams vocalist Noel Neville on the anthemic title track of One Square Mile’s full-length debut album The System. Comprised of ex-members from the Circle Jerks, Saccharine Trust, Zero Down, Pennywise and The Resolutions, One Square Mile has delivered an album worthy of their Southern California punk rock and hardcore roots. From the blistering opening track Set In Stone, to the warp speed melodic mash up of Pieces this band brings together exceptional musicianship, thunderous riffs and thought provoking lyrics. Tracks like Over Again, Your War and Dead in My Dream will get you blood boiling while driving you into a mad pit-like frenzy, while tracks like Never Feel the Same and Always take you on a more melodic route with just as much intensity. Recorded at Maple Studios with producer Cameron Webb (Motorhead, Weezer, Pennywise and Social Distortion, along with production contributions from Fletcher Dragge (Pennywise), from start to finish One S.
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Thursday, 23 August 2018

BLACKFIRE



















"one nation under"
Year:  1999
Country:  US
City:  Flagstaff, AR
Label:  Canyon
Format:  CD
Tracks:  15
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock














Blackfire is a Diné traditionally-influenced, musical group composed of three siblings: two brothers and a sister. Their high-energy style melds traditional Native American and punk rock into an "alter-Native" attitude with strong sociopolitical messages about government oppression, relocation of indigenous people, ecocide, genocide, domestic violence, and human rights. Blackfire was founded in 1989 by Jeneda, Klee, and Clayson Benally, three siblings born in the heart of the land struggle at Black Mesa on the Navajo Nation. Their mother was a folk singer, and their father, Jones Benally, was a traditional medicine man who raised them on traditional Native songs. Not surprisingly, their children followed suit and have been playing music since "their instruments were bigger than they were."[1] To this very day, Jones and his children perform as the Jones Benally Family, either as a part of or separately from Blackfire performances, which are always at all-ages venues, to display their "traditional form of dance, song and story that has been carried on from the beginning of time...including histories of ceremonys [sic], hunting, agriculture and the foundation of the Diné Culture.
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"silence is a weapon"
Year:  1997
Label:  Tacoho
Format:  CD + CD 2
Tracks:  12
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock


















Actually this is a double CD, which contains twelve songs of punk rock and alternative rock, and a second CD which contains a fistfull of folk, world music and american native songs.
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Sunday, 12 August 2018

THE COPYRIGHTS

















"report"
Year:  2014
Country:  US
City:  Carbondale, IL
Label:  Red Scare
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  28 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Pop  Punk















The Copyrights play a stripped-down version of pop-punk in the tradition of fellow Illinois bands like Screeching Weasel and the Methadones, with old-school punk and pop influences ranging from the Ramones and the Undertones to Sound Affects-vintage Jam and the first couple of Cheap Trick albums. Formed in the small southern Illinois city of Carbondale (much closer to St. Louis, MO, than Chicago) in 2002, the Copyrights originally consisted of bassist and primary lead singer Adam Fletcher, guitarists/vocalists Brett Hunter and Ken Clifford, and drummer Luke McNeill. Signed to the Washington, D.C., indie Insubordination Records, the Copyrights released their debut album, We Didn't Come Here to Die (produced by Illinois pop-punk legend Mass Giorgini), in 2003. It was subsequently followed by two EPs, 2004's Button Smasher and 2005's Nowhere Near Chicago (both through It's Alive Records). Replacing the departed Clifford with new guitarist Nick O'Neil, the Copyrights returned with their second album, Mutiny Pop, in May 2006. Not wasting any time, various shows followed before the guys (now with Jeff Funburg on board in place of O'Neil) were back in the studio by the start of 2007 to commence recording their next album; Make Sound surfaced that spring via Red Scare. ~ Stewart Mason
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MAD CADDIES

















"punk rock steady"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Solvang, CA
Label:  Fat wreck chords 
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk        Reggae















The Mad Caddies are at a point in their career where they can do whatever the hell they want and have proven that they are the King Midas of Fat Wreck Chords. Everything they touch turns to gold and their new album Punk Rocksteady is all the proof you need. The idea of converting punk songs into reggae tunes had been discussed for some time now and it has finally come to fruition with 12 wide-ranging tracks that were handpicked by Fat Mike and the band. Every original song that was chosen for this album has a memorable melody that could easily translate to a reggae melody, though some of the quick chord changes were probably difficult to transform. But as the band has stated, a good song is a good song no matter what style it’s played in. The melodies on songs like “She” (Green Day), “2RAK005” (Bracket), and “Alien 8” (Lagwagon) are a perfect fit for reggae and reminded me how much I’ve missed these songs. It could be argued that the Caddies have actually enhanced some of these tunes with that chicka-chicka sound, running bass lines and tons of harmonies, though some punk purists may be upset with such drastic changes. And in some cases, the Caddies version may force the listener to enjoy the original song even more. For example, I’ve always seen “She’s Gone” as a deep cut in NOFX’s catalogue. But this version forced me to listen more closely and made me appreciate Fat Mike’s songwriting skills. Furthermore, the band uses the music to highlight the storytelling by slowly building up anticipation until you ultimately reach the climax of the song. While I was eager to hear all twelve tracks on Punk Rocksteady, two of the songs I was most interested in listening to were the reworked tunes of Operation Ivy and Propagandhi. One of the most identifiable parts on this record is the opening to “Sleep Long”, but the tune completely changes style for the verse and the rest of the choruses with help from Aimee Interrupter and Joshua Waters Rudge of the Skints. And while this version is completely different, it is interesting to see how the band completely and successfully reworked this song. “...And We Thought That Nation-States Were A Bad Idea” was another song I was eagerly anticipating because it is a really difficult song to transform into a reggae tune. The Mad Caddies turned an angry, fast-paced, guitar-heavy song into an upbeat, horn-laced track with heavy harmonies. And to top it off, Fat Mike jumps in at the end of the song with a light-hearted jab at Propagandhi’s aversion to ska. Compared to other Mad Caddies albums (putting the cover idea aside), it would not be their best record simply because it is all reggae and no punk, so therefore doesn’t highlight all of the band’s strengths. But considering the concept, it is an outstanding album and one of my favorite releases of the year. And while this album will probably piss off some of the punk rock police, Punk Rocksteady gave me a newfound appreciation of songs I haven’t listened to in a long time (*Review by Pete Vincelli ).
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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:  2016
Country:  US
City:  Oakland , CA
Label:  Future Perfect
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  16
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Oi!















Hard Left is a 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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