Album Review
Album Review: Wolvves – “Paradox Valley”

Wolvves’ latest record Paradox Valley has been a long time coming: it was released nearly two years after the Phoenix-based afro-grunge act’s last record Whatever. But it has been well worth the wait. Stellar frontman and lead songwriter Aydin Immortal seems to have finally hit the right notes to produce a punk sound that is distinctly hip-hop and filled with all kinds of attitude.

The evolution of Wolvves from their beginnings back in 2012 to where they are today has been an adventure to say the least. But one thing that has never suffered through all four records, innumerable membership turnovers, controversy, announced breakups, and bravado has been the songwriting. And each record has shown a blatantly obvious musical maturation in the band’s only constant member, Immortal.

Paradox Valley is different enough from Wolvves’ previous work that it delivers a taste of something fresh while still remaining faithful to the sound that longtime Wolvves fans have become accustomed to. There is garage rock, surf rock, hip-hop, and grunge — all molded into an aesthetic that is still completely punk.

Immortal has always had a penchant for rhyme in his lyrics, always in an undeniably hip-hop cadence, but with this new record the brazen performer seems to abandon a lot of pretense he held onto in Whatever and Go Demon or Go Home and go balls out with the hip-hop overtones.

The album’s third track “With My Niggas” and sixth track “Into It” are great examples of how the band is going in a more hip-hop direction. They have done rap-style tracks (like “Sage” off of Whatever) in the past. But never has the group really released a straight up hip-hop song until Paradox Valley. Never fear, punk purists: there are still plenty of guitars on those tracks.

Tracks like “Ivory Drive,” “Bouquet of Lightning,” and “Harriets” do heavily resemble what the band seemed to have been going for on Whatever. They possess a dreamy, almost psychedelic, retro quality that the group had in spades on their 2014 release. But the lyrics and rhythms are coming in just a little more clearly than they did last time around.

Track 7 “Gasoline” and the album’s final track “Billie Holiday” are the two songs that give the album that signature Wolvves edge and harken back to their first release, the EP Live Forever. Both tracks hit hard and fast and make you just want to get in the mosh pit and feel the music punch you in the gut.

But “Gasoline” comes with a bridge unlike anything Wolvves has done before. It’s got to be the most emotionally evocative tracks the group has ever made, with Immortal laying bare many of his more complex emotions before letting it all break down in a blazing guitar solo.

The album is altogether amazing for a band like Wolvves who are just starting to really fight their way into the national music spotlight. The record is concise, easy to listen to all the way through, and just dripping with the same attitude that has made all of their music so engrossing. Perhaps they have reached their final form as a raucous 3-piece, or maybe Aydin Immortal still has plans to revamp his band’s sound. But either way, they are definitely heading in the right direction with Paradox Valley.

Wolvves is currently on tour and coming up fast on their first ever trip to New York City. They will play The Cake Shop on September 27th and Aviv on September 28th.

4.5 / 5 Stars

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Music Video: Hoist The Colors – “Mourners”

Los Angeles folk-influenced punk act Hoist the Colors just celebrated the release of their latest album,”Mourners”, and we featured a full album stream which is available here.

Today, the band has premiered a new music video for the album’s title track “Mourners”, which you can check out below.

“Mourners” was released September 24th through Hardline Entertainment and serves as a follow up to their 2012 release “Miles to Go Before We Sleep”.

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Boston Manor streaming new album “Be Nothing”

UK emo/pop-punk band Boston Manor are gearing up to release their newest album, “Be Nothing”, and the band has made the entire work available to stream.

Check it out below.

“Be Nothing” is set to be released this Friday (September 30th) through Pure Noise Records. The band last released an EP titled “Saudade” last November.

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Dillinger Escape Plan streaming new track “Symptom of Terminal Illness” off final album “Dissociation”

New Jersey’s The Dillinger Escape Plan has released a new track off their final album, which you can check out below.

“Symptom of Terminal Illness” will appear on the band’s sixth and final album, “Dissociation”, which will be released on October 14th through the band’s own label, Party Smasher, Inc.

The band will be heading out on a farewell tour to say goodbye and promote the last album – dates and locations can be seen here.

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BarCreeps streaming new single “Calico”

BarCreeps is a new punk band from London that is reportedly a super group. The only thing is, no one knows who’s in the band. Promo material only shows the lovely faces you see to the left, and live shots on their Facebook are all obscured and blurry. Someone might be able to figure out some of the members from those photos though. Who’s up for a little sleuthing?

We do know the band members have played with or alongside Fugazi, Amy Winehouse, The Pipettes, a Ramones tribute act, The Young Playthings, The Beastie Boys and have even had a song covered by Mark Ronson.

The band is currently streaming a new single “Calico”, which is set to be released on September 30th. You can give it a listen here.

If you’re a fan you can buy the track for whatever price you’d like through the Little Rocket Recordsbandcamp, along with the band’s previously released B-side “Troll”.

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Music Video: Hang Tight (New Jersey Pop Punk) – “Digital Age”

New Jersey pop punk act Hang Tight have released a video for their song “Digital Age.”

You can check it out below.

“Digital Age” is the bands’ debut single that was released on September 23rd, 2016.

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Off With Their Heads stream acoustic version of “Clear The Air”

Off With Their Heads have announced more details on their acoustic album and are sharing one of the tracks.  The album will be called Won’t Be Missed and will include acoustics versions of previously released Off With Their Heads songs.  It is set to be released on October 25th via Anxious And Angry.

The band is streaming the first track, “Clear The Air,” which you can check out here.

Off With Their Heads’ latest full-length album Home was released in 2013 through Epitaph Records.

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Music Video: Whole Wheat Bread – “Eye for an Eye”

Jacksonville’s dirty south punk rockers Whole Wheat Bread have released a video for their song “Eye for an Eye.”

You can check it out here.

“Eye for an Eye” comes from the bands’ upcoming EP Punk Life 2, which is set to be released on November 5th.

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Music Video: Six Time Champion – “Down”

Brighton pop punks Six Time Champion have released a video for their song “Down.”

Check it out below.

“Down” comes from the bands’ upcoming EP More Than Me, which is set to be released on October 14th.

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Lyric Video: Such Gold – “Gut Rot”

New York’s Such Gold have released a new lyric video for their song “Gut Rot.”

Check it out below.

“Gut Rot” comes from the band’s reissue of their 2010 EP Pedastals, which was released on September 9th via Bird Attack Records.

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Music Video: Stuck In Mind (Czech Skate Punk) – “Life To Live”

Czech skate punk act Stuck In Mind have released a video for their song “Life To Live.”

You can check it out below.

“Life To Live” comes from the bands’ upcoming 7″ that is is set to be released in October via Cecek Records.

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DS Exclusive
DS Photo Gallery: Lucero close out the Copenhagen Beer Celebration (Boston, MA)

God bless the City of Boston for continually trying to breath life, by way of art and music, into the embarrassingly decrepit portion of town that is City Hall Plaza. To paraphrase (read as: steal verbatime) myself from an older story about the Boston Calling Music Festival, City Hall Plaza is, for the non-New Englanders among us, a barren, steaming brick-and-concrete turd located adjacent to a number of otherwise vibrant areas, and has been criminally under-utilized over the years, a literal eyesore for the fifty years since it opened. Boston Calling brought more than a handful of acclaimed national and international performing artists, but it’s since shrunk from biannual to once a year, and has moved away from City Hall entirely. The same team that put it on, however, managed to lire the Copenhagen Beer Celebration to the States for the first time, and provided a pretty eclectic lineup of musical acts to go along with the even more eclectic lineup of microbreweries.

Unlike Boston Calling and other festivals in the past, the focus on the Copenhagen Beer Celebration was beer, not music. And so, in spite of the fact that the stage was located immediately inside the venue’s entrance, most people bypassed the musical festivities for most of the weekend (one session Friday night, two sessions Saturday, all different lineups at each) and opted to hang up the hill at the brewery and food tents. That all changed in time for Lucero, however. As we’ve acknowledged, Lucero are one of “those bands” for people, and engaging with a great number of people Saturday night revealed that the Venn diagram of “people there for the beer” and “people there for Lucero” was, for the most part, a largely concentric circle.

Though the scale might have been larger than most of Lucero’s shows (at least in this area) and because the setting involved the band being fairly separated from the crowd (and despite the fact that it was cold and windy by the end of the 85-minute set), the show still had the feel of a Lucero show. Operating as a five-piece (no horn section for the fly-in/fly-out gig) gave the bulk of the band’s setlist a more raw, stripped-down feel that, while it certainly falls in line with the bulk of the first half of Lucero’s history, has not necessarily been par for the course over the last half-dozen years. Age and the wisdom that comes from spending years as one of the hardest working bands in this or any genre have dulled some of the more intense partying, borderline trainwrecky nature of early Lucero shows, and that’s probably a good thing. I’ve always thought that Roy Berry and John Stubblefield composed one of the steadier and underrated rhythm sections out there, allowing Rick Steff (keys, accordion), Brian Venable (lead guitar) and, of course, frontman Ben Nichols the freedom to wander and take chances and stray pretty far, at times, into the sonic ether. The lack of horn section pushes that issue to more of a forefront, particularly on nights like this that were still peppered with occasional false starts and equipment failures (Venable was relegated to losing his guitar and, as fate would have it, his shirt by the end of the night due to a faulty amplifier).

It was fun to see the band a little bit outside their element for this part of the country, only to then realize that with a band as varied and influential as Lucero, there really isn’t any getting outside their element, as they seem to be their own element, having outlasted myriad bands across genres and carving out their own niche and their own sound.

Check out our full photo gallery from the evening below. While you’re at it, check out our 15th anniversary Lucero retrospective pieces here and here.


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