General News
Underoath to reunite?

Metalcore/screamo band Underoath are teasing something that may result in a reunion, with a clip that displays the text “rebirth is coming”. You can view that clip below. In addition, a mailing list has appeared on Underoath’s official website, so go here to get more updates from the band.

We’ll keep you posted as more details on this story come to light. Underoath was last active in 2013, when they embarked on a farewell tour and called it quits. The band last released the compilation album, Anthology: 1999-2013, in 2013 through Solid State Records, and their last album, Ø (Disambiguation), was released in 2010.


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Video
Kemuri (ska-punk) release music video for “O-Zora”

Japanese ska-punk act Kemuri have released a music video for their song “「O-zora」”. The song appears on the DVD that is bundled with the band’s recently released “best of” album, Ska Bravo, and you can watch the video below.

Kemuri released Ska Bravo earlier this year. 


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Tour
No Cigar Announce West Coast Tour Dates

Montana’s No Cigar has announced a tour of the West Coast later this year. You can check out the dates and locations below.

No Cigar self-released three new singles in June 2015. You can become familiar with the band by streaming them over at the No Cigar Bandcamp page.


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Album Review
EP Review: Cult Leader – “Useless Animal”

Cult Leader is heavy.  I’m gonna say it again, Cult Leader is heavy.  I say it again because after you have listened to their newest EP Useless Animal, you’ll find one ‘heavy’ just doesn’t cut it.  This release sees the progressive crust band take that progressive moniker to all new levels of chaos, distortion, and fury.

This frenetic onslaught lasts about three minutes over the first two songs of the three song EP.  “Useless Animal” charges right out of the gate with the band immediately in full form.  Guitars are tuned low, played loud and sound evil.  The bass has a sinister tone to it, and the drums switch from fast to really fast throughout.  All this backing what I imagine is an actual demon screaming and growling his hatred of humanity through the microphone.  That first song shows Cult Leader reaching for new levels of heaviness and complexity, but this is pushed over the edge with the next song “Gutter Gods.”  It starts off with just a bass line, but once everything else kicks in, there is no telling where the band is going to go with it.  The guitar riffs are quick and angular, while the drummer is making use out of his whole kit as often as possible, while still keeping everything on (blast) beat.  The vocals match perfectly with the madness being created by the instruments.  It sounds like a different singer than the one from the first song.  That one was low and thunderous, while this one is more high pitched and gravelly.  When the two come together toward the end of “Gutter Gods,” it sounds like the band may be about to take my soul.  This three minute onslaught feels a lot longer and is a fun ride.  If you like heavy music just for the sake of being heavy, this will delight you immensely.

The band then does a complete 180 for the third song of the EP, a cover of “You Are Not My Blood” by Mark Kozelek & Desertshore.  The song gradually eases the listener back down from the heights they took you in the first two songs with spacey guitar and slow, pulsating drums.  This continues pretty much throughout the whole song as the band adds other trippy and creepy effects.  The vocals are still low and dark, but without the screaming and growling.

Cult Leader has put out something very interesting with Useless Animal.  Its first half pushes heaviness to its extreme, while the second half seems to acknowledge that the listeners ears might spontaneously start to bleed, and offers a way to come down from that.  The best part about this is how the seemingly total opposites end up working so well together.  I feel that while the three songs differ in levels of distortion and such, they still all have the same dark vibe.   Useless Animal is a good and addicting listen that I’ll be sure to pull out for a fun ride in the future.

4/5 Stars


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Show Review
DS Photo Gallery: Spring Heeled Jack, Mephiskapheles, Party Bois and The Hulls (Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT)

Spring Heeled Jack

Last Saturday at the legendary Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut, was one for the local, old-school ska punk family as Spring Heeled Jack made their triumphant return to their hometown stage. The band have played only a handful of shows since effectively reuniting a few years ago after a decade-long absence, making for a special evening when they do dust off the dancing shoes and fire up the old tunes. The lineup has changed several-fold over the last few years as original members have either passed on (drummer Dave Karcich sadly died of a cerebral aneurysm in 2010) or moved on to comparatively greener pastures (Chris Rhodes to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, (Re)Pete Wasilewski to Less Than Jake) but the core singer-guitarist combo of Ron Ragona and Mike Pellegrino remains in tact, and trumpeteer/lovable wild card Tyler Green continues to remain the humorous, slightly-off-the-rails lynchpin of the horn section.

Spring Heeled Jack, long considered (by me anyway) to be one of the more underrated bands of a genre that flamed out too quickly, drew the bulk of their headlining set on this particular night from their two studio full-lengths, 1996′s criminally-underrated Static World View and 1998′s Songs from Suburbia. Any ska-punk band worth their salt in the genre’s late-1990s heyday had a live show that consisted of a ball of frenetic energy, and Spring Heeled Jack were certainly no exception to that rule “back in the day.” Despite being on the other side of seventeen years without a new album (which my god makes this particular writer feel ancient) and with a handful of new members (Corky Evans on drums, Peet Golan on bass, Nick Bacon and his sunglasses-at-night on keys, Tom Quartulli and Mike DeMatteo and the latter’s kick-ass white sport coat on saxophone), the band seemed arguably as tight and impassioned as ever, though perhaps it helps playing to a hometown crowd consisting largely of friends, family, and longtime fans.

Mephiskapheles

The Hulls

Party Bois

Support on this night came from a veritable variety show of acts. Local one-named comedian Beecher provided between set banter, though a few showgoers in the otherwise generally tame crowd started to turn on him rather vociferously by the end of his last set. Direct support came from legendary NY ska punk vets Mephiskapheles who, though packed like sardines (or perhaps like tuna?) into the front of the crowded stage, played with an energy that belied their having eclipsed the quarter-century mark as a band. Boston-based four-piece Party Bois preceded the satanic ska-punk octet and were, well, a mystery wrapped inside a cocaine-and-power-suit-fueled 1980s wedding party of an enigma. Trying to sum up the experience that is Party Bois in a scant few sentences is a near impossible task. The band was started somewhat on a lark by Spring Heeled Jack frontman Ron Ragona and friends (though Ragona no longer performs with Party Bois; he’s more of a Party Bois Emeritus), the project took on a life of its own. It’s synth-pop that takes itself incredibly seriously and, somehow, not seriously at all, making for an experience that’s either incredibly surreal or, more probably, incredibly awesome. Seriously…just watch this and see if you can figure it out. Local openers The Hulls are a straight-forward street punk band from New Haven who evoke bands more ‘classic’ New England punk bands like Darkbuster (and even covered a Darkbuster track) and along with newer bands like The Scandals or The Darlings, all of whom are near and dear to my own personal heart.

Check out our photo gallery from the fun, varied night below!


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Recording
Direct Hit! finish recording new album

According to a recent post on their Facebook page, Milwaukee pop-punk act Direct Hit! have finished recording the new full-length album they began working on back in May. Here’s what they had to say about the follow-up to 2013′s Brainless God:

YO. WE FINISHED RECORDING A NEW ALBUM LAST NIGHT. BRAND NEW TUNES. DIFFERENT THAN THE FAKE NEW TUNES OUT 8/21. NO RELEASE DATE YET. SEND MONEY. FUCK YOU.

Prior to the new record’s currently undetermined release date, the band will be putting out a compilation of newly re-recorded, remixed, and remastered singles titled More of the Same (Satanic Singles: 2010-2014) on August 21st via Red Scare Industries.


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FREE
FREE Music: Undefeated (pop-punk) release “Stole the Show”

Nashville pop-punk band Undefeated have a catchy new tune out called “Stole the Show.”  You can name your price for the download here.

“Stole the Show” will be on the band’s debut self-titled EP.  According to Undefeated’s Facebook page, the album was due out on July 22nd, but this song is the only one that shows up so far.  Stay tuned for more from these guys!


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Tour
Mayday Parade, Real Friends to headline Alternative Press tour

This year’s Alternative Press tour will feature emo/funk/hip-hop band Mayday Parade, pop punks Real Friends, acoustic punk act This Wild Life, and pop punk band As It Is.

The tour will hit 32 U.S. cities, and you can find all of the dates below, and grab your tickets here.


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Music
Spitalfield’s Mark Rose signs to InVogue Records for debut solo album

Mark Rose, vocalist of Chicago punk rock band Spitalfield, has signed to inVogue Records for the release of his solo album, The Wild Type.  The new material will be out on September 25th, but you can check out the video for his new song “Well & Diet” below.

When asked to describe the album, Rose said:

“When envisioning ‘The Wild Type,’ I wanted to do something cinematic and beat driven–but to have those elements really built around the storytelling and songs themselves. My stride on this album is a bit dark and haunting, but hopefully in an alluring way. I’m very excited about this record.”

Rose will be touring this fall in support of his new album, with dates to be released soon.  We’ll keep you posted.


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Music
Big Awesome stream “Wolf” off of upcoming album

South Carolina punks Big Awesome have another preview of their latest album for you to check out ahead of its upcoming release.  You can check out the track “Wolf” below.

Big Awesome’s latest effort is also the band’s debut LP.  Party On will be released on August 7th via Jetsam-Flotsam.  The album is the band’s first release since their 2012 EP, Birdfeeder.


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Tour
Such Gold (melodic hardcore) announce European tour dates with 6 Foot 10 and Flatfoot 56

We already told you about New York melodic hardcore band Such Gold‘s U.S. tour dates this August, and there’s still more to come as the band has announced a round of European dates.  Such Gold will tour with Flatfoot 56 and folk/punk act 6 Foot 10 starting in November.  Check out all the dates below.

Such Gold most recently released The New Sidewalk last November through Razor & Tie Records.


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Music
Miss May I stream new album, “Deathless”

Ohio metalcore band Miss May I will release their new album, Deathless, next week, but they are letting fans stream the new songs today.  You can check them out, including the video for “I.H.E.,” below.  

Deathless is due out on Rise Records next Friday, August 7th. The album will be the follow-up to Miss May I’s 2014 album, Rise of the Lion. You can pre-order Deathless right here.


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