Music
Vitamin X stream new song “Modern Man”

Vitamin X are such a good band. If you haven’t heard of them then you are in for a treat. These thrash punkers hail from Amsterdam and have been around for a long time now. They are streaming a song from their new album Age Of Paranoia which is due out on May 18th.

The track is called “Modern Man” and you can give it a listen below. If you enjoy it cant wait for the new album you can check out an old album, and one of my favourites, Bad Trip here.


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Music
Rash Decision (hardcore) stream new album “Karōshi”

Rash Decision are streaming their new album “Karōshi” and its a belter! The record is relentless and well worth a listen. You can check it out below.

I saw these guys play at an all dayer in York and they were really impressive. If you want to catch them live they are setting off on a pretty intense 10 day tour of Europe next month, you can find the tour dates below the album.


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Album Review
Album Review: Abolitionist – “The Instant”

It took longer for me to get Abolitionist than I like to admit. I remember eyeing the Portland area as a potential home, years before I was even close to taking the plunge. In preparation, I listened to every Portland punk band I could find. A part of me wanted to be convinced, and of course, a part of me wanted new music. I found a lot of cool bands, but something about Abolitionist just didn’t stick to me. Back in those days, they had a pop punk tag on bandcamp and I can’t help but think of myself, back then, straining to hear how Abolitionist would’ve sat alongside Teenage Bottlerocket, Off With Their Heads, or Direct Hit! It wasn’t really that melodic, but it was aggressive, had cool art, and was supposed to sell me on a city I kinda-sorta was seeing myself in down the road. But back then—I just didn’t get it.

Well, flash forward. I live in Vancouver, WA, a bridge away from Abolitionists’ hometown and I’m armed with a lot more knowledge and taste. Since then, I’ve recognized that pop punk tag as an influence, not an iron-barred cage, and I’ve expanded my listening experiences enough to place them in a different, and altogether more punk tradition. It took their last EP to open my eyes, and when I finally saw them for what they are (rather than what the bandcamp tag sold them as), I saw Abolitionist as the torchbearers of the Revolution Summer—that glorious and exciting period of punk rock when DC hardcore started to stretch its legs and experiment with both confessional lyrics, slowed down jams, and melody—outrightly rejecting macho posturing and violence. When I hear Abolitionist now, I hear Dag Nasty, One Last Wish, Rites of Spring, and Fuel, but their innovation is in taking the rawness and musical melody of the aforementioned while laser-focusing their lyrics through a political and narrative lens.

The Instant follows in this vein, and of course, it’s a concept album tightly woven around it’s theme—one day, the people of the world wake up, and they suddenly give a shit. The concept itself is simultaneously cynical, hopeful, and absurd, but Abolitionist explore it thoroughly, with twists and turns galore. Better still though, even as committed as it is to its storytelling, the album never becomes bloated. The songs are short and declarative and the whole album clocks in at a breezy twenty-three minutes.

The reason the Revolution Summer comparison rings so loud for me is in the fundamentals of Abolitionists’ approach to music. “A Little Animal Liberation Never Hurt Anybody” is a good example of their sonic palette. A soaring, hopeful guitar melody leads into a power chord progression marked with lyrics like, “Burned down the factories, freed the slaves. Changed our diet, changed our ways.” Abolitionist sounds like a band using the hardcore framework, but adapting it to their taste. Their vocals are barked, sometimes with a sense of muted melody, but look no further than the bands that formed the basis for post-hardcore to see another group stretching under the confines of punk’s most restrictive style. Another comparison, especially in regards to “A Little Animal Liberation…” is Paint It Black, whose song “Invisible” similarly uses a big major guitar melody to create a sense of triumph in a dark world, a merging of music and lyrics never explored in straight hardcore beyond the default of aggression.

But, as this is a narrative album, there are highs and lows. “Backlash” is a gang-vocaled stomper, and probably the closest to a straightforward hardcore punk song on the album, as well as the shortest song on the album. The final track, “The Lonesome Death,” feels complacent in comparison—a jaunty, but broken record of the album’s final downbeat note, mimicking the lyrical bent with subtle precision. “We live in a veritable utopia!” is The Instant’s last line and it is both a claim, a question, and a critique.  

The Instant is an incredibly concise album. In fact, I would consider it a unique counterpoint to longer concept albums like David Comes to Life and The Monitor, which is not to say that those albums are any worse, but that they adapted punk rock to the world of the rock opera, where Abolitionist has adapted the rock opera to punk rock—cutting down it’s run time, zeroing in on it’s focus, and fitting it to the meter of loud and fast. The DC influence on the album allows the band to play with melody without succumbing to it entirely—and in confluence with its run-time makes for an experience that is as urgent and engaging as its message.

 

4/5



Tour
Jeff Rosenstock announces 2018 tour dates, including some featuring AJJ’s Sean Bonnette

Jeff Rosenstock has announced some 2018 tour dates, including a run with Remo Drive, and another with AJJ’s Sean Bonnette.

You can check out the full list of dates and locations below.

Jeff Rosenstock last released Post- in January 2018.


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Music
Don Blake (pop punk) stream new album “Tough Like Diamonds”

UK pop-punk act Don Blake are streaming their new album, Tough Like Diamonds, which was released on May 9th, 2018.

You can give it a listen below.

Tough Like Diamonds follows up the bands’ 2017 release, Blake District.


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Music
Lost In Society stream new song “Eager Heart”

New Jersey’s Lost In Society are streaming the title track of their upcoming EP, Eager Heart, which is set to be released on May 25th via Wiretap Records.

You can give the song a listen below.

Lost In Society last released Modern Illusions on February 26th, 2016 via Handsome Stranger Records.


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Video
Allout Helter release music video for “Speed Of Blight,” featuring Nuno Pereira of A Wilhelm Scream

Denver punks Allout Helter have released a new music video for their song “Speed Of Blight” which features Nuno Pereira of A Wilhelm Scream. 

You can check it out below.

“Speed Of Blight” comes from the bands’ latest album, The Notion of Control, which was released on October 27th, 2017 via Bird Attack Records,


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Signing
Antagonist AD sign to Greyscale records, release new video

New Zealand hardcore outfit Antagonist AD have signed to Greyscale Records, and have released a music video to coincide with this announcement.

The video is for their new single “No Justice,” and you can check it out below.  No word yet on what’s next for the bands’ new partnership, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated once more announcements are made.

Antagonist AD last released Haunt Me As I Roam in 2015.


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Music
When Thieves Are About (pop punk) stream new album “We’re Literally Almost There”

New Jersey pop punk act When Thieves Are About are streaming their debut full length album We’re Literally Almost There in its entirety.

You can give it a listen here.

We’re Literally Almost There was released on May 4th via Manic Kat Records.


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Music
Pass Away (punk) announce new album, stream new song

Brooklyn-based punks Pass Away have announced they will be releasing a new album, The Hell I’ve Always Seen, on May 25th via Suburbia Records.

The band is also streaming an new song from the record, “Brooklyn Sky.”  You can check that out here.

Pass Away’s last release was a single called “Totally Fucked” that was released on January 1st, 2017.


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Music
Sharp/Shock (punk) stream new song “I Don’t Want a Nuclear Family”

CA punks Sharp/Shock are streaming their new song “I Don’t Want a Nuclear Family,” which comes from their upcoming album Youth Club that is set to be released on May 25th. 

You can check out the song below.

Sharp/Shock last released Unlearn Everything on June 10th, 2016 via Heart & Skull Records.


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Music
New Music: Frankie Stubbs (Leatherface) – “Don’t You Ever Say Goodbye (acoustic)”

Frankie Stubbs, longtime vocalist and guitarist for the legendary – and now defunct – UK punk band Leatherface, has played a handful of acoustic gigs in the years since his main band called it quits in 2012. During a recent such show in Germany, Stubbs dedicated the Leatherface classic “Never Say Goodbye” (from their final full-length, 2010’s The Stormy Petrel) to his former band’s bass player, Dickie Hammond, who passed away in November 2015. As you might expect, the crowd joined Stubbs on vocals, for what seems to have been a pretty emotional moment (great quality video is available here).

If you weren’t aware, Stubbs is slated to make another one of his rare solo, acoustic appearances at Pouzza Fest 8 in Montreal this weekend. He’s been rehearsing in the Little Rocket Records studio in the UK, where he was recorded by fellow Leatherface bandmate (and Pouzza co-curator) Graeme Philliskirk. Little Rocket and Stubbs have teamed up to release an acoustic studio version of the above-named classic, and you can check it out here for the very first time. Stream it below!

Leatherface’s last release was their 2011 live album, Viva La Arthouse.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story referred to the late Dickie Hammond as Leatherface’s bass player. He, of course, played guitar; Philliskirk played bass.


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