Search Results for "Skate Punk"

DS Exclusive: Jason Cruz on “Black Out The Sky,” Strung Out’s upcoming dynamite acoustic EP

Back in February 2017, Dying Scene got an exclusive scoop from Strung Out frontman Jason Cruz that the California punk legends were working on a new EP titled Black Out The Sky, to follow up their last full length, 2015’s stellar Transmission.Alpha.Delta. While that was noteworthy in and of itself, the noteworthiness was ratcheted up to stratospheric levels by the additional revelation that Black Out The Sky was also going to be the band’s first collection of acoustic songs. Initial word was that we might see the album sometime in summer 2017, but then, news kinda dried up for a while.

Tomorrow, however, the official release of Black Out The Sky is officially upon us. We caught up with the one-and-only Cruz earlier this week to talk about the new album, and what exactly took so long for it to see the light of day. Needless to say it’s been a bit of a tumultuous run for Strung Out; the band officially parted ways with drummer of more than twenty years, Jordan Burns, a couple months ago, and have since brought Runaway Kids’ drummer RJ Shankle in as his replacement. “We had a tough two years, man,” explains Cruz. “There’ve been a lot of moments in the course of our career where we thought we didn’t know how we were going to get through it, but the last couple years were pretty tough. I think that this record is a catharsis to that whole time in all our lives.

Don’t let the “acoustic album” label fool you; Black Out The Sky is very much a Strung Out record, not just eight stripped down, straight-forward versions of Strung Out songs; the darkness and aggression that have become part of the band’s signature are still very much present. “Strung Out changed its guitar sound and it just happened to sound like this,” says Cruz. There’s also the fact that the band’s last album, Transmission.Alpha.Delta was so loud and intense that Cruz and the remaining band members felt it was time for a change of pace. “If your career’s a song, this is the breakdown before the big chorus (that comes next),” he reasons. “You can’t write another big, huge record right after that. To me, you had to do something like a buffer right in the middle of that to prepare for the next project.”

Strung Out’s guitar players, Rob Ramos and Jake Kiley, and bass player Chris Aiken have long been respected for the fast, aggressive, metal-influence that they bring to the punk rock table; it’s part of what has set Strung Out apart over the years. However, the switch to acoustic on Black Out The Sky puts the focus on the level of musicianship that exists within the band, an appreciation that only grows more intense with subsequent listens. “All three of them are the best guitar players in punk rock, to me,” states Cruz emphatically. “They’re phenomenal. I’m in awe of those guys. I shake when I have to show them an idea.” The added space gave Cruz the room to stretch his voice in some new ways, putting a real focus on the vocals and the lyrics. “What people don’t understand is that singing over loud, heavy metal guitars constrains you. When you take that out of the equation and you can actually hear the timbre of the voice, you have so much more wiggle room. A lot more is discovered in the singer’s voice when everything is a little naked, you know?

You can check out our full chat down below; brace yourself for the Footloose and Alice In Chains portions of the conversation! Black Out The Sky is due out tomorrow on Fat Wreck Chords, and you can still order it here. Strung Out heads out on the road in support of Pennywise in a couple weeks; check out details here!



NOFX Announce Live Album “Ribbed – Live in a Dive”

One of the biggest names in punk rock have announced a re-release of a classic album from their back catalogue. Ribbed – Live in a Dive is, as the name suggests, a live version of the NOFX’s 1991 record Ribbed. The release is scheduled for August 1, 2018 and, of course, features all 14 tracks from the original album.

For now, you can stream track number five, “Just the Flu” from Ribbed – Live in a Dive below.



Mute detail summer European tour

Québec technical punks Mute embark on a summer tour of mainland Europe and the UK in July and August. Based around their appearance at Punk Rock Holiday, the band take in 12 shows in Germany, the UK, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Czech Republic.

Full tour dates are below – individual show details on the band’s Facebook Events page.



Influential UK skate punks Phinius Gage reunite, “Battered & Bruised: The Best of Phinius Gage” now available

UK skate punks Phinius Gage have reunited after eleven years and have released a best-of collection on Disconnect Disconnect Records. The collection features sixteen songs from their back-catalog and three previously unreleased tracks.

The band has already detailed two comeback shows and plans to record new EP. Their last release was 2007’s “Seek Out Your Foes.”

You can find the album on streaming platforms. You can pick up the album for seven pounds at bandcamp. In the meantime, we’ve got the stream for you below!



Album Review: Lagwagon – “Hang”

Ok, so Hang is four years old at the time of writing this but considering there was a nine year gap between this and Lagwangon’s last full length offering I think I can cut myself some slack. I started listening to these guys around the release of Hoss in 1996 and was a pretty avid fan through to Lets Talk About Feelings which came out in 1998. Those two releases (and Double Plaidinum which came between them) leaned more heavily on the melodic side of the melodic hardcore genre, with nods to their heavier, more metal infused first two albums. The band then went quiet for five years while members pursued other musical endeavors, singer Joey Cape’s new band (Bad Astronaut) taking an even poppier direction. With 2003’s Blaze, the band’s metal sound from their debut and sophomore releases (Duh 1992 and Trashed 1994) was more prevalent and the record failed to make much of an impression on me. In the intervening 15 years (fuuuuuuuck) Lets Talk About Feelings has been my go to record from Lagwagon. From that opening chugging riff on After You My Friend to the bittersweet melancholy on penultimate stormer May 16 the album is pretty much perfect all the way through.

Fast forward to 2018 and in preparation for the upcoming Menzingers / Lagwagon / Lawrence Arms show in London in August (not to mention Bad Cop Bad Cop and The Lillingtons) I’m filling in the blanks in my Lagwagon education. Resolve (2005) was written in the aftermath of the suicide of their friend and former drummer Derrick Plouride and lyrically is, understandably, influenced by that tragic event. Musically the album is a mix of melodic and heavier songs and it’s actually a really great addition to their catalogue which is quickly integrating itself into my current playlist.

Which brings me to their most recent, albeit now four year old, offering – Hang. It opens with Burden of Proof, a one-minute Joey Cape acoustic number which sees the first reference to the album’s title (“I see you hanging by your noose. Delivered, divine excuse”) of which there are several more throughout the album. As this subdued number fades out, second track Reign kicks in at breakneck speed, Cape’s vocals switching from mellow and melancholic to aggressive and angry and Lagwagon are back in style. There’s a really cool call back to a lyric in the opener (“It’s a sonnet. There’s no way to put a ribbon on it”) and the aforementioned “hanging man” so if you weren’t following the song titles you could assume the two openers were actually just one song. It’s an absolute belter and I’d love to see them open a set with these two songs back to back. I think the crowd would verily loose their shit! Made of Broken Parts starts with a super metal riff and chugs along nicely with a breakdown in the middle before further nods to the album title (“We can’t hang so we must hang. Can’t hang on so we disconnect”). Following song Cog in the Machine continues the more metallic bent and lyrical theme (machines, parts etc) and keeps the album flowing nicely. Poison in the Well is less overtly metal influenced, although does have a meandering guitar solo in the middle before returning to it’s previous fast pace. Obsolete Absolute starts with the sounds of typewriter before a rumbling bass line leads us into several minutes of an enjoyable rocking instrumental which is then joined by a spoken word narration of things which are becoming obsolete. Around two and half minutes in, the drum tempo increases and a pick slide delineates a shift in the song. Cape’s urgent vocals combine with fast tempo guitar work and it quickly turns into one of the stand out tracks on the album. We hear more about our friend “swinging…on the tree” and the spoken word narration returns to great effect, it really is an exceptional six minutes of music. Western Settlements starts with a relatively pedestrian but enjoyable chugging riff and beat before the drums and bass strip away to leave the guitar to accompany Joey Cape’s sombre vocal which comes in (“A hell of a thing. Hanging a man. Taking everything he has. And all he’ll ever have”). Then the rest of the band kick in again and we’ve got another belter on our hands. Burning Out in Style, opens with a bright vocal over a pulsing guitar and we get one of the most melodic tracks on the release. It’s a fucking corker too, exposing the mundanity and emptiness that lies beneath the shiny façade that some people portray themselves with. One More Song starts with a piano intro underneath a gentle vocal from Joey and is a poignant tribute to the much loved and sadly missed Tony Sly. It references a song Joey heard Tony working on the week before he died which becomes a metaphor for wishing he was still with us. It’s another slice of pure melodic perfection and a fitting tribute to the great man. Following song, Drag, is a reworking of one of Cape’s acoustic numbers, discussing his addiction to nicotine. It’s a little heavier than the previous two tracks without returning to the more metal sound from earlier in the album. You Know Me continues in the same musical vein, a mid tempo rocker which discusses how disconnected we are from each other despite the devices we now have that in theory could bring us closer together. Album closer In Your Wake is a bit of a blend of all the musical styles and themes from the album. It rocks along nicely then builds to a climax, only to slow down to a super poppy repeated refrain (“Inside your head”) over acoustic guitar and a slower drum beat which then itself builds, the full band kick in and we’re told “Your next to hang” over some breakneck speed classic ‘Wagon.

So there we have it, nine years in the making and four more before I actually listened to the damn thing and it’s pretty fucking special, I wish I’d pulled my finger out earlier. It has an urgency and freshness whilst still unmistakably being a Lagwagon album which should please diehard fans and win over new ones. Roll on August!

4/5 Stars



Strung Out Stream “Requiem” From Forthcoming Acoustic Record “Black Out The Sky”

Legendary Fat Wreck band Strung Out are streaming a track from a soon-to-be-released acoustic record. “Requiem” will appear on Black Out The Sky which is penned for release on May 11.

You can check out “Requiem” below.



Feed The Cat (Melodic Hardcore, France) Stream New EP “Never Press Rewind. Except​.​.​.”

French melodic hardcore act Feed The Cat are allowing fans to stream their latest EP Never Press Rewind. Except… The release features seven tracks of rapid, technical sounds that will no doubt appeal to fans of bands like Strung Out, Darko, and A Wilhelm Scream.

You can check out Never Press Rewind. Except… in all its glory below. The previous release from Feed The Cat was the 2016 covers album Kick The Fat.



Lagwagon to perform “Let’s Talk About Feelings” at Fest 17

As part of this year’s Fest lineup, Lagwagon will pay tribute to the 20th anniversary of their 1998 record “Let’s Talk About Feelings” by performing it in its entirety. You can listen to the record, as well as purchase tickets to Fest 17 or Prefest 6, below.

Thus far, Lagwagon and an array of other bands such as Dead To Me, Red City Radio, and Iron Chic have been announced as headliners, with the second wave of band announcements coming June 11.



Fat Mike close to finishing Cokie the Clown solo album

According to his Instagram, Fat Mike of NOFX is apparently close to finally finishing the Cokie the Clown album. I’m curious to see what this album will be, given the dark, brutal honesty of the legendary Cokie performance at SXSW from 2010. I’m sure we’ll let you know what we think when the album is finally released.



Start At Zero (Skate Punk, Slovenia) and Frozen Acid (Melodic, Germany) Release Split

Slovenian skate punkers Start At Zero have released a split record with German melodic four-piece Frozen Acid. The two bands are currently on tour together through Europe and the UK, and will have physical copies of the EP with them. Unfortunately, only the Start At Zero portion of the split is currently available to listen to online.

There’s a link to it below, as well as a copy of the tour poster showing the remaining dates for the two bands.



Fastloud (90s skatepunk) premiere official tour music video for song “Wrong Drunk Fight”

Barcelona punks Fastloud have released a music video for their single “Wrong Drunk Fight.” The music video is an official clip of their most recent tour, “Walkman ReTour”, which saw the band tour around 5 cities in Spain: Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Gijón, and Vitoria.

The band says they had a good experience and judging by the video clips it was way more than that. Check it out below.

Fastloud released their latest EP, Walkman Returns, last year.



first round of bands announced for Fest 17 and Pre-Fest 6

The first round of bands have been announced for Fest 17 and Pre-Fest 6 and for yet another year, Fest will not disappoint. The three day punk festival, now in its 17th year, takes place in over 20 venues in and around Gainesville, FL.

Lagwagon is set as a headliner and will perform “Let’s Talk About Feelings” in its entirety in honor of its 20th anniversary. Cursive, a band it took many years to get to perform at Fest, is set to perform at both Pre-Fest in Ybor and Fest. Other headliners include Piebald, Iron Chic, Dead To Me, Tim Barry, and RVIVR among many, many others.

As for breakups, Fest is set to be the final sendoff of Ontario, CAN natives Crusades. In existence since 2009, the band plans to party two last times in Gainesville, with two shows slotted in two smaller venues.

This years lineup also includes the reunion of California’s Audio Karate who are taking the stage for the first time since 2007.

You can check out the full lineup to both Pre-fest and Fest below, along with several other details.

The next wave of bands are set to be announced June 11.



Symphony of Distraction (Skate Punk, CA) Stream Comeback Album “Horse”

Sacramento skate punks Symphony of Distraction are back after almost five years away from playing and recording music. The band have just released a new album entitled Horse via independent European label Less Talk, More Records. The record features 15 tracks of uber-infectious, melodious sounds that are guaranteed to excite fans of that classic Fat Wreck sound.

The previous release from Symphony of Distraction was the 2014 full-length, Call It Off, John.

You can listen to Horse in full below.



In 2 Months stream new album “Speed of Sound”

Winnipeg skate punks In 2 Months are now streaming their newly released album “Speed of Sound.”

The album came out through Melodic Punk Style. Give it a go below!



Strung Out release video for recent single “Town Of Corzon”

Strung Out have released a video for recent single “Town Of Carazon”, one of the tracks featured on the band’s upcoming acoustic album “Black Out The Sun”, due out May 11th via Fat Wreck Chords.

The album will feature 6 new, acoustic songs as well as acoustic renditions of songs from their back catalogue. You can watch the video below.