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Direct Hit! Are Working on a New Record

Milwaukee-based, psychedelic-loving punk outfit, Direct Hit!, have been in the studio working on a new record. On Friday, the band Tweeted a picture of their drummer Danny Walkowiak behind his kit along with the message: 

“We started making a new album tonight at Howl Street Recordings in Milwaukee with @mikeaar pushing faders. Can’t wait for you all to hear it.”

This year has been a busy one for the four-piece, earlier this month they released a split with label-mates in PEARS.

 



Lagwagon hinting at plans for 2018

California punk veterans Lagwagon just posted a picture of the band members playing with their phones, with bananas on the ground, on their Facebook page. The caption reads, “Coming 2018!!! Lagwagon shit’s bananas”. This indicates that the band is either planning to release a new album or go on tour next year. We’ll keep you posted as more details come to light.

Lagwagon’s latest album Hang was released in October of 2014 through Fat Wreck Chords.



Darius Koski releases video for “Another Man”

Swingin’ Utters guitarist and songwriter Darius Koski most recently released his folk solo album What Was Once Is By And Gone on November 3 via Fat Wreck Chords.

The black and white video for “Another Man” features Koski on the acoustic guitar in the outdoors, directed by Josh Robertson. Check it out below.

You can catch Koski doing double duty on tour, playing as both a member of Swingin’ Utters and opening the shows with his solo project.

 



Lineup for Download Festival in Australia announced

Organizers have announced the lineup for the first-ever edition of Download Festival in Australia, which will take place on March 24th at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Playing at the fest are Korn, Limp Bizkit, Prophets of Rage, Mastodon, NOFX, Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Suicidal Tendencies, Good Charlotte, The Story So Far, Hot Water Music, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Sabaton and many more!

Tickets go on sale at 9AM next Thursday, November 16th, and for more information, go to the festival’s website.



Punk In Drublic release aftermovie

Punk In Drublic Festival have released an aftermovie featuring clips of live performances and general shenanigans from the fest, all set to NOFX’s “Seeing Double At The Triple Rock”. Check it out here.



Album Review: Darius Koski – “What Was Once Is By And Gone”

When Darius Koski released his debut solo album, Sisu, on Fat Wreck Chords a couple of years ago, I remember thinking that even though it was the longtime Swingin’ Utters and Filthy Thieving Bastards guitarist and principle songwriter’s first album under his own name, it nevertheless seemed like it was a quintessentially “Darius Koski” album, full of the sort of neo-folk/Americana rooted non-traditional punk rock left turns that made the Utters and the Bastards unique in their own regards. It was solid, and different from the Utters for sure, but not THAT different to leave people confused.

What Was Once Is By And Gone, released last Friday (November 3rd, also on Fat), pushes the genre-bending theme to newer and bolder and more diverse levels. Sure there are still some Americana-based elements that would have fit nicely on Sisu; album-opener “Black Sheep” and the slow burning “Old Bones,” for example. That fact that stands to reason given that like on his debut album, the bulk of What Was Once Is By And Gone was culled from two decades of songs and song ideas Koski had in the bankThere are a handful of tracks like “Yes I Believe” and “The Observer” that seem to pay direct homage to the uptempo chugging, reverb-heavy rockabilly freight train that Johnny Cash perfected a half-century ago.

But then, of course, there are the more conceptual pieces that make What Was Once Is By And Gone not only stand apart from Sisu, but truly shine in its own right. “Imitation Tala” has has an acoustic backbone that, combined with Koski’s subdued drone, give the track a “world music” feel that reminds me of the band Three Fish, itself a side project for Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament a couple decades ago. “Stay With Me” and it’s whistle-driven melody evokes a sort of melodramatic cowboy waltz. “Another Man” might be the most straight-forward, Tim Barry-esque acoustic songwriter track that cuts deeply in its emotionally honest tale of introspection and self-doubt.

What Was Once Is by And Gone also contains a few instrumental tracks, though to they are really more vignettes than truly songs. “Tangled Chords” is a brief  hodgepodge of reverb guitar,, spoken word voice-over, and what appears to be the sound of somebody hammering a nail. “A Little Buzz” is bright and hopeful. “A Version” sounds a bit like a sad, blue carnival with it’s weaving trumpet and synthesizer melodies. The repetitive, staccato piano undertones of “Soap Opera” give the track a haunting quality that evokes feelings of a movie score. In fact, all four of the vignettes do a good job of evoking different, movie score style feelings, and that’s not an accident, as Koski has expressed an interest in dipping his toes in that water in the future.

After a relatively busy post-comeback period a few years ago (three albums in four years), things have been quiet on the new music front from the Swingin’ Utters for a little while now. And while there aren’t traditional punk tunes present on What Was Once Is By And Gone, it serves as a welcome addition to the Koski catalog and hopefully offers him enough of a repertoire to make a go at the solo artist route alongside his normal Utters duties.

4/5 Stars

 

 

 



Stream the new Direct Hit!/PEARS split

PEARS and Direct Hit!‘s new split “Human Movement”, which has just been released on Fat Wreck, is streaming now. You can listen to the album, which is 6 songs from each band, below.

The album is available on various formats now.

 

 



Full Set Video: The Flatliners play “The Great Awake” in its entirety at Fest 16

The Flatliners are currently on a 10th anniversary tour for their sophomore LP The Great Awake. You can check out a video of the band playing the full album live at Fest 16 in Gainesville below.

The Great Awake could be considered the band’s breakthrough album. It was their first release on Fat Wreck Chords, featuring the anthemic single “Eulogy”.



Swingin’ Utters announce best of album “Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun”

San Francisco punk legends Swingin’ Utters have jsut announced that via Fat Wreck Chords, they will be releasing a thirty three song album titled Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun as a ‘best of’ hurrah on December 8th.

Available for pre-order today, this anthology touches on the Swingin’ Utters from birth to the their most recent material. Their 1995 debut album The Streets of San Francisco, through 2014’s Fistful of Hollow offers a taste of these guys through their evolution and sums up their identity.

The guys also will be hitting the road starting tomorrow to celebrate, so make sure to pick up your tickets here and check out the dates below.



Video: The Bombpops perform “Jerk” Live From The Rock Room

Live From The Rock Room have released the third video of The Bombpops performing for them. Earlier this year we saw them playing “F.O.M.O” and “Watch Me Fold”; in this video the band are playing the song “Jerk”. Check it out below.

The band’s debut album Fear of Missing Out was released in February through Fat Wreck Chords



DS Interview: Darius Koski (Swingin Utters) on his new solo album, “What Was Once Is By And Gone,” and hitting the road with a new Utters linuep

If you rewind the punk rock history tape back a couple of years, you’ll come across the release of Sisu, the debut solo release from Darius Koski. The album was very much rooted in Americana and marked a bit of a sonic departure for the longtime Swingin’ Utters and Filthy Thieving Bastards guitarist and principle songwriter, though it still fit within the more diverse end of the Utters spectrum at the very least. Next Friday, Koski will release his sophomore solo album, What Was Once Is By And Gone, again via his lifelong label home, Fat Wreck Chords. This time out, Koski pushes the genre-bending element to new heights; while there is still a thread of Americana that pops up, also present are very heavy rockabilly and Johnny Cash and Nick Cave and Tom Waits-inspired sounds that each create a very different, very real mood. And that’s all by design.

I don’t want to play one style of music; I like too many things,” says Koski, who spent a dozen of his most formative years playing solely violin before eventually moving on to guitar and finding punk rock. “I just wanted to write songs, that’s basically what it came down to. I wasn’t really interested in being a virtuoso, which is all that’s about. And that’s great, but I would rather write songs than be a ripping violin player.” Still, that early experience with incredibly broad musical horizons created an early, lasting influence. “Too many things influence me and I’m interested in too many things to be a one note kind of dude, you know? So yeah, I think this one is even more all-over-the-place than the last one, for sure.”

Many of the tracks on Sisu were culled from years and years of songs that Koski has stored up, forming a catalog consisting of many dozens of tracks that date back close to three decades. It should go without saying that technological advances in the audio recording world have advanced many times over in the years since Koski began writing and recording, creating an interesting set of challenges when it comes time to revisit old tracks. “For a while, I was recording on – I don’t know if you remember, but those little cassette tapes? What do you do with those?” he asks, half-jokingly. As it turns out, what you do is press play on a microcassette player and record on a regular cassette tape, creating a lo-fidelity, hiss-heavy mix to try to decipher. “For the most part, I’m pretty anal about cataloging stuff because I’m just afraid of losing things. I’m totally that guy that spends a month being a month being obsessed with transferring his vinyl!”

The process was much the same on What Was Once Is By And Gone. Some of the tracks began simply as hummed notes into his iPhone, while some date as far back as the mid-1990s. Of particular note is the track “Fresh Glass of Nothing,” a song that was coincidentally written by his wife, herself an avid poet with whom he’s actually collaborated many times through out his songwriting career; the bulk of the Utters’ classic album Five Lessons Learned, for example, was culled primarily from her old poetry books. “Fresh Glass of Nothing” went a little differently, however. Back in the mid-90s, Koski had been in the market for a 4-track cassette recorder, and his wife purchased one while he was away on tour. “She was messing around with it at home to figure out how it worked,” he explains. One thing lead to another, and by the time Koski had returned from tour, his wife “had recorded two songs! Like, fully done songs, with her playing guitar, her lyrics, and her singing the melody! She’s not  a songwriter, but she had these two songs, and the other one is great too, but (“Fresh Glass of Nothing”) was, like, phenomenal!” Koski added the solo that appears on the song, but the rest of what you hear on the album is completely his wife’s brainchild.

Speaking of touring; Koski is putting down the day job plumber’s wrenches and gearing up to head out on the road as a solo artist for the first real time, as he’ll be doing double duty by opening up the Swingin’ Utters upcoming November dates. While he’s played a handful of dates acoustic and by himself, this time out he’ll have a small band backing him up, helping to fill out the added instrumentation that is so important to the sound on What Was Once Is By And Gone. While it can be hard to afford a full band to go on the road with, it is ultimately a goal of Koski’s to make touring with a backing band more of a part of his regular routine. I really, really want to try to make that happen,” he explains, “because the majority of the stuff on both of these records really has a lot of instrumentation and drums.” On the upcoming run, Koski has enlisted the help of some of his Utters brethren: “for this tour, Luke (Ray) is going to play drums and Tony who’s playing bass for the Utters is going to play bass, so we’ll be a three-piece.” The Tony in question is none other than Tony Teixiera, whom you probably know from his time in Cobra Skulls, Western Addiction, and most recently with alongside Luke Ray in Sciatic Nerve. Teixiera filled in for Utters bassist Miles Peck on their most recent tour and will be doing so again from here on out. “He’s pretty much our bass player now,” adding that Peck “just didn’t want to fucking tour any more. It’s not in him. It’s hard, man. It’s not for everybody.

Head here to see where you can catch Koski and the newly-retooled Swingin’ Utters lineup on the road, beginning next week in Arizona. Pre-orders for What Was Once Is By And Gone, which is due out November 3rd on Fat Wreck, are available at the same link. Meanwhile, you can head below to check out our full Q&A with Koski!



PEARS and Direct Hit! cover each others songs

PEARS and Direct Hit!! had a chat with the folks over at New Noise Magazine today. They spoke about their lives, their music and the upcoming split Human Movement. They also covered each others songs; Direct Hit! played PEARS’ song “You’re Boring” while PEARS cover Direct Hit!’s “The World Is Ending (Sorta)”. You can give it a read and listen to the tracks here.

Human Movement is due out on November 3rd via Fat Wreck Chords.



Mean Jeans release Mountain Dew tribute song

Portland pop-punks Mean Jeans have released a new song that serves as a tribute to Mountain Dew, called “Mountain Dew (I Need It).”

You can give it a listen below.

The bands’ latest album, Tight New Dimension, was released in April 2016 through Fat Wreck Chords.



Fat Wreck Chords signs The Last Gang, streams new song

Fat Wreck Chords just announced that they have signed a new band, Los Angeles’ The Last Gang.  The band will be releasing a two-song 7-inch called “Sing For Your Supper” on December 8th.  The release will feature the title track, which will also be on the bands’ eventual full length debut for Fat, as well as a b-side exclusive to the 7-inch.  To give you an idea of what to expect from the band, you can listen to “Sing For Your Supper” below.



Darius Koski (Swingin’ Utters) streams new song “Black Sheep”

Swingin’ Utters guitarist Darius Koski has premiered another song off his upcoming solo album What Was Once Is By And Gone. Give “Black Sheep” a listen below.

What Was Once Is By And Gone is set to release on November 3rd through Fat Wreck Chords. Koski will also be the opening act on the Utters’ upcoming US tour (dates below).