Check out the new album below!
Check out the new album below!
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 4:17 PM (PST) by otter272
Colorado-based punk band Elway stopped by the Live at the Rock Room studio recently and performed “Better Whenever.” The song comes from their recent LP For the Sake of the Bit in April via Red Scare Industries.
Watch the video below.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 4:16 PM (PST) by otter272
Phoenix, AZ-based punk trio First or Last have released a new album. The 7 track Therapathy was released July 20 and is the follow-up to their 2017 debut EP …kinda, but seriously. The album can be purchased at their Bandcamp page.
You can stream the entire LP below.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 3:34 PM (PST) by Carson Winter
My immediate impression of Before the Sun Catches Us All was that Squarecrow was getting serious. I hadn’t had much of an encounter with the band before, but I knew their name from bills of shows I’d never end up going to. I knew they were active, I knew they played some sort of melodic punk, and now, I know they have an album out.
“Six Miles Above Clackamas” paints the seriousness in technicolor. It’s a slow, jammy, singalong, the sort that melodic punk bands write when they’re going for something bigger—when they’re playing with dynamics and examining what it means, to them, to write a punk record. I can’t help but get shades of the Menzingers here, with a little bit of classic rock melody. What it means is that Squarecrow aren’t just releasing some songs, they’ve written a record, and from the first song, they’re intention is announced.
But there’s a certain kind of album that is hard for me to talk about, and it’s the album that is good, but not great. You listen, you nod your head, but ultimately, you’d be fine if you never heard it again. And while that sounds scathing, I wouldn’t say it is—it has as much to do with personal taste as it does the band. What Squarecrow has done with Before the Sun Catches Us All is write a record that hits all the major beats of melodic punk. Down the checklist, we go: right now, we need emotional turmoil. Stuff with lyrics like, “Oh maybe, oh maybe, I’ll find my way out of this open sea.” We need catchy melodies that don’t sound too Ramones-y. Because remember: this is melodic punk, not pop punk. And finally, when you’ve added drama to the arrangement, where the instruments nearly drop out and you can deliver your lyrics in the same painfully plaintive way the other guys do, you’re ready to bill your album as a concept album (in melodic punk, concept albums are a big deal, and unless you’re Direct Hit!, they’re a clear signifier that you are not, I repeat, pop punk).
But—this isn’t a bad album. In fact, this feels like a band pushing themselves out of ‘local band’ and into ‘nationwide touring act.’ The takeaway from Before the Sun Catches Us All, ultimately, is that they are a serious band. And not to make light of it—it is a serious record. The songs were written in the wake of singer Todd’s cancer diagnosis. Imagine the pain, the fear; the looking your own death in the eyes. That’s heavy shit, the heaviest shit. So, there’s no emotion unearned across Before the Sun Catches Us All—but what’s frustrating about it is that in too many ways it’s a mimicry of style, and while the album’s vulnerability is without a doubt earned, the style feels perfunctory in the face of such a profound concept.
I mean—what makes a Squarecrow? What is their identity as a band? How does Squarecrow sound different than say—Western Settings, Typesetter, Russian Girlfriends, or Mercy Music? There’s worse things to be than a competent executor of a popular style, but Squarecrow has something to say, and I wish they’d have pushed their music further to match the fire in their songwriting. There’s shades of power pop in here, a little of (gasp) pop punk, and even a little of skate punk, but the edges have been smoothed down and it becomes an exercise in kinda-sorta. I’d have preferred to hear Squarecrow commit hard to any one or two of those. Wanna do a punky power pop concept album? Go for it. Make it huge. Model it after Tommy or something. Wanna do an aggro-melodic-punk album? Bring out those distorted cowboy chords and go raw, and push the emotion level to its confrontational max—scream every line and make sure the audience hears every fucking word of what you’re feeling. But, don’t do half measures. If this is a serious record, we need Squarecrow to represent a sound or feeling we can put a finger on. In the world of great albums, nothing but transcendence will do.
But, and this is important, the songs are good. Pretty consistently too, and in fact, despite how typical the style is, Squarecrow has a host of great songs across this album. They feel tense and heavy with great melodies and emotive weight. From opener, “Six Miles Above Clackamas,” to closer “Windowless,” there’s a lot of talented, inspired songwriting here. “Walk It Off” is a catchy number carried by chugging chords and a couple of standout lyrics. “Aesthetic” and “Date Me” are a one-two punch of melodic punk bangers, sure-fire singalongs just waiting for an audience. There are no bad songs on Before the Sun Catches Us All and I think that is a department where Squarecrow has a leg-up on the competition, because of everything else I can pick bones with, songwriting is a much more ethereal, defiantly intangible process, and to be good at it is to simply have the right instincts.
Before the Sun Catches Us All will have its fans, and it should. I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from hearing it, because it has a great story behind it and Squarecrow may just very well be the next big thing. La Escalera is starting to solidify itself as a west coast Red Scare in some ways, and if that means anything, we might get to see their roster poached by Epitaph and Fat in the next five years. This is an album expressing real shit, and while it doesn’t go out of the way to make the genre its own, at its core—it’s done right, with feeling.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 11:00 AM (PST) by Meredith Goldberg
House of Vans in Chicago hosted another installment in their periodic House Party series a couple of Thursdays ago (July 12th, if we’re being specific). As always, the events are 18+ and free by RSVP, and this one in particular featured a lineup centered around none other than Dead Milkmen! This provided a chance for Punk Rock Girls of all ages (and Punk Rock Boys as well) to once again sing along with the Philly legends. It was a very laid back time in a space that also doubles as an indoor/outdoor skate park. Attendees were treated to free t-shirts with show’s logo, venue tote bags and buckets full of water bottles to stave off dehydration in what was promised to be and indeed delivered a sweaty good time.
The Dead Milkmen, as you’re undoubtedly aware, hail from Philadelphia, where they got their start in 1983. They have been together on and off since then with the current line up of Joe Jack Talcum (Joe Genaro), Rodney Anonymous (Rodney Linderman), Dandrew Stevens (Dan Stevens); and Dean Clean (Dean Sabatino) having been in operation since 2004. The band hit the stage strong, starting with what is arguably one of their two most popular tunes, “Punk Rock Girl” riling the crowd up to a frenzy. Besides “Punk Rock Girl,” another highlight was “Bitchin’ Camaro” (the other of the arguably most popular tunes), while the whole setlist really consisted of hits including crowd favorites, like “Big Lizard In My Backyard,” “V.F.W.,” and “Tiny Town.”
And as an aside: perhaps the offstage highlight for me was when Joe Genaro and I explained dangerous toys and the reasons us kids from the ’60’s and ’70’s should not be alive, to a younger photographer. I always find that subject slightly amusing. Per this discussion I offered Jarts, Joe brought up Shrinky Dinks. If you are not familiar with either, I recommend looking them up. It was just one example of the band’s co-leader singer and guitarist spending the majority of the evening whilst not on stage, among the crowd, watching the supporting acts and amiably engaging in conversations with fans.
Support acts for this show were curated by the headliners themselves, and featured sets by Los Angeles’ Youth Code, Madison, Wisconsin’s Caustic, and Chicago’s own San Andreas Fault. Per Youth Code’s Facebook, the duo is “raw, punishing, industrious electronics built from the seeds of hardcore and early Wax Trax. Ryan William George and Sara Taylor blend chaos with catchy dance undertones to create a sonic fury paralleled to none.” San Andreas Fault, meanwhile (per their Bandcamp) are described as follows: “The surf-noir instrumental and narrative stylings of the San Andreas Fault began in 1999 in a Chicago steel plant. Founders Robert Spain and Pete Machine cataloged the sound of heartbreak with the 2003 CD “Encantada” and reunited in 2013″
The Dead Milkmen’s last release was their Welcome To The End Of The World EP, which was released last year. You can check out info on their upcoming hometown-adjacent show in Ardmore, PA, here. You can also catch Genaro at a few of his “Joe Jack Talcum” solo shows on the East Coast through September. Check out the details here.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 2:30 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
California’s Plague Vendor are streaming their new single, “I Only Speak In Friction.”
You can give it a listen below.
Plague Vendor last released Bloodsweat on March 25th, 2016 via Epitaph Records.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 11:41 AM (PST) by Goldfinger
Dennis Jagard and Chris Del Rio of Ten Foot Pole have announced they will be going on a run of acoustic shows up here in maple syrup country. As well as the great news of their impending visit, Ten Foot Pole announced they are also working on a new album and some of the new songs will be played on this unplugged run.
Check out the tour poster above for dates.
The latest release for Ten Foot Pole was 2017’s Setlist which featured re-recorded classics as well as two new tracks.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 10:42 AM (PST) by Goldfinger
Australian melodic punks No Quarter have released a video for their cover of “Greed”, originally performed by Pennywise. The song has been recorded for the Australian Tribute to Epitaph Records, which will be released July 27th through Dead Memory Records.
You can check out the cover below.
This is the first new music from No Quarter since they released Freedom in November of last year.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 10:03 AM (PST) by nickspit
Elway return with their fourth full length release with the chaps opting for quality over quantity, delivering 25 minutes of mid-western tinged punk rock over 8 tracks. The album is self produced and released by the mighty Red Scare Industries who seem to have handled all of their output since 2011’s Delusions.
For The Sake Of The Bit starts brightly with Inches, a mid tempo lambasting of music critics (gulp!) which suggests those who share their opinion online “GET FUCKED”. From here, we dive straight into Hold On, the albums only real fast paced ripper and it’s a beauty. Next track, Crowded Conscience, slows things down a bit but builds to a beautifully crooned chorus which you’ll find yourself singing to anyone who’ll listen until they roll their eyes at you and walk away – or is that just me? Selfish Masochistic Psychic Trauma starts with a jangly little intro which leads into a chugging, heavy chord progression drenched in melancholy and we are deep in classic Elway territory. The instrumentation dials back to let Tim’s vocals take centre stage and the song builds to a resounding chorus which impressively includes the name of the song in the lyrics. Eating Crow and Perfect Silence continue the theme, mixing touches of melancholy with big, sing along choruses that keep the album ticking along nicely. Paper Guitars is a bit of an odd one for me, it’s a decent enough song and in keeping with the rest of the album but the final minute and a half is an instrumental with an inaudible woman’s voice talking over it. Interesting enough I guess but I don’t quite get the point of it, either make the talking understandable or don’t bother…but what do I know. The album finishes with Nobody Goes Into Meteorology For The Sunny Days which rounds things off nicely, walking the tightrope between positivity and pensiveness in the way Elway do best.
At this point these guys have crafted their own sound and are not really directly comparable to many others, however if you’re into Red City Radio, The Lawrence Arms or The Menzingers you are probably going to dig the fuck out of this.
The band released “1994 World Series Champions” last year through Stomp Records.
Monday, July 23, 2018 at 10:24 AM (PST) by rick delaney
Montreal-based melodic hardcore group These Fast Times are allowing fans to stream their entire new record On the Other Side of Fear. The release is being handled by local label Thousand Island Records and features twelve tunes ideal for those punks who like their music angsty yet soaked in melody.
On the Other Side of Fear can be enjoyed in full below!
The previous release from These Fast Times was a self-titled EP which came out in 2016.
Monday, July 23, 2018 at 9:22 AM (PST) by rick delaney
The Aussie thrashers of Clowns are allowing fans to stream their latest single “Freezing in the Sun”. It’s the first new music from the five-piece since their 2017 full-length Lucid Again.
Clowns are currently living it up in Europe for the festival season. They’ll then return to their homeland for a short run of shows in support of their new track. If you have the chance, get out and see them for one of the most impassioned and energetic live performances going.
You can check out “Freezing in the Sun” as well as the band’s tour dates below.
Monday, July 23, 2018 at 3:31 AM (PST) by dropkickeith
The Drowns are a three-piece punk band from Seattle and Los Angeles, featuring members of Success, The Shell Corporation, Madcap, and The Briggs, have announced their debut album View From the Bottom which is set to be released on August 31 via Live From the Rock Room, Bypolar Records, and 1984 Records in the US, and Gunner Records in Europe. Pre-orders are available here.
In anticipation of this album, they have released a lyric video for “Eternal Debate” which you can check out below.
Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 2:20 PM (PST) by forrestcook
Fat Wreck champs Face to Face have a new acoustic album coming out. “Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions)” will be made available on July 27 through all the usual suspects (Fat Wreck Chords). You can pre-order it here.
The band has just released the third single off the upcoming album, “All For Nothing” which is an old classic in a new likeness for all us old farts that need to take a breather and rest our knees every once in a while.
So, get up you undead skate punkers! This one’s for you! No reason to stand in the back. You don’t even need to bust an ollie for this one. Stream “All For Nothing” below.
Philly punk band Restorations have announced a list of dates for a tour they will be embarking on this fall. They will be touring in support of their upcoming album LP5000 which is scheduled for a September 28 release via Tiny Engines.
See the tour dates below.
Do you guys remember when Flogging Molly put out music that made you want to dance a jig and mosh at the same time? Fast and aggressive enough to satisfy your rebellious soul yet folky enough to provide a depth sometimes lacking in more traditional punk rock? Those were the days. And I thought they were over until I stumbled across The Killigans. Hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska of all places, this six-some channel folk-punk as if they were spawned from the back of a gypsy caravan in the heart of the Old Country. Playing together since 2004, how they escaped my notice until now is beyond me, but let's not dwell on that. What's important is that they just released a new full-length titled "Dance On Your Grave" and I'm here today to tell you it is well worth a listen. Do so here.