I typically don’t like to do band spotlights on bands that I can only hear one song from but in the case of Perth’s Two For Flinching I’m willing to make an exception. The band is getting ready to release their debut EP “So We’ve Got That In Common” and are offering up a free download of the album’s first single “Super”. It’s got some great intro riffage, a fantastically catchy chorus and just the right amount of gang chants and shouts. All in all, enough for me to put this album on my “wishlist” and to share them with you readers. I highly recommend you give the track a listen below.
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Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 4:09 PM (PST) by Johnny X
Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 3:46 PM (PST) by Supermartinguy
I’ve always found the Night Guants’ particular sound a little hard to settle to. On the one hand, I always love it when a band takes ska and tries to do something new it; Skacore was a genre that absolutely killed it this past year. At the same time, even if you’re fairly accustomed to Ska at its kitschiest, Night Gaunts can be a little overwhelming. I remember once trying to listening to “Love, Life & The Devil,” and the whole experience felt like someone had just slipped me Ecstasy before shoving me into the Circus casino from Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas. The band’s style is just so overly-hyperactive, that it wasn’t until I heard their cover of the Dayz n Daze song “Post Party Depression” that I started to understand their rather unique approach to their genre. I think the problem I had with their previous albums is that they were taking so many different musical styles- punk, rap, ska, sing-a-long pop- and trying to compress them into a single, eclectic unit. In contrast, Conversation With Creation mostly works because it has the patience to experiment with different combinations. Sometimes it’s focused more on punk and rap, other times it’s using dub influences to create something that’s borderline pop, but the end result is definitely something unique.
The album definitely gets off to a weird start with the super sugary and psychedelic tune “Tripping In The Basement” which, while fun at first, definitely overstays its welcome by replaying a lot of the same guitar riffs and electronic loops, and isn’t really helped by just how unintelligibly fast and distorted Paul’s rapping is. But what’s strange, is that this song is followed by “Welcome To The Show”, which begins with a squeakily voiced Paul welcoming listener to the new album. With this track, the tempo’s a lot slower, which eases the listener into the band’s weirdly charming idiosyncrasies such as the electronic instruments, the reggae rhetoric, and the general noisy clutter of their whole sound. I can’t for the life of me figure out why this track didn’t come first, especially seeing as so little of “Tripping In The Basement” sticks with you, aside from the overly repetitive chorus.
It’s with “8 Dollars” that things really pick up. There’s something hypnotic about just how much is going on within the song, with separate riffs on the guitar, bass, and keyboards, along with furious drumming and Paul’s fast, high-pitched rapping. It would be overwhelming if it didn’t have a funky consistent rhythm that grounds the song to a certain level of consistency. That said, at three and a half minutes, it does run a bit too long. From there, you’ve got “Apple Tree”, which definitely takes things in more of a pop direction, placing greater emphasis on a slow, peppy chorus that you can sing-a-long too. What’s interesting, is that while the melody and singing give the song an upbeat tone, the lyrics actually skirt around issues of death and failure in an endearingly intelligent and optimistic way.
From there, we move onto “We Are Not Afraid (We’re Terrified),” which is the definite highlight of the album. The flow of the rapping weaves in with the bass and guitar perfectly, meanwhile the electronic input is reigned in, just jumping in every now and then to add some pop to the rhythm. I’d also say that the guitar playing is at its strongest here, as the other instruments know when to reign it in and give the guitar solos the attention they deserve. Combine all this with a genuinely endearing lyrics of love, and you’ve got a winner.
Unfortunately, none of the songs that follow have the same impact, as a lot of the melodies just feel too similar. The electronic opening of “Nights & Daze” sounds just like “Tripping In The Basement”, likewise “W.A.S.P.S” has almost the exact same steady guitar driven rhythm as “Sunday,” its successor. These are all good songs that share the band’s trademark endearingly hyperactive positive energy, but they’re just too homogenized to leave a mark. The one exception to this being “Coaster,” which really drags things out to a slower, swampy tempo, incorporating moody horns and dreamily swinging guitar riffs to perfectly encapsulate the feeling of stumbling home drunk on a 4 a.m.
“Blink,” the final track, is simultaneously a nice farewell of the album, and an indictment of some of the longer running problems. The song starts out entirely electronic-free, with just some sweet shredding guitar riffs, before switching to a slower tempo, then suddenly adapting an entirely new rhythm. All of these moments work well, but the song’s ever-changing pace is just hard to keep up with. What’s ironic is that even though things keep switching up, these moments of transition also feel cloned from other moments within the album. It’s as if, to keep trying to bridge the gap of the same sub-genres, the songs find themselves treading the same paths to get to the repeated destinations.
Ultimately, this is one of those albums that works best in small doses. All the songs range from pretty-good to fantastic, but only in isolation. Listening to too many is like shoving a whole handful of Skittles into your mouth at once; it all just devolves into something indefinably sickly sweet.
3.5 / 5
The band’s last release was 2012′s Stick ‘Em Up.
We at Dying Scene send our condolences to Brad Kent’s bandmates, friends, and family.
Citing Against Me! and Bob Mould as influences, the band formed in 2015 and includes members of Toronto skate-punk act Hey Mister.
Friday, February 5, 2016 at 4:25 PM (PST) by Gina Skidz
The new EP is called Battle Lines from Better Times, and it will be the band’s first release since 2014′s Double A-Side 7″.
Totally Gnarly is a 5-piece thrash/punk band from the Albany area, and they want you to party with them. You can stream their debut 5-track EP, Totally Gnarly’s Bogus Journey! below, and take a trip with them through some classic punk riffs, mixed with hardcore and thrash, and delving into the all-out weird with the track “Poop in My Pants.” The band self-describes their sound as “drunk rock,” and they do sound like they’re having a hell of a lot of fun while not taking themselves too seriously.
Totally Gnarly can often be found playing in and around Albany, and their next show is the 6th annual Jamzilla festival, which is a benefit for Alzheimer’s research.
Friday, February 5, 2016 at 1:37 PM (PST) by Screeching Bottlerocket
Late last year, we told you The Loved Ones would be playing a handful of shows celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their beloved debut album Keep Your Heart. Since then, they’ve added a bunch of dates to the tour but we’ve unfortunately failed to notify you.
The Loved Ones hit the road tonight in Santa Barbara, CA, so check out the dates below to see if they’ll be playing Keep Your Heart in its entirety near you.
Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 5:49 PM (PST) by Midwest Punk
The band released the EP last month (January), as a follow up to their previous EP, Sometimes It’s A Hard World For Small Things, which is also available for free/name your price right here.
Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 5:20 PM (PST) by Midwest Punk
New Orleans punks PEARS are taking their act on the road again, this time across the pond to Europe. They’ll be joined for a handful of shows by Dag Nasty, before playing some festivals and other shows across the continent in April and May. See the full list of dates/locations below.
PEARS released their debut album, Go To Prison, in 2014. Their sophomore album, Green Star, is due out April 1st on Fat Wreck Chords.
Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 3:30 PM (PST) by Bizarro Dustin
Civil War Rust released Help Wanted, on November 20, 2015 through Say-10 Records. You can pick it up here.
Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 3:00 PM (PST) by Robolitious
Albums Punk Forgot is a look back at excellent or important records within our community that, for one reason or another, have been lost or forgotten. It’s a tribute to those bands and releases that deserved to be heard, but maybe for some reason dropped off our radars too soon. We at Dying Scene hope to give these records the credit they deserve.
Today DS writer Robolitious takes a look back at Oskar’s Idle Will Kill and its vast, if not subtle, influence on modern punk. You can read his take on the album below.
Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 2:00 PM (PST) by Johnny X
If you’re ever going to stop and take three minutes out of your day to stream a song from a band you might not be familiar with, Problem Daughter‘s “Like A Dog” is that song. It’s off their upcoming album “Fits of Disorganized Boredom”, and yes I f’ing love the entire album, but this is the song that literally gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it. Stream it below and see if it does the same for you (if it doesn’t, you’re not listening to it loud enough. Try again).
Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 1:45 PM (PST) by Bizarro Dustin
Toronto punk act Tragic Hearts have announced that they will be releasing a new EP titled Drugged Out on Danger. The EP will offer six brand new tracks, and will be released on February 19, 2016.
Tragic Hearts released their debut EP, Empty Art, in December 2012.
Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 1:30 PM (PST) by Bizarro Dustin
Teen Death released a single titled Drag / Dark Life in October 2015. You can download it for free on Bandcamp.