Search Results for "Folk"

AJJ stream new rarities album “Ugly Spiral: Lost Works 2012-2016”

Arizona’s AJJ are streaming a new album consisting of never-before-heard studio cuts, live favorites, songs previously only available on vinyl, and alternate takes of album highlights, all spanning the years of 2012-2016,  The new album is called Ugly Spiral: Lost Works 2012-2016, and you can give it a listen below

AJJ last released Back in the Jazz Coffin in August 2017.



Stream Audio: Folk Punkers The Manx release “Mystery Skum and the Odyssey of Goo” cassette/download (ffo: Gogol Bordelo, Gwar, Ween)

Freaky deaky folk-punk band, The Manx, out of L.A., has just released a 25-track follow up of remixes and teasers to 2015’s Voyage in Bad Taste.

Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland, Buzz Osborne of The Melvins, JR Slayer of Blood Brothers fame, and Ryan Kattner of Man Man all make cameos on “Mystery Skum and the Odessey of Goo”, just to give you a small feel for some of the more eclectic tangibilities of the album, available on cassette and digital download here.

Banjo player Tommy Meehan describes, “Among other things included on the cassette tape are a bunch of experimental tracks and atmospheric bits we’ve used for live shows over the last couple of years. There are several little gobs and splats of foreshadowing that will tie into our upcoming full length album as well. This collection of absurdities is a labyrinth of digital grime almost as much as it is a road map to the slimed out Manx lore we’ve been evolving over the last couple of years.” The full album is available to stream at punknews.org.



Larry and His Flask announce album for 2019

Oregon five piece of bluegrass-folk-punk Larry and His Flask are now returning to Xtra Mile Recordings for a new album in 2019. The quintet is returning after five years after their last release, “By The Lamplight.”

In regards to re-signing with XMR the band says,  “When we were faced with what company to approach for our new album XMR was our first and only choice. Not to mention they have some of our favourite bands on their label. We are so excited to be part of the XMR family with Frank Turner, Against Me, Skinny Lister and on and on. XMR is a perfect fit for us.”

Be on the lookout for their new album!  

 



DS Exclusive: Lucero’s Ben Nichols talks “Among The Ghosts” and the band’s twenty-year legacy

“My life would have been so much easier if I had just played punk rock songs at punk rock shows, or played country songs at country shows. But for some reason, there’s something in me that has got to play punk rock songs at country shows and country songs at punk rock shows.” – Ben Nichols (Lucero)

It’s an interesting phenomenon to have been a band long enough to have something resembling an arc or a trajectory to your career, thanks in no small part to the amount of “figuring you out” that fans and industry people and pretend music journalists like yours truly will try to do. If you’ve followed the path of Memphis’ Lucero, who’ve now crossed the twenty year mark as a band, you’ll know that it’s one marked by a series of genre-busting left-hand turns; depending where you jumped on the train as it careened down the track, you found yourself a fan of a band that was performing markedly different music – and was composed of markedly different members – than somebody who hopped aboard five years in either direction. 

The early part of 2018 brought with it the 20th anniversary of the band’s first show (celebrated in a barn-burner of a block party in their collective hometown back in April), and also found the band putting the finishing touches on its soon-to-be-released ninth studio album, Among The Ghosts. Due out August 3rd on a new label home (Thirty Tigers) the album finds the quintet taking a hard left once again. Gone is the quintessentially Memphis boogie-woogie sound that had been a focal point of the last three Ted Hutt-produced albums. Instead, Among The Ghosts finds the band producing some of the fullest sounds and most complex textures of the band’s two-decade-old catalog: Nichols’ lyrics and vocals are more earnest, the bass grooves are punchier, the time-keeping pocket is deeper, the guitar leads are soaring and more angular, the keys and strings and horns lead to a fuller and more cinematic quality than we’ve heard the band commit to record. In many ways, it’s years different from a lot of what we’ve heard from Lucero in recent memory; in other ways, it’s the most “Lucero” album yet.

We caught up with Lucero frontman Ben Nichols via telephone from his house, and it became instantly apparent that it’s not only the band’s musical direction that have changed since the release of their last album, 2015’s All A Man Should Do. An hour before our conversation, Lucero announced a slew of US tour dates that’ll keep them busy for the bulk of this coming fall. For a band that long-ago earned its Road Warrior badge of honor, that should not come as much of a surprise. However this Lucero circa 2018, not 2008. Nichols, who spent the formative years of his songwriting career penning some of the most soul-crushing songs of whiskey-soaked heartbreak and unrequited love of the last generation, has not only gotten married but has become a father for the first time (his not-quite-two year-old daughter Izzy is the whirling-dervish focal point to the band’s limited-release seven-inch that hit shelves a month ago).

If Nichols and company weren’t so immensely proud of the new record – and with good reason – the remainder of this calendar year might look radically different. “I’m really excited about the new record,” Nichols states rather emphatically. Now, it is obviously standard operating procedure for bands to publicly pronounce that their new music is more satisfying than anything they’ve produced to date, especially when it’s fresh. Nichols is nothing if not tangibly genuine in his appreciation for the new material, perhaps because it is, legitimately, so damn good. “I really love these new songs, and I love playing them every night…it hurts a little more to leave town, but I’m just so proud of the record, so it’s totally worth saying goodbye for a little bit and going out on the road.”

When it came time to write material for the first post-fatherhood album for two of the band’s members (drummer Roy Berry’s own daughter is just shy of two as well), the band opted not to team up with Ted Hutt again, as had been their recent pattern, and instead stuck with the theme of keeping things different this time out. Where the Hutt-era albums involved a lot of pre-production and a concentrated editing effort geared at cutting things up and making them fit in the best way possible, the Among The Ghosts sessions started the band back toward their earlier influences. “For the last three records,” Nichols states, “I wanted to go for that more Memphis sound, with the horn section and the boogie-woogie piano parts. It was fun to explore that. But with this record, I decided to go back to our roots.”

Those roots, as should be probably apparent given Nichols’ age and place in the music scene, involved traditional country music and late-80s alternative rock, run through a bit of a punk rock filter. Sort of. “When I started the band, it was kind of a rejection of the punk rock scene. I wanted to play sort of traditional country music, which we quickly found out we were unable to play,” explains Nichols. “I started off playing at 14, 15 years old, learning Cure covers and REM covers. That kind of ‘120 Minutes‘ era stuff. That’s what I grew up listening to in high school and those are the first songs that I learned how to play when I picked up a guitar. That stuff, whether I wanted it to be or not, was actually more of a presence in that early Lucero stuff than I thought it was.”

When searching for musical inspiration, looking toward one’s roots can be a questionable decision if not handled appropriately. But with the right approach, and with twenty years more knowledge, skill and ability in the ol’ tool belt, it can bear productive fruit. Armed with little more than four or five basic guitar lines to work with, the band gathered in early 2017 at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording studio in Memphis with a new locally-based producer, Matt Ross-Spang, who has a few Grammys to his credit from work with the likes of Jason Isbell, combined his attitude with the studio knowledge they obtained through the Hutt years, and took their time crafting a new record. The band set up on the floor in the studio and experimented, capturing new sounds and directions in real time, and allowing the product to build slowly and organically toward its eventual direction in real time. The Civil War letter home-inspired cadence and march of “To My Dearest Wife” came together fairly quickly, as did the album’s title track, an intense, angular rock song that also ranks as probably the most on-the-nose personal song on the album if not in the entire Nichols catalog. “Family ended up being a much bigger influence on the record than I thought it was going to be at first,” Nichols explains. “With Izzy and being married and having a house and a family (editor’s note: Nichols’ wife has two daughters from a prior relationship), those themes are obviously at the front of my mind, and those are songs that I feel like singing because that’s kind of what I’m going through at the moment.”

The album contains its fair share of running themes, many of which revolve around the protagonist not only having a battle to fight, literally or metaphorically, but a reason – in the shape of another person – to keep fighting for. Title track aside, Nichols explains that he was “intentionally trying to write more in a storytelling way, where the narrator isn’t necessarily Ben Nichols, and trying to work on the craft of songwriting, although that sounds pretentious.” Filled with straight forward mid-tempo tracks like “Everything Has Changed” and “To My Dearest Wife,” frantic, jagged rockers like the title track and “Cover Me” and tender ballads like “Always Been You” and “Loving,” the latter of which was also used in the closing credits of Nichols’ brother, Jeff’s award-winning 2016 movie of the same title, many of the images captured on Among The Ghosts are certainly inspired by very real events and historical tales, but they’re written in a way that makes the message translatable to the modern listener. “I wanted (them) to be applicable to whatever battle anyone’s fighting in their life. Whatever goals you have and whatever you’re fighting for, I wanted it to be able to apply to that.”

At this point, the bulk of Among The Ghosts has been played live over the course of the last half-year, with Nichols playing some of the tracks solo and acoustic in a one-off New Jersey date earlier this year, and the band playing a handful of tracks at springtime tour dates. Then, of course, came arguable the most traditionally “punk rock” decision any band will make this year, which found Lucero taking their 45 minute direct support slot on Frank Turner’s recent full US tour, sandwiched in between The Menzingers and Turner himself, and to using it to play 90% of the new album, months before its release. “It was a Frank Turner show, so we only had 45 minutes,” explains Nichols somewhat sheepishly. “Really when it comes down to it, I had so much fun playing those songs, and I’m away from my family and a lot of these songs are about missing my family, so I really just did it for myself! I think it worked!

The one song that didn’t make it into that set, for reasons that’ll be obvious to the listener once they hear it, is “Back To The Night,” a track that’s jarring to listen to the first time out, as it contains a lengthy spoken-word element performed by Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Nocturnal Animals, Take Shelter, Mud, etc, etc, etc), who’ll also star in the band’s upcoming video for “Long Way Back Home. The band found themselves with the bulk of the track’s dark, haunting music completed, and Nichols had a surplus of lines that had been cut out of other songs that he didn’t want to necessarily discard. Inspired by the early-90s trend in which bands would insert movie or television dialog into their songs, what Nicholas also had was an idea. He explains: “I pieced together lines that I’d written that didn’t get used. A lot of them were from “Everything Has Changed,” some of them were from “Back To The Night,” some of them were from other things..that weren’t being used and were on the cutting room floor, but that I didn’t really want to get rid of. So I sent it to my brother, Jeff, and said “man, if you can just have Mike (Shannon) call us and leave a voice memo…” He was nice enough, within twenty-four hours, to recite those lines in a voice memo, and it was the coolest thing ever to get that voice memo.”

After a period of three-or-so weeks in the studio, stretched out over the course of most of 2017, Lucero completed work on Among The Ghosts. Though each of the track’s ten tracks are different, sometimes radically, it still ranks as perhaps the most complete and cohesive collection of stories in the band’s lexicon. “I think I’m pretty good at taking a step back and evaluating where the band is, at least for the last three records and how this new record fits into that arc,” Nichols affirms matter-of-factly. “I think we’re right where we want to be… (Among The Ghosts) ended up sounding exactly like the kind of music I was in the mood to hear right now.”

Head below to check out our full, extensive chat with Nichols. It ranks as one of our favorite conversations to appear on the pages of Dying Scene to date. While you’re at it, you can still pre-order Among The Ghosts here before it’s too late.

 



Kyle Trocolla and The Strangers stream “THE Moon USA”

Kyle Trocolla, who is best known for his work with Two Fisted Law and for his solo folk punk album The Stranger, has now recruited members from Two Fisted Law and Zombii for an alt-country project titled Kyle Trocolla and The Strangers. They are streaming their new album THE Moon USA, a whiskey fueled heartfelt jaunt of aggressive country rock and roll.

Check out the stream below.



Lucero release video for “For the Lonely Ones” and announce tour dates

Folk-punk outfit Lucero recently shared a video for the song “For the Lonely Ones.” The song comes from the upcoming LP Among the Ghosts scheduled to be released August 3 via their own Liberty & Lament label.

The band has also announced some dates for a tour that has them traveling nearly to the end of the year.

Watch the video and see the tour dates below.

Among the Ghosts will be the first full-length studio album from the band since 2015’s All a Man Should Do.



Album Review: The Killigans – “Dance On Your Grave”

Dance On Your Grave isn’t a part of my wheelhouse. I’m not a bagpipes and fiddles in my punk kinda guy. I’m the sort of snob who left Punk Rock Bowling early one night because Flogging Molly was playing. That’s the sort of guy I am. But—The Killigans, despite first appearances, are not just another celtic punk band. In fact, upon listening, they reminded me of something I do like a lot: the folksy troubador stylings of the late Erik Petersen. Here is holistic folk music, pulling from strummed cowboy chords, the perspective of the working class, and yes, occasional bagpipes and fiddles.

The Killigans won me over with their songwriting. These guys can craft a melody, they can write a chorus, and they can get you to sing along with it. Dance On Your Grave sits somewhere between The Orphans and Rancid, with a wide-range of orchestration. Opener “Throw It Away,” is a certified stomper with a melodic guitar lead, lots of gang vocals, and a pointed message delivered in lyrics like, “the rich blame the poor, while the poor just try to get by.” Lyrical asides like this, coupled with their catchiness were what made me see the Killigans as more than just a punk band playing in a gimmicky subgenre. These guys have things to say and they’re using folk punk (and is punk that different than just electric folk in the first place?) as their platform.

The album, from there, doesn’t lose momentum with “Peducah” and its aggressive folk opening, or “One Angry Voice,” with its big, sticky woahs. “Burn it Down” is the first introduction to slower, more traditional folk, but by the time the chorus hits the electric strums are laying down a heavy rhythm and once again, we have something to shout along with. “Bartender” is one of the heavy-hitters on the album, a big ode to the bartender, that’s probably just a hop and a skip from being Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” (a worthy influence, if I ever heard one). It’s a fun song, that’s insanely singable and works well within the context of the album, balancing the political content with some working class barn-burning.

The most insistent song on the album is “Reality Bites,” a pure stomper carried by sharp chords and a sneering vocal delivery that comes off as nearly apocalyptic in its disgust with the war being waged on the working class via gentrification. It’s this sort of grounded approach that makes Dance On Your Grave feel like more than an exercise in style. They lyrics here matter, and the folk trappings only serve to reinforce the perspective held within. This is music and lyrics, in lockstep.

Dance On Your Grave is an album I didn’t expect to like, but it won me over with its earnest exuberance and cutting politics. And it helps that the Killigans are no slouch in the songwriting department, crafting catchy melodies and fun arrangements in an effortless display of chops. While I think the album could be a song or two shorter, there’s no denying what the Killigans have done here. Dance On Your Grave is exemplary working class punk rock—an under-documented perspective, put to music meant to be played as well as learned.

4/5



DS Photo Galley: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls with Dave Hause and the Mermaid, Boston, MA

Frank Turner has had a bit of a mutual love affair with the greater Boston area over the last handful of years. While his first show inside the city limits didn’t occur until February 2010 – roughly six years after his first-ever show as a solo performer and three years after his first US show which happened in San Antonio of all places – the years since have found the Wessex boy turning Boston into his North American home, with area’s bars and clubs and storage lockups serving as a virtual basecamp for his touring operation on this side of the Atlantic. There’s been obvious support from the likes of local heroes Dropkick Murphys over the years – including lengthy tours both Stateside and abroad – but Turner and his band, the Sleeping Souls, have also garnered a fair amount of radio play from the city’s holdover alternative and independent stations and won over crowds the old fashioned way: by playing their asses off.

Traditionally speaking, Boston, you see, prefers its musicians and its athletes to share a few overlapping characteristics. If you’re viewed a tough, scrappy, hard-worker who may not necessarily have been born with the most virtuosic capabilities but through blood, sweat and tears have carved out a spot for yourself, you’ll do alright here. (Not having an abundance of melanin helps as well, but that’s a conversation for another time and platform.) And so it was a little confusing to see only a couple of Boston dates on the initial list of North American dates in support of Turner’s new album, Be More Kind. Both dates were at Royale, a thousand-ish capacity club that is a great venue, however it’s much smaller than venues like House of Blues and, of course, the Agganis Areana that Turner has headlined in past runs through the city. And while Lucero and The Menzingers were listed as openers for the bulk of the month-long tour, neither were slated to appear in Boston. Hi-jinks, it seemed, were afoot. Within a few days, however, a bigger picture appeared. Tickets to the first two sold out in mere moments, and were quickly joined by two more shows, which also sold out quickly, and finally by two more shows, all without openers announced, meaning that Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls would be headlining the same venue six times in a week. All of a sudden, we had ourselves a big deal on our hands.

Dying Scene have had the privilege of covering a bunch of Frank Turner shows over the years, and night four of this six-night run (which turned into a seven-night run as Turner played a benefit show for the Claddagh Fund at one of Dropkick Murphys’ founder Ken Casey’s new dining establishments on July 3rd) marked yours truly’s seventh time shooting Turner locally at venues ranging from a record store to a college hockey arena to a giant outdoor festival, and while it’s generally hyperbole state that a show was the best of a particular bunch, I’ll be damned if this one wasn’t right up there. The varied setlist covered all seven of Turner’s full-length studio albums (pretty sure I’d never heard “Journey Of The Magi” off 2009’s Poetry Of The Deed live before) as well as the 2010 Rock & Roll EP (definitely sure I’d never heard “Pass It Along” live before). Turner is able to change at a moments notice from being the solo, folk-punk troubadour persona that has long been his bread and butter, to the consummate showman, singing and dancing in non-stop, high-energy fashion, including a lap around the entire venue balcony during the show-closing “Four Simple Words.” Hell, he even got opener Dave Hause to play along, as the latter crowd-surfed his way around the venue as though it were a punk rock baseball diamond during fan favorite “If Ever I Stray” (see the last photo above for proof).

Oh and as was mentioned briefly above, Dave Hause and his band, The Mermaid, were added as opener to this show after the sell-out had been announced (other shows featured support spots from some combination of Speedy Ortiz, The Homeless Gospel Choir, Jeff Rosenstock, Restorations, Tim Barry, Hotelier, War On Women, Kevin Devine and Trapper Schoepp, making each of the six shows a truly unique experience). Hause and his brother/musical counterpart Tim were in town for a stripped down show at Boston’s new City Winery establishment during the altter stages of their tour with Northcote earlier this month. While we enjoyed the hell out of that experience, the elder Hause is masterful at commanding an audience and a full band at a sweaty punk rock show, and this particular band has turned itself into quite a force that’s able to seemingly effortlessly pull off the myriad sounds that have been woven into the Dave Hause solo catalog – yes, that’s Kayleigh Goldsworthy on melodica above – particularly on its latest entry, last year’s Bury Me In Philly. It was a disorientingly early set – Royale turns into a dance club at 10pm, prompting a hard 9:30 curfew, but the dynamic Hause fired the crowd up the way few others can. (Plus, his merch girl was pretty cute!)

Head below to see our full photo gallery from the evening.



Freddy Fudd Pucker (Folk Punk, Germany) stream new album “Open Doors”

German folk punk one-man band Freddy Fudd Pucker are streaming their new album Open Doors, which was released on June 6th via Rebel High Records and Round Dog Records.

You can give it a listen below.

Freddy Fudd Pucker last released Hourglass Wine in September 2015 via Monkey Records and Ramones Museum Records.



Gogol Bordello unveil music video for “Seekers and Finders” featuring Regina Spektor

Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello have released a video for “Seekers and Finders” featuring Regina Spektor, which is the title track to last years critically acclaimed album Seekers and Finders. The video gives us a little peek at the live version of a lilting and breezy track which perfectly captures the balance between the energy of Gogol Bordello and the beauty of Regina Spektor.

Enjoy the video below.



Jake and The Jellyfish release video for “Spokesdog”

Leeds, UK folk punk band Jake and The Jellyfish have released a new video for “Spokesdog” from their album Long in Winters from earlier this year.

If you like your punk mixed with folk rumblings, be sure to check out the video below.



Divided Heaven announce summer tour

Folk punk outfit Divided Heaven have just announced that they’ll be shipping off to tour at the end of the month (beginning in Tempe, AZ) through the end of July. These guys’ new album “Cold War” will drop on July 20th which the tour comes in support of.

According to Jeff Berman, “Cold War is (and was) meant to be different, all around. It was recorded differently, written differently, and presented differently. It’s less singer-songwriter and more full-band; less a collection of songs and more of a cohesive group of songs. I simply can not waiting for people to hear it and feel it.”

Check out the tour dates below!


Dollar Signs release music video for “Waste My Life Away”

Charlotte based folk-punks Dollar Signs have released a music video for their new single “Waste My Life Away.” 

You can check it out below.

Dollar signs last released Life Is Ruff on March 28th, 2017 through their own Possum Heart Records.



Cousin Boneless (Folk Punk, PA) Stream New Record “Possession”

The Pittsburgh-based folk punkers of Cousin Boneless have amped up and gone considerably weirder on their latest record. Possession finds the band exploring a menagerie of new sounds and experimenting with a variety of musical textures. If you’re a fan of Blackbird Raum or Railyard Ghosts, you’re probably going to love this album.

You can listen to it in its entirety below.

The previous effort from Cousin Boneless was their 2017 EP Revel in Rubble.



Introducing Folk Punk Act: The Killigans (FFO early Flogging Molly)

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.