None or Unknown
Normally when a band emails DS asking us to check out their debut album recorded at their friend's "home studio" I prepare myself for an obligatory 30 second listen of a horribly produced screech fest before I move on to the next email. Let me tell you, in the case of Athens' Fold The Nuts I'm extremely glad I make a point of listening to every single band that emails us, even those with names as bad as "Fold The Nuts". What I discovered was a 6 song gem of a skate punk release. Fantastic guitar solos, great speed, melodic vocals with just enough angst and clearly this friend with a home studio knows what he's doing behind the knobs. Do yourself a favor and check out the band's self-titled debut below. You can thank me later. --------------------------------------
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This Week's Releases: 03/03/2015
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“The release of this record has got to be one of the highlights of my life so far. I’ve always written songs like this (in a genre other than punk rock), but the only outlet I’ve had for them has always been maybe a song or two on Utters, or Filthy Thieving Bastards records. I have a lot of material that’s just been sitting around for 25 years, with no outlet, and it’s been frustrating. None of the songs on “Sisu” are quite that old, but there are a few that I know I wrote around ’99. I’ve wanted to do this my whole life—I’ve always wanted to be a solo artist, so this really is a lifelong dream of mine. There are so many good vibes and strange positive energy in the last few sentences that now I think I’ve given myself a headache and need to drink some beers, to get back in my own head…”
Fat Wreck has already made a song from the album available for streaming. It’s titled “Listen!” and you can check it out below, alongside the tracklist for Sisu, and info on the solo tour Koski will be playing this April.Add to My Radar
Frenzal Rhomb have just announced they will be playing a short run of European shows in late April/early May. The band will be joined by Mike TV on most dates, with other bands like Off With Their Heads appearing on a select few. Check out the full tour itinerary below.Add to My Radar
Santa Cruz punk veterans Good Riddance have announced they will be supporting the release of their long-awaited new album Peace In Our Time by playing a handful of record release shows in California this April/June. Dates and locations can be found below.
Peace In Our Time is set to be released on April 21st through Fat Wreck Chords. It will be the band’s first full-length album in nine long years, serving as a follow-up to 2006′s My Republic.Add to My Radar
Nate Gangelhoff of Banner Pilot sure is a busy guy! Today he’s revealed his new project, Partial Traces, and their first demo. The sound is a bit closer to Gangelhoff’s work with The Gateway District than it is to Banner Pilot, but it’s still pretty enjoyable. You can stream the demo below, and if you like it it’s available as a name-your-price download here.
There’s no word on what will come of this project, but if it takes off we’ll keep you in the loop. Banner Pilot, meanwhile, recently announced that they are already working on a follow up to their fourth full-length album, Souvenir, which was released on April 15, 2014 through Fat Wreck Chords.Add to My Radar
Alright folks, the day has finally arrived – we get to hear the first new tune from the upcoming Strung Out album “Transmission. Alpha. Detla”! The song is called “The Animal And The Machine” and you can give that bad boy a listen below.
The band has also recently announced they will touring North America in support of the release. La Armada will be joining them on all dates, and Masked Intruder and Red City Radio will provide support on the first and second halves of the tour, respectively.Add to My Radar
Last Tuesday, The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco played host to three amazing bands – Authority Zero, Reel Big Fish, and Less Than Jake. The fans turned out in droves, and the energy exuded was something you would typically see at a weekend show, not on a Tuesday night. All three bands were meant to perform together – they share a similar style of music, and there was a definite progression from band to band. Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake have split headlining duties this tour, and during their SF stop, LTJ was tasked with rounding the evening out. Brilliant!
Authority Zero plays a unique blend of ska, punk, funk, and reggae, and is one of my favorite bands to see open a night. Half-full venue? No problem. No one dancing? Not yet. Authority Zero changes all that and before they’ve wrapped up their set, the crowd has filled in, legs are loose, and everyone is warmed up. I love the band’s intros and bridges and so do fans – with jumps, kicks, skanks, fists, and woah’s abound. I would love to see some new material from these guys.
It has been a couple of years since I last saw Reel Big Fish and I gotta say it was much better than I remembered. I’ve been a fan of RBF since my wee teen years, and have watched the band progress and really solidify their presence in the ska/punk world. It’s like a trip down memory land every time the guys come into town. The band played a lot of material off “Turn The Radio Off” and “Everything Sucks”, and during “She’s Got a Girlfriend Now”, saxophonist Matt Appleton filled in on female vocals. Amazing! He sounded like a young Gwen Stefani! The band seemed to really be enjoying themselves, and it shone through in the music. There was only one thing that could make this night better – Less Than Jake.
I was as happy as a little girl as the Gainesville natives prepared to take the stage. The band was fundamental in my musical upbringing, and really holds a special place in my heart. It had been several years since I last saw LTJ, and I admit I was a bit anxious to see what their set list would offer – but I was extremely pleased with the amount of ‘old stuff’ that they played. I always prefer that bands I like perform my favorite songs later in the event, so I can get my shots out of the way. Of course, I have no say in the matter, so it’s always a balance when I’m still in the photo pit and a song like “Nervous In The Alley” comes on. Do I dance or do I shoot? Why not a little of both? Alas, three songs are up and I’m out of the photo pit, time to secure gear and head to the dance pit, where I stayed the rest of the night. To my delight, the band played a substantial amount of songs from “Losing Streak”, “Pezcore”, and “Hello Rockview”, probably some of my favorite albums of all time. The climax of the night came with the performance of “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts”. There’s nothing as saddening as seeing LTJ and them not performing “Johnny Quest”, and there’s nothing more gratifying than when they do. It was epic and that memory will remain with me forever.
Did you know there is a PacMan cereal? And did you know that Less Than Jake created its theme song? It’s called “Do The Pacman” and it is full of childhood fun. The band announced the news and proceeded to play the song no less than three times during the rest of their set, complete with choreographed dance. I love bands that don’t get caught up on all this punk politics, and just like to have fun. You can view the song, along with dance, here.
Have a look at all the shots all three bands below.
***Big thanks to Vinnie from LTJ, Vanessa from Fat, and Snodgrass for helping me with entry for this event. Much appreciated!!***Add to My Radar
DS Interview: Jack Dalrymple talks toyGuitar, songwriting, and what he’ll never tell us about touring
Jack Dalrymple’s music resume runs like a wish list of all the punk bands you’d ever want to be in: Swingin’ Utters, Dead To Me, One Man Army, Re-Volts, and The US Bombs. I actually may have missed one or two, but the point is clear: Jack is punk rock through and through, and he’s also putting out some really cool music in his newest band, toyGuitar. They released their debut full length album, In This Mess, earlier this year (you can read our review of it here), and Jack took some time to talk with us about the new project.
Check out the full interview below.Add to My Radar
Two weeks after announcing their new album Rats in the Burlap, Celtic punk veterans The Real McKenzies have finally given us a taste of what’s tom come, premiering a new track titled “Who’d a Thought.” Here’s what frontman Paul McKenzie had to say about the song, which can be heard below:
“The Real McKenzies wrote ‘Who’d a Thought’ for the political/social climate that people just like you and I are facing today and, even more so, in the future. One of my favorite all-time bands, the MC5, were the ones who first awakened political awareness within me at a very early age. That was back when tha ‘boil’ was already infected, but just coming to a head. Now that the ‘boil’ has burst, who is expected to clean it up? Who’d a thought? Know your opponent. Here’s to the MC5 and to the awakening of all individuals in terms of worldwide political awareness. Don’t be caught with your kilt up.”
Rats in the Burlap is set to be released on April 7th through Fat Wreck Chords, serving as a follow-up to 2012′s Westwinds. The band will be touring in support of the album from early March through the end of May.Add to My Radar
In a recent Facebook post, Screeching Weasel announced that they are wrapping up the recording portion of their upcoming new album. The work is entitled “Baby Fat (Act 1)”, however no release date has been set as of yet.
Screeching Weasel last released an EP entitled “Carnival Of Schadenfreude” in 2011 through Recess Records, who has since handled the vinyl re-releases of “Anthem for a New Tomorrow” and “How To Make Enemies and Irritate People.”Add to My Radar
Gainesville ska-punk staples Less Than Jake have just released “Live On Mini-Disc Volumes 1-4,” which features four live sets from the band’s sets from the early 2000′s. The band posted the albums on there website stating:
These shows were all recorded from a stereo microphone built into a Mini-Disc recorder that Roger had with him on tour in the early 2000′s. Fast forward a few gray hairs down the road, and now Roger has brought them into The Moat House and cleaned them up a bit.Add to My Radar
Whether you’re planning on making sweet, sweet love to your significant other, drinking alone in your basement, or just ignoring the holiday completely, we thought we’d compile a playlist of some of the year’s best punk rock love songs to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Enjoy below.Add to My Radar
Well, friends, the wait is finally over. Santa Cruz punk veterans Good Riddance have finally announced their new album, which we now know is titled Peace In Our Time, will be released on April 21st through Fat Wreck Chords.
The album’s cover art can be seen above, and its tracklist can be found below. And here’s a snippet about the record from Fat’s super official press release:
This new album is essentially the very best of GR distilled down to one LP, and it will no doubt get the attention from a lot of old fans, HC devotees, and punk enthusiasts alike. They’re already booked to play Europe’s Groezrock, one of the biggest punk festivals in the world. There will also be an obvious hometown record release show in Santa Cruz, where they have been selling out countless shows over the years. Good Riddance will be ramping up some activity, and with hardcore music seeming neutered and confused in 2015, Peace In Our Time will mark a triumphant return for a band that the underground scene needs more than ever.
Peace In Our Time will be Good Riddance’s first full-length album in nine long years, serving as a follow-up to 2006′s My Republic. It will also be the band’s first release since reuniting in 2012. As always, we’ll keep you posted as more stories relating to the record come to light.Add to My Radar
Minneapolis punks Banner Pilot have two big announcements today! Firstly, they are currently working on a new full-length album, which will be their first with new guitarist Jeff Matika. And secondly, they will be touring Europe later this spring – another first with Matika on 6-string.
You can read what bassist Nate Gangelhoff had to say about the new record/European tour, and check out the dates and locations below.
Banner Pilot released their latest full-length album Souvenir in April of 2014 through Fat Wreck Chords. We’ll be sure to keep you all in the loop as more details on its follow-up come to light.Add to My Radar
It’s been a while since I reviewed an album here on the pages of Dying Scene, in part because sometimes life gets in the way, but mostly because sometimes you get to feeling like there’s nothing you can say about an album that you haven’t said dozens of times before. (Seriously, how many singers wear their heart on their sleeves? How many rapid-fire snare drums and chugging guitars and angsty vocalists can one describe without sounding redundant?) I’ve started getting the itch again lately, but I wanted to try something a little different (for me, anyway). And what better album to try something different with than Home Street Home, the soundtrack of a musical written by NOFX’s iconic frontman/bass player/debaucher-in-chief Fat Mike Burkett. If Fatty can go out on a limb, so can I, right?
So without any further ado, here are my thoughts on Home Street Home, written track-by-track in real-time on my first listen through the album. (In the interest of full-disclosure, I did have it on in the background while I was cooking dinner the other night, but with my seven-year-old within earshot, I quickly determined that was a bad idea. You’ll see why).
1. “Monsters” – (:25 Acoustic intro, pretty non-descript so far. Female voice (Stacey Dee playing the part of Sue, our main character) singing about mommy saying there are no monsters under her bed. Drums kick in around :45. My knowledge of musical instruments is quite limited, but that thing in the background (melodica?) sounds like the thing from the Nightmare on Elm Street song. 1:30 – More talk of the girl convinced that the monsters she sees at night are real. Wait…I think we’re taking an ugly turn here. 1:40-1:55 HOLY SHIT, SKIBA! Okay, let me back up. Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba makes an appearance as the girl’s father, convincing her that there are no monsters, only Daddy… this is fucking creepy… 1:57-2:02 Skiba “Don’t you wanna give a good night kiss to Daddy?” Oh no…oh this is bad. This is very bad. 2:09- Tempo starts to pick up and distorted guitar starts to kick in. Damn, this really does feel like a musical. 3:00 – now we slow down and the piano comes in. This poor girl. This poor, poor girl. 3:19-3:29 – Our girl is packing up and getting out of Dodge – “I’ll need my razor blades and a warm jacket / and I’m taking this gun…” The “Nightmare on Elm Street” vibe comes back again.
If you’re keeping score at home, it seems our sixteen-year-old female protagonist has been getting sexually abused by her father, and is now “making that the last time” it happens. Not sure if she’s going to kill him, or just take off. But I am sure that that song creeped me out. Haven’t had a visceral reaction like that to a song in a while. Kudos to Fat Mike.
2. “Three String Guitar” – Now we’ve got a guy singing (John Carey). Slow, plodding acoustic song that has the vibe of “My Orphan Year.” This kid sounds like a young Fat Mike.
3. “Urban Campers” – Sort of an up-tempo, rockabilly-ish vibe at the beginning. Call and response thing with the “young Fat Mike” taking the lead. Did I mention he sounds like a young Fat Mike? I’m gonna refer to him as Young Fat from here on out. This one is a theme song for the gutter punks. We’ve got a second male vocalist that sounds like a young Tim Armstrong, except a tad more comprehendible. I’ll call him Young Tim from here on out (though his real name is Beer Gut – I’m sensing that’s not his biological name, however…). But only a tad. 1:17 – Young Fat – “I won’t work for food, but I’ll fuck for pay.” Ah, we’ve entered the prostitution portion of the evening. Halfway through the third song and we’ve got father-daughter rape and male prostitution. Don’t bring the kids out to this one…
4. “Fecal Alcohol Syndrome” – Another uptempo song, sounds kinda like Old Man Markley. Young Tim takes the reins here. 0:22 – “mother drank when I was in her womb, that’s why I got diagnosed with fecal alcohol syndrome.” Oh Fat Mike, you and your puns… Boy, Young Tim’s mom was a mess. “I was a newborn alcoholic with a fermented brain.”
5. “Three Against Me” – Slow piano ballad, at least to start. We’ve got a male singer, but he doesn’t sound like Young Mike or Young Tim (in real life, his name is Billy Bouchard). It does sound like a kid who got the shit kicked out of him at home, but this time not by mom or dad, but by his three brothers. “No one calls it hate when it’s your brothers / it’s called tough love and accepted by the neighbors. It’s not called a hate crime / it’s just what my brothers did to pass the time.” 1:45 – “Mustard up the nose when I was sleeping / wake up with Tabasco in my eye.” Good god, that sounds painful. Stays a slow piano ballad throughout.
6. “High Achievers” – More piano to start. Female vocalist, different from the earlier one, though. :40 – We’ve got a ragtime feel going now, and we’ve already got Ben Franklin and Marquis de Sade name-dropped as famous drug users. I think you see where this one is going. Lemme tally the names we end up with getting dropped as being drug enthusiasts: Sigmund Freud, Grover Cleveland, Thomas Edison, Einstein, Carl Sagan, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, The Beatles, Van Gogh, Lance Armstrong, Aaron Sorkin, Jack Kerouac, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe. I feel like I missed a few, but I can’t quite understand Young Tim 100% of the time. “When everyone is doing drugs, it makes the world a better place to be.” Long story short, this is our three main “street urchins” trying to recruit our abuse victim runaway from earlier into the world of “better living through chemistry.” Oh wait, I get it “high achievers.” It’s funny because drugs. Yawn. This one doesn’t do much for me, but then, I don’t do drugs, so….
7. “Gutter Tarts” – Ooh, sort of an uptempo, textbook NOFX intro. :20 “I’ll suck an ass for fifty bucks!” Well, that one kinda sneaks up on you! A pro-prostitution anthem! Hooray! “I’m getting fucked, I’m sucking cock! I’m licking nuts!…And getting paid!” Yeah…again…don’t bring your kids to this one!
8. “Bad Decision” – Oh hey, it’s Frank Turner! This one’s a bit of a segue that clocks in at :42 seconds ling. It’s about making…you guessed it…bad decisions. If this is our segue to the world of bad decisions, I’m scared, because what the hell was the last half-dozen songs?!?
9. “Missing Child” – Another piano intro. Sounds sad. Another female vocalist (Lena Hall or Christie Wynn depending on which version you have and, truthfully, I’m not sure which version I have), this time the mother of our abused runaway, begging for her daughter’s safe return. God, this singer really sells it. 1:10-1:20 – “did I protect her, did I do all I could? Is she gone forever like her childhood?” Now I’m sad again. Stomach punch of a song, but I’m not sure if that’s because you feel like the mom’s really sad, or that she’s that fucking clueless what was happening in her own house.
10. “I’m Suicide” – Our runaway, Sue, again. :42 “I was eleven when I got put on the pill…” God damn. 1:00 – “I was a prostitute who wasn’t getting paid.” We’ve got dad piping in that she was “such a good girl who always did what she was told.” I think I’m going to throw up. 1:20 – Ah, the mom chimes in again, saying she’s ashamed of our runaway for being such a flirt. Now I’m going to be sick again. I knew mom was up to no good. I’m starting to genuinely dislike Skiba and the mom, which is not the intended consequence.
11. “Let’s Get Hurt” – Another ragtimey, New Orleans feeling song in the vein of “I Want To Be Loved By You.” This time an ode to whips and chains. “I wanna be brained and chained and drained, harshly profained by you.” 1:00 – Ah, it seems our runaway has become a dominatrix. Makes sense. Now she’s the one in control of her situation.
12. “Safe Words” – Three chord punk ode to safe words. Kinda funny. Seems like a NOFX song. “Asparagus…Sarah Palin…Sacramento…Pearl Necklace?” Holy shit…now I know what a “chili dog” is. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I could have lived without knowing that, and now I can’t stop giggling. Goddamn you Fat Mike. I’m delightedly horrified by this song.
13. “Another Bad Decision” – Oh good, Frank’s back. Had to wash that dirty taste out of my mouth (which will make sense when you listen to “Safe Words”). God, I still feel fucking dirty.
14. “Seeping Beauty (Reprise)” – Slow piano ballad, as sung by Sue. This one’s about cutting; self-harm for the purpose of “release and inner peace.” I feel uncomfortable again. Even though this one has female vocalists, you can tell it was written by Fat Mike. I feel like that’s a recurring theme here; Mike very much has a cadence and tempo that hits right in his wheelhouse.
15. “Bearly Legal” – Now we’ve got two guys professing their love for each other. They respect each other for who they are, in spite of their faults. Sort of a three-chord pop punk song (but like good pop punk, not new pop punk). You know it’s love when it involves KY and a fist… Oh, “Bearly Legal,” as in BEARly legal. I get it. Took me a minute there…
16. “Because I Want To” – We’ve gone from parental sexual abuse to prostitution to drug use to S&M to self-mutilation to KY and fisting to…graffiti? Seems like we could have gone the other…oh wait…1:25 – tempo picks up, and now we’ve got Sue listing all the taboo things she’s going to do because she wants to and frankly, because why the fuck not. Again with the control piece. Sue seems to be in a better place, having gone from wanting to kill herself to trying to move on…because she wants to. We’ve reached a place of empowerment. Wait…is she going back to her mom and dad?
17. “Life…Oh What a Drag: – Yup…she’s going back with at least her father. The rest of Sue’s ragtag bunch of misfits are now trying to move on without Sue. Wait…no, but they are burning their place of living down. “Destroy so we can create…” I feel like this is going to be a powerful visual in the stage production…but I feel like you need to see it, because I can’t quite tell where we’re going here…
18. “The Agony of Victory” – starts as a bit of a funeral dirge, but moves on to a slow-building punk song that ends up in a classically NOFXian place. Another ode to the misfits, the vagabonds, the weirdos. “Let’s just fucking drink and be alive.” Big, celebratory, nay triumphant group chorus outro, as well there should be.
Okay, a few parting thoughts. I was really, really skeptical about Home Street Home. I don’t know why, in hindsight…because I really, really like Home Street Home. Like I said above, one or two of the songs, particularly “High Achievers” seem more than a little bit like NOFX retreads, but maybe that stands to reason. But the bulk of the album is more than solid. Fat Mike and his co-writers Jeff Marx (a Tony Award winner for Avenue Q) and Soma Snakeoil (Fat Mike’s AVN Award-winning girlfriend) are able to cut right to the core of what it means to be a hopeless, disaffected youth with a shitty upbringing.
Despite the names being different, it’s obvious that our writers are telling stories very near and dear to their respective hearts; such authenticity wouldn’t be possible otherwise. There is a substantial amount of Home Street Home that’s uncomfortable both in terms of lyrics and in terms of subject matter. Some of that blow is lessened by the occasional upbeat music, but the album is full of “stomach punch” moments; those times when the lyrics resonate a little too close and suck the wind right out of the room. The fact that the late Tony Sly is featured in the chorus on “I’m Suicide” is probably the biggest of those, though it might go unnoticed by many. In penning Home Street Home, Fat Mike is able to convey a sense of personal honesty that’s maybe been missing from a lot of the NOFX catalog at times (save for songs like “My Orphan Year”).