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Elway performs “Better Whenever” at Live From the Rock Room

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.



Album Review: Elway – “For The Sake Of The Bit”

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.

4/5



Nothington announce European Festival tour dates

Nothington has announced that they will be playing a few European Festivals, which include stops at Brakrock, Punk Rock Holiday and Italy’s Bay Fest. Be sure to catch them on what is most likely their farewell tour as they continue to break the hearts of punk rock fans worldwide.

Check the dates below.



Festival Review: Midwest Punk Fest X (Sincere Engineer, Off With Their Heads, Dopamines, etc)

Midwest Punk Fest.  Have you ever heard of it?  I thought not.  It’s an annual Punk Rawk event in Bloomington/Normal Illinois, and it celebrated its 10 anniversary this year.  Over that decade, the fest has had some ebbs and flows.  I attended the seventh edition and although they pulled in some decent acts, it was sparsely attended.  Dan Vapid and the Cheats headlined and they were basically giving a private performance to me and my wife.  They killed it being the consummate professionals they are, but I expected more from my local scene.  The venue that hosted MWPF ceased hosting shows soon thereafter.  Somehow MWPF soldiered on.  They put together a MWPF9, which was hosted by a local dive bar.  That lineup had national acts The Dopamines, Arms Aloft, and The Raging Nathans anchoring the bill.

What would MWPF have in store for Midwestern Punkers in its tenth incarnation?  Would there even be a MWPFX?  Some cohesion was introduced to the MWPF family the day Chris Golwitzer got involved.  Chris has played in MWPF before with his band Werepire Day.  These days, playing music is Chris’s second passion, his first?  A new venue in Bloomington called Nightshop.  When Chris opened the doors at Nightshop, MWPF found a kindred spirit and a new home.  With a stellar venue, and a seasoned booking agent in the fold, MWPF sought to crush it with this year’s lineup.  Which they did.  They managed to pull in The Smoking Popes to headline.  Old faves The Dopamines and the Raging Nathans followed suit.  Red City Radio was brought in as was Off With Their Heads.  Normally, those bands would have been more than enough to satisfy the punk contingent in central Illinois, but the new MWPF team did not stop there.  They rounded out the lineup with Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, Sincere Engineer, Typesetter, La Armada, Flatfoot 56 and The Bollweevils.

With a lineup like that, MWPFX was a can’t miss.  I bought my ticket and blacked out the dates.  When the week of the fest finally came, I counted the minutes to Thursday.  As the day approached, The Smoking Popes had to cancel due to a death in the family, then Off With Their Heads almost cancelled due to Ryan’s slicing his finger to the bone by grabbing a glass with his hulk-like strengh.  It sounded like OWTH would be a gametime decision, and the loss of both of those acts might be tough for MWPFX to overcome.

Well Thursday came and I arrived to the dulcet tones of Better Days out of St. Louis.  Next came a sight to behold, Livin’ Thing out of Springfield, IL.  From the moment they took the stage, I could tell that these guys got it.  I just don’t know what “it” is.  The five-piece included instrumentalists in matching track suits with the shout-chanting lead singer looking like a cross between meatloaf and Gibby Haynes.  Check them out.  I missed the next two bands as I was imbibing at the watering hole down the street.  Blood People out of Chicago kindly stepped in for The Smoking Popes on short notice.  We caught their whole set.  Their upbeat pop punk is perfectly punctuated by frontwoman Aly Jados’ shakes and shouts.  Wanna play a fun game, try to figure out what famous frontwoman she reminds you of… is it Courtney Love, or Brody Dalle (The Distillers), or Joan Jett (it can go on and on); but that’s some amazing company.  Off With Their Heads acoustic contingent of Ryan Young and John Polydoros popped up next, much to the relief of the MWPFX organizers.  I spoke with Ryan before the show and inquired about the condition of his finger.  He then put forth the digit in question and demonstrated his home surgical skills, which looked to involve a generous portion of Gorilla Glue.  We all shrugged and hoped for the best.  I guess the glue held up for a few songs and from there on out, he was going on adrenaline.  Which came in spades as they dropped some choice cuts off of their recent acoustic record Won’t be Missed including Jackie Lee, Start Walking, and Clear The Air.  Red City Radio came out next and I was amped for these guys.  They brought the house down and closed a great first day.

Day 2: When we got to Nightshop for day 2, Jared Grabb Among Thieves was playing.  We cruised right to the patio to hang out.  While my wife mingled, I rifled through the offerings from Waiting Room records.  $1 CDs curated to Rock, Metal, Punk and Emo, aka my favorite music.  We popped back inside for a beer at a very opportune moment, The Dry Look from Champaign-Urbana IL were coming on.  I guess these guys are in a bunch of different bands, playing different genres of music.  But the singer has an affinity for the late 70s-early 80s power pop sound.  These guys nail it.  If you like 80s Iggy Pop, Bowie, Blondie, Suicide, Cheap Trick, The Strokes, check these guys out.  A standout set of the fest for me.  Sincere Engineer hit the stage next, having missed them (her) last year at the fest, we made sure to find a spot right up front for this set.  Deanna Belos, the brains and brawn behind SC, rocked the acoustic for this set.  You just can’t help but root for her, such clever lyrics and catchy tunes.  The way Deanna can cut the shit and get right to the heart of the matter, bare her soul for all to see, and still rock the house bears a striking resemblance to some folks that graced the stage the previous night (OWTH).  SC slammed through some tunes from her new record Rhombithian, closing with my personal fave Corndog Sonnet No. 7.  I guarantee everyone in attendance left a fan.  Would you think that Pontiac IL could birth a classic 80s style hardcore punk band?  If you know anything about rhetorical questions, the answer would be yes.  The Subservients promised crushing hardcore punk and they delivered.  They also promised a stage dive, but as the crowd did not appear ready, willing, or able, to support a human in flight, I think it was a good idea to save that move for another time.  The Raging Nathans had the prime slot on this bill as they caught the crowd at their ideal inebriation level.  RNs classic punk delivery and sing-along style got the punks moving.  Mostly swaying to the staccato rhythms, not much moshing to be had at MWPFX, for better or worse.  Dirty Rotten Revenge are something of a local legend in Bloomington IL and I had them circled as a band to catch.  What do they say about the best laid plans?  My wife and I missed the set.  We were hanging out with Josh Goldman of The Raging Nathans.  We exchanged thoughts on last year’s fest.  I also got a look at his clutch of CDs from the $1 bin.  He grabbed some classics including Goddamnit from Alkaline Trio and Read Music Speak Spanish from Desaparecidos.  He found a good opportunity to upgrade the CD library in the van.  I bored him with the recounting of my new DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) and how CDs are sounding much better than vinyl on my system since its addition.  We did make it out for Friday Night’s closer, another local favorite Dripping Slits.  I have to admit I was a bit toasty for their set.  I do remember that they bore a sonic resemblance to Butthole Surfers.  I have to catch these guys the next time they’re in town.

Day 3: We rolled into Nightshop as Turnspit sauntered up to the stage.  I had hoped to catch Bike Tuff, but other obligations prevented an early arrival.  I’ve been looking forward to seeing Turnspit, as I’m also working on a review of their album.  So I’ve been listening to it a bunch, and it’s a standout record of 2018 IMHO.  I enjoyed Turnspit’s set quite a bit, although it didn’t have the back and forth that I noticed on the record.  Both Jason Swearengen and  Gillian McGhee share vocal duties in TS, many times on the same song.  This dichotomy represents itself wonderfully on the record, but live the scale tipped towards Gillian for the most part, which took out some of that interesting dynamic for me.  They still rocked hard and played a great set.  Skin stood out, it’s an important statement and I recommend you give its raw honesty a listen.  I guess I spent more time socializing on Saturday than actually watching the bands.  I don’t remember catching Still Alive.  I did see Funrod and they surprised me with their classic punk sound and irreverent lead singer.  La Armada hit the stage next.  I had listened to some of their stuff and their brand of metal is a vicious assault on the senses.  They did not disappoint.  After that musical beatdown, we were on the ropes.  I wanted to catch Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, so we hung in there.  Caught a couple songs by CN.  I dug their vibe, it was just too late and we needed to rest up for Sunday.

Day 4: We hit Nightshop while Winder was in the middle of their set.  Good stuff, atmospheric post-punk.  They really wringed every last note out of their instruments.  Witchfeet hit the stage next and they seemed to attract quite a following.  They kept the post-punk theme going with their sound that they compare to The Cure, Guided by Voices and Built to Spill.  I’m going to have to give these guys a second listen.  Ok.  Next MWPFX did a major tone shift.  The Fantastic Plastics brought their theatrical brand of synth pop.  The band led by Tyson Plastic on guitar and Miranda Plastic on keys looks like they dropped right out of a Power Rangers episode.  Their cheesy neo-futuristic garb and regurgitated DEVO sound really make a statement.  They come complete with video show.  Just as I was getting into these guys, I thought to myself, I don’t know where the sequencers leave off and where the band picks up.  Still worth catching if you get the chance.  Ok.  Let’s get back to the good old-fashioned punk rock.  No one better to do that than City Mouse, who I’ve seen before at Nightshop.  This three-piece gives just what the doctor order from frontwoman Miski Dee Rodriguez.  Classic stripped-down punk in the vein of The Ramones!  We had to cut out of this set early to grab a smoke.  While we were out on the patio we caught up with Sarah from Typesetter.  We got the lowdown on their tour and on the new record.  We are totally amped for that release!  While hobnobbing we bumped into Jon Lewis from The Dopamines.  We talked a little bit about their set at FEST last year which he informed us that the band had no recollection of.  It’s tough being punk rock’s reigning party band!  These guys live up to the hype though. As Typesetter started making their way to the stage, we grabbed a front row spot.  As always they crushed it.  They played some new tunes and some old, and for grins, they broke out a cover of Blondie’s “Hangin on the Telephone.”  Bollweevils came out next.  These guys were in rare form.  I think they had been prepartying with The Dopamines.  Love these guys.  They came up out of the old school Chicago Scene with bands like Naked Raygun and Articles of Faith.  Bollweevils bring a ton of energy and they haven’t lost a beat in all these years.  Fun fact about Bollweevils frontman Daryl Wilson, when he’s not diving off stages at punk fests he works as an ER Doctor in the suburbs of Chicago.  Finally, after 30 hours and 4 nights, we came to the end of MWPFX.  And who better to take us home than The Dopamines.  We caught these guys at the FEST as previously mentioned, and I thought they embodied everything punk rock stands for.  Loud catchy tunes, a down to earth attitude (when they’re not talking shit onstage), and a party til you die lifestyle.  They crushed it.  Going through some of their new album Tales of Interest.  They broke out King of Swilling Powers and Business Papers.  What got me singing was their classic Soap and Lampshades.  I have to say when they sauntered off the stage, I started making my way to the door, it being almost 1am and me having to work the next day.  I looked around for my wife and she was embroiled in a blood game of flip cap with members of the Bollweevils and The Dopamines.  I went over to get her out when Jon Lewis threw a Vodka Redbull in my hand and told me to flip the cap.  A stack of bills sat on the table for whoever could get the cap to pop up and catch it.  I failed miserably and threw in my buck.  Jon Weiner of The Dopamines was next and with cat like dexterity he got the cap airborne and snatched it.  By this time the barkeep was pushing us toward the door.  As everyone discussed where to reconvene the party, I grabbed my wife and ducked out of there.  It was 130 and I had get home to bed.  I probably missed out on a night of debauchery and hilarity, but at least for a minute I got to party with the infamous Dopamines.



The All Brights (Surf Punk) Premiere Featured Stream For “Stand Up Pat L. Board” From New EP

Sometimes, ya just gotta let the basser think he’s an important member of the band. It’s not often that The All Brights true front men, Big Wave Dave and Mattsimum Waves relinquish the microphone, but for one song on the new EP The White Album, they handed vocals duties over to basssist, Pat L. Board. When we asked Mr. Board about his shining moment on the track “Stand Up Pat L Board” he told us: “This is the tale of Pat L. Board and his misadventures toward manhood. Without the Mr. Miyagi-esque help of my bandmates, Mattsimum Waves and Big Wave David, the ‘frontman’ you all know and worship today may never have been born. In this most epic of epics (2 minutes and 47 seconds), you shall hear the story of initial defeat and eventual triumph of our glorious hero of the beach: Pat L. Board. Shaka.” Give it a listen below and then let the dudes know if you think Pat should get more mic time or if he should just stick to slappin’ those four strings!



Arms Aloft and Guerilla Poubelle announce Summer tour dates

Wisconsin punks Arms Aloft and French punks Guerilla Poubelle have announced some Summer US tour dates, with a few dates featuring support acts like Spanish Love Songs, The Copyrights, and Sincere Engineer.  

You can check out all the dates and locations below.

Arms Aloft last released What A Time To Be Barely Alive in 2016, while Guerilla Poubelle last released La Nausee in 2017.  Both were released via Red Scare Industries,



The All Brights release new lyric video for “Last Blue Text”

California-based pop-punks The All Brights (ft Dave Hause, Sean from Good Riddance, members of The Loved Ones, The Falcon) have released a lyric video for their song “Last Blue Text”. The song comes off the band’s highly anticipated new release The White Album EP, which is due out June 22.

Check out the video for the new song below.

This will be the first new music from The All Brights since their 2015 release The All Brights…Are Wild For The Night. If you’re a fan of The Riptides these guys sound very similar so check them out.



Thousand Islands Fest Announces Lineup

Thousand Islands Records have partnered up with Pouzza Fest to bring their second instalment of Thousand Islands Fest. It’s set to take place at Le Centre D’Art La Petite Eglise de Saint-Eustache near Montreal, QC on July 21st.

The event will benefit L’Écluse Des Laurentides, whose mission “is to help people who are socially disruptive or experiencing problems of social exclusion, isolation, poverty, marginalization or any other problem affecting their quality of life.”

You can check the whole lineup out below.



The Brokedowns perform “Joliet, the Maui of the Midwest” for Live From the Rock Room

Live from the Rock Room recently released a video of Chicago punk band The Brokedowns performing their song “Joliet, the Maui of the Midwest” off their 2014 album Life is a Breeze. Check it out below.

The band recently released their new album Sick of Space via Red Scare Industries.



The Brokedowns stream “The Fort” off new album “Sick of Space”

The Brokedowns‘ new album, “Sick of Space” came out last week, and it’s fucking great (that’s as much effort for any review you’ll ever get out of me).

Tonight we’re streaming “The Fort.” Kris (guitar and vocals) says, “This song is about being 13 and getting beat up by dudes in Dio t-shirts.”

Hey man, who hasn’t been there?

Check out “The Fort” below!



MakeWar announce June European tour dates

Dyingscene favorites MakeWar have announced some upcoming European tour dates for June.

You can check out all the dates and locations below.

MakeWar last released Developing a Theory of Integrity in 2016 via Red Scare. 



The Brokedowns premiere new video for “Led Zeppelin III”

Chicago’s best boy band, The Brokedowns, have premiered a new video for “Led Zeppelin III” off their upcoming album “Sick of Space,” which releases this Friday, May 18th.

You can check out the full feature on the video at Riot Fest, or head below to go straight to the video that looks suspiciously familiar to any enthusiasts of beard-oriented rock.



DS Exclusive: Elway’s “Inches” off their new album “For the Sake of the Bit”

We’ve got a stream of the opening track off Elway‘s new album, “For the Sake of the Bit” for you!

“Inches” is about super important people who write about music on the internet and how much their opinions matter. Tim Browne (guitar/vocals) had this to say about the song:

“‘Inches’ is dedicated to those among us whose ‘contributions’ to art or music are either unworded shit talk or obsequious brown-nosery found sandwiched between Hello Fresh and T-Mobile banner ads.  If you read enough of these vapid kissasses’ bullshit, you might find yourself thinking their opinion somehow means something.  I wrote this song to insist that, no, your shitty, disaffected review of a band you don’t like and your 25,000 word rim job of a band you do like don’t mean shit, and you create nothing but ad revenue.  All art, but especially punk and indie, belongs to those who create it and support it – not those who can’t even conjure enough creative impulse to start a lousy punk band and can only criticize and lick boots.  Fuck all y’all.”

You can check out “Inches” below, and the rest of the album on your streaming service of choice. The album will be out on vinyl and CD this Friday. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have important things to say on the internet about music, and people are dying to hear them. ELWAY I LOVE YOU YOU ARE THE GREATEST PLEASE LOOK AT ME!



Nothington announce split/indefinite hiatus after 2018 and the breaking of my heart

Nothington has announced that they’re calling it good after this year. The band made the announcement on their Facebook page this morning.

The split appears to be amicable, with the announcement stating that came to the decision “simply because we have other musical, artistic, and career-related aspirations to pursue as individuals.”

This year will be the band’s final appearances at The Fest and Punk Rock Bowling. They will be playing their last tours in the second half of 2018 with “a few select dates leading into spring of 2019.”

You can find the full announcement below.

The band’s most recent album, “In the End” was released April 2017 and was one of my top albums of the year. You should definitely try to catch them if they tour near you before the split. I haven’t caught them since a 2007 or so basement show with Off With Their Heads in Minneapolis, and it was easily one of the best shows I’ve been to.

Despite the sting of probably not getting any more material from Nothington, I am definitely looking forward to any projects that will come out of the split.



Good Friend premiere new video, kick off UK and Europe tour

For the conclusion of tonight’s Red Scare Industries Round-Up, Good Friend has premiered their video for “D.L.B.,” off their 2016 album “Ride the Storm.” The tour starts April 19th in London.

Check out the video and full list of tour dates below!