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DS Interview: Tom Mullen of Washed Up Emo Podcast on his new book, “The Anthology of Emo: Vol. 1”

When one eventually looks back on whatever chapters in the annals of punk rock history encapsulate the last couple of decades, there will undoubtedly be more hand-wringing over the sections labeled “emo” than in the remaining portions combined. No term, or genre, within the collective umbrella of the punk and DIY and indie rock worlds has been more maligned, more ostracized, more negatively stereotyped than that of “emo.” Seriously; run an “emo” Google image search or run the term through the search feature on such varied websites as Buzzfeed and Pinterest and Wikihow and Dictionary.com and the results, while redundant in their theme, will be seemingly relentless in the lack of seriousness with which they approach the style or the culture or, most importantly, the music.

But that wasn’t always the case. Somewhere along the the way to the Forum, something happened to the term and the image and the subculture. Through mainstream media outlets and suburban shopping mall-based clothing stores of the early aughts, “emo” got bastardized, stripped of its original context and transformed into something wholly unrecognizable from its origins.

The last small handful of years, however, have seen a bit of not only an emo resurgence, but an emo reclamation. Not the emo of the Hot Topic era, mind you, but from an earlier time. The Get Up Kids and Braid and Rainer Maria got back together, put out new albums, and continue to tour periodically. Texas Is The Reason reunited for a while. American Football reunited. Knapsack and The Promise Ring reunited and then reunited again. Cap’n Jazz played for the first time in seven years. Hell, Jawbreaker played Riot Fest a couple months ago and you know this because all 689 people you follow on Instagram were there and live streaming and so-this-happened-ing. And perhaps nobody has been flying the original emo flag higher and prouder over the last decade as Tom Mullen.

Mullen, a native of Vermont, has been working for a variety of labels and entertainment industry outlets by day since the turn of the century. In his spare time and due to an unwavering love of the earlier days of the emo years, he launched the Washed Up Emo podcast in 2007. He’s interviewed well over a hundred scene veterans in the decade since, and recently published his first book, The Anthology of Emo – Volume One, that compiles transcriptions of about a dozen interviews from the podcasts that help shine a light on what the term meant and, more importantly, what the music meant. There are chats with some of the pillars of an earlier time, like Mineral’s Chris Simpson, Christie Front Drive’s Eric Richter, Norman Brannon from Texas Is The Reason and, of course, Mike Kinsella who’s been in basically all the bands. There are also higher-profile, crossover names like Chris Carrabba and Matt Pryor, as well as Rainer Maria, who’ve seen a bit of a resurgence lately, and Blair Shehan from Knapsack, The Jealous Sound, and more recently Racquet Club.

Like the Washed Up Emo podcast and its related offshoots like the hilarious IsThisBandEmo.com, The Anthology of Emo – Volume One is a labor of love that draws direct inspiration from the creative breeding ground that was Burlington, Vermont, in Mullen’s formative, DIY years. There’s little profit involved — most money made from the sale of Volume One will go directly into the publication of Volume Two, already in the works — but that’s obviously not the point. The conversations are authentic, with Mullen and his subjects thoughtfully and sometimes humorously retelling stories that demonstrate the interconnectedness and passion and creativity and – I can’t stress the point enough – the authenticity that drove the scene in the early days and that have inspired a groundswell of not just Emo Nights at your local club but a new legion of bands flying the emo battle flag.

Head below to check out our full conversation with Mullen. He and I are roughly the same age and grew up in neighboring (some might say Shrine Bowl arch-rivaling) states and have a lot of overlapping experiences in spote of the different, circuitous routes we took to get to this conversation. Oh, and make sure you pick up Anthology of Emo: Volume One here!



Dying Scene Radio – Episode 4 – Band Spotlight: Spanish Love Songs

Welcome to 2018, comrades! In case you were wondering, Bob’s resolution for this new year is to tighten up his editing time frames so that we’re not playing Christmas themed songs in January and Anarchopunk is pretty much perfect, so he has nothing to improve upon, thus no resolutions were established. We’re really hoping that your new year’s resolution was to listen to more punk news podcasts! If so, you’re really gonna dig this one! In this installment, we’re featuring a menagerie of international punk bands.  We’ve got French punks, British punks, South African punks, Canadian punks and we even sprinkled in some American punks with an interview from the Los Angeles based grouch punk act, Spanish Love Songs. All of this and more in Episode Four of the new and improved Dying Scene Radio, below!



DS Exclusive: The Killer Wails premiere new single “Shake It”

Toronto punk rockers The Killer Wails have provided you with an appropriate way to get rid of the 2017 winter blues with a brand new single called, “Shake It.” If you like winter jams and punk, then you will probably like the influence the band draws from various bands that we have all come to know and love. With the grit and grime of Circle Jerks and the wit of Dead Kennedys, “Shake it” is a track that that has not only invaded homes in the Great White North of Canada, but has seen the band progress and sculpt a sound that they can truly call theirs.

Opening for bands like Cancer Bats, Isotopes, and The Murderburgers, The Killer Wails have come far in their local circuit and are now ready to branch out and in to the world. It is our pleasure here at Dying Scene to share this brand new exclusive track with all of you.

You can stream the song below.



DS Staff Picks – Bizarro Dustin’s Top Albums of 2017

2017 was not a great year for me. Between looming mental health issues, broken hearts (both breaking someone else’s and having mine torn), and a handful of failed attempts at restarting my life, I don’t even have to mention the state of the world to get into how bleak things were… I even stopped regularly contributing to Dying Scene this year! But I still got invited to share my 10 favorite records and since music is one of the things that helped me get through this year, here I am.

In years past I’ve gone all out when sharing my favorite albums: bringing attention to those that might not have gotten as much notice as the heavy hitting names in the scene, or giving each album a number one spot in their own category. This year I’m keeping it simple: my 10 favorite albums by artists that we cover at Dying Scene. You can check it out below.



DS Exclusive: 2017 – The Year In Pictures (Jay Stone)

I’m not entirely sure how it’s been a full calendar year since I last put one of these compilation posts together, but here we are. I remember pulling last year’s year-end photo gallery together and thinking “damn…that was a busy year.” Fast forward 365 days, and somehow 2017 was actually busier, featuring nearly three dozen shows in five different states and countless memories that have left me not only crossing items off my bucket list but pinching myself as to how surreal this little hobby has become. I shot shows that varied in scale from catching one of my favorite songwriters (Bryan McPherson) at a little bar (The Thirsty Turtle) in the town I grew up in (Nashua, NH) to catching probably the area’s biggest punk band of the last two decades (Dropkick Murphys) at a 7000 seat hockey arena. I shot two separate Warped Tour stops, one of which (Mansfield, MA) took place in a driving rainstorm that parted for just enough time to allow personal favorites Bad Cop/Bad Cop to play a kick-ass set.

I finally shot longtime faves like The Menzingers and Hot Water Music and The Adolescents and Smoking Popes and Bouncing Souls each for the first time, then shot the Souls twice more. I got to see some old pals like Dave Hause and Jared Hart test the waters in some new projects, and some bands I’ve been friendly with for years, like The Interrupters and Bundles and most importantly my dudes in Rebuilder play on bigger and more prominent stages (that are still somehow smaller than they deserve to be playing). I shot one of my favorite all-time bands (Lucero) on a boat on a picture perfect night in Boston Harbor. But more than anything, I got to share an awful lot of awesome experiences with an awful lot of awesome people, some of whom I’m lucky enough to call friends. I still make a lot of this photography stuff up as I go along, but I try to capture the moments that make performances, no matter how big or small, unique and special – eyes, hands, faces, fists, smiles, scowls, exhaustion, celebration, chaos.

Mike McColgan, Street Dogs

What follows below are some of my favorite moments of the year that I was lucky enough to capture in a way that I’m proud of. If you were at some of these events, hopefully this helps you relive some special moments; if you weren’t able to get out to a show, hopefully we helped bring the experience to you. I’ve got some cool stuff cooked up for 2018; thanks for coming along for the ride!

 



DS Photo Gallery: Night Three of Street Dogs Wreck The Halls 2017 with Michael Kane and the Morning Afters and A Wilhelm Scream

Last weekend marked the twelfth installment of Boston street punk veterans Street Dogs‘ annual Wreck The Halls festivities. The shows have taken a variety of shapes and sizes over the years, but remain one of the annual occasions where all of the old punks and skins and hardcore kids get together for a few debaucherous nights to celebrate the holidays and the music and the scene (oh, and to raise money and toys for a few good causes). This year, Wreck The Halls took place in a new spot, Sinclair in Cambridge, and spanned three overwhelmingly successful nights. Street Dogs guitarist Lenny Lashley’s other main project, The New Darkbuster, opened the first night (Thursday) alongside Boston hardcore act Taxi Driver, though sadly, we weren’t in the house for that night. We were, however, in the house when The Abductors and The Pinkerton Thugs came with the throwback ’77-inspired working class punk rock on night number two; check out our review and pictures here. And of course, we were back at it Saturday night when the lineup had a bit of a different feel and just might have been the best of the bunch.

Where the first two nights of the three-night affair focused on a more throwback street punk vibe, night three showed a little bit more of the range of local acts that have been influenced by – and continue to influence – the headliners. As such, Worcester, Massachusetts’ Michael Kane and the Morning Afters got things rolling on the third and final night of hall-wrecking. It’s probably easiest to classify the four-piece as a garage rock band, as the catchiest song in their set – “Old Men Die In New Suits” – owes just as much to the Replacements as it does to mid-70s Bruce Springsteen. Perhaps not coincidentally, both of those name-dropped bands had covers featured prominently in the Morning Afters’ half-hour set, including a set closing rendition of “Born To Run,” a track considered hallowed ground for most in the scene but which the band handled with expert care.

Keeping things in-state, A Wilhelm Scream from New Bedford, Massachusetts, were next out of the chute and my lord did they come to play. If you follow our instagram feed, I think I commented that of all of the bands I shot over thirty-three shows this year for Dying Scene, A Wilhelm Scream were simultaneously the tightest and the heaviest of the bunch, evoking all of the best parts of vintage Strung Out. As a matter of fact, the band play so fast and tight that they blazed through their pre-written setlist in record time, pulling a few older rabbits out of their collective hats. In what was a pretty cool moment for someone that’s an amateur photographer but more importantly a dad, a couple of the AWS guys had their grade-school age kids on stage for the occasion, including frontman Nuno Pereira’s five-year-old son, who was seeing daddy play for the first time ever. Pretty cool moment that further demonstrates what a family the scene really is.

All of this set the stage, of course, for Street Dogs, playing their final area performance of the year. After taking the  stage to the sounds of the timely, poignant Springsteen-led “This Land Is Your Land” singalong, the band came shot out of the gate on all cylinders once again, this time kicking things off with “Rattle and Roll” from their 2010 self-titled release. The followed in rapid succession with the anthemic “Up The Union,” “Punk Rock And Roll” and, of course, “Savin Hill” before coming up for air. Once again, the local working class heroes did a stellar job of mixing a few deeper cuts like the self-titled album digital bonus track “Ballad Of Detroit” into a lengthy setlist chock full of crowd-surf-inducing favorites like “Not Without A Purpose,” “Back To The World,” and “Tobe’s Got A Drinking Problem.” McColgan led the band in a particularly poignant rendition of “Final Transmission” during the set’s midway point. It’s tough to not be moved by even just reading the lyrics of a song like “Final Transmission,” but McColgan seemed to be particularly dialed in on this night, channeling something bigger than any of us.

And, because it’s a hometown Street Dogs show, there were of course some special guests in attendance. The multi-talented Hugh Morrison, who played with Street Dogs’ Mike McColgan, Johnny Rioux and Pete Sosa on the stellar FM359 album a couple years, jumped in on squeeze box for a few numbers. The band’s tour manager, Ryan Packer, who himself is a member of hardcore bands like Slapshot and American War Machine, pitched in on acoustic guitar on “Tobe’s Got A Drinking Problem.” They were also joined on co-lead vocals on “Elizabeth” by Heather Waters, the same voice who sang the original on 2008’s State Of Grace. The one-two punch of the Joe Strummer-inspired “General’s Boombox” directly into a pitch-perfect rendition of the Clash classic “Complete Control” was another particular highlight. No matter what their make-up, the Street Dogs roots have always been planted firmly into the soil that Strummer and The Clash tilled for many years, and they paid true, moving homage to the man on what was just shy of the fifteen year mark of his death. And, of course, there was the stage invasion during “Boston (Borstal) Breakout” that brought the show, and the three-day weekend, to a fitting close. To paraphrase a line from the Street Dogs classic (and personal favorite) “In Defense Of Dorchester,” no matter how far the bands branches might stretch, this town and this scene and the family that they’ve amassed here will always be firmly ingrained in their core.

Check out our full photo gallery from night number three below! Night two words and pictures are still up here.



DS Photo Gallery: Night Two of Street Dogs Wreck The Halls 2017 (w/Pinkerton Thugs and The Abductors)

Last weekend marked the twelfth installment of Boston street punk veterans Street Dogs‘ annual Wreck The Halls festivities. The shows have taken a variety of shapes and sizes over the years, but remain one of the annual occasions where all of the old punks and skins and hardcore kids get together for a few debaucherous nights to celebrate the holidays and the music and the scene (oh, and to raise money and toys for a few good causes). This year, Wreck The Halls took place in a new spot, Sinclair in Cambridge, and spanned three overwhelmingly successful nights. Street Dogs guitarist Lenny Lashley’s other main project, The New Darkbuster, opened the first night (Thursday) alongside Boston hardcore act Taxi Driver, though sadly, we weren’t in the house for that night. We were, however, in the house for nights two and three and somehow lived to tell the tale!

The Abductors got things off to a flying start on night number two (Friday). The Connecticut based outfit have spent most of their eight-year history as a four piece, but they’ve recently added none other than Ritchie Bruiser of the seminal New Hampshire hardcore band The Bruisers on second guitar, beefing up their already beefy, high-powered Oi!-infused street punk sound.

Continuing the throwback New England-centered punk rock theme of the weekend, next up to bat were none other than The Pinkerton Thugs. The four-piece have been on-again and more typically off-again over the years, but have been newly reformed around Paul Russo and recently released their final LP, 2000’s End Of An Era, on vinyl for the first time. The Pinkerton Thugs came of age in the mid-to-late 1990s, the last real formative golden era for the Boston area punk music scene, and yet somehow, according to the spreadsheet I keep from all my show-going years, I don’t think I’d ever seen them before (even though a kid I went to high school with played drums for the Thugs for a while). It took 21 years, but another one off the old time bucket list!

Which brings us to Street Dogs. After an interlude that consisted of a live rendition Bruce Springsteen covering timeless Woody Guthrie classic “This Land Is Your Land” proudly leading the show-goers in a singalong, the band came flying out of the gate with “Savin Hill,” the ode to frontman Mike McColgan’s formative stomping grounds. The Street Dogs lineup has varied a little over the years, but I’ll be damned if the roster we’ve been graced with the last four or five years (McColgan and longtime bassist Johnny Rioux backed by Pete Sosa on drums and Lenny Lashley and Matt Pruitt on guitar) isn’t the tightest and most powerful edition to date. The band obviously earned their stripes as a true blue collar, working-class punk rock band and have the pedigree to back it up, but they are also underrated as a straight-up rock-and-roll band. Sure McColgan spends a fair amount of the set at the barricade, surrounded by fans singing in unison and not only invites but takes part in crowd surfing and making old-fashioned circle pits, but there are also equal shades of Roger Daltrey and Keith Richards and Brad Delp in the way he struts and jives and belts out primal-level screams when necessary.

The setlist on this particular night was probably the deepest I’ve seen them play in this lineup, ranging from a fairly obscure early demo (“Locked and Loaded” which, I must point out, was predicted by my good friend Nick Gold in a pre-show chat) to a brand-new song, “Stand For Something.” The latter is slated to appear on the band’s forthcoming full-length, which is slated for release probably early in the springtime via Century Media, and is destined to be an instant classic, as evidenced by the volume of the people that had heard the song the previous night and were chanting the song’s singalong chorus in unison already. CJ Ramone hopped on stage to assume lead vocal duties for a rousing rendition of the Ramones’ classic “53rd & 3rd,” during the encore, and half the crowd (including the same luchador-masked crowd surfer I mentioned in the Bouncing Souls show review a couple weeks ago) hopped on stage for the set-closing “Borstal Breakout,” originally penned by Sham 69 and adapted for the Boston scene by the Street Dogs themselves years ago.

Head below to see our photo gallery, and stay tuned for our shots from the Wreck The Halls finale, featuring Michael Kane and the Morning Afters and A Wilhelm Scream! Oh…and we’ll also have more to say about that coming Street Dogs full-length coming down the ‘pike very soon!



The 27 Greatest Pop Punk Records According to Ben Weasel

This morning Screeching Weasel released two holiday songs titled “Christmas Eve” and “New Years Eve”, they also announced that they will be kicking off 2018 with two intimate shows on Friday, February 16th and Saturday February 17th at Reggies in Chicago (tickets on sale December 15th at 10am CST). Frontman, Ben Weasel has also taken the time to address the recent Rolling Stone “Pop Punk” list with his own list and we got our our hands on it! Check it out (along with a playlist of his picks) below!



DS Photo Gallery: Bouncing Souls with TSOL and Rebuilder, Cambridge, MA (12/7/17)

The Bouncing Souls kicked off a quick, long weekend run of shows in the northeast by playing a sold-out show at the Sinclair in Cambridge’s Harvard Square. It was the Jersey punk rock veterans’ third time to the Bay State this year, but their first time headlining here in a couple years (editor’s note: the Souls supported Frank Turner at a one-off show back in February and the Rancid/Dropkick Murphys “From Boston To Berkeley” tour in August), bringing their devoutly loyal fanbase out in full force.

The quartet came right out of the gate firing on all cylinders, ripping straight into the one-two punch of crowd favorites “Hopeless Romantic” and “The Gold Song.” If you follow our Instagram feed, you may recall that I posted mid-set that it was the third time I’ve seen the Souls this year — I missed the Rancid/DKM show but I was at the Frank Turner gig and I finally made the trek to Jersey for Stoked For The Summer — and it was hands-down the best sounding show of all. Save for a couple technical difficulties primarily during “Satellite,” — see the confused look on frontman Greg Attonito’s face in the picture above — that remained the case throughout. The other two shows were enjoyable, for sure, but there’s something about how an uptempo, melodic four-piece punk band’s sound translates better in the confines of a 500-ish capacity club than in a hockey arena or an outdoor beachfront stage.

It’s tough whittle down a couple of highlights from a set that didn’t really have an low points. Bassist Bryan Kienlen and new-ish drummer George Rebelo play just about as tight and heavy as anybody in the business while guitarist Pete Steinkopf’s trademark Les-Paul-through-Marshall-stack sound somehow plays much bigger than one might expect a single-guitar attack to resonate. Attonito has always been the type of frontman that leaves the mic stand behind and relentlessly paces the bulk of the stage, and the fact that he’s a new parent — his first son was born just five weeks ago — didn’t seem to leave him any worse for the wear. There was a near non-stop parade of crowd surfers throughout the Souls’ hour-plus set (including at least a dozen trips over the barricade by one particular shirtless, luchador-masked patron), which was not a foregone conclusion at the beginning of the evening given that particularly greyish-haired nature of many of the fans — myself included first and foremost — of the band who are rounding the corner on their thirty year anniversary soon. Particular high points included the opening one-two punch, “These Are Quotes From Our Favorite ’80s Movies,” Attonito trying to dig for Boston-area locations in a site-specific version of “East Coast Fuck You,” a spot-on and unexpectedly surprising cover Avail’s “Simple Song,”the goosebump-inducing singalong that “Gone” has become, and a guest appearance on vocals from Street Dogs frontman Mike McColgan on the classic “True Believers.”

California punk veterans TSOL were provided direct support on each of the three dates on this particular jaunt of shows. Much like how I said above that the Bouncing Souls sound translates better in a venue like Sinclair than it does in a larger hockey arena, the squelching-guitar led early 80s hardcore sound that TSOL helped pioneer probably translates better in a smaller club setting without a barricade between the stage and the fans, much like it did when they played here last year at the Middle East. Frontman Jack Grisham has always had one of the more outspoken, dark humored personalities in the scene – look no further than perhaps the band’s biggest hit, the ode to necrophilia that is “Code Blue” – though I will admit that some of his trademark off-color banter sounds not only incredibly dated but, frankly, uncomfortable in the current climate, not unlike rewatching classic stand-up bits by Andrew Dice Clay might. The core of the band still sounded tight, as you’d imagine given that Ron Emoy and Mike Roche have been Grisham’s wingmen for the better part of the nearly four full decades of their existence (editor’s note: total ignorance on my part, but I’m not sure who’s playing drums now that Chip Hanna isn’t involved). The bands fans — and there were more than a few in attendance — totally still dig the classic sound and seemed to warm up as the set went on.

Local favorites Rebuilder kicked off the show in fine fashion. Plans for their first-ever European tour might have gone belly up last spring, but it’s still been a pretty great year for the five-piece; they released a stellar EP, Songs From The Massachusetts Turnpike, on Panic State Records a couple months ago, toured the west coast for the first time, played a bunch of shows back this way with Dead Bars, did a session for Mike Felumlee’s “Live From The Rock Room,” and continued to grow their fanbase by sharing the stage with acts like Dropkick Murphys, Frank Turner, Bombpops, and Red City Radio. The Souls show proved to be a pretty great cap on the year, and in their typical good-natured, tongue-in-cheek fashion, they made sure to include “Le Grand Fromage,” their middle-finger to the Souls’ home state of New Jersey, right smack in the middle of their set.

Head below for the full photo gallery from the evening!



DS Exclusive: Sid Broderius and The Emergency Exit premiere video for “The Last Time”

Sid Broderius and the Emergency Exit is an outfit from Spokane, but also from Texas, made up of a frontman who can’t seem to stay in one place, backed by whatever desperadoes happen to be around. Today, they have released a new video to support their latest single “The Last Time.”

For those not familiar with the group, the name ‘The Emergency Exit’ came from the fact that frontman Sid started the band knowing he’d have to leave the Northwest. In his new homestead, he recruited local players from the Rio Grande Valley and recorded the single we bring you today. In his own words, “it’s about friends beating addiction.”

The song itself is filled with giant walls of crystalline woahs, Fat Wreck-style attitude, and an occasional foray into ska. It’s an amalgam of 90s punk rock with the emotional rawness of acts like The Flatliners. Check out the video below, and if you like what you hear, pick it up on their bandcamp.



DS Interview: Jason Black on Hot Water Music’s new album, playing without Chris Wollard and more

Even by the standards of a band that has defined its near quarter-century career by charting its own course and never seeming to duplicate itself, it’s safe to mark Hot Water Music‘s 2017 as one of the band’s most atypical calendar years yet. The pioneering post-hardcore outfit wrote, recorded and released Light It Up, their eighth studio album, back on September 15th. The album is stellar, prompting even old school fans to note that it’s the band’s most inspired and cohesive project in recent memory. They also played a high-profile gig at Riot Fest in Chicago, a place that has shown enough love to the band over the years that its been something of an adopted second home (their live 2012 triple LP was recorded in the Windy City).

That said, the road has been a little bumpier of late. The iconic quartet’s lineup of Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard on vocals and guitars, Jason Black on bass and George Rebelo on drums has remained constant — albeit interrupted by the occasional hiatus — since their beginning. Recently, however, they’ve had to play down a man; beginning at Fest last month in their hometown of Gainesville, Wollard has had to take a step back from performing live in order to take care of some self-reported anxiety and stress-related issues. Given the amount of moving parts (day jobs and spouses and babies and pets and so on) that need to line up for Hot Water Music to play live these days, the other three members — with Wollard’s blessing and encouragement — chose to fulfill their long-scheduled tour obligations, including a recent three-day run through Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia, and an upcoming date in Brazil.

And they are doing it with a little help from a few friends; The Flatliners’ Chris Cresswell filled in for Wollard at Fest on fairly short notice and played the three Northeast US shows, while Less Than Jake’s Chris DeMakes, a fellow Gainesvillian and longtime friend of the band, will cover the Brazil show (with any luck, Wollard will be back in fighting shape by the time the band’s January dates in California come around). Not only was Dying Scene on hand to shoot the band’s recent Boston date, but we were lucky enough to sit down with Jason Black back stage just moments before the show got under way. We talked about the lead up to recording Light It Up, looked back at some of the changes over the band’s two-plus decades in the business, and about adding the decade-and-a-half younger Cresswell to the mix; we also got cut off near the end by Ragan and Cresswell joining the conversation, the latter accompanied by a Les Paul and seeking clarification as to his part on the new Wollard-fronted Hot Water Music track “Vultures.” Head below to read our full interview!

Light It Up was released September 15th via Rise Records. Get yours here if you haven’t already.

 



DS Exclusive: Safeguard (UK pop punk) premiere new video, “Harbour”

Dying Scene are stoked to help UK-based pop punks Safeguard debut a brand new video on this fine Hump Day morning!

If you’re not familiar with Safeguard, here’s a quick primer. The band are an upstart five-piece pop-punk outfit hailing from Yorkshire, England, who also gave us bands like Kaiser Chiefs and Arctic Monkeys and Gang of Four and Def Leppard. Oh, and also pudding. They play a brand of pop-punk that evokes the older days of, say New Found Glory or, more recently, Knuckle Puck or Neck Deep.

For this video, frontman Declan Gough and guitarists Martyn Marsh and Denholm Horn sat on a couch a played a stripped down version of their track “Harbour.” Check out the video below!

“Harbour” appears on the band’s upcoming EP, “I’m A Stranger To Myself,” which is due out December 1st on Wilhelm Records. Check out pre-order options here!



DS Photo Gallery: OC45 Boston Homecoming Show, with Diablogato and On The Cinder

One of these days, one of the Boston-area bands that’s spent the last handful of years plying their wares in local divey establishments like O’Brien’s and the Midway Cafe and Koto is going to break through to the next level and usher in a new golden era of Boston punk rock. Maybe it’ll be Rebuilder, or perhaps Choke Up, or even Save Ends or The Hotelier. But if it’s going to be the hardest-working band in the scene to break through, that title would have to go to none other than OC45. In addition to a handful of late summer East Coast dates with Teenage Bottlerocket, the foursome spent the better part of two months on the road in the States earlier this year and headed across the pond for the first time, playing two weeks worth of shows. Upon their return, it was right back on the Stateside roads where they closed another four weeks on tour with a homecoming show at Boston’s Great Scott on Sunday night.

In some ways, OC45 are a throwback to an era in Boston history that’s fallen by the wayside. There was a time when the city was not only renowned for being a tough, gritty place to live and work, but wore that reputation like a badge of honor and spawned a tough, gritty, hard-working music scene as a result. But the Boston of the last fifteen years or so is a different, increasingly safe and gentrified and tech-savvy place to be, and I can’t quite put my finger on what the music scene even is nowadays (check out the lineups of the last few years of the Bosotn Calling Music Festival and you’ll note a lack of anything resembling “grit”). OC45 are loud, brash, high-energy, snotty, dirty and booze-infused, and seem to genuinely take pride in their community and on working their asses off. Last Sunday night was no exception, as the fellas were welcomed home to a loud, vocal crowd that was worked into a circle pit and a seemingly never-ending stream of stage-invaders from the opening notes.

Local band Diablogato provided direct support on the evening. Trying to affix a label to Diablogato is a bit difficult, but they were a refreshing change of pace wedged between two street punk bands. “Rockabilly” is probably the default label most people would affix to them, but that’s not quite right. They’re not quite psychobilly, not quite Stray Cat strutters, not quite a soul-infused rock band, and yet they’re all of those things at the same time. Regardless, they’re a bunch of scene veterans who’ve been in myriad bands over the years who combine like a sort of devilbilly Voltron and, as a result, fit in with a slew of different genres while carving out a sound that’s strictly theirs. Wait, is devilbilly a thing? It is now!

On The Cinder opened the show, as they’d been tourmates with OC45 for the last week. The Buffalo-based trio share a lot in common with their Boston-bred tour buddies stylistically and sonically, which was much appreciated by the crossover crowd, many of whom seemed almost as familiar with the out-of-towners as they were with the home team.

Head below for our full photo gallery of the evening. Oh, and serious props to whoever booked a three-band bill on a Sunday night. Maybe I’m showing my age here, but five or six bands on a bill is tedious and some of us have to work in the morning, damnit. Nice work, Great Scott!



DS Photo Galley: Swingin’ Utters with Western Settings, Darius Koski and Duck & Cover (Boston, MA)

For the first time in what I think was about five years, Swingin’ Utters played a headline show in Boston this past Sunday evening (their last two trips through this area were on a tour with Lagwagon three years ago and as part of the massive Fat Wreck 25th Anniversary tour the following summer). Though the lineup has changed AND it was an unseasonably cold mid-November night AND the Patriots were throttling the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football at the time, the old school punks came out in droves for the occasion and met the band with what seemed like a throwback vibe.

It was announced just prior to this tour that the Utters are putting out a sort of double-album greatest hits compilation, Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun, on December 8th through Fat Wreck Chords, and the setlist on this particular night seemed to be culled from some of the earlier half of the band’s career. Sure “The Librarians Are Hiding Something” and “Alice” from their most recent couple of post-hiatus albums made welcome appearances, but this seemed like a night for the old guard. Luke Ray has served as a steady breath of fresh air behind the drum kit for the last couple years, and he’s now got his Sciatic Nerve bandmate Tony Teixeira (Nothington/Western Addiction/Cobra Skulls) as his rhythm section counterpart, having taken over for Miles Peck earlier this year. Jack Dalrymple also sat this particular run out, meaning longtime Utters partners Johnny Bonnel and Darius Koski and the new recruits are playing aggressive and lean as a four-piece. In spite of the moving parts throughout the years, the Bonnel and Koski and company remain one of the most esteemed bands in the scene and, truthfully, songs like “No Eager Men” and “Five Lessons Learned” and “Pills And Smoke” and, of course, “”Windspitting Punk” sound just as earnest as ever.

Western Settings are providing direct support on this run. The band have been on a steady climb over the last few years, and with good reason. Their 2015 album, Yes It Is, released digitally here at Dying Scene, remains high on my personal favorites list, and the band has only gotten better in the two years since. Boston can be a bit of a finicky place for out-of-town bands to play, but the four-piece San Diego-based Jawbreaker-meets-Replacements outfit did an admirable job on their first trip through the Bay State. If a band can obviously play with passion and intensity and works up a sweat on their own, dimes to dollars says they’ll win over a crowd that is obviously interested in the headliners, and that seemed the case on this night, as they were increasingly well-received as their 45-minute set moved forward.

Doing double duty on this tour, Swingin’ Utters guitarist and principal songwriter Darius Koski is also serving as support. It’s the first time he’s really hit the road as a solo artist, especially outside California, and he enlisted the help of fellow Utters Luke Ray on drums and Tony Teixeira on bass to fill out some of the instrumentation that appears on his two solo albums, 2015’s Sisu and this month’s stellar What Was Once Is By And Gone (both released on Fat Wreck) and that would have been missed were he playing strictly solo and acoustic. A personal highlight was the short set’s closer, “Another Man,” which appears as the last song on the newest album in stripped down acoustic format, but was given a revved up, electric reworking for this tour.

Boston’s own Duck & Cover were well-deserved local openers for this particular show. There’s been a bit of a garage rock undercurrent in the local scene for the last handful of years that bands like Duck & Cover and The Warning Shots and Michael Kane and the Morning Afters and even Continental and others have been a part of, and that’s been a welcome addition to a seen that has obviously had its fair share of ska-punk and “working class” Celtic punk bands over the last two decades. Made up of members that might look familiar from bands like The Black Cheers and the Acrobrats and Bang Camaro, bands like D&C show that mixing a little Guns & Roses with your Clash and Ramones records is not bad thing.

Head below for our full photo gallery from the evening!



Dying Scene Radio Special Edition- Punk In Drublic Festival – Band Spotlight: Hilltop Rats and John Feldmann of Goldfinger

In this special edition of Dying Scene Radio, we sent the boys down to Orange County for the SoCal leg of Fat Mike’s Punk in Drublic Festival. Luckily, they left the free beer lines long enough to meet up with Washington punks, Hilltop Rats to talk about what it’s like to be shorn by Guttermouth and the perils of working in a porno distribution warehouse, among other things. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest (although we doubt it wasn’t), Bob also managed to snag a quick interview with the always dapper Goldfinger front man, Mr. John Feldmann as he made his way to the stage! All of that and much more below, in this special episode of the official podcast of Dying Scene!