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July’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

RedEyed Jedi

Oh…Hello there!!! We weren’t expecting anyone this month! We figured everyone was still out, trying to trap Tamagotchis (ed: pretty sure that’s not right). Well, for those lucky few who aren’t roaming around public areas throwing balls at imaginary, yellow squirrels (sounds like our college days!) you are in for a real treat! Welcome to July’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp! Our punk rock pillagers have once again looted the site’s musical treasure troves and returned with only the best up and coming punk acts from around the globe that are sure to put some pika in your chu! This month, we have seven spectacular bands, spanning a multitude of genres for your audial arousal. You gotta catch ‘em all below!



Double Feature (pop-punk) premiere music video for “A Fistful Of Quarters”

Chicago’s tongue-in-cheek pop-punk act Double Feature formed in 2014 and mirror the catchy, melodic styles of late 90’s/early 00’s era punk. In 2015 they released their self-titled debut chock full of pop-punk anthems dealing with the most important issues our society faces today; you know, arcades, girls and aliens.

Today we’re pleased to bring you the premiere of a music video for their song “A Fistful Of Quarters”, which is a great nostalgic tune for anybody who is old enough to have spent at least one afternoon in an arcade in the 90′s. Here’s what band member Dominick Del had to say about it:

I wrote “A Fistful of Quarters” because I really dig the old style video games. All the new games on Xbox and Playstation have too many buttons and are so different. We prefer the old joy stick and classic 8 bit games. They bring us back to our childhood and more innocent times of getting on your bike, leaving your house to go meet up with friends at the arcade instead of sitting in your basement by yourself and being anti social. This song is about fun with friends and thats what we tried to get across in the video by having a bunch of our friends involved in making the video.”

Check out the official music video for “A Fistful Of Quarters” below.

If you were wondering, “A Fistful of Quarters” is from Double Feature’s first LP. The band is currently working on a 7″ EP split with EZ Kebage coming out this fall 2016.



Mike Frazier (folk-punk) releases music video for “Parrot King”

Virginia folk-punk-americana-etc artist Mike Frazier has released a music video for his song “Parrot King”, a song that is his observation of the current state of American politics and the 2016 race for the white house. In addition, Mike has decided to run for POTUS himself. Here’s his official notice:

“Hello, my name is Mike Frazier, and I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States of America.

The President is the highest ranking official in the United States. I don’t think I need to tell anyone that our nation is at a crisis point. The decisions we make now will impact this nation, and the world it inhabits for the centuries that follow. You can feel it in the air of the Rockies, you can hear it in the music on the airwaves, you can smell it in the fields of Virginia, and you can see it in the eyes of the generations rising to prominence: America will change. It is up to all of us to make it for the better. As the highest ranking official in these United States, I will enact lasting change for our children, their children, and the generations that will follow.

I have seen these United States for what they are. I have spoken to individuals from every region. I have heard their thoughts, their concerns, and their plans. I will echo them through the halls of this nation’s capital.

With their voices ringing in my ears, and their images burned into my mind, I begin this campaign. For them, for their loved ones, and for the folks that will follow them.

If you put one name on your ticket this November, make it Frazier.”

Will do, Mike! Check out the video for “Parrot King” below.

Mike Frazier last released the EP Virginia Son on August 11th, 2015 via Geneva Records.



DS Photo Gallery: Warped Tour comes to Hartford (Less Than Jake, Sum 41, The Interrupters and more)

It’s worth mentioning that if you’re reading this (hi dad!), understand that this is the second story that I wrote up that tried to capture all that is the 2016 edition of the Vans Warped Tour. It’s also worth mentioning that this version is much, much shorter than the original. You’re welcome. Seriously.

You see, if you’re of a certain age bracket (like, I don’t know, mid-30s) the continued existence of the traveling punk rock summer camp that is the Vans Warped Tour has obviously been a hot button topic in certain corners (read as: message boards and comment sections) of the punk community at large. We all can reminisce about years gone by, or compare which pre-2000 lineup was best, or patronizingly congratulate ourselves for even recognizing the names of any of the bands on the roster in the last handful of years.

The 2016 lineup is, as you’re probably aware, the best in recent memory, thanks in no small part to the fact that it draws from a handful of the bands that made it all that some of us remember being “back in the day.” And so I initially had a whole article (I hate, HATE, to use the word “thinkpiece”) written extolling the virtues of Kevin Lyman and company for helping the pendulum swing back toward something resembling Warped Tour normalcy. But then I was reminded of a quote from a wise old man that I always picture to be George Carlin but apparently, according to the internet, was actually “Author Unknown” and thus may not have actually been wise or old or male at all, “if something goes without saying, let it.” As such, I deleted the first story, and this is what you get as a result.

So anyway, the Vans Warped Tour rolled into Hartford on a thankfully warm but not blisteringly hot Sunday in July and…you know what…you really don’t care about all that stuff, do you? It’s the Warped Tour; you know this year’s lineup, you know how the individual set times get shuffled on a daily basis, you know there’s going to be a handful of bands you want to see, and handful of bands you want to avoid, and a whole bunch of people you’ve never heard of before and will most likely never hear again. For yours truly, the “who I have to see” list was dictated by a mix of nostalgia and recent fandom. From column A? New Found Glory, Less Than Jake and Sum 41. Column B, meanwhile, was represented by The Interrupters, Teenage Bottlerocket, and Masked Intruder. I could have (and, as it turns actually have) lived without seeing anybody else (sorry Motionless In White…), and as fate would have it, the schedule broke perfectly. NFG and LTJ played the same stage an hour apart. TBR and The Interrupters played neighboring stages back-to-back. Sum 41 played a set that wasn’t really in conflict with anybody, and Masked Intruder closed out one of the amphitheater stages. Perfect timing, really.

 

Say what you will, and there is certainly plenty you could say, about the Warped Tour (and, more specifically, about how you wish last year’s Lyman-produced It’s Not Dead Fest would become a nationally touring entity), but the crowd response at the Hartford stop and, we’re led to believe at a lot of other stops, indicates that it’s not just a select few old guys that miss the days of the skate punk and ska-core Warped lineups of yesteryear, and that there’s room for even more of the old guard at the table in the years to come.

Now if you’ll excuse us, get off our lawn. And check out our photo gallery of the six bands mentioned above down below.



DS Show Review: 11th Annual Amnesia Rockfest Review (NOFX, D.R.I., The Adicts and more)

If you are unfamiliar with Amnesia Rockfest now is the time to plan for next year’s festivities.

Alex Martel was only 17 years old when he had organized the 1st edition of Rockfest back in 2005 and since then his brain-child had grown into the largest music festival in Canada and one of the biggest in North America. This year marked the 11th annual Rockfest and there are no plans of stopping now.

Rockfest focuses on punk-rock as well as hardcore and metal acts, there is usually a rap group in the mix as well. In years past Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg performed, this year it was Ice Cube that had the crowd screaming “F**k the Police” but I’ve got to say the police in Montebello seemed pretty chill to me.

This small town has a population of under 1,000 residents but for one weekend out of the year the streets are flooded with tens of thousands of punk-rockers and metal-heads alike. I had arrived just about the time that the music was beginning but first things first, had to set up camp. I actually stayed at a host family’s house and camped in their yard with nearly 50 other party-goers. Now that camp was set up, I had to venture to the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello to get my press credentials.

Media check in was a couple of miles or so away from the concert (or I guess in Canada such and such kilometers away). To get to the fest I had to ride a shuttle boat and everyone on the boat was looking at their watches because we all wanted to see Against Me! As we hit the dock which was directly behind the main stage I could hear the lyrics to “Thrash Unreal”, “If she wants to dance and drink all night…” I may have missed the first half of Laura Jane Grace and her band but at least I got to see them perform and the one thing that was clearly visible from where I was standing was her smile. They appeared to be having a great time and it projected through the music and unto the crowd. Next time I will try my damnedest to be punctual but the half set I did see was amazing and fun.

NOFX as you may know already is one of my favorite groups of all time and this year they were to play Punk In Drublic from beginning to end. Yeah, well did you really expect the boys not to stray from this plan? El Hefe claimed “I didn’t get the memo” and the show started with “72 Hookers” which they announced as the first track from Punk In Drublic. Hey it’s a good way to weed out the posers from the die-hards. When the band attempted to play Scavenger Type they admitted they hadn’t rehearsed it, so instead they played these crowd favorites: Murder The Gov’t, Six Years on Dope, Fuck The Kids, Seeing Double At Triple Rock, Sticking In My Eye and Franco Un-American. So did they play Punk In Drublic in its entirety? You decide, either way they put on a fun show as always and everyone enjoyed themselves even though the band got sidetracked; I mean it’s NOFX we’re talking about here.

I’ll admit I haven’t really listened to Sum 41 that much over the years but seeing them live in Canada has changed my mind a bit. Not that I didn’t enjoy the tunes that they did with Iggy Pop because I did but it’s the pop-punk tunes that I tend to stray away from. However, I have to say they honestly killed it on the main stage and I have a new-found respect for the band. I am also really digging their new single “Fake My Own Death” which was just released with a video that takes aim at pop-culture, memes and emoji’s.

There were many acts that I regrettably had to miss because I have not perfected the act of being in two places at once yet. When it came to a point that I had to choose between Rise Against and DRI, I had to go with DRI. No offense to Rise Against but I have never seen DRI and I had to witness “Acid Rain” live. I believe I made the right choice. DRI has been around since 1982 and Kurt Brecht and Spike Cassidy are still rocking hard. They’ve been through a series of bassists and drummers over the years but I would say they sound better than ever.

Out of all of the groups that I had the chance to see English punk act The Adicts, were the highlight for me. According to one of the band’s stage managers they have been together for 41 years now. This particular gig was Monkey’s birthday and because of this the band sung happy birthday and presented a cake on stage. The set took place on one of the two Tony Sly stages and thanks to Tony Hawk’s Underground all of the kids in the crowd were singing along with “Viva La Revolution”. When the band played “Joker In The Pack”, Monkey tossed an entire pack of shiny purple backed playing cards into the crowd; I didn’t find the joker but I did pick out the 6 of diamonds.

For the last three years Tony Sly has been remembered and honored at Amnesia Rockfest. In 2014 there was a single Tony Sly stage and last year and this year there were two stages dedicated to the late musician. There also was a performance by No Use For A Name Tribute Band and Cokie The Clown ended the two days of performances with an acoustic version of “I’m Sorry, Tony” singing the lyrics “from coast to coast let’s raise our drinks and give a toast to Tony Sly”.

On the way back into the U.S. of A. my driver Russ and I were dreading the border patrol because they are usually pricks but surprisingly the officer at our window actually had a personality. “Where are you coming from?” He asked. “Amnesia Rockfest” was our response. Then what came out of his mouth just made the trip complete, he says “did you rock out with your cock out?”

“Yes, Yes we did!”



DS Photo Gallery: The So So Glos, Big Ups, Honduras and Today Junior – Great Scott, Boston, MA (6/25/16)

The dynamic Brooklyn-based four piece otherwise known as The So So Glos brought their month-long tour in support of their near-flawless new album, Kamikaze, to a close in Boston last weekend. The five-ish week tour found the band starting and ending in the northeast, circumnavigating most of the country in the process. While it may stand to reason that such a 32-date trek would leave a band drained by the closing night (particularly having played in their own back yard on the tour’s penultimate stop), what happened on the stage at Great Scott on the evening in question was nothing short of an exercise in unity and raw energy.

The Glos kicked off their headline set with the Kamikaze’s first two tracks, the extraordinarily infectious “Dancing Industry” and the scattered, rhythmic “A.D.D. Life,” in that order, setting a rather lofty bar for themselves in the process, particularly as yours truly finds those to be two of the strongest tracks anybody has released this year. In no way, shape, or form, however, did the band lose any steam at any real point throughout the night, and in typical “sweaty punk show” fashion, they seemed to draw heavily from the solid-but-not-sold-out crowd. While Kamikaze (like much of the Glos output) speaks in the language of cautionary tales surrounding the younger generations trending toward isolation by way of increasing reliance on glowing, four-inch screens, So So Glos shows are all about celebrating love and unity and pulling in the same direction. Frontman Alex Levine invited the crowd to form a circle at one point, but not a swirling mass of humanity that is your typical circle pit. Instead, the invitation was to form an almost Soul Train-style area where people could come dance and let lose and get weird.

The bulk of the set pulled from Kamikaze, and with good reason, as it probably best represents what sets the Glos apart from a lot of other bands. The songs are varied in style, sound and structure, each with its own different way of inspiring a crowd to sing and move in chaotic unison. Drummer Zach Staggers provides rock steady backbeat and does so with the nonchalant, quiet swagger of a hip hop drummer. That leaves plenty of room for dueling guitarists Ryan Levine and Davey Jones to take chances in both rhythm and lead duties (with Jones typically handling the lion’s share of the lead parts). In what can always be seen as a wonderful sign for a band, the just-released album’s material seemed to be well-known and well-loved by the crowd, a sign that not everyone is just there to hear “Blowout.” The evening’s closing number found the Glos inviting all members of all of the evening’s opening bands (as well as recent tourmates The Dirty Nil, who were across town opening for Flag earlier in the evening) on stage for a massive singalong. Not your typical punk rock show, yet the So So Glos aren’t your typical punk rock band.

Big Ups

Direct support on this leg of the tour came from fellow New Yorkers Big Ups. The self-proclaimed “punctual punk, nerdcore” four piece present one of the more captivating live shows going right now, with the angular, at times unpredictable and aggressive starts and stops of the music paired nicely with an equally frenetic live show that centers around frontman Brendan Finn who can best be described only as inimitable: part Ian Mackaye, part Henry Rollins, part lizard, part silverback gorilla.

Local openers Today Junior were a bit of a pleasant surprise. They were admittedly long on my “heard of but never actually heard” list, and in hindsight I’m ashamed of that fact. The three-piece (which centers around guitar/vocalist and drummer brothers Harry and Mike O’Toole) are best described as an indie rock band that does remarkable job of recreating the sort of raw, unencumbered mid-90s glory days of the genre (let’s just say they’d have sounded great on Taang! Records back in the day). They were followed by Honduras, another “heard of but never heard” band that I’m ashamed to have overlooked. The four piece have a rather compelling and unique mix of influences, a sort of atmospheric, shoe-gazey vibe run through an almost-unhinged post hardcore filter. Check them out here, by the way.

Check out our full photo gallery from the cathartic evening below.



DS Photo Gallery: Bum City Saints and Skin & Bonez celebrate record release show in Oakland with Resilience 6.17.16

Last Friday I headed across the bridge to the Oakland Metro Operahouse for a record release show featuring local punks Bum City Saints and Skin & Bonez. Resilience and Total Chaos were to follow, however due to prior constraints I had to leave after catching a few songs from the Santa Rosa punks.

Unfortunately I missed opening band The Velisha, but made it in time to see Skin & Bonez. The band is interesting to say the least, and has a pretty good following – celebrating the release of their newest album “The Free EP”. Formed in 2011, the band is currently mixing & mastering their third full length CD and once it’s out, there is plans to begin on a fourth.

Bum City Saints was the main reason as I was there, as the guys and I have become good pals over the year, and it’s been great to see them progress as musicians, as I progress as a photographer. For those who go out and purchase the new album, you’ll notice a photo taken by yours truly ;). The band kicked off their set with the debut track “Count Me In” from the new album – the crashing cymbals setting the tone for the set – relentless energy. A majority of the set featured tracks from the new album, but a lot of old favorites like “Into The Fire”, “Ride The Storm”, and more.

Unfortunately I only stuck around for a bit of Resilience’s set afterwards, and had to miss Total Chaos due to prior engagements.

Have a look at photos from the three band’s sets below and thanks to Brian, Jesper, and Travis, and Sara for watching my gear.



Spanish Love Songs premiere music video for “Concrete”, announce West Coast tour dates

Today we’re stoked to bring you the premiere of the first music video from Los Angeles based Spanish Love Songs. It’s for my personal favorite song of theirs, “Concrete” taken from their debut full-length Giant Sings The Blues. Check it out along with the band’s upcoming West Coast tour dates below.

Giant Sings The Blues was released via Wiretap Records last February. Stream it and pick up a digital copy here.



June’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

Momma Swift. Photo by Huge Sillytoe

Whoa now… can you believe we’re already nearing the end of June? 2016 is just about half over! They say time flies when you’re having fun, but they also say fruit flies like bananas. [Editor: You're fired.] Your usual Hidden Gems of Bandcamp host, Anarcho Punk, is taking the month off, but that didn’t stop us from sending someone else into its digital depths just for you. So to help you cope with the months rushing by, we’re bringing you some (hopefully) brand new acts for your earholes. [Ed: No, seriously. Get out.] You can find June 2016′s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp below.



Vote for Your Favorite Albums of 2016 (So Far)

Today, June 20, 2016, marks the first official day of summer.  Check your phones (we know you don’t own a physical calendar), if you don’t believe us.  Now that we’re on the same page, let’s talk music: lots and lots of great stuff has been released in the last six months.  Like, loads of stuff.  So much that we can’t keep up with everything!  And we want you to tell us your favorites to highlight the best of 2016 so far.

How it works is simple: tell us your five favorite punk (or punk-related sub-genre) albums released between January 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016. (Only albums released for the first time- if an album got a physical release in February 2016, but was digitally released in November 2015 it doesn’t count!).  We’ll tally up the votes and release the results in July.  After that, we can argue over which albums deserved to be placed over what really made the cut. Simple, right?

Submit your five favorite albums below.

Thanks for voting! We’ll calculate the results and publish them during the first week of July.



Save WhySound (Or, On the Importance of Small Town DIY)

Adam Stiletto (center) with Melodic Hardcore act Lifelink
All photos by Sativa Evans

One of the many joys of this gig is getting to meet awesome people from all over the world who have a passion for this Scene as much as me. Not that I’m bursting at the seams with punk pride or anything, it’s just that I grew up in a small town where people weren’t like me. So, I always embrace the chance to meet like minded individuals. One such individual sent me an unsolicited Facebook friend request a year or two ago (see, some people actually find me charming). I passively watched my daily feed fill up with his posts about incredible shows he was putting on at his venue or promoting some band that no one had ever heard of with the fervor of a six year old on Christmas morning. I didn’t even realize for months that this guy was in Logan, Utah until we started interacting a little more. ”How is there such an active scene in B.F.E, Utah?” I thought to myself. What is this kid? The Johnny Appleseed of punk, spreading seeds of the scene throughout the Cache Valley, nurturing them with all his might in hopes that they will one day bear fruit? Well, the short answer, surprisingly is yes! This Johnny AppleScene (no?) has been proving for years, that the DIY ethos that makes our community so great can get shit done against heavy odds and under unlikely circumstances. Now, it’s time for our community to show that the same self sufficient, “circle the wagons” attitude can keep this small but thriving scene in Northern Utah alive. If you are a punk at heart, you will really want to give this one a read. Check out more on this story and find out how you can help below!



Hot Mass (UK, punk) stream debut record ahead of its official release date

Relative newcomers to the UK punk scene Hot Mass have given fans the opportunity to stream their debut album Nervous Tensions just before its official release date on the 7th June 2016. The record features ten heart-felt anthemic punk rock stomp-a-longs that will excite fans of Husker Du and classic Social Distortion and is released through All In Vinyl, Brassneck and Waterslide records.

You can check out the exclusive to Dying Scene stream below but support your scene and buy a copy on the 7th if you enjoy it.



DS Exclusive: Stay Wild premier video for “Victim/Champion” for upcoming EP “livelearnlove”

As you should already be aware of by now, Southern California-based hardcore punks Stay Wild are three weeks away from releasing a brand new EP, livelearnlove, through Panic State Records (street date: June 24th).

Today, we’re stoked to premier the a brand new video from that very album. It’s for a track called “Victim/Champion,” and you can check the video out below.

Here’s what the band has to say about the song:

“It’s strange how often I personally think of this song. Not in a conceited manner, but as reassurement for myself. It reminds me that I have control over my life, helps me stay motivated and keeps me from getting hung up on my mistakes and uncertainty.  Everyone experiences their own hardships in life. Failure, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, stress and so on. Sometimes it’s hard to live without understanding who you are, why you’re here, why you do what you do and what you will go on to do.
Victim/Champion is about positivity and hope, enduring those tribulations and adapting to what you’re left with. If an experience completely shatters you, try to build a better you with the pieces and let it remind you that can always overcome adversity. It’s not always easy, but what options do you have?”

 
The livelearnlove EP is the follow up to Stay Wild’s last EP, Pacemaker. If you like what you hear, stay tuned for livelearnlove pre-order details as they become available, and check out the band’s upcoming tour dates below the video.



Send Request (easycore) premiere music video for “Anymore”

Nanticoke, PA easycore/pop-punk quartet Send Request has released the official music video for their new single “Anymore” right here on Dying Scene. The band shot the video in their friend’s house where they plug-in and unleash the infectious track confronting a frustrating situation with an optimistic attitude.

“The majority of the song’s meaning is about how I started to feel distant from the rest of the band,” says vocalist Andrew Blank. “Everyone started working full-time and we were barely even seeing each other. I knew everyone felt passionate about the band itself, but no one was able to meet up and at the time the complacency frustrated me.”

“Anymore” follows up the band’s 2015 EP Make Your Move, a release that Weekender called “a veritable toxicity of benevolent bubblegum that will literally turn your bad day on its ear; the stuff’s that enjoyable.” Fun fact: The record featured a cover of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag”.

Check out the video for “Anymore” below. If you dig the tune, you can purchase it on iTunes here.



Surprise! Crash Romeo (pop punk) to play special 10 year anniversary show, working on new album

It has been many years since we’ve heard anything from Crash Romeo, but that looks like it is about to change as the band is eyeing a new studio album to be recorded later in 2016. Along with the new record, the band is announcing a special 10 year anniversary show, where they will play their debut album “Minutes to Miles” in its entirety.

As far as those of you pop punk fans, you won’t want to miss this reunion! The show will be August 27th 2016 at the Crossrooads in Garwood New Jersey.. $10.00 advance tickets (can be purchased through ticketfly.com), $12.00 at the door.