Search Results for "DS Exclusive"

DS Exclusive: Boston’s Choke Up debut new track, “Roadside Graves,” from upcoming full-length, “Stormy Blue”

It’s been far too long since we heard new music from Boston four-piece punk outfit Choke Up, but your pals here at Dying Scene are stoked to help change that. The band have got a brand new album, Stormy Blue, due out at the end of next week (September 15th) on Say-10 Records.

To mark the occasion, we’ve teamed up to debut the new track, “Roadside Graves.” Here’s what Choke Up’s Sam Johnson has to say about the track:

“Roadside Graves starts side B of Stormy Blue. I think for all the distance we tried to put between this record and everything that came before, Roadside acts as a pretty good bridge, connecting our fast and loose punk rock past to a more pop forward present. Lyrically it’s a powder keg moment on the album; when everything erupts and you’re left looking the damage you’ve done. Stormy Blue really hinges on this track and it’s quickly become a new favorite of ours. Fun fact: it’s the first song we ever wrote in 3/4.”

Check out the lyrical powder keg below.

Pre-orders for Stormy Blue are available here. The album marks the band’s first since their debut full-length, 2015’s Black Coffee, Bad Habits.



DS Photo Gallery: The Bouncing Souls’ Stoked for the Summer (w/ Lucero, The Menzingers and more)

As has become an trend among long-running bands who’ve developed a particular affinity for their respective hometowns, groundbreaking New Jersey punks band The Bouncing Souls threw the latest installment in their “Stoked For The Summer” concert events last Friday at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, and it may well have been the best of the bunch.

“Stoked For The Summer” technically takes place at the Stone Pony’s Summer Stage, the asphalt lot immediately adjacent to the legendary venue that turns into a 3000-capacity outdoor beachfront venue once the weather turns warm enough to allow. If there’s an idyllic setting for an outdoor summer punk rock throwdown, it may well be this one. But I digress.

For late August, the weather could not have been better; a warm-but-not-hot, sunny-but-not-overpowering. Timeshares kicked off the festivities in the late-afternoon with the venue still filling in with revelers who were able to pull themselves away from the picturesque setting of the beachfront boardwalk just steps away. The three-piece NY band (playing as a four-piece with the addition of Max Stern on guitar) kicked things off in good form, their uptempo half-hour set going over quite well with the Souls’ hometown crowd. Of particular note: the played played a couple of songs from their still-unannounced but nevertheless upcoming full-length that, if these tracks are any indication, promises to be a banger later this year.

Boston’s Mickey Rickshaw followed and kept the energy level high. We’ve seen the eight-piece Celtic punk swashbuckling crew on some of the smaller stages in the greater Boston area in the past, so it was fun to not only see them take over a massive outdoor stage, but to win over a sold-out crowd of out-of-towners in the process. If you haven’t jumped on their latest, vastly under-rated album yet (last year’s Behind The Eight Ball), you really should stop wasting your time. Check out video of the band’s Stoked For The Summer performance of the track “Not My Problem Now” here.

The Menzingers, who have pretty much retaken their claim as the “it” band of our scene again with the release of this year’s stellar full-length After The Party, occupied the third slot on the bill, taking the stage in the very early evening.  the four-piece from just down the I-95 corridor in Philadelphia could very well have headlined and sold out the venue on their own, lending credence to the strength of the event’s lineup. Their eagerly-anticipated twelve-song set kicked off with After The Party‘s opening track, “Telling Lies,” and had the crowd well whipped-up from the opening notes, inspiring the first member of what would turn out to be an at-times seemingly endless parade of crowd surfers. The bulk of the remainder of the set was a veritable sing-along, and included such crowd favorites as “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore,” “The Obituaries,” the Stone Pony-referencing “Your Wild Years” and set closer “Lookers.”

Lucero occupied the bill’s penultimate spot, hitting the stage as the last remaining vestiges of daylight were taking their leave. As has been the custom in recent years, the band split their set in half, leading off with a handful of acoustic tracks before kicking things up a notch as the set went on. “Texas & Tennessee,” which we’ve established on these pages in previous show reviews is one of the two or three saddest songs in a catalog chock full of sad songs, may be a curious choice for a song to kick off a set for an out of town band opening for a legendary punk rock act in their hometown, but this is Lucero we’re talking about —  one of the hardest working, genre-eschewing bands in the game with a penchant for keeping things, shall we say, interesting — so of course the song turned into a singalong. The set was a little bit close-to-the-vest in some regards; fans hoping for either obscure, rarely-played older tracks or hints as to what is to come on their upcoming full-length would have to wait. Still, Ben Nichols and company were in fine form, with lead guitarist Brian Venable adopting a Willie Nelson sort of visual vibe and bassist John Stubblefield adopting a sort of stone-cold, baddest mofo in the venue sort of visual vibe (seriously, check those shoes in the picture below – and he didn’t even get “seasick”). We’ve yet to see keyboardist/accordion player Rick Steff play a set that he didn’t seemingly enjoy the hell out of, and drummer Roy Berry somehow keeping the whole impromptu set anchored and heading in the same direction. Particular highlights included “Chain Link Fence,” “Tears Don’t Matter Much,” and Nichols’ a capella lullaby rendition of the title track from his Last Pale Light In The West solo EP.

A show that included only Timeshares, Mickey Rickshaw, The Menzingers and Lucero would have been quite a party in and of itself, but this was unmistakably, without question, The Bouncing Souls’ night. Hometown shows for legendary, beloved bands have a bit of a homecoming, high school reunion type of vibe to them, and even though yours truly traveled down from Boston (sadly not with Mickey or the Rickshaws) for the occasion, there was still very much the overwhelming sense that we were among friends and family (and not just because my wife and our daughter came along for the festivities). The band took to the stage surrounded by their own literal families en masse, teasing the first few notes of “Ole” before diving headlong into crowd-favorite “Hopeless Romantic.” From their followed nearly two dozen of the band’s most beloved tracks: “The Gold Song,” “That Song,” “East Coast! Fuck You!,” the ode to their long-time manager/den mother Katie Hiltz “Kate Is Great,” “Satellite,” “Manthem,” “Anchors Aweigh,” and on and on into the evening. They also played a rousing cover of the Avail classic “Simple Song,” an ode to their Chunksaah label brother Tim Barry whose own newest album is due out on that very label next week.

When Dying Scene caught the Souls in Boston in their opening slot at Frank turner’s show at the Agganis Arena, we noted how the band sounded tight but the sound seemed to get swallowed up in the cavernous environs. Yet on this late summer night, the high energy performance from the band and the crowd alike was more than enough to fill a setting that was bound in only by the horizon line. The obvious mutual reverence that the four-piece — founding trio Greg Attonito (vocals), Bryan Kienlen (bass) and Pete Steinkopf (guitar) now being anchored by Hot Water Music’s George Rebelo who seems like he’s been with them on drums forever now — have for each other and for their fans meant the gave the entire evening a positive, celebratory vibe that had people watching and dancing along from nearby rooftop and patio bars for blocks in either directions. A happy and well-deserved celebration of one of our scene’s — and New Jersey’s — beloved bands of brothers. Check out our full photo gallery below!



DS Exclusive: Rebuilder debut video for “Anchoring” from upcoming EP, “Sounds from the Massachusetts Turnpike”

Dying Scene is beyond stoked to team up with our Boston buddies in Rebuilder to the premiere of a band-new track from their upcoming EP, Sounds from the Masschusetts Turnpike. The track is called “Anchoring,” and you check out the debut of the music video — no, not a lyric video, an actual real live old-fashioned music video — below!

Sounds from the Massachusetts Turnpike was produced by fellow Bay Stater Jay Maas, and is due out this coming Friday (September 1st) on Panic State Records. It’s the band’s first formal release since their 2015 full-length, Rock & Roll In America. Check out pre-order packages (and there are some really cool options if we do say so ourselves) right here.

To mark the release of Sounds from the Massachusetts Turnpike, Rebuilder are joining up with another of Boston’s great and wildly underrated bands, Choke Up, for a double-whammy of a record release party (Choke Up’s Stormy Blue comes out September 15th on Say-10 Records). It’s going down September 2nd at Great Scott in Allston; check out details here!



Dying Scene Radio Relaunches With Brand New Format & Hosts

Remember when we had a semi-regular podcast that featured new music from emerging acts, news and stories from around the Scene and band/artist interviews? Yea…those were simpler times… But fret not, faithful readers/listeners, we jumped on the reboot bandwagon and returned with a new and improved version of Dying Scene Radio! That’s right gang, we’ve done a complete overhaul! With two, all new hosts, a slick, new streamlined format for more cohesion, and far, far less vitriolic politics, we know you’re going to dig DSR 2.0! For our debut episode, we sent one of our new hosts, AnarchoPunk to Studio City to meet up with Kevin Besignano and Derik Envy from Los Angeles’ premiere punk rock act True Rivals. Not only did he get the skinny on their new EP, but AP also recorded an incredible acoustic set with ’em! So, without further adieu we present you with the new Dying Scene Radio! Links for streaming (along with this episode’s playlist) below!

 

* Let us know what you think at dyingsceneradio@dyingscene.com



DS Exclusive: No Use For A Name’s Rory Koff on “Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers,” Tony Sly’s legacy, and upcoming NUFAN tributes

Last Friday, No Use For A Name teamed up with their longtime label home, Fat Wreck Chords, for the release of Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers. If the release somehow slipped under your radar, the first thing you should take note of is that it’s a collection of a large number of the covers that the band recorded throughout their twenty-plus year career, especially those that didn’t make it onto one of their eight studio full-lengths. Perhaps more noteworthy, however, is that it’s the first release of No Use For A Name material since the passing of their iconic frontman Tony Sly just a hair over five years ago.

To mark the occasion, Dying Scene caught up with NUFAN’s founding drummer Rory Koff for a lengthy, good-hearted interview over the phone last Sunday afternoon. And while we covered a lot of ground in a our rapid fire conversation — Koff has more than a little bit of a “shot out of a cannon” nature to him — the focal point that the boomerang that was our conversation continually returned too was, as you might imagine, the legacy of his fallen friend and former bandmate. And that’s for good reason. Koff, who currently lives and owns two businesses in the Lake Tahoe area of California, started No Use in 1986 alongside Chris Judge and longtime bassist Steve Papoustis; Sly joined up three years later and together he and Koff remained the two constant core members of the band for more than two decades.

He was really like a brother, almost literally, because I spent so much time with him,” says Koff. In a lot of ways, we’ve become seemingly desensitized to musicians, especially frontmen, leaving us all too soon. Occasionally one of those deaths stings a little more than the others, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to Tony Sly. For a lot of us, Sly’s death was the first time — at least since Brad Nowell’s passing in 1996 — that a major voice from our formative musical years had passed on. The pain was real, and palpable, and still lingers half a decade later. Everyone has friends that have passed away, but when someone leaves an impact on a lot of people, it intensifies a little bit. For me,” says Koff, “Tony’s passing affected me differently. Maybe because I spent twenty years in hotels with him and went everywhere together and sat next to him on planes and knew his family and knew his wife’s family and knew his kid. We were so close. It weighed on me a lot more than other people that I’ve known that have passed away.”

Koff, it should probably be pointed out, took a break from all things No Use For A Name in early 2011, after a quarter-century of touring and recording. There’s a bit of hesitation in Koff’s voice when he reflects on his decision to step away, particularly with the hindsight knowledge that Sly would be gone a year-and-a-half later. The timing…boy, my timing…” Koff hesitates, taking a reflective pause before continuing in rapid-fire mode. “(Call it) my hiatus, call it whatever you want to, but I just needed a break. I had never gotten a break. Twenty-seven years of being in a band I never had more than a full month’s time away from those guys. It was so intense, and so much happened and came to a head, and it wasn’t anything personal and it wasn’t like an argument happened and it wasn’t any one thing. I just needed a break. I think everyone needed a break. But Tony just wanted to keep it going. I just needed a break.” Astute followers of NUFAN will probably recall that the band’s most recent addition, guitar player Chris Rest (also of Lagwagon fame) was still the a new recruit. More importantly, their bass player, Matt Riddle, had been hospitalized around that time for pancreatitis, meaning that the band was in a state of real flux. “I just kept saying “what’s the rush? Matt’s in the hospital, what’s the rush?” And he’s like “well if you’re not gonna do it, we’ll find somebody else.” And I said “well, I’m not going to do it because we don’t need to.” And that was it.”

The two would continue to talk and remain friendly, but wouldn’t play together again. Sly, of course, broadened his presence as a touring singer/songwriter, putting out two stellar solo album (2010’s Twelve Song Program and 2011’s Sad Bear“) in addition to a couple of splits with Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape and a fun collaborative album with Cape, Jon Snodgrass and Brian Wahlstrom under the Scorpios moniker over what would turn out to be the last few years of his life. Five years on, Koff has difficulty listening to some of No Use’s catalog, and has particular trouble with Sly’s solo material. I can’t listen to his solo stuff. I may never listen to it again. It’s way too gnarly. The subject matter is so very heartfelt. It’s tough…” he says, trailing off again. “More than anything is that Tony’s vocals haunt me in an eerie way. It’s like…fuck…Tony is so present in my life sometimes and yet so not present. It’s a really bizarre thing. I’m not the only one, you can talk to the other guys in the band, and they’ll have similar situations. It still doesn’t seem real, because it’s so intense, and it shouldn’t be like that.”

It seemed like Tony Sly’s voice was everywhere in this scene for a while, and then, all of a sudden, it was gone. The death of a particularly beloved and thoughtful songwriter in the midst of a prolific period of his life stings for most parties involved, but doesn’t cloud the legacy he left in his wake. Fans and friends in the NUFAN circle continued to look to his catalog for support. And while Sly had a way of channeling some really heavy, intense feelings, he was also an awful lot of fun. The band recorded more than their fair share of cover songs, some of which ended up on studio albums, some of which appeared only on random compilations, and some of which never really saw the light of day.

Until now, of course. Over the last year or so, work started on a compiling all of No Use’s material in a variety of different forms. The first release to see the light of day is, of course, a collection of a baker’s dozen of the cover songs No Use recorded that didn’t appear on one of their studio albums. That means no “Redemption Song,” no collaboration with Cinder Block on The Pogues’ classic “Fairytale Of New York.” But don’t worry, there’s plenty of fun stuff to go around. “It actually came together really easy,” as Koff tells it. “Fat Mike, I knew, wanted to do it. He knew that we had a bunch of songs and he asked if there were any songs that we were missing. We kept searching and kept looking, because we just knew there was more stuff, but it had to fit the criteria of not making it onto an album. With the exception of that, it was all pretty easy…There wasn’t a whole lot to it other than just keeping it simple and fun and not doing too much.” While it doesn’t mean new, previously-unreleased No Use For A Name material, it does at least give fans a chance to hear Tony Sly’s voice and guitar playing again in a release that’s fun and not overly heavy (though the cover of Sublime’s “Badfish” is more than a little haunting in hindsight).

Given that the title of the covers compilation includes “Vol. 1” in the title, it’s more than a little obvious that there’s more in store. Koff opened up and gave us a hint of what’s to come. He’s helping Fat Wreck with a still-unannounced project concerning the No Use For A Name legacy that’s much larger in scale, and will hopefully see the light of day in the early part of 2018. Following that, if all goes according to plan, is an equally cool project — and equally major effort.

Koff’s brother, you see, is a documentary filmmaker. Together, they’ve teamed up to compile a film chronicling the history of No Use For A Name. We started working on it before Tony passed,” says Koff. After a bit of an obvious cooling-off period, the brothers Koff “decided to get it rolling again two years ago, and we put a ton of effort into it. We’ve got like 50 or 60 interviews. We’ve been digging up tapes for years, we’ve got almost everything we need.” The two are in the process of whittling hours and hours worth of material down to 70 usable and compelling minutes. What will hopefully follow is a sort of No Use And Friends reunion in a few select locations in order to give the two aforementioned projects — and the band’s legacy — the sort of fun-filled celebration they deserve. “I have grand visions of doing a two-week tour with the old members and getting one certain guest singer and doing all this stuff, but I’m realizing that there’s other people that have things coming out and there’s no way have everyone do two weeks,” says Koff. And while the grand visions may not come to fruition, that doesn’t mean there’s not a pretty awesome Plan B in the works. “I’m going to try to do two weekends and see if I can get my dream lineup together. Everyone said they’d be interested, but getting everyone’s weekends to line up is another story!”

Head below to check out the full text of our interview (albeit a little bit condensed for clarity’s sake). As indicated above, we cover an awful lot of ground, from the history of the band and their recording process to the origin of a lot of the covers involved to…bailing hay with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman?!? We really like this one, and we think you will too.



Jack Terricloth Really Wants to Hear From Sly Stone, Talks New World/Inferno Record, and How He Met Stza Crack Through Their Dealer

Photo by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photograpjy
Jack Terricloth of World/Inferno Friendship Society at Hallowmas 2016.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society is more like a punk circus than it is a band, and Jack Terricloth has been the unquestioned ringleader for more than twenty years. It’s hard to believe that a sound so bizarre has endured for more than two decades, especially among the New York punk scene which has very little tolerance for nuance. But WIFS has carved out their niche in the Big Apple with a mix of otherworldly talent and theatrical pageantry unmatched by any of their contemporaries.

The group has truly graduated some greats, like Brian Viglione of the Dresden Dolls, Yula Beeri, and Franz Nicolay (to name just a few). But no matter who they have to replace, they continue to bring the same level of tenacity, talent, and showmanship, due in large part to their diabolical leader Mr. Terricloth.

WIFS has an imminent big-time show at one of Brooklyn’s up-and-coming punk venues, Brooklyn Bazaar, and they are working tirelessly on their new record. But preparatory to unleashing their 13-piece carnival of horrors onto New York, Jack Terricloth sat down with Dying Scene to talk about the new record, how he hopes to one day reunite with Sly Stone, and meeting the members of Leftover Crack through their mutual drug dealer.

Read the full interview below.



Celebrate Shark Week with We Were Sharks’ acoustic version of “Bridge Burner” off upcoming “Not A Chance” LP

Ottawa pop-punks We Were Sharks are taking full advantage of “Shark Week” to let you know they will be reissuing their debut EP, Not a Chance, as an LP through Panic State Records. The release will feature 2 new tracks including an acoustic version of their song “Bridge Burner” which you can listen to below.

Singer Ra​​​​ndy Frobel had this to say about the song’s meaning:

“I wrote Bridge Burner about a person who came into my life who I thought I was a friend. Soon after, I found out I was just a stepping stone to help that person get to where they thought they need to be. I had heard lots of stories about this person beforehand but chose not to believe them. There is always two sides to the story and I felt that you should give someone a chance first. Boy was I wrong.

It wasn’t long after that everything started to change. I started seeing and hearing about stuff this person had said and stuff this person had done. Their whole personality had changed. It was all about them. They didn’t care about anyone else. Before I knew it, they were on to someone else who they thought could help them even more. As we sat down to start writing for “Not A Chance” I knew this was something that had to be addressed. I knew I couldn’t be the only one who’s experienced this. I wanted to write an anthem for all those people who have been stabbed in the back. Who have been used and taken advantage of.”

Pre-order the “Not A Chance” LP here.



July’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

Me Rex

The U.S. members of this team asked Team Europe to take over this month’s feature. We weren’t really listening when they explained to us why, but we vaguely remember something about a big orange Cheeto trying to take away their healthcare, forcing them to move offices into an underground bunker wallpapered with bubble wrap. We didn’t really care until we heard that we can basically do anything we want to this thing. We DO love to shove our more sophisticated European culture down everyone’s throat on every occasion we get. Since Abba and Milli Vanilli weren’t on Bandcamp, we found you five European bands that are. Check ’em all out below!



DS Photo Gallery: The Flatliners, Pkew Pkew Pkew, Garrett Dale and Dan Webb and The Spiders (Cambridge, MA)

If you’ve read any of the online comment sections surrounding the release of Inviting Light, the latest full-length from The Flatlinersyou’re no doubt aware that critics of the band feel they lost a couple miles (or is it kilometers?) per hour off their collective fastball. Let this be yet another lesson to you as to why it is never, ever a good idea to read the comments; let it be known that The Flats still slay.

As the northeastern US leg of their Inviting Light tour wound down, the band found themselves headlining a sold-out Sunday night show at the legendary Middle East nightclub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The band kicked off their hour-plus set with “Mammals,” the slow burning lead track from Inviting Light, and seemed to have the capacity crowd hooked from the first notes. I’m not entirely certain if the band finds that reassuring, but I know that I do personally, given the amount of love I have for Inviting Light and the prevailing chatter about the band’s first non-Fat Wreck release in a decade. The quarters at upstairs at the Middle East are cramped and hot and sweaty when the venue is sold out, but the crowd was in high-energy motion by the time the crescendo built to the first chorus in “Mammals,” resulting in the first stage dive attempt of the night (albeit not an overly successful one).

The band tore through a seventeen-song main set that was pretty equally representative of their recent catalog, with four or five songs each from Inviting Light and it’s two immediate predecessors (2010’s Cavalcade and 2013’s Dead Language), though the two song encore consisting of “He Was A Jazzman” and “Shithawks” ultimately tipped the scales in Cavalcade‘s favor. Frontman Chris Cresswell’s voice sounds just as snarly and aggressive as ever when he wants it to, though he’s really pushed himself as a singer in more recent years. A lot of times in the live show of a rather dynamic band, you’ll find the bass player locked in to his spot at the drummer’s side allowing whoever is singing or playing guitar (or both) to roam and wander, both literally and musically. That’s not the case in The Flatliners, as the rhythm section of Paul Ramirez (drums) and Jon Darbey (bass) exhibit little in the way of interplay on stage yet remain more musically locked in the vast majority of their counterparts, making it look both infectiously fun and frustratingly easy in the process. Cresswell and lead guitarist Scott Brigham have grown immensely as guitar players over the years as their sonic palettes have expanded, and they too seem to bounce off each other in effortless, symbiotic ways. Much has been made of this being the year that not only do all the band’s members turn thirty (which boggles the mind) but the year that the band itself turns fifteen (which causes the mind to explode, Scanners-style), giving the band a well-earned reputation as valiant road warriors. If Sunday’s show — and specifically the crowd reaction — at the Middle East was any indication, they may actually just be hitting their stride now, which is a pretty inspiring thing.

Direct support on this entire tour was provided by Pkew Pkew Pkew and Red City Radio‘s Garrett Dale, the latter doing the solo troubadour thing. We’ve been big fans of the four handsome Torontonian Pkew fellas since their self-titled debut album was initially released a year ago on Royal Mountain Records a year ago, so news not only of their spot opening for the Flatliners but the more recent announcement of their having signed with SideOneDummy Records has made for pretty exciting times. The band’s live show is just as fun and high energy and handsome (did we mention handsome?) as their album is, and even though a lot of the songs might be straight-forward jams about hanging out and drinking beers, don’t let that fool you; these dudes can really, seriously play. There’s a camaraderie between not only the individual band’s members but really between all the members of this two-week East Coast jaunt, with the Flats, Pkew Pkew Pkew and Garrett Dale making frequent references to the good times they’ve been having on this trip. Dale is another classic example of not letting the occasionally straight-forward nature of the songwriting fool you; in the solo format, he’s got a gravelly voice that is full of the kind of heartbreaking soul guys like Chuck Ragan and Tom Waits have made their hallmarks, and it forces you to take notice whether he’s singing about lost love or seeing a dead body or, well, the devil’s weed.

Local support on this show came by way of Dan Webb and The Spiders.  DWaTS are one of those local bands that I’m sure most scenes might have that really should be bigger than they are. The four-piece rock-and-roll band plays hard and fast, a not-quite-punk-rock but also not-quite-90’s-alternative vibe that cuts across genres and makes them a perfect fit on a fairly wide range of bills, especially on one as varied as this particular show. One of these days, DWaTS…one of these days…

Check out our full photo gallery below. While you’re at it, the Flatties recently announced a set of West Coast tour dates around the US and Canada. They will be accompanied by The Smith Street Band, up until It’s Not Dead Fest. They are also adding a few dates to the end of July, in Canada, supporting Sum 41Check out all the dates here



DS Photo Gallery: Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Barb Wire Dolls and The Ataris at Vans Warped Tour in Mansfield

There are a lot of descriptors you can use to help quantify the experience that is the Vans Warped Tour circa 2017, but perhaps the most accurate — and non-judgmental — is “total sensory overload.” Now in its 23rd year and counting, the annual touring punk rock summer camp has morphed into a monster: ten hours and seven stages spread across numerous acres playing host to seventy-ish hard and loud and fast bands, each with their own brightly colored merchandise tent selling the entire gamut of logo-adorned paraphernalia (t-shirts and hats and shoes and belt buckles and skateboard decks and flags and rubber ducks and on and on and on), and that’s before you factor in the food vendors and the independent merchandise vendors and the gigantic Slip ‘N Slide. All of the above is also before you account for the weather, which typically qualifies as hot and steamy but on occasions like last week in Mansfield, Massachusetts, consisted of rain that was certifiably torrential.

The rains came early and often with the sky opening up almost exactly as the gates to the Xfinity Centre  amphitheater grounds did the same. Thunder and lightening made repeat appearances as well, causing a few temporary shutdowns in the action, pushing set times back for most of the day. While bottled water is typically one of the most sought-after commodities at Warped Tour stops, on this particular day it was $5 plastic rain ponchos, though any expectation that they were going to keep their users completely dry was obviously a mistake. Still, it was something, especially if you weren’t one of the masses lucky enough to be in attendance primarily for bands playing under the covered portion of the venue and were relegated to the side stages in the parking lot areas. As you can probably surmise from this discussion, we were there for the parking lot stages.

Having focused on some of the older school bands last weekend in Hartford, we turned our attention elsewhere during the deluge in Mansfield, namely to Bad Cop/Bad Cop. We had missed the Fat Wreck Chords foursome at the Connecticut stop due to the timing of their pre-noontime set, so we made it a point to be present this time. The band filled their eight-song set with tracks from their two full-length albums (2015’s Not Sorry and last month’s stellar Warriors) and played with such a blistering pace that they were able to squeeze a ninth song (“Asshole,” from their 2014 Boss Lady EP) into their scheduled twenty-five-minute set. Say what you will about the concept of divine intervention, but clearly something was at play, as shortly after the band took the stage, the rain not only stopped, but the sky cleared up enough to allow the sun to make a welcome appearance that lasted, all told, about an hour, a welcome mid-afternoon respite for sure.

The weather conditions made photography more than a little bit of a difficult proposition for our lowly-trained camera jockey (read as: me). Still, after having just kinda given in to the rain at one point, we were able to catch all or part of super enjoyable sets from Alestorm (a pirate-themed enjoyably gimmicky schtick band), the mighty Valient Thorr, Municipal Waste, Sonic Boom Six and The White Noise. We also shot…and maybe fell in love with…five-piece Greek rock and roll band Barb Wire Dolls. Frontwoman Isis Queen is one of the more enigmatic, quintessentially “rock star” performers we caught during our two Warped Tour stops, with a five-piece band (rounded out by bassist Iriel Blaque, Pyn Doll and Remmington on guitar and Krash Doll on drums) that remained especially tight and high energy in spite of the conditions.

We also caught a spirited set by The Ataris. We’ll be honest; aside from founding frontman Kris Roe, we can’t honestly say we know who’s actually, officially, in The Ataris at this point in 2017. They’ve sorta become Goldfinger or the touring version of MxPx in that regard. But they’re good; they’re real good. The band’s set, particularly tracks like “Your Boyfriend” and, of course, their set-closing cover of “The Boys of Summer” was well received by the soggy masses, and Roe and company promised to play a much longer, higher energy set when they return to the area with The Queers later this summer.

Check out our full photo gallery below.



DS Photo Gallery: Strung Out, Street Dogs, The Adolescents and The Alarm represent the old school at Warped Tour (Hartford, CT)

Much has been made of the backseat that traditional punk rock took for quite a while at the annual Vans Warped Tour. Over the last handful of years, however, those old-school punk rock vibes have been slowly returning, albeit on a bit of a smaller scale. While bands like Attila and I Prevail and Beartooth seem to represent the lion’s share of the sounds emanating from most of the 2017 edition of the Warped Tour’s seven stages, there is a distinct presence of bands from what I guess we’d call an older school of more straight-forward street punk and hardcore and rock and roll bands. Hatebreed, Sick Of It All, Valient Thorr, Municipal Waste, Anti-Flag and GWAR have all been drawing fairly sizable crowds night-in and night out in recent days. Dying Scene took in the Hartford stop on the Vans Warped Tour last weekend, and caught a couple of our favorite throwback heavyweights.

Boston working-class heroes Street Dogs played a late-afternoon set on the Skullcandy stage, set on one of the outdoor parking lot areas at Hartford’s Xfinity Theater. If you’re a veteran of Warped Tours in the late 90s – early 00s, you’re no doubt familiar the concept at the outdoor stages; bands alternate playing on what are basically oversized trailers placed side by side, resulting in a constant barrage of roughly twenty-five minute sets. That means you’re not going to hear an awful lot deep cuts, although Street Dogs, themselves veterans of three prior Warped Tours, do an admirable job of keeping things interesting. The set on this particular day kicked off with personal favorite of mine “In Defense Of Dorchester” and threw fan favorites like “Back To The World,” “Punk Rock And Roll,” and “Not Without A Purpose” into the mix. Frontman Mike McColgan spent at least half the set on the barricade, interacting personally with a lot of the band’s notoriously die-hard, blue collar fans. The “new lineup” consisting of longtime bassist Johnny Rioux and more recent adds Lenny Lashley and Matt Pruitt on guitar and Pete Sosa on drums) have actually been plugging away for four years now, and have finally got some new music due out before long. That’s a good thing, as the band’s trademark rallying cries are much needed in times like these.

LA punk veterans Strung Out played an early afternoon set on one of the two side-by-side stages inside the venue’s amphitheater. I will say that when the Warped Tour venues started to change a bunch of years ago and started to center, at least in this part of the country, around amphitheater settings, I and others were more than a little skeptical. But I’ll tell you what – it’s actually pretty cool having the stage split in half and allowing large crowds to stay out of the heat and/or other imposing weather elements. Like with Street Dogs, it’s tough for a band like Strung Out to adequately represent their catalog in a twenty-five minute set, but songs like “Too Close To See” from 1998’s seminal album Twisted By Design and “The Animal and the Machine” from their latest album, 2015’s Transmission.Alpha.Delta do a pretty adequate job. Frontman Jason Cruz remains one of the defining voices in the genre, and guitarists Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos continue to shred blistering, metal-infused riffs over lock-tight rhythm section Jordan Burns (drums) and Chris Aiken (bass), and no member off the quintet stays in one place for very long, making for a tightly packed, high energy set.

Representing the even older school on one of the amphitheater stages for back-to-back sets were The Alarm and the legendary Adolescents. The former, if you’re not familiar, are a seminal early-80s new wave band from Wales who have been plugging away in some form of another ever since. The brainchild of Mike Peters (also co-founder of the Love Hope Strength Foundation, which you should be familiar with), The Alarm played to a modest crowd that consisted, as you might imagine, of older fans who were very well aware of the band’s legacy, singing along with every word to tracks like “Sixty Eight Guns.” The Adolescents, who themselves are veterans of their fair share of Warped Tours since reforming fifteen-or-so years ago, played one of those sets that the other bands took notice of. Unarguably one of the coolest parts of Warped Tour is watching the camaraderie amongst the bands on the bill, and members of Street Dogs, Strung Out and Bad Cop/Bad Cop were among those present around the stage as living legends Tony Reflex and Steve Soto and the gang (Dan Root and Ian Taylor on guitar, Dave Cambra on drums) went to work. Again a case where members have changed but the core have remained just as steady as ever. Let’s face it: Tony Reflex/Cadena/Adolescent and Steve Soto are legends for a reason (and not only because their self-titled debut has been a desert island album since before most of our readers were born!).

Check out our full photo gallery below.

 



DS Exclusive: Debt Neglector Premieres Music Video For Title Track From Upcoming LP Atomicland

Orlando, Florida’s Debt Neglector has sign with Smartpunk Records just in time to release their debut full length which is out on August 18th. From what we’ve heard this one’s gonna rip. Our suspicions were reinforced when we found out that the twelve track LP clocks in just under thirty minutes! Since we’ve still got a few weeks ’til the album drops, we begged the guys to let us premiere the debut video from the impending AtomiclandWhen asked about the video for the title track, Guitarist Chris Pfister told us “We try to maintain as much of a DIY, in-house mentality as much as possible. Between the four of us we bring a pretty well balanced mix of skill sets integral to being in a band: from art to merch and video production. Zach (Anderson, drums) is the video guy, he made this himself, with the help of our good friend Michael Eliassen and bunch of free stock video clips from the Cold War.” Point your peepers at Zach’s masterpiece below.

FFO: Descendents, Bad Religion, Dead To Me



69 Enfermos (Brazilian skate punk) announce European tour

Brazil’s 69 Enfermos will be touring Europe this summer. The tour kicks off next Monday in Rome. After a few days in Italy, they’ll make their way through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia. They’re promoting their newest album, “A Place to Call Home” on Morning Wood Records.

Check out the dates below!



DS Exclusive: Chris Cresswell on “Inviting Light,” leaving Fat Wreck Chords and more

Following on the heels of the widely-accepted shitstorm that was 2016, you most certainly don’t need a punk rock news website to break to you the fact that 2017 has been a bit of a weird year. In many ways, both nationally and globally, there seem to be a lot of previously uncharted waters being navigated socially, politically, environmentally, and on and on and on. Yet just because waters are uncharted doesn’t mean that they have to be inherently bad. Enter The Flatliners. Weird though it might be, the calendar turning to 2017 kicked off a series of fairly important milestones in the history of the long-running Canadian punk rock quartet. All four members turn thirty this year. The band itself turns fifteen, and their highly-regarded Fat Wreck Chords debut, The Great Awake, turns ten.

2017 also marked the release of the band’s fifth full-length album, Inviting Light, which as you’re probably well-enough aware by now, marks a bit of a departure for a couple noteworthy reasons: while it still contains its fair share of snarling, aggressive moments, is easily the most anthemic “rock-and-roll” album in the band’s catalog. IT also marks their first album on a new label, Rise Records, after a decade on pioneering punk rock label Fat Wreck Chords.

Dying Scene chatted over the phone with Flatliners frontman Chris Cresswell just before the band left for their current eastern US tour with new SideOneDummy signee Pkew Pkew Pkew and Red City Radio‘s Garrett Dale. Cresswell is honest and engaging, even over the telephone; his frequently digressing rapid fire delivery could fool one into believing he comes from Boston Irish stock (were it not for the fact that he’s charming and humble and self-aware and so obviously Canadian). Cresswell and his Flatliners brothers are very aware that this is a big year for them, and they’re very aware of what some of the grumblings on the message boards and comment sections of the internet might opine about their band’s recent direction. They also come across as okay with all of it. “I’m always curious what people think when we put something new out, for sure, and sometimes that’s difficult,” says Cresswell. He’s also well aware that, while paying attention to some of the critics is okay, there has to be a bit of a balance. “You can’t get caught up in what other people think, because if that were the case, bands would make the same record over and over again. Filmmakers would make the same movie over and over again. The arts would suffer if you always listened to your critics. It’s not a great idea to shut them out either, because it is nice to have that push to always be better no matter what you’re doing in life.”

Due in part to the landmark nature of this particular year within the band, Cresswell and company (the band’s lineup of Scott Brigham on lead guitar, Jon Darbey on bass and Paul Ramirez on drums remains unchanged for the duration) figured it was as good a time as any to mix things up. “You do the same thing for fifteen years as a band, and ten years with the same label, even if it’s all good, there’s a part of you that wonders if there’s something else you could try,” says Cresswell. He’s more than aware of how the move from Fat to Rise Records might look, particularly as Inviting Light has a bit of a different sound. None of those rumblings are true. This is 2017; it’s not about money, it’s not about their old label declining to put it out or their new label influencing their sound. It’s really just about branching out as a band. “When you grow up on fucking Fat Wreck Chords bands and then you become one and you are one for ten years and you reach a level of personal success and fulfillment that you never dreamed to be a reachable or realistic at all, it kind of inspires you to be like “this is cool…what do we do now?” and that kind of thing.

The band had fun — a lot of it — recording Inviting Light, and in spite of the extended space between albums (their last full length, Dead Language, was released four years ago) they actually recorded it fairly quickly, albeit in two separate chunks a year apart. Where Dead Language was recorded live in studio using only the band’s road gear, the Inviting Light sessions saw the band change things up in that avenue too. Drums and bass were still recorded live because, well, because that’s how Jon and Paul seem to groove the best. They initially “played everything live but we just kept the bass and drums, and when Paul and Jon lock up, it’s insane. It’s incredible. In the two sessions we did which were essentially a year apart, they did twenty songs in like four days!” When it came time to record guitars and vocals, however Cresswell and Brigham holed up in a new studio with new producers Peter Pablo and Derek Hoffman and got experimental, playing with tones and textures until dialing working sounds in and ripping through final takes.

The result, as you know by now, is different; more major chords, more melodic, more straight-forward, a little more dare-we-say optimistic, especially when compared to Dead Language. As you might imagine, there’s a reason for that. Says Cresswell: “Before this record, I was in a pretty shit place. If you listened to or read any of the lyrics to Dead Language, it’s pretty fucking bleak, and that’s why that record is so angry and has such heavy elements to it. I was going through a heavy time on a personal level. Nothing dangerous, but I was having a really hard time being away all the time.

Lyrically speaking, Cresswell has tended to paint a bit of an admittedly bleak picture. Even as a native of the Toronto area, living as a socially-aware human in the wake of last year’s US Presidential election has been bleak in-and-of itself. “There’s a lot of evil in the world, especially with what’s happened over the last couple years on a global scale.” We’ve all seen the think-pieces on how the age of Trump will at least inspire some good, angry punk rock, and we’ve already started to see aggressive, confrontational “punk” rock albums come out and tackle those issues head on. Though this may be counter-intuitive to a stereotypical punk rock ethic, maybe there are ways to attack the issue that are less in-your-face. Cresswell offers that maybe his band’s way of trying to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel — hence Inviting Light — can help some people through a bullshit time, though he acknowledges with a self-deprecating laugh how “super fucking noble” that concept sounds. “If you can be, even to a small population of people, somebody who can help them through a tough time, that’s sick! That’s what music did for me when I was a kid and it still does it for me today!

Reflecting on being away for weeks or months at a time has been an ongoing thing as Cresswell and the Flatliners round the corner on 30 years old, particularly when you’re as inward thinking as the frontman is. Any potential ego trips are balanced — and probably eliminated — by what Cresswell calls a “rabbit hole of a self-imposed guilt trip that’s usually at play in a lot of folks who tour a lot because it is a pretty self-serving thing that we do!” The older the band gets, the older their respective family members and close friendships get, meaning additional priorities and perspectives become factored into the increasingly difficult equation. Still, especially in the punk world, the pull of the road doesn’t go away just because you’re no longer in your twenties. “There’s this insatiable desire in us to just hit the road. For instance, if you play Chicago and no one fucking comes, you’re going to go back like three months later and play there again. Punk bands are the only bands that will keep going back and playing even if no one fucking comes out, because it’s just about the experiences of the road, and being away, and the story and just fucking living in a van for real!

While the runs might get a little shorter or more spread out, hitting the road is still very much what this whole thing is about for Cresswell and The Flatliners. So far, 2017 has seen the band already complete tours of Canada with bands like The Dirty Nil and, of course, Weezer, and Europe with their longtime buds in The Menzingers. The aforementioned tour with Pkew Pkew Pkew and Garrett Dale showcases just how varied the bands that fall under the umbrella of punk rock have become, in an inspiring way. Changes in the music industry landscape have equated to differing changes, and like many of us, Cresswell knows that when it comes to one band’s sound or one person’s musical interests, “your brain musically doesn’t have to stay in one lane. You can be into whatever you want to be into. I know today there’s a lot of pressure and social anxiety is through the roof and there’s a reason for it. Day to day, it can be a tough world to live in for a lot of people, you know? But where you should be able to find solitude is in the music you’re into if you’re a music fan. You shouldn’t have to worry about what other people think.”

Check out our full conversation below. There’s a lot of other ground covered, particularly surrounding the band’s decision to leave Fat Wreck Chords – and the yearlong process of actually leaving: “It felt like a break-up, man. It was so sad… I’m just happy that we were able to go about it in a way that everybody is still friends. There’s no bad blood fucking whatsoever.” Check out all of the Flatliners upcoming tour dates here.



Death Card (hardcore) premiere video for new song “Barking Irons” off upcoming album “Damage Swing”

Crank up the speakers and prepare to destroy your furniture. Tennessee hardcore act Death Card have just signed to Innerstrength Records for the release of their debut album “Damage Swing” and we’ve got a fresh cut off the album to prime your pumps. “Barking Irons” is premiering in the form of a money burning (literally) music video and you can check it out below.

Here’s what Chad the vocalist’s had to say about the tune:

“I was just trying to write something visceral about the lawlessness of the old days and maybe that nature is still dormant in all of us. Some are better at keeping it at bay or maybe not strong enough to act that way anymore but I think most of us are just waiting for the leash to slip.”

Damn straight, Chad! My leash slips a little more each time I listen to this track.

“Damage Swing” will be available July 21st. Pre-order it here!