Search Results for "DS Exclusive"

The Wet Bandits (melodic-punk) announce new EP “I Hope You Hear This” and tour dates

Canadian punk act “The Wet Bandits” have announced the release of a new 7 song EP “I Hope You Hear This”. The album serves as a follow up to the bands April 2016 release “Sound Waves”.

The band will embark on a tour in support of the new release. You can find the dates below .



DS Photo Gallery: The Menzingers, Jeff Rosenstock and Rozwell Kid, Boston, MA

If you somehow waited until 2017 to cross “The Menzingers” off your own personal “bands I haven’t seen yet” list, you find yourself in what is, in all likelihood, a bit of a timely, fortunate place. The four-piece Pennsylvania-based punks recently released their fifth — and best — album, After The Party (February 3rd, Epitaph Records) and wrapped up the first of what will undoubtedly be many month-long runs in support of the album. The penultimate date on said tour took place at Boston’s Royale nightclub. Not only was the show at the 1000-capacity venue sold out well it advance, it marked one of roughly a dozen sold-out shows on the jaunt (including a night at the 2500-capacity Fillmore in their home town of Philadelphia). The band have long been critical darlings, and if this particular night was any indication, the band’s increasing — and intensely rabid — fan base will have the quartet’s trajectory continuing to trend exponentially higher and higher.

Upon taking the stage for their headlining spot promptly at 8:30pm (the venue turns into a dance club on Saturday nights, making for an interesting crossover of patrons that perhaps I’ll expound upon some other time but to paint a small picture, just know that there was a guy in a full-sized, furry grey mouse costume waiting to get in as the Menzos show let out), the band ripped into After The Party‘s opening track, “Tellin’ Lies,” and it’s quintessential show-opening guitar riff, dripping with stadium rock swagger. Larger venues like Royale can be a little impersonal and, frankly, awkwardly sterile locales to host punk shows, but that was not the case right from the word “go” on this night. The Menzingers have long had a “home away from home” sort of symbiotic connection with Boston punk community (an idea denoted more than once in the band’s lyrical content over the years), and the band and crowd combined to make a theater feel as intense and intimate as a sweaty basement thanks in part to the seemingly endless barrage of crowd surfers throughout the duration of the 90-ish minute singalong set.

The effectively inimitable Jeff Rosenstock provided direct support on this night, as he did for the duration of the tour. Still touring in support of his stellar full-length album WORRY. (released October 14th on SideOneDummy), Rosenstock has amassed almost as rabid and devout a fanbase as The Menzingers, as his own full-band fourteen song set was also a raucous singalong from start-to-finish, just on a slightly smaller scale. The punk scene is full of enigmatic performers, of course, and the somewhat physically unassuming Rosenstock ranks in the upper echelon of those who seem to genuinely…and generally…REALLY enjoy the hell out of playing and performing in front of an audience night in and night out. Case in point: Rosenstock’s set concluded with an extended version of “You, In Weird Cities” that found the frontman trading his guitar for a saxophone (that had previously been manned by  criminally talented touring multi-instrumentalist Dan Potthast), making his way to the back of the venue and assuming a perch atop a table to play along to the song’s singalong outro.

Opening duties were handled by West Virginia’s Rozwell Kid, a high-energy four-piece who, like Rosenstock after them, are a bit difficult to pigeon-hole into a singular genre or subgenre or whatever we’re calling them now, but they’re somewhere in the area of power pop/indie noise with more than a little bit of 70’s rock back-bending, don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously swagger thrown in the mix for good measure. The band have got a full-length, Precious Art, that’s due out June 23rd on SideOneDummy, and is sure to be one of the catchier releases of the summer; put it on your list.

Check out our full photo gallery below.



DS Interview: Greg Graffin on his latest solo effort and new Bad Religion

A couple Fridays ago (March 10th, to be precise) Greg Graffin released a stellar new album, Millport (ANTI- Records). It marks the first time in more than a decade that the Bad Religion frontman has pressed the “pause” button on his punk rock day job in favor of a more traditional, folksy Americana vibe. Millport features not only a core lineup that should seem very familiar to fans of both punk and Americana: Social Distortion‘s Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham, Brent Harding, and David Hidalgo Jr., but it also includes production credit from Brett Gurewitz, long the musical yin to Graffin’s yang.

While Graffin and his Millport session colleagues rank as some of the most legendary names in punk rock, a project like this allowed them to let go of the traditional constraints of trying to hone a singular sound. “The great thing about this project is that you’re hearing unconstrained love of the songs, and unconstrained love of creating something that we felt was a blend of many genres and therefore something that’s truly creative,” says Graffin, though he quickly points out that none of that is to say that crafting a new Bad Religion album is formulaic; it’s just a different standard. “It’s one of the great challenges as artist is to maintain the tradition of his or her prior work. That’s hard to do. It normally takes (Bad Religion) two years to put out an album. Why has it taken us four year to release an album after True North? Well, True North was such a great album — and we owe it to our fans to take it seriously as a great album — that to do another one is going to take a lot more work.

Graffin and company holed up at California’s Studio 606 and Big Bad Sound for ten days of creating and recording last April, in what he says was basically akin to “hitting record and having a party.” The result is an album that’s the strongest and most cohesive of his solo career, with sounds that range from folk to bluegrass to 70’s rockers that would make Neil Young and Crazy Horse proud. Perhaps the album’s most upbeat singalong is “Time Of Need,” with it’s “Hey Man!” chorus that draws heavily on traditional Gospel hymnals, a bit of a curious decision for someone who’s spent close to four decades fronting a band called Bad Religion. He explains: “One of the greatest things about religion — if it can be said from a guy in Bad Religion — there’s something good about it and it has nothing to do with theology or the philosophy of it, but it has a lot to do with the music. The music is what is handed down through the generations, and punk rock is a kind of roots music now.

Instead of focusing on the lure of paradise and an eternal afterlife, “Time Of Need” places the responsibility for making things better squarely on the shoulders of the listener, and of humanity. “In the old days,” says Graffin, “the Gospels would sing about how hard times were and how God is going to deliver us. What I’m trying to say is that God’s not going to deliver us. We have to be responsible ourselves for this changing environment and changing surroundings. No religion can help this time of need.”

We caught up with Graffin over the phone during a recent late winter blizzard that blanketed much of the Northeast with some of the biggest snow totals of the season. As you might imagine, we talked quite a bit about Graffin and Gurewitz’s long history as collaborators, and just how the solo, Americana projects inspire the two punk rock icons in ways we might not have expected. We also touched on just what the Social D trio brought to the project, and how Graffin hopes to balance solo and Bad Religion material going forward while raising the bar in both areas.

Head below to read our full Q&A!

 



DS Interview: Nick Woods (Direct Hit!) talks new Direct Hit! album, “Domesplitter” reissue, Galactic Cannibal, and more

In a wide, wide world of sick bands doing sick things, Direct Hit! is at the top of the heap, banging out killer albums like clockwork. I was lucky enough to catch up with frontman Nick Woods on all sorts of juicy subjects including plans for a new Direct Hit! album, the Domesplitter reissue, potential for a new Galactic Cannibal LP, lyrics, and our Dying Scene head honcho’s claims that he “discovered” Direct Hit!.

Read all about it and more in the interview below.

Domesplitter will hit the streets April, 14th courtesy of Fat Wreck Chords.



March’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

Rats in the Wall

We’re keeping our intro short and sweet because we have got some certified rippers to introduce you to in this month’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp. Other than Festival season starting up, there’s not really much to talk about anyway (although the lineups for the club shows for this year’s PRB Vegas are looking rather nice)! Speaking of which, our selections this month may just be the best, all around lineup we’ve ever put together! So, without further delay, check out these six stunning bands, below!



DS Photo Gallery: Dropkick Murphys and The Interrupters at Agganis Arena (Boston, MA)

 

For the last fifteen-or-so years, Massachusetts-based Celtic punk icons Dropkick Murphys playing a string of hometown shows has become as synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day as their musical forebears Mighty Mighty Bosstones doing a similar thing has been with Christmastime. As the band’s popularity has increased, so too has the size of venues at these St. Patrick’s weekend shenanigans, and the last two years have featured dates at the Agganis Arena, the state-of-the-art, 7200-capacity hockey rink located on the campus of Boston University. For many bands, the tendency on such a large stage might be to play “just the hits” in order to cater to the casual fans, but Dropkick Murphys, as it turns out, are not one of those bands. Say what you will about their level of “Tessie”/”Shipping Up To Boston”- inspired fame, but Dropkick Murphys have long been conscious or remembering the fans that’ve been there since the days when the clubs they played would fit within the confines of the stage of the Agganis (case in point: yours truly first saw the Dropkicks in August 1997, when they played in between the Mr. Rogers Project and The Pietasters at the Living Room in Providence).

A confetti cannon (seen above) and the instrumental “Lonesome Boatman” from the Dropkicks’ latest release 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory (released January 6th on their own Born & Bred Records) introduced the band to the stage before they proceeded to launch into their 2007 hit “State Of Massachusetts.” If I can take a minute to inject myself into this story, here’s where I publicly apologize to Ken Casey & Company. I think it’s important to point out that I count myself as one of those hometown fans that’s been hypercritical (unfairly so) of the band over the last dozen post-“Tessie” years, though that’s strictly a musical critique; their tremendous fundraising and community work and their ongoing penchant for giving local bands a break is not only beyond reproach but is ultimately the stuff to which all bands should aspire. But I’ll tell you what…since the 90 minute set that began with the opening tenor banjo riff on “…Massachusetts,” yours truly has been not only back aboard the Good Ship Murphys, but more than a little embarrassed about having jumped off in the first place.

The setlist on this night, as on most nights, was pretty varied and all-encompassing. Sure 11 Short Stories… was well represented, but so too were earlier albums like Do Or Die, Blackout and The Warrior’s Code on songs like “Boys On The Docks,” “Time To Go,” and, of course, the latter album’s title track, which is a shoutout to local boxing legend “Irish” Micky Ward who was, of course, in attendance. What’s perhaps most impressive about a Dropkick Murphys set circa 2017, aside maybe from their ability to keep a crowd constantly fired up, is the level of sheer musicianship among the group’s core. Ken Casey is, by his own admission, not the world’s most astute bass player, but he’s also their unquestionable heart-and-soul. Drummer Matt Kelly and principle frontman Al Barr are about as quietly strong-up-the-middle as you’ll find. Like the band as a whole, the trio of Tim Brennan, Jeff DeRosa and Kevin Rheault (longtime tech who’s filling in for James Lynch on this run), however, don’t get nearly enough credit. At any given time, the three trade off between guitar, mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, tin whistle and keyboard duties, rarely manning the same battle station for more than two or three songs in a row. The seamless nature that things seem to run in that regard is  really awesome, in the literal sense of the word.

Direct support on this night, as on the bulk of the month-long tour, came from The Interrupters. The ska punk quartet have been mighty busy over the last nine months or so since releasing their sophomore album, Say It Out Loud; since playing the duration of last year’s Warped Tour, they headlined full Europe and US tours of their own before heading back across the pond to open for Green Day immediately before this Dropkicks spot. It’s no secret that The Interrupters have been one of yours truly’s favorite bands to cover over the last few years, and performances like this particular one exemplify why, at least in part. The insanely talented (and yet somehow still wildly underrated) rhythm section of twin brothers Jesse (drums) and Justin (bass) Bivona keep the gas pedal floored, with Justin teaming with big brother Kevin (guitar, above) and frontwoman Aimee “Interrupter” as a three-headed ball of constant frenetic energy at the front of the stage. As Kevin mentioned when we caught up for an interview on these pages last year, the band are mindful that they’ve developed a sound product that definitely works, and if anything critical can be said of how they’ve made it work at the end of another long, successful tour run, it’s almost that they make it look TOO easy. (Oh, and they’re one of the only bands that can cover an Operation Ivy classic, “Sound System,” without sounding like a cheap, watered-down knockoff.)

Also opening this night (and most of the rest of the tour) was genuine Irish punk band Blood Or Whiskey. With all apologies to the Dublin-based sextet, a variety of communication mishaps between arena staff lead yours truly on a half-hour-long wild goose chase that resulted in me missing the entirety of their set, save for a song about frontman Dugs Mulhooly’s favorite pub back home closing down, only to be replaced by a coffee shop. Sorry lads…we’ll catch you next time around, we promise.

Head below for our full photo gallery from the Interrupters and Dropkick Murphys sets. And a special thanks to my much younger brother from another mother Nick Gold for the assist. Good on ya, bud.



DS Interview: John of Dead Bars talks new album, slice-of-life songwriting, and dreamin’ big

For years now, Seattle’s Dead Bars have been releasing killer music on a small scale. Now, the band is poised to release their first full-length on No Idea Records, joining a legacy that includes Radon, Against Me!, Hot Water Music, The Tim Version, and many, many more.

I was lucky enough to hear the new record and talk to chief songwriter and vocalist John Maiello via e-mail. Click here for the interview.



One Hidden Frame (skate-punk) release music video for “Exploding Head Syndrome”

Finnish shred-machine One Hidden Frame have a 9 song collection of riff-infused melodic punk coming out March 17th in the form of their new album, “Harmful Content”. To get you fired up for it we’re stoked to premiere a music video for the album’s first single “Exploding Head Syndrome” and you can tear your face off to it below.

“Harmful Content” is being put out by the good folks at Bird Attack Records and you can purchase the album right here.



DS Exclusive: Greg Attonito on the Bouncing Souls new single, “Battleground,” and maintaining a thirty-year music career

A little over a month ago and with little in the way of advanced fanfare, New Jersey punk icons The Bouncing Souls released a brand new single, “Battleground.” Included in the information distributed about the song at the time was a note that a portion of the proceeds from the single would be donated to the Indigenous Environmental Network, particularly surrounding that agency’s help in the fight in Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Inspired by the song and the corresponding video (watch it here), we caught up with the band’s frontman, Greg Attonito, for a chat about the unique song’s origin and message.

It’s important to mention rather prominently that “Battleground” was not a leftover track from the recording sessions for the band’s most recent album, last year’s Simplicity. It was, instead, inspired by much more recent events, and came from a source that should be familiar to most fans of the Souls, whether they realize the name Garrett Reppenhagen at first listen or not. “It all came about very quickly,” says Attonito. “It was December (2016), and a good friend of ours (Garrett Reppenhagen), was a sniper in the Iraq war and ended up becoming friends with the band…he was the person who provided lyrics to the song we wrote in 2006, “Letters From Iraq.” 

Reppenhagen has remained prominent in the activist community since returning from Iraq, and had launched a Kickstarted campaign to help raise money to buy supplies for a trip to Standing Rock. The band donated money to the cause, but it became apparent in relatively short order that they wanted to — and were able to — do more. “I was just thinking about how it would be cool to let the world know how we feel somehow, and literally the next day the lyrics came to me. I wrote them down and had a little guitar part. I texted to the guys, and right away they were like “this is a great idea.” 

From there, things moved quickly. The band were already set to get together to play a few shows in New York late last year, so Attonito and drummer George Rebelo changed their flights and the full Voltron that is the Bouncing Souls convened at guitarist Pete Steinkopf’s Asbury Park studio to flesh out the idea. We worked the song out in the early afternoon (of the first day back together). We set up the drums and started recording that night, and by the next afternoon, the song was recorded — vocals finished and everything.” 

The band enlisted the help of frequent collaborator Matt Gere to put together a video, and Gere decided to delve outside his normal comfort zone, making his first real foray into the process of animation. The result is a video that is unique in the Bouncing Souls canon, and syncs up well with the song’s overall message of standing together in the face of opposition. The finished product was actually ready for release early in January, but the band chose to table it’s release until just after the Presidential inauguration, for reasons that should be obvious. It’s a political song, it is not, for example, “Holiday In Cambodia.” Instead, it’s a quintessential Bouncing Souls, so it’s melodic and uplifting. Says Attonito, “the political songs for us have really been weird territory. Man, I love a good “Holiday In Cambodia” – those kinds of songs are just amazing, but we never could write songs like that. Not many people can.

Head below to read our full Q&A with Greg. We touch on a lot of material, but particularly focus on the changes in the band that occurred post-Comet, specifically once longtime drummer Michael McDermott parted ways with the band and their resulting — almost instantaneous — decision to recruit Hot Water Music drummer George Rebelo into the fold.

The Souls kick off a ten-day run in the western US alongside with support from Get Dead and The Bombpops next week, and just announced that they’ll be opening half of the upcoming Rancid/Dropkick Murphys co-headlining dates this summer. Check out dates here.



DS Photo Gallery: Slingshot Dakota with Ratboys, Lilith and Pushflowers (Boston, MA)

Slingshot Dakota

The dynamic duo that is Slingshot Dakota have teamed up with Chicago’s Ratboys for a three-week-ish tour that’ll take the two bands to and from the annual SXSW festival in Austin. The second night of the aforementioned tour was a sold out (in advance!!) stop at Boston’s O’Brien’s Bar, where the Topshelf Records labelmates teamed up with local bands Lilith and Pushflowers for one of the more positive and musically diverse and inspiring bills that yours truly has had the good fortune to take in in quite some time.

Pushflowers

Pushflowers got things rolling on the evening, and while yours truly had not previously heard the four-piece, that was for good reason: this particular occasion marked their first ever show. In point of fact, knowing that it’s a band’s debut show can, at times, make showgoers almost as nervous as the actual band who’s playing said show. After a very brief first song false-start, any and all fears were quickly laid to rest, as co-front-women Rocio Del Mar and Justine DeFeo led the band through a groove-heavy half-hour danceable set of synth-pop-infused rock tunes. So groove-heavy and danceable, in fact, that crowd-members and fellow bands alike were left with the impression that the band were lying about it being their first show. Not your textbook Dying Scene band, for sure, but a hell of a lot of fun nonetheless.

Lilith

Allston-based three-piece Lilith were up next. Like Pushflowers, they’re also not your textbook Dying Scene band, but as I said a few paragraphs ago, this was a fun and diverse lineup. Lilith are raw and more than a little show-gazey in style and substance, with a slightly stripped-down version of a sound that would have been a perfect fit in the college radio scene in the Northeast or the Pacific Northwest two decades ago. Thankfully, we have them here now.

 

Ratboys

Ratboys are serving as direct support on this tour, though they could certainly be headlining venues like O’Brien’s in their own right. Ratboys are a garage band with serious chops (honestly — watch David Sagan play guitar for half a song and you’ll get it), who thankfully have a knack for seemingly not taking themselves too seriously (let’s just say there were Crocs involved). Frontwoman Julia Steiner has a bit of an unassuming presence about her yet she has a voice and a playing style that is truly captivating. Ratboys are one of the catchier bands that I’ve had come down the digital ‘pike in the last small handful of years, and their live sound is a few notches above their recorded sound, which is a wonderful, welcome sign.

 

Slingshot Dakota

And speaking of bands whose live presence blows the proverbial doors off their recorded sound…Slingshot Dakota turned in a next-level intense performance, the likes of which have become their trademark. I’ll state rather simply and directly that if you haven’t seen Slingshot Dakota live, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The wife-husband combo of vocalist/keyboardist Carly Comando and her partner-in-crime Tom Patterson are easily one of the more dynamic live bands going. Comando’s voice and playing show range as she quiets things down and forces you to pay attention before the duo drop the intensity hammer down and beat you into submission. Where some drummers in such a situation would be content to serve simply as the sonic backbone to the band, Patterson plays loud and heavy, and is a constant ball of percussive energy. You sometimes forget that you’re watching a two-piece band, until one of them pauses between songs to steal a playful kiss from the other. That the two of them have chemistry probably goes without saying, but they seem to continually be genuinely in awe of getting to play with and inspire each other personally and creatively.

Check out our full photo gallery below, and seriously, go here to find out where you can catch Slingshot Dakota and Ratboys in concert over the next couple weeks. It’ll be well worth the trip.



DS Photo Galley: Dave Hause and the Mermaid with Vapers and Rebuilder (Cambridge, MA)

In the handful of years since The Loved Ones went on their sort of indefinite hiatus (last year’s anniversary shows notwithstanding), Dave Hause hit the ground running as a solo artist, playing shows in the States and abroad as part of the Revival Tour or opening for acts like Alkaline Trio, Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly, etc. He added his younger brother, Tim, to the mix on guitar and keyboards when it came time to tour in support of his sophomore album, Devour, four years ago, and the two spent several years touring and eventually writing and recording together since.

For the release of his third album, Bury Me In Philly (February 3rd, Rise Records), Hause has assembled a full band, dubbed The Mermaid, consisting of his brother on (mostly) lead guitar, Bad Religion’s Jay Bentley’s son, Miles, on bass, fellow East-Coaster-turned-Californian Kevin Conroy on drums, and the infinitely talented Kayleigh Goldsworthy on keys and guitars and backing vocals. Prior to heading to Europe for their first official tour as a collective unit, Dave Hause and his newly formed backing band, The Mermaid, played a handful of bi-coastal US record release shows in support of his third solo album, Bury Me In Philly . The shows marked the first-ever time that Hause has performed with a full band since going it alone in the post-Loved Ones years, a very clear — yet potentially nerve-wracking — “next step” in his trajectory as a solo artist. If show #6 as a group is any sign of what’s to come, that trajectory is going to take a marked upturn in the very near future.

The quintet scorched through a sixteen-song set to a sold out crowd upstairs at the legendary Cambridge, Massachusetts, Middle East nightclub last Friday. While tracks from Bury Me In Philly took center stage in the set list, Hause’s first two solo albums were well represented in their own respective rights. It’s fair (and perhaps understated) to say that whether as a solo performer or as the leader of the family duo, the elder Hause has always taken full command of whatever stage he’s graced, engaging the crowd and performing as a full-on, band-leading frontman regardless of the setting or the size of the venue. Part of this ability stems obviously from his punk rock days, but part of it was out of necessity, as his engaging passion and honest intensity as a performer kept him from becoming a dime-a-dozen acoustic-wielding solo performer. And while Hause performing solo (or with only Tim as his accompaniment) will always be compelling, watching The Mermaid in action felt like it was meant to be.

The band gelled quickly, with no obvious signs that they’d been playing together in public for what amounts to less than a calendar week. Conroy and Bentley kept the ship steady and pushed the tempo and Goldsworthy, and accomplished musician in her own right, made her almost constantly changing duties come across almost effortless. The formation of the full band has allowed the younger Hause to take over a more prominent role, and he seems to be truly cherishing it. Tim’s immense talent and youthful energy seem not only increasingly natural on stage but inspirational to his frontman older brother, who appears to be relishing his roles as band leader and big brother in equal parts. Having a capable band at his back allows Hause to finally give older songs like “C’Mon Kid” and “Melanin” and personal favorite “Autism Vaccine Blues” the sort of the sort of full, pedal-down justice they deserve, and the five-piece genuinely seem to be having fun performing with each other in the process.

Direct support on this night (and the rest of the brief East Coast run) was provided by Vapers, a New York-based four piece (officially, though there were five on this night) outfit of semi-mysterious origin. Co-fronted by a couple of familiar faces, “Spanish Maria” Correonero and “Uncle Bernard” (the latter of whom looks eerily similar to Hause’s bud and fellow Loved One David Walsh) and backed by a couple of current and/or former members of Morning Glory, the band play a fun brand of poppy, garagey alternative punk that, at least from a sonic perspective, owes as much to the gritty, post-punk New York City (think Sonic Youth) of a decade ago as it does to the lo-fi hipster punk of present day Williamsburg. The sound is a little bit muddy and angular by design, keeping the band from sounding redundant or formulaic. Fun stuff; check them out.

 Local support on this night came from the mighty Rebuilder. I’m not entirely sure what else I can tell you about Rebuilder that I haven’t told you on these pages before, but they’re obviously my favorite band to come out of this part of the States in recent memory. While no doubt capable of commanding larger stages as will someday hopefully be the case, the five-piece certainly know what they’re doing in the role of local openers. The band got down to business quickly, ripping through eight songs with little downtime, perfectly filling their half-hour slot with a set tailored to the occasion. They ran through a couple of new songs from their upcoming EP, Songs From The Massachusetts Turnpike, that may be among the strongest songs they’ve written to date. Stay tuned for more on that…

…and head below for our full photo gallery from the sold-out, sweat-soaked evening!



February’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

With the climate of Nationalism rising across the globe these days, it’s always good to step back, take a deep breath and refocus on the big picture. Remembering that although we may live in different areas of the world and have different cultures and beliefs, there are far more things that we have in common. For us specifically, one of those many things, is music! So, it’s with this in mind, that we forge ahead into February’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp. This month, in the spirit of Globalism and celebration of the diversity of cultures, we’ve chosen to feature bands from all corners of the Planet (ed: it’s round, you moron. there are no corners), ’cause, the only border we reckanize is the tropopause! Check ’em out, below!



Exclusive: Jason Cruz spills surprising details on new Strung Out EP “Black Out The Sky”

Last week word quickly spread through the interwebs that California punk legends Strung Out had begun working on a new album titled “Black Out The Sky”. Beyond that, details were largely nonexistent, but luckily for you DS readers we were able to get the full scoop directly from singer Jason Cruz himself.

What we learned is as exciting as it is unexpected. Basically, this isn’t going to be your standard Strung Out release. For one, it’s going to be acoustic. Yeah. Second, its apparently going to be some of the band’s “darkest” work to date. Intriguing! Here’s exactly what Cruz told us:

“Strung out is currently working on a 5-7 song EP entitled “Black Out The Sky” set to release early summer 2017 on Fat Wreck Chords. BOTS will be a collection of acoustic songs written with a loose theme to match the title. To simply call it an ‘acoustic album’ would not be doing it justice and it very well may be our darkest release yet.

Never writing same record twice – yet at the same time staying true to our fans has always been our priority as a band. We do not plan on abandoning our signature sound but with the way things are now, this record may be the perfect remedy in a world where everything is turned up to eleven. We are confident fans of Strung Out will not be disappointed.”

We’ll keep you posted as progress is made on the album and with any luck we’ll convince the band to let us premiere a song early for you guys. Stay tuned!

Strung Out’s last album Transmission.Alpha.Delta was released in early 2015 on Fat Wreck Chords.



DS Exclusive: Crusades premiere new song and video, plus interview with singer Dave Williams

Sweet news! Crusades have released a lyric video for “1713 (The Scorching Fevers)” off their upcoming This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End, out March 7th through Anxious & Angry (US) and Countless Altars (Canada/World).

Even better news! I was lucky enough to sit down (via e-mail) with Crusades singer and guitarist Dave Williams to talk about songwriting, heavy music, and cathartic art. Click here to check out the video and the interview!



DS Photo Gallery: Bryan McPherson, The Radiator Rattlers and Nick The Barbarian (Nashua, NH)

Hard-working protest punk troubadour Bryan McPherson spent the better part of December touring eastward from his adopted homeland of California to his original homeland of Boston, Massachusetts, and he’s spent the better part of the past few weeks headed back to the West Coast. Early on the post-inauguration leg of the tour, he rolled through The Thirsty Turtle in yours truly’s original hometown of Nashua, New Hampshire. It probably goes without saying that the present administration is going to require — and inspire — a great deal of fiery protest literature and music and art. McPherson has been a thorn in the side of the status quo for many years now (you may recall his being banned from performing at Disney-owned locations a couple years back while opening for Dropkick Murphys), though his words take on added gravity now.

On the morning of this particular show, women (and the men and children who love them) took to the streets in overwhelming numbers (including an estimated 175,000 in nearby Boston) to protest the policies of the sexist, racist Cheeto-In-Chief, making the firebrand McPherson’s performance a perfect bookend. With little fanfare amidst an intimate but attentive crowd, McPherson ripped through a set comprised mostly of tracks from his last couple full-length albums, 2015’s Wedgewood and 2012’s American Boy, American Girl.

The Radiator Rattlers

Direct support was provided on this night by The Radiator Rattlers, a “cow-punk rock and roll” band from Haverhill, Massachusetts. The raucous seven-piece wasted little time between songs, instead blazing through a high-energy set forty-five-ish minute set that closed with a rather spontaneous, crowd-inspired cover of the Fear classic “I Love Living In The City.”

Nick The Barbarian

Nashua-based tattoo-artist-turned-one-man-band Nick The Barbarian played his typical booze-fueled set of songs about songs about ass-kicking debauchery and murdering the Westboro Baptist Church. His set is a lot of fun, although there was roughly an hour between show-opener Berten Lee’s finger-picked folk punk set and that of the Barbarian, all-but killing whatever sort of momentum had been building for the five-act show (a Massachusetts-based acoustic duo called Hometown Eulogy also played, and though they’re enjoyable, they’re more along the lines of Woodstock-era folk and not included in this particular story), though the Rattlers and McPherson certainly brought the intensity back late in the evening.

Check out the full photo galley below.