Album Review
Album Review: Former Member – “Old Youth”

There was a time where I would reject everything that I considered a side project. In my young, dumb, and narrow mind, there could only be one true outlet for an artist’s work, and whatever got passed around to the other projects were leftovers. None More Black, ironically was one of my favorite bands, and as strict minds do, I ignored my own hypocrisy by never getting into Kid Dynamite. I know longer hold those weird standards with music, thankfully—I know people can grow and change and what they want when they’re twenty isn’t going to be what they want when they’re thirty and so on and so forth. So, when I heard None More Black singer Jason Shevchuk had a new band and a new album, I didn’t balk—I just thought to myself: I wonder where Jason’s at these days.

Former Member has that same distinctive sense of melody, those same gravel-coated vocal cords. It’s stripped down and methodical; a melodic punk two-piece. Shevchuk handles guitar and vocals while producer-extraordinaire Will Yip plays drums. This is a true supergroup of punk rock talents, an intimate marriage of two people who love making music. But funny enough, the fact that this is a closed circle, with only two members, makes the band all the more respectable. This doesn’t sound like two scene vets cashing in on their respective credibility. Old Youth has enough great songs and personality to earn its renown on its own.

“Cold Open” has one of the best melodies I’ve heard in a long time, enough that it’s almost always bouncing off the insides of my skull. It’s mid-tempo, gruff, and beautiful; the sounds of punks growing up and growing into what they’ve learned along the way. In this case—songwriting. Shevchuk shows us he’s still got it, and he may not have even reached his peak yet. And there’s not just strong melodies, but there’s a lot of them. The song pushes into new territory effortlessly, with melody building on top of melody, with support and counterpoint from Shevchuk’s own guitar.

Old Youth actually has a diversity of sounds on it. “Double Scoop of Trouble (Looking for a Cone)” is a sort of bluesy hard rock song that reminds me of something straight out of the ZZ Top catalog. As the song progresses though, it takes on a more punk identity, especially with its chorus. “Root Notes” is another highlight, instantly arresting with its big catchy hook—bridging the gap between gospel and melodic punk. “What fools we are, doesn’t matter how cool we are,” is sure to be one of the most singable lines of the year.

“Goat of Dover” ends the album, at times both bouncy and melancholy. It’s a great way to sum up what we’ve seen in the past from None More Black, Kid Dynamite, and LaGrecia and now with Former Member, we see the sensibility carried into the present and hopefully the future. Old Youth is a collection of songs that prove that punk doesn’t have to burn out or fade away.

4/5



Exclusive Stream
DS Exclusive: One Square Mile (Hardcore) Premieres “Pieces” From New LP

How’s about some hardcore to get you through your horrible Humpday?!? Today’s exclusive premiere is from the debut full-length album The System from Hermosa Beach’s One Square Mile. Comprised of ex-members from the Circle Jerks, Saccharine Trust, Zero Down, Pennywise and The Resolutions, this quartet brings together exceptional musicianship, thunderous riffs and thought provoking lyrics. The new LP, which releases today, was recorded at Maple Studios with producer Cameron Webb (Motorhead, Weezer and Social Distortion), along with production contributions from fellow South Bay legend Fletcher Dragge (Pennywise). From start to finish this freshman full length takes you on a punk rock and hardcore journey that is a contemporary sonic assault with nostalgic overtures, that will leave you listening to over and over again!!! So head on over iTunes  or Bandcamp and order a copy, Then while you wait for it download, stream the debut single “Pieces” below!


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Video
The Hempsteadys release video for “Still Life with Woodpecker”

The Hempsteadys have released a new music video for “Still Life with Woodpecker”, the first track off their latest album Séance! Séance! It gives us a glimpse of what kind of rowdy energy the band provides in a live setting, except this time it’s from an alleyway in New London, CT.

Check out the video below.


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Video
Abandoned By Bears (Easycore) release new video for “Greyscale”

Swedish easycore band Abandoned By Bears have released a new video for their song “Greyscale,” which comes from their upcoming album, Headstorm, that is set to be released on August 24th, 2018 via Victory Records.

You can check out the video below.

Abandoned By Bears last released The Years Ahead in 2016.


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Video
Hellbent (hardcore) release video for “Vagabond”

Ontario hardcore band Hellbent have released a video for their new single “Vagabond.”

You can check it out below.

Hellbent last released the EP Pups, Penguins, & Sockeye Salmon Sandwiches on September 22nd, 2017.


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Music
Restorations stream new song “Nonbeliever”

Philly punk band Restorations are streaming their new song, “Nonbeliever,” which comes from their upcoming album LP5000 that is scheduled for a September 28 release via Tiny Engines.

You can give it a listen below.

Restorations last released LP3 in 2014.


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Music
Fake News (punk) stream new album “EWWWW!”

Gold Coast punks Fake News are streaming their new album, EWWWW!, which was released on August 8th.

You can give it a listen below.

Fake News last released No Walls in January 2018.


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Video
Those Without (Pop-Punk, Sweden) release video for “C.O.A.C.O”

Swedish pop-punk act Those Without have released a video for their new single “C.O.A.C.O.”

You can check it out below.

Those Without last released Blackout//Amnesia in January 2018.


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Release
Demolition Derby Compilation streaming four new songs including new track from Scumbag Millionaire

Italian based Retro Vox Records is streaming four new songs off of their upcoming compilation album Demolition Derby. Featuring two songs each from Scumbag Millionaire, Black Gremlin and King Mastino. The compilation will be released September 20th, and can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp.

Check out the new songs below.

This album features some of the best international punk acts not in North America so do yourself a favor and give it a listen.


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Release
Duck & Cover (pop-punk) streaming new album “Rob Them Blind”

Massachusetts pop-punks Duck & Cover are streaming their new album Rob Them Blind. The album features eight catchy tunes, Dead To Rights was my favorite track on the new album. The heavy guitar riffs combined with the Weezeresque delivery of the vocals make for a very 90’s pop-punk sound.

Check out the new album below.

This is the first new music from Duck & Cover since the 2016 release of Stuck In Decline. If you’re a fan of Screeching Weasel or The Riptides you will enjoy these guys.


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Release
Rocket From Russia Fest is streaming 2018 compilation Punkouver Vol.2

To get everyone ready for this upcoming weekends Rocket From Russia Fest, being held in the Astoria Hastings Pub in the lovely city of Vancouver. Rocket From Russia Fest is streaming the brand new Punkouver Vol. 2 compilation. The compilation features the musical stylings of Daggermouth, You Big Idiot and Canadian pop-punk icons The Hextalls.

Get ramped up for Rocket From Russia Fest here.

Rocket From Russia Fest will be held this upcoming weekend, August 16th, 17th, and 18th in Vancouver, BC. The Hextalls and Cambridge will be playing shows for the first time in a while, so if you’re in the area grab some tickets, they are still available here


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Release
Modern Guns (melodic hardcore) streaming new song “Whispered”

Indonesian melodic punks Modern Guns are streaming their new song “Whispered” (Featuring Hun). No word on whether this might be part of a bigger project or an album.

You can check out Modern guns new song below.

This is the first new music from the Indonesian punks since 2016’s The Place Where I Left You. If you’re a fan of Matchbook Romance or 88 Fingers Louie, the guitar riffs are very metal heavy while the lyrics carry the melodic feeling of a Matchbook Romance tune, so if you like either of those guys you’ll enjoy these guys too.


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