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 Dying Scene Album Review: Forever Unclean – “Best”

Let’s give some love to the Danish punk scene. For years, the scene has become more and more noticeable and we have a lot of bands to thank for that. In September ‘19, when I was going through an insomnia-filled three days, I decided to go on a deep dive and that’s when I discovered […]

Let’s give some love to the Danish punk scene. For years, the scene has become more and more noticeable and we have a lot of bands to thank for that. In September ‘19, when I was going through an insomnia-filled three days, I decided to go on a deep dive and that’s when I discovered this band, and that might have been the second best thing to happen to me in that year. But let’s get on with this review. Back in January of 2022, a Danish skate-indie-punk trio called Forever Unclean released their first full-length LP via Nasty Cut Records (EU), Disconnect Disconnect Records (UK), and Hidden Home Records (US), consisting of 11 tracks. If you’re already familiar with Forever Unclean, they are pretty known for their short and one-worded title tracks, which we were introduced to on their EP’s Float, Woof, and Shreds. And that, much to my joy, is still the case with Best.

With Best, I took a different approach than starting from the top with “Dream.” When I first heard the record I decided to put it on “Shuffle” like some daredevil. The first song I heard, was “Kold” sung in the band’s native language Danish, and it became a favorite from the first guitar riff before the vocals come in. While it could fool one and sound uplifting and energetic, the lyrics do put another spin on the song. “Jeg er ligeglad nu”, translated to English “I don’t care right now”.  I’ll admit, speaking Danish myself, I do think it’s nice to see the band dabble in Danish, knowing that it might only be appreciated by their Danish fans. But they took a chance and it definitely paid off.

Next up is Mandy, a cute love note to someone special. “I really need a break from reality with you, with you”, this song is unbelievably catchy from the first verse, and then picks up its pace around the 30-second mark, once again showing off how the three-piece work so well together, from the supporting vocals laying a good background to Lasse’s raw, impressive vocals. This could become a fan favorite in no time. I’ll even go as far as saying, this song should be pushed a lot more; send it to someone you love next Valentine’s Day or Anniversary.

“Smile” is the penultimate song on Best, and opens with Leo’s carefree and rapid drumming. I find this song might be where he shines through, yet the way Lasse and Troels complement the drumming, with their talents on the guitar and bass, gives me at best, ‘90s grunge vibes towards the end, probably why it deserves a mention. While I love punk, getting that hint of grunge from anyone has me hooked when I pick it up.

While I could give a track-by-track review of the record, I believe you need to check it out yourself and not get too influenced by a review. I’ll say this: the record packs punch after punch and you’ll only be glad you heard it. Even from listening to their previous material for three years, it’s very clear how these guys have grown into the band and with each other, the raw emotions transferred in the lyrics, while the instruments play some more uplifting music go with them. Throughout the record, you will are met with short songs, but they pack a lot and there’s no dropping the ball on this record. The trio does know how to properly mash genres, borrowing from the early ‘90s rock, and fast-paced pop-punk, and showing how not all indie music has to be quiet and can take a punch to it. The emotional display that we are met with on the album really benefits the band lyrical-wise, as a few bands before them haven’t been shy of showing a different emotional range on their records. Forever Unclean does it differently, with shorter and more packed songs with lyrics that make you reflect since I could ask them if they were doing a lot of self-reflecting while writing.

From the first listening, I knew this record was going to be on my top ten AoTY List, and I’m glad to say it still is even with all the releases that came this year.

If you want to catch them, they are supporting ALLDEEPENDS and Sewer Cats on selected dates, starting already Friday, November 18th in Copenhagen!

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DS Photo Gallery: Mercy Union “White Tiger” record release w/Lenny Lashley, Early Riser and Felons (Crossroads, Garwood NJ – 8/5/22)

If you read our review of Mercy Union‘s dynamite sophomore album, White Tiger, last week, it should probably come as no surprise that even though I live in Massachusetts and the official record release show occurred on a Friday in New Jersey, I was going to be there. And I was! My “forever-plus-one” and I […]

If you read our review of Mercy Union‘s dynamite sophomore album, White Tiger, last week, it should probably come as no surprise that even though I live in Massachusetts and the official record release show occurred on a Friday in New Jersey, I was going to be there. And I was! My “forever-plus-one” and I hopped in the car, dropped our teenager off at her grandparents’ house, and made our way to Crossroads in Garwood, NJ, a club that has become a sort of home-away-from-home for us the last half-dozen years or so. (Really, if you live in the greater NYC area, you should make it a point to go to Crossroads for dinner and a show. You won’t regret it.)

Felons were the first band out of the gate on this evening. Astute followers of the New Jersey music scene will no doubt remember Zak Ferentz from Ferentz and the Felons. The Hudson County street folker retooled his band during quarantine lockdown. Now known simply as Felons, the band still features Ferentz on acoustic guitar and vocals, but he’s backed by a bass player and, well, I don’t have nearly enough knowledge of electronic music to have even the foggiest idea to know what Plantcham was playing on stage right, but I know that it combined for a really cool and weird and interesting sound. Sort of acoustic folk punk meets drone synth with all sorts of samples in the mix. Ferentz at one point introduced a song as being “about doing too many psychadelics” and I’d say that sounds about right. Check the video for “Sheep’s Wool” here for a pretty accurate example.


Brooklyn’s Early Riser were next up, and I have to say, I’m really, really glad I finally got the chance to see them. For the uninitiated, it’s safe to say that Early Riser continue the evening’s theme of bands that are tough to confine to a specific genre box. The sound is centered around Kiri Oliver’s playful vocals and small body Martin acoustic with additional texture provided by Heidi Vanderlee on cello and Nicole Nussbaum on bass. Drums are handled by none other than Mikey Erg, and all members provide harmonies. It’s like posi folk punk power-pop and it inspired a random and unexpected dance break in the crowd!


Much like yours truly, Lenny Lashley made the trip down from Massachusetts. Accompanied by frequent collaborator, the multi-talented Cody Nilsen on pedal steel, Lenny occupied the night’s direct support slot. I think Lenny is the artist I’ve seen most since Covid started a couple years ago because I tend not to wander too far away from home now, so it was fun to actually see him play a road game. Lashley bounced between acoustic (a 1937 Martin reissue, I believe) and electric (a tele-style Nacho Guitar if you’re into that sort of thing) and, while he’s got a massive catalog, stuck to songs mostly from his solo repertoire, including a few tracks from his upcoming album Five Great Egrets (more on that later). Lashley and Mercy Union frontman Jared Hart go back to the days when the former welcomed the latter’s old band, The Scandals, to Boston many years ago, so it’s been fun to watch the connection continue across state lines well over a decade later.

Which brings us, of course, to the Mercy Union portion of the evening. Hart and the gang (Rocky Catanese on guitar and occasional lead vocals, Nick Jorgensen on bass and backing vocals, recent recruit byt familiar face Matt Olsson on drums) fired up the margarita machine and fired straight into “1988,” “The Void” and lead single “Prussian Blue,” the three tracks that open White Tiger and set its sonic tone. The new material was, naturally, pretty well received from the home crowd, most of whom had clearly been listening to the album on repeat for at least the duration of release day if not, in some special cases, considerably longer. The 16-song set was heavy on White Tiger, naturally, with a few songs from their debut album, The Quarry, a couple reworked Hart solo songs, and a completely on-brand singalong cover of Goo Goo Dolls classic “Black Balloon” for good measure.


It was apparent from the earliest notes of their set that the band wore not only loaded for bear, but were having fun in the process. It is obviously a bit of a daunting task to put out an album on your own label two-and-a-half years into a global pandemic, and then to host a record release show at a well-respected club in your backyard (a club that, coincidentally, yours truly traveled to for a Scandals record release show a bunch of years ago). The night was full of smiles and gratitude and shoutouts and guest appearances on gang vocals, proving that while the sound may have branched out from traditional punk rock, the vibe and the ethos once you’re inside the four walls of a sweaty club remains every bit the same.


Look below for photo slideshows from each set of the night. You can still order Mercy Union’s White Tiger here or get it wherever you buy your digital music!


MERCY UNION

LENNY LASHLEY (W/CODY NILSEN)

EARLY RISER

FELONS

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DS Photo Gallery: Pinkshift w/ Jigsaw Youth & Yasmin Nur – Cobra Lounge, Chicago, IL (10/26/2022)

The rapidly-rising pop punk trio Pinkshift stopped in Chicago for their headlining tour after releasing their debut album Love Me Forever. Accompanied by Jigsaw Youth and Yasmin Nur, the all-ages crowd at Cobra Lounge packed the house and left with an unforgettable night of female-fronted music. Wichita, Kansas native singer/songwriter Yasmin Nur opened the night […]

The rapidly-rising pop punk trio Pinkshift stopped in Chicago for their headlining tour after releasing their debut album Love Me Forever. Accompanied by Jigsaw Youth and Yasmin Nur, the all-ages crowd at Cobra Lounge packed the house and left with an unforgettable night of female-fronted music.


Wichita, Kansas native singer/songwriter Yasmin Nur opened the night with her band and brought along all the dreamy-yet-dark indie rock vibes you can ever ask for.


Jigsaw Youth quickly became one of my favorite bands after seeing them at Cobra Lounge in 2021 with Destroy Boys. The sludge-grunge queens of New York brought the same howling energy as they did last year and introduced the new single “Skin.”


Pinkshift released their debut album Love Me Forever on October 21, 2022 through Hopeless Records. The empowering and emotional album boasts several stellar hits including “i’m not crying you’re crying,” “nothing (in my head)” and “BURN THE WITCH.”

The new wave of pop punk is here and this album deserves to be a part of it!


Check out the full gallery below!


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DS Show Review & Gallery: The Eradicator, Bad Mechanics, Coronary (Reggie’s Music Joint – 10/14/2022)

Reggie’s Music Joint played Friday night host to a terrific trio of bands. The Joint is the smaller of Reggie’s music rooms but the energy explosion was no less than that of the Rock Club. The all-Chicago show was also the official celebration of The Eradicator’s new album. The Eradicator was inspired by a classic […]

Reggie’s Music Joint played Friday night host to a terrific trio of bands. The Joint is the smaller of Reggie’s music rooms but the energy explosion was no less than that of the Rock Club. The all-Chicago show was also the official celebration of The Eradicator’s new album.


The Eradicator was inspired by a classic Kids in the Hall sketch. As such, The Eradicator comes to the stage armed with a squash racquet, in a tennis outfit, and wears a ski mask. The character of The Eradicator may have been inspired by a comedy troupe, but its performance is itself inspired.

Because The Eradicator is an unmasked member of one of the earlier bands on the bill, it came on like a “hot ball” (no, that’s not a vulgar term). It also failed to stay within the service box that is the stage. But sometimes failure can be a good thing, especially when it produces an unshackled set which included “I Am The Eradicator,” “I’m a Squash Man,” “I’mma Be Me,” “One Rung at a Time,” and “Peak Eradicator.” The Eradicator also debuted tracks off of its new album, “Forever the Eradicator,” which is also billed as his final album, including, “Squash Stomp,” “Squash Bender,” “You Can’t Play Me,” and “Can’t Play Well With Others.”

The Eradicator may call this its final album, but un-retiring is a popular past-time in the USA so perhaps we will see The Eradicator on the court…err stage once again for a rematch with its fans.


Bad Mechanics is another band in the sub-genre of what I call humor-punk. It was in its full glory this night, eliciting smiles, laughs, and cheers from the crowd. The core duo of Ryan “Daddy” Durkin on vocals and Andy “Candy” Slania, were backed by touring band members, Danny Walkowiak on drums, and Scott Thomson on bass. The band tore through the chuckle-worthy set list, “You Drink LaCroix,” “Social Obligation,” “I Collect Stamps,” “Zine Festival,” “Donut in the Park,” DiCaprio Hit A Baby,” (hmm, I hazard to guess that last one could edge close to defamation but does not quite meet its standards) “USA Foods,” and “Must Be The Suburbs.”

That was the entire Bad Mechanics set. Not always possible to list a set list in full but here we are. Short, sweet, and please do a near future hometown repeat.


Coronary kicked off the hometown trifecta. The Windy City hardcore group jammed through a performance so intense, it required some tables near the small stage to be pushed back by venue staff members. Included in Coronary’s set list was “Victim of Truth,” I Quit,” “Bricks,” “Violent Era,” and “Scene Cops.” Coronary is as serious as a heart attack when it comes to expressing its collective opinions. Coronary will also get your blood pumping so catch one of its shows when next you can.


Check out more photos from the show below!


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Dying Scene Record Radar: This week in punk vinyl (Blink-182, Masked Intruder, the Interrupters & more)

Hello, and welcome to the latest installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar! If it’s your first time joining us, thank you! This is a weekly column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl. So kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, grab a few beers, and break out those wallets, because it’s […]

Hello, and welcome to the latest installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar! If it’s your first time joining us, thank you! This is a weekly column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl. So kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, grab a few beers, and break out those wallets, because it’s time to run through this week’s new releases and reissues. Let’s get into it!

Pulley‘s 1999 self-titled record got reissued a few years ago by Spanish indie label La Agonía de Vivir. It was limited to 500 copies, and it sold out pretty fuckin’ quick. Good news! If you missed out on the first run, they’ve repressed the record once again, with 200 copies on grey colored vinyl, and 300 on black vinyl. Go here to grab it, or don’t and regret it forever (or until they repress it again).

Up next is yet another classic skate punk reissue from La Agonía de Vivir: Adhesive‘s 1996 ripper Sideburner. Like the Pulley record, this is the second run of these, and it’s also on 500 copies (200 “milky clear”, and 300 on black vinyl). Get your copy here.

The Clash‘s iconic self-titled debut album is getting repressed on some purdy hot pink wax in honor of “National Album Day”. This is the first time I’ve been alerted to this holiday’s existence, I guess it’s some Bri’ish thing, innit? Amazon seems to be the cheapest place to get this one, and even then it’ll cost you 40 god damn freedom dollars!

Sorry if I sound like a broken record complaining about prices, but holy fuck! The thousand dollar tickets to Blink-182‘s upcoming “reunion tour” aren’t the only thing that’s pricey. Their new record – their first with Tom DeLonge since 2011’s Neighborhoods – is $37 fucking dollars!!! Holy Christ my brothers. Check out the first single below (it blows ass in my humble opinion, but you’re free to form your own opinion), and buy the record here if you want.

In case you didn’t know, Green Day‘s Nimrod is another record that turns 25 years old this year! They’re going all out for the album’s birthday, with a 5xLP box set featuring previously unreleased demos (check one out below!) and a live album recorded on their 1997 tour in support of Nimrod (there’s a poster and some other shit, too). Save some money by grabbing this one from our friends at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records – they have free shipping on orders over $75 and this box set clears that hurdle by a fair margin. Get it here.

Masked Intruder‘s sophomore album M.I. is back in print on colored vinyl thanks to the good people at Fat Wreck Chords. What color? I have no clue! The people at Fat are a secretive bunch. But hey, if you want this, or your a collector nerd and want the new variant regardless, you can acquire it here.

Also from Fat: Cobra Skulls‘ last 7″ Eagle Eyes is 10 years old, and the band is kinda back in action, so they reissued it as a 12″ EP with some bonus tracks. They did reveal the color for this one, and boy is it a sight for sore eyes. Buy it here (US), here (EU), or here (Down Under).

Lavasocks Records is releasing Canadian party punk folk heroes The Smugglers‘ 1993 album In the Hall of Fame on vinyl for the very first time! Grab your copy of the 2xLP on gold colored vinyl here.

Millencolin‘s Life on a Plate is back in print for the first time in a few years, with two brand new colors of wax. Newbury Comics has a cool “orange and cloudy clear” variant that you can get here, while Brooklyn Vegan has it on red vinyl which you can buy here.

While you’re visiting Newbury Comics to grab that Millencolin record, perhaps you’d like to get this new pressing of Bad Religion‘s latest record? This exclusive blue variant of Age of Unreason is available here. It’s limited to 500 copies.

Speaking of retailer exclusive variants (who came up with that idea anyway?), my fellow Central Floridians at Smartpunk have some super exclusive, limited pressings of two Interrupters records: Say it Out Loud and Fight the Good Fight. Very nice! You can get these here.

Here’s an upcoming release I’m personally very excited about. It’s an LP from Wrong Life featuring their first two EPs and some new bonus tracks. If you’re unfamiliar, this is former Murderburgers frontman Fraser’s current project (they were included in our Ten Underrated Bands feature a few months ago!). I highly recommend giving this a listen below, and grabbing the LP here (US), or here (EU).

Remember last week when we brought you the breaking news(!!!) that NOFX‘s So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes had a 25th Anniversary reissue on the way? Of course you do! Anyway, Epitaph still hasn’t officially announced this thing, but it seems a few retailers have jumped the gun and launched their pre-orders early. Loud Pizza Records has the US indie exclusive “Neapolitan Striped” variant listed on their webstore, and Danish retailer imusic.co has a brown color variant on their online store. Stay tuned for more!

RECORD OF THE WEEK!

We here at Dying Scene are all about trying new things, so this week I’m challenging you, loyal reader, to listen to something new! Or, in this case, something kinda old that is likely new to you! This week’s Record of the Week comes from my favorite hometown ska band Victims of Circumstance. These guys have released many albums – five to be exact – but 2011’s Acupunkture is the only one to receive a vinyl release. Coincidentally, this is also one of my all-time favorite ska-punk albums (it’s right up there with Less Than Jake‘s Losing Streak), and for the asking price of just $12 it’s a fucking steal. Buy this record!!!

And that’s all, folks! Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs. See ya next week!

Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Type “Record Radar” in the search bar at the top of the page!

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