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DS Exclusive/Show Gallery: La Armada

Story and Photography by Meredith Goldberg Back on July 25th, La Armada kicked off a mini tour in Chicago at The Burlington in support of its most recent record, Anti-Colonial Vol. 2. I caught up with founding member, and guitarist, Paúl Rivera, after the show to discuss, influences, legacies, and what drives them musically and otherwise.  La […]

Story and Photography by Meredith Goldberg

Back on July 25th, La Armada kicked off a mini tour in Chicago at The Burlington in support of its most recent record, Anti-Colonial Vol. 2. I caught up with founding member, and guitarist, Paúl Rivera, after the show to discuss, influences, legacies, and what drives them musically and otherwise. 

La Armada

La Armada was first formed in 2001 by grade school friends in the Dominican Republic: guitarist Jonathan Salazar, guitarist Paúl Rivera, bassist Mani Marte, and drummer Eric Urrea. Casper Torres has been on vocals for the group for a decade and is from Puerto Rico. “We have been going to play shows in Puerto Rico pretty much since we were 14 or 15 years old, so we all knew each other and grew up as friends,” says guitarist Paúl Rivera.

La Armada

“We discovered punk, hardcore and metal pretty much in the mid 90’s when internet service became available in the Dominican Republic. Metal is more known in the DR, and we enjoyed it but never really identified with the lyrics and imagery.”

Rivera continues, “Punk came more natural because we were feeling a lot of the same discontent they would be singing about, especially because during that time we were on the tail end of a  dictatorship state and on route to a Neo-liberal pseudo dictatorship.” 

Growing up in the DR, the band members were exposed to music at very young ages. “Music is always around in the Caribbean. Our first form of musical love was what was around, merengue, salsa, and Bachata. But once we discovered Spanish punk, American metal, and so on that’s when it became an obsession. “

La Armada

However, that obsession did not cause the band to entirely separate from the music of its native region. Rather, it fused the multiple genres to create its own unique sound. 

“When you are young and on the island you kinda rebel against the music your parents listened to, when you grow up and become an immigrant there is a yearning for it and those are the rhythms we try and incorporate into the heavy genres we participate in.”

La Armada

While La Armada has always had much to say with its music, Rivera notes the group has one strong, recurring theme, “Anti-Colonialism. Which we explain is just not in the historical context of large nations extracting the wealth of the global south. We also lump up what we call “neocolonialism” into this motto, which we define as all external forces that have an influence over masses of people, like news, information, social media, ads, product placements, etc. 

Rivera adds: “A lot of these things are destroying our sense of worth, the environment and each other, but we consume it daily because it’s wrapped up as entertainment. It’s hard to know right now what is more dangerous, the physical or the digital sword.”

La Armada

I also asked Rivera what are some of the bands and sounds most influential, to La Armada. “Musically it’s all over the place. Spanish Punk rock like La Polla, Escuela de Odio, and more. American Hardcore like Bad Brains and Sick of it All, the island music we grew up with like merengue and bachata. Canadian, melodic Punk like Propagandhi, classic metal bands. And on and on.” 

Turning to the way the band operates, Rivera says, “As a band model, we take a lot from the DIY hip hop scene. Limited Merch drops, live sampling, owning your own masters, etc.”

La Armada

From Burlington Bar’s stage, band members spoke repeatedly about pursuing your art and how artists need to really go after it. Rivera expanded on that post-show.

“We’re just at point where we’ve been doing this for so long and are now in our mid and late 30’s that anything other than being the absolute best version of the band wouldn’t be worth it.”

La Armada

He also noted, “As a small, DIY band that literally carves out any traction or momentum against all odds, we have made our peace with just putting the work in and trusting that the rest will take care of itself.”

Rivera explains, “Basically, if we’re going to do something, we are really going to go for it. Otherwise, none of us really have time for hobbies. For example, our album roll out consisted of 6 singles, 5 music videos and different pieces of visual art. All made in collaboration with artists from the Caribbean diaspora across the world. That was a big effort, but that was the only way we were going to do it. All or nothing.”

La Armada

Of course, La Armada found itself affected by the pandemic. Rivera addresses this:

“First off, we were lucky that everyone remained healthy, employed and nobody had immediate family affected by it. However, artistically it was rough. We were used to being on tour for 3 to 4 months out of the year and all of a sudden that was taken away from us. It felt like you lost your identity.”

He continues, “We were also planning on heading back out on some tours that coincided when COVID first hit so, we got left holding a bill for goods we had purchased for tour, which also completely sucked.”

La Armada

Rivera recognizes that despite difficulties, the group members might have been luckier than many others.

“A lot of bands and artists went through the same and much worse situations. Somehow, we made it to the other side and are now able to look at things differently, as in, simply doing the work is the reward.” 

That work includes the new La Armada record. 

“Our new record is Anti-Colonial Vol. 2 – It is the follow up to 2017’s Vol. 1. We wrote it and recorded it during the pandemic in 3 different spurts at the studio because things kept getting canceled because of Covid protocols.”

La Armada

Still, Rivera stresses the importance of remaining positive:

“It was a difficult time to do art, but it was the only way to keep the band going and maintain some sense of inspiration going.”

La Armada

The band has played sporadically thus far in 2022. “This year we had our Chicago release show in February, a weekend in the Midwest in March and now are now touring again in longer spurts.”

The “longer spurts“ began with this particular night at Burlington Bar, where family, friends and fans wished them safe travels and hopes for a good time out on the road. 

La Armada

That road will take them across North America. “We are first doing the eastern US and Canada for 3 weeks during August, then we take a 3-week break and follow that up with 3 more weeks out west for shows with Propagandhi, Tørsö, and headliners of our own.”

La Armada

La Armada is represented by: Thousand Islands Records for Canadian distribution, Lockjaw! Records for UK and EU distribution and our own Mal De Ojo Records for the US and Latin America.

More photos below!

La Armada

La Armada

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DS Record Radar: This Week in Punk Vinyl (Strung Out, The Flatliners, Masked Intruder & More)

Greetings, fellow degenerates! Welcome to the latest installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is a weekly column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we got it. So kick off your shoes, pull up a […]

Greetings, fellow degenerates! Welcome to the latest installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is a weekly column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we got it. So kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold one, and break out those wallets, because it’s go time. Let’s get into it!

Let’s start this week of with a banger 💥 Propagandhi‘s Supporting Caste is being reissued on pink colored vinyl thanks to an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign. Back in print for the first time in seven years! Head over to their Bandcamp page to get in on the action.

Another huge drop we let you know about earlier this week is Fat Wreck reissuing four 2000’s era Strung Out records on colored vinyl. The Element of Sonic Defiance, An American Paradox, and Exile in Oblivion are back in print for the first time in a long time. Blackhawks Over Los Angeles finds itself on wax for the first time ever. These are very limited, and most of the colored LPs have already sold out. Head over to the label’s webstore for the leftover scraps and black vinyl.

Those who read last week’s Record Radar know that NOFX has finally launched colored vinyl pre-orders for their upcoming LP Double Album. Well, much to the dismay of you collector nerds, a new “golden green” variant (it just looks green to me 🤷) has popped up on some European retailers’ sites. This is the EU indie exclusive color variant – here is one of the many places you can get it.

Newbury Comics has some new exclusive color variants of the self-titled debut albums from both The Interrupters and PUP (coincidence? most likely, yes). Each of these pressings are limited to 500 copies. Visit their store to get your hands on them.

Florida pop-punk veterans New Found Glory have a new acoustic record on the way. The 14-track LP titled Make the Most of It features seven new songs, and stripped-down versions of seven NFG classics. Check out the first single “Dream Born Again” below and get the wax here (green vinyl) or here (yellow vinyl). Or get both! I don’t give a shit, to be perfectly honest with you.

Bad Brains live album The Youth Are Getting Restless is back in print for the first time since its original release in 1990. This LP was recorded in the Netherlands in ’87. Zia Records and Brooklyn Vegan each have their own exclusive variant of this one. If you get it from Brooklyn Vegan, don’t forget to use their 10% off code – don’t be a sucker who pays 30 fuckin’ dollars for a record.

The Flatliners‘ latest album New Ruin makes its third(?) Record Radar appearance! The band has announced test pressings of the LP (limited to 15 copies! and it has some cool alternate cover art) will be on sale at Dine Alone Records‘ storefront in Toronto on Record Store Day Black Friday. More info here on how you can acquire one of these in exchange for Canadian dollars.

Speaking of Record Store Day Black Friday… have you heard Red Scare is reissuing Masked Intruder‘s debut album? Well, they are! And the only place you (maybe) can get a copy is your local record store on Black Friday (November 25th). The label usually throws a handful of copies of their RSD releases up on their webstore, too, but you didn’t hear that from me 😏

As I’m writing this, the Old Wives just announced a new record! Mega Low Maniac, the Edmonton punk band’s first album in five years, is due out in early December on Rad Girlfriend Records. Check out the first single “Me & Jack” below and go here to grab the LP.

Bringing up the rear on this week’s Record Radar is Neck Deep, with a reissue of 2014’s Wishful Thinking. Brooklyn Vegan, Newbury Comics, and Zia Records all have their own exclusive color variants of this one and they’re all ultra-limited and pretty and yada yada yada blah blah blah.

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! This week’s Record of the Week comes from our friends at Punk Rock Radar (no affiliation with the Record Radar 😉) and Cat’s Claw Records. It’s a fucking awesome Split LP from Lookit, Martians! and The Cheap Pops. If you enjoy 90’s pop-punk even half as much as I do, this shit’s right up your alley. Check it out below, and pre-order the LP here (US) or here (EU).

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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DS Staff Picks: AnarchoPunk’s Top 10 Albums of 2022

It’s that time of year again where we search the recesses of our alcohol/drug addled brains in an effort to remember what albums we jammed out to the most this year. I for one, had a pretty hard time choosing as it seems that the the “Covid Logjam” finally started to break up and a […]

It’s that time of year again where we search the recesses of our alcohol/drug addled brains in an effort to remember what albums we jammed out to the most this year. I for one, had a pretty hard time choosing as it seems that the the “Covid Logjam” finally started to break up and a plethora of great music was released over the last twelve months. Regardless, I consulted with my Magic 8 Ball and whittled the field down to the final ten! I also included my recommended tracks for each album in a handy little playlist for your listening pleasure. So, without further doo-doo, here’s my picks for 2022 (in no particular order, because I don’t believe in order)! Happy 2023, comrades!


  • Craig’s BrotherEasily Won, Rarely Deserved – These melodic punks from Santa Cruz returned with new tunes in 2022 after a ten year hiatus and I couldn’t be happier. Plus, the thirteen track LP was released via People of Punk Rock Records, one of my new favorite labels!
  • Shrug DealerInfested – More melodic punk but this time from NYC! This album (released via Bypolar Records) was close to not making my list due to the fact that three of the eight tracks are really short (one clocks in at seven seconds) but the album in it’s entirety is just so damn good, I couldn’t leave it off.
  • Celebration SummerPatience in Presence – These elder DC punks are relatively new but that doesn’t make their debut full length any less impressive. All eleven tracks are flawlessly performed and catchy as fuck. What else do you need form an album?
  • SarchasmConditional Love – Although this East Bay pop punk trio personally attacked me by announcing this was their final album, I’m still including them in my list. All the feels that one can feel across a dozen elegantly written tracks. Now, someone please tell me they were only joking so I can get my life back in order!
  • Bob VylanBob Vylan Presents The Price of Life – After 35 years of listening to punk rock, it can start sounding pretty repetitive. That’s why I love acts that step outside of the typical three chord, blistering fast rock sound that has come to define the genre. This duo from the UK epitomizes that ideology with this hip-hop/punk fusion gem.
  • Thick Happy Now – No Top Ten List is complete without an awesome Garage-y Punk band and in 2022, this Brooklyn, NYC based trio scratched that itch for me. The thing that most garage bands are lacking is thoughtful writing. Not so with these ladies and that’s one of the (many) reasons the LP made my list!
  • Soul GloDiaspora Problems – This album was perpetually on my rotation of albums I listened to throughout 2022 and because it was released so early in the year, it happened to be my most played new album of 2022! That fact alone automatically nets it a spot on the list but toss in some old school hardcore vibes and frenetic vocals and you got me hooked!
  • Upper DownerNo Refills Left – This LA based street punk act was one of the many (superb) new bands signed by SoCal super label Wiretap Records this year and they kicked off their tenure with their new label by releasing one hell of a banger! Aggressive, guttery, antiauthority-ism all wrapped up in a nice, pretty, little bow! Once again, Rob & Co. look like geniuses!
  • The FlatlinersNew RuinFat Wreck fan favorites, The Flatliners returned with their first new music since 2017 and I’m sure this latest LP made quite a few AoTY Lists because it harkens back to the early days of the group in it’s musicality and that’s definitely not a bad thing.
  • New Junk CityBeg a Promise – Ok, I know I said I didn’t list these albums in any particular order but this was probably my favorite album of the year. So much so that I couldn’t decide on which track to include in the playlist, so I added two. From start to finish, this one is a masterpiece. Excellent song writing with heartfelt, relatable lyrics, hooky choruses, extra shreddy guitars, these Atlanta punks are firing on all cylinders. If you aren’t already onboard, time to hop on this midnight train to Georgia.

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