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DS Band Spotlight: Proper.

If you’re unfamiliar, Proper. are a three-piece formed in NYC roughly 5/6 years ago (as The Great Wight initially) but hailing really from a variety of locations across the country and bringing with them all of their collective experiences and musical influences and creating something that hasn’t really been done before. I remember hearing their […]

If you’re unfamiliar, Proper. are a three-piece formed in NYC roughly 5/6 years ago (as The Great Wight initially) but hailing really from a variety of locations across the country and bringing with them all of their collective experiences and musical influences and creating something that hasn’t really been done before. I remember hearing their last album, I Spent The Winter Writing Songs About Getting Better admittedly a little late and thinking “damn…I’ve never really heard anything like this before.” The new album, The Great American Novel, takes all of the things that were great about the last one and pushes the needles way past 10. It’s important music. It’s music about alienation and about not fitting in and about being a queer person of color in a land that, despite it being 2022, is at times becoming even less comfortable with people that check those boxes. It’s raw and it’s powerful and it’s somehow still hopeful. Oh, and if fucking rips. I feel lucky that I was able to catch up with the whole band (not just with Erik Garlington who spearheads the whole thing shredding on guitar and vocals but with the full band, new mom Natasha Johnson on bass and Elijah Watson on drums and whom you may also know from his “day job” as a journalist for Okay Player) for the (*both laugh*) podcast a couple months ago – you can check that our here or wherever you listen to your podcasts. In the meantime, fire up The Great American Novel and be ready to be blown away. we were able to catch up.


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DS Exclusive Video Premiere: Warn The Duke – “Anniversaries”

Brooklyn based melodic punks Warn The Duke are releasing a video for the track “Anniversaries” which is on their upcoming, ten track LP All That’s Solid. That’s it, just thought you should know. ….just kidding! We wouldn’t be here if that’s all we had to feed you, baby birds! Although the video doesn’t hit the […]

Brooklyn based melodic punks Warn The Duke are releasing a video for the track “Anniversaries” which is on their upcoming, ten track LP All That’s Solid. That’s it, just thought you should know.

….just kidding!

We wouldn’t be here if that’s all we had to feed you, baby birds! Although the video doesn’t hit the public airwaves until this coming Saturday, we got our grubby lil hands on it early (100% legal means, promise) and wanted to share it with our readers! The band is celebrating the official debut with a Release Show at the Cobra Club in Brooklyn on 10/29. But they ain’t stoppin’ there! Right after the show, they’re loading up and heading to Bean Town to play with Big D and the Kid’s Table at Brighton Music Hall the very next night. So, if you’re in one of those ‘hoods, stop by, say “Hi”, have a drink and listen to some terrific tunes!

Now, on with the video! Slap that play button (the repeat button a few times, too) and enjoy, comrades!


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DS Exclusive: Voice of Addiction – “Divided States”

Just in time for today’s volatile political climate, Chicago’s Voice of Addiction has returned with a brand new thirteen track LP (their ninth studio release) which is due out August 5th. But don’t fret, comrades, you don’t have to wait to hear it because you’re no normal person! You’re a glorious, loyal, worthy reader of […]

Just in time for today’s volatile political climate, Chicago’s Voice of Addiction has returned with a brand new thirteen track LP (their ninth studio release) which is due out August 5th. But don’t fret, comrades, you don’t have to wait to hear it because you’re no normal person! You’re a glorious, loyal, worthy reader of Dying Scene and with that honor comes some privileges. This is one of them. So, give it a few spins and tell all of your friends about it, then go preorder the album at Bandcamp. Also, the lads are hitting the road in support of the album, so if you’re in/near one of the cities they’re coming to (dates/stops below), go say ‘thank you’ to them in person for giving us such a wonderful gift!

Upcoming Tour Dates
7/22 – Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters
7/23 – Oshkosh, WI @ Reptile Palace
8/5 – Detroit, MI @ New Dodge Lounge
8/6 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
8/18 – Youngstown OH @ Westside Bowl
8/19 – Rochester, NY @ Photo City Music Hall
8/20 – Holyoke, MA @ Apeland
8/21 – Boston, MA @ Midway Cafe
8/22 – Providence, RI @ Alchemy
8/23 – New York City, NY @ Heaven Can Wait
8/24 Brooklyn, NY @ Kingsland
8/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire
8/26 – Pittsburgh, PA @ 222 Ormsby
8/27 – Cincinnati, OH @ Mockbee

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DS Festival Recap: Riot Fest Day Three (The Academy Is…Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sleater-Kinney, Lunachicks and more)

Day 3 of the Riot Fest took place in Chicago’s Douglass Park on September 18, 2022, with some of the most influential all-women or women led bands dominating the stages. Jawbox, the Washington D.C, iconic band founded in 1989, whose original run lasted until 1997, was welcomed back during its midday set. The bright sun […]

Day 3 of the Riot Fest took place in Chicago’s Douglass Park on September 18, 2022, with some of the most influential all-women or women led bands dominating the stages.


Jawbox, the Washington D.C, iconic band founded in 1989, whose original run lasted until 1997, was welcomed back during its midday set. The bright sun beating down on most of the band members’ faces did not cause a step lost as Jawbox gave the crowd a forceful performance. The set included “Mirrorful,” “Motorist,” ”Cooling Card,” “Static,” “Cutoff,” and “Savory.” The band members J. Robbins, Bill Barbot, Kim Coletta, and Zach Barocas also solidly covered “Lowdown” by Wire, and “Cornflake Girl” by Tori Amos. A hot set made the hot sun more bearable for the Sunday attendees.


Concrete Castles hit the Rebel Stage with the Ferris Wheel and other carnival rides in the sightline of many in the crowd. Vocalist Audra Miller, guitarist Matthew Yost, and drummer Sam Gilman held their fans’ attention with an effervescent set which included “Wish I Missed U,” “Half Awake,” “Sting,” “Just a Friend,” “Lucky,”  and “You Won’t See Me Again.” The Erie, PA band started out as the very popular cover band First to Eleven in 2009 before forming Concrete Castles in 2021. Young though the members may be – all three are in their early 20s they all perform with the maturity of confident musical veterans. That’s what they are, combined with a bright and hopefully long future creating terrific music.


Zola Jesus‘ bewitching performance immediately brought to mind Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, not just because of her flowing garments. The Merrill WI performer, known offstage as Nika Roza Danilova, has an ethereal stage presence, and her set including “Lost,” “Soak,” “Exhumed,” “The Fall,” “Sewn,” and “Undertow” made for as intriguing a performance as her stage name.


Lunachicks kicked off their set with some seriously iconic music, Bill Conti’s inspiring Oscar-nominated theme from Rocky “Gonna Fly Now.” This was the perfect walk-on song as the band appeared, as they always do, ready to fight (for issues in which they believe. Not physically. Though I’m guessing they can hold their own in that manner as well). Band members Theo Kogan, Gina Volpe, Sidney “Squid” Silver, and Chip English didn’t wear their hearts on their sleeves, they wore them on their jumpsuits, dresses and shirts. “Not Government Property,” “Roe Rage Riot,” and “Our Bodies, Our Choice,” were among the messages displayed prominently during a year in which The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe V. Wade. Of course, feminist activism is engrained in the DNA of the band. The NYC band’s 2021 memoir “Fallopian Rhapsody” was met with critical acclaim. Lunachicks exhibited their signature power as they ripped through an extensive set including “Bad Ass Bitch,” “Say What You Mean,” “Jerk of All Trades,” “The Day Squid’s Gerbil Died,” “Luxury Problem,” and “Less Teeth More Tits.” A prodigious set indeed by voices perhaps more relevant than ever. Heroes we deserve? Probably not. Heroes we need? Most definitely.


One of Sleater-Kinney‘s first rehearsal spaces was located on Sleater-Kinney Road in Lacey Washington, nearby to Olympia, where the band was founded. The road from that road has been as long one for the now legendary Sleater-Kinney. Its set at Riot Fest 2022 once again proved why Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein continue to be so compelling, both as a band and as individuals. Among other tunes, the band performed “High in the Grass,” “Jumpers,” “All Hands on the Bad One,” “Bury Our Friends,” “Modern Girl,” and “The Center Won’t Hold.” Sleater-Kinney delivered a dynamic performance, one that makes us hope we won’t have to wait long before catching them again. Maybe at Riot Fest 2023?


Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O.’s signature black bowl hairstyle was partially obscured at the start of the band’s set by the topper of an elaborate bright, multi-colored outfit. The first sight of the outfit elicited wows from the crowd and other observers. Her bandmates, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase, clad in clothing nearly matching the night sky, and positioned further away from the spotlight focused on O. were partially obscured themselves. In any case, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s stood out as a shining example of what a great band can accomplish during a crowded festival weekend. The band performed “Spitting Off The Edge of the World,” and “Burning,” from its new album “Cool it Down.” The well-received album, its first new one since 2013’s “Mosquito,” was released just under two weeks post-Riot Fest, on September 30, 2022. The set also included “Zero,” “Wolf,” “Soft Shock,” “Cheated Hearts,” and “Under the Earth.” It was a fun set to watch and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are enjoyable to shoot photos of as well.


As Riot Fest was born in Chicago, it was fitting that the band with the latest scheduled set start time, by a mere 15 minutes, was from Chicago as well. Nine Inch Nails might have been presented as the Sunday night headliner but The Academy Is… did a pretty good job of drawing many members of the hometown crowd, as well as visitors too, away from Trent Reznor and his bandmates. The band returned to active status seven years after its farewell tour in 2015 and for those fans, seeing them again or for the first time, could not contain their enthusiasm. Band members William Beckett, Adam T. Siska, Mike Carden Andy “The Butcher” Mrotek rewarded their wait with an energetic set, performing “The Phrase That Pays,” “LAX to O’Hare,” “Bulls In Brooklyn,” “Black Mamba,” “We’ve Got a Big Mess on Our Hands,” “Checkmarks,” and “After the Last Midtown Show.” The Academy Is…also paid tribute to Material Issue, the immensely popular Chicago band active from the mid-80’s to the mid-90’s, by covering the latter band’s song, “Very First Lie.” There was a special surprise for fans. Original band members Michael Del Principe and AJ LaTrace joined the others on stage to perform “Attention”  off their debut album, “Almost Here. “


Riot Fest 2022 was an exhausting and hot weekend full of great tunes and good times. As coverage of this year’s event winds down, we’re finding it difficult to take a full break from the event. After all, there’s Riot Fest 2023 in the works.

More photos from the final day of Riot Fest 2022 below!

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DS Photo Gallery: Frank Turner and Kayleigh Goldsworthy, Crossroads, Garwood NJ (6/20/22)

The hardest working man in punk rock, Frank Turner has been no stranger to the pages of Dying Scene for more than a dozen years now. We last touched base a couple of months ago to chat about his latest album, FTHC – it was Episode 53 of our (*both laugh*): The Dying Scene Quarantine […]

The hardest working man in punk rock, Frank Turner has been no stranger to the pages of Dying Scene for more than a dozen years now. We last touched base a couple of months ago to chat about his latest album, FTHC – it was Episode 53 of our (*both laugh*): The Dying Scene Quarantine Chat Show podcast, in case you were curious. When the tape stopped rolling, Turner let yours truly in on a little secret; he was planning on announcing a Summer US Tour that would find him covering all 50 States in the span of just 50 days. Like most people he told the idea to, I agreed that it sounded absolutely nuts, Covid-19 pandemic or no.

But here we are! The tour kicked off in the great state of New Hampshire on June 13th. Our pal Ray was at show #11 at Crossroads in Garwood, New Jersey. It was a solo acoustic show that came immediately after show #10, which took place in Brooklyn earlier the same day. See what we mean about hardest working man in punk rock? Crossroads is one of my all-time favorite places to see a show (well worth the five-hour drive from the Boston suburbs), and it’s shows like this that demonstrate why. Check out more of Ray’s work on Instagram.

Anyway, this show featured an opening set by none other than Kayleigh Goldsworthy, the immeasurably talented multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who most recently hails from Philadelphia and just put out a solo record of her own, Learning To Be Happy, back in May.

Check out Ray’s dynamite photos below, and stay tuned for more coverage from the ’50 States In 50 Days’ tour coming soon!

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DS Photo Gallery: Lucero & LA Edwards @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg (10-18-22)

Don’t you just hate when life gets in the way of the fun things? It’s taken me way too long to get this written up, and for that I wholeheartedly apologize. So without any further ado, here are my thoughts on what has turned into Lucero’s annual mid-October visit to New York City. I arrived […]

Don’t you just hate when life gets in the way of the fun things? It’s taken me way too long to get this written up, and for that I wholeheartedly apologize. So without any further ado, here are my thoughts on what has turned into Lucero’s annual mid-October visit to New York City.

I arrived at Music Hall of Williamsburg a little earlier than expected due to a surprising lack of traffic on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway aka the BQE (if you’re from NY, you know what a surprise it is whenever there isn’t any traffic on this highway). So walking into the venue, to see the room completely empty was a bit startling. At about 8 PM the handful of people in the room were greeted on stage by an unannounced comedian friend of Ben Nichols and the band. (I apologize for not having caught his name but if anyone does know it please leave it in the comments so that I can include it in this piece.) Not surprisingly, standing on a stage in front of maybe a dozen people in a room meant to hold up to 600, led to this sparsity of people to become the focal part of the act. Eventually hitting his stride, especially when he got on the topic of a certain sex act which much to his surprise, millennials have brought to the mainstream, the crowd (or those who were there at least) quite enjoyed the act.


L.A. Edwards, a foursome consisting of 3 brothers plus one, from Nashville by way of San Diego are the official opening act on this tour and they took the stage right at 8:30. With a vocal style very reminiscent of Jackson Browne, lead singer Luke Edwards along with brothers Jay and Jerry as well as guitarist Landon Pigg offered up a really nice opening set laced with soulful Laurel Canyon style harmonies backed by a mix of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers crossed with Dawes brand of rock and roll.

Ben Nichols, Brian Venable, John Stubblefield, Roy Berry and Rick Steff AKA Lucero took the stage shortly before 10 PM and started things off with “For The Lonely Ones” from 2018’s Among The Ghosts. Following this up with 2 fan favorites in “Chain Link Fence” and “Sweet Little Thing” both from their classic Tennessee LP, the boys now had the audience (which had grown into an actual “crowd” by now) singing and shouting right along with Ben at the top of their lungs.


Which brought us to the first of what would be 5 new songs on the evening. As you all have probably heard (or read right here in Dying Scene), Lucero will be releasing their latest full-length LP, Should’ve Learned By Now in February 2023. “Drunken Moon” is a slow burner ballad with actual backup vocals included which the Edwards boys from L.A. Edwards would come onstage to help out with. Ben, while calling them out onstage to help out with vocals, made fun of himself by saying that he’s been called an “anti-harmony” singer since such things are so rare on Lucero songs.


Throughout the rest of the evening we would be treated to “Buy A Little Time”, “Macon If We Make It”, “Nothing’s Alright” and “One Last F.U.” (encore) from the upcoming album. Unlike “Drunken Moon” these other 4 songs are for the most part serious rockers which the band seemed to be having a blast playing. This brings me to one observation which I was happy to see. We all know that 99% of the time we can expect Ben to be…well for lack of a better way to describe it, BEN. And of course this “Ben-ness” often has a direct correlation as to the amount of whiskey passed to the stage from the crowd. This night in Brooklyn was no different than in the past with one exception.


Brian seemed to be much more animated than he has been in quite some time. He jumped into one of Ben’s monologues at one point to say that Lucero had been playing at Music Hall Of Williamsburg for quite some time now, going all the way back to its days when it was known as The North Six. He even started to tell the story of when he played on this stage completely naked, then he came to his senses and held off on sharing the grim details.


In any event, my point is that more so than I’ve seen in the recent past at least, the boys in the band appeared to be having a truly great time on stage. Of course John was his usual campy self on bass and Roy just sat back and had a grand old time beating the hell out of the skins.


It was particularly great to see Rick doing well sitting behind the keyboards with his stately new (to me at least) tied-back ponytail. (Unfortunately, we were not graced with Rick pulling out the accordion on this particular evening, but it was really great to see that he was clearly on the mend from his health issues). Ben even took the time to mention that while this might have been the smallest crowd that they’d thus far played to on this tour, it was by far the most fun and best show (from his perspective) so far.

All in all, it was a fantastic way to pass away an otherwise mundane Tuesday evening in NYC. In what turned out to be a bit of foreshadowed irony, Ben did mention at the end of the show how he was really looking forward to their drive after the show over to beautifully scenic Secaucus, NJ which got quite a cackling of laughter from the crowd. Of course, the irony reared its ugly head the following day when a member of the band’s touring crew had some medical issues and the tour bus was basically sequestered for the next 3 or 4 days in “beautifully scenic Secaucus“.

L.A. Edwards Slideshow

Lucero Slideshow

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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 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 Show Review and Photos: The Beths, SASAMI & Charlotte Cornfield Live At BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn

I will be the first to admit that my main (aka only) interest in venturing over to Prospect Park on a hot & humid Friday night was to see New Zealand’s one and only The Beths. I knew next to nothing about the 2 opening acts, Charlotte Cornfield and SASAMI. I can only say now […]

I will be the first to admit that my main (aka only) interest in venturing over to Prospect Park on a hot & humid Friday night was to see New Zealand’s one and only The Beths. I knew next to nothing about the 2 opening acts, Charlotte Cornfield and SASAMI. I can only say now that am I REALLY glad I got to The Lena Horne bandshell early enough to witness one of these sets.

Cornfield took the stage promptly at 7 PM and proceeded to treat the crowd to a steady and competent set of rather quiet and subdued indie folk to which the NPR types in the crowd thoroughly enjoyed. For my ears, however her set just didn’t resonate all that much with me and after the 3 song photo allotment was met I found myself chatting with some of the other photogs in attendance for what seemed like a rather long time considering Charlotte was an opener on a three-band bill at an outdoor show that had a strict New York City mandated 10 PM curfew. Before I go any further, to be clear, Cornfield’s set did seem to be quite good but it just wasn’t my thing and I just kind of lost interest. That’s not to say that she didn’t make a lot of those in attendance very pleased with her set.


Next up was SASAMI who hit the stage shortly after 8 PM.  Truth be told, I had given SASAMI a bit of a listen on Spotify prior to the show and was merely lukewarm about what I had heard. Their first (self-titled) album released in 2019, was a quite polished indie pop album which while very listenable, didn’t exactly get my juices flowing.  And then there is this year’s second full-length LP, Squeeze which hit the shelves back in February. You’d have to do some serious searching in order to find a sophomore LP which takes as strong a departure from its predecessor as does Squeeze

The set started off with Sasami Ashworth’s “The Greatest” off the new album. And while the song on the album is rather subdued, the band came out and raged. They took what already sounded like a homage or at least a response to Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Gift Of All” and turned it into Whitney’s Greatest Gift from an alternative (much less hospitable) dimension.  From here the set only got darker, darker in a heavy metal kind of way with thundering bass lines and loud abrasive guitar chords coming from both Ashworth’s axe as well as the other guitarist who’s name I did not get. To say the least I was almost completely shocked. From here the band ripped through song after song with a fiery electric vengeance which I for one was 100% unprepared for. 


SASAMI

Sticking with a setlist comprised entirely of titles off the new one, SASAMI’s set was absolutely mesmerizing. The energy set forth by Ashworth and the rest of the band was transfixing. A combination metal hell fest combined with an almost performance art presentation made for a show to which I (and virtually every other photographer in the pit) was paralyzed to stop clicking the shutter button. Every moment following every moment felt like something that needed to be captured.  

SASAMI’s set lasted roughly 40-45 minutes yet it flew by in a flash. I for one felt winded after witnessing the whirlwind of a set which they had treated us all to. My initial reaction when it was done was, “I can’t believe it’s over so soon”.  Looking at their other setlists online however, it looks like we got pretty much their entire show.

Which brings me to the headliner, The Beths. It wasn’t all that long ago, you read from me that they were the only real impetus for me being at Prospect Park in the first place. And now as I stood and waited for them to take the stage, I couldn’t help but ponder, “How the hell are they going to top THAT?!?”  Having seen the band make a steady progression from DIY venue, Alphaville to 400-person Music Hall Of Williamsburg to 1000-person capacity Webster Hall, they were now faced with the unenviable task of playing (BY FAR) their most high-profile show ever in New York at the 5000 to 7000 person capacity Lena Horne Bandshell AND having to do that following an absolutely blistering set from the opener, not to mention their backs against the wall relative to a 10 PM curfew.


With it already being after 9, it appeared that we were most likely going to get a truncated set.  The band came on about 9:15, opening with “I’m Not Getting Excited” but clearly they were because they came out answering the call.  Despite what appeared to be some lighting irritations, Liz Stokes was exactly that, STOKED. She, along with guitarist, Jonathan Pierce, bassist, Ben Sinclair and Tristan Deck on drums hit the stage running. Barreling through stalwarts ” Happy, Unhappy” and “Out Of Sight” before offering up the lead single and title track to the upcoming album, “Expert In A Dying Field” due to drop in mid-September.


It was right about here in the set that it dawned on me that the band had figured out how they were going to get their entire set done in roughly three-quarters the normal length of the set. They were speeding everything up and HOLY SHIT, it was working masterfully!  I mean they were almost approaching Ramones kind of tempos and the songs and the vibes and the atmosphere were just perfect.

After “Dying Field” we got three more older songs before they cracked open another new one called “Knees Deep”, a bright sun-shiney rocker (come to think of it a Beth’s song and sun-shiney is just redundant…aren’t they all like that?)

Attacking each upcoming song at a breakneck pace which seemed different yet also quite right.  “Jump Rope Gazers” into “Uptown Girl” into “A Real Thing”, all done fast but not quite furious.

When all was said and done, The Beths managed to come out of the evening having sleighed the dragon. They overcame the adversity which faced them and finished the evening around 10:10 after a two-song encore of “You Are A Beam of Light” and “Little Death” to the delight of all. Liz and crew put on a masterful show which while certainly sped up, never felt rushed. As a matter of fact it appeared that the band had as much fun as the packed crowd. The normally stoic Jon on guitar was flashing a big grin much of the evening. Liz showed off a little Chuck Berry-esque duck walk and the rhythm section of Tristen and Ben were amazing keeping the sped up pace at bay and even keeled.

When all was said and done, all I could possibly say was, “What a night!”

NOTE:  For those in the NY/NJ area The Beths will be at The Asbury Lanes on August 26th and for those in or around western MA, they will be at Courtney Barnett’s Here and There Festival at MassMoca in North Adams on August 13th.

  • SASAMI
  • The Beths

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