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The official start of what Amuse is today would be the year 2015. We like to party, play fast music, and sing like your little sister. Let’s hang! Indianapolis, IN

DS Exclusive: Wes Hoffman and Friends Sign with Jump Start Records, Announce Spring Tour Dates and November Full-Length

It’s a special day over here at Dying Scene HQ as we get the distinct honor of being the first to announce and congratulate the newest members of the Jump Start Records team: Wes Hoffman and Friends! Joining the catalog of punk rock heavy-hitters such as A Wilhelm Scream, MxPx, Off With Their Heads, among […]

It’s a special day over here at Dying Scene HQ as we get the distinct honor of being the first to announce and congratulate the newest members of the Jump Start Records team: Wes Hoffman and Friends! Joining the catalog of punk rock heavy-hitters such as A Wilhelm Scream, MxPx, Off With Their Heads, among many, many others, Wes Hoffman and Friends’ distinct blend of pop and skate punk make them a perfect fit for the lengthy resume Jump Start has already built.

“We seemed to have a similar mindset and perspective on things. We recently went on tour with Bad Planning who has been on Jump Start for a while, and they had nothing but good things to say. It all came together pretty organically and naturally”, wrote Hoffman. “After talking with the owner, Jeremy, and learning about the label’s ethos, I thought it would be a great fit for us.”

Not only is the St. Louis-based quintet signing to a label with a catalog full of “household names” around the punk community, but they’ll become labelmates with some of the bands’ largest influences who have put out some of their favorite releases. “Jump Start released MxPx’s ‘Plans Within Plans’ on vinyl in 2012. I listened to that album on repeat when it came out. I’ve been an MxPx fan for over 25 years, so they’ve been a huge influence on me as well as everyone else in the band”, wrote Hoffman. “A Wilhelm Scream has also released several albums on vinyl with Jump Start. I’ve always been a big fan of them, and we actually got to play with them last year. Belvedere is also one that played that brand of fast, technical skate punk.”

This signing comes just ahead of their debut full-length set to release in November. “How It Should Be” has everything a pop-punk or skate-punk fan could want, with elements familiar to fans of Belvedere and MxPx.

I couldn’t be happier seeing the hard work these guys have put in finally pay off. Although I’ve only been familiar with them for maybe 6 months, it’s been so cool following along with the shows they’ve been playing and the music they’ll soon be releasing. I made the short drive from Nashville up to Indianapolis last month to catch these guys live and, all I have to say is the only thing that outdid their live performance was how cool and friendly these dudes were.

Great things are sure to come as this should serve as both a healthy confidence booster and a great platform to expand their reach. Each member was able to share their own unique insight into what this personally meant, as well as how this benefits the continuing emergence of the group:

Johnny Wehner (Guitar) – “I never thought I’d play a show outside of St. Louis, so signing to a label means a lot to me. I am very excited to play more shows and to expose our music to a broader audience with the help of Jump Start!”

Hes Retnu (Drums) – “Partnerships are everything. I’m extremely excited to partner with Jump Start and earn the chance to amplify alongside the amazing roster of talent.”

Stephen Fee (Guitar) – “We love to write and play music and having Jump Start in our corner enables us to do more of what we love with a different level of support and focus. Turn it to 11!”

Jacob Boyd (Bass) – “Having Jump Start in our corner is incredibly validating and will definitely help our music reach an even bigger audience. I’m stoked for what the future holds.”

These guys have a ton in store for the coming months leading up to their release. If you aren’t familiar with Wes Hoffman and Friends, there’s all kinds of great stuff here to get the two of you acquainted: click here for the interview I had with Wes and bassist Jacob Boyd a few months back, catch WH&F at one of their Midwest dates listed below, or keep scrolling for the short email interview I had with the guys that details the journey leading up to their signing. As always, thanks for checking out the site, Cheers!

Shows!!!

3/31 – Kansas City, MO – miniBar*

4/1 – Lincoln, NE – 1867 Bar*

4/2 – Columbia, MO – The Social Room (early show, 5pm)*

4/28 – Cape Girardeau, MO – Blue Diamond#

4/29 – Springfield, MO – Rock Bottom#

5/19 – St. Louis, MO – The Heavy Anchor^

5/20 – St. Joseph, MO – Sk8bar (early show, 5pm) ^ 

5/21 – Denver, CO – Globe Hall^

* with Stay the Course and My Escape

# with Stay the Course

^ with Years Down

What does it mean to you as a band to be asked to sign with this label? 

We’re extremely excited to be a Jump Start band. For us, this is the start of a new era for our band. We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s truly an honor to be a part of the Jump Start roster and have our album be a part of their catalog. They’ve been around for over 25 years and done over 100 releases, so they’re a well-established label. We’re going to keep working hard: writing, touring, making connections, and adding more and more energy to our live show. The biggest change is that we now have support of an established label which we’re very thankful for.

Why do you feel Jump Start is a good fit for you guys? 

Jump Start has had some awesome releases and bands that seem to fit well with our sound. I absolutely loved the You Vandal album “Pretend I Don’t Exist” that came out last year. It was one of my most-listened to albums of 2022. After talking with the owner, Jeremy, and learning about the label’s ethos, I thought it would be a great fit for us. We seemed to have a similar mindset and perspective on things. We recently went on tour with Bad Planning who has been on Jump Start for a while, and they had nothing but good things to say as well. It all came together pretty organically and naturally which was also a sign to me that it would be a good fit. 

Are there any bands on this label that are particularly influential? 

Jump Start released MxPx’s “Plans Within Plans” on vinyl in 2012. I listened to that album on repeat when it came out. I was training for a half-marathon at the time, and would just let it play front to back. I’ve been an MxPx fan for over 25 years, so they’ve been a huge influence on me as well as everyone else in the band. A Wilhelm Scream has also released several albums on vinyl with Jump Start. I’ve always been a big fan of them, and we actually got to play with them last year. Belvedere is also one that played that brand of fast, technical skate punk. They’ve partnered with Jump Start on several releases too. Oddly enough, we have a show with them later this year too. It will be super cool to be a part of a label that’s worked with some of our favorite bands. 

How would you summarize this achievement based on the amount of hard work you guys put in to get to this point? 

Over the last year, up until now, we’ve worked very hard. I’m at a point in my life where I really want to put 100% into my songs, our shows, our releases, etc. We spent a lot of time on the road last year, and I spent a lot of time in the studio working on songs for our new album. We really put everything we had into this upcoming album and did multiple sessions to add little touches like tambourine, gang vocals, and have some friends play keys and sing on it. When we started talking to labels, I felt like we had put in the right amount of work to land on a good label, and that’s exactly what happened. It’s very cool to see the late nights in the studio and long drives pay off. 

I’d also love to hear about the process of how this occurred from start to finish, how long you’ve been talking with the label, stuff like that.

I had reached out to Jeremy from Jump Start in August 2022 after we had released our single and video for “Where Summer Never Ends.” That was the first single released from the new album, so I sent it to several labels and industry contacts. He had replied, said he liked the song, and we continued to talk about what a band-label relationship might look like. We checked in from time to time, but after I got the masters for the upcoming album, I sent them to him, we had a call, and decided to move forward in working with them.

Music is a very relationship-based industry. It takes a while to build those relationships and see how you vibe with people. I’m very thankful that this all came together very organically and naturally. It did feel like somewhat of a long process and at times, it was hard to be patient, but the patience eventually paid off. As I mentioned previously, I want to do everything right, and be as strategic and intentional with our goals as band as we possibly can. 

I want to thank Jeremy at Jump Start for taking a chance on us, and giving us the opportunity to put this record out. And thanks to all the people who have supported us, been to a show, bought merch, or told people about our band. It means more to us than you can imagine!! There’s more to come. The album should see a release in November of this year. 

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DS Interview: Wes Hoffman and Friends’ Wes Hoffman and Jacob Boyd on the St. Louis punk scene, their upcoming full-length and playing with A Wilhelm Scream

Wes Hoffman was a name I hadn’t heard in years, at least since I left the Lou in 2013. It was during an interview with the American Thrills guys last month where Hoffman’s name was mentioned, and that spurred me going down a rabbit hole and researching just about everything there was to know about […]

Wes Hoffman was a name I hadn’t heard in years, at least since I left the Lou in 2013. It was during an interview with the American Thrills guys last month where Hoffman’s name was mentioned, and that spurred me going down a rabbit hole and researching just about everything there was to know about the guy, including the significant hiatus he took up until 2017.

For years Hoffman was well known in the St. Louis punk community, and although he wasn’t too active around the time I was discovering the local punk that STL had to offer, his name was one I was fairly familiar with. But time marched on. I moved to Nashville and fell out of touch with the local bands of my former residence … until now. Come to find out, Hoffman has emerged from hiatus and has a shit-load of killer pop-punk anthems released under the moniker Wes Hoffman and Friends.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the man himself Wes Hoffman, along with bassist extraordinaire Jacob Boyd and we covered a ton of ground, everything from what spurred the hiatus, what to expect from their debut-full-length due out later this year, and a whole bunch more. Attached below are the two singles from their debut record, and if I’m being honest, they’ve been playing nonstop on my Spotify. There’s no concrete date for the record yet, but these two tracks both intrigue and excite the hell out of me. Thanks again to the guys for sitting down with me, and be sure to check them out at one of their upcoming dates in a city near you. Cheers!

(Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity’s sake because a good chunk of this interview was just three guys shooting the shit.)

Dying Scene (Nathan Kernell NastyNate): I appreciate you guys taking the time. Yeah I heard your name [Wes] from the American Thrills guys, I did an interview with them last week, week before and they mentioned you guys. And your name was one I hadn’t heard in a long time, I used to live in St. Louis about 10 years ago. So I was looking through your profile and I saw you had a record coming out, I thought it’d be a cool interview to do.

Wes Hoffman: Hell yeah man well we’re excited to be here. Yeah Jacob and I have been playing music together for almost 23 years now, it’s 22 1/2 years no 21 1/2 years so I really wanted like incorporate the other guys that are in the band and have them do interviews and stuff like that so this is the first one.

I’m always pumped to have more guys on the interviews. I think the last few I’ve done it’s been like more than just one guy and I like doing it, the more guys the better I think. So yeah kind of the first thing I want to talk about, I know Wes you kind of took a hiatus from the music scene in St. Louis. I wanted to see if you could walk me through kind of your music career I guess from beginning to end. I know you had a pretty good presence starting out and then you took this hiatus and I wanted to see if you could just walk through, beginning to end, what groups you played with, what everything looks like?

Wes: Well you know I was in high school, I grew up like an hour away in Vandalia IL, about an hour away from St. Louis. I actually met Jacob our senior year in high school after we graduated. We both played a show, it’s really silly *laughs*, but it’s the County Fair in Fayette County, Illinois. Both of our bands were playing and we both kind like recognized each other, like you know when you see a person and just they have a vibe or like the way that they’re dressed or something, you’re like “oh man I kind of want to talk to that person, like I have something in common”. And so we became friends and both of our bands that we were in in high school just dissolved because we moved on. And then we had a band called, we started out as Samus, like Samus from Metroid *laughs*. That’s what it was called the first like few months. Then changed it to the Livingston project and this probably would have been late 2001, early 2002. Then I moved to Texas for a little while, but Jacob stayed in the band and they kind of changed the sound a little bit. At the time bands like Thursday were really coming up, like kind of that melodic hardcore, metal core sound with like screaming and singing you know. So then I kind of came back in 2003 or 2004 and I had a band called the Citation and we played around off and on until about 2006. And then, at the time, I met my ex-wife and I kind of put music on the back burner for a while. I kind of went through that whole phase of when you’re in your like mid 20s of “Okay well I have a job and I bought a house”. And you know we ended up getting married and everything and I was like “well I don’t really have time for music anymore”, which I think a lot of people that play in bands go through that. And, sadly, maybe they just lose passion for it and they don’t stick with it. But it was like 2015, I came back and started playing again; played in a band called Why Not. And then my buddy at the time he was like “hey, let’s get a practice space”. He played drums and so we started playing, and then Why Not, it was kind of like winding down a little bit. I really caught the spark again to play music and I wanted to keep this going, no matter what, so I’ll just name this Wes Hoffman Hoffman. For a long time it was Wes Hoffman Positive Punk, now it’s Wes Hoffman and Friends. I just kind of thought, no matter how I do this, I know I’ll always wanna keep playing music so I’ll just use my own name with it. So shortly after that, we brought in Jacob and we’ve been going pretty strong now for over five years, since 2017.

Okay cool. Yeah so I really wanted to kind of hammer on the St. Louis punk scene because I don’t feel like it gets enough credit sometimes. Like I know you’ve got like Dan Vapid, the Methadones, and I’m big fan of the Fuck off and Dies; I love those guys man. But I don’t feel that some of those bands get enough credit from anywhere outside St. Louis. I want to know what some of your favorite local bands are, tell me a little about the St. Louis scene, how it’s doing. I know you’ve got 314 punk which I wanna talk about a little bit later too, but I wanna get your guys’ take on the scene itself.

Wes: I definitely agree man, there are some pretty good bands here right now. There are a lot of good bands and there are a lot of shows happening. I think post Covid everybody was like “alright we wanna play some shows, we wanna get our names out there and start doing stuff”. I would say some of the bands that we really like, that we play with a lot are the Chandelier Swing, kind of a newer band, they’ve been around for about a year. But a lot of those guys have been in other bands and they kind of remind me of like Four Year Strong, like that early 2000s pop punk.

Jacob Boyd: Yeah literally I was gonna say Chandelier Swing, they’re so good. What’re some of the other bands we’ve played with? Dialogue is fantastic. Like Wes and I pretty much like all the same bands so whatever he says, I’m gonna say

Wes: There’s a band, we haven’t played with them yet, they’re called Inner City Witches and they kind of have a little bit of like progressive, a little bit of a little bit heavier sound. They sound a little bit like Turnstile. So yeah there’s a lot happening right now and it’s really kind of an exciting time. I feel like the St. Louis music scene kind of ups and downs. We’re definitely on an upswing right now. There are a lot of people coming out to shows and there are a lot of bands that are doing a lot of stuff. Some of the bands here are starting to go out of town, ourselves included, so I’m really excited about it.

That sounds a lot like Nashville too. Some bands are starting to go out of town and we were kind of on an upswing right before Covid. Then Covid killed it with some of the local bands and some of the local shows, but it’s finally starting to come back. It’s real nice seeing some of the local bands start to gain some more momentum and they’re starting to tour out of town.

So yeah, I wanna hit hard too on the new record, try to kind of promote it a little bit. So what’s the background on the new record, is this kind of like a compilation of songs you just collected over time or did you kind of set out like “alright let’s come up with a new record, let’s write enough songs for new record”? Are these songs that you’ve compiled over your career are they all brand new?

Wes: These are all pretty much brand new. It’s gonna be called ‘How it Should Be”. I have two of the songs that are gonna be on the record out on Spotify right now, two singles, ‘Where Summer Never Ends’ and ‘A Second Too Soon’. And yeah I mean we put out this EP, it’s been almost a year now, ‘Rewrite the Story’ and I wanted to put out a full-length and take my time with it. So over the course of, I mean it’s been over a year now that I’ve been working on this record, finally next week it’s gonna be starting to get mixed and mastered. So I’m really excited about it; the tough thing is you know, like I said, I’ve been working on this for like a year now and I’ve continued writing. So now the new stuff that I’ve been writing I feel like is so much better than that. I mean the record is already gonna be great, you know what I mean, but I feel like the new stuff I’m writing is already better *laughs*.

Jacob: Yeah totally. The songwriting progression it’s really hit a pace now and like even the stuff that we’ve had around for like 7-8 months that Wes wrote and we recorded for this new record, it’s like Wes has already written 10 more tracks that are so phenomenal; it’s like “wait can we sneak one of these on to the record”, like they’re just getting better and better and better. And it’s like we already wanna release another EP after this record, but obviously you gotta pace things a little bit. But like the songwriting is just really hitting a new level and it’s really fun to be a part of.

Wes: Yeah man it’s kind of like the more you do something, the better you get at it, you know. I have tons of songs that will never seen the light, that no one will ever see except for probably me and Jacob because I send him usually most of the stuff [I write]. And I think it’s just that the syncing has helped me become so much better of a songwriter I’ve just written so many songs, not all of them are good, but now I’m at the point where like most of what I’m churning out is pretty good

Then is most of the songwriting primarily you Wes or is it a like collaboration type thing with all the guys you’re playing with?

Wes: Yeah so most of it has been me up until this point. Especially with the EP, I really wanted to put out something that really had my fingerprint on it all the way around. But I can’t play drums so everything on the EP and on the upcoming record, I played all the guitars and bass and our drummer did all the drums. Then we did have the guys come in and do like some vocals and some other stuff too. Like I’m just one of those people, I wanna be prolific and I’m constantly writing and trying to throw stuff out there and constantly trying to better myself. At this point, being at our age, it’s hard enough to get all the guys in the room for practice for an upcoming tour or something like that; we all have girlfriends or wives and careers and other things that are happening in our lives. I almost have another like five songs for an EP demoed out. But I really would like to, who knows when this will be because the new record hasn’t came out yet, but I really would like to do a few songs where everybody kind of collaborates a little bit. Maybe go away for a weekend and kind of figure out “hey how do we wanna write these songs”. Everybody in the band is super talented at what they do, it would be really interesting to kind of see what we could come out with as a collective effort.

I wanted to ask about ‘Where Summer Never Ends’. What’s kind of the meaning behind that song, walk me through the writing process; just kind of background on that song because that’s a killer track.

Wes: Yeah so with that one I kind of wanted to have more of an aggressive Hot Water Music kind of feel to it. And the song itself is about like you know if you’re ever in a situation that you don’t want to be in, do you hold out to try to see if it’s gonna work out or do you just take the easy way out and move on. That song, it’s probably one of my favorite songs to play live. We just had a really big show here in St. Louis and when we played that everybody just went ape shit, it was awesome *laughs*.

Jacob: Yeah when Wes first sent me the demo for that song, I was like “holy crap, this is a single”. Like that song had me more excited than almost any other song we’ve done and I love most of our songs. But like that song just blew me away; I was like “that has to go on the new album”. So that’s the lead track on the new album

That’s one I’ve been hooked on and then I’ve also kind of been hooked on ‘Far From Yesterday’, so I really wanna talk about that one too, see what the meaning behind that one was too because that’s been one I’ve kind of had playing nonstop.

Wes: Oh dude, thank you man. Yeah you know, that’s a really high-energy track too. We usually play that second and people are usually jumping around; that’s one that I feel like a lot of people know the words to as well. I wrote that song in the summer of 2020 so even though people are just now discovering these songs, they’re kind of old you know, a couple of years old. But that song specifically was about me going through a pretty major life transition. I moved out of my house, I closed my business, I started a new job, just kind of the anxieties and the feelings of like “hey this is a whole new thing”, and I’m basically rewriting my story.

Do you kind of have a timetable like “we might do another single in two months, six months, maybe try and have the full length out in a year”, what’s that look like?

Wes: ‘Thunder’ I think will actually be the next single off of it and we’ll probably put that up with like a lyric video or something as soon as it’s mixed and mastered. So I would say maybe a safe estimate would be early March. And then I wanna put out one more, ‘Paper Hearts’, with a video as well and that might not be, I like to space things out a little bit, maybe May or the middle of May, something like. Then hopefully we’ll put out the album either in the summer or the fall depending on how everything shakes out. We’re talking to a few labels about possibly partnering to put it out, but nothing solid yet.

This is kind of a question for both of you guys. So in what I’ve heard from you guys, I kind of hear the melodic side, I know you did a show with A Wilhelm Scream, I kind of hear that melodic side. But then I also hear the pop-punk side, like you said with Four Year Strong, I kind of hear that too. I want to hear what both of you guys think, what are your influences?

Jacob: I kind of grew up on like the Get Up Kids, like pop punk, kind of safe pop punk because you know my parents weren’t cool with anything too out there; like MXPX and all that stuff. I was in a punk band in high school and I grew up around a lot of like indie punk, early 2000s pop punk. And that’s like a lot of what I even still listen to. Like that time period, like early 2000s punk, pop punk specifically, is a huge influence for us I think. The older you get, you’re exposed to more and more influences, but there’s something about those early bands you listened to, you know, they really stick with you, whether you like it or not. They really kind of shape the way you look at music.

Wes: Yeah I couldn’t agree more. I think the bands that you really embrace in formative years when you’re like 13 through early 20s, those are the bands that really leave their mark on me. Yeah MXPX, the Get Up Kids were another one that people compare us to quite a bit recently, not knowing that that’s like one of our favorite bands *laughs*. But also, I mean I love A Wilhelm scream, I love like fast, technical punk. I’m definitely nowhere near the guitar level of those guys, but we try to throw little flashy riffs into our songs and stuff like that; that’s always fun for me. Face to Face is another big one for me.

Yeah I love those guys, I actually just did an interview with Matt Riddle not too long ago.

Wes: And No Use for a Name, I think he was doing No Use for a Name also. Yeah I mean No Use for a Name and Face to Face, they just kind of had more of that melodic sensibility. Then I would say like more modern bands, the Menzingers, I’m a huge fan of the Menzingers. They kind of have that like Midwest style, that kind of Bruce Springsteen songwriter-type feel. I like them a lot and Bayside, I know Bayside’s been around forever, but they just put out an EP and a new single and their new stuff is some of the best stuff that they’ve ever put out.

So how was that show with A Wilhelm Scream over at, where was it, the Ready Room?

Wes: It was supposed to be at the Ready Room, but it was at the old Rock House. It got moved, the Ready Room has not quite opened yet. They’ve done a few shows there, but I think there have been like some issues with like permits and things like that. But it was awesome man, we’d never played there before. I wanna say it maybe holds 200 people and there were probably around 100 people there. It’s a Tuesday night in St. Louis and Four Year Strong was also playing in town that night too. And In Flames. St. Louis, the tough thing about our city is we’re a big city, but we’re not like Chicago; if there are a couple big shows happening in the city like A Wilhelm Scream, Four Year Strong, and In Flames, like they don’t all succeed. We’re just not big enough; whereas that happens in Chicago, it’s fine because there are like several million more people there to go to all those shows. Here it’s just a little bit different. But it was great, those guys ripped and they’ve been one of our favorite bands for years, for decades.

Yeah I finally got to see them a few years ago here in Nashville at the End actually and there were maybe 75 people there, it was unbelievable. But we ran into that same problem the other day where we’re not a huge city, but we had a bunch of shows going on the same night. I think we had like Counterpunch and A Vulture Wake which is Chad Price from All, Lagwagon was playing the night before so everyone was there, and then we had I think Clutch, so like nobody showed up for A Vulture Wake which kind of sucked but it was such a killer show.

So then what about Punk in the Burbs up in Chicago with Bollweevils and Much the Same, how was that show?

Jacob: Oh it was a lot of fun, yeah. It was a dope event, we were really lucky to play there and get a good time slot, never played Chicago before. We got to meet a lot of bands…

How many bands played that show?

Jacob: There were two days and probably like 12 to 15 bands each day, maybe that’s too many…

Wes: The first night I think there were maybe like 7, but the second day there were definitely like around 15. It started at noon and it goes, I think we were there until midnight. So really like 20-plus bands probably. But it was really cool, Much the Same was another one that was kind of lumped in with A Wilhelm Scream back in the day, like that fast, technical punk. And then the Bollweevils were awesome, and Bumsy and the Moochers, a ska band, they were a lot of fun too. We had a good crowd and I think we gained some new fans. It’s always nice to make connections. Actually one of the bands that played the night before us are from Chicago, Bad Planning, and we’re gonna go on a little like four-day run with them coming up here in February. We were just really thankful for the opportunity, it was a lot of fun and we’re excited to go back to Chicago now.

What day are you guys playing up there, do you know the date for that?

Wes: February 17th, it’s a Friday at Subterranean.  

So what’s your guys’s upcoming show schedule look like, I know you said you’re doing an out-of-town run?

Jacob: Yeah it’s like February 16th through 19th, we’re doing Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis, and then back in St. Louis again. And then the very end of March, early April, we’ve got another three-day run with our buddies from Stay the Course from Wichita. We’re doing a three-day run with them, the 31st of March and 1st and 2nd of April, KC, Lincoln, Nebraska, and then Columbia, Missouri Columbia

Wes: Yeah so with both of those tours, of course we’re going out with like awesome bands on the road, but at all of those shows, the Bad Planning run and the Stay the Course run, we picked all the local bands that are playing those shows. So, in the past, we maybe went to a city and a promoter has found locals or you know the venue has maybe found a couple locals to play; we’ve researched and found all the locals bands in those cities that we thought would be a really good fit for us, stylistically but also feel like they’re into it, they wanna get people out to the shows, where it’s not just “oh, we hopped on the show four days ago”. On the Stay the Course run, Kansas City, Lincoln, and Columbia, I booked all of those myself as well, so I really liked the behind the scenes part of it also. Like I like the booking and the the business side of being in a band too. And with those guys, we did like a little three day run with them earlier this year in April of 2022 and we just like hit it off with them as like friends. Of course we like each other’s music, but they were so much fun just hanging out with and we just had like an instant connection with them. If we could have it our way, we’d probably do a little weekend run with them every year just because there our guys

So the last thing I really wanted to hit on was 314punk, the group you started Wes. And I did some research, but can you kind of tell me about it, I don’t really know a lot about it.

Wes: Yeah man, absolutely. So actually I sent Jacob when we first started releasing music in 2021 the songs that are on the the EP ‘Rewrite the Story’. I was doing a lot of interviews with places covering the underground pop punk scene as a whole, but there was nothing in St. Louis that I could see that was like “oh hey if you wanna get your music out to people in St. Louis, here’s where you do it”. So at the time, Covid was kind of still in full swing and people weren’t going to a lot of shows, there was like limited capacity and all that. So I went on a really long walk, during Covid I’d go on these really long walks and just kind of think and talk and I sent Jacob a really long message about like …

Jacob: Yeah it was like 30 minutes long *laughs*

Wes: I was like “we need to start something that showcases punk rock in St. Louis”, partly so that when we have songs out people know about them. But if we’re in a band and we’re wanting something like this, then other bands are probably wanting some centralized place where people can go to see what’s happening in the St. Louis punk scene. So I started an Instagram account and I started just reaching out to bands that I knew and said “hey can I feature you on this page”. That was April of 2021 and so I’ve been doing it for like a year and a half now and then I started having bands from out of town come to me because you know they’re probably going on Instagram searching punk in St. Louis or something and 314punk is maybe the first thing that comes up. So I’ve had a lot of experience in booking shows for my own band, but also bands in the past and I was like I can start booking shows here. The first show that I booked, they’re called You Vandal, they were coming through and they had actually just gone on tour with Bad Planning and they were like “hey one of our shows dropped, can you get us a show?” And I have a pretty good relationship with a small venue here called the Sinkhole and I sent them a message and got a bunch of local bands on it, we probably had close to 100 people show up to the show on a Wednesday night, it was a really decent show. I want people to come out and see shows here, I really just wanna help showcase like punk in St. Louis. And I’m not gonna lie, it’s a lot of work, I’ve taken a little bit of time off here around the holidays. I don’t think people realize it’s a lot of work booking the shows, promoting the shows, posting stuff online. I’m not in this to make a profit, I’m just doing it because I want people to know about punk rock in St. Louis.

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DESTROY BOYS FEATURED PHOTO BY MATTY VOGEL

DS News: Destroy Boys just announced new album “Funeral Soundtrack #4” coming soon

After cryptically wiping their Instagram while teasing for something coming soon, Destroy Boys just announced that they’ll follow 2021’s Open Mouth, Open Heart with their fourth album, Funeral Soundtrack #4, on August 9th via Hopeless Records (pre-order here!) Violet Mayugba explains the title of the new album, “Looking back, our first three albums marked the deaths of things. They […]

After cryptically wiping their Instagram while teasing for something coming soon, Destroy Boys just announced that they’ll follow 2021’s Open Mouth, Open Heart with their fourth album, Funeral Soundtrack #4, on August 9th via Hopeless Records (pre-order here!)


Violet Mayugba explains the title of the new album, “Looking back, our first three albums marked the deaths of things. They were soundtracks to our funerals, whether they were for our ages or our mental states. We’ve gone through a lot of changes as a band and as people. The first one was our high school album. On the second record, we went to college and were saying goodbye to our childhood. On the third one, we’d just gone through COVID and, speaking for myself, I lost my entire sense of self and gained a new one.”


Destroy Boys have teamed with producer Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, The Linda Lindas) for their upcoming album and includes a collaboration with the bands Mannequin Pussy and Scowl on the song “You Hear Yes.”


Three songs have been released previously, including “Plucked,” “Beg For The Torture,” and “Shadow (I’m Breaking Down)” — and today they’ve released a fourth, “Boyfeel.”


Check out the new song, track list, and upcoming Destroy Boys shows below!



Track list for Funeral Soundtrack #4:

Bad Guy
Plucked
Beg for the Torture
Praying
Amor divino
Shadow (I’m Breaking Down)
Shedding Skin
Should’ve Been Me
You Don’t Know
You Hear Yes (feat. Mannequin Pussy and Scowl)
Boyfeel


Current 2024 tour dates:

July 27: Milwaukee, WI @ Harley Davidson Homecoming Festival
July 28: Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
July 29: Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s
July 31: Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi
Aug 1: St. Louis, MO @ Red Flag
Aug 2: Chicago, IL @ Subterranean (Lollapalooza After Show)
Aug 3: Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
Aug 14: Paredes De Coura, Portugal @ Paredes De Coura
Aug 15: Charleville-mezieres, France @ Cabaret Vert
Aug 19: Esch-sur-alzette, Luxembourg @ Rockhal
Aug 20: Utrecht, Netherlands @ Tivoli Vredenburg
Aug 22: Saint-Cloud, France @ Rock En Seine
Aug 23: Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
Aug 24: Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms
Aug 25: Reading, UK @ Reading Festival


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DS News: Public Serpents (ft. Skwert from Choking Victim) stream first single from new album “The Bully Puppet”; on tour this spring

New Jersey ska-core band Public Serpents, fronted by Choking Victim drummer Skwert, have signed to SBÄM Records for the release of their first new album in 15 years. The band’s sophomore LP The Bully Puppet is due out March 24th; listen to the lead single “Not Forever” below. Public Serpents released their debut album The […]

New Jersey ska-core band Public Serpents, fronted by Choking Victim drummer Skwert, have signed to SBÄM Records for the release of their first new album in 15 years. The band’s sophomore LP The Bully Puppet is due out March 24th; listen to the lead single “Not Forever” below.

Public Serpents released their debut album The Feeding of the Fortune 5000 in 2008 and did split 7″s with UpperDowner and Escape From The Zoo in 2020. They will touring the US this spring, leading up to the release of The Bully Puppet (dates below).

European friends: the band plans on heading your way this summer but they need some help funding the tour. Considering contributing to this crowdfunding campaign if you’d like to see Public Serpents in a town near you.

The Bully Puppet tracklist:

  1. When Pigs Lie
  2. Armageddon Stomp
  3. Not Forever
  4. Burning My Eyes
  5. Why Can’t I Tell
  6. Farewell
  7. Snitches Stitches
  8. Irreverence
  9. We’re All Screwed
  10. Half Mast
  11. Sorry (When I’m Gone)
  12. The Bully Puppet
  13. Spastic Plastic

Public Serpents 2023 Tour Dates:

2/10 – Wallingford, CT @ Cherry St. Station
2/11 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Elks
2/17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ 222 Ormsby
2/18 – Cleveland, OH @ No Class
2/19 – Columbus, OH @ The Stoop
3/10 – Detroit, MI @ Garden Bowl
3/11 – Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn
3/12 – Chicago, IL @ Liars Club
4/28 – Montclair, NJ @ The Meatlocker
4/29 – New York, NY @ Kingsland

More info/tickets @ PublicSerpents.net

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DS News: The Putz stream new Christmas EP “Ho Ho Ho, Let’s Go!”

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the seemingly inescapable annual barrage of Christmas music. If you need help getting in the festive spirit but Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” isn’t quite your speed, I have some good news! Indianapolis pop-punks The Putz just released a new EP […]

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the seemingly inescapable annual barrage of Christmas music.

If you need help getting in the festive spirit but Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” isn’t quite your speed, I have some good news! Indianapolis pop-punks The Putz just released a new EP called Ho Ho Ho, Let’s Go!. Check it out here and grab it on vinyl below.

This is the follow-up to the band’s Halloween EP Mad Monster Party.

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DS Photo Gallery: A Vulture Wake, Stuck Lucky Headline Nashville Punk Rock Flea Market 6.11.22

I can confidently say this is the best punk event held in Music City at least since I began calling here home in 2013. Held at the notorious Further Farms just a short drive from downtown, and judging by the fact that event shirts, water and food had all sold out just halfway through the […]

I can confidently say this is the best punk event held in Music City at least since I began calling here home in 2013. Held at the notorious Further Farms just a short drive from downtown, and judging by the fact that event shirts, water and food had all sold out just halfway through the event, expectations were shattered and we had ourselves a party. All eight bands playing completely kicked ass, over 50 vendors set up camp and drew a crowd I would guess numbered well over a thousand people, and Denver-based nonprofit Punk Rock Saves Lives was swabbing people left and right for their bone marrow registry. Beer was drank and fun was had!

Indianapolis native Mike Muse of Amuse kicked things off with a solo acoustic set after the other 2/3 of a Amuse were unable to make it. Nonetheless, the acoustic set was a great precursor for what was to come. To close, the boys in SecondSelf hopped up to join Mike for a much needed and well-timed Skate or Die cover, much to the pleasure of the continuously growing crowd.

SecondSelf has solidified themselves as one of my local favorites over the past several years; they’re a great bunch of dudes that play hard, fast, killer punk rock, what more could you ask for. These dudes have something really cool going, and for Nashville punk rock’s sake, I hope it continues. I’ve caught these guys live more than almost anybody, and Nate’s guitar solos still nearly melt my face off on the regular.

Sugar In The Gas Tank were a somewhat last minute addition to the NPFM, but they offered a nice change of pace with their early 2000s blink 182-esque brand of pop punk. Their catchy riffs and upbeat tempo gave me flashbacks to my younger Warped Tour days and showed me a side of Nashville punk that I hadn’t seen in years, but was glad to have present.

I’ve caught Tank Rats a few times over the years, most recently a few months back opening for the Cryptics. And man do these guys bring some damn energy! The Tank Rats brand of Nashville street punk was on full-display with this awe inspiring performance. From the start of their set on, the atmosphere picked up and our Music City party was in full-swing, thanks in large part to the absolute mayhem that these guys brought to the stage.

Stuck Lucky holds a special place in my heart. They headlined the first punk show I ever attended in Nashville, and from then on, I’ve followed along to any local show these guys are a part of. A masterful blend of ska and punk that I have trouble drawing similarities to, and, like a fine wine, these guys have only gotten better with age.

Their mastery was put on full display during their set, which involved trombonist Will Carter hopping down in the crowd and straddling a stuffed banana mid-song.

Flummox was a great representation of the sheer diversity that the Nashville punk scene encompasses. We had West Coast skate-punk well represented by Secondself, pop-punk by Amuse and SITGT, ska by Stuck Lucky, and oi! by Tank Rats. Flummox was weird, but in all the best ways, and it’s hard to pin them down to any one genre.

Breaux! was the first of two acts that I was especially excited to see for the first time. I don’t know how I had never heard of these guys, but their performance made me reminisce about seeing A Wilhelm Scream in Nashville a few years prior. Lead singer Price Cannon entertained the shit out of the steady crowd that continued to fill the market, and they were an excellent predecessor for the punk rock mastery that was to follow, A Vulture Wake.

Now we’ve reached the main event, the band that I had been dying for years to see ever since I stumbled across Chad Price’s One Week Record in 2018, A Vulture Wake. When I found out about guitarist Dan Wleklinsi’s tenure in early Rise Against, this only added to my anticipation. To put it bluntly, these dudes know how to rock and exceeded everything I had expected.

There’s not too much to be said about this type of performance other than I would recommend these guys to anybody asking for a great punk show to see. Wleklinski can shred the hell out of the guitar, and I was in awe of Chad Price’s vocals for their entire set. If anything, look at that dude’s hair; worth the price of admission in and of itself.

Attached below are any other photos I got from the show (these make up the tiny percentage that did not come out as complete garbage). Feel free to peruse at your own leisure and I hope to have many more of these galleries up in the coming months. Cheers!

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DS Record Radar: This Week in Punk Vinyl (AFI, Guttermouth, Operation Ivy, Sloppy Seconds, The Putz & More!)

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold […]

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. 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!

Check out the video edition of this week’s Record Radar, presented by our friends at Punk Rock Radar:

Cassette releases continue to infiltrate the Record Radar, and we’ve got a very special one batting leadoff this week! The friendly people at Tapehead City are partnering with Hellcat Records for this 35th anniversary cassette reissue of Operation Ivy’s Energy. This is the first time this has ever been reissued on the tiny, plastic, rectangular format.

Tapehead City owner Charlie Kaplan had this to say about the reissue: “Me and my friends grew playing in bands that would always cover Rancid and Opivy. These songs have been a part of me for so long. Working on this project was so much fun and such an honor. I really hope the fans are happy with the tapes. I think they came out great.”

There are two variants, limited to 1,000 copies each: a “2-Tone” tape made using scans of the original shell, and a “UV Edition” with an awesome all-over art print on the tape. You can pre-order both here, along with a fun Op Ivy x Tapehead City mashup shirt.

Here’s another bad ass 35th anniversary reissue, and this one’s on vinyl! Indianapolis junk rock pioneers Sloppy Seconds‘ classic debut album Destroyed is back in print for the first time in a long time, thanks to Puke ‘N’ Vomit Records. You can get it on coral (orange) and/or black wax right here.

Up next, we’ve got a big batch of awesome new records coming very soon from our friends at Memorable But Not Honorable Records, the first of which is Rhode Island pop-punk band Pavid Vermin’s debut LP Brutality Is My Only Friend. It’s limited to 100 copies on blood red colored vinyl and will be available on their webstore this coming Friday, May 24th. Keep your eyes glued to Dying Scene the day before, I think we might be doing something cool!

MBNH is also putting out a killer 7” featuring four brand new tracks from pop-punk favorites The Putz. On and Up and Out is limited to 200 copies on clear blue colored vinyl and is being co-released by I Buy Records in Italy. It’ll also be available to purchase from Memorable But Not Honorable Friday, May 24th.

And last but certainly not least in Memorable But Not Honorable’s impressive release lineup is the 2nd pressing of their Saturday Morning Lineup compilation, limited to 100 copies on (Ninja Turtle?) green colored wax. This was originally released this time last year on white colored vinyl, which quickly sold out. It features covers of cartoon theme songs from The Putz, Zoanoids, Atomic Treehouse, Goin’ Places & many other great bands. You can buy it with your money from their webstore on – you guessed it – Friday, May 24th!

A few weeks ago Down By Law announced their new album Crazy Days, due out June 15th on Cleopatra Records, but at the time it was only available to pre-order on CD (otherwise known as compact disc but us in the trade). Now you can get it on beautiful red marble colored vinyl right here.

Guttermouth’s Eat Your Face turns 20 this year and to celebrate SBAM is releasing it on our treasured polyvinyl chloride music format for the very first time. There are two color variants, limited to 250 copies each allegedly. You can get them from any of SBAM’s regional webstores.

AFI’s 1999 classic Black Sails in the Sunset is getting a big time expanded reissue in honor of its 25th Anniversary. It’s due out July 19th and features bonus tracks in the previously unreleased “Weight of Words” and B-Side “Who Knew?”. This is being released on a handful of color variants but all but one of them sold out almost immediately. The one that’s still available to purchase is the Neon Orange retail variant, which you can get from Amazon and pretty much anywhere else (Amazon’s the cheapest though, of course).

Another anniversary! Perhaps not quite as significant as Black Sails but worth mentioning nonetheless. It’s the 10th anniversary of The Flatliners frontman Chris Cresswell’s One Week Record, and Fat Wreck Chords has repressed it for the first time since its original release. There are two color variants to choose from: Pink/white vinyl (150 copies) and green w/ yellow splatter (250 copies). Or, I guess there were two color variants to choose from, because the pink one’s already sold out. The green w/ yellow splatter is still available from Fat Wreck’s European webstore.

That Descendents Circle Jerks split 7” finds itself on the Record Radar for the third time; perhaps that’s a new record? Anyway, I guess it’s noteworthy that a new European exclusive clear color variant has popped up. You can get it here. And in case you missed it last week, the red color variant (limited to 500 copies) is still available on the Descendents’ US store.

Sammy Kay’s got a new record called July 1960 due out on July 19th. It’s being co-released by Sell the Heart Records (US) and Engineer Records (UK) on Coke Bottle Clear and black wax. Mr. Kay has some copies with a special silkscreened jacket on his Bandcamp as well. Also available: CDs, shirts, etc!

We started this week’s Record Radar with a cassette release, so why not wrap things up with another cassette release? Two street punk bands, Philadelphia’s English Teeth and Las Vegas’ Fool’s Errand, have a brand new split EP out now and you can get it on snazzy orange cassette right here. It’s only $1 but I know damn well they had to have paid more than that to make these so I’d implore you to pay a bit more than that. If cassettes aren’t your thing, digital download is an option as well!

Well, 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, leave us a comment below, or 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 (or do, I’m not your father). See ya next time!

Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Click here and you’ll be taken to a page with all the past entries in the column. Magic!

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DS Record Radar: This Week In Punk Vinyl (One Square Mile, Sum 41, Steve Rawles (Belvedere), Pansy Division & More!)

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. Kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold […]

Greetings, and welcome to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is the weekly* column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl; new releases, reissues… you name it, we’ve probably got it. 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!

Check out the video edition of this week’s Record Radar, presented by our friends at Punk Rock Radar:

SoCal punk band One Square Mile’s new 12” EP Source of Suffering is out now on Sound Speed Records. It was produced by Cameron Webb, whose work you’re familiar with on releases from NOFX, Pennywise, Alkaline Trio, and the awesome new Chaser record Small Victories! Sound Speed Records has three color variants up on their store – solid yellow /100 (proceeds from this one are going to the Surfrider Foundation), translucent w/ yellow / brown /100, and translucent brown w/ gold flakes /50. Catch ‘em all!

A new variant of the new Sum 41 album Heaven :x: Hell has popped up and this one’s different. It’s on solid blue colored vinyl (limited to 500 copies) and the only way you can get it is with autographs. You can get a copy signed by the band with a black marker for $89.99, and for some inexplicable reason they also have copies signed with a SILVER market that are an astounding $139.99! Holy fuck! Why does the marker used make it worth $50 more? No fucking clue brother. These are available exclusively from Premiere Collectibles.

Staying in Canada, we got Steve Rawles from the almighty Belvedere (and This is a Standoff – both of which are better Canadian punk bands than Sum 41 I might add) whose 2011 solo album Bonus Room is being released on vinyl for the first time. Our friends at Thousand Islands Records are releasing this on translucent blue colored vinyl, limited to 250 copies. Grab your copy here – they’ve got test pressings available as well for just 10 bucks more than a regular copy. Take notes Premiere Collectibles! Or don’t, you’re probably making a fuckload off dumb fucks paying $50 extra for silver markers.

Also while you’re visiting Thousand Islands’ storefront, add this new pressing of German melodic punk band Melonball’s debut album Breathe to your cart. This pink & black half & half is the third pressing of this wonderful record. Get it here.

Fat Wreck imprint label Bottles to the Ground record artists The Meffs’ debut album What a Life is due out on September 13th. It was produced by Frank (I believe that’s short for Franklin) Turner, who has been quoted as saying “It’s a fucking beast. I’m as proud of it as I’m allowed to be” so that’s cool. Franklin sings on one of the songs on the album as well so that’s also cool. You can get it here on black vinyl, or two mystery color variants – one of which is exclusive to a bundle with a slipmat.

New from our friends at Mom’s Basement Records: Canadian pop-punk band The Follow Ups‘ brand new record Know Who Your Friends Aren’t! This one’s available on two bad ass color variants (limited to 100 copies) each, as well as black wax (limited to 100 copies as well) from Mom’s Basement Records (USA) and Faster And Louder Records (Canada). Both labels have CDs and vinyl test pressings available, too, which is bad ass.

Sounds Rad Records is repressing the latest record from band that kinda reminds me of Green Day, otherwise known as The Mr. T Experience. This second pressing of King Dork Approximately, The Album consists of 100 copies on Yellow Smoke and another 100 copies on Black Smoke colored vinyl. You can get it from soundsradical.com tomorrow – Monday, July 8th, 2024.

Also available to pre-order from Sounds Rad tomorrow: Pansy Division’s debut album Undressed. The record has been remastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering (the man behind most of the recent Screeching Weasel and MTX remasters) and will be available on violet colored vinyl.

The new Mad Caddies album Arrows Room 117 is getting a 2nd pressing (apparently the 37 color variants in the first run weren’t enough, though I’m pretty sure most of those are still available). SBAM has issued four new splatter color variants, all of which are limited to 100 copies each and can be obtained with money from their EU store.

Indianapolis 7-piece ska/dub/reggae/punk (their words, not mine) band The Operators just released their new record, incredibly creatively titled Self​-​Titled Second Album, on Jump Up Records. You can get it on powder blue and/or concrete colored vinyl, as well as compact disc(!), right here.

Luxembourg punk band Versus You has released a semi-career spanning compilation album called “A Collection” 2009-2024. The 2xLP set boasts a 25-song tracklist housed on yellow and red colored mechanically flattened 12” polyvinyl chloride discs (otherwise known as records by those in the trade). Get it here.

Chicago power-pop-punk band Space Age Zeros will be releasing their debut LP Strange New World on September 13th through Mystic Records. Yes, that Mystic Records. Check out the first single “Fireworks” below and pre-order the record (or CD (or both)) here.

Fraser Murderburger’s Wrong Life has released a new double A-Side single in The Politics of Projection / The Corrections. Limited Fun Records is releasing it as a clear lathe cut 7” which you can pre-order here. Profits from physical and digital pre-orders through July 26th will be donated to Scottish Women’s Aid.

And we’ll close out this week’s Record Radar with a special offer from our friends at Punk Rock Radar: The Punk Rock Radar Birthday Box! For $39 you get: 2 random records! 1 shirt! 1 sticker pack! And most importantly, the opportunity to choose the topic for an upcoming Punk Rock Radar youtube video. It’s an unbeatable offer, folks. Head over to the PRR Store and take advantage of it today. And throw a few more awesome records in your cart while you’re there – I highly recommend Making Friends’ Fine Dying, Stank Finger’s Three Finger Discount, Goldenboy’s Qualmbum, and Snackwolf’s Lunch Breakdown, but you truly can’t go wrong with any Punk Rock Radar-sanctioned release.

Well, 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, leave us a comment below, or 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 (or do, I’m not your father). See ya next time!

Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Click here and you’ll be taken to a page with all the past entries in the column. Magic!

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