Chicago pop-punks Capgun Heroes have released a new single titled “Without You” and announced plans for a new full-length album, due out later this year on Hey Pizza! Records. Check out the track below and stay tuned for more details on the follow-up to their 2021 debut LP Last Call for Adderall.
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Ramonescore: a campy sub-genre of a sub-genre, paying tribute to a legendary band that helped birth that very sub-genre. Bands who participate in the act of Ramones worship typically play light-hearted, upbeat songs about drinking, girls, and drinking because of girls. Some people appreciate Ramonescore for what it is. Others write it off as vacuous, repetitive pop-punk, played exclusively by guys with Screeching Weasel tattoos. And while I understand those criticisms, you have to be a real stick in the mud to outright hate this shit. It’s fun!
Sure, if you listen to enough of the stuff, you’ll certainly hear a lot of similar (if not exactly the same) chord progressions. And reading through tracklists, you might get overwhelmed by the amount of things these bands do and don’t wanna do. I view all of these idiosyncrasies as a set of strict parameters that must be adhered to when writing songs. It’s easy to write a shitty Ramonescore style pop-punk song (believe me, I’ve heard my fair share), but quite difficult to write good ones when playing by these “rules”.
With their debut album Just Wanna, the Pinoles pass the test. This record delivers everything an old school pop-punk fan could ask for. Nine tracks in 20 minutes, all simple, catchy, and easy to sing along to even after you’ve thrown back a few. Some of my favorite songs are “Padded Walls”, “You Make Me Sick”, “I Don’t Love You Anymore”, “Santa Cruz”, and the title track. These guys don’t fuck around. Just like the Ramones, they get you in and out quick. I appreciate the efficiency.
Like most Ramonescore bands, these Californians wear their influences proudly on the sleeves of their leather jackets. Their frontman uses a Mosrite guitar to deliver a barrage of downstroked bar chords, à la Johnny Ramone. The little “whoa oh-oh-oh” bit on the album’s title track is lifted straight from Screeching Weasel’s “High School Psychopath”. And there are numerous references to classic songs and records sprinkled throughout the lyrics across this entire album. There is no shame in their game, and that’s perfectly fine by me.
Regardless of whether you enjoy this brand of pop-punk, I highly recommend checking out Just Wanna. It’s a very well produced record with fun, no-nonsense songwriting. Listen to the album below, and head over to the Pinoles’ Bandcamp page to download it.
Official Review Score:
4/5 Converse All Stars
Striped Music has been on an absolute roll this year. The Italian pop-punk label is responsible for two of my Top 10 Albums of 2022: The Manges‘ Book of Hate for Good People and Screeching Weasel‘s The Awful Disclosures of Screeching Weasel. Discerning pop-punk listeners know that when Striped is putting out a new record, it’s a safe bet that it’s gonna be pretty fuckin’ good.
This split LP from two veteran bands in the Travoltas and the Huntingtons is no exception to that rule. Both sides of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Universal International Problem kick off with a brand new, original song from each band. For the Travoltas, it’s “She’s Gonna Break My Heart in Two”: a sugary power-pop song that stays true to their signature blend of Beach Boys infused pop-punk. The Huntingtons contribute a new track called “I Don’t Wanna Be Wrong” that probably wouldn’t be out of place on my favorite Ramones record Too Tough to Die.
Following these snippets of new music is a steady stream of cover songs. Each band covers two tracks by the other. The Travoltas offer their take on “Hooray for You” off 1999’s Get Lost and “The Last Time You Left” from 2001’s Songs in the Key of You. They do a great job putting their own spin on these; subbing out the guitar leads on the latter song with keyboards was an excellent choice. The Huntingtons, on the other hand, focus on further Ramones-ifying their Travoltas covers. “You Got What I Need” (from 2001’s Teenbeat) is almost unrecognizable, having been stripped down and sped up, while “Anywhere You Want To” (originally on 2002’s Endless Summer) is slightly closer to its source material with a guitar solo faithfully recreating the surfy keyboard interlude of the original track.
Each side of this split LP is rounded out by a cover of a song from the 50’s. The Travoltas provide a souped-up rendition of Johnny and the Hurricanes’ rock ‘n’ roll instrumental “Red River Rock”. They don’t take too many creative liberties with the song, but it’s an enjoyable bookend nonetheless. The Huntingtons cover the Everly Brothers’ mega-hit “All I Have to Do is Dream”. Aside from adding a little flair with some new guitar parts, this is also a pretty by-the-numbers cover, and that’s perfectly fine by me.
If you’re a fan of either of these bands, or old school pop-punk in general, you’ll likely enjoy this split (which, fun fact, is named after a Joey Ramone quote regarding his disdain for guitarists). Rock ‘N’ Roll Universal International Problem is due out on December 2nd. You can pre-order the LP here (US) and here (EU). There’s even a CD version that you can grab here!
Dutch pop-punks The Windowsill have long held a special place in my heart as one of the true heavy hitters of modern “Ramonescore” style pop-punk. Since releasing their last record Make Your Own Kind of Music in 2017, the band shifted focus to their equally amazing side project Giant Eagles, through which they released one of my favorite albums of 2020: Second Landing. But now the focus is back on the Windowsill and their new album Focus (pun very much so intended).
Focus had me hooked from the start with “Can’t Stop Love”. I’m a sucker for albums with well sequenced tracklists, and it’s hard to imagine they could have picked a more perfect opening track than this one. This quick shot of head-nodding, foot-tapping pop-punk was the perfect companion to the energy drink I was sipping the morning I decided to give this album its first listen.
Equally strong is the track that immediately follows: “Poor Buffalo”. This song keeps the momentum going, providing the first heavy dose of the Screeching Weasel-esque “nursery rhyme” style guitar leads that are a beloved hallmark of genre. And plenty subsequent doses of this melodic ear candy are delivered throughout the remainder of Focus.
I could continue to provide a track-by-track breakdown, but that would get boring and I’d undoubtedly run out of words to use. What I will say is that all 12 songs on this record are great, and equally deserving of being individually recognized. But if I had to pick favorites (in addition to the two tracks I already highlighted), I’d probably go with “The Dreams You Used to Sell”, “It’s Killing Me”, “Love You Better”, and “These Tears Are For Real”. I’m sure if you ask me a week from now what my favorite songs are, I’ll have a completely different answer for you.
Focus is an incredible album; one of the very best I’ve heard this year, pop-punk or otherwise. I thought I had my Top 10 Albums of 2022 locked in, but I thought wrong. The Windowsill showed up in the 11th hour and stole a spot on my list with ease. If you aren’t listening to this record, you’re fucking up big time.
Official Review Score: Focus receives Dying Scene’s maximum 5-Star Safety Rating
Focus is available on CD/digital here. For my fellow record collectors, vinyl should be coming in May, 2023.
Savannah, Georgia’s Manarovs are back with another new song called “Long Time Ago” and we’re stoked to bring you the exclusive premiere of the music video. This is the latest single from the Ramonescore band’s upcoming album Callsign: Proton. Check it out below!
Callsign: Proton will be out soon, with Mom’s Basement Records (LP / CD) and Memorable But Not Honorable Records (Cassette). We’ll keep you posted as more details band’s sophomore album are revealed. For now, go back and check out their 2022 self-titled debut LP.
The newly announced Ramonescore Brigade Volume Three compilation LP features songs from 20 leather jacket clad pop-punk bands, including The Putz, McRackins, Rimmingtons, Hawaiians & many others. The comp is due out December 1st on Mom’s Basement Records, Council Pop & Insipid Records. It’s a vinyl-only release (check out those bitchin’ color variants!), but your pals at Dying Scene are hooking you up with this exclusive premiere of three tracks from the record! Check ’em out:
Here’s what Mom’s Basement Records ringleader John Proffitt Jr. had to say about the third entry in the Ramonescore Brigade series:
“The Ramonescore Brigade series is a DIY project with the primary purpose of getting newer bands released on vinyl who may not otherwise get the opportunity. We’ve had a great response on Volumes One and Two, and Volume Three is just as exciting as the first two. We’ve gotten support from some record labels to get more of these out there, Mom’s Cellar Dwellers in the USA, Council-Pop in the UK and Insipid Records in Canada. 20 great Ramonescore bands you either love already, or soon will.”
- Mom’s Basement Records (US) – Clear with Rainbow Splatter colored vinyl
- Council Pop Records (UK) – Pink / Green Splatter colored vinyl
- Insipid Records (Canada) – Mixed Color vinyl + Black wax
Ramonescore Brigade Volume Three tracklist:
1. The Putz – Teenage Hand Grenade
2. Marky Murphy & the Meds – Bees & Honey
3. The Crash Mats – They’ve Just Won a Speedboat
4. McRackins – Welly Boy
5. Rimmingtons – Every Night & Every Day / Just In
6. The Hawaiians – Jingle of 1 Million Eyes
7. The Chick Magnets – A Simple Question
8. The Hallingtons – Back to Berlin
9. Mr. Plow – SDF
10. The Atoms – Hi Mum, It’s Me (I’m in Jail)
11. W.O.R.M. – Gammonoid
12. Noodle Brain – My Girl Needs Rehab
13. Los Fatso Libres – Jobbing Out
14. Space Age Zeros – Ali With an Eye
15. Manarovs – Left Behind
16. Lily Livers – I Don’t Wanna Wait 4 Luck No More
17. The Lousekateers – Fanny Pack
18. Guitar Army – Drop the Gloves
19. Bad Worms – Sobriety
20. FLKS – Go Out
Georgia Ramonescore band the Manarovs are back with their sci-fi / spy themed sophomore album Callsign: Proton. We’re stoked to bring you the exclusive premiere of the music video for the first single “Anywhere For You”. Check it out below!
Callsign: Proton will be out soon on Mom’s Basement Records (LP/CD) and Memorable But Not Honorable Records (Cassette). It follows the band’s self-titled debut album, which was released early last year.
Austrian pop-punk veterans DeeCracks have announced they are working on a new album. According to a post on the band’s Instagram page, they are recording 28 songs(!) for a “very special record” to be released in 2023 on Pirates Press Records, coinciding with their 20th Anniversary.
Formed in 2003 and originally named The Cretins, DeeCracks have released five full-length albums, with 2021’s Serious Issues being their latest. The band most recently released a Split 7″ with The Manges. Stay tuned for more details on their next record.
Focus will be the band’s first full-length album since 2017’s Make Your Own Kind of Music. Shield Recordings is releasing the album on CD/digital November 16th, with plans for a vinyl release in May, 2023.
Recently featured in our Ten Underrated Punk Bands You Need To Check Out Right Now column, The Windowsill has a distinct sound that’s heavily influenced by 90’s pop-punk bands like Screeching Weasel and The Queers.
Screeching Weasel has announced a 30th Anniversary reissue of their 1993 LP Anthem For A New Tomorrow. The iconic pop-punk record has been out of print for over a decade, having last been repressed by Recess Records in 2012. The new reissue was remixed by Mike Kennerty, who produced the last four SW albums.
The CD version, which features four bonus tracks, is available to pre-order here. Italy’s Striped Music is pressing the record on pink vinyl (limited to 500 copies). All copies come with a poster and CD. You can pre-order that here. Recess Records will have orange, blue, and green color variants available in the US soon.
This incarnation of Screeching Weasel boasts what many consider to be the band’s definitive lineup: Ben Weasel on guitar and vocals, Danny Vapid on bass, John “Jughead” Pierson on guitar, and Dan Panic on drums. This album’s tracklist is brimming with classic songs like “Falling Apart”, “Peter Brady”, “Every Night”, “Claire Monet” and, of course, the penultimate title track. When I think of Lookout! Records and 90’s pop-punk, Anthem For A New Tomorrow is one of the first records that comes to mind.
Screeching Weasel released their 14th studio album The Awful Disclosures of Screeching Weasel in 2022. Here‘s our review of that LP.
For a weekly rundown of all things punk rock vinyl, check out the Dying Scene Record Radar every Friday!