Another month, another great list of hidden gems from one of our favorite purveyors of punk! There is no dearth of fantastic music over at Bandcamp so, we sent our minions on over to troll the site and return with only the best and brightest gems for your listening pleasure. Not to oversell it, but we really think you’re going to love the seven selections they’ve unearthed this month. They’re so good in fact, that we exhausted our supply of minion treats in jubilation. We reward quality work here at Dying Scene. As always, we try to provide a good variety, so hopefully everyone can find something that they love and wouldn’t have had time to stumble upon otherwise. You guys work hard and our minions aren’t the only ones who deserve a little reward. We got you! Enjoy this month’s seven stellar, buried gems below!
Portland, more so than most US cities, seems to produce a multitude of eccentric and original bands. Dirty Kid Discount, formed in 2011, is no exception. Their unique sound teeters somewhere between a crusty carnival, a putrid polka, and a melancholy medieval fair. This gypsy folk octet is comprised of musicians from a number of differing backgrounds and is unlike anything else in the sub-genre right now. But being slightly different isn’t enough to make the list alone. This troupe is extremely talented to boot. The accordion, keeps perfect time for the shredding metal guitar riffs looming behind it. The lyrics are made for chorus singing and the vocals have a little flair of horror punk mixed in for good measure. Go check out their sole full length album, A Life Amongst The Ruins. Full immersion is really the only way to get the feel of this band. If you like what you hear, the LP perfectly priced at $6.66!
Recommended Track – “Argoth”
This four piece has been shredding up the streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland since 2004. While it’s common for most bands to draw influence from a few divergent genres, those influences aren’t normally as explicitly identifiable as they are here. From ska, to metal, to 50’s Rockabilly, to straight up hardcore street punk, there is a delineation of these influences from track to track. It’s disjointed but not in bad way at all. Think Forrest Gump and his proverbial box of chocolates. It’s almost as if there are a few different bands playing from song to song and each one is tremendous. Their most recent LP, A Blank Cheque for Peace?, frames this diversity perfectly. They also recently uploaded a new four track EP, Empyres. Both are available for £3 GBP, so with the exchange rate, like $85 US… we dunno.
Recommended Track – “Stagnant”
3. Bad Crow
From the second our eardrums were introduced to Quebecious quartet Bad Crow, we knew we had a new playlist favorite! Formed in 2012, these Canucks have already proven that they can write superb music on a regular basis with two exceptional albums already to their credit. Canada has been producing first rate punk bands for decades now, but it seems like over the past few years the quantity of those acts has risen significantly, these guys are just another in a long list of glowing examples. Although they are a hardcore/skacore band, you don’t lose too much to the noise, The sound has more depth than some of their contemporaries which seems to make the lyrics and vocals stand out more. Let’s hope that Trump’s Wall doesn’t come to fruition, it may put a damper on our punk rock imports from The Great White North… although if he becomes President, we may just move up there!
Recommended Track – “Chew”
4. Cross Check
These punk prodigies from Poughkeepsie, New York have been playing since 2013, previously as Inflicted and being reborn as Cross Check in 2014. As far as pop punk goes, this quintet is the total package. Musically, they’re very crisp and tight. On the flip side however, the vocals are slightly overproduced sounding on some of the slower songs. Luckily, on the faster, more aggressive tracks (of which there are plenty) they shine, it sounds way more organic, more intense. The lyrics are more mature than the normal pop fare, especially with it being younger guys. Definitely no Tiger Beat here. The melodies are precise and not invasive. Their debut album Adversity is well worth the listen especially for fans of All Time Low. These boys have great potential, let’s keep an eye on them to see if they can progress their sound a little more and keep growing in the right direction. Gotta love these young guys!
Recommended Track – “False Pretenses”
5. In Evil Hour
One of the things missing in the political melodic hardcore arena has long been female vocalists. Now, with the recent resurgence of female fronted punk bands, we’re finally starting to see some progress made. Enter: In Evil Hour from Darlington, UK. This four piece was formed in 2011 but the members have been around and playing together since 2003 so there’s a real sense of maturity (especially in their songwriting and music composition) surrounding them. The vocals are crystal clear yet still straddling the edge of grimey, street punk. We can’t be the first to say it but frontwoman Al sounds an awful lot like Cinder Block from Tilt. Let’s just say that we spent most of our allowance stacking our music collection with the In Evil Hour discography. You should probably do the same to avoid disappointment and future regret.
Recommended Track – “Ascension”
This melodic punk quartet hails from Rochester, New York. Their newest/only album No Rest released in 2013 is a perfect four track introduction and it’s available for Name Your Price. The dual lead guitars play very well off of each other. The lyrics are emotionally charged but simple, sardonic and pointed. They’re slightly reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine frontman, Zach Delaroche. Not so much in the way they sound, but the passion. It just makes you angry. Don’t front, you know exactly what we’re talking about! Even if you were having a stellar day, put on some Hideout and you’ll want to strangle a random passersby. Go grab a copy and give it a listen… indoors… alone… away from random passersby…
Recommended Track – “Valley”
These Cook County boys bill themselves as “No Coast Punk Rock”. No coast perhaps, but the banks of the Lake Michigan are seething with punk rock history. This fun four piece formed in early 2011 and have been slowly making their impression on the local scene. We have a soft spot in our bitter, acerbic, stone cold, hearts for party bands and if John Blutarsky were a band, he would be Butchered. Really though, Chicago is exactly where you want your party band to be from. It’s loud, inebriated, fast, caustic, fun punk rock with a dash of ska mixed in. They’ve recently fallen victim to the disturbing trend of having their unattended van robbed of their equipment. Go give them a little love. They have quite a few albums available for Name Your Price including a live show recording as well as a single. Head over to The ‘Camp and donate dinero, download a few and help these guys out. They really do deserve it.
Recommended Track – “Doesn’t Matter Anymore”
Add In Evil Hour to My Radar