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Rival Town release music video for “A New Normal”

Thunder Bay, Ontario pop punk act Rival Town have released a video for their new single “A New Normal,” which as released on October 4th.

The song is a heart-wrenching one that deals with two of the members losing their mother to brain cancer last fall.  You can check it out below.

Rival Town last released the single, “Hide,” in July 2018.



Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds release lyric video for “Shitty Margarita”

Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds have released a lyric video for their new song “Shitty Margarita,” which comes from the bands’ upcoming album Keep Walkin’ Pal, which is set to be released digitally on October 26th, and on all physical formats on November 23rd via Red Scare Industries.

You can check out the video below.

Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds last released I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever in 2012.



Lee Corey Oswald stream new album “Darkness, Together”

Portland based punk band Lee Corey Oswald are streaming their new album Darkness, Together, which was released on October 12, 2018 via A-F Records.

You can give it a listen below.

Lee Corey Oswald last released Unhealthy in October 2017.



DS Exclusive: Josh Caterer on “Into The Agony,” Smoking Popes’ first ‘original lineup’ album in two decades

Sometimes when I conduct an interview with an artist I’m a fan of, I find it best to pull out a few noteworthy quotes, craft them into a story that I find interesting, and then allow the reader to click through to read our full conversation to provide some level of context. Usually, this finds me asking the subject a number of sort-of fleshed out questions and engaging in a conversation that goes somewhat as planned, and I can almost start to write part of the story in my head as we’re talking. I try to go in with more material than I need, and don’t always get to touch on all of it. But even by my own standards, I had a lot of questions for Josh Caterer.

I’ve been a fan of seminal Chicago band Smoking Popes for the last couple of decades, So when the opportunity presented itself to chat with the band’s songwriter, frontman and principle voice about their new album, Into The Agony, I jumped, even though it came with little in the way of lead time. Given that we’ve never spoken for Dying Scene before, there’s a lot of subject matter to mine: obviously I wanted to talk about the new album, because it’s stellar and upbeat and incredibly melancholy at the same time. And obviously I wanted to talk about the changes in band dynamics that came with founding drummer Mike Felumlee’s return to the band a couple years ago after a decade out of the fold. And about their sticking with Asian Man Records. And my daughter wanted to know if he actually ever broke his arm on stage. And I wanted to ask about issues of faith and politics and punk rock, particularly in the present sociopolitical climate in this country. And about the idea that Smoking Popes seem to exist at that curious intersection of “Bands That Are Immensely Influential Avenue” and “Bands That Are Wildly Underrated Boulevard.” And maybe even his thoughts on whether or not Smoking Popes were miscategorized as a “punk” band early on, particularly when held up against some of the more noteworthy alternative bands that they came through the ranks with. And while we did touch on a few of those things, a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum.

That funny thing, as it turned out, was Judy Garland.

In hindsight, had I been paying close enough attention, I should have seen it coming. A black and white picture of Garland serves as the focal piece of the cover art of Into The Agony, and the album’s halfway point is marked by a cover of “Get Happy,” a tune first popularized by Garland in the 1950 movie Summer Stock. But Garland’s presence on this album runs far, far deeper than that. It might be presumptuous to assume that most readers of Dying Scene are primarily aware of Garland due to her iconic performance as Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the “child star” nature of the early part of her life, Garland would go on to have a career that spanned more than four decades, though she became a quintessentially tragic figure (much to her chagrin), long battling issues of an unstable home life, chaotic and at times abusive interpersonal relationships, alcoholism and substance addiction, mental health and more all while desperately trying to put on a brave, happy face and bring joy to the masses through her art.

Stylistic differences aside, that’s a profile ripe for exploration by a punk rock songwriter, especially one with a penchant for crafting poetic tales of love – albeit sometimes unrequited – and loss and hope and heartbreak all with a tremendous pop sensibility. Now rest assured Popes fans; Into The Agony is not a Judy Garland-themed rock opera, not by any stretch. While the idea of diving into the agony might be the central thread that ties the album together, it finds specific inspiration from issues that are both macro and micro, political and personal. There’s despair, for sure – these are desperate times – but there’s a trademark Smoking Popes sense of optimism present in droves, sometimes defiantly so.

With that as a bit of a teaser, I decided in this case to just let our conversation stand for itself, because I found it one of the most interesting chats I’ve had in the roughly 100 interviews I’ve run here at Dying Scene. It was challenging, thoughtful (and thought-provoking), funny, and a little melancholy. We talk about the specifics behind a few tracks, for sure, and also talk about the nervousness that comes with actually revealing the backstory to a song, thereby stripping the listener of the context they’ve provided to the song. And we of course talked a little about the band’s history and the renewed energy they’ve found since Felumlee rejoined the ranks. Head below to check out our full conversation with Josh Caterer. You can also head here to check out Into The Agony for yourself, and head here to see where you can catch the Popes on the road!



Bad Sports (Punk) streaming new single “Don’t Deserve Love” off of upcoming album

Old-school punks rejoice! Texas punks Bad Sports are streaming the first single “Don’t Deserve Love” off of their upcoming album Constant Stimulation. Set to be released October 26th on Dirtnap Records, Bad Sports is a throwback to the early days of punk. If you enjoy The Ramones or The Queers you’ll love these guys.

Check the single out below.

This appears to be the first new music from Bad Sports since their 2016 release Living With Secrets.



Blindspot (skate-punk) streaming three new songs

Aussie skate-punks Blindspot are streaming three new songs under the guise of The Right Swipe Single Plus More. Featuring the single “The Right Swipe” which jumps into the issues of modern-day dating…I think (never had to swipe for a date). Two more pretty awesome songs: “Heart Half Full” and “Dark and Stormy” round out this sampling of Blindspot and I must say I found myself thoroughly enjoying this snifter of Punk goodness.

So go ahead and take a nibble below.

This is the first new music from the Perth punks since their split with The Bob Gordons. The Right Swipe was originally released on this album back in 2016. If you’re a fan of 90’s punk these guys nail the nostalgic nail on the head. 



Against Me! stream “People Who Died” for Songs That Saved My Life compilation

A few weeks back Hopeless Records and Sub City announced an amazing project called Songs That Saved My Life. The compilation features bands covering songs that have inspired and helped them get through the toughest of times in life. The latest teaser is Against Me! covering the Jim Carroll hit “People Who Died”. When asked why they chose this song Laura Jane Grace had this to say: ““Choosing to cover a song that is filled with death to be featured on a compilation dedicated to the thought that music can save your life seemed completely fitting to me. I’ve always thought music was about taking all the sadness, pain, fear and trouble that you have weighing on you and turning it into something empowering, celebratory and life-affirming.”

You can check out the stirring Against Me! cover below.

A few weeks back Neck Deep released their cover of “Torn” and if these two songs are any sign of what the rest of this album will sound like, we are in for a treat. This project benefits a variety of mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Currently, this project benefits Crisis Text Line, Hope For The Day, The Trevor Project, and To Write Love On Her Arms. As well, last month, the Songs That Saved My Life grant was announced. The $10,000 grant will be awarded to a fan or band partnering with a non-profit organization related to mental health awareness and/or suicide prevention. 



Album Review: Restorations – “LP5000”

The moody, rootsy, punk-adjacent rock of Restorations has always represented a war between the grounded and the ethereal. Maybe that’s its raison d’etre. It forges broken relationships and melancholy into something divine, while pulling divinity down from its pedestal and into our gutters. It’s a marriage between why we play music in the first place—the expressive drive; and how we play it—the artistic drive. The end result sounds like an amalgam of Fugazi, Constantines, The Menzingers, Hot Water Music, and My Bloody Valentine—and the only ones playing this particular amalgam are Restorations.

LP5000 is their latest full-length, on the heels of three well-loved albums and a handful of singles. This one is noticeably shorter, seven songs at twenty-four minutes—a grey area between album and EP that in the end, feels more complete than many longer works. Here, they’re just as anthemic, vulnerable, and experimental as they’ve always been—but the heart of Restorations is still in rock ‘n roll.

Album opener “St.” opens with feedback before succumbing to a steady, hypnotic, and bassy drum rhythm. Drumming usually escapes me completely, I’m as arrhythmic as they come and for me, a song’s quality usually starts and stops at its lyrics and melody. But here, and across the entirely of LP5000 I was entranced by the mesmeric rhythms—they don’t just back the music here, they’re as fundamental as the plaintive vocals and spidery guitar lines. Between the drums, grungy chorus, and the short, but whiplash guitar solo, “St.” serves as a reminder of Restorations’ roots—a broken-in, world weary vision of rock ‘n roll.

“Nonbeliever” is a highlight of the album, with its tense shuffle, portrait-like lyricism, and emo-influenced palm-muted guitar riffs. The lyricism here is beautiful, softly political, and at points conversational. I always appreciate when songwriter’s bring a sense of time, place, and age into their words. “Said you’ve found the trick: just be bad at your job/ If you burn all the fries, they’re gonna make you the king,” paints a picture of youthful struggle, the self-deprecation we utilize to make peace with a living we don’t want to fight for. “Nonbeliever” is an ode to being born into adulthood, chronicling a struggle doomed to bloom into complacency.

There are some interesting choices made on LP5000 production’s, but with a band like Restorations, no choice really feels outside their already fairly broad boundaries. The programmed beat, sounding like pulsating static, on “Melt” comes to mind. But it’s used to even greater effect on ending track “Eye,” giving a sort of eerie and desolate tone to the slice-of-life narration. The dead-air drums in the background, a perfect juxtaposition between the technologically-complex world we live in and the human relationships that define us. It explodes into squealing guitars and a massive chorus, the sound of Restorations using every tool at their disposal to feel and be felt.

LP5000 is more of the same, when the same has always been top-notch. Restorations is a band with nothing to prove, and yet, they are one of the most exciting working in the greater punk rock arena. They’re as lyrical as their contemporaries and just as catchy, yet they push their sound into spacey, angular directions. Perhaps the band’s greatest feat is making this feel effortless. Restorations experimentation is an extension of their identity, it comes off as natural and unpretentious. LP5000 is seven great songs, and everything else is just what it took to make them great.

4.5/5



Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers Release New Track “The Airplane Song”

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers are to release their debut album Bought To Rot on November 9th via Chicago’s Bloodshot Records. Following recent single “Apocalypse Now (And Later)”, the band are streaming another advance track, “The Airplane Song”. Have a listen below.

Pre-orders for the album are up now.



New Junk City release new album “Same Places”

Atlanta punk act New Junk City have released their new album Same Places. The album is out now on Real Ghost Records, with physical orders up now direct from the label. 

You can have a listen to the album below.



Brogues stream new track “1982” ahead of album

Brogues (ex-Morning Glory) are streaming “1982“, a track from their upcoming Metropolitan Blues, which is out October 23rd. Pre-orders are up tomorrow (October 16th).

The album is the follow up to 2016’s “Heart & Song“.



Misgivings Release New Single “Call It Off”

Portsmouth, UK gruff punks Misgivings  have released a new single. “Call If Off” is the first track from their upcoming debut album, Hermitage, their first release on their new home Lockjaw Records.

The band have also released a video for the track, which you can watch below.



Incisions (Hardcore, UK) sign to TNS and release video

Manchester’s Incisions have released their first video since signing to TNS Records. The band are to release their self-titled, debut album on the label next month and have released “War In Your Head” ahead of the record.

You can have a watch below.



Scumbag Millionaire release video for “Under The Spell”

Swedish punks Scumbag Millionaire just released a video for their newest single “Under The Spell”. The track is taken from their debut album, “Speed”, which has just come out last week on Suburban Records.

You can have a watch below.



Bucky Harris (Folk Punk, Canada) Stream Latest EP, “Breathing Room”

Montreal-based folk punk ensemble Bucky Harris are allowing fans to stream their entire latest EP. The four-track effort is titled Breathing Room and you can stream it below.

Breathing Room is the latest music from Bucky Harris since their 2017 EP, In Sheep’s Clothing.