I was a total music nerd when I was a kid. I listened to absolutely nothing except golden oldies and Weird Al until I was in high school. I stumbled onto punk rock when I was 15 and considered myself musically “cool” but now that I think about it, starting a punk music blog is pretty much the pinnacle of fanboy geekdom – so, still a music nerd it seems. But I digress. I was telling you about golden oldies. I never lost my love for the rock ‘n roll of the 60s, which is why Italy’s The Peawees are striking such a chord with me. These guys channel the greats like Elvis, Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly but do it with decidedly punk rock rock flare. They’re not “new”, they’ve been kicking around the punk scene since 1995 but they’re new to Dying Scene and on September 14th they’re dropping their new album “Moving Target” via Rum Bar Records. Put your dancing shoes on and give a couple of the tunes a listen here.
Search Results for "Band Spotlight"
Monday, September 10, 2018 at 3:49 PM (PST) by Johnny X
Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 5:48 AM (PST) by Johnny X
I can’t classify Raleigh’s Thirsty Curses. Alt-Country? Folky-Americana? Garage-Punk? Indie-Rock (gasp!)? Your significant other that doesn’t appreciate your taste in punk music will probably like half this album. Great, but why do are you reading about this band on Dying Scene, you’re rightfully asking. Because as soon as I start to think Thirsty Curses’ music might not qualify for Dying Scene, a pissed off, fast paced track with gang backed “whoah-ohs” comes out of nowhere and seems to pull them back into the realm of acceptable Dying Scene standards. As schizophrenic as their genre influences seems to be, the one common denominator is that I dig every single track I’m hearing. If you have trouble getting into anything outside your typical skate-punk or hardcore, this one won’t be for you. If you occasionally like to dabble in rock ‘n roll, folk, or God forbid, more contemporary indie rock like Modest Mouse or Mumford and Sons you might want to give this quirky album a spin below. I defy you not to get hooked by the track “Dimlit Cathedral.”
Friday, August 3, 2018 at 1:00 PM (PST) by Meredith Goldberg
July 14, 2018, found Chicago’s Still Alive hosting their record release show at GMan Tavern, just a few yards down from the legendary Metro Chicago, and almost directly across the street the Wrigley Field. The iconic baseball stadium had Def Leppard and Journey co-headlining at the Friendly Confines. For those who chose the more intimate setting of Gman Tavern, they witnessed some raw punk rock served up sans the glitz and frills afforded to stadium rockers. I’m betting none of those in attendance at the smaller show would have traded locations.
The group’s new record, “Assemble,” is made up of 7 tracks including Schedule One. The band’s description of the tune: “This song is about cannabis being categorized as a schedule one substance. A schedule one drug is one that has no medicinal value and is highly addictive, yet the American government holds the THC patent as medicine. We call bullshit.”
Still Alive’s current lineup is made up of Dan Alfonsi on guitar/vocals, Dom Burdi on guitar/vocals, Mikey Cervenka on drums, and Bryan Schroth on bass. I caught up with Alfonsi a few days later and we discussed the band’s formation 9 years ago, their history thus far, and plans for the future as far as he can see from now.
Alfonsi describes the band’s founding, “Still Alive started in 2009 with 3 other friends from other bands that I liked. We all played in some variation of a punk/ska band so we took that and made it a little heavier. From there we just wanted to play fast and heavy while maintaining the ska roots.”
Cervanka and Alfonsi got their musical start early while Burdi “his own way,” and Bryan seems to have grabbed musical influences from just about everywhere.”
Alfonsi recalls a few of the issues they faced and why he characterizes the band’s start as slow. “We played our first show in 2009 once we were able to hold down a line up long enough practice a full set. Things were definitely slow going for a while. We even played a few songs from my old band Young Til We die to fill in the gaps. 2012 was when we really started to play more often and out of the city.”
Getting to play on bills with many of their favorite bands from growing up has been a highlight in itself. Amongst those Alfonsi and his bandmates feel fortunate for having the chance to share a stage with include Suicide Machines, Choking Victim; and Leftover Crack.
However, Alfonsi is quick to point out that the camaraderie experienced by being in a band and a part of the punk rock community, both local and nationwide, is his favorite part “Jumping in the van with some of my best buds and playing out of town is always a blast. Another awesome aspect has been getting to know so many rad people along the way. Meeting other bands and like-minded individuals have made any hard work well worth it.”
The name Still Alive was partially inspired by the name of Alfonsi’s previous band, Young til We Die. The other half came down to the band members picking it out of a hat. Alfonsi tells me he believes the other options were: “Bloodied Up” and “Drink the Punch.”
Alfonsi describes who the group is at its core: “We are a DIY band. We gave the label thing a spin and it wasn’t for us. We write and produce all of our music with the help of our buddy Justin Yates who keeps us in check when recording.”
“Every member that has played in Still Alive is a Chicago area native minus Chuck Vroom who played bass for a bit before moving back to Detroit. There he’s played with The A Gang, Bastardous, For Dire Life Sake and a bunch more,” says Alfonsi
“Mikey works as a Warehouse Manager in the western ‘burbs. Bryan works at Bandago renting vans to touring bands. In addition to Bandago, he is the merchman extraordinaire for Lagwagon, Me First, Less Than Jake and whoever else needs him haha. Dom works as an office manager with insurance dealings. Dom has another band called Beat The Smart Kids that that is pretty killer. Fun ska stuff. I work as an Interior Painter in the city and I also do some festival work when it’s in season. Besides Still Alive I play bass in a hardcore band called The Ox King, drums in The Ridgelands and also drums in rarely active Brick Assassin. All Chicago bands.”
Alfonsi tells me that he cannot nail down his favorite bands long enough to set a list of them in stone. “Personally, my list of favorite bands is too long and constantly changing so I’ll list my top three local bands. There are so many to choose from, but these are my favorites. All three work super hard and put a lot of time and effort into their music. It shows in the recordings and it really shows live: La Armada, Kali Masi, and Blood People. Honorable mention: Bomblower, Turnspit, and Counterpunch.”
As for the future for Still Alive? Dan Alfonsi tells me the band is brewing some exciting things up. Some they can announce and some they are not quite ready to do so.
“Moving forward we just recorded five songs with Justin Yates at A Million Yen Studio. The recordings are for a split with Rebel Spies from Detroit and Justin Shwier of Underground Comminque is putting it out. Aside from that, we have some cool shows coming up to round out the year that aren’t announced yet, stay tuned.”
Of course, we turned the topic to, as must be done, to the role of punk rock in the era of the Trump Presidency:
“Life is becoming more surreal every day under this administration to the point that we as a people are almost used to it. It’s crazy. There is certainly no shortage of topic to write about, but the toll it’s taking in the meantime is frightening to say the least. The best we can do at this point is to treat each other well and hope that closed minds will start to open.”
As great as the record release party was, however, the night did end with a bummer as Alfonsi explains:
“A few hours following our release show 7/14 I was involved in a collision with a motorist while on my bicycle. I can’t get into too much detail because it’s an ongoing thing, but I urge everyone to pay better attention to your surroundings.”
Needless to say Alfonsi, his friends, his family; and the band’s fans are relieved that Dan is Still Alive and on the road to recovery.
We at Dying Scene wish Dan a speedy and full recovery as well so he can be back onstage as soon as possible.
Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 10:21 AM (PST) by Johnny X
So technically this is a little bit more of a “re-introducing” spotlight piece as Belgium’s Chump actually got their start around 2001. They kicked around the scene for a bit until 2005 then disappeared. Until now. Pulling influences from exactly where you’d expect a European punk act from 2001 to pull from, Chump isn’t reinventing the wheel when it comes to melodic skate punk, but they are churning it out with passion and talent, doing the sub-genre serious justice. Give their new EP “Welcome To The Punk Rock Family” below – it’s got one of the best instrumental, intro tracks I’ve heard this year.
Saturday, July 14, 2018 at 12:25 PM (PST) by Johnny X
Are you a fan of Big D And The Kids Table? Do you also like heavier music? If so then stop what you’re doing, plug your headphones in and check out Cuidado, a new band featuring members of Big D and the Kids Table, DREXEL & The Doped Up Dollies. Labeled as ‘Panic-Rock’, it can be described as Beastie Boys punk w/ bass & baritone saxophones.
Stream their debut release “Don’t Wreck My Attitude” below.
Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 10:35 AM (PST) by Johnny X
Do you guys remember when Flogging Molly put out music that made you want to dance a jig and mosh at the same time? Fast and aggressive enough to satisfy your rebellious soul yet folky enough to provide a depth sometimes lacking in more traditional punk rock? Those were the days. And I thought they were over until I stumbled across The Killigans. Hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska of all places, this six-some channel folk-punk as if they were spawned from the back of a gypsy caravan in the heart of the Old Country. Playing together since 2004, how they escaped my notice until now is beyond me, but let’s not dwell on that. What’s important is that they just released a new full-length titled “Dance On Your Grave” and I’m here today to tell you it is well worth a listen. Do so here.
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 12:20 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
We’ve got an awesome new skate punk band for you to check out. Hailing from Southern California, We Found A Map plays classic So-Cal skate punk with some pop-punk hooks. You can check out their debut EP …To The Haunted Arcade below!
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 3:45 PM (PST) by Operation Rescue
The best part of writing for this site is discovering interesting new artists, and today grants me that exact opportunity. Meet Jacob Horn Trio, from Chicago, Illinois!
The 6 piece ska-punk trio has made 2 tracks available for streaming from a forthcoming LP due later this year. I was immediately surprised by the depth of the sound in the two tracks. The band’s bio notes they draw inspiration from ska and soul, and there is a hint of Motown in their lush combination of horns and guitars; complimenting Horn’s distinctive and emotive vocals.
Check out the tracks “Because” and “Catastrophic” below, and let us know what you think!
Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 12:35 PM (PST) by Alexander Liakouris
Deszcz is neo-crust/dark hardcore hailing from Poznań, Poland. Kuba, Wojtek and Michał barged into the scene with guns blazing with their debut album titled “Rain Keeps Falling” in 2014. Their second self-titled LP was one of the best crust releases of 2017 and also the album that made them known to a wide spectrum of extreme music fans.
The band released its third full-length endeavour titled “III” a week ago, displaying a remarkable progress in terms of quality both in composition and production, especially considering the fact that the time gap between their last two releases is less than a year. Combining dark, melodic neo-crust guitars with relentless d-beat drumming may be the backbone of their music but they don’t limit themselves to that pattern. By incorporating hardcore and metal elements, mid-tempo bridges and interludes and utilising the double vocals in the best way possible, they create heavy, distorted ambience filled with raw emotion and rage. Check out “III” below and keep these guys in mind. Something big is going down here.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at 6:01 AM (PST) by Alexander Liakouris
Chain Cult is a new post-punk trio from Athens, Greece. These guys self-released their self-titled demo a few days ago and it will soon be available on tape. The band plays a dark shade of post-punk with a lot of groove and interesting lyrics. Check the album out below and get your body moving.
Friday, December 15, 2017 at 6:56 PM (PST) by Johnny X
If you’re on the lookout for a new hardcore band to check out and you miss the vocal stylings of Comadre then we’ve got a special treat for ya. Boston’s Sick Minds are relatively new to the scene but their individual members are no rookies. Self described as “For Fans Of: Comeback Kid, Modern Life is War, Bracewar”, I might just say they sound like the old lead singer of Comadre formed a new band with members more influenced by straight forward hardcore-punk. But you know the drill by now, just give their debut EP “Lose Your Grip” a listen below and make your own distinctions.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 5:02 PM (PST) by Operation Rescue
Ladies and gentlemen, get acquainted with Meh.
Mindless Empty Hardcore, (aka meh) hail from the arctic tundra of Montreal, Quebec and sing in English! Check out their debut EP below.
The band’s sonic approach is simple: energetic, old school East Coast hardcore, stripped down and pumped out loud. Although only 6 tracks long, the band’s nihilisitically self titled debut EP absolutely drips with aggression and rings of disconnection. The track “Anti-Punk” reflects their discontent and acrimony rather beautifully, and should be featured at many of this years most fashionable weddings.
Fans of Sick Of It All, The Cromags, Circle Jerks and The Germs will hear the DNA of those pioneers in this 4 piece. I’m looking forward to more of meh, and I bet you will be too, once you listen. Or, whatever.
Monday, November 27, 2017 at 1:30 PM (PST) by Alexander Liakouris
Bed Of Wasps are a hardcore punk band hailing from Dundee, UK. They have released two EPs (“Plagued”, “Heartless”) in the previous years and one more titled “Self” a few days ago. While their music is rooted in hardcore punk and d beat, they incorporate black metal and crust elements in their songs, inducing the relevant atmosphere as well.
“Self” contains 3 tracks and it’s an abrupt 7-minute facepalm contemplating on the subject of self-awareness. Check it out below and make sure you check their kick-ass older stuff as well.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 1:40 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
Hailing from Lincoln, UK Nieviem is a newer skate punk band that has been tearing it up for a little over a year. Steadily releasing new songs, live recordings, and EPs, the band continues the trend with their second EP The Hope Is There. The EP is fast and heavy, borrowing from hardcore but still strongly entrenched in 90’s skate punk. If that sounds up your alley, then give it a listen here.
Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 1:30 PM (PST) by Alexander Liakouris
Nailbox is a fairly new band from Ontario, Canada specializing in hardcore/metalcore with a few touches of hardcore punk. They have released the single “U.S. Effigy” last year and an EP titled “To Clear My Conscience” last March. A week ago they released their new self-titled EP independently. Their music is pretty much straight-forward, in-your-face, U.S. hardcore with plenty of ground-smashing breakdowns and distorted guitars.
The new EP has five songs following the style I described above, with some sweet punk groove added in the song “Indico State”. Raw emotions and face-spitting attitude all over the place, just like you hardcore kids like it. Pretty good stuff in general, check it out below.