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Jeff Rosenstock and Laura Stevenson release “Still Young”, an EP collection of Neil Young covers

Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb the Music Industry! fame and Laura Stevenson of Laura Stevenson and the Cans have released an EP called Still Young, which features four truly remarkable covers of Neil Young songs performed by the duo. Still Young is a fitting tribute to one of the most prominent folk rock artists by two of contemporary punk’s highest regarded musicians, finally paying due to the Godfather of Grunge as one of the primary inspiration of not just punk and grunge music, but underground counter-cultures across the world.

On the origin of the collaboration, Jeff says: “Much like our friendship, Neil Young’s songs have existed for a long time – some would argue, they’ve existed for even longer. For a while, I knew I was supposed to like Neil Young but a lot of the ‘standards’ admittedly are not for me. Eventually I asked Laura and her husband Mike to get me started somewhere, and months later, I would spend nights traveling alone on tour with After The Gold Rush on repeat in my headphones, simultaneously allowing me to feel grounded and as if I was floating away.”

From the interplay of Laura and Jeff’s voices on this record it’s clear how much these songs mean to them and their friendship, and Still Young also marks some of the softest and prettiest Jeff Rosenstock vocals you’ll ever hear. The album is streaming now on all platforms, or you can check it out below



A Fistful of Vinyl premieres first video from Rob Taxpayer session, “Goodbye Balance”

Rob Taxpayer (the titular frontperson of The Taxpayers and The Trusty Snakes) visited the home of A Fistful of Vinyl founder Alec’s parents’ house recently to play a few songs. The first premiere is of his solo rendition of “Goodbye Balance” from The Taxpayers’ last album: 2016’s Big Delusion Factory. A cynical-yet-enthusiastic surrender to the tumult of life, substances, and the elusive equilibrium we idealize and pursue, Rob’s talent and charm carry his words and melodies to the soul, and remind you of the easygoing friend who is mysteriously unbothered by what’s missing from life. Rob Taxpayer’s music coalesces influences from the broad expanses of the music universe, blending punk, folk, jazz, southern blues, New Orleans revival, and a handful of both gospel and children’s storytelling. As the front-person of the illustrious jazz-punk group The Taxpayers, Rob has been developing and sharing his solo tunes across the country at DIY venues and singalongs, supported by his “Song of the Week Club” patreon. Find Rob’s work at HairPond.org.

Check out the video below to watch the session.



Dolly Llamas stream first two tracks off upcoming “Good Run” EP

Hey friends, Llama here. My band, The Dolly Llamas is now streaming the first two tracks off our upcoming Good Run EP, releasing on all major streaming services December 15. Get a sneak peak at A.P.R.A.P.I. and Tacos below.



Made in NYC… and TX: An Interview with The Casualties new frontman David Tejas

B & W Photos courtesy of Adan Cedillo / Flier by Kaia Bellanca Beggs

David Tejas is the new lead singer of The Casualties now for two years running. He’s been on tour alongside the The Casualties for fifteen years with his other band Krum Bums, and his newer project Starving Wolves. Huzzah for the new guy! Read that story below.



Album Review: Teenage Bubblegums – “In Limbo”

When it comes to music, an often overused phrase I hear regarding bands is something along the lines of “wow, their sound has really matured”. More often than not, it hasn’t and the listener is left listening to an album that’s about the same as the last. This is definitely not the case with “In Limbo”, the newest album by Teenage Bubblegums. This trio from Italy has been maturing their sound over the last 10 years with each and every album they’ve released… “In Limbo” is no exception.

What I love about Teenage Bubblegums is their no nonsense approach to pop punk, and yes, I still consider it pop punk. Each song hits you one after another like rapid fire and before you can even get comfy you realize you’re already on your second spin of the album. If you’re looking for a lyrically light-hearted, feel good album about sunshine and daisies, this may not be the album for you. What Teenage Bubblegums does so well is deliver self-described songs about “sad stuff” in the catchiest way possible that’s both dark and mesmeric. 

The album is only 14 minutes long, but that doesn’t matter. I can almost guarantee that you’ll listen to this album over and over again in a single sitting to make up any time you feel they may have shorted you. The dueling brother and sister vocals along with the cohesiveness of the songs draw you in deep and keep you wanting more. There’s not a lot of variation in tempo in these songs, but that’s part of the charm. Teenage Bubblegums kicks in the door, announces that they’re here, and then leaves the door wide open reminding you that they were there.

They begin the album with a short intro, a journey into the darkness that “In Limbo” is going to lead you through. Immediately after the intro comes bass player Ally’s menacing band announcement and laugh, letting you know it’s go time! They immediately dive into “Quit It”, the first song on the album. We’re greeted with Luca’s blistering hi-hats as well as a heavy guitar and bass that carry through the entirety of the album. This song is about expecting more from life and the desire to “quit it” and it really sets you up for the dismal tone of the rest of the album.

Lyrically there is definitely a theme throughout the entire album, and each song is a short poetic, yet dejected masterpiece. The entirety of “In Limbo” to me tells the story of a few lost souls wandering in a state of ignorance and sadness, unable to find their way through a doomed reality. It wasn’t until I read the lyrics on their Bandcamp that I realized how dark and deep this album really is. It also shows that a lot can be said in a short amount of words.

Each track is fast, catchy and provides plenty of opportunity to sing along. They’re mostly straightforward, but there are a few surprises in a few of them. For example, “Burn” has a nice breakdown that happens almost out of nowhere and adds another great element to the song musically. Teenage Bubblegums doesn’t allot themselves a ton of time, so they make it a point to do as much as they can in the amount they’ve given themselves.

The title track, “In Limbo”, like the others, is short and to the point and features a great hook in the form of a call and response between the siblings. The guitar and bass almost dance in the background while the drums drive you through the song. The pounding floor tom towards the end provides a nice intermission before the chorus picks up again to finish it out.

The song “High” doesn’t hesitate to propel you directly to the pre-chorus and chorus. Before you know it you’re singing along to the song, it ends and it’s on to the next one. The most mysterious thing I find with Teenage Bubblegums’ lyrics is that it’s not always obvious to the listener what they’re about exactly. My interpretation of “High” is that it tells a story of a person suffering from a closetted depression and drug addiction, clinging to life alone while no one knows. Pairing subject matter like that with catchy songs is what makes this band stand out from the rest.

My favorite song, “Shame”, starts off with a heavy riff that teeters between chords like a seesaw. There’s something about the tone in Marco’s voice at the beginning that give this song a different feel to it. When you hear the catchiness of the chorus, “Baby I’m on fire!”, you almost forget that the song is about someone who is overcome with so much humiliation and loneliness that they feel like they’re “on fire”. The song structure is almost a mirror of itself. Not only do I love how the verse is repeated between the two singers before coming together in the chorus, I also love that in the first verse Marco sings first, and in the second verse Ally sings first. Lyrically, it’s a very well thought out song.

If you’re from the United States, hopefully you were fortunate to catch Teenage Bubblegums on their tour that just wrapped up. If you enjoy streaming “In Limbo”… you’ll most definitely enjoy seeing it played live. I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed with this album, because as I alluded to earlier, Teenage Bubblegums is a band that gets exponentially better with every single one of their releases. They pull off something most bands of a specific genre cannot, and that’s putting their own brand on it. Although this album is short, it’s very clear that they spent a lot of time and effort on it. “In Limbo” was just released and I already want more!



Album Review: Various Artists – “Red Scare Industries: 15 Years of Tears and Beers”

I’m never quite sure where to place compilation albums in the grand scheme of things. Are they disposable? Are they art? To this day I’m not sure, and because I missed out on the days of Punk-a-rama, I may never truly understand where a good comp falls into one’s collection. If I were to hazard a guess though, in a world where everything is perfect and physical media has not yet been grounded by cardiac arrest, I would want a good comp to be something akin to your coolest friend with the coolest taste sitting you down and saying: “listen to this.”

I like to think that’s where Red Scare Industries: 15 Years of Tears and Beers falls into place. And if there’s anyone to inhabit the role of coolest friend with coolest taste, it’s without a doubt Red Scare’s mastermind Tobias Jeg. 15 Years of Tears and Beers serves as a reminder to all the great music Red Scare has brought us over the years, featuring fifteen artists that helped shape the label into the monster it is today. 

The best part of this whole thing though, is that these are new songs. This isn’t just a greatest hits collection of some classic Red Scare alums—these are hot new tracks from some of the finest punk rock songwriters in the game today. The Copyrights start things off with one of my favorite songs by them, period (“Maine or Oregon”). It’s as fast and catchy as just about anyone familiar with the Copyrights would expect, and it’s less than a minute long. Sincere Engineer makes an appearance with “Dragged Across the Finish Line,” another song that I thought was just stellar. Funny enough, this is one of those groups that I could never get into, but recently, I seem to recall Jeg saying that Sincere Engineer wasn’t a singer-songwriter thing, but in actuality a stealth gruff-punk thing. This shifted my perspective quite a bit, and on this track, I totally hear it. “Dragged Across the Finish Line” is a total banger with lots of heart that sounds like something straight out of the camps of Hot Water Music and Lawrence Arms. 

There’s a couple of great covers on this one. The Menzingers are represented by Broadway Calls who cover their classic “Sunday Morning,” with a grounded pop-punk approach. Billy Liar ends the album with a Nothington cover of “The Escapist.” Both of these tracks provide a little familiarity in the mix as well as a sense of living history. At the end of the day, 15 Years of Tears and Beers is a celebration, and is working tirelessly not to give you a sense of dour self-importance, but a sense of fun surrounding all of the great music that’s happened because of Red Scare. This is fun, covers are fun; the message is clear: have fun. 

There are too many tracks to call out by name as favorites here, but I’ll list a couple that I thought were standouts. Elway’s “High Drama, Low Comedy” knocks it out of the park here. This is a band, much like Sincere Engineer, that I never got into. First it was the Elway is Jerks meme that went around PunkNews that I mistook for people actually calling the people in the band out as rockstar divas (apparently, I was quite wrong, and they are good folks). Second, it was For the Sake of the Bit’s aim at taking down internet music reviewers, which hit a little too close to home for me, because, well—guess what I am? Either way, I can’t deny that this song is a banger and it might just be what forces me to reconsider Elway. Shout out in particular to the Queen-ish guitar solo bridge, inspired stuff. 

“Dead Body” by Garrett Dale of Red City Radio is a ridiculous, catchy song that stopped me in my tracks on the first listen. Dale is clearly having fun with this one, where you can hear him exclaiming “this has got to be the dumbest song” after a killer sax break. And hey, maybe it is—but it’s fun as Hell (and as I established earlier, fun is the name of the game). It’s like an oldies radio hit born in 2019 and is a clear highlight of the whole album. 

But if that’s not enough for you, you also have great tracks from MakeWar, Ramona, Tightwire, The Bombpops, and many, many others. What I’m trying to say here is: this thing is stacked! And it’s not just big names, it’s big songs. What struck me most about 15 Years was the sheer quality from start to finish. It’s a diverse collection of great songs from the Red Scare roster, and if you ask me, it’s worth all the tears and beers to get there. 

 

4.5/5



Dune Rats (pop punk) sign with Rise Records

Australian band Dune Rats have announced that their new record ‘Hurry Up And Wait’ will be released via Rise Records on January 31st 2020. They recently had Daniel P. Carter premiere their new single on the BBC Radio One Rock Show. The song, which is entitled ‘Crazy’, was produced by John Feldmann at his studio in Los Angeles. The band has been building a solid fan-base since the release of their 2017 full length ‘The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit’.

You can check out the video for ‘Crazy’ below.



Noodles confirms new Offspring album is finished

In a recent interview with Canada’s Halifax Today, The Offspring guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman revealed that the band’s long-awaited new album has been completed and they are currently looking for a distribution deal in order to release it early next year. This is what he had to say:

“The artwork needs to be done and we have a rough track listing. We’ve even gone and done more music since. We just need a distribution deal, and we want that done by the end of the year. Then we can release early next year.”

The new Offspring record will be the band’s first since 2012’s Days Go By, and probably the first one without original bassist Gregory “Greg K.” Kriesel, who hasn’t performed live with the band since last year, and is one of the three members to appear on all of their records since their 1989 self-titled debut.

Greg K. recently sued Noodles and frontman Bryan “Dexter” Holland, both of whom had prevented him from being involved in Offspring-related activities, including studio recordings and live performances; there’s currently no indication of who performs bass on the band’s new record. Filling in for Greg live over the past year has been H2O guitarist and Offspring touring member Todd Morse.



The Hempsteadys announce weekend tour

The Hempsteadys will embark on a weekend tour in support of their sophomore album, Séance! Séance!, and their brand new cover/single of “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah” by The Pogues.

A 10 piece band from Connecticut, The Hempsteadys feature influences ranging from ska, rock & roll, and punk. Known for their infectious beats, roaring gang vocals, and ripping solos, their live shows will be sure to get you moving.

Check out the tour dates and the new song below.



Album Review: The Yodees – “S/T”

What do you get when you combine all the great elements of pop punk and mix them with a splash of Ramonescore? You get the first self-titled album from the Brazilian band, The Yodees!

Clocking in at just under 23 minutes, The Yodees let you know that they’re playing for a specific pop punk audience… and the bands that inspire them can be heard throughout each of the nine songs on the album. What you won’t hear is music that’s played in malls, mainstream radio or movie soundtracks. This album isn’t for fans of New Found Glory or Simple Plan… and that’s what I love about it. The Yodees remind the punk rock world that there’s another type of pop punk that’s alive and well, and won’t be found in Hot Topic. 

Perhaps one of the most impressive things about this album is the amazing sound quality it possesses. Most bands take a few albums to dial in their sound and figure out how it should be captured on a record. It is clear The Yodees took their time with their debut and added the right amount of polish to produce an overall cohesive album in both sound quality and song selection. The tempos vary as well as the moods of each of the nine songs on this album, and each one tells a different story of falling in love, falling out of love, being foolish and growing up.

With their first song, “Better Without Love,” The Yodees knock on your door with a thunderous drum intro reminiscent of the Methadones, Mopes and even the Huntingtons. It’s a great way to introduce the band and prepare listeners for the type of punk they’re about to take in. The song touches upon a familiar subject matter that most other pop punk bands dabble in from time to time: a relationship about to end. But rather than talk about it in a celebrated and snotty way, The Yodees approach the subject in a more reserved and mature manner with a sound to match. There’s guitars with the right amount of chugging and drums that propel the song forward while keeping it interesting with tasty, but simplistic fills. The Yodees aren’t here to overplay. They fit right into the pop punk pocket musically and keep you comfortable and wanting more of what’s familiar.

“Loony” begins with a classic Ramonescore tom intro and count off that would make Dee Dee smile. Immediately, chainsaw guitars you’d hear from any great Screeching Weasel song kick in along with a driving and catchy vocal melody. We were warming up before, but now this album is cooking. This is the song I didn’t know I was waiting for, and now that it’s here I can’t wait to learn the words. This song has everything, including a silly chorus that I know you’ll be caught singing along to, even if you don’t mean to.   

About halfway through the album we’re given “The Vitamin Shoppe Girl”… a ballad about a guy with a crush on you guessed it, a Vitamin Shoppe girl. It tells the story of a day in the life of a man desperate to talk to the girl of his dreams. We’ve all been there one way or another… and this connection along with the catchy verse and chorus make this one catchy tune. It’s serves as a nice break after the upbeat “Loony” and introduces layered backups that remind me of every great Queers ballad. The line, “Vitamin Shoppe Girl, you’re everything that my body needs,” is a cheeky play on words. Is it access to all the vitamins that your body needs or something else? I’ll have to ask him in person.

After a couple mid tempo songs comes “Everybody Is Growing Up (But Me)” and we’ve officially thrown a few more logs on the fire. A crunchy guitar intro leads into a Kody Lillington style chord progression. Just like the songs that have come before it, this song has everything that makes up a great song: a strong verse, well thought out pre-chorus, and chorus that just makes you want to point your fist in the air and sing along.  “Everybody is Growing Up (But Me)” tells the story of a friend that everyone has, or at least I have. A friend that is a little behind in life… not married, no kids, and feeling hopeless while watching other friends achieve these milestones. The beginning of the song has the character questioning whether or not he’s the one who’s wrong and if he should be feeling sorry for himself. Towards the end we’re given another perspective… when he realizes that while he may not have all the things his friends enjoy, he’s still able to “live his prime” while being debt free.

The Yodees debut album is a celebration of pop punk. Are they reinventing any wheels?  No. But when you play in a sub genre of a sub genre that has a tight knit and loyal following you don’t have to. The Yodees will do well, because they do their style of pop punk well. As this debut album demonstrates… even the simplest and easiest style of music, when done great, makes an impact and can stay with you… maybe even bring you back for a few more listens. Listening to this S/T is almost like listening to an amazing pop punk compilation, only there’s one band. The mix of mid tempo songs, ballads, and rippers creates an amazing rollercoaster effect that has a perfectly executed arrangement. I hope to see these guys tour the US in the future. I already know we’ll be hearing more from them.

Stream the album now on Bandcamp or Spotify!





Introducing Pop-Punk Act: The Yodees

What if I told you one of the best pop punk albums of the year was from a band from Brazil? You’d want to hear more right? The first self-titled album from The Yodees is here and the boys in blue and white bring the perfect blend of all things traditional pop punk with a sprinkle of Ramonescore. There’s plenty of whoas, ohs, and doot doot da doos to pick you up on even the cloudiest day.

To stream now, head on over to their Spotify or listen to their Bandcamp below.



The Offspring say there will be new music in 2020

Fans have been patiently awaiting a new record from The Offspring since they released their last full-length to date Days Go By back in 2012. Well, the band recently updated their Facebook page confirming that next year will see new music from the band. No further more details are available at this point, but what it is known is that the new album was produced by Bob Rock and will likely be their first one without their bassist Gregory “Greg K.” Kriesel.

Greg K., who hadn’t performed live with The Offspring since last year, recently filed a lawsuit against his two of his bandmates  vocalist/guitarist Bryan “Dexter” Holland and guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman  alleging trademark infringement and breach of partnership agreement over the rights to the Offspring name. Stepping in for Greg live has been H2O guitarist and Offspring touring member Todd Morse.

Along with Dexter and Noodles, Greg is one of the three members to appear on all of The Offspring’s albums since their 1989 self-titled debut. It’s not clear if he did actually perform bass on the new record.



The Casualties release video for “Fucking Hate You”

The Casualties have released a video for “Fucking Hate You”, a song from last year’s Written In Blood. The video has been released to coincide with the band’s Fall tour.

Check the video and tour dates below.



Chief State release new track “Deciduous”

Vancouver pop-punk five-piece Chief State have released a new single. “Deciduous” is out now on all the usual platforms – and is the first track to be taken from upcoming album Tough Love, out at some point early next year.

Have a listen to the track on Spotify.



For I Am (pop-punk, BE) release video for new track “Die Hard”

Belgium pop-punkers For I Am have released a video for new single “Die Hard”. The track is taken from the band’s second album, Late Bloomers, out Nov 15th via Bearded Punk Records.

Have a watch below.