“Requiem” is taken from the band’s acoustic record Black Out the Sky, which was released yesterday.
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Friday, May 11, 2018 at 9:27 AM (PST) by villagebrown
Fat Wreck Chords have announced that they will be releasing a new compilation called Fat Music For Wrecked People. Contributions include tracks from NOFX, BadCopBadCop, Mad Caddies, The Last Gang, The Lawrence Arms, and Strung Out. The 7″ comp will feature 6 songs in total, with 3 coming from upcoming unreleased Fat Wreck albums, however, there is no info on which of these bands will be releasing new albums. Track names have also yet to be released. We like surprises anyway, so stay tuned and we will bring you all the details as they come to light.
The album will be available at Fat Mike’s Punk In Drublic Craft Beer and Music Festival. You can keep tabs on the release here.
Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 11:30 AM (PST) by jaystone
Back in February 2017, Dying Scene got an exclusive scoop from Strung Out frontman Jason Cruz that the California punk legends were working on a new EP titled Black Out The Sky, to follow up their last full length, 2015’s stellar Transmission.Alpha.Delta. While that was noteworthy in and of itself, the noteworthiness was ratcheted up to stratospheric levels by the additional revelation that Black Out The Sky was also going to be the band’s first collection of acoustic songs. Initial word was that we might see the album sometime in summer 2017, but then, news kinda dried up for a while.
Tomorrow, however, the official release of Black Out The Sky is officially upon us. We caught up with the one-and-only Cruz earlier this week to talk about the new album, and what exactly took so long for it to see the light of day. Needless to say it’s been a bit of a tumultuous run for Strung Out; the band officially parted ways with drummer of more than twenty years, Jordan Burns, a couple months ago, and have since brought Runaway Kids’ drummer RJ Shankle in as his replacement. “We had a tough two years, man,” explains Cruz. “There’ve been a lot of moments in the course of our career where we thought we didn’t know how we were going to get through it, but the last couple years were pretty tough. I think that this record is a catharsis to that whole time in all our lives.“
Don’t let the “acoustic album” label fool you; Black Out The Sky is very much a Strung Out record, not just eight stripped down, straight-forward versions of Strung Out songs; the darkness and aggression that have become part of the band’s signature are still very much present. “Strung Out changed its guitar sound and it just happened to sound like this,” says Cruz. There’s also the fact that the band’s last album, Transmission.Alpha.Delta was so loud and intense that Cruz and the remaining band members felt it was time for a change of pace. “If your career’s a song, this is the breakdown before the big chorus (that comes next),” he reasons. “You can’t write another big, huge record right after that. To me, you had to do something like a buffer right in the middle of that to prepare for the next project.”
Strung Out’s guitar players, Rob Ramos and Jake Kiley, and bass player Chris Aiken have long been respected for the fast, aggressive, metal-influence that they bring to the punk rock table; it’s part of what has set Strung Out apart over the years. However, the switch to acoustic on Black Out The Sky puts the focus on the level of musicianship that exists within the band, an appreciation that only grows more intense with subsequent listens. “All three of them are the best guitar players in punk rock, to me,” states Cruz emphatically. “They’re phenomenal. I’m in awe of those guys. I shake when I have to show them an idea.” The added space gave Cruz the room to stretch his voice in some new ways, putting a real focus on the vocals and the lyrics. “What people don’t understand is that singing over loud, heavy metal guitars constrains you. When you take that out of the equation and you can actually hear the timbre of the voice, you have so much more wiggle room. A lot more is discovered in the singer’s voice when everything is a little naked, you know?”
You can check out our full chat down below; brace yourself for the Footloose and Alice In Chains portions of the conversation! Black Out The Sky is due out tomorrow on Fat Wreck Chords, and you can still order it here. Strung Out heads out on the road in support of Pennywise in a couple weeks; check out details here!
Monday, May 7, 2018 at 9:00 AM (PST) by rick delaney
One of the biggest names in punk rock have announced a re-release of a classic album from their back catalogue. Ribbed – Live in a Dive is, as the name suggests, a live version of the NOFX’s 1991 record Ribbed. The release is scheduled for August 1, 2018 and, of course, features all 14 tracks from the original album.
For now, you can stream track number five, “Just the Flu” from Ribbed – Live in a Dive below.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 6:00 PM (PST) by Daron
Dead To Me continues their return with their latest single, “Would It Kill You?” The song is the second they’ve released this year, following up “Fear is the New Bliss.” Their last release was the 2016 EP “I Wanna Die In Los Angeles,” which marked the return of founding member Jack Dalrymple.
The band is working on a new album and will be touring next month.
Check out the video below!
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 3:08 PM (PST) by Johnny X
California ska-punk veterans Mad Caddies will be releasing “Punk Rocksteady”, an album of “reggae, ska, and/or dancehall covers of 12 punk songs hand-picked by Fat Mike.” Fans can expect it to hit the digital shelves on June 15th via (surprise!) Fat Wreck Chords.
The songs include Misfits’ “Some Kind of Hate,” the Descendents’ “Jean Is Dead,” Against Me!’s “Sink, Florida, Sink,” Bad Religion’s “Sorrow,” and Green Day’s “She,” the latter of which you can stream below.
This is Mad Caddies’ first release since Dirty Rice was put out in 2014 also on Fat.
Mad Caddies are also going on Fat Mike’s Punk In Drublic tour with NOFX, Bad Religion, and more, and they have upcoming headlining dates too. They’re playing headlining shows in the NYC-area at Gramercy Theatre on May 16 with Keep Flying and The Jukebox Romantics (tickets) and Asbury Park’s House of Independents on May 18 with Worthless United and Backyard Superheroes (tickets). All dates are listed below.
The band tour Europe shortly, with some West Coast shows thrown in there too for good measure. Check current dates on the Fat Wreck site.
Monday, April 23, 2018 at 3:51 PM (PST) by Mike Scott
Wyoming pop-punk veterans The Lillingtons have released a video for “Insect Nightmares”. The track is taken from their recent album Stella Sapiente” , which was released last October via Fat Wreck Chords.
You can have a watch below.
Ok, so Hang is four years old at the time of writing this but considering there was a nine year gap between this and Lagwangon’s last full length offering I think I can cut myself some slack. I started listening to these guys around the release of Hoss in 1996 and was a pretty avid fan through to Lets Talk About Feelings which came out in 1998. Those two releases (and Double Plaidinum which came between them) leaned more heavily on the melodic side of the melodic hardcore genre, with nods to their heavier, more metal infused first two albums. The band then went quiet for five years while members pursued other musical endeavors, singer Joey Cape’s new band (Bad Astronaut) taking an even poppier direction. With 2003’s Blaze, the band’s metal sound from their debut and sophomore releases (Duh 1992 and Trashed 1994) was more prevalent and the record failed to make much of an impression on me. In the intervening 15 years (fuuuuuuuck) Lets Talk About Feelings has been my go to record from Lagwagon. From that opening chugging riff on After You My Friend to the bittersweet melancholy on penultimate stormer May 16 the album is pretty much perfect all the way through.
Fast forward to 2018 and in preparation for the upcoming Menzingers / Lagwagon / Lawrence Arms show in London in August (not to mention Bad Cop Bad Cop and The Lillingtons) I’m filling in the blanks in my Lagwagon education. Resolve (2005) was written in the aftermath of the suicide of their friend and former drummer Derrick Plouride and lyrically is, understandably, influenced by that tragic event. Musically the album is a mix of melodic and heavier songs and it’s actually a really great addition to their catalogue which is quickly integrating itself into my current playlist.
Which brings me to their most recent, albeit now four year old, offering – Hang. It opens with Burden of Proof, a one-minute Joey Cape acoustic number which sees the first reference to the album’s title (“I see you hanging by your noose. Delivered, divine excuse”) of which there are several more throughout the album. As this subdued number fades out, second track Reign kicks in at breakneck speed, Cape’s vocals switching from mellow and melancholic to aggressive and angry and Lagwagon are back in style. There’s a really cool call back to a lyric in the opener (“It’s a sonnet. There’s no way to put a ribbon on it”) and the aforementioned “hanging man” so if you weren’t following the song titles you could assume the two openers were actually just one song. It’s an absolute belter and I’d love to see them open a set with these two songs back to back. I think the crowd would verily loose their shit! Made of Broken Parts starts with a super metal riff and chugs along nicely with a breakdown in the middle before further nods to the album title (“We can’t hang so we must hang. Can’t hang on so we disconnect”). Following song Cog in the Machine continues the more metallic bent and lyrical theme (machines, parts etc) and keeps the album flowing nicely. Poison in the Well is less overtly metal influenced, although does have a meandering guitar solo in the middle before returning to it’s previous fast pace. Obsolete Absolute starts with the sounds of typewriter before a rumbling bass line leads us into several minutes of an enjoyable rocking instrumental which is then joined by a spoken word narration of things which are becoming obsolete. Around two and half minutes in, the drum tempo increases and a pick slide delineates a shift in the song. Cape’s urgent vocals combine with fast tempo guitar work and it quickly turns into one of the stand out tracks on the album. We hear more about our friend “swinging…on the tree” and the spoken word narration returns to great effect, it really is an exceptional six minutes of music. Western Settlements starts with a relatively pedestrian but enjoyable chugging riff and beat before the drums and bass strip away to leave the guitar to accompany Joey Cape’s sombre vocal which comes in (“A hell of a thing. Hanging a man. Taking everything he has. And all he’ll ever have”). Then the rest of the band kick in again and we’ve got another belter on our hands. Burning Out in Style, opens with a bright vocal over a pulsing guitar and we get one of the most melodic tracks on the release. It’s a fucking corker too, exposing the mundanity and emptiness that lies beneath the shiny façade that some people portray themselves with. One More Song starts with a piano intro underneath a gentle vocal from Joey and is a poignant tribute to the much loved and sadly missed Tony Sly. It references a song Joey heard Tony working on the week before he died which becomes a metaphor for wishing he was still with us. It’s another slice of pure melodic perfection and a fitting tribute to the great man. Following song, Drag, is a reworking of one of Cape’s acoustic numbers, discussing his addiction to nicotine. It’s a little heavier than the previous two tracks without returning to the more metal sound from earlier in the album. You Know Me continues in the same musical vein, a mid tempo rocker which discusses how disconnected we are from each other despite the devices we now have that in theory could bring us closer together. Album closer In Your Wake is a bit of a blend of all the musical styles and themes from the album. It rocks along nicely then builds to a climax, only to slow down to a super poppy repeated refrain (“Inside your head”) over acoustic guitar and a slower drum beat which then itself builds, the full band kick in and we’re told “Your next to hang” over some breakneck speed classic ‘Wagon.
So there we have it, nine years in the making and four more before I actually listened to the damn thing and it’s pretty fucking special, I wish I’d pulled my finger out earlier. It has an urgency and freshness whilst still unmistakably being a Lagwagon album which should please diehard fans and win over new ones. Roll on August!
Monday, April 23, 2018 at 10:50 AM (PST) by rick delaney
Legendary Fat Wreck band Strung Out are streaming a track from a soon-to-be-released acoustic record. “Requiem” will appear on Black Out The Sky which is penned for release on May 11.
You can check out “Requiem” below.
Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 9:27 AM (PST) by nkernell
As part of this year’s Fest lineup, Lagwagon will pay tribute to the 20th anniversary of their 1998 record “Let’s Talk About Feelings” by performing it in its entirety. You can listen to the record, as well as purchase tickets to Fest 17 or Prefest 6, below.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 7:27 PM (PST) by Daron
According to his Instagram, Fat Mike of NOFX is apparently close to finally finishing the Cokie the Clown album. I’m curious to see what this album will be, given the dark, brutal honesty of the legendary Cokie performance at SXSW from 2010. I’m sure we’ll let you know what we think when the album is finally released.
Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 10:58 AM (PST) by nkernell
The first round of bands have been announced for Fest 17 and Pre-Fest 6 and for yet another year, Fest will not disappoint. The three day punk festival, now in its 17th year, takes place in over 20 venues in and around Gainesville, FL.
Lagwagon is set as a headliner and will perform “Let’s Talk About Feelings” in its entirety in honor of its 20th anniversary. Cursive, a band it took many years to get to perform at Fest, is set to perform at both Pre-Fest in Ybor and Fest. Other headliners include Piebald, Iron Chic, Dead To Me, Tim Barry, and RVIVR among many, many others.
As for breakups, Fest is set to be the final sendoff of Ontario, CAN natives Crusades. In existence since 2009, the band plans to party two last times in Gainesville, with two shows slotted in two smaller venues.
This years lineup also includes the reunion of California’s Audio Karate who are taking the stage for the first time since 2007.
You can check out the full lineup to both Pre-fest and Fest below, along with several other details.
The next wave of bands are set to be announced June 11.
Monday, April 9, 2018 at 11:52 AM (PST) by rick delaney
Milwaukee-based pop punks, Direct Hit! have announced via their Instagram page that they have finished tracking their newest LP. For now, however, there is no word as to when the record will be ready for release.
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We finished tracking the new Direct Hit LP today after more than a year of writing, recording, re-imagining, re-recording, and boiling down 2+ albums worth of new material in different studios and rehearsal spaces around Wisconsin. We collaborated with more than 20 people outside our band to make it the most manic, wild-sounding record we’ve put together, and we can’t wait for you all to tell us how incredible it is. Ask us about it on tour with @lessthanjake and @facetofacemusic this month, and send a note to [email protected] if you want us to play your venue of choice in the fall. “Fuck You Get Pumped.”
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The previous full-length from the four-piece was the 2016 effort, Wasted Mind.
Friday, April 6, 2018 at 8:18 PM (PST) by jaystone
Over the course of a semi-llustrious career that’s spanned just shy of twenty years, it seems like The Lawrence Arms have played Boston somewhere around two dozen times anyway. And so it seems a little strange that this past Wednesday marked the trio’s first appearance in the area in over four years, since the tour for 2014’s Metropole. It also marked the first night of the twelve-date East Coast leg in support of their mammoth great-ish hits collection, We Are The Champions Of The World (released last Friday on Fat Wreck Chords). If there was any rust that had accrued after the three months of day jobs that the band had returned to since they last played together, it was shaken off pretty quickly. After taking the stage to the sounds of a polka rendition of the Queen classic that their recent release stole its name from, the trio ripped into “On With The Show” and “Alert The Audience,” in that order, from their 2003 full-length, The Greatest Story Ever Told and didn’t really let off the gas pedal for the next hour.
The crowd was engaged right from the rip as well, finally knocking yours truly from his spot at stage center about halfway through the hour long main set out of fear of finally dropping my PBR-drenched camera into the pit once and for all. Chris McCaughan maintained his steady, workmanlike presence on stage right manning guitar and co-vocal duties. His stage left counterpart, Brendan Kelly, was not as noticeably *ahem* lubricated as his reputation had proceeded, though he nevertheless peacocked around the stage in his usual manner that’s equal parts tongue-in-cheek self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating. I feel like special mention needs to be made of Neil Hennessy. Hennessy’s drumming is wildly underappreciated in the scene-at-large (frequent “Henn-Ess-Y! Henn-Ess-Y!” or, in Boston’s case, “Neil! Neil! Neil!” chants notwithstanding). Hennessy is rock steady, proving that you can be a dynamic force without engaging in some of the self-flagellating over-playing that some of the better known punk rock drummers have made their forte. The band’s fourteen-song main set and two-song encore did feel a tad on the short side, but when you’re the champions of the world, people are cool with you leaving them wanting more. Let’s just not have that take four years this time around…we may not be here that long!
Direct support on the East and West Coast legs of the We Are The Champions Of The World tour comes from Red Scare Industries bands Red City Radio and Sincere Engineer. The Oklahoma-based foursome that is Red City Radio recently released their latest EP, SkyTigers, and it’s already solidified a spot on many year-end “Best Of…” lists. It’s a little sludgier and filled with more balls-out rock riffs than their normal, more punk-tinged fare. The new tracks were well-received by the audience, most of whom sounded already familiar with the bulk of the RCR catalog, although the weed-inspired “In The Meantime…” from their 2015 self-titled album finally got what would become a non-stop pit for the rest of the night to finally take shape.
Sincere Engineer exists in several forms but is primarily the brainchild/working moniker of Chicago’s Deanna Belos. She released her debut full-length late last year accompanied by a full band, and it landed like a welcome breath of fresh air; honest, raw and inspiring fresh air. Yet Belos grew her milk teeth writing and playing as a solo artist, with advice and inspiration from Kelly and from Red Scare Comrade-In-Charge Toby Jeg, and is on this tour accompanied only by her trusty Taylor acoustic guitar. Belos was outwardly nervous about the prospects of opening for her all-time favorite band on not one but two tours, but she wears her coy vulnerability as a badge of honor. she might cut a figure that’s equal parts demure and, in her own words, fragile, but Belos is a legit songwriting and perofming powerhouse, as evidenced by set closer “Corn Dog Sonnet No. 7.”
Head below for our full photo gallery!