As far as I’m concerned it isn’t a DYING SCENE, and 2015 helps rest my case. You can find my 12 favorite albums, in no particular order, below.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 11:02 PM (PST) by Chris Ramone
“Red Wolf” is taken from Silver Snakes’ upcoming album Saboteur, which will be released on February 5th, 2016 via Evil Ink Records (U.S.) and Pelagic Records (Europe) and is available for pre-order here.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 11:30 AM (PST) by jaystone
In support of their latest (and arguably their greatest) album, Use Your Voice, NYC hardcore vets H2O rolled through frontman Toby Morse’s birth state of Massachusetts to play before a sold-out crowd in the notoriously hot, sweaty confines of the upstairs music hall at the legendary Middle East nightclub in Cambridge. Now in their third decade as a band, and composed of some different parts than previous touring incarnations of the band, Morse and company continue to prove themselves as one of the tightest, most inspiring acts in the game.
The band’s lineup on the Use Your Voice tour is equal parts old and new, with founding members Morse and Rusty Pistachio (guitar) and longtime bassist Adam Blake joined by touring guitarist Colin McGinnis (None More Black) and special guest drummer Branden Steineckert (Rancid). Perhaps understandably, then, the band’s encore-less set was a tad on the short side (my incredibly unofficial count tallied 17 songs, though one was a cover of half of the Rancid classic “Journey To The End Of The East Bay”), but still paid a great deal of respect to classic tracks (“Guilty By Association,” “Family Tree,” “FTTW,” etc) and new songs (“Black Sheep,” “Skate!,” “True Romance”) alike.
While admittedly never the world’s largest hardcore fan, I’ve become a bigger and bigger fan of H2O over the last two decades, particularly because I’ve long felt that they fit right in at the more aggressive end of the mid-90’s punk music scene, and got short-changed in the process. I understand full well that I’m wading deep into hyperbole-infested waters here, but I can say without question that this particular Wednesday night was the best, tightest, and most positively inspiring set I’ve seen the various incarnations of H2O play over the last eighteen years, a show history that includes a mix of festival dates (Warped Tour) alongside opening slots for bands like Rancid and Face To Face. They’ve been a bit of a musical Haley’s Comet in terms of releasing new music for more than a decade (Use Your Voice marks their first original studio album since 2008’s Nothing To Prove, which itself was their first album since 2001’s Go), and have increasingly managed the second phase of their careers in an admirable fashion, balancing home and personal duties with the decreasingly lucrative field that is life as a “working musician.” Still, the perhaps “smarter-not-harder” approach to touring has given the band the energy and life it needs for sustainability going forward.
Support on this leg of the Use Your Voice tour came from the likes of Angel Du$t and Give. Neither band was familiar to me prior to the show (remember that thing about me not being the world’s biggest hardcore fan), but both definitely left an impression. Angel Du$t, for the uninitiated, are a Baltimore-based five-piece that features members of bands like Trapped Under Ice, Turnstile, and Diamond Youth. Their set was, in a word, ferocious; another showgoer who was also previously unaware of the band commented that he liked how “it seems like they’ve played 30 songs, because each one is like 45 seconds long.” Give, meanwhile, are a DC-based five-piece who hearken back to the glory days of DC hardcore, if those glory years were crossed with Seattle in 1991. Fun band to watch, though the former band certainly got the crowd more whipped up than the latter did. (Editor’s note: Lowell, MA, bilingual hardcore outfit Los Bungalitos opened the show, though I missed the bulk of their set for traffic-related reasons. I blame Ben Affleck.)
Check out our photo gallery of Give, Angel Du$t and of course, the mighty H2O below.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 5:55 PM (PST) by milhouse
Buffalo hardcore band Malfunction are streaming a brand new song off of their upcoming album “Fear of Failure”.
The song is called “Final Thoughts” and it is the second single off of the anticipated full-length, which due out on November 20th through Bridge Nine Records.
Following it’s release they will be embarking on a North American tour with Terror and Code Orange. You can listen to “Final Thoughts” and check the tour dates out below. The first single, “Drift”, is also available to stream here.
“Fear of Failure” will be the band’s Bridge Nine debut and serves as a follow-up to their 2012 EP “Finding My Peace”.
Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 1:30 PM (PST) by Bizarro Dustin
The band released War on Women on February 10, 2015 through Bridge Nine Records.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 4:55 PM (PST) by Screeching Bottlerocket
Albany, New York punks After The Fall have released a music video for their song “Indian Ladder,” and announced they will be embarking on a European tour this December after wrapping up their North American fall tour.
You can check out the video and find more details on the European tour below.
The band’s new album Dedication was released on May 12th through Bridge Nine Records as a tribute to founding member Brian J. Peters, who passed away in 2013. The video for “Indian Ladder” also features clips from Peters’ childhood and time with the band.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 1:25 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
Recently, I’ve been finding the idea of self-titled albums very interesting. Most bands will go this route with one of their albums at some point in their career, and some may even opt for multiple eponymous releases. Growing up, I always assumed that if an album was self-titled, it was the band’s first release, and in most cases I was right. Maybe I just never really realized it before, but I’m starting to see more bands go the self-titled route much later in their career. But why? Are they trying to reinvent themselves? Are they making a statement that this album is and will be the best representation of the band? Am I reading too much into this? Maybe in Boysetsfire’s case, none of the above applied to their thought process in naming the album, but I think their sixth full length album is a perfect representation of what the band is as a whole.
The music is still a mix of aggressive hardcore, somewhat experimental post-hardcore, and catchy melodic hooks. But unlike past albums, the tone of BoySetsFire seems to be more optimistic and hopeful. The music seems a little peppier, and the lyrics speak on overcoming hardship. You can’t help but feel a little happy as the album is spinning. That doesn’t mean the band doesn’t open up about the terrible things going on in the world like they always do though.
Many of the songs talk about how men have become beasts, like in “Savage Blood,” where vocalist Nathan Gray sings, “My heart beats with savage blood / and I won’t repent, for what I’ve become.” But while themes like that are presented often, they are matched by calls for finding something better. One example is in “Ordinary Lives”: “Is there anybody out there? Is there any other way to survive? We can live so much more than these ordinary lives.”
The album also matches these lyrical themes musically. The band has plenty of heavy hitting hardcore songs, like “The Filth Is Rising,” and “Coward.” They also bring their unique take on post-hardcore experimentation throughout, especially on “Breathe In, Bleed Out,” which is a four and a half minute journey where you really don’t know what to expect. More than ever though, the band isn’t afraid to show their softer side. Nathan Gray’s soaring harmonies bring out passionate and introspective feelings in songs like “Torches to Paradise” and the previously mentioned “Ordinary Lives.” But more than those reflective moments, the album often gets downright joyful, like in the lead single “One match,” and my personal favorite “Heaven Knows.”
BoySetsFire is a great album from a band that has proven they know how to make great albums. There are no real dull moments, though the ordering of the last few tracks can be a bit jarring. I think it would have served the album better to switch the last two songs, but eh, what do I know. So to pick up my question from earlier regarding self-titled albums, this seems to be as good a time as any for the band to put a stamp down and say, “this album is a perfect representation of who we are as a band.”
4.5 / 5 Stars
Monday, October 26, 2015 at 4:39 PM (PST) by Bobby Pickles
This week on Dying Scene Radio, Elena Venetia reports from the field, travelling by Chinatown Bus from NYC to Delaware to interview Nathan Gray, frontman of the post-hardcore/punk band, boysetsfire. Bobby Pickles joins the conversation from the comfort of his studio, where he is safe to interrogate the singer from afar. Then Masked Intruder bumps the pair before their concert at NYC’s Webster Hall. Apparently, a hapless sound technician spilled his beer on the soundboard just prior to soundcheck, killing all hope of podcasting with the criminal quartet. How punk rock is that! But, Bobby vows to get the scoop next week during FEST 14, or go to jail trying. Episode 32’s recurring theme: Kangaroos and their multitude of va-jay-jays.
Hear all the incessant blathering and latest new music and headlines, below.
Friday, October 9, 2015 at 8:50 AM (PST) by villagebrown
Buffalo hardcore band Malfunction are streaming a brand new song off of their upcoming album Fear of Failure. The song is called “Drift” and it is the first single off of the anticipated full-length, which due out on November 20th via Bridge Nine Records. Following it’s release they will be embarking on a North American tour with Terror and Code Orange. You can listen to the song and check the tour dates out below.
Fear of Failure will be the band’s Bridge Nine debut and serves as a follow-up to their 2012 Finding My Peace EP.
The band has made the entire album available to stream, which you can check out below.
H2O also announced a string of tour dates to support the new album. You can find all the dates and locations here.
“Use Your Voice” will be H2O’s first album in 7 years, since their 2008 release “Nothing to Prove”.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 2:17 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
Check out the full list of dates and locations below.
Iron Chic last released their EP Ys on September 22nd. Dillinger Four haven’t released an album since 2008′s Civil War, released through Fat Wreck Chords. Night Birds are about to release their Fat Wreck debut Mutiny At Muscle Beach, on October 2nd.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 2:32 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
Buffalo-based hardcore four-piece Malfunction have released some more details on their upcoming Bridge Nine Records debut, Fear Of Failure. The album is set to to be released on November 20th, and you can check out the cover art to the left.
The band also announced some upcoming tour dates and you can check those out below, along with the Fear Of Failure track list.
Fresh off the band’s Australian tour, they are headed back out on the road this week for a northeast US/Canada tour with Good Riddance and Off With Their Heads. Take a look at the dates/locations here.
Iron Chic’s previous release was The Constant One, the band’s highly-acclaimed album, which came out in 2013 on Bridge Nine Records.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 8:56 PM (PST) by jaystone
Albany punk group After The Fall have announced a handful of upcoming tour dates that’ll find them hitting Florida, Montreal, and many points in between. Check out the full rundown below, including a sneak peak at an upcoming European tour.
Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM (PST) by Johnny X
Two weeks ahead of the release of their upcoming album Delaware post-hardcore/punk band Boysetsfire have premiered a music video for a brand new tune entitled “One Match” and you feast your eyes and ears upon it below.
“One Match”, the first single from the upcoming self-titled album, is perhaps the most unforgettable tune since the band’s hit “rookie” and despite the track’s accessibility, its lovingly crafted details show that the band has the talent to take a huge step forward in terms of songwriting on their sixth album.
When the sun’s out and I’m feeling carefree I love my ska and pop-punk. When I’m feeling nostalgic and wistful I skew towards Menzingers or emo. When I’ve had three cups of coffee and need an outlet for the nebulous discontentment that silently builds behind the exterior of my stoic demeanor I turn towards hardcore-punk. That’s where I’m at this morning so when a request to check out the debut album from Californian skate-punk/hardcore act Facelift hit my inbox it was perfectly timed. This music is raw. It’s fast as hell. And it’s f’ing pissed off. Oh, and it’s riddled with metallic riff breakdowns which absolutely clinched it for me (give it 2:20 into the album opener to see what I mean). Turn up the volume and let off some steam with me by streaming “Sinceforevertilwhenever” here.