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DS Photo Gallery: Strung Out and The Casualties – Boston, MA

Strung Out brought the US leg of tour in support of their ninth studio full-length, Songs Of Armor And Devotion, through Boston’s Brighton Music Hall last Sunday night. Boston circa 2019 can be a bit of a notoriously fickle market when it comes to punk rock, particularly when it comes to bands who stem from the Fat Wreck/Epitaph glory days. Those that were present at the what I’d call “respectably attended” and dimly-lit gig were in for a treat, because Strung Out circa 2019 still slay.

The Simi Valley icons kicked off their set with “Rebels And Saints,” the first track from Songs Of Armor And Devotion. As an ode to not only the band’s longevity but to the legion of fans that’ve stuck by them through the course of the last three decades, it seemed a pitch-perfect way to set a tone for the evening. What followed was a few dozen tracks from across the band’s storied career. Of course genre-defining albums like Twisted By Design and Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues were well represented, but so to were (my personal favorite) Transmission.Alpha.Delta and the 2016 stand-alone single “Crows.” The encore even included their cover of the Ozzy classic “Bark At The Moon” that I think dates back to one of those Punk Goes Metal compilations from like twenty years ago. It was yours truly’s first time seeing Strung Out with new drummer RJ Shankle in the fold, and I can attest to the fact that he’s a rock-steady breath of high-energy fresh air in the mix, peppering the band’s set with blistering fill after blistering fill. Frontman Jason Cruz’s voice seemed a little strained, the result of leaving it all on stage for the last couple weeks of East Coast dates – and the last few decades if we’re being honest. The two-headed guitar monster that is Rob Ramos and Jake Kiley still shred just as heavily as ever, and Ramos’ harmonies serve as a great balance that smooths out Cruz’s rougher, visceral vocal edges. And bassist Chris Aiken…well, he’s become one of my favorite artists in this little scene for a reason; he was battling a few technical difficulties on this particular night, but still provided his steady, heavy undertones while bounding side-to-side the length of the stage for the duration of the band’s set.

Support on the duration of this run comes from none other than New York City street punk vets The Casualties. I don’t profess to be the biggest Casualties-style fan in the scene. That said, the band are just as earnest as ever, and it’s always good to see the leather jackets and liberty spikes come out for a night of revelry that’s becoming fewer and farther between in one of the most expensive (read as: least street punk) and gentrified places in the country.

Check out our photo rundown below. And mea culpa to local openers D-Sagawa; pre-show burrito run ran a little long, so we missed all but the last notes!



DS Exclusive: Loud Love premiere debut self-titled EP

Here’s new music exclusively from Dying Scene. Loud Love is the newest band to be picked up by White Russian Records to release their debut EP, Angels Maintenance. It’s due out Friday, but we’ve got it for you lucky scenesters a few days early. Stream Angel’s Maintenance below.



New Music: On The Cinder release sophomore album, “Lamplighter”

Happy Monday, boys and girls!

In case you missed it, the fine upstanding trio of Buffalonians otherwise known as On The Cinder released their stellar sophomore album in the not-too-distant past. It’s called Lamplighter, and you can check it out below or wherever you stream your music! You can also catch up with the fellas on tour in the Great White North – er, Canada – at dates down below the stream!

Lamplighter was released on the band’s own Flower House Records back on September 17, and serves as the follow up to their 2016 debut The Fight Against Ourselves (Better Days Records).



Stray From The Path release video for new track “Actions Not Words”

Long Island hardcore mainstays Stray From The Path release their ninth full-length album, Internal Atomics, out November 1 via UNFD. After recent single “Kickback“, the band have released a video for another advance track.

Have a watch of “Actions Not Words” below.



Blindspot (pop punk, AU) release video for new track “All Fall Down”

Aussie skate/pop punks Blindspot are to release a new album on November 22nd. Final Allure is to be released on Pee Records. Ahead of that, they’ve put out a video for a track from it, “All Fall Down”.

Have a watch below.



The Hunx (Skate Punk, UK) Stream Video for “Golden Boy”

UK skate punkers The Hunx have just put out a video for a new track. Titled “Golden Boy”, the tune will appear on an upcoming EP from the band. The details of this release are still to be announced.

For now, you can check out “Golden Boy” below.

The previous release from The Hunx was the single “Facsimile” in 2018.



A Part of Us (Melodic Hardcore, Italy) Stream New Album, “Different Stories on the Same Road”

Italian melodic hardcore quartet A Part of Us have just released their latest album, Different Stories on the Same Road. The effort features eight tracks of tech-heavy skate punk. Helping the band with the release is European label, This is Core.

You can check out the new record in its entirety below. Enjoy.



Wiretap Records Streams Massive Compilation “5 Years Go By”

Los Angeles-based punk label Wiretap Records has just released a huge 50 track compilation. The collection of tunes is titled 5 Years Go By and features tracks from the label’s back catalogue of releases. You can expect to hear the likes of Spanish Love Songs, Wolves&Wolves&Wolves&Wolves, Indian School, Watch For Horses, Ordinary People, and many more.

Check out 5 Years Go By in its entirety below.



Audio Karate (Indie Punk, CA) Stream Track “Landing” From Third Album “Malo”

California’s Audio Karate will release their third album, Malo, on October 18. To get you lot in the mood for the release, the band have been good enough to put out a few tracks over the last few weeks. Joining “Bounce” and “Sin Cuchillo” is the just-released “Landing”. It will be the final track on the eight-song album that was originally written in 2007 but has yet to fully see the light of day. Helping the band with the release of Malo will be Wiretap Records. 

You can check out the three teaser tracks below whilst you wait for the full album’s release next month.



Malvina (Hardcore, Brazil) Stream Video for “The Anomie”

Brazilian progressive hardcore act Malvina have just put out a video for their track “The Anomie”. You can check it out below.

“The Anomie” features of the band’s recently-released album Hybrid War. The record is reportedly inspired by the rolling coup in Brazil and the rise of neofascism in the nation. It’s a blinder of a release!



Give It All (Melodic Hardcore, AU) release video for “Helpless Hopeless”

Brisbane, Australia melodic hardcore four piece Give It All have released a video for a new track, “Helpless Hopeless”. The new single follows recent EP System Restore.

Have a watch below.



Rational Anthem (pop punk) announce “It’s Only Permanent”

Iowa pop punkers, Rational Anthem have announced new album It’s Only Permanent. The record is out on November 1st via A-F Records.

To mark the announcement, the trio have released a video for a track from it, “Welcome to Paradise City”. Have a watch below.



Down By Law re-release live studio album on Kung Fu

SoCal melodic-punk veterans Down By Law are re-releasing their recent album, Quick Hits Live In Studio, via Kung Fu Records on October 4th. The album came out back in August via the band’s Bandcamp, but is now getting the limited edition (orange) vinyl treatment

The album sees them perform 15 of the best tracks from their back catalogue.



Stream a ska version of Graduating Life’s “Cold Raviolis”

If you’re online in the year 2019 and have even the slightest clue what the genre “ska” entails, then you’ve probably seen a video from Skatune Network, even if you didn’t realize what it was you were watching. The incredibly unique project of Florida musician Jeremy Hunter (they/them) started with a YouTube channel and a single mission––to bring back ska, one cover song at a time.

Today, that channel boasts over a million views, with over 100,000 subscribers and nearly twice as many combined followers across other social media platforms. Formed in 2017, Skatune Network has turned everything from 80s pop ballads to emo anthems, R&B jams, and even songs from popular movies and TV shows into bonafide ska hits, and the brass mastermind has no plans on slowing down.

Teaming up with rising indie label Counter Intuitive Records, Skatune Network will release their debut album Pick It The Fuck Up on September 27. Each song on the album will be a cover of a Counter Intuitive-adjacent band, including oso oso, Prince Daddy & the Hyena, Retirement Party, Kississippi, and more.

Today a video is out for the first new track, a cover of Graduating Life’s “Cold Raviolis.” Watch it below.



Album Review: The Planet Smashers “Too Much Information”

Earlier this year Canadian ska punks The Planet Smashers released their ninth studio album Too Much Information, which also corresponds with their twenty-fifth anniversary as a band. This album finds them continuing to expand upon their signature mix of upbeat two tone ska and punk.

The album abruptly starts with the titular “Too Much Information” as a bouncing horn line greets you without a proper introduction. In a song about the potential for oversharing via social media it is nice to get a sound that was massively popular before the advent of said media platforms. It drops an early English Beat meets the Police vibe that is ridiculously catchy. This sound is further explored with “Aim High” and “Going Out Solo” a couple of songs later.

“Break My Neck (A Love Song)” follows with what is arguably the best song on the album. In 2016 lead singer Matt Collyer fractured his cervical spine, he then used this to poetically pen a love song. “I may break my neck, but I will never break your heart” he croons in a way that is more intrinsically emotional than the rest of the album. The honesty on display is highly personal and it is obvious that this song is more than just another love song. Throughout the album the organ is featured, but not more perfectly than on this number. It is a bouncier sound that lends a little brevity to the heaviness of the lyrics.

The Planet Smashers still deliver on their classic high energy fun music with songs like “Brain Freeze” the product of being betrayed by a delicious treat, “Superfan” which is an ode to fans of ska still waiting for their fourth wave, and “Hookie” a banger about skipping work and having fun. This time the more playful “Light in Your Smile” cranks up the reggae side, and features some phenomenal drum work. However they do experiment and explore their craft a little with songs like “Good Vibes” and “Light in Your Smile”. The first being a clapping and drum heavy march that stands out on the album for how different it feels. However it seems like it would be a fan favorite in a live setting as it has the ability to draw the crowd into the production. Where “Light in Your Smile” is a playful reggae love song which again puts the drums at the forefront but this time with a margarita on the beach feel.

Too Much Information is a super clean sounding album, the horns are big and bright, the bass and drums sound deep and resonant, and the highlight is the organ which add a layer that really make these songs stand out. Combine this with lyrics that are humorous at times, and emotional at others and you get an album that moves both your heart and your feet.

4.5/5 Stars