Search Results for "Crusades"

Festival Review: A first timer’s Fest – Fest 17 @ Gainesville, FL (October 26-28, 2018)

Punk rock can mean a lot of things—a delivery method for progressive politics; deconstructivist rock ‘n roll; a space for self-expression. It represents itself through a multi-colored palette—street, hardcore, psychobilly, skate, pop, folk, crust, melodic, post, and more. What connects it is our most sacred tenet, one that stretches from our goofiest pop punk to our most somber hardcore, our number one deity: DIY.

In the quest to define what punk is, or what it’s become, DIY becomes the key, simply because: whatever this is—and this can be a a lot to unload—we did it ourselves. Punk rock is a necessarily nebulous catch-all for a slew of different outsiders with different wants and needs. But wherever they end up on punk’s spectrum, it’s assumed that they’re there to do something. Punk rock is as much music as it is a community—a place for people to come together.

For me, my brand of outsider status brings me to the corner of punk that features open-wound lyricism and singalongs. This is the stuff that makes you feel like an intruder on another’s thoughts. It’s like mainlining a connection. So, for a guy like me, who loves Hot Water Music, The Menzingers, Off With Their Heads, Leatherface, The Lawrence Arms, and Paint It Black—there’s a lot of labels you can throw at the wall and chances are a lot of them would stick. Orgcore, melodic punk, post-hardcore; but really, if there was one unifying label, the sort of catch-all you could drop in conversation, it’d be Fest.

The Fest in Florida is perhaps the most notorious, and most popular punk rock festival in the world. Every year, thousands of devotees make their yearly trip to Gainesville to see sets from hundreds of bands, meet old friends, and drink gallons of PBR. For many, Fest is punk rock. And this year, for the first time, I joined the many. For me, Fest was a sort of waking dream. There’s too much detail to capture it all accurately, and the minute you’re out of it, all but the broadest strokes remain. It was a blur, a beautiful, intense blur—but I’ll do my best to deliver the moments of clarity, all in the name of documenting my first, and maybe to convince a couple new acolytes.

I came in on a red eye flight, took a nap, then, for the rest of the first day, kept going like my life depended on it. Fest’s appeal is the sheer multitude of quality acts—all three days of the festival had a handful of bands I’d declare personal favorites. There is no waiting out openers for the band you came to see (but plenty of new to discover!). If worst comes to worst, and the venue you want to be in is at full capacity, well, there’s a lot more venues: and a Fest wristband and ID gets you into all of them. I started my maiden voyage at Bo Diddley Plaza, the large outdoor venue that houses a lot of Fest’s biggest names. Direct Hit! was the first heavy-hitter of the day, and the played a mix of new and old (including the Halloween-appropriate “Werewolf Shame”) in the pinks and oranges of sunset. They sounded great, they were clearly happy to be playing, and the new material was refreshingly different from their past catalog, while not feeling out of place in the setlist.

Lemuria was next, a band I stuck around for despite not knowing very well. They played well and had a pretty exuberant audience, one that with a little research I might join in the future. Piebald was another band I didn’t know, but they impressed me with their music and I could see a clear kinship between what they were doing and what I liked in my current lineup of favorites. It sounded like heartfelt pop punk with a hint of emo, and it won me over fast. But the band I had come to see at Bo Diddley was, of course, The Menzingers—quickly becoming my most seen band, as well as my default favorite. They were great, as always, and as per usual: I found myself in the hugging arms of new friends, screaming along to every word.

Next was to the High Dive—the venue, based on their killer lineups, most aligned with my tastes—here, there were two must-sees, one of which pushed the scale enough for me to fly from the opposite corner of the country to Florida. First, I had Dead Bars. I can’t say enough about the Seattle homeboys, but through reviews and interviews, I have certainly tried. Dead Bars is a gravel-voiced melodic punk band with rock ‘n roll aspirations; they sing about big things in the span of simple refrains and matter-of-fact storytelling. Their live show is like living out a daydream, complete with guitar melodies and singalongs. In Gainesville, they pulled the largest crowd I’ve seen for them, and there wasn’t a non-dreamer in the house.

Crusades is another band that has become a passion project of sorts for me. They’re intellectual and melancholy, oblique and heavy—all the while being both visceral and highly musical. Their songs are marked with crusty chord riffs dueling with ghostly vocal melodies. This Fest marked their end as a band, their last two shows, ever. The first show was all rock, no talk—an explosive display of all that they’ve built together. Live, Crusades’ heavy roots appear in full affect. The second night was a more heartfelt affair, with tearful goodbyes and a touching speech from frontman Dave Williams on what Crusades represents at its core. When the last chords were played, the band members embraced each other center stage, as the crowd cheered one final time. There were a lot of great sets at Fest this year, but Crusades’ farewell was the most emotional.

The second day ended with Crusades, but it started just as strong with a ridiculously packed High Dive set from Spanish Love Songs. Judging from the fan response, I am not the only one who loved Schmaltz. These guys are poised to be huge, and they kicked off a run of bands that deserve mention for exceptional sets. France’s Guerilla Poubelle are volcanic onstage—their venom communicated clear as day despite the language barrier. They engaged in charming and eloquent banter in between playing songs from their latest album (and Red Scare debut) La Nausee, ending with a duet featuring Arms Aloft. Worlds Scariest Police Chases also wowed me, having fallen in love with their last full-length, they were a band I had been dying to see for years. As expected, they were as funny, ridiculous, and hardcore as their albums suggest.

MakeWar played one of the most memorable sets of the weekend, releasing a fleet of inflatable killer whales into the pit. Soon, these PBR soaked monstrosities were bouncing off the ceilings, knocking out fixtures in their wake. It was, simply put, incredible. The songs were great as well, but anyone who’s listened to Developing a Theory of Integrity can tell you that.

I caught Wolf-Face (who one Fest-goer said, in an overheard conversation, were a must-see), whose gimmick was fun and weird (a Teen Wolf… band?), with good music to boot. They had us perplexed, laughing, and rocking out in equal measure. We popped over to Bo Diddley and saw part of the Lawrence Arms set, with a gravellier (or less than sober) performance from Brendan Kelly.

Being thwarted by an at-capacity Mom Jeans show (another band who is, apparently, huge), I leaned on my old reliable, the High Dive, and decided that if I didn’t know any of the bands playing right then, odds are that at least one was pretty good. The punk gods were smiling on me, and I managed to walk in right before Spells began to play. My memory jogged itself and I recalled this was one of Anxious and Angry’s latest signings.

I was about to find out why.

Spells were the hardest slap in the face I received all weekend. This was a band almost entirely off my radar, and here they were blowing my mind. They were uniformed in polos, one member on tambourine duties, all the while their frenzied lead singer spent the set’s entirety in the pit—grabbing, rubbing, antagonizing, and just generally messing with (me included) audience members. It was a sight to see. Hardcore, punk, pop punk, or some amalgam of—they played and screamed and fucked around with a sense of urgency only matched by their sense of fun.

Bong Mountain, Pkew Pkew Pkew, and Red City Radio formed the heavy-hitters lineup for the next day. The latter, in particular, sounding better than I’ve ever heard them before, with studio-quality vocal harmonies delivered live to a mid-day audience of true believers. It was a cathartic set, made all the more poignant for being the Fest’s final day. This was the end of a perfect weekend for a lot of people, and it was the final chance to go all out.

We took a break from bands to check out Fest Wrestling—an artform I had little to no acquaintance with, but was entirely intrigued by—and I am pleased to say it didn’t disappoint. I’d never watched wrestling in my life, but I was in awe of its unbridled insanity. Fest Wrestling is pure camp spectacle delivered via a stable of super-talented performers. It didn’t take long, even for a novice like myself, to get swept up by its energy. As some punk rock bonuses, we got cameos from Masked Intruder (who would play a fantastic set later in the evening) and the one and only Officer Bradford. For me, Fest Wrestling was a definite highlight of the weekend.

As Fest came to a close, I made it my mission to jump as many venues as I could, to do one last mad-dash to see as many bands as possible, keeping in mind that only one could serve as a proper ending to my first Fest. I jumped from The Get-Up Kids to Question the Mark; from Typesetter to Swiss Army; finally landing on the most Gainesville of Gainesville bands: Radon. For me, there was no more appropriate way to end my time at Fest. It was a sentiment shared by many of my fellow fest-goers, as I walked away from the Palomino, after finally hearing “Radon” live, complete with crowd-surfing and shouted “ba-da-da-das,” I overheard another punk explain Radon succinctly—“They’re Florida’s Jawbreaker… If Jawbreaker were from the south, they’d be Radon.”

The Fest is a monster of a festival. It removes the lines and borders we draw within the boundaries of punk rock and replace them with a singularity—Fest. It’s DIY, scrappy, and heartfelt and it includes a diverse group of both bands and audience members. The community becomes a spectacle in itself—punks make room for extras in each other’s Lyfts; veterans helps first-timers find venues; we all talk and hug and sing along, together. Despite this unity, the pleasure of Fest is that it is such a personal experience. My Fest highlights included The Menzingers, MakeWar, and Spells—yours very well could’ve been Mom Jeans, Lagwagon, and Hospital Job. At Fest, there’s room for a wide breadth of experience, but still, in the end, it’s all Fest.

So, If you haven’t made up your mind yet: go.

And if you’re already a true believer: see ‘ya next year.

 



DS Interview: Skottie Lobotomy (The Creeps) talks new album, songwriting, and confrontational escapism

In a matter of weeks, after lamenting a drought of new music, I received three albums that I couldn’t stop spinning. There was The Penske File’s Salvation, Spanish Love Songs’ Schmaltz, and The Creeps’ Beneath the Pines. I’ve purged my thoughts in reviews, countless listens, and dozens of personal recommendations, but still, these are the records I can’t shake—three distinct visions of what modern punk rock can be, built on the foundation of expert songwriting.

Beneath the Pines isn’t out yet, but it has a special place among the three. It shares members with Crusades, a fantastic band that shocked the punk community by announcing their departure earlier this month; and comes as the follow-up to Eulogies, an album that allowed the Creeps to stretch their chops and become known as one of pop punk’s foremost songsmiths. While the connection is inevitable, to say that The Creeps is Crusades’ little brother—a near consolation prize to fans—is to ignore the band’s twenty years playing, releasing, and evolving. Beneath the Pines is a great album, no matter its relation—a singular vision, powered by introspection, killer melodies, and the sort of songwriting that marks you for life. It’s at once melancholy and hopeful, and with a few deft lyrics, will endear the hardest hearts into a singalong.

I was lucky enough to exchange emails with vocalist/guitarist Skottie Lobotomy on the new album, his songwriting process, and what it means to be punk through introspection. Check out the interview below.



DS Editorial: Crusades—A Eulogy

Photo courtesy of Laura Collins

Fest has been announced, and with that, so have Crusades’ last shows. Here at Dying Scene, we love Crusades and wanted to give them a proper send-off. Read below for a career retrospective and click here for more information regarding Crusades and Fest. And if you’re local to them, expect a hometown goodbye at Ottawa Explosion Weekend Festival in June!

Following in the footsteps of Refused, Fugazi, Jawbreaker, and a thousand other greats, Ontario punk act Crusades have decided to join the long list of good ones in the sky. That’s right, after eight years of activity, Crusades is fucking dead. The split comes amicably; and realistically, is inevitable. It’s the difference between opening act and classic, between living and (fucking) dead.



DS Staff Picks – Jerry’s Top 10 albums of 2017

2017 was a year filled with things I had been looking forward to for a long time as well as some surprises in life, movies, TV (Twin Peaks Season 3 anyone?), and of course in music.  Aside from multiple honorable mentions, which you can see at the bottom, this years list of favorite albums was surprisingly easy to narrow down for me.  Check out what caught my ear this year below!



Crusades (Canada) stream cover of Off With Their Heads track “Your Child Is Dead”

Canada’s Crusades are streaming their cover of the Off With Their Heads classic “Your Child Is Dead”. Their take on the track is a much slower and emotional affair and it can be enjoyed below.

The cover track comes on the back of Crusades’s latest release This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End, released earlier this year.



Album Review: Crusades – “This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End”

CrusadesPerhaps You Deliver This Judgment With Greater Fear Than I Receive It was a masterpiece, an album so specific and unique in sound– not to mention thematic direction– that it was destined to be something of a cult classic. Crusades is back again, with a lush and expansive sound, and an album that makes their previous masterpiece look like a warm-up. This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End is a triumph of music, lyrics, and arrangement, and proof that good things are worth the wait.

The album’s greatest feat is that it continues Crusades’ growth through change. In some respects, the most remarkable things about This is a Sickness… are in how it differs from its predecessors. Where Perhaps You Deliver... was grandiose (it was, after all, a concept album about anti-Christian martyr Giordano Bruno), it came at the price of being detached. Between songwriter and song there was the burden of history and the suffocating taskmaster that is theme. The new album is still a concept album, but its themes of grief and loss are more universal, and therefore not as strict. It doesn’t have the A-ha! novelty of a long-dead martyr to tout, but it does have emotional resonance. In that, it explores something intrinsic, without abandoning the lens that Crusades uses to explore the world. If we boiled down religion to its essence, wouldn’t it be a means for community building and dealing with grief? Crusades uses their platform to attack an important philosophical question: how does one cope with a godless world in the face of personal loss?

In typical Crusades’ style, this is attacked with enough obliqueness that it never succumbs to heavy-handedness. The songs are poetic and lyrical, and in irony to their ‘satanist pop punk’ slug line, hearken back to a time and place in the written word, where poets were widely read and the Bible was well, the Bible, when it comes to prose. It’s John Donne meets Cormac McCarthy, dressing it’s emotional center in elevated language like, “The course that lay before us: forked and weeping venom/ Looming crescent quite insistent both be explored.” This may sound pretentious to some, and it may also sound insistently obfuscating, but the outcome is something so distinct in its vision and intent, that it becomes singular. There is no one making melodic punk like Crusades.

The arrangements also back this thesis, morphing into an amalgam of dark music. Crust punk, post-punk, metal, hardcore, and of course, pop punk are all key components of Crusades’ sound. This is a Sickness... sounds huge, menacing, and melancholy, driven by ethereal melodies and sharp and intriguing structures. Airy arpeggios and strings replace the genres proverbial chug-a-chugging on tracks such as “1713 (The Scorching Fever).” Riffs are also an important anchor, especially on the aforementioned, which features a thick-sounding progression that wouldn’t be out of place on a Tragedy record.

This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End is a masterpiece of vision, and ultimately, I think one’s enjoyment of it will boil down to how much one enjoys art that is unabashedly conceived. There are band’s that are effortless– in the best possible ways– laying down melodies and lyrics that are immediate and accessible. Crusades is not that band. Instead, they aspire to something that is intangible and innately difficult, and they’re building these works of idiosyncrasy on the shoulders of our most accessible genre. It’s a meeting of worlds that is inspiring and strange, aggressive and proudly difficult. Crusades’ actually says it best, summing themselves up with a refrain from “1940 (Whirr and Chime).” With all the thematics, the arrangements, and language, it all comes down to our most human tell– our need to be heard– and Crusades is doing just that, telling “tales of woe and abstract sympathy,” forging them into something not to be forgotten.

4.5/5



Crusades stream new album “This Is A Sickness And Sickness Will End”

Canada’s Crusades are streaming their upcoming album This Is A Sickness And Sickness Will End in its entirety.

Give it a listen below.

The album will be released next week, March 7th, via the band’s own label Countless Altars (Canada/Europe) and Anxious & Angry (USA).



DS Exclusive: Crusades premiere new song and video, plus interview with singer Dave Williams

Sweet news! Crusades have released a lyric video for “1713 (The Scorching Fevers)” off their upcoming This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End, out March 7th through Anxious & Angry (US) and Countless Altars (Canada/World).

Even better news! I was lucky enough to sit down (via e-mail) with Crusades singer and guitarist Dave Williams to talk about songwriting, heavy music, and cathartic art. Click here to check out the video and the interview!



Crusades (punk, Canada) taking preorders for new LP “This is a sickness and sickness will end”

Canada’s Crusades are now taking preorders of their soon to be released LP entitled This Is A Sickness And Sickness Will End. The official date for the record to drop is March 7th, 2017.

Along with the preorder, the band have announced a short stint of tour dates for UK fans. You can check out the list below.

 

 

 

 

 



Lyric Video: Crusades – “1590 (Swiftness Never Ceasing)”

Ottawa’s Crusades have released a lyric video for their new song “1590 (Swiftness Never Ceasing)”

You can check it out here.

“1590 (Swiftness Never Ceasing)” comes from the bands upcoming album This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End, which is set to be released on March 7th jointly through the band’s own label Countless Altars (Canada/Europe) and Anxious & Angry (USA).



Crusades detail new album ‘This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End’

Ottawa’s Crusades will release their forthcoming album “This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End” on March 7th jointly through the band’s own label Anxious & Angry (USA) and Countless Altars (Canada/Europe).

Tracklisting and a video teaser are below.



Crusades finish recording new album

Canadian satanic punk act Crusades have finished recording their new full-length album according to a Facebook post:

We had an absolutely incredible weekend tracking the new LP at Wolf Lake Studios. Any folks looking to lay down some new material should book with Mike & JP, stat. Great guys with amazing ears, skills & gear. Plus, it’s in secluded, beautiful cottage country about a half hour outside of downtown Ottawa. This record is gonna be insane. Out at some point on No Idea Records!

The band released their second album, Perhaps You Deliver This Judgment With Greater Fear Than I Receive It on November 5, 2013 through No Idea Records.



Free Fest Compilation: ‘I’ve Got Friends in Cold Places: A Somewhat Comprehensive Guide to Canadian Bands at FEST 14’

And the FEST madness continues! Get Party! Records have released a free digital compilation of 10 Canadian punk bands that will be playing in Gainesville this weekend. The track list boasts tunes by Crusades, Black Tower, Deforesters, The Penske File and more.

You can stream the collection below or snag your free download here.



Crusades make back catalog available for free

In honor of FEST this weekend, Canadian satanic punk act Crusades have made their back catalog available entirely for free. This includes both of their full length albums and both of their EPs. The offer is only good through the weekend though, so download their music to your heart’s content while you still can right here.

The band released their second album, Perhaps You Deliver This Judgment With Greater Fear Than I Receive It on November 5, 2013 through No Idea Records.



Stream The Hobbit inspired debut album “The Secret Fire” from Black Tower (Crusades, The Creeps)

Contrary to what you might think, Ottawa punk outfit Black Tower, featuring  members of Crusades, The Visitors, and The Creeps, are not satanists and the “dark lord” prominently referenced in their fantastic debut album The Secret Fire is not the red, horned demon you might be think he is.  The lyrics and music of The Secret Fire are entirely inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous fantasy novel The Hobbit and the “dark lord”, of course, is Sauron.

But you don’t have to be a fantasy nerd to enjoy this album.  In fact, if you like punk rock, specifically in the vein of the Crusades, then you’re going to seriously dig this release and we encourage you to give it a listen in its entirety right here.

The Secret Fire is set to be released on CD and digitally June 2nd via Unspeakable Axe Records.  No Idea Records will be handling the vinyl release later this summer.