Search Results for "Dead Bars"

Dead Bars (punk) streaming second song “Freaks” off upcoming album

Seattle punks Dead Bars are streaming the second song “Freaks” off of their upcoming album Regulars. The new album is set to drop on May 3rd, and it is one of those under the radar, new releases you want to miss out on. These guys have that great mix of gravely vocals and shout-along choruses. It’s definitely not a sound a city like Seattle is known for (they’d probably fit in better among their peers in Jersey, Richmond, Gainesville, or even the bay area), so a lot of the album is about not being accepted. 

You can check out the new song below.

The last release Dream Gig came out back in 2017. Dead Bars have a sound that reminds me of a more gravelly version of The Menzingers. 



Dead Bars Announce New Album, Release First Single

News that is literal music to my ears: Seattle’s Dead Bars have announced their new album Regulars (due out May 3rd), following up 2017’s Dream Gig. The new album is produced by Seattle grunge legend Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney) and mixed by Jay Maas (Defeater, Ceremony)—bringing some high-level talent to Dead Bars’ boisterous and earnest melodic punk.

They’ve also graced us with a new track—the sludgey, kinda funny/kinda sad banger “I’m a Regular.” Vocalist John Maiello had this to say: “I like this idea of being a regular. There are moments of highs and lows; loneliness and community, sadness and celebration. That’s what it’s like to be in a band. That’s what it’s like to be in Dead Bars.”

Straight from the press release:

“…Yet, while ‘Regulars’ retains much of what makes Dead Bars so great, it is no mere repeat of past successes. Instead, it features the group’s most ambitious songs to date – a consequence of more collaboration and a settled line-up. In turn, this has allowed for more of the group’s classic influences to start informing the songwriting – from the Beatles to Tom Petty and the Stooges.

“Everything was different, this time,” says Maiello. “We jammed a lot more during the writing of this, so there’s definitely more guitar stuff – and more vocal stuff – going on. Also, two of C.J.’s songs made it onto the album.”

The result is 11 songs of heartfelt and passionate punk rock, which will appeal to anyone who has ever struggled to find their place in the world. ‘Lucky’ and ‘Another Day’ are pure garage-tinged pop-punk ragers that are built for sweaty bar-room call-and-responses, while ‘You Never Left’ and ‘Rain’ show the group’s ability to mix the hopelessness and hopeful. ‘Freaks’, meanwhile, is a rallying call for the misunderstood, while ‘Producto Toxico’ – a song about going to an exotic place and doing the same thing you do at home – carries a relatable world-weariness.”

If you aren’t down with Dead Bars yet, check out our reviews (here, here) and then go straight to their bandcamp. New Dead Bars is worthy of your internet excitement.



DS Photo Gallery: Rebuilder w/Dead Bars, Pity Party and Weathered Friends (Cambridge, MA)

A couple weeks back, yours truly once again found himself at Charlie’s Kitchen, the burger-joint and part-time no frills punk rock venue nestled just off the heart of Cambridge’s Harvard Square. The venue stacks the tables into the corner on Monday nights, fires up the PA system, and hosts local and national touring acts, and this particular Monday night featured hometown heroes Rebuilder headlining a bill that also included their Seattle-based BFFs Dead Bars, Oakland, California’s Pity Party, with brand-spankin’-new locals Weathered Friends kicking things off. It was another example of the kind of awesome and diverse bills that should get more and more people interested in keeping the scene moving forward.

Weathered Friends are a local three-piece that were making their public debut on this fine evening. They’r enew enough that, well, hold off on Googling them unless you’re overly interested in learning “how to cope with a fair-weather friend” or the wholesome craft projects of a delightful Kalamazoo woman (that’s not a euphemism). Still obviously finding their way as a band, they excel at a sort of angular post-hardcore sound that was reminiscent of Cave In’s earlier work. I like them, and hope they at least make a Facebook page for me to direct you too. Hint hint.

Pity Party were next out of the chute. The event marked roughly the halfway point in the band’s Herculean fifty-nine day cross-country tour, and though vocalist/guitarist Sarah Levy was dealing with a pretty gnarly case of strep throat (don’t worry, she wasn’t contagious), that left her voice shredded, which added an extra layer of urgency to the vocals as the self-proclaimed sadboys still managed to bulldoze their way through their half-hour slot.

So Dead Bars were next.  Rebuilder’s Sal Medrano has been bestowing the virtues of their live show to me for some time now, and for good reason. When Dying Scene’s own Carson Winter recently saw them down at Fest in Gainesville, he wrote that their “live show is like living out a daydream, complete with guitar melodies and singalongs.” Sal and Carson are to be rewarded for their insight; Dead Bars absolutely slay live. It’s a cathartic, frantic good time of a set, and I get the sense that their upcoming Jay Maas-produced A-F Records debut full-length is going to slingshot them to at least the Iron Chick level of revelry. Stay tuned for that.

Finally…what can I say about Rebuilder that I haven’t said in the other 168 posts I’ve written about them? I’m not sure, to be honest. They’re the best. They’re authentic. They play their asses off every set and seem to love doing so. The “core four” lineup (I just coined that…patent pending) is one of my favorites around, but the addition of keys (whether it was Rick or more recently Patrick or most recently Leo) adds a few sonic layers of depth that other bands can’t quite match (even if I can never seem to adequately photograph that particular fifth of the band). I want to quit my job and go on tour with Rebuilder…assuming they all quit their jobs too.

Head below for our full photo rundown from the evening!



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.

 



Dead Bars announce tour, single, and new home at A-F Records

Seattle’s Dead Bars have recently signed with Anti-Flag’s A-F Records and released a single, a cover of Guided By Voices “Gold Star for Robot Boy”. With a new LP slated for sometime in 2019.

The only place to get a vinyl copy of the single is to catch them on tour, which will see them across much of the U.S. and is centered on their appearance at The Fest.

Dead Bars released their debut Dream Gig last year on No Idea Records.

Check out a stream of “Gold Star for Robot Boy” and all the current tour dates below.



Dead Bars/Red Car Burn split announced via teaser video

Seattle’s Dead Bars and Italy’s Red Car Burns are teaming up to release a 7-inch split October 5th via No Reason Records. No Reason announced the split via a teaser video that you can see below.

Dream Gig was released by Dead Bars last March via No Idea Records while Red Car Burn’s debut self-titled full-length was released in 2015.



Baseball Punx compilation album streaming now

Baseball Punx is a compilation album featuring Mischief Brew, Isotopes, Dead Bars and many more. It will accompany a documentary of the same name which will be released February 16th. As the name suggests the compilation consists of songs with a baseball theme, with tunes such as: “Piazza, L.A. Dodger”, “Matt Stairs” and “It Had to Be 90FT” it’s full on baseball top to bottom. The theme is flawless each song leads you down a path of baseball lore.

Grab your bat and run on over here for the compilation which is out today.

Baseball Punx the documentary will be released February 16th and if you want to check out a sneak peek I’ve included the trailer below. For information on how to get your copy of the album and what’s going on with the documentary check out www.baseballpunx.com



DS Staff Picks: Carson Winter’s Top Albums of 2017

For us list-making, taste-making, coffee-drinking, taco-devouring, unpaid-punk-curators— end of year lists are a time to shine. We spend a lot of time listening to the hottest, freshest tracks and occasionally liking some of them too. 2017 was no exception, and for me actually, I thought it was one of the better years in recent punk history. Old bands I loved released new material, I found new bands I’d never heard, bands I thought I didn’t like released music that I did. It was a varied, interesting, and eclectic year for punk rock. And at the same time: almost too varied, interesting, and eclectic. Unfortunately, being spoiled for choice goes hand in hand with writing articles that shouldn’t take that long to write. Oh well, as said by a million tattoos and a guy named Vonnegut, “So it goes.”

Without further ado, here are my top ten picks for the best punk of 2017.



DS Interview: John of Dead Bars talks new album, slice-of-life songwriting, and dreamin’ big

For years now, Seattle’s Dead Bars have been releasing killer music on a small scale. Now, the band is poised to release their first full-length on No Idea Records, joining a legacy that includes Radon, Against Me!, Hot Water Music, The Tim Version, and many, many more.

I was lucky enough to hear the new record and talk to chief songwriter and vocalist John Maiello via e-mail. Click here for the interview.



Dead Bars (pop-punk) stream new album “Dream Gig”

Seattle gruffy pop-punks Dead Bars are streaming their long awaited new album, Dream Gig. The 8-track release is currently up for streaming over on the band’s Bandcamp page, which you can check out below.

There will be a CD and vinyl release in Japan, stay tuned for details as they come to light regarding this physical release.

Dream Gig is officially released digitally through No Idea Records. It follows the band’s 2016 split with Florida’s The Tim Version.



Album Review: Dead Bars – “Dream Gig”

Well, the day has finally come– Dead Bars have released their debut album. The Seattle punks have released splits with the Tim Version and Sunshine State, recorded a perfect self-titled EP, played Fest, and are a piece of the incredibly rich and diverse No Idea Records legacy, but, until now, they have avoided putting a full-length to wax. Dream Gig is a culmination of talent and tendencies, met with vision and ambition and all the stuff that makes good rock ‘n roll into something to swear by.

Dream Gig isn’t so much a concept record as a thematic one. Whatever you want to call it, it is undoubtedly cohesive. The album opens with “Overture,” a lone piano playing a melody that alludes to the hook of the title track. From there, we get “Earplug Girl,” the first traditional song on the album. It’s a classic Dead Bars song, and probably one of my favorites of their catalog. It shows off a handful of their best qualities– a knack for singalong melodies, as well as John Maiello’s slice-of-life songwriting. “Earplug Girl” transcends through mundanity. It tells a small story with simple matter-of-facts that becomes bigger than either the event that inspired it or the music itself. It reminds me a lot of the dirty realism of Bukowski or Carver, whose stripped down prose and banal subject matter captured common folk and desperation better than anything flowery and elegant ever could.

“D Line to the Streamline” is another highlight– catchy, with a memorable guitar hook, a chorus to die for, and a bridge to scream. “And now I’m closing out my tab/ I have to walk home, I am sad, blah blah the sorrow. I have work tomorrow,” might be the defining lyrics for a generation of punks too old to mosh. In the wrong hands, the idea of aging rockers living out their rock ‘n roll dreams on a small scale could be uncomfortable and even a bit depressing. But, through “Face the Music” and “Tear Shaped Bruise” the music is given an identity of its own: savior. At the heart of Dead Bars’ self-aware bummers is the truth that rock ‘n roll is something worth sacrificing for, something pure and loud and powerful.

Dream Gig is Dead Bars at their most ambitious and defined. Guitar, bass, and drums have combined to fill out their melodic punk singalongs with an almost classic rock optimism– a fist-pumping specter that gives lines like, “I got insoles in my shoes,” a shade of honest-to-god victory. And it’s this defiant sense of accomplishment that makes Dream Gig tick. The title track is the band at it’s most ambitious, a seven-minute mission statement of everything Dead Bars. There’s a hunger within those shouted lines, a manifesto of purpose that throws a finger to the face of anyone who has forsaken art for getting a real job, for those who say dreams are meant to be waken from. From the refrain of “Dream big,” the instruments lead their way through melodies and feedback, before blasting into industrial sounding static, an innovation to their sound that brings to mind acts like Titus Andronicus or Fucked Up.

Dead Bars courses with nervous energy and insight, they’re both wistful and cutting and they do so while playing immediately likeable music. Dirtbag couplets, woah-oh’s, and guitar leads; the smell of pale lagers and the lingering guilt of a path not taken; chance encounters broken down and mined for meaning– coalesce into something vibrant, victorious, and uniquely defiant. Dead Bars play punk rock like it means something to them, like it should mean something. Dream Gig is an ode to the dreamers and the music that keeps their head in the clouds.

5/5



Dead Bars stream new song ‘Face The Music’

Seattle’s Dead Bars are streaming a new single off their upcoming debut full length. ‘Dream Gig‘ will be out digitally via No Idea Records on the 10th of March. Physical release will follow later this year.

Go check out ‘Face The Music’ here.



Dead Bars premiere new song “Earplug Girl”

Seattle punks Dead Bars have premiered a new song from their upcoming album Dream Gig.

The track’s called “Earplug Girl,” and you can check it out below.

Dream Gig is set to release on March 10th through No Idea Records.



Dead Bars (No Idea melodic punk) announce new album “Dream Gig” and tour

Seattle’s Dead Bars have announced their new album Dream Gig will be released digitally on March 10th, with the vinyl release handled by No Idea Records. The band will air a studio session on KEXP on March 18th at 10pm.

And if you wanna catch them live, they also have a handful of Pacific Northwest Tour Dates coming down the pipeline, listed below.

March 16th – Bellingham, WA @ The Swillery
March 17th – Vancouver, BC @ Astoria
March 18th – Victoria, BC @ Logan’s Pub
March 19th – Seattle, WA @ Vera Project **All Ages**

In the band’s own words:

“Founded in Seattle, WA by vocalist and songwriter John Maiello in 2013, Dead Bars had a very specific plan to play one show, record a demo, and only tour Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. After four years of playing a lot more shows, recording five seven-inch’s released on three different labels in three different countries, and never touring outside the continental United States, Dead Bars is releasing their first LP titled Dream Gig. Sometimes things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes you don’t get what you want. Keep on dreamin’.”

Dead Bars self-titled EP was reviewed here. Their last release was a split with the Tim Version in 2016.



Dead Bars and The Tim Version stream split EP

Seattle punk band Dead Bars and Tampa punk act The Tim Version have released a split EP, and you can listen to it now.

Check it out below.

The split was released on August 26th, 2016 via No Idea Records.