Search Results for "Make War"

Album Review: Various Artists – “Red Scare Industries: 15 Years of Tears and Beers”

I’m never quite sure where to place compilation albums in the grand scheme of things. Are they disposable? Are they art? To this day I’m not sure, and because I missed out on the days of Punk-a-rama, I may never truly understand where a good comp falls into one’s collection. If I were to hazard a guess though, in a world where everything is perfect and physical media has not yet been grounded by cardiac arrest, I would want a good comp to be something akin to your coolest friend with the coolest taste sitting you down and saying: “listen to this.”

I like to think that’s where Red Scare Industries: 15 Years of Tears and Beers falls into place. And if there’s anyone to inhabit the role of coolest friend with coolest taste, it’s without a doubt Red Scare’s mastermind Tobias Jeg. 15 Years of Tears and Beers serves as a reminder to all the great music Red Scare has brought us over the years, featuring fifteen artists that helped shape the label into the monster it is today. 

The best part of this whole thing though, is that these are new songs. This isn’t just a greatest hits collection of some classic Red Scare alums—these are hot new tracks from some of the finest punk rock songwriters in the game today. The Copyrights start things off with one of my favorite songs by them, period (“Maine or Oregon”). It’s as fast and catchy as just about anyone familiar with the Copyrights would expect, and it’s less than a minute long. Sincere Engineer makes an appearance with “Dragged Across the Finish Line,” another song that I thought was just stellar. Funny enough, this is one of those groups that I could never get into, but recently, I seem to recall Jeg saying that Sincere Engineer wasn’t a singer-songwriter thing, but in actuality a stealth gruff-punk thing. This shifted my perspective quite a bit, and on this track, I totally hear it. “Dragged Across the Finish Line” is a total banger with lots of heart that sounds like something straight out of the camps of Hot Water Music and Lawrence Arms. 

There’s a couple of great covers on this one. The Menzingers are represented by Broadway Calls who cover their classic “Sunday Morning,” with a grounded pop-punk approach. Billy Liar ends the album with a Nothington cover of “The Escapist.” Both of these tracks provide a little familiarity in the mix as well as a sense of living history. At the end of the day, 15 Years of Tears and Beers is a celebration, and is working tirelessly not to give you a sense of dour self-importance, but a sense of fun surrounding all of the great music that’s happened because of Red Scare. This is fun, covers are fun; the message is clear: have fun. 

There are too many tracks to call out by name as favorites here, but I’ll list a couple that I thought were standouts. Elway’s “High Drama, Low Comedy” knocks it out of the park here. This is a band, much like Sincere Engineer, that I never got into. First it was the Elway is Jerks meme that went around PunkNews that I mistook for people actually calling the people in the band out as rockstar divas (apparently, I was quite wrong, and they are good folks). Second, it was For the Sake of the Bit’s aim at taking down internet music reviewers, which hit a little too close to home for me, because, well—guess what I am? Either way, I can’t deny that this song is a banger and it might just be what forces me to reconsider Elway. Shout out in particular to the Queen-ish guitar solo bridge, inspired stuff. 

“Dead Body” by Garrett Dale of Red City Radio is a ridiculous, catchy song that stopped me in my tracks on the first listen. Dale is clearly having fun with this one, where you can hear him exclaiming “this has got to be the dumbest song” after a killer sax break. And hey, maybe it is—but it’s fun as Hell (and as I established earlier, fun is the name of the game). It’s like an oldies radio hit born in 2019 and is a clear highlight of the whole album. 

But if that’s not enough for you, you also have great tracks from MakeWar, Ramona, Tightwire, The Bombpops, and many, many others. What I’m trying to say here is: this thing is stacked! And it’s not just big names, it’s big songs. What struck me most about 15 Years was the sheer quality from start to finish. It’s a diverse collection of great songs from the Red Scare roster, and if you ask me, it’s worth all the tears and beers to get there. 

 

4.5/5



Album Review: MakeWar – “Get It Together”

Developing a Theory of Integrity was one of my favorite releases back in 2016. Back then, they were on Red Scare—one in a long line of bands that helped carve out the label’s reputation as having the best ear for signings in the game. Now, three years later, MakeWar has come a long way. In the interim, I had the pleasure of seeing them play twice—and two times I got a look into their continued development, and subsequent dominance, within the world of melodic punk. Once at Fest: where they played one of the best sets of the weekend (complete with a blow-up orca bouncing around the moshpit—you know, the one from the album cover). People were into it; loving it, eating it up. This was a crowd of fans who knew every word, who had already adopted their latest release into their all-time favorites. MakeWar had made good on everything their song’s promised. The second time I saw them, they were on the bill of a mega tour, opening for Lagwagon and Face to Face. Of course, this was writing on the wall, writing I should’ve read. MakeWar was poised to release on Fat Wreck Chords, joining the talented masses that got their start on Red Scare and graduated to the upper echelon of modern punk. 

If any band can do it, it’s MakeWar. This is a band that thrives on the one X-factor that can make or break a group: songwriting. Anyone who’s heard Developing a Theory of Integrity knows that these guys have chops to spare when it comes to writing great songs. They match these catchy anthems with something akin to early Against Me! arrangements, stabbing strums and a penchant for gang vocals; a tightly wound three-piece with fantastic songs—what’s not to love?

Get it Together is a continuation of all the most important aspects of MakeWar. Their Latin American identity is put front and center, with two songs in Spanish sung by bassist Edwin. The first of them, “No Mas,” is a melodic hardcore rager with a staccato machine-gun vocal rhythm that rattles off Spanish with an ear-pleasing fluidity. This thread is also continued by “Hands on the Tyrant,” one of the most striking and personal songs on the album, directly addressing singer Jose Prieto’s native Venezuela. Both these songs and others feel like a more active engagement with their identity than the anthems on their last record, while still supplying hooks aplenty. For my money, perspective is one of the most important attributes of great songwriting, and here, it’s put front and center. 

The heart-on-the-sleeve introspection, however, is still one of the band’s most powerful motors, brought forth into the Fat Wreck era by album opener “Hopeless Dreamer.” The song is propelled by chugging guitars and some killer backing vocals. The lyrics range from aspirational to slice-of-life conversational (“Is it cool if I close my eyes just for a bit?”); just as ever, they’re relatable and hard-hitting, the sort of stuff you can feel falling off your tongue from the first time you hear it. 

MakeWar has always had a loud, brash, aspirational center indebted to the best of punk’s rhetoric. And in a world where it’s harder than ever to be an artist, this is not only charming, but admirable. “Oh, Brother” is an ode to a life lived in the punk scene, told as an all too familiar story. “Welcome to the world of punk, freaks and geeks and silly drugs,” begins the chorus. It’s a rallying cry, an ode to playing music in spite of all the constructs that make it near impossible. The bridge is perhaps one of the most emotionally powerful I’ve heard in recent years, a declaration to its listeners to embrace the grind, to create in endless defiance. 

“Sails” matches this discontent with a fantasy of leaving the nine-to-five to sail around the world (in a parallel to “Sallie” from Developing a Theory of Integrity). It’s one of the best songs on the album, undoubtedly one of the catchiest. While the subject matter has been tread before, the tone is more ethereal, feeling like a daydream brought to life, something that the lighter guitars on this album bring to a more fully realized cohesion. 

In the case of “Sails,” the lighter sounds on Get it Together help sell the content of the song. But other times, it feels like perfunctory growth. MakeWar has an album full of great songs, and a lot of them will come to define the band, I truly believe that. But, I can’t help but feel their sound was more impactful on their last outing. Before, they had that jittery, crunchy intensity that really fed into that sing-your-lungs-out, emotional punk aesthetic. Here, the goods still survive with a slicker package, but I’m often left with the question: why? There’s more treble, there’s more reverb, and sometimes a spare effects pedal is thrown into the mix—but for the most part, it doesn’t do much to develop the band’s sound in any notable way. It feels like a new coat of paint for the sake of painting, an affectation rooted more in their move to Fat Wreck than in the band’s core identity. Get it Together is a great album, but sonically, it sounds like a band developing in the most usual way. 

Luckily, while the production seldom adds much, it doesn’t take away much either, leaving me only with a couple of gripes to go with a handful of new favorite songs. In my mind, it’s a fair trade. Get it Together is MakeWar doing everything they did great on the last album, and now doing it better. What’s added to the mix this time is the band’s political content, which is exciting and illuminating across the board. They’ve embraced themselves to a greater degree than ever, and in that, they’ve codified their identity as artists and musicians. 

 

4.5/5



DS Photo Gallery: Face To Face, Lagwagon and Makewar – Boston, MA

The nine-headed punk rock monster that is the Face To Face and Lagwagon tour made its way to Boston’s legendary Paradise Rock Club over the Columbus Day weekend. Both bands are touring in support of new Fat Wreck Chords releases; Face To Face’s Live In A Dive entry dropped October 18th while Lagwagon’s Railer Rollerbladed into the skate parks on October 4th. As has come up repeatedly in my circle lately, Boston can be notoriously fickle when it comes to showing up for left coast, 90’s-style EpiFat bands in this day an age – one of the downsides of it being a gentrified college town, for sure – but let us make no mistake about it; the punks came out to play on this night.

Newly-minted Fat Wreck signee MakeWar opened off this particular gig, and it marked the trio’s last night on the tour. What a breath of fresh air they are. Just a hair over twenty years ago, I saw Face To Face play a show locally on the ill-fated Ignorance Is Bliss tour and vividly remember being captivated by the sound coming from that tour’s direct support, No Motiv. This kinda reminded me of that. Huge hooks, soaring melodies, and passion and fire in spades. It gives hope that what I guess, at this point, is the next generation is more than capable of carrying the punk rock battle flag well into the future. Stay tuned for their Fat Wreck debut, Get It Together, next month; it’s a killer.

Lagwagon and Face To Face have been trading off headline duties for the duration of this tour and Face To Face drew the honors on this night, so Lagwagon was next out of the chute after MakeWar. The iconic quintet kicked things off with the Railer track “The Suffering” before immediately rewinding the clock about a quarter-century for “Weak.” The twenty-song set was fairly representative of the band’s lengthy catalog, with 1995’s Hoss and the new album seeing the most tracks included. There is of course that neurobiological thing where people always want to hear the music they related to most when they were younger, but I think the new material was pretty well received; “Surviving California” and “Bubble” certainly saw their share of crowd-surfers. I suppose that stands to reason, as Railer is in many ways a throwback album that hearkens back to the skate punk glory days of the mid-90s with a but through the filter of a collecting that’s got the wisdom that comes with not being 25 year old kids anymore. (Side note: 2014’s Hang became one of my favorite albums upon first listen and only say “The Cog In The Machine” included on this setlist but whatever.) God knows the band musically still fire on all cylinders in a live setting.

And then, of course, there’s Face To Face. To SoCal band are the band I’ve seen the most: this marked my 20th F2F show since their spot opening for No Doubt and Weezer twenty-two years ago. Like Lagwagon, their own most recent studio full length, 2016’s Protection, also was credited by many as being a bit of a return to form from a sonic perspective. As such, the set on this night – and this tour, as I understand, featured a couple Protection tracks peppered in amongst the traditional “classics” primarily from Big Choice, Don’t Turn Away and the self-titled album. However, based on what I think can be described as the unexpected success of their 2018 acoustic EP Hold Fast, the band also included a trio of songs in the middle of set that found frontman Trever Keith trading in his Les Paul (itself a return to form from the Gretsch’s he’s been playing the last handful of years) for a Gibson acoustic for reworked versions of “Blind,” “Keep Your Chin Up” and “All For Nothing.” As always, the depths of the band’s musicianship were on full display both in the foreground – the in-your-face lead bass playing of Scott Shiflett – and in the background – the wildly underrated percussive stylings from Danny Thomson. Lead guitar player Dennis Hill has been a bit of a high-energy shot in the arm in recent years, at one point diving atop the crowd while still wielding his Telecaster.

Head below for our full photo gallery.



Make War (folk-punk) streaming first song off upcoming album

Brooklyn’s Make War are streaming the first song “Sails” off of the bands upcoming album Get It Together, due out November 1st on Fat Wreck Chords. I must admit I am not familiar with Make War but the first track off the new album has me wanting to hear more.

Check out the new song below.

Make War last released their Self-Titled album back in 2015. They are currently out on tour with Face to Face and Lagwagon.



MakeWar sign to Fat Wreck Chords for new album “Get It Together”, release music video for new song “Oh, Brother”

MakeWar’s last release, Developing a Theory of Integrity, was released in 2016. 

Allow us to introduce the newest member of the Fat Wreck Chords family, MakeWar. Their album Get It Together drops on November 1st, but you can check out the video for their first single “Oh, Brother” below along with a more detailed (and hilarious) introduction to the band via Pulitzer Prize caliber write-up that Brendan Kelly (singer/bass player of The Lawrence Arms).

MakeWar will be heading out with Lagwagon and face to face next month. Don’t miss them!



MakeWar release “Don’t Panic” music video

MakeWar just premiered a video for “Don’t Panic” with New Noise magazine. The track tackles anxiety attacks and mental health issues, and is taken from MakeWar’s 2016 LP “Developing a Theory of Integrity” album.

The video come together at the behest of a cinematographer friend of the band, and comes while the band are working on their next release.

Check out the video using the player below.



Makewar Recording New Album!

Dying Scene favorites (or favourites, depending how North and/or East of our home office you live) MakeWar are making a new album!

The New York based trio recently holed up at the Barber Shop Studio in North Jersey to get to work on a full-length follow-up to 2016’s Developing A Theory Of Integrity. They’ve posted a few photos as evidence: check ’em out here. stay tuned for more on this one as it comes down the ‘pike.

Developing A Theory Of Integrity was released on Red Scare.



MakeWar announce June European tour dates

Dyingscene favorites MakeWar have announced some upcoming European tour dates for June.

You can check out all the dates and locations below.

MakeWar last released Developing a Theory of Integrity in 2016 via Red Scare. 



Black Numbers releasing Fest 16 sampler for name your price, you can stream it now

You know what you need? Sixteen songs from sixteen bands from Fest 2016. Sixteen.

Black Numbers is releasing their Fest 16 sampler on Friday for name-your-price on their bandcamp page. You can stream the whole thing below, right now!

Bands on the sampler include Make War, Static Radio NJ, Typesetter, and thirteen more.



Teenage Bottlerocket announce four east coast shows starting September 7th

Teenage Bottlerocket have announced four East Coast dates starting tomorrow, September 7th. They’ll be playing with OC45 and MakeWar. Later this month, Teenage Bottlerocket will be heading on tour in Australia.

Check out the East Coast dates below!



MakeWar performs ‘Ode’ on Live! From The Rock Room

Dyingscene favourites MakeWar recently took out the time to perform their single ‘Ode’ for the people over at Live! From The Rock Room. You can watch the video below.

Catch MakeWar hitting the East Coast (/w Nothington and Joe McMahon) in a few days.



Makewar perform “DTFH” on Live From The Rock Room

NYC punks MakeWar recently performed their song“DTFH” on Live from the Rock Room and you can watch the video below.

Live from the Rock Room is an ongoing webcast started by Smoking Popes drummer, Mike Felumlee, in which he has bands stop by his tiny studio just outside Chicago to play music and chat.

MakeWar’s last release, Developing a Theory of Integrity, was released in 2016. 



Makewar perform for Live From The Rock Room

Makewar are the latest artist to perform a live session for Live From The Rock Room. They performed “Matador Pool Party” for the Illinois based session studio/YouTube channel.

You can watch the performance below.



MakeWar teams up with Worship This for US tour

Heads up US! MakeWar (Red Scare) is gearing up for a good run of dates through some of the more Eastern states. Joining them are A-F Records‘ own Worship this!. Full tour dates for this sweet combo can be found below.

MakeWar’s last release ‘Developing a Theory of Integrity’ was undebatebly one of our favourite releases of 2016.



Album Review: MakeWar – “Developing a Theory of Integrity”

Developing a Theory of Integrity is proof that Red Scare is a punk rock tastemaker. They’re what Fat Wreck was to the scene in the 90s, standing alongside the greats of No Idea and Epitaph as labels with a specific vision of what punk rock should be. I mean, this is a release I only listened to because I saw it announced on Red Scare’s website; one year ago, I’d never heard of MakeWar— now, they’re one of my favorites of the year. See? Tastemakers.

That isn’t to shift all the credit of this release from the artist to the label, but it does bear to mention the “Red Scare Sound.” MakeWar fit in with the lineage just fine, playing heartfelt melodic punk with huge hooks and cherry songwriting. They also have an interesting story, being a band of South American immigrants. But, front and center of Developing a Theory of Integrity are the songs, and it’s the anthemic choruses, with all their wistful and resistant energy that give this release it’s legs.

MakeWar’s lyrical topics aren’t new. Being a twenty-something living an extended and booze-filled adolescence is a well-tread melodic punk trope. But, as with anything, it’s all in the approach. Songwriter Jose Prieto has a knack for imagery that makes his songs about more than just fuck-ups fucking up. And what makes it all work is that he captures the youthful enthusiasm of drinking and partying with friends, and lets tomorrow’s regret creep right along side the empty cans and high-fives. The opening lines of the first track, “Matador Pool Party,” set up the juxtaposition: “Summer is showing her feet, at my doorstep but not coming in. Creeping with sunny flares out my window, while pissing all over the streets.” Even within the scene-setting, Prieto opens us up to the summer and all it’s positive associations, while never letting it become too idyllic.

“Ode” might just be the anthem of the year for me, with perhaps one of the most-singalongable hooks in beard punk history. “I can’t fall asleep, so many demons inside of me, I hope they die, with this shot of whiskey,” is destined to be communally screamed and toasted at live shows for years to come. “Sallie” is another tune made for weekend nights with it’s rallying cry of “fuck nine to five!” With lines like these, Developing a Theory of Integrity coalesces into the ultimate cut-loose album. It’s unapologetically relatable, attacking its cliches with as much gusto as poetry.

It’s bands like MakeWar that keep me in the fold. Every once and awhile, a new songwriting talent emerges and reminds you why you stick around in the first place. It all comes down to recognition. It’s that epiphany in a song, when you’re bobbing your head and you hear that exact couplet that you needed to hear at that exact time. It’s when you recognize a feeling, given muscle and bone through art. Developing A Theory of Integrity is a collection of feelings, as genuine and loud as they come.

5/5