Search Results for "Fat Wreck Chords"

Album Review: Teenage Bottlerocket: “Teenage Bottlerocket vs. Human Robots”

What were you doing in your spare time in 7th Grade? I was desperately trying (and failing!) to learn blink-182 and My Chemical Romance songs on bass guitar, and wondering why all the cool kids wouldn’t be my friends on MySpace. I’m guessing most of you weren’t releasing your first split 7-inch on Fat Wreck Chords like Milo Carlisle has done. As the son of Teenage Bottlerocket’s Ray Carlisle, he’s already spent years being surrounded by the best teachers in punk rock, and boy does it show on these couple tracks.

The first two tracks on this split 7-inch will be familiar to big Bottlerocket fans. Track 1: “Olivia Goes to Bolivia” first appeared on a flexi-disk for New Noise Magazine in February 2019. Bassist Miguel Chen wrote the track about his baby daughter Olivia (who features on the track too – cute!). Track 2: “Everything to Me” appears on the bands’ newest album, Stay Rad. Both tracks are adorable odes to the band members’ offspring – fitting for the record – as well as super-catchy, punk anthems, as expected from Teenage Bottlerocket.

Let’s face it though, this record is all about Human Robots. As Ray said in the press release for the record, “It wasn’t hard getting his band together, because Milo plays all the instruments and sings on the two songs he wrote. I guess it’s a one-man band (yes, he has no friends).” Which is a pretty INSANE accolade for anyone, let alone a pre-teen in my opinion (the one-man band thing, not the no friends thing. Having no friends is an easy accomplishment, lemme tell you). 

“Step on ‘Em All” is 45-seconds of pure old-skool punk rawk rage. With thrashing guitars and angry AF lyrics, this track sounds like a cross between the Ramones and late 80s NYHC.  

“I Want to Hang Out With You” could be a Bottlerocket song. They probably wish it was a Bottlerocket song, but Milo got there first. It’s a simple, catchy memorable punk rock song with a chorus that’ll have you singing along as soon as you’ve heard it. Also, you can only imagine Ray’s face when he first heard his young son sing the “I wanna make out with you/ I wanna get expelled with you” lyrics of the chorus. 

It really is incredible that the little dude is so talented at a young age – these songs rock HARD. There should be a few Fat Wreck bands watching their backs right now – Milo has the potential to take over the genre in a few years.

You can buy the 7-inch in the Fat Wreck Chords store here, or stream/buy it on Bandcamp here. Best $5 you’ll have spent in a long time. 

5/5 Stars



Full Album Stream: Lagwagon – “Railer”

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was sitting at my dining room table, chatting on the phone with Joey Cape about Lagwagon‘s blistering new album, Hang, which he had semi-jokingly referred to as having been written during his “bitter old man” phase. Somehow, it was actually five years ago! And Lagwagon are back!

The new album, as you hopefully know, is called Railer, and it’s twelve-songs of vintage skate-punky goodness that even includes a jokey-but-still-really-awesome cover of a 1980’s power ballad. Just like the old days! Anyway, the album came out yesterday on Fat Wreck Chords and you can stream the album below, but you really should buy it here and also go here to see where you can catch Caper and the boys on tour with the mighty Face To Face and newly-signed Fat Wreckers MakeWar.



Tour: Get Dead are headed back to Australia

Head’s up, Aussies…Get Dead are coming your way!

The Bay Area homies kick things off THIS FRIDAY – OCTOBER 4th – in Brisbane and will head across the country for eight shows, wrapping things up on October 9th in Bendigo. Check out the full itinerary below!

Get Dead have also been hard at work on new material of late. Here’s an update: After a killer recording experience with Fatty and engineer Chris Dugan at NuTone studios, we are finally done tracking our new album – 12 dance-heavy heaters you can cut a rug to! We’re in the mixing process so stay tuned for a release date. This week we head down to give the fine folks of Australia the business! See you in the bush, mate!”

Get Dead’s last album, Honesty Lives Elsewhere, was released on Fat Wreck Chords back in 2016, and is still a personal favorite of yours truly.



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!



2nd Annual Red Rocks Beer Festival: Punk in Drublic

Beer/Music Fests are all the rage these days, but we’ve had a gaping hole in that department over the last year or so here in the US ever since punk legend Fat Mike and his trailblazing Punk in Drublic Fest was banished after making insensitive comments following the Las Vegas mass shooting. But things have blown over as they seem to do over time and the Festival has made it’s triumphant return to the States. We sent Anarchopunk down to snap some shots when the tour rolled through Red Rocks Amphitheater just outside of Denver and he didn’t disappoint (anyone other than his wife). Check out his write up and a full gallery below!



Avoid One Thing’s Joe Gittleman Breaks Down “Right Here Where You Left Me” Track By Track

It’s Friday the 13th, which means that it’s the official release date for the brand new Avoid One Thing album! The album is called Right Here Where You Left Me, and marks the group’s first full-length since 2004’s Chopstick Bridge, and finds the core trio of Joe Gittleman, Amy Griffin and John Lynch joined by a crew of guests that includes original Avoid One Thing guitarist Paul Delano (Mung, Darkbuster), Tim Brennan (Dropkick Murphys), Dave Minehan (The Replacements, The Neighborhoods) and the one-and-only Ted Hutt.

You can pick up a copy of Right Here Where You Left Me wherever you buy music – like here – and you can also head below to catch a track-by-track rundown of the album from the one-and-only Gittleman himself!



DS Photo Gallery: Avail Make Their Triumphant Return To Boston, w/Angel Du$t and Tied To A Bear

I’ve had a little bit of a difficult time encapsulating the recent run of Avail shows in any sort of meaningful way that wasn’t just endless, rambling gushing. I think that, to a lot of people in the “just-turned-40” age bracket Avail’s extended absence from the scene was for us what the prolonged Jawbreaker hiatus was for people 5-10 years older than us; the untimely “demise” of a band that didn’t fit into it’s own genre, played by its own set of rules, inspired a bit of hope for the underdog, and never really got its due credit until it seemed clear that they weren’t coming back.

But then, after a dozen years, they came back; first with a couple of rapidly-sold-out shows in their hometown of Richmond, VA, then with a small handful of club shows and festival appearances throughout the late summer. When the Boston date, September 8th, was announced, it seemed at first too good to be true; yours truly turned “the big 4-0” the day before the show. In fact, it was too good to be true for a little while; tickets to the gig at the 1000-ish capacity Royale sold out quickly, though where there’s a will, there’s always a way (thanks, Naim!). The days and weeks leading up to this run of shows led to more than a few “wait, is this really happening?!?” conversations with friends who were lucky enough to secure their spots at some of the small handful of shows on this run.

Even from the time doors opened for last Sunday’s Boston gig, there was still a bit of a surreal feel in the air, though admittedly the tone had shifted from “wait, is this really happening?!?” to “wait, this is really happening!!!”. By the time I got in to the venue, about ten/fifteen minutes after doors, a line had already formed at the merch stand that, well, included the majority of the people that were inside. And honestly, throughout the majority of the night, the line never really died down; a seemingly endless stream of revelers hoping to claim their little piece of memorabilia to mark the noteworthy occasion (shout-out to Angie Cooper for handling that merch line solo and like a boss all night).

Local openers Tied To A Bear kicked off the evening’s festivities, and I immediately began kicking myself for not having seen them sooner. They’ve been around for a hot minute, and while I’ve caught a handful of the TTAB-adjacent groups like Choke Up and Jeff Rowe on occasion, this was somehow the first time I’d had the opportunity to catch them live. Holy hell, they’re a great band: tight, uptempo, angular, melodic, anthemic singalongs in spades. If you haven’t heard their latest, True Places, yet do yourself the favor.

Angel Du$t provided direct support on this show as they did on each of the four dates of this brief Northeast run. I’d seen the Baltimore-based quintet a number of years ago opening a run of H2O shows and, well, I’m not the biggest hardcore fan in the world. I remember it seeming like they played 45 songs in their 30 minute set that night. This was different. Stylistically there are still some hardcore elements in their sound, especially in the last half of their set, but the first half was much more…I think “approachable” is the right word. Fun, melodic, engaging (read as: longer) songs with more room for textures and layers than previously heard.

And then…Avail. Like I said, it’s really a bit difficult to put their set into words. Technically, we were celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Over The James album, so that was played in full, but it was really as much of a “greatest hits” night as it was anything. It was cathartic from the word “go.” There were requisite technical difficulties, strained voices, endless crowd-surfers — not to mention a few unexpected stage divers from the wings during “Simple Song” — props, singing from the front row, a wedding proposal (she said “yes!”) and seemingly endless energy. It had the feel of a religious revival meeting that took the shape of a punk rock show. By the end of 75 minutes, “wait, this is really happening!!!” had morphed seamlessly into “Oh my god…that really happened!!!”

Avail meant a lot of things to a lot of people, particularly people who’ve been through and understood the struggles that come along with being on the margins or on the receiving end of some of the heavier things that life can throw your way. So on nights like these, when people who’ve made it through are able to come together for the first time in forever and celebrate and revel like the old days, sometimes the feeling defies words. Hopefully, the pictures below will do justice. Thanks to Tim and Beau and Gwomper and Erik and Joe for doing this.



Lagwagon stream “Surviving California” from new album

Lagwagon will release Railer, their ninth full length album, on October 4th through Fat Wreck Chords. Following recent single “Bubble“, the band are now streaming another track from it. Have a listen to “Surviving California” below.

Album pre-orders are up now.



DS Exclusive: Jason Cruz on Strung Out’s triumphant “Songs Of Armor And Devotion” and his Upcoming Children’s Book, “There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams”

When last we spoke with Strung Out frontman Jason Cruz, it was a couple of days prior to the release of his iconic band’s acoustic EP, Black Out The Sky. The album marked a bit of a departure, a change of pace album more than two decades into the band’s history of pioneering a blistering punk/metal hybrid. The album had been a bit delayed – its predecessor, Transmission.Alpha.Delta was already three years old and was, itself, the band’s first new album in six years at the time – and came at the end of a tumultuous two-year period that found long-time drummer Jordan Burns exiting the band, replaced by Runaway Kids’ RJ Shankle.

Fast-forward a less than eighteen months, and we caught up with Cruz again, this time on the heels of a new, fully-plugged-in full-length. On August 9th, the band released their ninth studio album, Songs Of Armor And Devotion, on Fat Wreck Chords, and from the first moments of the album’s opening track, “Rebels & Saints,” the new music finds the quintet firmly, aggressively, planting their battle flag as an ongoing force to be reckoned with nearly three decades into their career. That’s a concept that is certainly not lost on Cruz. “I think that we’re all still working class dudes. We’re still hungry. I feel like we still have to fight for every little thing that we’ve got and everything that we do. Nothing is easy for us, so I think that that in and of itself adds to the gravity and the sincerity of what we do,” he explains. “We earned the right to still be here. I think that if you’re going to do this – to do anything – you have to earn the right to keep doing it.”

Cruz notes that even with so many releases under their studded belts, the band experiences collective anxiety in the last period of time before an album officially drops, and the tone of that anxiety has shifted as much as anything else over the course of their career. “Up until the time it gets released, you’re wondering, especially with social media and everything that’s going on these days, everyone’s got an opinion and everyone feels their opinion needs to be heard, and they start throwing around how they think you should write the songs.” This forces the band – somewhat less-than-reluctantly – to pull back moreso than usual from social media outlets and to let their own collective consciousness steer the ship. It’s the quality that’s lead the band to continue producing material that’s as hungry and vital as ever. “I think that if you believe and something, do it or act it or live your life around it or just be it, and if people are inspired by it, good, if they’re not…I don’t worry about it.

Cruz’s songwriting has never been the type to shy away from sociopolitical issues, and that’s certainly no different on Songs Of Armor And Devotion given that the period we find ourselves in is ripe for commentary. However, Cruz’s songwriting is also the type that’s not going to beat you over the head with on-the-nose references. Instead, he opts for more of a storyteller’s role, allowing the listener to make her or his own connection with the music. That, of course, is by design. “I think music is more intimate than that, and the way it affects you when you first listen to something, or you first put on a CD or you have a moment…music is something so personal and intimate,” he explains.I think a problem with our generation, or just this time, is a lack of intimacy with all things, you know? Everything is so fast and mass-produced and gamma rays in your face and radiation in your face and instant gratification, but there’s no intimacy with anything anymore.

2019 finds Cruz not only assuming his storyteller’s role for Strung Out again by way of writing lyrics and creating artwork, as he’s now done for the bulk of the band’s releases; he’s now branching out into the world of author of children’s books! October 25th at the Copro Nason Gallery in Los Angeles, Cruz will be throwing an art show that serves as the launch for his debut book, There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams. The title was developed by one of Cruz’s daughters and inspired the central theme of the book. “It’s a simple children’s poem with some cool pictures. It’s trying to explain to a kid what dreams are.” In fact, There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams is the first of three books that Cruz has lined up. “The first one is basically a nursery rhyme or a kids’ poem with pictures. The second one is a little bit darker. The third one is a motherfucker…but that’ll wait ’til (his daughter is) a little older!

*excerpted artwork from There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams courtesy of Cruz himself*

As a songwriter, Cruz has not shied away from digging around in some dark places and exploring themes that might be awkward or strange or uncomfortable, and that won’t be different when it comes to his career as an author of kids’ books. “I am who I am in front of my daughter; sometimes I write about dark stuff, but I think at the core of everything I do is love,” Cruz notes. “I think if you read anything I write, it’s about love. I’m not a hateful person, I don’t write about hateful things. Everything I do comes from love, so naturally this book comes from love and dreams.” To that end, Cruz approached the process of creating the art and storyline for a children’s book in much the same manner that he approaches creating music, be it for Strung Out or another project like Jason Cruz and Howl. “To me, a children’s book is just like a song,” he explains. “They’ve both got rhythm, they’ve got imagery. It’s a simplified, poetic approach to telling a sorry or a thought or a theme, you know?

Head below to check out our full Q&A with Jason Cruz…or at least the first 22 minutes of our conversation before my recorder miraculously shat the proverbial bed. If you’re going to be in Southern California the last week of October, you can RSVP to the above-mentioned art show/book launch here; it’s free, and it will also feature guest artist and skateboarding icon Steve Caballero and an acoustic performance by Strung Out!

 



DS Exclusive: Miguel Chen on his new book, “The Death Of You: A Book For Anyone Who Might Not Live Forever”

One of my favorite — and also I think one of the most important — lines in Miguel Chen’s new book, The Death Of You: A Book For Anyone Who Might Not Live Forever, comes right within the first small handful of pages. Chen, is obviously best known for his role as bass player for long-running punk band Teenage Bottlerocket but is also increasingly well-known for his yoga and meditation teachings and practices, and wrote a pretty successful book, I Wanna Be Well: How A Punk Found Peace And You Can Too that came out last year. Anyway, early on in The Death Of You, page eight to be exact, Chen asks and answers the question that you might be asking out loud when you hear that the bass player of a hard-working punk rock band has written a book on essentially how to come to terms with the concept of death in a way that allows you to lead a fulfilling life. That question, as you’ve probably deciphered by now, is “why is Miguel Chen qualified to write this book?” Chen’s answer? “I’m not. Well, at least not more than anyone else.”

It’s that tone of self-deprecation, of not taking himself all that seriously, that weaves its way through all of Chen’s written work – and all of Bottlerocket’s music for that matter – that makes it so compelling and relatable. However, it’s also, frankly, not exactly true. Chen, you see, has experienced what some might believe is more than his fair share of painful and untimely deaths in his life. As you probably know, Chen lost his mother to cancer when he was sixteen years old and lost his sister in a tragic car accident less than a year later. Then, as you definitely know, he lost his best friend and Teenage Bottlerocket brother-in-arms Brandon Carlisle four years ago. The bakers’ dozen years in between found checking most of the boxes on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance; sex, drugs, rebellion and rock and roll, followed by intense periods of yoga and meditation that have found him in a much, much different place by the time Carlisle’s death came around than he was in as a teenage.

And now with The Death Of You, Chen is trying to impart some of his immense and profound wisdom on the rest of us. The book finds Chen teaming up with the same writing partner (Rod Meade Sperry) and publisher (Wisdom Publications) as the first go around, which resulted in a much quicker turnaround this time than the few years that went in to I Wanna Be Well, even if he had this idea kicking around far in advance. “(Writing a book about death) was actually in the back of my mind for years and years,” explains Chen. “Before I came to these practices and this connection with myself, I really kind of felt like a victim of death, of these losses that I had faced. My mom died, my sister died, life was fucked, why was this happening to me?” Eventually, as chronicled in I Wanna Be Well and previously discussed in our last conversation here, Chen began practicing and ultimately instructing in both yoga and meditation, offering him a deeper perspective not only on death as a concept. “As I got to the other end of it through these practices and saw how different my life was because of those events,  I had to be honest with myself that it wasn’t all bad,” he says, adding “I mean yeah, it was heart-breaking and tragic and I wish I had those people back in my life, but because of what happened and when it happened, I was able to live a more free existence. It freed me up to be like, “well, this happened, and this is real, so what am I going to do with the time that I do have?” It really drove me to pursue the band and music, and to make a life for myself that I was happy with, you know?

Like with I Wanna Be Well before it, The Death Of You contains a mixture of first-person storytelling, education of the reader about certain concepts, and a handful of practices aimed at getting you and I to learn by doing. For it’s not just the idea of death that Chen wants us to be comfortable accepting; it’s how to deal with all varieties of deaths we might be presented with, up to and including our own eventual shuffling from off this mortal coil. This includes a meditation practice toward the end of the book that implores the reader to envision just what’ll happen to them when their time is up. “The status quo is to just never think about death at all, and just kind of move forward,” says Chen. “You counteract that with the extreme on the opposite end, right? So, we’re going to do the exact opposite. We’re going to fucking not only think about death, we’re going to think about our death and we’re going to think about it in explicit detail. And I think by then having explored both ends of the extreme, we come to find where our spot in the middle is.” It’s not for the faint of heart, but it can prove a fruitful experience nonetheless.

The Death Of You has an official release date of September 17th. You can pre-order it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Indiebound, or if you’re luck enough to live in one of these fine cities, you can pick it up at the Teenage Bottlerocket’s merch table on the Fat Wreck tour that’s going on now. Head below to check out our full Q&A!



Teenage Bottlerocket stream new music video for “I Wanna Be a Dog”

Last week Fat Wreck mainstays Teenage Bottlerocket released a music video for “I Wanna Be a Dog” off of their eighth studio album Stay Rad!, released back in March 2019. This track is Teenage Bottlerocket at their best: no-frills pop punk and lyrics that answer the question, “how much easier would life be as a dog?” Truly relatable content from one of the most enduring bands in punk rock. You can check out the video below.



Punk In Drublic Craft Beer and Music Festival announces Sacramento date

The Punk In Drublic Craft Beer and Music Festival is continuing to add more US dates, with the most recent announcement placing the tour in Sacramento, CA on October 19th at Papa Murphy’s Park.

The Sacramento stop will include performances from NOFX, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Vandals, Reel Big Fish, and Teenage Bottlerocket.

You can get all the details here



Snuff streaming new song “Hey Boff”off upcoming album

Punk vets Snuff are streaming the second new track off their upcoming album There’s A Lot Of It About. “Hey Boff” is a catchy, fast-paced, 90’s punk masterpiece. As a huge fan of 90’s punk I am really amped for some new Snuff. Due out September 20th on Fat Wreck Chords, don’t sleep on this one, it promises to be an album of the year candidate.

Check out the new song below.

Snuff’s last release was 5-4-3-2-1-Perhaps? was released back in 2013.



Face To Face Stream “Bent But Not Broken” From Upcoming “Live In A Dive” Release

Back in the early days of 1998, Face To Face put out a live album that remains atop my personal list of premier punk rock live albums of all time. More than two decades later, they’re going to put that to the test.

The SoCal punk staples have been announced as the latest band featured in Fat Wreck ChordsLive In A Dive series. The twelve-song, single LP release features tracks from across the band’s nearly three-decade career, performed over the course of three nights at Brooklyn’s St. Vitus earlier this year. You can whet your whistle with the first single, “Bent but Not Broken,” right here.

Face To Face’s Live In A Dive release is due out October 18th; you can pre-order it right here!



Jason Cruz announces Fine Art Exhibition in Los Angeles

The great Jason Cruz

Legendary Strung Out front man Jason Cruz recently announced a free all-ages artist reception on October 25th at the Copro Nason Gallery in Los Angeles.  The event is being held to celebrate the release of Jason’s new children’s book, “There Are Such Things As In Your Dreams.”

The event will also feature pro skateboarder Steve Caballero and an acoustic performance from Strung Out.  For more information, and to RSVP to the event, head over here!