Search Results for "Red Scare"

Album Review: Ramona – “Deals, Deals, Deals!”

Deals, Deals, Deals is probably my favorite surprise of the year. I’d seen Ramona before, I’d even liked them before, but their Red Scare debut is something special. They have the songs, they have the hooks, and they have the words to make it more than just a party. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with what I actually I want from punk music. So much of it is trying to be something else—either a clone of a clone or a knowing throwback to when clones ruled the indies. Ramona is different. Ramona feels like a natural intersection of a group of close creatives; Deals, Deals, Deals is defined by songwriting before genre, and where the songs go, the sound rightly follows.

Which isn’t to say that Ramona is making music outside the confines of genre. This is melodic punk, or maybe indie punk. It’s bouncy and catchy and plaintive when it needs to be. The power chords are thick and chuggy and they form the blocky backing track to the band’s dueling vocalists. But, the fact that Ramona is a three-piece makes their music feel all the more intimate, listening to Deals, Deals, Deals, I couldn’t forget that these songs, as personal as they are, were forged from the fires of three close people. It goes a long way to capturing a certain tone, of raw conversations and comfortable clashes. 

The album opens with “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Hearts,” which features some slice-of-life relationship storytelling delivered with emotional gusto and supported by some meaty hooks. Where a lot of pop punkish bands lose their way is with their arrangements, but Ramona dodges this common misstep with thoughtful changes in their playing, specifically their drumming. I don’t often notice drumming in a song, because I’m a rhythmless philistine, but they use it here to great effect to control the song’s dynamic. “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Hearts” becomes a full-throated, danceable singalong with a positively insistent energy. 

On “Not Your Token,” we get to hear a really cool lyrical perspective as well as some Lawrence Arms-style duet singing between the two vocalists (who I wish I could name, but all the information I’ve found is the first names of the three members, and not what they do). The throat shredding call of, “I’m not your token, I’m a fucking person,” is the kind of punk rock line I live for. It boils down the sentiment to a single statement, direct and in your face. More structurally, the song is a grail of hooks, where the entire run time feels like a big singalong chorus. “We’ll make a difference, we’ll make it better, with or without you,” might just be punk’s logline for years to come. 

“Is This Emo?” is one of the other highlights of the album for me. It’s an incredibly frank, personal song about self-perception and it reminded me of that uncomfortable frisson I first felt from bands like AJJ and Against Me! It was that sort of confrontation via talk therapy that initially pulled me deeper into the genre, and it’s bands like Ramona, with their fearless navel-gazing, that keeps me there. Deals, Deals, Deals! is filled with these trauma-narrative-cum-pop-songs, and it makes it for an involving, resonant listen. 

The album ultimately has a message of hope, as “Mambo 69” concludes: “you can build your own family, be the person that you wanna be.” Deals, Deals, Deals! uses punk rock as a vehicle for self-improvement, as a means to stare the bullshit in the eye and see it for what it is. It’s about acknowledging the worst and then striving for the best. Ramona accomplishes their goals with the finesse of scene veterans, and they do it with some of the best music I’ve heard all year. 



Billy Liar releases new album “Some Legacy”

Scottish folk punk Billy Liar has released his new album, Some Legacy, which came out via Red Scare. The Scottish folk punk mainstay has got together a band for this one and it’s available to order on vinyl or CD.

You can have a taste of the record below.



Billy Liar (folk punk) releases lyric video for “The Righteous & The Rats”

Scottish folk punk Billy Liar has released a lyric video for his new song “The Righteous & The Rats.”

You can check it out below.

“The Righteous & The Rats” comes from Billy Liar’s upcoming debut album, Some Legacy, which is set to be released on June 21st via Red Scare.



Red Scare announces Red Scare West Coast Roast tour

California punk label Red Scare Industries has announced some upcoming tour dates featuring Elway, Ramona, and Sam Russo.  You can check out all the dates and locations below.



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.



Red Scare to release new Ramona and Billy Liar albums in June.

Red Scare has a busy summer coming up, as they’ve announced they will be releasing new albums from both Seattle-based punk band Ramona and Scottish folk punk Billy Liar this June.  We’ll keep you updated as songs premiere, but for now, you can check out the cover art, track listings, and release dates for these upcoming albums below.



Sincere Engineer (folk-punk) is heading out on tour

Chicago folk-punks Sincere Engineer is heading out for a short tour through the Midwest. Joined by Mom Jeans and Mover Shaker it promises to be some pretty stellar shows.

Check out the full list of dates below, as well as the latest from Sincere Engineer, a stirring rendition of Paul Simon’s classic “You Can Call Me Al”.

If you are unaware of Sincere Engineer here is the rundown: Sincere Engineer exists in several forms but is primarily the brainchild/working moniker of Chicago’s Deanna Belos. She released her début full-length late last year accompanied by a full band, and it landed like a welcome breath of fresh air; honest, raw and inspiring fresh air. 



Broadway Calls (pop punk) working on first album in six years!

Broadway Calls haven’t put out an album since ‘Confort/Distraction’ in 2013. That is finally going to change as the band have announced that they are going to release new material in 2020 via Red Scare. If you enjoyed big songs like ‘Back To Oregon’ and ‘Basement Royalty’ a few years back, keep an eye out for what is to come.

Red Scare will also be making their debut self-titled album from 2007 available on digital platforms on April 5th.

The band have also announced some tour dates that can be seen below.



Guerilla Poubelle (punk) release video for “Golgotha”

French punks Guerilla Poubelle have released a new video for their song “Golgotha”. Guitarist and singer Till had this to say about the new video: “Here’s our new video, we used footage for the Carpenter movie ‘They Live’ (or ‘Invasion Los Angeles’ as they named it in France, don’t ask me why!), what a delight to watch our hero finds out about capitalism and punching cops, destroying a bank and rampaging a TV station building.” The stirring video is about as punk as it comes and features the iconic Rowdy Roddy Piper, and I’m pretty sure you can’t argue with a Canadian who wore a kilt to the squared circle.

Along with the new video, Guerilla Poubelle has announced a tour through Europe with label-mates Arms Aloft.

You can check out the new video and tour dates below.

This is the first new material from Guerilla Poubelle since their acclaimed album La Nausée was released back in 2017. 



Album Review: Tightwire – “Six Feet Deep”

Red Scare might just be my favorite label, and while others have come and gone; or, alternatively rose to prominence and kept chugging under the radar, it’s easy to see why. Red Scare was the punk label that gave us the Lawrence Arms, Menzingers, Copyrights, Direct Hit!, Arms Aloft, MakeWar and many, many more. The way I see it, it’s all B.R.S. and A.R.S, the B.C. and A.D. of turn of the millennium punk. Before Red Scare, melodic punk meant double-time drums and skate rat intensity, the stuff you’d find on Epitaph and Fat Wreck—hardcore’s singing cousin. Red Scare gathered up bands who were picking at the other 90s punk—Jawbreaker, Hot Water Music, Radon, Avail, Crimpshrine. Punk rock has been melodic since the beginning, but it wasn’t until Red Scare that melodic punk (or beard punk, or orgcore, or whatever), became a codified part of our sonic landscape.

Which brings me to one of Red Scare’s latest offerings, a pop-punk band called Tightwire that I have seen almost zero buzz for. Which is, admittedly, really fucking weird. I mean, c’mon guys! This is Red Scare! They basically built the basement on this shit! Why isn’t everyone putting Tightwire on the proverbial chair and dancing it around the Jewish wedding like we did for Success? My theories run amok, and my data offers little. Six Feet Deep was released all the way back in October. Maybe it got lost in the Fest shuffle? Maybe October is just an awful month to release anything? My realest theory is that on first listen, listeners just weren’t that interested. A sad, bummer of a theory—but considering that was my first reaction, I think it holds the most weight.

Tightwire is a gooey, sticky peanut butter and honey sandwich of a pop-punk band that has hooks for days and a sense of humor as well. They belong to the Dillinger Four school of punk rock, in that their status as a band feels incidental at best. Throughout Six Feet Deep, there’s a very real feeling that maybe this band was never supposed to make it out of the garage, and we, the listeners, are just lucky and dumbfounded it happened at all. Because that’s the thing: Tightwire sounds like a catchy pop-punk band, the kind we’ve all heard ad nauseum—but after a couple listens, the hooks set in. I listened to the lyrics. I smiled, I sang along, and suddenly, I had favorite songs. A little while longer, and I had a favorite album. Another listen, and I needed to show it to people.

Tightwire’s lack of immediacy on first listen might be due to saturation of the genre (or a couple of well-loved juggernauts soaking up all the love). Deja vu is seldom welcome in music, and pop punk is a genre that wallows in it. Tightwire doesn’t exempt themselves from any wallowing, as I’d say Six Feet Deep is more rigidly traditional than other modern genre offerings like Direct Hit! and Hospital Job. There are chugging chords, sugary choruses, shimmering harmonies—and they’re propelled by drums, bass, and guitar. But the point is this: genre doesn’t make for good songs, songwriting does. And Tightwire has killer songwriting across the board.

“Draggin’ Me” opens the album with screeching atonal feedback, before galloping into its absurdly singable melody. “Told Ya” is probably my favorite of the tracks, a mid-album singalong targeted at the sort of ‘friend’ you can’t help but rubberneck as they go William Tecumseh Sherman on their own life. It has one of my favorite choruses of recent memory (“I don’t wanna say I fucking told you so, but I fucking told you so.”) and the lyrics imbue it with an irresistible smart-aleck energy. Listing favorite tracks from Six Feet Deep is an exercise in tedium, as there are thirteen tracks and all of them are pretty worthy of pontification, but if I allow myself one more, I’d like to shine a light on “Body Language” and it’s absolutely gorgeous melody—highlighting Tightwire’s harmonic prowess along the way.

Six Feet Deep is the best album I’ve heard no one talk about. Which is a shame, because although it doesn’t attempt to broaden the soundscape of pop-punk, it’s essentially a perfect, almost classical, execution of the genre. Tightwire are a deceptively competent group of musicians, and their debut stands to weather the storms of taste. Maybe not now, but someday, Six Feet Deep will be considered latter-day canon, rightly placed beside other contemporary classics.



Details of final ever Nothington shows revealed

Nothington have revealed details of their final shows. The band will play San Diego and Los Angeles this April, with a final ever show scheduled in San Francisco this June. See what the band had to say about the shows and full details below.

“As many of you are aware, we announced last fall that the band would be calling it quits for good pretty soon. Well, that time is upon us and we have finally pieced together a few last shows in California to say goodbye. We wish that time would permit us to do more tour dates in the United States, but we are already moving on individually with other things, and these will be our VERY last shows ever. So catch one if you can! Thank you, everyone, for your support over the years – can’t express our gratitude enough. Cheers!”

4/12 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar (La Escalera Fest)
4/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Resident (early show!)
6/8 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill (Final Show)



Tom May (The Menzingers) has Toby from Red Scare as guest on his podcast

Tom May, co-vocalist and guitarist of The Menzingers, has a podcast called Future Friday and his latest guest is founder of Red Scare Toby Jeg.

The two discuss Fest, touring Australia, contraband, discovering punk, and more. Have a listen over on the podcast website.



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.



Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds premiere music video for song “The Ballad ofBuffalo Bill”

Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds (Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms) recently premiered a brand new music video for their song, “The Ballad of Buffalo Bill.” The track is one off of their new album, Keep Walkin’ Pal. 

You can take a look at the full clip below.

Keep Walkin’ Pal was released on November 23rd, 2018 via Red Scare Industries.



Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms) announces solo tour

Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms has announced a solo tour, and it’s a windy road, if it were. There’s a couple dates on the East Coast before a short stint through the Midwest and into California. Check the dates below to see if you’re one of the lucky ones!