Full details of the dates below.
Monday, February 25, 2019 at 2:18 PM (PST) by Mike Scott
Full details of the dates below.
Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 4:24 AM (PST) by Bizarro Dustin
B-side and rarities compilations can be hit or miss. On the one hand, they’re a way to collect and gather non-LP tracks into one place, which is particularly great for non-obsessives who don’t track down every out-of-print 7-inch or promotional flexis with demos. On the other hand, because these songs are from a number of recording sessions, putting them together in one place can give the final product something of a disjointed feeling. AJJ’s Ugly Spiral: Lost Works 2012-2016, released last summer on SideOneDummy, largely avoids the latter while gathering a number of unreleased songs, a handful of non-LP singles, and alternate takes.
As the title implies, these songs only span a four year gap. Specifically, they come from a four year gap in which the band released Christmas Island and The Bible 2– two albums that have a fairly similar sound in a discography that is overall varied from album-to-album. In fact, one of the unreleased songs is the title track from Christmas Island and it sticks very closely to that album’s aesthetic. Opening track, “Space & Time,” similarly sticks to the optimistic side of AJJ shown on The Bible 2 with declarations of “I’m close enough to happy to say that I won’t throw my memories away.”
Out of all of the songs here, the one that sticks out the most is the band’s cover of Pink Floyd’s “The Final Cut.” AJJ has recorded plenty of covers in the past (many of which have made their way onto the band’s previous rarities collections Rompilation and the digital only Rompilation 2) but this is the first one that really feels surprising because Pink Floyd hardly seems like the type of band AJJ would cover. And yet they do an admirable job- you can tell it’s not the band’s usual style but it doesn’t feel out of place even on a collection of songs that are from a handful of different sessions.
Like almost any other b-sides compilation, Ugly Spiral isn’t likely going to turn on new listeners (or win back any former ones) but it still provides access to unreleased songs and a way to tide over fans while the band gears up for their next proper studio album.
4 / 5 Stars
The album is the follow up to the 2016 release of The Dream is Over.
Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 1:58 PM (PST) by Chris Doughty
John Feldmann and Travis Barker have announced the line up for the 2019 Back To The Beach Festival. The annual festival, in its second year, will take place on April 27 & 28 in Huntington Beach. The upcoming event will feature both Feldmann and Barkers’ main acts as well as the likes of The Used, Reel Big Fish, The Wonder Years, Streetlight Manifesto and more.
The moody, rootsy, punk-adjacent rock of Restorations has always represented a war between the grounded and the ethereal. Maybe that’s its raison d’etre. It forges broken relationships and melancholy into something divine, while pulling divinity down from its pedestal and into our gutters. It’s a marriage between why we play music in the first place—the expressive drive; and how we play it—the artistic drive. The end result sounds like an amalgam of Fugazi, Constantines, The Menzingers, Hot Water Music, and My Bloody Valentine—and the only ones playing this particular amalgam are Restorations.
LP5000 is their latest full-length, on the heels of three well-loved albums and a handful of singles. This one is noticeably shorter, seven songs at twenty-four minutes—a grey area between album and EP that in the end, feels more complete than many longer works. Here, they’re just as anthemic, vulnerable, and experimental as they’ve always been—but the heart of Restorations is still in rock ‘n roll.
Album opener “St.” opens with feedback before succumbing to a steady, hypnotic, and bassy drum rhythm. Drumming usually escapes me completely, I’m as arrhythmic as they come and for me, a song’s quality usually starts and stops at its lyrics and melody. But here, and across the entirely of LP5000 I was entranced by the mesmeric rhythms—they don’t just back the music here, they’re as fundamental as the plaintive vocals and spidery guitar lines. Between the drums, grungy chorus, and the short, but whiplash guitar solo, “St.” serves as a reminder of Restorations’ roots—a broken-in, world weary vision of rock ‘n roll.
“Nonbeliever” is a highlight of the album, with its tense shuffle, portrait-like lyricism, and emo-influenced palm-muted guitar riffs. The lyricism here is beautiful, softly political, and at points conversational. I always appreciate when songwriter’s bring a sense of time, place, and age into their words. “Said you’ve found the trick: just be bad at your job/ If you burn all the fries, they’re gonna make you the king,” paints a picture of youthful struggle, the self-deprecation we utilize to make peace with a living we don’t want to fight for. “Nonbeliever” is an ode to being born into adulthood, chronicling a struggle doomed to bloom into complacency.
There are some interesting choices made on LP5000 production’s, but with a band like Restorations, no choice really feels outside their already fairly broad boundaries. The programmed beat, sounding like pulsating static, on “Melt” comes to mind. But it’s used to even greater effect on ending track “Eye,” giving a sort of eerie and desolate tone to the slice-of-life narration. The dead-air drums in the background, a perfect juxtaposition between the technologically-complex world we live in and the human relationships that define us. It explodes into squealing guitars and a massive chorus, the sound of Restorations using every tool at their disposal to feel and be felt.
LP5000 is more of the same, when the same has always been top-notch. Restorations is a band with nothing to prove, and yet, they are one of the most exciting working in the greater punk rock arena. They’re as lyrical as their contemporaries and just as catchy, yet they push their sound into spacey, angular directions. Perhaps the band’s greatest feat is making this feel effortless. Restorations experimentation is an extension of their identity, it comes off as natural and unpretentious. LP5000 is seven great songs, and everything else is just what it took to make them great.
Friday, August 17, 2018 at 3:34 PM (PST) by otter272
Long Island’s Iron Chic recorded a few performances at Little Elephant in Toledo, OH. The first video to come out of those sessions is for their song “My Best Friend (Is A Nihilist).” You can check out that performance below.
The song comes from their latest LP You Can’t Stay Here, that was released in 2017 via SideOneDummy Records.
Friday, August 17, 2018 at 10:15 AM (PST) by liathdavis
Big congratulations are in order for Chuck Ragan and the entire team of Landsick!
Chuck Ragan notes, “For our film Landsick to be recognized and win Best Story at the Drake Film Awards was certainly an achievement that wasn’t even in our scope. We all just did what we do and documented it along the way. To have an honor such as this given to us, it has eased the pain a bit of the endless nights, close calls and time away from family on the road. Peter Vandergrift and Matt Devlin worked insanely hard at pulling the piles of content together to weave the story that made Landsick the film that it is.”
According to Ragan, “At home, I work as a fly fishing guide and instructor so in so many ways I’m leading a double life going from ‘waking up at 4:30am‘ as opposed to ‘lying down at 3am‘. Our recent film that’s been showcasing at The Fly Fishing Film Tour depicts that balance between touring, guiding and fatherhood. It’s far from easy to find much balance but I’m getting closer and learning more about myself from a toddler than I’ve learned from anyone in my 43 years on this planet.”
Landsick will be screened across the country. Times and dates can be found here!
Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 1:00 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
Arizona’s AJJ are streaming a new album consisting of never-before-heard studio cuts, live favorites, songs previously only available on vinyl, and alternate takes of album highlights, all spanning the years of 2012-2016, The new album is called Ugly Spiral: Lost Works 2012-2016, and you can give it a listen below.
AJJ last released Back in the Jazz Coffin in August 2017.
Monday, July 9, 2018 at 5:10 AM (PST) by dropkickeith
Berkeley’s Mom Jeans are streaming their new album Puppy Love. It’s ten songs full of crippling anxiety and fear of the future tightly wrapped in some indie emo punk. The last release was 2016’s Best Buds.
They have two album release shows planned, the first on July 20 in San Francisco which is already sold out, while tickets are still available for July 21 in Los Angeles. After that they are embarking on a huge tour of the US that starts in Santa Ana, CA in September and goes until the end of November.
Check out the stream and the tour dates below.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 1:20 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem have released a special edition of their 2008 album The 59 Sound to commemorate its 10th anniversary. The new The 59 Sound Sessions includes previously unheard versions of some of the tracks, a 60 page photo book, some unreleased material and a cover of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash.
You can give it a listen below.
This edition of The 59 Sounds was released on June 15th via Side One Dummy Records.
Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 5:05 AM (PST) by dropkickeith
Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello have released a video for “Seekers and Finders” featuring Regina Spektor, which is the title track to last years critically acclaimed album Seekers and Finders. The video gives us a little peek at the live version of a lilting and breezy track which perfectly captures the balance between the energy of Gogol Bordello and the beauty of Regina Spektor.
Enjoy the video below.
Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 4:06 PM (PST) by otter272
New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem will be releasing a special edition of their 2008 album The 59 Sound to commemorate its 10th anniversary. It will be titled The 59 Sound Sessions and will include previously unheard versions of some of the tracks, a 60 page photo book, some unreleased material and a cover of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash.
The special edition will be released on June 15 via Side One Dummy Records.
One of the things I look forward to the most about Christmas and the New Year is reading the year end lists that get posted on various music sites. I always discover a release or two that I’ve missed which helps brighten what can sometimes be a dreary start to the year. You Can’t Stay Here by Iron Chic was one of these, I checked it out in early 2018 a few months after it’s release in the previous October and it’s been in heavy rotation ever since.
These guys have been around a few years now, this is their third release and first on SideOneDummy. They play a compelling brand of melodic punk rock which ranges from gruff beardcore to a lighter, poppier sound and touches on some emo-esque introspect as well. They’re a five piece who aren’t afraid to crank up the distortion and also throw in some samples, a bit of synth (if my ears don’t deceive me) and a female vocal pops up a few times to great effect. We get eleven songs here however the way each song segues into the next makes the album feel like one epic piece of music rather than eleven separate servings.
This record was written in the wake of the death of their former guitarist Rob McAllister and lyrically this album takes us on a journey through grief, nihilism, religion and finally what feels like acceptance. There are some pretty dark themes however they are delivered in such exceptional style that it helps the listener accept or process the messages within. The album kicks off with a couple of upbeat rockers, opening with 20 some seconds of distortion which gives way to a nice jangly riff before the band kick in with a hearty scream to boot. The lyrics are incredible throughout, it’s definitely an album to be enjoyed with headphones on and a lyric sheet in front of you. Track three, and title track, takes the foot off the pedal slightly with an intro that swells and builds over the course of a minute before a multi-layered wall of sound crashes down on you during one of the more emo points of the record. Let’s. Get. Dangerous. picks us up with a bright little riff and the song is a poppy antidote to the previous offering (“we both know life is temporary” simultaneously reassuring and demoralising us). Thunderbolts! comes next with some soaring back-up vocals during the chorus that bring to mind several Samiam songs – high praise indeed. Planes, Chest Pains and Automobiles rocks along nicely, painting a bleak but often realistic view of life (“Here on Earth, Where we serve our terms, And it hurts like hell, But we do it well)”. This leads into a meandering intro to next song Golgotha which was one that immediately grabbed my attention on my first run through the album. It’s a mid-tempo affair which takes us on an emotional rollercoaster and, for me, this song is all about the vocals and the lyrics. I’m pretty sure I listened to this song four or five times back to back just to learn the words and understand what the song was saying. It’s epic. This is followed by another couple of melodic rockers, Invisible Ink again bringing to mind Astray era Samiam. Ruinous Calamity starts out with a solo acoustic vibe before the full band kick in. I can imagine that when this is played live, there are a number of sweaty strangers in front of the stage, many with beards, arm in arm screaming the words towards the microphone. And I bet that feels pretty fucking great as well. To Shreds, You Say, the album closer, provides a great summation of the lyrical theme (“It’s been a long hard year, Started fine but it ends in tears, One down, We’re that much deader, This one ain’t shaping up much better”) and is an absolute belter to finish on. It rips along at a great pace and provides what feels like closure, although on close inspection the lyrics are a fairly even split between hopefulness and resignation. Regardless, it’s a fitting end to an exceptional record which these boy can be proud of.
Monday, March 26, 2018 at 1:13 PM (PST) by Bizarro Dustin
Ever wonder what the folks who run Dying Scene have been listening to lately? We’re going to pretend you said “yes” to that question and feature a curated playlist from a different DS editor each week with the intent of exposing you to some new kickass punk bands. This week’s playlist is brought to you by DS editor Bizarro Dustin.
Discover some great tunes, and get your shuffle on with Dustin’s playlist below.
I write this spotlight with mixed emotions. I'm stoked to have discovered a new band that I would love to sign to Dying Scene Records, but I'm f'ing pissed to not have discovered them early enough to have done so. The Stifled is a Baltimore foursome that just released their self-titled debut EP, and if I didn't know better I'd think this was Dying Scene Records band A Dying Regime partnered up with the singer from DS Records' first signing, Yankee Brutal. Skate punk with metallic undertones. Melodic vocals with a healthy dose of snarls and gang shouted backups. Fast and heavy. Catchy but angry. My sweet spot. Give the EP a spin here and compare it to a couple choice tracks from Yankee Brutal and A Dying Regime and tell me I'm wrong with this comparison.