Search Results for "A-F Records"

Anti-Flag release “Live Volume Two”, stream it now

Pittsburgh’s Anti-Flag have just released their new live album, aptly titled Live Volume 2, out now on A-F Records and you can stream it now on spotify.

Recorded over the course of 3 special evenings at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA, Live Vol. 2 spans the entire Anti-Flag catalog and catapults you from your headphones straight into the circle pit. Known for their raucous live show, Anti-Flag deliver in kind with this first volume of live tracks.



Russian Girlfriends release video for “Redfield”

Albuquerque, New Mexico punks Russian Girlfriends just released their new album, In The Parlance Of Our Times, on June 21st via A-F Records. To mark the momentous event, they’ve released a video for a track from it.

Have a watch of “Redfield” below.



Album Review: Russian Girlfriends – “In the Parlance of our Times”

A couple of years back, I managed to see Russian Girlfriends open for Red City Radio at a pretty unimpressive venue in Portland, OR that has since been closed. I had never heard of the band before the show, and I didn’t particularly like going to said venue, but alas, there I was. The New Mexican punk rock ‘n rollers impressed me well enough with their swaggering, high energy performance and I thought to myself that there must be something wrong here. Russian Girlfriends was a good band—they were extremely competent, they worked the crowd like industry pros, and they were opening for one of the biggest acts in punk rock at the time. The catch? I hadn’t heard a fucking word about them before that tour. They’d never been recommended, they’d never popped up in any of my many internet conversations with other disaffected scenesters. Russian Girlfriends were effectively off the grid for me, and then there they were: born as a full-grown band with full-grown chops, seemingly out of nowhere.

And now, they’re on A-F Records, perhaps one of the most exciting labels in punk today (also seemingly out of nowhere) and they have an album out. In the Parlance of our Times is a raging, spitting, staggering punk rock album that is as muscular as it is musical. It’s a testament to triplet runs, pick scrapes, and honey and oil high notes. Russian Girlfriends sound like an arena punk rock band—somewhere between ZZ Top, the Bronx, and the chugging melodicism of 90s Epifat. In the Parlance of our Times is all of those things, and maybe even too much of those things—but it’s here, it exists, and whether I like everything it tries to be, it executes it with a level of professionalism and competency that gives even its blandest decisions a sense of conviction.

“Coke” is a hardcore sprint that features some tongue-in-cheek sass (“you’re the reason punk rock is dead!”), a minute long rager that sets the stage not necessarily for Russian Girlfriends’ sound as it does their energy. “Angry Bong Rips” is a more traditional song, featuring a catchy vocal melody and a lot of guitar-centric antics. As far as riffs go, these guys got a lot of them, running power chords up and down the fretboard with leads a-plenty. The vibe is 80s and honestly not too much of a stone’s throw from Skynyrd, but where the influence might not be “cool,” at least it’s different. We can only take so much Replacements, Clash, and Springsteen worship in the punk scene—the palette change is refreshing, if not always to my taste.

The arrangements throughout the album are head-turning and part of the reason Russian Girlfriends feel so fully-formed to me (or pre-packaged, depending on my mood). “White Guilt White Heat” has heavy riffs complete with piercing harmonics as well as a strummed slow-down. Echoes of Interscope-era Rise Against come to mind, which is no bad thing, mind you, but in appreciating the album as a work of art, I can’t help but wonder how they ended up here. There is no evil work at play, I know; their polish is an admirable trait. But—and there’s always a but—it is in the cracks through which we see the artist, and I can’t help but feel like In the Parlance of our Times doesn’t have much in the way of cracks—that it is too tight, too competent, and in effect: void of personality. In less words: it’s safe.

But there’s something to be said for safe. Safe isn’t always exciting, but it can be fun in a comfortable sort of way. Like a well-worn boot or a favorite guitar. Russian Girlfriends aren’t reinventing anything here (Axl Rose or Billy Gibbons, take your pick), but they are banging out expertly conceived tunes with the precise execution of real life musicians. It’s something to behold. It might not change the world, but who knows, maybe it’ll improve your night.

 



DS Interview: John Maiello (Dead Bars) Talks ‘Regulars,’ playing with the Souls, and life after ‘Dream Gig’

“Keep on dreamin’.”

For myself and many others, the chorus has become a warcry. The punky, rock ‘n roll stalwarts have a way of getting you on their side—whether it’s through their blunt, too-real lyricism, or their bar-uniting singalongs, there’s the palpable feeling that no matter who you are, you belong at their show. This is Dead Bars—eternally scrappy, open-throated, and always rockin’—and with Regulars, they’ve kept the dream alive. 

In honor of the new album (May 3rd on A-F Records, don’t sleep on it!), I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with frontman John Maiello. We talk about the band’s journey thus far, finally getting that dream gig, and their incredible new record. 

Check out the interview below!



DS Exclusive: Russian Girlfriends stream new single, “Pride Parade”

Albuquerque hardcore punk band, Russian Girlfriends have a new album on the way, In The Parlance of Our Times. That album can be expected to hit shelves on June 21 courtesy of A-F Records. This is Russian Girlfriends first release on A-F Records, and their first full-length since their self-released All Around debut (later repressed on Orange Whip and Gunner Records) which came out in 2015. Pre-orders for In The Parlance can be found here, and to celebrate they are rolling out gold and silver vinyl pressings in limited quantities for the first lucky custos, almost like a “new year new me” kind of thing… in the middle of summer.

Here’s an energy-laden teaser off that album for fans of Pears, Propagandhi, and a little bit of that old thyme rock and roll. The guitars get after it while lead singer Adam Hooks spreads a little positivity, “Love is love, man, let it grow,” this song is called “Pride Parade” and it’s coming at you first on the Dying Scene airwaves. Stream that track below. The record release show will take place in Albuquerque at Launchpad. So check THAT out if you’re in the area, and be sure and catch these homies at Fest this year in Gainesville, FL.



Russian Girlfriends stream new song “The Day We Put The Dog Down”

Albuquerque, New Mexico punks Russian Girlfriends are streaming their new song “The Day We Put The Dog Down,” which comes from their upcoming album In The Parlance Of Our Times, that is set to be released on June 21st via A-F Records.

You can give it a listen below.

Russian Girlfriends last released a split with Redbush in September 2018.



Ahead of his new album ‘Where The Valley Kissed The Sky’, out May 31, Virginia-based songwriter Mike Frazier has shared another single ‘Save Me’.

Ahead of his new album ‘Where The Valley Kissed The Sky’, Virginia-based songwriter Mike Frazier has shared another single ‘Save Me’. The new release will be out May 31st via Geneva Records.

This single showcases influences like Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, and makes for a good listen. This new record was also engineered by Erik Romero (The Gaslight Anthem, The Front Bottoms, Beach Slang)

Mike Frazier last released the EP Elegy in 2017 via A-F Records. You can listen to ‘Save Me’ over at The Bluegrass Situation.

 

 



A Fistful Of Vinyl release new session and interview with The Homeless Gospel Choir

Our friends over at A Fistful of Vinyl have released some new videos with Pittsburgh, PA political folk punk act The Homeless Gospel Choir.

The session includes a half hour interview as well as performances of four songs.  You can check that all out below.

The Homeless Gospel Choir last released Normal in 2017 via A-F Records.



Russian Girlfriends announce new album, stream new video

Albuquerque, New Mexico punks Russian Girlfriends have announced they will be releasing their new album, In The Parlance Of Our Times, on June 21st via A-F Records.

To give you an idea of what to expect, the band has released a video for “Coke,” which you can check out below.

Russian Girlfriends last released a split with Redbush in September 2018.



Stream the new Western Settings EP “Agnus”

Western Settings, from San Diego, CA, have just released their new EP, “Agnus” on A-F Records and Gunner Records. The EP is available as a limited edition 8″ lathe cut, making it something special for record collectors.

Not in to vinyl or just wanna hear the tunes before you’ve got the goods in hand? Stream all three tracks from the release below.



Album Review: Dead Bars – “Regulars”

Ever since I heard that first self-titled EP, I’ve been rooting for Dead Bars. They write simple songs that can paint a world in four lines of lyrics; they have big melodies that translate into bigger singalongs. They tap into that communal, we’re-all-in-this-together punk spirit—and seeing them at Fest this last year, I saw for myself how the gospel had spread. And why not? Dead Bars have continued to grow in new and interesting ways while still honoring what they are at their core—a band of big dreamers. They’ve gone from an Off With Their Heads-adjacent, No Idea Records gritty pop-punk band to a loud, hopeful band of rock ‘n roll devotees. Dream Gig was the first step in a peaceful coup, but it’s on Regulars where the dream is realized.

What’s apparent immediately is just how good Regulars sounds. With Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Afghan Whigs) wearing the production hat, Dead Bars have never sounded better. This is a band that doesn’t pull from a specific sound as much as a specific spirit. Regulars is KISS, Tom Petty, The Clash, Motorhead, The Replacements, and Nirvana, even if they sound like a sort of minimalist Lawrence Arms. The important thing is this: the guitars are loud and distorted, the drums sound like thunder, and the words are true. Dead Bars is the Prometheus of rock ‘n roll, stealing pyrotechnics from the Gods to set the small stage ablaze.

This Ramones-y devotion to the power of music is on immediate display with album opener “Freaks.” Dead Bars are trading in hope and optimism—and it’s clear they hold an earnest belief in the power of music. On “Freaks”, this optimism rears its head as unity, as the chorus rages: “This one’s for the freaks, you’re all sick freaks!” It’s a rallying cry, as gritty as it is catchy, and I’d put a good wager that in a dark club, with a cold beer, it’ll be an anthem for all the like-minded weirdos who still see rock ‘n roll as kin to salvation.

It’s this direction that makes Regulars feel like Dead Bars have reached their own personal enlightenment, as if, release after release, they’ve shed their non-essential parts and now, with their sophomore album, have embraced the truest form of themselves. Which means, they’re songwriting is as great as ever. Minimalist, heart wrenching, with a sly sense of self-deprecating humor.

And with lyrics like, “I’m growin’ up, yeah, I’m growin’ up/ but I just threw up,” “Pink Drink” is about as simple and direct as you can be. Still, this song, with probably about a short verse full of unique lyrics, captures a lifetime. Even the title (which doubles as its chorus) is evocative. We all know what a pink drink is, we’ve seen them in bars, we’ve had friends make fun of us for ordering them. They represent taking your medicine with a spoonful of sugar, they’re a confectious means to an end, and in “Pink Drink” they’re also a sign of world-weariness, of getting older and not having the energy to maintain appearances. The burn of whiskey, the bite of vodka loses its luster—and you look around, and realize no one’s impressed anymore. That’s “Pink Drink.” The trials of growing up have always been at the heart of Dead Bars—but there’s something empowering and defiant in the way they capture that angst and then also stick their flag in it. On “Pink Drink, “No Tattoos,” and others—could’ves and should’ves are confronted head-on, and maybe a pink drink won’t save you, but maybe it will—if only for tonight.

The title track, “I’m a Regular,” is a clear highlight of the album, capturing Dead Bars at their most intimately anxious. Ushered in by ringing feedback, vocalist John Maiello snarls, “I’m a regular here, but nobody knows my name.” It actually highlights one of my favorite things about Dead Bars—the microcosm of their scope. We feel millions of little things a day, flights of fancy and minor frissons of panic, all instantly recognizable and largely left totally unspoken. “I’m a Regular” examines a funny, melancholy intrusive thought with rock ‘n roll gusto, bursting forth into a huge name-dropping chorus (“And it’s way Tom Petty, I’m livin’ like a refugee!”) We may not be living in a Cheers episode, but the internal dilemma (why the fuck not?) roars loud and clear. “I’m a Regular” is a snotty, riotous ode to living under the radar.

C.J. Frederick, original member and lead six-stringer of Dead Bars, is a strong presence on Regulars—where for the first time, Dead Bars truly feels like a ‘guitar band.’ This time around, the songs are distinctively riffy, with big muscular licks opening songs like “Time Takes Away”, “Rain,” and “I Need You.” The propensity for solos is also higher and welcome, bringing the music and lyrical direction into total synchronicity. For a group of guys who worship rock music, what’s more religious than a sick trilling solo? Here, they aren’t just talking the talk, they’re now walking it too, emulating the magic as if they’re the only ones who can keep it alive.

Dead Bars are underdogs, and when they aren’t, well, I’m not sure if they’ll be Dead Bars anymore. Regulars prove the band can put forth a product that is both polished and cohesive, and still be those same scrappy dudes who daydream of killer riffs and big singalongs. Somewhere in between the rock ‘n roll dream and the gutter realism of DIY punk is Dead Bars, and with Regulars, as always, it’s a pleasure to see where the two meet.

5/5



Album Review: Nightmarathons – “Missing Parts”

As a reviewer, I go into every album with the hope of liking it. It’s easy to forget, that behind the paragraphs, there are people. We have thoughts, feelings, and ideas regarding what makes music great, what makes it special. Punk rock can be analyzed both objectively and subjectively—I can break down the lyrics, but I can also talk about how they make me feel. I think the most effective recommendations hang on a merging of the objective and subjective: what are they doing,  how does it work, and what does it make me feel?

Nightmarathons from Pittsburgh had me considering a lot of these questions. Missing Parts is their debut album, released by A-F Records—who have, in the last couple years, positioned themselves as one of our most exciting contemporary punk labels. Nightmarathons play the sort of melodic punk that I can’t help but keep returning to, time and time again. Think: The Menzingers, Dead Bars, Elway, Nothington and you’re on the right track. Their band bio throws a curveball into the mix, an angle that seeks to invigorate and intrigue: “Nightmarathons melds varying punk, post punk, and first-wave emo influences to create their own unique take on melodic punk rock music.”

First-wave emo? Like Embrace, Rites of Spring? That sounds awesome. That sounds like a fresh take on punk’s most muscular contemporary genre. But why do my words feel so loaded? Why am I talking about the difficulty of reviewing when I should be talking about Missing Parts greatness? Because objectivity and subjectivity do not always align. For me, this is one of those cases. Nightmarathons have a great logline and Missing Parts is as competent a debut as any—but more often than not, it just doesn’t stick.

Which is why I hate giving star reviews. Who can boil down a work of art to a numeric system? An album can do ten things right and three things wrong, but if the ten good are ten great, the three get lost in the mix and vice versa. No five-star album is perfect and no one-star album is completely imperfect, they’re just different ratios of good and bad, weighted by importance by some schmuck with a keyboard. This is my way of saying that Nightmarathons does most things right, leaving me with the question: is it enough?

Missing Parts is an album of anthems. Across its runtime, there are prime moments for screaming along, jittery moments before choruses where you can fully expect to be swept up by the rhythm of a crowd. This is the sort of punk rock that takes a work week to appreciate. It takes a full week of saying yes, sir and no, sir—until you’re looking at the clock and thinking about the last five minutes of your Friday and watching the minutes drip away so slow and thick they might as well be honey. And then, when you’re released, you go to the show. You hear these downbeat anthems, you dance and sing and drink way too much and you let everything out in a silly, sad bout of catharsis. We laugh at all the modern punk cliches, but it describes Nightmarathons’ melodic punk perfectly. This is music meant as an antidote to whatever ails you. If you look around, you might realize Nightmarathons aren’t alone in this approach.

The songs on Missing Parts, for the first listen, entirely passed me by. I was looking for hooks, looking for something to etch itself into my memory, and I was left with empty hands. But, repetition breeds familiarity and soon, on my fourth or fifth listen, I realized that there was actually some admirable songwriting on Missing Parts. Songs like “Closer,” with its rousing chorus of, “Take a bow, disappear/ turn my back, so insincere!” became an earworm with time. “Cull Your Heart,” with its thick and fuzzy guitar lines makes good on Nightmarathons’ promise of melding first-wave emo with melodic punk. The band becomes more intense and immediate as the album continues with “Honor System.” “Simple,” with its languid pace and earnest delivery shows a diversity of sound that passed me by entirely at first.

Nightmarathons is a lot of things, but to call Missing Parts anything but a grower would be misleading. I ended up liking this album a lot more than I originally thought, but the problems I had with it on the first listen are the same I had on the tenth: a relative lack of boldness. Missing Parts loses itself in a lot of similar sounding songs that take a fair amount of objective observation to decipher from their surroundings. This is not to say they are not good songs, but that they lack immediacy and verve. These songs—or, as we established earlier, anthems—should roll out with a gut punch. They should sound strong and singular, but more often than not, they roll by like a black car on a black night with broken headlights. Missing Parts is a good album full of good songs that take too much objectivity to be great.

And that’s why the ratio is all kinds of fucked up. Nightmarathons don’t do much wrong, but the one thing that doesn’t work for me is like a blanket that muffles the entire album. It’s the emotional hook—that feeling of yeah, I get that—that doesn’t deliver until all other choices have been considered. I’m out here looking for the mirror image—the subjective hook front and center, the thing that pulls you in and makes you comb through the music to support whatever intangible feelings it gives you.

If we’re being fair though, I can’t deny that Nightmarathons did grow on me. In time, I found myself recognizing songs and remembering snippets of lyrics, but ultimately: the subjective recognition only took me so far, and regrettably much too late. Missing Parts is a wildly competent album that will surely have its devout followers, but as with anything—if it doesn’t catch you hard, it might not catch you at all.



Nightmarathons premiere another new song ‘Reset”‘

Pittsburgh’s Nightmarathons are premiering another new song from their upcoming release Missing Parts, out March 29th on A-F Records. The song is streaming below and is sounding perhaps even stronger than the other songs put out so far. This bodes very well for the album.

Nightmarathons last release was their self-titled EP in 2017.



Nightmarathons (melodic punk) premiere new song ‘Waiting Room’

Nightmarathons, a punk rock band from Pittsburgh, are premiering the first song via The Alternative. The band features Chris Stowe, who co-runs A-F Records with the band Anti Flag. Chris Number 2 of Anti Flag produced the song ‘Waiting Room’ which will be on the album ‘Missing’ out March 29th via A-F Records.

Nightmarathons, draw influence from Piebald and Hot Water Music. You can hear the song streaming below.



Short/Fast/Loud: Dollar Signs – “This Will Haunt Me”

Here at Dying Scene, we’ve been talking a lot behind the scenes about how to maximize our content—not only covering more, but covering better. We’ll be making some changes to our output in the coming months, and the end goal will be to provide our writers with more opportunities to write in-depth reviews, editorials, and interviews. Part of this is adapting our review format—there is simply too much out there to cover and full-length reviews just aren’t time effective. That doesn’t mean we’re getting rid of longform reviews (we’d rather die), only that when we do them, we’ll be investing more in them and treating them as we would a feature. For the rest, we want to cover the multitude of bands that are working hard out there but might get squashed under the great wheel of the album submissions game. Short-form reviews—as short and loud as punk itself—will be a way for us to cover more while still providing honest, dependable feedback. Let us know what you think of the new format, we plan to roll out capsule reviews as they accumulate from here on out.

Dollar Signs have been flying under the radar for a couple years now, poised for something bigger. This Will Haunt Me may very well be that something bigger. The Charlotte quintet pride themselves on their tongue-in-cheek sad sack anthems that straddle the lines of hardcore, pop punk, and folk punk. They drive forward with a garagey energy that brings to mind the likes of Jeff Rosenstock (who singer Erik Button is a vocal dead ringer for), while being self-deprecating, young, and painfully open. This Will Haunt Me continues the grand tradition of punk rock as talk therapy, and Dollar Signs work through their shit with talent to spare.

Check out: “Cryhard,” “Tears/ Beer/ Fears”