Search Results for "Band Name Origin"

Album Review: The Aggrolites “REGGAE NOW!”

The Aggrolites have returned with their sixth studio album REGGAE NOW! a continuation of their unique brand of funky soulful skinhead reggae. This organ driven “dirty reggae” has almost never felt so tight and cohesive as what they put on display here.

“Pound for Pound” opens the album with a self-promotional dance number. “Boss of hot sauce or what else it may be, Aggro is Aggro stylistically” Jesse toasts over a classic Aggrolites rhythm so steady you could use it to set your watch. This upbeat rocksteady style gets revisited on several tracks, as “Groove Them Move Them” and “Aggro Reggae Party” are sure to be quick additions to summer party playlists. While songs “People Win” and “Help Man” deliver on a more classic Aggrolites sound, where the vocals are delivered with a little more power. Focusing more on delivering the story than harmonizing with the instruments. “Help Man” has the “Countryman Fiddle” style of storytelling that is extremely popular with fans, especially in a live setting.

REGGAE NOW! has The Aggrolites showcasing more of their soulful side. The first track to do this is “Say or Do” which sounds like it was directly lifted off an Alton Ellis album. It has the steady rhythm but the vocals sound poured directly from Motown and displays a deeper sense of emotion. “Love Me Tonight” follows with a beautiful love song that showcases some delightful vocal harmonies. Even the final track, the instrumental “Shadow Walk”, puts some emotion in a dub track.

Speaking of instrumentals there are several to be found here, as what would a roots reggae album be without at least a couple. However, other than “Shadow Walk” and “15 or 50”, these tracks do not do enough to differentiate themselves from the rest of the album. They are most certainly very danceable and may sound better in a live setting but here they tend to blur into the other songs without carving their own space. It makes for a serene playlist for the background, but does not quite draw the attention as some of the other songs found here.

The Aggrolites have always sounded like a punk band trying to play a traditional rocksteady reggae sound, where they would loosely incorporate many different styles of music into a unique blend they dubbed “dirty reggae”. On REGGAE NOW! they have fully evolved into a world class reggae band with a tight incorporation of jazz, funk, and blues. One could almost forget the “dirty” aspect to this sound as the music is as bright and clean as the Caribbean origins of the genre.

4/5 Stars

Album Review: Regan Ashton – “…and the people you always have with you”

It is strange to look out my window after listening to this album. The songs make me think of a 1990s post-apocalyptic film where the lands are decimated and tumbleweeds shift from left to right across a cracked road. The sun pours down more heat than usable energy and out of the distance walks a punker…maybe a few. The only people left for miles and they look somehow less crusty than some of these people that exist in real life in 2018 that have showers and many outfits. If this movie ever exists, the opening song that plays while the punkers walk toward the camera should be Scumbag, the first track off “…and the people you always have with you” by Regan Ashton.

When I look out my window, it’s just a regular ol’ post-hood neighborhood. Lower middle class living at its bestest. Such a weird dynamic.

This is a cool album. 6 songs. It’s like drunken hillbilly Punk for the fuck of it. If it was produced lousier, it could be considered backwoods mountain music. But, it’s definitely a grouping of songs that has intention. Ideally, I wish I could get really drunk and dance to it. I had plans to do just that, but by the time I was drunk, it was late and I just feel asleep. Sorry Regan. Maybe next time.

Regan is also in a band called Problem Daughter who released their last album thru Dying Scene Records, so I feel this weird apprehension about assessing it vs. how I might if it wasn’t. The Punk culture is supposed to be familyish, or whatever. Ultimately, I’ve not got many criticisms for “…and the people you always have with you”. It’s funny. Not comically funny…funny like when someone looks at your mohawk, hand tattoos, and body piercings and assumes you’re a nitwit, gives you a dirty look, and then goes back to their modestly awesome life while you have to go back to living in poverty cuz society craps most on the minorities it’s not illegal to marginalize. Ha. My only criticism is that this recording sounds too controlled. I dunno, it’s like now that recording is less expensive and lots of folk have home studios, everyone and their idiot mothers are releasing projects of all sorts but everyone seems to rely on metronomes way too much. And, it’s not a bad thing, mind you. I just feel like the live feel is stripped from modern recordings. Everything is perfect…in the John Feldmann sense of producing…and it feels like harnessed energy instead of free-flowing energy. Surely, I wasn’t there for the recording sessions for this release. Maybe Regan didn’t use metronomes at all. This album seems like most recordings these days. Very planned. Think of the last couple releases from Less Than Jake.

Anyway, beyond fitting into the current paradigm, “…and the people..” is neato. Lyrically, it seems to hone in on the Punk philosophy as it is in constant flux. Kinda gives me a Rancid vibe. That whole “I guess I’m a fuckup…dude, I just keep waking up whether I want to or not” thing. This album is very relatable. It’s very musical. It’s not stripped down. Regan, as I mentioned, is in Problem Daughter, and oftentimes solo projects can suck. This doesn’t. You may not like it if you are a Problem Daughter fan, but that also might you like it more. There’s so much music out there now that no one can keep up. Musicians be like: “Look at what we’re doing! You don’t have the time to pay attention to it all, but isn’t the artistic upheaval amazing?!”

I can’t help but feel an odd sense of malaise cuz of the album, tho. To a theoretical hell we should send those unfailing optimists, sure…but after listening to these 6 songs and agreeing, sympathizing, relating, etc….the feeling of absolute fuckitude lingers. Misery may love company, but this isn’t misery. It’s…well…um…perhaps we humans build up walls and live partially-delusive lives to protect us from the inescapable and bizarre. I guess it’s like: There is something about this album to where if I listened to it enough, it would make me cry. It’s that real. I don’t know about you, but I can’t cry unless music is playing. People I know have died and it didn’t really shake me, but if you put on Flogging Molly’s If I Ever Leave This World Alive, I’ll leave the room…out of earshot…cuz I just can’t take it.

As fun as “…and the people you always have with you” is, it just hits me on that kind of a level. And that’s not me sucking up to Dying Scene or Regan. It’s the song Failed Author. It just hones in on something real fucking deep. And, it’s not something you’d get if you just listened to only that song. I feel like when the album starts, Scumbag sets a tone…it made me think that the rest of the songs were going to continue that vibe…like it’s all gonna be fuck-it hilarity…but art reflects life…by the end, I was left with another lesson in “Life fucking sucks bro”. Life isn’t a let-down, nope. It’s just problematic because our imaginations get away from us and they take our hopes with them. Our hopes raise and then when you realize that it was all delusion, the reality that takes its place is just calm. Not exuberant. Not banal. Just inexplicable.

Tho, after that calm passes, you laugh to yourself. Maybe you look out your window and wonder if the kids playing basketball across the street will ever know the true depth of reflection. Maybe they’ll luck-out and live a life of innocence and ignorance like the rich folk and/or the religious folk that don’t even allow themselves the chance at truly knowing.

One cool thing about this album is that it made my mind go crazy with words. When I listen to Aesop Rock, it’s like my brain gets going and I have to write out a poem or whatever. This recording made that happen too.

So yeah, I like this cd.
“What’s a cd?” asked the kid.
If you don’t know what a cd is, you’re a nitwit. Your generation is overloaded with data by schools but you don’t know what a cd is? You think you are a Punk fan but you don’t know what a cd is?? Piss off.

The song Russian Blue is another favorite.
They’re all good, tho. Especially Junkyard Parakeet.
This cd sounds like something Cooper from The Devil Makes Three would dig.

5/5 Stars

Album Review: The Homeless Gospel Choir – “Normal”

Next time you’re at a show, look around. What do you see? Does everyone look the same as you? Does everyone look like they’ve got everything worked out? Well the truth is no one does. Everyone has the same neurosis, fears and hang-ups. Everyone gets scared. Everyone feels unhappy or lonely sometimes. The one thing you all have in common is the reason you find yourself crammed together in that dark room with the sticky floors and the unmistakable smell of stale sweat and spilled beer. That band or singer that’s just about to take the stage. Think about that rush as the lights dim, and the crowd whistles and cheers. That’s what unites us all because – We. Are. Punks.

A simple, unifying message that forms the basis of the anthemic centerpiece of the title song from the Homeless Gospel Choir’s epic new album. On “Normal”, Derek Zanetti, the man behind The Homeless Gospel Choir offers a precise, succinct statement to the world about what it means to suddenly find yourself part of the all encompassing, life-changing scene that is punk rock. The electric, bright and bouncy pop-punk masterpiece, “Normal” will undoubtedly be the most important song of someone’s adolescence. The song that makes them finally understand that they aren’t alone. They will find solace and inspiration, as Zanetti did, when someone uttered the same immortal and timeless words to him: “You’ll never be normal/ because you’re a punk”. Probably the simplest, most honest and soul-stirring lyric of the year. For the rest of us with adolescence a distant memory it’s a reaffirming nostalgia trip to when you exhausted your first punk album on whatever outdated format you owned it. A song that so eloquently sums up why you’re here and why you’re reading this.

Every lyric on this album describes a life lived and is equally as relatable as “Normal”. Whether it be the acoustic, folk punk of “Depression” which serves as an anthem for those who find themselves in their 30s with life not quite turning out as they hoped, to the free-wheeling pop-punk of “Crazy”. With a fuller sound,  featuring a crisp, lead guitar line from Frank Lero, on “Crazy”, Zanetti brutally honestly details his exasperated attempts to properly express himself with the song, appropriately sounding like the valve loosening on his own personal, emotional pressure cooker. “Everyone” is a sparse yet equally affecting song as Zanetti channels his inner Billy Bragg to balance politically astute yet droll observations on how the world is made up of individuals but how every difference should be valued and treasured.   

Musically, “Normal” sees Zanetti painting with a varied palette, unafraid to incorporate a variety of musical styles. From the slow burning, Frank Turner-esque folk of “Don’t Know” through to the Americana of “Sometimes” and the rousing melancholy of “Alright”. Every song feels like it’s own separate vignette, with it’s own self-analysis, drama and most importantly wit. It is this even-footed ability to judge sharp humor and intelligent observation that makes this the defining album that it is. The same is true of the more recognizable pop-punk songs such as  “1983”, a fist-raising, rocker that shares a lot in common with the hook filled, anthemic self-deprecation of Pup. Once again the song finds Zanetti sitting idly at life’s crossroad, frustrated and hamstrung by his own perceived lack of progress in life.  

“Normal” is one of those rare albums that manages to stir and amuse, with songs that impress on the listener with issues that are instantly relatable. They highlight the insecurities that are in all of us that, more than anything else, bind us together. With that in mind, next time you’re at a show maybe you should take the time to talk to someone nearby. After all, you’ll definitely have at least one thing in common.

4.5/5 Stars

Album Review: Rayner – ‘Disasters’

Even if you’ve only seen their name in print beforehand and Disasters marks your first run-in with Rayner, this EP will make you feel like you’ve been listening to Rayner for years. In just under 20 minutes, Rayner have crafted a comfortable and inviting listen.

Much like many other bands are doing these days, their brand of pop punk trades in the blistering speed and anger of their 90’s forefathers for slower, more inwardly introspective tunes. With familiar sounds and lyrical themes that can be easily recognized by anyone attempting to make sense of living in the modern age, it’d be easy to call them jaded but there’s also an underlying hint of optimism in these songs.

Life is a struggle, that’s for sure. But it’s less so when you’ve got bands like Rayner on your side, composing a soundtrack to help form some sort of structure to get you through it.

3.5 / 5 Stars

RIYL: The Bouncing Souls, The Menzingers, Iron Chic

Listen to Disasters here .

Houseleaks announces new EP

Earlier this week, we told you that two founding members of New York punk band One Fell Swoop will be continuing to make music under the new name Houseleaks.

Now, Houseleaks has announced the release of a new 6-song EP called Entitled on July 1st.

Entitled is a collaborative effort between band members John Rodriguez and A.J. Chiarella, who have been working towards reinventing the band’s sound over the past year.

Album Review: Face to Face – “Protection”

Since returning from their self imposed hiatus in 2008, it seems SoCal punk legends Face To Face have made a point to make up for lost time, releasing albums every couple years and touring extensively in that time. It’s almost as if the break was a hard reset for them, proving that sometimes you just need a little time off to recharge the batteries and get things back on track. In “Protection” this newest offering has continued on that path of excellence and is by far the best since their return.

When returning to the studio to start recording, lead man Trevor Keith said that the intent was to get back to basics, that fundamental, honest sound that originally boosted them to the ranks of punk royalty. To help them attain that goal, they returned to Fat Wreck Chords who nearly twenty five years ago released their debut studio album Don’t Turn Away.  It seems only fitting that they would come back, with both celebrating their 25th anniversaries this year. The whole album has a sense of coming full circle to it. Although label owner, Fat Mike doesn’t see it as a serendipitous return so much as he does fulfilling a contractual obligation, humorously stating “face to face aren’t really coming back to Fat. We originally signed them to a two record deal. Paragraph 6; Section C clearly stated that face to face (the band) must deliver two full length LP’s within the next twenty five years. They are just making good on the original contract. I knew those guys would come through!” Regardless of the reasoning behind the homecoming, the album guaranteed to make a lot of Top Ten Lists for 2016.

Check out the full review below!

10 Most Distasteful American Punk Rock Band Names

Anybody familiar with the punk scene knows that sarcastic and crass humor is simply a part of the culture and one of the results of this cultural attribute is an overabundance of offensive band names.  We’ve seen provocative double entendres ever since punk’s inception in the UK; Buzzcocks and The Sex Pistols, just to name a couple (legend has it that Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren, noticed the term “sexe pistil” at the Chelsea Flower Show).

While words such as “cock” are nothing more than a term for “mate” or “friend” in England, in the U.S.A., the Queen’s Engrish takes on a slightly different meaning. Take Cock Sparrer, for instance.  In London Cockney its a term of familiarity amongst friends, from “Cock Sparrow”. In good ole ‘Murikan it might be considered a sword game that doesn’t sound particularly entertaining.

Forgoing any individual warrior names, such as Chicago “Rock Legend”, Blag Dahlia (born Paul Cafaro), which is a mash-up of the slavic name (blag) meaning “sweet, pleasant, blessed” and a reference to The Black Dahlia Murder, and disqualifying any punk bands not from the states – here’s my alphabetical list of the 10 most “distasteful” American punk rock band names.

Check it out below and argue your own choices in the comments.

Stanley and the Search change name to Home Movies

The L.A. punk band that was known as Stanley and the Search, will be undergoing some rebranding before the release of their upcoming album.  From now on, they will call themselves Home Movies, though they will continue to play Stanley and the Search songs.  The band’s new EP, Hell, will be out on August 7th via Animal Style Records.

The band had this to say about the change:

The identity and music we created when we first started as Stanley And The Search feels so far away from what we are now. The initial lineup consisted of a slew of different members and even a different singer. With our new record, new label and finally a solidified line up, we as a band, feel a change was needed. In taking the moniker “Home Movies”, the band can start fresh with our upcoming EP “Hell” and the name itself can truly represent the 4 people that created this record. That said, we will still be playing SATS songs on the road and will continue to because it’s the people who enjoyed those songs that got us to this point today. Thank you.  This is a new chapter for our band, and we hope everyone can get stoked on the new name and the new music.

EP Review: Pianos Become The Teeth – “Close” (Record Store Day 7″)

For Record Store Day this year, Pianos Become The Teeth released Close, a two song 7″ record featuring songs left over from the Keep You sessions. I have to say: Pianos Become The Teeth shouldn’t have shelved these two tracks from the album. Why? Well, because as they charted new waters for a calmer, contented sound on that album, these new songs would have fit in perfectly with their new post-rock and more melodic musical ideals. It reminds me of the two tracks Prawn dropped that last year would have fit in so well with Kingfisher, which leads me to ask – would these additional two jams really have hurt?

As Pianos Become The Teeth seismically shifted from their screamo/post-hardcore stance, fans were polarized. Some still are but, like me, most have accepted it. Of course, I loved it as soon as they indicated what they were going to do, and it makes it easier to ingest a 7″ like this also. “895” is a perfect representation of this change – soft, crooning guitars that cathartically builds into a mid-tempo burst of grungy guitars – telling of racing from the cold and into the comfort of home. Kyle Durfey’s lyrics continue to hit hard. Be sure to catch the music video in all its beauty, as it visually brings the expressiveness out of a track that feels so close to the oldie but goodie in “I’ll Get By.”

The second track, “Dancing,” is more romantic, yet still a tad dark, and feels like the sibling to “Repine” off Keep You. It’s a melodic, post-rock jam that lures you in to continue the subtle drive of Durfey’s words, which no doubt can be pegged as nothing less than poetry. I honestly feel Pianos Become The Teeth made a big mistake excluding this pair from Keep You because they add a loving flair and a sense of passion, compassion and hope to what’s already swirling around inside you. Pianos Become The Teeth continue to shine and make you tear up.

4 /5 Stars

Introducing The Yavin 4, a Star Wars-themed punk band

You might not think of the Midwest as a typical hotbed of up-and-coming music, but check out The Yavin 4 and you might just be surprised.  The band springs from Indianapolis, and features members of hardcore punk act The Enders, as well as Lockstep, The Hardees, and Devil to Pay.  They call their style “intergalactic rock n’ roll,” as their music and even their band name pays homage to Star Wars (Yavin 4 is apparently a moon, and you can learn way more than you want to know about it here).

The band will be releasing their debut 14-track album on May 25th, which also happens to be the anniversary of the premiere of the original Star Wars film.

EP Review: Sundials – “Kick”

If you’re leaving Asian Man for Topshelf, I’m pretty much down. No worries because both labels are spot on. When Virginia’s Sundials opted for this move, I was one of the eager ones. I loved their alternative-indie meets pop-punk take in the past and I felt this was a record they could branch off with. run wild and experiment on a bit more. In that sense, I’m disappointed. Because Kick sticks to their stylistic guns and doesn’t wander off too much…but still, what Sundials do best…they do here. And along the way, they do shake things up a bit to give a good indication as to how far they’ve come. And more importantly, where they may be heading.

“Dealin'” as an opener is their usual vibrant, energetic stance which when weighed against the more melodic and reverb-filled closer in “Eugene” brings to light one thing – these songs are made for Menzingers’ fans. It’s most welcomed and a tune-up to bring the band’s essence out a bit more – in terms of bouncy pop-punk guitars and swift, dynamic fretboard riffin’. Kick’s very catchy and ideally should have been a summer record as it’s filled with college tones but still, it’s something so much more than a scene record. Juvenile but solid in terms of storytelling.

The bass-driven flair of the record’s another high point which sees their usual shtick transcend beyond melodramatic punk. Sundials’ identity is felt deeply on tracks like “Stun Spore” and “Kick” which keep up with the band’s spunky essence a la Superchunk. Not to sound too bland, but it’s a fucking fun record. Then again, that’s what Sundials usually do. Maybe next time they’ll rough it a bit more but for now, the transitionary state they’re in is a pretty neat spot to be in. Here’s to seeing what they do for a new LP.

4/5 Stars

Attack Attack! change their name to Nativ

The screamo band formerly know as Attack Attack! (the one from Ohio) have decided to change their name to Nativ.  Here’s what the band had to say about it:

“Greetings friends!

We wanted to take a second and introduce ourselves to all of you. We are Nativ!

Yes, it is true that some of us were members of Attack Attack!, but let us take a minute to clear the air.

As we’re sure you all know, Attack Attack had some serious shit happen to it through its career. Band members coming and going, tours postponed and canceled, and a host of other crazy-ass things that came with simply being AA!

I think you guys can all agree that by the time the final AA! tour came around, AA! had been looonnggg gone. We were dead on arrival. Having taken that into account, we certainly were not finished making music. Not by a long shot.

So where did Nativ come from?

Well, part of the decision process in letting AA! go came from working on an album.

Wetzel and Whiting had started writing for a new record back in September 2012. By the time January 2013 rolled around, we were demoing tracks with Phil and Tyler. By February we had a solid album starting to take shape.

During the months of April/May, we took time off from writing to say goodbye to AA! on our European and US headliners.

When all the touring was done and we had finally put AA! to rest, Will joined Nativ to help us finish recording our debut record.

Originally, we thought we needed to write another AA! record, but what we found out was that we really wanted to write an album that is something new and different. We really wanted to take a step in a new direction. Get a fresh start.

We wanted to make something that wasn’t AA!. Something that AA! could never be.

So here we are!

We’re very excited to show you what we have and hopefully you will enjoy this experience with us even more than you/we did Attack Attack!

Thank you for reading and we hope to see you soon!

Love and respect,

Attack Attack! last released “This Means War” on Rise Records in 2012.

Band Name Origins: Why did they choose the name Hot Water Music?

Ever wonder where some bands come up with their band names? Well, we do, and we’re sick of sitting around scratching our heads about it. We’re hitting the streets (aka. “Internet”) to find the origins behind some of the more bizarre, intriguing or just plain random band names in the scene. Every now and then, we’ll pull back the curtain on a different band and this week it’s Gainsville, Florida punks Hot Water Music.

Proving to everyone that their influences run deeper than most hardcore inflected post-hardcore/emo/punk bands, Hot Water Music turned to literature to cull their name. Charles Bukowski’s short story tome Hot Water Music was published in 1983 and according to Wikipedia “deals largely with: drinking, women, gambling, and writing.”

Bukowski is considered an influential author and is famous for his minimalist writing style and focus on poor, ordinary Americans as inspiration.

Hot Water Music will be releasing their follow up to 2004’s The New What Next this year.

Why did they choose the name Nightlights?

Ever wonder where some bands come up with their band names? Well, we do, and we’re sick of sitting around scratching our heads about it. We’re hitting the streets (aka. “Internet”) to find the origins behind some of the more bizarre, intriguing or just plain random band names in the scene. Every now and then, we’ll pull back the curtain on a different band and this week it’s Florida punks Nightlights. Here’s what guitarist Joe Rigano has to say:

It’s actually a pretty story. Matt and I were on the phone with each other going over different names.  I was listening to Digger, specifically the song Night Life and I said “what about night life?”  Matt was like “Nightlights?” and i thought about it for a second and I said “Yeah that works too”.

Band Name Origins: Why did they choose the name Dikembe?

Ever wonder where some bands come up with their band names? Well, we do, and we’re sick of sitting around scratching our heads about it. We’re hitting the streets (aka. “Internet”) to find the origins behind some of the more bizarre, intriguing or just plain random band names in the scene. Every now and then, we’ll pull back the curtain on a different band and this week it’s Gainsville, Florida, punks Dikembe. Here’s vocalist Steven Gray:

I was pretty young when NBA Live 97 was out on SNES, and I couldn’t figure out how to select a team (the fucking bumpers? really?) in career mode. The first team on the list was the Atlanta Hawks, and the best player on the team was Dikembe Mutombo. So I spent a lot of time with that dude when I was little, sort of. When somebody brought it up, the decision to use it was pretty natural.