Search Results for "Band Spotlight"

Band Spotlight: Introducing the countrified folk punk of The Trusty Snakes (members of the Taxpayers)

There are few things that make me happier than hearing from the Taxpayer camp. The Taxpayers, if you don’t remember, were the incredibly political, folky, punky, jazzy, and just plain volatile punk band from Portland, OR; they released such incredible albums as God, Forgive These Bastards: Songs From The Forgotten Life Of Henry Turner, Big Delusion Factory, and Cold Hearted Town. 

The Taxpayers are gone for the time being but the people in it aren’t, and by the good graces of DIY, five members have come together to form the Trusty Snakes. The album’s called New American Frontier and it’s surprisingly a pretty earnest country album. And better yet: it’s great fucking music. The songwriting is melancholy and down to earth, blue collar and twangy, born out of a love for a uniquely American storytelling tradition.

Noah Taxpayer had this to say on the band’s beginning:

“Touring around the country and playing grimy punk shows, which we love, we found ourselves buying a lot of cassette tapes. And a lot of them ended up being country. Some obvious well-known artists and weird ass compilations of songs about the nuttiest country-fried nonsense.  We loved them all.  Getting older and our sensibilities changing, country seemed to be the appropriate next step for us as a band.  A lot of the same values of being a DIY punk resonates within country music. So we became the Snakes.  Writing songs about redemption, sadness, hopelessness, inspiration, heartache, and joy.”

While it may not be straight punk, there’s still a lot to say for the form and its relation to punk’s base tenets. Here is music made for the working class, by the working class—a realm of experience oft forgotten, preserved here in the oral tradition. Check out the album below.



Introducing Everyone Knows: Bluesy Alt-Rock (Sergio of The Early November solo project)

Look, as much as we’d all like to pretend that we subsist on a diet of Crass, recreational drugs and dumpster diving, there comes a time to admit sometimes we want, nay, need something more in our lives. I can’t help you with your questionable life choices or the lack of Vitamins in your diet, but I can point you in the direction of some music that your tinder dates will be able to stomach.

Everyone Knows is the solo project of Sergio Anello, bassist of The Early November. With ‘Tell or Be Told’ he has created a bluesy alt rock album that conjures images of a smoke-filled backroom bar frequented by people who have money, only you’re not sure where their money comes from. And you sure as hell shouldn’t ask.

Songs languorously flow into each other like hungover recollections of the night before and the vocals curl around you like cigarette smoke, seeping into your skin and staying with you all day. This album has all the layered notes of an end of night whiskey. It’s mature, sure. You might even call it smooth. But there’s an understated raw fragility in the lyrics and vocals that creates a slow, building burn that sticks with you.

Check it out here.

 



Introducing Post-Emo-Punk Act: Ditz (EP Stream)

I wish I had a better picture to post with this article because frankly the album art for “Earthworm,” the latest EP from New Jersey’s self-proclaimed “post-emo” band Ditz does not do the music justice. The arrangements, harmonies, melodies and lyrics speak to a maturity far more refined than the cartoony imagery above. Halfway through the album’s opener, “Cha-Cha,” I knew I was on to something special and I challenge you to listen to the track without then wanting to finish the EP’s remaining 4 tracks. Trust me, you won’t regret it. Accept the challenge below.



New & Noteworthy: Stream new EP “Strike Back” by Milwaukee hardcore act Mud Dog

I’m not sure if it’s the vocals reminiscent of the original singer from UK punk act Drones, or very early days Davey Havok, but something about the new EP from Milwaukee hardcore act Mud Dog is really grabbing my attention. It might be the gang vocals on title track “Strike Back” or the change ups with secondary singers on a few of the songs. Or all of the above. The point is “Strike Back” is worth a listen for any hardcore punk fans, all the more so since it’s up for free download on bandcamp.



Introducing Post-Hardcore Act: DEPTHS.

Dark and brooding. Angry and loud. Belgium’s DEPTHS. are everything you’re looking for in a post-hardcore band, and their new EP “Until Sleep Narrows My Conscious Mind” is every bit as complicated and epic as its name implies. I must admit, I wasn’t too familiar with these guys until this very moment but as I write this on a foggy fall morning in the Southern Hemisphere they’re a very welcome new discovery. Discover them yourself below.



Motorhead meets Comeback Kid, Introducing Thrash Punks: SkyTigers (free EP download)

SkyTigers claim to hail from “parts unknown” and that could apply as much to their genre distinction as it could to their regional origins. Citing influences from Motorhead to Iron Maiden the thrash/metal influence is obvious from the get go but the vocals and overall delivery feels distinctly punk rock, perhaps in the vein of Comeback Kid. They’re raw, fast, angry, and in terms of their new EP “Disasterbation,” they’re free. If you’re looking for something to listen to next time you want to destroy something this is for you. Give the album a listen and snag it for free on bandcamp.



Introducing Female-Fronted Punk Act: The Sonder Bombs

Occasionally, I’ll find a band that speaks to my soul in a very serendipitous way. A lot of times, this happens because I’m going through some emotional turbulence or traveling a lot for work. I’ve been realizing a lot of the music I listen to is topically similar and aesthetically repetitive. Feeling a certain way in the era of #MeToo and the pain felt coming in on the coat tails of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and all of the fallout after, I finally found a band that’s really out there punching back. I’m a little late to this party, but just I found The Sonder Bombs. Let me tell you, this band is it, sis. Their latest album came out in October called Modern Female Rockstar, and it is everything and then some ukulele. Not to mention Willow Hawks has the voice of the punk rock angel of my dreams.

This band is incredibly honest and relatable because of the content of their songs. I don’t think I’ve come across a band that takes some fairly serious topics every woman encounters and makes those moments a source of power quite like The Sonder Bombs do. Covering important topics like the power and consequences of coming into female sexuality and having to work harder in male dominated industry. To me, this content is very real, at times painful, and truly appreciated. “I don’t want to be your merch girl, I want to be your god damn idol”, girl same. If the future really is female, I cannot wait to see where this band goes. Check them out below.



Introducing Pop Punk Act: Halogens

My New Year’s resolution for 2019 was to have more diverse playlists. I’ll admit it, I get hyper fixated on a band or song and listen to them over and over. On my quest to spend more time listening to new music, I discovered Halogens and I’ve repeated the old pattern. I’ve taken solace in breaking my new year’s resolution because of how dope this band actually is. The catchy melodies are what caught my attention and their unique interpretation of romance and the human psyche is what earned them a spot in the heavy rotation of music I cannot stop listening to.

More importantly, they just released their sophomore EP called Happy Hour. Halogens have refined their sound while covering a variety of emotional musings. They touch upon completely relatable topics like not being able to pull-off wearing a denim jacket, which may or may not be my own personal problem. Let’s face it, we cannot all be Deaglans. So, if you want to get in your feels while bopping around, you should check them out below!



Introducing Chicago Pop-Punk Act: Tougher Than You Thought

I’m going to admit it, I miss Myspace. A whacky time for youthful exploration of the important stuff; cool bands, HTML code, and those weird bulletins that would kill you if you didn’t re-post them in 30 minutes. Listening to Tougher Than You Thought, feels a lot like this. They sprinkle in a little twenty-something heartache with a sound all their own. Their debut EP Check, Please has had me in my feels since the first time I heard it.

Their song “Open Book “ is the culmination of dope guitar riffs, catchy drumbeats, and lyrics that I would have probably used for a picture caption or two. Not to mention, the band members themselves have an extremely awesome back-story, according to their facebook “2 members of the band have parents who won the immigration lottery (1 in 900,000 odds) in their home countries”. This band is dynamic and worth a listen, check them out below. &Hearts;



Introducing Australian Punks All Hope Remains: FFO of Epi/Fat Skate Punk

All Hope Remains are apparently based in Australia, but I’m finding that hard to believe. Everything from the Euro-English stylings of their name, to the slightly metallic, melancholy-tinged sound screams ‘Alienated European punks who grew up listening to Epi/Fat’ to me. This isn’t the type of Aussie punk that conjures images of board shorts, beers and ‘barbies, it’s something deeper and more brooding than that.

Their latest single ‘Hit Rewind’ is sure to tickle the fancy of skate punks across the world; the opening snare roll and subsequent harmonic-laden guitar riff rolling back the years to when Ten Foot Pole and Pennywise were hotter than an ill-prepared British tourist walking in the Australian sun.

What sets these guys apart is their knack for melody and the clarity of the vocals. Plenty of bands are tight and technical, but few also have hooks that stand out over the flurry of riffs and drums fills that skate punk is heaving with.

Check them out here.



Introducing Ska Punk Act: Legal Disaster

Ska enthusiasts everywhere, rejoice! The time for 4th wave ska is neigh. Seriously, I really do think that 4th wave ska is going to make an appearance in 2019. Particularly if bands like Legal Disaster are going to be leading the charge. This ska-core band hits you in the face with all the classic sounds you’ve grown accustomed to in ska waves 1 through 3. Legal Disaster is a healthy mix of cynicism and joyful apathy. There are a couple of bangers on their latest EP Drugged on War that really grabbed my attention right away. I truly think that their song “We Are the USA” perfectly encapsulates the exact “WTF” feeling I’ve felt since I first realized jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. Honorable mention to “Cigarettes”, it’s got everything; a voice over, anecdotal life advice, and a blatant disregard for said common sense. Check them out below.



Introducing Melodic Hardcore / Skate Punk Act The Stifled (FFO Yankee Brutal, A Dying Regime)

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.



Introducing Pop Punk Act: Cassettes (FFO The 80’s + Pop Punk)

From the deep depths of battling seasonal effective disorder, and wistfully thinking about replacing my scarves and fleeced lined tights with shorts and sunglasses—the Cassettes appeared. I desperately needed a mid-January pick-me-up. I had a need for some serious feel good tunes. The Cassettes came in clutch with the release of their debut LP “Wild Heart”. Their light-hearted and high energy 80’s flavored pop punk is exactly what I needed. What can I say; I’m a sucker for catchy 80’s music and solid keyboard solos. This band is the exact slice of summer I have been craving on this miserably cold day. Warm your soul and stream “Wild Heart” below.



Introducing Punk Rock Act: Burnout (FFO Sex Pistols + Descendents)

When thinking of Somerset England, most people think of really nice ciders, the invention of cheese, or possibly even vast rolling green hills that lead to sleepy little villages along the seacoast. Burnout however, is the literal polar opposite of that idyllic slice of Brexit heaven. If you’re the type of person who’s in search of a band with a sound very reminiscent of The Sex Pistols and Descendents; this is your band. Burnout delivers solid bops for when you’re feeling particularly disgusted with your daily routine and lactose intolerance. Relatable, catchy, dynamic and their latest EP “Inside” cover a lot of bases of me. I cannot stop listening to their song “I’m Rational Now”, check it out below.



Introducing The Longest Hall: Floridian Genre-Bending Metalcore Punks

The Longest Hall have a song called “Punch A Nazi In The Face”. That should be enough for you to give them a try, but I’ll expand. The song starts with a driving tom beat that’s more punk than you, references the intro to Fuck Tha Police, then drops a ‘BLEH’ over a riff that makes you want to start a NYHC style pit in your kitchen. All within the first 21 seconds.

Hailing from Florida, the band consists of 3 brothers who clearly grew up loving ALL the music. Genres bleed into one another and you can almost see an excitable trio of men going ‘oh wait, what if we did this next’ in each song. Usually ‘this’ is another breakdown to get you moshing.

Imagine drunkenly stumbling between the practice studios of A Day To Remember, Anti-Flag, All That Remains and Agnostic Front and you’re halfway to understanding the sound these guys have put together. Except sometimes they go full metal. There’s a lot going on!

Check out their debut album here.