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The Adolescents are a punk band from Fullerton, California. The band played an important role in the SoCal punk movement in the early 1980s.
Remember that time your dad went to the grocery store to get milk and never came back? That’s the exact heartbreak us skate punk fans have felt since Cigar released Speed is Relative 23 years ago and disappeared into the ether shortly thereafter. Good news! Dad’s back, and he got the milk! Or, in this case, Cigar’s back and they’ve got an awesome new record.
The wait was long, but it was worth it. With their Fat Wreck Chords debut The Visitor, Cigar picks up right where they left off on Speed is Relative. This record delivers more of the crazy fast, ultra melodic punk that earned the band’s 1999 debut its deserved status as a cult classic among skate punk diehards. Actually, I think this record might even be faster than the first one! Yes, two decades have passed, but these guys have defeated Father Time. They still have the same youthful energy that originally drew me to their music; I’m confident it will win many new listeners over as well.
Cigar wastes no time getting out of the gate, as “These Chances” kicks off The Visitor at a breakneck pace, and immediately rolls into the equally speedy “Legacy of the 7 Piles”. Right off the bat, drummer Jon Sortland is firing off like a fucking machine gun on drums; seriously, this guy is a lunatic. New bassist Jonathan Hischke shows off his chops with riffs that will make your fingers bleed just listening to them. Frontman Rami Krayem turns in a great performance once again, with some creative guitar parts and equally impressive vocal range.
I loved the album’s lead single “We Used To” when I first heard it a few months ago, and that’s still the case. This song has “instant classic” written all over it. But when trying to pick a favorite track, it’s a complete toss up for me. There are no stinkers to be found here. “Gone Wrong”, “Classic You”, “Forget About Me”, and basically everything else on this record is on par with the fan favorites of Speed is Relative.
The Visitor‘s closing track “Knocked Down” is introduced with an a cappella intro, and for a brief moment in time, you get the impression that Cigar might actually slow down. But this glimpse into a seemingly softer side of the band is short-lived. They quickly hit the gas, opening up the circle pit one more time with a rapid fire skate punk anthem to rival “Mr. Hurtado”.If you like punk rock fast enough to set a land speed record, The Visitor is the record for you. With any luck, Cigar won’t keep us waiting another 23 years for the next one!
Huntington Beach Punk Rock. Ripping blistering punk riffs and playing dark harmonies as we scream “the quiet part” out loud.
These skate punk veterans are often included in late night drunken debates about most underrated punk bands (at least in our circles…what kinda losers are you runnin’ with?). With witty writing and next level musicality, this tremendous trio has consistently been pumping out high quality tunes for two decades while never flying too high on the punk rock radars outside of their SoCal scene. Drummer/Co-Vocalist David Green is amazing to watch live as he seamlessly weaves intricate drum fills behind his gravelly, snotty vocals (anyone else wanna see a drumming/singing battle to the death between David and Matt Caskitt?). The trio’s newest album The Forest was just released earlier this month and there’s not a single dud amongst the twelve tracks. If you haven’t listened to it, you’re missing out. So stream it below (even if you have listened to it, stream it again….you know you wanna) and while you’re at it, go ahead and write it in on your potential Albums of the Year Lists!
Caskitt is a unique three-piece punk rock band from San Diego, CA. Operating like a “hook-and-ladder” firetruck, this band is driven from the back by drummer and lead vocalist Matt Caskitt, and steered from the front by Steffen Long on guitar and Jesse Hernandez on bass; both providing harmonies and taking over vocal duties when needed. They are part of the La Escalera Records Family.
Four piece melodic punk band from the guts of Southern California.
Today marks the release of SoCal melodic punk band Sic Waiting‘s comeback album A Fine Hill to Die On. This is their first new record in seven years, and you can give it a listen below.
Our friends at Thousand Islands Records pressed some beautiful colored vinyl for A Fine Hill to Die On. Head over to their webstore to grab the LP (they have CDs, too, if you’re into that kinda thing 😉).
For those outside North America, Lockjaw Records (UK) and Pee Records (Australia) are distributing the album in their respective corners of the world. Be sure to pick a copy from one of those fine labels if you like what you hear!
From time to time, our intrepid contributors are going to post curated playlists for special occasions/Holidays. For our first ‘Post Resurrection’ installment of this feature, we enlisted our resident Molotov Cocktail Waiter, Anarchopunk to create the perfect tracklist to blast at your 4th of July Cookout! Trust us, your friends and family are gonna dig this one, comrades! It’s 55 minutes of pure Anti-American bliss (and when we say ‘American’ we mean the USA, specifically. It’s shorthand. We know, we know. There’s continents, hell whole hemispheres that encapsulate North/South America and the term ‘America’ generalizes all of the many nations and cultures therein….meh….whatever…it makes writing a lil easier. Give us some slack. Now, on with the story…) from lesser known bands from around the world. I mean, sure, anyone can make a playlist like this featuring songs by Propagandhi, Anti-Flag and Good Riddance but that’s low hanging fruit, homie! We hold ourselves to a ‘higher’ standard. Word of caution, if you’re only here for the music and don’t wanna read a buncha lefty, Marxist propaganda, scroll to the bottom for the playlist. We don’t wanna hear you whining in the comments. If you wanna create your own website and feature music that fits your beliefs, go right ahead! With that said let’s get started, shall we?
- The Communard – “Death to America” – Let’s just go ahead and start off with a bang to weed out the bootlickers! No ambiguity here with these French pinko-punks! If you don’t like the message of this one, you’re certainly not going to like the rest of this playlist. So, ‘sayonara, suckers!’
- Total Massacre – “The State of the Union (Is Weak,Sad) – Ole Cap’n No Fun and his anti-capitalist cronies always bring an appropriate level of anger for having to live in this hellscape of a country.
- Allout Helter – “Maximum Helter” – For some reason, Anti-America tunes sound so much better when it’s set to melodic hardcore and no one does this combo better than these anti-fascists from Denver.
- Be Like Max – “Time Flies When You’re Having Work” – Ska acts aren’t generally known for being too political but there’s always an exception and these Vegas ska-punks punctuate that fact.
- Arms Aloft – “Untitled” – No one writes ’em better than the lads over at Arms Aloft! There really isn’t anything more fitting than some good ole fashioned Blue Collar Punk to anti-celebrate The 4th! Probably no coincidence that they’re signed to Red Scare, huh?!
- The Shell Corporation – “Even Bob Villa Couldn’t Fix This Old House” – You haven’t heard lyrics this academic and vitriolic toward the States since Bad Religion! This Los Angeles based political punk act has it all! That’s why we wanna hear some more new music from ’em! C’mon, guys We need you now, more than ever! 😛
- Rent Strike! – “Burn It All” – Folk Punk! Yaaay! If you think there’s any subgenre that, as a general rule, is more anti-US than folk punk, you’re a fool. There I said it. Now, you have to live in a reality where some masked yahoo on the internet schooled you in a public forum. Sad…
- Soul Glo – “We Wants Revenge” – Oh shit! This shit hits fucking haaaard, dunnit?!? Philly hardcore acts are notoriously brutal but these cats take it to another level! If these fantastic Philadelphians weren’t on your radar before, make sure they are now. No excuses going forward.
- Upper Downer – “KKKPD” – One of the newer bands on our list but that doesn’t mean they’re any less worthy of making our list. These angry Angelinos also have a new album coming out later this year via Wiretap Records, so keep an ear out for that! (DS Exclusive???)
- Poor Me – “Classwar” – More Melodic Hardcore? Yes Please! This one is probably one of the more powerfully performed tracks on our list but when you’re fed up with the state of your ‘shit hole’ country, is it any surprise that there’s a lil extra ‘salt on the ‘tater chips’?
- The Muslims – “Fuck These Fucking Fascists” – Yea, yea, yeeeeaaaa. We know…we said “lesser known bands” and these young guns have recently singed to Epitaph, which makes them the antithesis of ‘lesser known’ but to be fair, we have been high on them since 2017. So we’re making an exception because this track bops!
- Amerikan Made – “Amerikan Made” – This Anti-American SoCal act has been around since 2007 and has been pretty silent up until recently when they did a four week residency at the Doll Hut down in San Diego. Hopefully this recent reemergence means some new tunes are coming soon? Guys? Hello? *tap, tap* Is this thing on?
- UCAN’TSAYNO – “The Corrupt Politician” – The Land of the Rising Sun checking in! Over the last few decades, Japan and more specifically, Tokyo has became a major hub for new punk music. So, it’s no surprise that a band from the ‘Child of Edo’ makes our list. It’s really just a matter of odds, innit?
- The Orphans – “For an Old Kentucky Anarchist” – Look, we know what we said earlier regarding your opinions on folk punk, but we’d like to think that the tough love we dispensed prepared you for this moment. It really did hurt us more than it hurt you. Now, enjoy this Anti-American, Appalachian folk gem and tell us how right we were.
- People Corrupting People – “Corporations” – Of course the US is fucked. We let Wal-Mart and CapitalOne vote. What did you think was gonna happen? But hey! At least the proletariat has to financially bail out all of these companies! Let’s hear it for Corporate Welfare!
- Cop/Out – “Pinko Commie” – Always more room for Commie punks! (c’mon, it’s an anti-4th playlist, what did you expect?). “buT i LuV CaPitAliSm, AP!”…. I dunno?? Have you tried…ummm…not??
- DUMB FUCKS – “a.c.a.b.” – A Los Angeles based band that isn’t fond of cops? You don’t say?!? For a buncha younger lads, they really do nail that old school hardcore sound though, right?? Can’t wait to hear more from this act.
- Debt Neglector – “Cult Cult Cult” – I think the name of this one perfectly encapsulates the current state of things here in ‘The Ole US of A’. We “oldies” remember a time when cults were fringy, and tucked away in the shadows of society. Now, they’re catered to on TV on a nightly basis “at 7pm ET right after Wheel of Fortune.”
- The Lungs – “Cross Cult” – Mira! Mira! Another song about cults when talking about current events in The United States….imagine that… All religions are cults. Sad about that? Complain in the comments.
- Comrades Collective – “Paws Not Laws” – OK, so full disclosure…we’ll automatically include any band on any playlist if they are even slightly ‘cat/pet’ themed. Include a heavy dose of Anarchist views and there you have it folks…the recipe for getting featured on Dying Scene!
- Noogy – “Back At It Again” – Hip-Hop/Punk hybrids are here to stay and we’re here for it, 100%. If you’re not a square, you know that punk and hip-hop have been intertwined, even if just loosely for decades. These Texans are just building onto that inseparable marriage.
- The Drowns – “Lunatics” – How’s about a lil pop punk to round things out?? If you despise The US but love catchy, radio ready riffs, we proudly present to you, our finest platter of…The Drowns, my lady/sir/non-binary person!! This one’s gonna be stuck in your head the rest of the day. Corn-gratulations!
You know any lesser known punk bands with some radical (read in the voice of Raphael from the early 90’s Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon) lefty tunes?!? Tell us about ’em and maybe we’ll add them to the list!
Late September in New England is, for all intents and purposes, quite literally perfect. It’s that glorious time of year where the air is crisp and the leaves are starting to turn a wide array of warm colors and the sun is still high enough in the sky to keep you from freezing but not too high in the sky that you don’t need a light hoodie layered with probably a heavier hoodie and/or maybe a flannel/denim combination when the wind picks up or the shadows get long. And on one such spectacularly picture-perfect Saturday afternoon recently, the rolling hills of central Massachusetts were filled with the dulcet, three-chord sounds of a daylong music and libations festival. Okay, so it was a parking lot in downtown Worcester…but actually now that I think about it, that’s quite honestly just about the ideal locale for a punk rock and beer festival…
That’s right, the liberty-spiked masses descended upon the parking lot behind the Worcester Palladium for the 2022 installment of the Punk In Drublic festival. By yours truly’s count, it was the festival’s third stop in Massachusetts since it kicked off in 2018 (the initial stop was in Brockton of all places, while this marked the second annual stop in The Heart Of The Commonwealth – yes that’s Worcester’s real nickname and no, that’s not intended to be ironic. I know, right?)
ANYWAY, speaking of Worcester, the city’s beloved No Trigger kicked off the festivities in the middle of the afternoon. I think it’s a pretty smart move by the festival’s management (read as: Fat Mike and crew) to open the gates and start the beer testing well before the music starts; it gets a decent sized crowd to turn out at a comparatively early time to begin what will be a long day of rocking and rolling. The Worcester-based sextet No Trigger, fresh off the heels of the release of their dynamite new album Dr. Album (Red Scare Industries), set a pretty high bar for the rest of the bands that were to follow with a dynamic, full throttle, tight-as-a-drum set.
Night Birds were next out of the shoot and kept the energy level at an equally high level. In what came as a bit of a surprise to more than a few of us in the crowd, the band announced that this particular show would serve as their second-to-last show as a band. Effing bummer, because the five-piece lineup (which I’d never seen) played as tight a show as I’d seen their previous four-man editions play. Maybe they found a different level knowing that it was the last show on the books (plans for a final show are as yet unannounced) but it seemed pretty special from where I was standing.
Hitting third in the order on this particular day were TSOL. In my experience, it can be a bit of a coin-flip how a comparatively younger crowd will receive a band of 70s/80s stalwarts, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how the crowd fist-pumped and circle-pitted along as the inimitable Jack Grisham and his band of melody makers (longtime partners Ron Emory on guitar and Mike Roche on bass along with more recent addition Antonio Val Hernandez on drums) tore through a set comprised largely of decades-old punk rock classics. Seriously, check Hernandez’s Instagram – old school Worcester showed up!
Batting cleanup were none other than SoCal punk icons Face To Face. In the interest of full disclosure, Face are the band I’ve seen more than any other, no matter the genre. I’ve seen a half-dozen different versions of the lineup over the years, including about a dozen shows in the current Trever/Scott/Danny/Dennis version. With that in mind, Punk In Drublic was the best I’ve heard them sound in quite a while. No doubt fueled by the thousands of avid punk rock fans in attendance, the band played an hour-long set that did a pretty good job of mixing in ‘the old’ (“I’m Trying,” “No Authority”) and ‘the new’ (“No Way Out But Through,” a surprising “Farewell Song”) all with a vintage, early 90s energy.
The evening’s penultimate spot belonged to none other than Descendents. I’m having a tough time finding the correct words to use to describe the legendary band’s set and honestly, what I keep coming back to is that it made me happy. To call the quartet anything less than iconic is to do them a tremendous disservice, and performances like this one prove exactly why. Not only was the crowd opposite the band (across what had to have been a thirty-foot-deep security/photographer pit that I both greatly appreciated and found to be tremendous overkill) fully engaged in the band’s set, but the stage itself was more full of revelers than at any other point in the festival. The band plowed through more than two dozen songs in an hour-and-change, representing all parts of their four-plus decade career together. (Personal highlight: “I’m The One” into “Bikeage” into “Thank You.” Good grief.)
The grand finale spot of course belonged to none other than NOFX. In many ways, the quartet have been the clown princes of punk rock for three decades, and that’s more than a little by design (are they breaking up next year or aren’t they?). That can lead to some pretty memorable and certainly widely-varied live performances; it is “punk rock” after all. Yet on this night (and I know I’ve said this a lot in this article but that doesn’t make it untrue), the band were as tight as I’ve ever seen them. The setlist of somewhere around thirty songs pulled from all points of their storied career, from “Stickin’ In My Eye” up through “I Love You More Than I Hate Me” and was interspersed with the requisite banter especially from Fat Make and El Hefe, who riffed on everything from the aforementioned breakup rumors to the fact that people allegedly live in Ogunquit, Maine, to the fact that they were actually playing well, all in rapid-fire succession.
It really was an awesome and fun and in many ways picture-perfect day that was well worth the trek out to the fart of Massachusetts, filled with good times and great energy from bands and crowd alike. Check out more pictures below!
Face To Face Slideshow
Night Birds Slideshow
No Trigger Slideshow