The folks over at Hidden Home Records have released their second label comp, “Do You Remember Punk Rock Comps? Vol. 2.”
The release is available for “pay-what-you-want” on the HHR Bandcamp.
Fans of Punk-O-Rama, Fat Music for Fat People, and Hopelessly Devoted To You and sure to find some new favorite bands on this. You can stream the compilation below.
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!
California punkers Audio Karate have announced the re-release of their debut album “Space Camp” on vinyl after a long period of inactivity.
Pre-orders are available at the Wiretap Records and Hidden Home Records web stores. You can see a video interview with the band detailing the re-release and reminiscing on the making of the album below.
The band has a sound refreshingly familiar for fans of older No Idea Records releases, giving a new take on the style Gainesville vets Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike created over a decade ago. Who knows – maybe next year you’ll be able to find them on the Fest lineup!
Boise record label Hidden Home Records have released their first label compilation for pay-what-you-want download on bandcamp. The compilation is entitled “Do You Remember Punk Rock Comps? Vol. 1” and features Union Stockyards, Destroy Nate Allen, Wicked Bears, and more.
You can listen to the compilation below.
Over the past few years, the Hotelier (previously spelled “The Hotel Year”) has morphed from an impressive no-bullshit pop punk band into seemingly the biggest band of the “emo revival.” Home, Like No Place Is There was a record that connected with fans all over the world for its brutal honesty and relatability dealing with heavy subject matters. Records like it come around once or twice every ten years or so. This said, Goodness was one of the most anticipated punk-anything records of 2016, and while it might not break ground sonically or lyrically for fans the way their last record did, it doesn’t mean they weren’t pushing their boundaries or combatting people’s expectations.
Christian Holden, the voice behind The Hotelier, loves to challenge the status quo and people’s’ notions of what are acceptable and unacceptable. The same attitude that went into putting a group of naked elderly people onto the album cover also went into certain musical choices on the album. A good example can be found at the very beginning of the record, where there’s an unexpected spoken word track (“N 43° 59’ 39.927” W 71° 23’ 45.27””).
Goodness is a quality record in the fact that each song seems to be thoughtfully written and catchy. “Goodness Pt. 2”, the song’s second track, opens the record by layering instrument after instrument one by one thus creating anticipation in the listener until everything crashes in toward the middle. “Piano Player”, one of the more uptempo songs on the record, holds its own for five and a half minutes, something unheard of for a more punk rock sounding song. “Soft Animal”, possibly the best song on the record, appears at a time when the record needs a kick in energy. On top of it all, it can’t be stated how much feeling Holden obviously put into the lyrics and subject matter on this album.
When listeners hear “I’m freezing” repeated through the chorus of “Fear of Good”, they will actually see the singer shivering, coatless in a snowy town. “Opening Mail for My Grandmother” which begins with “your grip on my forearm/insert the wrong name” paints a sad picture of one’s grandparent slipping away to the end of their life and observing them as their body and brain deteriorate over time. In “Soft Animal,” when the words “Make me feel alive/make me feel like I don’t have to die/make me believe that there’s a God sometimes,” there’s no doubt that Holden actually has felt that sense of longing for purpose. However, while Holden has stated in interviews that Goodness is more or less a positive record (“Taoist love record” they say), the way the lyrics were written in conjunction with the actual instrumentals make that hard to pick up on.
Here’s the thing: each song on this record is good. But the great thing about this band’s previous records were that they were journeys in themselves. The first songs left listeners feeling different than the last songs did. Goodness on the other hand has the problem of keeping listeners in one place or frame of mind. The last song feels like the first. Unfortunately, this makes for kind of an overly melancholy record. It’s not one of those things where they made the same album twice, because this album is definitely different and a departure from their previous work, but no song in this collection particularly sticks out from the rest, whereas with Home, or even with INGO, almost every song was uniquely individual in the emotions they evoked or the way they evoked them.
Goodness gets a 3.5/5. That said, The Hotelier are still one of the best bands in the game right now and I hope they’re around for years and years to come. This record was simply where they’re at now – I’m excited to see where they go in the future.
I remember buying Big D & The Kids Table’s “Good Luck” from a local record store at age 15 and finding inside the ten year anniversary Asian Man Records mail order catalog. In this catalog there was a letter from label founder Mike Park explaining that they were not a big label. He said he ran it out of his parents’ garage, had one phone line with no call waiting, one computer, and two employees (his mom being one of them). This blew my mind and was my simple little introduction to DIY ethics. So when I got the chance to interview the man behind the label himself, it was no small deal to me.
I got to sit on a couch and drink a beer while Mr. Park walked his dog around his neighborhood on a very windy day in San Jose, California. While there were several moments in our interview that I could barely hear him due to the weather, this was still the best interview I’ve ever done and a dream come true for me. Read it below.
Albums Punk Forgot is a look back at excellent or important records within our community that, for one reason or another, have been lost or forgotten. It’s a tribute to those bands and releases that deserved to be heard, but maybe for some reason dropped off our radars too soon. We at Dying Scene hope to give these records the credit they deserve.
You know those bands that did enough to have a small fan base, but weren’t around long enough to have the lasting impact of their peers? That’s As Friends Rust. An often-overlooked facet of the Floridian hardcore scene, the band displayed a huge amount of variety in their short, six (if that) year span. They stylistically have been compared to Avail, Samiam, and even Stretch Armstrong (though they were even heavier than that at times). The band reunited for a string of shows in 2008, and this year they reunited once again for a one-off show in Brooklyn and an appearance at Groezrock overseas. Shield Recordings released Greatest Hits? in April, celebrating the best songs from the eleven releases As Friends Rust put out from ’96-’02. The compilation itself is now available for you to grab.
Greatest Hits? begins with four of the five songs off the band’s first EP, The Fists of Time. If you’re unfamiliar with the band’s discography, these songs are much heavier than many of the others on the compilation, stylistically between late ‘90’s metalcore and Dag Nasty, if you can imagine that (just listen to “Encante”). Tracks 5-7 (“Half Friend Town,” “Like Strings,” and “Coffee Black”) are from As Friends Rust’s classic self-titled EP, which is much more melodic than heavy in terms of hardcore. Track 8, “First Song on the Tape You Make Her” is considered by some members to be the first released song by the classic As Friends Rust lineup. It seems this is where the Samiam comparisons become appropriate, as everything afterwards was much poppier and melody-focused. The rest of the songs are from the band’s last two releases, 2001’s Won LP (the band’s only full-length) and 2002’s A Young Trophy Band in the Parlance of Our Times.
Seeing as the band put this compilation together themselves, it’s hard to properly critique Greatest Hits? as someone not in the band. The first EP songs drag on a bit, and for a Greatest Hits compilation it may seem boring to a listener, a “get to the good stuff” kind of feeling. But again, that one EP holds so much history for the band that it’s hard to say that definitively as a critic. Of course, they weren’t just putting out a Singles compilation and labeling it Greatest Hits like a lot of bands, so there were some songs from their discography I would have liked to see in there. Some of those include The Fist of Time’s “Operation,” Won’s “This is Me Hating You,” and A Young Trophy’s “The Most Americanest.”
All that said, an important question to ask is, as a listener, how do these songs hold up today and how do they hold up to other music in their time? Personally, I can’t stand the mix in a lot of the songs, compared to music from back then as well as now. For instance, the Young Trophy songs are well written and very catchy, but excessive effects and certain mix factors just seem to take away from that. At times, the raw, more punk rock parts of a song seem inconsistent with the more melodic, at times even a bit radio-y (not in a bad way!) choruses. Putting aside your biases, imagine a band like AFI having a release where the verses were taken from Very Proud of Ya and the choruses from Decemberunderground. It’d sound a bit weird, right?
However, listening to these songs by As Friends Rust is honestly a breath of fresh air. They have a variety not many bands now days or even in their time could match, in the kind of way that you just don’t know what to expect – except something catchy that you’ll want to sing along to. Also, lyrically, the band completely overshadows the majority of their contemporaries (“Private-school anarchists with bought trains of thought, donned in T-shirts screaming slogans of wars never fought” – great line from “We on Some Next Level Shit”, which is one of the funniest song names I’ve ever heard).
Grading this as a Greatest Hits album, really my biggest complaint would be that there could be a few better songs. But go for it – buy the album, let it grow on you, and feel refreshed listening to this intelligent group of dudes whose knack for songwriting is as creative as it is catchy. Good job As Friends Rust, maybe some day you’ll be able to grace us with new songs once again.
4 / 5