Hello, and welcome to the May, 2023 edition of Dylan’s Favorite Punk Albums, EPs & Things! This is the column where I, Dylan aka Screeching Bottlerocket, tell you what new punk rock albums, EPs and singles I enjoyed the most this month.
This is a collaborative effort with our friends at Punk Rock Radar, with whom I’ll be doing a video version of this Best Of wrap-up each month. If you like discovering awesome new bands as much as I do, be sure to follow Punk Rock Radar on Instagram and YouTube, and keep tabs on their Upcoming Release Calendar.
Here’s our video for May (let us know what your favorite releases of the month were in the YouTube comments):
Despite having been around for 20+ years, French ska-punks P.O. Box have somehow managed to fly completely under my radar. That changed with the release of their new album. spaceavailable. is an excellent, versatile record and will serve as a great introduction to the band for anyone else in the same boat I was. This is a must listen for any and all third wave ska fans. Get it on vinyl / CD here.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Red Atlanta seamlessly blends 90’s melodic punk with early 2000’s pop-punk on their latest album Encapsulate. This record takes me back to the days I spent playing Burnout 3 for hours on end with songs by Autopilot Off, 1208 and Yellowcard blasting through the speakers of my Sylvania CRT. The only thing missing is some DJ Stryker soundbites.
East Bay Elegy
Hailing from the home of Lookout! Records, it’s no coincidence that The Bonstones draw a lot of influence from some of the heavy hitters who called the label home in the early 90’s. East Bay Elegy reminds me most of The Queers’ Beat Off. Hard and heavy, no frills Ramonescore.
The Bollweevils are my early frontrunner for “Comeback Player of the Year”. The Chicago punk veterans’ new album Essential is their first in over a decade, and this thing is brimming with bangers. “Predisposition” and “Galt’s Gulch” are a great one-two punch to start things off. Other standouts include “Honesty”, “Bottomless Pit”, and “Liniment and Tonic”. Great record. Buy it here.
THE BIG NEWS
I forgot to mention this one in the video for some reason, but here’s another solid ska-punk album that was released this month. Oklahoma City’s The Big News has an old school sound that I much prefer to the current direction of ska. Phoebe is a mix of Jeffries Fan Club and Pezcore era Less Than Jake. Listen below and buy it on cassette(!) here.
Not many EPs of note this month; I’m kinda disappointed! What I’m not disappointed by, however, is the new Jughead’s Revenge EP. Vultures is the SoCal skate punk band’s first new release since 1999’s Pearly Gates. I could live without the Killing Joke cover, but this EP is killer and proof that good things come to those who wait. Buy the record here.
FAST FOOD SOCIETY
Ides of Mars
Fast Food Society pulls no punches on their new EP Ides of Mars. The band hailing from Palma, Spain rips through one politically-charged melodic hardcore belter after another across the span of 15 short minutes. A few songs, namely “Conspiranoid” and “Copaganda”, remind me a bit of RKL. Check it out below and, if you like it, pay money for it on Bandcamp.
Alright, I normally have a dedicated block for each single, but I’m in a bit of a time crunch. So here’s a short blurb about some of May’s standout singles; you can listen to all of them (plus tracks from the albums & EPs I covered earlier) in the Spotify playlist down below.
JERKS! – “Taillights”
West Virginia’s Jerks! throwback to early 2000’s pop-punk (sans whiny vocals) on their new single “Taillights”. It’s a fun song with an MxPx-meets-The Movielife kinda vibe. Lookout for the band’s debut album This is Fun? due out August 4th.
SPRING HEELED JACK – “Diggin’ a Hole”
New Haven, CT ska-punk veterans Spring Heeled Jack return with their first new song in 6 years! Well, kinda… It’s a cover of “Diggin’ a Hole” for the new Bim Skala Bim tribute comp out now on Stubborn Records. It’s good! Hopefully these dudes put out some new original tunes soon.
THE UPSHOT – “Haven Road”
“Haven Road” is just the second song these British punks have released, but The Upshot are off to a hot start. We hosted the exclusive premiere for this track, so you know it’s good! They’re like NOFX, but younger… and better.
KINGFISHER – “Cost of Comfort”
Ottawa melodic punks Kingfisher have been a busy bunch lately. I think this is the fifth single they’ve released this year. I think it’s their best yet. I get a really cool late 90’s NUFAN vibe from this song. Good shit.
SPOILERS – “Peaches & Cream”
Spoilers are another band of British punks I discovered this month. Their new single “Peaches & Cream” is great; listen closely and you’ll hear a slight hint of Snuff influence. Turns out they’ve been around for almost a decade! I’ve got some catching up to do.
ADELLEDA – “The Best Offence is a Good Defence”
It’s hard to go wrong with Canadian skate punk, and Adelleda’s new single “The Best Offence is a Good Defence” certainly doesn’t miss the mark. Recommended if you like Mute, Belvedere, or any other melodic punk band with exceptional guitarists.
There’s a few more singles I didn’t have time to touch on in the Spotify playlist, which also has songs from all previous months’ releases.
Anywho, that concludes the May installment of the column. Thanks for checking it out! Keep your eyes glued to Dying Scene for all things punk rock and follow our friends Punk Rock Radar on Instagram, YouTube, etc. Join us again next month!