Tag Archives: punk rock

Review: Luther – Let’s Get You Somewhere Else

Luther, hailing from Philadelphia, has already made quite a name for themselves in their brief existence. The band has played with everyone from The Menzingers and Dave Hause to The Bouncing Souls and Hot Water Music. With a 7-song EP and a 4-way split under their belt, Luther’s first full-length effort, Let’s Get You Somewhere Else, was released on October 9th through Chunksaah Records.

The album kicks off with “The Concrete Sound,” which immediately brings to mind Apathy and Exhaustion-era Lawrence Arms. Continue reading


Bands You Need To Know: Young Ladies

When you start listing the bands that Ryan Seagrist and Pat Schramm have been involved with, it kind of makes sense that they have produced a demo that leaves you desperate for more. Between them, they have played with bands such as Discount, Latterman, Bridge & Tunnel, Fellow Project, and Monikers.

But with Young Ladies, these two friends based in NYC have produced something that is a departure from their trademark sound and lets them showcase a different side of their song writing, leaning more towards indie rock or 90s alternative than straight forward punk rock.

I spoke to Ryan and asked him how the project came about.

“I work in a recording studio sometimes in the city, had a couple of free days, and Pat and I went in and just finished those three tunes. We posted the songs and have already gone through a few hundred downloads. So we’re really stoked,” Ryan explained.

With this demo, Young Ladies have taken the themes of friendship, loss, loneliness, and big city life that have run through so many of their previous bands lyrics and delivered them in way that lets them step out from the shadows of their other projects and I, for one, can’t wait to hear more.


Not Forgotten: forgetters Announces Full-Length

forgetters

After the break-up of Jets to Brazil in 2003, fans of Blake Schwarzenbach held their collective breath waiting to see what would come next from the legendary frontman/guitarist. It took five years before Thorns of Life surfaced in 2008, and vanished far too quickly, breaking up less than a year later following the departure of drumming legend Aaron Cometbus.

Later in 2009, fans got the news they were again waiting for; Blake had formed another band, a 3-piece called forgetters (check out this December 2009 live set recorded by National Underground at a packed show in Gainesville). About a year later, their first release, a 4-song, self-titled EP, came out. It was an outstanding taste of what the band had to offer, though fans wanted more. But, after touring in 2011, their bassist (Caroline Paquita) left the band and, despite some rumors and hints that the band may continue, it remained unclear if it was the last we would hear from them.

That is, until September 9, 2012 when it was announced via the band’s blog that a new full-length album was going to be released November 14. Additionally, the post says forgetters will be touring, news that is equally as exciting.

I’m beyond stoked about this news. As a huge fan of Blake, it will be a sad day when he hangs it up for good; so, anytime I learn that we’ll be privileged to more music, it puts off the end a bit longer. I love what I’ve heard from forgetters, and I’ve been lucky to have seen them twice, impressed both times. But I’m also curious to see if they’ll just be a 2-piece going forward and what impact that will have on their sound and live shows.

Regardless, November 14 couldn’t come sooner.


Bands You Need To Know: No Weather Talks

No Weather Talks

It has been quite a year for No Weather Talks. Next month they will play their first US show at FEST 11, coming only weeks after sharing stages with bands such as Latterman, Banner Pilot, and Crusades in their native Germany. Despite only forming late last year, Hamburg’s No Weather Talks has been making a lot of Festers’ “must see” lists after releasing an incredible demo earlier this year.

The 4-song demo opens with “Separation Perfected,” where Painted Thin-esque melodies wrestle with driving guitars and a sing-a-long chorus. “Forever Tomorrow” brings the demo to a close with female/male dual vocals working in perfect harmony, never fighting for attention, but rather complementing each other over Dischord-influenced angular guitar riffs.

Sadly, any new female-fronted band seems to receive the same old, lazy comparisons to those that have gone before, but these five friends are not the new Discount or Germany’s Fifth Hour Hero; they are No Weather Talks and they could be your new favourite band.

You can catch No Weather Talks at FEST 11 on Saturday, October 26 at Boca Fiesta at 7:10pm.


The Inside Scoop on FEST 11 from Rocket Fuel Podcast

Jeff, at the always brilliant Rocket Fuel Podcast, just released his annual FEST preview special. Jeff sits down for an in depth interview with FEST main man Tony Weinbender. Tony discusses how FEST 11 came together, his picks of the weekend, and details of other projects he has been working on, like a Gainesville outdoor concert series and even a Tampa leg of FEST.

In addition to the interview, check out music from Latterman, Masked Intruder, Braid, and many more bands who will be descending on Gainesville late next month.


Gunning For More

Pilot To Gunner

After an eight-year silence, Pilot To Gunner is back, releasing a new song from their forthcoming album. And I couldn’t be more excited.

When their debut album, Games At High Speeds, came out in 2001, I was blown away. Between the song structure and the vocals, it sounded really fresh to me and I was sold. But after only one other full length, 2004’s Get Saved (also an excellent release), PTG appeared to vanish.

Well, they’re back. Guilty Guilty is expected to drop in October on Arctic Rodeo Recordings and, like Get Saved, was produced by the legendary J. Robbins. Rumor has it that it’s 12 tracks of awesome. I’ll let you know if that’s true once I get my hands on a copy (expect a future post)!

The new song, “We Die Today,” is streaming at Punknews.org. It’s just over three minutes of angular, rhythmic, rock and roll with Scott Padden’s distinct vocals dancing powerfully over the tempo changes. The hooks are huge, too, causing uncontrollable head-nodding and body twitching.

If this track is any sign of the rest of the album, fans of PTG will be stoked to find the band back on the scene. And those unfamiliar with the band should quickly familiarize themselves with the back catalogue.


Review: Off With Their Heads – From The Bottom

Off With Their HeadsI’ll get to the point and talk about these Off With Their Heads songs I’ve been banging on about.

The first track, “I Am You,” charges out of the speakers in a steady barrage. The manifesto for the rest of the album is set out in the first lines, “If you really want to hear…” as if said as a warning, before it all comes pouring out. He’s not happy, not very happy at all. And neither are we apparently, we all loathe ourselves whether we know it or not, a sentiment I can partly agree with.

Forget the lyrics for a second though, and you’ve got the perfect song for dancing around with a big ugly grin on your face, your arm ’round your mate, singing along, spilling beer all over yourself, getting concerned looks from your girlfriend who’s now standing in the corner.

Next up, “Wrong,” with it’s Clash-like simple rocking chord progressions, chugs along, carrying with it a huge anthemic chorus. The downbeat, melancholy lyrics here, such as, “Sit back and let me tell you about the sadness … trying to destroy me,” couldn’t contrast the bounce and energy of the music more, yet it works surprisingly well.

“1612 Havenhurst” doesn’t fanny around, one short phrase and then it’s off at breakneck speed. The song is a beast, one of my favourites, and the last part is a real sing-along gem. Then again, most of the album is prime sing-along stuff.

“Go On Git Now” slows things down for that all important breather 1/3 of the way through an album. A real anthem, this would be perfect towards the end of a raucous set, where pace is no longer an issue, and the power and drive in the song controls everything. The closing part of this song I feel for the drum kit as it receives a really solid beating. The lyrics here hit a bit deeper however: “I don’t even feel like it’s worth it to start over again.” This declaration of resigned reflection is surprisingly poignant.

Track five, “Until The Day” is, again, a huge anthem of a song. (How many times can I say “anthem” in one review?) It’s a stand out track in an album of quality songs. The lead guitar in the opening makes me think of early Pulley (which it really sounds nothing like) and early Tony Hawk games. Perhaps here is an insight into my boringly mis-spent youth.

The fucking massive chorus is put off so that when it finally hits, it hits hard and direct. The vocal melody in this chorus has a simplistic quality that latches on to your brain like a leech in the jungle, dropping off after staying far too long, leaving a purple, bloody patch. But what sticks out here from the lyrics is the small element of positivity! “All of a sudden I can finally see, what’s been right in front of me, and I’m gonna do something about it!” Even if that something is to make someone else feel very miserable.

“Keep Falling Down” continues the lyrical themes of despair and frustration, but also brings in acceptance, and it makes me really want to give this guy a hug. Don’t despair mate! You write some cracking songs! The almost sombre vocals in the chorus reminds me of “To The Sea” by American Steel in its integration of wistful melancholy into pacey, aggressive music.

“Terrorist Attack” is the best song I’ve ever heard that only uses one chord. A bass and drums introduction builds the foundations for the big fuck-off steamroller that’s gathering steam and heading right for us. “Don’t fucking believe everything that you read, don’t trust everything that you see on TV. Subscriptions and ratings are all that they need.”

It’s a break from the misery and self-directed fury of the first half of the album, short and very sharp. I particularly like the guttural vocal harmonising of the low notes.

“Self Checkout” reminds me in many ways of Goddamnit-era Alkaline Trio. It’s the punk side of pop-punk, with the lyrical direction of the first half of the song dealing with themes of madness, self-loathing and generally being a bit fucked up. The tenderness of lines such as, “Did you get a chance to read the letter I sent to you? Or did you throw it away cause of everything I put you through,” jump out and are really quite affecting. This I actually find to be a really sad and stirring song. Into the second half of the song some purpose is found, and the repeated phrase of “It was all just a dream, and it’s time to come clean, and it’s time to move on, no matter how hard it seems” really hits home in a goosebumps and spine tingles way that brings to mind the power held in so many Bouncing Souls songs. A definite album highlight.

“Fuck This I’m Out” is another slightly slower-paced number that delivers a sentiment, which I’m sure will strike a chord with many, of being truly fed up with the place you’re in and desperate to leave it all behind and make a fresh start. This can be taken geographically and metaphorically, and again displays a dark shadow in Ryan’s life. “I might as well just kill myself tonight, I don’t want to, but I don’t see any other way” looks hollow on the page, but in song sounds far too believable. Someone give this guy a hug right now. There is also a nifty guitar solo, which is commendable for being totally suitable for the power and slow-burn of the song and doesn’t attempt to show off any fingertip-singeing styles.

Track 10, “For The Four,” while again dealing with frustration and despair, shows a positiveness that shines out above everything else on this album, offering up an alternative existence, a simpler life for a wife and kids in a safe neighbourhood. This song also contains my two favourite lines from the whole album: “I’m not tired, I’m exhausted,” and, “I’m not walking through hospital doors today!” And the last chorus is a clinic on how to make an absolutely fucking huge and completely uncompromising sound. This song is like a big bastard bus that is coming towards you as you’re crossing the road, and it has no intention of stopping, it will just plough you down, because it is going somewhere regardless.

All I can say about “Ten Years Trouble,” is that I think it is an awesome song, but dancing and singing along to it feels so very wrong. It is an intimate self-examination set to powerful effect against the vibrant energy of the song. The lyrics here drop any tough-guy pretensions that creep into the corners of this album and lay the issues out painfully bare for examination.

And then we come to “I Hope You Know.” At first I thought the military/marching band drum introduction was a little cliche, but once I understood the album that precedes it, I found it worked perfectly. The introduction builds steadily, with more self reflection and testament, when suddenly (and cleverly) with the line “I’m sorry I wasn’t there, from the bottom of my heart,” the song is launched into full throttle. Demons are confronted, the past is being sorted. It is a perfect finale to a near perfect punk album.

And then the album title makes sense. From The Bottom, from the bottom of my heart, and working through problems from the bottom up, a journey this album takes, starting off with themes of hopelessness and despair, gradually working towards acceptance and confrontation.

All in all, this is a painfully honest and open album, with, in fine punker fashion, a musical accompaniment fitting to charge around a room and drink lots of beer to.

- Ben Gosling -


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 961 other followers