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.
Category Archives: Reviews
Impressive dynamics, scathing lyrics, and artistic cohesiveness have accurately characterized Propagandhi in the past; the same applies here, on Propagandhi’s sixth full-length and Epitaph Records debut, but these characteristics are on such prominent display this time around that I can’t help but hail Failed States as the band’s best release.
On Failed States, Propagandhi critiques subjects ranging from human nature to the often deafening effects of social media — some broad subjects, for sure, but their vitriol is just as passionately applied to specific current events. On “Rattan Cane,” bassist Todd Kowalski assumes the menacing voice of an Indonesian police officer as he, in his fascist act of “spiritual cleansing,” shaves the head of a young punk. The empowering “Cognitive Suicide,” meanwhile, addresses the degrading “gender verification” of Olympic track runner Caster Semenya in 2009. “Are they terrified of unobscured and brilliant colours?” asks Kowalksi. “Perhaps you cracked the door to their own forbidden worlds.” The song is annotated with additional words of encouragement for Semenya.
Cerce (pronounced “sir-say”) is a fierce, scorching, raging fire, with flames that rip forth unpredictably, burning fast. The 5-piece Boston band just released their self-titled, 6-song EP/7”, so I grabbed a fire extinguisher and gave it a listen.
The EP opens with a slow, brooding, feedback-heavy, meandering instrumental. The song helps set the stage for the pain, furor, and soul-baring to come, almost lulling you, before seamlessly plowing into the second track, “Weary,” drums pounding at a very fast tempo. Continue reading
This July, Defiance, Ohio made available on its website, with no prior notice, two new songs. Subsequent weeks saw the release of four more. All six comprise The Calling, a self-released digital-only EP that is in part a celebration of the band’s tenth anniversary.
Defiance, Ohio was a very different band ten years ago. Formerly an acoustic trio, its unique brand of folk punk has evolved considerably. The Calling retains some of the acoustic elements upon which the band was founded, as “Bad Ideas” is initially a 3/3 acoustic solo number, until the percussion gradually enters and the song becomes a swaying singalong.
Crusades’ debut LP The Sun Is Down And The Night Is Riding In opens with an extremely ominous and slow marching drum – very reminiscent of Fucked Up’s opener from Hidden World (which may or may not be where “Crusades” came from), except the band dwell on the dark biblical passages left behind by Fucked Up. But before you know it, “Attic” has kicked into gear and it’s time to get freaky. Crusade’s obvious influences lie somewhere between The Misfits and The Copyrights, blending dark and satanic imagery with mile-a-minute pop punk hooks, yet are distinctly neither wholly.
Floorboards is technically a reissue of an album that was released last year. In the updated version, however, it is paired with 2008’s The Earthling Sessions, a three-song EP comprised of the band’s early material. Merging the two releases was a logical decision on label Topshelf Records‘ part, as the record retains the feel of a cohesive full-length. The Earthling Sessions is not simply a tacked-on demo, but an essential piece of the Caravels discography that complements its full-length counterpart both stylistically and thematically. Here, the two become a potent combination. Continue reading
The debut album from Buffalo, New York’s Lieutenant comes after a long wait. With unfinished demos and pre-mastered CD-r’s floating around the better part of a decade, all loose ends were finally tied earlier this year to finally give the band’s self-titled LP the release it deserves. Featuring members spanning a number of Buffalo bands such as Lemuria, Running For Cover, To Hell And Back, and Resist Control, current (or is it former?) members of Lieutenant have mostly moved on to their respective labels, hence the three way collaboration on the LP pressing between Art Of The Underground, Peter Walkee, and Warm Bath.
The Copyrights’ fifth studio album, North Sentinel Island, opens up with the band’s most straightforward, hardhitting, rock and roll riff in years, and best of all, they’re completely unapologetic for it. The opening track quickly segues into a blend of crunchy guitar riffs layered on top of melodic vocal hooks. Before “Trustees Of Modern Chemistry” finishes, you can rest assured that the band hasn’t lost any of their steam in their three-year absence since 2008’s Learn The Hard Way came out.
The independent music company, Black Numbers, has recently released a Grey Area/Go Rydell split that, while not packed, holds some really good tunes. It’s an excellent jumping on point for hardcore punk fans who may have overlooked either band or a great addition for those that are already well on their way to building their Grey Area or Go Rydell collection.
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With thousand of miles separating Dan Andriano from his other Alkaline Trio members, he has had plenty of time to master his solo craft. Creating the new moniker and slowly releasing demo’s since 2009, Hurricane Season has been a long time coming. A labor of love from his relatively new surroundings in St. Augustine FL. This record is full of what makes Alkaline Trio great with more of an Elvis Costello vibe. While being based around Dan and an acoustic guitar,Hurricane Season has a tasteful palette of electric guitars, organs, piano, drums, and the occasional bass. In a very personal departure from his norm of the Trio, Andriano paints the picture of a traveling man searching for something he might not be heading towards. Finding little comfort in hotel rooms and late night phone calls, he searches for a cure. Whether that be a partner to share his fear with or a good nights sleep. Dan’s song writing abilities shine through his blackened insides and make for a great batch of songs.