Archive for December 31, 2008

Best Albums of 2008

Little known fact: One of the 10 commandments actually state: “If Thou Ownth A Music Blog, Thou Shall Create A Top 10 Of The Year List. If Thou Fails to Comply, Danny Devito Will Nibble Off Your Fingers To The Knuckle”.

2008 was a hell of a solid year for punk rock and music in general. We had hella solid releases, hella good shows, and people finally stopped using the word hella.

So without further ado: silverunity’s top 10 of 2008!

10. Less Than Jake – Gnv Fla
You remember that old friend you used to have in elementary school… you know, the one that you used to play wiffleball with in the backyard and spend hours trying to rescue Peach from the castle with that suddenly became a huge douchenozzle the second you guys reached high school? Then once you both reached college, “too hip to quit” suddenly became really cool again? Yeah, Less Than Jake’s GNV FLA is precisely that.

MP3: Less Than Jake – The Space They Can’t Touch
Read Original Review
Buy

9. The Slackers – Self Medication
I’ve always been a fan of the Slackers, but in the past, none of their albums really stuck out and hit me hard. “Self Medication” changes all that. The Slackers matured their sound, all while sticking true to their ska roots. I didn’t see it at first, but they could accurately be described as ska in the veins of The Specials mixed with traditional rock. If someone has a gun to your head and says “you can only check out one ska album of 2008″ (or maybe you’re an indie fan and they say “you HAVE to check out one ska
album of 2008″), let The Slacker’s latest be the one.

Mp3:
The Slackers – Every Day is Sunday
Read Original Review
Buy

8. mc chris – mc chris is dead

Call me a nerd, but apparently I have a special place in my heart for hilarious high pitched cartoon (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab) rappers who apparently hate all form of capitalization. With “mc chris is dead”, mc chris proved that not only could he rap, but he could also cut the most melodic catchy hip hop I’ve heard all year.

MP3: mc chris – nerd grrl
Read Original Review
Buy

7. Static Radio NJ – An Evening of Bad Decisions
“An Evening of Bad Decisions” surprised me at first, as Static Radio NJ slowed down the vicious hardcore present in their EP “One for the Good Guys” by adding more melody and cleaner vocals. And the most surprising part? It worked well for them. Melodic hardcore like Grey Area and Lifetime.

Mp3: Static Radio NJ – Marc
Read Original Review
Buy

6. Teenage Bottlerocket – Warning Device
The Ramones version 2.0. I’m a sucker for 3 chord punk rock, especially when it’s as catchy and energetic as Warning Device. I called it back in January that this would be on the list.

MP3: Teenage Bottlerocket – Bottlerocket
Read Original Review
Buy

5. Totally Michael – Self Titled
If pop was actually played right like the way Totally Michael plays it, then maybe the radio wouldn’t suck so much. Take all the things you’re embarrassed to admit about liking Blink 182′s “Enema of the State”, mix it with some electronic shiz like Atom and his Package, and you’ve got one genius album.

Mp3: Totally Michael – Casual Satisfaction
Read Original Review (and check out our interview!)
Buy

4. Dillinger Four – Civil War
How do you go 6 years without releasing a record? I believe the conception of this album went something like this:

“Hey, are we still in a band?”
“Oh, you mean D4? Uhh, I’m not sure…”
The songs are much more poppy than their previous releases, which took a while for me to warm up to, but after a few spins, you realize… nothing Dillinger Four does could possibly ever be bad. Looking forward to their next release in 2014!

Mp3: Dillinger Four – Like Eye Contact In An Elevator
Read Original Review
Buy

3. Disfear – Live the Storm
Furious dbeat/crust/whatchamacallit from a bunch of Swedish dudes who created the heaviest album on this list. That’s really all you need to know.

Mp3: Disfear – Get it Off
Read Original Review
Buy

2. Paint it Black – New Lexicon
Paint it Black pushing the bounds of hardcore (with the help of hip hop’s Oktopus from duo Dälek) with darker overtones not usually found in the music. Dr. Dan Yemin is in his late 30s/early 40s, and still delivers his lyrics with more urgency than the majority of hardcore bands half his age. Much darker than any of their previous releases, Paint it Black completely mastered the art of tearing shit up.

Mp3: Paint it Black – The Ledge
Read Original Review
Buy

1. Protest the Hero – Fortress
Ok, I’m probably going to get some criticism for making this the number 1 release of 2008, but Protest the Hero really pulled through with “Fortress”. The songs are fierce, and draw from a number of different influences (metal, thrash, punk, and even reggae during one song). Through all the heaviness, the songs are still incredibly catchy, and Rody’s vocals are definitely a huge improvement over Kezia.

MP3: Protest the Hero – Spoils
Read Original Review
Buy

(Note: I’m sure The Steal’s “Bright Grey” would be on this list, however I couldn’t find a copy of it anywhere near me. Same goes for Higher Giant’s debut).

To Infinity… And Beyond!
Lot’s of things to look forward to 2009. We got new albums lined up from Propagandhi, Bouncing Souls (who are doing 1 song a month), and Bomb the Music Industry for starters. I foresee 2009 being awesome for punk rock. Also, let us know your top 10 in the comments!

Read Last Year’s Lists
silverunity 07
sasha 07

A “Chicago Weather Mix”! By Guest Blogger Hotpants Askance


(original photo at Basketballphotos.com, touched up by silverunity)


So our token guest blogger Hotpants Askance finally decided to write a new post for the holid… err… weather in Chicago. Listen up kids!

Every month or so, some guy has to make the quip, “If you don’t like the weather in Chicago, just wait a minute.” We always let that slide, but only because it’s true. It’s nearly sixty here, wavering between drizzle and thunderstorms. The last two weeks we had two weather options: no snowfall, but two-minutes-to-frostbite temperatures with neigh-50-mph wind gusts; or tolerable mercury levels but with snow falling in such volumes that, should you stand still outside and stop paying attention for a moment, you’d find yourself buried up to your shins in powder. Sure, snow fell like that all over the nation (welcome to my hell, Las Vegas), but this shit is old hat for Chicago. They wouldn’t’ve canceled school if everyone hadn’t been off for break already.

But today, we have veritable paradise, provided your vision of paradise includes a rain slicker and umbrella and quickly-fading warm front. The piles of snow are all but gone; flat micro-glaciers lay in their place, and they too would be gone in a few hours, if it wasn’t going to drop to twenty-nine degrees tonight.

So, where does Atom and His Package or ska come in, here? Nowhere! And you say, “Wait, did Sasha finally get her computer fixed? That’s so awesome, now I can continue learning what’s jangly and catchy in the sweet candyland of awkward indie pop. Or at least continue stealing ideas for my Reason-the-Mountain-Goats-Are-Awesome-A-Day Calendar.” But no such luck, dear reader, this is one of those seemingly semi-annual Hotpants Askance posts. You cry, just a little bit, and say, “What a damn stupid name, the schmuck.”

But don’t be sad, ’cause we’ve still got some catchy tunes for you kids, both totally appropriate for the weather: “Tropical Ice-Land,” my favorite Fiery Furnaces song not on Blueberry Boat, (I like to sing along when she goes, “Tropa-cool, icy-icy.”) and one of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s more upbeat songs (if that says anothing), “Cold & Wet.”

MP3/M4a:
Fiery Furnaces – Tropical Ice Land
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Cold And Wet

More Hotpants Posts:
Black Diamond Heavies
Deerhoof

Buy:
Fiery Furnaces
Bonnie Prince Billy

Bouncing Souls Home(less) for the Holidays (w/ Vision, Token Entry, Higher Giant) Review

This show was a last minute decision (and stroke of luck) for me. When I found out that the 12.27.08 show was moved from the Stone Pony to the Arcade on the boardwalk (imagine a shopping mall, with a bar in it, a few shops, oh and a giant christmas tree just standing in the middle), I knew I had to go. This was practically the same spot where I first saw the Souls (the convention hall that connects to the arcade), and I was lucky enough to score some tickets on Craigslist.

“Blah blah blah, enough silverunity, how about you talk about the show some?”

Higher Giant:

First up was Higher Giant, who I had the fortune of seeing a few months back with Strike Anywhere. For those who don’t know, Higher Giant is made up of experienced from Kid Dynamite, The Arsons, Token Entry, and Grey Area. As Ernie walked on stage, he asked how many people have seen Token Entry before (his original band), and said “well we haven’t played in 13 years, so for all you who yell “Jaybird” during Grey Area sets, this is your night!”.

Blasting straight into their melodic punk rock in the veins of…well everyone of their old bands, Higher Giant played a good set, even if nobody was moving since the majority of the crowd had no idea who they were. Unfortunately, the vocals were completely drowned out by the guitars, but was still completely enjoyable. For those who never heard of Higher Giant, I highly recommend you go check them out.

Vision:

Yeeeees! One of the main reasons I came to this show. I’ve been a Vision fan for as long as I could remember, but have never had the chance to see them (add this to the fact that they’re from Jersey, and I really have no excuse). The second these veterans took the stage, the crowd broke out into a giant pit for their home state heroes. Vision seemed a little out of place behind the barricades that were set up, as I imagine them as a band with plenty of stagepiles and dives (which the lead singer did succeed in doing a few times). Because of the barricade, it seemed like the band lacked some of the energy I imagined their shows to be, but the crowd adapted just finely. Old Saint Nick made an appearance in the pit during the set, and moshed throughout the rest of the show.

My only wish from them was that they played Two Wishes (a song that help me get through some difficult times), and they delivered.

Some highlights include:
-Two Wishes
-Again and Again
-Disguise
-The Kids still Have A Lot to Say
-Close Minded

Token Entry:
Ok, this band has not played together in over 13 years (think of how old you were), and even THAT was a re-union show. Needless to say, the crowd went completely ape shit to the early hardcore (they influenced bands such as Gorilla Biscuits… in fact, their drummer Ernie played Gorilla Biscuits first show). Straight up hardcore, with the singer often completely ignoring the barricade, and stage diving into the crowd. If they play again 13 years from now, you should go check them out. They are one of the all too often underrated pioneers of the early hardcore sound. Highlights were Jaybird, Birthday (which some of you know from the Kid Dynamite cover), and then an actual Kid Dynamite cover (Pits & Poison Apples).

Bouncing Souls:
If I had a nickel for every time I saw the Bouncing Souls… I’d have uhh… 90ish cents? Taking the stage to the now standard “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen, they came out in possibly the dorkiest christmas sweaters I have ever seen in my life. I only had one wish for their set, and that was for them to play Apartment 5f (a song they never play live), so when they opened with it, I could have left right afterward and been completely thrilled (needless to say, I didn’t leave).

The Souls played songs spanning across their entire catalog, including the song “Kicked” off of their Greenball Crew EP, which they made fun of throughout the song (and messed up, needing to take it from the beginning).

Rememeber how I said Apartment 5f was my only wish? I lied. I also wished for “The Freaks, the Nerds, and the Romantics” (my favorite song), and once again, they delivered.
Halfway through, Greg busted out a ukelele and played a cover (I don’t rememeber which), and played a new song: “Gasoline” (which sounded awesome by the way), and 7 Seconds cover “Young Till I Die”.

A really solid set list, playing plenty of songs that you rarely hear live from these guys.

Set list (from memory, probably missing one or two):
-Apartment 5f
-Ballad of Johnny X
-That Song
-Cracked
-Inside Out
-Kate Is Great
-Chunksong
-The Gold Song
-Young Till I Die (7 Seconds Cover)
-Gasoline (New Song)
-Hybrid Moments (Misfits Cover)
-Lean on Sheena
-Kicked
-The Guest
-Hopeless Romantic
-Kid
-Late Bloomer
-The Freaks, the Nerds, and the Romantics
- Argyle
-BMX Song

Encore:
-(Name escapes me, cover I believe, chorus goes “Here’s to staying true”)
-True Believers
-For All The Unheard

Mp3:
Vision – Close Minded
Bouncing Souls – Apartment 5f

Articles For the Holidays:
Home for the Holidays 07
Bouncing Souls with Grey Area live in Philly

Buy:
Higher Giant
Vision
Token Entry
Bouncing Souls

More Christmas Songs you Won’t Hear on the Radio!!!

Alright, so last year, we brought you 10 holiday songs you won’t hear on the radio (because seriously, how many pop covers do we need of Jingle Bells?*see footnote) Besides, punk covers and whatnot are so much better… with that being said, here’s some more songs you won’t hear on the radio!

5. Real Mckenzies – Pagan Holiday
Hey, we don’t want to leave anyone out. Maybe you’re not a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa celebrator… here’s to the winter solace!

4. The Chinkees – Christmas
A little politically aware ska tune. Skank around the tree rudies!

3. The Vandals – Thanx For Nothing
Ever wake up on Christmas morning and say to yourself “gee, I really wish I had a bratty kid to listen to complain on this lovely holiday morning?” Just play this song, it’s cheaper than raising a kid, and more importantly, unlike a kid, you can shut it off when you’re done!

2. Atom and His Package – Snowshoe BBQ
This is for all you people in Boston, Midwest, other crappy location of the United States. Enjoy your snow suckers (and keep it out of philadelphia!)

1. Nicotine – Do They Know it’s Christmas?
Amazing punk cover of possibly my favorite christmas song.

Still not in the Holiday Spirit?
Top 10 Christmas Songs You Won’t Hear on the Radio
Snowshoe BBQ Live!
Holiday With the Vandals!

Buy:
Interpunk
Smartpunk

*Note: Most christmas songs on the radio are annoying, EXCEPT the Bruce Springsteen “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, but that may just be hardwired in my NJ DNA.

Cut the Shit – Harmed and Dangerous (For fans of Municipal Waste, Minor Threat, Bones Brigade)

18 Songs: 17 minutes (that’s without the 4 minute silence obligatory bonus track)… friends, this is what hardcore is made of. Although calling them “hardcore” would be a little inaccurate, as you can definitely hear many more 80s thrash influences.

From the opener “You’re the Problem” all the way through “I Can’t Cope”, Harmed and Dangerous doesn’t let up for a minute. Pure fury, with the rage of Minor Threat and the thrash-a-billy-ness (is that a word?) of bands such as Bones Brigade.

Highly recommended to help you get in that christmas spirit!!!

MP3:
Cut the Shit – I Went to Art College and All I Got Was This Fucking Complex
Cut the Shit – Harmed and Dangerous

No Shit Articles:
A Little Hardcore Mix For You All
Municipal Waste
Give Up The Ghost
Killing the Dream

Buy:
Interpunk

Auto Bailouts and other Bastardly Deeds (A Mix!)

Good morning America! While you were asleep, you were once again turned over and completely ass raped by the rich of this country… leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside doesn’t it?

Yes, that hard earned money that you work for, and then pay taxes on have been given ONCE again to your employers, so they could keep paying you shit wages and making your waking existence nothing more than a 5 days a week 9-5 death march!

Why should we give this money to bailout people about to lose their houses, people who are homeless, children without medical access, and helping all the people employed by these companies?

Duh. Because if you’re poor and believe in socialist ideals, you’re a “commie”, but if you’re a rich corporation who has made horrible business decisions and continued to manufacturer vehicles that completely pollute and destroy this earth while your Japanese counterparts are at least making SOME strides, well then to not help out an American business is just “unpatriotic”.

Besides, congressmen don’t have their 401k invested in poor people! And think of all the people who will lose their jobs if we don’t fund it with taxpayers money… I mean there is no other way to fund it!

Oh well, at least Obama will change everything! Right guys?! Oh wait.

I guess it’s the first time that us far left people are actually finding common ground with the republicans for once.

Mp3:
DRI – Bailout
Dillinger Four – The Great American Going Out Of Business Sale
The Impossibles – This is Fucking Tragic
Against All Authority – What the Fuck You’d Expect?
Screeching Weasel – Used Cars
Chaos UK – Wall Street Crash
Aus Rotten – When You Support These Fucking Bastards
The Unseen – Goodbye America
The Nips – So Pissed Off

For More Cheery Mixes:
A “Yay for Insomnia” Mix
A “Let’s Trample People on Black Friday” Mix
A “Fuck Winter” Mix
Rainy Days and Crack Busts Mix
Drunken Yuppies Breaking Into My House Mix

Buy:
Interpunk

Atom and His Package – A Society of People Name Elihu (For fans of Matt and Kim, Totally Michael, Dead Milkmen)

So Atom and hi…. OH MY GOD ARE THOSE HIS TEETH??? Eeeeeew…. gingivitis! err. um, where was I?

So we here at the housewives are completely obsessed with Atom and His Package, posted on him more than anyone else on this blog, but somehow managed to never actually post on any of his albums.

Atom’s second album “A Society of People Named Elihu” took dweeb-synth pop to a whole new level (read: unknown) with it’s quirky 80s/Rugrats hooks, hilarious lyrics, and err… very unique vocals. I’ve read reviews that called Atom’s work “retarded Sesame Street music”, and it’s amazing how much hate mail he used to get simply for doing something different at the time.

Fuck the reviews, this album is solid genius, and is one I seldom get tired of listening to. Maybe it’s the way Atom took classics from Fugazi, Misfits, and Youth of Today and completely turned them into synth songs that pissed people off. Whatever, nothing is sacred in this one man band.

Mp3:
Atom and His Package – Goalie
Atom and His Package – Me and My “Black Metal” Friends

More Rockage:
My Mom Likes Atom and His Package
Snowshoe BBQ
Atom and his Package vs Fugazi
Craaaazy Dance Party: Totally Michael

Buy:
No Idea Records (buy it off here. it’s 6 bucks.)

46 Short – Just a Liability (For fans of The Unseen, Circle Jerks, The Virus)

(Photo by R. Roca)

Holy Schnike balls! How have I had 46 Short’s “Just A Liability” for so freaking long (few years now) and never really gave it a true listen? Straight up, no strings attached raw street/80s influenced punk rock.

Take the energy of your typical street punk band (say: The Unseen) and multiple that by 2. You now have 46 Short’s “Just A Liability”. Just listen to it goddammit.

MP3:
46 Short – “Friend”
46 Short - Numb

46 Minus 41 Articles:
Sakes Alive!!!
Action
Raw Street Punk: Violent Society
Adolf and the Piss Artists
Witch Hunt

Buy:
Go Kart

Bigwig -Stay Asleep (for fans of Propagandhi, Static Radio NJ, NOFX)

Bigwig is one of those bands that I’ve always been shocked that they never completely exploded in terms of popularity goes. After years of releasing solid after solid album, it’s pretty damn hard to believe that Stay Asleep (my first Bigwig album) came out nearly 10 years ago.

These days, not unlike Propagandhi, Bigwig plays a more thrashy punk rock… but back in the day (aaaand I’m officially old), the sound was a much more melodic almost skate type of punk rock. And jesus christ can that guy strum faaaaast (just take a listen to the opening of “Board Dumb”).

Highly recommended, I’ve been listening to it nonstop for the past few days.

MP3:
Bigwig – Board Dumb
Bigwig – Flavor Ice

Stay Classy, Housewives:
Bigwig – Reclamation (Thrashy Bigwig)
Propagandhi
Propagandhi… Err… Again (different album this time)!

Buy:
Kung Fu Records

Sakes Alive!! – Act I (For fans of From Ashes Rise, Pipedown)

Ok, I’ll admit, when I first read the band name, I thought it was a Japanese grindcore band since the name SHOULD obviously be pronounced ‘sake’ as in the Japanese rice alcohol… but alas, it’s ‘sake’ as in “for god’s sake silverunity, they’re from Rochester, NY, not Japan.”

Regardless, Sakes Alive!! kicks major ass. They were originally going to release a full length, but decided to break it up in a bunch of EPs and 7 inches (because that’s more punk rock, obviously.) The 7 inch 3 song “Act I” is the first in the bunch, and if it is any indication on how the rest are gonna be, then it’s definitely worth pre-ordering them all now.

Reviewers are constantly comparing them to the beloved Dillinger Four, but I don’t really see that (then again, it could just be those punknews kids… they won’t listen to anything that’s not Lawrence Arms, D4, or Gaslight Anthem). A more fair comparision would be to the likes of From Ashes Rise. I can feel it, these guys are going to get big in punk music one day, so check them out now so you can bitch later “I rememeber the days of Act I, before they got all big! All these others are hopping on the bandwagon! I’m going to go bitch about this now on [insert your favorite forum here]” (you’ll be sure to earn some scenepoints).

MP3:
Sakes Alive!! – I’m Religious

Aritcles Alive!!:
Witch Hunt
From Ashes Rise

Buy:
Barrett Records