Archive for December 30, 2009

The 10 Best Albums of 2009! (No Paramore, I Swear)

Everybody and their mom has a top 10 music releases for 2009. I’ve read a bunch of lists, and it seems like everybody really dug Paramore, Tegan and Sarah, and Matt and Kim. In the interest of music that doesn’t happen to be on Pitchfork’s list, here’s my top 10 for 2009.

10. Strike Anywhere – Iron Front

These Richmond now moved to Los Angeles melodic hardcore dudes never disappoint. Channeling the energy from earlier releases such as “Change is Sound” and blending it with the harmonic perfection of “Dead FM”, Strike Anywhere has a bunch of stand out, catchy as super glue tracks on their 09 release of Iron Front.

MP3: Strike Anywhere – Failed State

9. mc chris – Part 6 Series

Over the course of 2009, mc chris released a bunch of EPs (Part I, Part II, and Part III) that proved that our beloved dirty mouthed yet clever as fuck mc was back. Sure, I enjoyed “mc chris is dead” as much as the next guy in line, but it almost felt like mc chris was trying too hard to get radio play. The part 6 Series expanded mc chris’s sound, as he pulled influences from ska, j-pop, and straight up hiphop to name a few.

MP3: mc chris – Awesome Fucker

8. Teenage Bottlerocket – They Came From The Shadows

There’s two things in life that are consistent: Death and Teenage Bottlerocket putting out a hell of a release. These Ramones influenced Wyoming punks managed to top into some heavier music (Bigger Than Kiss, Fatso Goes Nutzoid) and still dished out the heartfelt pop-punk tunes that won Teenage Bottlerocket fans in the first place.

MP3: Teenage Bottlerocket – Fatso Goes Nutzoid

7. Municipal Waste – Massive Aggressive

Speaking of consistent releases, Municipal Waste’s Massive Aggressive brings back the party/zombie thrash. Some of the songs are a little slower paced than what we’re used to, but they still shred faster than any band out there. Lyrically, the band has matured a bit too, tackling some political issues (in between their songs about mutated wolves of course).

MP3: Municipal Waste – Wolves Of Chenorbyl

6. Barnaby Jones – Self Titled

These Long Island dudes definitely don’t get enough love. Playing blazing fast hardcore without the boring mosh parts, Barnaby Jones released one hell of a debut. They’re not very well known right now, but if they keep it up, expect a stage diving fest the next time they come around.

MP3: Barnaby Jones – Danielle Steel Reserve

5. Paint it Black – Amnesia & Surrender

Giving up on the full length format, Paint it Black decided that they would take a play from the hardcore book and release two EPs as opposed to a full length. Seems to have worked pretty well, and we’ve heard some of Paint it Black’s heaviest and most melodic songs they’ve ever produced. Unfortunately, the band is on a temporary hiatus (Dan Yemin is now a dad: if you’re reading this Dan, congratulations! We expect your daughter to be stage diving by 5 years old. He also started a blog about parenting, that makes a surprisingly interesting read for even those of us who aren’t into parenting) but is still writing new songs.

MP3: Paint it Black – Amnesia

4. Bomb The Music Industry – Scrambles

You could be a whiny little douchebag (we’re looking at you IFPI & RIAA) or you can be one of the most respected, DIY groups around. I have a ton of respect for Bomb the Music Industry, where they release their album for free (or pay what you want) , keep shows cheap, and still manage to release their best album to date. The most developed, heartfelt, rocking songs BTMI has ever written.

MP3: Bomb the Music Industry – (Shut) Up The Punx!!!

3. Aneurysm Rats – Dying To Live

Holy shit, what can I say about the Aneurysm Rats? Heavy and fast as hell with some of the most meaningful (yet sometimes cryptic) lyrics I’ve heard from a hardcore band in a while. I listen to this one a few times a week. Also, bonus for the incredibly sick album art.

MP3: Aneurysm Rats – Left to Right

2. Lighten Up – Absolutely Not

What is with all the ridiculously sick Philly bands on this list (Aneurysm Rats, Paint it Black)? I’m not being biased, but ever since my current city produced Kid Dynamite, some of the best hardcore bands have graced these streets. Lighten Up proves that they’re straight outta Philly with their explosive live shows and their lightning quick hardcore. 12 songs in 18 minutes? That’s fucking hardcore right there. Lighten Up deserves a lot more attention then they are getting, and if you are going to check out one band you’ve never heard of before this year, make sure it’s these guys.

MP3: Lighten Up! – Invisible Checks

1. Propagandhi – Supporting Caste

By far my favorite release this year (although Lighten Up was a close 2nd). Propagandhi has evolved quite a bit since How to Clean Everything, and Supporting Caste could possibly be my favorite release ever from these Winnipeg thrashers. A complete shredfest, with some Less Talk, More Rock influences as well. It seems like since Obama (fuck that guy by the way… typical spineless corporate funded Democrat) has been elected, bands haven’t been as political, but at least we have these Canadians to keep our eyes open and let us know shit’s still fucked.

MP3:
Propagandhi – Dear Coaches Corner

Lists From The Past:
Best Albums of 2008
The 7 Best Albums of 2007

Buy:
Interpunk

The Reveling – 3D Radio (For fans of The Lawrence Arms, Gaslight Anthem, The Loved Ones)

Fucking Brooklyn. The place itself is alright, and in the past there has been some solid bands from there (Gorilla Biscuits, World Inferno Friendship Society) but I kind of hate the pretentious indie garbage that comes from that hipster breeding cess pool as of late. Luckily, The Reveling saves face for the borough, and their “3D Radio” EP is chock full of melodic punk rock goodness.

The 4 song EP is a pretty solid self release. I’ve heard and read people comparing them to The Loved Ones or The Gaslight Anthem, but I think they have a sound much more similar to Lawrence Arms or A Wilhelm Scream. Vocalist Sean carries songs with his melodic yet slightly grizzled voice, while bassist Dennis drives the music, most notably on “Breadline”. The guitar work pulls influences from melodic punk and while at times can be slightly poppy, never loses it’s edge.

Interesting little tidbit: the drummer’s father is Max Weinberg of E Street Band fame. Let the Bruce Springsteen comparisons come flying now.

MP3:
The Reveling – Breadline

Revealing Housewives:
D4 – C I V I L W A R
Smoke or Fire – This Sinking Ship
Fifth Hour Hero
Static Radio NJ – An Evening of Bad Decisions

Buy:
The Reveling

LxExAxRxNx – Till Death (For fans of Bones Brigade, Paint it Black, The Steal)

Holy shit, what just happened? With 14 songs in 10 minutes, even the Circle Jerks would be proud of Italy’s punk/hardcore/thrash band LxExAxRxNx. If this is hardcore in Italy, then they must be doing something right.

While LxExAxRxNx may be from Italy, but they sing in English, and completely shred. There’s no frills here, just lightning fast punk tunes without any breakdowns or as they like to call it “Mosh Parts”.

Check this one out, and even though the high only lasts for 10 minutes, it could just be enough to get you through the day.

MP3:
LxExAxRxN – It’s Time To Learn, Charlie Brown!
LxExAxRxN – We Hate Mosh Parts

It’s Time To Read Some More Housewives Articles, Charlie Brown!
Aneurysm Rats
Paint it Black – Surrender
The Steal – Bright Grey
Lighten Up! – Absolutely Not!

Buy:
LxExAxRxNx Myspace

More Punk Rock Christmas Tunes

Well guys, it has been a crazy week, but it’s finally Christmas eve (although technically, I’m not counting it until I get out of work). I know the posts have been kind of slow this week, but once I get back, there will be some sweet new reviews up and also the required top 10 list every blogger must do or is threatened with tar and feathers.

Also, fellow atheists, enough with the whole “politically correct” bullshit, and your self righteous pretension. You’re making the rest of us atheists look bad. And Christians, enough with your whole “War on Christmas” shit. If someone wishes you Happy Holidays, get the fuck over it, I’m sure Jesus wouldn’t give a fuck. No one’s declaring war on you, as much as you want to feel persecuted so you achieve some sort of martyrdom. Fuckin people.

Ok, now that I got all of the bitterness out, be safe and have a good holiday!

MP3:
The Vandals – Oi to The World
The Chinkees – Christmas
The Vandals – Thanx For Nothing

Read These Housewives Articles (to the max):
Christmas Songs You Won’t Hear On The Radio
Christmas with the Vandals
A Not So Holiday Mix (Heavy As Sh*t Mix)

Buy:
Interpunk

The Slackers Live (Philly 12/21/09)


Last night I had a huge debate with myself to decide if I should go see The Slackers at Philly’s Theater of Living Arts (many feelings were hurt during this debate). On the downside, the show was kind of expensive ($18) since it was at the Live Nation owned TLA and my car was buried under a snowbank. However, on the plus side, it’s the fucking Slackers, and I love that band. So with snow shovel in hand, I headed out to my car and drove off to see NY’s ska legends.

Fuck Live Nation. I get to the venue, and they decided that there would be an extra $5 service fee at the door (I used fucking cash) for reasons I could not understand (probably because they bought out Ticketmaster and took some tips from them) and I definitely felt just sliiightly violated. I was tempted to turn around at this point, but I did just shovel my car out and ride the fucking subway over, so I wasn’t about to leave.

It did put me in a pissed off mood, and made it kind of difficult to enjoy the show (I know, it’s only 5 bucks, but it’s the principal of the matter). When I entered, The Slackers were setting up and the place had a decent number of people, but nowhere near the amount to justify having the show at the TLA (sorry, bitterness again).

The Slackers killed it as usual, and played for about an hour and a half as well. They sounded really tight, and had pretty much the entire place skanking. However, the energy didn’t see as high, probably because of the barricade and non-intimate setting of the place. I feel like The Slackers are a type of band that does much better in smaller venues, and the stage seemed way too big for them. They played a bunch of their hits, and even threw in some holiday songs as well.

They put on a solid performance, and although I danced, I just wasn’t really feeling it last night. Stick with the smaller venues guys.

Some Highlights:
Married Girl
Pedophilia
Everyday is Sunday
Dreidel
Let It Snow
Cupid

MP3:
The Slackers – Every Day Is Sunday

Read These Slackers Articles Or Die:
The Slackers – Self Medication
Slackers Show Review (3/2009)
Show Review: The Slackers Live In Philadelphia (9/2008)

Buy:
Slackers

Holiday Songs You Won’t Hear On The Radio

Deny it all you want, Christmas is in the air and just around the corner. While everyone else turning on their radios to hear 45749057423 versions of the same damn 5 Christmas songs, you’ll be the hit of your party with these underplayed punk rock tunes.

Atom and His Package – What WE do On Christmas
For all the Jews out there.

MU330 – Xmas Card
Love woes get you down for the holidays? Fear not.

The Vandals – Nothing Going to Ruin my Holiday
Posi Up!

Pipedown – Carol Of The Bells
How can you make this creepy ass holiday song creepier? Get a hardcore band to play it.

Less Than Jake – Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer
Homicide, never doing the time.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones – This Time Of Year
Ahh, besides the freezing cold, crap ass weather, and

Real Mckenzies – Pagan Holiday
Status of the winter solstice punks? Upped.

Nicotine – Do They Know it’s Christmas?
Punk version of my favorite Christmas song around. The cheeriest depressing Christmas song around.

More Housewives Tunes:
Christmas with the Vandals
A Not So Holiday Mix (Heavy As Sh*t Mix)

Buy:

Interpunk

Star Fucking Hipsters – Never Rest In Peace (for fans of Leftover Crack, Choking Victim, Morning Glory)

All I want is world peace, or a piece of the world (Name that quote for 500 nerd points!). Back in October, Star Fucking Hipsters released their newest album “Never Rest In Peace” on Alternative Tentacles, and I got to say, I’ve been listening to it a hell of a lot lately.

You know the deal by now, all star line-up featuring Sturg Crack (Leftover Crack), Frank Piegaro (Degenerics), Nico de Gallo, and members from a bunch of other respectable bands. Obviously pulling influences from Sturg’s other bands, Star Fucking hipsters bring quite possibly the most melodic crust I’ve ever heard.

Take the song “Look Who’s Talking” for instance, one minute Scott is doing his trademark throat ripping yell, and then Nico jumps in and brings harmony like no other. “The Civilization Show”, besides making me want to leave my work right now and just go home and play Civ 4, breaks out some of that infamous crackrocksteady ska while songs like “3000 Miles” and “Severance Pay” may quite possibly be the most melodic songs released this year.

Lyrically, the band has matured as well. The politics are more well thought out, and they express their point without trying to be shocking (wait what? Are you sure this is one of Sturg’s bands?)

Even if you never liked any of the crack rock steady bands before, I highly suggest you check out Star Fucking Hipsters “Never Rest In Peace”, as it definitely is a bit more accessible than any other crack rock release without sacrificing any of the energy or aggression.

MP3:
Star Fucking Hipsters – 3000 Miles Away

Jamming To That Crack Rock Steady Beat:
Star Fucking Hipsters Live (philly)
Star Fucking Hipsters – Until We’re Dead
INDK – Kill Whitey
Morning Glory
No Cash (For fans of Leftover Crack, Choking Victim)

Buy:
Star Fucking Hipsters

A Not So Holiday Mix (Heavy As Sh*t Mix)


Yeah I know, posts have been a bit scarce this week due to extreme busyness such as the holidays, fucking ceilings crashing down in apartments, blah blah blah. Anyways, sometimes you need some ridiculously fast and heavy music to get you through the dreary northeast winter (dudes/dudettes who live on the south/west coast… you have no idea how lucky you are). So here is a collection of some not-so-holiday-music.

MP3:
Bones Brigade – I Hate Myself When I’m Not Skateboarding
Give Up The Ghost – There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of Pru
Ceremony – He-god-Has Favored Our Undertakings
Swallowing Shit – If Assholes Could Fly, This Place Would Be An Airport
Aneurysm Rats – Left to Right
Cut the Shit – Harmed and Dangerous
Municipal Waste – Unleash The Bastards
Minor Threat – I Don’t Wanna Hear It

Mixes that Are Cool As Shit:
DC Stylee Mix
Go On Strike?
I’m Not Old Yet (Homecoming 09)
Everytime it Rains, The Bus Is Late Just To Spite Me

Buy:
Interpunk
Smartpunk

V/A – Wrecktrospective (NOFX, Propagandhi, Anti-Flag)

San Fransisco’s Fat Wreck Chords is pretty much a (punk) household name. Fat Mike of NOFX’s label helped change the relationship between bands and labels by offering one record deals, allowing a band to move on from the label after an album without any bullshit contract obligations and has been operating for almost 20 years now. To commemorate the past 20 years, Fat Wreck released a 3 disc box set called “Wrecktrospective”.

The 1st disc is a 33 song greatest hits collection, containing tracks from Fat Wreck alumni such as NOFX, Propagandhi, Rise Against, etc. Most of these songs you can probably find on Fat Wreck’s website under the MP3s section (which by the way, is an amazing section. I remember going to Fatwreck.com when I first started listening to punk nearly 10 years ago to discover more bands).

The 2nd and 3rd discs are where the meat is. The 2nd disc contains 28 demo versions of songs that we’ve come to love including The Soviettes, Lagwagon, etc. It’s pretty cool to hear the much more rawness in some of these songs. The 3rd disc contains all of the songs that were released through the Fat 7-inch Club, where the label would send a subscriber a brand new 7-inch every month. If you weren’t part of that, you’ll hear 27 new songs from the likes of Randy, The Vandals, and the Lawrence Arms just to name a few.

There is one bonus included in this box set, and that is a poster with all of the Fat releases on the front, and on the back the label asked it’s roster to talk about the moment when they first got signed (the responses are pretty funny).

One of the most consistent labels in putting out solid releases, you’ll definitely find something on here that you’ll like.

MP3:
Rise Against – Alive and Well (demo version)
None More Black – Slytherin? My Ass!

Fat Articles:
Nofx – Coaster
Rise Against – The Unraveling
Rise Against – Revolutions Per Minute

Buy:
Fat Wreck

Municipal Waste w/Phobia, Brutal Truth, Cauldron (Live In Philly 12/10/09)

Jesus Chirst on a pogo stick! Municipal Waste has been one of my favorite bands for quite some time now, but for some reason, every time they come around, I can’t make the show. So needless to say, I was stoked out of my mind for this show.

Only problem? I got home from work, and felt like complete shit. I actually passed out for a good 45 minutes before the show started, and when I woke up had a killer headache. Aw heell no! No way I’m going to let anything get between me and going apeshit at the Municipal Waste show! So I upped the caffeine intake before I left and through out the show once I got there.

I got to Philly’s First Unitarian Church basement just in time for Toronto’s Cauldron. The basement reeked of stale beer and ginkgo fruit from the tree outside (for those unaware of what ginko smells like, it’s known for it’s similar smell to shit… seriously).

Cauldron


Wow their hair is certainly long! I watched as the long haired metal kids rushed up front to headbang. These metal kids twirl their hair in such perfect unison, it’s almost beautiful, like some sort of birds of paradise mating call. Oh, except for one crust girl, who was so wasted, her pants were falling to show her plumber’s crack (please put that shit away) and she wound up hurting herself in the pit… when she was the only one dancing.

Cauldron was actually pretty solid live. They played traditional metal, and the lead vocalist sung the lyrics instead of growling or any of that cookie monster vocal stuff. At one point during the show, some juggalo (why was he there?) jumped on stage, took the mic, and started bitching about how he wanted to hear some rap metal. The guitarist starting pushing him off, but the vocalist ingeniously defused the situation. The singer asked the crowd how many people want to watch this juggalo stage dive, and then devoted the next song to all the juggalos in the crows (IE: him). It would have been a lot better if he jumped onstage during Municipal Waste’s set, because I know that band would of beat the piss out of him.

Phobia:

I went to go grab some more caffeine and a banana (up the potassium punx!) and when I got back, Phobia took the stage when I got there (sorry to my friend Jim, who when the pick broke out, I spilled hot tea all over him… oops). Phobia fucking murdered it. I didn’t know much about the band, but they played brutal crust/grindcore in the veins of Napalm Death or Swallowing Shit.

The crowd went assholes over heels for them, and had a giant pit going the entire time. Definitely need to check out some of their recorded stuff, and if they come around your area, check them out.

Brutal Truth:

I’ve heard good things about this NY deathgrind band, but to be honest, I wasn’t really digging their set, and judging by the crowd’s reaction, not too many other people were either. I think it may have been different if they went on before Phobia, but I just wasn’t too impressed.

They seemed a bit sloppy (which is usually fine for a grindcore band), but it was different than usual. It was almost as if the vocalist and the rest of the band were two separate entities, just both playing at the same time.

Municipal Waste:

Hoooooly shit! Finally, after way too much caffeine (I actually was shaking slightly), Municipal Waste took the stage and the place erupted into a shit show. Boogie boards were flying, people in shark costumes/banana (postassium punks again) running wild, and a circle pit that was pretty much nonstop the entire show (which I only took one break from, and that was to stage dive). The floor was completely beer soaked, and it seemed like nobody was able to keep from slipping.

They played a decent amount off of their 3 latest albums, and even a few off of their first Waste Em All. The songs off of Massive Aggressive translate much better live than they do on record, and while at first I had some reserves about the album, I definitely think I’ll have another few listens after hearing the songs live. One of the best live bands around, hopefully they’ll come around again soon, or I might have to make a pilgrimage to my college state to see them in Richmond sometime.

Setlist (Not in order or complete)
-Intro
-Unleash The Bastards
-Beer Pressure
-Sadistic Magician
-Divine Blasphemer
-Mutants Of War
-Masked By Delirium(?)
-Mental Shock
-Wrong Answer
-Blood Drive
-Accelerated Vision
-Terror Shark
-Boner City
-Acid Sentence
-I Want to Kill The President
-The Thrashin Of Christ
-Mind Eraser
-Born To Party

Encore:
Guilty Of Being Tight
Headbanger Face Rip

MP3:
Municipal Waste – Unleash The Bastards
Municipal Waste – Mental Shock

I can’t even see man!
Massive Aggressive
Tango And Thrash EP (Tribute to Kurt Russell)
Hazardous Mutations

Buy:
Official Site