Archive for April 26, 2012

Bad Religion – How Could Hell Be Any Worse (For fans of The Circle Jerks, Youth Brigade, Bad Brains)

Bad Religion How Could Hell Be Any Worse Cover

Bad Religion is one of those bands that even people who don’t listen to or know the slightest thing about punk rock knows about.  While these Los Angeles guys have exploded over the year, even going on to make some US charts for best selling albums, nothing compares with their first full length How Could Hell Be Any Worse.

Recorded and released back in 1982 on a budget of $1000 (which the band borrowed $1000 from the guitarist’s father) How Could Hell Be Any Worse was the first full length for both the band and their respective label Epitaph.  The music was fast, chaotic, and a staple in 1980s hardcore.

How Could Hell Be Any Worse features fan favorites “We’re Only Gonna Die” and “Fuck Armageddon This Is Hell”, but really, all of the songs on this album are essential.  A must have for any fans of 80s punk rock such as The Circle Jerks and Bad Brains.

MP3:
Bad Religion – Fuck Armageddon This Is Hell

How Could Housewives Be Any Worse:
Bad Religion – All Ages
Youth Brigade – Sink With Kalifonija
Black Flag – Damaged

Buy:
Epitaph

Protest The Hero Live In Philly (4/22/12)

Last night I headed out to Philly’s Trocadero to catch punk turned progressive metal act Protest The Hero.  These guys always put on a good show, and I love watching how they’ve progressed from when I first heard their melodic punk sounds back when they released “A Calculated Use Of Sound” all the way to their face melting riffs of Scurrilous.  I walked in about halfway through Periphery’s set, and while I don’t really know too much about these Maryland dudes, they definitely had the crowd moving.

Protest The Hero:

I was feeling a bit down before the show for some reason, and almost didn’t even want to go (even with them being one of my favorite bands), but they played Propagandhi while they set up their equipment, and suddenly I was stoked.  These young bucks from Canada took the stage to the oh so beautiful sound of a 56k modem dialing up, to which some youngsters in the crowd yelled “This sounds like Skrillex!”.  Seriously, am I that old?

Breaking out into Scurrilous closer “Sex Tapes”, Protest The Hero had the crowd screaming along and opening into a rather sporadic pit.  The band played as tight as ever, and they blasted through songs on all of their releases (minus A Calculated Use Of Sound).  Rody took some time to congratulate Philly for their Flyers victory, make fun of the few who thought the 56k modem was Skrillex, and thank and take some friendly jabs at the bands they brought on tour with them.

One of the highlights of the show was when during their final songs, all of the openers came out on stage and did the conga stripped down in their boxers to the confusion and hilarity of Protest The Hero.  The band was able to keep a straight face and continue playing (except Rody, who started cracking up) but he recovered quickly and continued the song.

Definitely a solid show and always a fun time when they come around.

Setlist (Not in order, but pretty complete)
Sex Tapes
Goddess Bound
Goddess Gagged
Bloodmeat
Tongue Splitter
Moonlight
Sequoia Throne
Turn Soonest To The Sea
Hair Trigger
Limb From Limb
Blindfolds Aside
C’est La Vie

MP3:
Protest The Hero – Heretics And Killers

More:
Protest the Hero – Scurrilous
Protest the Hero – A Calculated Use Of Sound
Protest The Hero – Fortress
Protest The Hero – Kezia

Buy:
Protest Official

Ceremony, Dead People Screaming Live In Philly (4/21/12)


Yesterday evening I headed out to my second home The Barbary to catch one of my favorite hardcore acts around, Ceremony.  It’s been about a year since I last saw them and they always put on a solid show.  As an added bonus, I learned that Philly’s own Dead People Screaming was opening the show and I’ve been meaning to catch these dudes for a little while.

Dead People Screaming:

Singer Ryan came out wearing a drag dress and some Batman undies to the surprise of mostly everyone (possibly including his band) and within the first note jumped down off the stage and into the crowd.   I love this fucking guy.

They blasted through a few heavy hitting, fast paced punk jams that the majority of the crowd seemed to be digging (albeit shielding themselves from the singer who was flying through the crowd).  My favorite jam was a “pop punk” (I use that term loosely) song they did, which featured incredibly catchy melodies with some break-beat breakdowns thrown in.

Definitely need to catch Dead People Screaming play a house show, I’m sure they tear that shit up.

Ceremony:

I missed both Watery Love and Salvation (who I’ve seen before at the American Nightmare reunion up in Boston), but made it back to the venue in time for Cali’s Ceremony.  Known for their power-violence blast beat hardcore, they threw fans a curve ball with their latest release of Zoo.  Zoo has been both critically acclaimed and crucified by fans for a complete change in a direction, and abandoning all their hardcore influences for a more post-punk (think Pixies, Joy Division) sound.

I was cautiously excited for their set as I wasn’t the biggest fan of their latest, and was afraid that the majority of the set would be of the newer influence.  Unfortunately for me, my fears were true.  The band opened up immediately with Hysteria which sent the crowd into a stage diving, pile-on frenzy.

Ceremony followed it up with “The oldest song ever written”, Kersed which had all of us losing our shit.  The band played tight, and Ross’s usual one man ball of destruction/raving lunatic on stage was a little more subdued (but that could be because there were always a minimum of like 6 additional people up there with him just singing along).

Majority of the set was from Zoo and Rohnert Park, with a few songs sprinkled in from Violence Violence and Still Nothing Moves You.  I love Ceremony, and they are still one of my favorite hardcore bands ever, but I personally felt a little underwhelmed by their set (not their actual performance, they killed it with all of their songs, I’m just picky and want more old stuff… but they DID just come out with their new album).

Still, even if I don’t like it, I give the band credit for going out there and trying something different… as in true Ceremony style, I know they’re doing it for themselves and couldn’t give two fucks what anyone thinks.  I just hope they incorporate more of the brutal passionate rage that made me love Ceremony in the first place.    They DID close with Throwing Bricks and I Want to Bring This To An End so i can’t complain too much.

Setlist:
Hysteria
Kersed
Open Head
The Difference Between Looking And Seeing
Citizen
Sick
MCDF
World Blue
The Doldrums
Nosebleed
He-god-has Favored Our Undertakings
Terminal Addiction
Adult
Pressure’s On (Red-C Cover)
5 to 10 (Vile Cover)
Throwing Bricks
I Want To Bring This To An End
Violence Violence

MP3:
Ceremony – My Hands Are Made Of Spite

More:
Ceremony – Zoo
Ceremony – Violence Violence
Ceremony – Scared People EP
Ceremony – Still Nothing Moves You
Ceremony – Rohnert Park

Buy:
Ceremony
Dead People Screaming

Guantanamo Baywatch – Chest Crawl (For fans of Shannon And The Clams, Dry Feet, The Cramps)

Today we’re bringing you something a little bit different.  I’m not the biggest fan of surf music, but I recognize the importance of surf rock as far as it’s influence of punk (after all, The Ramones pretty much took the Beach Boys and made it faster and more distorted).  There aren’t many surf punk bands I dig besides Philly’s own Dry Feet, but I recently had a chance to check out Portland’s Guantanamo Baywatch’s Chest Crawl and I have to say, I’m digging it.

These two guys and gal play surf rock done right.  Enough to make me feel I’m at the beach, but with enough trashiness and grittiness to remind me to look out for the hypodermic needles and used condoms lying around.  Sleazy, treble cranked, and reverb induced, Guantanamo Baywatch’s Chest Crawl is definitely for any fan of the genre.  If you dig bands such as Shannon and the Clams or Dry Feet, you’ll want to check this one out.

Yo, is it bad that this album makes me want to watch old seasons of Spongebob?

MP3:
Guantanamo Baywatch – Boomerenga

Fuckin Shoobies:
Dry Feet – Philadelphia Beach

Buy:
Dirtnap Records

Municipal Waste – The Fatal Feast (For fans of DRI, Nuclear Assault, Crucial Unit)

I was cautiously excited for Municipal Waste’s fifth full length The Fatal Feast released about a week ago.  I love Municipal Waste, but I was a little underwhelmed by their last album Massive Aggressive.  Sure, Massive Aggressive wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but to me it just seemed slower and unmemorable (although in it’s defense, the songs transcribed MUCH better live).  After a few listens to The Fatal Feast, I’m happy to say Municipal Waste is back to fucking shit up.

The Fatal Feast takes all the aggression of their earlier releases and mixes with it the more focused aggression of Massive Aggressive.  The results are a more concise, mature sound.  I use the term mature incredibly lightly by the way, these are still the puking party people we’ve come to know and love.

Songs such as Unholy Abductor are incredibly reminiscent of the speed freak sounds of Waste Em All.  Shit, Municipal Waste even tap into their punk roots a bit with Idiot Check, with the chorus featuring a guitar riff that is guaranteed to set off any punk fan into a circle pitted frenzy.

If you were turned off by Massive Aggressive, definitely check out The Fatal Feast, the crossover kings have returned to reclaim their crown.

MP3:
Municipal Waste – Unholy Abductor

Municipal Waste Is Gonna Fuck You Up:

Municipal Waste – Scion EP
Crucial Unit – These Colors Get The Runs
Municipal Waste – Waste Em All
Municipal Waste – Massive Aggressive
Municipal Waste – Tango And Thrash EP
Municipal Waste – Hazardous Mutations

Buy:
Municipal Waste

Red C – Demo (For fans of Minor Threat, Teen Idles, Government Issue)

Red C is one of those hardcore gems from the 80s that not many people know about.  Formed in DC back in 1981, the band only played about 7 shows ever, and only recorded one 4 song demo (which Dischord released on their Flex Your Head compilation).  Still, any early hardcore fan would dig them.

The demo is only about 5 minutes in length, with the first track being an instrumental, but I’ve been listening to it a lot lately.  Playing hardcore in the veins of Minor Threat and Government Issue, if you listen to Ceremony at all you may actually already know a Red C song (Ceremony covered “Pressure’s On” on their Violence Violence + Ruined).

If you’re a fan of early hardcore, definitely check out Red C’s demo, which you can find on Dischord’s compilation.

MP3:
Red C – Pressure’s On

More Hardcore:
Minor Threat
Embrace (Ian’s Band After Minor Threat)

Teen Idles – Minor Disturbance
Ceremony – Violence Violence

Buy:
Dischord

Punk Rock For A Cause (Lifetime and Handguns)

Taken by Wass Photography

So, I usually keep posts targeted towards album reviews, mixes, the occasional interview and live show recaps… but today I am going to make an exception.  Local Philly concert photographer Wass Photography has teamed up with 24 different bands and Cold Cut Merch for one fuck of noble cause.

It goes something like this: each band selects a nonprofit of their choice, and Wass Photography submits a photo of the band for a t-shirt, and all of the proceeds go to the charity the band picked.  So far, both melodic hardcore legends Lifetime and damn solid Handguns have had shirts released.  I already ordered my Lifetime shirt.
Do yourself a favor and go check out the project, which has been dubbed Live Shot Charity Tees.  You can buy the Lifetime shirt or the Handguns shirt right now.  You get a sweet t-shirt and make a charitable donation at the same time.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic… If you haven’t heard of the separate but equally awesome Shirts For A Cure site, go check that as well.  Seriously, I think half my wardrobe is from that website.

And since this is a punk MP3 blog, here’s some Lifetime and Handguns for you.

MP3:
Lifetime – Daneurysm
Handguns -A Year In Review

More:
Lifetime Live In Philly
Handguns – Don’t Hold Your Tongue

Buy:
Live Shot Charity Tees

Seaway – Self Titled EP (RIYL Crucial Dudes, Newfound Glory, Mixtapes)


I approach pop-punk like postal workers approach a suspicious package in the mail: poke it with a stick a few times, and hope the results don’t leave me covered in burns praying for my life to be spared.  I guess what I’m trying to (poorly) say is for every good pop-punk band, there are probably like 1000 shitty ones I simply cannot stand due to them being too whiny, too poppy, or (insert elitist reason for hating some pop-punk band of your choice here).

Ontario’s Seaway is one of the diamonds in the rough.  With their debut Self Titled EP, Seaway provides 4 tracks of unrelenting pop-punk goodness.  Catchy guitar hooks, infectious sing-a-longs, and just enough grittiness to keep a jaded punk fan like myself interested.  Very reminiscent of Crucial Dudes and early Newfound Glory (fuck you, their Self Titled is good… go listen to the song Vegas and try to tell me it isn’t catchy).

If you dig pop-punk, Seaway should definitely be on your radar.  Go to their bandcamp and check out their Self Titled EP.

Mp3:
Seaway – The Basics

More Pop Punk:
Crucial Dudes – 61 Penn
Saves The Day – Can’t Slow Down (The Best Saves The Day Album)
Hold Tight! – Can’t Take This Away
Mixtapes – Hope Is For People

Buy:
Seaway Bandcamp

Punk Rock Easter (A Mix)


So tomorrow is Easter, and for most of us on the east coast here, that marks the mental beginning of Spring.  Avoid those god-awful popcorn jellybeans (seriously, vomit tastes better), go find the eggs Jesus laid or something, and rock out.

MP3:
Star Fucking Hipsters – Zombie Christ
Dillinger Four – New Punk Fashions For The Spring Formal
LxExAxRxNx – Spring
The Copyrights – Stuck In Springtime
Rites Of Spring – Spring
Assorted Jellybeans – Assorted Jellybeans
Horse The Band – Bunnies

More Mixes:
I Went To Costa Rica And Didn’t Get Malaria
Punk Rock Valentine’s Mix (because I love you)

Buy:
Interpunk

Municipal Waste – Scion EP (For fans of Crucial Unit, DRI, ANS)

I just found out that the other night Andrew WK played “I Get Wet” here in Philly in it’s entirety, and I HAD NO FUCKING IDEA!!!  It’s a sad day for partying, indeed.  Good thing today, party crossover thrashers Municipal Waste released a teaser EP through Scion A/V (wait what?)

Yeah.  You read that right.  Richmond’s Municipal Waste put out a 2 song EP (although calling 2 songs an EP is a stretch) through Scion Audio Visual.  It features one song from their upcoming The Fatal Feast release and one original.  The songs themselves are classic Municipal Waste, with the first one Repossession featuring chuggy and thrashy wholesome family goodness (no seriously… it’s even radio edited… weird as fu… err… fudge).  The second one Garbage Stomp/Poser Disposer sounds like it could have come off of Waste Em’ All with their blast beat thrash.

Good little teaser that got me pretty excited for their latest, you can download the two songs for free over at Scion A/V.

MP3:
Municipal Waste – Garbage Stomp / Poser Disposer

If I Can’t Fuck Shit Up I Don’t Want To Live:
Crucial Unit – These Colors Get The Runs
Waste Em All
Massive Aggressive
Tango And Thrash EP
Hazardous Mutations

Buy:
Scion A/V