Archive for music

Cave Moth, Fantasy Panther Live In Philadelphia (4/21/15)

cave moth fantasty panther

Tuesday night, I was suffering from a pretty bad headache and just overall felt under the weather. Figuring the only cure was incredibly loud grindcore, I headed out to Philadelphia’s Kung Fu Necktie on a whim, as I found out about the show about 4 hours before heading out.

I got to Kung Fu Necktie and the place was pretty much empty, minus a handful of people, making it a pretty low-key grind show (oxymoron?) which was actually pretty rad.

Fantasy Panther:

fantasy panther

Featuring ex-members of Pennsylvania’s weirdo-psycho-hardcore-whatever you want to call them An Albatross, Fantasy Panther plays heavy as shit grind, all while keeping true to their punk roots by throwing in plenty of melodies to contrast with the technical aspects typically found in grind (just listen to their song Dystrophy as an example).

I’ve seen these Philly locals a bunch of times now and Fantasy Panther always puts on a tight and energetic set, regardless if they’re playing to a packed room or just a few people on a Tuesday night.  Blasting through the majority of their under a minute songs on their LP, they also threw in some newer ones I haven’t really heard before.  Always fun, go see them live if you get a chance.

Cave Moth:

cave moth
I’ve never heard of Florida’s Cave Moth before, but they play incredibly experimental noise, blending a variety of styles, leaning very heavily on their grind influences during this set.  With many of their recorded songs being fully electronic white noise, they were playing their more structured songs.  I use that term incredibly loosely by the way, even their “more structured songs” remained incredibly experimental and technical.
Cave Moth seemed excited to be playing, and while their music might be too experimental for some there were definitely a few in the small handful of people there getting into their noise grind.  If you dig your grind more technical, give these dudes a listen.

MP3:
Fantasy Panther – Marionette

More:
An Albatross – We Are The Lazer Viking
An Albatross – Eat Lightning Shit Thunder
Phobia – Cruel
Some Girls – The DNA Will Have It’s Say
Graf Orlock – Destination: Time Today

Bigwig, Small Talk Live In NJ (4/17/15)

bigwig flyer

Growing up in NJ, I’m not sure how I never made it to New Brunswick’s Court Tavern, especially considering bands I love play their all time.  It only seemed appropriate then that my first Court Tavern show would be to go see NJ’s own Bigwig.

I just saw Bigwig last month at NateFest for the first time (finally,  after them being one of my favorite bands for the past 15 years) but to see them play their own headlining show?  There was no way I was missing that.

I got to The Court Tavern after making the trek down from Philadelphia navigating the busy New Brunswick streets on a bustling Friday night in the college town, and headed down to the basement where the stage was.  The room was pretty small, with a bar to the side, and a really low ceiling.  Small Talk was setting up.

Smalltalk:
small talk

I’ve never seen or listened to Smalltalk before, but the first I noticed was Pete of my favorite band The Bouncing Souls was playing guitar, with members of Worthless United.  Musically they were nothing like the aforementioned bands, with Smalltalk playing a sort of alternative/indie/power pop style.  Usually I am not into this particular style of music, but I found that Smalltalk put on an enjoyable set, even if it’s not my usual cup of tea.

Bigwig:

bigwig-members

The room packed out by the time Bigwig took the stage, and the place was burning hot.  Maybe it was the incredibly low ceilings, maybe it was the fact that people were jammed in together, but regardless the heat didn’t slow us down too much.  The second Bigwig opened with “Sink Or Swim”, the place immediately erupted into a pit and everyone shouting along.

Tom and crew seemed to be in high spirits despite the intense heat and their warning of how they were probably going to puke on stage due to said heat, playing a decently long set.

The band played songs through all of their releases, with a heavy emphasis on Stay Asleep (including my two favorites Flavor Ice and Boarddumb).  An incredibly good time, hoping this means Bigwig is active again and hopefully recording new music some time soon.  Years later, they still shred hard as ever and definitely worth the trek down from Philadelphia.

Setlist:
Sink Or Swim
Sore Losers
Still
A War Inside
Waste
Moosh
Best Of Me
Smile
Your In Sample
Owned And Operated
13
My Right (Screeching Weasel Cover)
Friends
Flavor Ice
Mr. Asshole
Girl In The Green Jacket
Numbers
Boarddumb
Outer Rings
Sell Out
Counting Down

MP3:
Bigwig – Mr. Asshole

More:
Bigwig – Stay Asleep
Bigwig – Reclamation

The Suicide Machines, Break Anchor Live In Philadelphia (4/9/15)

suicide machines tour

“Yeeeah, weeell I can’t wait to tell you all about…” how this past Thursday I got to go to Philadelphia’s Union Transfer to catch ska-punk legends The Suicide Machines who are currently on tour playing their first album Destruction By Definition in entirety.  I know what some of you cynical punks are thinking: “great, another band reuniting to try and relive their glory days and make a quick buck.”  And to you I say lighten up, it was incredible.

I got there a bit late missing one of my favorite ska bands still at it, Hub City Stompers who always put on a great show, but I got there in time for Break Anchor.

Break Anchor:

Break Anchor is the latest band featuring Jay Navarro (singer of The Suicide Machines) and their music is pretty straight forward punk rock.  Break Anchor put on an energetic show with fans circle pitting throughout the majority of their set.  They had a decent amount of younger fans, which was good to see.

The Suicide Machines:

I caught The Suicide Machines back when they played Riot Fest East with bands like 7 Seconds, The Descendents, and Hot Water Music… and The Suicide Machines easily had the biggest reaction of the night.  I had high expectations for the same energetic reaction and I was not let down.  The band took the stage with one of the members of The Pilfers playing trombone, and the second they broke out into opener “New Girl” a giant pit broke out that didn’t let up for the rest of the night.  Older fans and younger fans were going all out and screaming every word as The Detroit punks played through their acclaimed Destruction By Definition. 

Navarro, even playing a set with Break Anchor just before still was incredibly high energy, and legitimately seemed excited to be playing these songs again.  After playing through the entirety of the album, the band came back for an encore and played a bunch off their follow up album Battle Hymns.  An incredible set and show, if you get a chance to see them on this tour, do it.  I felt like I was 16 again skanking and circle pitting all damn night.

Setlist:

New Girl
SOS
Break The Glass
No Face
Hey
Our Time
Too Much
Islands
The Real You
Face Values
Punk Out
The Vans Song
Insecurities
Inside/Outside
Zero
So Long

Encore:
I Don’t Wanna Hear It (Minor Threat cover)
Someone
Hating Hate
Give
Hope
DDT

MP3:
Suicide Machines – Islands

More:
Have Nots – Serf City
Against All Authority – 24 Hours Roadside Resistance

Los Crudos, Pure Disgust, The Stasi Live In Philadelphia (3/30/15)

This past Monday, I headed to Philadelphia’s infamous First Unitarian Church basement to catch recently reunited Chicago latino hardcore legends Los Crudos.  Los Crudos was donating all of the proceeds of the show to The Attic, a Philadelphia LGBT youth center.

I missed openers Latex, but got there in time for Philly’s own The Stasi.

The Stasi:

the stasi

I’ve seen The Stasi a few times, but it’s always been in smaller house shows.  The band took the stage with their banners hanging from the wall, and immediately blasted into a no frills, no bullshit hardcore set.  Playing incredibly fast and aggressive punk rock with lyrics alluding to the oppressive East Germany secret police force of the same name, The Stasi put on an insanely energetic set.

The singer was all over the place, rolling on the ground, jumping into the crowd and generally making good use of the stage.  If you dig hardcore such as Government Warning, definitely give The Stasi a listen.

Pure Disgust

pure disgust

I’ve never heard of DC’s Pure Disgust before, but they had a solid following opening up a pretty big pit and singing along throughout their set.  Pure Disgust played oi influenced hardcore, almost sounding like if Coke Bust and Blitz had a child together and played a pretty tight set.  I’m going to have to give their recorded work a listen.

Los Crudos:

 

los crudos

A Los Crudos show these days are rare and the crowd energy was high as the Chicago punks took the stage.  For those who don’t know, all of Los Crudos songs (minus one) are written in Spanish, and deal with racism, immigration, gay rights, and other political/humanitarian issues.

Once the band broke into their first song the church immediately erupted with punks from all backgrounds stage diving and piling on.  Dedicating songs to women in punk, the nameless immigrants who make this country run, and the LGBT crowd, it was interesting to hear singer Martin go into detail about the backgrounds of the songs and the struggles of growing up in a predominately white straight subculture (Martin is also the singer of queercore Limp Wrist).

Loud, fast, and energetic, Los Crudos is one of those historic bands that completely changed the face of hardcore, and influenced countless of people who were otherwise feeling marginalized.  It was awesome to be able to see them live.

MP3:
Los Crudos – Asesinos
The Stasi – On Standby For Guilt

More Punk Rock:
Limp Wrist – Self Titled LP
Government Warning – No Moderation
Bad Side – Looking For A Bad Time

 

The Queers, Richie Ramone Live In Philadelphia (3/26/15)

This past Thursday, I headed to Philly’s dive Kung Fu Necktie to catch Richie Ramone and The Queers.  The show was running really late, so I left for a bit and got there in time for Richie Ramone.

Richie Ramone:

richieramone

For those who don’t know, Richie Ramone was the third drummer for The legendary Ramones during the 80s, playing on albums Too Tough To Die, Animal Boy, and Halfway To Sanity.  Besides being the only Ramones drummer credited to completely write songs, Richie also has been touring for his solo releases.

I had the pleasure of catching him live during a blizzard last year, and was pretty stoked to be seeing him and his backing band again.  Richie took the stage and switched between drumming while singing, and just doing vocals.  Richie Ramone and crew played a lively set, with people singing along throughout to most of The Ramones hits.  Sneaking in a few solo songs as well, the place finally got moving during “Wart Hog”.  Always a solid and energetic set, go see Richie Ramone live if you get a chance.  His ability to sing while drumming, and then switch roles to be an energetic frontman is impressive.

Highlights:
Blitzkrieg Bop
I Just Wanna Have Something To Do
Wart Hog
Somebody Put Something In My Drink
Smash You
Havana Affair

The Queers:

queers1

The Queers have been at it for a long time, and remain one of the more immature, brash, and fun punk bands around.  Playing a more surfy Ramones influenced punk sound, it was clear that the place was pretty hyped for The Queers as a pit broke out through the majority of their set.  Joe kept the banter to a minimum, playing without much of a real setlist and taking requests, saying this was a warm-up show for a bigger fest they were doing out west.

Always a good time, the band sounded tight as usual.  If you dig real pop-punk at all, go catch these guys live.

Highlights:
Daydreaming
Like a Parasite
My Old Man’s A Fatso
Born To Do Dishes
Punk Rock Girls
Hi Mom, It’s Me
Granola Head
White Minority (Black Flag cover)

MP3:
The Queers – Little Rich Working Class Oi Boi
The Ramones – Smash You

More Punk Rock:
Ramones – Rocket To Russia
The Misfits – Walk Among Us
The Vibrators – 25 Years Of Pure Mania

NateFest Day 1: Kill Your Idols, Bigwig, Grade, None More Black Live In NJ (3/21/15)

natefest pic

Every now and then, something will happen in the punk and hardcore community that just reminds me what I love so much about it.  This past Saturday was an excellent example of that.  When Nate Gluck from NJ’s Ensign was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, a bunch of bands and friends decided to throw him a huge benefit show to help pay the cost of the treatment.  The fest (dubbed NateFest) was to take course over two days at GameChanger World in Howell, NJ and the lineup was fucking staaaacked.

When it was announced that Bigwig was to be playing on Saturday, I instantly had to go.  Bigwig has been one of my favorite bands that I’ve been listening to for nearly 15 years now, yet even though I grew up in NJ somehow never got a chance to see live.  Beyond stoked doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling.  The fact that both Kill Your Idols and None More Black were also playing the show were huge bonuses to make for an amazing day.

I got to the venue, and if you’ve never been the layout are two opposing stages, while one band played the other set up so there was barely any wait times between sets.  There was nothing but positive vibes at the show, and while the warehouse doesn’t have the best sound (ok it’s downright awful on the main stage), it was an amazing time.

None More Black:

NoneMoreBlack

I got there right in time for NJ/Philly favorites None More Black.  Jason (ex Kid Dynamite) and crew took the stage and immediately broke into “Banned From Teen Arts”, their love/hate ode to NJ.  None More Black played a no nonsense set, without any stage banter as they ripped through their catalog while plenty in the crowd were shouting along.

Always a solid set, I know they aren’t very active anymore… but a Philly church show again would be beyond fantastic.

Setlist:
Banned From Teen Arts
Sinatra After Dark
My Wallpaper Looks Like Paint
Mr. Artistic
Drop The Pop
Here Comes Devereux
I’m Warning You With Peace and Love
We Dance On The Ruins Of The Stupid Stage
Oh There’s Legwork

Mouthpiece:
mouthpiece_promo_pic_72dpi

Next up were NJ straight hardcore band Mouthpiece.  Often seen as one of the more influential bands of the youth crew era, the band called it a day in 1996, but plays the occasional reunion show.  People were losing their shit to them and while I never got too familiar with their music minus the one album I have, they put on a solid set.

For The Love Of and Strength 691 were up next, but I was waiting by the Bigwig stage since I’ve been waiting nearly 15 years for this show.

Bigwig:
bigwig-members

Maybe it’s the fact I grew up in NJ, but Bigwig has always been one of my favorite bands and have been a constant that I listen to since I was just teen.  To finally get to see them after thinking I would never get to was incredible.  Clearly, I wasn’t the only one excited for them because as soon as they opened up into “Sink Or Swim” they had a pit open with us flailing about for the majority of the set, with plenty of people up front screaming along the words.

Vocalist/guitarist Tom seemed to be legitimately love being able to play New Jersey again, and the band was in all high spirits feeding off the crowd’s energy.  Bigwig played an amazing set, with the majority coming off of their last 3 albums Stay Asleep, Invitation to Tragedy, and Reclamation (and of course Girl In The Green Jacket off of Unmerry Melodies).

How excited was I?  Let me put it like this, when the band played one of my favorites “Flavor Ice”, I accidently came out of my stage dive/crowd surf retirement that I declared 5 years ago ever since I needed 20 screws in my arm due to a mishap at a Bouncing Souls show.  It was like the 16 year old in me came out.

Easily my favorite set of the day, Bigwig needs to play more shows again.  They put on an amazing set still.

Setlist:
Sink Or Swim
Sore Losers
Still
A War Inside
Flavor Ice
Outer Rings
Waste
Mr. Asshole
Numbers
Girl In The Green Jacket
Sell Out
Counting Down
Friends (I think they played this)

I had to grab some food during Indecision’s set, but made it in time to catch Grade.

Grade:
Grade1-300x282

Next up were Canadian emo/hardcore/screamo/whatever Grade who played a very energetic set.  The singer was all over the place, jumping around the stage…not bad for a band that originally called it a day back in 2002.  While I never really was a Grade fan back in the day, I got to say, I really enjoyed their set a lot.

Grade played most of their third and most famous release Under The Radar, and had plenty of people in the crowd singing along and stage diving during their melodic songs.

Setlist:
The Inefficiency of Emotion
Stolen Bikes Ride Faster
Seamless
Conceptualizing Theories in Motion
Termites Hollow
To Illustrate And Design Parameters
A Year In The Past, Forever, And The Future
Triumph and Tragedy
For The Memory Of Love
When Something Goes To Your Head

Sheer Terror:
sheer terror

Next up were 80s NY hardcore legends Sheer Terror who took the stage with a simple “We’re Sheer Terror, fuck you.”  Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of Sheer Terror, but I recognize how influential they were to New York hardcore bands.  They played a unique style of hardcore at the time with heart-felt lyrics (just listen to the album Ugly And Proud) in a scene that was dominated with songs about straight edge, crews, and how great NYHC is, and they definitely had the fanbase there to rage for them.

A giant pit was open up throughout the majority of the set, and after they finished a decent amount of people left.  The singer’s stage banter was cynical yet hilarious, poking fun of friends in other bands, etc.

Setlist:
Here To Stay
I, Spoiler
Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful
Heartburn In GLove Songs For The Unloved
Close My Eyes
Three Year Bitch
Twisting And Turning
Did You Just Meet Me
Roses
Walls
Burning Time
The Revenge Of Mr Jiggs
Ashes, Ashes
Cup O Joe
Just Can’t Hate Enough
Kill Your Idols:
kill your idols

I was pretty stoked for the last band of the night, NY’s Kill Your Idols.  I’ve been a fan of them for a while now, but only getting to see them once at This Is Hardcore a few years back, and I had no idea how popular they were.  The second these melodic hardcore legends came out and blasted into an intro straight into Falling, the place completely erupted and didn’t really let up for the rest of the night.  With constant stage dives, pile ons, and flips over singer Andy West, he took it all in good stride even when he declared “someone just spit into my mouth.”

Playing a long and energetic set, the band played songs off most their releases with a heavy majority coming from This Is Just The Beginning and No Gimmicks Needed.  Throwing in a few Minor Threat covers “to keep you interested”, human piles were forming throughout their set with the wildest being the closer “Can’t Take This Away” (although I probably lost it most to my personal favorite “Autumn”).  I know that this could very well be Kill Your Idols last show, but I’m hoping they play again soon… even if they aren’t active anymore, they put on a hell of a set and still have us raging.

Setlist:
Intro
Falling
Hardcore Circa 99
What I’ve Become
Stop Comparing Us To Negative Approach
Wake Up Sheep
Enjoy The Show
Funeral For A Feeling
Only Dicks Don’t Like Black Flag
All Those Wasted Calling Cards
The Path
Green
Send In The Clowns
Cousin Fred
Remain
Cast Me Aside
Autumn
Chesterfield And Propagandhi
I Told You So
Right Now
Small Man, Big Mouth (Minor Threat cover)
Straight Edge (Minor Threat cover)
Grey Skies Ahead
Young (At Heart)
Words Without Action
Epilogue
Can’t Take This Away

MP3:
None More Black – Genuine Malaise and Misery
Bigwig – Mr. Asshole
Kill Your Idols – Right Now

More Punk Rock:
None More Black – File Under Black
Bigwig – Stay Asleep (My favorite Bigwig Album)
Kill Your Idols – No Gimmicks Needed

 

Andrew Jackson Jihad, Smith Street Band, Jeff Rosenstock Live In Philadelphia (3/19/15)

ajj flyer

This past Thursday, I headed out to Philadelphia’s Union Transfer to catch Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb The Music Industry/Arrogant Sons Of Bitches play a solo show supporting his new album We Cool? opening for Andrew Jackson Jihad.  I got to the venue right around the middle of first band Chumped playing and the place was decently packed for being so early.

I’m not really all that familiar with Chumped besides the fact they are a female fronted pop-punk band out of Brooklyn.  I didn’t catch enough of their set to really form an opinion either way, but it seemed like those in the crowd were definitely digging it.  So if you’re into bands like Nona or Spraynard you’d probably dig these guys.

Jeff Rosenstock:

Jeff-Rosenstock

The main reason I came, I’ve been a fan of Jeff Rosenstock’s bands and have seen them countless of times over many years.  While technically he was doing a “solo” tour, he had a backing band with him.  It was a bit strange to be seeing him in such a big venue like Union Transfer, but they didn’t act out of place at all, immediately joking to the crowd “What’s up New Jersey?” (which elicited both plenty of boos and cheers) before breaking into We Cool opener “Get Old Forever.”

The crowd was especially hyped, with people breaking out into a pit immediately and stage dives abound.  Jeff and crew played a bunch off the new album and some of his older solo stuff, with a decent chunk coming off of I Look Like Shit and the crowd didn’t really let up all night.  One thing I have to say is he definitely has a mixed-age crowd.  I didn’t realize it, but a lot of younger kids dig him (I always assumed only old heads who followed his other bands did).  Definitely a good time, go see him if you get the chance.

Setlist:
Get Old Forever
You, In Weird Cities
Hey Allison
Nausea
Beers Again, Alone
The Trash The Trash The Trash
Snow Charges
Teenager
Hall Of Fame
Bonus Oceans
80s Through The 50s
Darkness Records

The Smith Street Band are another one of those bands that get a lot of praise, but I never really got around to checking out.  I was hanging in the back by the bar talking to some friends at this point after staying in the pit for Jeff Rosenstock, so I didn’t actually get to see them, but I did hear them.  Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, The Smith Street Band played solid gritty rock tunes with ranging influences from folk punk to garage rock and even a bit of more Social Distortion type punk.  I dug a few songs that I heard, and need to give them a proper listen sometime.

Andrew Jackson Jihad:

Andrew Jackson Jihad

By the time Phoenix, Arizona’s Andrew Jackson Jihad took the stage, Union Transfer was pretty full.  I honestly had no idea that these folk-punks were that big, and while I only knew a few songs here and there off some random EPs I have, their live set definitely made me a fan.

Armed with a variety of instruments including acoustic and electric guitars, a cello, drums, stand up bass, and keyboards the band played a very dynamic set to the incredibly responsive crowd.  Their music reminded me a lot of Mischief Brew and Run, Forever.

Playing a majority of their set from off Knife Man and their latest Christmas Island albums, the band seemed in very high spirits and legitimately loved being there.  The highlight was definitely their final encore, in which they did a sweet Slayer cover which had plenty of fans confused, but those who knew who it was were losing their shit.  An incredible set, if you haven’t seen AJJ before then go do yourself a favor and catch them live.

Setlist:
The Michael Jordan Of Drunk Driving
Gift Of The Magi 2: Return Of The Magi
Hate & Kill
Hate Songs For The Brain
Hate Rain On Me
Kokopelli Face Tattoo
People II: The Reckoning
Love In The Time Of The Human Papillomavirus
Bad Bad Things
I Wanna Rock Out In My Dreams
Sense, Sensibility
Temple Grandin
Coffin Dance
American Tune
Fucc The Devil
You Don’t Deserve Yourself
Heartilation
Children Of God
Linda Ronstadt
Free Bird
Big Bird
South Of Heaven (Slayer cover)

MP3:
Andrew Jackson Jihad – ‘Nother Beer
Jeff Rosenstock – Hey Allison

More:
Jeff Rosenstock – We Cool?
Bomb The Music Industry – Vacation
Arrogant Sons Of Bitches – Discography
Run Forever/The Wild Split
Mischief Brew

World Inferno Friendship Society Live In Philadelphia (3/6/15)

The-World-Inferno-Friendship-Society-Live-300x200

This past Saturday, I headed down to Philadelphia’s infamous First Unitarian Church basement to catch favorite gypsy cabaret punks The World Inferno Friendship Society.

This was my first show back at the church basement since July when they stopped having as many shows there (for some sad reason, I love that place), and the first time I was seeing World Inferno at the church since 2011.  I’ve seen them a handful of times since then, but a church show is always special (especially considering last time they headlined a show there the fire alarms went off).

The band was playing a string of shows to support their latest album This Packed Funeral.  I got to the church only to miss the one last minute opener, and the place was at about half capacity so plenty of room to dance around.

The Brooklyn collective took the stage, and started straight into their call to arms “Tattoos Fade” which had everyone in the close knit crowd shouting along.  I feel like the energy at this show was much higher than their recent Union Transfer shows, with plenty of people dancing around.

Vocalist Jack and crew played through a bunch of their older stuff, but had a pretty strong emphasis on the latest This Packed Funeral as expected. If you haven’t heard the album yet, it’s definitely a bit different than their other releases, but still incredibly catchy.  As usual, the band was full of quips and stories for the crowd, with having members try to name 11 bands that are named after municipalities (I can think of 7…)  While not the strangest Inferno show I’ve been to, things still got a bit odd when a drone was flying around the crowd and band with audience members taking swipes at it and the band trying to pay no heed while it circled them during their set.

A fun evening as usual, World Inferno always puts on an entertaining set.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order):
Tattoos FadeJust The Best Party
The Elegant Solution
This Packed Funeral
Brother Of The Mayor Of Bridgewater
Dr Dracula Who Makes You Get High
Your Younger Man
The Apple Was Eve
Let’s Steal Everything
Jersualem Boys
Dolce Far Niente
American Mercurial
The Faster You Go The Better You Think
Cats Are Not Lucky Creatures
Thumb Cinema
Secret Service Freedom Fighting USA
Addicted To Bad Ideas

MP3:
World Inferno Friendship Society – Tattoos Fade
More:
World Inferno Friendship Society – A Demonstrational Introduction to the Astral Plane
World Inferno Friendship Society – The Anarchy And The Ecstasy
World Inferno – Addicted to Bad Ideas
World Inferno – Just The Best Party
World Inferno – Red Eyed Soul
World Inferno – East Coast Super Sound Punk of Today

Jeff Rosenstock – We Cool? (For fans of Bomb The Music Industry, Arrogant Sons Of Bitches, Antarctigo Vespucci)

We Cool

Call me old (actually don’t, fuck you), but I’ve been a fan Jeff Rosenstock’s music for a loooong time.  From his time with Arrogant Sons of Bitches who I used to go see regularly to the very first day when he released Bomb The Music Industry’s first Album Minus Band LP, so naturally I was pretty excited about his newest release We Cool? 

Although technically a ‘solo’ record (insert finger air quotes here), We Cool is actually the first album Jeff recorded with a band since the demise of Bomb The Music Industry, and while it’s not a BTMI project technically… the music sounds a lot like where Vacation left off and a perfect follow-up to it.

All 12 songs are incredibly different, yet they all fit together perfectly making for a cohesive album.  You’ve got songs like “Hey Allison” and “You, In Weird Cities” leaning more towards the traditional punk side of things, “Nausea” being a catchy piano driven power-pop ballad, and “Novelty Sweaters” and “Hall Of Fame” sounding like pure Weezer-esque garage rock.

Lyrically, the themes are the same relatable issues that we’re used to from Jeff.  Opener “Get Old Forever” starts the album off  “When your friends are buying starter homes with their accomplishments, drinking at a house show can feel childish and embarrassing.”  Possibly the most relatable line comes from “Nausea” with the chorus “I got so tired of discussing my future I’ve started avoiding the people I love.”

We Cool is definitely a damn solid album, and any fan of Jeff’s music should go check it out.  It was a bit of a grower for me (just like Vacation), but I’m finding that I dig it more and more with each listen.

Mp3:
Jeff Rosenstock – Hey Allison

More:
Bomb The Music Industry – Vacation
Bomb The Music Industry – Adults!!! Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing
Bomb the Music Industry – Scrambles
Arrogant Sons Of Bitches – Discography

Official Site:
Quote Unquote

Ink & Dagger – Drive This Seven Inch Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart (For fans of American Nightmare, Paint It Black, Blacklisted)

ink and dagger

Philadelphia’s Ink & Dagger were one of the most influential and strangest bands to ever come out of the city of brotherly shove.  Formed back in 1995 and disbanding in 1999 (and which vocalist Sean McCabe died shortly after at the young age of 27), the band is most famously known for on and off stage theatrics (the vocalist once through yogurt at hardcore vegan hate-edge band Earth Crisis) and horror themes written throughout their music.  Their most famous, and my personal favorite is their Drive This Seven Inch Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart album which includes the EP of the same name and a previous “Love Is Dead.”  While their later works expanded their style a bit incorporating more elements of prog-rock, their original 10 song compilation is a hardcore masterpiece.

Before Twilight was ever a thing, Ink & Dagger used to take the stage in full face paint and fake blood while vampires were a recurring theme in their music.  The hardcore they played was incredibly dark and ambient, yet remained catchy through plenty of melodies.  Songs like “Full Circle”, “Bloodlust”, and “Shadowtalker” show Ink & Dagger at their finest.

I’ve been listening to this one since I saw Paint It Black cover Full Circle back on Halloween, and it’s easily becoming one of my most played albums.  Check it if you’re a fan of hardcore at all.

Music:
Ink & Dagger – Full Circle

Tonight, we try to die on purpose:
Ceremony – Violence Violence
Paint It Black – Invisible
United Nations – Self Titled