Tag Archive for melodic hardcore

Hold Tight! – I Always Leave But Never Say Goodbye (for fans of Lifetime, Jawbreaker, Saves The Day)


Winter is right around the corner here up in the Northeast.  Winter chills, it’s getting dark outside before 5pm, and everything just feels so much more moody.  Richmond Virginia’s Hold Tight captures the mood perfectly on their latest I Always Leave But Never Say Goodbye.

If you’re not familiar with Hold Tight, they play incredibly catchy pop-punk with plenty of melodic hardcore influences (as seen on earlier releases such as Call The Zoo or their alter-ego hardcore split they did with Direct Hit) that would please any early Lifetime and early Saves The Day fan.  After 2 years without really releasing any new music since their last full length Blizzard of 96, Hold Tight definitely expanded their sound a bit on I Always Leave But Never Say Goodbye.

With 6 songs clocking in around 13 minutes (compared to the 7 songs in 5 minutes of Call The Zoo), Hold Tight stays in the mid-tempo territory on this EP.  Yet they still wear their melodic hardcore influences on their sleeves, blending it perfectly with pop-punk sensibilities on songs such as “Waterlogged” and “Reacting”.

The songs have an melancholy feeling about them, and that’s definitely reflected lyrically.  On title and closing track “I Always Leave And Never Say Goodbye” they declare “and I know you hate who I used to be, at least you got something in common with me” while on “Reacting” the band even downplays the old optimism of their debut Can’t Take This Away shouting “We used to say can’t take this away, but I can still lose it.”

One of my favorite releases of the year and one of the best from Hold Tight, definitely pick this up if you’re a fan of melodic hardcore or pop-punk at all.

Hold Tight – Reacting

Hold Tight – Blizzard Of ’96
Hold Tight – Can’t Take This Away
Hold Tight – Call The Zoo
Hold Tight/Direct Hit Split (Hardcore)

Saves The Day Live In Philadelphia (9/27/13)


It’s impossible to grow up in New Jersey in the late 90s, be into melodic hardcore, and not listen to Saves The Day.  Sure, I don’t know anything by them after Can’t Slow Down and Through Being Cool, but I am still always stoked to see them just to be able to rock out to those few old songs.  So when I saw they were playing Philly’s Union Transfer on Friday night, I was one hundred percent in.

I was still hurting from the secret Bouncing Souls show the night before, but no matter, nothing was going to get in the way of my fun.  I got there late with some friends, missing both Hostage Calm and Into It Over It but in time for Saves The Day.  The venue was completely sold out, and as usual the crowd was quite the dichotomy of older fans who were looking to two step to the older melodic hardcore and younger fans who got into them from the poppier songs of their later work.

I want to say straight up that it was an incredibly weird show.  I don’t mean that in a bad way, but it was definitely strange for reasons I’ll get into.  The band took the stage, and blasted into one of their newer songs before causing a pit to open up once they started Shoulder To The Wheel (and it was at this point, I immediately got a black eye and a split lip from a stray elbow which phased me for a total of .05 seconds as I was way too stoked to even pay attention to any bodily injuries).

They continued their set switching between all of their albums, but Philly was randomly aggressive this night.  Singer Chris wound up in an altercation with some fans who wound up breaking his guitar, and at one point it looked like he was pissed off enough that he wasn’t going to continue the show.  He took a second, gave a little spiel about how we all need to get along, and continued their set.  But this is where weird gets weirder… a fan tells him to check his pocket, and he does, and there’s someone’s iPhone in there, to which he is just straight up confused by the David Blaine nature of this voodoo that just happened.  At this point, no one even knew what the fuck was going on, and everyone just collectively shrugged and continued rocking out.

Setbacks aside, Saves The Day played a very long solid set, although I wish they played more off of Can’t Slow Down… but they did play a shit ton off of Through Being Cool and even “A Drag In D Flat” and “Sell My Old Clothes, I’m Off To Heaven” so I really can’t complain.

Shoulder To The Wheel
Cars And Calories
Anywhere With You
Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots
In The In Between
The End
As Your Ghost Takes Flight
The Last Lie I Told
Say You’ll Never Leave
Jukebox Breakdown
Driving In The Dark
The Tide Of Our Times
A Drag In D Flat
Get Fucked Up
Let It All Go
Rocks Tonic Juice Magic
Jesse & My Whetstone
All I’m Losing Is Me
Xenophobic Blind Left Hook
This Is Not An Exit
You Vandal
Always Ten Feet Tall
Where Are You?
Through Being Cool
Undress Me
Ring Pop
Sell My Old Clothes, I’m Off To Heaven

At Your Funeral
Banned From The Back Porch

Saves The Day – Deciding

Yeah Your World Is What You Made It, And I Don’t Want A Part Of It:
Saves The Day – Can’t Slow Down
Saves The Day – Through Being Cool

Kid Dynamite Live In Brooklyn NY (8/15/13)

When I saw Kid Dynamite last week at This Is Hardcore in my home city of Philly, I was pretty sure that would be the last I was ever going to see them (minus maybe one more church show they’ll sneak in.)  However, my good friend, who happened to be a founding member of this website back in 2007 by the way, messaged me letting me know she had an extra ticket to the FREE Kid Dynamite show up in Brooklyn, NY at The House Of Vans, who the hell was I to say no to seeing one of my all-time favorite bands again.

I got to the venue around 5pm and the line was ridiculous (which was a reoccurring theme throughout the night).  We waited in line for about an hour and a half before we were let in, and we were in the front half of the line.  Hey, whatever, free show and Kid Dynamite! Don’t care.  Once we got inside, the place itself felt more like Warped Tour or some other fest than a regular show.  Heineken was giving out free beer while Vitamin Water was giving their sugar product out for free as well… for someone who doesn’t drink and can’t drink Vitamin Water, I looked for a water fountain or a sink, but there were none, so I grudgingly got in line for one of the food trucks.  While in line for said food truck, I missed both opener bands, and once up front I bought 6 freaking waters because there was no way in hell I was going to wait in line again.

6 waters causes one to pee a lot, so I got in line for the porta potty during Joyce Manor and missed the entirety of their set as well.  Like I said, lines were a huge part of this show… but no matter, I was here for one reason and that was to rage to Kid Dynamite.

Kid Dynamite:
Kid Dynamite
I just saw these guys last week, and I was just as excited to see them again.  Not many bands can invoke that type of reaction in me.  Kid Dynamite took the (barricaded) stage, but Jason opted to not use the stage for the majority of the set and told the crowd he’d be doing it right along the banisters so pile-ons and sing-alongs could happen.  The band opened with their S/T opener “Pause” and the place became a frenzy of circle pitters and two steppers (myself included, although that should probably go without saying at this point).  Kid Dynamite proceeded to tear through the majority of their discography again, mixing up the setlist some and changing the order from last week, and as a fan who hates repetition, this is greatly appreciated.  The band seemed a little awkward behind the barricades and bouncers who were catching crowd surfers, which was definitely a much different vibe than the stage diving/mic grabbing frenzy of the week before, but they were definitely making the most of it and didn’t miss a beat.

They proceeded to blast through their set while the crowd wasn’t letting up for a second, realizing that this could very well be the last time we’d ever get to see this now legendary melodic hardcore band.  It was a weird feeling, through out the entirety of the show, I felt stoked for life and slightly depressed, making for a bittersweet mixture of emotions as I two stepped and danced throughout the night.  While I’m still hopeful that they’ll play one more church show, and I even expressed to Dave the drummer that it didn’t feel right to not end at the church (to which he agreed), I’m thankful I got to see twice this past week, and four times total after I thought I’d never be able to see them again.

Table 19
PH Decontrol
Pits and Poison Apples
Death and Taxes
Cheap Shots Youth Anthems
Never Met The Gooch
Living Daylights
Introduction To The Opposites
Wrist Rocket
Two For Flinching
32 Frames Per Second
Scary Smurf
Sweet Shop Syndicate
The Penske File
Give Em The Ripped One
News At 11
Zuko’s Back In Town

Rise Above (Black Flag Cover)
Heart A Tact

Kid Dynamite – Heart A Tact

Just How Many Are There On My Side?:
Kid Dynamite, Kill Your Idols At This Is Hardcore 8/8/13
Kid Dynamite, And The Art Of Moshing Everywhere

Caseracer / Ink And Sweat Split (For fans of Kid Dynamite, Hot Water Music, Go Rydell)

When I first heard Delaware/NJ’s Caseracer’s Self Titled EP some time last year, I was blown away by their cohesive melodic hardcore tunes, and anxiously waited for a new full length.  I’m still waiting for a full length, but in the meantime they dropped three new songs on a split with Tampa punks Ink and Sweat.

On the split, Caseracer opens up with “Uncomfortable Silence / The Death Of My Financial Security” which starts with a very Paint It Black-esque riff (which is NEVER a bad thing by the way), and immediately sets the tone for the split: energetic, melodic, and gruff.  Between “Van Envy” and “Untrue”, it’s sure to elicit plenty of two-stepping and sing-alongs (or at least it does in my bedroom.)

I’ve heard the name Ink and Sweat before but never actually heard them until this split, and their two songs definitely have me wanting to check out more.  Dual gal/guy vocals (although even the female vocals are pretty gruff) over melodic midtempo punk rock make for a solid listen.  They are relatively new and this split and their demo are all they’ve released according to their bandcamp.  If they keep it up, I can see them becoming a household name in our neck-beard, beer soaked music world.

Caseracer has it up on their bandcamp as a “pay what you want” download, and it’s definitely worth your time if you dig melodic punk rock.

Caseracer – Uncomfortable Silence / The Death Of My Financial Security
Ink and Sweat – Brickwalls and Pitfalls

Caseracer – Self Titled
Kid Dynamite, And The Art Of Moshing Everywhere
Go Rydell – Golden Age
Grey Area / Go Rydell Split

The EP

Paint It Black – Invisible (For fans of Kid Dynamite, Lifetime, The Hope Conspiracy)

I honestly can’t believe it’s been nearly four years since Paint It Black has put out any new music, and anyone who has been reading this little ole’ blog for a while knows how bad I’ve been jonesing for some new tunes from Philly’s finest (although in their defense… Dan’s been busy being a new father and playing with old bands while the other members have been touring with their own respective bands). So how exactly does the brand spanking new Invisible EP fare?  Well, let me just say I’ve been listening to it an average of 3-4 times a day.

With 6 songs in 10 minutes, Paint It Black brings us a new level of melodic hardcore with Invisible.  Lyrically Dan delivers his witty yet pissed lyrics that we’ve come to expect from Paint It Black, but the Dr. charts new lyrical waters with songs such as “Little Fists.” A rebellion anthem written for his daughter with lines like “And when things look bleak/I’ll kiss the tears from your cheek/And watch you clench your little fists in your sleep.” it’s nothing short of touching and stunning at the same time.

While Dan usually gets the spotlight when people talk about Paint It Black, we can’t forget about the other members, who have contributed to creating some of the best PIB songs yet on Invisible (I’m looking at you “Props For Ventriloquism”).  The songs remain incredibly melodic without losing any of their aggression, and many are very reminiscent of their killer album Paradise.

I know it’s premature but I feel pretty confident when I say it: Paint It Black’s Invisible will definitely be on my top 10 of 2013.  Here’s just hoping they don’t take another 4 years before the next release…
FUN FACT: Yours truly is on the album, sort of.  During their secret house show, Dan recorded us in the crowd yell “GO” on his cell phone and put us on “Props For Ventriloquism.”  Philadelphia is incredibly terrible at yelling go at the same time, by the way.

Paint It Black – Props For Ventriloquism

We’re Afraid Of Conflict But Always At War:
Paint It Black – Amnesia
Paint it Black – CVA
Kid Dynamite, And The Art Of Moshing Everywhere
Lifetime – Hello Bastards
Bad Side – Demo Review

Paint It Black

Dag Nasty – Can I Say (For fans of Minor Threat, Lifetime, Texas Is The Reason)

Maybe it was the Texas Is The Reason show I recently went to, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Dag Nasty as of late.  Along with other DC pioneers Embrace (Ian Mackaye’s band in between Minor Threat and Fugazi), Dag Nasty help pave the way for melodic hardcore back in the 1980s.

Released back in 1986, Dag Nasty’s debut Can I Say contains 10 jams that influenced many melodic/post hardcore bands.  Take their song “Under Your Influence” for example, you can see where Texas Is The Reason pulled a lot of their, uh… influences from.

Singer Dave Smalley shouts with a sense of urgency, while Minor Threat guitarist Brian Baker brings his hardcore influences to the table mixing the aggression with catchy melodies.

Easily one of the most underrated bands of their time, Dag Nasty is definitely worth checking out.

Dag Nasty – Under Your Influence

There Are Words I Should Have Spoken, But I Kept My Fucking Mouth Shut Instead:
Texas Is The Reason – Self Titled EP
Lifetime – Hello Bastards
Black Flag – The First Four Years


Lifetime – Hello Bastards (For fans of Kid Dynamite, Saves The Day, Bouncing Souls)

There are seriously some days when I don’t feel like doing anything but listen to Lifetime all day, and no, I’m not talking about that stupid television station that just shows women getting beat all the time.  Maybe it’s my Jersey blood and maybe I’m a little bit biased, but I am willing to say that their second release Hello Bastards completely redefined hardcore and influenced a countless number of bands.

Released back in 1995 and consisting of 12 melodic hardcore tunes, Lifetime brought a completely new element to a scene that was at the time dominated by more tough guy bands from NY, and put NJ on the hardcore map.

Whether it’s desperately singing along to mid-tempo “I’m Not Calling You” or two stepping my brains out to “(The Gym Is) Neutral Territory”, I find myself returning to Hello Bastards again and again.  I could probably make bittersweet, yet triumphant “Ostracized” the anthem of life with it’s chorus We are all alone, none of us don’t know, where to begin. / We’re doing for ourselves. Through Ari’s vocals and the melodic chord progressions and bass lines, the music manages to be emotional without ever losing it’s hardcore edge.

Under appreciated by many, a lot of people will always see Lifetime as “that band Dan Yemin was in before Kid Dynamite and Paint It Black”.  Shit, even when I was an angsty teen listening to them, I didn’t appreciate them anywhere near as much as I should have, but I’ve grown much wiser in my (angsty) adult years.  A gem in hardcore history, and a gem from my home state.

Lifetime – Daneurysm

Lifetime Live In Philly 2011
Saves The Day – Can’t Slow Down (Seriously. if you like Lifetime, listen to this first album by Saves The Day, straight up melodic hardcore)
Kid Dynamite, And The Art Of Moshing Everywhere

Lifetime – Hello Bastards

Caseracer – Self Titled EP (For fans of Kid Dynamite, Grey Area, Static Radio NJ)

I’m going to be straight up, ever since Caseracer sent me their Self Titled debut EP, I’ve been listening to it nonstop.  Six melodic hardcore songs clocking in around 11 minutes, Caseracer knows damn well how to write a catchy tune.

Hailing from New Jersey and Delaware, their EP features everything you’d come to expect from a band that lists Kid Dynamite and Latterman as influences: catchy hooks, plenty of two stepping opportunities (fuck you, I dance in my bedroom all the time), and shit tons of sing-along.

Maybe it’s my Jersey roots shining through, but in addition to Kid Dynamite, I also hear plenty of influences from bands like Static Radio NJ and Banquets.  If you like melodic hardcore at all, do yourself a favor and check out Caseracer’s debut… I have a feeling it won’t be the last we’re hearing from them.

Caseracer – I’m Uh, Fixing a Divot

More Punk Rock For You Kids:
Saves The Day – Can’t Slow Down
Kid Dynamite, And The Art Of Moshing Everywhere
Kid Dynamite – Shorter Faster Louder
Crucial Dudes – 61 Penn


Adelleda – Herkimer Street (For fans of Propagandhi, Strike Anywhere, Ignite)

Sometimes it seems like Canada has it all: public health care, better maple syrup, and a plethora of damn good skate influenced punk rock.  Ontario based Adelleda is the latest band to add to great canadian punk, and their 8 track “Herkimer Street” is 20 minutes of melodic skate bliss.

While I realize that it’s certainly cliche to compare a melodic punk band to early Propagandhi, I can’t help but listen to some of Adelleda’s riff’s and be reminded of the Manitoba legends (hell, their song Implausible Denial reminds me of I-Spy a bit before I even knew where they were from).  Adelleda is able to avoid pigeon holing themselves though by pulling influences from other melodic hardcore bands.  Song GBN is incredibly reminiscent of Ignite and opener Farley reminds me a bit of Vision.

If you’re a fan of melodic punk rock at all, it’s hard to steer wrong with Adelleda’s “Herkimer Street”.  Oh, and I forgot to mention they offer it up on their bandcamp completely for free… so really, what are you waiting for?

Adelleda – Just A Shame


Housewives Interview Propagandhi
Man The Change
Strike Anywhere – Change Is Sound