Tag Archive for music

Mean Jeans – Tight New Dimension (For fans of The Ramones, The Riverdales, The Queers)


Portland’s Mean Jeans are back, this time signed to Fat Wreck with their latest release Tight New Dimension.  I’ve been listening to it regularly for months now, and it’s some of the catchiest damn punk tunes I’ve heard from these guys.

Known for their Ramones/Queers influenced punk rock with songs about partying, space, and other rad shit I was at first a little worried that they would try to change their sound up some now that they were signed to Fat to appeal to a wider audience.  Let me put any fears to rest: this is classic Mean Jeans through and through.  I’ve loved the band ever since I heard Are You Serious a few years back, and Tight New Dimension is both an excellent addition for any existing fans but also a fantastic starting point for any new fans as well.

From catchy, fun songs like “Michael Jackson Was Tight” (a self-explanatory ode to MJ) to love songs like “2 Far Out 4 Me”, Mean Jeans perfectly blends garage punk with pop-punk.  We even see the band explore some new territory as well, with the inclusion of synths on the intro of their closer “Are There Beers In Heaven”.

Mean Jeans are extremely good at what they do, and that is play fun, tight, catchy as fuck punk rock.  Give this one a listen, because personally I can’t stop listening.

Mean Jeans – Michael Jackson Was Tight

The Holy Mess, Direct Hit Live In Philly (7/8/16)

This past Friday I was faced with a bit of a dilemma, as there were two shows I wanted to see at the same time.  My beloved World Inferno Friendship Society was playing at Philly’s Trocadero, but Direct Hit and Philly locals Holy Mess were playing the more intimate coffee shop The Pharmacy.  I opted to go to The Pharmacy show for a few reasons… cheaper, wanted a smaller intimate show, but probably most importantly, potentially the last time I get to see The Holy Mess.  There were rumors that it was their last show, and they made the announcement official on their twitter last week.

I got there right in the middle of Pkew Pkew Pkew, who’ve I’ve never heard of before but played a solid set of pop-punk in the veins of The Copyrights.  Toronto punks singing songs about skating as adults, pizza, and being broke (you know, the typical pop-punk topics) they put on an entertaining set and have me listening to their albums now.  Tight stuff, give it a shot if you dig straightforward pop-punk.

Direct Hit:

I’ve caught Direct Hit a few times now and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite pop-punk bands around, but after seeing them open for NOFX a few months ago, I really wanted to see them in a small, barricade-less venue again.  Direct Hit clearly was feeling the same, saying it was nice to be able to “suck again” after they played a few huge stadium shows opening for Blink-182.

Direct Hit was touring to support their latest Fat Wreck release Wasted Mind, and their setlist was obviously heavy with the new tracks.  The crowd stayed rowdy throghout the entirety of the set, making the small “can only hold 6 people across” room a chaotic and fun whirlwind.

Joking with the crowd about how there was no pressure to play well, how they are allowed to talk on stage now and how they’ve only been spit on once in their entire life and of course it was in Philly, Direct Hit kept things light hearted and fun.

I really enjoyed the new songs live, they definitely had more of an edge to them then they do on the album, and while I do like the album a lot I felt like it was a little overproduced, so it was good to hear them in their raw form.  A solid set, Direct Hit is one of the best bands playing pop-punk these days, go check them out.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order):
Paid In Brains
Artificial Confidence
Was It The Acid
Infinite Pills and Infinite Alcohol
Do The Sick (I think)
Buried Alive
Snickers Or Reeses
Kingdom Come
Werewolf Shame
They Came For Me
We’re Fucked

Holy Mess:
holy mess

Lastly were Philly’s The Holy Mess, a staple of Philly punk for years now.  I’ve seen them in plenty of houses, dive bars, church basement, etc.  Unfortunately the band confirmed that the rumors were true and this would indeed be their last show.

Deciding to forgo the stage and play right on the floor, it felt just like a house show as The Holy Mess.  Furthering the house show feel was in typical Holy Mess fashion the band announced that they didn’t have a setlist, but mostly played songs off their last 3 releases (newest Trash Age EP, Comfort In The Dischord, and Cande Ru Las Vegas).

There was clearly an energetic yet bittersweet feeling in the air, but the band played a really tight set, and before I knew it they were announcing that they were about to play their last song, a song off Trash Age.

A solid show as usual, here’s to hoping they change their mind.  While you probably won’t get a chance to catch them live (unless they decide to reunite for a show here and there… and in an age where Danzig reunites with the Misfits, who the fuck knows what will happen) but for the time being, definitely check out their albums if you dig bands like The Menzingers.  So long fellas, it’s been real.

Setlist (From what I remember, not in order)
It’s All Fun And Games Til Someone Gets Heard
Spencer Reid
Liza And Louisana
Goodbye 3713
Asleep In A Room Full Of Dog Shit
Captain We’re Drinking
For The Press
Trash Age
Flesh Of The Fresh, Blood Of The Dove (I think)
Caught Like This

Holy Mess – Spencer Reid
Direct Hit! – I Told You A Lie

R.I.P Erik Petersen of Mischief Brew

Erik Petersen

Awful news: It was reported that Philly’s own Erik Petersen, founder of the folk punk band Mischief Brew and The Orphans passed away Thursday night.  Details haven’t been released, but our hearts go out to all of Erik’s family, friends, and fans.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live around Philly over the years and Songs From Under The Sink was easily one of my favorite folk punk albums around.  A toast to Erik and Mischief Brew, anyone who likes folk punk should give them a listen.  See you in hell boys.

Mischief Brew – Thanks Bastards
Mischief Brew – Coffee, God, and Cigarettes

Leftover Crack, Days N Daze Live In Philly (6/15/16)

You know what’s a beautiful thing?  The fact that it’s 2016 and Leftover Crack can still pack a show on a random Wednesday night.  A few weeks back I headed to Philly’s Underground Arts to catch the crack steady rockers, and got there about halfway through Days N Daze set.

Days N Daze:

days n daze

I’ve never seen or heard of Houston’s Days N Daze before, but armed with horns, banjos, guitars, and an array of percussion instruments, these guys and gals played a style that was reminiscent of if Stza of Leftover Crack decided to play folk punk similar to instead (seriously, the singer of Days N Daze sounds like him).

Reminding me a bit of Philly’s own Mischief Brew, Days N Daze played an energetic set with plenty of crust punks jumping around the pit, and had a decent following who showed up just for them (and hung around outside the rest of the show with their own banjos).

If you dig folk punk, give these Houston punks a listen.  Besides having a name that sounds more like it would be a Slightly Stoopid album than a folk punk band, they were really tight.

Leftover Crack:


I’ve seen Leftover Crack a handful of times over the years, and have been listening to them for as long as I can remember (ok, maybe 15 years)… and it never ceases to amaze me how fun of a show they still play.

Leftover Crack took the stage and opening with “Nazi White Trash”, the place turned rowdy immediately with a circle pit opening and people furiously trying to skank.  It was a typical Leftover Crack set, with plenty of Choking Victim covers thrown in and older songs, although they did sprinkle in a few new ones as well.  I really enjoyed their latest album Constructs Of The State, and if the crowd reaction was any indication, plenty of others did as well.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order):
Nazi White Trash
Don’t Shoot
Life Is Pain
One Dead Cop
Infested (Choking Victim)
Slave To The Throne
Bedbugs & Beyond
Gay Rude Boys Unite
Stop The Insanity
500 Channels (Choking Victim)
Jesus Has A Place For Me (Rock the 40oz)
Born To Die (Choking Victim)
Crack City Rockers
Crack Rock City (Choking Victim)
Gang Control

Leftover Crack – Rock The 40 oz

Constructs Of The State
Morning Glory – Poets Were My Heroes
Leftover Crack – Rock The 40 Oz
INDK – Kill Whitey
Star Fucking Hipsters – Never Rest In Peace

The Virus, Blanks 77, PEARS Live In Asbury Park (6/11/16)

virus flier

After Punk Rock Bowling in Asbury Park NJ, I headed to straight to The Wonder Bar for the sold out after show featuring PEARS, Blanks 77, and The Virus.  I made sure to get there early as a line started to form as soon as I got to the dive bar.  Even though the show was technically sold out, the bar never really reached anywhere near capacity.  I don’t know if it was due to the oh so punk “No Studded Jackets!” sign at the entrance of a fucking street punk show, or if people were just way too fucked up during Punk Rock Bowling (and if the people barely standing/falling all over the pit during The Descendents set was any indication, then yes…)


I really wish I was fucking joking...

(I really wish I was fucking joking…)



People were still trickling in the small room as the New Orleans punks took the stage.  I’ve posted about them a lot on this site, and like I’ve said before, they’ve easily become one of my favorite bands with their aggressive hardcore punk laced with incredibly catchy hooks and explosive live shows.  Opening immediately with “Forever Sad”, the band made the most behind the line of bouncers and barricades as singer Zach jumped into the crowd before returning with his arms around the bouncers.

They tore through the rest of their set playing a pretty equal mix between songs from Go To Prison and Green Star to the small handful of people, who for the most part didn’t really seem to know them but seemed to be digging the music.  A fun set, PEARS is consistently one of the best live bands around these days.

Setlist (not in order)
Forever Sad
Victim To Be
You’re Boring
I Love My Kennel
The Flu
Green Star

Blanks 77:


Next up were New Jersey’s own pogo punks Blanks 77.  They easily had the biggest reaction of the night with people pogo-ing,dancing and snarling along with Mike Blank as he pushed up into the barricade and was swarmed upon an army of mohawks.

A solid set as usual, I have to give their newly released “Gettin Blasted” split with The Parasitix a listen soon.  I’ve heard those songs live plenty now, and am stoked to finally hear the recorded album.

Setlist (from what I remember, not complete or in order):
Up The System
We Are The Punks
Radio Hits
I Wanna Be A Punk
Chelsea Girls
I Don’t Wanna Be
Hey You (I think)
Don’t Give A Fuck

The Virus:

the virus

The crowd thinned out a decent amount by the time The Virus started playing probably do to the sheer fact it was late and people could barely stand after the all day fest, but that didn’t hinder the Philly punks at all.

Even though I’ve lived in Philly the past decade now, I’ve never had a chance to see The Virus before even though I’ve been listening to them for many years now, missing their reunion shows.  Let me just say, these dudes absolutely kill it live.

While the crowd energy was waning a bit due to pure exhaustion with only a few people dancing and shouting along, the band’s energy didn’t at all.  Loud and aggressive as fuck, if they come around your area, do yourself a favor and go catch them.

Looks Like Trouble
Full Circle
Heros (I think)
There’s Nothing Left
Forgotten Rebel
Rats In The City

The Virus – Vicious Rumors
Blanks 77 – Radio Hits
PEARS – You’re Boring

Punk Rock Bowling in Asbury Park Day 1 (6/11/16)

This past Saturday, I headed to Asbury Park NJ to catch day 1 of Punk Rock Bowling.  It was a pretty tough decision, with The Suicide Machines playing a free show nearby here in Philly, but the allure of seeing both Dag Nasty and The Descendents won out.

I got to The Stone Pony’s outdoor Summer Stage rather late.  I wanted to make it in time for both 88 Finger Louie and H2O, but unfortunately I was walking up as H2O was finishing up “Nothing To Prove” which rang throughout all of Asbury.


Next up were UK’s The Subhumans.  Now I’ll be completely honest,  I’ve never really listened to their albums much, but I remember catching them live nearly 5 years ago with Millions Of Dead Cops here in Philly and remember it being a damn good show, and they definitely didn’t disappoint this time around either.  From the second they started, a large circle pit broke out, and while it was clear that the majority of the crowd was either drunk or exhausted in the all day summer sun, things definitely got pretty rowdy.

Singer Lucas took some shots at the high price of Asbury beaches ($7 to go on the beach), jokingly encouraging the crowd to storm the beaches… which was pretty ironic considering the high cost of everything involved with this all day fest.  But regardless, it was around this point too that apparently bands were told to not curse in between songs, because residents of Asbury were starting to get upset (up the punks!)

Dag Nasty:

Next up were Dag Nasty, and one of the main reasons I came to the show to begin with.  Reunited with their original singer Shawn Brown, who was on the demos and wrote a lot of the songs that were later re-recorded on What Can I Say?  The band took the stage, and a decent amount of us older in the crowd immediately went off, two-stepping and shouting along.  Their blend of melodic hardcore inspired many of the post-hardcore bands like Texas Is The Reason that pretty much shaped the emo scene today.

The majority of the set consisted of songs off What Can I Say, but they threw in a few from Wig Out At Denkos and a few new songs (did I mention that Dag Nasty is recording new music?!) as well.  The newer songs definitely had more of a heavier edge to them.

A solid and fun show, it’s great to finally be able to see Dag Nasty live.  I’m hoping that they’ll do an east coast tour soon and come up to Philly, playing a non-fest environment.

Setlist (From what I remember)
Values Here
I’ve Heard
Under Your Influence
Can I Say
All Ages Show
Cold Heart
What Now
Another Wrong
Wanting Nothing
One to Two
Little Friend (Minor Threat cover)
Never Go Back

The Descendents:

Do The Descendents really need any introduction?  A staple of punk and one of the earlier punk bands, Milo and company have been pumping punk anthems about girls and the tribulations of growing up ever since the early 80s, and those songs still resonate today.

From their opening chords of “Everything Sux”, chaos ensued as a huge pit broke out.  This was my second time seeing The Descendents, and they definitely sounded tighter this time around from when I first caught them at RiotFest East a few years back.

Playing songs spanning their entire history, they also included a bunch of new songs as well with an album coming out I believe later this year.  With the first new songs coming from the band in over 12 years, you might be skeptical about how they sound, but rest assured… at least live they sound like they could have come off any Descendents album and doesn’t lack any of the energy from their previous songs.

Ripping through as many songs as possible in an hour, things got a bit strange at the end when the venue tried to not let them have an encore, and then finally after having permission to play a few more, the venue stopped them after their 2nd encore song.  Milo seemed surprised and pretty much said “Oh I guess we’re done!  Thanks guys!” before leaving the stage and leaving the crowd a sweaty, sun drenched, yet elated mess.

Everything Sux
Rotting Out
Victim Of Me
I’m The One
I Wanna Be A Bear
Silly Girl
I Don’t Want To Grow Up
Shameless Halo
My Dad Sucks
Suburban Home
Clean Sheets
Feel This
Coffee Mug
Full Circle
Weinershcnitzel/No! All!
When I Get Old
I Like Food
Thank You
I’m Not A Loser

Nothing With You
New Song

The Descendents – Suburban Home
Dag Nasty – Under Your Influence

NOFX and Direct Hit Live In Philly (4/27/16)

On tour supporting the release of their official autobiography book The Hepatitis Bathtub, I got a chance to see NOFX again play a sold out TLA here in Philadelphia.  Unfortunately I got there a bit late and bummed that I completely missed that ska band I can never remember how to fucking spell their name (Mephiskapheles), but got there in time for Direct Hit.

Direct Hit:

direct hit

In my opinion, Direct Hit is one of the best bands in pop-punk today and one of my favorites.  I listen to their EPs and albums so regular that Metamucil would be jealous, and was excited to get a chance to see them live again.  They recently just signed to Fat Wreck, and have a new album coming out June 24th.

From the second the band started, it was pretty obvious that there were only a handful of us who knew who they were and their songs, but those of us who did were singing along loudly.  Even those who didn’t seemed to be really digging them.

I was pleasantly surprised by their setlist, playing a bunch off of both Domesplitter and Brainless God, with a few of the upcoming new songs sprinkled in.  The newer songs definitely sounded a bit poppier than we’re used to from Direct Hit, with more melodies and harmonies, but were still incredibly solid live. Definitely a fantastic show, albeit a bit strange seeing Direct Hit play on such a large stage with barricades (I’ve only seen them in small bars and church basements previously), these guys always put on a great show and is a must if you dig pop-punk.

Setlist: (not in order, from what I remember)
The World Is Ending (No One Cares)
Satan Says
Getting What He Asked For
White Robes
Back To The Tower
A Message To The Angels Pt II
Snickers Or Reeses
Kingdom Come
Boredom Addict
They Came For Me
Werewolf Shame
We’re Fucked



NOFX has been a band for well near 33 years now… let that sink in for a second.  Like most punk fans, NOFX was one of the earliest bands I ever got into, and one of the few that still put out good music and play a solid live show.

The band took the stage, joking about how this was one of the last few nights that Fat Mike is able to party as he needs to go to rehab soon, and they mentioned that the show was being live streamed on Yahoo because apparently that’s a thing and Yahoo still exists?  They also introduced one of the members of Dancehall Crashers, with her doing keyboards and female vocals on the songs as well.

The second the band started playing their opener of 60%, the place erupted in a large chaotic circle pit that continued throughout the entirety of their set.  All songs seemed to get a big reaction, whether it was the newer Tony Sly tribute “I’m Sorry Tony” or the obvious fan favorite of “Linoleum”.

As always with NOFX, it was comedy hour up on stage wit the band taking some jabs at everyone including people under 21 (“Anyone here under 21? You all make me very uncomfortable” before launching into “Fuck The Kids”).  One particular memorable moment was after playing “Louise”, Fat Mike tells the crowd how he realizes out of all the bigger punk bands, no one would play a song like that… “Take a moment and try to imagine Al Barr of Dropkick Murphy’s or Tim Armstrong of Rancid singing the opening lines of that song”.  You got a point Fat Mike.

While the band may pride themselves on not caring and just having fun on stage, they still are easily one of the tightest and fun live bands around.  And at this point, you don’t need me to tell you to go see NOFX, you know who they are, and you either love them or you don’t (and if you don’t, you’re fucking up).

72 Hookers
Perfect Government
Seeing Double At The Triple Rock
Murder The Government
Leave It Alone
Eat The Meek
Six Years On Dope
Stickin In My Eye
What’s The Matter With Parents Today?
Franco Un-American
We March To The Beat Of An Indifferent Drum
I Believe In Goddess
Moron Brothers
I’m Sorry Tony

Fuck The Kids
Dinosaurs Will Die
Bottles To The Ground
The Brews
Kill All The White Man

NOFX – The Moron Brothers
Direct Hit! – I Told You A Lie

Fenix TX and Suck Brick Kid Live In Philly (3/31/16)


Last week, I headed to Philly’s Underground Arts to catch one of the first bands I ever saw way back in the day, Fenix TX as they supported Unwritten Law on their tour.  I was surprised by how much of a turnout there were for these bands, especially considering the last time Fenix TX released any music was 15 years ago.

I missed the local opener but got there in time for Orlando’s Suck Brick Kid.

Suck Brick Kid:

Orlando’s Suck Brick Kid took the stage, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  I’ll be honest, I’m a bit picky when it comes to pop-punk, and don’t find myself listening to the genre very often, especially newer bands (unless your pop-punk sounds more like The Queers than Newfound Glory.)

The second they started playing, I was pleasantly surprised.  The band clearly pulled from a bunch of different influences, and they reminded me a bit of A Wilhelm Scream or Hot Water Music if they were a pop-punk band.

The band bantered plenty with the crowd, talking about how they’ve been asking everyone at each show what their city is the best at (Baltimore is the best at heroin and riots apparently).  Philly answered “cheesesteaks”, but I would have gone with booing people.  Each their own.

If you’re into A Wilhelm Scream at all, give these guys a listen.  Bonus for throwing in a Blink-182 cover.

Fenix TX:

Story time!  My first show ever when I was just a kid still getting into punk was Fenix TX.  Strangely enough, they were opening for that Christian rap-rock band P.O.D at the Electric Factory over 15 years ago and I went to see Fenix TX, and am pretty sure I was one of the only people who was there for them at that show.

I played the shit out of their Self Titled growing up, and while I never really became familiar with their much bigger Lechuza (as my friend told me when I told him I didn’t know any of these “new” songs “dude these came out almost 15 years ago”), and I wasn’t sure how much off their first album they would play.

After ripping through a bunch off Lechuza including Phoebe Cates, Something Bad Is Gonna Happen, and Katie W, Fenix TX launched into some of their older stuff including Minimum Wage and Ben.  The crowd, while not really dancing, was enthusiastically singing along throughout the set.  Announcing that they were actually writing new music,  they played a few new songs which were definitely a bit heavier.

A fun show, it was good to see one of the seminal bands that were one of my gateway bands into punk again, and definitely nostalgic seeing them after all these years and hearing songs like Flight 601 again live.  While I don’t really listen to much pop-punk these days, their Self Titled will always still be one of my favorite albums.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order):
Phoebe Cates
Something Bad Is Gonna Happen
Katie W
Minimum Wage
Abba Zabba
New Song
Flight 601New Song
All My Fault

Fenix TX – Surf Song

Graf Orlock – Crime Traveler (For fans of DANGERS, Ghostlimb, Pig Destroyer)


LA’s Graf Orlock are finally back with their latest album Crime Traveler, their first full-length in since 2009’s Destination Time Today.  Known for their heavy hardcore/grindcore mixed with clips and lyrics focused on various movies, Crime Traveler follows the same format, only this time focuses on a script that the band themselves wrote.  A concept album through and through, Graf Orlock writes:

“The Crime Traveler film tells the story of a French-Canadian assassin who discovers a wormhole and travels back in time to kill American politicians so that Canada can attain superpower status in the future. As the samples selected for the album illustrate, our anti-hero zips through time and space on his mission – rubbing elbows with John Hinckley at the Reagan assassination, witnessing the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and more.”

Sure, the story is a bit Terminator-esque and the dialog and acting (at least from the little I gathered from the intro clips) is downright awful at times (as is expected with a B-movie) but that’s besides the point.  Graf Orlock has always been about fun, and this album definitely is, and the music is the same crushing, chugging hardcore we’ve come to love from Graf Orlock.  Opener “Bad Cell Service On Connecticut Avenue” is an aggressive blast beat fueled song about the Reagan assassination attempt, while the proceeding  “600,000 Tons Of Explosive Ordance” displays Graf Orlock’s sludgier side.

One thing noticeably different from their earlier full lengths is singer/guitarist Justin (of Dangers/Ghostlimb) has much more vocal duties, and their old singer left the band since Destination Time Today (no, he didn’t actually die in a car crash) and has been replaced.  If you’ve been following the bands EPs since including “Doombox” and “Los Angeles”, you’ll know the new singer fits right in, but doesn’t have the higher pitched shrill screams of the old vocalist.

A fun and blistering album, Graf Orlock nails it as usual.  If you’re a fan of grind with more punk/hardcore influences than metal, definitely pick up “Crime Traveler”, it’s a killer album that I’ve been listening to pretty much daily as of late.

Graf Orlock – Bad Service On Connecticut Ave

Graf Orlock – Destination: Time Today
Graf Orlock – Destination Time Tomorrow
Ghostlimb – Infrastructure
Ghostlimb – Bearing And Distance
Dangers – Messy, Isn’t It?
Dangers – Anger

Official Release:

Hub City Stompers – Live In Philadelphia (2/21/16)


On an unseasonably warm Sunday night, my girlfriend and I headed to Philadelphia’s Kung Fu Neckie to catch my home state NJ’s ska/oi/punk band Hub City Stompers.  I wasn’t expecting the place to have many people considering the fact it’s a Sunday ska show, but KFN had a decent crowd set up.  We got there a little late, missing their first song but getting there just in time for Chatterbox.

One of the first things I’ve noticed was the absence of saxophonist/singer Jenny Whiskey from the stage, with the band claiming she couldn’t make it tonight but they’d be in full strength at the next show.  I don’t know if it was because of this or not, but HCS played a bunch of their older songs as well which had a few of us singing and dancing along.

Always a fun time with their songs taking on everything from emo, 3rd wave ska, racism and everything in between, if you prefer your ska to be more similar to bands like The Specials or Madness than Reel Big Fish, definitely check them out.  I’ve seen them live many times over the past decade and they never fail to put on an great show.

Setlist: (from what I remember, not in order)
Pants Music
Sharky 17 (Inspecter 7)
Little Julie Swastiska
Skins Don’t Cry
Popeye (Inspecter 7)
Hub City Stompers (Inspecter 7)
I’ve Got A Boot
Night Of The Living

Hub City Stompers – WTFIU?

Hub City Stompers – Life After Death
Hub City Stompers – Blood Sweat And Beers
Hub City Stompers – Ska Ska Black Sheep