Tag Archive for punk

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

holdtightalwaysleave

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.

MP3:
Hold Tight – Reacting

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

Antarctigo Vespucci live in Asbury Park (11/13/14)

antarctigo vespucci

Besides having a band name that I have the damn hardest time spelling, Antarctigo Vespucci is the latest side project from Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb The Music Industry and Chris Farren of Fake Problems.  Playing power pop (that I describe as just slightly poppier BTMI songs), I wasn’t able to catch them at Philadelphia’s Golden Tea House that Friday, so my girlfriend and I travelled out to Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ to catch them.

While I would have rather seen them at The Golden Tea House as it’s a house show and shows get a bit more wild there, heading out to Jersey had the distinct advantages of having a beach (even though it snowed) and the ever so slight chance of running into The Boss or Danny Devito.  NJ:1 Philadelphia:0.

We got to the show a bit late and missed most of the openers besides the very end of Hard Girls (Members of Jesse Michael’s latest band Classics of Love).  From what I heard, they played pretty solid punk rock with a slight touch of indie, throwing them on the list of bands I should probably check out.

Antarctigo Vespucci took the stage along with some friends (a drummer and John from BTMI), and immediately opened with “100 Years” off of their April release Soulmate Stuff.  Banter was fun and light between Jeff, John, Chris and the crowd with them declaring that they’ve all played Asbury Lanes a number of times, but it was the drummer’s first time so everyone needs to give the drummer a New Jersey welcome (which was just a polite “hi” from the crowd… see? We’re not ALL assholes.)

The band played a fun, tight set playing most of their songs off both of their short releases, with most of the crowd singing along to anthems such as “I’m Giving Up On U2″ and “You Don’t Scare Me Anymore”.  Coming back for an encore, the band left the Asbury crowd in high spirits as they finished up with “Come To Brazil”.  Definitely a fun night, go check out Antarctigo Vespucci…I’m not even a fan of power pop and I fucking love these guys.

Setlist (From what I remember)
100 Years
Sometimes
I’m Giving Up On U2
I Drew You Once In Art Class
Don’t Die In Your Hometown
Hey Allison (Jeff Rosenstock solo cover)
You Don’t Scare Me
Guest List Spots
Bang!

Encore:
Come To Brazil

MP3:
Antarctigo Vespucci – I’m Giving Up On U2

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

Holy – Seclusion MMXIV EP (For fans of Punch, Dangers, Weekend Nachos)

holy mmxvi
I first caught Holy a few months back when I saw them open up for Dangers at the Golden Tea House, and the Milan, Italy’s hardcore band completely blew me away.  I picked up a copy of their latest Seclusion MMXIV and the 5 track EP is a must for anyone who loves fast paced hardcore.

Playing noisy hardcore with plenty of powerviolence influences, Holy’s Seclusion MMXIV is fighting no holds barred.  Just like their aggressive music, they aren’t holding anything back lyrically and are straight to the point with their political message, whether it’s attacking national institutions on “Captivity” or the plight of the middle class on “Blank Stares”.

The songs on Seclusion MMXIV are also much more developed than a lot of other powerviolence bands, where a genre is known for their 30 second songs, Holy manages to stretch the songs between the one and two minute mark without ever having them overstay their welcome (which is sort of hilarious that over a minute is considered long, but all us punks have A.D.D). Easily one of the better hardcore bands out there today, if you’re looking to check out Holy, you can’t go wrong with their latest EP.

MP3:
Holy – Ruins

More hardcore:
Dangers – Anger
Ghostlimb – Bearing And Distance
Graf Orlock – Destination: Time Today

Paint It Black Secret Under A Bridge Show (10/30/14)

Ahh Mischief Night… the night before Halloween where east coast teenagers (ok, mostly in NJ) go around and cause stupid mischief by egging and toilet papering houses, soap on car windshield, or if you’re Camden NJ then burning your city down.  Here in Philly, we chose to celebrate differently, and that’s with a secret Paint It Black show under a bridge somewhere in South Philly.  Yes, it’s about as punk rock as it gets and what makes me love my city so much.

Very reminiscent of their middle of the street show they played 6 years ago, the venue…err…under a bridge was packed with both costumed and non-costumed punks ready to lose their shit to the hometown heroes.  I’ll let you just watch the video below, but the band opened up with an Ink & Dagger cover that had the place break out into a huge pit (and immediately on the opening chord I was on the unfortunate end of a fist, head, or foot… which caused some intense bleeding and swelling of my nose and lip.  Whatever.)

Rad show, you can find yours truly up front at times losing his shit while trying to hold back the blood and not bleed on anyone (thank you to the girl who gave me her bandana to hold back some blood, you’re my hero).

I love you Philadelphia.  Stay awesome.

Setlist:
Full Circle (Ink and Dagger cover)
Past Tense, Future PerfectGreetings Fellow Insomniacs
Four Deadly Venoms
Headfirst
Ghosts
Goliath
Little Fists
Election Day
Salem
Atticus Finch
We Will Not
The Ledge

Mp3:
Paint It Black – The Ledge

We’re Invincible We May Bend, We Will Not Be Broken:
Paint It Black – Invisible
Paint It Black – Amnesia
Paint it Black – CVA
Kid Dynamite, And The Art Of Moshing Everywhere
Lifetime – Hello Bastards
Bad Side – Demo Review

The Toasters, Hub City Stompers Live In Philly (10/29/14)

This past Wed night I had soccer playoffs which was a one lose knockout, all in a night.  We lost immediately, so the silver lining was I was able to rush down straight from soccer to Philly’s North Star Bar in order to catch NY ska legends The Toasters play with Jersey’s hate ska band Hub City Stompers.  When I got there, the place was pretty empty just as Hub City was about to play.

Hub City Stompers:

hubcity

I’ve been seeing Hub City Stompers live for a good decade now after growing up in NJ, and they are one of the only active ska bands that I still listen to these days it seems who plays shows regularly.  Tonight, they actually incorporated a bunch of newer songs off their upcoming album which was a breath of fresh air for their setlist.  The new songs sounded sick too, so pretty excited to finally hear them released.

Even though the crowd was small, it seemed like most people were digging them (even if I was the only one dancing, because fuck it… I’m at a ska show on a wed night).  The band threw in some covers as well, including a halloween inspired one by Type O Negative since this was technically a halloween show apparently.

Setlist (Not complete or in order)
Night of the Living
Where’s My Hooligans
Shallow Be (new song)Chatterbox
Pants Music
Type O Negative cover
Ska Train To Dorkville
some other new songs I didn’t recognize but were sick

The Toasters:

the toasters

The place started packing a bit once The Toasters took the stage, and what started with 3 of us dancing for the beginning of the set to the entire place dancing and skanking it up by the end.

The Toasters have been at it since 1981 with rotating members with their singer/guitarist being the only constant… in fact the trumpet player that night stated that this was his first show with the band since 1999.  Everyone seemed in high spirits (both the band and fans) as The Toasters played an incredibly tight and crisp set.

Definitely a solid time, go see The Toasters live.  It’s always fun, and they just simply kill it on stage.

Setlist Highlights:
Pirate Radio
2 Tone Army
Weekend In LA
Shocker
Thrill Me Up (I think)
Decision At Midnight
Running Right Through The World
Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down
Talk Is The Cheap
East Side Beat
Run Rudy Run (I think they played this)
Matt Davis

MP3:
The Toasters – 2 Tone Army
Hub City Stompers – Little Julie Swastika

More:
Hub City Stompers – Ska Ska Black Sheep
Ruder Than You – Big Step
The Slackers – Self Medication

 

Leftover Crack Live in Philly (10/26/14)

leftover crack 2014

Like all good middle class suburban punks, I listened to Leftover Crack for as long as I could remember, and have seen them a handful of times over the years… however I realized that it’s been a good 6 years since I’ve last seen them so when a friend hit me up and asked me if I was going to go their show at Philly’s Voltage Lounge, I wasn’t going to say no.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect since I haven’t seen them in so long, but the Voltage Lounge was packed with plenty of punks ready to rage to the sweet crack rock steady sounds.  The band took the stage and busted into “Homeo-Apathy” with Stza joining the rest of them as the place broke into a circle pit.

The band played tighter than I have ever seen them before, and I think it has to do with the fact I’m pretty sure all of them were very sober.  Even Stza, who used to have a reputation of being fucked up beyond belief seemed to be incredibly sober.  While it seemed like he was still playing the “role” of the drunken guy at times (taking drinks of what I’m pretty sure was water from his glass) I actually give him and the rest of the band lots of credit for cleaning up and turning their lives around.  Screw any idiot “drunx punx” that tries to condemn them for this.

They played through all the classics, including plenty from Choking Victim days which had us skanking.  They also played two newer songs though, saying they have a new album in the works: one was a more metal “Slayer” influenced type song and the other was much more pop-punk similar to something Star Fucking Hipsters would play.

Overall it was a lot of fun, and good to see them after somehow missing them for the past few years.

Setlist (not in order)
Homeo-Apathy
One Dead Cop
500 Channels
Stop The Insanity
Crack City Rockers
New Slayer-esque Song
Ya Can’t Go Home
Gay Rude Boys Unite
Suicide (A Better Way)
Rock The 40 oz
Infested
Born To Die
Crack Rock Steady
Suicide Or Heroin
New Pop-Punk song
Burn Them Prisons

MP3:
Leftover Crack – Rock The 40 oz

More Crack Rock Steady:
Morning Glory – Poets Were My Heroes
Leftover Crack – Rock The 40 Oz
INDK – Kill Whitey
Star Fucking Hipsters – Never Rest In Peace

Menace – Punk Singles Collection (For fans of Cock Sparrer, Sham 69, Sex Pistols)

menace punk singles

Ever since I got a chance to see UK’s oi punk legends Menace play a small show here in Philly, I’ve been on a huge kick of them lately, or more specifically their Punk Singles Collection.

While the band never got the recognition or the fame of other punk bands from the 77 era, Menace is often credited with being one of the most influential oi bands around and during their early years (before they broke up and reunited again) they put out a bunch of 7 inches.  The Punk Singles Collection has all of the songs on there (the first 11 tracks and their best work), including some of their EPs and singles they put out in the 90s after they reformed.

Playing incredibly catchy energetic punk rock Menace certainly has a knack for anthems.  Whether it’s the often covered “G.L.C” which attacks the Greater London Council with a chorus “Guilty! guilty! You’re full of shit” or the fame attacking “Last Year’s Youth”, Menace is a must for any fans of 77 style punk rock.

MP3:
Menace – GLC

More early punk rock:
Cock Sparrer – Shock Troops
Buzzcocks – Singles Go Steady

The Vibrators – 25 Years Of Pure Mania
The Clash – London Calling

Lifetime Live In Asbury Park, NJ (10/11/14)

Lifetime
This past weekend was a bit of a whirl.  After hightailing to Connecticut to watch the Landon Donovan final national team/US versus Ecuador game (which we missed him playing due to terrible, terrible traffic, but was able to party after the game with the American Outlaws), I rushed to Brooklyn to crash with some friends and then the next day headed out to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park to catch Jersey’s best dancers, Lifetime.

(Little side track…skip this paragraph to get back to the show) For the record, I love Asbury Park.  Growing up in NJ, I would go there as a teen for Warped Tours, Skate and Surfs, and the skatepark they used to have in the old carousel. When I used to go years ago, it was not a good neighborhood, with the boardwalk completely abandoned except for drug dealers and prostitutes, every parking meter smashed in since the change was stolen.  Now these days, the place is completely revitalized, with a bustling boardwalk, a solid nightlife, and a nice beach.  It has completely done a 180… hell there’s even a pinball musuem/arcade that is one of the coolest spots ever.  Admittedly, even though I fucking love Asbury Park, I don’t make it for shows there very often (exception is The Bouncing Souls Home For The Holidays tradition).  With the 2 hour drive from Philly, it really has to be a band I’m obsessed with to make the trek, and clearly Lifetime is well worth it.  I missed all of the openers since I was getting side tracked while in Asbury.

Lifetime took the stage to a sold out crowd, and immediately started playing Turnpike Gates.  We Jersey kids exploded with a flash of drinks flying everywhere as people bumrushed the stage as we opened a pit that didn’t really let up for the entirety of the night.  While the barricades of the Stone Pony didn’t allow for any stage dives or pile-ons, there were plenty of people crowd surfing (and if they played I’m Not Calling You, which they didn’t, yours truly was going to come out of crowd surf retirement ever since I shattered my arm doing so years ago and swore I’d only dance in pits instead).

The band was on point and seemed to be having a good time as they cranked through most of their big 3 albums, playing a solid setlist consisting of the majority of Hello Bastards, Jersey’s Best Dancers, and a few off their Self Titled album, (which if you haven’t listened to, is actually really damn good).

Lifetime is one of those bands that rarely plays anymore, but they really should.  Besides being one of the most influential bands in hardcore, their live shows are seriously just one of those super positive events.  On a side note: some exciting news.  I talked to Dan a bit after the show and apparently him and Andy of Paint It Black have a new band in the works.  I’m beyond pumped to see what they have in store.

Setlist:
Turnpike Gates
Airport Monday Morning
(The Gym Is) Neutral Territory
Daneurysm
Rodeo Clown
Just A Quiet Evening
Francie Nolan
Northbound Breakdown
Young, Loud, Scotty
Irony Is For Suckers
The Boy’s No Good
Haircuts And T-Shirts
Bringin It Backwards
Knives, Bats, New Tats
The Truth About Lars
Hey Catrine
StarSixtyNine
Spiders In A Garden
Ostricized

Encore:
Theme From A New Brunswick Basement
25 Cent Giraffes

MP3:
Lifetime – Daneurysm

Read These Posts, Dudes/Dudettes:
Lifetime – Hello Bastards
Lifetime Live In Philly 2011
Saves The Day – Can’t Slow Down

Texas Is The Reason – Self Titled EP

Alkaline Trio – Self Titled (For fans of The Lawrence Arms, Hot Water Music, Saves The Day)

alkalinetrio-self-titled

Over the span of their career, Illinois punks Alkaline Trio have completely exploded.  Although their sound has changed over the years, my favorite era of Alkaline Trio will always be back when they were on Asian Man Records, and I have been spinning their Self Titled compilation pretty much nonstop since I saw them last year.

Released back in 2000, Alkaline Trio’s Self Titled contains a bunch of their earlier late 90s releases including everything off of For Your Lungs Only, I Lied My Face Off, Sundials single, and a few extra thrown in for good measure.  Even though the album is a compilation, it feels like a full length studio album from the catchy opening riff of “Goodbye Forever” all the way through the shouting “I don’t deserve this!” of “97”.

One thing that always stood out to me about Alkaline Trio were the biting and clever lyrics, often detailing optimism, brashness and bitterness getting over relationships.  Personal favorites are ‘My Friend Peter’, which tells the tale about getting over an ex with lyrics like ” I dont care who you’ve been kissing on these days/ it’s out of my hands and in my mouth is such a pleasant taste” and ‘This Is Getting Over You’ claiming “today i woke up, more awake than i have felt in years/ Not concerned with anything, no tears… I’m done with that shit.”

If you never got into Alkaline Trio, their Self Titled is the best place to start.  Chances are, you’re well aware of this album, but haven’t listened to it in forever.  Highly recommend you give this a spin and you’ll quickly find it back in your regular rotation.

MP3:
Alkaline Trio – My Friend Peter

“Take Your Wings Outside”:
Crucial Dudes – 61 Penn
Smoke or Fire – This Sinking Ship
Saves The Day – Can’t Slow Down
Saves The Day – Through Being Cool

Menace, The Clap, Hub City Stompers, 45 Adapters Live In Philly (9/14/14)

menace flyer

Two weekends ago I headed to Philly’s Kung Fu Necktie to catch New Jersey’s Hub City Stompers with UK 70s punk oi band Menace.  It was my first oi show in quite some time, and it’s been years since I’ve been to a show with that many Doc Martens and bald heads all in one place.  Good times.
45 Adapters:
45 adapters
First up were Brooklyn’s 45 Adapters.  Self described as “a truck full of Cock Sparrer records crashing into a truck full of Otis Redding records”, these 5 guys took the stage and played a solid set filled with catchy sing-alongs.  Their songs (mostly) had surprisingly positive messages, singing about dressing well, cleaning up after your house, and of course… drinking.  Definitely going to need to check out their recorded work.

Hub City Stompers:

hubcity
One of the reasons I came to the show to begin with, on the flyer NJ’s Hub City Stompers were set to play third, so I left for a bit to grab a quick bite to eat.  When I returned, it turns out HCS wound up playing second, so I missed maybe 5 or 6 of their songs.  Luckily, I still caught more than half of their set, and I’ve been seeing these guys anytime they come around since 2003 or so.

Self described as “ska for people who hate ska” (even though I love it) they tend to be put on a lot of diverse shows, and always wind up either poking fun at that fact or just completely owning it (I remember when seeing them open for Cro-Mags, the singer kept teasing “oh! a ska band on a hardcore show!  Don’t be scared… you really messed up this time Joe Hardcore!!!”)

Hub City Stompers played a solid set to a filled room with a few of us dancing and singing along each word.  Always a good time, check them if they come through your neck of the woods.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order)
Hub City Stomp
Little Julie Swastiska
Where’s My Hooligans
Mass Appeal
Chatterbox
Skinhead Boi (I think)
Johnny Date Rape
I’ve Got A Boot
Hub City Stompers
Night Of The Living

The Clap:

Formed back in the late 1970s in PA’s Lehigh Valley, The Clap is one of the older punk bands to come out of Pennsylvania.  I’ve never heard of The Clap (the band, not the disease) before seeing them, and I will admit, at first I was skeptical.  The trio soon won me over though, with their straight forward punk rock.  The singer said he wouldn’t be able to do some songs due to the fact his kid got him sick, but they powered through a decent set.

Menace:

Menace

The reason most people were there, UK’s Menace is one of the earliest oi bands, even dating back before Sham 69.  The band took the stage, and the crowd while singing along took a bit of time to warm up, but once a pit was opened up it got pretty rowdy (and once Menace played their hit G.L.C, shit hit the fan).  Menace played their sing-along oi punk inviting people to the stage to the small stage to sing along, and seemed to be having a blast as people were stage diving and dancing.

At one point, Menace brought up some of the members of The Clap to help do a cover of the ska song Monkey Man, which had us hopping on the stage and grabbing the microphone to sing along all while skanking throughout the tiny room.

Definitely a good time, it’s awesome seeing such an early and influential band in such a small intimate setting.

Highlights (from what I remember)
GLC
Screwed Up
Insane Society
I’m Civilized (I think)
Electrocutioner
Last Years Youth
Punk Rocker (I think)

MP3:
Menace – GLC
Hub City Stompers – WTFIU?

Don’t You Know, You’re Last Years Youth?
Hub City Stompers – Blood Sweat And Beers
Hub City Stompers – Ska Ska Black Sheep
Buzzcocks – Singles Go Steady

The Vibrators – 25 Years Of Pure Mania
The Clash – London Calling