Tag Archive for punk

PEARS, Such Gold Live In Philly (4/14/16)

A couple weeks ago, I headed out to Philly dive bar Kung Fu Necktie in order to catch one of my favorite bands around these days, New Orleans PEARS.  The place had a decently sized small crowd considering it was a Thursday night and the past few times I’ve seen PEARS it seemed most didn’t know who they were,  I got there a few songs in Such Gold’s set.

Such Gold:

such goldI haven’t really heard these Rochester, NY dudes before, but they clearly have a strong following.  It seemed more people knew who they were than PEARS, and had people dancing and singing throughout their set.

Such Gold played a style of music that any fan of the pop-punk would appreciate.  Reminding me of a mix of newer pop-punk bands such as Handguns or Transit and mixing it with more melodic hardcore like A Wilhelm Scream and Lifetime, these guys played a pretty energetic set.

I couldn’t tell you what songs they played or anything as I’m not too familar with them, but if you dig your melodic hardcore closer to the pop-punk side of the spectrum, check them out.

PEARS:
Pears

Ever since I first heard PEARS last year, I’ve played their album “Go To Prison” nonstop.  They’ve become one of my favorite bands with their energetic live shows, seamlessly blending elements of thrash, pop-punk, hardcore, and everything in between.

Touring to support their recently released sophomore album “Green Star”, (which I’ve been meaning to post a write-up about but have been busy as shit… but spoiler: I’ve been listening to it daily since it came out), PEARS took the stage and ripped into “Forever Sad”.  Energetic as always, singer Zach was all over the stage and jumping into the crowd even with his shattered hand (which he broke earlier on an Australian tour when he jump punched the floor).  With a handful of us dancing and singing along, PEARS ripped through their short set consisting of a decent mix of both albums.

One of the best bands around today in general, if PEARS comes through your area, do yourself a favor and go check them out.  Both of the albums are amazing, as is the 7-inch they have out (which consists of the original versions of Snowflake and Anhedonia) and they absolutely kill it live.

Setlist (from what i remember, not in order)
Forever Sad
Hinged By Spine
Cumshots
I Love My Kennel
You’re Boring
Breakfast
Anhedonia
Snowflake
Sycophant
Victim To Be
Green Star

MP3:
PEARS – You’re Boring

Napalm Death, The Melvins, Melt Banana Live In Philly (4/13/16)

NapalmDeathMelvinsMeltBanana

This past Wednesday, I headed to Philadelphia’s sold out Underground Arts in order to catch a stacked lineup of Melt Banana, The Melvins, and England’s Napalm Death.  Definitely a diverse lineup,tThe place was pretty packed out from the moment I arrived right as Melt Banana were setting up.

Melt Banana
melt banana

Japanese experimental noise punk band Melt Banana have easily been on of my favorite bands for many years now.  I’ve had the pleasure of catching them as a full band plenty of times in the past, and have got to see them as the two piece they are now a year ago over at Johnny Brenda’s.

I expected most people in the crowd to not care about them, considering they were the first openers and figured most people were there to catch the legendary Melvins or highly influential Napalm Death.  I was dead wrong.

Melt Banana took the stage with guitarist Agata playing an aural soundscape while vocalist Onuki hit her handheld drum pad producing coin sounds from the Mario games, before blasting into “Chain Shot To Have Some Fun”.  The place immediately erupted, with a bunch of us up front opening up a pit and us singing along.

Melt Banana kept energy levels high as they tore through their set which consisted of songs mostly from their latest Fetch, before Onuki announced they would be playing “six short songs”.

With strobe lights, a wall of sound, and their electronic-punk-grind chaos, Melt Banana remains one of the heaviest bands around and puts on a more intense, heavier show even as a two-piece than most other bands.  Easily one of the best live bands around, they definitely put on a fantastic set, with my only complaint being I wish they had more time to play.

Setlist (From what I remember, not in order):
Chain Shot To Have Some Fun
The Hive
Vertigo Game
Left Dog (Run Caper Run)
Infection Detective
6 quick songs, but the only I remember is Dog Song. May have been the quick ones on Bambi’s Dilemma.
Candy Gun

The Melvins
melvins

Washington’s The Melvins have been around for a long time, dating back from 1983, and have an extensive discography to prove it (over 20 something studio albums, and countless EPs, singles, etc).  Their punk/sludge/metal sound has influenced a number of bands, with the biggest probably being Nirvana who stated they wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for The Melvins.

Even though grunge has mostly died out, The Melvins keep cranking out albums and touring, putting on a solid live show. Plenty of their set consisted of the slower “stoner sludge”: slow tempo, low tuned guitars jams that is similar to My War era Black Flag, but they threw in plenty of their thrashier songs as well (which an ADD riddled punk fan like myself prefers).

A solid set, while my knowledge of their recorded work is a bit limited (only having a handful of albums), they definitely put on a tight, enjoyable set, and was good to see one of the more influential bands of our time live.

Setlist:
Eyes Fly
Deuce
Queen
The Kicking Machine
National Hamster
Magic Pig Detective
With Yo Heart Not Yo Hands
Leech
Frosted Flake
Sesame Street Meat
The Water Glass
Onions Make The Milk Taste Bad
The Bloated Pope
A Growing Disgust
The Decay Of Lying
Revolve
Second Coming
Halo Of Flies

Napalm Death:

Napalm Death

Speaking of influential bands, when it comes to grindcore / extreme metal, there are few bands that are as well known or was as influential as England’s Napalm Death.  With the band’s existence dating back to 1981, Napalm Death has influenced plenty of other grind bands over the years.

From the moment they started, the place erupted with stage dives and a sizeable pit as Napalm Death ripped through a set consisting heavily of songs off of their highly rated latest album “Apex Predator – Easy Meat” with a few older songs thrown in, mostly off of Scum and From Enslavement To Obliteration.

Taking some time to talk about an outsider’s perspective of our current elections and candidates, obviously incredibly critical of Trump and his proposed racist policies, Napalm Death also kept things light hearted as they joked with the crowd about Slipknot’s lasting influence of grindcore and metal.

An incredibly fun show, Napalm Death puts on a killer set.  With such a stacked lineup, you really should go check this tour out if it comes near you.

Setlist:
Apex Predator – Easy Meat
Silence Is Deafening
When All Is Said And Done
Smash A Single Digit
Timeless Flogging
Continuing War On Stupidity
Dear Slum Landlord…
Scum
Social Sterility
Deceiver
Suffer The Children
Breed To Breathe
Mentally Murdered
Hierarchies
Conform (Siege cover)
The World Keeps Turning
Lucid Fairytale
How The Years Condemn
You Suffer
Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys Cover)
Adversarial/Copulating Snakes

MP3:
Melt Banana – Lost Parts Stinging Me So Cold
The Melvins – A History Of Drunks
Napalm Death – Smash A Single Digit

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

Graf-Orlock-Crime-Traveller

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.

MP3:
Graf Orlock – Bad Service On Connecticut Ave

More:
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:
Bandcamp

Less Than Jake and Bigwig Live In Philly (3/11/16)

LTJ tour

This past Friday, I headed up to Philadelphia’s new venue, The Foundry in order to two of my all-time favorite bands: Bigwig and Less Than Jake.  I grew up listening to both of them and playing their music ad-nauseum, and the fact that Less Than Jake was playing Losing Streak in it’s entirety had me incredibly excited. It’s 2016, ska’s pretty much been on life-support, and they’re still able to sell out shows.

I got to the venue, and I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan at first.  The Foundry is the definition of a Live Nation venue: with $4 waters (and taking the cap off for insurance reasons), barricades and signs saying “No Moshing/crowd surfing/etc.”  I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  The one good thing is that they played the side venue, which is a lot smaller than the main venue over at The Fillmore Philly.  The room itself was actually pretty intimate and small, making it much more suitable for a punk show.

Bigwig:
bigwig

These NJ punks were setting up when I got there, and having seen them a few times lately, I was pretty excited to catch them once again.  Last time I caught them in Philly opening for the Queers, there was a decent amount of people who were there for them.  This time, not so much.  Besides a small handful of us, it was apparent most people had no idea who they were, but that didn’t stop a (very) few of us from shouting along and dancing throughout their set.

Bigwig killed it, playing an energetic set composed of songs off all four of their full lengths, with a lot of emphasis off An Invitation To Tragedy and Stay Asleep.  Bigwig sounded incredibly tight as usual, although a bit strange to see them behind a barricade and the lack of crowd movement (my girlfriend put it best when she said to me: “whoa, I feel safe at a Bigwig show.  This isn’t supposed to happen.”)

Regardless, a sick set as usual, hopefully they keep up the increase of shows in the Philly/Jersey area and maybe even record a new album.

Setlist: (from what I remember, not in order)
Sink Or Swim
Sore Losers
Still
A War Inside
Mr. Asshole
Moosh
Friends
Numbers
Sellout
Best Of Me
Waste
Girl In The Green JacketQueers cover
Counting Down

Less Than Jake:
lessthanjake

Less Than Jake was my favorite ska band for many years, and I can’t even begin to describe the sheer amount of hours I’ve spent over the many years riding the school bus and skating to my Losing Streak cd.  I still listen to both LTJ and ska pretty regularly, so I was beyond excited to finally catch them play the album in it’s entirety.

The band took the stage and announced how they were amazed by the fact that people still love and show so much enthusiasm for this album they wrote 20 years ago.  The speakers boomed the all too familiar intro: “This is the old dude, Howie J. Reynolds, and you’re listening to Less Than Jake.”  The place was suddenly pandemonium as a pit opened up with people pushing, trying to skank and all around just having a good time to the opening chords and horns of “Automatic”.

The band ripped through Losing Streak, taking the occasional break to talk to the crowd about some of the history of the songs (and thank god, we’re all old now, this skanking/dancing shit isn’t as easy as it was 13 years ago).  At one point the band was talking about how no one liked the next song, but they have to play it because it’s on the album… and of course it’s one of my favorites “Ask The Magic 8 Ball”, which I realize was probably my only opportunity to ever hear that song live.

Before I knew it, they were playing “Lockdown”, the closing song off one of the essential soundtracks of my youth, and it was over almost as soon as it began as they left the stage.  When they came out to crowd demand of an encore, they started playing songs off their newer albums(read: anything after Hello Rockview), and while I really love some of them, I burned all the energy I had during Losing Streak.  A fantastic show, even though I was filled with a bittersweet feeling of both excitement from seeing it and sadness that I may never get to see them do the majority of those songs live again.  But this is a ska post, so I’ll stop getting all emo on you… besides I’m hopeful they’ll do Pezcore in it’s entirety near me one day.

Unfortunately their show the next night of Hello Rockview sold out before I was able to get tickets, but I heard that was insane as well.  If they’re doing these shows near you and you ever were a fan of LTJ, definitely go, you won’t be disappointed.

Setlist:
Automatic
Happy Man
9th and Pine
Sugar In Your Gas Tank
Shindo107
Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts
Krazy Glue
Never Going Back To New Jersey
How’s My Driving Doug Hastings
Just Like Frank
Ask The Magic 8 Ball
Dopeman
Jen Doesn’t Like Me Anymore
Rock-N-Roll Pizzeria
Lockdown

Encore:
Good Enough
Look What Happened
Suburban Myth
Give Me Something To Believe In
The Ghosts Of Me And You

MP3:
Less Than Jake – My Very Own Flag

More:
How to be a 3rd wave ska dork
Less Than Jake – Greetings And Salutations 
Less Than Jake – Pesto EP
Less Than Jake – Pezcore

 

American Nightmare Live In Philly (3/4/15)

American Nightmare

Boston’s American Nightmare have been one of my favorite hardcore bands since I was an angsty 18 year old in 2003, and I find myself listening to their albums and EPs pretty regularly even 13 years later as an angsty 30 year old.  Their music got me through a lot of shit, and the first time I saw them over a decade ago with Hope Conspiracy still remains one of my most memorable show experiences ever.  On a cool Friday night, I headed to Philly’s sold out Underground Arts right as American Nightmare was setting up.

The place was pretty packed, but there was a surprising amount of room for a sold out show.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect: I’ll be honest, as much as I love American Nightmare, the past few times I’ve seen them in bigger venues have been a bit strange feeling, with Wes having a hard time hitting the screams and the overproduction feel of the venue.  Well let me just say that this was without a doubt the best AN performance I’ve seen since I went to their reunion show up in Boston a few years back.

The band took the stage and opened with “AM/PM” which had us opening a pit and immediately piling on.  Ripping into “Hearts” without skipping a beat, Wes and crew were on point playing a tight, fast paced show with barely any time to breath as they shredded through their set.  Playing a majority of songs off of both Background Music and Year One, it felt right to have them in a smaller venue again (while I’ve had fun in the past seeing them in NYC at Webster Hall, it always felt a little bit…off.)

Setlist:
AM/PM
Hearts
Love American
(We Are)
Please Die
Fuck What Fireworks Stand For
Shoplifting In A Ghost Town
I Saved Latin
Calculation Nation
Protest Song #00
I’ve Shared Your Lips And Now They Sicken Me
Postmark My Compass
Your Arsonist
Farewell
There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of The Pru

Encore: (I think they did Crime Scene, but I don’t really remember)

MP3:
American Nightmare – The Ice Age Is Coming!

I Drew A Heart Around The Name Of Your City:
American Nightmare – Year One
American Nightmare – Background Music
Scenester 101: How To Be An Old School Hardcore Kid In 10 Easy Steps!

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

hubcity

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)
Chatterbox
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
WTFIU?

MP3:
Hub City Stompers – WTFIU?

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

Guttermouth Live In Philly (2/12/16)

guttermouth tattoo conv

I headed to Philly’s small Fishtown dive bar the Kung Fu Necktie to catch Huntington Beach’s Guttermouth.  I’ve been a fan of these guys since I was like a freshman in high school nearly 17 years ago (…fuck I’m old) and both times I’ve seen them live they still put on a killer show.

The place was pretty packed when I got there right before Guttermouth took the stage, and it was clearly a Guttermouth show, as indicated by the drunk dude who decided to breakdown the stage before the band even went on until he was physically lifted off fireman style.

The vibe was a bit weird at first, with a bunch of people with cameras right up front (keep in mind this is a really divey venue, with no barricades and a low stage) and I was worried that this meant people weren’t going to dance, but my concerns were immediately put to rest by the large frantic pit that broke out as soon as Mark and company finished sound checking and opened with The Album Formerly Known As Full Length LP opener “Race Track”Following it up with “Asshole”, the crowd didn’t let up for the majority of the show, and Mark was all over the place running around, jumping into the pit and drunkenly quipping with the crowd.

At one point, Mark asked the crowd if punk bands still frequented Philly, which someone replied “yes, except Rancid”.  To which they started playing “Ruby Soho” while Mark mumbled like Tim Armstrong and nailed the impersonation.

The band ripped through a bunch of their classics, with all the juvenile and brash humor that they’re known for.  While they’re getting up there in age, Guttermouth still puts on an incredibly energetic and fun show.

Setlist (From what I remember, not in order)
Race Track
Asshole
Lipstick
Do The Hustle
Jaimie’s Petting Zoo
Lucky The Donkey
Where Was I?
No Such Thing
End On 9
Bakers Dozen
Bruce Lee Vs The Kiss Army
She’s Got The Look
Trinket Trading Tick Toting Tired Toothless Tramps
Party Of Two (Your Table Is Ready)

MP3:
Guttermouth – Bakers Dozen

More:
Guttermouth – Musical Monkey
Guttermouth – 4 New Songs

Official Site:
Guttermouth

Leftover Crack – Constructs Of The State (For fans of Choking Victim, Operation Ivy, Star Fucking Hipsters)

leftover_crack_constructs_cover

It’s 2016, and I’m really fucking loving the new Leftover Crack album – file under shit I’d never thought I’d be saying.  I’ll be honest, I’ve been a Leftover Crack fan for nearly 15 years now, but I didn’t really have high hopes for their latest Fat Wreck release Constructs Of The State.  For one, it’s been over 11 years since their last album Fuck World Trade, and on top of it founding member Ezra has since left the band, so I just assumed it would just be watered down.  Upon my first listen of Constructs Of The State, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Constructs Of The State is 13 tracks is a fantastic mix of ska, punk, hardcore and metal creating that crack rock steady sound that you’ve come to love from the band.  Songs like opener “Archaic Subjugation” and “Slave To Throne” show the heavier side of things with plenty of hardcore and thrash metal influences, while the more ska influenced “System Fucked” is an incredibly catchy song featuring Jesse Michaels of Operation Ivy/Classics Of Love that’s so damn skankable, you’d think it was 2001 again.  (In addition to Jesse Michaels, there are plenty of musical guests throughout the entire album, including members of Crass, Dead Milkmen, Bouncing Souls, Riverboat Gamblers, and plenty more.)

Lyrically, the band is political as ever with songs about systematic racism, lies the armies recruit with, etc.  But Stza also goes down a bit more personal route with songs about seeing drug addiction ruining so many of his friend’s lives on the incredibly catchy “Bedbugs and Beyond” (It even has a direct reference to former member Ezra and his struggles with addiction) that ends with a cautionary “these fucking bugs eat punks.”

Speaking of the white elephant in the room Ezra, yes his absence is noticeable on Constructs Of The State, but not nearly as much as you might think.  As proven with Morning Glory, Ezra is a pretty talented song writer and his songs definitely helped expand the sound of their previous albums and his voice proved to be a nice contrast to Stza, but at the same time according to Stza when asked if it was strange to record without him: “Not really. He was never very involved in the recording process, and even less in the LöC songwriting. He wrote/co-wrote about six songs between Fuck World Trade, Deadline, and the Crack Rock Steady 7 split with F-Minus. He played guitar on a hidden track at the end of Mediocre Generica and he plays guitar on about six of the now 21 tracks on Fuck World Trade. Other than that, he only sang or played guitar on “his” songs. There are three of those. People were led to believe that he was more involved in these projects by my direction. Even on the Choking Victim full length, No Gods/No Managers, he is actually only on about three songs and he’s playing bass and not actually playing any guitars or vocals as the liner notes otherwise dictate. All that being said, his contributions were not insignificant and the few songs that he was around to write guitar for benefited greatly. He’s a talented musician.”

With all that being said, Constructs Of The State is a stellar album, and a must for any Leftover Crack fan.  It’s been in my regular rotation since I got it in November, and I haven’t been able to stop listening since.

MP3:
Leftover Crack – Syste Fucked (ft Jesse Michaels)

The Queers, Bigwig Live In Philadelphia (12/28/15)

Growing up in New Jersey, Bigwig has always been one of my favorite bands since I was just an angst filled teen.  I thought I’d never get a chance seeing them as somehow every show they played when I was growing up, I couldn’t go to for one reason or another, and then they stopped playing shows for years.  However, this past year I’ve had a chance to see them both at NateFest and the Court Tavern and both shows were killer.  Needless to say I was pretty damned stoked to be catching them again.  The fact The Queers were also playing was an added bonus.

I got to Philly’s small dive Kung Fu Necktie right as the opener was ending and just in time for Bigwig.  The place was pretty packed as the show was completely sold out.  There was barely any room to move and the small room with the stage quickly packed out in anticipation for Bigwig.

Bigwig:

bigwig

As soon as the band took the stage, they immediately opened with Invitation To Tragedy’s “Sink Or Swim”.  With the first strike of the opening chords, while there wasn’t much room to move around a small pit opened up that really didn’t let up for most of the night.  With people piling on and singing along, these Jersey punk didn’t let up as they ripped through a solid set consisting of songs off all four of their full length albums.

Bigwig played a tight set and seemed to have a blast on stage.  Even after all these years, still one of my favorite bands around, and luckily I get to see them once again in a few months when they come around with Less Than Jake.

Setlist:
Sink Or Swim
Sore Losers
Still
Best Of Me
A War Inside
Mr. Asshole
Waste
Moosh
Friends
Flavor Ice
Numbers
Sellout
Girl In The Green Jacket
No Thought, No Spine
Counting Down

The Queers:

queers1

Next up were 80s pop-punk band The Queers.  I’ve had the chance to see The Queers a few times, and they always put on a great show.  Snotty, crude, and incredibly catchy, The Queers had a sizeable pit throughout their set and had fans from their 20s through their 50s singing along. They kept the tradition of keeping stage banter to a minimum and playing without a setlist, ripping through a shit ton of songs to the point where the crowd could barely keep up.

Highlights:
I Hate Everything
Like A Parasite
No Tit
Another Girl
Granola Head
Hi Mom It’s Me
Punk Rock Girls
Can’t Stop Farting
This Place Sucks

MP3:
The Queers – Little Rich Working Class Oi Boi
Bigwig – Mr. Asshole

Bouncing Souls, World Inferno Friendship Society, Miss TK, and The Low Budgets Live In NJ (12/26/15)

I’ve been going to The Bouncing Souls Home For The Holidays since the band started the Asbury Park tradition back in 2007.  This year, I decided to go on Saturday due to the fact that both the World Inferno Friendship Society and The Low Budgets were playing it.   I got to the Stone Pony right as The Low Budgets took the stage.

The Low Budgets:

lowbudgets
Viva valu-rock!  I’ve loved Philadelphia’s Low Budgets from the moment I saw them live back in 2003 with their goofy songs about being broke, dead kittens, and craft fairs.  Catching them a few times up until they announced they were calling it a day back in 2008, I was pretty sure I would never get to see them again.  One of the main reasons I picked this night for Home For The Holidays was because of these guys, especially because I couldn’t make their Philly warehouse show a week beforehand.

The room was filling up as they started playing, with Joe Jack Talcum of Dead Milkmen fame in the center of the stage with his keyboard.  It seemed like most of the people there weren’t sure who they were, but there were definitely a bunch of us who were singing along to each word, and most people seemed to be digging them.  Playing songs off all three of their full lengths, the band put on a solid show and I’m really kicking myself for missing the Philly one which was definitely rowdier.  It’s a shame that this was just a one-off reunion, The Low Budgets still slay live.

Setlist (From what I remember, not in order):
Oh Yeah
O.E In The A.M
50 Cents
Thrift Store
Ripped Off
Poser Punker
Stupid Dead Kitty
Rock N Rollers
Sweet Tooth
Declined
Fat Cop

Miss TK and The Revenge:

misstk

I’ve never heard of Asbury Park’s Miss TK and The Revenge before, but apparently they featured both Ari Katz (vocalist of Lifetime) and his wife Miss TK.  Playing a sort of synth-punk style that reminded me a bit of Le Tigre or later No Doubt, it wasn’t my particular style, but they definitely weren’t bad by any means.   Bonus points for having enough cowbell to make even Blue Oyster Cult jealous.

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

The World Inferno Friendship Society has gone through numerous lineup changes throughout the years, but yet they remain to be one of the most consistent live bands around.  Taking the stage and opening with their call to arms “Tattoos Fade”, the place immediately erupted into a frenzy of crowd surfing, dancing, and singing along.  A World Inferno show may seriously be the only place where you’ll see people go from moshing to waltzing within the same song.

Vocalist Jack Terricloth and crew were on point with their both their music and quips.  Between telling the bouncers guarding the stage that the “the kids just want to dance”, and then joking with the bouncer throughout the set, it was definitely amusing to watch.  With people climbing the rafters and Jack stage diving into the crowd during the last song, The World Inferno Friendship Society is always just the best party.

Setlist (From what I remember)
Tattoos Fade
Annie The Imaginary Lawyer
Just The Best Party
My Ancestral Homeland, New Jersey
Thumb Cinema
Secret Service Freedom Fighting USA
Brother Of The Mayor Of Bridgewater
Jerusalem Boys

The Bouncing Souls:

BouncingSouls5

Before the Souls took the stage, the place was already getting rowdy with chants of “OLE” and “Here We Go” breaking out throughout the crowd. The Souls finally took the stage, and announced that this might be their last Home For The Holidays (boooo), and opening with “Joe Lies (When He Cries)”.  The place immediately broke out into a frenzy.  The Souls didn’t let up for the entirety of the night playing songs mostly from their earlier releases with an emphasis on How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

Greg seemed lively jumping into the crowd a few times, running around the stage, and all around having a blast on stage.  The majority of the night was a blur for me as I danced and yelled along, but one thing is for sure: Home For The Holidays is one of my favorite shows, and I’ll be pretty bummed if this is the last one.  The Bouncing Souls are easily my favorite band and have been for nearly 16 years now, and there’s just something special about seeing them in my home state of New Jersey.

Setlist (Not in order)
Joe Lies (When He Cries)
Punks In Vegas
Kate Is Great
Kids And Heroes
Sing Along Forever
Say Anything
Broken Record
East Coast! Fuck You!
Hopeless Romantic
That Song
The Something Special
Lifetime
Manthem
Late Bloomer
Lamar Vannoy
Quick Check Girl
Born To Lose
Lean On Sheena
These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite 80s Movies
True Believers

MP3:
Bouncing Souls-Joe Lies (When He Cries)
World Inferno Friendship Society – Tattoos Fade
Low Budgets – Born Before The Internet