Album Reviews & Music News

CPRA Music News: System Restore Drops Super Sneak Peek Of New EP, “User Friendly Fire” Available 02/20/2020

Release Date: 02/20/2020                                         

Format: Digital, physical, and vinyl

Label: Small Round Records

Location: Casper, WY

Favorite Tracks: CTR ALT DEL, Going For It All, Privacy, and Wash Your Hands

Sounds Like: New Narrative, Voice of Addiction, Strung Out, Raised Wrong, Trashed Ambulance, and The Bricheros


Every year here at CPRA we compose our year-end favorites list. The categories are usually best local album, ep, or lp, best international release and so forth. So what’s the issue with today’s review/ The drop date is 2020! I can’t even nominate System Restore’s new EP, “User Friendly Fire” until after 2/20/2020. Why would I? Well you’ll have read below to find out. System Restore are no strangers to CPRA. We reviewed their last amazing album here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/10/system-restore-suburban-drones-review/

The EP starts out with, “CTR ALT DEL”. You know how you lock your computer down when leaving the office each day, or so you may think. This kick ass track has some wicked guitar riffs, wonderful drums, and a powerful message. We all know we are being spied on by our government. Since the invention of the cell phone it only became another tool for even more infiltration and data mining. Seriously we are giving them more power than ever before. 

Since starting CPRA back in 2016. I’ve accumulated more than 1200 friends on Facebook. I do my due diligence to weed out the cam girls, fakes, politicians, and Trump supporters. One thing I’ve noticed, many profiles with ties as being, “Retired” from the US government. If you want to spy on me join a kick ass band. It’s really that simple. The track first dropped over at Dying Scene on 11/2/19, https://dyingscene.com/news/ds-exclusive-system-restore-melodic-punk-premiere-video-for-new-single-ctlaltdel/. This track is a perfect example of skate punk done well. 

The next track is, “Going For All”. I love the buildup into the song. The guitar slide and drumming is epic. This track is angry and calls for a big change. The chorus will get stuck in your head as anthem chant to be shared with all. As a punk scene we need to build each other up and go for all! I love the bass line towards the end of the track. This song is wicked! 

“Privacy”, comes crashing in next. This track is cause for everyone to rush the pit. The track talks about how privacy is at stake. With every check in, every ad, every “Happy Birthday” you click, data about you is collected. I love this track! The next track is, “Wash Your Hands”. 

I firmly believe the biggest threat to humanity is not nuclear war or a meteor hitting the planet. Its diseases long stamped out that are breeding again all around us. Better get started shunning anti vaxxers asap! This track 100% pure skate punk. From the guitar slides, quick hooks, frantic drumming, this track is excellent. 

As this review comes to a close. I must admit this record will be my nomination for best EP of 2020. “Ctr Alt Del” will get my favorite single track release of 2019, boom just made a new category as well. “User Friendly Fire”, defines everything I love about skatepunk, and everything I love about punk in general. Be sure to pick it up on release day here, https://systemrestore.bandcamp.com/

See them live before the record release, Casper, WY on nov 9th with Rig Time, Laramie nov. 15th, and foco @surfside nov. 16th with shock troopers.

Help us stay online! https://cpramerch.threadless.com/

Track List (Released Version May Differ In Order )

  1. CTR ALT DEL
  2. Going For All
  3. Privacy
  4. Wash Your Hands

Links:

Ska-Goth? Skath? What is this? GRAVE DANGER Return with New EP ‘Tomb It May Concern’ featuring Cover of “Halloween” by the Misfits

Release Date: October 31, 2019                                            

Format: Digital 

Location: Berkley, CA

Current Lineup: (Per Bandcamp)

  • Dave Schwantes – guitars, bass, keyboards, tenor sax, bari sax, backing vocals
  • Dane Erbach – drums
  • Chris Marcanti – vocals
  • Margaret Miller – trombone
  • Andy Miller – trumpet
  • Emily Erbach – synth

Favorite Tracks: Give Up The Ghost, Bigfoot Beach, and Halloween

Sounds Like: People Corrupting People, Less Than Jake, Five Iron Frenzy, Madaline, Pietasters, and Reel Big Fish


There are 2 things in this world that mean everything to me. One of them is ska! My uncle introduced me to Madness at a young age. I’ve been hooked since. The other thing being Halloween. So what happens when ska and goth combine forces? Skath! Truth be told there’s not really many ska bands out there who can get dark, I mean gothic dark. So allow me to introduce Berkley, CA’s, Grave Danger! The 2nd EP release, ‘Tomb It May Concern’ dropped early this morning!

The EP kicks off with “Give Up The Ghost”. This track is dark with the creepy, “Munster’s” like organ, but so lovable. The horns and anthem like chorus are perfectly timed! Erbach is simply killing it on drums. It’s a love song. 

“Well I know I can make you see

How much happier you could be

We could chat with out necromancy

You gotta give up the ghost and get with me!”

The next track is “Bigfoot Beach”. Ok so what if all of our favorite monsters had a kick ass beach party? This ska/surf tune is nothing, but 100% fun! Dave’s work on guitar is admirable. Ok goth’s let’s get dancing under the moonlight and go to sasquatch’s BBQ! “Cemeterrarium” here’s another kick ass song to dance to! I can totally see the Peanuts gang dancing to this, haha! Chris’s vocals are amazing as this song is more on the ska punk side. 

“Halloween”, a Misfits cover is the next track. Although the Misfits version is classic. One issue I’ve always held with their version is Danzig’s annunciation. I thought it was “Dead Vets hanging from poles”, until the Misfits released the 1995 Collection with lyrics. The cover is happy, filled with energy, and you can clearly understand the lyrics! Plus the horns add a little extra evil! 

The final track is “Undead End Job”. Erbach kills it on yes the Theremin! Now there are not many bands that use a Theremin, of course Denver’s People Corrupting People do. We are sitting in our office chairs as the undead, waiting till the buzzer lets us rejoin the living. The guitar riffs are nuts. The pit may be a little nasty on this track. 

Let’s wrap this review up. Occasionally an album sneaks in and we HAVE to review it. Obviously since we are not paid, it’s purely a voluntary choice, speaking of that please consider a donation or a merch purchase! Grave Danger’s, ‘Tomb It May Concern’ is not only a great fit for Halloween, but an EP you should be listening to year round. The horns, pick it up riffs, incredible drums will make you buy all of their tracks! Pick it up NOW, https://gravedangerskath.bandcamp.com/

Help CPRA stay up and running! Hit that donate button below!

Track List (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Give Up the Ghost
  2. Bigfoot Beach 
  3. Cemeterrarium 
  4. Halloween
  5. Undead End Job

Links:

Support Small Record Labels As UK Based Cat’s Claw Records Releases Debut Split Cassette: Red Light Rebels Vs Bottlekids

Release Date: September 22, 2019                                        

Format: Digital/Tape

Label:  Cat’s Claw Records

Location: England, UK

Favorite Tracks: Dead To Me, No Clue, 25 Days, Dark Times and The Wayside

Sounds Like: Sunset Silhouette, Descendants, New Narrative, Face To Face, 10 Ft Pole and Pulley


Here at CPRA we celebrate, encourage, and support small record labels! We tend to stray away from band’s signed with major labels. We may occasionally let a Fat Wreck band through, but they are legend afterall. We’ve featured such labels as A Diamond Heart Production, Bypolar Records, CPYRT CNTRL RCRDS, El Topo Records, Freetime Boyz Inc, Monster Zero, Mutant League Records, and (No longer operating sadly) No Affiliation Records. Today I’m proud to announce a new label to CPRA, UK based, Cat’s Claw Records

Today is a special day in which we check out their debut split EP release, Red Light Rebels Vs Bottlekids. The pre-order for this kick ass split closed on 10/25/2019. I’m hoping if we overload the website, https://catsclawrecords.bigcartel.com/ the pre-order will reopen. Why should we overload the website? This awesome split comes in a blood red cassette tape edition with digital download at time of purchase! FYI – THE PURCHASE LINK IS STILL LIVE!!! 

Pic by @samblackmore

Red Light Rebels Tracks 1-4

As with any new music we check out. I tend to be a bit of a skeptic when listening to new music. So when the first Red Light Rebels track came on, “Dead To Me”. I immediately turned it up! This track is skatepunk at its finest. The track contains extremely an addicting chorus, fast drums, and air guitar worthy chords. This track has serious potential and needs a music video ASAP! When you’re friends ask why you like punk rock let them listen to this one! 

The follow up track is “Poison Eye”. The perfectly well placed, “Whoas”, will make Glen Danzing jealous. The strong hooks well have you grabbing your board and headphones. “No Clue” is up next and continues this blast of skatepunk! Why are they not doing a massive tour right now?

“There’s something wrong with you,
That you gotta know right now,
There’s something wrong with you,
You got no fu%king clue”

“Let Go” is the last track on the split from, Red Light Rebels. Similar to early Face To Face this track is a bit slower than the previous tracks. This is one talented band. Seriously keep an eye on them! 

Bottlekids Tracks 5-8

The first track is “25 Days”. The drums will draw you in fast. I really dig the lead singer’s voice. So far this split mix is a new personal favorite of mine! The follow up track is, “Smokes, Let’s Go”. This is a perfect, “Break up Punk” track. So many questions you ask yourself when going through an ending. Although the track is kind of sad you can feel a sense of hope.

“Dark Times”, is the next song. I really dig the intro into the track. This song is lyrically perfect with some amazing music to accompany. ALL of us can identify with this track! The final track on this epic split is. “The Wayside”. Here’s yet another track with HUGE potential. The bass and guitar turn our emotionally packed notes, while the drums provide a backdrop of anarchy. I love this track!

Overall this little 8 track split, “Red Light Rebels Vs Bottlekids” is a fast paced joyride, filled with the best pop and skatepunk England has to offer. If this is Cat’s Claw debut label release I simply cannot wait to see what the future has in store for this little giant. Be sure to pick it up NOW, https://catsclawrecords.bigcartel.com/product/red-light-rebels-vs-bottlekids

Red Light Rebels Bandcamp

BottleKids Bandcamp

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Track List (Per Website)

  1. DEAD TO ME 02:54
  2. POISON EYE 03:05
  3. NO CLUE 03:18
  4.  LET GO 04:02
  5. 25 DAYS 02:10
  6. SMOKES, LET’S GO! 03:34
  7. DARK TIMES 02:09
  8. THE WAYSIDE 03:34

Links:

Just In Time For Halloween, Teenage Bubblegums Get Horror, Fast And Loud, With New LP, “In Limbo”

Release Date: September 13, 2019

Label:  Monster Zero Records                                           

Format: Digital/Physical/LP

Location: Forli, Italy

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Billy – Guitar & Vocals.
  • Ally – Bass & Vocals.
  • Mingu – Drums.

Favorite Tracks: Burn, Quit It, Compassion, and In Limbo

Sounds Like: Manges, Teen Idols, The Lillingtons, The DollyRots, Nine Inch Nails, Ramones and Bomboloni


Let’s take a minute to recognize one of my favorite small labels, “Monster Zero Records”. They are not owned by the devils at Warner, or Sony, CBS, etc. The folks on their promotion team are just like you and me. In fact per their website, “Monster Zero is a semi-unprofessional punkrock label, based in Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria, Europe. We like punk rock, pop punk, power pop and beer. We love Ramones and 5-Star hotels”. I like punk rock, beer and 5 star hotels! 

They are professionals at getting music on their label out to the masses. We’ve done a ton of reviews from Monster Zero bands, see them here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/tag/monster-zero/. Today I’m happy to show ex pop punks from Forli, Italy, Teenage Bubblegums. The ex pop punks recently dropped their 3rd release, “In Limbo” back in September. Let’s give it a run through! 

The first track is “Quit It”. The buzz saw like notes come flying in before joining in a dark and delicious melody. The next song is “Burn”. The track continues the dark them. The backbeat is amazing. Ally’s vocals make it seem as if the listener is traversing through some creepy haunted house. The bass takes it even deeper. 

“How I Feel” follows with some insane work on guitar and strong chords. As I listen I can feel a sense of anger, emptiness, and hope. The next song is “In Limbo”. We’ve all been there stuck waiting on a change, waiting for an outcome. It can plain suck sometimes! This track; however does not suck! Extremely dark power chords, combined with excellent drum work make this track stand out. 

The track could easily be added to an industrial playlist without sounding out of place. “Never Again” is the follow up track. In starts with Ramonescore sound, yet more on the Horror/Lillingtons side. The simple lyrics seem to fly through like a witch on a broomstick, flying around, searching for kids to add to her brew. 

The next track is “Full Of Agony”. This tracks belongs in a horror movie. It’s fast, fun, although the lyrics would suggest otherwise! “My Mind” follows by coming in with a kick ass buzz saw sound before joining in with the bass and drums. The next track is “High”. Damn this song makes me want to get high haha! It’s pogo worthy in my book, with its energetic and fast melody. 

“Shame” follows up coming in with a siren like intro. I love this track. Goth and industrial fans this may also appeal to you as well. The lyrics are dark and powerful.

Flames, I was walking through the flames

I’ve got some poison running through my veins

And I’ve got so much shame

Flames, I was walking through the flames

My name is loneliness, where did I fail?

And I’ve got so much shame”

The last track on the release is “Compassion”. Have you ever tried to change someone for the better in a relationship? You don’t want to lose them, but also cannot make them love you. I’ve been there and never going back. This track is for all of us whom have undergone the emotions associated. A Ramonescore melody sets the theme before unleashing into onslaught of punk.

In conclusion Teenage Bubblegum’s, “In Limbo” is angry, emotional river, which pulls in different genres such as post punk, pop punk and industrial to an incredible punk rock combination. Be sure to pick this one up on vinyl for the purest recording here, https://teenagebubblegums.bandcamp.com/album/in-limbo

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Track List (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Quit It
  2. Burn
  3. How I Feel
  4. In Limbo
  5. Never Again
  6. Full Of Agony
  7. My Mind
  8. High
  9. Shame
  10. Compassion

Links:

Chicago Based Skatepunks Voice Of Addiction To Play Denver Show 10/26/2019 W/Filthy Hearts, Bad Desicions, and Drink Drank Punk

As Voice Of Addiction returns to Chicago they have 3 final shows on their way home. They are playing Colorado Springs tonight, so if you can’t make the Denver show be sure to hit this one, https://www.facebook.com/events/375391460005816/ .

Isn’t that the Infamous Tyler Miller (Trying To Get By) in the pic above? You may know Tyler from playing with another kick ass band, Some Kind Of Nightmare. Tyler is now on guitar with VOA. They play BAR BAR this Saturday 10/26/2019 with , Filthy Hearts, Bad Desicions, and Drink Drank Punk, https://www.facebook.com/events/894781844238095/

Still feeling hesitant to pay $5.00 for an epic night music? Check out some music below!

Denver’s Filthy Hearts

Since joining record label with Hidden Home Records Denver’s Filthy Hearts have release their brand new full length album, “Ambulatory“. This album is amazing and should be purchased asap! Be sure to see them Saturday and on November 12th at Streets Of Denver for the Fall Tour Kickoff show with Sharp Shock and Bury Mia!

(FT Collins) Bad Desicions

Bad Desicions hardcore gutter style will leave you wanting more!

(Denver) Drink Drank Punk

You can check out our review here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/05/drink-drank-punk-the-nederland-lament/

The Venue

BAR BAR is the magical place where for $5.00 you get 4 kick ass bands, compared to dropping a shit ton for a national tour show! Hit that going on the event now! https://www.facebook.com/events/894781844238095/

Did Pop Punk Kill Hardcore? Or Was It Emo? East Bay Punks Protected Left Beg To Differ With Their New Release, “Fossil”, Out On 10/28/2019

Release Date: 10/28/2019                                

Format: Digital 

Location: Oakland, CA

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Mario: Guitar/Vox
  • Bret: Bass/Backing Vox
  • Trey: Drums

Favorite Tracks: Never Know, Old Life, Worst Part, and Reboot

Sounds Like: Overtime, Bottom Bracket, Voice Of Addiction, and The New Narrative


During the rise of pop punk circa 1990s I began to wonder what would happen to hardcore punk. Out of nowhere bands like Blink 182, Goldfinger and Greenday, began to overtake the airwaves. Its successor emo pop, was less desirable to me with bands like Fall Out Boy and Panic At The Disco. I knew punk was changing after seeing Fall Out Boy on the Warped Tour line up back in 2006. Don’t get me wrong I hold a special place in my heart for the Gilman bands, yet I’m not a big fan of emo. 

I like to also point out the massive popularity of the Tony Hawk Pro skater games as contributing to the rise of pop punk, although hardcore bands were on some of the soundtracks. So this leads me to today’s question. Did emo and pop punk kill hardcore? Before anyone accuses me of saying, “Punk Is Dead”, let me clarify PUNK NEVER DIED it only evolved into different forms. 

East Bay hardcore punks, Protected Left want you to decide with their latest release, “Fossil”. So let’s check out the new EP. “Never Know” is the first track up with powerful drums, heavy bass lines and intense guitar work. Lyrically it’s written in a question format. I dig it. 

The next rack is, “The Swell” this track is 100% skatepunk. This song could’ve easily ended up on one of the Tony Hawk soundtracks. Some heavy bass lines, almost metal with some sweet guitar solos rage on within. I think this where pop punk changed by losing the metal solos. I kind of miss them, so it’s great to hear a solo in this track. 

Next up is my favorite song on the EP, “Old Life”. The massive onslaught of fast hooks, perfected drums and vocals continues. A bad-ass guitar solo compliments the end, before slowing and allowing a few acoustic notes in. This song kicks ass! “Worst Part” follows being the shortest track on the EP, at 45 seconds long. Probably the best 45 seconds of my life! 

“Reboot” is the last track on the record and my second personal favorite. The lyrics are amazing, sad, yet hopeful at the same time. Here’s one for your, “Break Up Punk” playlist! It’s short and sweet. As we have come to an end, it’s time to wrap up this review. I began by asking the question, did pop and emo kill hardcore? The answer is, NEVER. There are a thousand or more bands out there playing hardcore for years to come. 

Pic by Heartless Jen

Protected Left’s, “Fossil” proves to us that hardcore is a root of punk rock and it’s staying power is timeless. With tracks like, “Never Knew”, “Old Life”, “Worst Part”, and “Reboot” this EP will leave you wanting more. Be sure to pick it up here on release day, https://protectedleft.bandcamp.com/. On a side note come see Chicago’s Voice Of Addiction this Saturday at BAR BAR!

Check out their last release below! Get it on tape!

Help us build our dream venue and drop a donation today!

Track List (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Never Know
  2. The Swell
  3. Old Life
  4. Worst Part
  5. Reboot

Links:

Our Souls To Drop Second Release, “I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake” on November 1, 2019

Release Date: 11/1/2019

Format: Digital 

Location: UK

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Andy – Bass
  • Ben – Drums
  • Ian – Vocals
  • Jim – Guitar/Vocals
  • Mike – Guitar/Vocals

Favorite Tracks:  Beer Bullet, Mental Health, Histrionics, To Wound and Wander, Destitute

Sounds Like: All Time Low, Audio Karate, Filthy Hearts, Face To Face, Dial Drive, and The Mezingers


Our Souls is set to release their second release, “I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake” on November 1, 2019. Their first debut EP ‘I Might Drink Myself to Death’ dropped back on November 16, 2018. The EP was well received with reviews from some of my favorite zines such as Keep Track of The Time, Colins Punk Rock World, Ear Nutrition, and The Punk Site. If you haven’t checked them out be sure to do so! 

So let’s dive straight into, “I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake”. The EP launches with, “To Wound and Wander, Destitute”. The melody on this track is killer. The guitar and bass playfully create the background as a second guitar drifts away for a little solo.  The song speaks of relationship breakup and the inability to find the light. I love this song! 

“But if the banality of lie, 

Dosen’t kill me, 

Then the c#nt inside my mind, 

Will just slowly,

Take my fu%cking soul,

Until I want to discuss fucking throw pillows” 

The next song is, “12312341”. So just when I started thinking, Our Souls may be on the pop punk side, out of nowhere comes some insane hardcore skate punk. The pit on this track will be dangerous. All of those over 30 should stay out, ha ha ha! Next is by far my favorite song on the EP, “Histrionics”. The track swings back towards the melodic side. 

Here at CPRA we use the phrase, “Breakup Punk” often. When a relationship begins to die so many things go through you head. What am I doing wrong? What are they doing wrong? It’s their fault, my fault, etc. If you need a song that will help you leave a toxic situation. Throw this on!

“Because when all is said and left unfinished, 

No idea if I’d be running away or starting again, 

And when all is said and undone, 

Would it be giving up or letting go?”

“Mental Health” follows and this is a tough track. The lyrics are deep and you can hear the emotions as they are belt out. The drums are the star on this as they lead the track through a confusing and broken time. I’ve lost too many friends and family to suicide. Don’t be afraid to ever reach out to one of us here at CPRA. Or please consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, at 1-800-273-8255. The truth this song inflicts will make you tear up. 

The final track is “Beer Bullet”. So many people can identify with this track. How many “Beer Bullets” do we fire on ourselves attempting to self-medicate ourselves into happiness? It’s short, but all of my favorite songs are less than two minutes long. The chorus is catchy, yet impacting. 

Overall, Our Souls, “I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake, is a fantastic EP.  The swings from melodic over to harcore are full of emotions that every one of us struggle with on a daily basis. I personally cannot wait for a vinyl release asap! So pick up the digital release first here on 11/1/2019, https://weareoursouls.bandcamp.com/releases

Check out their last release below as well!

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Tracks:

  1. To Wound and Wander, Destitute
  2. 12312341
  3. Histrionics
  4. Mental Health
  5. Beer Bullet

Links: