This record was released in 2016 on VLE Records. Bitter Grounds is a punk ska band hailing from Utrecht, Netherlands. This album is like a breath of fresh air for punk rock and ska. While writing this in my head I have visions of punks, skins, and rockers moshing in harmony or destruction, Haha. I also think of the many people that are tired of the folk scene and need some hardcore guitar riffs in their lives.

Bitter Grounds - Hollowlands
Bitter Grounds – Hollowlands

Track 1- Hollowlands- Song has a great intro from the Film-Network, starring Howard Beale. “We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds – we’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness. You maniacs.”

This song has me thinking where did the idea for the tune come from? Is it against mass consumerism? Is it dropping your cell phone, closing your laptop and reconnecting with your fellow man? Is it something deep down we as all humans need to return to where the little things have meaning again? Is not listening to the latest political spin and thinking with our own brain’s again?

Track 2- Struck Out- Definitely my favorite track from the album. The first time I heard it I quickly reached for my phone to make sure I hadn’t accidentally started a Tim Timebomb or Lars Fredrickson Spotify channel. As I listen I can hear a band struggling to make it to the top, but they are being shutdown by the establishment. I love the outtake near the end of the tune from a Youtube video where an angry man berates a musician playing for change, https://youtu.be/9E62iA6KCIQ.

Track 3- Tell Me Now- A toe tapping tune that will have you singing along. To me it feels like the ending of a relationship or some sort. You question yourself and those around you wondering where to go from there.

Track 4- Life of Violence- Probably my 2nd favorite track. It’s almost a throwback to 1980’s punk rock like the Dead Boys yet has the strength and momentum of Bad Religion. Are you ready to destroy? Throw on this jam. The song actually has a very deep meaning about being surrounded in a world full of violence.

Track 5- Human Touch- I really enjoy the mix thrown in here to slow the tempo down. It’s like this track is referencing the meaning behind Hollowlands. Almost as if humans need to return to being human again. Is it time to put down the ipad for bit?

Track 6- Patience- Picking up the pace again this tune is about fighting and not waiting around for things to change. We cannot change the world sitting around and being patient.

Track 7- Pressure- My 3rd favorite track on the album. This tune reminds me a little of Stiff Little Finger’s cover version of The Specials song, Doesn’t Make It Alright. I for one think this song is possibly about the loss or troubled relationship.

Track 8- Fine, Alright- A nice steady rock steady beat behind a bass line. Reminds of a bit of Rat Race by the Specials. About knowing your job is sucking the life out of you and wanting more out of life than the 9-5.
Ok we here at Colorado Punk Rock Army give Hollowlands by Bitter Grounds a solid 9.5. Add this album to your collection today and buy the shit out of their merchandise! Let’s put these guys on the map! Hollowlands is available on all major music providers right now.
You can grab this album here, https://bittergrounds.bandcamp.com/  or follow them on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/BitterGroundsBand/

windermers

I’ve been a fan of The Windermeres since I first saw them about 3 years ago at 3 Kings, with Black Dots and City Mouse.  I bought their first album (Anthem of the Recession Generation) that night, and it still has a strong presence among my most commonly played albums.  Having said that, my opinion might be a little biased. Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you about this AWESOME album!

There are a lot of things that made the first album great… powerful guitars, engaging lyrics, amazing vocal talent, and 2nd wave style drums.  Continental Divide builds on their established foundations, maintaining their musical consistency in a way that does not disappoint, for fans of the first album!

The lyrics on this album are a little more emotional than the first album, with less of a political message.  This has the positive effect of expanding the emotional range of their music, making me excitedly curious to see the direction that their future music will offer! Pick up their
new album here, https://thewindermeres.bandcamp.com/  .

Be sure to follow them here,  https://www.facebook.com/thewindermeres/

Chris Windermere
Chris Windermere

The VERY FIRST CPRA show had just concluded. Upstanding Citizen had just finished their headlining set. After clearing the stage, they were walking around to everyone, handing out free cds of their new album, which they had just released a few days earlier.
Now, when I think of Punk Rock, I think back to the 80’s and 90’s, when bands had to get creative, if they wanted to release an album on a budget… corners were always cut somewhere… maybe they used the cheapest recording equipment they could find… more than a few times, I saw bands selling cassettes that they had just dubbed from the master that they recorded in the garage, while standing around a crappy tape recorder…

upstanding
Upstanding Citizen – Peace & Love 6/21/2017

It is in this vein that I found my first initial appreciation for the album, after having it handed to me by the beamingly proud band member.  The cover was hand-drawn, photocopied, and hand-cut.  The CD is a CDR, burned on someone’s PC.  There is no track list.
This kind of presentation is something that I see as a continuance of a proud tradition in music… one that says, “We will do ANYTHING it takes to get our music out, as long as it’s on OUR terms!”

Awesome!

When I finally got the chance to listen to it, I was not disappointed!  This is a heavily instrumental album, which isn’t very common in Punk.  It takes on a somewhat “experimental” nature, in kind of the same way that Butthole Surfers did in their  early work. It’s the kind of ‘weird’ that just seems to work, because it comes from the established math within music, but with a unique styling that gives it an entirely unique edge.

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This is the kind of first album that makes you hungry to hear the next one! Pick up their new album here https://upstandingcitizen.bandcamp.com
Follow them here on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/UpstandingCitizenBand/