A Refreshing Change For Punk, In A Not So Folk World
I recently checked out The Scutches latest album, Glasshouse, released in 2016 on Tranquilo Records. The Long Island lads have done it again! I am reviewing the full length album on Google Play and not the EP on Bandcamp. This album is actually kind of hard to describe. It’s a strange, beautiful combination of rock and rhyme. Track 2- That’s What You Get, throws you into some strange 1960’s surf punk movie before you realize you’re even in it. It’s catchy, American Bandstand here we come. Track 3- Berlin they go a bit darker and show some strong heartfelt soul reflection.
Their sound is hard to throw into just any musical genre. One might say punk, while another might say folk rock. I personally hear influences from The Beach Boys, The Ramones, and maybe even older They Might Be Giants. Yet on the other end of the spectrum, there is definitely some Dead Milkmen or Violent Femmes. The toe tapping nature of the album puts a smile on your face even though sometimes the lyrics make your brain think, “Wait this is kind of sad, stop tapping your foot”.
My favorite tune from the album is by far, “Smile and Pretend”. A song about being done in a relationship and walking away. I’m not sure why this song hasn’t been played on the majors yet. It’s definitely a hit waiting to happen. So do yourself a favor and pick up The Scutches album Glasshouse today! Be sure to follow them here, https://www.facebook.com/thescutches/ . Their new EP is here, https://thescutches.bandcamp.com/album/glass-house and a full length album on most online music retailers.
Denver’s Filthy Hearts released their EP, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (Inside) in late 2016. So we are a bit behind on getting this review up. I saw Filthy Hearts for the first time at Denver’s Don’t Panic Fest at the High Dive. It’s been stuck on repeat on my phone for almost a year now. It strikes out as aggressive and energetic in a scene reclaiming lost roots and planting new ones.
At first I thought I had selected Pennywise or Strung Out. Nope I was right Filthy Hearts. Every single track is deeply heartfelt. There is something much deeper going here musically which cannot be explained easily. From the intro with Precipice to last track Not For Very Long this album will keep you wanting more. My only complaint is well it’s an EP. We want more Filthy Hearts! Their new single, Career Day is out on Bandcamp and most online music retailers. Be sure to follow them here, https://www.facebook.com/FilthyHeartsdenver/ . Their new album is located here, https://filthyhearts.bandcamp.com/
The newest release, Wild Animal from Denver’s own Zipperz reminds us that Denver’s punk scene has no intention of fading slowing into the alleys of South Broadway. As a big fan of Flatfoot 56 and The Potato Pirates I decided to do some digging on the opening band before the show, Zipperz.. By the way the show kicked ass.
Track 1- Wild Animal
I have to admit I wasn’t prepared for the melodic yet hardcore throat punch I received from the opening track. Reminiscent of bands like Pegboy, and the older Mike McCooligan days of Dropkick Murphy’s this track’s drums alone will get your boots stompin. Do you want to punch a Nazi? This should be number 1 on your Fight The Alt Right Playlist!
Track 2- Damn Few
The Denver punk scene has always been about family and sticking together. Those friends and family are the “Damn Few”. A tune about banding together and protecting your own. I love the little guitar riff which seems to flawlessly lead through the song.
Track 3- Still Dangerous
This was actually the first track I came across on youtube. “Better watch your back when we’re in danger, better look forward cause we’re still dangerous, hearing those sounds will make you anxious”. I was instantly hooked. My first thought was, “Damn this is an awesome track”!
Track 4- That’s Right
A song about remaining optimistic in a time of struggle. Again another head bobbin, foot stomping tune.
In conclusion the only downside of the album is it’s a bit short. I realize it’s also the band’s first album and releasing an album is expensive. That’s the exact reason you should buy this album! I personally cannot wait for the next release and hope it has more Denver punk rock hidden beneath the Wild Animals! Pick up the new album here . Be sure to follow them on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/ZIPPERZ5280/#
I recently checked out the melodic punk band, Off The Avenue, from Buffalo, NY. The band formed by Mike Gerachi, from Seven Thirty Seven, released some new tracks on the band’s Bandcamp account.
As soon as the first track (“On The Edge”) started, I cranked up the volume. I thought to myself, “Damn, this is AWESOME!”
The second track soon followed. “If I Could I Would Be You”. It did not disappoint. I found myself frantically searching for anything previously released by Off The Avenue. Sadly, we will have to wait until a full album will be released from the blend of American and Canadian punks.
I know, I know… most people like to review new stuff… … but I thought that maybe it’s a good idea to revisit some older music in these reviews, because most people that read these things are looking for music that’s new to them, and are looking for something to sink their teeth into.
I first heard this album in about 1993. What instantly leapt out to me was that it’s just plain damn entertaining! I liked the “surfabilly” vibe they had… I liked the simplicity of the music and the complexity of the bizarre vocals that seemed to mock Elvis Presley.
When I listen to them now, through more seasoned and experienced ears, I hear the combined sounds of the early New York scene, like The Ramones, New York Dolls, and Lou Reed; but with a drunken Southern slur. I also hear the early California scene, like Dick Dale, Dead Kennedys, and some of the horror elements of Dead Boys and Misfits.
Over the years, this album and band has influenced COUNTLESS bands and artists, and is known as one of the earliest, and therefore most influential across not only Punk, but also Goth and Indie genres!
If you’re looking for a great album to make you feel like you’re sitting in CBGB c. 1977*, then this one will take you there!
Fishbone is one of those bands that I can honestly say that I experienced (mostly) chronologically. The first album I heard was their first album… this album.
Fishbone’s initial offering to the world just happened to be an EPIC EP of 6 songs that melted my face, when I first heard it at 15 years old. Little did I know the strong impact their music would have on the ways that my world views have been shaped.
The self-titled album was strong on humorous lyrics, intense musical prowise, and encapsulating melodies. It was very diverse in style… some ska… some rock… some punk… some soul… I had never heard anything like it at the time.
Over the years, Fishbone granted me the gift of racial perspective, allowing me to see the world without the filter of white privilege, helping me to understand the destructive nature and legacy of racism, and shattered stereotypes that have been forced upon us all by the media.
Fishbone’s perfectly crafted self-titled EP was one of the most important albums of my formative years, and I would highly recommend that everyone listen to the complete discography in chronological order. Trust me… it’ll hit you in ways you really weren’t prepared for.
The thing that just BLEW ME AWAY about this band was the intensity of the lead singer. It was a pretty packed house that night… but even so, when she came down off the stage and started singing from the pit, the crowd was actually intimidated by her! People were backing away with a shocked look on their faces.
That intensity translates beautifully on the album! The music is chaotic, but with great rhythms and melodies. The vocals and backing vocals are perfectly dissonant balanced. The lyrics are entirely political, and exemplify Punk attitudes and ethics echoed by the great Dead Kennedys and Black Flag.
In some ways, I’m reminded of 90’s bands like L7, but also classic Punk, like Bikini Kill.
I recommend this album for anyone hungering for the Punk sounds of the early days, with the updated politics of today’s issues.
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.
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/
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/ .
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…
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!”
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.