Hotel Murder Releases H.H. Holmes (Serial Killer) Inspired Track (S/T)

Release Date: October 31, 2019

Format: Digital 

Location: 

  • Toronto, ONT, CAN

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Nick MacDougall – Drums
  • Faraz Jabbari – Bass/Vox
  • Jeff Mouland – Guitar
  • Chris Boneless- Guitar
  • Alex Spence – Lead Vox

Favorite Tracks: Hotel Murder

Sounds Like: The Lillingtons, AFI, Murderdolls, Hangtime, and Balzsac


Ontario based, Hotel Murder launched their brand new single, “Hotel Murder” on 10/31/2019. We may be a little late on this, but in the spirit of the Nightmare Before Christmas. We all need more horror punk in our lives. This track isn’t your average new school emo punk. This is old school horror punk in your face, Heavy bass, fast riffs, and punch out drums lead a chorus of nightmarish ghouls. 

The fact that is song is based off of serial killer H.H Holmes should be enough to check this out! You can read up on H.H. here, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! Personally I think H.H. was actually Jack The Ripper. I know some historians would beg to differ. See the debate here, https://www.biography.com/news/american-ripper-hh-holmes-jack-the-ripper. This track is just a sample of some kick ass music coming from Hotel Murder! 

Help CPRA stay online! Hit that donate button below!

Tracks: 

1. Hotel Murder

Links:

Jagger Holly Releases Tongue In Cheek Christmas LP, “It's Christmas Somewhere” Out Now on Monster Zero Records

Release Date: 11/15/2019

Format: Digital and physical

Label: 

Location: 

  • Innsbruck, Austria. The band includes members from The Spastic Hearts (USA) DeeCracks (Austria) and On My Arms (Italy) 

Current Lineup:

  • Jagger Holly- Vocals/Bass
  • Darby McCartney- Guitar/Vocals
  • Izzy Adler- Drums

Favorite Tracks: Christmas In Hawaii, What Do You Want For Christmas?, Santa Baby, All Alone On Christmas, 

Sounds Like: Stray The Course, The Queers, Came And Took It, Neon Bone, Lost Love, Latte+, Lawrence Arms, Flatliners, Nerdlinger, and Teenage Bottlerocket


What happened to the crazy Christmas videos from the 70s, 80s, 90’s? They say video killed the radio star, did internet streaming kill the video star? Actually MTv pretty much killed itself by switching over to a reality TV format. This started way before internet streaming became the popular format. So I thought in the spirit of Christmas and that of Jagger Holly’s, “It’s Christmas Somewhere”. I’d revisit some ghosts of Christmas past before checking out the new Jagger Holly release. 

Let’s start things off with the The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight). Next to FEAR’s. “Fuck Christmas” this is by far one of my favorite Christmas videos. The popular school of thought is Joey wrote this for his current girlfriend at the time Linda Ramone. We may never know, but the legal battle over the Ramones copyright continues today.

Another favorite Christmas video of mine is RUN DMC – “Christmas In Hollis”. Not only is the video hilarious; but the song proved that rap could create some excellent seasonal tunes.

Last but number one in my book overall, The Pogues – “Fairytale Of New York”. This controversial song reminds us that not all is happy and joyous.

This review is not really about any of the songs above, but they are all about Christmas. Since the rise 90’s punk. The amount of covers and originals are endless. So how is, Jagger Holly – “Somewhere It’s Christmas” in 3 words, A TOTAL BLAST! The intro track, “Ghost Of Christmas Past”, pays homage to the classic setting up the rest of the album. Personally I’d throw in some hits from the over consumed, People Corrupting People’s album, “White Elephant”. 

“Christmas in Hawaii” is next and comes in with some surf like chords while paying tribute to “Mele Kalikimaka”. “What Do You Want For Christmas” follows with a fantastic love ballad. Speaking on love ballads. I have yet to be Whammed, by “Last Christmas”. Let us hope I don’t hear it. Haha! “Santa Baby” is next with twist on the popular song with Jagger Holly giving us an original version. The lyrics are hilarious. 

“Santa Baby, 

I feel so good lately, 

except for the drugs we used, 

Satan made me do, 

I’m sorry”

The next track is “Lonely”. Talk about seasonal blues! I love this ballad. It’s sad, but it’s for all of us missing someone special this time of year. As Clark Griswold introduces, “Holiday Without You” you are set up for old Griswold family christmas! This is a fun track! The “Ghost Of Christmas Present” follows with a super heavy bass line! This is a great instrumental track only. 

Next up is a fantastic cover of Darlene Love’s, “All Alone On Christmas”. This track appeared on the Home Alone 2 soundtrack. Sadly the movie was forgettable and somewhat strange to say the least. This cover features Lucy Spazzy ( Lucy And The Rats/ Spazzys) on vocals. I dig this version much better than the original. Lucy’s voice reminds me of Kirsty Maccoll. She nails this track! Side note the original was written by Steven Van Zandt

“Number One On My Christmas List” follows with a strong pop punk tune. Jagger Holly is one of those bands I simply love listening to and “It’s Christmas Somewhere” incorporates everything we love and hate about Christmas. The next song is an anthem ballad called, “I’m Not Coming Home Christmas”. Now I’m not sure if this is a rip at Don Henley’s, “Please Come Home For Christmas, but It just might be.   

The “Ghost Of Christmas Future” follows and returns a strong surf/rockabilly beat. I’d be lying if I said, “I hate rockabilly Christmas tunes”. In fact I was raised on them! The final track is, “Mistletoe” and continues the country twang. It pokes fun at atheists celebrating Christmas. It’s time I go try and wrap some presents! 

In conclusion, Jagger Holly’s, “It’s Christmas Somewhere” is like a snowy Hawaiian adventure from Christmas’s past, and a pop punk rumble through the future. I would love to see, “All Alone On Christmas” hit the pop charts as we need new Christmas songs forced down our throats on November 1rst. I swear to God If I hear one more song! My only con of the album? Well at one point they mention, “Jingle All The Way” as their favorite Christmas movie. I beg to differ! “Christmas Vacation” is the ultimate winner. I kid of course. So if you need a change to the yule, throw on Jagger Holly’s, “It’s Christmas Somewhere”! 

What are your favorite Christmas jams and movies? Let us know down the comments! 

below!

Tracks: 

  • 1. Ghost Of Christmas Past
  • 2. Christmas In Hawaii
  • 3. What Do You Want For Christmas?
  • 4. Santa Baby
  • 5. Lonely
  • 6. Holiday Without You
  • 7. Ghost Of Christmas Present
  • 8. All Alone On Christmas
  • 9. Number One On My List
  • 10. It’s Christmas Somewhere
  • 11. I’m Not Coming Home For Christmas
  • 12. Ghost Of Christmas Future 
  • 13. Mistletoe

Links:

Skabones Picks For Best Album/EP For 2019

Best of 2019 Albums and Ep/Lp Picks by

Skabones

Holy Shit its almost 2020 already? Where the hell have I been? Oh that’s right here writing album reviews till the cows come home. Well over 2019, CPRA has accomplished a shit ton. We wrote over 70 news, reviews and concert related items, started our own TV show, and started CPRA Skates! Don’t forget also our team up with AKA Just Miggy and The Kids Are Alright All Ages At Goosetown! On that note don’t miss the next Kids Show with the Potato Pirates on December 15, 2019, 2pm!  Check out my Top 5 List of the year below! 

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Skabones’s Top Local LP Or Full Albums of 2019

1. Trick Punch – The Latest
2. AFD – Bruised (Out Now on all platforms)
3. New Narrative – Story So Far
4. All Waffle Trick – Second Breakfast
5.  Married A Dead Man – Awakenings

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Skabones Top 5 Local EP

1.  Tuck Knee The Way Back Up and S/T
2. Sunset Silhouette   Far Beyond Suburbia
3. Barking Mad Rampage
4. Wild Lives Return Of The Kid
5.  Implied Risk Demo 2019

 

Skabones Top 5 International Full Length Albums

1. Jerkswitch BUFO
2. Crimson Riot Classy Punk For Trash People
3. Abolitionist Ugly Feeling
4. Year Of The Fist Revive Me
5.  The Follow Ups Don’t Like You Either
man in santa claus costume
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

 

Skabones  Top 5 International EP/LP

1.  Vera Kay  Pink Roses
2.  Spider Energy Gone Wrong
3. Trashed Ambulance Shorthanded
4.  The Damed  The Damed
5. Fine Dining Grass Fed Tunes
person standing in front of a train
Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Skabones Honorable Mentions Full/EP/LP/S

Bury MIA And Sleep It Off
Slap Happy  Cruisin
Hangtime Invasion
Spewers A New Disappointment
Over Time Decades
Wilmette Anxious Body
Greg Antista & The Lonely Streets Shake, Stomp And Stumble

It’s Not Too Late To Get CPRA Merch for xmas!

Well there you have it my picks for 2019! You check out all of our reviews here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/album-reviews-music-news/. Bands we love ya! Happy Holidays and stay safe. See everybody on December 14 At 3 Kings!

“’Pick It Up! Ska In The 90’s'(CPRA Movie Reaction)& Ska Parade 30th Anniversary Show

Release Date: 5/1/2019                                                      

Format: Digital and Physical

Purchase Here: https://www.skamovie.com/shop-1

Production: PopMotion Pictures

Director/Writer/Stars (Per IMBD)

  • Director: Taylor Morden
  • Writer: Heather Augustyn
  • Stars: Tim Armstrong, Aaron Barrett, Christian Jacobs

Appearances by: (Per website)

The film features exclusive interviews with members of: 

The Aquabats • Big D and the Kids Table • Bim Skala Bim • Blink-182 • Bomb the Music Industry! • Buck-O-Nine • Catch 22 • Cherry Poppin’ Daddies • Dance Hall Crashers • Desorden Publico • Fishbone • Five Iron Frenzy • Goldfinger • The Goodwin Club • Hepcat • The Hippos • The Impossibles • Inspector • The Interrupters • Jump With Joey • Kemuri • King Apparatus • La Resistencia • Less Than Jake • Let’s Go Bowling • The Mad Caddies • Maldita Vecindad • Mephiskapheles • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones • MU330 • Mustard Plug • My Superhero • New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble • No Doubt • The Nuckle Brothers • the O.C. Supertones • Oingo Boingo • The Pietasters • Pilfers • The Porkers • Reel Big Fish • Rx Bandits • Save Ferris • The Selecter • Skankin’ Pickle • The Skatalites • The Slackers • Smashmouth • The Specials • Spring Heeled Jack • Starpool • Streetlight Manifesto • Sublime • Suburban Legends • The Suicide Machines • The Toasters • Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra • Voodoo Glow Skulls • and a bunch of other super rad ska related people!


Hey guys Skabones with CPRA here. Happy Holidays to everyone out there. Recently we received an advanced copy of Pick It Up Ska In the 90’s. Personally, I couldn’t help myself and dove in immediately. This film was directed by Tayloy Morden. Be sure to check out some of Taylor’s other movies such as, The Pick Up , The Last Blockbuster, Here’s to Life: The Story of The Refreshments, Gotcha. We reached out to Taylor, so be sure to read his thoughts on the film below. 

So before I go into more of the movie, Let’s talk more about your mom, I mean me Skabones. I grew up when Reagan was dropping bombs and Thatcher was invading the Falklands. Ska bands like English Beat, Madness, and The Specials were wrecking the UK charts. Given I’m only 42 now I was only about 5 or 6 years old then. So let’s jump back to the 90’s. I was an angry kid, hated my dad, we all hated our parents back then. As you can tell from my senior photo I was a real, “rebel”.

My friends and I were constantly going to shows around Denver. We even got tear gassed at the Propagandhi riot. For me personally I felt I belonged, but also that I didn’t belong. That something was missing for me. I was that square peg that never fits into the circle. I was a “Weird Kid”. So when a friend handed me a copy of “The Pietasters” by The Pietasters around 1994. Something in me finally clicked. I restarted my love for ska! As time progressed, my friends and I started going to more Ska shows like, Denver’s Five Iron Frenzy, Fishbone, Save Ferris, and many more. 

So let’s actually get into the movie. When the film opens I felt this immediate ocean of nostalgia come over me. As Tim Armstrong began his narration of the film I felt thrusted back into the 90’s. Someone hit me with a Slap bracelet! The list of media and bands in this film is insane. From legendary DJ’s such as Tazy Phillips to bands you might have thought disappeared. They are some great concepts and schools of thought discussed in the film such as How do you define ska? Have you ever tried to explain ska to someone? Did you know the classic black and white checkered style was not about racial unity? Out of nowhere the weird kids had a place to go and best of all it wasn’t a fashion parade. And suddenly there were trumpets in punk rock.

One of my favorite discussions is Did Kurt Cobain’s death kick off the 3rd Wave of Ska? If you think about it Cobain’s death marked the end of grunge and the start of something new. I’d really love to sit down some time with legendary KROQ DJ Tazy Phillips and asks just why was Sublime so hard to work worth? I can only guess it was Bradley’s addiction or other issues? I’ve watched this movie 3 times now and still find things I missed the first time around. Such as did you know skapunk embraced punk’s DIY boots on the ground self promotion? There was a war between the West coast Vs East Coast ska? Wait wut? As the 3rd wave rose in popularity bands started having more control over their shows such as Skank N Pickle refusing to play non all ages shows

Skabones is that you?

Another concept discussed, How does a ska band survive on the road? You have 5-10 members who have to sit practically on top of each other in the van. I found this part of the movie hilarious! Another personal favorite part of the movie is when gender was discussed and how female members were treated differently from their male counterparts. With venues sometimes thinking they were girlfriends, groupies, or wives of band members. Five Iron Frenzy’s -Leanor Inez Ortega Till discusses this issue in detail. Her section in the movie is a personal favorite. I scored an awesome interview with Leanor which you can read below. Guys I’m talking to you! It may be almost 2020 we may be getting better about inclusion, but newsflash, we are not there yet! 

As I said before the lists of bands and media personalities in this movie is incredible. Some of my favorite moments are with Angelo Moore, Ben Carr, Coolie from Pilfers, Moniqe Powell and Mike Park. Oh and Aaron Barret from Reel Big Fish, stays true to his name as over confident sell out. I guess hes’s the Aaron we all know. Haha! As the movie nears the end, the downfall and over market saturation of the 3rd wave are mentioned. Soon Emo and EDM began to take it’s place. The popularity here in the states may have fallen, but 3rd Wave continues to thrive in other countries.  

Overall I give Pick It Up – Ska In the 90’s a 9.5 out of 10. This movie is a perfected tribute to ska and in particular to the third wave. The little things you didn’t know, made a huge impact, not only in the ska scene, but the music industry in general. The only downside to the movie is no Op Ivy interview, but it’s really the least of my concerns.

Ska will never die, it will continue to evolve from it’s early Jamaican roots. So pick it up now at www.skamovie.com, via download, and now on DVD and Blu-ray! So let us know down in the comments below your best memory from the 3rd Wave! If you think Ska is dead, read more here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/category/ska/


I reached out to the Director of Pick It up,  Taylor Morden for for some thoughts on the making of the film. 

Pic courtesy of IMBD

CPRA: First of congratulations on a fantastic movie!

Morden: Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it!

CPRA: What was different for you in directing Pick It Up – Ska In The 90s vs the other movies you have directed like The Last BlockbusterHere’s to Life: The Story of The Refreshments, Gotcha, Sticker Shock, and The Pick Up

Morden: Pick It Up! was the biggest project for me in terms of scope, there are over 80 bands featured in the movie, and we filmed in 4 countries over the course of a year and a half. It was also a very personal project for me.  I’ve played trumpet in ska bands for over 20 years now and this music has been a huge part of my life. Getting to talk with all the bands I’ve been a fan of for most of my life about the music that means so much to all of us has been an amazing experience.  In a way I got to tell a part of my own life story with the help of some of my all time favorite bands.

CPRA: What was the most difficult part in directing this movie? 

Morden: There were a lot of challenges along the way, but one of the hardest parts was trying to clear so many songs for the soundtrack, there’s a ton of music in the movie and for every song you hear there are a lot of hoops to jump through.  The other difficulties were things like scheduling the interviews around the availability of touring bands and digitizing huge piles of VHS tapes and scanning hundreds of photos, then trying to keep track of all the footage and archival materials and put together a story out of all of it.

CPRA: Was there at any moment you felt it was just too hard to make the movie and what pushed you to overcome if so? 

Morden: Somewhere, about half way through editing, we had a 5 and a half hour long rough cut of the movie… I wasn’t really sure how to get past that stage and down to something that people could actually watch. The main thing that kept us going on this project and helped us overcome obstacles like that was the support of the ska community!  The bands and the fans have been a huge help in motivating us to to try and make the movie as comprehensive, fun, and informative as we could. 

CPRA: We know you can’t really play favorites with any scenes. However; what is one scene that really makes you nostalgic for making the film? 

Credit Pic located here

Morden: Not sure if you’re referring to scenes in the movie, or local music scenes… in the movie, there’s a part titled: the horn section that means a lot to me, as a horn player, that part is really autobiographical and I feel like that’s the kind of thing that maybe another film maker would not have included. If you mean music scenes, that’s a tough one, since we learned so much about so many ska scenes making the movie, and our local scene in Eugene Oregon doesn’t really feature in the film, I’d have to say that the stuff about the Japanese ska scene is my favorite. 

CPRA: What advice do you have for independent filmmakers trying to get their names out there?

Morden: I’m not sure I’m in any position to give advice, but as an independent filmmaker, I really believe in the DIY work ethic that it often takes to get anything done.  That often means long hours and difficult obstacles to overcome. So the advice I would have is: choose topics that you really care about. You’re going to be stuck working on a movie, especially a documentary, for years.  So if you aren’t really invested in the subject matter that can get tedious. But as the cat hanging from the tree says ‘hang in there’. 

CPRA: Thanks Taylor that’s some great information!

Continue reading ““’Pick It Up! Ska In The 90’s'(CPRA Movie Reaction)& Ska Parade 30th Anniversary Show”

Grab a “Second Breakfast” With Denver Punks All Waffle Trick

Release Date: 11/8/2019                                                      

Format: Digital 

Location: Denver, CO

Current Lineup: (Per Bandcamp)

  • All Songs written by Jeff Giles
  • Jeff Giles – Guitar and Vocals
  • James Battraw – Bass and Vocals
  • Alex Mark – Drums and Vocals 

Recorded & Mixed – Nick Nodurft, Rusty Sun Audio

Mastered – Ira Dechter (Over Time), Dog Gate Mastering             

Favorite Tracks: Wasted Summer (AKA Endless Bummer), ExSka ExSka Juicy Bits, Millennial, Anonymous, Destroyer, Me, My Hand, and I, and What a Way to Spend a Night

Sounds Like: Madaline, Buck-O-Nine, RBF, Goldfinger, MMB, Younger Than Neil, The Holophonics, No Authority, and Deals Gone Bad


Pic by Anarchopunk

I have a confession. I am a giant slut. A slut for some kick ass skapunk. I place the blame purely on the likes of Dance Hall Crashers, Fishbone, Op Ivy, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. After all a friend gave me the nickname name, “Skabones” so I guess it makes sense. So last week my slut senses were going off the charts and Denver based, All Waffle Trick released, “Second Breakfast”.

So without hesitation, let’s check out the new album. The album starts out with, “Wasted Summer”, (Endless Bummer). I love this song and we actually reviewed the dingle release here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2019/08/22/cpra-music-news-denvers-all-waffle-trick-drops-surprise-new-track-endless-bummer/.

The energy rips through this song. The lyrics are catchy as hell. How many summers did you have a checklist of things to do, but never did anything? I do it every year. I’d love to grab wave off Laguna Beach again. Yet work and life always seem to get it in the way.

Pic by Anarchopunk

The second track is, “Songs That We’ll Sing”. The intro rips in with some heavy shred. I actually had to make sure I wasn’t listening to the Bouncing Souls. The production alone on this track is killer. All Waffle Trick may have just composed another punk rock anthem right here. Jeff Giles spoken word like vocals really send this track home. 

“Tongue Tied”, has Alex Mark showing off his kick ass drum skills. Battraw and Giles are spitting out hooks that make you sing along like a happy fool. “Exska Exska Juicy Bits” follows up with a pick it up sound. This is my favorite track on the album, and those are really starting to mount up. “Millennial” is next up and another favorite. The track speaks of millennial woes, hopes and dreams. 

As a Gen X baby I have never really thought of the major differences between generation gaps. For that matter I have never labeled anyone “Millennial”. They were the first generation to witness a mass terror attack on live tv. Cut them a damn break! This song will get you dancing. The guitar work is excellent. 

“We don’t care what you’re saying, and I don’t think that you’re listening
The context of your content is getting drowned in all the lies
The one thing that we can hope and pray is that the dream is still alive”

“Millennial” – All Waffle Trick

“Anonymous” is on hardcore/street punk side with perfectly placed, “Whoas and OI’s”. This track reminds me of another sadly now defunct band called, Jerkswitch from Canada. The hardcore rolls on with “Destroyer”. If you are in the pit during this song prepared to get destroyed! I personally didn’t expect a track like this, but I LOVE it. 

Pic by Anarchopunk

“Joyride” is next and swings to a pop punk sound. This track is filled with hope. You will be singing along and don’t say I didn’t warn you. My 5 year old is running around the house singing, “We can take a joyride” over and over again. “Me My Hand And I”, follows and is hilarious. I never thought a song about masturbation could be so much fun! 

“Screws loose” combines some hardcore and pop, while reflecting on mental illness. The drums standout while Giles sings his heart out. “Doctors Orders” has a great street punk sound. This track has a serious tone, dealing with medical issues. It’s sad, and that emotion is easily expressed through the song. 

“And I swore, I swore I was getting better, and they said the same fucking thing
And now I, I need a gallon of whiskey and a bucket of ice just to sleep, sleep at night
Just to sleep, sleep at night”

“Doctors Orders” – All Waffle Trick

Let’s return to some happiness with, “Falling Down”. I really dig the guitar at the intro. Battraw’s bass lines are phenomenal. Giles vocals push that smile straight into your face. We all need a track like this in times of self doubt. My last favorite track on the album is next, “What A Way To Spend A Night”. Here’s another anthem with a tribute to Denver. Our punk rock family in Denver is bigger than we all think it is! Sure we have some splits, put that shit aside and grab a brew or joint. I love the ska reggae chorus.

If you stayed this long it’s time to wrap things up. All Waffle Trick’s, “Second Breakfast” is an excellent album filled with everything I love about ska and punk. In fact it’s so good, you’ll want to pass this one off to those dipping their toes into punk rock. Sure it might not be legendary, but it’s one helluva of a good ride. Be sure to check it out now on all major music providers, or purchase it here, https://allwaffletrick.bandcamp.com/album/second-breakfast

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

Track List (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Wasted Summer
  2. Songs That We’ll Sing
  3. Tongue-Tired
  4. ExSka ExSka Juicy Bits
  5. Millennial
  6. Anonymous
  7. Destroyer
  8. Joyride
  9. Me, My Hand, and I
  10. Screws Loose
  11. Doctor’s Orders
  12. Falling Down
  13. What a Way to Spend a Night

Links:

Gothic Post Punk Rockers Married A Dead Man Set To Release New Album, “Awakening” at Goosetown Tavern on 11/22

Release Date: November 22, 2019

Format: Digital and physical

Label: DIY

Location: Denver, Colorado

Current Lineup: 

  • Jaime Noah: drums
  • Luca Grieman: guitars
  • Megan Kelley: lead vocals and keyboards
  • Travis Rosen: bass and backing vocals 

Favorite Tracks: Awakening, Stray, Burn, Taken, Shimmer and Valkyrie

Sounds Like: Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, The Room In The Wood, Mazzy Star, Gary Numan, The Damned (Darkwave Era), and Dead Can Dance. 


Photo by Anarchpunk

As old man winter enters Colorado. Everything seems to slow down. It’s pitch black by 5pm, the pumpkins from Halloween are beginning to rot.  The temperature is a constant 45 degrees. It’s great weather for some Gothic post punk tunes from Denver’s Married A Dead Man. They are set to play Goosetown Tavern on November 22, 2019 for their new album release, “Awakening”. Tickets are moving and are limited to only 100!

2019-11-22T20:00:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

Release Party Starts

I have always felt a good album contains a story line. This story line may be deep and meaningful. Or maybe a group of musicians having a great time making music? Every song has its own story. Denver’s Married A Dead Man is one of those bands. With each release a story line is set. We reviewed their last release here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/12/married-a-dead-man-haunt/

The first track, “Overture”, provides a dark, grimy, and haunting introduction. This is a beautiful and haunting song. The movie is set to begin. “Awakening” is next with synth sounds reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails, “Dead Souls”. Kelley’s voice is energetic, yet blends well with the amazing drum work, and excellent guitar. This is a buildup to a pure, awakening from the depths. 

Photo by Anarchopunk

I have to admit the next song, “Stray” hit me very hard. This anti-gun track is emotionally charged and left me pondering this. How many have to die at the hands of gun violence? How many more children will be gunned down like lambs to the slaughter? This song is incredible and has very strong potential. 

“Shaken by bullets all flying around
Pick up the bodies that lie on the ground
With thoughts and prayers as we sink in despair
Twenty years past yet we still look elsewhere”

Married A Dead Man – “Stray”

“Burn” follows with a beautiful piano introduction. This track has an awesome industrial sound. It’s almost as if there’s a full orchestra behind Kelley and the band. The buildup towards the end of the track is unexpected, but done brilliantly. “Bleed” is the next song. A relationship over, yet an awakening has begun to reclaim the soul. 

The drum work on the song is excellent. The synth dances as a playful witch explores her new surroundings. I love this song! The band fully displays each of their own mastered styles. There’s an impressive guitar riff that blends seamlessly with the track.

“Taken”, gets dark and mysterious. The song progresses the story line while bouncing between self reflection and taking action. The imagery in this sad tale is deep and I felt it was best to reach out to the band for comment. I spoke with Vocalist/Keyboardist Megan Kelley.

CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “Taken?”

Megan Kelley: Absolutely. This song is somewhat painful to discuss and is very personal. It’s about rape. The lyrics are two fold: they discuss the victim begging to be freed and let go by the rapist, “stop/not that/this, please free my wrists. Choke/spit/hit/piss, I want to live” while toggling between the victim having an out of body experience to cope with the assault as it occurs “I’m floating high above. What should I think of?”

It also makes the point of how victims feel after getting assaulted: how they feel completely unattractive, detached, scarred, and how they view being seen differently by others. “Played out your fantasy, tied to my canopy. I was a bride-to-be, now no one touches me.” The song explores the fight-flight-freeze response to getting attacked in the first verse. 

When we play this song live, often times I will discuss the personal nature of this song and always stress that it’s never the victim’s fault.  I hope that with open dialogue about sexual assault it will help more victims find a place of healing. Rape is about control, and the best way to take back your control is to talk about your experience when you are ready.

I hope that our music can help anyone who has experienced anything like this.  I have often feared being pitied or seen solely as a victim. My public “face” is not one to show or admit vulnerability, but writing about these experiences and feelings truly has helped me in many ways.” Thank you Megan for sharing your story!

“Shimmer” follows and slows the album down. It’s calming, as it explores the sub consciousness. The bass shines on the track. This is another track where I felt it would be great to hear Kelley’s thoughts.

CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “ Shimmer ?”

Megan Kelley: “Shimmer is about floating away in the ocean. The suicide aspect is a metaphor for self acceptance and peace within yourself; it’s not necessarily about suicide, but it’s also inspired by how Virginia Woolf killed herself (which was by drowning herself in a river after weighing herself down with rocks in her pockets.) That kind of self acceptance really comes from making absolute peace with oneself, so I thought that the beach setting was fitting for this kind of peaceful acceptance. I grew up on the East Coast.

Photo credit: Alexei Hämmerle

Being near the ocean is something that I’m very accustomed to and love. The initial inspiration behind the song was the beauty of the ocean, and how much a beach scene is so peaceful and quiet. “I dip my toe in, dreaming of floating. I swim the ocean, the salt is cleansing. Feeling absolution, I can go peacefully.” Another big WOW from this writer!

“Keening” follows up with some edgy drums and guitar. By far one of the darkest tracks. It sounds like it could’ve been written by Bauhaus, yet retains that amazing MADM sound. This is another track where I felt it would be great if the band could offer some insight.

CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “Keening?”

Megan Kelley: Sure! This one was really fun to write. The band writes all the music collaboratively, and I write most of the lyrics and melody. Travis (bass) also writes some of our lyrics and melodies. We have a song about witches. We have a song about the Valkyrie. We really wanted to write about banshees. This was nice for me to research because I am half Irish…and really went deep into the folklore rabbit hole during the research process. 

Like a lot of our music, it has a theme about women. Some songs are personal, like “Taken,” “Bleed,” or “Run,” and some songs are about strong women in mythology/history that we find interesting.There is a common misnomer that a banshee could put a curse on you if she came to visit. Really, the banshee is simply the messenger, visiting you to warn you that someone in your family will die soon…even as soon as the next day. 

Visiting at night, and typically portrayed as a shrouded, older, skinny, kind of scary faced woman with straggly hair, the banshee shrieks her way through the darkness to deliver her message. In Ireland, there is a belief that a certain banshee is assigned to a specific family, and that your assigned banshee would stay with your family forever”. Such a great story! Thanks Megan for the awesome information!

The last track is, “Valkyrie – (Offerings To Odin) Remix. Prepared to be straight up blown away by this kick ass remix. While the original is a bit slower, this remix offers a dance version. This track would fit well in any action movie where a person is bent on revenge. This track seems to culminate the story line of “Awakening”. Fans of 90s house music will love this track. Denver’s Rock Island days are still with us. 

In reflection, “Married A Dead Man’s, “Awakening” is a gothic post punk trip through intimate, storytelling, and fascinating composition. Several tracks on the record have great potential for commercial success. EDM may be taking the airwaves, but MADM is proving post punk is still alive and kicking. This album is definitely a nominee for CPRA’s Best Of 2019. You can pick it up on all major platforms after the release show at Goosetown Tavern.

SW US Tour Info!

Tracks: 

  1. Overture
  2. Awakening
  3. Stray  
  4. Burn
  5. Bleed
  6. Taken
  7. Shimmer
  8. Keening
  9. Valkyrie (Remix)

Links:

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.

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Track List (Released Version May Differ In Order )

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

Links: