The Drowns New Release, “Under Tension” Is In One Word, Excellent

Release Date: January 17, 2020                 

Format: Digital and Physical (Get the vinyl)

Label: Pirate Press Records

Location: 

  • Seattle

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Aaron Rev (vocals/guitar), 
  • Andy Wyle (bass/vocals), 
  • Jonny Wade (guitar), 
  • Jake Margolis (drums)

Favorite Tracks: Cue The Violins, Black Lung, Them Rats, Battery Station, 

Sounds Like: The Briggs, Buzzcocks, Cocksparrer, STLF, The Tossers, NOISE, Transplants, Dead Boys, and the Street Dogs 


Let’s take the way back machine to October 12, 2018. Colorado Punk Rock Army was starting to pick up steam and this was directly related to two important events. We brought in our first female team member, Lala. This sarcastic gem of a lady is still kicking ass with us today. The second important event was that Lala reviewed, The Drown’s, “View From The Bottom”

Let’s face the hard reality when it comes to today’s music industry. Local bands, podcasts, and zines face a daily struggle to just stick around. They try to beat social media algorithms, and budget every move they make. Only to get a couple of shares or make 17 cents on Spotify. So after Lala published her review above. Something drastically changed CPRA for the better.  

Within a week Lala’s review had raked up almost a thousand views! To this day that post has the most views ever on our website. So I, Skabones naturally wanted to know why this particular post was so popular. Sadly I don’t have time to check out everything as much as I’d like. It turns out the Drowns kick ass! “View From The Bottom” has been on my constant rotation ever since October 2018.  

So today marks a special day it’s release day for their new record, “Under Tension”. This is their second full album release. It is my lawful duty as a punk and a writer to give this record the old full CPRA album review treatment. The album starts with, “Black Lung”. The intro riff is nuts! The chorus is catchy and a tale of sounds to come. We all have that black lung that festers and keeps us thinking. 

Next up is a personal favorite, “Them Rats”. I love an angry fist pumping sound. This track is politically charged and is reminiscent of Cocksparrer or the Transplants. It sits on a nifty ledge of punk and ska. Aaron’s vocals are killer while the heavy bass and drums inflict the power in his voice. “Wolves On The Throne follows with Andy Wyle on vocals. Andy’s voice is remarkable and sounds so much like Pete Shelley I had to check twice.

The track focuses on social justice and calls for a strong resistance to fascism. Check out these kick ass lyrics! The guitar solo towards the end is an awesome throwback to classic punk rock.

“Their numbers are thinning
It’s just the beginning
Compassion’s in fashion, my friend
I’ll bet my empathy
Against their bigotry
Ignorance won’t win again”

“Hold Fast” is next and continues that in your face assault. Aaron is back with some deep bass vocals. This is a unification song that could easily end up being a popular soccer anthem. I can see crowds of people pumping fists, cheering drinks, and slamming each other in the pit. “One More Pint” is next and thus the reason I mentioned the Tossers above. The track is obvious in title. It’s about hitting the town, after a long week, joining your friends for a nice pint. I LOVE this song! Be prepared to hear this one on your local juke. Will it replace “We Are The Brews”? I sure hope so!

“Demons” is next with Andy back on vocals. We must defeat our demons to carry on! I’m not sure if there is a female on backing vocals, but it adds that extra something to make this song fantastic. 

The next track is for every person who ever felt, “Not good enough” to be dating someone or “Out of your league”. A simple love song about admitting insecurities. We have all been there. Yet eventually you will find that one person that doesn’t give a shit. They will accept you for you. Now that’s punk rock! “Cue The Violins” follows again with Andy on vocals. Check out the opening lyrics! 

“She’s a pistol with a loaded gun
Cocked and raised in the morning sun
Taking aim at all the men
Who would try to reign her in
She’s a feminist flamethrower
Unrepentant whistle blower
A bulldozer to the system
And she’s on the move again”

Not only does this track rock, but the message is strong! We MUST support equality in every shape and fashion. We  MUST lift up those that have been historically oppressed. “The Harder They Come, They Harder They Fall”. Another unification track about fighting religious extremism and choosing a life for you! I love the chorus! Jake’s drums are fast and loud! 

The next song is “The Unknown”. This track is pogo friendly and fast.  It seems almost made for union brothers and sisters. The heavy bass lines, guitar riffs sound a bit on the rockabilly side. Man this band continues to surprise me! Next up is another personal favorite song, “Battery Street”.

“Look mister please the only difference between you and me is I know who I am
I know where I’m from
I’ve got skin in the game”

Have you ever thought about the people that bust their ass to keep America running? I’m talking about dock workers, electricians, plumbers, truckers, etc. They bust their ass so we can be clothed, fed, and bed. I think we forget the sacrifices these people make every day. I could be wrong here, but I think this track is a tribute to Woody Guthrie’s, “Roll On Columbia ” or to the pacfice northwest in general. 

Well I have rambled on long enough and it’s time to wrap this one up. The Drown’s, “Under Tension” is master crafted and encompassing everything we love about good old fashion punk rock and roll. The anthems, musicianship and lyrical content is making me throw this album in for Best Punk Rock Album of 2020! You MUST check it out here, https://shop.piratespressrecords.com/pages/the-drowns

Someone buy some for me!!!!

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Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Black Lung 
  2. Them Rats
  3. Wolves On The Throne 
  4. Hold Fast 
  5. One More Pint 
  6. Demons
  7. Wastin’ Time 
  8. Cue The Violins 
  9. The Harder They Come 
  10. The Unknown
  11. Battery Street 

Links:

Tour Buddies, Neck & Ratbones Join Forces On New Split E.P.

Standard album cover edition

Release Date: September 25, 2019

Format: Digital and Physical 

Physical Purchase 

Location: Neck (CAN) Ratbones (IT)

Current Lineup NECK: (Per Facebook)

  • Johnny
  • Bergz
  • Marteenez

Current Lineup Ratbones: (Per Facebook)

  • Ludo Ratbone – Voice, Guitar
  • Pablo Ratbone – Drums
  • Andre Ratbone – Bass, Backing Vocals & 1-2-3-4
  • Jay Ratbone – Guitar, Backing Vocals

Favorite Tracks: NECK – Morrisey’s A Creep, Ratbones – Broken Again 

Sounds Like: Livermores, The Follow Ups, Latte+, and Hangtime


So we are still running behind playing catch up to 2019. Of course we wouldn’t be CPRA if we were 100% fully organized. This is also a volunteer job, so sometimes life gets in the way. Life, you  are a bastard! Sometimes on tour bands become good friends and jam out together constantly. Well when you’re on the road you may not have much else to do except talk music. 

So when I heard NECK and Ratbones teamed up for a split. Let’s just say I couldn’t pass the chance! All 4 tracks are wickedly good. My favorites personally are NECK -“Morrisey’s A Creep”, (And that he is) and Ratbones – “Broken Again”. I miss the days of compilations of awesome punk bands and it’s nice to see even small ones returning. 

If you want a vinyl copy, act fast as some of the album covers are limited edition and may as of this publication not be available, US link, Moms Basement Records, Europe Link, https://www.ibuyrecords.it/.

Special Limited album cover

Help CPRA stay online! Hit that donate button below!

Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)

  1. NECK – Ha Ha Hertz
  2. NECK – Morrisey’s A Creep 
  3. Ratbones – Broken Again 
  4. Ratbones – Cruel Sea

Links:

CPRA Presents: Forever Starts Today/18th & Addison/Vegas Valley Drive/Stray The Course 1/18/20 at Bowman's Vinyl

2020 is setting up to be a killer year here at CPRA. We’re busing booking bands night and day. Our first show is brought to you by the letter P as in pop punk and S as in Skatepunk! The show starts at 9 with a $5.00 cover and valid ID, at Bowman’s Vinyl on Broadway!

Check out these amazing bands!

Forever Starts Today – Emo and pop punk combine in all out assault. Facebook link – https://www.facebook.com/FSTofficial/

18th & Addison – No strangers to the music scene. 18th is becoming a household name since their stint on the 2017 Warped Tour. Facebook Link – https://www.facebook.com/18thandAddison/

Vegas Valley Drive – These skatepunks released their first full length album last year and we loved it! https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2019/09/19/vegas-valley-drive-releases-debut-album-kentucky-lawnmower-and-its/ Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/vegasvalleydrive/

Stray The Course – These pop punk are kicking ass and taking names. They have been featured numerous times here at CPRA and we love them! Facebook Link – https://www.facebook.com/StrayTheCourseOfficial/, Reviews – https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/09/stray-the-course-self-titled-ep/

The show starts at 9pm! Event link: https://facebook.com/events/s/forever-starts-today-w18th-and/2583215375109163/?ti=as

CPRA Music News Alert: Hi/Jack Releases New EP, “Rank And File”, And It’s Badass

Release Date: December 6, 2019

Format: Digital 

Location: 

  • Milwaukee, WI

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Ron “Hi” Terrell – Drums
  • Maxwell “Jack” Liam – Guitar and Vocals

Favorite Tracks: Don’t Wanna See You Anymore, That Fucking Bitch I Work With, Better Now

Sounds Like: Fugazi, The Strokes, Drive Like Jehu, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, and Nomeansno


In November/December of 2019 we here at CPRA got hammered with booking/review requests. We like to treat every band that comes through our email with equality. Sometimes we have an important event/show that takes priority. Now that I’m finally getting through the queue. It appears I missed a major opportunity. Milwaukee punks, Hi/Jack released their “Rank And File” EP back on 12/06/2019. 

This EP is small in number with only 4 tracks and one being a radio edit. As SLF once said, “You can’t say crap on the radio”. This EP has major potential to hit your shelf as an all-time favorite. Why you may ask? Let’s check it out! The first track is “Don’t Wanna See You Anymore”. As I started the track. I thought damn this sounds just like Fugazi. 

The guitar riffs and frantic drums bring this track down to a simple old school punk rock feeling. Most of us can totally identify with the lyrical content. I’ll never forget when I dyed my hair blue and my father kicked me out the next day. Well we made up, but that memory is still there. Side note, don’t kick your gets out for expressing themselves in a peaceful manner. It only creates resentment.   

The next rack up is, “That Fucking Bitch I Work With” or if you prefer the radio edit, “That Crazy Chick I Work With”. We all have a Karen we work with that drives us nuts. That Karen can indeed be non-binary. It’s that person we cannot stand. Personally for me that Karen is actually the 9-5 rat race in general. Why can’t I quit and work in the music industry full time? 

Anyhow, this track is fast and a blast to sing along with. Ron’s drums are intense while Max’s vocals send the message home. The last track is, “Better Now”. The song feels similar to the Strokes. The progression is a bit slow, yet the melody is easy to fall in love with. Are you Better Now?  After a traumatic event we affirm to ourselves we are better after the fact. Are we? Max’s guitar solo is epic. 

In conclusion, Hi/Jack’s “Rank And File” EP is a throwback to classic punk and rock n roll. This EP is original and mastered with some real blood, sweat and tears. The only con being that it is a little small and I personally cannot wait for more tracks. Since I missed their nomination for 2019 EP of the year. I’ll add this to 2020! Check them out here, https://hijackmke.bandcamp.com/

Help CPRA stay online! Hit that donate button below!

Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Don’t Wanna See You Anymore
  2. That Fucking Bitch I Work With 
  3. That Crazy Chick I Work With (Radio Edit)
  4. Better Now 

Links:

“Share My Frequency” By Race To Neptune is…

Release Date: September 28, 2019

Format: Digital 

Location: 

  • FT Collins

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Brian Maier (guitar, vocals), 
  • Zach Berger (guitar), 
  • Matt McNear (bass), 
  • Matt Petersen (drums)

Favorite Tracks: Unnatural Desires,  Her Last Vengeance, and Motion Blur

Sounds Like: 21 Taras, Poor Moxi, Tame Impala, Strokes, and A Shoreline Dream


The FOCO music community is alive and kicking. I am constantly seeing some awesome lineups with some incredible talent on a daily basis. Sadly I don’t get up to Ft Collins often, so I can only hope the bands travel south towards Denver. Today I’d love to introduce Ft Collins based, “Race To Neptune”. Considering their Facebook page is already at 1.5K you may already know them. Let’s check out their 3rd EP, “Share My Frequency”, released on 9/28/2019. 

“Unnatural Desires” is the first track and my first introduction to the band. Right from the start I can tell these band members are talented as hell. From the kick ass drums, and fuzzy salad rock like guitar. The song is bound to have you bobbing your head! The next song is “Motion Blur”. When you’re reflecting back on this sometimes they feel like a quick glimpse. Often in times of trauma, our brains will pick out certain images we like and toss out the ones we do not.  This track has some epic riffs, and underlying melodies. 

“Will The King?” slows things down a bit with a great intro on guitar. Shogaze fans will love this track! As the progression builds you can feel a great rock coming. The next track is “Mr Sweet”. I love the playful intro as the song gets a bit harder. This song is dreamy and full of illusion. It’s somewhat similar to early Pixies. 

“Her Last Vengeance” comes in with a great organ like sound. It’s dangerous and full of plucky notes on guitar. This track is by far my favorite on the EP. I love the experimental sound. It’s really like nothing I’ve ever listened to before. This band is super talented on all fronts. 

The last song is “Watch It Bleed”. The salad rock fuzz sound is back and playfully join in with the drums in almost Arabic like dance. In conclusion, “Share My Frequency” is a record you will need to listen to multiple times. Fans of Indie, punk rock, shoegaze and more will find something just for them in this 7 track set. Check them out here for more, https://racetoneptune.bandcamp.com/

Help CPRA stay online! Hit that donate button below!

Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Unnatural Desires
  2. Motion Blur
  3. Will the King? 
  4. Mr. Sweet 
  5. Her Last Vengeance
  6. Watch It Bleed 

Links:

CPRA Music News: Colorado Horror Punks, The Midnight Horrors To Release Debut EP, “Guitars, Grease, And Shallow Graves” in March 2020

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Format: Digital 

Location: 

  • Northern Colorado

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Band Members
  • Evan – guitar and vox
  • Chris – drums
  • Corben – guitar
  • Previous members:
  • Steven – drums (2016-2017)
  • Austin – bass (2017-2019)

Favorite Tracks: Siren Song, Poison Oak, The Spider

Sounds Like: The Lillingtons, Blitzkid, Tiger Army, Nick 13, Hotel Murder, The Followups, Livermores, and Alkaline Trio


Northern Colorado Horror punks, The Midnight Horrors are set to release their debut EP, “Guitars, Grease, And Shallow Graves” on March 13, 2020. Let’s face a true hard fact. Here in Colorado. We don’t really have a huge horror scene. Sure we have some great bands like The Dead End, but aside from them we really don’t have many. So I must admit I’m excited to see horror punk being represented more. 

So let’s check out, “Guitars, Grease, And Shallow Graves”. The first track is, “Siren Song”. This track is strong on drums and power chords. Evans vocals provide and dark and dangerous backdrop to haunt the track even more. The chorus will be stuck in your head. The second track is, “The Unholy”. This track is heavy on bass with perfectly placed, “Whoas”. The 1950’s theme is awesome. 

“Poison Oak” is the next track up. The progression is much faster. The pop punk sound is much more evident. This song is dedicated to all those zombie exs that never seem to go away. 

We are no good, It’s plain to see, You’re poison oak, And it’s killing me”

The following track is “21st Century Frankenstein”. The sound of a slapping bass is amazing; although I’m not sure an upright is used. This song is a bit slow and more on the rockabilly side. The story line is beautiful, dreamlike, and deeply haunting. Next up is my favorite track, “The Spider”. This track is much harder in comparison to the other tracks on the EP. The lyrics are thought provoking while remaining dark and spooky. I LOVE this track! 

Picture by @tiertwolive

Overall, The Midnight Horrors, “Guitars, Grease, And Shallow Graves” is a 5 track treat providing an amazing mix horror punk, pop, and rockabilly. Their ability to swing over into different genres, without sounding generic is fantastic. Personally I am very excited to see what’s in store for the Midnight Horrors. I’m definitely nominating this track for EP of 2020! So prepare that download button on 3/20/2020 and buy it here, https://themidnighthorrors.bandcamp.com/

Help CPRA stay online! Hit that donate button below!

Tracks: 

1. Siren Song

2. The Unholy

3. Poison Oak

4. 21st Century Frankenstein

5. The Spider

Links:

CPRA Music News: One Man Band Seattle Stomp To Drop Maudlin Madness on 1/3/2020

Release Date: January 3, 2020                                                             

Format: Digital and Physical

Label: Crush Grove Records

Lineup: (Per Bandcamp)

  • All songs written and performed by Alex Molica

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Favorite Tracks: Anxious Thoughts and Great Unknown

Sounds Like: 86-B, Prav Grant, Cokie The Clown, and Frank Turner


Former Denver transplant Seattle Stomp is set to drop, “Maudlin Madness” on January 3, 2013. We got our hands on an early preview. From the 2 tracks available we thoroughly enjoyed both “Anxious Thoughts” and “Great Unknown”. Give it a listen below and pick it up tomorrow here, https://crushgroverecords.bandcamp.com/album/maudlin-madness 

I reached out to Alex Molica, aka Seattle Stomp to get his thoughts on the latest release.  See his thoughts below


CPRA: What brought you to Denver?

Seattle Stomp: Well, I had graduated from Indiana Univ. in 2016 and was going through an anywhere but here, “running from myself” so I quit music, sold all my personal possessions and cruised the US for 6 months. On the road I fell in love with Denver and after I ran out of money decided to move there. A long personal struggle with drugs and alcohol caught up with me and that’s when these songs came to be during my time in Denver in 2016 and 2017 because you can’t run from the music that creates itself inside. Lived in Denver 2016-2018 and came to Ann Arbor in 2018.

CPRA: How is the music scene here compared to where you came from?

Seattle Stomp: The scene in Denver was awesome, I really loved Hi-Dive and Lions Lair and my favorite show was seeing Guantanamo Baywatch at Hi-Dive in November 2017. Denver is very different from most places in the midwest, here if you are in a band, cites are so much closer to tour and play and develop a route if you want to not play your hometown all the time, not so in Denver. The thing I found in Denver though is that all the hippy crap seems to be overbearing so the punks really show up when there’s a good local show going on because they don’t have it as much as we do in the midwest (at least thats what I saw)

CPRA: What does 2020 have in store? 

Seattle Stomp: January is the big month for Seattle Stomp, January 3rd will be the album release in Ypsilanti, MI with Idle Ray, Jim Cherewick and CT James….January 16th St Petersburg, FL at Black Crowe Coffee with Emily Turnage and Eyelid CinemaJanuary 17th at Uncle Lous in Orlando, FL with The Grizzly Atoms, Dougie Flesch and the Slashers and Alien WitchJanuary 18th at Shanghai Nobby’s in St. Augustine, FL with AC Deathstrike, Flora LiCrame and Half my Home

CPRA: That’s fantastic! Where are you based now in Michigan? 

Seattle Stomp: Ann Arbor, MI and as you can see I did come back to music, the label and the bands after some much needed readjustments to life. 

—–END INTERVIEW—–

Thanks Alex and be sure to check out his label Crush Grove Records and download the new record here tomorrow, https://crushgroverecords.bandcamp.com/album/maudlin-madness.

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

Track List (Subject To Change)

  1. Anxious Thoughts
  2. January
  3. Great Unknown
  4. Denver Song
  5. Little Red Riding Hood
  6. No Idea
  7. Power Jam Situation
  8. Mon Frere

Links: