https://ffm.to/thehope

Release Date: October 15, 2021

Format: Digital & Physical

Location: Nottinghamshire, England

Band Members – 

Ken Bonsall – Lead singer & acoustic guitar.

Dan Booth – Violin & lead vocals on some songs.

Johnny Edwards – Multi-instrumentalist.

Ryan Brooks – Guitar

John Alexander – Bassist

Alex Smith – Drummer

Favorite Tracks: Haul Away Joe, Pentrich Rising, Victims, Broken Soldier, The Hope, Exiled Life (The Chase), Khatyn, 1914, Born Under Punches, Punk Police, Slayed The Traveller, Parting Glass, and Mairi’s Wedding Pt 4

Sounds Like: The Tossers, Dropkick Murphys, Rumjacks, Gaelic Storm, Flogging Molly and The Pogues


CPRA is no stranger to great folk punk. We’ve covered so many greats over the years like, Bridge City Sinners, Days N’ Daze, Gogol Bordello, The Rumjacks, Flogging Molly and Frank Turner. Today is a great day as we get to review “The Hope” by Ferocious Dog. The last time we reviewed an FD album was way back in 2018 with the “Red Album”. Oh I did mention “The Hope” is currently charting it’s way to the top 20 in the UK!

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Ferocious Dog released “The Hope’ on October 15, 2021 to coincide with World Mental Health. This album is packed with amazing track after track. In fact no matter what I write I simply cannot give this album as much praise as it deserves. Let’s checkout some of my favorite tracks. The first killer track is “Haul Away Joe” an Irish traditional (sea shanty) cover. The accordion and violin set the scene for a beautiful yet haunting sea journey. As the song speeds up the bass and drums drive this track into a deep and powerful anthem. 

Pic by Marielle Groot Obbink

I am a huge Celtic folk/punk fan. The fact that I’ve never heard this song before drives me a bit mad. With the research I conducted on this track. I’d say Ferocious Dog’s version is definitely my favorite cover. Next up is “Pentrich Rising”. It references the great labor revolution of 1817. This song will have you pumping your fist in unity, “A night for revolution, a night to fight, a call to arms in England, all workers must unite”. We need this all over the world right now!

The next track, “Victims” will have you running to join the pit. Not only is it a great follow up to “Pentrich Rising”, but it’s about staying united and fighting political corruption and slave wages. “Broken Soldier” is up next and will pull at those old heart strings. How many soldiers went off to war only to return as shadows of their former selves? Most of us born after America ended the draft will never know what a soldier goes through on the battlefield. So help out our vets instead of raising your nose. 

My next favorite track is “The Hope”. Warning this song/video contains depictions of suicide or sucidial harm and may not be suitable for all listeners. On that note, this song will make you cry. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. The intro piano starts our journey and also the welling of my tears. This song should be in the top charts across the world! 

Let’s move on to, “Exiled Life (The Chase). This song speeds the record back up. It’s energy, it’s hope and everything we need in our lives. This track is catchy and fun. As punks we all lead an exiled life. We color our hair, we listen to unpopular music, we are all different from what society expects us to be. Instead of being ashamed, embrace this exiled life we have chosen. I wish someone would’ve taken the time with me to say, “It’s ok to be different and it’s ok to be just you”. If your likes and lives make you a happy person, stay the course.

So many good tracks on this so far! “Khatyn” is up next. The song references the 1943 Khatyn massacre. Per Wikipedia, “On 22 March 1943, almost the entire population of the village was massacred by the Schutzmannschaft Battalion 118 in retaliation for an attack on German troops by Soviet partisans.” We as a people can never let the atrocities the Nazi’s committed, happen ever again. 

Pic by Graham Whitmore

Let’s roll on. “1914” is a beautiful acoustic track about a soldier leaving to fight in World War I. “Born Under Punches” comes in swinging. This track is by far my favorite on the record. It’s fast, heavy, and relatable. Sometimes you can only rely on yourself. Now it’s time for some rock N roll with, “Punk Police”. We all know who the “Punk Police” are aka “The gatekeepers of punk music and subculture”. They will judge you for everything under the sun. Again I must reiterate Punk Rock Saves Lives motto,  

Positivity

Unity

Nurture

Kindness

If you are one of these gatekeepers I think you will find out you have less “Real friends” than you think you do! “Slayed The Traveller” is next up and continues the speed of “Punk Police”. It’s energy will have you up and dancing away. Grab a good beer and turn this tune on! One of my favorite Scottish traditional songs is next and it’s the “Parting Glass”. Every time I hear this song. I cannot help, but shed a wee tear for those who’ve gone before me. Ferocious Dog’s version is now my favorite. 

Get this on vinyl now! https://thehope.ferociousdog.co.uk/products/the-hope-deluxe-digipack

It’s time for another killer sea shanty with, “The Sea Shepherd”. This song is just plain fun which salutes the fine work the folks at The Sea Shepherd are doing. Pirates sure love their gold, but I think they love the ocean more and keeping it clean and poacher free. “Will You? (feat. Hazel O’Connor)” is a beautiful duet love song. I honestly didn’t expect this song and love it! Our final track is “ Mairi’s Wedding pt.4”. This is a solid way to end the record before going into the “1914 Reprise”. 

After listening heavily to Ferocious Dogs “The Hope”.  I can say with certainty that is my favorite record of 2021. “The Hope” is a clear winner. With tracks like, Haul Away Joe, Pentrich Rising, Victims, Broken Soldier, The Hope, Exiled Life (The Chase), Khatyn, 1914, Born Under Punches, Punk Police, Slayed The Traveller, Parting Glass, and Mairi’s Wedding Pt 4 this record keeps on giving and giving. If you’re facing uncertainty, need to smile, pay your respects, or just want a bit of craic. Put on “The Hope” now!

Be sure to pick this up on vinyl before the pre-orders close, https://thehope.ferociousdog.co.uk/

Track List

  1. Port Isaac
  2. Haul Away Joe
  3. Pentrich Rising
  4. Victims
  5. Broken Soldier
  6. The Hope
  7. Exiled Life (The Chase)
  8. Khatyn
  9. 1914
  10. Born Under Punches
  11. Punk Police
  12. Slayed The Traveler
  13. Parting Glass
  14. Sea Shepherd
  15. Will You?
  16. Mairi’s Wedding pt.4
  17. 1914 (Reprise)

Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FerociousDog/

Website – Music and Merch! https://ferociousdog.co.uk/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ferociousdog.fd/

Listen Now – https://ffm.to/thehope

Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/5PZ7FELSdjX5ftgAKT7foX

Follow CPRA For More!

Website: https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoPunkRockArmy/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/COPunkRockArmy

Tik Tok – @ Colorado Punk Rock Army

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/coloradopunkrockarmy/

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8IUp9-sZcf20h7qgtNVXFQ

WordPress cover photo by https://www.facebook.com/punkrockradio.ca/

https://thousandislandsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/change-the-frequency

Release Date: October 1, 2021

Format: Digital & Physical

Location: San Francisco, CA

Album Info – (Per Bandcamp)

Band Members – 

Clinton Smith (Noless)/ Vocals

Sasha Mereu/lead guitar,Vocals

Danny Tuggle/Drums,Vocals

George Spooner (Renoops)Guitar,Vocals

Rod (R2) Bass

Guest vocals: 

Jason Devore, Dave Pederson, Leland Fallon,

Tracy Labrie. Rob Rover Rushing, Chris Joyce

Production – (Per Bandcamp)

Recorded by Danny Tuggle and Mixed by Russell Artega. Mastered by Vincent Coté. Artwork and layout by Sterio Design.

Record Label – Thousand Islands Records

Favorite Tracks: Running Out Of Time, Demons, Cool Kids Club, Frolic In The Darkness, Please Don’t Crash and Change The Frequency

Sounds Like: Lagwagon, NOFX, The Shell Corporation, These Roving Years, The Pollution, Descendents, No Use For A Name, Suicidal Tendencies, and Authority Zero


Picture Credit – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cast_Away

Apparently Facebook is down and the entire world has gone mad. It’s likely you won’t even see this review until it comes back. I guess I’m out of the Cool Kids Club until Facebook comes back online. So no matter how it is that you arrived at this post. Let’s talk about San Francisco based punks, United Defiance and their new record via Thousand Islands Records, “Change The Frequency”. We loved their last record from 2018, “Safe At Home”

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I remember when the world locked down for Covid. I remember asking the question, “Where are we going as a civilization? Can we focus more now on saving the environment? Can we focus on human rights? Can we spend more time with our loved ones and not with the clock? The answer is best summed by the first track on the record, “Running Out Of Time”. This skate punk like track has some killer guitar riffs, and a very catchy chorus. We as a people are running out of time. Is it too late to change course? 

The next track, “Daemons’ deals with battling addiction. We all face our addictions on a daily basis. It may be alcohol, food, porn, whatever it’s a personal battle and you versus your demons. The intro to this track is an extreme hook for the listener. It crosses that fine line between metal and punk rock. “Cool Kids Club” is up next and holy crap is this an awesome track! 

I, like many other people, was singled out at a young age for being different.  I remember in elementary school there was a “Cool kids Club”. They were all friends, in sports, or neighborhood friends. Since my family lived in a different part of town. I was bussed in from about 7 miles out. So I was labeled as being, “From a different hood”, “Probably a homo”, “Why did he color his hair? Is he really a girl?”, “Why does he listen to trash music?” 

“Welcome to the cool kids club

did you read the sign

you have to be this punk rock to ride this fucking ride

hey there where you going kid and what’s your worthy cause

the new punk rock thing to do is point out all your flaws”

https://thousandislandsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/change-the-frequency

I really wanted to be in that club. Not because I liked those kids, but I thought it would stop the bullying. It was until I hit high school that found myself. I stopped caring what others thought and cared more about my own PMA. Punk rock saved my life. Now this track deals with the “Gatekeeping Of Punk Rock”. Yeah it sucks that there are even bullies in the punk scene. “You don’t have enough studs”, “You have too many studs”, “You like (insert band here)”. It’s time to move away from this crap!

Clinton’s vocals shine on this track. The listener can hear the deep emotional connection he shares with this song. I’m telling you now. Don’t be surprised when “Cool Kids Club” lands on the next big punk rock playlist.  “Frolic In The Darkness” is up next. It’s an energetic borderline hardcore rager! The little ska punk riff is badass! I’ll add this to my, “All My Favorite Songs Are Less Than 2 Minutes Playlist”. 

“Please Don’t Crash” follows up and sounds heavily influenced by Suicidal Tendencies. This is a deep track where the writer is questioning so many past decisions as we all do sometimes. The drums and vocals are the stars of this track. “Empty Advice” is next on the track list. It feels like it has more of a poppy 90’s punk sound. It’s a nice and needed tempo change. It’s also about trying to remain positive no matter what! Don’t forget the Punk Rock Saves Lives motto,

“P-ositivity

U-nity

N-urture

K-indness”. 

“Taps” comes in with a raging fire! It’s fast, deep bass lines, and kills it. “Show The World’, is up next. How many times have you rolled out of bed and rolled your eyes? I know I have done it many times, without realizing I was negatively hindering my life and my entire day to come. So “It’s time to rise up and show the world what you’ve got”! So let’s move onto another banger, “Sing With Me’. 

Oh and the video above is absolutely hilarious! This song brings out that euphoric feeling you get when attending a live show. That feeling you feel when you and the crowd sing along with the band. For me it’s one of the best feelings in the world. “All aboard all aboard this broken sinking ship, this ship that’s heading straight to hell, there’ll always be a fee, but together we are free so grab a drink and sing along with me”. 

Drum and bass take over the next track on, “Change The Frequency”. The guitar hooks and change ups breathe a new life into this song. You’ll be jamming along with this one in no time! “Spy Vs Spy” is what happens when a relationship crashes and burns. Sides are drawn, friends are lost, and an all out war may be on the horizon. This song is killer. The pit will be nuts on this track! 

“My Resignation”, is amazing. It talks about those who left us in the dark and those who stayed there for us. It gave me a sense of personal empowerment and hope. The last track on the record is a kickass cover of  Twisted Sister’s, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and features Jason DeVore from Authority Zero! This is more of a fun tongue in cheek version, but I think I like it better than the original. 

In closing let me say one more thing. United Defiance’s, “Change The Frequency” is by far not only their best album, but by far one of the best punk rock releases of 2021. You can pick it up here via Thousand Islands Records, https://thousandislandsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/change-the-frequency.

Track List (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Running Out Of Time 03:14
  2. Daemons 03:13
  3. Cool Kids Club 03:35
  4. Frolic In Darkness 01:00
  5. Please Don’t Crash 03:17
  6. Empty Advice 02:44
  7. Taps 02:53
  8. Show The World 02:40
  9. Sing With Me 03:17
  10. Change The Frequency 02:37
  11. Spy VS Spy 02:24
  12. My Resignation 03:15
  13. We’re Not Gonna Take It (ft. Jason DeVore) 02:15

Links

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/uniteddefiance

Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/Uniteddefiance

Bandcamp – https://thousandislandsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/change-the-frequency

Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/1LdvjvKMvAjDrDCsKjPqrK?si=Q268DY8QRxqieIFH7u6YiQ&dl_branch=1

Follow CPRA For More!

Website: https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoPunkRockArmy/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/COPunkRockArmy

Tik Tok – @ Colorado Punk Rock Army

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/coloradopunkrockarmy/

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8IUp9-sZcf20h7qgtNVXFQ

Photo Credit – BCS FB Page

Release Date: April 16, 2021

Format: Digital

Label: IM Records

Location: Portland, Oregon

Photo by Bryon Jeremy – @bryon.jeremy (Instagram)

Album Lineup: (Per Bandcamp)

Libby Lux – Lead Vocals & Banjolele
Michael Sinner – Resonator Guitar
Lightnin’ Luke – Fiddle
Clyde McGee – Banjo
Scott Michaud – Upright Bass

ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
Supporting back up vocals on “Rock Bottom” by Connor O’Neal, Shawn D’Amario, & Spencer Mode of the all mighty Tejon Street Corner Thieves. Supporting screams on “The Fear” by Veronica Sendejas & Jesse Edward Sendejas. Supporting back up vocals on “Unholy Hymns” by Connor O’Neal, Shawn D’Amario, Spencer Mode, Whitney Flynn & a girl named Lyz. Trombone on “Unholy Hymns” by Andrew Carew of Larry and His Flask. Guitar on “The Devil’s Swing” played by Clyde McGee.

ALBUM ART
Front cover BCS symbol designed by Michael Sinner. Back cover victrola art by Anastasia Guzinskaya. Layout and all other album art by Cud Eastbound.

THE RECORDING
Engineered & Mixed by Jesse Payne at LowShelf Recording in Portland, OR
Engineered & produced by Lightnin’ Luke
Mastered by Kris Crummett at Interlace Audio in Portland, OR
Mastering for vinyl by Adam Gonsalves Telegraph Audio Portland, OR
All songs written by the Bridge City Sinners

Favorite Tracks: The Devil’s Swing, Rock Bottom, Departed, Love Of Mine, The Legend of Olog​-​hai, Pt. 1 and 2, The Damned, and Unholy Hymns

Sounds Like: Days N’ Daze, Amigo the Devil, Crow Cavalier, Tejon Street Corner Thieves, Flogging Molly, Frank Turner, The Dolly Rots, The Jazz Spiders, The Damed, and The Dead South


Photo Credit Bryon Jeremy – @bryon.jeremy (Instagram)

As summer comes to an end. Things begin to get colder and darker. The shadows grow bigger, as daylight is slowly overtaken. The dead rise to to walk among the living and Bridge City sinners are leading the pack with their new release, “Unholy Hymns”. The record actually has two amazing stories combined into 11 tracks. The record begins, “The Devil’s Swing”, plunges the listener into a darkened barroom where the shadows playfully dance to this jazz infused track. The skeletons arise as if commanded by Lightnin’ Luke’s incredible fiddle. You too will be dancing along under the Devil’s magic spell. This track has some huge potential for movies and TV shows as it currently sits at 2k streams on YouTube.

Now our barroom is empty except for one single solitary soul and a band behind her. They are covered in darkness. As if to provide comfort from shadow only. Libby Lux’s vocals on “Rock Bottom” will draw you as she sings her tale. The Devil plays bartender has he continues to provide the nonstop rounds of alcohol. Every aspect of the track is beautifully written.

“Depression, Hello my old friend, It’s so good to see you again, At least with you I won’t die alone”

Rock Bottom – Unholy Hymns – Bridge City Sinners

Call in the skeletons the party has returned on “Departed”. It’s time to dance to this lively track. Be ready as you cannot control it. You’re under Libby’s spell now, move those dancing shoes! “Pick Your Poison” continues this zombie-like trance. Here’s another track with large potential. The story seems to be about getting over a lover, and having as much fun as possible in the process. The old Appalachian sound is given new life by Libby and amazing back up vocals. “Devil Like You”, tells the tale of a marriage gone bad and how it can turn seemingly normal folk into monsters. Unfortunately I am unsure who the male supporting vocal is on the track, but he is damn good!

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“Love of Mine” feels like it changes the tone from a 30-40’s sound to more of an early 50-60’s iconic sound side like The Animals or the Shangri La’s. Libby’s vocal’s feel like a cross between Amy Winehouse and Adele, and meet in the middle to provide a perfect overlay, while the backup singers support from the wings. I can picture our barroom dark and spooky, with a single spotlight on our singer. Only going out to focus on our skeletal dance troupe as they return to take the stage. The heavy bass brings us closer to end as we start our journey into the forest.

 @bryon.jeremy (Insta)

Deep in the dark forest of the Appalachian mountains a demon sits waiting for you to join him on, “The Legend of Olog​-​hai, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2”. Acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, lead you into this forlorn journey only to arrive within the demon’s cave. This may be a reference to the mountain trolls from J. R. R. Tolkien’s, “Lord of The Rings”. As Libby sings the tale, our demon joins in singing the ballad, giving the track a terrifying tone, yet as I listened, a little hesitant and unsure, I was glued to her voice and remaining humanity.

Our heroine has escaped the cave and trudges through the forest as “The Fear” extends its massive black cloud. A dark mass of foreboding uncertainty and all consuming evil, that destroys all in it’s path. The demon continues to echo Libby as she screams in pure agony. The tune reminds me of Disney’s “The Headless Horseman” as Ichabod Crane tries to flee from certain death. Will Libby meet her fate as did poor old Ichabod? We are nearing the end with “The Damned”. The full orchestra brings doom and gloom, as poor Libby is consumed by the Fear.

Photo by Bryon Jeremy & photo editing by Divine Chaos Art

Our heroine has met her fate as we have reached the end of the story with, “Unholy Hymns”. The gentle pick of the acoustic guitar will not save her now as she confronts her past and future. This is by far my favorite track as orchestra and trombone lead her descent into the bowels of hell. Andrew Carew’s trombone (Larry and His Flask) is outright phenomenal.

“Matthew, Mark, Luke And James, It’s Time To March The Saints To Their Graves, It’s Me Against The World In This Fable, Which One Is Cain And Which One Is Abel?”

Unholy Hymns – Unholy Hymns – Bridge City Sinners

In conclusion, Bridge City Sinners, “Unholy Hymns”, is an amazing piece of dark Americana with a story driven musical singalong. The potential for this album to hit movies and television will not only help achieve new fans, but keep present day fans asking for more. The very best part about “Unholy Hymns”? It doesn’t matter how punk rock you think you are. You’ll be dancing to that swing beat in no time.

You can catch Bridge City Sinners tonight in Colorado Springs, 10/01 and 10/02 Denver (With Daze N Days). Oh and you luck folks going to the festivals below can see them as well! CPRA has more in store with BCS. Stay Tuned!

Psycho Fest – Las Vegas, NV (Aug,2021)
Punk Rock Bowling – Las Vegas (Sep,2021)
Muddy Roots – Cookeville, TN (Sep,2021)
Moonrunners – Chicago, IL (Oct,2021)
The Fest – Gainesville, FL (Oct,2021)
Boomtown Fair – United Kingdom (2022)
Rebellion Fest – United Kingdom (2022)
Resist to Exist – Berlin, Germany (2022)
SBÄM Fest, Tabakfabrik, Linz, Austria (2022)

Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bridgecitysinners

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bridgecitysinners/

Bandcamp – https://thebridgecitysinners.bandcamp.com/

Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/67koLjNJIwd3at8sM8EAkt?si=YpIJKarXQ6OsNWsxIwDBnQ&dl_branch=1

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