Sounds Like: Jerkswitch, Propagandhi, Sorry Sweetheart, Op Ivy, Classics Of Love, Madaline, Crimson Riot, and Younger Than Neil
London’s Death Trails are making some waves with some single releases. One can only hope for a new album soon. Due to Covid-19 the band like many bands around the world had to hold off on a new record. So spin their singles over and over. I love “Ska Dad” and “Animals”. “Animals” has a sweet Riot GRRRL sound reminiscent of The Distillers and Bikini Kill. Their singles are located here, https://deathtrails.bandcamp.com/
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Sounds Like: Op Ivy, Abolitionist, Classics Of Love, Suicide Machines, Mustard Plug, and Street Light Manifesto
Jerkswitch recently released a brand new track for “Poking The Blind”. I am beyond excited to see them return to the music scene. If you love these guys as much as we do. Check out our interview with them below.
My daughter is 6 and has christened punk music as “pit music”, which is fucking rad. We spend hours jumping around to loud sounds and she takes immeasurable delight in pouncing and flinging her adorable sneer/smile hybrid towards me, hurling her tiny fists into the air, intent on annihilation. She is the reason I have abs. She calls this “pit dancing”.
We were listening to Andrew Paley’s recent release Scattered Light while on the road and she came up with the most insightful description during the drive: she said it sounds like “butterfly music”. I don’t know what butterflies listen to but they should definitely check this out. Everyone should.
This is not punk. I don’t know what it is. It’s simply exquisite.
Andrew Paley is a confirmed genius. This is my attempt to keep up.
Colorado Punk Rock Army: My initial viewing of the lyric video for Give Up was a remarkable experience as I am a synesthete. It was very powerful to watch scenes I had only ever witnessed behind closed eyes come to life. Can you give me a little background on Pixie, your new platform that links music to AI-generated imagery?
Andrew Paley: I never know quite how technical to get with this stuff, but the gist is that I built the first iteration of Pixie as a final project for one of the classes I took last year as part of my PhD program. In part, it was an excuse to experiment with forms of generative AI outside the scope of my normal research. I built it on top of BigGAN, a model trained on ImageNet (a large collection of images tagged by subject) at Google’s DeepMind. The primary goal of BigGAN is to create new images based on the classes the model had “seen” during training. As example, you can ask the model to generate an image of a jellyfish, and it leverages the host of jellyfish images it’s seen to generate a novel jellyfish image based on the features it knows are associated with jellyfish. That’s oversimplified, but conceptually that’s a version of what’s going on.
A few apps, like Artbreeder, then began to experiment with a slightly different approach to generative image creation: what if you could get models like BigGAN to “hallucinate” by requesting merged classes — not just a jellyfish, but a jellyfish-daisy-doberman-volcano-sneaker? Artbreeder also introduced a really cool UX approach to human-machine collaboration (or at least that was the first place I saw it) — the system presents you with various generated images, and you select which ones you like to push it in new directions for additional image generation.
So, with that backdrop, I borrowed ideas from apps like Artbreeder and other open-source projects and created an end-to-end platform for the creation of music visualizations based on humans directing which imagery they like — creating “scripts” based on collections of images tied to each part of a song. With that imagery script in place, the system runs audio analysis on a given song file, and generates animations by tweening around and across the classes (and parameters) associated with those bookmarked images. To be sure, the system isn’t tweening between pixels in the images to create that shapeshifting, but generating slight variations from the model for each frame of the animation. The result is what you see in the Give Up video.
While leading the design team at Narrative Science, the group crafted work that garnered 12 patents. Do you have any intention to file patents on Pixie?
No, not at all. Pixie relies on a few open source libraries and I would never want to do anything but contribute back to that if anything. My work at Narrative Science was in a very different domain — I was working on the design and development of systems for the automatic generation of narratives from data (aka “machines that can write”). Generally, I tend to prefer the democratization of access to technology and the open-sourcing of systems across the board — I just don’t always have a say in such things when working at a company.
You were a student at Northwestern on a Knight Foundation scholarship while seeking a master’s degree in journalism. Have you any interest in releasing a publication?
My relationship with journalism is primarily through the lens of technology’s role in the future of information. I love writing, and I think reporters that go out and develop sources and write stories will always be core (and I read their work daily). That said, part of the reason I got into the Narrative Science stuff was because I saw that sort of technology as a core component of the future of journalism. We’ve collectively spent the last few decades working to make the world machine-readable in a variety of ways, and a result of that is that there are countless stories — old and new and ongoing — locked up in machine representations. I think one future role for journalism is in exploring how to make that world human-readable and comprehensible again. So yeah, I don’t plan on releasing a publication (unless you count my future dissertation, I suppose) — but my work in AI at both NS and now associated with my PhD continues to have at least a few toes in what I would consider a facet of journalism’s future. In fact, one of the primary projects I’ve worked on over the past year is a platform aimed at democratizing access to information associated with the US federal courts by automating the role of a data scientist and allowing non-technical people to just ask questions about what’s going on.
I read that you used to frequent a spot in Vermont – 242 Main – this sounds like it was a space that helped form you as a teenager. Do you have a particularly favored memory from 242 Main?
Oh there are so many it’s a little overwhelming. That place was something of a second home for me from middle school on. I got to see so many great bands that would stopover en-route between Boston and Montreal to play on a two-foot stage in a small room, which was a pretty world-opening set of experiences for a 13-year-old from the woods of Vermont. Bane and AFI and Texas is the Reason and The Weakerthans and Elliott and Cave In and countless others. It also fostered such an amazing local scene of bands in this tiny city in this tiny state — Drowningman and Common Ground and The Cancer Conspiracy and many others, right up to today with bands like Rough Francis — that I was so lucky to grow up into and be a part of. And, as a part of all that, it taught me about the connection between art and activism. So yeah, one standout memory? Really hard to say. But in the aggregate, it was home to what became my extended family and was the springboard into much of what I’ve done ever since.
242 Main started in the 1980’s, it was the longest-running all ages club until it closed in 2016. Bernie (Sanders), the then-mayor of Burlington, was instrumental in scaling the spot. It was a youth-focused art space which was run like a club but accessible to the locals. These clubs are found commonly in Germany; here’s a room with a PA and a foosball table where there is no pressure to sell 50 or even 20 tickets.
I’ve been a Bernie fan since I can remember.
We played some shows with Bernie.
It’s pretty surreal to get done playing and then hand the mic to Bernie.
Do you have a favorite venue to play? What about a venue at which you’d like to perform?
242 Main will probably always be my favorite — kind of hard to beat. Now that I’m in Chicago, I love the Empty Bottle, Beat Kitchen, and Liar’s Club — and the Vic Theatre was a blast when we played it with Tiger Army a while back. Beyond all that, I’ve been lucky to get to play some awesome venues over the years both with The Static Age and solo — CBGB, Irving Plaza in NYC, Emo’s in Austin, Black Cat in DC, Molotow in Hamburg, Control Club in Bucharest, and Antiknock in Tokyo all come to mind. I really loved the place we played in St Petersburg a few years ago too — MOD had an awesome rooftop venue. Oh, also Colorado spots! I’ve had a blast playing both Hi-Dive and the Ogden Theatre. How’s that for refusing to narrow it down at all?
As for venues I’d like to play but haven’t yet, certainly Lincoln Hall in Chicago would be up there — that place has an amazing soundsystem and I love its atmosphere.
When did you first play CBGB? Who else played that gig?
We first played CBGB during our first out-of-Vermont shows of any kind in May of 2002. It was a short run of 2-3 shows with Drowningman (who were also from Vermont and let us new kids tag along for the first few dates of their lengthy US tour). We weren’t originally part of the line up at CBGB, but we managed to jump on the show last minute thanks to Simon from Drowningman and also Rich Hall (whose birthday celebration it was). The other bands besides Drowningman included Thursday, Most Precious Blood, Unearth, Nora and Every Time I Die.
We then played it a second time in 2004 or 2005 during CMJ as a part of Tarantulas Records showcase with The Explosion, Death From Above 1979, Panthers and some others.
The recently released Caroline split with Days N Daze has such a relatable refrain in “the world’s on fire and I feel fine”. I’m curious about the backing vocals- did Whitney Flynn sing on this track? What was the inspiration behind this track?
The backing vocals were actually done by Liza Ohm, a mutual friend (and bandmate) of Kay Petersen, who mixed all the songs on Scattered Light. The connection with Days N Daze came later when they did an awesome cover of Caroline for a compilation associated with The Fest 19 (that got postponed from October 2020 to October 2021, for obvious reasons), and then we decided to do a split 7” of the two versions together. Those guys have been great and I’m looking forward to meeting them in person on the other side of this pandemic. The split was mixed by Kay Petersen and mastered by Jurik Maretzki in Hamburg, Germany.
As for the song’s inspiration, I guess it’s ultimately about distraction and despair in the face of an increasingly overwhelming world of constant information and the loneliness of sort of never being alone. As a part of that, it’s also about our relationship to the bleeding edge of human history and how our relationship to everything is increasingly mediated by screens through experiences designed to enthrall and entangle in increasingly sophisticated ways. It’s about the frustration of seeing so much and being able to do so little, which I think is a heightened feeling during the Trump years. My generation got to grow up with the internet and all its promise, and now these tools that were supposed to democratize information and distribute power are being used to poison the former and consolidate the latter. What do you do if you’re a 20-something or 30-something in the face of all that? There are plenty of apps that would love for you to joylessly doom scroll past their advertisements while waiting for the polar ice caps to melt or snake oil salesman who will say anything to get your attention just long enough to hawk their products. I guess Caroline is a song about that, with a dash of hope thrown in — there’s no grand plan, the world is whatever we make it, either for better or worse.
“Remember me fondly or never at all”, from Give Up, is such a compelling phrase; it sounds like a call to arms in some manner. I find it to be both a demand for action and a promise to surrender. Why did you choose to release a lyric video for this song?
Well, the genesis for that video came out of another area of my life — I’ve been doing AI research for a PhD, and I had started to play around with generative models just to see what I could create. We had already released videos for other songs from the album — Caroline and One Match Fire — at that point, but wanted to release at least a couple more singles leading into the release of Scattered Light, so I took it as the opportunity to meld the two sides of my creative life — music and generative AI — and Give Up was the first song I experimented with. I thought that the song’s texture might be a good fit for the visual style, and I wanted to highlight the song as I’d actually been carrying pieces of it around for a while — the original version was demoed back in maybe 2014, and I came back to it during the recording for this album.
And I guess in some sense that song sums up a key idea of Scattered Light as a whole: giving up isn’t always about losing ground, sometimes it’s about creating the space for whatever’s next. It hurts, but a controlled burn makes the space for new growth — the trick is to not let it flare into a wildfire.
She’s whirling up the criss-cross stairs of a New York staircase when we connect. She tells me she has just woken up. It’s 10:30pm in New York. I take another sip of my cab sav and buckle up. It’s gonna be a ride. We talk about everything aside from the questions I have so diligently prepared. Those are no longer needed, nor wanted. She opens the door to the apartment she shares with her partner. They are sectioning out a loft space utilizing link chain and what appears to be cast-off wooden front doors. Guitars adorn the walls punctuated by scraps of papered art and the authentic weathered brick that every eatery in Denver aspires to emulate.
CPRA: Hey tell me about your cat?
Whitney Flynn: Ya this rescue cat is 4 and has barely any teeth, name’s Kiko.
CPRA: Did Kiko inspire the video for Addvice? (My notes: flying cat loses his shit)
CPRA: Do you have a favorite joke?
WF: Oh my fucking god, yes. This is a horrible fucking joke- the first time I heard it I laughed for an uncomfortable amount of time.
What did Cinderella say when she got to the ball?
<insert gagging sounds here>
CPRA: <laughing hysterically> First time?
CPRA: Tell us about your most recent Days N Daze release, “Show me the Blueprints”.
WF: I feel like this is the first album that people actually took us seriously. We are our songs, we are writing our life story. I was just like, let’s believe in the process to get there. Everybody is fucking broken, but you don’t have to be that bad person. I found an appreciation for my hurt. After I listened to the master for the first time I was like “What the fuck did you just create?” My voice is louder than my own narrative.
CPRA: It seems there is a difference in the harmonies on “Show me the Blueprints” and your earlier work- is there something new going on?
WH: (Marked excitement, nodding in agreement) It was all Johnny (John Carey of Old Man Markley). Johnny is the King of Harmonies. With him, you’re allowed to grow and still be yourself.
CPRA: Do you have a favored track from “Show Me the Blueprints”?
WF: Rewind! I fucking love that song! I wrote it in an hour. I was going through withdrawals. It wasn’t like I wanted a high. I needed something more. I suppose that’s what addicts say, what we all say. I didn’t want the high. I just wanted to be in control of my brain. I wrote this manic love letter to myself- where did your dreams go? Where did everything you aspire to, go?
CPRA: You have a new split with Andrew Paley from The Static Age; “Caroline”. Can you expand on this song and how it came into existence?
WF: They (Management? Aliens? Never did clear that up…) picked this song out for us and I listened to it like 50 times. And cried like 5 times. It was serendipitous. I love that song, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs. This was our (Jesse and Whitney) first time recording separate from each other, and my first time recording myself to send over. Such an incredibly rewarding experience. Everyone is trying to find their worth and sometimes the opportunity is just sprung on you. And I did it.
CPRA: So you recorded in New York?
WF: Yea, I recorded here, Jesse in Texas.
CPRA: And this was through FLIX AGENCY in Berlin?
WF: Yea, we didn’t know Andrew (Paley) until we covered his song.
(Caroline was mixed by Kay Petersen and mastered by Jurik Maretzki)
WF: This experience reminds me why we chose this label (Fat Wreck Chords). They’re friends- not pushing you into things. You forget that you are human sometimes. It’s not the feeling of “feed me bullshit and make me look pretty”.
CPRA: What are you listening to?
WF: Attaboy! Oh my gosh, so great! They messaged me back on Facebook! Mac Miller. Mall Rat. Amy O. Post Malone- his song “Circles”- I’m gonna be THAT BITCH who plays it on the ukulele! I get asked to listen to a lot of bands and even if I fucking hate it, there has to be someting that I love.
CPRA: So what have you been up to during the shitshow also known as 2020?
WH: My quarn is I’m just gonna shave my eyebrows forever. I couldn’t find a perfect planner, so I started prototyping my own. I love spreadsheets and post-it notes and highlighters. (She starts pulling reams of paper and packages of neon markers from a blue rolling cart and waving them around like a game show prize model.) There’s a crazy planner community- I found these perfect clips and was like “Yay! All the cool planner people have them!” As far as all of my addictions go, I’m not sure it’s the healthiest! I’ve got some 120# paper (waves that around) and some vellum. My partner Sturgeon (Scott Sturgeon/STZA) got me a craft cart for Christmas. It has three shelves and I’m happy. I should be sponsored by planners. (She busts out another brick of paper) See this- this is the good shit! Oh, and I have a printer now! Here’s my planner. Get your shit together- I’m a different person every day.
Sturgeon also got me this camera for me to play with. It’s a… uhhh Sony Ziess. I like messing around to see what does what instead of watching YouTube videos and saving time. It’s not a two dimensional relationship (with Sturgeon). I told him if I “had to spend the rest of my life with just one person, it would be you” and he’s like “we’re already doing that”. We are in a one bedroom apartment in New York.
(The atmosphere changes, she becomes quiet and solemn.)
It’s been a rough year. My partner lost his best friend recently.
CPRA: The entire community felt the loss of Alec (Baillie), we mourn beside you. He will be sorely missed.
WF: I lost 16 people this year, including my tattoo artist that did these tattoos (motions to her eyes; which are marked by tiny green lines, a sort of hybrid between kitten whiskers and eye crinkles). I got these tattoos because they are my smile lines. They aren’t ever going to go away.
CPRA: Fuck ya. Don’t ever give up. PMA is key.
WF: I talked with my therapist two days ago. I suppose I’m constantly running away from being jaded. I felt it creeping up on me, that harsh apathy, that disconnect. I felt myself looking at everything and just despising it. Trying to get over these hurdles, like I’ve been here before and I smiled again- that’s pretty much how I deal with my depression. I’m grateful for my band- finding the little joys; it fucking makes a difference. A distraction from the harsh reality. You never get to know what happens if you dip out. I think we need to give each other a little more of a fighting chance. You gotta fight for that shit. Or distract yourself. Go to Buzzfeed and take a quiz. Be like: who am I? You are a pancake with a smile on the side. You are lightly powdered.
(We go outside for a smoke and hear what sounds like music)
WF: Hey this is my favorite song! Is he (Sturgeon) working on something new?
CPRA: I don’t know but it sounds pretty cool.
(We realize at the same time we are listening to construction sounds and it bangs. This is how desperate the world is for shows- we both confused construction noise for music.)
WF: Hey check out this Gretsch I just bought for $250! Isn’t she pretty? (She brandishes a 5 string Hunter green Gretsch)
CPRA: (Nodding) Yeah those Gretsch are a piece of art.
WH: I had to leave all my guitars behind in Texas when I moved to New York. This is the first place I have ever lived for more than a few months. I remember back in Texas, when I first bought my trumpet it was between paying the electricity and paying for the trumpet, and as you do, I paid for the trumpet.
CPRA: Excellent choice.
CPRA: Are there any benefits to livestreaming as opposed to playing a stage?
WF: My anxiety (on stage) got really bad. It made me very cold and unresponsive. When I got on stage, I just choked. If you think too much about existing, it trips you up. My new reality was ‘I’m scared of performing, I’m afraid of playing’. I looked fly as fuck though! And then Covid happened.
CPRA: I read that Jesse loves playing 7th Circle, one of our prized spaces here in Denver.
WF: I know 7th Circle! I love 7th Circle!!! Aaron Saye & Crew were genuinely one of my earliest influences with booking shows in Houston. There’s this pic of my playing “Blue Jays” with the crowd in the background- I do believe that playing 7C was the first time we really felt like we “made it”.
(I looked everywhere for this photo. If you have this picture, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish it with photo credit.)
CPRA: How did “Go Fuck Yourself” land as a secret track on “Show Me the Blueprints”?
WF: (to Sturgeon) Hey, she’s asking about “Go Fuck Yourself”, do you want to answer this?
Sturgeon: Who are you?
CPRA: Colorado Punk Rock Army
Sturgeon: Haha! We had this Lyft lady who was completely naked drive us from Denver- Colorado Springs.
CPRA: Ya that sounds right.
Sturgeon: I always thought that DND should put a song at the end of their record that didn’t sound like them. They didn’t have one, so I offered one of mine. I like old anarcho punk records that have that one acoustic song that really connects. So this was like the reverse of that concept.
CPRA: Cool shit!
CPRA: What is a typical show like for you, Whitney?
WF: It’s like when you make friends for a night. Hi humans- I don’t know what’s happening anymore.
WF: Hey! Can I show you my tattoo?
WF: (pulls down pants and thrusts left hip) Check this out: it says LADY VODKA. They made me get a bandaid under it.
CPRA: Hey, is that a cheetah-print bodysuit?
WF: Haha, ya! I’m strapped in here!
CPRA: Last question: You are slated to appear on the European leg of the upcoming Punk in Drublic tour- what’s going on with that?
WF: Buy all of the tickets. It’s happening. Buy the tickets. The first step to adjusting is buy those tickets. Drink our beers. Buy our tickets. Listen while you sleep.
Punk/Rock Legends, Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.), Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four), Paul Gray (The Damned, U.F.O.) and Rat Scabies have joined together again to compose a new exciting progressive rock and pop punk album, ‘Séance‘.
Coming right off the heals from their 2018 wildly successful “Disintegrate Me” record, they plan to focus the new album in an exciting direction. Per Alfie Agnew, “The new material is definitely eclectic. It’s less punk-influenced than our previous three studio albums. The 1960s and ‘70s musical influences are more pronounced. We’re big fans of The Kinks, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Brian Wilson, Led Zeppelin, and, of course, The Damned. Sean and I also had musical productions like Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Paradise, Tommy and Hair in mind when writing this album.”
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1. All the Lonely Souls (Voice: Elliott) 2. Séance (Vocal: Elliott) 3. So Long (Vocal: Agnew) 4. Real Me (Vocal: Elliott) 5. A Child’s Eyes (Vocal: Agnew) 6. Time Machine (Vocal: Agnew) 7. Man With Nothing to Lose (Vocal: Elliott) 8. Two Tickets to the Afterlife (Vocal: Elliott) 9. The Council of Purgatory (Vocal: Agnew) 10. All the Lonely Souls (Reprise) 11. Greetings From the Other Side (Vocal: Elliott) 12. New World (Vocal: Elliott)
Produced, mixed & mastered by Sean Elliott and Alfie Agnew at Hollydale Studios, Fullerton, California; March 2019-March 2020
All songs by Professor and the Madman
Alfie Agnew: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, horn, tea kettle Sean Elliott: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, horns, bamboo Paul Gray: Bass guitar Rat Scabies: Drums and percussion
Sounds Like: Good Riddance, NoFX, Descendants, and Sponge
If there’s one thing we need right now is more love songs! Let’s face it punk isn’t really known for its love songs. I know many would beg to differ, but overall punk is known more for it’s political leanings. Toronto’s Wasting Time released “Only You” back on April 10, 2020.
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This track while being brand new sounds like it’s right outta of a Tony Hawk Proskater game. I’m getting some serious 90’s feels with this track. Time to go play some Tony Hawk PS, eat some Doritos, and drink some Mtn Dew! Oh and this single cover is badass! Pick it up right here, https://wastingtimemusic.bandcamp.com/track/only-you
Flatliner’s front man Chris Cresswell dropped his brand new acoustic release track, “Feel” this morning. This track is beautiful and deals with aging. Denver loves Chris and the Flatliners. We are hoping he will play this one when they come into town on 5/24/2020 to play the Marquis!
Per Chris, “Playing music for a living can cause you to live a life with blinders on. Maybe life in general is just like that at a certain age no matter what you do for a living. You’re barreling down your own path so fast and determined, an awful lot of time can pass before you even know it. As we age, relationships become more and more crucial to our existence. We’ve all heard that “you are the company you keep”, and as time goes on we’re able to choose our own family, choose our own people, and I feel that it’s important to cultivate those relationships and allow them to continue to shape you fundamentally as a person.
This song is about the simple fact of effort being paramount in a relationship and that sometimes that effort can break down if you’re always the one out there floating in space around the people you love.” You can purchase and stream the new track here.
Chris Cresswell Live on Tour: Feb 24 – Boston, MA @ O’Brien’s Pub Feb 26 – Baltimore, MD @ Waverly Brewing Company w/Joey Cape Feb 27 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle w/Joey Cape Feb 28 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Park Brewery w/Joey Cape Feb 29 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory w/Joey Cape Mar 01 – Amityville, NY @ Amityville Music Hall w/Joey Cape Mar 07 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern w/Dave Hause & the Mermaid Mar 08 – Montreal, QC @ Café Campus w/Dave Hause & the Mermaid Mar 23 – Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge May 11 – Manchester, UK @ Castle Hotel May 12 – Southampton, UK @ Planet sounds May 13 – Kingston, UK @ Fighting Cocks May 14 – Bristol, UK @ The Exchange
Chris with his band The Flatliners: *Indicates the band playing “Cavalcade” album in full for 10th anniversary of record Apr 25 – Glasgow, UK @ Stereo* Apr 26 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Punk Fest* Apr 28 – Bristol, UK @ The Exchange* Apr 29 – London, UK @ New Cross Inn* Apr 30 – Amsterdam, NL @ Q Factory* May 01 – Cologne, DE @ MTC* May 02 – Munster, DE @ Uncle M Fest * May 04 – Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang* May 05 – Berlin, DE @ Cassiopeia* May 06 – Nuremberg, DE @ DESI* May 08 – Vienna, AT @ Flex* May 09 – Wels, AT @ SBAM Fest* May 19 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill* May 21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo* May 22 – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick* May 23 – Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling May 24 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater*
Chris as guitarist of Hot Water Music: Feb 20 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry Feb 21 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry Feb 22 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair Feb 23 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclai Mar 19 – Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar Mar 20 – Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar Mar 21 – Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge Mar 22 – Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge Jun 11 – Nürnberg, DE @ Hirsch Jun 14 – Hamburg, DE @ Booze Cruise Festival
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/
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Sounds Like: Flatliners, Came And Took It, Nerdlinger, and Fourbanger
It seems that Stray The Course is prepping up for a new EP! We here at CPRA are huge fans! Today they released their brand new cover of DUA LIPA – “IDGAF”. The track is pop punked with a side of metal. The original version is not my style, but I”ll rock this one everyday!