Strange things are afoot in Denver, Colorado this evening as a brand new ALL PUPPET (Jelly Pupps) band takes the livestream stage for the first time from Denver’s The Oriental Theater. They join Denver’s Creature Canopy and The Hellgrammites. So what exactly are we in for?
Why did Hellgrammites drop this still of Kyle Clark from 9News on there Facebook page a few days back? Is their to be a clash between the puppet band and news media? Do the puppets have a drug problem? Oh geez! What on earth is going on here?
Lucky for you and this writer tonight is the Livestream event and there are 2 ways to watch this awesome show. 1. You can purchase livestream tickets here, https://hellgrammites.ticketleap.com/orientaltheater/. 2. You can attend the kickass watch party tonight at Kuma’s Corner (New Metal Bar W/ Burgers!) from 6pm-9pm., be sure to call ahead and reserve a table!
Dan Achin (Drums), Mike Ruggiero (Bass), Bob Meder (Vocals), Steve O’Brien (Guitar), Steve Diaz (Guitar) and Louis Ramsey (Guitar).
Favorite Tracks: Culture Vulture, Not the One, Positivity Anthem
Sounds Like: Strung Out, Protected Left, Early Cro-Mags, Chew Thru, CHASER, and PULLEY
It’s been a year since we checked out Corporate Citizen’s last release ‘A Brief Moment Of Sanity’. I still listen to this record on a fairly regular basis. So to my excitement and pleasure the band dropped a new EP back on 5/20/2020, ‘Six Minute Meeting’. If there’s anything we need now more than ever is more hardcore punk rock! This EP is only 3 tracks, yet full of anger, energy, and everything you need for a quick skate sesh.
Donate to Colorado Punk Rock Army! Even just 5 bucks helps us pay our bills for this site!
The EP starts out with “Culture Vulture”. The intro bass line has got me hooked. The little metal riffs and insane drum work is brillant. It speaks of the dangers of materialism and us all becoming Corporate Citizens, just like Joe Strummer warned us all about. The next track, “Not the One” is by far my personal favorite on the EP. While retaining a hardcore edge it slows, not by much, to the melodic side. Check out the video below!
The last track is “Positivity Anthem”. I can’t stress how important the message in this track is. We MUST especially during this ongoing pandemic encourage and promote positivity towards one another. See an article that’s really sad on Facebook? Don’t share it. I know it’s hard. We all want to feel a part of something right now since we can’t go to shows. This track is not only unexpected, but reminds me to share positivity more and negativity less.
Overall, Corporate Citizen’s, ‘Six Minute Meeting’, is 3 tracks that will leave you begging for more. One can only hope these tracks will be added to a full album release sometime in the near future. This EP also reminds that punk rock, even though often political in nature, can still provide messages of hope and love. I strongly suggest you pick this one up here, https://corporatecitizensd.bandcamp.com/album/six-minute-meeting
Favorite Tracks: Space Wolf, The Russian Sleep Experiment, Kiss The Knife, Domestic Punk
Sounds Like: Vashon Seed, Early Metallica (Kill Em All), Fuzztones, The Melvins, Sonics, All Out Helter, Dream Theatre, Denver’s Wild Lives and Judas Priest
Dos Cobros released their new album, ‘Synesthesia’ back on June 19, 2020 via Snow Wolf Records. This album is unique in so many different and exciting ways. “Space Wolf” begins sounding like a Misfits track, yet spins around into an almost dark Metallica theme. Whereas the next song, “The Russian Sleep Experiment”, sounds more like an updated version of the Stooges or Velvet Underground track. “Kiss The Knife” even throws in a bit of Industrial sound. The heavy guitar and deep bass are amazing.
Donate to Colorado Punk Rock Army! Even just 5 bucks helps us pay our bills for this site!
“Domestic Punk” is for all of us Punk Rock Dads. We are trying to maintain our punk creds while raising our little monsters. It’s hilarious and sad but true, “You’re So Cool is up next and sounds a bit like the Stooges mixed with the Dead Kennedys. “Pretty Kitty follows with a sensual Iggy Pop groove. The guitar has a kick ass Motley Crue sound with dark vocals and a New York Dolls heavy bass line, The drums are frantic and rad on this track.
“Danger Wank”, is up next with a groovy bass line. The drums lead all out assault as the lead singer spins his tale. The track is only 1:45, yet when it’s over you will be hitting that repeat button. The final track is next, “(To)Night Beat”. I immediately reached for the nearest air guitar. This track gets progressively faster before slowing down only to regain steam. I love this track!
Overall, Dos Cobro’s ‘Synesthesia’ is truly a walk through so many different and eclectic musical genres. The sheer talent of pulling together all of these genres is not only admirable, but fascinating. The storyline of this record is like being immersed in a Dark Horse comic book and doing your best to survive just one day. You can and you should pick up ‘Synesthesia’ here, https://snowwolfrecords.bandcamp.com/album/synesthesia.
Track List (Per Bandcamp)
Space Wolf The Russian Sleep Experiment Kiss The Knife Domestic Punk You’re So Cool Pretty Kitty Danger Wank (To)Night Beat
Production (Per Bandcamp): Recorded November 17th + December 15th-17th (2018) at Supernatural Sound Studios in Oregon City, Oregon by Rob Bartelson mixed/mastered January 28th & 29th + February 14th (2019) at Supernatural by Rob Bartleson
Favorite Tracks: Failed Mutation, Willie B Bacon, World Inside, Ugly Feeling, The Selfish Gene, Shelter, and Family Affair
Sounds Like: Sounds Like Words, The Shell Corp, 10 Ft Pole, Strung Out, Choking Victim, and Propagandhi
Some bands, Bad Religion specifically get into this rhythm of releasing albums that sound exactly the same as previous records. Often when this happens I tend to grow less fond and lose complete taste for the band. Then you have bands that try something new and the album is terrible. Maybe there’s no happy medium to this and the best we can do is hope for the best.
Now there’s one band that never seems to repeat the same material ever. That band is Oregon based Abolitionist. We reviewed their last album, “A New Militance” back in January of 2019. So let’s check out the new album, “Ugly Feeling”. The album starts with, “Failed Mutation”. The chord strikes and great drum work set the tone for this powerful album. Oh and the album gets 2 free stars for including the lyrics on their bandcamp!
The second track is “Yelling”. I love this track. There’s hint of metal with an anthem like melody. Herron’s vocals lead the charge. The next track is “Willie B. Bacon”. This track is sad, yet a listener can identify with both the pig and the boy. My grandpa grew up during the depression and would talk about how his family would be forced to eat the family farm animals to survive. I could always see the sense of loss in his eyes regarding that.
“Crossroads” follows with a bad ass intro! It’s all hands on deck with this track before exploding into a great song. Is true what they say all my favorite songs are less than 2 minutes? In this case YES! “World Inside”, is the fourth track. This is one of my favorite tracks. The guitar and bass riffs combined with some excellent drums send this one home.
Another favorite track is up next, “Ugly Feeling”. This track combines some great skate punk, a tad of metal with anthem like chants. I dare you to not sing along with this one. “The Selfish Gene”, follows with an important message. We all have that selfish gene. When the gene takes over you’re left with an orange haired monster for a president. Mohler’s bass on this is phenomenal.
“Shelter” is another great example of great skate punk. The riffs and beat remind me of early Suicidal Tendencies. This track definitely shows their metal roots. I keep saying favorite, but yet I find another track I love. “Family Affair” is another track you will be singing along with in no time. The heavy bass lines are amazing.
“Deep Ecology” is next with some excellent metal infused punk rock. I know many of us suffer from abuses long past caused by family issues. To move on from those can sometimes never be accomplished. “Ambivalent Nerd” follows and feels more focused on the instrumental side. Herron’s vocals are great, yet the drums by Sean Rule set a kick ass background theme. Last, but not least is “Walls”. I love the ballad like intro, before blasting off into some ruckus only to be resolved in the pit.
In closing Abolitionist has not only produced an album that’s refreshing, honest, and powerful, but have broken the repetitiveness set forth by many before. I also want to mention the artwork. The artwork by Craig Horky is incredibly good. Even if you’re not a fan musically, this album should adorn your walls. If you are fan hit that order button! So be sure to pick this up on vinyl here, https://abolitionist.bandcamp.com/album/ugly-feeling-lp-2019 .
Help CPRA stay up and running! Hit that donate button below!
Guest vocals on WE’RE DYING, DUDES and FOREIGN POLICY by Becca Chambers
Favorite Tracks: I Don’t Like What I’ve Become, We’re Dying Dudes. and Stranger Fruits
Sounds Like: Jagger Holly, Stray The Course, Dial Drive, and Came and Took It
Toronto punks, School Damage have released their second full length album via collab efforts with Rad Girlfriend Records, I Buy Records and the band’s own Brain Candy. Canada is putting out some kick ass punks bands and that continues with School Damage! It’s awesome when bands are still releasing full length albums. It seems the full length is somewhat of a dying breed with the digital age. There’s no need to fear! This new album is stocked with some kick ass pop, skate, and even a tad bit of metal.
My favorite tracks would be, ‘I Don’t Like What I’ve become’, ‘We’re Dying Dudes’, ‘Stranger Fruits’, and absolute favorite, ‘Foreign Policy’. I think ‘Foreign Policy’ has a great chance of hitting the major airwaves. It’s raw, heartfelt, and you can relate easily. The lyrics are catchy, the drums are nuts, and the duet vocals with Becca nail this song down.
Sounds Like: Propagandhi, Strung Out, Distillers, and Pennywise
Small Label October is going strong as we close out this month of reviews dedicated to small record labels. The “smalls” as I like to call them are going against the iron giants in the music industry. Some of my favorite bands, like Came And Took It, Last Reel Hero, and Nerdlinger are either DIY or on small labels. Let’s face it we are tired of hearing the same shit over and over again on the radio. Some days I feel like Hard Harry from Pump Up The Volume.
Here at CPRA we listen to a shit ton of music that will likely never hit the major radio waves. Yet I hear some old school punks complain that, “Punk Is Dead”. It’s not dead, you just stopped trying to look for it. We are the Hard Harries of Pump Up The Volume. Webzines may not be posted on telephone poles, but they are still out there. Punk Review sites are alive and well. All you really have to do is click!
This leads me to introduce Calgary hockey/skatepunks, Bring On The Storm. Their brand new record, “Altruism” will drop on 11/24/2018. Before I do my thing let’s check out this cool quote from the band regarding origin. “The sweat soaked locker room of a recreational hockey arena might seem like an unlikely birthplace for a punk rock band but for Calgary’s Bring on the Storm that’s exactly where it all started.” So there you have it! The band formed in a hockey rink!
The album starts out with ‘Deadbeat’. This is by far my favorite on the record. It has some catchy lyrics, anthem like in the chorus, and some kick ass drums. Next up is, ‘One Billion Dicks’, no not just a few dicks, one billion. This one is really good. It’s almost industrial with a Ministry like intro, yet still retains extreme skate punk quality. This is going to make for one nasty mosh pit.
‘Spineless Gutless Bitch’, is up next on the track list. It’s almost a love song, and the antagonist in this is not a girl. It’s the writer against himself. This one is deep, and somewhat heartbreaking. It still kick serious ass on bass and guitar. ‘Shithole’, is up next and truthfully the sound was kind of unexpected for me. This is a complete and welcoming 360 from, ‘Spineless Gutless Bitch’. This one returns with anthem whoas, and furious vocals.
‘Proud Of My Drool’, intros in with some heart pounding kick and great little guitar hook. I am not sure why, but for some reason this song reminds me of watching old skateboarding videos. It may be due to some of the almost “metal” like riffs.
‘Life Sucks’, speeds the progression backup to a break neck speed. This one is definitely for all of you speed punks out there. The drums and guitar are going insane on this one. ‘F.F.L.’ is up next on the record. This one slows it back down to more of a pop punk sound. This one is a bit sad, yet so very relatable. The lyrics are beautiful. ‘Alive’ brings in some acoustic, it’s well written and a great ending to the album.
This album review for me was somewhat hard. It’s a fantastic album, but I’m having issues nailing down a genre. I hear hardcore, metal, pop punk, skate punk, and even some industrial. This makes it definitely worth checking out!
Back Against the Wall, The Motion, Discord & Treachery
Sounds Like: Skatepunk with a good amount of Metal-core thrown in
This is the perfect band that you’d hear at the peak of Warped Tour, then want to check out later when you were looking for new tracks to add to your playlist. Strong rock & roll, that you’ll want to hear more of once you’ve heard a little. Gritty vocals, skate punk bass lines, punk speed on the drums, and guitar. Holy crap, the guitar. This dude is a metal head.
The record starts with “Back Against the Wall.” Which, as a song title, does it get more “punk-angst” than that? And this is angsty music, not a feelgood album of the year. I mean, who hasn’t had a day where you want to turn up the dial on a song called “Losing at Bullshit”? Powerful, mad at the world music, as good punk should be.
The metal guitar shines on the aforementioned “Back Against the Wall.” The vocals are gritty, a little sloppy at times, but it’s punk rock. No one was saying that Johnny Rotten had the voice of an angel. The backing vocals are really strong here and throughout the record, & give a nice blend to their sound.
Another standout track again for me was “The Motion.” Here, the melodies of the vocals, both lead & backing, really shines, then there’s that metal breakdown at the close of the song.
On “Discord & Treachery,” the lead vocals go right into hardcore, & that where the lead vocals were strongest. On “Maze Dream,” I was really liking the sound & feel of the song, then it ended, as it was pretty short, but it still really stood out. Then it went right into “Leap of Faith” which was another great energetic punk track.
One thing that artistically stood out was that each song played into the next. It plays like a live show, & thought was put into the order like a set list, not just track after track.
Solid punk, that you’ll want to add to your list of bands to stream, & if it’s your thing, order the record for that next “Losing at Bullshit” day that you want to get through with a good rock record.
Sometimes, when I do this, I come across an album that makes me think to myself, “This sounds like it should be a movie soundtrack!”
This usually happens when I listen to something that includes fully instrumental tracks on the album; which is something I love!
That’s what happened when I listened to “Meat,” by Sounds Like Words!
This album sounds like a cross between early Slayer and Calaberas-era Sepultura, mixed with some Tool and Deftones; filled in nicely with some old-school Butthole Surfers chaotic bizarre-ness, and gritty FEAR or GG Allin-style vocals. Honestly, if you like any (or all) of those bands, then you would be quite content with your purchase of this finely-crafted work of art!
This review is a bit of a departure from our typical wheelhouse, but great music doesn’t just come from one particular genre or sub-genre; and I happen to be a (selective) metal fan. I don’t like the typical “cookie monster” bands. Being that I come from a theatrical background, I place high value on bands that have more than the ability to play the same note REALLY fast for two minutes to cover up the faults of a shitty singer… that’s not the metal I like.
When I listened to the album, This is a Sickness and Sickness Will End, by Crusades, I didn’t hear a punk album. I heard some punk elements, and certainly an influence by Rise Against, but what I really heard was a power metal album… which is the metal I like!
The bands that I would compare Crusades to are bands like Kamelot, Queensryche, Blind Guardian, and Sabaton; with maybe a little Ministry and Killing Joke-style 90’s industrial-ish edge.
If you’re into epic builds, theatrical vocal performance, and more of a “Dream Theater” kind of feel; this is probably up your alley!