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!!!!

Help us stay online! Hit that donate button below!

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:

Abolitionist’s new MLP, “A New Militance” Proves Punk Is Still Angry And Pissed Off

Release Date: January 7, 2019

Format: Digital, Cassette, and vinyl

Label: 1859 Records

Album Art/Layout: HORSEBITES

Location: Portland, OR

Current Lineup:

  • Dustin Herron (vocals, guitar)
  • Jeremy Dunlap (guitar, back-up vocals)
  • Joey Mohler (bass, back-up vocals)
  • Sean Rule (drums)

Favorite Tracks: Pink, War, Red, Nope, and Trigger

Sounds Like: Propagandhi, Debt Neglector, The Shell Corporation, and Good Riddance


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Portland, Oregon punks, Abolitionist are no strangers to politically charged punk rock. I’m a huge fan and loved both the Instant and The Pinnacle (EP)s. So let’s get into their latest release, “A New Militance”. The MLP was released on January 7, 2019. The first thing that caught my eye was the bad ass artwork by Horsebites. If we could give out awards to the best album artwork this one would definitely take the prize.

There is so much anger, emotion, pride, and a sense of a unity against not only a fascist front, but sadly a societal norm. I am referring a societal failure to believe sexual assault victims. By invalidating their experiences, this only leads society as whole to think it is ok, and the suppression will continue. Be sure to show your support for sexual assault victims here, https://www.rainn.org/. We as a scene, cannot and will not tolerate sex assault in any form or manner.

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Let’s get into, “A New Militance”. This record is not only some amazing music, but each track is part of a story line to the new Pink Militance. The first track, ‘Pink’, is loaded with raw hardcore riffs, and stellar drums. The lyrics are insanely good,

“Living life under martial law.

Not much else to lose.

We saw pink explode into the air as the paint bombs released miles (and miles) of color to contrast the monochrome.”

The next track up is, ‘War’. The one clocks in at massive 52 seconds. This might be the shortest song on the track, but the pit will rage as the war begins. You can hear the compassion in Herron’s vocals for his cause. The third track is, ‘Red’, and continue the story line. The lyrics again strike out with fierce venom. War is eminent.

“They’re seeing red.

Gonna have a field day.

Too many generations hearing the same old shit”

Next up is my favorite track on the record, ‘Actually’. Just listen below on the bandcamp embed. This song has been stuck in my head for a straight 3 days. No more excuses for keeping women down! Are you ready to dawn the pink mask?

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Well, actually … just shut the fuck up,

she said behind the pink mask,

that terror you feel is good.

Fatigued from excuses for generations of abuse,

like it’s some grand conspiracy to keep men underfoot.

‘Nope’ is the next track up. The hooks on bass and guitar are brilliant. This is a warrior’s song. I won’t be like fucking Bono and say, “This is not a rebel song”. This is a proud, fist clenched rebel song! ‘Avalanche’ follows up and comes in roaring hard. This one has more of a hardcore skate punk sound and I love it!

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“Trigger” comes up next. It’s a simple song with a powerful message. Now a Michigan GOP rep has stated this a few weeks back. “I’m thinking another Kent State might be the only solution protest stopped after only one death”. Seriously? You’re going to condone shooting peaceful protesters? Do we need another 4 dead in Ohio? No!
“Over” is the last rack on the record. Again some great riffs, powerful drums. You can hear the feeling of hope, in Herron’s vocals. Let me close this one out. Abolitionist’s, “A New Militance”, is a record all punks should own. Not only due to amazing artwork, but for the message. We will not sit by and allow oppression and inequality to continue. As it has for generations and generations. It ends, today. This record on vinyl is a MUST!!!

You can check them at 7th Circle on 8/29!!!

Like this review and want more to come? Consider a donation!

Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)

  1. PINK
  2. WAR
  3. RED
  4. ACTUALLY
  5. NOPE
  6. AVALANCHE
  7. TRIGGER
  8. OVER

Links:

Dead Already land at CPRA with “Gilded Age Of Piss”. These Aussie street punks mean business

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Release Date: 8/25/2018

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Current Lineup:

  • Rach S – Drums
  • Pat S – Guitar
  • Jack S – Bass
  • Paul W – Guitar
  • Scott R – Vox

Favorite Tracks: Radioactivity, Nervous Wreck, This Machine Empowers Facists and Darkness Glows

Sounds Like: Exploited, Almataha, Rene SG, Minor Threat, and Gorilla Biscuits


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We get a ton of reviews requests on a weekly basis. Some are so good, we can’t refuse. Some we have to pass, because it may not fit our format. On that note if you would like to help keep our reviews and website up, please donate here.

On that note we get a ton of pop punk review requests. Don’t get me wrong I love me some good pop punk, but sometimes you just need some good street punk in your lives. You need the energetic, fuck the establishment, pure and raw sound. Melbourne punks, Dead Already are doing just that with their latest release, “Gilded Age Of Piss”.

This EP is non stop train of old school classic punk straight out the back alleys of Melbourne. With songs like, ‘Nervous Wreck’, ‘This Machine Empowers Facists’ and ‘Darkness Glows’ I find myself fist pumping inside my office. My boss is probably thinking I’ve gone mental. Oh well fuck him anyway. So if you need something to accommodate an angry outburst, socially powerful, Dead Already’s, “Gilded Age Of Piss” is exactly the EP you NEED.  

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Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Radioactivity 01:48
    2. Nervous Wreck 01:39
    3. This Machine Empowers Facists 01:39
    4. Gesso 02:05
    5. Multiball 02:31
    6. Darkness Glows 01:03
    7. Foetid Hell 03:07

Links:

Debt Neglector – ‘The Kids Are Pissed’

Release Date:

  • October 26, 2018

Format:

Label:

Location:

  • Orlando, Florida

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Alex Goldfarb
  • Chris Pfister
  • Zach Anderson
  • Matt Burns

Favorite Tracks: Go Fund Yourself, R.P.F.O and The Kids Are Pissed

Sounds Like: The Shell Corp, Propagandhi, and Reagan Youth


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There’s no doubt that Donald Trump is the worst president this country has ever witnessed. From his racism and sexist ideals. To his promotion of the rich and powerful to his cabinet and the Supreme Court. To his social views and extreme world views. It seems since Obama left office. The US has become the laughing stock of the world.
One great thing has emerged since, the punk scene has responded and will not back down. You might say political punk never left, but I think maybe it was a little less angry for awhile there. Just look at the amazing bands writing songs about this country and it’s so called., “Leader”.

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Here in Denver we have Cheap Perfume, Rotten Reputation, The Windermeres, The Unaccepted, and so many more, too many to name. This leads me to introduce Florida punks, Debt Neglector. This band is pissed off and their new EP is should join the ranks of other major political bands like, Bad Religion, Propaghandi and The Shell Corporation. So let’s get into the “Kids Are Pissed”.
The first track up is, “Scared Of The U.S.”. This track is politically charged and sets the scene for the rest of the EP. The lyrics will rope in right away. The drums and vocals are amazing on this one. The song talks of the country repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

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“It’s a shame and we’re to blame, whole goddamn world is scared of U.S. It’s not a game, we feel the same, Whole goddamn world is scared, We’re so scared of U.S.”
“Go Fund Yourself”, is up next. This is more a power punk anthem. Basically it’s telling the government to “Go Fund Yourself” and “Go Fuck Yourselves”. We get some catchy lyrics, with a wicked bass line. The screaming really adds to the song! This is by far my favorite on the record. In fact buy the vinyl for this one alone!

“Wrong Side”, comes in next with an anthem like chorus. You will be singing along quickly. This is followed up, by another personal favorite, “New White Roses”. There’s a great little guitar intro before the main beat kicks in. This song brings me back to my original point. If Donald Trump has done anything good for this country, its bring more and more political activists into the fold. People who are sick and tired, and now ready to stand with fist in air.

“R.P.F.O”, is up next and this one really hit my heart. It’s about the administration’s policy of immigrants to this country. How many domestic violence calls go unmade, because an immigrant is afraid to call the police? How many have died from simple colds and flus, because they were too afraid to seek medical assistance? This is NOT ok with me. This country was founded on the backs of immigrants and now we stop them for papers like the Nazis? Fuck that I say.

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Now sadly we are nearing the last track. “The Kids Are Pissed”. The song tells nothing, but the truth about the American political system and now the kids pissed off and ready to overthrow. The lines are catchy, and this song is extremely powerful. The combination of all creates this massive power sure to get you out into the streets.

“Make way, get out, cause they’ve had enough, Make way, Fuck off, Cause they’ve been through enough, Make way, Grow Up, cause they’ve had enough”.
It’s time to wrap this review up. Debt Neglector has joined the ranks of my personal favorite politically charged punk bands. With deep and powerful lyrics, anthem like and charged music. There is pure raw emotion in every song. So pick it up on 10/25/2018 here, http://debtneglector.com/.

Tracks:

  1. Scared Of U.S.
  2. Go Fund Yourself
  3. Wrong Side
  4. New White Roses
  5. R.P.F.O
  6. The Kids Are Pissed


Links:

The Drowns – View From The Bottom

The Drowns – View From The Bottom

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Photo Credit – Bridge City Sessions

Release date: 8/31/2018

Format: Digital or Physical

Label: 1984 Records, Live From the Rock Room, Bypolar Records, Gunner Records (EU)

Location: Seattle, WA and LA, CA

Current Lineup:

Rev – Guitar

Andy Wylie – Bass

Jake Margolis – Drums

Favorite Tracks: Eternal Debate and Faithfully, Faithless

Sounds Like:  Street Dogs, NOISE, Strung Out, Off With Their Heads


 

View From The Bottom is yet to be released and bummer for you, you will have to wait.  CPRA was stoked to get in on it early. This is straightforward punk sound; pre-labels and sub genres.  The Drowns are a three piece that put out a lot of sound. I’m always a fan of good bass lines and the ability to harmonize the agansty lyrics.  Boxes checked. This made want to get in the car and sing along nice and loud.

Pre Order Now – http://shop.gunnerrecords.com/

 

Track List

  1. Eternal Debate
  2. Take Me Back
  3. Time Slips
  4. Where’s Bobby?
  5. Faithfully, Faithless
  6. View From The Bottom
  7. Overexposure
  8. Boston Accent
  9. I.C.U.
  10. Darkness

Links:

About the writer: Old crab that stands in the back and complains that it was better in my day, but is 100% for the youth take over.  I’m a contradiction that thrives on holding on to rebellion with one foot on either side. – Lala

The Corps – Tales From 2814

Release date: May 19, 2018

Streaming: https://www.thecorps2814.com/listen

Website: https://www.thecorps2814.com/
Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Vancouver , BC, Canada

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Dan Garrison
  • Dan Stenning
  • Andrew Pederson
  • Ronnie Ellis

Our Favorite Track(s): Booster Gold, Diana (with Rachelle Boily of The Broken Islands), Greed, Obsidian

Sounds Like: Bad Religion, Face To Face, The Descendents, The Shell Corporation, Teenage Bottlerocket


Now landing on CPRA runway 69 from Vancouver, BC, we get The Corps, with “Tales From 2814”. This album is their first full release. We definitely were not disappointed. Let’s check out it and excuse my bad Airplane pun below.

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Tales From 2814, offers nothing, but absolute punk perfection. From the opening track, “Supergirl” to the very end song, “The Island”. This album is full of power anthems like, “Obsidian” and “Greed”, where the band displays their more hardcore side.  Rachelle Boily’s voice, combined with the Corps backing makes, “Diana”. One of my personal favorites on the album.

“There’s no such thing as an overdose, no such thing as a to not need, no sense turning back, once the orange light has found you, all we have is greed” Greed -The Corps

Dan Garrison, (Guitar/Vocalist for the Real McKenzies) does an amazing job with the lead vocals on this album. The lyrics to each song are carefully, skilled and deeply heartfelt. Each song seems to have it’s own message. You get it all, catchy pop punk, melodic, and hardcore all shoved into 13 tracks. The overall combination leads me to ponder, could this one be a nominee for a 2018 album of the year?

Here’s some videos from their EP release “In Brightest Day”.

 

It’s not like any other within this genre that I can really think of. This album is a CPRA must download! You can pick up the album on all major retailers and via https://www.thecorps2814.com/listen. Be sure to check them out on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/thecorps2814/. Instagram link – https://www.instagram.com/thecorps2814/ .

Almataha – Kill The Leaders

 

Release Date: May 5th, 2018

Format: Vinyl, Cd and Digital

Label: Major Letdown Records

Location: Denver, Colorado

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

Trond Goderstad – Vox
John E. Quesada – Guitar
Bella Quesada – Bass
Max Arbess – Drums

Our Favorite Track(s): Illusion Wall, Genocide, American Taliban

Sounds Like: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, Subhumans, Bad Brains, The Exploited


Great Hardcore? Look No Further!

When it comes to hardcore punk, there are certain things you expect: fast buzzsaw guitars, pounding drums and those over the top throat ripping vocals. Almataha’s latest effort delivers that in spades! Personally, I loved the little “vintage” atom bomb instructional intro on Illusion Wall. While this sort of thing has been done before, it’s fun and tasteful. Plus, with the warning siren in the background, it does feels like the big one is about to be dropped. Duck and cover!

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The rest of the album quickly aligns with the sound and feel of “Wall” and doesn’t let up until the very end. This band needs to make its way to Milwaukee, they would do very well! Can’t wait to see what else these lads (and lass) come up with next.

Guest Review by: Maxwell Liam of Hi/Jack

The Fullers – Kingdom By the Sea

When you do what I do, sometimes you come across an album that you just love right from the word ‘go,’ but you just can’t find what you want to say about the album…

… such is my current conundrum…

This album is fun as hell! It makes you want to dance! It makes you want to move! It helps you clean your house!

The lyrics are fun, poetic, and pointed; and the music is energetic and rowdy. All in all, it’s most reminiscent of early Streetlight Manifesto, with a little Dropkick Murphys and Bad Religion peppered in, for good measure.

During the last song on the album, I thought it would be fun to hear them do a cover of “Dayman,” from the show, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” because the singer reminds me a little of Charlie Day in that song; which is a pretty fucking cool element that meshes well with the demeanor and timbre of the music! While this vocal characteristic is present in spades during the final track, it isn’t as prominent on the other tracks. This has the effect of making you look forward to listening to the album again, to try and hear it in the other tracks (a genius ploy, gentlemen, but I’m on to you!)

This is a great, fun album, and it fully gets my seal of approval!

Now, go and buy it here: https://thefullersnj.bandcamp.com/album/kingdom-by-the-sea

United Defiance – Safe At Home

You know, I LOVE this part of my job… I get to listen to kickass music and write about it… not many things feel quite so gratifying as being tasked to do something that you ALREADY love doing… right???

… BUT…

Every once in a while, an album comes along that hits you like audio cocaine… it makes you feel invincible… it’s impossible to sit still while listening to it… it’s pure, balls-to-the-wall ENERGY; and when you’re done listening to it, you just want MORE!!!

Albums like this make it REALLY hard to write, because your fingers just somehow can’t type fast enough, and everything that comes out of your hands is cliche as FUCK!

“Safe At Home,” by United Defiance definitely falls into that category. Somehow, the word “intense” doesn’t quite cover it… this album displays incredible musical talent, EPIC drums, well-crafted lyrics that inspire personal strength and strength as a community, and very clearly-enunciated vocals (which I, for one, GREATLY appreciate… I can always hear my high school drama teacher in the back of my mind… “PRO-JECT AND E-NUN-CI-ATE!“)

The sound is a culmination of all my favorite California punk bands… Rancid, NOFX, Flogging Molly, Dead Kennedys, The Vandals, L7… it has a very familiar sound and feel, and combines all the stuff I like into one nice, neat package!

I would be just as likely to recommend this album as I would be to recommend “And Out Come the Wolves” by Rancid, or “Hollywood Potato Chip” by The Vandals, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up as essential listening for anyone studying California punk, in some future “history of punk” class.

Be sure to get the album here now, https://uniteddefiance.bandcamp.com/

You can follow them here, https://www.facebook.com/notscientists/ on Facebook

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2018

The Shell Corporation – F*cked

“I want to shout it from the rooftops of the world, but I can’t breathe with their hands wrapped around my throat”, a lyric from The Shell Corporation’s ‘Rooftops’ off of their new album “Fucked”. ​​

A lot for a first sentence, I know. This was my first lyric that I heard of The Shell Corporation and is one that resonates with me, as I’m sure it does many others. This is what I believe the goal of the band is: to make the world a little less scary. How can it be their goal if the lyric is about being choked by it?

Music unites people in so many different ways and I’m sure you’re tired reading about that line, so I’ll stop there. However cliche it might sound, The Shell Corporation makes music to connect with people in their darkest times and help lift them up. “F*cked” as a whole album is fiercely diverse in lyrics, but consistent in sound. It addresses breakups, growing up, feeling hopeless and lost, but most of all it screams a call to action.

The interpretation of this call is truly up to the listener. Whether it’s a reason to get up or a reason to give the whole world a middle finger, The Shell Corporation’s new album, “F*cked” is a prime example of excellent punk doing it’s duty: empowering people everywhere.
This is the band’s 7th release, now on La Escalera Records (U.S.) and Gunner Records (Europe). You will not be disappointed. The band seems to be heavily influenced by political punk pioneers Anti-Flag! So if you’re ready to storm the walls, be sure to download this record first!

Be sure to preorder the album here, http://laescaleradistro.com/ for US and Europe, http://shop.gunnerrecords.com/ . While you’re there pick up some merch.

Be sure to follow them here, https://www.facebook.com/TheShellCorporation/

Review by Lola Hardwick