Event Description : Music documentary “Punk the Capital” about the punk music scene (1976-1983) in Washington, DC. Screening and in-person discussion with filmmakers James June Schneider and special guest.
Favorite Tracks: Revive Me, Block Out The Sun, and Blood Bath
Sounds Like: Crimson Riot, Fabulous Disaster, Distillers, Evil Engine, Married A Dead Man, X-Ray Spex, Venomous Pinks, and Doll Skin
Oakland, California punks Year Of The Fist recently dropped their new album, “Revive Me” via Heart On Records back on 6/28/2019. I have been so crazy busy here at CPRA I haven’t had a ton of time get some reviews done. So to my pleasant surprise I picked up and started, “Revive Me”. As soon as the first track hit. I heard a very familiar voice! It’s Squeaky from Fabulous Disaster! Holy crap let’s check out this record!
The first track, “Ghosts”, sets the scene of the album. The storytelling is epic as Squeaky screams, “Revive Me” for a few bars, before returning to almost angelic sound. Hal9000 Beer’s drums are wicked. Awesome name as well there Hal! The next track is, “Black Out Sun”. The song defines CPRA’s definition of “Break Up Punk”. The guitar frantic yet perfectly executed. The duet is unexpected, yet brilliant.
“Dirty Hands” follows with a heartfelt message as it slows down the progression. I love the lyrical content, and Squeaky’s voice provides the needed justice. I can’t stop but wonder what if the Go Go’s were not required to produce such poppy stuff? Would it sound similar to this? This song is wonderful.
The progression regains it angry edge next with, “Blood Blath”. This is by far my favorite track on the record along with, “Ghosts. Watch the video below from the almighty Bridge City Sessions! The sheer anger in this track, is giving the hopeless hope. Hal’s drums are killing it! This track needs to be on Punk Tacos ASAP!
“Memory Burn” is up next and continues with another, “Break Up Punk” track. This one slows down a little to focus on the emotions within. The production value is remarkable. There are so many little hooks. This song is going to get stuck in your head. “Loose Teeth In The Wind” follows and raises the progression back up. Squeaky’s scream at the beginning is nuts!
“Something’s Got To Give”, follows with an almost Joan Jett like backdrop. This is a fantastic little song to pogo along to. The guitar solo provides the catalyst before the group launches a full assault. “Are You Surprised” is next and relies heavily on the kick drum. It’s anger ridden and I adore it.
“In This Room” is next with dreamy haunting sound. The intro with the piano is beautiful. The surf fuzz coming from the guitar blends well with Hal’s drums. Squeaky’s vocals are astonishing. This track crosses a Joy Division like bridge between goth and punk. “The Party’s Over” come roaring in at an unmatched pace. The song sounds similar to a much faster and less grunge version of The Breeders.
The buildup on, “Red Lights Flash” is intense with it’s antem like ballad. Street punx this tracks for you. There’s a hidden track and let’s just say you need to hear it! To sum this all, “Revive Me”, by Year Of The Fist, is 11 tracks of pure and chaotic fun. The crossover to different genres brings punk, back to its core when it branched out from from the start. Be sure to pick this up on vinyl for the best and original sound, https://yearofthefist.bandcamp.com/music.
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Production: The Band and Mixed by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor, Jeff Rosenstock)
Location: Petaluma, CA
Oobliette Sparks (keyboards/Vocals),
Favorite Tracks: The Hathors
Sounds Like: Bouncing Souls, Go Betty Go, Evil Engine, The Flatliners and The Vandals
Holy crap they are back without missing a beat! Check out the new single for the “The Hathors” below! Kate’s voice is on this track haunting, yet angry and driven. I personally cannot wait for the full LP to land! Dammit is it November yet?
Favorite Tracks: Sweetly, Punk Rock Frank, Chardonnay Shakes, Everything To Me, Sounds Like: Nova Kicks, The Lillingtons, Alkaline Trio, and The Flatliners
A few weeks ago I ran into a local band member.. We discussed how the Ft Collins production company the Blasting Room is putting out a ton of great local music. Check out our tags from Blasting room posts here. In our discussion in became way too apparent that CPRA must have a Blasting Room show here in Denver for our bands that have recorded with the company.
Let’s jump to today. I get word that Denver’s Vegas Valley Drive has dropped a new album, “Kentucky Lawnmower” and it was recorded at the Blasting Room! So we’ve been around a few years and watched some bands grow like Bury MIA, Stray The Course and Vegas Valley Drive. It fills this writer with pride when the albums they produce come out. Let’s check out the new Vegas’s record!
The record begins with, “All The Difference”. It comes in with some great chord strikes on guitar. I love how the guitar drifts out into a few notes alone. Lyrically this song is catchy and fun. The next track is “Sweetly”. This is by far my favorite track on the album. Have you ever had a huge crush on someone and turn into a mumbling moron when they talk to you?
I’ve been there too many times to count. I see huge potential for this track. Don’t be surprised if this track ends up on the radio. It definitely needs a great music video to accompany the wonderful story line. Up next is, “Brake Park Reverse”. This track really reminds of Big Head Todd and The Monsters, although much faster and harder.
Do you have a friend who claims his punk cred to everyone every 5 minutes? “Punk Rock Frank” is that guy and that song. The singer sounds like, Les Claypool from Primus. Not sure if that’s what they were going for, but I love it. In one word the song is hilarious. “Holding On” follows and takes on a more serious tone. This track has potential as well. The lyrics are catching, hooks are strong, and the melody addicting.
“Wake Up Call”, sounds very comparable to The Lillingtons. The message is conveyed by some great vocals and a great bass line. Another favorite track is up next, “Chardonnay Shakes”. The song is introduced with a famous quote from Neverending Story. Already I kind of want to cry just thinking about the Atrex. Anyhow we shall proceed!
This track is one small step away from going metal. The extreme power chords, mini guitar solos, bass edge provide a ballad like atmosphere. If this track becomes popular. You read it here first! Let’s slow it down and go acoustic. “Everything To Me” is next and you will be sure to hear this one at the next wedding you attend. It’s beautiful. Yet another hit?
Let’s speed things back up with “Anesthetic Paramedic”. This song has a sweet skate punk edge to it. The bass is strong with some sweeping guitar hooks. The drum work is excellent. “Powers”, follows again following a skatepunk like sound. I could be wrong, but I think this track refers to the Power Rangers? Haha I have no idea, but this track kicks ass.
“Sober Elbow” is next. This one is super catchy. This track is for all the people when drunk think they are superheroes. They think they can leap tall buildings, but usually land on their face. The chords are remarkable. The last song on the album is “Punk On The Radio”. It has some great pop punk melodies, lyrically simple, but so much fun.
Well there you have it. Vegas Valley Drive’s, “Kentucky Lawnmower”, is a trip through some fantastic music with all right hooks and guilty pleasures pop punk. Fans of alternative in general will definitely want to give this one a listen. This record should be hitting all major streamers here soon. You can purchase the record here, https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/vegasvalleydrive.
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Crimson Riot popped up on the CPRA radar about a year ago. A kick ass friend who runs a Las Vegas based band called JERK reached out to us for a Denver book. By the way he also books shows in Vegas so hit up JERK if you’re looking to play. Josh mentioned Chris Reject from Crimson Riot would also reach out for a future book.
Anytime we are looking at bands the very first thing we do is check out their music. So I headed my happy ass off to Youtube. There I heard my first taste of Crimson Riot with, “Heres’s The Bad News Laura (The Shake Machine is Down)”. The music brain in me started popping with a little joy, but I soon realized their catalog at the time was low. Let’s jump to May 2019.
Crimson Riot announced a brand new album and a new video to boot. Of course the skeptic in me was like, “Hey their last song the one mentioned above was pretty good”. So today let’s check out the new album, “Classy Punk For Trash People”. The album starts with by far my favorite song on the record, “Hurt”. I’m telling you right now. This track has mass potential. The video below has already hit 2,414 views in only 4 months’ time. The track is not only super catchy; it has some great guitar and bass. Roxy’s voice is perfect.
The track also seems to speak of the entertainment industry taking advantage of people. They have been doing it for years. At least Harvey Weinstein and many others have been rooted out for the horrible people they are. This FIGHT song is a wonderful introduction to the band.
“Fight Song”, follows as a punk rock love song. I’m not a fan of love songs, but this song is truly wonderful. Get your toe tapping cons on and grab your pit partner. Ryan’s drums perfectly accompany Roxy’s voice. This is another track with huge potential. Has someone ever questioned your punk credentials?
The next song, “I’m Not Punk” is about just that. I know I have let it get to me sometimes. I don’t have the funds, or the time to be dressed to the nines. Punk isn’t about the clothes, it’s about being you.
“So how did we get to this, And when did it become about fashion, I don’t wear spikes or a misfits patch, Cause I’m not punk enough, No I’m not punk enough”
Crimson Riot – I’m Not Punk
“Lola” follows and the catchy lyrics flow through the song. I could be wrong, but this song may be a reference to the Kinks famous track, “Lola”. Or it is simply a rad song. “The Ballad Of Dr Chop” is hilarious and up next. This rocksteady like song is about a dirty rotten plastic surgeon (Nip Tuck). I wonder if we’ll ever get a ska track from the band. That would be sweet!
Now it’s time for a little psychobilly with “Lost Souls”. Chris Reject sets the melody with dark yet dreamy vocals. The bass joins into the shade. This track is similar to something the Lillingtons would write, but lacks the overproduced feeling and lends more heart to the track. “Click (To Make Me Happy” is next with Roxy back on vocals. The guitar intro sets a kickass tone. Roxy’s voice is amazing. The track is about immediate self-gratification, and narcissism.
No matter how many clicks and shares. The selfies will never heal what’s really going on inside. “Down We Go” is next and follows a darker path. This track has a kickass backbeat from the drums. As well as some great little guitar riffs. This tracks deals with self-reflection. The lyrical content is on point.
So Mike Muir only wanted a Pepsi and nobody would give him one. Well “Here’s The Bad News Laura (The Shake Machine Is Down)” is a tribute to all of us. Always being told the damn shake machine is down! It’s hilarious, yet kick serious ass at the same time. Check out the video below!
“Anchor Me” is the second to last song on the album. We all need a rock to cling to when things go bad. This is another love song. The melodies are perfected. I’d love to sing this song at karaoke someday. Although I recommend you plug your ears if it’s me. Chris and Roxy compliment each other making this track absolutely beautiful.
Well friends we have come to our final destination, “Riot”. Roxy leads this track in a very Bad Cop Bad Cop like fashion, while throwing in her amazing sound. This track talks about injustices and making changes for the betterment of everyone. In reflection Crimson Riot’s new album, “Classy Punk For Trashy People” is a masterful blend of bubble gum punk rock. This record is fit for any fan who loves the Go Go’s, Distillers, or the Ramones. I highly recommend you buy this one now, https://crimsonriot.bandcamp.com/releases
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Track List (Per Bandcamp)
2. Fight Song
3. I’m Not Punk
5. The Ballad Of Dr. Chop
6. Lost Souls
7. Click (To Make Me Happy)
8. Down We Go
9.Here’s The Bad News Laura (The Shake Machine Is Down)
Favorite Tracks: They Call Me “Thrillhouse”, I Don’t Like Sports, Bitter, Broken Teeth, and Weekend Cartoons
Sounds Like: Filthy Hearts, Descendants, Neck Deep, Penske File, Eat Defeat, and The Flatliners
Do you like sports? Well here at CPRA we really don’t like any of the major sporting activities. Ok so maybe some roller derby or some hockey, but none of that NBA or NFL stuff. So when Winnipeg based, Screaming At Traffic dropped, “I Don’t Like Sports”. I knew I had to check the album out. And yes in pure CPRA fashion this album review is super late! We are still playing catch up.
The album starts with They Call Me “Thrillhouse”. This track is deep with extremely well written lyrics, great drums, and a catchy guitar riff. Check out the video below!
“Y.B.F.” rolls in next keeping up the progression. “I wish you would say something instead of shutting down like you always do”. What does Ybf mean? Someone, anyone, Buehler? This song kickass! The next track is “Pantomime”. This is a personal favorite for me. The changing hooks, and melody drive this one home.
“I Don’t Like Sports”, is the next song. Obviously this track has nothing to do with sports. The track starts out on a somber note as the progression kicks in. We’ve all been in that relationship where you can never win. It sucks to lose, but sometimes you have to lose in order to win. I love this song! “Bitter” is another kick ass song. The drums are powerful when combined with the anthem like lyrics.
“Broken Teeth” follows slowing down a bit. I love the subtle bass line that accompanies the guitar. This track hit home for me. After a bad relationship in 2012 I went down a never ending rabbit hole of drinking and self doubt. I finally pulled myself up. This is a great, “Break Up Punk” track! The guitar rocks on in a Flatliners like tone.
“And I should never go out drinking before I eat,
and I know I never looked so good with broken teeth”
“Monstrosity” is the next song. The change ups and hooks are wicked good. “Hey, Koyuki”, follows with a strong bass line intro. Not sure, but I think this track relates to musicians struggling to survive. I am not a musician, but my passion isn’t working the 9-5 rat race. It’s writing and talking about music, but it really doesn’t pay the bills.
The next track, “Weekend Cartoons”, while starting out in a slow fashion. The track builds into an angry climatic driven ballad. “Naproxen” follows slowing the progression, yet retaining the wonderfully written lyrics. The last track on the record is, “People Pay Good Money For Secrets”. Personally I’m a bit sad to see this record end.
In reflection Screaming At Traffic’s, “I Don’t Like Sports” is 11 tracks of emotion, intense musicianship, located in an introverts heart shaped box. With tracks like, “They Call Me “Thrillhouse””, “Bitter”, and Broken Teeth. I’ll be playing this record on repeat.
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As the Dollyrots continue to hit the billboard charts with “Daydream Explosion”. One can’t help, but wonder how far this little twosome will go. Their ability to garner fans from different sides of the punk spectrum is astonishing. I think most Dad punks secretly listen to the Dollyrots and will never tell their teenage kids. Well Kelleigh (Now you know).
The band dropped their new video today for, “I Know How To Party” over on Pure Grain Audio earlier this morning.
If this kickass band isn’t on your radar yet. You’re missing out! Check out “Daydream Explosion” below and be sure to catch their show at Moe’s on 8/30/2019. As of right now 49 going, means more like 100 for Moe’s. Buy your ticket ASAP!!!