Best of 2018 Albums and Ep/Lp Picks by CPRA’s Skabones

Best of 2018 Albums and Ep/Lp Picks by CPRA’s Skabones

It’s been a crazy year here at CPRA. We’ve reviewed so much amazing music this year. We debuted our very first show, “Happy Skanksgiving” at Tennyson Tap. By the way our last show of the year, “Merry Punxmas” is on December 29, 2018. I know we all get a bit tired of these end of the year lists. As admins we all couldn’t possibly agree on overall favorites. So we are going to individually announce our own personal picks.

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Skabones’s Top Local Full Length Albums of 2018

1. Last Reel HeroLast Reel Hero (S/T)
2. Came And Took ItResume
3. Almataha – Kill The Leaders
4. Weathered Statues Borderlands
5. The Wannabes – Goodbye

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Skabones Top 5 Local EP/LP

1. Sunset Silhouette Detour EP
2. RASP State Of The Union
3. Younger Than Neil Never Quite Asleep
4. Married A Dead Man Haunt
5. People Corrupting People Red Herring

Skabones Top 5 International Full Length Albums

1. The Corps Tales From 2814
2. Dirty Work In The West End
3. Off The Mark Aging Disgracefully
4. The Shell Corporation Fucked
5. Fourbanger Never Let Go

 

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Skabones  Top 5 International EP/LP

1. FoL Therapathy
2. Debt Neglector The Kids Are Pissed
3. Millie Manders and The Shut Up Millie Manders and The Shut Up EP
4. Upper Downer Upper Downer
5. The F/A How Riots Start

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Skabones Honorable Mentions Full/EP/LP/S

The Rumjacks Saints Preserve Us
Grinning Barrets Riot
Alternative Ulster “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”
The Dead End The Dead End EP
Oh See Demons Personal Issues
Bottom Bracket Is Something Else
Fair Dos Closing In

We reviewed almost 100 albums in 2018. So picking only a few was very tough on me. Happy Holiday and don’t let Krampus get ya! Be sure to pick up a CPRA shirt, patch, or sticker before Christmas! Email soon if you want one by Christmas!

CPRA Pics by Cricket Fox!

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The Vashon Seed – New Material Review

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Release date: October 2018

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Denver, CO

Current Lineup: (Per Reverb)

  • Russell Lopez – Bass
  • Michael Anderson – Vocals
  • Jimmy Roeper – Drums

Favorite Tracks: 10 Pound Shoe Blues, 99 Years, Let’s Be Free, Rye Whiskey

Sounds Like: Dave Vanian and The Phantom Chords, Blood Circus, Tiger Army, The Melvins, Mushoney and The Swamp Rats


When talented musicians from other states start moving to Denver, good things happen. I’ve mentioned it many times. I personally think Denver will soon join the likes of LA, Nashville, and NY. The sheer amount of amazing music coming out of Colorado is insane right now. We recently reviewed Ft Collins based, Came And Took It, Denver’s R.A.S.P and today I’m very proud to review, Denver based, The Vashon Seed.

Per the bands Reverb page, “Michael Anderson of Seattle’s Blood Circus joined forces with Russell Lopez of Denver’s The Two-Fifties to create an eclectic rock/hardrock band bathed in blues and punk. Jimmy Roeper is on drums.” Per Russ Lopez, “Jimmy has since left us but we are working with a new drummer, Greg Johnson.” We’ve got our backstory let’s check out the new material!

  1. ‘Let’s Be Free’ – This one is heavy on the bass, the drums and guitar are killer.
  2. ‘99 Years’ – Super heavy on bass with a western riff. The lyrics are extremely deep.
  3. ‘10lb Shoe Blues’ – Here’s some rockabilly swing for you folks. This my personal favorite so far.
  4. ‘Whiskey Rye’ – This one is not currently up on their Reverb page. The bass gets even heavier on this track. This one definitely has more of a grunge sound to it. The drums are absolutely heart pounding on this one.

There you have it! If this is just small sample, call me addicted. The mix of different genres from country, grunge, rockabilly and punk make this band stand out among others. I’m very excited to see their future of this band. Be sure to check them out here, https://www.reverbnation.com/thevashonseed .

Tracks:

Links:

MC1 – “City Wide Destruction” EP

MC1 – “City Wide Destruction” EP

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Release Date: April 28, 2017

Format: Digital

Label: A Jam Records

Location: Miami, FL

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

Joe Koontz

Favorite Tracks: City Wide Destruction, Drop The Bomb, Crash Like Thunder, Runnin On Hate

Sounds Like: Stray Cats, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, too many genres to pin down an exact influence


 

Being a one person band 100 years ago meant, playing a bunch of different instruments at the same time. They were heavy and well the sound of course was always lacking. There were really more like a carnival act, and not something to really take seriously. Fortunately for us the times have changed. Due to the advances in technology one person can potentially play a bunch of different instruments and track them together.

So let’s check out this one man band phenom that is, MC1. MC1 recently put out his new ep, “City Wide Destruction” on 4/28/2018. My first thought upon listening was wow! Each song sounds dramatically different from each other. I tried really hard to nail MC1 down to one genre. I’m gonna say that’s just impossible. I hear goth, industrial, punk, rock, rockabilly and etc. That’s what really makes “City Wide Destruction” so much fun to listen to!

My favorite song by far is “City Wide Destruction”, and coming in second is “Drop The Bomb”. Be sure to check on MC1 and A Jam Records

 

Tracks:

  1. City Wide Destruction
  2. Crash Like Thunder
  3. Drop The Bomb
  4. Runnin’ On Hate

Links:

 

Camel Tofu – Camel Tofu EP

Camel Tofu – Camel Tofu EP

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Release date: July 2018

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Sullivan, Illinois

Current Lineup:

  • Jerm- Vocals
  • John- Guitar
  • Andrew- Guitar
  • Scott- Bass,
  • Sweezy- Drums

Favorite Tracks: Dapper, Ride, Grass or Gravel, I Wish Your Parent’s Never Met, Third Grade, and Ride

Sounds Like: The 250’s, Bad Religion, Black Flag, The Exploited, Dead Milkmen, The Melvins, and The Damned


 

A few months ago we received a booking request from a Harley Davidson dealer. This kind of shocked this old school punk. What on earth would a motorcycle dealer want to do with punk in general? It turns out punks and motorcycles are now a big thing. Maybe as we get older hustling to work on a cool skateboard is no longer an option? Haha.

That leads me to introduce Camel Tofu from Sullivan, Illinois! This band brings punk rock with a Harley. The band is still preparing for their commercial release. So we thought it would be great to post all of their kick ass videos here.

So let’s start out with ‘Dapper’. This one has a great bass line!

 

‘Grass or Gravel’, brings an old school classic punk sound.

 

‘I Wish Your Parent’s Never Met’,  is a kick ass anti love song, reminiscent of the Queers.

 

‘Third Grade’, is probably my favorite song on the ep. I really like the old school sound.

 

‘Ride”, this is probably my second favorite song on the ep. The bassline and drums seem to shine on this track.

 

Overall Camel Tofu sound is extremely impressive. They bring a mix of old school punk into the modern age. Be sure to pick up the ep once released out into the great wild!

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cameltofu/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-TFdw0g4uzxjVexra5iOjw

Came And Took It – “Resume” (Early Preview)

Came And Took It – “Resume” (Early Preview)

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Release date: Projected October 2018

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Ft Collins, Colorado

Current Lineup: Per Facebook

Austin – Vocals & Bass

Sotirios – Drums

Brady – Guitar

Favorite Tracks: Straddling The Line, Last Call (Cease and Sequester), Evergreen Palms, Waves, Resume, The Slow Boat To Siberia.

Sounds Like: Off The Mark, Fourbanger, Nerdlinger, Stray The Course, The Menzingers, The Queers and The Lawrence Arms.


 

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Colorado is one awesome state. We have a prospering economy. The mountains, plains, and the sand dunes. We have a thriving art and music industry that is quickly approaching the likes of Los Angeles and New York City. We just recently celebrated 142 years of statehood. So a happy birthday is in order! This leads me to introduce Ft Collins based, Colorado punks, Came And Took It. The former Austin based band, picked up and moved to our great state.

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We scored an early preview copy of their upcoming album, “Resume”. Before I get into, “Resume” let’s talk about their 2016 release, “Bait For Buzzards”. “Bait For Buzzards’, has some great songs on it like, ‘Broken Skull’, ‘All That Glitters’, and my favorite, ‘Drowning”.  It has a completely different sound when compared to “Resume”. I spoke with guitarist Brady Boyle and he offered some insight on the differences.

“Came and Took It originally formed in Austin, TX as Galley West. Then some dildos from Utah sent them a cease-and-desist order, forcing them to change their name. What a bunch of chodes. Posthumously releasing their debut LP, “Bait for the Buzzards” in 2016, Came and Took It took on the themes of addiction, mental illness, heartbreak, and hatred of hipsters

in a 13-song punch to the face, recorded in a time-honored DIY tradition by co-vocalists (and audio engineers) Austin Corley and Josh Cornal, themselves.

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Fast forward to 2017 – the band decided to reunite and relocate to Fort Collins, CO, where they recently recorded a new LP, Resume, at the Blasting Room and are looking to spread their infectious dual-vocal assault of dour lyrics over catchy melodies and aggressive rhythms to their new home state.”

Maybe I should thank those Chodes, Brady mentioned, because this album kicks ass. This one was recorded at the Blasting Room in Ft Collins. So let’s get into “Resume”. The opening track ‘Straddling The Line’, kicks off the record. The lyrics are amazing.

The hooks and melodies blend in perfect combination. By far this is my favorite on the record. I don’t usually play air guitar, but when I do it’s to, ‘Straddling The Line’. I have high hopes for this song. Hello Dying Scene or Punk Tacos?

“I’m refining all of my theories of why you can’t depend on me,

I’ll fuck up something else along the way,

It’s a never ending science fair,

All are welcome, stop and stare,

This project here is called, “Don’t Drink, Now Pray”

Up next on the track list is, ‘Last Call (Cease And Sequester). This one has a really kick ass bass lines. The vocals and melody will keep you humming long after it’s over. The lead singer on this reminds me of a much harder version of Weezer’s, Rivers Cuomo. Again this one has some really catchy lyrics! The next song is ‘Sleep’.

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‘Sleep’, starts out with a western guitar riff. This one is a bit on the slower side. I really like the drums on this one. Let’s move on to ‘Evergreen Palms’. This one is my second favorite on the album. This one reminds me a bit of the Descendants with a socal punk sound. I love the lyrics on this one. The vocals combined with the drums make for a perfect sing along.

“I hope the evergreen palms are treating you right,

And the 405 isn’t wasting away your life,

Suffering and sacrifice – See it all but can’t sleep at night,

I’m leaving you in the shadow of the shrine,

Suffering and sacrifice – See it all but can’t sleep at night,

Lose everything,

I’m leaving you in the shadow of the shrine”

Those are some really deep lyrics! Let’s move onto the next track, ‘Waves”. Here’s yet another favorite on the record. The guitar shreds while the bass brings in the edge. I think this one has some pop’s potential as well. This song reminded me of some past bad relationships I’ve had. This one meets our definition of “Break Up Punk”. ‘Resume’, is up next.

I simply love this fucking song! These guys really know how to write some great music. They lyrics are so relatable. You have this massive crush on someone. Yet all the douchebags are lined up ahead. The addition of the acoustic guitar at the end is beautiful!

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‘You, Me, And Chemistry (Pleasure)’ is up next. This one is like the perfect follow up to ‘Resume’. “I guess I lost some faith in you and me and chemistry”. I drums are this one are perfect. ‘100’, comes in with an acoustic intro, which is quickly joined in by bass and drum.

‘Filters’, rolls up next on the record. This one seems a bit darker, yet maintains the pop punk melody. ‘Sticking It To Crazy’, comes up next on the record. This one is probably the hardest on the record with it’s melodic hardcore sound. ‘Unrealized’, continues the previous tempo. I love this one as it speaks to the human in all of us.

“Maybe I’m lost,

Maybe I always was,

If the stars don’t ever align,

I’ll just become,

Unrealized, unrecognizable,

Ostracized, marginalized, and unforgettable”

‘The Slow Boat To Siberia’, this tack is obviously on the political side. This is a true punk rock song. It speaks of America’s tradition of blacklisting anyone who questions it’s ideals. This one finishes out the record well sort of haha. “I got a little penis”.  This song really blew me away lyrically. The harmonies and message is almost like a call to arms for the punk community. Obviously not firearms of course, fists only please.

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Let me make this a wrap. Came and Took It, has produced an epic record that combines the melodies and struggles of humanity. I personally cannot wait for this record to drop. With songs like, “’Straddling The Line’, ‘Evergreen Palms’, and ‘Resume’ they have mastered the pop punk sound. This one is added to the 2018 CPRA Album Of The Year contender list! Keep your eye out for preorder information here, https://cameandtookit.com/ .

 

Links:

Blinding Eye Dog – “R’Lyeh Wasn’t Built In A Decade, Hon!”

Release date: July 4, 2018

Format: Digital and physical

Label: Bad Taco Records

Location: Baltimore, MD

Current Lineup: Per Facebook

Ron “Elvistopholes” Clark – Vocals and Latex Modeling;

Sean “Rev. Von Horrorsin” Harrison – Drums and Baby Making;

Bugsy “Dr. Pervert West” Bryant – Guitar and Heavy Drinking;

“The Goatman”, Jude Iscariot – Guitar and Prison Stories;

Nick the Genie – Bass and jumping around

Favorite Tracks: Puppet Massacre, Baltimore Lean, Call of Cthulhu, Seed, Stupidville USA,

Sounds Like: Black Flag, Minor Threat, The Exploited, FEAR, The Damned, Circle Jerks, The Cramps, New York Dolls, Dead Kennedys


 

Blinding Eye Dog – “R’Lyeh Wasn’t Built In A Decade, Hon!”

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When writing album reviews sometimes I have the hardest time aligning a band with a certain genre. There are so many different genres of punk these days. It actually makes my job somewhat difficult. There’s post punk, hardcore, horror punk, pop punk, skate punk, and etc. Most people, not all have their own favorite genres.  My favorite genre is more of a classic sound like the Clash or The Damned.

So what happens when you find a band that combines so many different genres? You get Baltimore punks, Blinding Eye Dog! Their latest album, “R’Lyeh Wasn’t Built In A Decade, Hon” dropped on the 4th of July. This album struck me. I really wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of different genres.  Lately we’ve had our fair share of hardcore and pop punk.

So let’s check out some of my favorites from the album. “Icenian Queen” starts off the album with a horror punk sound. It reminds me a bit off the Damned’s, “Machine Gun Etiquette”. It has a great classic sound, with ripping shreds on guitar. “StupidVille USA, is next up on the track list.

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This song has a powerful message and sadly defines the state of the American union. How many bad things in small towns are swept under the rug? I really enjoy the progression and drums on this one. “Feel The Bern”, is up next. This song has a more hardcore edge to it and it kicks ass!

“Baltimore Lean”, a little slower, yet still has somewhat of a steely sound on bass. This one has some catchy lyrics to it and sounds a little like the New York Dolls. “Puppet Massacre’ is up next. This would be my favorite on the album. It’s more on the horror punk side. It has a kick ass guitar intro and wicked vocals.

 

“Tom Otter’s Lane”, is up next on the track list. This song sounds very Black Flag influenced. It fast and heavy. There’s a sweet little guitar shred towards the end. “ I Can’t Believe It’s Not Haggis”, rolls the album on. This one really sounds like a Cramps song at the intro. See where I’m going with this?

“Call of Cthulhu”, is up next on the album. This would be my second favorite song. This one has more of a Dead Kennedy’s sound. It’s catchy and drums pound. This one is a crazy pit waiting to happen. “Frankenhooker” comes in with a Dead Boys like sound. The lyrics are funny, better watch out for the Frankenhooker!

“Bong of Cthulhu”, well this one has more of metal sound. I guess this would be called, “Stoner Punk”? Haha. This one slows the record’s progression down, with a little funk. “Seed” is up next on the track list. This one really sounds like FEAR. It speeds the album back up.

“Grab Life”, is up next. It continues the speed with some great drums and excellent vocals. This is about the evil orange haired monster, “Führer Trump”. “Rush Hour” is up next. It continues the fast pace of the album. This is probably my third favorite song on the record. I love the surf punk fuzz on this one.

“Cum On Aileen”, this is a pure horror punk song. This one has some great drum work. “Berserker”, is up next on the record. No not the “Berserker” song from Clerks, haha! This one has almost a metal undertone to it. “Honey, It’s Okay”, I absolutely love the trumpet and vocals on this one. This is like a serial killer’s theme song!

Overall “R’Lyeh Wasn’t Built In A Decade, Hon”, should be in every punk’s collection. Personally I’d love to have this on vinyl simply for a more raw sound.  The combination of genres and influences marks this one as one of the more memorable albums of 2018. You can pick up a physical copy here, https://blindingeyedog.bandcamp.com/album/rlyeh-wasnt-built-in-a-decade-hon

Track List:

1. Icenian Queen

2. Stupidville, USA

3. Feel the Bern

4. Baltimore Lean

5. Puppet Massacre

6. Tom Otter’s Lane

7. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Haggis

8. Call of Cthulhu

9. Frankenhooker

10. Bong of Cthulhu

11. Seed

12. Grab Life

13. Rush Hour

14. Cum On Aileen

15. Berzerker

16. Honey, It’s Okay

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blindingeyedog/

Bandcamp: https://blindingeyedog.bandcamp.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blindingeyedog/

Website: http://www.blindingeyedog.com/

Walter – Open Plains, Deserted Roads

 

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Release date: June 9, 2018

Format: Digital, Physical

Label: DIY

Location: Denver, Colorado

Current Lineup Per Facebook:

  • Brian Barrows [drums]
  • Dan Olson [vox, rhythm guitar]
  • Kyle Lysek [bass]
  • Kevin Wolff [lead guitar]

Sounds Like: Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Stone From The Sky, The 250’s.

CPRA Favorite Tracks: Anton, Love Child, Shotgun Wedding, East Wind, and Face Melter


 

Being a Lyft driver I get to meet people from all walks of life. I’ve met people going through various stages of life, divorcees, newlyweds, new parents, veterans, and sadly, end of life. It’s been hilarious and sometimes sad. Ok except for the drunk lady who was old enough to be my mom.

She tried to touch my crotch, and well it was a bit scary. That’s a whole different story. I met some kids from France, backpacking America. The drunk guy that forgot where he lived. I could go on and on. The best part is the conversations that take place. I get to promote Denver’s music scene. Usually I ask what kind of music a passenger wants to listen to.

99% of the time, a passenger’s response is; whatever is fine. Now thankfully that didn’t happen last Saturday. I picked up lead singer/guitarist, Dan Olson, from Denver’s Walter band. He said, “Yeah put on my CD. I’m in the band, Walter”.

As I put in the CD, “Open Plains, Deserted Roads” . My first thought was, “Oh shit this is good stuff. Dan and I started talking about the album. The highs and lows about making a record. I mentioned my recent article regarding, “Rock Is Dead”. The conversation really solidified my point in the article. Rock is surviving in genres, and subsects, but it will never truly die. So buy some merch, so bands can survive!

 

In true CPRA fashion, I wanted to share my thoughts on the record. These guys are super fucking talented.From the opening riff on, ‘Anton’ which starts to spin its web.  ‘Love Child’ brings a almost Black Crows esqe dance sound to it. The lyrics of each and every song are extremely well written.

“You could call is star crossed happenstance. You’d be right” Shotgun Wedding

My favorite song on the album is by far, “Face Melter”. This song definitely deserves some air play on the majors.  The guitar, bass, drums and Olson’s vocals combine almost effortlessly into a post Nirvana like madness. “Wolves” follows right after with some wicked drums.

Overall Walter is a breath of fresh air and a shot of rock adrenaline. The genres they touch on keep a music lover on edge. Denver is continuing to amass a giant talent bass. Walter could easily tour with a national band.  So take my advice and give them a listen!

Links:

http://www.walterthewebsite.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Walter-265273303497470/

Bandcamp: https://waltertheband.bandcamp.com/