Growing up, there was the holy trinity of punk rock labels. It was Epitaph, Hellcat, & Fat Records. This band takes me back to listening to the Fat Records for Fat People compilations. Obviously influenced by NoFX, a band that is apparently easy to hate on by many punks now, but fuck that hate stuff. I never understood how hating things & bands made you a more interesting person. They are a band still influencing great music, like Trashed Ambulance.
The band’s new EP, Shorthanded, isn’t set on reinventing music here, but they take a sound & do it well. Vocals & guitar that serve the sound very well. Excellent melodies that will stick in your head. Driving drums that are vital to giving the record the energy needed to make the band work. What stands out the most though, is the bass. I love bass solos, walking the bass instead of simply playing the notes. Rad bass lines throughout the EP.
Open Road is an excellent opening track for their new EP. it’s everything I mentioned above, & everything you need to know about how you’ll enjoy this record. Fun guitar and bass solos break up the end of Trash Queens, helping the track stand out. Buy In is a great self-deprecating track, “I’m never gonna win, so I might as well buy in.” Great hook. The standout lyric to me though, is from Round 3, the closing track from the band. “Don’t find solace by being a dick.” Great lyric, great message, fantastic song. Be good to each other, be good to this band. Check them out.
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Favorite Tracks: Revolution Part II, Survive, Suicide Mission, Fuck God and Fuck Reality, Fuck No, Manhole To Hell, Drink And Stink, Jake,
Sounds Like: Black Flag, Skudfux, Op Ivy, and Abolitionist
Why start this article off with a clip of High Fidelity? How is Jerkswitch’s “BUFO” even related to “High Fidelity? Let me tell you why. This 16 track debut album is FULL of non-stop fantasic fucking music. Personally when I heard the Skudfux was no more. I was a bit sad as I love them. Sometimes when something ends, it’s because something bigger and better is coming. Skudfux is now Jerkswitch!
This compilation album of old and new songs is a whopper at 16 awesome tracks. Let’s dig in further. “Revolution Part II” kicks off the record. You can listen to part one here. From the start you can feel a more polished sound. This is probably one of my top 5 intros of all time. The hunger, the passion, this is the ultimate set up.
Now my second favorite is actually the second track, “Survive” from the “FERN” EP. This is some hardcore ska punk. The lead singer has an almost Jello like tone. It’s just shy of being a little to metal, as the ska punk element is beautifully retained. The pit will be dangerous on this track. “Suicide Mission” is up next. It starts out with a heavy bass line before exploding into nonstop pogo madness.
“Fuck God And Fuck Reality” is up next. I absolutely love this track. From the opening guitar strum and drums straight into the heart pumping power chords. How long we will sit by and allow the church and/or Republican Party to dictate moral policy to us? The Catholic Church has died in popularity here in the states. A new and evil Republican church took over. Check out the lyrics below!
“I never was one to believe,
What I could not see,
All them catholic fairytales,
Keep em away from me,
And I don’t like what I see,
They don’t like what I am,
I’ll stand proud and say,
Fuck God and fuck reality”
These lyrics are so simple, yet so spot on to this writer. The swath of southern states passing women’s reproductive rights restrictions proves to us that the church is more concerned about social control and less about society as a whole. Let’s move onto the next song, “Better Days”. This song is providing hope for the hopeless with awesome lyrics and sweet guitar riffs. “AlertA” is next with an instrumental tune.
“Fuck No” is another song from the FERN Ep. This track cracks me up every time I listen. How many times a day do you say Fuck No? This is yet another great song. The anthems and whoas are perfectly timed. It is very catchy. “O Negative” comes up next with more of ska kickass Squirrel Nut Zippers sound, yet gets harder with the progression. This band is insanely talented.
Drown” starts out slow and serious note. I hear maybe some grunge influences, maybe even a bit of some surf punk. “Drink And Stink” comes roaring in with a fast skate punk sound. Advance warning before joining the pit on this track, it’s gonna be rough. I love this song! “Jake” another track from FERN is next up. Jerkswitch goes back to its roots with a great skapunk sound.
“Manhole To Hell”, is another energetic song along the lines of skatepunk. This is for anybody who has ever been oppressed by another. This song is full of anger, passion, and some amazing drum work. This song has to kill the lead singer’s voice. “All By Myself” slows down upon intro and build into circle pit loving madness. With the steely sound, guitar solos, this reminds me a lot of Faith No More.
Jerkswitch goes acoustic next with, “I’m So Sorry”. The composition of this track is beautiful. I think that’s a cello in the background. Wait this is punk. There are no cellos in punk. I kid of course. Again full blown talent and rightly displayed on this track. “About A Punk” speeds the pace back up with some skapunk. I adore this track. Not only is it skankable, the lyrical content is fucking amazing.
Anyone who has ever been in local band, worked with locals, can relate to this track. We all ask or friends and coworkers to come to our shows and they don’t. We ask them to share our albums, facebook posts and they don’t. It’s up to us as bands, promoters, and fans to help support the punk scene in any way we can. This track has serious potential for doing very well.
Here we are at the last track, “Richmond Hill” this is beautiful outro instrumental track. I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of anything instrumental. In this particular album though the instrumentals blend like threads of a book binding. So there we have it. Jerkswitch’s debut album, “BUFO” is the definition of a perfect album. This record will appeal to not only fans of punk, but other genres as well. I personally cannot wait for more music from Jerkswitch!
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In 14 years so many things can change. One thing hasn’t changed and that’s Downway’s kick-ass sound! In 2017 they reformed to tour and produce their new album, “Last Chance For More Regrets”. The new album features 12 tracks. CPRA was lucky to score a pre-release copy.
This album is stocked with kickass pop, skate and the occasional metal lick. Personally I really would love a vinyl release. I’m finding it very hard to really nail down a favorite song as all are excellent. Downway may have taken some time off, but they came back harder and stronger than ever. Pick this one up on 5/1/19 here, https://thousandislandsrecords.bandcamp.com/
Track list: (Per Bandcamp)
Part of the Show
Saying Your Name
Stars & Satellites
Last Night’s Makeup
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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.
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!
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!
Sounds Like: No Use For A Name, JFA, Lagwagon, and I Am The Owl
It’s not often we get some really kick ass skatepunk. But when we do, we absolutely love it! Strasbourg, French punks, Call It A Day are releasing their brand new EP, “Mind The Gap” on 11/01/2018. The album is being released under, Thousand Islands Records. “Small Label October” hasn’t finished just yet! In proper CPRA fashion we gonna check it out! You really should take a few minutes and check out the kick ass music Thousand Islands are putting out. Anyhow let’s roll into, “Mind The Gap”.
‘For Your Safety’, kicks off the album. This one leans somewhat on the speed punk metal side. The guitar and drums are fucking nuts. The different harmonies and melodies are mixed well. ‘Empty Promises’, is up next on the list. The bass seems to be more emphasized on this track. This make for a great pit song. This one will be brutal! ‘Valium’ is the last track on the EP. The drums and guitar solo shine on this one.
Call It A Day’s, “Mind The Gap”, sits on the edge of hardcore while maintaining a core skatepunk sound. Any fan of hardcore skatepunk should add this their collection on drop day!
Sounds Like: Came And Took It, Filthy Hearts, Descendants, Strung Out, and Sugus
Small Label October continues to remain hot as Hades here at CPRA. We just got word that Montreal punks, Arising From are releasing a brand new EP on October 25, 2018! We were lucky to score an early release. This new EP is full of 1990’s skate punk! So let’s check it out!
The EP kicks off with “Return to Sender” and no this is not an Elvis cover. This song is heavy on the bass and drums. The riffs are epic in mastery. “Was It You”, is the next track up. I really dig the vocals and lyrics on this. It’s also quiet on the heavy side, but not quite metal. This is a great I’m pissed off and need to vent song. “Day That Never Came”, is up next and slows down the record. This one although a little slower is still full of the melodic hardcore we love. I love the different progressions and build up. Hey metal fans you may dig this! “Your Beliefs”, is up next on the list. This one is bit different in comparison to the rest of the record. It seems less, angry and bit more on the pop punk side. The songs speaks of belief systems and how they can corrupt the human mind. “One Life” is last on the track list. This is by far my favorite on the record. The catchy lyrics and beat will keep you singing along.
In conclusion I’m a bit surprised this is my first ever listen to an Arise record. This EP is stacked with great song after song. They fit in today, and just as good as they did 15 years ago when the band began. You can pick it up here and major distros on 10/25/2018,