Bitter Grounds- “Two Sides Of Hope”

Bitter Grounds- “Two Sides Of Hope”  

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Release date: October 2018

Format: Digital and physical

Label: The album will be released soon on Ring Of Fire Records, Bad Granola Records, aggrobeat.com and Mass Prod

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Ronald
  • Dinter
  • Daan
  • Peter

Favorite Tracks: Two Sides Of Hope, Let Me See Now, Bad Dreams, Let Them Talk,

Sounds Like: Rancid, The Transplants, The Interrupters, NOFX, The Mad Caddies, Last Reel Hero, and  Lagwagon.


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Almost 2 years ago CPRA, debuted our very first album review with Bitter Grounds and their epic release, “Hollow Lands”.  “Hollow Lands” is an amazing album! It’s still in my daily rotation of awesome music. Since my last review I’ve come to few realizations. The Netherlands has a kick ass punk scene. I’d love to go on an epic Punk Rock Holiday throughout Europe someday.

 

Let’s get into the new album, “Two Sides Of Hope”. The album kicks off with, “Lost”. This is a great introduction for anyone that’s never listened to Bitter Grounds before. This track is angry, fast and speaks the truth. The lyrics are deep and one cannot, but empathize with the author. I love the drums on this track

“Hold on, when all is lost,

Hold On, when all is lost on the inside.”

Just like, “Hollowlands”. I can feel the beginning of a tale. Now I don’t know if this was intended, but it seems that way. Next up is, “Two Sides Of Hope”. This is my favorite track on the record. The melodic chorus the band gathers is noteworthy, yet the punk rock sound is so evident. Check this kick ass animated video. This guitar riff on this track is wicked.

Next up is, “Let Me See Now”. This is probably my second favorite track on the record. This one is filled with animosity, yet you get to skank it out. It’s immediately catchy and sure to get stuck in your head. This one could easily hit the US airwaves. Hello Punk Tacos? Stop playing Fall Out Boy and play this!!! Haha I kid of course. This song is really somewhat nostalgic with it’s Rancid like sound.

“Bad Dreams”, continues the ska punk sound. The song will keep that head boppin. I really hope Bitter Grounds has adopted a Demon guy like, Ben Carr from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. This song will make you lose at least 3lbs during the track! “My Time”, brings back the punk with a bit OI in it. This is anthem song for the working class! The drums and guitar rip on this track.

“Faded”, brings back the ska punk. I have to wonder if the song refers to some sort of drug use. I am not really sure of the meaning, but it somewhat points in that direction. I love the intro guitar on this, before the jinky ska sounds comes in. “Let Them Talk”, another one of my absolute favorites on the record. This one speeds the record up with blunt force. We can hear that anger burning and about to ignite. The pit will be nuts on this one.

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“Seven Nights”, slows it down a tad. It begins with that Bitter Grounds sound I’ve come to love. The progression build on this one is fun. The vocals are amazing and blend seamlessly with the drums. I won’t call this one a “Drinking Song”, but it reminds me of bunch of punks ejoying their limited amounts of time together.

“FML”, is up next. “I’m sure you know what the acronym means. This one is another head to the pit song. Having a bad day? Throw this on and destroy something in a junkyard. This song will kick ass on your, “My Pissed Off Playlist”.

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I must admit I’m always a bit leary of listening to something new from a band I love. I’m always willing to try though. I can thank Green Day for that. This new album was just as good if not better than Hollowlands. I feel like as this album may be finer tuned, or as a band matured together. In conclusion, ‘Two Sides Of Hope”, is album we need in times when desperate measure must be taken to preserve our sanity.

Tracks:  (Subject to change)

  1. Lost
  2. Two Sides Of Hope
  3. Let Me See Now
  4. Bad Dreams
  5. My Time
  6. Faded
  7. Let Them Talk
  8. Seven Nights
  9. FML

Links:

Bitter Grounds- Hollowlands​

This record was released in 2016 on VLE Records. Bitter Grounds is a punk ska band hailing from Utrecht, Netherlands. This album is like a breath of fresh air for punk rock and ska. While writing this in my head I have visions of punks, skins, and rockers moshing in harmony or destruction, Haha. I also think of the many people that are tired of the folk scene and need some hardcore guitar riffs in their lives.

Bitter Grounds - Hollowlands
Bitter Grounds – Hollowlands

Track 1- Hollowlands- Song has a great intro from the Film-Network, starring Howard Beale. “We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds – we’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness. You maniacs.”

This song has me thinking where did the idea for the tune come from? Is it against mass consumerism? Is it dropping your cell phone, closing your laptop and reconnecting with your fellow man? Is it something deep down we as all humans need to return to where the little things have meaning again? Is not listening to the latest political spin and thinking with our own brain’s again?

Track 2- Struck Out- Definitely my favorite track from the album. The first time I heard it I quickly reached for my phone to make sure I hadn’t accidentally started a Tim Timebomb or Lars Fredrickson Spotify channel. As I listen I can hear a band struggling to make it to the top, but they are being shutdown by the establishment. I love the outtake near the end of the tune from a Youtube video where an angry man berates a musician playing for change, https://youtu.be/9E62iA6KCIQ.

Track 3- Tell Me Now- A toe tapping tune that will have you singing along. To me it feels like the ending of a relationship or some sort. You question yourself and those around you wondering where to go from there.

Track 4- Life of Violence- Probably my 2nd favorite track. It’s almost a throwback to 1980’s punk rock like the Dead Boys yet has the strength and momentum of Bad Religion. Are you ready to destroy? Throw on this jam. The song actually has a very deep meaning about being surrounded in a world full of violence.

Track 5- Human Touch- I really enjoy the mix thrown in here to slow the tempo down. It’s like this track is referencing the meaning behind Hollowlands. Almost as if humans need to return to being human again. Is it time to put down the ipad for bit?

Track 6- Patience- Picking up the pace again this tune is about fighting and not waiting around for things to change. We cannot change the world sitting around and being patient.

Track 7- Pressure- My 3rd favorite track on the album. This tune reminds me a little of Stiff Little Finger’s cover version of The Specials song, Doesn’t Make It Alright. I for one think this song is possibly about the loss or troubled relationship.

Track 8- Fine, Alright- A nice steady rock steady beat behind a bass line. Reminds of a bit of Rat Race by the Specials. About knowing your job is sucking the life out of you and wanting more out of life than the 9-5.
Ok we here at Colorado Punk Rock Army give Hollowlands by Bitter Grounds a solid 9.5. Add this album to your collection today and buy the shit out of their merchandise! Let’s put these guys on the map! Hollowlands is available on all major music providers right now.
You can grab this album here, https://bittergrounds.bandcamp.com/  or follow them on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/BitterGroundsBand/