2020 is setting up to be a killer year here at CPRA. We’re busing booking bands night and day. Our first show is brought to you by the letter P as in pop punk and S as in Skatepunk! The show starts at 9 with a $5.00 cover and valid ID, at Bowman’s Vinyl on Broadway!
Favorite Tracks: Don’t Wanna See You Anymore, That Fucking Bitch I Work With, Better Now
Sounds Like: Fugazi, The Strokes, Drive Like Jehu, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, and Nomeansno
In November/December of 2019 we here at CPRA got hammered with booking/review requests. We like to treat every band that comes through our email with equality. Sometimes we have an important event/show that takes priority. Now that I’m finally getting through the queue. It appears I missed a major opportunity. Milwaukee punks, Hi/Jack released their “Rank And File” EP back on 12/06/2019.
This EP is small in number with only 4 tracks and one being a radio edit. As SLF once said, “You can’t say crap on the radio”. This EP has major potential to hit your shelf as an all-time favorite. Why you may ask? Let’s check it out! The first track is “Don’t Wanna See You Anymore”. As I started the track. I thought damn this sounds just like Fugazi.
The guitar riffs and frantic drums bring this track down to a simple old school punk rock feeling. Most of us can totally identify with the lyrical content. I’ll never forget when I dyed my hair blue and my father kicked me out the next day. Well we made up, but that memory is still there. Side note, don’t kick your gets out for expressing themselves in a peaceful manner. It only creates resentment.
The next rack up is, “That Fucking Bitch I Work With” or if you prefer the radio edit, “That Crazy Chick I Work With”. We all have a Karen we work with that drives us nuts. That Karen can indeed be non-binary. It’s that person we cannot stand. Personally for me that Karen is actually the 9-5 rat race in general. Why can’t I quit and work in the music industry full time?
Anyhow, this track is fast and a blast to sing along with. Ron’s drums are intense while Max’s vocals send the message home. The last track is, “Better Now”. The song feels similar to the Strokes. The progression is a bit slow, yet the melody is easy to fall in love with. Are you Better Now? After a traumatic event we affirm to ourselves we are better after the fact. Are we? Max’s guitar solo is epic.
In conclusion, Hi/Jack’s “Rank And File” EP is a throwback to classic punk and rock n roll. This EP is original and mastered with some real blood, sweat and tears. The only con being that it is a little small and I personally cannot wait for more tracks. Since I missed their nomination for 2019 EP of the year. I’ll add this to 2020! Check them out here, https://hijackmke.bandcamp.com/
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Favorite Tracks:Anxious Thoughts and Great Unknown
Sounds Like: 86-B, Prav Grant, Cokie The Clown, and Frank Turner
Former Denver transplant Seattle Stomp is set to drop, “Maudlin Madness” on January 3, 2013. We got our hands on an early preview. From the 2 tracks available we thoroughly enjoyed both “Anxious Thoughts” and “Great Unknown”. Give it a listen below and pick it up tomorrow here, https://crushgroverecords.bandcamp.com/album/maudlin-madness
I reached out to Alex Molica, aka Seattle Stomp to get his thoughts on the latest release. See his thoughts below
CPRA: What brought you to Denver?
Seattle Stomp: Well, I had graduated from Indiana Univ. in 2016 and was going through an anywhere but here, “running from myself” so I quit music, sold all my personal possessions and cruised the US for 6 months. On the road I fell in love with Denver and after I ran out of money decided to move there. A long personal struggle with drugs and alcohol caught up with me and that’s when these songs came to be during my time in Denver in 2016 and 2017 because you can’t run from the music that creates itself inside. Lived in Denver 2016-2018 and came to Ann Arbor in 2018.
CPRA: How is the music scene here compared to where you came from?
Seattle Stomp: The scene in Denver was awesome, I really loved Hi-Dive and Lions Lair and my favorite show was seeing Guantanamo Baywatch at Hi-Dive in November 2017. Denver is very different from most places in the midwest, here if you are in a band, cites are so much closer to tour and play and develop a route if you want to not play your hometown all the time, not so in Denver. The thing I found in Denver though is that all the hippy crap seems to be overbearing so the punks really show up when there’s a good local show going on because they don’t have it as much as we do in the midwest (at least thats what I saw)
CPRA: What does 2020 have in store?
Seattle Stomp: January is the big month for Seattle Stomp, January 3rd will be the album release in Ypsilanti, MI with Idle Ray, Jim Cherewick and CT James….January 16th St Petersburg, FL at Black Crowe Coffee with Emily Turnage and Eyelid CinemaJanuary 17th at Uncle Lous in Orlando, FL with The Grizzly Atoms, Dougie Flesch and the Slashers and Alien WitchJanuary 18th at Shanghai Nobby’s in St. Augustine, FL with AC Deathstrike, Flora LiCrame and Half my Home
CPRA: That’s fantastic! Where are you based now in Michigan?
Seattle Stomp: Ann Arbor, MI and as you can see I did come back to music, the label and the bands after some much needed readjustments to life.
Favorite Tracks: Beer Bullet, Mental Health, Histrionics, To Wound and Wander, Destitute
Sounds Like: All Time Low, Audio Karate, Filthy Hearts, Face To Face, Dial Drive, and The Mezingers
Our Souls is set to
release their second release, “I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake” on November 1,
2019. Their first debut EP ‘I Might Drink Myself to Death’ dropped back on
November 16, 2018. The EP was well received with reviews from some of my
favorite zines such as Keep Track of The Time, Colins Punk Rock World, Ear
Nutrition, and The Punk Site. If you haven’t checked them out be sure to do
So let’s dive straight
into, “I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake”. The EP launches with, “To Wound and Wander, Destitute”. The melody on
this track is killer. The guitar and bass playfully create the background as a
second guitar drifts away for a little solo. The song speaks of
relationship breakup and the inability to find the light. I love this
“But if the banality of lie,
Dosen’t kill me,
Then the c#nt inside my mind,
Will just slowly,
Take my fu%cking soul,
Until I want to discuss fucking throw pillows”
The next song is, “12312341”. So just when I started thinking, Our Souls may be on the pop punk side, out of nowhere comes some insane hardcore skate punk. The pit on this track will be dangerous. All of those over 30 should stay out, ha ha ha! Next is by far my favorite song on the EP, “Histrionics”. The track swings back towards the melodic side.
Here at CPRA we use
the phrase, “Breakup Punk”
often. When a relationship begins to die so many things go through you head.
What am I doing wrong? What are they doing wrong? It’s their fault, my fault,
etc. If you need a song that will help you leave a toxic situation. Throw this
“Because when all is said and left unfinished,
No idea if I’d be running away or starting again,
And when all is said and undone,
Would it be giving up or letting go?”
“Mental Health” follows and this is a tough track. The lyrics are deep and you can hear the emotions as they are belt out. The drums are the star on this as they lead the track through a confusing and broken time. I’ve lost too many friends and family to suicide. Don’t be afraid to ever reach out to one of us here at CPRA. Or please consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, at 1-800-273-8255. The truth this song inflicts will make you tear up.
The final track is “Beer Bullet”. So many people can identify with this track. How many “Beer Bullets” do we fire on ourselves attempting to self-medicate ourselves into happiness? It’s short, but all of my favorite songs are less than two minutes long. The chorus is catchy, yet impacting.
Our Souls, “I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake, is a fantastic EP. The swings
from melodic over to harcore are full of emotions that every one of us struggle
with on a daily basis. I personally cannot wait for a vinyl release asap! So
pick up the digital release first here on 11/1/2019, https://weareoursouls.bandcamp.com/releases.
Favorite Tracks: Dizzy, Oklahoma Girl, Psycho, Man! and Trump, Tories and Other Relics from Middle Earth
Sounds Like: The Damned, FEAR, Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers, The Vibrators, and The Clash
I was born during the rise of punk legends like The Clash, Damned, and the Sex Pistols. My Dad is a huge Clash fan and instilled in me a love for 70’s and 80’s punk. Although he likes their disco crap, so that’s where we split ways musically. I kid of course, love ya da! So while checking my email I ran across a band from Lanarkshire, Scotland called the Red Lite District.
As of publication date of this article they are currently with DCC Records. So let’s take a listen. The first track and introduction to the band is, “Dizzy”. The song totally reminds me of FEAR. It could be that the lead singer’s voice sounds a little like Lee Ving. It’s the fast hooks, quick change ups, and simple, but kick ass lyrics that really drag the listener in.
The next track is, “Oklahoma Girl”. If you have never seen,Peepshow I highly recommend it. It’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime. The show is hilarious and features a female on the show that fits this track to a T. She’s an American gal and quite mental. Everything about this track kicks ass!
“She’s just a dirty f@#ken Oklahoma girl,
She’s just a dirty Oklahoma,
She’s such a beautiful sadomasochist”
The third track up is, “Psycho, Man!”. This track has some addicting lyrics. The simple drum beats seem to lead this track, before the bass and guitar join into the fray. The song reminds me a bit of Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers or even the New York Dolls. I feel this track perfectly fits the state of the world, where every day it drives people madder and madder.
The next track is gets dark with, “Trump, Tories and Other Relics from Middle Earth”. Holy crap is this track amazing. This song has a sweet garage rock like sound. It’s a bit on the heavier side, which lends towards its message to question authority and those in power. Head to pit when this comes on!
The last track on the EP is, “Lanarkshire Uber Alles”. It pays homage obviously to the Dead Kennedys song, “California Uber Alles”. The chants of “OI, OI, OI,” heard through the chorus provide that extra burst of energy to make this an incredible song. It calls for change and doing whatever is needed to make that change come true.
In conclusion, “Bang Gang, by Red Lite District” has proven to me. That the legendary punk sound will never die, but continues to evolve, be a catalyst for political change, and stay relevant in the age of overproduced sampled audio. Tracks like “Dizzy”, “Psycho Man”, “Trump, Tories and Other Relics from Middle Earth” and “Lanarkshire Uber Alles” tell the age old story “Punk Isn’t Dead”.
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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