Best Pop Punk Album Of 2020? Denver’s The Mazlows Release ‘Community Locker’ And Skabones Realizes He’s A Music Snob

Photo by Rick Kooker

Release Date: August 6, 2020                                                              

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Denver, Colorado

Album Art – Mckenna Kooker (album art design)

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Nate Hout – vocals/guitar
  • Colton Kooker – guitar
  • Daniel Carrillo – drums
  • Peter Hodel – bass

Favorite Tracks: All Of Them!

Sounds Like: Sunset Silhouette, Bury MIA, Came And Took It, Filthy Hearts, Mixed Kid Fridays, The Swifts, Modern Baseball and Stray The Course


Photo by Lola Marie

The Mazlows have been making headlines within the pop punk world for the last year or so. You can read our posts about the Mazlows here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/tag/the-mazlows/. From the first time I heard I heard their single, “The Wolf Inside”. I knew this band was going places. I’ve been bugging them since day one for a new album. Today my wish came true with the release of “Community Locker”.

Photo by Lola Marie

Back when I reviewed “The Wolf Inside” and “Leaving Town” I mentioned you needed to listen to this band so you could be proud to say, “I knew about them before they got big”. I realize now that is straight up music snobbery. Am I sorry for this? Nope, I’m proud of this and that’s why we started CPRA to share new music with those looking for it. So why Skabones did you say, “Best Pop punk album of 2020? Let’s dig into The Mazlows ‘Community Locker’. 

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The album is a whopping 14 tracks long. That’s impressive as hell! Some of my favorite tracks are “Best Days”, “Where Were You”, “Leaving Town”, “Here To Stay”, ”Thrown Away”, “Head First” , “Say Yeah”, “Were Not Dead Yet”, and last but not least, “Night Caps And Goodbyes”. All of these tracks have major potential to break the music airwaves. 

“Best Days” reminds me of my teenage years. I dated a girl at the one one would consider an “Alternative Girl” or “Punk Rocker”. Boy did I feel super cool at the time. We both moved on, but when a song can trigger a memory like that. You know it’s good. “Where Were You” also has a youthful tone with some great riffs from bass and guitar. Beatmaster D kills it on the drums. The overall harmony is amazing. This is not another “Pop Punk Love Song”. 

Pete. Photo by Rick Kooker

I reviewed “Leaving Town” a few weeks back. This track is exactly about leaving town. As we get older our desire to grow often leads us out of town. You may leave town, but you always return back to the community locker. “Here To Stay” has some wicked hooks and change ups. Nate’s vocals are amazing as the rest of the band joins into the fray. I love Hodel’s bass lines as they are unexpected. This track will surpass 1,000 plays within a few months or maybe sooner. Who knew punk rock could make you dance? 

Colt. Photo by Rick Kooker

Now “Thrown Away” actually threw me for a giant loop. Here I’m thinking the track will maintain the catch pop punk formula. Nope it didn’t happen. This track is dark, with a AFI like sound. The bass is wicked, Beatmaster D’s drums are insane! “Head First’ returns to back to the pop punk. It’s very addicting. It wouldn’t surprise me if “Say Yeah” does become the next pop punk anthem of the decade. The bass and drums with the “Say Yeah” chorus is awesome! 

Nate. Photo by Rick Kooker

Next up is another personal favorite, “We’re Not Dead Yet”. It goes to the dark side fast with a progressive melodic hardcore tone. The drums are nuts. The chorus is ultimate perfection. My last favorite track is “Nightcaps and Goodbyes”. This is a great ending track to an overall incredible album. We’ve all been there as we leave the bars at 2am. We all hope this won’t be the last time we can be together. 

Beatmaster D. Photo by Rick Kooker

In closing, The Mazlows, ‘Community Locker’ blew my expectations away. This crotchety old Misfits loving punk rocker now believes in the power of The Mazlows. The tracks will not only will make you dance, make you cry, but most of all provide a deeply needed sense of hope. This album is definitely getting added as a nominee for best pop punk album of 2020. Don’t wait till you hear them on the radio, check them out right now, https://themazlows.bandcamp.com/

Track List (Subject To Change)

Best Days
Where Were You
Leaving Town
Here to Stay
Leave It All Behind
Echoes
Thrown Away
Head First
Breakfast Epiphanies
Say Yeah
Forever And
We’re Not Dead Yet
Last Call
Nightcaps and Goodbyes

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Best Pop Punk Single Of 2020? Denver’s The Mazlows Release “Leaving Town” Out Now!

Art work by @_mck.k

Release Date: 7/16/2020

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Denver, Colorado

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Nate Hout – vocals/guitar
  • Colton Kooker – guitar
  • Daniel Carrillo – drums
  • Peter Hodel – bass

Favorite Tracks: Leaving Town

Sounds Like: Sunset Silhouette, Came And Took It, Mixed Kid Fridays, The Swifts, Stray The Course, and FIDLAR


Photo By Lola Marie

Denver’s The Mazlow’s dropped a fresh single this morning called, “Leaving Town”. Is it the best pop punk single to release this summer? It comes off the heals of some of their previous releases, which you can hear and read about here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/tag/the-mazlows/. This track was originally written 15 years ago when the Mazlow’s were angsty teenage boys.

Photo By Lola Marie

Per their recent article in Westward, “Leaving Town” is about just that. Seeking out those teenage desires to run free out into the world. Per guitarist Colton Kooker, “The song connects our young dreams of moving away, to the current realities of still having challenges in life,”. For me this track encapsulates that teenage feeling of wanting to break free and experience life as we know it.

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With COVID currently stalking us, it’s awesome to have something energetic and hopeful to sing along with. This writer couldn’t be more excited for their full album release in August 2020. You can pick up the single now from all the major music providers.

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#NewVideoWednesday Hangtime Drops “When We Were Young”, From New EP, ‘Destroy’

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Toronto, ON

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Rick Burns – Vocals/Guitar
  • Warren Gregson – Vocals/Guitar
  • Dan Scicchitano – Bass
  • Enzo Suppa – Drums

Favorite Tracks: When We Were Young

Sounds Like: Aimless Again, Dorkatron, The Livermores, Penske File, and the Mazlows


It appears Toronto Punks, Hangtime have dropped a new video for “When We Were Young” from their Fall 2020 EP release, ‘Destroy’. Ok so even though this whole quarantine pretty much sucks. It’s awesome bands are still putting so much out!

Check out our album review below from 6/7/2019! https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2019/06/17/cpra-music-news-toronto-punks-hangtime-release-new-ep-invasion/

Pick Up The Singles Here!

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***We are currently running very behind on reviews and doing our best to catch up to the demand. If you donate your review will be pushed to the top***

Hangtime Releases New Video For “Too Many Days” From Their Next EP, “Destroy” Out September 2020

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Toronto, ON

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Rick Burns – Vocals/Guitar
  • Warren Gregson – Vocals/Guitar
  • Dan Scicchitano – Bass
  • Enzo Suppa – Drums

Favorite Tracks: Too Many Days

Sounds Like: Aimless Again, Dorkatron, The Livermores, Penske File, and the Mazlows

Check out the new video from Hangtime, “Too Many Days”. This track will be on their new EP “Destroy” which drops in September 2020!

Check out our album review below from 6/7/2019! https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2019/06/17/cpra-music-news-toronto-punks-hangtime-release-new-ep-invasion/

Pick Up The Single Here!

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Pop Punks Stray The Course Release New Single From Quarantine, “Between The Walls” And It Will Give You The Feels

Way back in 2018 CPRA first checked out Denver’s Stray The Course. I have been a fan ever since. While their music sounds happy and go free. It’s actually full of depth unlike some of their predecessors. I’m looking at you New Found Glory! I kid of course.

So to my delight the band dropped a new video yesterday for “Between The Walls”. This awesome track is just another amazing example of why we here at CPRA love them so much!

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Montreal’s BOIDS To Drop New Full Release, “Quel Drag” on 2/21/2020. Is it Horror, Pop, Or Post punk? You Decide!

Release Date: 2/21/2020                                  

Format: Digital and Physical

Label: Stomp Records

Production: Tom Thacker of GOB and SUM 41

Location: Montreal, Québe

Favorite Tracks: Eurovision, There Goes The Neighborhood, Guillotine, Stains, Shrink wrap, and Shipping & Receiving


The BOIDS are set to release their 3rd full album “Quel Drag” on 2/2/2020 via Stomp Records. The badass part about CPRA, besides from the lackluster pay, we got to check it out early! I also want to give a giant shout out to our brothers and sister up in the great white north. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if CPRA has more fans in Canada. You folks are awesome to us! So let’s check out “Quel Drag”. 

The first track is “Eurovision”. The intro has this post punk drum work before busting out into some Ramones core beats. The heavy drums are fantastic. The lyrics are simple, yet fun to sing along with. The next track is, “Modern Art”. This track sounds very similar to Devo and I love it! Get those hands a clapping and join in the fun. 

“Bike Thief” follows you check it below in the Bandcamp embed. The track borders on pop and slower skatepunk. The drums make this song standout. So far I adore their simple punk rock sound. “Night Night” is the next tune and is heavy on bass and guitar. The mixing of this track is good! 

The 5th song on the record is, “There Goes The Neighborhood”. This is by far my favorite track. The throwback sounds are amazing with simple beats and lyrics. I think most of us can identify with this track. “Guillotine” is up next and again that Devo old school sound comes back. I dig it! 

Coming at number 7 is “Stains”. Oh crap this track is wicked! Ok so maybe this song is tied for first. I love the drums and build up. The lyrics are addicting and fun to jam along with. “Shrink Wrap” follows and comes in strong with a badass riff. Seriously if you’re not bobbing your head to this one, you’re dead inside. 

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“Shipping & Receiving” is the next song. Ok now I found another badass track. The intro is similar to Bauhaus or even Phantom Chords. It’s creepy, yet hilarious at the same time. As I too have worked in Shipping and Receiving. Everyday you go home exhausted and covered in cobwebs. “Jet Blue” follows up, and is for anyone who has ever flown Jet Blue. It SUCKS! This song does not! 

The last track on the record is Sue Tissue. This track pays homage to the frontwoman for cult New Wave band Suburban Lawns, “Sue Tissue”. After a short career and a film in 1986, Sue simply disappeared. Per IMDB she is now an attorney in Orange County, CA. I don’t know. I kinda dig the mysterious part better.  

In conclusion “Quel Drag” by BOIDS is an excellent album which includes a little something for everyone. Personally I didn’t really expect an 11 track record with so many awesome nods to different genres of music. I’m picking up “Quel Drag” on vinyl today and so can you, https://boids.bandcamp.com/

Track List 

  1. Eurovision
  2. Modern Art
  3. Bike Thief
  4. Night Night
  5. There Goes The Neighborhood
  6. Guillotine
  7. Stains
  8. Shrink Wrap
  9. Shipping & Receiving
  10. Jet Blue
  11. Sue Tissue

Links:

A Cold February Morning Calls For Some Cliffhanger And Their New EP, “Eponymous”

Release Date: January 10, 2020               

Format: Digital & Physical

Album Art: Alexis Politz

Location: 

  • Chicago, IL (USA)

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Matt Meindl – vocals
  • Dan Rickert – guitar
  • Mike Centracco – guitar
  • Lou Pontillo – bass
  • Mike Licari – drums

Favorite Tracks: After Sunrise, Hollowed Out, Shakedown and Forever Ago

Sounds Like: Teenage Bottlerocket, Filters, Enemy Proof, Filthy Hearts, Sunset Silhouette and Vegas Valley Drive 


Let’s face the cold bitter truth. Unless you’re a ski bum. Winter sucks! The days are short and it’s dark all the damn time. It’s the only time of year I don’t mind passing out at 8pm, because my body thinks it’s midnight. So in order to fight a continued lack of vitamin D. I suggest you fire up Chicago based punks, Cliffhanger and their new EP, “Eponymous”. 

This is some fast paced pop punk which bounces around with catchy tunes and a few skatepunk hooks. The melodies hard head bob worthy and the drums fantastic. In comparison I’d say The Get Up Kids meet Teenage Bottlerocket. Some of my favorite tracks are “After Sunrise” and “Hallowed Out”. “After Sunrise” reminds me of my younger days and when my worries were small. 

“Hallowed Out” has a dark and edgy sound to it. The track is perfected with harmonies and some great vocals. We have all been there when a relationship ends. Where to go? How do you feel? Do you feel nothing at all?  Per Guitarist Mike Centracco, “A day after ‘Hollowed Out’ was released, Matt texted the band with a screenshot of our Spotify page showing that it had tremendous overnight growth. 

He asked if there was a glitch with Spotify as we had never seen numbers rise that quickly before. Upon further investigation, we found that it wasn’t a glitch and that people were really enjoying our new song. That got us really excited because we put forth so much effort into that song and it is now being played at a global scale for an audience that is hard to reach.”

Pic By Sasha Danielle Strahler

I totally concur with Mike. Cliffhanger’s, “Eponymous” is 7 tracks that include the inner battles and demons we as the human race fight daily. So pick this one up and inject some sweet pop punk into that brain of yours! Listen and download here, https://cliffhangerpoppunk.bandcamp.com/

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Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)

  1. The Oaks
  2. Diane 
  3. After Sunrise 
  4. Hollowed Out 
  5. Ivy Wall
  6. Shakedown 
  7. Forever Ago

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CPRA Music News: Colorado Horror Punks, The Midnight Horrors To Release Debut EP, “Guitars, Grease, And Shallow Graves” in March 2020

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Format: Digital 

Location: 

  • Northern Colorado

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Band Members
  • Evan – guitar and vox
  • Chris – drums
  • Corben – guitar
  • Previous members:
  • Steven – drums (2016-2017)
  • Austin – bass (2017-2019)

Favorite Tracks: Siren Song, Poison Oak, The Spider

Sounds Like: The Lillingtons, Blitzkid, Tiger Army, Nick 13, Hotel Murder, The Followups, Livermores, and Alkaline Trio


Northern Colorado Horror punks, The Midnight Horrors are set to release their debut EP, “Guitars, Grease, And Shallow Graves” on March 13, 2020. Let’s face a true hard fact. Here in Colorado. We don’t really have a huge horror scene. Sure we have some great bands like The Dead End, but aside from them we really don’t have many. So I must admit I’m excited to see horror punk being represented more. 

So let’s check out, “Guitars, Grease, And Shallow Graves”. The first track is, “Siren Song”. This track is strong on drums and power chords. Evans vocals provide and dark and dangerous backdrop to haunt the track even more. The chorus will be stuck in your head. The second track is, “The Unholy”. This track is heavy on bass with perfectly placed, “Whoas”. The 1950’s theme is awesome. 

“Poison Oak” is the next track up. The progression is much faster. The pop punk sound is much more evident. This song is dedicated to all those zombie exs that never seem to go away. 

We are no good, It’s plain to see, You’re poison oak, And it’s killing me”

The following track is “21st Century Frankenstein”. The sound of a slapping bass is amazing; although I’m not sure an upright is used. This song is a bit slow and more on the rockabilly side. The story line is beautiful, dreamlike, and deeply haunting. Next up is my favorite track, “The Spider”. This track is much harder in comparison to the other tracks on the EP. The lyrics are thought provoking while remaining dark and spooky. I LOVE this track! 

Picture by @tiertwolive

Overall, The Midnight Horrors, “Guitars, Grease, And Shallow Graves” is a 5 track treat providing an amazing mix horror punk, pop, and rockabilly. Their ability to swing over into different genres, without sounding generic is fantastic. Personally I am very excited to see what’s in store for the Midnight Horrors. I’m definitely nominating this track for EP of 2020! So prepare that download button on 3/20/2020 and buy it here, https://themidnighthorrors.bandcamp.com/

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Tracks: 

1. Siren Song

2. The Unholy

3. Poison Oak

4. 21st Century Frankenstein

5. The Spider

Links:

CPRA Music News – Stray The Course Drops New Single cover of “Dua Lipa’s IDGAF” aka Pop Punk Goes Metal!

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Release Date: December 16, 2019

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Denver, CO

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

  • Ronnie Toplyn: Vocals/Guitar
  • Steve Nelson: Vocals/Guitar
  • Ben Baroch: Bass Guitar/Back up Vocals
  • Cooper Travis: Drums/Back up Vocals

Favorite Tracks: IDGAF

Sounds Like: Flatliners, Came And Took It, Nerdlinger, and Fourbanger


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It seems that Stray The Course is prepping up for a new EP! We here at CPRA are huge fans! Today they released their brand new cover of DUA LIPA – “IDGAF”. The track is pop punked with a side of metal. The original version is not my style, but I”ll rock this one everyday!

I LOVE this song! Be sure to check out our other articles on the Stray The Course here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/09/stray-the-course-self-titled-ep/

Tracks: 

  1. IDGAF

Links:

Jagger Holly Releases Tongue In Cheek Christmas LP, “It’s Christmas Somewhere” Out Now on Monster Zero Records

Release Date: 11/15/2019

Format: Digital and physical

Label: 

Location: 

  • Innsbruck, Austria. The band includes members from The Spastic Hearts (USA) DeeCracks (Austria) and On My Arms (Italy) 

Current Lineup:

  • Jagger Holly- Vocals/Bass
  • Darby McCartney- Guitar/Vocals
  • Izzy Adler- Drums

Favorite Tracks: Christmas In Hawaii, What Do You Want For Christmas?, Santa Baby, All Alone On Christmas, 

Sounds Like: Stray The Course, The Queers, Came And Took It, Neon Bone, Lost Love, Latte+, Lawrence Arms, Flatliners, Nerdlinger, and Teenage Bottlerocket


What happened to the crazy Christmas videos from the 70s, 80s, 90’s? They say video killed the radio star, did internet streaming kill the video star? Actually MTv pretty much killed itself by switching over to a reality TV format. This started way before internet streaming became the popular format. So I thought in the spirit of Christmas and that of Jagger Holly’s, “It’s Christmas Somewhere”. I’d revisit some ghosts of Christmas past before checking out the new Jagger Holly release. 

Let’s start things off with the The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight). Next to FEAR’s. “Fuck Christmas” this is by far one of my favorite Christmas videos. The popular school of thought is Joey wrote this for his current girlfriend at the time Linda Ramone. We may never know, but the legal battle over the Ramones copyright continues today.

Another favorite Christmas video of mine is RUN DMC – “Christmas In Hollis”. Not only is the video hilarious; but the song proved that rap could create some excellent seasonal tunes.

Last but number one in my book overall, The Pogues – “Fairytale Of New York”. This controversial song reminds us that not all is happy and joyous.

This review is not really about any of the songs above, but they are all about Christmas. Since the rise 90’s punk. The amount of covers and originals are endless. So how is, Jagger Holly – “Somewhere It’s Christmas” in 3 words, A TOTAL BLAST! The intro track, “Ghost Of Christmas Past”, pays homage to the classic setting up the rest of the album. Personally I’d throw in some hits from the over consumed, People Corrupting People’s album, “White Elephant”. 

“Christmas in Hawaii” is next and comes in with some surf like chords while paying tribute to “Mele Kalikimaka”. “What Do You Want For Christmas” follows with a fantastic love ballad. Speaking on love ballads. I have yet to be Whammed, by “Last Christmas”. Let us hope I don’t hear it. Haha! “Santa Baby” is next with twist on the popular song with Jagger Holly giving us an original version. The lyrics are hilarious. 

“Santa Baby, 

I feel so good lately, 

except for the drugs we used, 

Satan made me do, 

I’m sorry”

The next track is “Lonely”. Talk about seasonal blues! I love this ballad. It’s sad, but it’s for all of us missing someone special this time of year. As Clark Griswold introduces, “Holiday Without You” you are set up for old Griswold family christmas! This is a fun track! The “Ghost Of Christmas Present” follows with a super heavy bass line! This is a great instrumental track only. 

Next up is a fantastic cover of Darlene Love’s, “All Alone On Christmas”. This track appeared on the Home Alone 2 soundtrack. Sadly the movie was forgettable and somewhat strange to say the least. This cover features Lucy Spazzy ( Lucy And The Rats/ Spazzys) on vocals. I dig this version much better than the original. Lucy’s voice reminds me of Kirsty Maccoll. She nails this track! Side note the original was written by Steven Van Zandt

“Number One On My Christmas List” follows with a strong pop punk tune. Jagger Holly is one of those bands I simply love listening to and “It’s Christmas Somewhere” incorporates everything we love and hate about Christmas. The next song is an anthem ballad called, “I’m Not Coming Home Christmas”. Now I’m not sure if this is a rip at Don Henley’s, “Please Come Home For Christmas, but It just might be.   

The “Ghost Of Christmas Future” follows and returns a strong surf/rockabilly beat. I’d be lying if I said, “I hate rockabilly Christmas tunes”. In fact I was raised on them! The final track is, “Mistletoe” and continues the country twang. It pokes fun at atheists celebrating Christmas. It’s time I go try and wrap some presents! 

In conclusion, Jagger Holly’s, “It’s Christmas Somewhere” is like a snowy Hawaiian adventure from Christmas’s past, and a pop punk rumble through the future. I would love to see, “All Alone On Christmas” hit the pop charts as we need new Christmas songs forced down our throats on November 1rst. I swear to God If I hear one more song! My only con of the album? Well at one point they mention, “Jingle All The Way” as their favorite Christmas movie. I beg to differ! “Christmas Vacation” is the ultimate winner. I kid of course. So if you need a change to the yule, throw on Jagger Holly’s, “It’s Christmas Somewhere”! 

What are your favorite Christmas jams and movies? Let us know down the comments! 

below!

Tracks: 

  • 1. Ghost Of Christmas Past
  • 2. Christmas In Hawaii
  • 3. What Do You Want For Christmas?
  • 4. Santa Baby
  • 5. Lonely
  • 6. Holiday Without You
  • 7. Ghost Of Christmas Present
  • 8. All Alone On Christmas
  • 9. Number One On My List
  • 10. It’s Christmas Somewhere
  • 11. I’m Not Coming Home For Christmas
  • 12. Ghost Of Christmas Future 
  • 13. Mistletoe

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