Favorite Tracks: Boomerang Kids, Spies Among Us, Gaslighting, Poverty Row, and many more
Sounds Like: Dead Kennedys, Protected Left, Chew Thru, The Corps, Anti-Flag, and The Shell Corp
Vancouver punks ATD aka A Total Disappointment dropped their first self titled release today via Kinda Cool Records. Why did I decide to checkout ATD? Well I’m fucking pissed as many of us are. George Floyd was murdered by those who swore to protect and serve. The world watched as cowards in uniform held George to his death. I really didn’t want to write about this today, but I’m boiling. This morning as I pursued the headlines my anger and blood pressure rose. I decided instead to escape into music with ATD’s, “A Total Disappointment”.
The first track is “Slipt” comes in fast, with some wicked drums. They remind me of being a kid and skating my ass off. There’s a sense of unity while the guitar busts out a quick change up. Next up is another amazing track, “Boomerang Kids”. Holy shit is this track fast as hell!
The next track is my favorite off the record and is called, “Spies Among Us”. This sounds so much like the Dead Kennedys. From the onset of the intro to the lead singer’s Jello-like voice. The lyrics on the song are not only scary, but sadly true. We are spied on everywhere we go. Our phones listen to our conversations so later they can recommend, “The best burger in town”. How long before “Minority Report” becomes the real deal?
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If you’re at the protests today wear a mask and sunglasses. Don’t get added to their list! The next tune is “Curmudgeonly Lighthouse Keeper”. It’s really heavy on bass, sounding a bit like the early Cro-Mags or Gorilla Biscuits. Another favorite follows with, “Moonlight Clan”. It speaks of the dangers of capitalism and materialism. This track feels like another kick ass nod to the Dead Kennedys.
“Gaslighting” is next and times out at a massive 1:32! Speaking of that I’m gonna add this to my list of favorite songs under 2 minutes. “Poverty Row” follows with Bouncing Souls like charge. I feel like many of us can relate to this track.
“I’ve got my rights, my human rights. But without fair pay I can’t make rent today. I won’t lose sight, but still I know, I’m living on Poverty Row.”
I remember when my daughter was little, spending my last few dollars on getting her fed, while I went hungry that night. Our society panders to those with cash and throws everyone else in the gutter. This track needs a music video! “Let Down” is next up. This track feels like a tribute to all of us who feel like we let down our friends and family. It’s yet another pogo worthy track. I love the chorus!
Sometimes we need a push to do something great. Maybe it’s a friend’s advice, a job loss, a fucking ruthless pandemic, or just a kick in the ass. “Good Things” is next and is exactly the kick in the ass we need right now. It follows the fast and rhythmic tone of the record. I really want this on vinyl now! “Peak Paranoia” is next and has some awesome guitar riffs. The “Whoas” were unexpected, yet seem to fit perfectly.
“Teenage Vanities” follows its fast and crazy and clocks in at a massive 16 seconds! Sadly the last track is next. “Bunk Monk” is a direct fuck you to organized religion. It reminds me of the TV show, “Father Ted” from the 90’s. The head priest of the region was an evil bastard of a man and definitely a “Bunk Monk”. The track may be referring also to the 39 men who committed suicide in the name of their cult in 1997.
In reflection, ATD’s “A Total Disappointment” is a fantastic record. The mix of hardcore, metal, and thrash are like entering your first punk show all over again. As you see above I posted a quote from Mr Rogers. Music helps me through some of the hardest times. I sure hope it will help you too. I highly recommend you grab this one on vinyl before they sell out! You can check them out here, https://kindacoolrecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-total-disappointment
Track List (Per Bandcamp) Slipt Boomerang Kids Spies Among Us Curmudgeonly Lighthouse Keeper Moonlight Clan Gaslighting Poverty Row Let Down Good Things Peak Paranoia Teenage Vanities Bunk Monk
Favorite Tracks: The Killing Fields, Generation Lost, Totally Fucked (Violent Society cover), Paper Dolls (Boils cover)and iamtheghost
Sounds Like: Lagwagon, Debt Neglector, Doc Rotten, Gamits, and AFI
I have a serious question, does skatepunk ever age? Sure it has gone through several evolutions/changes for example from Bad Religion’s, “Suffer” to Lagwagon’s “Hoss”. A few weeks back, Florida’s Protagonist released their “Fallout From The Chronicle” album.
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This record spans 10 years and includes 3 tracks that were originally intended for the “The Chronicle” album. This album also contains some new kick ass covers from bands like Violent Society and The Boils. Our CPRA recommended tracks The Killing Fields, Generation Lost, Totally Fucked, Paper Dolls and a great acoustic version of iamtheghost. This album is a skatepunk’s wet dream and proves to me that even though time may change, skatepunk at the heart will not. Be sure to pick it up here on vinyl, https://protagonist.bandcamp.com/album/the-chronicle
Tomaso Eugenio Di Cosola – Guitar, Matt Lamoureaux – Vocals, Bill Jenkins – Drums, Matt Rinehart – Bass
Favorite Tracks: Shithole Country, Heavy Hands, Find Your Line, Fake Smiles, and Drawbridge
Sounds Like: Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, CroMags, Gorilla Biscuits, AFD, and Tuck Knee
There is an amazing feeling when someone sends you great music. It shows they are thinking about you and know what you might like. This morning I was sent the Heavy Hands EP by Chew Thru. The feeling was even better because I have already been listening to it daily since December. Somehow it was like a vindication of, “Ha, I already knew it was great but you knew I would think that.” If you have ever read a Colorado Punk Rock Army album review, you know out of the staff writers, I am in fact the weakest link. What you will get from me is heartfelt and wacky comparisons.
Here’s the comparison; Cro-Mags hardcore meets old school crossover. I love the heavy grit on this EP. I am through and through a sucker for that dirty, hard bass. You get that on every song. The voice and lyrics give that punch in the face you need when listening to what I like to call, “beat your ass music.” What I mean by that is you can kill it at the skate park, gym, driving too fast or… Round it out with the perfect guitar riffs and strong solid beats and you have what is the late entry for 2019’s EP of the year. Check them out live. Go to their socials, like, follow, and stream it. You will not be sorry.
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The heart is this; Matt and the guys have been staples in one permutation or another around Denver and they truly deserve the love and recognition. Call it earned boys, because this is a helluva of a hard, and heavy ride. “Heavy Hands” by Chew Thru is amazing on so many levels. The heavy bass lines, the outright assault, and pure relevance to everyday life will have this record stuck on repeat. It’s out now on all major music providers and should definitely be purchased here, https://chewthru.bandcamp.com/.
Sounds Like: New Narrative, Voice of Addiction, No Use For A Name, Implied Risk, Modern Goon, The Drowns, Ten Foot Pole, Lagwagon and the Descendents
Check out the new video release from Melbourne Skatepunks Judo Chop! And you better pronounce it that way! I cannot wait to hear more. You can purchase the single here, https://judo-chop.bandcamp.com/releases
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.”
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/.
Favorite Tracks: CTR ALT DEL, Going For It All, Privacy, and Wash Your Hands
Sounds Like: New Narrative, Voice of Addiction, Strung Out, Raised Wrong, Trashed Ambulance, and The Bricheros
Every year here at CPRA we compose our year-end favorites list. The categories are usually best local album, ep, or lp, best international release and so forth. So what’s the issue with today’s review/ The drop date is 2020! I can’t even nominate System Restore’s new EP, “User Friendly Fire” until after 2/20/2020. Why would I? Well you’ll have read below to find out. System Restore are no strangers to CPRA. We reviewed their last amazing album here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/10/system-restore-suburban-drones-review/
The EP starts out with, “CTR ALT DEL”. You know how you lock your computer down when leaving the office each day, or so you may think. This kick ass track has some wicked guitar riffs, wonderful drums, and a powerful message. We all know we are being spied on by our government. Since the invention of the cell phone it only became another tool for even more infiltration and data mining. Seriously we are giving them more power than ever before.
Since starting CPRA back in 2016. I’ve accumulated more than 1200 friends on Facebook. I do my due diligence to weed out the cam girls, fakes, politicians, and Trump supporters. One thing I’ve noticed, many profiles with ties as being, “Retired” from the US government. If you want to spy on me join a kick ass band. It’s really that simple. The track first dropped over at Dying Scene on 11/2/19, https://dyingscene.com/news/ds-exclusive-system-restore-melodic-punk-premiere-video-for-new-single-ctlaltdel/. This track is a perfect example of skate punk done well.
The next track is, “Going For All”. I love the buildup into the song. The guitar slide and drumming is epic. This track is angry and calls for a big change. The chorus will get stuck in your head as anthem chant to be shared with all. As a punk scene we need to build each other up and go for all! I love the bass line towards the end of the track. This song is wicked!
“Privacy”, comes crashing in next. This track is cause for everyone to rush the pit. The track talks about how privacy is at stake. With every check in, every ad, every “Happy Birthday” you click, data about you is collected. I love this track! The next track is, “Wash Your Hands”.
I firmly believe the biggest threat to humanity is not nuclear war or a meteor hitting the planet. Its diseases long stamped out that are breeding again all around us. Better get started shunning anti vaxxers asap! This track 100% pure skate punk. From the guitar slides, quick hooks, frantic drumming, this track is excellent.
As this review comes to a close. I must admit this record will be my nomination for best EP of 2020. “Ctr Alt Del” will get my favorite single track release of 2019, boom just made a new category as well. “User Friendly Fire”, defines everything I love about skatepunk, and everything I love about punk in general. Be sure to pick it up on release day here, https://systemrestore.bandcamp.com/
Favorite Tracks: Never Know, Old Life, Worst Part, and Reboot
Sounds Like: Overtime, Bottom Bracket, Voice Of Addiction, and The New Narrative
During the rise of pop punk circa 1990s I began to wonder what would happen to hardcore punk. Out of nowhere bands like Blink 182, Goldfinger and Greenday, began to overtake the airwaves. Its successor emo pop, was less desirable to me with bands like Fall Out Boy and Panic At The Disco. I knew punk was changing after seeing Fall Out Boy on the Warped Tour line up back in 2006. Don’t get me wrong I hold a special place in my heart for the Gilman bands, yet I’m not a big fan of emo.
I like to also point out the massive popularity of the Tony Hawk Pro skater games as contributing to the rise of pop punk, although hardcore bands were on some of the soundtracks. So this leads me to today’s question. Did emo and pop punk kill hardcore? Before anyone accuses me of saying, “Punk Is Dead”, let me clarify PUNK NEVER DIED it only evolved into different forms.
East Bay hardcore punks, Protected Left want you to decide with their latest release, “Fossil”. So let’s check out the new EP. “Never Know” is the first track up with powerful drums, heavy bass lines and intense guitar work. Lyrically it’s written in a question format. I dig it.
The next rack is, “The Swell” this track is 100% skatepunk. This song could’ve easily ended up on one of the Tony Hawk soundtracks. Some heavy bass lines, almost metal with some sweet guitar solos rage on within. I think this where pop punk changed by losing the metal solos. I kind of miss them, so it’s great to hear a solo in this track.
Next up is my favorite song on the EP, “Old Life”. The massive onslaught of fast hooks, perfected drums and vocals continues. A bad-ass guitar solo compliments the end, before slowing and allowing a few acoustic notes in. This song kicks ass! “Worst Part” follows being the shortest track on the EP, at 45 seconds long. Probably the best 45 seconds of my life!
“Reboot” is the last track on the record and my second personal favorite. The lyrics are amazing, sad, yet hopeful at the same time. Here’s one for your, “Break Up Punk” playlist! It’s short and sweet. As we have come to an end, it’s time to wrap up this review. I began by asking the question, did pop and emo kill hardcore? The answer is, NEVER. There are a thousand or more bands out there playing hardcore for years to come.
Protected Left’s, “Fossil” proves to us that hardcore is a root of punk rock and it’s staying power is timeless. With tracks like, “Never Knew”, “Old Life”, “Worst Part”, and “Reboot” this EP will leave you wanting more. Be sure to pick it up here on release day, https://protectedleft.bandcamp.com/. On a side note come see Chicago’s Voice Of Addiction this Saturday at BAR BAR!
Check out their last release below! Get it on tape!
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Sounds Like: Voice of Addiction, Bitter Grounds, Off The Marks, FOL, New Narrative, Teenage Bottlerocket, and Good Riddance
You know what’s rad? Ink Bomb is based in Nijmegen (NL). So that means CPRA is reaching all over the world! I check our stats almost daily. I find it interesting when we are getting website visits from places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and etc. Now this review is not about web data, it’s about Inkbomb’s, “Fiction”!
The record starts with my favorite song, “Griefwalker”. The drum intro is the perfect introduction to the album and Inkbomb. The chorus is quick to get stuck in your head. The bass plays a minor role, but adds that extra dark edge as the guitar playfully joins in. “Brittle” is the next track.
This track could have easily ended up on a Pro Skater soundtrack. The overall progression has that old school skate sound. The lyrics have a message of confidence and unity. I know here in the states all of watching things go down the drain. The drums and lyrical content are the stars on the track.
“So say your piece , Grit your teeth, Let them all blow, As you find your feet”
Griefwalker by Ink Bomb
Are you ready to pull out your rad air guitar skills? “Anchors” will have you doing just that. The lead singer’s voice is powerful as he slams poetry along with a heavy skate punk sound. “Sternschanze” is next and I may be wrong, but mentions the infamous Reeperbahn in Germany.
“Scourge” is next and opens with a slower progression before it builds into a giant crescendo. The mix of perfect melodic, “Whoas”, combined with some amazing guitar skills is fantastic. “Count to Ten” follows with some powerful lyrics. This may be the slowest track on the record. “Rerun” bounces back with a fast progression. I am doing kickflips in my head as this track plays!
Pop punk fans will love, “Midnight In The Desert” with its melodic and hopeful sound. This chorus is bound to get stuck in your mind. “Leap Of Faith” brings back the harder skate punk sound. This track seems to be more focused on the instrumental versus the vocal.
“Cauterize”, slows down the album with an acoustic and flawless sound. This is beautifully written song as it dances through the shadows. Where did my skate punk go? Don’t worry though, “Ploughshares” brings it back with a vengeance as it is the final track. The drums and casual notes on guitar set up a revolution of sorts. While the chord strikes kick in to send the message.
In summation, Ink Bomb’s, “Fiction”, is a masterful blend of pop and skate punk. Don’t overlook this little diamond in the rough. The album is currently up on major streamers and for purchase here, https://inkbomb.bandcamp.com/album/fiction.
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