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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I love it when we get reviews in from across the world! It’s exciting to see it punk thriving. Sure our numbers may be small, but our army grows larger. So today let’s check out the new album released by Grecian punks, Raised Wrong, called “Shut Up Already”.
This album kicks serious ass! From the start with 82 Street with its hardcore guttural style. The best description I can think of would be The Adolescents meet Teenage Bottlerocket. The cross over from skate to street punk is amazing on “Unknown Relatives”. Overall I cannot recommend this record more!
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Production: Recorded & Mixed by Bart McCrorey at The Crash Pad Studio
Mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room
Favorite Tracks: Uninvited , Left For Dead, Empty Chorus, Transient, Too Old To Punk, Money Well Spent, The Catcher, Bad Sounds
Sounds Like: Descendants, Teenage Bottlerocket, No Use For A Name, H20, Over Time, Madball, and Gorilla Biscuits
The New Narrative dropped, “Story So Far” on 7/18/2019. CPRA is currently blowing up with booking and promotion requests. We are having a hard time getting back to our roots recently. What is CPRA’s Mission/Roots? That’s you Denver. Sure Rhino isn’t 5 Points anymore. You are now far more likely to get bit by a purse dog before being mugged. Tarantulas now serves hipsters IPA’s instead of drugs. Not that it ever did, just that it was kinda scary sometimes.
Let’s talk about something still present in Denver and cities around the world. Its punk, sure it’s gone through a huge evolution. Who knows, maybe soon there will be a scene of “Old Town Road Punks”. One thing hasn’t changed, skate punk and how much we love it. Hell we love it so much we started our own CPRA Skates!
The album starts with, “Uninvited”. Get your kicks on and grab your board. The track is fast, with perfectly well timed, “Whoas”. It’s catchy and we can easily relate to the meaning. Oh did I mention they’re playing with legends, Agnostic Front at the Oriental?
The next track is “Bad Sounds”. I love Darin ’s vocals on this song. The pure and raw emotion is evident throughout while Anthony and Dray are shredding it on guitar. This is by far one of my personal favorite tracks. You can listen to ”Bad Sounds” below and be sure to check out the hilarious interview with Bart.
“Left For Dead” is up next. This track is dark and fast asf! Hit the pit and the hardcore comes full force! Marco’s drums are insanely quick. This track has an old school 87-92 Gorilla Biscuits like sound. Next up is another favorite, “Empty Chorus”. This track feels deeper lyrically. The timing is spot on. George’s bass lines though a bit hidden are thumping. Turn this one up! This track needs a video!
“Loose Ends” follows and screams as it flows in. Yet it slows down into more of anthem/ballad type track. The writing on this track is phenomenal. The change up is unexpected, yet perfectly executed. I’m happy I’m not in a place where I’m trying to tie up loose ends in a relationship. That sucks! “Transient”, brings back the energy and speed. This track reminds me early Suicidal, and bring that nostalgic feel. “Try To Feel Alive, While You’re Dead Inside”, try forgetting those lyrics haha!
Ok next up is the ultimate Dad Punk song and another favorite, Too Old To Punk”. Not only does this track kickass, but it’s true. I get within 2 feet of a pit and I’m leaving with broken bones. The track is so damn catchy. Punk Tacos play this shit! “Money Well Spent”, follows with another catchy almost pop punk, yet harder. This is an old fashioned drinking song, speaking on that, “You look like you would like to buy me a drink!” Bust out that air guitar now!
“We Might Be Horrible” is next. This pogo worthy song is driven on angst and I love it! Sadly the last track is up next, “The Catcher”. From the drum intro, I’m already hooked. This is the perfect song to finish out an excellent album. In reflection this record will be spinning constantly on my player. The New Narrative is not only a powerfully talented band, but their ability to cross genres is admirable. So pick up that board, and pop on, “Story So Far”.
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Sounds Like: CIV, Comeback Kid, Gorilla Biscuits, NOISE, and Youth Of Today
In an age where EDM and shitty pop dominates the airwaves. You need some authentic and pure Denver punk to get through your day. Over Time hung up their Blades Of Steel to record a new EP for our ear holes. Speaking of Blades Of Steel I’m hoping they will release more of the shirts below. Mine is getting small or I’m getting fat. Anyhow you didn’t come to read about weight loss you came to read about, “Decades”.
The record intros in with, “Decades: What A Nightmare”. As the heavy kick drum starts out. You can feel the weight of this song, as it launches into a full on audio assault. This track is about watching your friends change and growing older. This track hit me on a personal level. I’ve watched a few of my so called, “Best Friends”, grow up and move on, to never hear from them again. Yet I’ve made new friends since and my relationships with them are now everlasting.
“And we’re past the point
Where this life is scary
I’ve buried more friends than I’ve seen get married
Man, it’s sad to say
But I hope they’re all in a better place”
“Cant Stay The Same” is up next. Now I’m not sure if this is a coincidence or not but it seems there are some nods to the Boss aka Bruce Springsteen on this track. With references to the tracks, “Born To Run” and “I’m On Fire”. This track comes to life with energy, with strong chord strikes, head nodding drum beats, and great lyrical content. This tune will get stuck in your head from the get go. As the record progresses I love it more and more. Here’s my own nod to the boss below.
“Art Of The Steal” come up next. It reminds somewhat of an older H2O song. This one is politically charged and motivated by anger. If you’re even slightly afraid of a nasty pit, better get out on this one. If not join the fun! NYC Hardcore fans you will love this track!
“Energy” follows with more speed and some insane drums. This track is more on the melodic skate punk side. The writer is reminiscing about time with a friend while listening to Op Ivy’s, “Energy”. I felt I really couldn’t find the words when trying to describe this song. Nor felt I could give it the justice it deserves. Every time I tried to type a tear would well up. So I reached out for comment.
Per Ben Kellogg, “So, “Energy” was written about a friend of mine, my best friend actually that left us in 2015. It touches on the years that we first met and our connection over a taped copy of “Energy” by Op Ivy and the times we spent learning all the songs on the record and singing them at the top of our lungs whenever we got the chance. Fox, the person in question, always had a bit of mystery surrounding him and constantly left me worrying, so the song kind of touches on that in the sense that I always had the utmost confidence that he would survive his demons, but was always a bit shaken to the core by some of our conversations.
The first line, “I got that sinking feeling, the moment you flew south, you were the one that I told everyone about” kind of sums up the whole theme of the song, as I was always so proud and in constant awe of his friendship, but when he moved away in 2013 I just had a gut feeling that something bad was going to eventually happen.”
The next song is, “Twilight Sentinel”, fitting with the theme of the album and the nightmare of growing older. The acoustic intro starts out on a somber note, before building into an electrical climax. The bass line although not prominent adds that underlying emotion, while Kellog’s vocals provide the story. This vocals and style are similar to Lenny from Darkbuster. The big difference maker being, this track has an extreme amount of depth both instrumental and lyrically.
“Walls”, loses the acoustic while returning to a faster heart pounding sound. This one is pure driven hardcore. Have you ever obsessed about something you missed or felt you needed? You might be over it, yet still think of it from time to time. Yet still feel like there is a political undertone.
“Drag The Lake” is the last track on the EP. Personally I’m not ready for it to end. This track is nothing but heavy and I love it. One part I love about Over Time is you never really know which way a track will go. It may go the pop punk route, before quickly reverting to a hardcore skate punk sound. In my head I see fists pumping and kids circling the pit to this track. There’s a sense of unity somewhere in there.
I reached out to the band for comment as I really wanted to know more about what drove this record into production. Per Ira Dechter, “The album has a theme of growth and putting the past behind you. Learning from our mistakes and becoming a better person. While still touching on the current state of our country with the songs like “Walls” and “Art of the Steal” relative to being a better person and treating everyone as equals no matter where they’re from or what their background is.”
This EP has come to an end and so must this review. Over Time’s, “Decades”, has been composed with anger, love, and unbridled talent. The brillaint combination of NYC Hardcore, melodic skate punk, and a dash of pop punk, makes this little EP, one giant record. Sure there may be more like it out there, but none made by Over Time. Be sure to download here, https://overtimehxc.bandcamp.com/ and hit their massive 4 Way Release Party with Filthy Hearts, Sorry Sweetheart, and ZEPHYR.
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