All posts by Brian

Album Review: Teenage Bottlerocket – Stay Rad!

Consider me a born-again Teenage Bottlerocket super-fan after obsessing Stay Rad!, the band’s latest release.

These Wyoming punkers just did it right in a whooping 33 minutes and the result was me playing this album over and over for a solid week desperately trying to memorize every lyric so I could sing along.

Once again, the band is on Fat Wreck Chords and have dropped what I feel is one of their best efforts in a long time.  The thing I liked the most about this one was that their songs were happy, sad, damaging, adorning, funny, and just real.  Add that to solid, catchy punk rock tunes throughout and it’s easy to understand why I can’t get enough of this album.

I’ll just get to the point with this review that pretty much had me in tears while listening to it.  “Everything To Me”, an ode to Ray Carlisle’s son Milo, punched me right in the heart over and over.  This track stopped me in my tracks the moment I heard it and of course had me gushing over my son while seemingly agreeing with everything Ray had to say about how amazing his kid was.  I’ll never stop listening to this total dad rock track.  I can’t wait to play it for my boy when he’s just a little bit older.

“Night of the Knuckleheads” was like a Misfits track, but pop-punk and fun.  “Creature From the Black Metal Lagoon” was like a Dio song, but not really.  It was however, kind of a solid track to listen to even if they did bash on Deafhaven.

More like something a reformed GG Allen might sing about in a diaper, “The First Time That I Did Acid Was the Last Time That I Did Acid” was a little raw and unordinary at the start but my god it was so true.  I could only imaging some of the people I used to watch have bad trips back in the 90s.  Do people even do acid anymore?

“Stupid Song” really was not that stupid at all.  It was pretty much a day in the life of anyone out there who utilizes music to block all the shit the real world dishes out.

“Little Kid” was a somber track Ray wrote about his brother who, as most of you reading this are well aware of, passed in 2015.  This track was tough to listen to but just so important and I am glad Ray did it.  I hope it gave him, and the band for that matter, some well needed closure.

Album closer “I Never Knew”, the only track written for a girl, was written by yogi extraordinaire and bassist Miguel Chen.  File this track under punk rock love songs to be added to future mixes.  This one was not cheesy at all and clearly an honest track.

As much as I hate to even say this, but these guys are the modern-day Ramones and Riverdales that everyone needs.  They do it on their own accord and have no problem jumping from seriousness to silly in two minutes flat.  They have been through hell after losing a brother/drummer and easily could have hung it all up.  Instead, they  refused to give it up in a blatant honor to their fallen bandmate by releasing Stay Rad!

Check It Out: Teenage Bottlerocket’s “Everything To Me” Video

There’s nothing quite like a song that catches you off guard and just has you getting all sorts of emotional.  That’s exactly what the new song “Everything To Me” by Teenage Bottlerocket did to me.

As a father of two, this song kicked me right in the feelings and pretty much had me tearing up something good.

Check it out and maybe you’ll feel the same:

Seriously, this Ramones-esque dad rock track was the best goddamn thing I have heard all year.  I can not wait until their new album Stay Rad drops later thing month.  By the sounds of this song though, they should have called it Stay Dad.

Check It Out: Blowfuse – “Angry John”

Big changes going on in the personal world of Broken Headphones as of late, so I apologize I have not been around as much.

Wanted to take a minute though and share a music video by Blowfuse.  These punkers hail from Barcelona, Catalunya and really reminded me of the 90s punk rock I grew up with.

They have a new album coming out titled Daily Ritual in a couple of weeks on Paper & Plastick.   After hearing “Angry John”, I am pretty stoked to hear the rest of the album.

Check it out:

BHP Best Of 2018

It’s that time of the year again folks where I share with you the bands and albums that caught my attention throughout the year.

Sure, my reviewing is infrequent these days, may not make total sense or even be read by many for that matter, but I can tell you that I am listening to as much music as possible daily.

If my memory serves me correct, this will be my 10th Best Of post.  Sitting back and just thinking that this blog has been around for 10 years now completely floors me.  Thanks to anyone who’s ever stopped by to see what’s good.  Here’s to however many more years I decide to keep this going.

With that said, happy holidays and here is my list in no particular order:


Timeshares – Out There EP
-Easily one of my most played EPs of the year.  I was obsessed with it for weeks and was caught off guard in a good way by it.  I can not wait for their next full-length now.  Loving their rejuvenated sound.


Strung Out – Blackout the Sky EP
-Not going to lie.  I was not stoked at all to hear Strung Out was going to do an acoustic album.  I do not know why I even doubted that they would not have done something amazing.  This EP was amazing and showed a completely different side to one of the best bands out there.


Spells – Loose Change Vol. 1
-Ok so this is a collection of early out of print tunes by the Colorado punk party rockers, but this was my first taste of the band after somehow missing out of them for all these years.  I caught them touring with Off With Their Heads earlier this year and turned into an instant fan.


Curtail – All Your Luck
-This is probably one of the best releases that came out this year that you may have not heard about.  I could sit here and talk about it for hours, but I will leave it to you and check it out.  Just think 90s alt rock mixed with 00s emo/post-hardcore goodness.


Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers – Brought to Rot
-This was the most punk rock album to come out all year.  Laura Jane Grace is sincere as she talks about her current dwelling and overall situation without holding back.  I was overly impressed with this one.


Turnstile – Time & Space
-An amazing hardcore release that really is so much more once you get sucked into it.  It really is a genius album to listen to especially with some 80s punk and R&B moments tossed in for the hell of it (just listen to “I Don’t Wanna Be Blind”).  Certainly happy I stumbled on these guys.


Light Years – Afterlife
-Hands down, this is one of the best pop punk albums to come out this year.  I knew it was going to be good, but I did not realize it was going to be that good.


Face To Face – Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions)
-This album has turned me into an even bigger Face To Face fan.  I feared hearing it because I really did not want to hear a punk band play acoustic renditions of their songs, but man, I was so wrong to doubt them.  They reinvented their songs in the best way possible.


The Interrupters – Fight The Good Fight
-Two-toned, punk fueled, and amazing throughout.  There’s a reason why Tim Armstrong produced this album.


The Ruen Brothers – All My Shades of Blue
-This album was like listening to The Gaslight Anthem team up with Roy Orbison to score a Wes Anderson flick.  I adore these guys and hope to hell I can see them live one day.  This was the album that complete caught me by surprise this year and fell in love with.


Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz
-This album is like the energy of The Menzingers + the emotion of MakeWar.  The band clearly has matured into something incredible and this release proves it.  Do not sit on this one.


Red City Radio – SkyTigers EP
-This is the best thing this band has ever done.  There was just this certain amount of gallant confidence throughout.  The song “SkyTigers” proved that to me over and over.


Johnny La Rock – Gold Codes
-I was drunk in Vegas earlier this year and admitted Gold Codes was an album of the year for me.  La Rock is a hidden gem in Cleveland that the world really should get to know some.


Bar Stool Preachers – Grazie Governo
-Working class and bad ass all in one album.  These guys rule.  It’s like Dropkick Murphys if they were a ska band.


Mad Caddies – Punk Rocksteady
-Taking punk rock songs and putting their own reggae style to it was just a brilliant idea.  This covers album was done right and received well by this listener.


Restorations – LP5000
-Yeah, this was one of my favorite releases this year.  This band can do no wrong and I appreciated their maturing lyrics more than ever.  Seeming them live finally this year was also an added bonus.


Four Fists – 6666
-This collaboration between P.O.S. and Astronautics completely slays.  This rap duo really dropped an impressive album complete with plenty of punk references and beats guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days.


Vessel of Light – Woodshed
-This album takes everything great about Danzig, White Zombie, and even old Alice in Chains and puts them all together for a solid listen.  Super impressed with this one.


Frank Turner – Be More Kind
-Everyone needs to listen to this album, especially “Be More Kind”.  I am fairly sure it will make your day if not a better person.  Frank Turner is one talented mo-fo.


Lucero – Among The Ghosts
-I love this album mostly for the band embracing where life has taken them over the years.  They have not lost their style one bit and for that I thank them.  This has turned into one of my favorite Lucero releases.

 

Thanks for reading and happy holidays!

Album Review: Ramoms / Dad Brains – Merry XMas Spilt 7″

Tis the season to be burnt out by Christmas music on indefinite rotation, right?  I know we only have like 2 weeks left of this, but every year seemingly becomes more challenging for me to stomach.  Hang in there folks.

Now if you happen to have kids as I do, repeating Christmas music intensifies to levels that can bring someone to the edge of insanity.   Seriously, I am at wit’s end with some of the tunes my son demands be played over and over especially when covered by off-key kids who probably were never compensated for their efforts in singing about a certain bullied reindeer.

Luckily, there are plenty of punk bands out there keeping me sane with their renditions and original songs about the holiday season that help ease the pain.  I do my best to sneak them in to daily rotation so my kids can appreciate what their old man is into.  Current favorites by my kids include Bad Religion and MXPX and I am totally ok with that.

It really seems especially this year there were quite a few releases by punk bands with holiday themed tunes, but one particular release caught my attention in a good, good way and has turned into my current holiday favorite.

The release I speak of is actually a split by Ramoms and Dad Brains called Merry  Xmas.  Put out recently by Pirates Press Records, this split encompasses everything a punk parent could appreciate during a stressful time of the year from more than one level.  Satire and spirit for all to embellish is the best distraction.

Ramoms, as you guessed, are an all Mom punk Ramones cover band from the Philadelphia area.  These ladies may not have full band credentials (I was totally mistaken and apologize – see comment below!) and are incredibly passionate about punk rock and more so with their kiddos.

Dad Brains is an all Dad hardcore band from California.  Featuring former members of No Motiv, The Missing 23rd, Creep Division,  and The F-ing Wrath, it’s safe to say this side project is not a total joke.

Ramoms took the classic “Chinese Rock” by the beloved Heartbreakers and turned it into “Lego Blocks”.  As a parent, Lego blocks can entertain kids for hours as well as cause some serious damage to feet in the evening, so I really appreciated this song.

Keeping true to their passion and reasoning to form a band, Ramoms also provided a great cover of the classic “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” by the Ramones.  Gritty and poppy, I am sure Joey would have approved.

“It’s Christmas Time” was a hilarious holiday spin-off of the classic Suicidal Tendencies track “Institutionalized” by Dad Brains.  You know you are in for something good when Cousin Eddie is quoted at the beginning of a track.  Substituting La Croix for Pepsi, it was spot on when it came to modern day holiday feelings and woes.  That last line though, “it doesn’t matter, I’ll probably go to Costco anyway” had me rolling.

“Grinch” was modernized by Dad Brains to have the hairy green Dr. Seuss character antagonizing at a local show.  I especially loved the nod to Ill Repute and Tony Cortez.

This EP seriously is great and had me chuckling a few times and easily could be the perfect gift for your punk parent of choice this holiday season.

Check out some of the tracks below and if you like what you hear, throw some cash their way and download it or better yet, head to Pirates Press Records and buy the wax before it sells out!