I can’t say that I am surprised that two of my favorite Cleveland acts were picked up by A-F Records.
Earlier today, A-F Records shared a pretty kick ass announcement:
Today, we’re proud to welcome “Worlds Scariest Police Chases,” “Worship This!” and “All Dinosaurs” to the A-F Records family. We’ll be releasing records from all of them this summer. In the mean time we’ve put up a free digital sampler for download containing two songs from each artist. It’s available at: www.a-frecords.com/sampler
Click on the above photo to download a killer sampler through A-F Records. I am liking what I am hearing already.
Here is what members of Anti-Flag had to say about these new additions to their label:
“I know you are not supposed to play favorites with your children. And being a ¼ of Anti-Flag and A-F Records means that all of our collective releases are our “kids”… But fuck it. This is hands down the most important record we released and may ever release. I produced it with them over 4 days and I still LAUGH/CRINGE/FEEL SHOCKED AND OFFENDED by each brutal track. They’re fucking cops. They’ll steal your pot. They hate their dads. And their songs are fucking incredible.” – Chris#2
“In a laptop production era, it’s pretty great to come across a band that gives a shit. Worship This! are a band that you want to be friends with. They sound real, sincere, touchable, on a level that I haven’t seen in years. Melodic punk rock in a world where there is very little true melodic punk rock. Tracked live, “Tomorrow, I’ll Miss You”, is 4 friends capturing and documenting real life. If you like records that are Copernican, you’re going to want this in your collection.” – Justin Sane
“All Dinosaurs share sonic kinship to Propaghandi…fast, brutal, without being a “metal” band. Road dogs without a care for the confines of genre, they’re a band who can and will play for everyone and with everyone” – Chris #2
Congratulations to Worship This!, All Dinosaurs, and World’s Scariest Police Chases!!! I look forward to hearing both of your releases this summer. Speaking of new releases, the good dudes in Signals Midwest are putting the finishing touches of their next release that will drop this summer as well. And people told me there is no music scene in Cleveland…
Travis Stever is a pretty busy man. You may have heard his name before as he is one of the founding members of some small, little band called Coheed and Cambria. When he is not touring the world playing to his die hard fans, Stever has his own solo project called Davenport Cabinet. Earlier this year, Stever dropped his second solo release titled Our Machine. Full of a folk alt-rock sound at times, the album is quite catchy and just further showcases how great of a musician Stever really is.
Now when say I folk rock, don’t go thinking I am talking about the folk rock that is stealing the music scene these days. This is a much more intriguing sidestep into a great genre of music. When listening to this album, I thought of everyone from Pink Floyd to Rush, as well as Queensrÿche and even Van Halen. Sure, combining all of those bands might sound a little off, but I tell you, this sophomore release by Stever is far from that.
Starting the album was the instrumental “Night Climb” that kind of set the level for what I was about to hear. Acoustic guitars played over electronic sounds for less than a minute while someone beat on on a drum. I really was not sure what to expect from this.
“Deterioration Road” was the song that for whatever reason reminded me of Van Halen and honestly, it was because of the singing style. The music however was very much more progressive and just well put together. In fact, the beginning of the song is where I could hear Pink Floyd.
“Simple Words” was an acoustic folksy jam with Stever’s cousin Tyler Klose (thanks for the correction via tweet Travis!) sounding a lot like Geoff Tate. Don’t let that discourage you in any way though, this was a great jam especially when Stever’s other cousin Laura Tsaggaris met Klose making for a great duet. The harmony those two created was just perfect. You can tell that a lot of thought was put when recording this track, it is flawless. If there is one track on this album you need to check out, make it this one. Hands down, this was my favorite song on the album.
“Sister Servent” followed with a certain Coheed and Cambria sound I have grown so accustomed to but instead of Claudio Sanchez taking on vocal duties, Klose however did his own thing and pulled it off quite well. The drumming and the guitars on this track were so captivating switching from a distorted riff to a modest jam on guitars while impressive beats backed them all up.
Stever dabbled with some electronics in “These Bodies”, and interesting track that really was a lot darker than previous tracks. Seeming to talk about redemption and dying, the track sounded good but just caught me off guard. Then came “Our Machine”, a poignant and fun acoustic song that really screamed folk rock but also did not let go of the progressive feel. This track was a foot-stomping jam that I enjoyed quite a bit. Once again, you can literally hear the all the hard work put into this track. I especially loved hearing the banjo being plucked throughout.
“Black Dirt Burden” once continued with the banjo and one of my favorite effects that Stever played with Coheed and Cambria, the talk box. Immediately following was his trademark tearing-apart-the-guitar-solo, but only for a moment. Once again I am could not help but think of 80s rock throughout this track, but not without gracious amounts of guitar solos and even a little more talk box. This track really proves how talented Stever really is and not just because he busted out the talk box.
I liked the change up in “Drown It All”, a more country folk sounding track. Use of the slide during the song was perfectly ok to this listener. Leaving behind the progressive sound, this track sounded quite cheerful yet I have reason to believe it was speaking of addiction. I could be wrong of course. “Dancing On Remains” sounded like Peter Gabriel took over singing duties for a moment. This track seemed to lose some of the momentum captured in many of the previous tracks. I just could not get into this song at all.
Thankfully “At Sea” caught my attention again, but not entirely. Of all the tracks on this album, this was the one I felt just had too much going on. “Our Father” ended the album with a slow start that soon morphed to a overly-distored guitar riff that soon was met with some smooth guitar solos. The instrumental soon faded out leaving me wanting to hear more of the chaotic experimental guitar playing.
I’ve seen Coheed more times than I have fingers on my hands and I have always enjoyed watching Stever just kill it on guitar solos and play the talk box during select tracks. It is no surprise to hear from him the exceptional musicianship on Our Machine. Sounding prog-rock at times, many of the songs really remind me of a distant Queensrÿche relative, but the folk sounding tracks are what captivated me the most.
If you could accept The Prize Fighter Inferno from Sanchez, then you have no reason not to do the same for Stever. This album is full of great tunes and really should be dismissed as a solo project as Stever, with help from friends, has really put together a solid album for all to hear.
Well folks, it looks like The Bronx is back and let me tell you, they are sounding pretty damn amazing. Setting aside their mariachi project, Mariachi El Bronx, the band is back in full rock-out mode and just dropped an all new, impressive release. Keeping up with trend of their previous three releases, The Bronx (IV) completely rules in every way possible. As a fan, I may be a tad biased, but having listened to it over and over for a week now, I can honestly tell you all that this album is one of the best I have heard of this year, and the year has not even technically started yet.
“The Unholy Land” started off the fun, poignant album with a more rock feel. Perhaps the Foo Fighters rubbed off on them a tad when Mariachi El Bronx toured with them a couple years back, but I assure you this track still owns. Caughthran sings “I am the anti-Christ of the holy ghost, do you want to die or just come real close” hard throughout this track with the rest of the band just cutting loose. I especially loved the latter guitar breakdown.
“Youth Wasted” had a certain 80s punk vibe to it that I came to appreciate early on. Sure, it was not broken down and raw as one might expect when you compare such an era, but perhaps the lyrics “youth is not wasted, I’m young” is what prompted me to think back. The heavy “Too Many Devils” did not capture my attention my first listen, but once I heard it again, I loved it.
“You can not change the life you’re born to live” started and ended the 90s alt sounding “Torches”. The lyrics were incredible throughout as was the music that spend up and slowed down this jam. Sure this was not the hardest, heaviest track on the album, but it was by far one of the best to listen to. “Under The Rabbit” followed with melt-your-face moments that recalled prior Bronx tracks from previous releases. “Ribcage” was another track that caught me in a good way. Maybe it was the speed of the song, or just the overall theme of the track with an apparent crime interrogation that just kept things so entertaining.
Caughthran cleared his throat throughout “Life Less Ordinary”. The track, which had nothing to do with that terrible Cameron Diaz and Ewan McGregor movie, might have been conceived during the Mariachi El Bronx days as it is toned down and carried duel vocals, but I am not complaining at all. I really dug this track a lot and just listening to it seemed like a confession “I’m not ashamed to say I’ve lost my mind” when sung just sounded so sincere.
The Los Angeles punk rock act has always been a band I have appreciated since their original release about 10 years ago. What is nice to see is the level of maturity they have reached. The lyrics are more meaningful than ever and spite that you may think, this band has not even come close to going soft. Where the mariachi side project was fun, I longed for some of their wholesome rock / punk / goodness and IV delivers. I firmly believe this is the album, if not already, that people will be talking about this year. There are so many bands you can hear throughout this album including Refused, The Strokes, The Pixies, Nirvana, Against Me!, and even Helmet that is not hard to find something about it to obsess over.
Doors at 8pm, show starts at 9pm. $6 at the door. Bring extra cash to spend on all the band’s merch, especially the out of town ones!!! Ryan Ford, the guy who created this awesome flyer will be selling some prints of it as well. It would be in your best interest to set one aside for me… Seriously.
If you do not hit up this show, you are in fact missing out on an amazing night of top notch music and debauchery for those of you who engage in the alcohol induced drinks of fun or bath salts.
I am honored Mr. Jeff Russell of Signals Midwest has put my name on this flyer and is going to somehow try and Skype the show to me. Sadly I can not be there on account that I am an idiot and moved across the country last June, plus I work that night… Still, I really hope all my friends can make it out for this night full of some amazing bands that include some of my best buddies. This is the show that you need to be at. Tell everyone.