What word would I use to tell you all about how I am feeling right now about Iron Chic‘s new EP titled Spooky Action?
Honestly, who cares what I have to say or think?
Just listen to this EP now by the Long Island’s Iron Chic. I am ok with this.
This band continues to amaze me. Their new tracks are exactly what I have been waiting for. I literally freaked out when I heard the third song as M.A.S.H.’s theme song is stuck in my head a lot and I had no explanation why. At least I am not the only one now who has this issue. Track three is also a solid cover of “Goofy’s Concern” by the legendary Butthole Surfers.
I can not wait for them to drop more stuff soon. I have been waiting for a follow up on Not Like This since 2010 (crazy it has been that long). Look for a 7″ to be pressed for Spooky Action at the end of the month. Sadly it looks like it is an overseas thing only, but that is what the Internet and your mom’s credit card are for.
Hailing from Mesa, AZ, Authority Zero combines various levels of music and mashes them into their own style. Punk rock, thrash, reggae, and even a hint of skate rock can be heard throughout their years of material. The band really take pride in incorporating those styles to their catalog as well as carries a strong love for bands like Bad Religion and Pennywise. Having been kicking ass and taking names for almost 20 years now, spite many challenges in their career, Authority Zero has not calmed down one bit.
This Tuesday, Authority Zero will be releasing an all new album titled The Tipping Point. These West Coast punkers have dropped an impressive release full of energy and fast-paced fun. With plans of touring Europe in a month to support their new release, Authority Zero really seem to be moving in the right direction. Ask anyone in their infamous Zero Crew and I am sure they will agree. Still, I am just as pleased as I am shocked this is only their fifth studio release.
The very fast-paced “No Other Place” started off the album with plenty of speed and aggression sure to entice a circle pit. It was almost too easy to hear the gracious nod to Pennywise and Bad Religion in this track from Jason DeVore’s singing style. Add some necessary group vocals aside with quick and heavy guitar riffs, you can hear the influential bands that helped build Authority Zero.
“Undivided” continued with more of a 90s punk feel with DeVore having a great flow from start to finish. The chorus was catchy as hell, the drums were just non-stop, and the guitars carried well. My only distraction was the Dicky Barrett sounding scream that ultimately stopped the song for a moment, but then jumped right back in.
“For the Kids” had a Good Riddance feel to it that I really enjoyed. I really caught on to these lyrics because they really hit home to me as DeVore sang “this one’s for you” about more or less – me. Well, at least young me. Great song about yesteryear to any music fan who was surrounded by friends in any scene. Age may be catching up with a lot of us, but those memories will last forever. This track is worth a listen.
I really was beginning to wonder if Authority Zero dropped the reggae from their sound and then “Struggle” started. It’s not terrible by any means, but the current me never really got into this version of Authority Zero. “On The Brink” followed returning to their punk sound.
“Today We Heard The News” was another reggae track on the album, but this one I actually enjoyed. The horns throughout kept the track interesting while I tried to figure out what DeVore was singing about. From what I gathered, it was about a protest about something and not giving up fighting the cause. (EDIT: apparently it is about the passing of Tony Sly. I am kind of kicking myself for not grasping that. Thanks to a reader for that one.)
“Shakedown in Jaurez” also kind of hit home to me, but in a different matter seeing how I currently live 30 minutes away from that city and am more than aware of everything that goes on there. The song itself, mixed punk and reggae for a sound I just could once again not get into.
Ending the album was “21st Century Breakout”, a sped up punk track that got stuck in my head. I could not help but think about Bad Religion once again as DeVore sang just like Mr. Greg Graffin at times. Setting that aside, this track was killer and pretty much was my choice cut on the entire album.
After all the changes Authority Zero has gone through in the last few years, it is almost admirable to see them continue on. With a revolving door of members leaving and joining along with countless other setbacks during the band’s existence, the band seems to have finally found some well-deserved stability. With all those drawbacks though, I am shocked they did not call it quits and start something new already.
Case and point, just 2 weeks ago, the band’s long-time bassist Jeremy Wood announced on his Facebook page he was leaving the band to spend more time with family and other personal reasons. Luckily lead signer, and the last of the original lineup, Jason DeVore quickly announced the band had a touring bass player to join them on the road in support of their upcoming release The Tipping Point. Somehow, I have the feeling this album was properly named by the band for more reasons than one.
There is no doubt in my mind if you are a fan of the punk rock genre that you have heard of this band or seen them live at a Warped Tour or heard them on a video game soundtrack. They have been in the game for nearly 20 years and it can definitely be heard in The Tipping Point. No matter how many changes this band goes through, it would appear that Jason DeVore has no intention giving up something he truly loves.
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:
WORLDS SCARIEST POLICE CHASES – Pittsburgh, PA –www.facebook.com/wspolicechases
“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
WORSHIP THIS! – Akron, OH – www.facebook.com/WorshipThisOH
“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 – Cleveland, OH – www.facebook.com/TodosLosDinosaurios
“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
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.