Tag Archives: Akron

Watch This: Worship This! Live @ Bad Racket

Akron, OH’s prom kings Worship This! stopped out at Bad Racket earlier this summer and played one of my favorite OG songs, “Best Parts”.

Check it out:

Bad Racket is one of the coolest recording studios in Cleveland and have been doing their thing since 2009.  They specialize in welcoming bands into their studio to play a song and be filmed while doing so.  If you want to see more amazing acts do their things, click the below link:

Music Videos | Live From Bad Racket


Album Review: Worship This! – Mint

Worship This! - MintAkron, Ohio’s Worship This! have really served up a killer sophomore release simply titled Mint once again on A-F Records.

This foursome punk rock band consists of some of the best humans I have ever had the privilege of calling friends, so chances are you might think this review is a little biased.

The truth is, even if I did not spend years hanging out on porches and in basements with these guys, I would still adore their music.  They are like a punk 90s DIY hybrid, but different.

Everything this band has dished out so far I have been a fan of.  I just lucked out with the friendship part.  Christ, listen to me.  I need to calm the hell down and just review this album already…

This is the second time I have had the privilege to review a Worship This! full length.  This review comes from the heart, but I’d be doing this even if these guys and I never crossed paths, because I seriously think everyone who likes punk rock needs to hear them.

Starting off the album strong was “Decisions, Decisions”.  The chorus on this track alone was insane.  I think I listened to this song about five times before moving on.  I just loved it.  It made me feel a bit old, but also made me realize how true experiences and decisions have shaped me to who I am today.

Worship This!“Miserable Again” was a quick, catchy intervention of sorts.  The start with everyone just letting loose ruled, especially with the nod to their hometown.  Listening to this track had me thinking of who they might have written this about and I guess that is the genius of it.  The dual singing on the chorus was so bad ass too.

“So Long…Sucker!” proved to me how much this bad has matured over the years.  This track started off with all members bringing their all into the music.  Very melodic to start and quick to transition.  I loved when the group vocals started up followed by simple yet fitting breakdowns.

The tough-to-absorb “19th Street” was a reminder of how life treats us all.  No one ever asks for some of the shit that is thrown at us, but we all get by one way or another.  This track hit me hard in a few ways knowing what I have been through in my life but also had me appreciate how I handled it.

“Everything Wrong” in my opinion is the best track on this album.  Adding a clip of Kenny Shopsin from the documentary I Like Killing Flies was perfect and so fitting.  The amount of angst in this song would have benefited me in my teen years.  This is one of those anthem tracks that you just immediately want to memorize.

“Loving A Wild Thing” was another song on this album I adored.  It was not like the others given the singing styles and I think that is what I liked about it the most.  It was just like a catchy conversation.  I liked everything about this tune.

Closing down the album was “Relapser”, a just brutal track of breaking down and finding new avenues.  There was enough emotion in this one song alone to last a lifetime.

I enjoyed Mint way more than I thought I would.  In fact, this follow up is way better than the debut Tomorrow, I’ll Miss You and I adored that album.  The band sounds more together and has taken that extra approach at defining their own sound but without worrying about taking chances.  Mint is a little harder, more emotional in terms of growing up, and most of all just fun to take in.

It comes as no surprise to me that Worship This! released one of my favorite albums of the year.  I have believed in this band since the first time I heard their demos and always anticipated good things for them.  Mint is definitely a good thing.

The band is headed on tour next week.  If you know what is good for you, you will try and check them out.

Worship This Tour

Check It Out: Maidenstone

MaidenstoneThis post goes out to everyone who thinks I only ever talk about punk rock.

You know folks, I do like other genres of music and one of them is hip hop.

So let’s talk about hip hop shall we?

One thing I have always liked about hip hop is the beats that fuel the lyrics.  I am sure many of you can agree with me that a rap song with terrible beats is nothing to talk about.

Akron, OH’s Maidenstone specialize in beats and unique instrumentals.  They are not a rap group, but rather a couple of pals who decided to borrow lyrics from various rappers and supply samples and beats taken from a wide span of musicians and composers.  The result is an outstanding mixtape and does not focus on just one genre.

Here, check it out:

Consisting of pals Cory Maiden and TJ Firestone, Maidenstone dropped their hip hop collaborative in December on BandCamp.  The best part?  It’s free for anyone who wants to hear what they threw together.

I think one thing about Maidenstone is that the samples are well-thought.  “Holy Shit Batman” caught my attention thanks to the eccentric samples of Pulp and The Jesus and Mary Chain while “We Are Groot” had some Pet Shop Boys.

“Dark Arts” was insane and I hope to hell Mos Def hears this.  Who knows, maybe he will be making a request for Maidenstone to create beats for his next release.  That Peer Raben sample was just dark but powerful.

Of course I loved “Son of a Gun”.  If anyone knows me, ODB is one of my favorite rappers out there.  Add some piano and horns playing track from Perez Prado, and you have yourself a crazy ass track.

Another track I have to make mention of is “Vertical Kryptonite” and not just because Big Boi is on it, but because Maidenstone sampled The Greatest Show on Earth and it fits perfectly.

Sometimes tracks can be recreated in a good way.  I am not talking about some shitty Genesis cover by Disturbed.  I am talking about taking great songs and putting a new twist.  It is kind of like a remix, but to me, this is a little more complex.  Seriously, just listen to this.  I guarantee you are going to dig some of it.

I also love their puck rock inspired covers to their mixes.  Dammit, I just can not stay away from punk references, can I?  Oh well.  Download this and enjoy.  I know I did.

Album Review: Worship This! – Tomorrow, I’ll Miss You

I always told myself that I would never review bands who were also my friends, but I’d be a fool not to review the debut release by Northeast Ohio’s very own Worship This!.  Having just signed to A-F Records, Worship This! is about to drop Tomorrow, I’ll Miss You next week, and let me tell you, this is one impressive debut.

Consisting of Josh Taylor (vocals, bass), Jeremy Provchy (vocals, guitar), Aaron Novak (vocals, guitar) , and Jeff Hart (drums), Worship This! has definitely put in their time since then band’s formation in 2010.  Hailing from the Akron / Cleveland area, Worship This! are not new to the scene as all of the members have been involved with various local bands for the past 15 years.  Forming through friendships and mutual acquaintances, the boys of Worship This! were almost meant to be.

“I, Human” started off with Taylor screaming “I don’t wanna be human” at the top of his lungs making for any music fan to turn their head and pay attention.  Full of energy and ideals that slightly reminded me something Propaghandi might make mention of, I really liked how I could hear an immediate chemistry throughout the band members.  The moment I heard that opening song, I knew it was in for something good.  “Jen, with 2 Ns” continued to fuel that feeling

I adored “Indifferent” for so many reasons.  Not only was the track catchy as hell, but it carried  the feelings of being too old for the scene, contemplating giving it all up, and then coming to a realization to move on without care.  This song was solid start to finish and one of my favorites on the entire album.  Full of catchy riffs, infectious drumming, and just an overall sense of pride of current state of being.  It is no wonder the band chose this song to make a music video.  Seriously, the following lyrics from this track have been stuck in my head for weeks:

“I’ve given my all, maybe its about time that I hang it up.  There’s so many things I never did, and I life I never lived. Maybe I’ll stop getting dirty looks from all these kids.”

I swear, I have had those same thoughts in my head numerous times over the last couple of years.  Look for the video to be dropped around the time of the album.

“Summit Tower” really was put together flawlessly.  Provchy took over vocal duties primarily while the rest of the band just jammed out alongside.  I may have caught myself signing along to this one the first time I listed to it.  The upbeat “Springs and Levers”,  moved along well thanks to Novak and Provchy exchanging lines throughout.

The lyrically deep “Purpose and Meaning” flowed directly into “The Fear Of Missing Out”.  The songs were like a masterpiece, but different.   Seriously though, these two combined songs were addicting from start to finish.  You can just hear years of hard work put into both tracks and they last less than 3 minutes total.  Secretly, I wish those tracks were of a “November Rain” length.

Novak painted a pretty vivid picture as he sang at the beginning “Bike Ride”.  The song, which told the story about a neighboring house that suffered a grim demise, really carried well throughout.  “This house is my reminder of what we have and and who we live for” bellows towards the end of the track with “our lives carry on” ending it.

“Whatever Happened To You Melissa” reminded me of Dinosaur Jr. at the beginning, but only because of how the lyrics started off.  The song, clearly reaching back to a torn relationship, had a strong effect while listening to.  Listening to Novak and Taylor sing “I’ve lost all hope, in everything I know…and everything I loved” just brought back some of those memories you can’t ever get rid of.  This was another track on the album that blew me away.

“Momophonbe” has radio playable qualities.  The chorus alone reminded me of, dare I say, Gaslight Anthem, sans the whole I’m-from-New-Jersey-and-love-Bruce-Springsteen-feel.  Taylor and Provchy made this song even better thanks to their singing styles bouncing back and forth.  “Anathema”, the closing track, started off melodic with singing that did not impress me, but moments later that all changed.  I loved the group signing on this track that eventually laid the album to rest.

Take everything you know and love about punk rock from the 90s onward and you can hear it in what Worship This! has brought to the table throughout the album.  This is far from a pop-punk band and anyone who labels them that needs to really reevaluate their opinion.  This is a band that successfully manages to merge all of their unique influences from over the years and package them into one great style.  We’re talking seasoned here folks, not young blood.

Fans of all of the current bands filling up the punk scene in basements, various self-funded punk fests, and even online should take note at this talent.  I could sit here and label off tons of bands, but why bother?  A-F Records has something good on their hands and I am sure they know it.  Add the fact that all four members are just genuine dudes who play music for the sake of playing music.

Friends or not, Worship This! has got my vote for album of the year with Tomorrow, I’ll Miss You.  Just like the Menzingers, Cheap Girls, Masked Intruder, and Luther wowed me back in 2012, Worship This! has done the exact same for me this year.  I can not stop listening to this album.  I can only image how crazy the kids are going to go for this release.  This is one album you should not sleep on.  Trust me when I say that.  Don’t believe me?  Head on over to PunkNews.Org and hear it for yourself.  You can thank me later.

The CD drops this Tuesday and a vinyl pre-order should be announced through A-F Records soon.

“Ohio I’m leaving, Ohio I’m gone …”

Never thought I would actually be able to sing the following Avett Brothers lyrics and have them actually hold true to my heart:

“Cleveland, I ain’t never felt nothing so strong
Been believing the words to my songs
Ohio I’m leaving, Ohio I’m gone”

For those of you who may not have heard yet, I have taken a job promotion within my company and will be relocating from Cleveland to Las Cruces, New Mexico, within the next 3 weeks.  This decision was the most difficult thing I have ever made in my life and it just killed me to come to a decision with such little time.

I weighed all the pros and the cons over and over and realized that I needed this adventure even if it meant leaving everything I love behind.  I feel terrible about moving on, but I do not want to not go on with life and one day wonder  “what if”.  I want to just take that huge risk and see what happens and say that I did it.

For 35 years, Cleveland and Akron have been my life.  Raised in a suburb in the middle of both cities, I was privileged enough to meet a ton of people who I have the pleasure of calling friend.  From the days of sitting curbside at a Dunkin Donuts to the warm nights in the Coventry courtyard, I really was lucky to be surrounded by such cool and remarkable people.  I loved going to the Metros daily and will never forget the times I had at “The Office”.  I could not have had a better childhood.

Throughout the years, we all grew up, some  of us took our own journeys and risks, but I stayed put and called Cleveland and Akron home.  To be honest, I was so ok with that.  I am Cleveland blood, this is my town.

As I continued growing up, I met more people and became involved in the ever important Cleveland / Akron music scene, not as a band performer, but as someone who fully appreciated it.  I loved my involvement with everything I did and cherished all of the memories that were created on a nightly basis.  I am so lucky to say that I had that.

Without going into too much detail, I will just say this: The Cleveland/Akron music scene rules right now and is it better than ever was.  I am so sad to leave it all behind, but you all know you I will be doing all I can to stick around, even if I need to do it via the Internet.  No way in hell am I going to not keep updated, some of these local bands are too important to not continue to keep tabs on.

The people…my friends.  Cleveland and Akron are full of the greatest people I will ever meet.  I know you will all welcome me back with open arms if and when I make it back on Ohio soil.  Trust me on this, I will be thinking about Ohio on a daily basis for the rest of my life.  Thank you to everyone out there who I have met for being so damn cool.

Obviously I am going to miss the locally owned shops and restaurants.  I just hit up Square Records last night and know nothing like that store will exist where I am moving to.  Music Saves and Blue Arrow, I seriously am going to miss the shit out of as well as the greatest comfort food on Earth, Melt.  Pizza will never even compare to Luigi’s.  I drool at the thought of one of their salads right now…  There are so many other places I can talk about, but I am getting sad just thinking about it.  I just hope I can score some Great Lakes beers out in the desert.

Sure, there will be plenty of new places for me to experience in my move to a new city, but it will not be the same.  Anyone from Cleveland and Akron who reads this knows exactly what I am talking about.  Cleveland and Akron are not that bad and I question why so many people hate it and say they are stuck in it.  I’m glad I was born and raised here.

Do I even dare get into Cleveland sports???  I will miss that so much and you can bet your ass I will remain a fan of Cleveland teams until the day I die.  That is a promise.  Browns for life.

I really should wrap this thing up.  Before I finish though, I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you out there who has spoken to me one way or another, shared a beer or a smile, rocked out along with, or just stopped here on this blog to see what was on my mind.  Without you all, I know I would not be the man I am today, and this site would not be going on 4 years.  Being surrounded in so many amazing people just adds fuel to my amazing life.

Special love to my greatest friends ever who rock out in bands like The Facials, Worship This!, Signals Midwest, Beat Kids, Harvey Pekar, Annabel, All Dinosaurs, Sidekicks, and of course Narcoleptics X5 (RIP).  These bands that I surrounded me around with are full of some of the most amazing people I will ever know in my life and I will miss the shit out of all of you.

Props to places like It’s A Kling Thing House, Dag House, Now That’s Class, Grog Shop, Agora (I hope you make a sweet come back), Odeon (you too), and all the other places I have seen a show at.

AddictedToVinyl.com, aka Matt, and his amazing new fiancé Annie (congrats!!!!), thank you for everything you have ever done for me.  The same love goes to all the good people who used to slave away at 92.3 including Patt The Producer and Nard.

I plan on continuing my blog, that is for sure, but it will never be the same.  I will be sure to try and visit and who knows, maybe one day I will plant my feet back in northeastern Ohio.  Only time can tell.

I leave June 8th and hope I get to see many of you before I pack up and drive cross county.  I know Las Cruces will be good to me, but nothing like the cities I grew up in.

I am scared as hell but excited to see what happens in the next chapter of my life.  Thank you people of Cleveland for all you have done for me.  I can not help but say “Cleveland Rocks” and mean it with all of my heart.  Akron, you rule too.