Tag Archives: Alt Rock

Album Review: Needles//Pins – Good Night, Tomorrow

Family life has gotten the very best of me in a good way, and I have not been able to dedicate a lot of time to the blog as I would like to, but here I am for now while I have a few moments.

Maybe rather than giving excuses, I should just talk about this new Needles//Pins release that Chris at Dirt Cult Records threw my way to check out.

Before digging in deep here I need to admit how much I am eating up this album with each listen.  It is a start to finish jam that caught me by complete surprise.

Hailing from Vancouver, Needles//Pins is a three-piece punk band who have been around since 2009.  Perhaps not a well-known band here in the states, they caught a good chunk of my attention with their last release Shamebirds.  Needless to say, I was already excited to hear their new material. 

Good Night, Tomorrow is Needle//Pins’s third release (Dirt Cult Records / Mint Records) and clearly their best to date if you ask me.  The band showcases a much more mature sound with most of their tracks but without losing their edge resulting in a great listen.

Songs like “Violet”  and “Back to the Bright” begged to be memorized upon first listen for sing along opportunities.  Both of these songs impressed the hell out of me.

The mature sounding “Sleep” carried some great, catchy guitar playing, but it was the lyrics that won me over.  Personal, poignant , and to the point.

“All the Same” really reminded of the Replacements at times.  I am thinking due to the guitar playing and quick drumming mostly, but I am not complaining here at all.  This song ruled.

As someone who is obsessed with 80s punk/alternative rock, “Pressure Points”, “Untitled (You’re Fine)”, and “Something New” all turned into my favorite tracks on this album once I heard them.  Just check them out if you can, no explanation needed.

My appreciation for this band went out the roof after I heard “Tomorrow”.  Sick riffs, great hooks, group vocals, and a certain organ playing further proved my earlier statement on how Needle//Pins matured.  Folky, punky, and freaking amazing, this was the grand finale I was looking for.

For those of you who like the gritty sing along punk rock that has extreme replay opportunities,  y’all need to check out what Needles//Pins have put together.  Good Night, Tomorrow is one hell of a release that I plan on playing over and over again.  Think Iron Chic, Lawrence Arms, and Leatherface all mixed up in perfect proportions.  Trust me, you do not want to sit on this album.

Album Review: The Fake Boys – Pig Factory

Massachusetts threesome The Fake Boys have somehow taken 90s indie rock and mashed it up with a little DIY pop punk as well as post-hardcore in a good good way on their debut album Pig Factory.

Released by Animal Style Records, Pig Factory was recorded by the great Jay Maas (Title Fight, Transit, Polar Bear Club) and pretty much kicked ass from start to finish.  I will admit, I was super hesitant before listening to this album, but am stoked I checked it out.

“This Is Our Band” opened up the album with the lead vocalist having a very Billy Corrigan singing style (as well as a Ravishing Ride Rude resemblance), but not that “despite of my rage I’m still just a rat in my cage” annoyance.  “This Is Our Sound” followed making this listener think back to the alternative / grunge days, especially with that J. Mascus-like guitar playing.

The sound kept consistent through and didn’t get old at all.  “Don’t Live” might have had some deep lyrics that I could not crack, but the song was great.  “You’re A Loser” followed with a perfect grunge to post-hardcore ratio making for an impressive listen.

“Best Post” had this Five Man Electrical Band sound at first that was completely off from the rest of the tracks.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a good listen with acoustic guitars and such, but that only lasted a moment as the rest of the band kicked in making for a good ol’ 90s alt-rock listen.  I found myself really digging that track a lot.

I really enjoyed the 90s alt-rock-heavy “Hi Friend”.  There’s nothing quite like a fun, friendly song that   just makes you gently rock your head.  Hands down, this was my favorite cut off the release, well at least I thought it was until the next track came on…  Just wait till that distorted bass kicks in, and you will most likely agree with me – “Realist World” ruled.  Lots of emo and post-hardcore going on the track.  I’m sold.

The Fake Boys sounded like a punk rock Smashing Pumpkins with a gracious nod to 90s rock.  I caught hints of Jawbreaker, Briad, and even Texas Is The Reason as well  as Dinosaur Jr.  Spite what I think they sound like, the truth is, this band knows how to deliver their own style and the result is a pretty solid listen.  There’s nothing fake about these guys at all and I am sure they are fully aware of that.  Do you like 90s rock?  Yes?  Go listen to The Fake Boys now.

Rock On The Range 2012 Lineup Announced!

Now in its 6th year, the ever popular Rock On The Range is taking over Columbus, OH, from May 18th to the 20th at Columbus Crew Stadium.

“If you thought last time was a blast, then this time we are gonna blow your f#@*ing mind,” – co-headliner Rob Zombie.

The current lineup for RotR 2012 is as follows: Incubus, Rob Zombie, Shinedown, Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch, Slash, Megadeth, Chevelle, Cypress Hill, Mastodon, Theory of a Deadman, Volbeat, Down, The Darkness, Halestorm, Escape The Fate, P.O.D., Lacuna Coil, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Cavo, Attack Attack!, Trivium, Bobaflex, Falling In Reverse, Redlight King, Aranda, Emphatic, Otherwise, James Durbin, Black Tide, Kyng, 12 Stones, SOiL, Rival Sons, Eve To Adam, and Ghosts of August.

That’s a pretty healthy lineup!  I do not know about you, but there a few bands playing this year that I would not mind checking out, including The Darkness, Volbeat, Mastodon, and Down.

To make things even more fun, the Friday Night 4Play returns, which is an absolutely FREE with every RotR weekend ticket purchase. The May 18th party will be featuring performances from Hairball, Foxy Shazam, Hells Bells and more… Did someone say Foxy Shazam???

Tickets go on sale on Friday Feb. 10th at 10am.

This has proved to be a fun weekend festival year after year.  Don’t miss out!

Download This! – UK’s Scanners

London’s Scanners really can carry a gloomy mood in some of their tracks but without going overboard.  The indie rock band has been around for a couple of years now and even if you have never heard of them are a pretty big deal – maybe not so much in the US but I have the feeling that will be changing in the upcoming months.  If you were a fan of alt rock in the 90’s as well as have love for new wave this band might be up your alley.

Don’t be held off by this though if you were not a fan of either genre as the band also carries a great melodic talent heard throughout.

DOWNLOAD THIS! – Scanners – “Salvation”

Recently the video for “Salvation” was posted on YouTube  it was produced by Steven Hague.

Cypress Hill & The 2 Day Smoke Out (Festival)

I am beyond jealous of this line up…

I have not seen quite a line up like this in a long time.

Where do I start talking about this amazing festival? 

Sublime?  Seriously?  I am so curious to see how this is going to pan out.  Who is this 20 year old Rome who picked up the singing duties?  Will it be just a glorified Long Beach Dub Allstars?

Why am I asking so many questions???  I am excited that is why.

Pennywise will be playing one of the days with their new singer who was just assigned as Jim Lindberg announced his departure of the band last month after being with the band for 19 years.  Zoli Teglas from handcore punk band Ignite is taking over the duties temporarily.  I am so curious to see how this goes.

Pennywise’s Fletcher Dragge had this to say about the replacement:

“As everybody knows, Jim has left the band and we’re looking for a new singer. For the time being our friend Zoli has agreed to fill in for Jim for a couple shows to avoid having to cancel them while we look for a permanent replacement.”

Acts like Cypress Hill, Deftones, Method Man & Red Man, Bad Brains, Afrika Bambaataa (wow, seriously…wow), Mix Master Mike, Goodie Mob (reunion performance), Hieroglyphics, and the Geto Boys (reunion performance) all in a span of two days all hosted by Cheech & Chong really makes me wish this was a touring festival. 

Sadly though, it is in California and there is no way I am going to be at that show this year.  I hope to read good things about it and I thank my pals over at Earshot Media for giving me the heads up.