Tag Archives: Pop

Check It Out: Throw Shade

I say it a million times, I know it…I have some talented ass friends here in Cleveland.  Some of them are in bands and some of them form bands from other friends in other bands to make killer cool bands.

Throw Shade is one of those bands.

Throw Shade

My god their EP is fantastic.  Just stop now and listen:

That first track though…wow.  Loving the poppy punk sounds with harmony and emo for all to sulk to.  Featuring a dude from Worship This! and a dude who used to kill it in Annabel, I already knew it was going to be awesome.

I expect exciting things to come from these guys soon.

Until then, check out their EP release party next week at The Grog Shop.  It’s going to be a good time for sure!

Throw Shade EP Release Show

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

BHP Best of 2015

2015 is wrapping up quickly so I felt it was best I get this out of the way before I become too involved with the holiday festivities.

As much as I wish I was more active on this blog, I will admit I am still listening to as much music as possible whenever time admits.  I am not giving up just yet folks.

With that said, here are my choice releases for 2015:


BHP Best of 2015

Beach Slang
Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
-This album was one of my favorite releases of 2015 before it was even released.  I knew I was going to adore it before I heard it and I did.  This is one of those bands that has really reached back into the 90s with their style and I love everything about it.

Yotam
Yotam Ben-Horin – Distant Lover
-Yotam blew me away with his latest solo album.  This dude rules and is one of my favorite songwriters out there.

Lucero
Lucero – All A Man Should Do
-I love Lucero.  With that said, when I first listened to this album, I was not digging it much.  In fact, it was not until my third listen that I realized how solid the album is.  I can not stop listening to it.  Yeah, it is not like their older material but it still owns.

Baroness
Baroness – Purple
-This album was literally just released (12/18/2015 for those of you who are wondering).  Luckily there is that edit option on there here ol’ blog because this needs to be on my list.  This album is perfect, absolutely perfect.  After all this band has been through, it is nice to see them return with such force.

John Moreland
John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat
-John Moreland is incredible.  Words can not express my appreciation for this album.  Seriously, I can not write anything about this, you will need to listen to it for yourself.

Frank Turner
Frank Turner – Positive Songs For Negative People
-I do not think it is possible for Frank Turner to release an album that I do not like.  This guy is a modern-day musical hero to me.

NRNS
Nathanial Rateliff & The Night Sweats – Self-Titled
-This album was a blast to listen to.

TBR
Teenage Bottlerocket – Tales From Wyoming
-Spite losing Brandon recently, Teenage Bottlerocket gained a lot of attention with their power pop punk release.  This catchy as hell album guarantees for a good time.

Annabel
Annabel – Having It All
-This album seriously made me want to be a better person.  I find myself listening to this album on the days where I feel like I need a boost in the feelings department.

Sidekicks
The Sidekicks – Runners In The Nerved World
-I swear this band matures more and more with every release.

Joey Cape
Joey Cape – Stitch Puppy
-This album was so beautiful yet gloomy.  Cape has proved himself to me once again that he is one of the best songwriters on the face of this planet.

Purple
Purple – (409)
-Purple are fun and encompass rock n roll to the max.  I do not even know what that means.  This band is all about the fun and released an amazing album full of catchy tracks.

toyGuitar
toyGuitar – In This Mess
-If this album happened to fall under your radar, you are totally missing out.  Happy-go-lucky-punk-rock-beach-jams should sum up this album.

Success
Success – Radio Recovery
-Success dropped one of the most catchy punk albums of the year.  I love these dudes and think everyone needs to check them out.  I also love the fact that their album cover pays tribute in a sense to Fifteen.

Refused
Refused – Freedom
-The last time these guys released something, it was the late 90s.  I never thought they would put something out again, but they mostly regrouped after some touring and dropped this killer album.  A lot of people said it was over-produced and forced, but I still like it.

Sam Russo
Sam Russo – Greyhound Dreams
-This was an excellent album that I am glad I was able to check out.  Sam Russo takes storytelling and songwriting to the best level.

Dr Dre
Dr. Dre – Compton
-This was the album I listened to the most this year easily.  For over two months, I listened to this album in full every single day.  I had a slight obsession with it.  The best part about about this is the first time I heard it, I thought to myself that it was not even that good.  By the time the album ended, I was hooked.  I even listened to it this morning.

Patrick Sweany
Patrick Sweany – Daytime Turned To Nighttime
-This album just makes me want to drink whisky on a porch at night with my close pals.  Nice to see Pat continue on with his passion.  I sure do miss the days whenI could hit up the Zephyr and see him play.

Johnathan Richman
Johnathan Richman – “O Sun” & “Keith” (7″ Releases)
-I had the privilege to review both of these singles thanks to Blue Arrow Records and all I have to say is that I can not wait for Richman to release his next full-length…


Well folks, that is all I have at this time.  I am sure I am missing something and will probably edit this post 7 more times.  For any of you paying attention, this blog has been updated just a few times…

Until then, happy holidays to you and yours.  I appreciate anyone who has ever taken a moment to check out what I have to share on this site.  If it was not for you, I would probably have thrown the towel in a long time ago.

Album Review: Success – Radio Recovery

Success - Radio RecoverySeattle’s Success does not suck.  I repeat, Seattle’s Success does not suck.

In fact, this band has completely won me over almost instantaneously and I am still trying to figure out how the hell they snuck under my radar for so long.

Success are a hybrid of 90s SoCal pop punk and current DIY punk rock.  I have no clue how they met or how many albums they have put out or any of the typical default bio stuff.  I am sure I could find out, but right now I am focused on telling everyone how I am feeling. Deal.

I do know they covered a Spin Doctors song that I found while stalking them online the other night and I’ll be happy to post it at the bottom of this post as a reward for making it through my review.

It’s seriously being a while since I’ve gotten sucked into an album so quickly.  Radio Recovery, dropping March 24th on Red Scare Records, did that in just about 30 minutes.  I can not tell you how many times I have listened to this album over and over since the release was thrown my way (thanks Toby!).

Success“Believe In” opened strong with a pop-punk jam full of sing-alongable qualities.  This track was produced well and impressed the hell out of me.  I loved the bass playing and the guitar solos, but it was the dual singing style that did it for me.  It reminded me of everything I loved about late-90s punk rock music.

“Revolution Schmevolution” continued to keep my attention with this powerhouse of a sing-along.  I especially got a kick out of the lyrics, “what’s the problem with this world today is that every Batman thinks he’s a Bruce Wayne.”

Another track that caught my attention was “Lives That We Deserve”.  Perhaps it was the piano playing that hid behind everything or just the fact that it was a quality tune.  This track was motivational in a sense with the working man’s life being sung upon.  This easily was one of my favorite tracks on the album.

“Flowers” was one of the tracks that that had a huge effect on me.  It was not too personal by any means, but it was just real.  This song was like the polite and caring Rancid that no one ever had the chance to meet.  In fact, I would allow Success to steal my sediment and made a cartoon video of clean-cut versions of Tim and Lars picking bouquets of flowers for their special sweethearts.  Beyond my puke of creativity, this song was incredible and perhaps did not sound anything like Rancid.

The acoustic “Impossible Truth” was a nice chance but was move Revival Tour material and did not necessarily go with the rest of the album.  The organ playing was great throughout and I was really reminded of Frank Turner due to the style.

Closing the album up was “Resignation”, a harmonic punk rock track that pretty much solidifies why I love punk rock music so much.  This track just built up so well and just exploded.  Perfect way to end a great album.

If you like catchy punk rock jams, this band is for you.  Success have won me over and Radio Recovery has earned a well-deserved spot in my Best Of 2015 list.

Hands down, this album rules and while produced well, it still is nothing too clean sounding and has plenty of reasons for multiple listens.

If only more newer bands could sound like Success.  Then we could say stupid things like these guys sound like the sweet, sweet sounds of Success.

OK I’m done.

Enjoy.

Album Review: The Brokedowns – Life Is A Breeze

The Brokedowns - Life Is A BreezeLots can be said about punk act The Brokedowns by this music lover.

First, The Brokedowns released an amazing album years ago that I still listen to often, so chances are, this review may show light favoritism.  Secondly, they rule…tons.  Lastly, they have not released an album in at least 4 years, so this is something worth getting excited about.

I learned of The Brokedowns back in 2009 when I was flipping through 45s at Blue Arrow Records.  I picked up a split 7″ with them and Turkish Techno on it and totally made a blind buy having no idea what to expect.  I remember spinning the crap out of that 45.  I loved what both bands had to offer.

The Brokedowns hail from Elgin, Illinois and have been creating their own melodic punk rock since at least 2002.  They have definitely matured over the years and have mastered their sound throughout their time but without losing their unique charm.

“Joliet, The Maui Of The Midwest” started the album off with a gracious and humorous nod to their hometown area.  This song was a straight up jam with a heavy dose of gang vocal opportunities at the end.

Title track “Life Is A Breeze” was a drum hitting, screaming, killer song that was ever so poppy and melodic yet kept that punk edge to it.  I loved how this song was just about dealing with the surroundings and admitting things are not that bad.

“Murder Junkie/CPA” was a pop punk jam that to me sounded like a mix of Low Culture and Iron Chic.  There was a garage rock sound with the punk vibe that just made this track stand out over the others.

“Everything Is Immoral” was brutal.  I loved everything about this track, especially the group harmony just past the halfway mark.  It fit so perfectly.  I just wish I knew what that intro clip was from.  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Without trying to talk about every track on this album, I have to mention how much I loved “Born On The Bayou Too”.  The track alone was one of the best on the album.  I loved the quick breakdowns and just 90s reminiscant guitar playing.

“Cash For Gold” was a quick fun track, but the video for it was beyond freaking hilarious.  The music video titled  GG and Merle Get Jobs was more of a short film with “Cash For Gold” playing throughout.  A true ode to not only crust brothers GG and Merle Allen, but also to Looney Tunes.  The black and white was a nice touch, especially with assisting removing the brown.  Scroll down to see what I am talking about.  The song was bad ass thanks to the  typical Brokedowns flavor throughout I have grown to dig.

For a second there I thought “God Hates Math” was a lost Ween track as it extended from the prior track “I Respect Your Right To Always Be Wrong About Everything” but soon just ignited.

I hope “Keep Branson Weird” was about Sir Branson.  I met that dude once in Baltimore.  True story.  He was nice, but so weird.

Anyways…

Closing the album down was “A Child’s Guide To Black Metal”, a song that may have been toned down a bit versus the others starting ups, but still just awesome, especially once things picked up.

The end of this track left me wanting a copy of the vinyl as backwards lines repeated over seagulls and I am just dying to play the record backwards just to make out what is being said.  A true cliffhanger if you ask me.

This is one memorable album by an amazing group of dudes throughout.  I really hope more people than me are so over-excited about what I just heard.  It rules and is not to be missed.

Head on over to Red Scare Industries and pick up a copy or two.

As promised, here is the video I made mention of earlier.  It’s not exactly a safe for work video.  To make it tamer, let’s just say them boys have really oily hands…  Don’t say I did not warn you.  Enjoy!