Tag Archives: Release

Album Review: Big Dick – Disappointment

Big Dick - DisappointmentIndie-punk duo Big Dick have returned with an all new album titled Disappointment.

This is a follow up to the band’s impressive 2013 self-titled debut and once again has been released through Dirt Cult Records.

Before you question the band’s name and its meaning, just note it was taken from a NoMeansNo song title.  Don’t dig in too deep you pervs.  Who am I kidding?  If you ever heard the original song, your questions might be validated instantly.

Anyways…

Cultivating their own sound with just drums, bass, and dueling vocals, Big Dick really reaches back to 90s alternative rock styles while keeping a DIY punk and even garage rock edge.  The result is melodic yet heavy at times making for a truly killer listen.

“Let Down” was a catchy self-esteem downer of a track fueled throughout with a heavy distorted bass.  This opening track was a subtile reminder to me how much I enjoy this band as well as one of my favorite cuts on this release.

“Last Days” straight up ruled with the dual harmonies and just addicting bass riffs.  It’s hard to believe that there are only two dudes in this band when you hear songs like this.  This was another favored track over the rest.

“Up A Step” took  more pop-punk noise route that was totally ok with this listener.  At times, the vocals just seemed off but not enough to ruin the track.

“Out On A Limb” was a tad more technical with intricate bass lines.  The dual vocals and singing on “Crawl” was worth of an immediate second listen.  I dug this track a ton.

Tracks like “Marnier”, “Good Hunting”, and “Another Minute” really showed the band has matured and mastered their own sound.  From the lyrics to the insane drum and bass playing, I could not help but just get sucked into what I was listening to.  Then came “Young Love”, a more experimental track of sorts that clearly could have been a Ween b-side.

“Bad Dream” was one of my favorite tracks on the album.  I loved the different genres I could hear in this track, especially the grungy garage rock.  The slight harmonies in the background and the throat-clearing screams made it that much better.

Disappointment is anything but that.  Fans of Japandroids, Two Gallants, and even Death From Above 1979 are going to eat this up.

Album Review: Purple – (409)

Purple - (409)2015 has not even started yet and here I am listening to a band I’ve never heard of before thinking to myself how deserving they are to drop on my best of 2015 list.

I know, I know, maybe I need to chill out a bit.  In all honesty though, I am dead serious about how much I enjoyed this act.

What would happen if you took Brodie Dalle (Distillers) and asked her to join the White Stripes with the soul purpose of mimicking 90s Sub Pop acts prior to the turn of the century?

Purple.

I speak not of the color, but of the boy-girl-boy Texas trio that literally has caught me off guard in a good good way.  They call their sound party rock and I could not agree more.

In January, Purple drops their debut (409) on Pias Recordings.  It is tough for me to even think that this is their first album given how well put together it sounds.

“Wallflower” started things off with a Detroit rock sound.  It was tough to gauge this band until about the halfway mark and suddenly I was loving what I heard.

“Leche Loco” carried an amazing similarity to 90s acts like Dinosaur Jr. and Bikini Kill as well as even good ol’ Jane’s Addiction.

“Beach Buddy” was a catchy track that was like a morph between Used Kids, The Strokes, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  This fun beach jam was amazing.  I loved the back and forth singing between Hanna Brewer and Taylor Busby only for them to join together.

“Thirteen” was like Joan Jett met a hardcore version of The Faint.  Damn, this song was nuts.  I loved it.  The quick breakdowns and the heavy guitars with distorted vocal notes.  The video for it was even more insane.

“Target” had Brewer singing like a young Gwen Stefani and Juliana Hatfield but not without adding her own force in.  “Head On The Floor” continued with I am hoping the next song to be plastered all over the radio.  This track reeked of 90s alt-rock and was extremely enjoyable thanks to that Weezer bass riff.

With more of a blues rock feel, “Newborn” slowed things down a bit.  I felt this track proved how much talent this band holds.  Dan Auerbach, maybe you need to hit these kids up over Danger Mouse next time.  Seriously though, this tune was impressive.

“I like to party and ear a bikini” started off the final song “DMT”, a gritty punk jam that was heavy on the distortion and reverb.  Not sure how this will come off but, it is so nice to hear new music take queue from classic punk and alt-rock sounds from my younger years.

This album was full of wholesome pop-garage-punk-rock goodness with some  psychedelic flavor and even a little riot grrl-ish making for a truly refreshing listen.   If anything though, most of all, it was freaking fun.

This band is going places.  I know it.

The best part about this release?  It drops on my birthday.

New Music Video: Buzzcocks – “It’s Not You”

It’s nice to see bands legends like the Buzzcocks still do what they do best and not disappoint at all.

Buzzcocks

Today, the UK punk pioneers dropped a video for “It’s Not You”, a single off their new album titled The Way.  This all new release if scheduled to be available on November 18th on 1-2-3-4 GO! Records.

Check it out:

I do not know about you, but I dig this track a lot.  Nice to see a band that is pushing 40 years still have no problem delivering some solid material.

Pre-Order a copy of The Way today by clicking HERE.

Check It Out: Panucci’s Pizza

Don't Tip the Delivery Boy by Panucci's PizzaPunk rock and pizza?

Awesome.

Downingtown / West Chester, Pennsylvanians Panucci’s Pizza are an emo-ish punk rock duo with a heavy appreciation for pizza and straight up ridiculous song titles.

Not only were the track names entertaining, the music itself was pretty bad ass to listen to.  I liked the mix of acoustic demos and just full blown chaotic jams.  I did not know what to expect with each track and by the end I just wanted some more.  Funny, that is exactly how I feel about pizza sometimes…

Panucci’s Pizza re-released their 2013 full length Don’t Tip the Delivery Boy on CD via Songs from the Road Records. You can order the pizza-decorated CD here.  Scroll down a bit to check it out via Bandcamp.

I can not help but be reminded of my homies Cherry Cola Champions and Two Hand Fools a lot though this release.  It’s definitely worth checking out.

Track Listing:

1. Holy Diver Pt. 2
2. Ladies, Welcome to my Swaggrokrag
3. You know when the Trojans got that horse and they were all “Yeah this is totally a gift” Thats how sure I am
4. Pokemon Cards and an Empty Bottle of Grape Juice
5. The World’s greatest Bowler is the World’s worst anything else
6. Nicholas Cajun (Stole the Declaration of Pizzapendence!)
7. Wait, you know who Frankie Muniz is right?
8. I still haven’t seen “Almost Famous”
9. My Imaginary Friend is STILL addicted to Pornography

Album Review: Signals Midwest – Light On The Lake

Signals Midwest - Light On the LakeI know I have said in the past that I usually  do not review any of my friend’s album releases, but I seriously think it’s time to change that.

Within the last year alone, a whole slew of my friends have been dropping excellent releases left and right.  Many of those said releases were immediately thrown into my regular rotation and also made it to my “Best Of 2013” list without me even thinking twice.

One of these bands I speak of is Cleveland’s heartthrobs (and beer snobs), Signals Midwest.  I learned of them through friends who had shared stages and basements with them and soon became not only a fan, but also a friend.  All four members are some of the coolest, kindest people I know.

They have a musical style that ranges from punk rock to indie rock while also carrying a progressive technical grace that is just so appealing.  Featuring Max Stern on guitar / vocals, Jeff “JR” Russell on guitar, Loren Shumaker on bass, and Steve Gibson on drums, the band has been doing their thing since late 2008.

The band’s sophomore release of Latitudes & Longitudes was easily one of my favorite releases in 2012.  It was no surprise that I turned into even an bigger fan once I heard Light On The Lake.  Yeah, it may have dropped a few months back, but after listening to it again today, I realized I needed to write a little something-something about it.

Released through the ever cool folk at Tiny EnginesLight On The Lake is an impressive release from start to finish.  It’s an album not only composed of great tunes but also layered with a very narrative story containing a journey of self-realization, injury, and coming to terms.  The more I read into the story throughout this album, the more I am loving it.

“308” started off the album with Stern and crew singing a somber yet catchy into.   With Stern singing, “give me time ’cause I’m trying to process this”, clearly emotions were beginning to rise.  I really dug how the opening track snuck its way into “In The Pauses”.  I enjoyed this track tremendously with continual up and down arrangements throughout.

“A Room Once Called Yours” picked things up, but the song continued down a gloomy route.  The guitar playing and brutal drumming really is what grabbed my attention throughout.  I loved when Stern sang: “So why do we decide to leave when what we really wanna do is stay? And when all we want to do is sleep, we force ourselves awake.”

“St. Vincent Charity” sat on me heavier than the others with technical guitar playing added to an array of group harmonies throughout.  What a killer track to listen to.  Listening to the song build up and climax was beyond satisfying.  The lyrics though is what made this song so poignant.  Easily this was one of my favorite tracks on the album.

Having been far away from home before leaving loved ones behind, “The Desert To Denver” really stuck to me.  I felt that I really related to the lyrics: “Save me from sinking in this city. Be the light that guides me home.”  After all, it was the love in my current relationship as well as from my friends and family that kept me stable until I was able to travel back east.

Signals Midwest - Photo by Andee Wells
Signals Midwest – Photo Credit: Andee Wells

I loved Loren’s distorted bass-smashing on “Lowercase”.  It really reached back to the 90s alt-rock that I have always adored.

“San Anselmo” opened reminding me of an Avett Brother’s song – no joke.  Remember the part in “Pretty Girl From Chili”right after Gabriella’s voicemail?Ok, I am sure I lost some of you just now.  Anyways…the song opened up pretty awesomely and just continued to amaze throughout.  I loved this west-coast-love-affair-with-a-rust-belt-local track so much.

Closing the album was “A Glowing Light, An Impending Dawn”, a track that was like a tribute and a procession.  The song put the album to rest as well as the story that was being told throughout.  It started softly and built up almost to a celebration status, only to thin out.

I’m pleased to have gotten to know these swell guys over the last few years and plan on keeping them pals for life.  From seeing them live on stage to hanging out with them for a night when I was out in the middle of nowhere, these dudes are top notch.

Cleveland is full of amazing bands and honestly, this is the best the music scene has been for as long as I can remember.   Take that how you want it, but if you are not caught up with the area talent, then maybe you need to turn your attention to some of these hard working acts in the area.  Start with Signals Midwest and branch out accordingly.  You will not be disappointed.

Signals Midwest are playing Brite Winter Fest this weekend before taking a well-deserved break.  You can follow their shenanigans on their Tumblr page or on good ol’ Facebook.

To snag your very own copy of Light On The Lake, head on over to the Tiny Engines website and give them all of your money.