Category Archives: Music News

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.

Song Premiere: Borders – Holiday

I’m very stoked to be able to premiere a track by a band called Borders for you all to enjoy.

Featuring Dustin Andrews, formerly of Of Us Giants, this alt rock band has put out one hell of a single and I was asked to showcase it on my site.  After I listened to it, I could not wait to share it.

Check it out:

Borders

Download Link: Borders – “Holiday”

Last year around this time, I was talking up Of Us Giants and was more or less shocked when the band called it quits before they even got to tour.  Things happen for a reason I suppose.

Borders pretty much carries the torch that was prematurely dropped by Of Us Giants.  I am looking forward to hearing their full-length titled Wandering Youth that should drop in May.

 

Darius Koski Solo Debut To Drop April 7th

Hey Swingin’ Utters fans,  Darius Koski is about to debut his solo album.  Before you start throwing down assumptions that the guy is going acoustic just to to make a quick buck, please see what he had to say about the whole solo route:

“I’ve been wanting to have an outlet for it for so long—for longer than I’ve been with the Swingin’ Utters, basically. And I just hadn’t done anything with it. I didn’t really know how I was going to release it, I hadn’t done much live, I have problems remembering lyrics… So I’ve been putting it off for so many years, but it’s finally coming together, and I’m thrilled about it. I’m totally going to go for it.”

Now that you’ve read that, how about you take a listen to one of this new songs:

You’re weren’t expecting that much twang were you?  I know I was not, but I will tell you this, I love it.

Dropping on April 7th, Sisu, is in a genre really of its own with a plethora (yes I said plethora) instrument playing including guitar, piano, banjo, accordion, violin, glockenspiel, vibraphone, melodica, ukulele, and percussion.  This is not just some solo album.  This is years of built up creativity by Koski finally being released property.

I know I am stoked to hear this.

Pre-orders are up at Fat Wreck as of today.  Hurry up and get you some.

Check It Out: Unsung Episode #1: Jason Molina and Songs: Ohia’s Didn’t It Rain

jmpress_2015aI owe my pal Kyle for turning me into a huge Jason Molina fan.

Yesterday, WXPN aired a hour-long special on the late and great Jason Molina.

 

The moment I learned of this, I stopped what I was doing to tell him.  Now I am sharing this with you.

Last night, WXPN in Philadelphia aired the first of Folkadelphia’s Unsung specials of which Jason Molina and Songs: Ohia were the focus. The hour-long feature centered around a watershed moment in Molina’s career, specifically the time leading up to Didn’t It Rain, it’s creation, and the transition to Magnolia Electric Co. Host Fred Kittel guides us through the time period and explores Molina’s impact on a larger scale. The episode includes conversations with important partners in the creation of Didn’t It Rain as well as a compilation of Songs: Ohia covers by local Philadelphia bands. Stream the full episode, covers, etc via the links below.

STREAM FULL SHOW VIA SOUNDCLOUD
https://soundcloud.com/secretlycanadian/folkadelphia-songs-ohia-xpn/

SONGS: OHIA WXPN FOLKADELPHIA COVERS
https://soundcloud.com/secretlycanadian/sets/folkadelphia-songs-ohia-covers/s-ThSEr

Listen to Unsung Episode #1: Jason Molina and Songs: Ohia’s Didn’t It Rain. Make sure you have some spare time on your hands as you are going to get sucked into this.  It is a very interesting look into Molina and his time in Philadelphia while recording and those influenced by it.

Now comes the cool part…  Some of those folk who were influenced by the late and great Molina have contributed to a very appropriate compilation.

Stream and download the entire Songs: Ohia Folkadelphia Covers Compilation, which features RestorationsPsalmships (ft. Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner), The Weaks (ft. Frances Quinlan from Hop Along), Teen MenLaura Baird, and Adeline Hotel performing Jason Molina’s music.

Enjoy.  I know I did.  Especially that Restorations cover…

Cleveland’s Blue Arrow Records To Release Jonathan Richman Singles

JoJo_17-hr_photo_credit_Rory_EarnshawI am so stoked to be able to share this:

Cleveland’s Blue Arrow Records have started their own record label with the same name and first on their roster is the amazing Jonathan Richman.

Seeing that I am huge fan of them both, I could not help but stop what I was doing tonight to share the good news.

Jonathan Richman is easily one of my favorite singer-songwriters out there.  His career reaches all the way back to the 70s with the Modern Lovers and has continued over the years with him turning more into a solo artist.  I have always appreciated his upbeat outlook on life as well as got a kick out of seeing him in There’s Something About Mary and Kingpin.

Blue Arrow Records is a brick and mortar record store staple on Waterloo in the East Cleveland neighborhood of Collinwood. Owned by the good folk Pete and Debbie Gulyas, the store has been selling vinyl and other music related formats/memorabilia since 2009.  I adore that store (and the owners) and have found some incredible gems there over the years including a lot of Richman’s catalog.

The Gulyas’s actually used to own a shop on Coventry in Cleveland Hts. and met Richman in the area some 18 years ago.

Over the years, a friendship was formed between the Gulyas’s and Richman.  Just a few years back, Richman asked the Gulyas’s to help sell merch on an East coast tour.  It just makes sense that this is happening.

On March 1st, Blue Arrow will release 7-inch singles by Richman, “O Sun” and “Keith”.  There are plans for a full length to drop in the Fall as well as extending the label to other acts in due time.

Click on the album covers below to place your pre-order today at Blue Arrow Records ($10 each – Ships in April):

O Sun 7-Inch Single  Keith 7-Inch Single

Richman is actually playing the Euclid Tavern on March 8th with Tommy Larkins on drums.  If you know what is good for you, you will make it and see him perform.  It is a show not to be missed.