Tag Archives: Epitaph

Social Distortion Signs w/ Epitaph Records!!!

Pretty sweet news!  Epitaph Records announced today their newest member of their family – punk rock legends Social Distortion!  If that is not enough, the band is working on all new material!  Read below for more info courtesy of Epitaph!

May 11, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA – Epitaph Records is proud to welcome Southern California’s iconic rock ‘n’ roll group Social Distortion to the label with plans to release their first studio album since 2004 in fall 2010. The signing pairs one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most renowned bands with one of the most respected independent labels for what could be the greatest match in decades.

“We feel that Epitaph has a natural understanding of Social Distortion; both the history of the band and the direction we want to go,” says frontman Mike Ness. “Combine that with their successful track record and it felt like a good next step for us. We’ve always been open to new ideas and pushing the envelope, but we have also been very conscientious about the decisions we’ve made. We considered a lot of options, but in the end, Epitaph feels like the right home for us. We’re looking forward to taking this step forward, opening some new doors with this upcoming album and this next chapter of Social Distortion.”

“My relationship with Mike goes way back to the beginnings of our careers in the LA music scene,” adds Epitaph owner and president Brett Gurewitz. “Through the years Social Distortion have been a matchless voice in American rock and roll and I couldn’t be more thrilled to play a part in the next chapter for this great band.”

In March the band entered a Burbank studio to record their yet to be titled seventh studio album, produced by Mike Ness, which is slated for release this fall.

“We went back to tape, old compressors and old microphones,” Ness recently told Spinner.com. “We’re just really trying to fight modern technology as much as possible.”

“The record reminds me very much of Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (the band’s 1992 release), but also I’m bringing elements of early New York ’70s punk,” said Ness.

Social Distortion also recently announced a U.S. summer tour with Dan Sartain and The Action Design. The tour kicks off July 27 in Poughkeepsie, NY and makes seven stops in the Northeast before the band heads to Chicago for an August 7 main stage performance at this year’s Lollapalooza. Dates with Dan Sartain and The Action Design resume in Green Bay, Wisconsin on August 8. A complete list of tour dates follows.

Formed in Fullerton, CA in 1979, Social Distortion have spent the last three decades performing their signature style of roots driven rock ‘n’ roll and hard luck stories for fans worldwide while recording six classic, critically heralded albums including Mommy’s Little Monster, Prison Bound, Social Distortion, Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, White Light, White Heat, White Trash and Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Social Distortion Tour Dates:
July 27 – Poughkeepsie, NY – The Chance
July 28 – Hampton Beach, NH – Casino Ballroom
July 30 – Providence, RI – Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
July 31 – Hartford, CT – The Webster
Aug 1 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Aug 3 – Wantagh, NY – Mulcahy’s
Aug 4 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club
Aug 5 – Rochester, NY – Nola’s BBQ
Aug 7 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
Aug 8 – Green Bay, WI – Oneida Casino
Aug 10 – Council Bluffs, IA – Stir Cove @ Harrah’s
Aug 11 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
Aug 13 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory
Aug 14 – Medford, OR – Medford Armory

…and no Cleveland show…yet I hope.

The Weakerthans – Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre – DVD/CD Review

Many fans of indie rock know who The Weakerthans are and what exactly they do.  For years now the Canadian four (and sometimes up to six) some have been creating amazing albums that are heavy on the indie but also incorporate folk and twang into their material.  They are a band that I label as an “accident band”.  What I mean by that is I became a fan of them by accident.

Back in the days of slinging coffees at the café at the Borders Books & Music I worked at I came across a Weakerthans’ album at a listening station one day while on break.  This was at a time and age when the internet was still ruled by AOL and MySpace was just an idea waiting to be hatched out.  I remember clearly putting the headphones on at the listening station and checking out a couple tracks from Left and Leaving.  Liking what I heard, I recall reading a bio about the band while listening to more tracks and taking a double look at the card when it mentioned one time Propagandhi member John Samson.  Seriously, my mouth dropped open.

I was maybe 23 at the time and was slowly opening my musical tastes more.  Being a punk rocker at heart I was in awe that the bassist of one of my favorite punk rock bands was fronting such a melodic and low-key band.  I heard enough, grabbed the CD, and took it to the register for purchase.  Needless to say my musical appreciation was given a boost thanks to the Weakerthans and to this day I am still an avid fan though I have yet to see them live.

Having missed them the couple times they did roll though Cleveland one could say I was excited to see that they had released  a live DVD/CD titled Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre on Epitaph Records/ANTI- Records.  Performed in their hometown of Winnipeg, Canada in April of 2009, the band recorded the performance at the Burton Cumming’s Theatre (yes, the sweet mustached Burton Cummings of The Guess Who).   Just to clarify I believe the theatre was named after the classic rock musician and that he has nothing to do with it.

The DVD/CD captures the perfect evening of a show with the talented indie rockers as well as their dedicated fans who filled the venue up the night it was recorded.  With no fancy light shows or theatrics the band hit the stage and played a very fun and great sounding show.   Their sound, I should add, almost sounds studio and one could be fooled until the fans started hooting and hollering after every song.

Playing songs old and new the band just sounded amazing and looked ever so comfortable on the stage.  Hearing them open with “Everything Must Go” really reminded me why I have been a fan for so long but seeing how happy they were performing the song brought a whole new appreciation from me for them.  With the crowd cheering and the band just having fun it was apparent that this show was going to be a good one.  Speeding things up they broke into “Tournament Of Hearts” immediately after.  With five members on stage it appeared as if Samson’s wife Christine Fellows was hiding in the shadows offering vocals as well.

The band’s (and the crowd’s) friend Julie played on some songs as well including “Night Windows” where she offered some violin. Keeping the show rolling the band broke into “Reconstruction Site” a twangy delight of a song to listen to as well.  The band completely rocked out during “Aside” all while Samson smiled big while singing.  “Bigfoot” was another track I really got a kick out of with all the instrument playing.

Hearing perhaps my favorite Weakerthans song of all time, “Plea From A Cat Named Virtue”, put the biggest smile on my face even if I was watching a recording of the show.  The song revolving around a wise feline carried on perfectly, even the trumpet playing at the close of the song.  Samson also offered a simple impromptu guitar solo that was cut short on the CD but the DVD shows the humorous moment.

During “Wellington’s Wednesdays” Samson pulled up a fan on stage named Ernesto who had the pleasure of filling in a guitar solo in the key of E.  I must say after a nervous start Ernesto started jamming hard with the rest of the band as Samson took the honorary member’s place in the crowd for a short moment.  The band then followed up “The Reasons” as well as “Sun In An Empty Room”.  I swear if it were not for the fans cheering at times my mind tried to argue with me that I was not listening to a live album.

Overall the show was a fun time full of a great set by an outstanding band.  The DVD featured shots of the band throughout the 75 plus minute performance with good angles as well as occasionally would focus in on a true fan singing along.  Capturing The Weakerthans in their hometown was one hell of an idea and even if I have not seen them live in the flesh, I am glad I had the opportunity to have this performance in my possession.

The DVD/CD ranks high with my all time favorite live albums and I have listened to it multiple times now and I am not just saying that.  Great music by a bunch guys made even more entertaining by the simple fact that they were having a blast while doing their job.  If you are a fan of indie rock or just want to spend the evening with some great music do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre.

Track Listing (DVD/CD):
01. Everything Must Go
02. Tournament of Hearts
03. Our Retired Explorer (Dines with Michel Foucault in Paris in 1969)
04. Night Windows
05. Reconstruction Site
06. Aside
07. Civil Twilight
08. Bigfoot
09. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
10. The Reasons
11. Sun In An Empty Room
12. Left and Leaving
13. Wellington’s Wednesdays
14. Benediction
15. Manifest
16. One Great City!
17. This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open
18. Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure

Story Of The Year – The Constant – CD Review

St. Louis’ pop/post-hardcore ballad rockers Story Of The Year (SOTY) are back with an all new album entitled The Constant.  Matching the likes of their previous material the CD is heavy on the ballads that so many fans have been accustomed to over the years as well as carries a couple of tracks that are destined for mainstream play.  This is the band’s fourth studio album and has been released on Epitaph Records.

I’ll admit I was not a STOY fan after hearing their first album Page Ave.  The song “Until The Day I Die” was the first and only song I heard by the band  That was just too much for me and of course it was plastered all over the radio and TV so I never checked out the CD.  It was not until the band’s follow-up release that I finally gave them a chance.  In The Wake Of Determination really changed the way I felt about them with their likable post-hardcore tracks.  When I saw them play at the Vans Warped Tour a couple years later I deemed myself a fan.  They were not what I originally pictured them as, they were actually musicians that happened to dish out an instant hit and rocked out especially well live.

The Constant keeps inline with their previous albums with likable tracks as heard in the opening track “The Children Sing”.  The children in the background singing “don’t take this world away from me” instantly reminded me of The Lost Boys but the song itself is catchy as hell and just sounds well written.  “The Ghost Of You And I” follows with heavy intensity and, dare I say, reminded me of something Linkin Park might have done until the chorus fills in.

“I’m Alive” was once of the cuts on the CD that I liked over the others.  It’s a to the point rock ballad, nothing less, nothing more and hints back to the days when those heavy metal hair-bands showed a softer side to life.  “To The Burial” was without a doubt my favorite track on the entire CD with enough energy to incite a circle pit in portions of the song. The guitar solos, the singing, and the drumming on this track all amount to reasons why I am a SOTY fan.

Changing things up was more-so post-hardcore song “The Dream Is Over” but then came “Holding On To You” a track once again showing a softer approach of the quintet. It’s not all rock ballads though as “Won Threw Ate” proved.  This screaming vocal track was perhaps the heaviest on the album and kindly welcomed to my ears.  “Time Goes One” brought a little punk element to the CD as well as some group vocals that I am sure the fans will be singing along to at their live shows.  Ending the CD was another choice track of mine titled “Eye For An Eye”.  I loved the energy of the track throughout with heavier guitar playing and just brutal drumming.

I was honestly hoping for more of a heavier approach though the entire album but still SOTY put out a solid album.  Where as the ballads are welcomed I much prefer SOTY at their angriest and heaviest even though I know they are labeled “post-hardcore”.  As I previously mentioned former fans of this band will enjoy the CD and I am sure once a couple of tracks from The Constant hit the mainstream there will be a slew of new fans.

The band is getting ready to tour in support of The Constant.  If you are looking for a great live show you best check these boys out.  If you need reason why just pier below at some of the videos.

Tour Dates:
Feb 26 – Chicago, IL – Cubby Bear
Mar 25 – Denver, CO – The Marquis Theatre
Mar 26 – Salt Lake City, UT – Murray Theater
Mar 27 – Las Vegas, NV – Desert Breeze Skate Park
Mar 28 – Anaheim, CA – Bamboozle West
Mar 30 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
Mar 31 – Orangevale, CA – Boardwalk
Apr 2 – Phoenix, AZ – Clubhouse
Apr 3 – Tucson, AZ – The Rock
Apr 5 – Dallas, TX – The Door/Prophet Bar
Apr 6 – San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit
Apr 7 – Houston, TX – Channel
Apr 9 – St. Petersburg, FL – State Theatre
Apr 10 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade

More Music Videos…

I am just in a punk rock mood tonight it seems…  I guess that means music video time!  Here are some music videos recently I checked out hovering around the punk genre…  Enjoy!

First up is some live footage from a cover band called Filler a Minor Threat cover band that only played once to my knowledge. The band that night  was made up of some pretty heavy hitters in the punk world including Zach Blair (Rise Against, Only Crime), Luke Abbey (Gorilla Biscuits), Mike Herrera (MxPx, Tumbledown), and Rob Marchant (Riverboat Gamblers), and featuring vocals by Frank Carter (Gallows) and Sam Ghanbar (Complete Control).

This video was taken at Red 7 in Austin, TX at SXSW. Reason #78621654 why I wish Austin was the city I lived in…

Dirty Tatics from Philadelphia:

Dirty Tactics – “Highway Robbery” & “Bleeding Gums” from Punknews.org on Vimeo.

I found this Gastlight Anthem take on a Hot Water Music song on PunkNews.Org:

The Gaslight Anthem – “Trusty Chords” (cover) from Punknews.org on Vimeo.

The Real McKenzies – “Maple Trees Forever”

Pop Punkers Settle:

Millencolin – “Detox”

Concert Review(s): Converge 10-19-2009 / Gallows 11-08-09 – Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH

In the past month or so I attended two of the craziest shows I have been to in quite some time. This year I have seen a lot of different genres of music live and really nothing was that out of hand to the point where I left almost laughing at the insanity of the performance of both band and crowd. The last two shows though that I attended at the Grog Shop, not only did I leave satisfied with the show, but also was just blown away at the insanity created during it.

A few weeks back I was invited to see longtime hardcore act Converge play a small show with special guests High On Fire and Keelhaul. Converge and High On Fire were taking a break from the [adult swim] sponsored Mastodon / Dethklok tour. As much as I wish Mastodon and Dethklok made a stop as well in Cleveland I knew that Converge and High On Fire would play longer sets at the smaller venue.

Keelhaul, a local metal band, played a great, mostly instrumental, set to  small but growing crowd. I was pleased to see these old school (to me) Clevelanders take stage and deliver some solid sludge metal. At times they were heavy and out of control while other times formulated into a Clutch like jam the whole crowd appreciated.  They were solid and really into their performance and I am glad I got there in time to see them.

I saw High On Fire previously over the summer at Bonnaroo so I was already aware that they would put out a sick performance. The band rocked from the moment they took the stage until their final song. Playing for just over 45 minutes I enjoyed seeing a good metal set and was even treated to a new track from their upcoming release. Lead singer Mike Pike admitted that they had not played a small venue in a while and perhaps that is why they all seemed so pumped to play that night.

High On Fire Setlist:
Fury Whip
Blood from Zion
Eyes and Teeth
Commeth Down Hessian
Waste of Tiamat
Frost Hammer
Rumors of War

Sadly some people actually left once High On Fire was done. Why? Who knows…their loss.

Now where do I begin with Converge? I have to admit that I missed them all of the previous times they came through Cleveland for whatever reason so this was my first taste at live Converge. All I have to say about their set is this…WOW. They played a huge array of tracks including a couple of their newest album Axe To Fall which was recently released through Epitaph Records.

For a band that has been around for 17 years they are just as incredible as ever. I have never seen anyone like lead singer Jacob scream so hard into a mic.  The fans were eating it up with the hardcore kids flailing about carelessly just enjoying themselves.

As a seasoned concert goer I stay away from the pit. I am old and get tired quickly. I can not do roundhouses with grace nor do I want to jump on top of other fans in attempts of getting the mic pushed in my face for a chance to recite a lyric. Now if I were younger you can bet your ass I would have been jumping around and kicking and singing through the set just like many of the younger fans did. It was incredible. These kids were true fans pushing out every lyric of every song with ease. I could only look at the kids and think back to the days when I did stuff like that.

Converge played songs old and new and just tore it up. It was one of the better shows I have been to all year. Hardcore is not dead by any means and Converge is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Converge Setlist:
No Heroes
Bare My Teeth
Reap What You Sow
Worms Will Feed
Axe to Fall
Eagles Become Vultures
The Broken Vow
Drop Out
Hope Street
Bitter and Then Some
Last Light
Dark Horse

A few weeks later one of my favorite UK bands invaded Cleveland once again. There was no way in hell I was going to miss this show. Sadly a lot of my friends punked out but my pal Josh and I trucked up the the Grog Shop on a Sunday night in hopes of a great show featuring none other than Gallows.

Local openers Wreak Havoc and Above This Fire were both decent openers. I have heard of each act and have seen their names posted around Cleveland for some time now yet never checked either out.   Their fans were all about both sets as they jumped on top of each other and kicked and danced around the pit. I do need to note one particular instance of the night though that cracked me up during Above This Fire…

There was a younger fan, a female fan, who was a little shorter than the rest. She stood her ground at the front of the stage with a mean pissed off look that honestly resembles mine. Every once in a while she would take a lap around the pit and push people around and clearly was just into the set doing her thing, being hardcore. For whatever reason during one of the rounds she decided to go into the crowd and punch me straight in the kidney. On purpose or not, I was laughing too hard to feel the pain… Don’t worry, I did not retaliate.

This was my third time seeing Gallows live and there is a reason for that…they own.  Frank Carter and crew put on a killer performance and the kids were jumping and kicking and screaming their hearts out. I thought for sure Carter was going to take the mic into the pit and sing in the crowd as he has done previously but this time he planted his feet on stage.

I don’t know if it is from constant touring or what but Carter just looked tired and not himself.  He sang on point but lacked the overzealous attitude I usually am humored by.  He is usually outspoken and just a bad ass but this time around he seemed tame.  Even the crowd did not seem as insane as when I saw them at the Warped Tour.  During the Gallow’s cover of Black Flag‘s “Nervous Breakdown” I thought for sure the Grog Shop was going to be one giant circle put but it did not even make it past the pillars in the center of the venue.

On occasion Carter dipped in the front row while singing but never stepped foot in the pit until the last song.  Covering songs on both albums it even seemed as if they could have played a little longer but before I knew it Carter announced it was the last song and busted into “Orchestra Of Wolves”.

During that last song he let the fans take over singing duties as he jumped in the crowd and pushed himself to the back of the pit where I was standing. After a few moments the sweaty skinny hardcore Englishman thwarted back in the pit and back on stage. Once the song was done that was it. No encore, show over, and I loved it.

Sadly I was not paying a lot of attention to the set because I had one too many PBR‘s during the show.  If anyone knows of the set the Gallows slammed out that night let me know and I will gladly post it.

As I finish this blog up tonight it was brought to my attention that the Gallows jumped off the AFI tour due to illness in the band.  Perhaps that is why Carter and crew did not seem nearly as energetic.  Direct from their website they stated:

We will not be appearing on the remaining 5 dates with AFI we were scheduled to play. This is due to members of the band being very sick & we need some urgent rest. We’re very sorry to anyone who bought tickets to see us on these shows, we will be back soon!

Rest up Gallows.

I may be getting up there in age but I can tell you that I had a blast at both shows even if I stood at the base of the put and did not move at all.  Crossing my arms and nodding my head is my way of approval these days and I can tell you I did a lot of that at both shows I attended.