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…
It’s not every day that you hear about a Wyoming band cranking out amazing, fast-and-fun punk-rock tunes but that is what Teenage Bottlerocket does best. The foursome, hailing from The Cowboy State, ditched the clichéd Wyoming lifestyle, threw on black leather motorcycle jackets, grabbed their guitars, and created some of the catchiest punk tunes I myself have heard in years.
The band recently released their fourth album, entitled They Came From The Shadows, which happens to also be the band’s first release with the independent punk rock label Fat Wreck Chords.
The band intrigued me with their prior release, Warning Device, when I checked it out last year. With Ramones-like similarities, their pop-punk elegance proved attention-grabbing throughout the disc and I found myself won over by one of the more intelligent bands on the punk scene.
How intelligent? Well it just so happens to be that two members of the band are engineers. Another fun little fact: two members are identical twins.
“Skate Or Die” starts off the album with an ode to younger years of tearing it up complete with classic skate references to the Bones Brigade, street skater legend Rodney Mullen, and even some ’80’s lingo like the term “poseur.” I love the fact that this song is all about the old-school days of skateboarding before it went mainstream.
The girl dodging “Don’t Want To Go” tells of missing the show to avoid the girl at the show. This classic high school tale of shunning from the ex is a cool, likable track.
“Bigger Than Kiss” cracks me up as the band verbally assaults the aging Detroit Rock City make-up wearing men, declaring “Ace Frehley can play guitar but he ain’t no f@cking Kerry King” and shouting, “Calling Dr. Love hey get a load of this, Ray beat the piss out of Peter Criss!” The hilarious song continues to brag that Teenage Bottlerocket will one day be bigger than Kiss and by the end of the song the band seems to think they have proved their boast true.
The disheartening “Not OK” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. I can’t help but to relate this song to many times in my past. “Call In Sick” should be the working class’ national anthem. I could only think of ’80’s punk bands like Black Flag while listening to the song, not because of its music but rather its uncomplicated lyrics that tell a truthful story about the feeling many deal with on a day-to-day basis. “Fatso Goes Nutzoid” contains many elements of ’80’s speed punk, especially with the rifling off of the lyrics.
“Without You” is another track I find myself digging over the others and I love the dual vocals along with the fast-paced drumming. The song bums me out, but in a good way, as it describes missing a special someone who no longer is in the picture. It’s songs like this—you know, the ones you relate to— that make me appreciate music all the more.
The songs on They Came From The Shadows are simple but fun and directly to the point. The album seems to end just as quickly as it begins, begging for another listen. I think that is what I love so much about this band: the simplicity. Not one song here exceeds three-and-a-half minutes, but it doesn’t matter to me at all.
It’s nice to see Teenage Bottlerocket skip out on the extra bells and whistles to sound different. They keep it straightforward on this album (and their previous one, for that matter) and make it sound almost too easy. Fans of the Ramones, Screeching Weasel, the Vandals, and even pre-famed Green Day really need to check out this band if they have not already done so.
Look for Teenage Bottlerocket on tour in support of They Came From The Shadows this fall. From what I have heard, this band is amazing live and I know when they roll though my town next month I will be there to witness it for myself. Click HERE for a complete list of tour dates. This is a punk show not to be missed!!!
Straight out of Compton (no really they are) comes the five piece punk rock band Pour Habit. Their debut release Suiticide recently dropped on Fat Wreck Chords and I have to contest, it is amazing. If you are looking for an album that can incite a circle pit from start to finish this is the CD for you. Full of energy and raw power I have to admit that this was a surprise of a listen for me and I can not believe I did not give it a chance earlier.
Proving that hard work pays off, the band almost could not afford to record demos to offer to Fat Wreck Chords’ owner Fat Mike. Formed in 2005 the band started for the sake of fun and not trying to make money. The band got together to make music for themselves and any good punk rock loving patron out there. Once they obtained a local following thanks to opening for some bigger named punk bands the band threw what money they had toward a studio to record Suiticide and before they knew it they were selling mad amounts of the CD as well as finding themselves opening for NOFX, a band they blame for detouring their path in life.
In fact drummer Colin Walsh had this to say about the effect of the iconic member of the punk rock band NOFX and his independent label:
“Fat Mike ruined me and my brother’s lives. If it wasn’t for Fat Wreck Chords, I’d probably be working a steady job, but because of those bastards this is my life and there’s no way I could ever quit or stop. None of us could and that’s the thing—the five of us are so plugged into each other that we’re really best friends and that’s why we’re so dedicated to making this work.”
After opening for NOFX numerous times Fat Mike soon signed the band to Fat Wreck Chords after the band opened for NOFX numerous times. The CD was re-released but hardly modified as Fat Mike was so impressed with the overall sound. With a melodic mix of energy, metal riffs, and 90’s SoCal punk style, it’s no wonder Fat Mike signed these guys.
In fact the moment I heard the opening track “Institution” I was blown away with it and can see why everyone has been taking such a likening to them. Fast, punk, and energetic, this song has it all to capture any punk rock loving fan’s attention. Following was “Light The Torch”, a song that sounded like a younger Offspring from their years with Nitro Records if not better.
“Against Me” has nothing to do with the other one time Fat Wreck Chord label mate and is way more heavier sounding than Tom Gabel and crew create. The song is thrashy at times and really has a strong Death By Stereo sound. Sick guitar solos, intense vocals, and enough energy to make one jump around swinging fists about.
“Resignation” was a killer track and very technical at that. I loved the guitar playing and just the signing, rather screaming demands throughout the track. “Bad Luck Drunk” emulated everything I love about 90’s thrash punk rock and hinted heavy on Guttermouth with a song about the love of cracking open cold ones.
Starting off a little rasta and detonating into a full fetched riot was “Zion”, a track that stood out over the others with a sick catchy sound, fun guitar playing, and left me wanting more once the track came to an end.
Honestly after the album ended I had to play it again because I was just digging their style so much. In fact I have listened to Suiticide at least ten times and plan on listening to it a few more times before moving on to something else. I have not been addicted to an entire album like this for quite some time.
I can keep talking about this CD or you can go drop $8.00 on it and see for yourself on what good punk rock sounds like. Suiticide is full of what punk rock used to be about, not caring, having a good time, and not giving a crap about what others think. I can not wait until these guys tour over in my neck of the woods. I can guarantee you I will be in attendance.
Banded then disbanded then rebanded, American Steel is back with their second release since their regrouping.After reuniting just two years ago after a five year hiatus the Bay City punkers have a follow-up release on Fat Wreck Chords titled Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts since joining forces with the independent label in 2007.
Having been around since 1995 the band has had some obstructions with some change ups and personal battles including a bout of Leukemia, but they overcame those obstacles and seem to be back in full force.With their onward battle to keep as a band they pretty much keep the punk rock tough in their music on their latest release making for a solid listen.
Opening track “Emergency House Party” has a full forced approach to it.Reminding me of the SoCal punk styles of the nineties I found myself already enjoying the CD just one song in.Before the track “Tear The Place Apart” even finished I found myself tapping my foot and singing along as if I had heard the song a hundred times before.
“Your Ass Ain’t Laughing Now” is a clear callout to someone that might have overlooked the abilities of American Steel in their early stages or perhaps jaded them.The song is comical as well as just fun to listen to with a small ska feel hiding behind guitar playing.
Hinting at a Strung Out style was “The Blood Gets Everywhere” a track that was a little more technical than the others.I absolutely adored this song and found myself sitting there with the CD book open in front of me reading the lyrics while listening along to the song.I felt like a kid all over again.
Title track “Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts” was a little more of an upbeat punk track inviting you to move along to the song but with a clear discontented message that really will make you think.If a video has not been made for this track showing people carelessly dancing around then maybe one should be.
“Lights Out” was more of a rough sounding punk rock track once again hinting back to the SoCal style of the nineties.Fast paced and to the point the track really reminded me of Face To Face.“Bergamot” continued with the awesomeness of the album as well did “Where You Want To Be”.
This album is going to be liked by a lot of people once all of the current American Steel fans tell all of their friends how great Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts really is.From start to finish I was treated to a revelry of a punk rock album.With no dull moments throughout, this is one of those recordings out there that sets the standard for wholesome punk rock.
American Steel truly has outdone themselves on Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts as they just sound stronger and more controlled than ever.One can only hope they expand their mini tour of the West Coast to more of a statewide venture.I would love to see these guys rock out live. Fans of Alkaline Trio and Face To Face will get a kick out of Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts as well anyone else out there who likes straightforward punk rock from a band not trying too hard just to turn heads.
It was a memorable punk rock event Thursday night at the Grog Shop thanks to The Bouncing Souls, The Loved Ones, and Black President. The three bands actually had just performed to a packed the house the night before as the bands made a two night stop at the well known Cleveland venue. Having not been able to attend both shows I am glad I was at least able to be at one seeing how great of an evening I had.
New Jersey’s The Bouncing Souls have taken this entire year to celebrate being a punk rock band for 20 years. To commemorate their success the band has been releasing a song a month for download available on their own label’s website Chunksaah Records for the entire 2009 year. The band also will be releasing a limited edition 7″ every third month of the year available online, at select music shops, and of course at their live shows. If that was not good enough for a festivity, the band decided to hit the road on a string of tours to select cities. Accompanying The Bouncing Souls were friends The Loved Ones and punk rock super group Black President.
The venue filled up quickly and featured all sorts of fans, many who were at the previous night’s show. Punk rockers of all ages hung out in the dark venue waiting for what was to come. I joked to my friends how old I felt seeing that I saw The Bouncing Souls open for NOFX in 1998. Still I refused to let age affect me and was excited to be a part of the evening as I had been looking forward to this show for weeks.
Black President started off the evening and pretty much set the mood for the rest of the evening with their energy. Formed in 2005 well before Barack Obama because his quest, a lot of ticket holders thought that the band name was created after the fact of our current president. The band consisting of some pretty important punk rockers like Charlie Paulson of Goldfinger and Dave Raun of Lagwagon did not get the full credit they deserved by all who attended from the start but the crowd seemed to warm up to them. I myself was enthralled the moment the band broke into a Motorhead cover of “Iron Fist” and then announced it was their first time playing the song live. Blasting through selected songs from their self titled debut release including “Last F#cking Hope” the band won me over and much of the crowd as well.
The Loved Ones, hailing from Philadelphia, may not have been around for twenty years but they took stage and played their hearts out to the welcoming crowd. This Fat Wreck Chords act has been a favorite of mine for a couple of years now so it was great to finally see them play the stage. Playing songs from their recent EP Distractions as well as former releases Build & Burn and Keep Your Heart, including the catchy song “The Bridge”, the band sounded solid and looked to be having a great time performing to the near sold out crowd.
Before The Bouncing Souls even took stage fans were screaming the trademark Bouncing Souls soccer chant “Ole” jointly. The moment the Bouncing Souls took stage and started playing the temperature rose a good ten degrees in the venue from all the movement in the crowd. With arms in the air, and some legs too, the fans were truly going ballistic for the main act of the evening.
Greg Attonito and crew were all smiles as they ripped through show starter “True Believer”. Classic tracks such as “That Song”, Here We Go”, Lean On Sheena”, and “I Like Your Mom” continued the set with almost all the fans singing along to. At times the lead singer looked more of a lounge act as he slowly graced the stage to the left and right and just seemed so at peace with the environment surrounding him.
Towards the middle of the set Greg Attonito grabbed an acoustic guitar and played a very chill version of the Misfits‘ “Hybrid Moments” which brought grins to the faces of all the real punk rockers in the crowd. I sang along with everyone else and for a brief moment felt like a kid all over again.
I was not at a Bouncing Souls show that night, I was at a Bouncing Souls celebration for them being a punk act for 20 years. Having been a fan of them for most of those 20 year I felt so fortunate to be a part of the festivities and enjoyed every moment of the evening. Openers Black President were a treat to see live as were The Loved Ones making for an ultimate night of punk rock fun.
I managed to take a couple of photos that night at the show but the Grog Shop has terrible lighting and I do not use a flash out of repsect for the artists performing. Here are a couple that came out that looked ok in black & white. I would have gotten closer for some shots but the pits for all three performance were pretty insane and I love my camera too much to risk damage to it.
(ok, I’m not going to lie…these pics SUCK. Better luck next time I guess…)
Here is a video of the acoustic version of “Hybrid Moments” taken from another venue: