Category Archives: Acoustic

EP Review: Ninja Gun – Roman Nose

A few years back I was handed a CD by this band called Ninja Gun. All I could think in my head was what in the hell is a Ninja Gun and why is there a peach on the front cover?

Prior to listening to that album, I assumed that they were going to be just another screaming, loud and young act that I would care less about and almost passed it up.  I am glad my curiosity got the best of me though as  I was sorely shocked once I  heard what Ninja Gun was all about

They were more of a melodic folk/rock/country driven act that impressed me well past my expectations.  To this day their debut release, Restless Rubes, is spun in my household regularly.

On April 12th Ninja Gun will release a four-song EP entitled Roman Nose on Sabot Productions.  This is the band’s follow up teaser to that 2008 debut Restless Rubes that I almost passed over.

Led by Jonathan Coody, the band has toured with many a punk act in their time thanks to being less than an hour away from Gainsville, the punk rock capital of Florida.  Regardless of their sound, they have always had no problem keeping the punk fans entertained.

Starting off the EP was “That’s Not What I Heard”, a poppy yet chilled-out track that carried layered acoustic  guitars setting a certain mood for a good ol’ porch hangout with friends.  As relaxed as it sounded though, the lyrics were pungent and well-written.

The track “Hot Rain” tells the story of the demise in farming in the band’s hometown.  Just listening to this track I can hear improvement in the band’s sound.  It just sounded so well put together.

“Lepers In Love”, a tune about a  seemingly unjust relationship, was a killer track.  The song carries a certain slow-waltzing feeling at the beginning but rocks out shortly after.

The mellow “Roman Nose” on the other-hand, told the tale of a good man selling an “old thing” an ultimate token of love for his special someone.  Musically it was such a sorrow-sounding song, but became beautiful once the lyrics dissolved in my mind.

All I could think while listening to this EP is how funny it is that Ninja Gun is known to tour with punk bands yet I know they would have no problem playing along side Lucero or opening up for Wilco or even The Avett Brothers

I find it humorous that there are a peaches incorporated on the EP’s artwork now knowing that their hometown of Valdosta, GA is surrounded by peach farms.  The first time I saw the cover art for Restless Rubes and the lone peach sitting there, I could not gather why there was a peach on it.  Come on folks, I am from Ohio… 

Valdolsta can be a little busy downtown, but the surrounding areas are quiet towns with not a lot to do.  Trust me, I’ve been there.  It looks like the type of city many folk dream of escaping from and moving on to bigger and better things, but they don’t – not because they are prisoners of the city, but because it’s a really chill and relaxing place to live.

Ninja Gun was once a hidden jem but I am thinking that is all going to be changing very soon.  Roman Nose is just a taste of what this small-town band has in store for their next full release and I could not be happier for them.

Want to hear “That’s Not What I Heard”?  Head over to Magnet Magazine and check it out for yourself!

Frank Turner Premieres New Song

Mark your calendars folks.  Frank Turner is releasing his highly anticipated fourth album on June 7th entitled England Keep My Bones.

Would you like to hear a new song from the upcoming release?

Head over to NME.com today to check out “I Am Disappear”.  It is an awesome song. 

Turner also released the track listing (read below) and album cover today:

I can not even tell you how excited I am to hear this release.  Turner has impressed me over the years with his folk/punk/rock sounds.  June can not come soon enough.

From Epitaph.com:

Rising singer-songwriter Frank Turner will be releasing his much anticipated fourth album entitled England Keep My Bones this coming June 7thvia Epitaph Records/Xtra Mile Recordings. 

The new album was produced by Tristan Ivemy and recorded within the stunning confines of Church Studios at Crouch End. The end result is a more thematically introspective affair for Turner, with lyrics addressing topics of mortality, relationships and religion in what proves to be a both brave and emotionally powerful record.
 
Turner will be showcasing songs from England Keep My Bones this coming April when he takes to the road for a special solo tour, playing intimate venues on both coasts of North America. It will be an ideal opportunity to catch this ascending star up close and personal before he spends the summer inspiring massive festival crowds throughout the world.
 
 
England Keep My BonesTrack Listing:
Eulogy – 1:34
Peggy Sang The Blues – 3:33
I Still Believe – 3:45
Rivers – 4:34
I Am Disappeared – 4:47
English Curse – 2:17
One Foot Before The Other – 3:26
If Ever I Stray – 2:54
WessexBoy – 3:34
Nights Become Days – 4:26
Redemption – 4:48
Glory Hallelujah – 4:3
 
North American Tour Dates:
2011-04-28  Knitting Factory  New York    NY    – Sold Out
2011-04-29  Red Palace  Washington  DC    – Sold Out
2011-04-30  The Bamboozle     East Rutherford   NJ   
2011-05-02  Beat Kitchen      Chicago     IL    – Sold Out
2011-05-04  Bottom of the Hill      Oakland     CA   
2011-05-05  Hotel Cafe  Los Angeles CA    – Sold Out

Into It. Over It.

Solo musician, songwriter, and frontman Evan Thomas Weiss has got himself a sweet little project called Into It. Over It (IIOI). He came through town a couple weeks back and I missed it. Bummed would be an acceptable word I am looking for.

I would sit here and introduce Weiss, but he does it best:

I used to play in a couple bands called The Progress and Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start, but that isn’t too important. I’m 25 years old. I live in Chicago. I’m 6’2″. I’m a Libra. I have a beard. My shoes are a size 9. I’m always busy. I’m always broke. I’m (almost) always happy. I write songs. Let’s kick it.

I have to disagree with Weiss about Up Up Down Down not being important.  I loved than band.

Anyways, here are a couple vids to give you a taste of IIOT.

Maybe I will run into him at SXSW.  That would be awesome.

If you like what you hear check out his MySpace Page and peruse through the page to find links to his releases.

You Know What Today Is… Right?

Today is a lot of things really. History happened, history might be made, and people will be talking about things based upon events from today for years to come.

I know, deep…

I will be ignoring everything today except for the fact that Mr. Frank Turner released an EP today entitled Rock & Roll.  The 5 song EP dropped today on iTunes and is available in limited quantities on CD (here’s hoping for a 7″).  It’s a sample of what Frank Turner is working on for his 2011 release and I have to say that I love it.

What’s that you say?

Of course I love it you say?

What’s that?

I am Frank Turner obsessed?

Yes I am and I fully admit it.

Turner is a kick ass musician and there is no reason for a music lover like myself to not adore his music.  This EP is great start to finish, especially the highly likable anthem “I Still Believe”, a track I was introduced to in October when I got to see Turner open for Social Distortion.  Even if it was a new song, it was so infections that by song’s end, everyone was singing along.

See for yourself:

Fun note: The gang vocals on the track were actually taken from the crowds at various live shows.

With non-stop touring all year, Frank Turner may be one of the busiest musicians out there.  Somehow between playing cross-country tours as well as festivals the guy found some free time to record new material and I could not be happier with the results on the EP.

Here’s to the full length release in 2011.

Proof I like Frank Turner and all he does…

A review I did of Poetry Of The Deed
An interview I did with Frank Turner

A review I did of Frank Turner opening for Flogging Molly
Another review I did of Frank Turner when he opened for Social Distortion

Concert Review: Social Distortion / Lucero / Frank Turner – 10/24/2010 – House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH

Three different levels of rock took place last night in Cleveland thanks to Social Distortion and their hand-picked bill.  The punk rock icons made a stop at the House Of Blues Sunday night with special guests Frank Turner and Lucero.  The venue was packed from end to end with tickets selling out weeks ago leaving the last minute fans standing in the rain looking for extras – literally.

It’s been a little over four years since Social D took the stage in Cleveland, far too long of a hiatus.  It was no surprise at the amount of fans who lined up outside of the venue waiting for the doors to open.  Everyone in line looked excited and knew exactly what was going to be happening in just a short time except for a Cleveland police officer who pulled his motorcycle up on E. 9th asking if anyone had an iPod with Social Distortion on it so he could see what they sound like.

Opening act Frank Turner took the stage just after 8 p.m. to a very full and energetic crowd.  This was his second visit to Cleveland ever and this time was much better than before as he was not battling the flu and none of his bandmates slipped on the stage and fell on their ass during the set.

Playing “Try This At Home” it was clear that more people in the crowd this time knew who Turner was as they sang along to his folk rock songs.  Turner excitedly announced a new sing-along called “I Believe” and taught the crowd their parts.  Needless to say, the song was amazing and provided a nice hint of what his new material sounds like.  He continued with “Sons Of Liberty”, the ever catchy “The Road” and also played “Photosynthesis”.  The set was shorter than the crowd would have liked but was enjoyed by all.

Good ol’ boys Lucero took to the stage after a brief break and did their best to win over the crowd.  Sadly not as many people seemed as excited during their set but there was a nice chunk of true Lucero fans who sang from the beginning till the end as loudly as possible making sure all their surrounding neighbors realize they were missing out on something good.

The southern rock act played through their set including “I’ll Just Fall”, “Sixes & Sevens” as well as “Noon As Dark”.  They sounded amazing live and appeared so happy to be on the stage with lead singer Ben Nichols even saying “This is a dream tour for us.”  “Mom” was a highlight to many in the crowd who all knew the lyrics by heart as was the set ending “Tears Don’t Matter Much.”  Their set flew by entirely too fast and many were wishing that was not the case.

Social D made way to the stage with lead man Mike Ness donning an almost rockabilly / Swingers outfit with baggy khakis and a white button up shirt.  After absorbing the cheers from all over the venue Ness was handed a guitar and the band broke into three classics “The Creeps”, “Another State Of Mind”, and “Mommy’s Little Monster”.  Looking and sounding solid as ever, the band played with great energy and soaked in all the excitement from the crowd.

“Sick Boys” got the fans moving around as Ness and crew thrashed about the stage while everyone sang along – Rock N Roll never sounded so good.  With beers in hand and eyes focused on the stage, Social D continued with “I Was Wrong” as well as played a new song from their upcoming album entitled “Still Alive”.

Moving around their catalog, the band played older and newer tracks including “Ball & Chain”, “Bakersfield” (another song from their upcoming release) and “So Far Away”.  For having been around for 30+ years, the band showed no signs of being too tired to play or any hints that their musical career would be ending anytime soon.  By the sounds of the cheers it was certain that everyone was enjoying themselves at one of the better shows that has come to Cleveland.  Add in “Prison Bound” and Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” and many Social D fans were beyond satisfied with the set.

The only downfall of the show that could be seen were the folk who just didn’t know when to stop throwing back drinks – more so than other recent shows.  It was quite apparent that a lot of Sunday night concert goers would be calling off Monday morning.  A couple fights erupted, one during Lucero, and a select few fans were so piss drunk that they could not stand on their own two feet halfway through the main performance.  Nevertheless the surrounding crowd was unscathed by their actions and paid attention to the real reason they came to the House Of Blues: To take in a Rock N Roll show by one of the best acts out there.

January 18th, 2001, Social Distortion will be releasing Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes, the band’s first release in over six years.  By the show that the band put on last night, it’s evident that excitement for their new album has reached higher levels.

Social Distortion Setlist:

The Creeps
Another State Of Mind
Mommy’s Little Monster
Sick Boys
Don’t Drag Me Down
I Was Wrong
Bye Bye Baby
Still Alive
Ball & Chain
Through These Eyes
Bakersfield
King Of Fools
When She Begins
Making Believe
So Far Away
Prison Bound
Down Here With The Rest Of Us
Cold Feelings
Ring Of Fire