Category Archives: Punk

Face To Face Reunion?

I was just killing some time tonight when I came upon a post on Punknews.Org stating that Face To Face has started a reunion tour.  Excuse me???  Apparently I have been out of the loop because I thought the band called it quits for good in 2002.  I really hadn’t heard anything from them since.

Face To Face is a So.Cal punk rock band that was one of my favorites in the late nineties.  Their one song that got major attention was “Disconnected”…

I am not sure yet if the band is going to only tour a couple of cities at this time in the US and overseas or if they will take it one step further and create and album together.  I would love to see a new Face To Face album as they are one of those punk bands I wish never broke up.

I have been aware that front man Trevor Keith has been doing his own thing since the band split.  In fact he has been doing a few things…a few things I was not entirely aware of.

First there is his solo material he has been working on and his label Antagonist Records.  I had no idea Trevor Keith has been working on creating music on his own.  Earlier this year he released his solo album Melancholics Anonymous.  The album is available on his website via download for 5 bucks or you can send him some of your cold hard cash and he’ll send you a CD if he has any left.  I am going to be dishing out 5 bucks myself so I can check it out.  He has the album streaming on his site and from what I hear I like so far.

Then there is Legion Of Doom, a mash-up project like no other featuring Trevor Keith and producer Chad Blinman.  The duo remixes emo, punk, and hip hop songs as well as creates original material, some of which have been featured in films.  I have been a fan of this project for a couple of year now when I accidentally came across a remix of Senses Fail and Coheed & Cambira….

I love the sound of the two bands clashing together, it’s perfect (but you have to like the bands to appreciate it too of course).  I also got a kick out of Claudo’s shorter hair on the video….  This song and others were released on Legion Of Doom’s debut CD called Incorporated.  The CD is well out of print but you can find it out there in the digital world, I know I did.

Horrorpops – Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill – CD Review

Horrorpops
Horrorpops

One of the more unique acts out there in the music world, The Horrorpops, released their third studio album Kiss Kiss Kill Kill earlier this year.  The Danish act with original members (who are also married to one another) Patricia Day on stand up bass and Kim Nekroman on lead guitar have been rocking out since 1996, thanks to their unique mixture of rockabilly, surf, psychobilly, and punk rock music.  They were a huge success overseas but it was not until around 2003 that the band got their US break thanks to Tim Armstrong’s (Rancid) label Hellcat Records.

Recently finishing up their mini-set tour on the 2008 Van’s Warped Tour, the band just announced their headlining fall tour in support of Kiss Kiss Kill Kill.  With bombshell Patricia Day’s giant stand-up bass and smoky singing, layered with Kim Neckroman assaulting his guitar, and Niedermeier’s drumming, the band should have no problem entertaining the masses.

The CD seemed to have a rebel theme with the song titles and lyrics, with many in reference to many female films. The CD cover mimics a poster for a B-Movie.  The sound on their third release seems to keep the same as previous without going over any boundaries to make a significant change.

Opening track “Thelma & Louise” of course makes suggestion of driving just like Susan Sarandon and Gina Davis did in their girls gone wild of a film.  Patricia Day sings strongly in this track and the music backing her up is very catchy.   “Heading For The Disco?” already is played a lot over the airwaves, especially on Sirius Radio’s Faction.  The song is a bit poppy but still delivers the pop-rockabilly feel with bass plucking and drumming making you want to boogie down.

“Kiss Kiss Kill Kill” really sounded like the Cure at the beginning, that is until the harmonies began.  The song holds Patricia Day’s cries “Kiss kiss kiss me dantly, kill kill me quietly…” with a “whoa oh oh oh” in the wake.  The song is a little gloomy, but I really dig the guitar playing.  It is a simple riff but is the type that sticks out.

Starting with what sounded like a repeat of a bass line from another Horrorpops release was “Everything’s Everything”.  The track about not wanted to let go of a complicated relationship was a reminder that this band is not about sunshine and rainbows.  Nekroman strums away during “Private Hall Of Shame” with almost a southern rock feel to his playing.

By no means is this a traditional rockabilly/psychobilly band.  They stray away from the rest and incorporate their own style to make for a more unique feel.  On their third release, I say the Horrorpops still have it and I really enjoyed what I heard.  If you want real rockabilly this band may bestow you mixed feelings but if you are looking for something fun to listen to and have a good time, then this is the perfect release for you.

Street Dogs – State Of Grace – CD Review

One of my favorite Irish infused, punk rock bands the Street Dogs dropped yet another release over the summer titled State of Grace.  Fronted by the one time lead vocalist of the infamous Dropkick Murphys, this CD delivers powerful punk rock anthems fueled with a traditional Irish feel to it.  This is the band’s fourth release and their first under Hellcat Records.

Street Dogs
Street Dogs

Lead singer Mike McColgan is one of the most American punk rockers you will ever meet.  Before fronting the Dropkick Murphys, he served time overseas during the Gulf War to help pay for school.  When he returned, he helped start the Dropkick Murphys in 1996 and released Do or Die; it was the only album he released with the band.  In 1998 he left the Dropkick Murphys to pursue his dream of becoming a fireman.  Fast forward a couple of years later to 2002 and McColgan got the music fever again and started the Street Dogs.

On their fourth full length release the five-some sounds stronger than ever.  Album opener “Mean Fist” is impressive with a full on punk rock approach start to finish.  “Into The Valley” sounded like an anti-war group marching song insuring escalating spirits for all soldiers involved in this senseless war.

Other stand out songs are “Rebel Song” with McColgan signing his heart out about standing up in a poor nation to rise above.  The song reassures the underprivileged that they should continue to do what they do and unite.  “The General’s Boombox” continued the high spirit lyrics about staying true to yourself.

“Elizabeth” reminds me of an Irish pub song that everyone in the house could sing-a-long to.  Another sing-a-long track “Two Angry Kids” would be best listened to away from the bar as the song makes you want to dance wildly around and pump your fists in the air.

“San Patricios” is by far my favorite track.  The Irish meets Mexican song is insane.  I loved the Spanish singing and guitar riffs layered with punk rock.  The Irish/Mexican unity track recalls back to the times when the Irish teamed with the Mexicans for their fight against the US to save Mexico.

If you are looking for a band that has similarities of the Dropkick Murphys keep in mind that even though McColgan was the original lead vocalist that the Street Dogs take a different approach at Irish punk rock with less bagpipe playing and alcohol inspired tracks.  From political views to the love of family and friends this CD was amazing especially the third time I listened to it.

The first listen was an introduction but by the third listen I was hooked.  This is one of the better punk rock albums that has been released in 2008.  Street Dogs exist because of the love of music for an Irish gent straight out of Boston.  If you are looking for punk rock at its finest go out and grab a copy of State of Grace.

Check out the Street Dogs live this fall.  For more info visit their website or check out their MySpace.

Bad Religion @ Cleveland Agora – 1996

Wow did I ever find a gem today on YouTube.

Bad Religion
Bad Religion

For almost 20 minutes this evening I flashed back to one of my favorite concerts ever 12 years ago.  I remember the line up vividly.  It was The Gray Race Tour featuring Bad Religion with special guests Unwritten Law and Dance Hall Crashers at the infamous Cleveland Agora.

I was fresh out of high school, reckless, and an avid punk rocker.  I went to the show with a big group of friends….we took our friend’s mom’s van that had the worst suspension ever.  In fact we had to turn around on route 422 and swap the van out with another friend’s mom’s van.

One thing I recall about that show was there there were cameras all over the place, professional cameras.  The cameras were on the balconies of the Agora as well as on the shoulders of cameramen.  My friends and I got excited because we were going to be filmed during the performance.  We hoped it would be released on VHS (that’s right kids, DVDs did not exist back then).

I owe that tour for introducing SoCal Surf/Skate punk rockers Unwritten Law to me.  I am still a fan of them today.  During their performance I noticed the cameras were not rolling so we all agreed that the camera were there only for Bad Religion.

When Bad Religion took stage we all went insane.  I remember moshing and dancing and just acting like a complete fool.  At times I was just falling on people and letting them push me around as I sang at the top of my lungs.  I was being a carefree 19 year old and was loving every moment of it.  For the record, I was sober too…I got carded when I tried to buy beers….haha.

As the years passed I slowly forgot about that show.  Since none of us could ever hunt down that footage of the show we all figured it was lost.  A few weeks ago one of my buddies who went to that show with me called me telling me he saw some footage of the show on YouTube.  I was in disbelief yet thrilled that it surfaced.  Well thanks to my busy like I completely forgot about that phone conversation until today when I logged onto YouTube and looked it up.

Sure enough, it’s Bad Religion at the Cleveland Agora 1996.  It was a sold out show.  My friends and I were front row slightly to the right of center stage.  I laughed when I saw the pit because I know I was a part of it.  I remember it so clearly and now you can see what I experienced…

Part I:

Part II:

Other footage:

Dead Kennedys Announce Indefinite Touring Hiatus

I really missed out on the 80’s punk rock movement.  I was just a kid.  I still wish I was a little bit older at the time so I could have attended some of the most memorable punk acts of that time.  One of the acts specifically would be the Dead Kennedys.  How I wish I could have seen them in their prime.

Dead Kennedys
Dead Kennedys

The hardcore punk act seemed to e a little too extreme for many therefore they never tasted success.  With their over the edge look on America and witty humor they were handed ridiculous lawsuits for various situations including distributing harmful matter to minors.  The band eventually split up, and not in good terms with one another.  For more info on their ups and downs check out their Wikipedia page.

By the time I started to appreciate the Dead Kennedys it was too late for me to see them live as they disbanded in 1986.  Regrouping in 2001 did not mean anything to be because Jello Biafra was not a part.  To me “regrouping” is when the entire band decides to get together and play out (unless of course in the case of a band like Alice In Chains where one member passed away).

Last March some of the members of Dead Kennedys announced that they would be touring in support of Milking The Sacred Cow, a greatest hits compilation originally released in October of 2007.  After touring overseas at select venues and starting in California the band had to call it quits.  Not because they felt bad going on without Jello Biafra but because of health.

Original bassist Klaus Flouride has been having health issues, unknown at this time, that has prevented him from touring as planned.  Announced in late August, the Dead Kennedys will no longer tour.  Klaus will still collaborate with other members of the band, but only locally.  It’s sad to hear when age prevents musicians from going forward with their talent.  I am glad to hear he has not completely hung up his bass.  I’ll be looking for side projects with him in the near future.  Looks as it this time Dead Kennedys is done…

The good thing though is that the band was finally recognized.

In May of 2008 Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death was certified gold in the US and UK.  In addition In God We Trust, Inc., was certified gold in the UK.

They may not be a band anymore but I still love putting on a classic Dead Kennedys albums and enjoying their left-wing satire and humor.