Category: punk rock

JUICEBOXXX s a Milwaukee, WI-based emcee, who has developed a reputation within underground circles for a sound that draws from rock, punk rock, hip-hop and a disparate array of other influences that frequently finds him attempting to walk a difficult tightrope between appealing to the avant garde-leaning artist fringe and a pop sensibility.

Unsurprisingly, the Cleveland, OH-based punk band The Pagans were a major influence on the Milwaukee-based rapper’s work. “I rarely do covers, but The Pagans classic ‘Dead End America’ always seemed like a great fit, and a good b-side for my coming ‘Freaked Out American Loser’ single,” JUICEBOXXX explains in press notes. “It was recorded last summer in LA with my backing band (The Thunder Zone Band — Rocker Mike and Willy D) and Aaron Espinoza. I had a blast going crazy in the studio and trying to remember why I do this shit in the first place. ”

“I was saddened to hear about the passing of Pagans singer Mike Hudson,” JUICEBOXXX says in press notes “Coming from the Midwest, I can’t help but think of this thread of punk rock as heartland music, born in rustbelt basements and dive bars out of desperation and boredom. Freaking out to stay alive.” And although it’s a fairly straightforward and loving JUICEBOXXX’s cover manages to evoke the same sort of furious and desperate urgency of the original — while suggesting that throughout the years kids everywhere are practically the same.

 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Indie Rock Act Delivers an Ironic Take on Infomercials and Commercialism in Visuals for “TV”

Comprised of Grant Mullen (guitar, vocals), Gianni Aiello (bass, vocals) and Henry LaVallee (drums), the Seattle, WA-based indie rock/punk rock trio Naked Giants formed in 2014 and over the past few years they’ve become one of the Pacific Northwest’s best, up-and-coming bands, thanks in part to a sound that manages  draw from a wild array of disparate influences from punk rock, psych rock, post punk, garage punk and the individual band members own different influences and tastes with a brash, restless and explosive creativity and mosh pit worthy hooks as you’ll hear on “TV,” the latest single off their forthcoming, full-length debut SLUFF, which is slated for a March 30, 2018 release through New West Records.  

Adding to a growing profile, the members of Naked Giants have become members of renowned singer/songwriter Will Toledo and Car Seat Headrest’s backing sextet and will be supporting him both an opener and his backing band for his upcoming world tour, that will include a stop at this year’s SXSW. You can check out the tour dates below; but in the meantime, the recently released Sean Downey-produced video is an extensive and ironic take on informercials, and rampant commercialism. 

New Audio: Hot Snakes Release an Anthemic Piss and Vinegar-Fueled Single off First Full-Length Album in 14 Years

Led by its then-San Diego, CA-based founding duo of Swami John Reis and Rick Froberg, Hot Snakes formed in 1999 as a side project, when Reis’ primary band Rocket from the Crypt went on hiatus after being in between labels and the departure of long-time drummer Atom Willard. While searching for a new label and drummer, Reis started his own label Swami Records and began experimenting with other musicians, which resulted in the formation of Hot Snakes and Sultans. Interestingly, Hot Snakes can trace their origins to when Reis recorded a batch of material with Delta 72’s Jason Kourkounis, and then contacted his former bandmate and collaborator Froberg to contribute vocals, and as it turns out most of those recording sessions eventually comprised their full-length debut Automatic Midnight.

Although Reis and Froberg collaborated together in Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes proved to be a logistical challenge as Reis was in San Diego, Froberg had relocated in New York to start a career as a visual artist and illustrator, and Kourkounis was based in Philadelphia. Naturally, this resulted in sporadic and intense recording and touring schedules that frequently included bassist Gar Wood, best known for his work in Beehive and the Barracudas, Tanner and Fishwife. While Hot Snakes shares some musical similarities to Reis’ and Froberg’s previous projects, they developed a reputation for a much more primal, garage punk sound influenced by Wipers, Suicide, and Michael Yonkers Band — and for a completely DIY approach to recording, touring and merchandise with the band releasing material through Reis’ Swami Records. In fact, Hot Snakes’ debut Automatic Midnight was the first release through Reis’ label. 

After releasing two more full-length albums, 2002’s Suicide Invoice and 2004’s Audit in Progress, the band called it a day in 2005 but they reunited for a world tour in 2011 which reportedly set the stage for the band’s fourth, full-length album Jericho Sirens, the band’s first album in 14 years, which is slated for a March 16, 2018 release through Sub Pop Records. Recored in short bursts over the past year in San Diego and Philadelphia, the album features Reis and Froberg collaborating with Wood and drummers Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba — both of whom have been on prior Hot Snakes albums but never on the same one until now. And as Reis explained in press notes for the album, one of the most rewarding aspects was reacting his collaboration and creative partnership with Froberg. “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. He is my family. And more is there to say? My favorite part of making this record was hearing him find his voice and direction for this record. I came hard,” Reis says. 

Reportedly, the material thematically commiserates with the frustration and apathy of our daily lives while pointing out that generally we don’t have a fucking clue. As Froberg says of the album, ““Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that. No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Every movie is a disaster movie. I’m super fascinated by it. It is hysterical, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It snowballs, like feedback, or my balls on the windshield.”

Sonically, the album reportedly finds the band incorporating some of the most extreme fingers of their sound while staying true to their long standing influences — but interestingly, some songs feature nods to AC/DC and others. As Reis says in press notes, It sounds like panic and chaos. Restlessness and unease. That’s a sound that I would ask for. I want that record. The inspiration would be simple, maybe even kind of straightforward. Very early rock ‘n’ roll DNA with lots of rules. I would find some note or rhythm in it that captivated me and I dwelled on it and bent it. That’s where I found dissonance. Bending and rubbing against each other uncomfortably. Marinate and refine. A lot of the other Hot Snakes records always had tension and release, but this one is mainly just tension.”

Album single “Six Wave Hold-Down” while reminding me of Curses-era Rye Coalition, thanks to an furious piss, vinegar, vitriol and whiskey-fueled punk air, and anthemic raise your beer in the air hooks. But along with that the song possesses the sort of  urgency that’s absolutely necessary. 

Initially formed in 1978 as a trio featuring founding members Steve Marsh, Doug Murray and his brother Greg Murray with synth player Jack Crow later joining the band, the members of Austin, TX-based punk act Terminal Mind, were influenced by the likes of Pere Ubu, Roxy Music, John Cale, and Wire — and despite a relatively short period of time together, managed to be at the forefront of Austin’s early punk rock scene, managing to quickly build a local profile, sharing bills with The Huns, Standing Waves, The Big Boys and Iggy Pop. As a result, they managed to subtly influence their hometown’s second wave of punk and noise rockers before splitting up to pursue a number of different projects: Marsh relocated to New York with his experimental noise act Miracle Room before returning to Austin to form space/psych rock act Evil Triplet and an experimental solo recording project he dubbed Radarcave; Doug Murray joined The Skunks; Greg Murray joined an iteration of The Big Boys. Unfortunately, Jack Crow died in 1994.

Now, as I’ve mentioned the proliferation of labels across the world of differing sizes has allowed for long lost bands to find their due, and interestingly, Terminal Mind’s retrospective album Recordings, which is slated for a January 19, 2018 release through Sonic Surgery Records  features the band’s very rate 4 song 7 inch album (which currently fetches more than $100 on eBay), a number of Live at Raul’s compilation tracks as well as a number of unreleased studio and live recordings. And the album’s first single “Refugee” find the short-lived band walking a tightrope between angular and nerdy post punk and furious punk with the band’s sound seeming like an amalgamation between Talking Heads: 77-era Talking HeadsPink Flag-era Wire, Entertainment! and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four, and Bad Religion.

Admittedly, while I listened to “Refugee,” there was this this sense that I had heard a band that through the weird machinations of fate and luck could have been much bigger than what they eventually wound up — after all, they were pairing tight hooks and angular power chords with an uncanny sense of melody a few years before Bad Religion even formed! But at the very least, hopefully the Sonic Surgery release will help fill in a necessary gap in the canon.     

 

New Video: Dream Wife’s Dystopian Anime-Influenced Visuals for Anthemic New Single “Hey! Heartbreaker”

Deriving their name as a commentary on society’s objectification of women, the London-based punk rock trio Dream Wife, comprised of Icelandic-born, London-based Rakel Mjöll (vocals), Alice Go (guitar, vocals) and Bella Podapec (bass, vocals) met while the trio were attending art school in Brighton, UK — with Mjöll, Go and Podapec forming the band in 2015 as part of an art project conceptualized around the  idea of a band born out of one girl’s memories of growing up in Canada during the 1990s.  And since their formation, the trio quickly developed a national profile, as they’ve received critical praise for their earliest releases and their live shows from the likes of NPR, DIY, Stereogum, Nylon, Entertainment Weekly and others. Adding to a growing profile, the trio have toured across the European Union, opened for Sleigh Bells and The Kills during their respective US tours, and have played a number of the world’s biggest festivals, including SXSW.

Dream Wife’s highly anticipated self-titled debut is slated for a January 26, 2018 release through Lucky Number Music and from the album’s latest single “Hey! Heartbreaker,” the British based punk trio’s sound features stomp and shout in the mosh pit worthy hooks, fuzzy and angular guitar chords and a steady backbeat in a fashion that’s reminiscent of Is Is and Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Elastica, complete with a brassy, kick ass and take names self-assuredness and bratty mischievousness at its core. 

Animated by Joe Prytherch, a former art director of Boiler Room, best known as Mason London, the recently released video envisions a dystopian yet familiar future inspired by anime, Akira, Josie and the Pussycats and Jem, in which the members of the band are depicted as robot performers held in a sleazy bar against their will, where they perform in front of bored customers. But when we catch them in the world of the video, the trio violently escape and lead the police through a breakneck escape from the city. 

As the members of the band said in press notes about the video and its concept, “We were super excited to work with Mason London to bring the world of ‘Hey! Heartbreaker’ to life. Collaboration is integral in our approach to Dream Wife, and we encourage different creative ideas and paths to mix with our own vision.

“It’s uncanny to watch these mechanical, parallel versions of ourselves rock out and then break out. We like to think that in another reality our robot versions are continuing their adventures; perhaps in the forest, perhaps plotting for a robot revolution, perhaps playing wild, secret rock shows to other robos.”

New Video: British Label Dirty Water Records to Re-Issue Infamous New Zealand Punk Rockers’ Debut

Originally comprised of Paul Caveman (vocals), Jack Caveman (guitar, vocals), Nick Caveman (bass) and Jake Caveman (drums), the Auckland, New Zealand-based punk rock quartet The Cavemen formed while in high school — with the band’s founding members bonding over a shared love of glue and wild rock ‘n’ roll. And as the story goes, after spending several years drinking and loitering around their hometown’s basements, graveyards and packing lots, the members of the band honed their sound, recording their full-length debut over the course of 2014-2015 or so, with the material receiving attention for being furious, face-melting punk that drew from The Ramones, The Cramps, The Stooges, The MC5 and others with songs that focused on grave-robbing, necrophilia and other weird shit with a sneering sense of humor, and for developing a reputation for being infamous — or as the band once claimed that they were a “great band to clear a party.”

As the story goes, two weeks before the members of the band were to relocate to London, they went on an equally infamous national tour to support their debut, and the tour included a now, ill-fated show in a graveyard was canceled when the tour van’s engine exploded and a passing motorist collided with the band’s bassist, Nick Caveman. British record label Dirty Water Records are re-releasing the Auckland, New Zealand-based punk rockers debut album for release in Europe and elsewhere, and from album single “Stand By Your Ghoul,” the band’s sound is a filthy, troglodyte stomp, complete with layers of fuzzy power chords and howled lyrics. And honestly, every single time I’ve heard it, I keep thinking of how it would fit in the dank and dirty dive bars that I spent so much time in during my 20s and 30s.

Starring Florence D’Hay and The Cavemen, the video for “Stand by Your Ghoul” draws from 60s B movies — but with a ridiculous, tongue in cheek vibe, complete with zombies, graveyards and weird rituals. 

Throwback: RIP Joe Strummer/Joe Strummer Forever!/The Clash Forever!

Time flies by and it flies by at an incredibly dizzying pace. Just the other day, a Facebook friend mentioned that the 15th anniversary of Joe Strummer’s death had recently passed. I grew up listening to quite a bit of The Clash –and as a music obsessed boy, who spent an unusual amount of time watching MTV and other music related programming, I can clearly remember watching the video for “Rock the Casbah” and others. And when I found out that Strummer died, it felt as though a small part of my music loving childhood was gone; plus it made the seemingly dim possibility of a Clash reunion utterly impossible. Such is life. But this particular week, I thought of The Clash and how much those records had meant to me  — and interestingly, I stumbled on live footage of The Clash playing at The Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ in 1980 and in Japan in 1982 or so, plus other random things. 

As always Joe Strummer forever! The Clash forever! 

Live Footage: Arte Concert Snapshots Presents: Metz at Le Trabendo Paris

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three years or so you, you’d recall that with their 2014 self-titled debut and their 2015 sophomore effort II, the Toronto, ON-based trio and JOVM mainstays METZ, comprised of Alex Eadkins (vocals, guitar), Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums), received attention across North America and elsewhere for a sludgy, face-melting, power chord-based, noise punk/thrash punk sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury Strangers, Japandroids and others. 

The band’s third full-length album Strange Peace was released earlier this year through Sub Pop Records, and the album finds the band actively pushing their sound and songwriting in new directions while retaining the furious and blistering energy of their live shows; but perhaps much more importantly, Strange Peace may arguably be among the most politically charged material they’re written and recorded to date, capturing the uncertainty, fear, divisiveness, bitterness and growing socioeconomic inequality of the age of Trump, Putin, Kim Jong Un, rampant capitalism and so on. As the band’s Alex Eadkins explained in press notes, “The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty. They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”

The Canadian punk trio have been relentlessly touring to support their latest album and throughout most of November, they were touring throughout the European Union, and the tour included a stop at Paris-based music venue Le Trabendo, which was filmed by ARTE Concert and La Blogotheuqe as part of their continuing concert series, Snapshots. Unsurprisingly, the footage of Strange Peace’s “Mr. Plague” and “Eraser” manages to capture the band within their sweaty, strobe light flashing, intensity, forcefully snatching the title of “World’s Loudest Band,” and “World’s Noisiest Band” from all challengers. While in the past, they would play extremely straightforward versions of their material, this Paris set finds the trio gently teasing new musical ideas from bits of inspired improvisation. Along with the band’s passionate and frenzied performance, check out the French audience, who are absolutely losing their shit to these guys

New Video: METZ Releases Incredibly Vivid Part Live Action, Part Animated Visuals for Album Single “Drained Lake”

With 2014’s self-titled debut and 2015’s sophomore effort II,  the Toronto, ON-based trio METZ received attention across their native Canada and elsewhere for a sludgy, face-melting, power-chord based sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury Strangers, Japandroids and others, and unsurprisingly, the Toronto-based punk trio quickly became mainstays on this site. And as you may know, the trio’s third, full-length album Strange Peace was released last month through renowned label Sub Pop Records, and the new album finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting into a new direction while retaining the furious and intense energy of their live shows; but importantly, the material on the album may be among the most politically-charged material they’ve written to date, seemingly capturing the thoughts and emotions of young people in the increasingly unstable age of Trump, Putin, Kim Jong Un, etc. “The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty. They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears,” the band’s Alex Eakins explained in press notes. “They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”

“Cellophane,” Strange Peace‘s first single found the Canadian punk trio retaining the sledgehammer forcefulness, sludgy power chords and rousing hooks that first caught the attention of the blogosphere and this site, but there’s an underlying, hard-fought maturity — the sort that come as a result of living in an increasingly fearful, uncertain, fucked up world, that feels as though it’s spinning faster and faster towards disaster. And interestingly enough, “Cellophane” seems to say to the listener, “hey man we’re scared out of our fucking minds, too; but we have each other and somehow we’ve gotta stick together and figure it out.” “Drained Lake,” Strange Peace‘s second single, is a jagged and propulsive post-post-punk track with layers of blistering and scuzzy guitars, punchily delivered lyrics and thunderous drumming with the use of a lurching synth line for what I think may be the first time in the band’s history; but while being a revealing look into a band that’s begun to restlessly experiment and expand upon their sound, it also finds the band at their most strident and searching, while being a sneering anthemic “fuck off” to those who don’t — and perhaps can never — see you for who you are. As the band’s Eadkins explained in press notes, the song reflects, “the constant struggle to know yourself and make sense of your life and surroundings. What is my purpose? Holding on to who you are while finding off pressure to bend to what other people want and expect from you.”
Directed by Shayne Ehman, featuring video production from Cricket Cave, the part live action and animated video for “Drained Lake stars Michelle Chug and Woodchip, the cat and will continue the band’s reputation for pairing their music with incredibly vivid visuals — in this case, animated anthropomorphic fork figures playing instruments, a woman that turns into a cat and more.