(record review) Stone Lions-Necking On And Kicking Off

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Stone Lions from Australia recently released their new record with the help of Thousand Islands Records, Pee Records and Disconnect Disconnect Records. Australian underground punk and hardcore scene never ceases to amaze me, so these guys are no exception to that. The trio plays melodic skatepunk with a lot of emotional pop punk influences, the song structures being melodic, fluent, shiny and sweet, yet at the same time causing melancholy in many song parts which is great. The musicianship is tight and I really enjoyed the whole 11 songs and this album really brought smile on my tired face hehe. With songs like Don`t waste your time, Party like Kate Moss or Therapy you will love this record like I do.

 

(review) The Menzingers-Hello Exile(Epitaph Records)

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Philadelphia based The Menzingers released their brand new studio album with Epitaph Records. I must admit that I was not a fan of such punkrock when I was younger, because I considered it slow music for nerds and pussies. Now, I think different and I love this band. They mix cleverly melodic emotional punkrock with indie and pop influences and they do it in an interesting and great way. There are 12 songs on the record with nice melodies, harmonic backing vocal lines, and I love the feeling of melancholy and sadness that somehow travels through the record, the songs give that vibe. The lyrics are mainly personal, but there are some subtle political tones like in for instance great America(You´re Freaking Me Out) and I must also name some other songs that are kinda highlights for me, that would be Anna, then the title song, ballad I Can`t Stop Drinking and great Strangers Forever. This is a good album, give it a try.

http://epitaph.com/

(gig report) Lagwagon/Satanic Surfers/Alo Stari/Fair Do´s-Kino Šiška, Ljubljana, Slovenia-16.11.2019.

I love melodic punk and this zine is practically full of such music that I love and cherish above all. When I heard about this gig a while ago, it was a must go, because this package is indeed Punk Rock Holiday mini fest hehe, almost like winter edition. The three of us traveled from Zagreb in Irina˙s car, because we went there a day earlier on Friday evening to check out Inteliber in Zagreb, the biggest book fair in these parts.

We arrived in lovely Ljubljana around 5 pm and the gig was not scheduled to start until 7 30 pm, so we had time to eat something, so we found great little Mexican food restaurant and ate some delicious spicy food there.

When I entered Kino Šiška I was amazed with this gig space, it is a former cinema with a lot of space, what is more important, there is no smoking inside, so you don˙t feel like smoked salmon after gig and it is spacious, vast and totally great sounding venue. We greeted friends from Slovenia and Croatia and it was about time to enter because the first band was about to start. FAIR DO´S from UK are no strangers to the pages of this zine, because we reviewed their excellent record out with Lockjaw records some time ago and I was eager to hear the guys play live. Despite going on early they delivered fantastic half an hour set of neckbreaking fast and musically skilled modern melodic hardcore punk with some modern metalcore touches in one new song they presented to us. They reminded me of a mixture between Propagandhi and The Human Project, but they are deliciously fast and I saw such strength emanating from them while playing. Definitely fantastic band to check out live.

ALO STARI from Maribor, Slovenia were on next representing the local scene and I must admit that I am amazed by melodic, energetic pop punk they played with super frontman and lyrics in their own Slovenian language. I was later told that three of the guys played in Trash Candy, so they are no strangers to the scene although this band is relatively new, on scene since April this year with no album released yet. But they definitely showed why are they on tonight`s bill, because I am eager to see them play live again.

I saw SATANIC SURFERS play live a little more than year ago, when we witnessed their great set at Punk Rock Holiday and interviewed them there. It was cool to meet familiar faces again and talk to the bass player Andy and guitarist Magnus again, those guys are so friendly, down to earth and full of positive force. As for their set, the Swedes delivered 45 minutes of energetic fast hardcore punk with Rodrigo doing the drums again as well singing like in old times. The set was made of hits from their still latest album Back from Hell, like Catch my breath, Usurper and couple more, also old hits were in the set although some of the gems were missing due to limited time on stage. The communication with the full house was super, all of us really enjoyed their energy and music. They triumphantly ended their set with Head under water.

It was my third LAGWAGON gig in three years, so I knew that I was in for something great. The new record Railer is for sure one of the best releases this year. They opened their set with one of my favorites from that record being The Suffering. Joey Cape was singing okay, what he couldn`t manage, bass player Joe Raposo covered with fantastic backing vocals added by Chris Rest and Chris Big Bitch Flippin. It was nice to see the band smiling and enjoying their set of oldies Sick, Sleep, Coffee and Cigarettes, but also fantastic new songs like Surviving California, Bubble and Parable. The hits like May 16 and After you my friend were sung by all of us louder than band. This evening was special because it was Joey Cape´s birthday, also Andy from Satanic Surfers too, so they received two fantastic cakes on stage after regular part of the show finished with Razor Burn. Joey tasted cake, took guitar so we knew what was next. The evergreen anthem Alien 8 which we sang like there is no tomorrow and I wanted this show never to end. Such amount of love, good energy, great music, friendship and vibe bands returning to us fans and vice versa. Lagwagon ended their set with Making friends and Stokin the neighbours and I was smiling the whole time with joy after being there, witnessing the gig I will remember as long as I live. There is only one question remaining, why there is no such gigs in Croatia? But maybe it is better that way. I love Slovenia. I love gigs there.

 

(review) Not Now Mark-My Revolution(Lostdog Records)

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Lostdog Records is a small diy label from Italy promoting punkrock bands and this time they released the new record by Not Now Mark. The record contains 6 songs of nice and melodic punkrock done in the vein of pop punk bands like Descendents or a little bit of Ramones too can be heard in the song structures. The vocals are nice and fit perfectly, backing vocal harmonies too. This is nothing new, nothing unheard, but it works every time for me if done properly and this record is great. The lyrics are in English and deal with everyday personal themes to which we can all relate to. This band could fit perfectly playing at Punk Rock Holiday and would do good at the Beach stage and it would be great to see and hear them play there because it is such music. The songs that I somehow liked the most on this one are Apathy, My Revolution and Stop Your Lies.

https://lostdogrec.bandcamp.com/album/my-revolution

(new single) Giants Chair return after 23 years with new song, new album out soon with Spartan Records!

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Influential 90’s midwestern emo band Giants Chair is back after a 23-year absence. A new album, ‘Prefabylon’ will be released on December 6 via Spartan Records.

A new song titled “Kids Running” is debuting today in partnership with Talkhouse. Check out the track and an essay written by frontman Scott Hobart here.

Hobart writes: “I don’t know about you, but I can’t sit down with a stack of old VHS tour tapes of my ‘90s post-punk emo rock band GIANTS CHAIR without thinking about my unease with nostalgia. This is a band that hasn’t made a record — scarcely even played — in the last 23 years… but a band that, nevertheless, has somehow found itself with a new record to be released on December 6, 2019. Like one of my early songwriter heroes, Bob Dylan, I don’t want to look back. I don’t want to tempt my mid-life fate getting wistful or woeful about the “good ‘ol tour days.” But I’m sitting here with these tapes whirring in this borrowed TV/VCR combo because, after all these years, this band is desperate to find some footage to help us pull together some kind of music video by the end of this adult work week. So, here I am at 48. Faced, literally, with myself believing in myself and this same old, well… young, ‘90s emo rock band — at 25 years of age, 23 years ago and now. To quote a more-recent songwriting hero, David St. Hubbins, as he considers what his epitaph should be… “And why not?”

Contemporaries and tour mates of bands such as Jimmy Eat World, Boys Life, The Dismemberment Plan, Hoover, Sweep the Leg Johnny, Cap’n Jazz, Shiner, Boilermaker, and more, Giants Chair released a pair of albums on Caulfield Records in the 90’s and were a part of the early emo scene with acts like Boys Life, Shiner, Christie Front Drive, and fellow Kansas City bands such as Molly McGuire and Season to Risk.

Pre-order ‘Prefabylon’ here: https://spr.tn/giantschair.

The band has confirmed a series of shows in late November, in support of the upcoming release. See dates below.

About Giants Chair:

In the midwest in the early nineties, three musicians serendipitously found one another and began to power a sound. This sonic synergy charged not only the band’s own individually-heralded releases but would also influence decades of artists-to-come who would cut their rock-n-roll teeth on Giants Chair records. After years of writing and recording, after innumerable sweaty basement shows, after thousands of miles of highway blur, and a million fragmented memories, lives progressed, and the fire that fueled Giants Chair gave way to new responsibilities — but it never went out.

In the fall of 1989, Scott Hobart (guitar, lyrics, vocals) and Byron Collum (bass) both arrived to attend the Kansas City Art Institute. After a catalytic connection and several early band iterations in Kansas City, Hobart and Collum opted for a move to Collum’s hometown of Green Bay, WI in the winter of 1993 to play with drummer Paul Ackerman. The trio relocated back to Kansas City the following spring as Giants Chair with their debut 7” Hot Boy on Caulfield Records. Soon after the band assembled enough songs to record their first full length album, Red and Clear, a cryptic epic – it was equal parts raw and refined. While many of the band’s peers trended toward post-rock deconstruction in the following years, Giants Chair returned with Purity and Control, the record that solidified the band’s signature balance of tight rhythms and forward melodies — deceptively simple hooks that collide with lush and layered sonic force.

For more than two decades now these records have lived on turntables, blasted through car speakers, rattled apartment walls, destroyed headphones, and have finally become recognized as the timeless artifacts of emotional experience and endeavor that they are for so many people. Yes, for many, each Giants Chair release serves as a time machine that can instantly transport them back to an earlier memory — a soundtrack for their wobbly path toward adulthood. As decades decay, the path remains, and it is no less mysterious for any of us. Now, in perfect time, 2019 marks the return of Giants Chair with the release of the bands highly-anticipated new album on Spartan Records, Prefabylon. …and a soundtrack continues.

“I feel like the band kind of found US again,” says Hobart, “like a two-decade long slap-back echo, and I’m sitting on the couch playing guitar to it. Similar to a lot of people in the world right now, we’re feeling pretty anxious, and I think these songs come from that.”

Thematically, as a concept, Prefabylon is rooted in lyrics of their new song “Lost Again” — Lost between ghost towns — prefabulous ruins / makeshift intentions to shelter hope’s fools. “I was thinking about people building lives and meaning out of leftovers — how hope springs eternal, but sometimes it’s ill-fated,” says Hobart. “So the title/concept for me is kind of a double-meaning — it calls into question disposable means and values, but also respects that, really, that’s all humans have ever done — made lives out of leftovers.”

With all of the the band’s original core components and members still intact (no small feat of itself!) listeners needn’t brace for any departure from the band’s signature post-punk DNA. Equal parts early new wave, skate punk, prog, political folk, and 70’s and 80’s radio rock, Giants Chair’s influences can be traced across their now ‘era-transcending’ catalogue. “As a band,” Hobart says “I think we must sound ‘midwestern.’ It’s essentially classic, no-frills, rock elements creating a big wall of melody. At turns, the music reminds me of rolling landscape, sky and highways, old factories and farms, distant street lights and radio towers – how these things make me feel. Kind of a lonely, but somehow-hopeful ache while looking west… then the sky shatters. I remember saying at some point early in the music writing that I was hearing AC/DC meets My Bloody Valentine, but I guess we’ve always erred, to some extent, on the side of AC/DC. And maybe more ‘D.C.’- as in District Of Columbia” by now” Hobart laughs.

Fans conquer, with Prefabylon, Giants Chair is simply picking up where they left off — the same guys, the same process, the same gear, and the same feel. After a year of intensive writing and focused pre-production, Prefabylon came to life at Weights and Measures Soundlab in Kansas City, MO. with the help of engineer Duane Trower. When the band was finally ready, drums, bass and foundational guitars were tracked live, lightning-in-a-bottle, in two sessions. Over the weeks that followed, vocals and the remaining guitar elements were meticulously added to the mix. “I’m hearing that we sound like we never stopped playing,” says Hobart. “I’d like to think that’s the timeless wonder of limitation that our minimal talents force us to work with. Guitar, bass, drums, mouth. Tape it all together and turn it way-the-fuck up.”

While most listeners will rest easy in the notion of sonic familiarity, those looking for artistic evolution will find it in Prefabylon’s lyrics. “I didn’t want to write or sing or yell about growing old – as frustrating as it can be,” says Hobart, “so, at first, I think I was going down the old safe road of lyrical crypticism – but, ultimately, I found it hard to be passionate in sheer abstraction. I really felt like I wanted to be more coherent in all this emotionalism. But, while I don’t want to be middle-aged ranting, I also can’t help that the things I’m most passionate about by now, are things about being a 48 year-old father of 2 sons, married for 21 years to the same patient woman, living in a big, rich, wasteful commercial of a country on an ailing planet — sometimes wishing I could just get in the van with my rock and roll brothers and head West forever.”

While time passes for all of us, certain feelings and emotions have the ability to remain constant with the proper amount of stoking – and volume. It is through these feelings, these memories, that glimpses of refuge and hope still shine earnestly. The wheels spin, the cycles cycle, and we all tire, but there is enchantment in things, like these records, these sonic timestamps that point us back to who we were at our best — and our worst. And now we have another. While it’s unlikely that we head west forever, through records like Prefabylon, we can certainly keep that forward spirit alive and burning – maybe laughing back, from time-to-time, at our futures forgotten, before nostalgia kills us.

Tracklist

1. Rust Belt Rooster

2. Black Static

3. Dirty Winter

4. Kids Running

5. Vaguely Familiar

6. Ghost Love

7. Russian Racehorse

8. Time Lapse Shadows

9. Lost Again

10. House Lights

+++++

Giants Chair — 2019 Tour Dates

11/22 The Heavy Anchor St. Louis, MO

11/23 Cactus Club Milwaukee, WI

11/29 The Brick Kansas City, MO

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(new video) JX ARKET released a new video for Faded Colors

Remember JX ARKET? We recently reviewed their new record. Italian post-hardcore act JX ARKET has released a new video for the track “Faded Colors”, new single taken from the album “About Existence” available now via Antigony Records. The video was directed by the crew RATAVÖLOIRA.

The album consists of 7 Post-Hardcore/Metal tracks with sounds reflective of the late 1990s-early 2000s, for fans of Thursday, Saosin, Finch e Glassjaw.
You can listen and buy the album in physical and digital on Antigony Records’s Bandcamp and in every digital store at this link.

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(News) Rising Anger release new video for Passing The Past

Rising Anger released a new video of  their upcoming record “I AM”
The song is called “Passing The Past” and it´s the second single/video release.
The full length will be out on Feb. 7th via Bastardized Rec.
The video was released via Dreambound.

Listen to Passing The Past:
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2JIezWJ
iTunes: https://apple.co/36qXpXb
Bandcamp: https://bit.ly/2NypBif
Youtube: https://bit.ly/2Q8cF5
Rising Anger
facebook.com/risingangermetal 
https://risinganger.bigcartel.com

Bastardized Recordings
www.bastardized.net
www.facebook.com/Bastardizedrec
www.youtube.com/BastardizedVideo
www.bastardizedrecordings.bandcamp.com

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Photocredit: Kevin Spielmann

 

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