Interview:PEARS

We met Zach, the singer for the American band PEARS at Punk Rock Holiday and did an interview with him for this zine. We really talked about everyting, so check it out!

Me:Okay we are here with Zach…

Zach:Is this audio recording? Okay, how are you doing, this is Zach from Pears.

Me:How is the tour being going so far?

Zach:Its been awesome. This is our most fun European tour yet. I think mostly because we managed not to kill each other. So weve been getting along really well, the shows have been really good, the people are super friendly, so its beed a blast.

Me:How would you compare the European punk hardcore scene and the scene in the United States?

Zach:In the US the dont like to let you sleep in the bed and feed you and they love doing that shit over here which we really appreciate. I guess there is a lot of like, I feel there is an element of gratitude here, that just isnt in the US. In the States, the kids are kinda spoiled you know, especially like the major cities that like every tour goes through, so theyve seen every band ever and when you go there, they are like:great(sarcasm). Theyre excited but when we come here everybody is like really excited.

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Me:The same shit happened in our country, 20+years there was a war in ex Yugoslavia, I dont know if you are familiar with…

Zach:No, I am not into history.

Me:Well, there was one state Yugoslavia, made of six smaller states, governed by communist socialist regime, the guy called Tito, if you heard. After Tito died, the nationalistic tensions emerged and at the beginning of the 90-ies there was a pretty big civil war between Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia….So, 20+years ago when I was brought up on a punk hardcore scene we had very few shows and were looking forward to every show. Foreign bands didnt come often or not at all, we only had our diy bands so I wanted to say, kids in my country also became spoiled since like 2000 onward because nowadays multitude of bands come and play, we are an EU member so the borders are easier to cross…

Zach:So you get basically lot more tours and kids are less and less grateful.

Me:So what do you think about PRH? In my opinion it is the most awesome festival in Europe.

Zach:It is so beautiful out here. Like, I mean, getting to hang out and listen to these bands is great. I am also one of those spoiled kids because I play shows with them all the time you know. So I think like can I watch this band again you know? Its like cool, but I have seen it. Watching all these bands in this setting is so beautiful and amazing. And the weather is like New Orleans too. So, it might get muggy, but it feels like home(laughter).

Me:The part of Croatia where we are from in the north is also muggy, we have two rivers and it used to be swampy area there.

Zach:Swamp? Cool, I am comfy with swamp.

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Me:You are from New Orleans right?

Zach:Yeah, we are New Orleans based band. I am comfy when I am sweating behind the knees(laughs).

Me:You have cajun food down there.

Zach:Oh yes, cajun kitchen, very fine. I am not cajun but cajun food is amazing.

Me:There is Crowbar in New Orleans and Phil Anselmo is also from New Orleans.

Zach:There is lot of metal from New Orleans and right outside New Orleans there is a town nicknamed Metallry because of how many bands come from there.

Me:I really love New Orleans metal sound, sludgy sound because it is like greasy. When I listen to for example EyeHateGod I can almost feel that sweat and grease and mud.

Zach:Its got that Southern vibe.

Me:How do you guys manage not to kill each other on tour? Is it hard to be in the same van, in the same ride for months?

Zach:Yeah, its really hard, I dont know how we manage but were getting better at it all the time. Its all about really kinda learning to make sacrifices and, you know, put each other first over yourself. I think thats when it comes down to were getting better and better at being more considerate towards one another and it just makes a happier environment to be in.

Me:One big happy family, so to say.

Zach:Yeah, I mean two years ago we were like cats and dogs, you know like fuck you all the time but you get used to it, youre better at it.

Me:You still work with Fat Wreck Chords?

Zach;Oh yeah!

Me:How did the cooperation happen? Did they contact you or?

Zach:That actually happened because of Ryan Young, Everything good that ever happened to us is because of Ryan Young. He released our vinyl originally but it was never his intention to have us forever, he wanted to find someone to pick it up so yeah, he put us in touch with Fat. He got Mike to listen to it, he got Erin to listen to it.

Me:I talked to one of my friends from one of, how should i put it, bigger Croatian melodic punk hardcore bands and he believes that like, when you sign for Fat, its like you made it. It is one of the best still independent punk labels and as a band you do not compromise your music and ideals by signing for them.

Zach:Right, its nice, I mean like they are just so artist friendly, theyre into you being creative and being you and theyre not like mega contract binding, they just wanna make you happy and comfortable. I man its the greatest label in the world.

Me:How did you get in contact with the whole underground thing? Do you still remember your first show when you were just a little punk?

Zach:Oh wow! I am not sure I remember who was playing but I remember there was a slamm venue in Matheny called Cypress Hall and they would have diy shows. This was basically like an empty room, the band would just set there like in this warehouse and I remember going there when I was like 12-13 and all the kids were wearing funny clothes, this was kinda cool.

Me:Like, this was where you wanted to be.

Zach:Yeah, absolutely.

Me:Did you see any violence at the shows while touring? Ignite played here two days ago and Zoli said that he was so thankful that this is violence free festival, everybody is so kind, taking care of each other and that they have seen a lot of violence. I sometimes get the feeling that in America from like the other half of 90-ies up to now, there is still much violence going on at the shows, like cliques city against city and stuff, is it real?

Zach:Its definitely something that was around when I first started going to the shows but I dont really see it much anymore. I think a lot of it has to do with the Internet. I think the Internet has a lot of good and bad things, and one of the good things about it is kinda everybody has been introduced to everybody. You know what I mean? So like I dont see anymore cliques to the point when it becomes violent, like I remember when I was a kid, you see like the punks fighting the skinheads or the hardcore guys would fight the punks.

Me:In our country we had many troubles with the skinheads in the 90-ies.

Zach:Skinheads always find the way to be the pain in the ass. Now I feel its less divided, everybody kinda knows everybody and thank God for that. I cant even imagine, you read stories like LA and New York in like 1981 at the shows, those kids like literally killing each other.

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Me:I think the guys from Agnostic Front and Cro Mags really lived what they sing about. Roger, Vinnie Stigma and Harley Flanagan.

Zach:Yeah, I mean they lived through the era of punkrock gangs, I am so happy I missed that.

Me:How was the feedback for your latest album?

Zach:Great! The reception was awesome. It was hard following the first record because we have never written a record that we knew people were going to listen to. The first Pears record we wrote still thinking like it was going to do nothing. Now that so many people are paying attention and it was time to write another record it was like fuck, everybody is looking at me! Stop looking at me!(laughs)

Me:Its like you felt some kind of pressure to top the previous record is it?

Zach:Yeah, it was intimidating but I have never been more proud of anything than the second Pears record and I am happy we pulled it off and it was really good.

Me:Did you play with some Croatian bands while touring? Do you know any Croatian bands?

Zach:I dont know any Croatian bands like right now at the top of my head. I probably know Croatian or Slovenian bands but I dont know who is from where, it has been so many.

Me:Thank you Zach, that would be it. Do you have anything to add?

Zach:Well, new music comes in October, check it out! I am coming back to Europe solo in September with Joey Cape and Pears will be back in November. Follow our Facebook page for more information.

 

(record review)LET RAGE!-“E.P.1”

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This is the first ep made by this four piece band from Los Angeles, California. The ep has four songs, three new ones and one old made by guitarist/vocalists old band named Felix. The opener “Timmy s Doing Drugs” is a fast short hardcore fun song in the vein of 80-ies bands. The second one “Soda Pop and Cigarettes” is a melodic midtempo punkrock song with some catchy melodic hooks and nice singing. “Teenage Altar Boy” is faster, skate song and in my opinion the best song on this ep. “No Clout” that closes the ep is superb hardcore punk fast paced song. This ep is a great piece of hardcore punk done nicely in an old school way.

7,5/10

Download the EP from Bandcamp
http://letrage.bandcamp.com/album/ep1

 

(knjige)James Luceno-“Dark Lord:The Rise of Darth Vader”

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Ovo je treći i završni dio takozvane Star Wars Dark Lord trilogije koja je počela sa “Labyrinth of Evil”, kao drugi dio bila je svima poznata “Revenge of the Sith” i ovo je treća, koja se događajima nastavlja direktno na “Revenge of the Sith”. Priča počinje u završnim trenucima Clone ratova kada Naredba 66 kosi Jedi vitezove po cijeloj galaksiji. Anakin Skywalker je prestao postojati kao takav, a njegovo mjesto je zauzeo Darth Vader, jako ranjiv, zbunjen, ljut i nesiguran u svojem novom životu kao mješavina kiborga i ostatka čovjeka koji je izgorio u jezeru lave na planeti Mustafar. Ono što mi je jako super leglo u ovoj knjizi je to što prikazuje svu nesigurnost novog života u Vaderovom oklopu, način kako vidi, kako čuje, kako živi u konstantnoj boli i pokušava uroniti dublje u mračnu stranu Sile pošto mu je Darth Sidious obećao svašta prilikom njegovog preobraćenja iz Jedi viteza u Sitha. Glavni likovi priče su preživjeli Jedi Roan Shryne i Padawan Olee Starstone koji sa ranjenom skupinom Jedia pokušavaju preživjeti napade imperijalnih jurišnika i otkriti tko je misteriozan Darth Vader koji ih proganja. Knjigu je napisao iskusan Star Wars veteran James Luceno, jako se pitko čita i ima uz odličnu priču impresivne scene bitke, pogotovo završne na Wookie planeti Kashykk, tako da mi je od cijele trilogije ova najbolja. Mislim da na hrvatskom ili srpskom jeziku knjiga nije izašla nažalost, ja imam na engleskom.

 

Interview:69 Enfermos

When I first heard the record “A Place To Call Home” by this Southamerican band it made me fall in love in their music immediately. I met Dalin and the guys personally at Punk Rock Holiday this Summer and I made this interview there with Dalin.

Tell me how did you get into whole underground thing, the underground scene, how did you start going to gigs, listen to the music?

First of all, thank you for this, I really appreciate the love and support. Basically, I was 13 years old Southamerican kid and kinda heard this music by NOFX, Lagwagon, bands like Strung Out, basically I got into this because of skating, I was a skater, you know. I followed this path because I really liked the message of bands like Propagandhi and Good Riddance. I never expected to be famous or recognized because for me it was more the fun thing and I discovered there were people in the scene that think like me, so I could take my band and play through the countries of South America.

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You have a new album out. What is the difference between the new album and the last one you did?

We switched to singing in English about four years ago and released two albums in English. One is “Beyond Borders” in 2015. and the new one ” A Place To Call Home”. They are different because the new one is like more positive, lyrics are more comprehensive. The tunes are more rythmically happy and “Beyond Borders” is kinda an obscure album with political songs, the new album is also musically different because of the energy, it is hundred percent positive and people tell us that it is different compared to the old one.

Yes, I mean, the new album is nice, because, in my opinion, you kept that political edge about living in South America. How is living in South America different now that you have seen and experienced European living and culture?

When I was singing in Spanish for years, I was able to sing about the themes like politics in society and being in a band I realized I was somehow empowered so I turned to write smarter lyrics for people to open their eyes and realize there is so much shit going on in todays society. The difference between South America and Europe? Many of the Euro bands sing in English and the topics are quite similar and people are used to political lyrics. Being a band from South America in not like that, you have to sing about good things and you can not sing against the state or government. To us, it was a huge step to come here because it was not easy for us to cross all that borders. Our lyrics are now in English so people can understand that we have same problems with corruption and stuff, so in fact the whole world is one united nation.

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You are on tour right now. How is the tour going? The specifics for this tour is that you have no rented van, no tour bus, no big music business, its total DIY, like traveling by train, by bus, by hitched cars, so how did the tour go so far?

Well, you can call this tour “The Third World Tour”. For us, everything is good, were making some new friends, were meeting old friends. I dont mind taking buses, taking trains it feels kinda weird but I am used to this. We see the scenes in other countries and were having fun, thats the point. I was very sad because I wanted to play in Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro but I wasnt able to do this, because as a Colombian  I need special visa. So, we tried to reach the most countries we could and this tour was possible because of the support and love of the many people involved. My beautiful friends, so this tour is made by love and so far it is okay, its really cool. After we play here, were going to Umag, Croatia and the last show in Graz, Austria. Its like eleven shows.

Do you have any newer South American bands that you would like to recommend to check out? When I was a kid we only knew Sepultura, Ratos De Porao, Acao Direta…Is there a new scene? As I understand you live in Porto Allegre. How is the scene in your town?

Well, there was a huge scene in my town and the whole continent but now the people that made the scene back then grew up and it is not the same as it was back then. I used to play to five to ten thousand people, sold a lot of merch but now only small venues and diy shows remain and fifty or hundred kids show up at the show. But it is still great because it is not about big venues or numbers. When you have a big, corrupt government the music is sometimes the only way out.

Thank you Dalin! It was an honour to do this interview!

Keep up the good work and thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

(record review)IN ASHES-“Breathe Hope”

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Australian hardcore scene is great and has some really great bands to offer to the world like Deez Nuts, Toe To Toe, Clowns…In Ashes come from Gold Coast, Australia. This quartet plays modern melodic variation of hardcore with many metal influences so they sound more metalcore than classic hardcore band. The album contains 10 songs of sorrow, hope, melody, aggression and despair. The guitar riffs are melodic but also somehow downtuned and there are many atmospheric parts in the songs like “Second of April, 1988”. The vocal parts are mainly harsh, growling and tortured screams, but in a few songs there is also nice melodic clean vocals to counterpart the aggression of the growling screams. The highlight of this album is the song “Isolation” with great guest vocals by Samantha Hurst. In all, this is not a bad album, but I did not like it specially because personally I am not a fan of metalcore modern sound of hardcore.

4/10

https://inashes.bandcamp.com/album/breathe-hope-2

 

(record review)ENZIGURI-“Uptown Boogie Down”

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This is a relative new and young band fresh on New York Hardcore scene. Hailing from Bronx, they released one ep in 2015. and then remained relative inactive due to some lineup changes. Now, they released their first full length album and I love it. The album contains 13 songs and it is a hardcore bomb full of energy and it is what I needed in this times when almost all the bands play the new modern version of hardcore. Enziguri went the other way and they play old school New York Hardcore and their music sounds like a mix of more melodic songs of Agnostic Front and the music of H2O. They kinda reminded me vocally a lot on Toby Morse from H2O. Since those two bands are one of my favourite hardcore bands, this album was listened on repeat for many times and I loved it. Positive lyrics about friendship, streets, having fun, fight, make you jump and make you wanna hug that sweaty kid in the pit next to you. I hope Enziguri will be heard all over the world and become another proof why New York Hardcore scene is one of the best hardcore scenes in the world! Top songs: “Love Wins”, “Amigo”, “No Time”

8/10

https://enzigurinyc.bandcamp.com/album/uptown-boogie-down-2017

 

 

(the great festival report)PUNK ROCK HOLIDAY 1.7.-07.08.2017.-11.08.2017.

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When you go to the festival which is in my opinion the best festival in the world, it is very hard to come back to reality after five days of magic. Punk Rock Holiday has everything that I love, excellent line up, great surroundings and friendly people without violence and without stealing stuff and all the other unpleasentries that you can cross on your way through the variety of other festivals. This festival refuses to spread the capacity over 5 000 people and that makes it the best little festival in Europe without the stage barrier and with the energy of club shows.

07.08.2017.-DAY ZERO

The day that all four of us waited with impatience has arrived. We put all our stuff in one car which was hard, but my friend Marko was very good at playing Tetris, so he always manages to find place in the car for all our shit.

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In the late morning hours we got on our cca five our drive to Tolmin, Slovenia. We passed the border without problems, bought a vignette for the highway and the hours on the road were passing quickly with sharing jokes and talking about everything and nothing. We stopped on one resting stop on Slovenian highway to eat some sandwiches and drink some water. In the middle of the rest stop there was a bench and upon it sat a strange looking drunk hobo, dirty and he puked, pissed and shat himself all at once which was weird.

We arrived in Tolmin about 4 pm and were at once awestruck with the beauty of this little town surrounded with beautiful mountains and forests and of course, rivers Soča and Tolminka. Although I have been there before and I know what to expect, I am always struck by the beauty of this location. We had to go to the two entrances because some of us had press acreditations, some not, so we parked our car by the graveyard and went first to find some camping place in the forest if there was any left. Lucky, for us, the girls found an excellent spot, way better than the placed we camped on last year. We spent a couple of hours picking our living place for the next five days. Evening quickly came and we went to the nearby town to shop some wine and food and other stuff we needed, and dusk was setting when we set down in our camp to chill and drink some wine and just enjoy the fact that we managed to arrive again to that great place. Meanwhile the gigs for this early arrival warm up show started. On Monday there was no shows on Beach stage, only main stage action. Unfortunately, we missed the TRASH BOAT, CLOWNS, THE KENNETHS and JAYA THE CAT shows. When we arrived in front of the Main stage, Slovenian band PIGS PARLAMENT was starting their set. This band is practically festival house band, since that area is their home, and they play punkrock karaoke the final day of the festival at the beach. I saw them play live before but this show was in my opinion one of their most energetic shows ever.

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Singer Tina was flying all around the stage like there is no tomorrow and the rest of the band kind of felt her energy and became even more active and the crowd was having fun enjoying the show. The only thing missing was stage diving and on stage crowd-band action because there was a barrier in front of the stage, as I heard later, that was a request made by The Offspring.

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Pigs Parlament went through the set made by the different songs from their albums including couple of covers but what intrigued me were the new songs from upcoming new album like “Je blo zadost” and “Hejtr” that are somehow heavier than the earlier material.

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Pigs Parlament had a great show, crowd enjoyed it and they enjoyed it. It is always nice to see the band trashing on stage with smile on their faces and you can really appreciate how they feel about the energy they bring to the crowd. Unfortunately that was not the case with the headliners of the evening THE OFFSPRING. 

When The Offspring started their show, first thing that made me wonder was lack of the guitarrist Noodles. When I checked on their FB page it was stated that due to family matters Noodles could not come to Europe to tour.

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The first four songs “Youre Gonna Go Far Kid”, “All I Want”, “Come Out To Play” and “Genocide” made the crowd go crazy and wild but there was no response from the band on stage. Only two-three words from Dexter Holland, and the only member of the band who tried to animate the crowd and did not act like he was playing on practice was the guy who was replacing Noodles.

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There were some downers and misses in the setlist like The White Stripes cover, acoustic “Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?” and “Walla Walla”. Seeing the band boring themselves on stage the energy level in the crowd was spiraling down rapidly.

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The atmosphere was different according to the currently played songs, but even through old hits like “Bad Habit”, “Gotta Get Away” it was evident that something was missing.

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Four aces “Why Dont You Get A Job”, (“Cant Get My)Head Around You”, “Pretty Fly” and “Kids Arent Alright” finished the regular set and the band went offstage but it was evident that they will return to play a couple of songs more, even though nobody from the crowd especially asked and wanted them to do that.

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They returned to the stage and Dexter adressed the crowd with a word or two without any kind of emotion and I could not help myself that he was there only to do the job and nothing else. Of course, they played two more songs for the encore, being “Americana” and “Self Esteem”. They finished the gig and left the stage as soon as possible.

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Maybe they were tired, maybe someone of the guys in the band was sick, but The Offspring did not meet the expectations of many in the crowd, me included. Punk Rock Holiday is used to the bands that give much more in their performances and not just acting like they are on practice and if you give nothing to the fans, the fans give you nothing. Dont get me wrong, musical part was great, there is no flaw how they sounded, but it was like listening to The Offspring cd at home. Or maybe, like eating a plate full of cold white rice. It is edible, but there is no spice whatsoever. That set left us with a little bit of bitter taste in our mouths. Fortunately that was only the early arrival warm up show and the real thing started the next day.

08.08.2017.-DAY ONE

When we woke in our tents after our first night there we were a bit hungover, so we went to the beautiful town of Tolmin, cca 15 minutes walk to buy something to eat, drink some coffee and so on…after eating some tasty bread, salami, cheese, mayonnaise and yogurt, drinking some coffee, we were feeling reborn for all the great stuff this Tuesday is gonna bring our way. We were at the Beach stage rather early at 1 p.m.because we had to check out FAST RESPONSE from Zagreb, Croatia. It is an awesome melodic punk hardcore band that we never managed to see play live yet and we also know some of the guys in the band, so their show was a must see/listen!

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They quickly adjusted their sound and threw all the hits from their album and ep in the setlist(“Sober”, “Welcome To Corruptia”, “GTR”, “Homeless by Choice”, “Dear Landlord”…). The guys played this gig with a session drummer and the guy did a really fine job almost without blinking hehe.

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They were nervous during the first song or two, but later they let out all the energy and had an amazing fun, so they managed to carry on that energy on us, and despite the hot Sun of the early afternoon, their show was great music, energy and fun!

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The afternoon was hot, so we went to the river Soča wonderful beach that was already packed with punks who were swimming, drinking beer and wine, sitting with their feet in the river and the atmosphere of unity plus fun was overwhelming. We drank a couple of beers and chilled our overheated bodies in Soča river for a couple of hour. I really wanted to see Austrian awesome band DEADENDS on the Beach stage but I did not make it in time. Instead I saw the day headliner on the Beach stage, namely PETROL GIRLS but unfortunately their set and the nervous style of music did not impress me much, so I left before they finished playing to our tents to drink some bambus(red wine+cola) and get ready for the bands on main stage. Meanwhile, the first band on the main stage played, JESUS PIECE and they played some generic metalcore so I had no idea what were they doing on this festival. I know that they were last minute replacement, but anyway, they were not my cup of tea. That can not be said for GENERATORS from Los Angeles. I went to their show knowing that this could be something excellent and boy, was I right!

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Generators play that old school American street punk with oi influences. The songs are not fast, but midtempo punk rock but everything is so energetic that all of the people in front of the main stage were jumping and dancing around with smiles on their faces. They played Cock Sparrer cover “Runnin Riot” between many songs from their releases. Generators 45 minute set was a lesson in street punkrock that I will remember with smile and I will definitely check them out live again as soon as I can.

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The darkness was setting and the crowd anxiously awaited the headliners of the evening. More and more punks dressed in kilts gathered in front of the main stage and after a bit makeover on stage, everything was ready for THE REAL MCKENZIES show. I dont consider myself a fan of celtic punk bands, but this one is okay to listen to and I was sure that they will deliver a lot of fun to the crowd.

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This Canadian based band is one of the godfathers of celtic punk because they played that music when no other bands jumped on the bandwagon trying to milk some money due to the popularity of such bands. The only original and sole constant member of the band singer Paul Mckenzie was having much fun, and they went through their set and all of the people as far as my eyes could see were dancing, jumping, fooling around, stagediving and crowdsurfing.

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I love IGNITE for more than twenty years and I have seen them live, but it was nothing compared to this show that they gave this evening at Punk Rock Holiday. When they started the first song “Poverty for All” the crowd just went nuts including me. All of the hits like “Veteran”, “Run”, “Embrace”, “Let it Burn” were there.

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Zoli sings like never before in his lifetime with his beautiful voice and all of the crowd was singing with him every verse of every song. They are still promoting the album “War Against You”, so they played a couple of songs from that album “This is a War”, “Descent” which Zoli dedicated to his friend who died from drug overdose and ” Oh no, not again, just another army…” Brett had some problems with his bass guitar so the band treated us with acoustic version of “Slow Down” and the singing of the crowd made goosebumps on my skin. Ignite surprised me with one song though, they played Uniform Choice cover “Screaming for Change” and that surprise brought tears of joy in my eye.

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“A Place Called Home”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, acoustic singalong anthem “Live For Better Days” closed the regular set and Ignite ended their one hour set with “Bleeding” and Zoli and Brett both went crowdsurfing and I was in awe and once again Ignite proved that they are one of the best melodic hardcore bands out there and their set on this year PRH was one of the highlights of the festival.

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Many bands would have a hard time headlining after Ignite, but that is not the case with PENNYWISE. If there is one band who can gather even more strength and energy in the crowd, that is Jim, Fletcher and the rest of the guys in Pennywise. This being their Punk Rock Holiday premiere, the setlist was great(“Fight Till You Die”, “Peaceful Day”, “Society”, “Fuck Authority” and all the gems were there). Many people resented that they have too much cover songs in their setlist(Ramones, Beasty Boys, Minor Threat, Bad Religion…).Jim Lindberg nicely put it on stage when he said were gonna play some covers again. Why? Because we can! Pennywise made crowd eat from their hand and as the set was closing to its epic ending I knew what was in store. “Bro Hymn” is absolute hit and when they played it something incredible happened. We all know that Punk Rock Holiday is a no barrier show and there is a lot stage diving, crowdsurfing, and generally people on stage. But, during Pennywise playing “Bro Hymn” there was more than hundred people on stage, singing, jumping, crowdsurfing each other, and all of the people on stage, in front of the stage and everywhere were just one being, one united wonderful existence. I still get goosebumps when I am writing this because I have seen nothing like that in my lifetime, probably never will again and I am so happy that I was there to witness that.

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When the concert finished the party resumed till morning on the beach and everywhere. My heart was full and it was only day one. Fuckin a!

09.08.2017.-DAY TWO

In the morning hours we went on a trip to Tolminska korita(The Tolmin Gorges). The nature that we have seen there is freakin beautiful and we really enjoyed the climbing up to Medvedja Glava(a rock that looks like bears head) and all the hanging bridges and Dantes cave. I certainly recommend to everyone to go there once and see it, the road is only 15-20 minutes by car. Also, it is a perfect medicine for hangover hehe. Afterwards we also checked out the World War One museum in the town called Kobarid. Every inch of the mountains surrounding Punk Rock Holiday venue is drenched in blood because in World War One, there was a frontline and great battles between Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germans on the one side and Italians on the other. Disturbing and interesting at the same time. In the afternoon hours upon returning to the festival I went to the Beach stage to check out NOT ON TOUR gig. This great melodic hardcore band from Israel had a full house, kids stage diving and crowdsurfing and everyone sang along to their songs, so that was a highlight of the afternoon gigs. The evening draw near and it was time to start the gigs on main stage. Unfortunately we missed the NO TRIGGER gig due to drinking some booze, chatting and chilling a little in the forest. The band I certainly could not miss was SLAPSHOT. The Boston hardcore legends were playing next and it was time for me to see them live for the first time and I was not disappointed.

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Slapshot delivered great and energetic show. The setlist was made of sure hits like “No friend of mine”, “I ve had enough”, “Whats at stake”, “No Time Left”, “Hang up your boots”…

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I was interested what will Jack Choke Kelly, known for his unpredictability do and say on stage between the songs and I was right. He said that he hates swimming and someone from the crowd presented him with a hockey stick. Unfortunately the hockey stick had a Montreal sign on it, so Choke said fuck this stick because of the sign. The kids moshed, sang along and the time passed by and Slapshot finished their show with “Old Tyme Hardcore” and “Step on It”. I definitely must see Slapshot play again. Great hardcore legends.

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After all the hardcore energy, it was time to recuperate a little so we went to drink a couple of drinks and hang around a little, so we came back during the second half of FACE TO FACE setlist. All of the hits were there like “Bent but not broken”, “A-OK”, “Velocity”, “Double crossed”…

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Face To Face delivered their melodic punkrock with energy and the crowd in front of the stage enjoyed every minute of it. They triumphally ended their set with “Disconnected” and the stage was so packed with kids that the band could not be seen. That was only preparation for ANTI FLAG show. This was the seventh Punk Rock Holiday and Anti Flag played on five, I think more than any other band out there. This show proved why and I will remember it as long as I live. Starting with “Press Corpse” “Cities Burn” and “Fabled World” they only prepared the territory what came next. The interaction between the band and the crowd was unbelievable and the singalong, stage diving and all the energy gave us strength to endure anything ugly thrown our way in this shitty world.

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With “Fuck Police Brutality” and “Turncoat”, Anti Flag heated the intense atmosphere almost to bursting and the mass of positive energy that surrounded us could be cut with the knife from the thick air. “This Machine Kills Fascists”, “One Trillion Dollars” only added the fuel to the fire.

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“This is the end” and “Die for the government” shook the last atoms of strength that we thought we have, but Anti Flag squeezed our energies and demanded that we follow them all of the way to the flames of punk unity, solidarity and positivity.

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Anti Flag ended their set with “Brandenburg Gate” and “Power to the Peaceful” leaving us sweaty, tired and smiling. This gig was also one of the highlights of the festival and definitely the winner of the day. That left us with the headliners GOOD RIDDANCE. I love them since I was a kid in the nineties and Russ Rankin is one of my personal idols, so I was really glad when I got to meet him in person this year, him being very nice, down to earth cool dude. Good Riddance just couldnt continue the amount of energy given by Anti Flag, so their set was musically great, but with much less energy and enthusiasm compared to the madness before them.

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The set consisted of the songs from almost all of their releases, some new(“Disputatio”), some older hits(“Letters Home”, “Libertine”, “Shadows of Defeat”), but the biggest reaction from the crowd happened when they played the stuff from the first three albums(“Credit To His Gender”, “Flies First Class”, “Salt”, “Waste”,..).

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Good Riddance ended their show and the second day of the festival with oldies but goldies, namely “Weight of the World”, “Mother Superior” and “Last Believer”.

10.08.2017.-DAY THREE

The day passed by us wandering through town, eating some fine food, drinking some fine beer, chilling in press area and preparing for the evening shows. In the afternoon we met Zach from Pears in press area and made an interview for this zine soon to be published on these pages. After that we went to the Beach stage to drink some beer and enjoy a band or two. We watched and listened BONO! on the Beach stage in the afternoon and they played pretty good mix of screaming vocals hardcore and melodic punkrock. I wanted to see 69 ENFERMOS from Brasil bad, since I was lucky to meet in person my friend Dalin, and they are an excellent band, but after they played two and a half songs, such storm rose that the gig was stopped and I managed to run to press area to hide there untill the worse has passed. Luckily, the storm passed in half an hour, and it was time to start the evening gigs on the main stage. First were PEARS from New Orleans, who delighted me with their mix of melodic punk, hardcore, Black Flagesque song structures and that sound typical for New Orleans bands, sludgy, sweaty and greasy.

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Their frontman Zach was all over the stage and the fact that they played first during daytime and after a storm did not bother them least. Excellent show by excellent band!

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Next up came TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET. This is one of the bands that we were very happy to see when the festival lineup was announced, so we just had to check out their crazy Ramones-Core melodic punkrock. It was a little bit surreal scene watching punks stage diving alongside little kids who were also crowdsurfing and that only proves how Punk Rock Holiday as a festival differs from your usual festival, being without violence and little kids friendly.

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Teenage Bottlerocket delivered half a million of their short melodic energetic bombs and with “Radio”, “Skate or Die”, “In the Pit”, “Nothing Else Matters(When Im With You) you cant go wrong.

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Special highlight of Teenage Bottlerocket show was when the frontman dedicated a song to his twin brother who died and the band played a cover of Tony Sly “Via Munich”. I must admit, my eyes were moist with tears in front of the stage and looking around I saw that I was not the only one, because I remembered my personal family lossed that happened during the years. Excellent show, nonetheless.

Since I saw Agnostic Front and H2O this Summer, I was eager to see one more New York Hardcore legend, namely MADBALL. Boy, did they deliver a powerful set, I felt like everyone was jumping when I looked around. The setlist was made of all of their goodies like “Set It Off”, “Never Had It”, “Cant Stop Wont Stop”…

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Freddy Cricien is a fine frontman, delivering power and energy and at the same time interacting great with the crowd. It was great to see again wicked punks and hardcore kids stage diving and crowdsurfing alongside little kids with parents. Through “Heavenhell”, “Pride” and “Doctor Martens Stomp”, Madball brougt their powerfull set to an end leaving me satisfied with heart full of hardcore.

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After three bands, we just needed some rest and some drinking, so we unfortunately missed LESS THAN JAKE show. When we returned already the headliners of the day THE TOY DOLLS played on stage. I do not consider myselgf being the fan of this band, but they gave an excellent show. Everything was there, fun, laughs, the band plays awesome. the confetti were great. I could recognize by the smiles on their faces how much The Toy Dolls enjoyed this show. When Olga thanked everyone for 37 years that the band plays, I can only say, much respect to Toy Dolls and they proved why they were the headliners of the day.

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After The Toy Dolls, one more band played on main stage. GET DEAD were supposed to be headliners on Beach stage in the afternoon but they could not play because of the storm so they were moved to the main stage after the headliners. They played some sort of melodic hardcore punk but during their set the rain returned heavily, so we went to our tents to drink some more and sleep.

11.08.2017.-DAY FOUR

The final day of the festival started with gloomy clouds hanging over the area and soon it started to rain. The rain was pouring heavily and we went to town to drink some coffee and sort ourselves a little before afternoon because the rain should stop in the afternoon according to the predictions on the net. Sure enough, the rain stopped and I went to the Beach stage to see STRAIGHTLINE show. I really love this band and I interviewed them for this zine a while ago and also reviewed their awesome record, so it was fun to meet Bart Straightline in person.

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Straightline had an awesome show packed with dancing and singing kids and people generally enjoying their stuff. Their unique blend of metallic vibed skatepunk put a smile of happines on many faces that afternoon, including mine.

After DARKO finished their headlining set on the Beach Stage i finally got to see 69 ENFERMOS show on the Beach stage moved here because of the rain the day before. I knew their frontman Dalin Focazzio via internet but on this festival we met in person, talked a lot about different themes, did an interview for my zine, and also became brothers for life. Dalin and rest of the guys from this Brasilian band are some of the nicest, down to earth great people I have ever met. Back to music.

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69 Enfermos played their set made of mainly songs from their new album “A Place To Call Home” and they play excellent melodic punk hardcore, a bit nostalgic and sad melodywise and they kinda remind me of one of my all time favourite bands No Use For A Name. Great stuff and I am so happy that they managed to play after all the trouble and delays with the weather conditions.

It was time to start shows on the Main stage and the first ones to open the last evening of the festival were UNDECLINABLE AMBUSCADE. This Dutch band opened the Main stage and they opened it with style and in front of the crowd in numbers similar to when headliners are playing.

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They are excellent because this is a six piece band, yes they have three guitar players and every member of the band is singing on stage so they create such melodies and harmonies that I would dare to mark them Dutch Bad Religion. I need not mention that they sound very powerful and energetic.

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The absolute highlights of their show were “African song”, the hit “7 Years” and the cover of “The Sound of Silence”. I am very grateful that I managed to catch them play live since this is a farewell tour for the band. Well, never say never!

We went to hang around a little and drink something, so we missed CHIXDIGGIT set and returned to the stage when 88 FINGERS LOUIE started their show. I am really glad that those guys are back with us and that they have a new album out on Bird Attack Records which they promoted by playing a couple of songs in their set.

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The band sounded really powerful and tight going through their set of metalised punkrock and hardcore. The song I have been waiting since I was a kid was “Punkrock Rulebook” and I finally got to see it and hear it live. Lucky me, eh?

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The stage diving was intense in spite of the fifth day of the festival and 88 Fingers Louie ended their set triumphantly with the crowd greeting them with a roar and smiles on everyones faces.

The time came for the last two bands of the festival and the first one was UK-s SNUFF. Their drummer/vocalist Duncan played with The Toy Dolls the day before so he had a day or so to rest a little and prepare for this gig. I never saw Snuff played before so I had no expectations but they gave an excellent show with all the jokes, keyboard parts, excellent melodic punk music and they proved that they are more original and different than the other bands of this genre. I will definitely catch them live somewhere again.

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With a little sadness we saw that there was only one more band left and those were the headliners PROPAGANDHI. I heard from the other people that they are boring live, that they are assholes and that they suck but I am glad I was proven wrong. I am one of those people that loves the first three Propagandhi albums most, and the newer stuff with all the technical and metallic influences is not so dear to me. Propagandhi gave the great set mixed with enough old songs that made me happy and they also played some of the newer stuff and I am eager to hear how will the upcoming new album sound like. Todd was jumping all over the stage, Chris was more calm, but even Chris broke smile on his face when we greeted his kids via his phone and wished his son happy birthday. Propagandhi finished their mighty set with classic “Anti Manifesto”.

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Thus ended the sevent edition of Punk Rock Holiday festival. It was awesome, the line up was stellar and it left our hearts full with joy of music, unity, energy and happines and that is the force of hardcore. This really is the festival which set the bar for standard high and all the other festivals are yet to cross it if they can.