Tag Archives: punk

[pre-order] Iron Reagan – “Crossover Ministry”

Iron Reagan’s latest, “Crossover Ministry,” serves up a healthy dose of hardcore punk energy and attitude with thrash metal chops and aggression. Really the more that I listen to it the more Tony Foresta’s vocals remind of Tom Araya’s. It could also be that right now I’m listening to the track “More War” where Foresta alternates the title with sardonic battle cries of “let’s make more guns!” and “we live, you die.”

It’s pretty clear that Iron Reagan isn’t really going for the “evil” aesthetic like Slayer. The band does a much better job of capturing the overall spirit of hardcore punk. One can detect a touch of Black Flag and Fugazi  in some of the more biting lyric deliveries.

Take for example “Fuck the Neighbors.” Starting with a brief skit of a milquetoast neighbor wondering when the band’s loud party is going to end, the song counters with a steady pounding of muted eighth notes  with Foresta barking, “Fuck the neighbors, fuck your yard, the more you complain, the more we go hard,” and “not my problem!”

With “Grim Business,” heard above, the dual guitar attack storms through what seems like an epic two and a half minutes. Most tracks on “Crossover Ministry” hover within the one to two minute range. “Parents of Tomorrow” is the briefest track, clocking in at only seven seconds.

The hardcore punk ethos comes out in the brevity of the songs. Iron Reagan doesn’t seem particularly interested in languishing on lengthy introductions, or constructing complex transitions into extended solos. Every song starts out urgently, and doesn’t let up before an inevitably abrupt close. Sure, there are guitar solos on many of the songs, but they are definitely not the focal point by any means.

Great album from start to finish, showing that Iron Reagan is able to shred, and not take themselves all too seriously. This is exactly the album that we need right now. Blistering, forceful, and even a little bit cynical.
Pre-order Iron Reagan’s “Crossover Ministry” and tour dates
And you can find “Crossover Ministry” in any number of formats both physical and digital on either the Relapse site, or the band’s own bandcamp page.

You can also find the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Finally, Iron Reagan has a bunch of shows coming up to promote “Crossover Ministry.” Check them out below:

—All dates 2/24 – 3/17 with Power Trip —
Feb 24 Houston TX, Walter’s
Feb 25 New Orleans, LA Siberia
Feb 26 Birmingham, AL Saturn
Feb 27 Raleigh, NC Kings *
Feb 28 Richmond, VA Broadberry *+
Mar 01 Baltimore, MD Soundstage *+
Mar 02 New York, NY Marlin Room +&
Mar 03 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit +$
Mar 04 Cleveland, OH Now That’s Class +$
Mar 08 Montreal, QC Les Foufounes Electriques
Mar 09 Ottawa, ON Brass Monkey
Mar 10 Toronto, ON Velvet Underground
Mar 11 Detroit, MI Marble Bar
Mar 12 Chicago, IL Reggie’s
Mar 13 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
Mar 14 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews
Mar 16 Kansas City, MO Riot Room
Mar 17 Oklahoma City, OK 89th Street Collective

*w/ Genocide Pact
+w/Concealed Blade
&w/ Krimewatch
$w/ Protester

— With Wrong & Night Birds 3/22 – 3/24 —

Mar 22 Orlando, FL Will’s Pub
Mar 23 Miami, FL Churchill’s
Mar 24 Tampa, FL Crowbar
Mar 25 Greensboro, NC Blind Tiger

Nomad Stones – “Neighborhood Bird Dispute”

New England’s Nomad Stones have released a free, three-song EP on Brutal Panda records. “Neighborhood Bird Dispute” is a quick, eight minute blast of punk inflected indie rock. The EP features two brand new original tracks and closes out with a David Bowie cover.

The first track, the titular “Neighborhood Bird Dispute,” packs a lot into it’s barely two-minute track length. Forging ahead at break-neck speed, with fierce intensity, Nomad Stones pack a few verses and choruses as well as a blistering solo before the whole thing is over.

“Doom Whop” may slow the pace a little bit, but still manages to pack quite a punch. Across these two new original songs I’m hearing little elements that put their influences front and center. The cadence of the vocal phrases in this track   of The Misfits, while the Thermals are present in song construction and approach, and some of the vocal production sounds similar to that of Ted Leo. Everything mixes nicely to pack a powerful punch.

It’s a welcomed change that Nomad Stones chose to cover Bowie’s “Scary Monsters” rather than some of his more popular (and repeatedly covered) tracks. Bowie gets the punk treatment in Nomad Stones’ version of the track, without losing any of its sinister quality.
Get this EP and more by Nomad Stones:
“Neighborhood Bird Dispute” is available for free at Bandcamp, but that’s not all. Nomad Stones have a full-length album that came out earlier in 2016. The full-length a self-titled affair with eight songs that can be heard over on Soudcloud. On the full-length you can expect to hear more of the same power-punk energy as on the EP. Be sure to check out “Dirty Boots and a Friend Named Goo,” a track consisting entirely of lyrics made from Sonic Youth album and song titles. Definitely worth checking out. That full-length is available on vinyl over at the Brutal Panda site.

 

So Stressed – “The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art”

So Stressed’s album “The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art” is out now on Honor Press.

Honor Press, by the way, is the label founded by Perfect Pussy singer Meredith Graves. And like Perfect Pussy, So Stressed is hitting us with some hardcore punk, straight to the point with no extra filler.

That isn’t to say that So Stressed can’t change things up a little too. Their rhythm section is pretty insane, actually. Take a listen to “Apple Hill,” for example. The way the drums stretch out the phrases, playing with the time, giving the song a malleability and looseness that eschews the more or less traditional 4-on-the-floor punk backbone. Sure, the song starts out simply enough, but even the guitars have a few tricks up their sleeves right from the outset. The riff seems to dodge all expectations, tracing a pretty jagged path that refuses to fit in any typical harmonic or rhythmic structure. This is a pretty finely crafted tune.

The entire album crashes in like a whirlwind, refusing to let up for even a second. “Sleep Wave,” coming in toward the end of the album gets close to anthemic with it’s shouts of “there is nothing out here for you anymore!” that somehow manage to come through across the top of some serious guitar feedback and the, by this time, expected pummeling of the drums. Every track is a multi-layered affair, demanding multiple listens to pick up on all the tiny details etched into the album. “Covered in Hair” even wanders into some pretty experimental territory, breaking away from the non-stop aural assault in order to explore some new sounds and ambience for a few minutes.

The video below is for the first single off the album “Merv King & The Phantoms,” a song that makes the most of its minute and forty second playing time, packing enough energy and ideas to fill a song three times as long. These dudes are definitely jamming econo. Check out the video, and head over to Honor Press to order the album immediately. The album is available in a variety of beautifully packaged formats (LP/limited edition clear LP/Cassette/CD/Digital Download).

“The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art” is quite the statement for not only the band, but for Honor Press. What a great way to start a label. Here’s to hoping for many more like this.

The Bats Pajamas – “No Hello”

Here’s a fresh batch of noise punk due out next week on Fleeting Youth Records. The band is The Bats Pajamas, out of Toronto and the album is available for pre-order either as a download (boring) or a limited edition cassette (much better) through the Fleeting Youth Records bandcamp page.

The song above, “Witch Way,” is an immediately overpowering, supremely down-tuned, distortion-fest. Sludge guitars underneath echoed-and-distorted-beyond-all-recognition screams. Its a pretty punishing punk-rock assault that doesn’t let up for so much as a second from beginning to end. The ultra-low tuning reminds me somewhat of Polvo, but I think the slacked strings are at even more of an extreme here, not to mention the heavy low-end that’s going on with the tone. This is a beefy gut-punch of a guitar sound that would maybe fit equally well on a death metal album.

Next up is the song “T.V. Sheets,” in the video below. This one is cleaned up a little bit, clearing away most of the sludge and picking up the pace. This one sticks with a tried and true 3 chord structure that eventually moves up a fourth, lending a bit of a modified or truncated 12-bar blues sound to the song. Also, the video is just a bunch of people destroying televisions, which is something I think we can all get behind.

The album is out in less than a week, on Tuesday May 26th. Head over to the Fleeting Youth bandcamp page to pre-order the cassette and to hear another song, “Wrong House,” which you can also download for free. The band has plans to tour beyond the Great White North in support of this album so you’d probably be best to check their facebook page for updates.

Last Sons of Krypton – “Teenage Trash”

They definitely don’t make ’em like this anymore (though I sincerely wish they did). This is gritty, pure garage-rock/punk energy and abandon, and it’s just gotten a proper release from Certified PR records. The album is stocked with tracks from early demos, some unreleased tracks and a few alternate versions of their material. It’s twenty-tracks of noisy-as-hell, blown out old-school punk. To my ear I am picking up on, maybe, some Dead Kennedy’s in that they may be thrashing about, but still with a focus on melody to at least a certain extent. Combine that with the overbearing feedback and noise of Terry Malts and maybe The Homostupids and I think you’re most of the way there.

“Air Raid” is a one-and-a-half minute blast of live thrash that plows through a couple breakneck verses and shouted choruses. The guitars can hardly keep still, inserting Sonic Youth-like asides in between lyrics all before the entire thing comes crashing to a halt.

Meanwhile, “It Hurts” takes a play out of the old-school rock and pop book, taking something that would probably sound like an outtake from the Rocky Horror soundtrack and turning it into garage-rock mayhem.

Turn it up. If you don’t have two blown speakers by the time you are reading this then you are doing something wrong.

You can buy the album from Certified PR Records here. The vinyl run was limited to 525 on virgin black vinyl. It’s only $13! That’s a steal! Head over there and check it out, and head over to Certified PR on soundcloud to check out what else they have cooking up.

Stream: Fight Amputation – “Constantly Off”

Fight Amputation will be releasing their first new LP in three years with next month’s “Constantly Off.” If the two tracks streaming on their bandcamp page is any indication, then the album is going to be an unrelenting barrage of heaviness.

For a three-piece band, they definitely know how to fill out their sound. There’s a nice layer of clear, punishing bass underneath the thick crunch of the guitar. With tone straight out of Queens of the Stone Age, and the riffs to match, Fight Amp sound like they have something to prove, and aren’t wasting any time barreling through these tracks with reckless abandon.

“Ex Everything” starts off with chugging, down-tuned guitars and the stuttering feel of shifting time signatures in the verse. The chorus (if you want to call it that, as it only happens once) takes flight, however briefly, and ends with just a touch of a hint of what might have turned out as a catchy hook if they had wanted it to. That hook hints at some of Nirvana’s early material–perhaps a beefier “Big Long Now”–with both vocal lines ending similarly.

The album is available for pre-order right now through Fight Amp’s bandcamp page. The album will officially come out on June 9th, after which the band will be playing shows around the mid-west, East coast, and Canada, in addition to a hometown show (of course). You can check tour dates on the bandcamp page, or on fightamp.com.

Stream: Fleeting Youth Records + r/cassetteculture – “Blooming”

I mean, how could you even go wrong? Fleeting Youth Records, one of our favorites and based out of Austin, Texas, has put together a compilation of 33 bands that clocks in at over 90+ minutes. Every single song is a noisy, feedback and fuzz soaked garage-rock stomper ready and waiting to be loaded up onto your tape deck and blared until the speakers add yet another layer of distortion.

It’s hard to tell even where to begin. Covering such a substantial paean to garage rock is not something that can be taken down track for track. A (relatively) random sampling is going to have to suffice.

First off, true to it’s name this compilation truly is “fuzz-fucked.” Every track seems to be following the same production standard of no production standards. Appropriately, the opening track, “Vent” by the band Weak Nerves, comes screaming out of the gate with a few squeals of feedback before introducing some super crunchy and fuzzed out riff-rock. There is a mix of garage-rock noise with groundswells of shoegaze awe. Somehow Weak Nerves are able to float between these two worlds, creating a really interesting and expansive sound that adds significant depth beyond just fuzzed out noise.

I’m also happy to see Chat Logs getting some space here. They had a pretty exciting release on Already Dead tapes a while ago that I still enjoy. Their jittery, aggressive approach with Earth-shaking low end violently contrasted by screeching guitars fits perfectly amongst the garage-rockers and punks that fill out the rest of the album.

There really isn’t a bad track across this collection. It’s all just perfectly amped up rock. Post-Child’s “Stop What You’re Doing to Me” cuts the noise with pop hooks and bouncy synth sounds, while Goners intone their teenage depression before cutting into an extended guitar solo; and toward the end of the album The Void bring us back to the mid-90’s with the fuzzed out, Smashing Pumpkins-esque bliss of “Summer.”

I could probably just go on all day, moving through each track one at a time, but instead I’ll leave you to it. Start with these tracks and just keep listening from there. While you’re at it, grab a copy. Limited run blue cassette with full-color 3-panel j-card featuring amazing hand drawn art from Valentino Tettamanti.  Head over to the Fleeting Youth bandcamp to pick one up, and to listen to the compilation in its entirety.