You may notice that I don’t post reviews as frequently as I used to (I have a ton coming though as I receive many submissions). There are various factors at play for why this is, but one of massive significance is that I have started a new punk project called Amherst Drive. I don’t call it a band because it isn’t, everything you hear is sung or played by me much like early Nine Inch Nails records. I have been at this music thing a long time, and while punk was my first love musically (from bands like Social Distortion and Pennywise), I never released punk until now.
I’d appreciate you checking it out and seeing what you think.
I like my punk rock aggressive, fast, and melodic. A lot of this has to do with where I grew up. In Southern California, a lot of the punk bands played music much like what I described. There was aggression and speed, but there was also a strong focus on melody. Pennywise, Bad Religion, and The Descendants were great examples of this.
I mention all of this because France’s Bare Teeth reminds me of these groups with their newest release First the Town, Then the World. Throughout the record you have pounding drums and bass, strong melodic lines with multi-part harmonies, and fantastic guitar lines. The album from start to finish is heavy, with some screaming that reminds me of early Thrice back in their post-punk days (especially their record Identity Crisis).
For a band from France to bring me back to the golden era of SoCal punk, whether or not that was their intention, is truly something special. I loved every second of listening to First the Town, Then the World, and when it drops on May 19, I think you will too.
Sleaford Mods have been, in my opinion, probably the most refreshing act to come out of the U.K. in recent years. Full of working class rage, swagger, minimalist punk arrangements, rapid fire lyrics, and pure political passion; this duo from Nottingham has always been able to cut through bullshit in this dismal world.
The band has a very recognizable sound, with Jason Williamson shouting into his mic while Andrew Fearn creates looping beats and grooves with a stripped-down approach. As the group has gone through various albums, it became clear that they have been looking for a new direction in some ways with regards to their sound.
Enter their newest release English Tapas. The album has trademark Mods style, but you can quickly sense there are new influences at work. You hear not just punk, but glitch, trip-hop, hip-hop, and numerous other elements in their instrumentals. Andrew Fearn has really pushed himself on this record to create sounds that open up new avenues for Williamson to explore his vocals over.
Jason is at his most melodic on this record without a doubt. There is plenty of ranting at the system, and with Westminster fucking everyone over this is justified completely, but there are so many more melodic layers than on previous records.
There is enough for the longtime Sleaford Mods fans like me to love on English Tapas, but there is plenty for the newbies too. This is the record that the working class and poor living in a post-Brexit world need.
You may remember the PR firm for punk bands What Happened To Your Band due to the music featured here or the interview I did with WHTYB?’s founder Valentine Klp. Thanks to her recommendation I got pointed in the direction of the awesome French punk band Adversity.
Their video, which I am sharing with you, has recently won KROD Records’ “best video” award for 2016. It’s easy to see why this video won. First of all the song “Living Now” is a personification of what great punk ought to be. It feels like a cross between the Bouncing Souls and Rise Against, and the results are fantastic.
The video itself personifies the independent punk spirit that draws its fans and musicians toward the genre. If you want to know more about Adversity and their music feel free to visit the following urls:
Hey guys, you remember my review of the awesome Italian punk group Trash N’ Clean? Well the guys have released a new video for their song Razorblade. It features the great punk sound you expect from them, as well as their sense of humor.This is definitely in the vain of early blink-182 videos like What’s My Age Again and Josie. You’ll see what I mean 😉
Here is some background on the video:
“The video was shot completely live at a big private party called Lord of Spring. These crazy party monsters hired us to perform live at their event, and when we looked at the videos of their previous years’ parties, we thought that it would be absolutely sick to shoot the music video for our song Razorblade there
Razorblade is an absolute dumb song that talks about a stunning woman, who only needs some extra trimming down there for being simply perfect. We love the song for what it is, and only an even more stupid music video could have been appropriate for it.”
You may remember the UK electro-rock band KLOQ from my interview with them a while back. I was given exclusive access to their upcoming EP called The Gun which drops a few weeks from now. From start to finish The Gun EP is a blast of aggressive and grooving electronica infused rock. The synths of Oz Morsley wash over you as the rest of the instruments pull you into a chaotic world that you don’t want to leave. Dean Goodwin’s lyrics and vocal melodies hook you from the start, Alex Baker‘s (who has now been replaced by Ben Woolf) drum beats punch you in the gut with their sheer force, and Tim Jackson‘s bass lines flow through the songs like the thread holding the whole thing together.
KLOQ describes their sound as “Punktronica.” This label really makes sense in light of my listening through The Gun EP as there is this primal force contained within this record that is just as alive and unbridled as a punk show. This is no ordinary punk rock experience, however, as it is a trip into dystopia and a psychotic dream-state that becomes almost like a drug you need.
If you want to take a break from all the niceties that infects today’s synth-rock scene (indie or otherwise), I suggest you give KLOQ’s new record a try. The Gun EP is coming soon (free limited time download on August 28 and official release on September 26), you should get it and experience it for yourself when it releases.
A big Celtic-American happy St. Paddy’s day to you all, whether you’re Irish like me or not ;). Let’s crank up some Dropkick Murphys now and celebrate!