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Tours: Adult Mom / Fred Thomas

Adult MomPurchase, NY’s Adult Mom will be heading on tour in support of their sophomore LP.  The disc is titled Soft Spots and dropped on May 19, 2017 via Tiny Engines Records.

Tour dates are available below.

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Between You & Me Sign With Hopeless Records

Between You & MeAustralian-based band Between You & Me has joined the Hopeless Records family.  Vocalist Jake Wilson comments:
“Signing to a label like Hopeless Records is one of those things you always strive for and work towards when you’re in a band. But when we were closing in on a dream of ours it still felt very surreal. I’m very humbled and thankful that Hopeless saw something in us that was worth putting their time, money and faith in.”
The band self-released their debut EP, Paper Thin, in 2016.
 

Tours: Dashboard Confessional / All American Rejects

Dashboard ConfessionalDashboard Confessional will be touring this summer with All American Rejects.  The band last released a surprise covers EP, entitled Covered + Taped, features Chris Carrabba covering some of his favorite songs by The 1975Julien BakerJustin Bieber, and Sorority Noise.

Tour dates are below.

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Tours: The Hempsteadys

Hempsteadys11-piece RocknRoll/Reggae/Punk project The Hempsteadys have announced that they will be heading on tour this July.

Tour dates are below.

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Video: The Descendents – Without Love

Descendents HSThe Descendents have premiered a new music video for the song “Without Love” from the recent LP, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, which dropped back in July 2017 via Epitaph Records.  

Watch the video below along with upcoming tour dates.

The band last released Cool To Be You and ‘Merican back in 2004 on Fat Wreck Chords.  

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Jeff Rosenstock Plays New Song For Exclaim Session

jeff-rosenstockPunk rocker Jeff Rosenstock recently premiered a new song while playing an acoustic live session for Exclaim. The song is titled “Melba.”  Rosenstock released  his latest album, Worry, back in 2016 via SideOneDummy Records.

Watch the session video below.

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Goldfinger

Goldfinger

The Knife

Rise Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Los Angeles ska-punk band Goldfinger will forever hold a dear place in my heart.  They were among the earliest “punk” bands to cross my radar back in my teens, and served the role as a gateway to the genre at large.  I can’t count the number of times I listened to “Superman” or their iconic cover of “99 Red Balloons,” amongst other hits from their 90’s catalogue.  As the years went on, Goldfinger released a series of newer albums, but they always seemed to reflect some artificial “need” for the band to have a “harder” sound.  

That all changed when they joined SideOneDummy Records and released their back to basics album Hello Destiny.  Had that comeback effort marked their swan song, it would have been a fine note to go out on.  Instead, the band seemingly faded into hiatus mode.  Nine long years later and the band has resurfaced in a new home on Rise Records for the release of their latest comeback album, The Knife.  The result captures the familiarity of a greatest hits compilation but features thirteen brand new buoyant ska and punk infused songs.

The album rattles open on the strength of “A Million Miles,” setting a nostalgic tone both lyrically and aurally.  The track opens with an old-school melody harkening back to a time when No Use For A Name dominated SoCal mixtapes.  “Where did my life go!” questions sole original member and front man John Feldmann, backed by a salvo of melodic “woah-oah” supported gang vocals and steady rhythmic drumming provided by Blink 182’s Travis Barker.  It’s an iconic flavour that goes hand in hand with the Goldfinger lineage, made all the more distinct by the energetic upstroke and horn blasts of following track, ”Get What I Need” (which even goes as far as to feature ex-Mighty Mighty Bosstones guitarist Nate Albert).  By the time “Am I Deaf” rolls around, all the lyrics about life’s steady march start adding up as Feldmann comments on his disconnection from the current punk scene: “sometimes I feel so old, yeah, am I deaf, or just a little miffed about what they listen to today,” later referencing legacy acts like “The Who, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys,” before questioning “does anyone have something left to day?”  Considering that MxPx frontman Mike Herrera serves as bassist on the album, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that this is a shared sentiment amongst band members.  Stylistically similar highlights include “Who’s Laughing Now,” “Say It Out Loud” and “Beacon.”

The band offers up particular care for the handful of ska and reggae centric tracks punctuating the album.  “Tijuana Sunrise” serves as the first big nod to Goldfinger’s ska leanings.  Slowing the tempo and upstroke right down to a sauntering crawl, with horns ushering in a sunny day beach bum slow burner.  “Don’t Let Me Go” follows a similar formula, offering up alternate vocals for a more raggae-infused, tropical atmosphere, while “Liftoff” provides a catchy hybrid of styles.  Ska and reggae have never been Goldfinger‘s central focus, but they never fail to offer up a little “skip” in the band’s upbeat step.

And of course it wouldn’t be a Goldfinger album without at least a couple love letter-esque numbers peppered throughout.  These mostly surface during the disc’s back half and include the name referencing “Milla” and a witty tale of an oral hygiene crush, “Orthodontist Girl.”  While more enjoyable than filler, they’re typically less remarkable than the flagship  standouts.

It’s been a while since Goldfinger has been a fixture in my listening habits, but with a fresh batch of upbeat tunes and the heat of summer well underway, The Knife feels ready to slice its way right on to my plate.  Goldfinger serve up an easy reminder as to their early popularity, and provide an appealing point of entry for the new generation typically associated with the band’s Rise Records home.

Propagandhi Announce New LP; Stream First Track

PropagandhiCanadian political punk group Propagandhi have announced that they will release their seventh studio full length, Victory Lap, on September 29, 2017.  The album follows 2012’s Failed States.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the song “Victory Lap.”  Watch it below.

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Shirley D. Pressed Announce Debut LP

Shirley D PressedEpi-Fat inspired skate-punk act Shirley D. Pressed has announced plans for their debut album on Thousand Islands Records.  The disc will be titled Rust and is set to drop on July 21, 2017.  

Listen to the song “Prejudice” below.

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Tours: The Menzingers

The MenzingersPhiladelphia indie-punkers The Menzingers will be heading on tour in September and October.  The band continues to support their fifth full length, After The Party, which dropped back on February 3, 2017 via Epitaph Records

Dates can be found below.

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Video: Goldfinger – Tijuana Sunrise

GoldfingerGoldfinger has premiered a new music video from their upcoming full length.  The video features the song “Tijuana Sunrise” which appears on the album The Knife, which is due out July 21, 2017 on Rise Records.  Pre-orders can be heard here.

Watch the video below.

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You Me At Six Preform Baeble Session

You Me At SixUK pop-rock band You Me At Six recently stopped by Baeble Music for a quick live session.  Songs include “Take On The World,” “Room To Breathe,” and “Night People.” The band released Night People, back in January via BMG in North America.  

Watch the full session below.

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Video: For The Win – All Or Nothing

For The WinVictory Records band For The Win has premiered a new music video for the song “All Or Nothing.”  The song appears on their upcoming album, Heavy Thoughts, which is set to drop on August 25, 2017.  Vocalist Kyle Christensen comments:

“’All Or Nothing’ is a phrase that we live by when it comes to this band and where we want to go with it… The video’s story represents the challenge between chasing your dreams and letting go of stability that you could easily have at home. We all struggle with letting go, because the unknown can be a terrifying place. We face ourselves in the video and also every day while we work to make the best of these opportunities.”

Watch the video below.

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Craig Finn

Craig Finn

We All Want The Same Things

Partisan Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

If I had to nominate one person to take over the role of God, it would be Craig Finn.  The prolific front man of The Hold Steady has always had a way with creating rich, lifelike worlds from mere words.  Finn’s knack for generating spontaneous yet vividly alive characters and settings has set him apart from his peers in the indie-rock scene for over a decade.  At this point Finn’s world is well documented and loved.  But it has also served as a point of stagnancy, with each new album returning to familiar themes and locations centred around a medley of characters that risk being eclipsed by their earlier equivalents.

Thankfully, Finn’s latest solo album, We All Want The Same Things, marks a new and invigorating beginning that draws upon a cast of newcomers from the periphery and places them squarely at the centre.  As the album’s title implies, Finn frames this collection of songs around themes of personal fulfillment and resilience.  As might be expected, the twist of fate’s cruel hand defines each character’s story with a dark reality of disappointment and personal strife.  Standout songs like “Rescue Blues” exemplify Finn’s level of sensitivity and care to individual challenges.  A story of companionship between the song’s protagonist and a working class widow living as a back-room clerk at a grocery store and living off of a healthy insurance payout, Finn sets the scene with the most human of characterizations: “I know Jamie from the grocery store / Up on Garden Boulevard / She started out as a cashier / Now she’s in the back / She does scheduling and bookkeeping / She finishes her shift / Gets the bus and meets me back here.”  As the details slowly mount, they weave a picture as genuine and believable as any listener’s own life and daily interactions.  The same can be said of the characterization of shedding risky adolescent reputations for full adult criminal identities in “Jester and June,” and an uncanny characterization of love’s unlikely but instant pull and vice grip in “It Hits When It Hits.”

It’s also well worth noting that composition structure and instrumental choice further distance Craig Finn from his band’s typical work, communicating with a more relaxed, mellow edge, rather than a simple rigid adherence to conventions defining The Hold Steady.  Put far too simply, there’s a less predictable, more creative element that aligns more with the indie side of indie-rock.  In a word, the album feels organic and true to itself.  There’s no better exemplar than the spoken-word hybrid “God In Chicago.”  A piano-based narrative that unfolds in the aftermath of the death of an old friend, the listener feels as if tagging along in the backseat of a fateful roadtrip to settle some “unfinished business” with the sister of a recently deceased friend.  You can practically hear the “boombox in the backseat that was running out of batteries, play[ing] Led Zeppelin III,” envision the smile on her face as business transforms into an unforgettable night spent in taverns, on lively street corners, and eating in nameless restaurants.  Propped up by a central choral duet featuring female vocal whispers, the song’s climax highlights the album’s underlying melody without reverting back to familiar territory.

“Ain’t it funny how we all get by / but not the way that way that makes us laugh / the lust burns off into handshakes and hugs / in the end it comes down to the cash,” sings Finn in the album’s parting song, “Be Honest.”  Such a statement summarizes the sentiment flowing through We All Want The Same Things: that what may have seemed like a good idea at the time often unravels with unanticipated consequences.  Each song thrives on a deep reflective capacity that doesn’t shy away from a detailed exposition of challenging outcomes.  In fact, most of these tracks are not about life in the moment – but rather focus on the lifetime that follows after that moment has past.  Craig Finn’s work always features undeniable highs, it’s just been awhile since a disc has so prominently upheld momentum from start to finish.  Unquestionably some of Finn’s most well rounded and passionate work to date.

Video: Neck Deep – Motion Sickness

neck deepUK pop punk outfit Neck Deep have premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Motion Sickness” and the disc will be titled The Peace And The Panic.  The album is set to drop on August 18, 2017 via Hopeless Records.  The disc follows their 2015 effort, Life’s Not Out To Get You.

Watch the video below.  Pre-orders are live.

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Video: Hot Water Music – Vultures

Hot Water MusicLong running punk act Hot Water Music has premiered a new music video from their next full length.  The disc is titled Light It Up, and is due to be released on September 15, 2017 via Rise Records.  The album follows 2012’s Exister.

Watch the video for “Vultures” below.

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Video: Comeback Kid – Somewhere, Somehow

Comeback KidComeback Kid have premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Somewhere, Somehow” and will appear on their upcoming full length, Outsider, which is set to drop on September 8, 2017 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Pre-orders are live.  Stream the song below.

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Seaway Detail New Full Length

Rarity

Pop punk band Seaway has released details about their freshly announced album, Vacation, on September 15, 2017 via Pure Noise Records. The album follows 2015’s Colour Blind.  Vocalist Ryan Locke comments:
Vacation is a step in a new direction for us. While still holding onto familiar aspects of the band, we definitely explored new destinations for Seaway. It is the best music we’ve written thus far; the record we’ve been working towards for the last 4 years.
 

Hamilton, Ontario’s Rarity and Coldfront will serve as support for Seaway‘s upcoming tour.  Tour dates, track listing and album art are below.

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Tours: Smith Street Band / The Flatliners / Astronautalis

Smith Street BandAustralia’s The Smith Street Band has announced that they will be touring with Astronautalis and The Flatliners.  The band continues to support the album Shine, which dropped back in April via SideOneDummy Records

Tour dates are below.

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Video: Gogol Bordello – Walking On The Burning Coal

Gogol BordelloGypsy punk band Gogol Bordello have premiered a new lyric video for the song, “Walking On The Burning Coal,”  from the upcoming album, Seekers And Finders, which is due out on August 23, 2017 via Cooking Vinyl. Pre-orders are available.

Watch the video below.

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Jesse LeBourdais Streams New Album in full

Jesse LeBourdaisSolo artist Jesse LeBourdais is streaming his new full length, Grief Intensity Friendship, which was released last week via My Fingers My Brains Records.  The album follows 2015’s Long Winter.

Stream the album below.  Read our review of the album here.

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Audible Joes Stream New LP In Full

Audible Joes Irrational AnthemsAudible Joes, a punk band from Cork, Ireland, have premiered a stream of their sophomore full-length, Irrational Anthems, which will be released on July 14, 2017 and will be available via all major digital retailers and streaming services.

Stream the full album below courtesy PunkNews.

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Manchester Orchestra – The Moth

Manchester OrchestraManchester Orchestra has premiered a new song from their next album.  The song is titled “The Moth” and the album will be titled A Black Mile to the Surface, which is set to drop on July 28, 2017 via Loma Vista Recordings.

Listen to the song below.

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Silverstein – Mirror Box

Silverstein DRSilverstein have released a stream of Mirror Box, a new track from their forthcoming LP, Dead Reflection, that is due out on July 14, 2017 via Rise RecordsDead Reflection is Silverstein‘s eighth full length and proves why the band have remained at the top of their game for over 17 years.  You can pre-order Dead Reflection here.

Stream the song below.

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Video: Fights And Fires – Church Bells

Worcester-based punk-rock quartet, Fights And Fires, have premiered a new music video for the song “Church Bells,” from their upcoming new album, Live Life Like A Tourist, that is set for release on July 14, 2017 through Lockjaw Records
 
Watch the video below.
 
Live Life Like A Tourist can be pre-ordered here and their tour dates can be viewed below.

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Choir Vandals Stream New LP In Full

Choir Vandals Dark GlowSt Louis’s Choir Vandals have premiered their Animal Style Records debut.  The album is titled  Dark Glow and is set to drop on July 14, 2017.

Dark Glow can be pre-ordered here and the stream can be heard here courtesy AltPress.

Video: Fights & Fires – Church Bells

Fights And Fires Euro Tour 17Worcester-based punk-rock quartet, Fights And Fires, has premiered a new music video for the song “Church Bells.”  The song will appear on their new album, Live Life Like A Tourist, that is set for release on July 14th through Lockjaw Records

Watch the video here.

 

Video: All American Rejects – Sweat

The All-American RejectsAll American Rejects have premiered a new music video and song in the form of a movie short.  The band last released Kids In The Street back in 2012.

Watch the music video below courtesy Interscope Records.

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Video: The Isotopes – D.O.A.

Isotopes 1994 WSCThe Isotopes have premiered a new music video for the song “D.O.A.”  The track appears on their latest LP, 1994 World Series Champions, which dropped on April 17, 2017 via Destiny Records in the UK and Europe, along with long term teammates, Stomp Records in Canada and the US. 

Watch a video for the song below courtesy PunkNews.

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The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats

The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats

Sign of the Fighter

Metalville Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

German celtic punk act The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats are an indisputable breath of fresh air in the Irish punk scene.  Not to imply that Flogging Molly, The Tossers, and the wealth of other long running acts are losing steam, but let’s be honest, new installments in this niche are few and far between.  Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective and a bit of new blood to reinvigorate a long time fan’s enthusiasm with more than simple nostalgia, and that’s exactly what The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats offer.

The band’s sophomore full length, Sign Of The Fighter, blends an easy mix of timeless Irish charm with heavy handed anthemic punk rock.  Founding members Sean and Dwight O’Reilly’s vocals fit the part for all the right reasons.  Gruff without coming across excessively raspy, the full bodied lead vocals and supporting gang vocal harmonies make each song a shoe-in for sweaty full-crowd sing-alongs in venues of all sizes.  

The self-promoting anthem “Paddyhats” boasts one of the most accessible choruses on the album, but it’s the attention to detail, including the tightly executed accordion, clearly audible acoustic strums, and soul penetrating “ahhhh-ahhhs,” that truly frame The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats as more than the sum of their parts.  Other larger than life highlights include “Ghost of a Soldier,” which features mountainous anthemic eruptions lead by Mia Callaghan’s masterful fiddle work, and the murderous tale of sin fuelling the boisterous pleas forgiveness that culminate in “White River.”  All the while, the use of the mandolin “Ghost Of A Soldier” serve as an excellent reminder of the clear folk influences even in the thick of the storm.

While The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats seemingly effortlessly pump out larger than life anthems at will, they are equally as proficient at playing off of the genre’s more subtle nuances.  Take the gradual growing melody of the maritimer piece “Come On Board,” which strategically draws upon a tin whistle during a late song bridge.  The instrument surfaces as a tertiary flourish throughout tracks like “Barroom Lady” with engrossing atmospheric effect.  For another successful tactic that is also sensitive to album pacing, the band builds upon an old seafarers acapella classic, “Haul Away Joe,” which minimizes instrumentation not unlike that of Celtic punk peers The Dreadnoughts.  There is little denying that Sign Of The Fighter’s ebb expertly balances out its flow.

Apparently the The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats’ profile has grown in Europe considerably over a short period of time, and as Sign Of The Fighter makes clear, it’s not hard to see why.  But there’s no reason for their popularity to cease upon reaching the Atlantic.  The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats bare all the markings of a modern international celtic punk sensation and stand to gain the attentive ears of a North American audience.  As should be obvious, Sign Of The Fighter offers a prime reason for meeting the acquaintance of The O’Reillys and the Paddyhats.

Rancid

Rancid

Trouble Maker

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

What can be said about punk rock legends Rancid that hasn’t already been said before? The band’s distinctive elements, like Tim Armstrong’s (or “Tim Timebomb” as he seems to go by these days) “mouthful of marbles” vocals, and Lars Frederiksen and Matt Freeman’s angry belting have been a staple in the scene for over twenty five years. At this point in their career, Rancid will forever live in the shadow of their breakout mainstream success, And Out Come The Wolves, but they seem to at peace with that. And while the band hasn’t changed much in substance since those days, their latest effort, Trouble Maker, maintains all the fire you’ve come to expect from the Rancid gang.

By and large, this latest batch of tracks falls into one of two camps – those rattling full speed on a pair of run-away rails, and those totally chill, sunny day swaggerers. Those like opener “Track Fast,” “Street Punk Troublemaker” and “All American Neighborhood” take their old-school punked-up ways to heart. The latter uses a panicked pace to describe the upheaval and social disarray defining some of America’s most challenged neighbourhoods, drawing upon lyrical contrasts and simple irony to make their point.  These tracks aren’t so overly abundant as to single handedly define the album, but they are quick reminders of Rancid’s past, and how it still very much applies to the present.

Even with all of the ruckus, the bulk of Trouble Maker is actually pretty catchy.  Only moments after first hearing “Ghost of a Chance” and “Telegraph Avenue” do the songs emit a infectious pull to start singing along with the chorus.  Accompanied by full bodied “nah nah nah” type gang vocals and distant but lively acoustic strums, the track is an easy top pick sure to compliment classic Rancid playlists.  Other chorus-heavy highlights include the World War II referencing “Farewell Lola Blue” and “I Kept A Promise,” which both define themselves as mid-tempo rockers with plenty of single line repetition.  While nothing terribly profound on their own, as with most Rancid, tunes they come loaded with plenty of one line earworms that will surely nestle their way into any listener’s thoughts.

Trouble Maker offers up yet another familiar step on Rancid‘s ongoing punk rock trek through the decades.  As with most of Rancid’s releases, there isn’t much new or anything that you wouldn’t already expect based on past performance – but at this point, would anybody really want that?  Those of us that continue to tune in to Rancid after all these years know what we want, and we’re certainly not going to fault them for offering up exactly what we’re looking for.