I suppose it was only a matter of time before the dubious offspring of the electronic world, dubstep, made its way into the world of pop aimed metalcore, but Montreal’s Skip The Foreplay has done just that. I’ll admit, I don’t know the first thing about quality control in the genre, and that the only reason for my encounter is because of the band’s association with Epitaph Records. I really have no authority to comment, so at the very most this review will serve as the opinion of an outsider with at best a modest exposure to the electronic/dance/metalcore scene.
For those who have kept up with Epitaph’s metalcore offerings, Nightlife won’t come as that much of a surprise. Alesiana, Falling In Reverse, Parkway Drive, Bring Me the Horizon – there’s a little of each of these lurking somewhere. To be sure, it sounds like one of the more sonically assaultive of the bunch, and definitely follows Parkway Drive in that regard, but there’s a whole whack of everything mashed together. For instance, “Don Parignon” cycles between club-thumping pop and crushing metalcore under layers of reverberant drum patterns. Vocalist “Fillion” unleashes round upon round of guttural bellows, raising to a shrill screech and back again without as much as a breath. It all sounds pretty standard to my ears, feeling mostly like a reflection of whatever the kids are picking up at Hot Topic these days more than anything that will stand the test of time.
Only the band’s Iron Maiden inspired solos ever peaked my interest. As someone who enjoys unwinding with some Dragon Force from time to time, the frantic finger work featured in the concluding solo of “Dom Perignon” and closing bridge of album closer “Champaign Showers” were welcome diversions. Still, they’re presented as occasional bonuses more than a feature presentation, thus hardly offer a sufficient case for buying into Skip The Foreplay on its own.
Some might point out that Nightlife pulls off its genre hybridization fairly well, and to that end I won’t disagree. There’s always something going on and the style transitions usually meld into one another quite smoothly. But such recognition still doesn’t bestow any personal satisfaction or create the sort of instant connection between myself and Skip The Foreplay that would inspire me to play Nightlife by choice. I’ll leave this for the floors of black-lit dancehalls and neon-splattered nightclubs and keep my iPod clear.
Making Paper Roses
Kalamazoo native powerpop group Legendary Wings got lucky. In a turn of events almost unheard of, the band sent an unsolicited demo to Dirtnap Records and got signed. Their LP Making Paper Roses is their first full length record, and delivers sixteen tracks of generic but fun pop punk. Fuzzier and grittier than many of their labelmates, Legendary Wings seems to be an appropriate addition to Dirtnap’s lineup.
The album opens up with the track Nachos that begins with a catchy bass line and leads into a fast poppy song, matching the tempo and style of every subsequent song. The production on this album is very low-fi, giving off a very garage-band feeling that is endearing and works for this group. The major detrament of this however, is singer Scott Terrian is almost impossible to hear. Tracks like Time and Seeing Wallsare the best example. For someone who is interested in learning and listening to lyrics, this album requires a lot of work. His voice does seem fitting and very familiar for the genre, like a cross between Kevin Seconds and Goldfinger’s John Feldmann, though it seems like it may need a little work. That is, unless they were looking for an off-key and strained sound during songs like Pure and I Think I’m Dumb.
I wish I had more to say about this album, but damn-near ever track sounds exactly the same. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, and is especially common for this style of pop-punk. Though Legendary Wings deliver a fun album in Making Paper Roses, the band fails to become memorable for me, and the record will likely not make it into my usual rotation. However, if you are a fan of your brother’s friend’s garage band, Making Paper Roses will probably be the perfect addition to your LP collection.
Do The Struggle
One of punk’s most famous multi-instrumentalists, Franzy Nicolay, brings us an multi-genre solo album in this year’s Do the Struggle. Though this album does transcend genres, the entire production is by far more consistent here than in any of his previous solo works. The album’s electronic and ambient sound is an interesting shift from Nicolay’s other gritty folk releases. This new sound is most apparent in songs like Joy, which is almost reminiscent of an Alex Clare song, and the title track Do the Struggle. Just as jarring as Nicolay’s songs themselves, the album features short instrumental clips every other track, carrying this melodic and haunting tone throughout the entirety of the album.
The introduction of more electronic-laden tracks does not leave us without the folk-heavy songs we have learned to expect from Franz Nicolay, however. Songs like Live Free, Take No Prisoners (ft. Emily Brodsky), and Migration of the Cuckoo are banjo and slide-guitar soaked, with just enough production value to fit with the rest of the album.
The biggest returning factor of this album though, like any other Franz Nicolay release, is his affinity for great storytelling and lyricism. “Betty Botter bought a bottle of bitters from the bar/ Major Matt, he mixed his mild martinis in a jar.” , the opening lines from Hearts of Boston, my favorite track, offers interesting alliteration and the beginning of an unbroken rhyme scheme that continues throughout the song.Did Your Broken Heart Make You Who You Are? Appropriately tells a heart-breaking story of the struggles of past relationships affecting current relationships, as Nicolay sings, “You are capable of anything, aren’t you?/ You learned it from someone/ Someone learned it from you”. Each song on the album delivers thought-provoking lyrics more enjoyable than the last.
As a fan of Franz Nicolay, Do the Struggle did take some getting used to. However, after multiple listens, Nicolay’s overwhelmingly heartfelt lyrics and addicting hooks make this album worth a purchase, and will fit well in any folk-lover’s collection willing to give Nicolay’s experimentation a chance.
California screamo act Comadre have just announced they will be releasing a new full-length, Self-Titled LP through Vitriol Records.
This is the 8th release from the band, and the first on their new label. It is set for release sometime in January 2013. You can preorder it through the label at midnight on November 30th, here.
Hardcore label Victory Records announced in an official press release they will be signing rockabilly outfit The Reverend Horton Heat. The band has agreed to a three-album deal with the label, and have already begun recording a new album, tentatively set for a fall 2013 release.
The band has not had a release since 2009’s Laughin’ and Cryin’ with the Reverend Horton Heat, but have been touring relentlessly since. They are currently on a North American tour, you can check out the dates below.
In a statement made on their Facebook page, lead singer Mike McColgan announced that after the conclusion of their European tour, Street Dogs will be taking an indefinite hiatus. McColgan attributes the hiatus to wanting to spend more time with their families.
Shortly after that statement, Street Dogs guitarist Tobe Bean also announced he will be leaving the band. Bean assured fans there are no hard feelings about the split.
The band will continue their European tour as well as a handful of dates on the east coast before begining their hiatus. You can check the dates out here.
As Portland’s Broadway Calls prepares to release their new album, Absolute Punk has made a song from the album available. The new full-length, titled Comfort/Distraction, will be released on February 5th of next year through No Sleep Records.
You can check out the new track entitled “Lucky Lighter” here, as well as preorder the record in CD and LP through No Sleep.
Scranton Pennsylvania’s The Menzingers have just announced plans to release their 8-song demo On the Possible Past on vinyl through their label Epitaph Records. The acoustic album was origianally released early last year, only in cassette form, featuring songs the band has self-recorded over the years. You can preorder the LP here .
The Menzingers are currently on tour in North America through February, you can find the dates here.
Wisconsin’s pop-punk bandits Masked Intruder have officially announced they will be joining the Fat Wreck Chords lineup. The band recently released their first album on Red Scare Industries, and will be the third band moving from Red Scare to Fat Wreck in recent years, following new labelmates Teenage Bottlerocket and Cobra Skulls.
Fat Wreck will be re-releasing Masked Intruder’s first Self-Titled album, and will also be releasing it on vinyl for the first time. You can pre-order it on CD and LP here.
No Sleep Record’s Balance and Composure from Pennsylvania announce their first -ever headlining tour for next year. The post-hardcore act is touring in continued support for their most recent album Separation, released in May of last year.
They will hit the road with The Jealous Sound and Daylight starting January of next year.
As they prepare to leave for their 10th Anniversary Tour, The Flatliners‘ debut album Destroy to Create will be released on vinyl through Fat Wreck Chords. Vocalist/guitarist Chris Cresswell had this to say about the release:
“Ever unearthed an old drawing you did as a child at your parent’s house? Ever gone back and read the weird shit people wrote in your High School year book? Feels odd doesn’t it? You’re proud of what you’ve accomplished, but for some reason, you can’t help but laugh. Well this November, we will be releasing our first album Destroy to Create on vinyl for the very first time ever. The lovely folks at Fat Wreck Chords have reluctantly agreed to allow our die-hard fans to finally snatch up these songs on a piece of wax. And we think it’s a pretty cool way to celebrate the band’s 10th Anniversary.”
You can pick up a copy of the record here. You can also listen to a track from the album here.
After their 10th Anniversary Tour through Canada, The Flatliners will head to Austrailia with Good Riddance, Mad Caddies, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and A Willhelm Scream.
Nearly eight years after its original release, Triple Crown Records will be reissuing Kevin Devine’s Split the Country, Split the Street on LP. The album will feature special material, bonus features, and a new layout. It will also be available on double LP for the first time.
You can preorder the deluxe reissue here.
To commemorate the album’s reissue, and Devine’s 10th year with Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band, the New York-based singer-songwriter will be performing three of his albums (2002’s Circle Gets The Square, 2005’s Split The Country, Split The Street, and 2011’s Between The Concrete & Clouds) in full at NYC’s Webster hall on December 1st of this year.
You can order tickets to the show here.
Defeater frontman Derek Archambault has announced the first full-length album Bone & Marrow under his solo performing name Alcoa. The album is set to be released on February 26th of next year through Bridge Nine Records.
You can check out a couple of songs from his previously released demo on the artist’s soundcloud.
Michigan metalcore act We Came as Romans has debuted a brand-new music video for their cover of Wanted’s Glad You Came, that was featured on this year’s Punk Goes Pop Vol. 5.
You can check out the video exclusively on Fuse.
The band is currently on tour in South and Central America, and will begin on the Take Action tour in the U.S. early next year.
In a statement made on their website, New York-based Pentimento has announced they will not be releasing their debut album on their new label Paper + Plastick as previously expected. Complications with the band’s former label Panic Records have arisen, and the label is threatening to sue the band as well as Paper + Plastick.
A portion of the statement reads:
Panic Records has hired a lawyer to threaten legal action toward Pentimento, Paper + Plastick and Black Numbers if we continue on with our record release. That’s why this album hasn’t had a normal marketing plan around it – that’s why you guys haven’t been able to preorder the record online. No vinyl or CDs or cassettes have been pressed. Plainly and simply, we’ve decided to close our relationships with P+P/BN at the current time in the interest of protecting those labels from legal action, and in the interest of forging on ourselves as an independent band. Panic Records has made threats to file take-down claims from any digital distributor selling our album. They’ve enforced take-down claims with YouTube regarding the few songs we have already released for you guys to hear, which due to the situation are no longer available. Truth be told, we have been in this legal battle with Panic since September. And even though we had to put off the relationships we were so excited to start only a couple months ago, we MUST push on as a band.
In protest, the band has released the new record on their website as a digital download, without physical distribution, for free. Click here to download the album.
The band is asking for donations from fans in place of purchasing the record. You can donate via the band’s paypal.
Irish-punk outfit Flogging Molly have announced the dates for their Green 17 tour for next year. The tour comes as the 9th-annual Countdown to St. Patrick’s Day.
Accompanying acts for the tour include Skinny Lister (1/24-2/17), Mariachi El Bronx (3/9-3/16), Dave Hause (1/24-2/17), and Donots (3/7-3/15).
You can preorder tickets for all tour dates here.
In response to the announcement, singer/guitarist Dave King also left a video message for his fans which can be seen below.
No Sleep Records announced they will be adding indie singer-songwriter Allison Weiss to their lineup.
The artist has previously been unsigned and has self-released two studio albums and a number of EPs. No Sleep will be releasing Making it Up, her new 7-inch on January 29th of next year. You can stream the song today via AOL Spinner, and preorder the 7-inch from No Sleep’s webstore where you will get an instant MP3 download of the track with preorder.
Fat Wreck Chords released two 7-inches this week, one from Californian punk band Swingin’ Utters, entitled The Librarians are Hiding Something;and the other from bluegrass-punk outfit Old Man Markley entitled Blood on My Hands.
Both releases are available for instant streaming via Fat Wreck’s website. Old Man Markley is currently on tour in the US, and Swingin’ Utters are finishing a few dates in southern California before they prepare to hit Australia early next year with Dropkick Murphys and Frank Turner.
Popular music and film festival South by Southwest has announced the first round of invited acts on their website. The festival is one of the most popular music festivals in the US with more than 2,000 acts performing in over 90 venues.
The 26th annual SXSW Festival will take place March 8th-17th 2013 in Austin, Texas.
In preparation for the release of his debut full-length album from Run For Cover Records, Koji has announced a northeast tour for late November and early December.
Two-piece outfit, Dads, will be joining Koji for the entirety of the tour in support of their American Radass (This is important) record released on Flannel Gurl Records earlier this year.
In a joint press release made by all the bands on their websites, Nofx, Pennywise, Alkaline Trio and Dropkick Murphys have announced their Punch Drunk Punk event in Reno, Nevada is cancelled due to the promoter.
“It is with great regret that we announce the performances by Dropkick Murphys, NOFX, Pennywise, and Alkaline Trio on the Punch Drunk Punk event at Reno Events Center are cancelled. This cancellation is due to failure by the local promoter, Forever Music to fulfill it’s obligations to all concerned and the bands’ lack of confidence that this show can be presented properly. Our thanks to the staff of Reno Events Center and The Alley for their cooperation. Refunds will be made available at point of purchase. NOFX, Pennywise, and Alkaline Trio thank their fans in Reno for their understanding and look forward to coming to Reno in the future. Dropkick Murphys will play a special intimate show at The Alley in Sparks, Nevada on Saturday November 10. Tickets will be available at the door. Please not Punch Drunk Punk tickets will not be accepted for this show. For info please go to www.thealleysparks.com or www.facebook.com/thealleysparks later this evening for information on this show.”
The Reno-based promotion company, Forever Music, has not commented on the cancellation.
Rocksound.tv has posted a live video from the Cardinal Sessions of Revival Tour artists performing Chuck Ragan’s song On The Bow in Germany. Artists include Chuck Ragan, Rocky Votolato, Joe Ginsberg, Jon Gaunt, Emily Barker, and Cory Branan.
The Revival Tour is in its fifth year and third trip overseas. It will continue to Italy and the rest of Europe through the end of the month.
Bridge Nine Record’s newest addiction to their hardcore lineup, Expire, have announced a tour for Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia early next year. The tour comes in support of their first Bridge Nine release Pendulum Swings.
The band is currently on tour in Canada with Comback Kid and Backtrack.
After months of single-song releases, Green Day’s second installment in their trilogy of albums, ¡Dos!, is available for streaming on Rolling Stone. The streaming comes one week before the album’s release on November 13th.
The third and final installment ¡Tré! will be released December 11th, all on Reprise Records.