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The Bigger Empty To Release ‘Lakes And Oceans’ EP’s

Bigger Empty Vol 1Chicago based indie rock band The Bigger Empty, that is fronted by Mike Femulee formerly of the Smoking Popes and Alkaline Trio, will be releasing a collection of four EPs titled Lakes & Oceans via La Escalera Records.

The Bigger Empty will be kicking off the series with Lakes & Oceans Vol 1: Michigan which is set for a February 24th release. A new volume will be released quarterly throughout 2017.

You can pre-order Lakes & Oceans Vol 1: Michigan on CD here and digitally via iTunes

Mild In The Streets

Fat Wreck Chords

Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Who doesn’t love a Fat Wreck Chords compilation, they were a great way to hear new bands, and tracks from upcoming releases, for next to no money, as a bonus there were always a few exclusive tracks thrown into the mix. Along with Epitaph Records Punk-O-Rama series they were responsible for introducing a new generation of fans to some amazing bands. This time round things have changed as this compilation has been done with a different approach, Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged is, in case you hadn’t guessed, a collection of songs from bands and singers from the Fat Wreck Chords stable who have traded in their amplifiers and distortion pedals for acoustic guitars.

This sixteen track compilation is a lengthy affair and content is so varied that you can’t summarise the album, so i’m going to a whistle stop tour of Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged. Tony Sly, of No Use For A Name, opens the album with a soulful piano led version of Under The Garden and The Swingin’ Utters deliver an excellent foottapping country version of Fruitless Fortunes featuring slap bass and violin. Stacey Dee delivers a melancholy number, Everything Is Beautiful, this is one of the songs that is exclusive to this album and to anyone familiar with Bad Cop/Bad Cop this number will come as something of a surprise, this is juxtaposed against Sam Sadowski, of Closet Friends, who delivers some sore throated acoustic blues.

Going acoustic won’t come as a surprise from everyone on this compilation, for Old Man Markley it’s practically second nature, they deliver a mellower version of Guts ‘N Teeth. For others the acoustic approach doesn’t change anything apart from the volume, it clearly doesn’t matter if you take Anti-Flag’s electric guitars away as they remain as angry and political as ever, Israeli punks Useless ID retain their own sound, they keep the character of their hard edged pop punk intact and Matt Skiba delivers a sinister version of Alkaline Trio‘s Continental. Karine Denike bring a touch of fifties glamour to proceedings, this couldn’t be further away from the Dance Hall Crashers upbeat ska if it tried and Get Dead deliver some stripped down punk rock

We’re on the final leg of the tour now, Lagwagon‘s Joey Cape delivers a mellow acoustic number, American Steel bring some upbeat acoustica that features a mournful accordion break and Laura Jane Grace brings a great number that carries a restrained version of the fury that inhabits Against Me‘s output. The closing trilogy of songs continue to deliver, Russ Rankin brings us a heartrending tale of the loneliness of the road and the toll it takes on relationships, Uke-Hunt do a cover of Olivia Newton John‘s Xanadu, this is rather excellent, like an unplugged Me First And the Gimme Gimmes, and for it’s grand finale the album ends with an epic symphonic version of one of my favourite NOFX tunes, The Decline, personally I wish Fat Mike had done vocals over this rather than just an instrumental but it’s a faithful and bombastic end to an excellent compilation.

Compilations are usually a mixed bag but there is little to dislike on here, the versions are all original and unique takes on songs we have come to know and love, the original tracks don’t feel like they were ideas that were rescued from the wastepaper bin. This, as with every other Fat Wreck Chords compilation, is an essential purchase, if you’re a fan of any of the bands that appear on here I doubt that you’ll be disappointed with new versions or the original material. Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged brings something new to the table on almost every track, the album spans so many genres and styles that it never gets dull, buy this and mellow out for an hour or so.

Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged is available for download and on CD, Vinyl and Coloured vinyl here

Alkaline Trio’s Derek Grant, Dan Cribb Release Split

Alkaline Trio’s Derek Grant, Dan Cribb Release SplitAlkaline Trio drummer Derek Grant along with Australian singer/songwriter Dan Cribb released a 7” split EP on Dec. 11, 2015 via Adelaide label Pee Records. Check out the track listing below, and stream the first single here.

Along with drumming in Alkaline Trio, Grant debuted a solo record at the end of 2014 titled Breakdown and is continuing work for a follow-up release. Cribb also kicked off a solo career over the last year, releasing a full-length titled As We Drift.

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The Falcon Stream New Track ‘Hasselhoff Cheeseburger’

The FalconThe Falcon, the punk rock supergroup and brainchild of Brendan Kelly which also featured Dan Adriano (Alkaline Trio), Dave Hause (The Loved Ones) and fellow Lawrence Arm Neil Hennessy are streaming Hasselhoff Cheeseburger. The track features on the band’s sophomore LP Gather Up The Chaps, due for release on March 18th via Red Scare Industries.

Check out the stream of Hasselhoff Cheeseburger and the band’s upcoming shows below.

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Dan Adriano & The Emergency Room Streams New LP

Dan AdrianoDan Adriano, bass player and vocalist for Chicago punks Alkaline Trio is streaming Party Adjacent,  the latest LP from his side project Dan Adriano & The Emergency Room in it’s entirety. The record is due to drop this week (17th July) via Asian Man Records and Xtra Mile Recordings and you can check out the stream here.

Dan will be on the road this summer in support of the record on a co-headlining tour with Jeff Rosenstock. Check out the full list of dates below.

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Dan Adriano (Alkaline Trio) Announces New LP

Dan AdrianoDan Adriano (of Chicago punks Alkaline Trio) has announced that his side project, Dan Adriano In The Emergency Room, will release a new LP titled Party Adjacent on July 17th via Asian Man Records/Xtra Mile Recordings. The man himself has said this about the project:

“The Emergency Room started as something for me to do with songs I had been writing that didn’t seem to have a place on Alkaline Trio records…”

Check out the album art and track list for Party Adjacent below.

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The Jukebox Romantics – Sign To Jailhouse Records / Release New EP / Announce Tour

jukeboxromanticsPunk/hardcore label Jailhouse Records has announced the recent signing of New York based band The Jukebox Romantics.The band is gearing up for a U.S tour this summer, with plans to tour Europe in early 2016.
 
The band’s Jailhouse Records debut will come in the form of a 7″ entitled Plot Points set for release June 9, 2015. A full-length release later in the summer will follow their debut. Produced by Bouncing Souls guitarist Pete Steinkopf.

The Jukebox Romantics are in your face, fun, soulful punk in the vein of bands like The Bouncing Souls, One Man Army, and Alkaline Trio. They hail from downstate New York, just in the shadows of NYC.

The Jukebox Romantics will tour throughout the U.S during Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2015. Also, hitting Canada for Pouzza Fest. The band plans to announce future Canadian and European tour dates for Fall of 2015 and early 2016.

Derek Grant

Derek Grant

Breakdown

Red Scare Industries
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

How does the saying go?  Give the drummer some?  Save for Travis Barker, few drummers ever reach the stardom of their fellow bandmates.  Perhaps its because their voice seldom gets heard on stage, or that they’re relegated to the back of the set, sitting behind a drum kit with a frenzy of bodies rocking out in front.  Regardless, drummers are the unsung heroes and backbone of almost any band, laying down the very foundation of the tunes we love dearly.

Speaking of which, does the name Derek Grant mean anything to you?  If you’ve enjoyed anything from Alkaline Trio over the past decade, then you’re indebted to Grant for laying down the drum work for undoubtedly some of your favourite tunes.  But in a band featuring the dual vocal stylings of Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano – both of whom have since produced illustrious solo careers – it’s easy to fall into the backdrop.  

Determined to express his creativity, Grant is in the midst of discovering his voice as a solo artist.  It’s an eclectic one to be sure, filled with all sorts of peculiar influences spanning his hefty resume and beyond (way beyond).  For a guy known for his work in what can essentially be boiled down to a goth-punk band, Grant showcases a seriously diverse appreciation for all types of music – past, present and far from punk.  His proper solo debut (excluding his curious and best forgotten side project, Derek Grant & The Reaper), Breakdown, offers up a pretty deep insight into the vast instrumental talents behind a man mostly known for his percussive achievements.  

Let’s get one thing out of the way early on though, Breakdown is far from perfect – riddled with the flaws you might expect from a relatively self-indulgent first time solo effort – but Grant still manages to put forth a uniquely listenable and wholly appreciable journey.  Pointing to what quickly becomes the elephant in the room, the most significant shortcoming here has to be the odd production filter.  Perhaps the tinny, shallow quality muffling most of the album is the result of Derek serving as the sole recording player for the disc (Derek played every instrument).  A certain retro 80’s echo filters most of the EP’s sound (most offensive on opener “Holiday Breakdown”), but ends up feeling very shallow and like an unfinished demo when placed against other MP3s.  The effect smothers/muffles the disc by making the majority of the eight songs feel as if they were recorded in an empty fishbowl – an odd but surprisingly accurate description.  But those that can get over such oddities stand to move through the disc with a solid appreciation for what Derek has in store.

Breakdowns’ best tunes overcome their shortcomings by what can only be described as sheer willpower.  The first real standout moments surfaces three songs in with the rather expensive alternative statement, “Got A Feeling.”  Guitar chords grow and retract gracefully amidst a sea of delicate and complimentary piano keys.  Here Grant’s voice floats breezily like a less commercial Josh Ritter or David Gray.  The disc’s lead single, “Love Is A Bad Dream,” emerges soon thereafter, becoming Grant’s undisputed high point and an absolute joy to sway along to.  The song effortlessly drifts on by like some sort of wispy memory.  All sorts of oldies make their mark, but the cautious folk-rock shadow of Fleetwood Mac rises to the surface.  Crisp guitar and crystal clear percussion lead the charge, making way for a casual, Santana-like solo sure to soften even the most furrowed of brows.  “Good Long Look” follows suit in attempting to recreate the magic but falls short of reproducing that same spark.  

However, other tracks aren’t quite so fortunate.  Take for instance the faint chorus of “Waiting For The End Of The World” and recurring segments of “Lucy.”  Grant struggles to maintain his immediacy when he reaches for the high notes, which lack the confidence of their counterparts.  He has a good enough voice, but makes some regrettable decisions by straying outside of his vocal strengths (i.e. beyond mid to lower tones).  The country tuned “Turn And Walk Away” suffers from similar vocal irregularities for which Grant comes across something like a Gaslight Anthem cover band struggling to write an original track.

In the end, Breakdown is tough to recommend, but still warrants investigating if only for the eye opening insight into Derek Grant‘s creative process.  Odd production and self indulgent compositional choices hold this unique offering back, but even with such limitations it’s worth acknowledging that Grant isn’t afraid to go against the grain.  At the very least, Breakthrough leaves listeners curious as to where he will go from here.

Tours: Alkaline Trio

Alkaline TrioAlkaline Trio has announced a rare set of live shows for fans that will feature the band playing their entire discography over four nights in multiple cities.

Those lucky cities in question can be found below.

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Alkaline Trio’s Derek Grant Announces Solo Album

DerekGrant_B&W_TylerCurtis_MatthewReevesDerek Grant, drummer for Chicago punks Alkaline Trio, has announced his debut solo record, Breakdown, will be released on January 20th 2015 via Red Scare Industries. Derek had this to say about how the record came about:

“My relationship had fallen apart and I was dealing with it in some very unhealthy ways…The upside was I started writing lyrics for the first time in nearly a decade.”

Pre orders for the record are available here, and you can check out the cover art for Breakdown below.

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Alkaline Trio to Take LA Residency on the Road

Alkaline TrioChicago punks Alkaline Trio have just wrapped up a 4 day residency at LA’s Troubadour, where across the 3 shows the band played all 8 albums from the back catalogue in their entirety. The band are taking a very short break before taking the 4 show extravaganza to their hometown of Chicago with an additional set in Brooklyn all due to happen this month. Guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba has said the band never like to sit idle for long and are already thinking of adding more cities to the tour when he spoke to the Long Beach Press Telegram last week:

“We’re discussing taking these shows to other cities and possibly overseas. We do a lot of our writing on the road so I’m sure we’ll be talking about a new record before too long. Sitting still isn’t one of our strong suits…Right now we’re trying to not lose our minds learning and remembering 100 songs, some of which we’ve never played live,” 

Check out the dates for the Chicago and Brooklyn shows below.

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Exclusive: Dead Ending (Rise Against/Alkaline Trio) – All The Villains You Call Boss

Dead Ending

Chicago is a breeding ground for punk and has, over the years, produced some of the biggest names in the scene. Every once in a while, all those names get together and form a punk rock super group. Dead Ending is one of those bands.

Featuring members of Rise Against, Articles of Faith, Alkaline Trio and All Eyes WestDead Ending is a who’s-who of Chicago punk lore churning out raw, no-frills, 80’s hardcore punk.

After two successful EPs on Alternative Tentacles – 2012’s S/T and 2013’s Dead Ending II – the band is now ready to drop DEIII through Bridge Nine Records. The five song EP features guest vocalist from fellow punk legends Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers) and Jeff Pezzati (Naked Raygun, The Bomb) and will be available April 15th.

We’re excited to bring an exclusive stream of the track All The Villains You Call Boss, which can be streamed below.

The EP can be pre-ordered here.

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Tour: Alkaline Trio (Europe)

Alkaline Trio 2013Chicago punk favourites Alkaline Trio are heading to Europe in April 2014 for a series of shows in support of their latest album for Epitaph RecordsMy Shame is True. Support on all dates will come from Brooklyn hardcore band Bayside. 

Check out the video for I Wanna Be A Warhol and full tour dates below:

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Alkaline Trio - My Shame Is True

Alkaline Trio

My Shame Is True

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Matt Skiba, Dan Adriano and Derek Grant, aka cult punk band Alkaline Trio have an enviable ability to make each new record sound, well, new; while still maintining a very strong  signature sound.

This is again true of My Shame is True, the latest full length from the Illinois three piece. Since 2001’s From Here to InfirmaryAlkaline Trio have relied on a triple pronged attack featuring dark lyrical themes, simple yet melodic guitar work from and an almost electronic sounding low end from Dan’s bass and Derek’s punchy drums. Vocals and song writing duties alike are shared amongst Dan and Matt which helps keep the bands’ sound fresh from one album to the next.

My Shame is True was recorded with Bill Stevenson, of punk legends Descendents, and sees a more direct element added to their sound. This is especially noticeable on lead single, She lied to the FBI, as well as tracks like I Wanna Be a Warhol and I,Pessimist which features a killer cameo from Rise Against’s Tim Mcllarth. The Torture Doctor is another particular highlight with its anthemic ‘Hey! Ho!’ chorus sure to become a future live favourite with fans.

Unfortunately its not all good news, Only Love plods along like a mid tempo ballad, while Until Death Do Us Part drifts into pure emo territory both musically and lyrically and just doesn’t fit with the rest of the record. That said, the positives far outweigh the negatives here and Sun Burns, a track sung by Dan ends the record on a high.

It’s clear that working with Bill Stevenson has helped focus the band in every sense as My Shame is True truly showcases a band in top form. 

Alkaline Trio – Straight From The Jacket (No Use For A Name Cover)

Tony SlyFat Wreck Chords is streaming a brand new song set to appear on The Songs of Tony Sly: A Tribute.  The track is titled “Straight From The Jacket” and was performed by Alkaline Trio.  the album is available on October 29th. Profits from this compilation will go the Tony Sly Memorial Fund.

Listen to the song here.

Tour: Alkaline Trio / New Found Glory (US)

Alkaline Trio / New Found GloryChicago’s favourite punk sons Alkaline Trio are hitting the road in October alongside Florido pop punks New Found Glory.

Alklaine Trio are supporting their 8th full length, My Shame is True which was released via Epitaph Records in April of this year while New Found Glory will be out promoting their upcoming live album which is due out on Oct 8th.

Opening for them will be H20.

Full tour dates below.

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theHell EP Release

theHELLtheHell, side project of Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba and Atom Willard (ex RFTC, Social Distortion, Angels & Airwaves) have announced via facebook that they will be releasing a 4 track EP in September. This will be the groups second release following 2012’s Sauve Les Requins. 

As soon as further details are available, we will bring them to you!

 

Alkaline Trio Recording New Material with Chris Shiflett

My Shame is True, the latest album from Alkaline Trio was only released on April 2nd of this year, but it appears they are already back in the studio laying down at least one track. According to a post on singer/guitarist Matt Skiba’s Instagram:

“Face melters with Chris Shiflett from NUFAN and some band called Foo Fighters @ 606 guest ripping on a new@Alkaline_Trio track”

Chris Shiflett is of course the lead guitarist for the Foo Fighters and No Use For A Name and we are sure he will add a different (and awesome) element to any new Alkaline Trio material.

 

 

 

Alkaline Trio Full Album Stream

Alkaline TrioAlkaline Trio has launched a full album stream of their upcoming new album.  The full length is titled My Shame Is True and will be available on April 2, 2013 through Epitaph Records and follows 2010’s This Addiction.

Listen to the album below.

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Alkaline Trio – The Temptation Of St. Anthony

Alkaline TrioAlkaline Trio has debuted a brand new song titled “The Temptation fF St. Anthony.”  The song is set to appear on their upcoming full length, My Shame Is True, which will be available on April 2nd through Epitaph Records and follows 2010’s This Addiction.

Listen to the song below.

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Video: Alkaline Trio – I, Pessimist (Ft. Tim McIlrath)

Alkaline TrioChicago’s Alkaline Trio have released another video from their highly anticipated new album, My Shame Is True.

The video is for the single I, Pessimist and features a guest apperance by Rise Against‘s Time McIlrath. It can be seen below.

My Shame Is True will be available on April 2nd through Epitaph Records and follows their 2010 album, This Addiction.

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Matt Skiba and the Sekrets - Babylon

Matt Skiba and the Sekrets

Babylon

Superball Music
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Alkaline Trio co-vocalist Matt Skiba has led quite the prolific career in his over fifteen plus years as a musician.  In addition to a hefty discography amassed with partner in crime Dan Andriano, he’s released music separately under HeavenstheHELL, and now the subject of this review, Babylon by Matt Skiba and the Sekrets.  While most of Skiba’s side projects have taken nods to electronic experimentalism, this recent incarnation of Skiba’s melancholy brand of emo-rock is curiously close to the Alkaline Trio we’ve all come to know and love.

Even with AFI bassist Hunter Burgan, and current touring drummer for My Chemical Romance Jarrod Alexander serving as backing band, Babylon plays mostly like Trio minus Andriano’s presence.  And you know what?  He does a pretty good job of carrying the whole project on his own shoulders.  I’d liken his independent success akin to the surprising strength that came from The Lawrence Arms frontmen Brendan Kelly and Chris McCaughan taking a break with Sundowner and The Falcon (or more recently Brendan Kelly & The Wandering Birds).  All ten tracks sound tight as ever, and channel somewhat of a Crimson-era vibe heavy on squeaky production and synthy extras (see “Falling Like Rain”) – something many were wary of back in 2005 but comes across almost tame in today’s heavily auto tuned climate.

Tracks like “Luciferian Blues” or opener “Voices” could have passed as tunes on Alkaline Trio’s next album thanks to Skiba’s trademark dark imagery.  Emotions are explored with morbid reference and juxtapositions in passage like “I’ll burn eternally, home sweet home,” “your love came like an airplane that crashed into the ground,” or “you’ve made a mess, this party dress is torn and stained with blood.”  By this point it might be easy to dismiss Skiba as on lyrical autopilot, but it’s more likely that he simply makes it look easy than a true lack of cleverness.

It should also be mentioned that a couple of tracks started as demos on Skiba’s eerie solo project, Demos, released but a short year prior.  Side by side comparisons of “Haven’t You?” transform from deeply personal to full band affairs, translating surprisingly well onto their new stage.  While I tend to favour the solo versions (these two songs, not the full album, on the whole I found it somewhat overly self-indulgent), the new translations fit in their new context, and play to their own strengths.  “Angel Of Deaf” however serves an exception, in which the full band backing significantly dilutes the original’s personal anguish.  “I can’t hear a god damn thing, above all the screaming… the anger’s deafening” Skiba speaks meekly, trimming down on punctuation, losing much of what made the original somewhat of a present day “Radio.”  Without a reference point the song holds ground, so if you aren’t privy to Demos, I doubt you’ll find issue.

If Babylon proves anything, it’s that if Skiba and Andriano ever pulled a “mid-90’s-BadReligion” and went their separate ways, Alkaline Trio could survive the split with Skiba at the helm.  Of all the Trio side projects over the years, Matt Skiba and the Sekrets comes the closest to the main feature.  It doesn’t stray too far from the beaten path, and would fit snuggly alongside any Alkaline Trio fan’s library.  No surprises, but no disappointments either.

Alkaline Trio – Torture Doctor

Alkaline TrioSpin.com has revealed the second song from Alkaline Trio‘s highly anticipated new album, My Shame Is True.

The song, called Torture Doctor can be heard here.

My Shame Is True will be available on April 2nd through Epitaph Records and follows 2010’s This Addiction.

   

Tours: Alkaline Trio / Bayside

Alkaline TrioFresh off finishing recording a new album, Chicago’s Alkaline Trio have announced plans for a US tour with support from Bayside.

The tour kicks off on April 25th in Santa Ana, CA and runs until June 11th in Los Angelese, CA.

Their new album, My Shame Is True, is due out April 2, 2013 via Epitaph Records.

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Alkaline Trio Detail New Next Full Length

Alkaline TrioAlkaline Trio has announced album details for their next full length.  The disc will be titled My Shame Is True which is due out April 2, 2013 via Epitaph Records.   The band last released their acoustic album, Damnesia, in 2011 on their of Heart & Skull/Epitaph Records.

Pre-order details can be found here.  Track listing is located below.

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Heavens - Patent Pending

Heavens

Patent Pending

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Heavens are one of those bands that have been in the closest for a few years. They’ve been hiding in the mind of its creators and kept being pushed back due to prior commitments in other bands; constantly building in intensity and anticipation until finally they break and put it all together. It is two years of worked compacted into an eleven track album, ready to explode into your stereo and literally awake the dead. That culmination of work is called Patent Pending, by the unknown duo Heavens which features Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio on vocals and lyrics and Josiah Steinbrick of the now-defunct F-Minus supplying the musical element of the duo.

The biggest surprise is how vastly different Heavens is when compared to both member’s other efforts, particularly Steinbrick’s. While F-Minus used to be raw, fast, live and in your face, Patent Pending is the exact opposite. It is much smoother, softer and laid back – and surprisingly electronic without being obnoxious. The music sounds much more complete and complex than something normally crafted by a singular man. Listen to the final seconds of Heather with the soaring string section, or the delicate instrumental track Doves that leads perfectly into the eerie Another Night making for an unforgettable one-two punch that propels the album past the halfway point without losing a single beat.

Of course the reason why most fans will end up checking it out is to hear Skiba; and while it is distinctively Skiba, it’s also a very different delivery then most people are used to. The vocals are much less intense, more laid back and mellow, complimenting the music perfectly. He even opted to use some pitch editors to make his vocals sound much digital in certain tracks. His delivery is perfect, and when combined with the eerie, laid back music of Steinbrick, you’re in for a rare treat – an album that is varied enough to keep you entertained for the whole disc while keeping a steady flow and distinct vision. And,like always, Skiba once again proves his lyricism skills with haunting lyrics of death and disaster that are still somehow sprinkled with a pinch of hope at the end.

Heavens was quiet for a few years, under everyone’s radar, but now Skiba and Steinbrick are out and ready to show the world their creation; and with the album out and a tour in the works, it seems that there will be no end in sight for the talented duo.

Video: Alkaline Trio – I Wanna Be A Warhol (Lyrics)

Alkaline trioChicago’s Alkaline Trio have unveiled the first song from their highly anticipated new album online. The track, I Wanna Be A Warhol, can be heard below in the form of a new lyric video.

The album, which currently doesn’t have a title or release date, will be available this year on Epitaph RecordsHeart & Skull Records. The band entered the studio last year and recorded the album with producer Bill Stevenson at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, CO.

The record follows their 2010 album This Addiction.

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Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room - Hurricane Season

Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room

Hurricane Season

Asian Man Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

I’m getting old and jaded. I still love my fast, hard punk rock but it needs to push the boundaries to truly entice me and counter to that, I’ve become more and more enthralled with some of the slower, punks-go-acoustic albums as late. Not sure why that is, but sometimes it’s nice to hear something a little softer as I walk through the bustling city streets.

That’s where Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room comes into play. As the counter part to Matt Skiba in Alkaline Trio, chances are you’re already familiar with his voice and writing style. Hurricane Season sees him stepping out into the limelight under his own moniker and creating an album that’s perfect for those Alkaline Trio fans who loved songs like Fine and I’m Dying Tomorrow.

On Hurricane SeasonAndriano takes the full lead – performing every instrument other than pianos/organs on two tracks. This enables him to have complete control, and lets him push the emotional moments required for the album to succeed. This is important, because at its core, Hurricane Season is a love album with pages torn from a road-weary traveller’s diary. With every passing beat, the songs propel a sense of longing through to the listener and each song has that one moment that completely engulfs the listener’s attention as Adriano’s passionate vocals beg for forgiveness, understanding or discovery. Lyrics like “I can’t always be right there, but I can get there soon. I can’t always hold your hand but I will always love you” may read as a Hallmark greeting card but jump out from the album in an extremely positive way.

Unlike many of the recent punks-go-acoustic albums, Andriano follows in the footsteps of Dave Hause’s Resolutions with an album that features a variety of instrumentation and tempos. By switching it up, the album remains fresh as the songs no longer blend into on another seamlessly. There is a difference between the upbeat, acoustic jangle of Me and Denver and the slow, organ-led crooner On Monday whileSay Say Say could be mistaken for a Joey Cape tune. The simplistic drum pattern on The Last Day We Ever Close Our Eyes accentuates the structural beats of the song while the piano led introduction toIt’s Gonna Rain All Day gives the song a sense of rising momentum rather than constant delivery. These slight variations see Andriano pushing his writing style rather than staying in a safe comfort zone.

Even though Hurricane Season won’t get your blood flowing with energy, the album succeeds as a nice, laid-back listen to throw on when you want to mellow out a little bit. And for all of us jaded old fools, that’s sometimes exactly what we need.

Punch Drunk Punk Event in Reno, NV Cancelled.

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.

Alkaline Trio Finish Recording New Album

 Alkaline trioMatt Skibba has announced on twitter that Alkaline Trio has finished recording their next full length.  The tweet reads: 

“New Alkaline_Trio record done…headed to the airport from Ft Collins. The band will play as long as you all keep listening…xoxo M”

 The band last released their acoustic album, Damnesia, in 2011 on their of Heart & Skull/Epitaph Records.

   
Alkaline Trio - Halloween At The Metro (The Show Must Go Off) [DVD]

Alkaline Trio

Halloween At The Metro (The Show Must Go Off) [DVD]

Kung Fu Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Alkaline Trio have become more popular with each release they have put upon the world, their latest release, “Good Mourning”, is no different. To commemorate this accomplishment and to give the band the respect they deserve, Kung Fu Records took the opportunity to display the band in their true form: live. The fourth release in “The Show Must Go Off!” series has Alkaline Trio playing live on Halloween 2002 at the Metro in Chicago.

During their set of 18 songs, they play all their classics songs like “Hell Yes”, “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire”, “Armageddon”, “Queen Of Pain”, “Trouble Breathing”, “Private Eye”, “Radio” and many more. Surprisingly though, “Stupid Kid” was not played at this show. Going along with the Halloween theme, the band appeared on stage, with a giant upside down cross in the background, dressed up in priest outfits topped off with fake blood dripping from their mouths. The audio quality on the DVD is amazing while they are playing their songs, unfortunately,  it does get a little weak when they are talking to the crowd. Other then that, every vocal, every beat, every rhythm comes through your speakers wonderfully. Unfortunately, Matt Skiba’s vocals are much harsher then they are on the album. That takes some of the magic and some of the melody away from the performance, but other then that they put on an extremely good live show. Some emotion and power seems to be lacking in the performance as it doesn’t give you a sense of power and excitement. This seems to be common in bands compiled of three members

As for the color, it could’ve been a lot sharper. It was pretty dark at times which made it quite difficult to view the performance. The 5 cameras used all give different angles and different perceptions of the stage. Adding onto the live performance, Kung Fu have also supplied you with many bonus features. Band commentary, multi-angle options, trailers and a total of 34 black and white photos from the event are just some of the things combine into the bonus features section.