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Chumped

Teenage Retirement

Anchorless Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Imagine if Milo from the Descendants married Sheena from Lemuria and then decided to form a polyarmorus think tank with The Menzingers and Japanese noise act Polysics…and you would probably end up with Chumped as the offspring.

Anika, Dan, Doug and Drew recently put our their first LP–Teenage Retirement –and it is as fresh as…okay, well, it came out around Thanksgiving 2014 and has been lauded around the internet as far as I can tell since its release. Rightly so! This album is awesome in all the right ways. Its poppy, funny, abrasive and just a tinge dark in the right ways.

Chumped is good–Anika and the three D’s (Dan, Doug and Drew) are the kind of punk band you grew up with. It reminds me of the first time I heard How I Spent My Summer Vacation by The Bouncing Souls or Chamberlain Waits by The Menzingers. Apt it should be called Teenage Retirement because it makes me feel like I am 19 again. The songs hit me right in the head, instead of the heart, when it recalls feelings I had for classmates and crushes long gone. Teenage Retirement is about thinking, and living and with some regrets within the blank spaces.

“And we drank, and talked shit and I was happy/Tried so desperately to hold onto the feeling/of being young, of being sure, of being lucky,”–Anika gets it. Christ, there are so many people in my life that need “Name That Thing” in their lives right now. I am always relieved when I hear punk bands from the east coast that are so fucking real about their feelings. “Hot 97 Summer Jam” is so true for the nerdy and geeky of us. That feeling of isolation, of being overlooked, that isn’t particularly bleak or dark but among the shadows of youthful summers. “I would wait for you all summer long/ and you would turn me away.” It’s weirdly comforting  to hear Anika belt this one out. It says “hey, we’ve all been there, maybe rockers more than anyone. It’s okay.” 

I like Chumped. Teenage Retirement is an album to put next to On The Impossible Past, Masked Intruder, or Get Better. It’s fun, and its what punk is supposed to be: about the weird ones among us speaking up for themselves. Making us all dance in the process.

Video: Chumped – December Is The Longest Month

ChumpedAnchorless Records’ Brooklyn-based Chumped has released a new music video.  The video features the song “December Is The Longest Month” from their new full-length, Teenage Retirement.

Watch the music video here.

Teenage Retirement was released on Nov. 18, 2014 and follows the band’s 2013 self-titled EP also released by Anchorless Records.

Stream: Chumped – Teenage Retirement

ChumpedAnchorless Records’ Brooklyn-based Chumped are currently streaming their new full-length Teenage Retirement over at Wondering Sound. Listen to the album and read an exclusive interview here.

The band also premiered a music video to the track titled Hot 97. View it here.

Teenage Retirement was released on Nov. 18, 2014 and follows the band’s 2013 self-titled EP also released by Anchorless Records.

Chumped Streams New Full Length

ChumpedBrooklyn’s Chumped is streaming their debut LP.  the disc is titled Teenage Retirement and will be officially released next Tuesday, November 18, 2014 via Anchorless Records.

Listen to the full disc here courtesy Wondering Sound.

Chumped Announce LP; Debut New Song

ChumpedSelf-described Brooklyn bummer punk act Chumped has announced details for their new full length.  The album will be titled Teenage Retirement and is due out on November 28, 2014 via Anchorless Records.  The LP will follow their freshly released new EP, That’s The Thing Is Like.  

Be sure to listen to the brand new song, “Songs About Boats,” here.

Stream: Greenhorn – ‘I Hit The Wall’

Greenhorn_frontGreenhorn, the side project from Roger Lima (Less Than Jake) and Jen Vito (NoMore) are about to drop their latest EP I Want More, via Anchorless Records and ahead of the official release they are streaming I Hit The Wall over on Absolute Punk.

The album can be pre-ordered here (UK here) from tomorrow and pressing details can be found below:

Read More…

The Sainte Catherines – ‘The Art of Arrogance’ Reissue

The Sainte CatherinesThe Art of Arrogance, the debut record from Montreal punks The Sainte Catherines is being reissued on its 10 year anniversary. To celebrate its cult success, a limited run of 500 copies is being released in the US (via Anchorless Records), Europe (via Flix Records) and in Canada (via Housebreaker Records).

It will be available from December 10th, and pre orders are available here.

Video: Teen Agers – Here We Go Again

Teen AgersOrlando, FL’s Teen Agers (featuring members of Go Rydell, How Dare You, Protagonist and Direct Effect) have premiered their new video for Here We Go Again from their debut album, I Hate It.

The Chris Tharp directed video can be seen here while I Hate It was released in both LP and CD formats last week through Anchorless Records. The LP is limited to 300 and it is also available digitally via Bandcamp and iTunes.

Teen Agers Full Album Stream

teen agersOrlando, FL’s Teen AgersI Hate It.  The album will be available in CD and LP by the end of October, but the digitally version is available now from Anchorless Records

Listen to the album here.

The Sainte Catherines - Fire Works

The Sainte Catherines

Fire Works

Anchorless Records / Union 2112 Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

I’ve never been a huge fan of The Sainte Catherines. Yeah, they’re good, but I could never get behind Dancing for Decadence. Something just wasn’t right and I don’t know what it was but it made The Sainte Catherines fall into oblivion in my mind.

Hugo Mudie’s side project, Yesterday’s Ring, changed that and made me want to hear more from Mudie. Their CD – Diamonds in the Rough – was nearly perfect. An amalgamation of country, punk, Celtic, folk and more worked together for an album that still finds its way into my CD player quite frequently.

Now Mudie is back with a new album for The Sainte Catherines. It’s the first album from the band in four years; and finally a Sainte Catherines album I can fully get behind.

Why can I get behind this record and not their previous one? Because Fire Works is not Dancing for Decadance part two. In fact, it’s far from it. Instead, Fire Works slows things down and falls in the middle of Dancing for Decadance and Diamonds in the Rough.  It’s a mid-tempo rocker that slowly grows on you rather than blistering fast melodic hardcore. This is still a punk rock record through and through, just delivered with more subtlety by knowing exactly when and where to hold it back.

But what makes this album so perfect is the sense of self-deprecation, regrets, anger and introspection that Mudie so effortlessly conveys.  His vocals are rough and worn, a mixture of Chuck Ragan, American Steel, Lucero,  Jawbreaker and – most notably – Leatherface; and he sings some of the best lyrics of the year. The songs are stories, deeply specific yet relatable to anyone built on tongue-in-cheeks turns of phrases and hidden references.

It reminds me of Off With Their Heads as nearly every songs sees them decrying the punk scene, what it’s done to them and the horrors of being in a band. Back To The Basements That I Love laments over their success and their yearning for basement shows again. D’ You Guys Wanna Fuckin’ Party After This? No is a cynical look at after show parties and the simple need to be alone. I Miss The Boysand Headliners Don’t Load (which sounds like a rougher No Use For A Name cut at times) retells the good and bad side of touring, respectively.  BLR Vs Cancer (Fuck Off Cancer Song) is an emotional tale of playing a cancer benefit show and No Friends is a perfectly depression song that I just love. I mean, “I got no friends any more / just people that I know / don’t call my house no more / I feel like going out / But I’ll stay home again / Cuz I don’t have no friends” is just a perfect opening line for a song.

There’s a lot of hidden gems in here – be it the Joey Cape appearance on Maggie & Dave or the clever Woody Guthrie reference in Chub-E & Hank III / Vimont Stories Part II – and the more you listen to it, the more they pop up. Fire Works grows on you, building in intensity and intricacies.

Slightly more reserved than its predecessor, Fire Works is a subtle and reflective album that still packs a punch. The only real downside is that somewhat muffled recording quality that’s probably due to the fact that it was recorded without an engineer.  It’s not bad, but sometimes the recording lacks a punch as the three guitars fight over one another and a slightly crisper sound may have kicked Fire Works up a notch.

Jeff Rowe - Barstool Conversations

Jeff Rowe

Barstool Conversations

Anchorless Records
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

If Smoke Or Fire ever needed a new lead vocalist, Jeff Rowe would be their man.  The Gloucester, Massachusetts songwriter might be in the midst of developing his own folk-tinged solo career, but even in his Anchorless Records debut, Barstool Conversations, he showcases a good set of pipes for the job.  That being said, I’m not entirely sold on the combination in an acoustic setting.  There’s just something off about those Joe McMahon-styled vocals all by themselves (speaking of which, McMahon actually makes a couple guest appearances).  Rowe’s lowest range feels stomachable enough, but when reaching that high pitch, piercing wail, I just can’t shake the accompanying ice-pick-to-the-temple sensation.

My ears find most issue with Rowe’s most minimalist songs – the ones that place the sole focus on his vocal strain.  The biggest offenders are those like “Thinnest Strands” or “Dead Authors.”  In these tracksRowe insists on dragging out words and lines as centerpieces in ways that just beg reaching for the skip button.  There isn’t much more to say about these moments than that they’re simply unpleasant.

But despite my negativity, Barstool Conversations is still far from a complete throw away.  When Rowe controls his howl and harnesses his passion, there is certainly room for enjoyment.  In fact, I’d venture to say that for the most part the first four songs make for a deceivingly strong start.  “Passenger” opens the album on a simple man-with-his-guitar note, with Rowe sounding completely at ease and at home strumming his six string.  When Rowe is on, he’s really on, with even his lyrics blossoming into a strongly contrasted, poetic imagery (“suburban sprawl and marigold/condominiums and churches/you pass the words that say you should be home now/you’re a passenger along for the ride/I’m an author, unable to write”).  The follow-up, “Kate,” introduces Rowe’s full band potential, leaning towards a joyous demeanor and admirable output.  The harmonica on “Chasing Ghosts” might be a stock item for acoustic projects today, but again, when supplementing Rowe’s strong moments, clichés can be forgiven.

Unfortunately though, additional lyrical issues bog down some stronger moments.  While a good many passages showcase some thoughtful songwriting, there are also those that sound like your ill-informed cousin filterlessly reciting self-written poetry at a family reunion.  For example, returning to “Dead Authors,” Rowe makes the misguided decision to repeat what he mistakenly interprets as a “profound” thought: “I’ve got friends that are more than blood.”  By itself the line isn’t particularly awkward, but when taking the spotlight, gives the impression that Rowe figures he’s the only person to ever realize the strength of camaraderie.  Similarly, in “Glenville” he makes a modest analogy when speaking of life’s fulfillment (“if the shoe fits, what else should we wear?”), but touts it a little too proudly, coming across cheesy rather than profound.  Most of Rowe’s lines are pretty solid, but I can’t help hake the feeling that he’s trying a little too hard to be Tim Barry.

Even taken as a mixed bag, Barstool Conversations lacks any truly compelling features, making its thirty-five minute run time feel boated and repetitive.  So in the end, Jeff Rowe is a competent enough songwriter, but needs some serious quality control if he’s going to make his mark.  It’s strange, usually I lap up this kind of punk front-man gone solo folk artist; making this one of the few times I’ve really walked away without feeling much of an impact.  Rowe has talent; he simply needs to come to terms with what works, what doesn’t, and regroup from there.

Brendan Kelly / Joe McMahon - Wasted Potential

Brendan Kelly / Joe McMahon

Wasted Potential

Red Scare Industries / Anchorless Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Over the past ten years, the list of punk frontmen who haven’t dabbled in some sort of acoustic outing has been shrinking.  But rather than giving a complete history of the phenomena and listing them all by name (I don’t know how many times I’ve referenced Chuck Ragan or Tony Sly in this context), I’m just going to skip giving a history lesson everybody already knows, and comment on how that pool has just gotten smaller with the release of the movement’s latest offering: the Wasted Potential split shared by Lawrence Arms co-vocalist Brendan Kelly and label mate and Smoke Or Fire frontman, Joe McMahon.

The twelve-track joint offering finds each artist contributing seven stripped down covers from their personal discographies.  Each side feels very self contained and could have easily been released as stand alone EPs.  Truthfully, I’m a little puzzled by the decision to pair Kelly and McMahon.  Despite sharing a label with Fat Wreck Chords, each vocalist’s styles are radically different – and not really in a complimentary way.  Kelly’s gruff worn vocals align with the poppier side of the “Hot Water Music” movement that became the centerfold for underground punks in the previous decade, whereas McMahon falls in with a pitchier crowd more appreciable in energy and spirit than in style.  So depending on whom you are, Kelly or McMahon runs the risk of feeling out of place.

If you haven’t already guessed it, for me, Kelly steals the show.  With The Lawrence Arms practically writing my personal music manifesto, I could never turn down an excuse for listening to some of the most influential tracks shaping my current preferences.  Kelly knows these tracks like the back of his hand, and feeling very natural in his own skin.  To top it off, Kelly only includes the songs that suit him.   “Blood Meridian” and “Like A Record Player” capture his raw side that – even in an unplugged setting – feels as aggressive as ever.

However Wasted Potential isn’t necessarily a celebration for Kelly.  A few months back Kelly wrote an online journal entry lamenting The Lawrence Arms’ failure to elevate their career above the confines of the Fat Wreck Chords roster and into something bigger like alumni act Against Me!  He claimed there were no bitter feelings, but I can’t help but feel that the phrase “wasted potential” is in some way connected. For example, Kelly tones down “Necrotism”’s formerly celebratory melody into a somber reflective piece emphasizing passages like “I’m wasted as my time, just sitting idly by, drinking in this shit hole while you all went on outside.”  Who knows, such moments might offer a deep glance into Kelly’s personal career understanding.

So with Wasted Potential’s first half feeling so personally engaging, I wasn’t shocked when Joe McMahon’s offerings left something to be desired.  Not surprisingly, I found my chief hang-up in the vocals.  While McMahon’s high pitched shrill feels quite in place amidst Smoke Or Fire’s fast paced, melodic punk backdrop, without his band he at times comes across squeaky and out of tune – and not in a good way.  McMahon simply hasn’t adjusted his pitch to account for the acoustic setting.  Think back to Anti-Flag’s quieter offerings on For Blood And Empire (particularly “One Trillion Dollars”) and imagine if vocalist Justin Sane hadn’t toned down his aggression for the piece’s thoughtful nature.  That’s how Joe McMahon’s side typically plays.  Granted, McMahon has some pretty good source material to work with, making tracks like “What Separates Us All” and “Filter” enjoyable despite the gaping flaws.

Between Kelly and McMahon, Wasted Potential ranges from good to great.  Despite having heard both artists’ songs countless times, the EP never feels stale or unnecessary.  Even so, listeners will likely find themselves playing favourites.  Kelly very quickly became my draw and highlight, while McMahon’s side sat in the shadow.  But that’s what happens when pairing one of the genre’s most relevant with a respectable but less influential counterpart.  So in the end Kelly’s side makes this is a must have for Lawrence Arms fans, with McMahon’s side providing a reasonable bonus.

Video: Outsiders – My Answer

New Zealand’s Outsiders has released a brand new video over on Blank TV.  The song is titled “My Answer” and sits as the third track on the band’s new album, Shallow Graves, out now on Anchorless Records.  The band is currently garing up for an appearance at The FEST 10.

Watch the video below.

Read More…

How Dare You – Carry On

How Dare YouOrlando pop punk band How Dare You is streaming a brand new song on their Facebook profile.  The track is titled “Carry On” and is set to appear on the groups four-way split with The Holt Mess, Dead To Me, and In The Red due out soon via Anchorless Records.  The group continues supporting their latest full length, The King, The Clown, The Colonel.

Give the track an early listen here.

Video: The Holy Mess – Half That And Dublin

The Holy MessThe Holy Mess has released a brand new music video.  The video features the song “Half That And Dublin” which is set to be part of the band’s upcoming Anchorless Records four way split.  The band recently released their self titled material-to-date compilation on Red Scare Records.

Check out the video below.

Read More…

How Dare You Streaming New Album

The good folks at Punk News have given fans an early listen of Orlando pop punk band How Dare You‘s upcoming full length.  The ten track album is titled The King, The Clown, The Colonel, and just dropped today via Anchorless Records.

Give the disc an early spin here.

Anchorless Records Digital Compilation

Anchorless Records have released a free digital compilation featuring fifteen tracks from the likes of Wolves And The Radio, Fallen From The Sky, The Sainte Catherines, Brendan KellyThe Flatliners and more.

It features a nice recap of what the label has been doing over the last few years.

Anchorless Records Digital Compilation

Anchorless-Records-Digital-Comp

Download the Digital Compilation

 

Free Compilation From Anchorless Records

Anchorless Records Digital CompAnchorless Records have released a free digital compilation featuring fifteen tracks from the likes of Wolves And The Radio, Fallen From The Sky, The Sainte Catherines, Brendan Kelly, The Flatliners and more.

The full track listing is below while the compilation itself can be downloaded right now by clicking here.

Read More…

Anchorless Records Split With Brendan Kelly, Mike Hale, Jeff Rowe and Chris Creswell

The release date of first installment of the Anchorless Records 4 way split 7″ Series has been announced. The seven inch will be available in stores on April 12 and the pre-sale will go live in March.

As previously revealed, the split features Brendan Kelly of the Lawrence Arms/The Falcon, Mike Hale of Gunmoll/In The Red, Jeff Rowe, and Chris Cresswell of The Flatliners.

The artwork is below. Read More…

Jeff Rowe Eyes Spring Release For New EP

Jeff RoweHot off the heels of 2010’s Barstool Conversations, country folk-punk soloist Jeff Rowe has announced his next follow-up effort.  His latest offering will assume the name New Winter, New England, and is currently slated for a spring release through Anchorless Records.

In the coming months, Rowe is planning to hit the road for a tours in Canada, Europe, Russia, as well as back on American soil.

How Dare You Joins Anchorless Records

How Dare YouAnchorless Records, who just announced an amazing four way split series, have signed Orlando, FL’s How Dare You. They will be releasing their sophomore LP, The King, The Clown and the Colonel in the late spring.

You can hear some old tunes from their self-titled Kiss Of Death Records album d on their MySpace page; however, they will release a new track from The King, The Clown and the Colonel on an upcoming free compilation from Anchorless that will span the label’s roster.

Anchorless Records 4 Way Split Series

Anchorless RecordsAnchorless Records have announced their first of four releases in their four way split seven inch series. The first installment features Brendan Kelly(The Lawrence Arms/Falcon), Mike Hale (Gunmoll/In The Red), Jeff Rowe, and Chris Cresswell (The Flatliners).

They will be posting more details soon about the official release date but it is expected to be released in early spring.

Anchorless Records Signs Wolves and the Radio

Anchorless RecordsAnchorless Records have signed Boston’s Wolves and the Radio. They announced the signing saying:

Wolves and the Radio are a band that harkens back to a time when punk was more about heart than hair. These bearded beauties are based in Boston, Massachusetts with members hailing from Upstate NY and Portland, Maine. There is a moment when you hear a band that you know will stay with you and be a part of your life’s soundtrack, Wolves are absolutely one of those bands that make you feel like wading through the sea of disingenuous music was well worth it.”

You can hear a new song entitled Kellegra which will be on their full length CD/LP – out in January 2010 – on their MySpace Page.

The Sainte Catherines Announce LP/Free Download/Tour Dates

Montreal’s punk rockers, The Sainte Catherines have announced the release of their upcoming full length for October 26th on Anchorless Records. The aptly titled Fire Works, (which the band recorded on their own in a country chalet) promises to be an energetic throwback to their earlier influences such as American Steel and Jawbreaker while still staying to true to their original sound.

You can download the single “We Used To Be In Love” here.

The Sainte Catherines will kick off a US/Canada fall tour in support of the album beginning October 2nd. A full listing of tour dates can be seen below:

Read More…

Anchorless Records launches Jeff Rowe Pre Sale

Jeff RoweAnchorless Records has launched a pre-order for Jeff Rowe’s debut record “Barstool Conversations,” which is set for a formal release August 24, 2010.  However Pre Sale orders will ship this week upon purchase.

Check out further information here.

The Sainte Catherines Join Anchorless Records

Montreal’s The Sainte Catherines have joined the Anchorless Records family.  To mark the event, the band is working on their first new album in four years.  Titled Fire Works, the album will serve as the follow up to their 2006’s Dancing For Decadence, originally released via Fat Wreck Chords.

While Anchorless will release Fire Works in the States, it will be released through STOMP Records in Canada.

Sainte Catherines Sign To Anchorless

Montreal punk group the Sainte Catherines have announced that the will be releasing their long waited follow up to 2006’s Dancing For Decadence (Fat Wreck Chords) on Anchorless Records.  The album title and exact release dates remain unknown, but the band is aiming for for some time in the fall.

More as it become available.

Anchorless Signs Nightlights

NightlightsAnchorless Records have signed Florida’s Nightlights.

The will release their debut EP entitled “Long Way Home” sometime this summer in time for a supporting tour that will be announced soon.

You can hear some songs from the band here.

New Songs From Brendan Kelly / Joe McMahon

Red Scare RecordsBrendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms and Joe McMahon of Smoke or Fire will be releasing an acoustic split together called “Wasted Potential” and it’s out on March 16th.  The vinyul version will be released by Anchorless Records and the CD will be released through Red Scare Records (and can be preordered here). 

Anchorless Records have posted a new song from Joe McMahon‘s side called Beauty Fades on their MySpace page while Red Scare have posted a Brendan Kelly song, an acoustic version of The Lawerence ArmsQuincentuple Your Money, on their MySpace Page.

Anchorless Records Runs Golden Ticket Contest

Anchorless RecordsAnchorless Records has announced that they will be running a golden ticket contest to coincide with the release of Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms) and Joe McMahon’s (Smoke or Fire) upcoming split. Details are described by the label:

We are running a “golden ticket” contest, and 1 person who placed/places an order through our webstore will win a Test Press of ALL OF OUR RELEASES. Eligible orders must include a copy of “Wasted Potential” this contest will end march 9th.