Pouzza Fest

Pouzza Fest: Direct HIt, The Old Wives, Fire In The Radio

Nick Woods, Dix, The Whole Band

By on May 5th, 2017 at



On May 19th, dirty punks will make their annual pilgrimage to downtown Montreal for the 7th annual Pouzza Fest. Three days of fatty foods, cheap beers, friends, adventures and music spread across numerous venues – the festival is not to be missed.

Last week we caught up with The Real McKenzies and Worst Days Down to discuss the upcoming festivities and we continue our coverage for the festival by chatting with three more bands playing this year.

Read on below to hear what Direct Hit, The Old Wives and Fire In The Radio have to say about Pouzza Fest.

And don’t forget to pick up tickets to the festival here.

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12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}

Direct Hit!

Wasted Mind

Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 4/5




How do you follow up an epic concept album chronicling the global curtain-call of armageddon?  While some may answer with the ever swelling push for bigger and more cataclysmic subject matter, Milwaukee’s own Direct Hit backpedals from the global, and gravitates to the immensely personal.  For their third full length, Wasted Mind, the energetic three-piece presents the hallucinogenic tale of a substance abusing protagonist that strays from recreation to a path of dependency.  Presented through the full-bodied pop-punk framework you’d expect from Direct Hit, the band leads listeners through a sonic and conceptual kaleidoscopic blend into twelve assertive tracks of altered reality.

Inspired from the thematic literary content of 1959’s Naked Lunch and 1971’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Direct Hit offers an evolving commentary of narcotic embrace, addiction, rehabilitation, and inevitably relapse.  In other words, venturing too far down the rabbit hole and losing your way back.  “Was it real or was it just the acid?” screams the band on “Was It The Acid” in choral harmony amidst a wave of Blink 182-esque “na, na na, na nas.”  The juxtaposition of isolation and embrace lingers through lines like “we flew to a land that was made of ice cream” and “injecting too much is a hazardous pastime, when the trip is your lifetime.”  Similarly zestful contrast bursts forth between songs like “Paid in Brains” and “Promised Land.”  The former jarringly throws a one two-punch of guttural belting and abrasively bursting alto-saxophone (think the angry ska of Chilled Monkey Brains), while the latter ushers in a church bell chiming marching anthem that rises on a melodic cloud of handclaps and “woo-oahs” (think Dillinger Four meets Morning Glory).  Direct Hit’s confidence continues to skyrocket since their early years, as they seem willing to direct their sound any which way without reserve.

In an interview, the band revealed that producer Mike Kennerty (All American Rejects) rejected at least half of the tracks Direct Hit demoed in the studio, but that bits and pieces of each rejection made their way into existing songs as periodic flashes.  While we can only speculate as to which moments are remnants of failed experiments, the band leaves listeners with an appetizing trail of breadcrumbs.  For instance, the carefully gliding piano exit of “Another Dimension,” the Beach Boys-esque surfer chorus of “Bleach Music,” and the electronica and synth harmonies popping from “Infinite Pills, Infinite Alcohol” all stand out as fleeting but unique junctures in Wasted Mind’s eclectic journey.  That the band synthesizes such competing vectors with vision and continuity ensures a vibrant and engaging journey.

Direct Hit’s Fat Wreck Chords debut serves as both an adventurous jump up in style as well as a vehicle for career advancement.  With the legendary label’s backing, the four-piece presents their most polished work to date, without sacrificing the gritty, turn-on-a-dime showmanship Direct Hit has become known for.  Their target clearly remains fans of Dead To Me, Dillinger Four, and Banner Pilot, with Direct Hit now comfortably standing shoulder to shoulder on such an all star roster.  There’s no telling where Direct Hit will head from here, but if their track record is any indication, it will surely mark another unique step forward.  

Pkew Pkew Pkew Announce LP & Tour Dates, Stream Single

Pkew Pkew PkewSouthern Ontario based punks Pkew Pkew Pkew have announced that their self titled debut LP is due to drop on June 10th via Royal Mountain Records. Ahead of the street date the band are streaming Asshole Pandemic via the good folks over at Brooklyn Vegan. 

The band have also announced a series of shows in July alongside Direct Hit! which will follow on from their previously announced tour in June with PUP and Rozwell Kid. Check out the stream of Asshole Pandemic here and the band’s upcoming tour dates below.

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Direct Hit! Announce New LP; Debut New Track

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}Milwaukee punk band Direct Hit! has announced details for their Fat Wreck Chords debut.  The album will be titled Wasted Mind and is set to drop on June 24, 2016.  The album was produced by All-American Rejects guitarist Mike Kennerty. Singer/Guitarist/Lyricist Nick Woods comments on the subject matter: 

“The record is less about chemical abilities and handicaps and more about identity, consciousness and relativity.”

Listen to the new song, “Forced To Sleep” below.

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Direct Hit! Sign With Fat Wreck Chords

Direct HitMilwaukee punk band Direct Hit! has announced that they have joined the Fat Wreck Chords family.  Vocalist/guitarist Nick Woods expresses his excitement on signing:

“Fat Wreck defined my opinion of what ‘punk’ meant when I was an insecure teenager in the Midwest. So I guess in a lot of ways, as someone who still cares about music 15 years later, the label’s helped define my outlook on life in general. It’s incredible for me to be able to say our band is a small piece of that foundation now.” 
The band last released Brainless God back in 2013.

Direct Hit! Stream New Album

Direct Hit!Frantic pop-punks Direct Hit! has premiered a full album stream of their upcoming new release.  The disc is titled More of the Same (Satanic Singles: 2010-2014) and is due out August 21, 2015 via Red Scare Industries.

Listen tot he full disc here courtesy Punknews. 

Direct Hit! And The Priceduifkes

Direct Hit! / The Priceduifkes


Say 10 Records / Red Scare Industries

Rating: 3.5/5




Direct Hit strike me as a band that strive for the partying lifestyle. The pop punk act creates music that is fun, infused and flamboyant; music that rattles the heart like a brick to a bell. Their new split record with Belgian punks The Priceduifkies is as punky as it gets.

Starting their side with Wasting Away, it’s both colossal and brash; harsh but compelling. The simple riff loads the song with enough ammunition to keep the track from falling short. The vocals are infectious and beer splattered, keeping the stomach lining of the contribution intact.

I Ain’t Dreaming Of A White Christmas is volatile. Like this split with Mixtapes several year backs, this seven inch features each band covering one another and this is Direct Hit‘s take on a Priceduifkies. The song is a bashful and contagious, sparking a frenzy, chaotic burst of punk. It doesn’t last very long, but keeps the interest from deflating as their screams and shouts depicting their distaste for Santa Clause would spark laughter from even the glummest of people.

 Boredom Addict is The Priceduifkies’ take on a Direct Hit track and they do it with it courageousness and might. The riff is epic, moulded brilliantly. It’s yet another quick fire song, but it doesn’t lose intensity or flair. Getwood City is their original contribution to the set. Fast and ferocious, bright and wholesome; the lyrics describe the mixture of beer and antibiotics, a very dangerous concoction. 

Two bands from two continents have teamed up to deliver a one-two punch of brash, snotty, punk – the way a seven inch is supposed to sound.

Interview: Direct Hit

Direct Hit!As the crowd gathered around the sole television screen at the Biltmore Cabaret to watch the Stanley Cup finals between the Rangers and the Kings before the punk show began, Direct Hit‘s Nick Woods and I headed outside to have a little conversation. It was a moment of reprieve before the chaos of the night was set to begin with both them and A Wilhelm Scream tearing the venue apart.

Sitting on the street curb, with traffic barreling by on Kingsway, Woods recalled the ups and downs of 2013, the innovative writing process behind the behemoth that is Brainless Gods and successfully built up some anticipation for the deluxe box set release of the album. 

Read the interview here.

Direct Hit!

Direct Hit

Nick Woods

Red Scare Industries
By on June 7th, 2014 at Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC



As the crowd gathered around the sole television screen at the Biltmore Cabaret to watch the Stanley Cup finals between the Rangers and the Kings before the punk show began, Direct Hit‘s Nick Woods and I headed outside to have a little conversation. It was a moment of reprieve before the chaos of the night was set to begin with both them and A Wilhelm Scream tearing the venue apart.

Sitting on the street curb, with traffic barreling by on Kingsway, Woods recalled the ups and downs of 2013, the innovative writing process behind the behemoth that is Brainless Gods and successfully built up some anticipation for the deluxe box set release of the album. 

Live photos by Chris Wedman.

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Tours: Masked Intruder / Direct Hit! / Priceduifkes

Masked IntruderPop-punk band Masked Intruder has announced that they will be heading on tour this summer including many dates with Direct Hit! and Priceduifkes.  Additional dates are expected to follow.  The band will be supporting their upcoming full length, M.I., due out on May 27, 2014 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Tour dates are below.

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Tours: The Flatliners / Junior Battles / Direct Hit!

The FlatlinersThe Flatliners are heading on tour with support from Junior Battles And Direct Hit!.  The band continues to support their fourth full length album, Dead Language, which was released last year on New Damage Records in Canada and Fat Wreck Chords in the US.

Full tour listings are below.

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Tour: Direct Hit! / Red City Radio / Elway

Direct Hit!Milwaukee’s Direct Hit! are embarking on a tour of the US west coast in support Brainless God, their latest full length release, which was released digitally and on CD at the end of 2013 via Red Scare Industries with a vinyl release due in early in 2014. The record has been billed as “a punk rock opera about love and the apocalypse” and the band have created a short film to accompany the record and releasing it in sections online. Watch it here:

Chapters I-IV: via Noisey

Chapter V: via youtube

Chapter VI & VII: via purevolume

Support on this tour will come from Oklahoma’s Red City Radio and Colorado’s Elway. Full dates and details below:

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Video: Direct Hit! – Bank Of Elevators

Direct Hit!Milwaukee’s Direct Hit! have posted their eighth video for their Brainless God video series, this time going along with their track Bank of Elevators.

The video is below.

Brainless God was released last year through Red Scare Industries to critical exclaim.

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Direct Hit! Debuts Double Song Music Video

Direct Hit!Direct Hit! has debuted a brand new music video.  The video features two songs from their newest full length, Brainless God, released  this past September on Red Scare Industries.

Watch the video here courtesy PureVolume.

Tour: Red City Radio, Elway, Direct Hit!

Red City RadioRed City Radio has announced that the band will be heading on tour with Elway and Direct Hit!  The band will be supporting its latest full-length record, Titles, released back in October via Paper + Plastick Records; while Elway released Leavetaking and Direct Hit! released Brainless God through Red Scare this year.

Tour dates are below.

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Direct Hit! - Brainless God

Direct Hit!

Brainless God

Red Scare Industries

Rating: 4.5/5




The thorough editing process under which insanely catchy pop punk outfit Direct Hit!’s full length Domesplitter came to be marked one of the strongest debuts in recent memory.  But as Domesplitter was a culmination of tweaked fan favourites spanning their initial collection of EPs, it was hard to imagine the trio emulating their success under new conditions.  In fact, Brainless God marks the band’s first attempt at generating a full-length album without thoroughly running each song through the fan-tested ringer.  Combine that with the Milwaukee troupe’s aspirations of generating a “full blown concept album about the end of the world,” and you’d think Direct Hit! would be in well over their heads.

You’d be wrong.

In fact, Brainless God might be one of the only ways a themed feature length punk album can truly work.  Opting to gradually ease into the apocalyptic material through a thematic approach, the band avoids the pretentious pitfalls of a full-blown narrative.  Consequently, Direct Hit! never sacrifices their machine gun momentum, strapping fans into the passenger’s seat of an over the top car chase.  And while the first half of opener “On & On” serves as something of an artsy prelude (it’s actually played to the mellow tune of “auld lang syne”), its sudden transformation emulates the sense of accelerating from zero to sixty in mere seconds; going out with the old and in with the new, echoing the sense of being jolted from your everyday life and thrust into a chaotic, apocalyptic clamor.

Brainless God can be summed up quickly with in the track title “The World Is Ending (No One cares).” Negligence is the name of the game here as Nick Woods sings the anthem of so many self-absorbed urbanites going to hell in a hand basket; “take a ride on the ‘H’ train to your destiny, take a ride in the express lane to your doom.”  The image of “St. Peter laughing in heaven” at millions unable to answer the question “have you been saved, can you tell me his name?” crosses a few boundaries in what is typically a secular punk movement, and couldn’t work better under any other tongue-in-cheek context. 

The overriding sense of humour has that unmistakable Direct Hit! stamp.  The dark opening line of “Buried Alive” is sure to raise a morbid chuckle with lines like,  “He’s got a carcass in the basement, and it’s high time he found a replacement, it’ll be just like a first date, but better.”  Perhaps most surprisingly though is how much societal truth pokes through all of the madness.   At about the half waypoint “Heaven Is A Black Hole” and its neighbor marks the realization that both people and an forgiving God are so set in their ways with their blinders on that they wouldn’t change during their final breath even if an impending doom were spelled out for them.  In many respects the album is about uncertainty, which comes reflected in how many times they change their tune in songs like “I Told You A Lie,” which seesaws between poppy choruses and a panicked, thrashy finale.  It’s only after the bomb drops, in “A Message To the Angels (Brainless God),” and the gates of heaven remain locked to an angry mob does the band spell out the eternal consequences of unjust judgments from above.

In the end though, everything boils down to the overriding fun packed into Brainless God.  The catchy musical core remains informed by the likes of Off With Your HeadsDillinger Four, and Banner Pilot, but benefits from a shiny new finish thanks to All-American Rejects guitarist Mike Kennerty’s role in the producer’s booth which might add Teenage Bottlerocket to that list.  And like all good concept albums, nothing is spelled out in black and white.  Fans that come for the catchy tunes will slowly decode new insights with each listen.  It’s rare that a thinking man’s album can be so much fun, but that’s whereDirect Hit! excels, and ultimately what makes Brainless God such a significant achievement.  

Devon Kay and the Solutions – Toilet Drunk (Stripped Down Sessions)

Devon Kay and the Solutions Devon Kay of Direct Hit! has premiered a new song from his side project, Devon Kay and the Solutions.

He performed the track, titled Toilet Drunk, acoustically on Punks In Vegas’ Stripped Down Sessions and will appear on the Chicago-based trio’s recently completed LP.

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Direct Hit: Getting What He Asked For

Direct Hit!Milwaukee, WI’s Direct Hit! have teamed up with to unveil a new track from their forthcoming album, Brainless God.

The album will be available digitally on September 3rd and physically on September 10th through Red Scare Industries.

The track, Getting What He Asked For, can be heard here.

Direct Hit! – Heaven Is A Black Hole

Direct HitMilwaukee, WI’s Direct Hit! has premiered a brand new song.  The track is titled “Heaven Is A Black Hole”and is set to appear on their upcoming new album, Brainless God, which is due out September 3, 2013 via Red Scare Industries and is a full blown concept album about the end of the world.

Listen to the song here.

Direct Hit! Reveal Album Art & Track Listing

Direct HitMilwaukee, WI’s Direct Hit! has unveiled the explosive artwork and track listing for their upcoming new album, Brainless God, which is due out September 3, 2013 via Red Scare Industries and is a full blown concept album about the end of the world.

Check out both here courtesy PunkNews.


Tours: Direct Hit! / Lipstick Homicide

Direct Hit!Milwaukee, WI’s Direct Hit! and Iowa City, IA’s Lipstick Homicide will perform a string of shows together on the west coast, midwest and in Canada; the dates are below.

Direct Hit! will be supporting their new album Brainless God, due out this summer through Red Scare Industries while Lipstick Homicide are currently promoting their newly released  It’s Alive Records split seven inch with Tukeltons.


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Tours: Direct Hit!

Direct HitDirect Hit! has announced that they will be heading on tour.  The band last released their Kind Of Like Records full length, Domesplitter, back in 2011.

Dates can be found below.

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Video: Direct Hit! – Satan Says

Direct HitAlternative Press is premiering the new video from Direct Hit!. The video is for the song Satan Says which is the second track from their 2011Kind Of Like Records album Domesplitter.

It can be see here.

The band is set to release a new album, Brainless God, this summer.


Galactic Cannibal (Direct Hit!) Release Free EP

Galatic CannibalMilwaukee, Wi’s Galactic Cannibal have released their debut EP for free download. The band is the latest project of Direct Hit! frontman Nick Woods, and also features his brother Peter J. Woods, along with friends Andy Slania, Ryan Bollis and Steve Maury.

The four song demo is available for free download here while a cassette release available for pre-order via Hewhocorrupts Inc.

Direct Hit! - Domesplitter

Direct Hit!


Kind Of Like Records

Rating: 4.5/5




Sometimes you throw on a disc and just know that you’re going to have to see it through on that first listen, right there, sitting in your car, with the engine on – even though you’ve already arrived at the mall parking lot and still have four tracks to get through.  For me, that album is Direct Hit’s Domesplitter – an addicting full-length debut by a band with a unique release philosophy.

Having released five short free EPs (they liken the strategy to that of graphic novels merging individual issues) with numerical titles since 2007, the three-piece has consolidated ten of their best works, tightened them up, and rerecorded them with a masterful dose of hindsight.  With all that time to ponder and iron out the kinks at live shows, dare I say that these songs could not sound better, and that you’d be hard pressed to find a more energetic collection of bear-drenched pop-punk anywhere.  Just when you think you’ve heard your new favourite chorus, Direct Hit! lands another bulls eye.  Few bands can completely pummel you with energy for half and hour, leave you black and blue yet still reaching for repeat, but Domesplitter does just that.

Leading the charge bolts in “Snickers Or Reese’s (Pick Up The Pieces),” a song that from my understanding serves as somewhat of a rallying cry at live shows.  I can see why.  Right from the moment vocalist Nick Woods yelps his first line, unsuspecting listeners will find themselves hit by a veritable sucker punch of speed and full bodied, bounding melody.  It’s like a greatest hits split boasting only the finest cuts fromOff With Your HeadsDillinger Four, and Banner Pilot.  Woods trades off lines with his bandmates at a furious pace – everyone chiming in with precise timing and speed.  For that matter Direct Hit! boasts impeccable songwriting, at times bombarding listeners with a barrage of vocal goodies that harmonizes Woods’ raggy call, an accompanying crowd of supporting woahs, and the auxiliary howl of backing vocalists.  Simply put, start to finish Domesplitter delivers track after track of faultlessly balanced pop-punk, coming crammed with loads of little extras that reveal themselves over time.

Part of that balance rests in the trio’s great sense of spontaneous, half-baked humour.  “Satan Says” lays claim to a chorus I just can’t shake – the song vaguely about someone with more than a few screws loose and their conversation with a little voice in their head.  The chorus serves up pure insanity: “He gives me super powers like the wizards in “Twin Towers” / Big thanks for the vase of flowers – Sure I’ve got ten minutes, but it’s not for hours / We’re aligning planets too / That’s how you call Cthulu / No I’m not lying to you / Wait a goddamn minute, don’t push the issue.”  “Boredom Addict” even turns a song about the challenges of doing absolutely nothing into one of the record’s catchiest, boasting a rapid-fire verse that effortlessly morphs into a completely overwealming chorus with the smirk inducing punch line “wondering how we’re going to turn this into a song.”  You’d think they’d falter from time to time, but even their songs about pipe bomb diplomacy (“Kingdom Come”) come out swinging.

Listen upon listen, Domesplitter delivers.  I can’t remember the last time I had so much outright fun getting into an album.  I’ve been listening to a lot of bands that take themselves quite seriously lately, so this belted madness is far overdue and very welcome.  In fact, concluding this review has proven particularly difficult because I find myself with so much more to gush over.  So I’ll leave you with this: Domesplitter = earcandy.  Don’t be a fool; don’t starve your ears.

Streams: Direct Hit! / The Haverchucks: ‘Split’

Direct Hit HaverchucksOur good friends over at are streaming the new split from Direct Hit! and The Haverchucks.

The record, cleverly titled Split, came out this week through Kind Of Like Records.

You can listen to the whole thing here.


Direct Hit! and Haverchucks Release Split Seven Inch

Direct HitKind of Like Records and Bright & Barrow Records have announced that they are teaming up to co-release a split 7″ from Milwaukee, WI’s Direct Hit! and Richmond, VA’s The Haverchucks. Featuring two new tracks from each band, the 7″ will be available on neon yellow vinyl.

Direct Hit!, who are currently working on a new album, previously released a series of EPs which were eventually compiled into their 2011 full-length,Domesplitter, on Kind of Like Records while The Haverchucks, named after Bill Haverchuck of Freaks and Geeks fame, self-released both a demo in 2010 and an EP in 2011.

The track listing and artwork are below. The record will be available on October 8th.


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Tours: Direct Hit! (Europe)

Direct HitDirect Hit are planning their first trip overseas this spring. Starting in Belgium, the band will make their way through France, Germany, Luxemborg, Netherlands and the UK before treking back stateside. Check out the full dates listed below.

The band has most recently released a split 7″ with Jetty Boys through Good Land Records and a split 12″ with Hold Tight through I Hate Punk Rock Records.

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Direct Hit! – What He Asked For

Direct HitPop punkers Direct Hit! have released a new acoustic tune set to appear on on their next full length and follow-up to 2001’s Domesplitter.  The band comments:

“This is an acoustic version of a tune we wrote for the next Direct Hit LP. I recorded it at Estudio Superfuzz when I was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on a trip that my class took. (“International Business.” What a larf.) My friend Angelica set the whole thing up for her blog, Tenho Mais Discos Que Amigos (I Have More Records Than Friends), and there’ll be some video up soon of me playing this one, plus another couple older tunes. I only fucked up twice. Go me.”

Listen or download the song here.


Direct Hit! Posts Two Songs From New Split For Download

Direct Hit!Direct Hit! have posted two songs from their upcoming split 7″ with The Jetty Boys online for download. The songs,”Through The Windshield, Holding Hands” and “Say Whatever” can now be downloaded from the band’s Bandcamp page for free.

The split 7″ will be available November 4 on Good Land Records, a Milwaukee label co-founded by former Limbeck and Benjamins drummer Jon Phillip. Each band contributes two new songs to the split.

Direct Hit! released their latest album, Domesplitter, this past August on Kind Of Like Records.

Direct Hit! Release Free George Harrison Cover For Download

Direct HitIf you ‘like’ Direct Hit!’s Facebook page, then you can get a free download of their cover of George Harrison’s song Got My Mind Set On You. In a departure from the band’s usual style, they’ve opted for an acoustic version. Guitarist Nick Woods explains that “I’m a big fan of the 17-part harmony and the giant-sounding drums in this song. And even if you think it’s cheesy, it’s George Harrison, who played in the Beatles. We thought it’d be funny to do it acoustic, since we knew we wouldn’t be able to make it sound that slick.”

Simply click here, like the page and help yourself to the free track. There’s also links to further free downloads on the page.