Attic Salt Perform “Raw Material” on Live! from the Rock Room

Attic Salt promo Aug 17Springfield, Illinois indie punk four piece Attic Salt recently performed “Raw Material” for a Live from the Rock Room session.  The song comes from their self titled LP, which dropped back in October via Dodgeball Records.

Check out the session below.

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Donaher ISMLIT


I Swear My Love Is True

Dodgeball Records

Rating: 3.5/5




New Hampshire Power Pop quartet Donaher have been added to the impressive and ever growing roster at Dodgeball Records, and now they have released their debut full length via the fledgling label. I Swear My Love Is True is an album that sets out to make the definitive soundtrack to falling in love, with it’s seemingly almost inevitable flipside of heartbreak and unrequited love never far away. I Swear My Love Is True is now available on limited edition splatter vinyl via Dodgeball Records, and also on CD and digital formats via Donaher‘s Bandcamp.

I Swear My Love Is True kicks off with the brief acoustic introduction of Found Me, however this is would seem to be there just to mislead you, as from this point the album kicks into a lively hook filled full length of power pop. Tracks such as Heather, The Wrong Side Of Webster Street and the superb No Other Dude are perfect examples of lovelorn power pop that anyone who’s ever worshipped from afar will be able to relate to. Amidst the heartache inspired power pop there are brief returns to Donaher‘s gentler acoustic style with Courtney and the first half of the album’s finale, I Fell For You, before this final moment breaks out into some tortured noisey power pop.

This is an album that will be lapped up by those who love the likes of the Smoking Popes, The Get Up Kids, whose frontman Matt Pryor appears on the track No Other Dude, and the non recidivist side of Masked Intruder, as like those bands Donaher have the ability to take the yearning heartache of unrequited love and translate it into bitter sweet punky power pop. I Swear My Love Is True is a ten track album with more many more hits than misses, for me the acoustic elements break the flow of the album ever so slightly, but it must be said that Donaher have made an impressive debut and are a more than worthy addition to the Dodgeball Records family.

I Swear My Love Is True can be streamed and purchased via Bandcamp here

The limited edition splatter vinyl edition of the album can be purchased from Dodgeball Records here

Donaher Release Debut Album Via Dodgeball Records

Donaher Band Nov 17Donaher‘s debut LP contains ten power pop songs that are savagely sweet, contagiously cute, and packed with more hooks than a tackle box. I Swear My Love Is True is a record that defines the sound of falling in love and a pending heartbreak, Donaher have also released a music video for the track The Wrong Side of Webster Street that is taken from the album.

I Swear My Love Is True can be ordered on CD and digital formats via Bandcamp here

The video for The Wrong Side of Webster Street can be viewed below Read More…

Attic Salt ST

Attic Salt

Attic Salt

Dodgeball Records

Rating: 5/5




A new release from Dodgeball Records, the new label formed earlier this year by members of Showoff and The Smoking Popes, has become something that I look forward to finding in my inbox, as so far the fledgling label hasn’t put a foot wrong with any of their signings. Their latest release is the self titled debut from the Illinois quartet Attic Salt, I’ll confess that this is a band I haven’t previously encountered, but they have come from out of nowhere and delivered an absolutely stunning full length first time out, one that continues the unparalleled consistency that Dodgeball Records have achieved in the first year of existence.

From the first track on their debut album, Hometown, you get the feeling that Attic Salt‘s debut is going to be in something rather special, the album is an uptempo mix of indie, punk and power pop that hits the spot on all ten tracks, although I will confess to a slight preference for when guitarist Alyssa Currie takes over the vocal duties, but it really is a slight preference. For the most part the album heads along at full steam, but when Attic Salt do take their foot off the gas slightly on Sierra Nevada it just blends perfectly into the album, trying to pick a favourite track or moment on Attic Salt‘s debut is impossible, as for only the third time this year I’ve encountered an album where every single track is perfect.

Attic Salt have the feel of Hot Boxing era Magnapop, but alongside this there are traces of The Primitives, The Weakerthans, Green Day and early Blondie in their DNA, the alternating male and female vocals both fit perfectly with the uptempo guitar riffs and driving drums, and this flawless combination makes this as good a debut album as I’ve heard by anyone, not just this year but put a full stop in front of that statement. With their first full length Attic Salt have released one of the best album’s I’ve heard this year, and by now you should already be ordering a copy as there really are few albums from 2017 that are this good.

Attic Salt‘s self titled debut can be ordered on CD via Dodgeball Records here and via iTunes here and Spotify here

Dodgeball Records Release Benefit Compilation For Santa Rosa

For Santa RosaDodgeball Records have released the charity compilation, For Santa Rosa, to aid the victims of the fires in Santa Rosa, CA, the compilation is now available via Bandcamp and all money raised will go to benefit the community of Santa Rosa, CA. The album features forty familiar, new, live, acoustic and rare tracks from bands such as 88 Fingers Louie, The Dopamines, Smoking Popes, Direct Hit!, Avenues, Showoff, Off With Their Heads, Horace Pinker, Decent Criminal, Sciatic Nerve, Odd Robot, Turnspit, Dan Vapid And The Cheats, Western Settings, AM Taxi, The Dollyrots, Off With Their Heads, Amuse and many more.

For Santa Rosa can be purchased for $5 via Bandcamp here

Decent Criminal Bloom

Decent Criminal


Dodgeball Records

Rating: 4/5



California’s Decent Criminal have signed with the newly founded Dodgeball Records and are set to release Bloom, the band’s label debut that will be released October 13th. Decent Criminal blend elements of 90’s alternative, garage rock, surf punk, power-pop and good old fashioned punk rock to deliver catchy, upbeat songs that collide with abrasive and often melancholy undertones, the end result is an album that is a more than worthy successor to their 2016 self titled debut album.
Cold leads you into the album with a vibrant slab of power pop before Bloom heads into the laid back strains of Still, the acoustic strains of Tender make you think that Decent Criminal are in danger of flatlining, that is until the guitars kick in for an overdriven and anthemic lovelorn chorus. Melt kicks back into the full tilt powerpop before the album’s most heartfelt number, Expectations, marks the halfway point of Bloom. Both Void and Iron are stripped down slice of heady garage rock, Neurotic delivers a gloriously deranged glam punk stomp before Waver returns to the garage infused power pop, finally Bloom ends in style, with the hedonostic lead single, Deviant.
The ten monosyllabically titled tracks that make up Bloom is an unexpected package of wistful songs whose  tones are carried along in a strangely upbeat style given the melancholy feel of the album. Decent Criminal‘s sophomore album contains many elements that remind me of some of my favourite bands both past and present, including These Animal Men and Culture Abuse, and the soaring guitars and treble led solo’s that permeate the album mix with hooks and melodies to create an irresistible and heady combination. Bloom indicates that Decent Criminal are another impressive addition to the ever growing and impressive roster that Dodgeball Records has amassed in it’s short lifespan.
Decent Criminal will release Bloom on October 13th 2017 via Dodgeball Records.
Bloom can be pre-ordered here

Turnspit Sign To Dodgeball Records

Turnspit DPMidwestern melodic punk quartet Turnspit have signed with Dodgeball Records and the band’s new LP, Desire Paths, is set for release on February 16th 2018, and the Chicago band have now revealed cover art and the track listing for the twelve track release. Turnspit will also be performing a special hometown acoustic show on November 2nd at Quenchers Saloon with Engines and Mobina Galore, more information about the show can be found here

The Dodgeball Records website can be found here

You can view the track listing for Desire Paths, and a quote from the band, below Read More…

Showoff Release ‘Midwest Side Story’ Album

Showoff MSSChicago pop-punk band Showoff are back in action with their new record, Midwest Side Story. The album is now available via Dodgeball Records, the recently launched label started by Showoff front man Chris Messer, his wife Dani and Mike Felumlee of the Smoking PopesShowoff are playing a album release show tonight at Brauerhouse in Lombard, IL, tickets can be purchased here

Midwest Side Story can be ordered via Showoff‘s website here

Dodgeball Records website is here

Decent Criminal To Release ‘Bloom’ LP Via Dodgeball Records

Decent Criminal BloomCalifornia’s Decent Criminal have signed with Dodgeball Records, the newly founded label started by Showoff frontman Chris Messer, his wife Dani and Mike Felumlee of the Smoking Popes. The band are set to release Bloom, the band’s debut for Dodgeball Records that will be released on October 13th, with pre-orders, including vinyl, launching on September 29th.

You can stream Deviant, the first track to be released from Bloom, here

Dodgeball Records website can be found here

Showoff MSS


Midwest Side Story

Dodgeball Records

Rating: 3.5/5




Before we get into Midwest Side Story we need to have a brief recap on the rise and fall of Showoff, in the late 1990s they self released their first album and EP, this led to the band signing to Madonna‘s Maverick Records and the release of their sophomore album, but changes within the label’s structure and subsequent tension within the band resulted in their dissolution, leaving a third album recorded but unreleased. In the mid 2000’s a brief reformation saw the release of their fourth album before the band once more dissolved, but now Showoff are back with their fifth studio album, the fourth to see the light of day, and this time they’re doing it on their own terms as Midwest Side Story is released on Dodgeball Records, a label owned and founded by front man Chris Messer, along with his wife Dani and Mike Felumlee of the Smoking Popes.

From the first chords of the opening track, Popular Kid, it’s clear that Showoff are back to doing what they do best, this is anthemic pop punk that packs all the hooks and catchy choruses that the best of the genre delivers. Midwest Side Story also carries those harmony vocals and the almost obligatory acoustic led tracks that were pop punk trademarks, but there are moments that break away from the pop punk style that dominates the album, in particular the frantic Falling Apart brings a brief punkier blast to Midwest Side Story. Showoff have delivered a consistent and well crafted album that should be lapped up by fans of pop punk luminaries such as Bowling For Soup, Weezer, Blink-182 and of course Showoff‘s original fans.

I’ll admit that I’ve been critical of a lot of recent pop punk releases for recreating a sound that predates many of those band’s members births, but I can’t exactly level that criticism at a band that were present at pop punk’s year zero. Midwest Side Story is a damn fine pop punk album, there’s nothing on the album that will come as a surprise, but there’s nothing to disappoint as this is a well crafted thirteen track album that carries all the finest elements of pop punk, every woah, guitar hook, lovelorn lyric and harmony vocal is everything you’d hope for, and if you’re a fan of pop punk’s glory days then Midwest Side Story is the album you’ve been waiting for.

Midwest Side Story will be released on the 22nd September and the album can be pre-ordered here

Showoff Release Live Video Of ‘I Don’t Hate You Yet’

Showoff MSSShowoff have released a live video of I Don’t Hate You Yet that was recorded for a Live From The Rock Room session, the track is taken from their forthcoming album, Midwest Side Story, that is due for release via Dodgeball Records on September 22nd. Showoff are also set to play a hometown show with Punchline at Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago on August 12.

Midwest Side Story can be pre-ordered here

The video for I Don’t Hate You Yet (Live From The Rock Room) can be viewed below Read More…

Attic Salt Sign To Dodgeball Records

Attic Salt promo Aug 17Attic Salt only formed back in 2015, and now the Springfield, Illinois indie punk four piece have signed with the newly formed imprint Dodgeball Records, and the label has confirmed that they will release the band’s debut album on October 20th. The details of the forthcoming album, and a premiere of a new song, are set to be revealed shortly. 

Dodgeball Records is the newly founded label started by Showoff frontman Chris Messer and Mike Felumlee of the Smoking Popes

Attic Salt‘s Facebook presence can be found here

Amuse Life Sucks


Life Sucks

Dodgeball Records

Rating: 4.5/5




Dodgeball Records is the latest in a long and proud line of Chicago based independent punk imprints, the label is founded by Showoff frontman Chris Messer and Mike Felumlee, of Smoking Popes and Alkaline Trio fame, they have secured Indianapolis punks Amuse as their first signing and will be releasing the band’s latest EP, Life Sucks, in a few days time on August 4th. The bands first release for Dodgeball Records follows on from their 2015 EP, Tosche Station Lot Lizards, and for me Life Sucks is up there amongst the best releases I’ve heard so far this year, and this is not hollow praise given that 2017 really has been an excellent vintage for punk rock.

Offend Me kicks off Life Sucks with a Ramones inspired blast that is played exactly as pop punk oughta be, then it promptly kicks things up a gear with F.U.Y. that’s an ode to fucked up youth and not wanting to grow up. Every track on Life Sucks hits the spot and there’s no sense of deja vu or the predictability that blights so many releases that fly under the pop punk banner, the title track and Toxic keeps the energy flowing nicely, while Tarkin, a love song for bassist Mike Muse‘s dog, brings a harsher old school quality to the EP before I Want To Believe (In Me And You) brings the EP to a close with another love song, this time for the X-Files Agent Scully.

There’s a distinct feel of the likes of The Methadones, The Queers and The Copyrights, who make a guest appearance on the album, about the Life Sucks EP, in the sense that this is an EP of high energy punk that’s played in a good natured punky knockabout feel. Everything from the b-movie sleeve art, courtesy of Jennie Cotterill of Bad Cop/Bad Cop, to the production by the legendary Mass Giorgini and of course the six tracks that inhabit Life Sucks, combine to make this EP an utter blast. Dodgeball Records have scored an impressive first signing with Amuse, and if they can keep this standard up on the full length planned for next year then the future of both the label and the band look very bright.

Dodgeball Records website can be found here and Life Sucks can be pre-ordered here

Decent Criminal Sign To Dodgeball Records

Decent Criminal BloomCalifornia’s Decent Criminal have signed with Dodgeball Records, the newly founded label started by Showoff frontman Chris Messer, his wife Dani and Mike Felumlee of the Smoking Popes. Decent Criminal will release their debut album, Bloom, on October 13th, with pre-orders, including vinyl, launching on September 29th via Dodgeball Records.

You can stream Deviant, that is taken from their forthcoming album, here

Dodgeball Records Website is here

Showoff Release Stream Of ‘Popular Kid’

Showoff MSSBeloved Chicago pop-punk band Showoff are back in action with plans to release a new album this Fall, the band has now released a stream of a new song, Popular Kid, that is taken from the forthcoming album, Midwest Side Story, that will be released on September 22nd via Dodgeball Records.

Pre-orders For Midwest Side Story will be available from July 21st here

You can stream Popular Kid here