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Tours: Pennywise (Europe)

PennywisePennywise, has announced that they will be heading on a tour or Europe this summer. The band last released the album Yesterdays back in 2014 released last year on Epitaph Records.

Tour dates are below.

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Every Time I Die / Knocked Loose / Hollow Earth

every time i dieHardcore act Every Time I Die will be heading on a Canadian tour this Fall with Knocked Loose and Hollow Earth.  The band released their latest album, Low Teens, in 2016 via Epitaph Records.  The disc follows their 2014 effort, From Parts Unknown.

Tour dates are below.

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This Wild Life – Break Me

EpitaphAcoustic duo This Wild Life has premiered the new song, “Break Me,” from their upcoming new LP.  The band last released Low Tide in September 2016 via Epitaph Records.

Listen to the song below.  

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Rancid – Where I’m Going

RancidLong running punk act Rancid has premiered a new track from their next full length.  The song is titled “Where I’m Going” and will be on the album Trouble Maker, which is set to drop on June 9, 2017 via Hellcat Records / Epitaph Records.  

Listen to the song below.

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Tours: The Menzingers

The MenzingersPhiladelphia indie-punkers The Menzingers will be heading on tour in late July.  The band continues to support their fifth full length, After The Party, which dropped back on February 3, 2017 via Epitaph Records

Dates can be found below.

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Video: Rancid – Telegraph Avenue

RancidLong running punk act Rancid has premiered a new music video their next full length.  The video features the song “Telegraph Avenue” and will be on the album Trouble Maker, which is set to drop on June 9, 2017 via Hellcat Records / Epitaph Records.  

Listen to the song below.

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Tours: Bad Religion (Europe)

Bad ReligionLA punk rock legends Bad Religion  have announced a series of shows across Europe and the UK. They are still out in support of their most recent full length, True North, released back in 2013 via Epitaph Records.  Front man Greg Graffin released his latest solo effort, Millport, earlier this year.

Tour dates are below.

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Rancid Announce New LP; Stream First Song

RancidLong running punk act Rancid has announced details for their next full length.  The disc will be titled Trouble Maker and is set to drop on June 9, 2017 via Hellcat Records / Epitaph Records.  

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the song “Ghost Of A Chance,” which can be heard below along with the track listing.

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Graffin

Greg Graffin

Millport

ANTI-
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin has done it all.  From penning academic works exploring the interaction between evolution and religion, delivering lectures at the University of Cornell and University of California, to fronting one of the most celebrated punk rock bands of the past thirty years, little has remained beyond Graffin’s scope of engagement.  

For a man with so much on the go, Graffin has always budgeted a little time for himself.  This typically takes the form of a solo album about every ten or so years.  Each contribution has defined itself uniquely.  1997’s piano driven American Lesion was inspired by the breakup of his marriage, and 2008’s Cold As The Clay paid respects to the Americana that continues to influence Graffin’s songwriting.

His third outing, Millport, serves as a pure passion piece, of which Graffin has likened the organic nature of the songwriting process to that which led to the iconic Bad Religion classic, Suffer.  Performed in a straight up country-rock format, produced and co-written by Bad Religion songwriter Brett Gurewitz, the album features backing instrumentation courtesy members of Social Distortion.  In many ways, Millport is to Graffin what Nick 13’s solo work is to Tiger Army – a significant and passionately executed detour.

Millport is an album defining itself through a healthy dose of country-driven twang, with Graffin’s vocals following suit.  “Backroads of My Mind” sets the tone by kicking up a little dust and drawing gearing up the honky tonk.  It’s far from anything remotely resembling punk-rock, and once you get over the initial shock and embrace the underlying authenticity, thrives because of it.  That being said, Graffin continues to draw upon stylistic staples like sweeping vocal harmonies and steady melodies in songs like “Too Many Virtues,” alongside traditional elements ranging from shifting pedal steel to string plucking banjos.  The title track feels particularly powerful, serving as a significant album standout that weaves in each instrument and influence.  Like a classic Bad Religion song, Graffin latches onto a melody and squeezes every ounce of momentum from chorus straight through to the late song bridge.  Other highlights like “Making Time,” “Echo On The Hill,” and “Sawmill” capture a distinctly rural spirit, filled with subtle “woah ohs” and tuneful backing fiddle and mandolin.  “Time of Need” is a particularly noteworthy aside due largely to the infusion of gospel elements reflecting Graffin’s belief that at the very least, religion has afforded the world with a fine soundtrack.

Overall, Millport shouldn’t be shocking to those of us that have grown up alongside Bad Religion, but it’s understandable for those less versed to find the country-rock content surprising to say the least.  Greg Graffin has had a remarkable career, and Millport affords yet another notable point of reference.  While country rock may not be for everyone, Millport stands to impress those willing to take Graffin’s latest solo for a spin.

Video: John K. Samson – Alpha Adept

john-k-samsonWeakerthans‘ frontman John K. Samson has premiered a new music video for the song “Alpha Adept,” which appears on his recent solo effort, Winter Wheat, which dropped late last year via Epitaph Records.

Watch the video below.

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Tours: Obey The Brave / Deez Nuts (Canada)

ObeyTheBraveCanadian metalcore band Obey the Brave have announced a summer tour across Canada with Deez Nuts, in support of their upcoming full length, Mad Season, which is set for release on June 2, 2017 via Epitaph Records. 

Tour dates are below.

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Video: The Menzingers – ‘After the Party’

The MenzingersPhiladelphia indie-punkers The Menzingers have posted a video for After The Party.  The song is the title track from their recently released full length, the band’s third, which dropped back on February 3, 2017 via Epitaph Records

Check out the video below.

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Video: Architects UK – Gravity

EpitaphBrighton, UK metalcore act Architects is streaming a new music video.  The video features the song “Gravity,” which is lifted from their latest full length, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, available now via Epitaph Records.  

Watch the video below.

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Tours: The Descendents

Descendents HSThe Descendents have announced that they will be heading on tour this Spring in support of their 2016 LP, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, available now via Epitaph Records.  

 

Tour dates are below.

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Descendents Announce Exclusive UK Headline Show

Descendents London June 17Descendents have announced their return to the UK with a new show scheduled for Sunday 4th June at the 02 Brixton Academy in London. The band played a series of shows in Latin America last December playing classics and new tracks from their latest album, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, that was released last summer via Epitaph Records.

Hypercaffium Spazzinate can be purchased and streamed here

Tickets will be available from this Friday at 9am GMT here

The Menzingers

The Menzingers

After The Party

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Philadelphia rough-punks The Menzingers arguably stumbled in their follow-up to their genre defining punk rock pinnacle, On The Impossible Past.  Perhaps it was nerves, or just wanting to try something new, but Rented World lacked the same double header of spontaneity and sophistication, instead coming across somewhat muted.  A valiant effort, but one that came up short.  Now on their fifth studio full length, After The Party, the band attempts to clarify the direction they set out to achieve on Rented World.  Time seems to have been on the quartet’s side, as on this renewed attempt the band seems more in tune with their intent, and grown into their age.

First things first though, After The Party is not an explosive showcase circa On The Impossible Past.  Rather, it’s evidence of a punk troupe settling into a more sustainable mid-career sound.  Comparisons have been made to bands settling into themselves – like Title Fight and Gaslight Anthem.  It’s hard to disagree.  While a punk band grappling with entering their collective thirties is no revelation, the band approaches the topic with tongue-in-cheek tact.  Opening with “20’s (Telling Lies),” The Menzingers formally close out their twenties and turn to making meaning out of the next decade.  “Everyone keeps asking me, what are you going to do now that your twenties are over,” Greg Barnett questions after rattling off lyrics about loose lips and late night dives.  The track closes out on a quiet note, with the band taking a somber look at their future amidst a dampening backdrop.  What follows is a collection of opportunities and ideas, like fleeing from “midwestern states” in a track of the same title, getting caught in the crosshairs of a love-interest’s ex (“Charlie’s Army”), or hiding one’s transgressions behind a family name and religious affiliation (“Bad Catholics”).  The Menzingers may frame After The Party with a single question, but they respond with a myriad of possibilities.

While The Menzingers may be leaving some of the zestful, youthful energy in the past, they remain every bit as capable of turning out chorus after chorus of catchy, ear-grabbing melody.  Sure, the average track is safer than past works, and Barnett doesn’t belt in angst as he did a decade ago (nor does Tom May blast his vocal chords as often as in the past), but the band’s passion and lyrics still land naturally.  “A little Irish in your blood, a little Polish in your name, a little Boston in your attitude, just the way you were raised,” sings Barnett on “Wings (Your Wild Years)” with a seasoned combination of entangled clean and throaty vocal calls.  His veteran cries run deep, with his clean vocals continuing to deeply impress for a guy with such a ragged set of pipes.  By and large, Barnett aligns his style with each track’s instrumental focus.  From mid-tempo toe-tappers (“House On Fire”), to embery slow burners (“Bars”), and quick pumping pulsers (“Cemetary’s Garden”), The Menzingers thoughtfully connect to each track.

There will be some people that continue to mourn what The Menzingers have since left behind.  But they are the same people that refuse to give up their twenties and would be well advised to listen closely to After The Party.  The worst that can be said of After The Party is perhaps that some of the songs feel comparatively “safe.”  But unlike complaints about Rented World’s toothless warbling, After The Party frames this comparative difference with lyrical and emotional warmth.  As The Menzingers make clear, growing old doesn’t necessarily mean growing up, even if you endure some inevitable maturation.  Or in reference to the title, life goes on – even after the party.

The Menzingers – Thick As Thieves

The MenzingersPhiladelphian indie-punk band The Menzingers has premiered a new track.  The song is titled “Thick As Thieves,” and is lifted from their new album, After The Party, which is set to drop on February 3, 2017 via Epitaph Records

Listen to the new tune below.

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Video: Touché Amoré – Benediction

EpitaphLos Angeles post-hardcore act Touché Amoré has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Benediction,” which appears on their latest LP, Stage Four, which dropped past year via Epitaph Records.

Watch the video below.

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Falling In Reverse Announce New Album

EpitaphFalling in Reverse has announced details for their next album.  The disc will be titled Coming Home, and is set to drop on April 7, 2017 via Epitaph Records.  The band last released Just Like You back in 2015 and Fashionably Late in 2013.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the song “Loser,” which can be heard below.

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Tours: John K. Samson

john-k-samsonWeakerthans‘ frontman John K. Samson will be touring over the next few months.  Samson continues to support his recent solo effoty, Winter Wheat, which dropped late last year via Epitaph Records.

Tour dates are below.

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Footage of John K. Samson In Live In Churchill, Mannitoba

john-k-samsonWeakerthans‘ frontman John K. Samson has premiered some live footage of a performance that took place in Churchill, Manitoba in support of the community during the closure of a port that resulted in a 10% hit to the surrounding workforce.  Samson performed  “Postdoc Blues” and “Reconstruction Site.”  The first track appears on his solo album, Winter Wheat, which dropped earlier this year via Epitaph Records.

Listen to the songs below.

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Video: The Menzingers – Lookers

The MenzingersPhiladelphian indie-punk band The Menzingers has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Lookers,” and is lifted from their new album, After The Party, which is set to drop on February 3, 2017 via Epitaph Records

Watch the video below.

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Tours: Every Time I Die

every time i dieHardcore act Every Time I Die will be heading on tour in the new year.  The band released their latest album, Low Teens, earlier this year via Epitaph Records.  The disc follows their 2014 effort, From Parts Unknown.

Tour dates are below.

Read More…

john-k-samson

John K. Samson

Winter Wheat

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

When The Weakerthans closed up shop, the move came after years of inactivity, so the announcement was particularly bittersweet for fans that had been holding out for a formal swan song.  As it turns out, fans would be given the chance for at least a sense of closure two years later, when front man John K. Samson would release his latest solo album, Winter Wheat.  More stripped down and personal in scope, the album continues to capture Samson’s penchant for small town prairie simplicity.  While at times lagging in energy, Samson’s telltale charm makes for an intimate listen.

Listening to Winter Wheat is akin to sitting fireside, listening to a close friend whispering confessions trustingly in your ear.  While the album primarily benefits from full band accompaniment, Samson’s careful pacing ranges from meandering spoken word crawls to jovial sing-along jaunts.  Right out the gate, the dreary tempo of “Select All Delete” contrasts clearly with the catchy mid-tempo chorus of “Postdoc Blues.”  Despite the single-worthy aura of the latter, the former’s intimate charm validates its purpose during repeat listens.  Given a focused listening environment, most of the slower-paced, piano-laced tunes (“Requests,” “Carrie Ends The Call”) make for an immersive listen that somehow avoids lagging.

A song like “17th Street Treatment Centre” exemplifies the poetic allure propelling these melancholy narratives to life.  Set on the twenty-first day of the protagonist’s “court ordered stay” in a rehab centre, the descriptions of barren walls, nights spent staring at empty ceilings, and vivid characters instantly spring the song to life.  Samson describes the unique and diverse cast, “the punk and the priest and the real estate agent, the girl with no teeth and the shaking marine, the serbian deadhead who wears his sunglasses, so no one can see at my eyes.”  The track’s minimalist nature is an easy reminder of just how lyrically driven The Weakerthans were, and Samson’s solo work is no different.

Of course Samson is always good for a catchy melody, even in his simplistic solo medium.  As always, Samson is at his best when laying down some subtle prairie twang.  Perhaps the most instantly memorable is the politically driven anti-oil anthem, “Vampire Alberta Blues.”  Through a steady tempo and country-drenched chords, Samson projects the personification of ecological destruction of northern Alberta at the hands of faceless corporate greed.  Dressed respectfully and moving cautiously, Samson describes this faceless figure’s social benevolence in the succinct visual of a businessman wearing, “a bowtie and pin that says, protect the arts.”  The juxtaposition of decaying habitats far removed from prospering cities proposes a sad moral reality in which we our own lifestyles serve to feed such an unquenched thirst.

The only stumbling block comes in the form of the spoken-word narrative, “Quiz Night At Looky Lou’s.”  The vivid imagery and topic details a wandering quiz master, traveling the country in search of “alpha adepts” by embedding hidden messages at quiz nights at local bars marks a curious prospect.  While an intriguing premise, the problem emerges after the first listen or two.  The story becomes less striking, and the plodding tempo becomes boring.  Throughout Winter Wheat, the track holds the dubious honor of being the one track worth skipping on repeat listens.  While initially engaging, the result lacks the staying power of its neighbours.

Overall, John K. Samson overcomes the modest lethargy inherent in Winter Wheat’s tempo, and succeeds on the merits of his timeless charm and masterful lyricism.  Considering that the album was recorded in conjunction with some of The Weakerthans’ lineage as instrumental support, the outcome is nothing less than what fans would expect.  

The Menzingers Announce New Album

The MenzingersPhiladelphian indie-punk band The Menzingers has announced plans for their next full length.  The album will be titled After The Party and is set to drop on February 3, 2017 via Epitaph Records.  The band last released Rented World in 2014 on Epitaph Records

 

Pre-orders are available.  Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the song “Bad Catholics,” which can be heard below.

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Video: The Descendents – Feel This

Descendents HSThe Descendents have premiered a new music video for the song “Feel This” from the recent LP, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, which dropped back on July 29, 2016 via Epitaph Records.  

Watch the video below.

The band last released Cool To Be You and ‘Merican back in 2004 on Fat Wreck Chords.  

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Video: Cover Your Tracks – Cages

EpitaphMetal band Cover Your Tracks has premiered a new music video from their debut album, Fever Dream, which dropped back on September 9, 2016 via Epitaph Records.  

Watch the video below.

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Video: John K. Samson – Postdoc Blues

john-k-samsonWeakerthans‘ frontman John K. Samson has premiered a new music video for the song “Postdoc Blues.”  The track appears on his solo album, Winter Wheat, which dropped last week via Epitaph Records.

Listen to the song below.

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John K. Samson (The Weakerthans) Streams Solo Album in Full

john-k-samsonWeakerthans‘ frontman John K. Samson has premiered a stream of his upcoming album, Winter Wheat, which is set to drop on October 21, 2016 via Epitaph Records.

Listen to the album here courtesy CBC.

Video: Joyce Manor – Last You Heard Of Me

Joyce Manor CodyJoyce Manor have shared a music video for the track Last You Heard of Me, one of the lead singles of the fourth album Cody that is due for release on October 7th. Produced by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Guided by Voices, Kurt Vile), Cody is Joyce Manor‘s most intimate and unapologetically human album yet.

You can stream Last You Heard Of Me below.

Cody can be pre-ordered here.

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SayWeCanFly Announces New Album; Premiered Music Video

EpitaphOntario one-man acoustic act SayWeCanFly  has announced plans for a new album.  The disc will be titled Blessed and is set to drop on Nov 4, 2016 via Epitaph Records.  

A video for the new track, “The Space Between Our Eyes,” can be viewed here courtesy AltPress.