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Tours: Mean Jeans / Dirty Fences

mean jeans for punk siteMean Jeans will be heading on tour in January with Dirty Fences in support of their latest LP, Tight New Dimension, released via Fat Wreck Chords back in 2016.

Tour dates are below.

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Video: Darius Koski – Another Man

Darius KoskiDarius Koski (Swingin’ Utters) is streaming a new song from his upcoming sophomore solo album.  The track is titled “Another Man” and appears on the album What Was Once Is By And Gone, which dropped on November 3 via Fat Wreck Chords.  The album follows 2015’s SISU.

Listen to the song below.

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The Swingin’ Utters Announce Best Of Compilation

Swingin UttersLong running punk act The Swingin’ Utters has announced the released of a greatest hits compilation.  The thirty three song disc will be titled Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun and is set to drop via their long time home, Fat Wreck Chords, on December 8, 2017.

Full track listing and pre-orders can be found here.

PEARS And Direct Hit! Release Split Album ‘Human Movement’

Direct HitFat Wreck Chords have released Human Movement, the brand new split album from Direct Hit! and PEARS. The twelve track album features five new songs from each band, plus one cover of their counterpart’s material. Human Movement is now available on CD, vinyl and digital formats, the album can also be downloaded and streamed via the Fat Wreck Chords Bandcamp.

Human Movement can be ordered via Fat Wreck Chords here and via Bandcamp here 

You can watch the Human Movement video, featuring one track from each band, below Read More…

Darius Koski

Darius Koski

What Once Was Is By And Gone

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Darius Koski of Swingin’ Utter fame surprised the punk world with Sisu, his impressive solo debut.  Flavoured with twangy folk-punk ranging from boppity country to the essence of brooding gothic folk-punk, Koski has an uncanny knack for keeping listeners on their toes.  For his follow-up release, What Once Was Is By And Gone, Koski takes a deep plunge into the lesser known, making for some wholly unexpected and fairly unique songs.  One moment he’s channelling Johnny Cash, and the next Tom Waits.  Koski is confident in his risk taking, and the result is unlike anything else on the Fat Wreck Chords roster.

But before we delve into the less conventional side of things, it’s worth noting that What Once Was Is By And Gone still offers many songs in line with Koski’s previous effort.  Opener “Black Sheep” offers the familiar casual twang running through Koski’s country tracks, with “Because He’s Beautiful” building up to a trot with a little more of that full bodied guitar punch and “Yes I Believe” featuring a big ol’ upright bass leaning heavily on rockabilly for inspiration.  “Dead End Days” and “Little Johnny” could even pass as stripped down versions of Swingin’ Utters b-sides.  Collectively, there’s a small EP worth of familiar sounds drawing comparisons with Larry & His Flask and Greenland Is Melting spaced throughout the album.  This ensures that regardless of how far Koski strays, he always veers back to safety.

And does he ever stray. Moments after “Black Sheep” Koski launches into “Old Bones,” a stripped down organ and acoustic guitar piece with a soft piano crescendo that can only be described as delicate.  Quiet, personal, and reflective, Koski exudes a humbleness seldom explored by any punk frontman’s solo endeavors.  “Stay With Me” ventures further down the rabbit hole in a song best understood as a serenade.  From the ghostly opening whistle, to the sorrowful violin and enchanting female accompaniment, the song evokes blissful emotions most suited for a private waltz amongst lovers.  These are words and associations I never imagined I would make with Koski, and bare little resemblance to anything in my music library.  Perhaps the oddest inclusion lies in the three minute instrumental intermission, “Soap Opera.”  Almost entirely piano driven, the track matches its moniker, and could perhaps serve as an opening theme to a psychological thriller set in a 1930’s manor house.  Heck, it’s cinematic feel could probably fit snuggly somewhere in an episode of Downton Abbey.  

What Once Was Is By And Gone is an unexpected listen.  It’s one of those Fat Wreck Chords releases that you might have a hard time envisioning Fat Mike blasting in his decked out van.  But that shouldn’t shy Koski’s core fanbase from taking note.  Darius Koski has really put himself out there in a unique and unconventional way, and for the most part, it works.  While a few tracks, like the hazy washed out take on 60’s psychedelia ”Imitation Tala,” are less memorable, the album is a respectable grower that reveals subtle nuances with each passing listen.  Given that Swingin’ Utters fans are probably at a place in their life where they will accept these curiosities, What Once Was Is By And Gone is an album that Koski’s fans may have not known they were waiting for.  So go ahead, take the plunge, your curiosity will be rewarded.

Direct Hit! And PEARS Premiere Covers From Upcoming Split

Direct HitMilwaukee punk band Direct Hit! and labelmate PEARS have premiered two new songs, each a cover of a song from the other band.  The songs include “The World Is Ending (Sorta)” and “You’re Boring,” with both appearing on their upcoming split, Human Movement, which is set to drop on November 3, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords

Stream the songs below.

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PEARS Announce November UK Tour With Rise Against

Direct HitIn their short history PEARS have released two full-lengths, both on Fat Wreck Chords, and have played far and wide, including Australia and Chicago Riot Fest, now PEARS have announced they are opening for Rise Against on their UK tour this November. The band will also be releasing a split album, Human Movement, on November 3rd with Direct Hit via Fat Wreck Chords.

You can pre-order Human Movement via Fat Wreck Chords here

You can view PEARS UK tour dates with Rise Against, and the video for Green Star, below Read More…

The Last Gang Sign With Fat Wreck Chords

The Last GangThe Last Gang has signed on with the good folks at Fat Wreck Chords.  The Orange County band will release a two-song 7-inch entitled Sing for your Supper on December 8, 2017. 

 Pre-orders are live.  Details for the band next full length are expected to follow shortly.

Darius Koski – Black Sheep

Darius KoskiDarius Koski (Swingin’ Utters) is streaming a new song from his upcoming sophomore solo album.  The track is titled “Black Sheep” and appears on the album What Was Once Is By And Gone, which is set to drop on November 3 via Fat Wreck Chords.  The album follows 2015’s SISU.

Listen to the song below.

Read More…

Direct Hit! And PEARS Premiere Shared Music Video

Direct HitMilwaukee punk band Direct Hit! and labelmate PEARS have premiered a shared two-part music video for the songs “Blood on Your Tongue” and “Arduous Angel,” which will both appear on their upcoming split, Human Movement, which is set to drop on November 3, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords

Watch the video below.

The album features 12 songs, and is composed of 5 new tracks per band, and a reciprocal cover of from each band.

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The Lillingtons Stream New LP In Full

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) Lills - Stella SapienteLong running pop-punk act The Lillingtons have premiered a full stream of their new album Stella Sapiente, which is set to drop on October 13, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords. The band released their Project 313 EP through Red Scare Industries earlier this year.

Listen to the album here, and be sure to check out our full review.

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) Lills - Stella Sapiente

The Lillingtons

Stella Sapiente

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

It was surprising when Wyoming pop-punk legends The Lillingtons emerged from hiatus and gave us their first new EP in a decade, Project 313.  It was even more surprising when they announced barely a month later that they would be following the EP with a brand new full length.  But it was outright shocking that after years of pestering the band, Fat Mike finally convinced the band to sign with Fat Wreck Chords for their first new full length in a decade.  But the cherry on top was that the new record, Stella Sapiente, would be a shadowy concept album of epic proportions.  

Now The Lillingtons are far from strangers to concept albums, but their most notable work has primarily channelled their traditionalist pop-punk foundation (think heavy Ramones influence) into themes of retro science fiction (Death By Television, heralded by Fat Mike as one of the best pop punk albums of all time), espionage (Backchannel Broadcast), and 2:00am TV watching sessions dominated by black and white serialized re-runs (The Too Late Show).  Stella Sapiente completely reinvents the musical style typically associated with the pop-punk band, instead opting for a dark, brooding atmosphere in line with the press release’s claim that the album is “centered around secret societies, astrology, and the occult.”  A fitting reality considering that the album was recorded in total secrecy.

Kody Templeman’s unmistakable vocalizations as well as the tendency to revert to simplistic chord structures remain the marked strand of continuity binding the project together – but the rest is new territory.  This becomes immediately apparent for during opener “Golden Dawn / Knights Templar,” which includes a full minute of swelling instrumental intensification that places distortion, drenched and idling in reverb, at the fore.  These are not your typical three chord pop-punk ditties, but rather something you’d expect to find amidst the moodiest tracks from horror-punk projects like The Rosedales, Nim Vind, or Blitzkid.  “We were chosen by God’s own hand, sent on a mission to the holy land, wanted to kill everything that got in our way,” sings Templeman as they launch into semi-historical lore of ancient societies that took guarded secrets with them to the grave.  Likewise, an eerie array of astral chords and production effects lead “Night Visions” and “Cult of Dragon” to conjure images of shadowy robed figures and high priests conspiring amidst concealed catacombs.  There’s a haunting quality that absolutely envelopes listeners into the vivid world of which The Lillingtons have given birth.

But this isn’t to say that the album is completely unrecognizable from past works.  The Lillingtons tend to wedge a few more “classic” takes between the more ambient offerings.  For instance, the stringy pop-punk chords of “Insect Nightmares” and “K6” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on “The Too Late Show,” and “They Live” ups the tempo for some fast paced Ramones-esque speed.  While lyrically still extensions of Stella Sapiente, these tracks tend to align more predictably with bands like The Riverdales and Teenage Bottle Rocket.  In other words, Stella Sapiente finds balance even amidst The Lillingtons’ unexpected ambitions.

“Unexpected” may be the most appropriate word to describe Stella Sapiente.  It only took one listen to “get” what The Lillingtons were going for, but no press release or print synopsis could have braced me for what I would find in Stella Sapiente.  Stella Sapiente may not be the album we were all expecting, but that’s only because we had no way of understanding what The Lillingtons were brewing deep within those private recording catacombs.  When all is said and done, Stella Sapiente is a landmark album by one of pop-punk’s best kept secrets, and one that may finally see The Lillingtons emerge from the nostalgic shadow of Death By Television with an entirely different legacy.

Tours: Teenage Bottlerocket

Teenage BottlerocketWyoming pop punk powerhouse Teenage Bottlerocket will be heading on tour in Australia in late September and early October.  The band continues to support their latest album, Stealing the Covers, which hit the streets on July 14, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Tour dates are below.

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The Lillingtons Announce New LP; Stream First Track

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) Lills - Stella SapienteLong running pop-punk act The Lillingtons have announced plans for their long awaited new LP.  The disc will be titled Stella Sapiente and is set to drop on October 13, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords. The band released their Project 313 EP through Red Scare Industries earlier this year.

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

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No Use For A Name Stream New Rarities Album In Full

No Use For A NameFat Wreck Chords is streaming No Use For A Name‘s covers compilation album.  The disc features non-album tracks and holds the title Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers, and dropped last week.

Listen to the full disc below.

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Video: The Bombpops – Be Sweet

California female fronted melodic punks The Bombpops have premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Be Sweet” and is lifted from their new LP, Fear Of Missing Out, which dropped last February via Fat Wreck Chords.

Watch the video below.

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Video: Western Addiction – Honeycreeper

Western AddictionWestern Addiction has premiered a new music video for the song “Honeycreeper.”  The track is lifted from their new album, Tremulous, which dropped on March 10, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords.  The disc was produced by Joey Cape and mixed by Matt Bayles. 

Watch the video below.

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Teenage Bottlerocket

Teenage Bottlerocket

Stealing The Covers

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Teenage Bottlerocket are known for their fast paced Ramones inspired pop-punk.  The Wyoming based band has never claimed to be particularly innovative, but they’ve garnered quite the reputation for their endless enthusiasm and tongue-in-cheek humour.  Given that their latest effort, Stealing the Covers, is a covers album, it would be easy to dismiss the band as playing to that reputation.  But a closer look reveals that Under The Covers is actually premised on fairly original grounds.  These aren’t Me First & The Gimme Gimmes style radio hits, rather, the band has opted to shine the spotlight on lesser known acts that never made it big, but were a healthy part of the pop-punk underground (described as “obscure and unsigned” on their label’s website) over the last ten or fifteen years.

The result is a collection of cover songs that feel more like a disc of original material – or carefully curated mixtape – if you’re not an absolute diehard of the Laramie pop-punk scene.  While I was familiar with a handful of the band names on the compilation, I was surprised how many songs I was hearing for the first time.  It’s clear that the band chose these songs because of how compatible they were with Teenage Bottlerocket’s fun loving nature.  The first three tracks, Varsity Weirdos’ “The Way I Know,” Hollywood Blonde’s “Back and Forth” and Juke’s “College Town” each channel the prototypical, quick tempoed pop-punk that waffles back and forth between uppity toe tapping ditty and catchy, chorus heavy repetition.  Other covers from bands like HEAD, The Gullibles, and The Mugwumps also make their mark.  The difference is that while most of Teenage Bottlerocket’s songs tend to share overarching similarities (ie. comparable chord structures), these covers all present slightly uniquenesses that actually make Stealing The Covers one of the Wyoming quartet’s most diverse in nature.

Some of the best album highlights stand out due to the one two punch of unique sonic footprints and original lyrics.  The first big standout comes in the form of Sprocket Nova’s “Robocop is a Halfbreed Sellout.”  If you find yourself wondering, “Nova who?”, you’re not alone.  I honestly had never heard of this project, but a quick google search turns up a free download of the original song and album.  Given that the song plays like a nerdy Nerf Herder tune meets The Network’s synth, it should be an instant download.  The same Nerf Herder-y comparison can be made with The Four Eyes’ “Hat Nerd,” a song about that friend who sports a hat for every occasion.  While in the habit of dropping notable comparison, I also was surprised that “It Came From The Radio” was not in fact an unreleased track by related TV themed pop-punkers The Lillingtons, but rather originates from an band unbeknownst to be, The Blendours.  Simply put, it’s an absolute blast.

The album ends with a curious take on “a bear walks into a bar” (“Why The Big Pause”) joke that was originally given the melodic pop-punk treatment by The Punchlines.  It’s the perfect ending for an incredibly fun album, and Teenage Bottlerocket once again make it sound entirely their own.  Stealing The Covers is remarkably coherent for a collection of covers, and will naturally find a long term place in the Teenage Bottlerocket discography.

Tours: The Real McKenzies (Europe)

the-real-mckenziesLong running Celtic punk greats The Real McKenzies will be heading out for a European tour this Summer.  The band continues to support their new album, Two Devils Will Talk, which dropped back in March via Fat Wreck Chords (US) and Stomp Records (CAN).

Tour dates are below.

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Video: Teenage Bottlerocket – Why The Big Pause (The Punchlines Cover)

Teenage BottlerocketWyoming pop punk powerhouse Teenage Bottlerocket has premiered a new music video.  The video features the a cover of The Punchlines’ “Why the Big Pause,” which is set to appear on their upcoming, Stealing the Covers which will hit the streets on July 14, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Watch the video below.

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The Lillingtons (Finally) Sign To Fat Wreck Chords

The LillingtonsLong running pop-punk act The Lillingtons have signed on with Fat Wreck Chords.  The band plans to release a new album, which was recorded at The Blasting Room, later this year.  The band released their Project 313 EP through Red Scare Industries earlier this year.

The signing comes after many years of explicit adoration from Fat Wreck Chords towards the band, but which up until now was never successful at landing the band on the label’s iconic roster.  Looks like patience and persistence have payed off for the label.

Tours: Get Dead (Europe)

Get DeadGet Dead has announced that they will be embarking on a tour of the UK and Europe for the bulk of September and August.  The band will be supporting their latest full length, Honesty Lives Elsewhere which dropped last year on Fat Wreck Chords.

Tour dates are below.

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Tours: Useless ID (Europe)

Useless IDIsraeli pop-punk act Useless ID has announced that they will be touring Europe this Summer.  The band continues to support their new album, State Is Burning, which dropped back in July 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Tour listings are below.

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No Use For A Name Cover Compilation Announced

No Use For A NameFat Wreck Chords has announced the release of a No Use For A Name covers compilation album.  The disc features non-album tracks and holds the title Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers, and is due out on August 11, 2017.

Track listing is below.

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Face To Face Perform Live Session

Face To FaceFace To Face recently stopped by Paste Magazine for a quick live session.  Songs include “Keep Your Chin Up,” “Burden,” and “A-Ok”.  The band continues to support their 2016 Fat Wreck Chords release, Protection.  

Watch the full session below.

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Bad Cop/Bad Cop Announce New LP; Stream First Track

Bad Cop Bad CopLA pop-punk act Bad Cop Bad Cop has announced details for their next full length.  The disc will be titled Warriors and is set to drop on uno 16, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords, following their 2015 full length, Not Sorry.

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

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Video: Face To Face – Say What You Want

Face To FaceFace To Face has premiered a music video from their 2016 Fat Wreck Chords release.  The album is titled Protection and and was released back in March.  The album was recorded at The Blasting Room and produced by Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore.

Watch the video for “Say What You Want” below.

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Stream New Album From Me First & The Gimme Gimmes

Basic CMYKPunk cover act Me First & The Gimme Gimmes is streaming their latest release, Rake It In: The Greatest Hits, which dropped last week on April 7, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords.  

Listen to the disc below.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes consist of Lagwagon‘s Joey Cape, Chris Shiflett on the other guitar, Lagwagon drummer Dave Raun, and NOFX front man Fat Mike, along with Spike Slawson.

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The Dirty Nil – Caroline

The Dirty NilDundas, Ontario punk act The Dirty Nil has premiered a re-recorded version of their song “Caroline.”  The song will appear on the upcoming compilation album, Minimum R&B, which is set to release on April 28, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords (US) Dine Alone Records (CAN).

Listen to the song below.

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Frenzal Rhomb Detail New LP

frenzal hi viz cover.cdrAustralian punkers Frenzal Rhomb have announced details for their next full length.  The disc will be titled Hi-Vis High Tea and is set to be released on May 26, 2017 via Fat Wreck Chords.  The disc was recorded by Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag) and Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room.

Pre-orders are live.

the-real-mckenzies

The Real McKenzies

Two Devils Will Talk

STOMP Records (CAN) / Fat Wreck Chords (US)
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

What can I say about The Real McKenzies that hasn’t been said before?  The roughneck Vancouver-based crew of Celtic misfits have been an undeniable force in the global punk scene since the early 90’s and continue to build on their legacy with each passing album and release.  Their latest full length, Two Devils Will Talk, continues the brash bagpipe-meets-punk-rock formula that the band remains best known for.

Paul McKenzie’s unmistakable vocal presence sounds as weathered and energetic as ever, enhanced by a rasp bestowed by a lengthy career and the passage of time.  “We’ll march and we’ll never falter, side by side we’ll sing our song, let’s have a cheer for our fallen brethren, through us they will never die,” belts the band in a whiskey-drenched choral cry, reflecting The Real McKenzies’ stubborn, undying drive.  “Due West” launches into a quick-landing tempo that persists through the lion’s share of Two Devils Will Talk’s.  Make no mistake, Two Devils Will Talk is a quick and rambunctious beast, seldom pausing to catch its breath.  “Weyburn” and “One Day” further join in on the excitement, hammering through chorus and verse with a quick-paced melodic drive that is every bit as singable as it is sonically agile.  Later offerings like “Pedal,” “The Town” and “The Comeback” follow suit, with the latter trumpeting some seriously speedy riffs embodying the track’s message of resistance and longevity.  In terms of outright style, the disc feels markedly more Flatfoot 56 than Flogging Molly.  In other words, this time around, there is an undeniable punk-rock presence leading at the helm.

It isn’t until the hearty, wayward tune “Seafarers” that the boys embark on a mid-tempo adventure onto the high seas.  A classic Real McKenzies excursion chronicling a crew narrowly defying disaster.   Likewise, the nostalgic Stan Rogers Canadian acepella classic “Northwest Passage” marks a rare and powerful vocal-exclusive moment reminiscent of The Dreadnoughts, before transforming the colonial tale of “discovery” into a full-on punk tune.  It’s a great rendition of the song, even if the track’s romanticized view of colonial history has long since been challenged by historical scholarship.

As always, The Real McKenzies deliver a prime example of the fun to be had in the raucous world of Celtic punk.  Two Devils Will Talk reinforces that the sands of time have done little to dull The Real Mckenzies sharp edge.  While the album doesn’t necessarily differentiate itself from the band’s discography, Two Devils Will Talk is a case where more of the same is more than welcome when the product is so well founded.  Another worthwhile and entertaining offering by one of Celtic punk’s finest.