Get Dead

Get Dead

Honesty Lives Elsewhere

Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 4/5




The release of Bad News really framed San Francisco punk act Get Dead’s hybrid acoustic style as a natural addition to the Fat Wreck Chords family.  The classic Against Me! twang and Swingin’ Utters gruffness offered up a safe and exhilarating take on what fans have come to expect.  Branching out into the realm of plugged-in tunes was a gamble that paid off in spades, and couldn’t have been a more suitable next step.  Now moving into their fourth full length, Honesty Lives Elsewhere, Get Dead continues exploring the redefinition they embarked upon a couple short years earlier.

The band frames Honestly Lives Elsewhere as a plugged-in affair from the get go, opening the album on a particularly anthemic, chorus-driven note.  “Silence” is big and brash with plenty of high flying riffs and even an attitude-laden, razor tipped guitar solo during the final bridge.  Vocalist Sam King’s whiskey soaked vocals are a shoe in for this roughneck style, tarnishing the underlying melody in the best of ways as he weaves through chorus and verse with the aggressive rapid-fire assertion that, “after all the violence, you’ll finally meet the end.”  Drawing upon the track’s title, the band pauses strategically, emphasizing effect through the power of absence.  As if to reassure listeners of their roots, “Choke” flies open with the jangle of acoustic strings, bolstered by organ keys, sparingly interspersed plugged-in chords, and a steady rhythm that feels every bit as full bodied as it’s full-band neighbour.

The best of the bunch tend to blur the lines, challenging listeners with the question of whether they’re listening to an acoustic or plugged in track.  For instance, “Cliffs” straddles the line with the sort of expert twang that should excite old timers in the clear likeness to As The Eternal Cowboy-era Against Me!.  Meanwhile, the jovial approach and uppity tempo of “Copper To Gold” and “Keep Rowing, Stupid” are indebted to the undying spirit of Swingin’ Utters, while the pure acoustic-piano showpiece “Ordnance” draws upon the dimly lit, late dives fueling Lawrence Arms front man Chris McCaughan’s Sundowner.

Also worth nothing this time around, is that Honesty Lives Elsewhere’s content feels less “dire” than Bad News.  Whereas Bad News made light of some pretty dark personal topics, Honesty Lives Elsewhere takes a lighter approach, dealing with less self destruction, and more of sifting through the results of circumstance.  While on surface level a minor change, the lighter substance actually makes Honestly Lives Elsewhere more conducive than its predecessor to a casual and more frequent listen.

If Honesty Lives Here makes one thing clear, it’s that Get Dead has heart.  The band revisits the the classic stripped-down and built back up punk-rock performance of various underground icons from the past twenty years as if it were their own.  Once again, listeners won’t find tons of originality at hand (even with the band steadily expanding its breadth of sounds), but the execution and result satisfies without reserve.  Honesty Lives Here serves as a healthy reminder that you needn’t reinvent the wheel when the ride is already this smooth – and that’s the honest truth.

Tours: Mean Jeans / Melted

mean jeans for punk siteMean Jeans will be heading on tour this October with Melted in support of their latest LP, Tight New Dimension, released via Fat Wreck Chords back in April.

Tour dates are below.

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Chixdiggit! Stream Single-Song Album ‘2012’

Chixdiggit!Long running Canadian pop-punkers Chixdiggit! have premiered a stream of their upcoming LP, 2012, which is due out September 16, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.  

The album is comprised of a single, twenty-four minute track from which the album gets it’s name.  Stream the album below.

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Video: NOFX – Oxy Moronic

NOFXNOFX has teamed up with Funny Or Die for the premiere of a brand new music video.  The video features the song ”  The disc will be titled First Ditch Effort and will drop on October 7, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Watch the video below.

Read More…

Video: Useless ID – We Don’t Want The Airwaves

Useless IDIsraeli pop-punk act Useless ID has premiered a music video for the song “We Don’t Want The Airwaves.” The track is lifted from their new album, State Is Burning, which is due out July 1, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Watch the video below.

Read More…

NOFX Announces New Album; Streams New Song

NOFXNOFX has quietly announced details for their next full length.  The disc will be titled First Ditch Effort and will drop on October 7, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

The first track from the record and cautionary tale of a self destructive habits, “Six Years On Dope,” can be heard below.

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Lagwagon Tour

Lagwagon / Useless ID / Versus The World

Club Academy, Manchester, UK

19th July 2016

Rating: 4/5




Lagwagon 2016Summer has made it’s belated arrival in Manchester as Lagwagon, Useless ID and Versus The World roll into town, it’s hitting boiling point in the city and everyone has spilled outside the pubs and bars that populate the area, regardless of this temptation we are headed into Club Academy. Thankfully the venue lies in the basement of the University, which at least offers some respite from the heat. The music being played prior to the first band seems to be an odd choice, we get a selection of 70s and 80s disco, but to hear a, slightly drunk, member of the early evening crowd hollering It’s Raining Men almost makes it tolerable… almost. 

Versus The World 2016Versus The World, the only band on tonight’s bill who aren’t signed to Fat Wreck Chords, open tonight’s proceedings, sadly they open to a sparse crowd. Versus The World, whose line up includes members of Lagwagon, The Ataris and Antifreeze, play their set regardless and they start to bring in a few stragglers. The Californian five piece play their hard edged variety of pop punk to those who have forsaken the early evening sunshine. Versus The World play an energetic set that is a fine opening to tonight’s show, whilst their sound may not be original concept it is delivered with an admirable level of commitment and enthusiasm.

Useless ID July 2016Prior to Useless ID taking the stage the random selection of music continues, for some reason we get treated to Lynard Skynard‘s Freebird before Useless ID take the stage. Useless ID are touring in support of their impressive, and in my opinion their best album to date, State Is Burning. The Israeli quartet wake up the venue with their intense brand of melodic hardcore, they play a set that, whilst mainly culled from their latest release, is interspersed with a selection of songs from their past glories. Apparently Manchester is as “hot as Haifa” tonight, despite this Useless ID play a energetic set in the now oppressive heat.

The harmonies that inhabit their material areUseless ID July 2016 present live, and everything about this band just screams commitment, impressively they sound even better live, and believe me I loved State Is Burning. Useless ID leave the stage and you can see the sweat dripping from the microphone which underlines just how much they’ve put into tonight’s short set. The only issue I have with Useless ID tonight is that their set just isn’t long enough, a band of this calibre deserve more than half an hour, and their set is over in an impressive, but all too short instant. On the basis of tonight I would recommend catching Useless ID live if you get the chance.

Lagwagon 2016The crowd has swelled during Useless ID‘s set, whilst by no means sold out the Club Academy now has a healthy and enthusiastic crowd that are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Lagwagon. The Bonanza theme tune rings out from the PA and this signals that their arrival is imminent, tonight they are playing their classic Hoss album in full. A small but enthusiastic mosh pit immediately forms, and more impressively remains in place throughout the set. Even the Californian’s are struggling with tonight’s unrelenting heat, Joey Cape informs us that this is the hottest stage that Lagwagon have ever encountered in the UK.

WhilstLagwagon July 2016 the crowd tonight is smaller than Lagwagon are used to playing to, I doubt they’ll encounter a more dedicated crowd on this tour, the mosh pit expands throughout the set until it occupies most of  the floor, with sweaty die hard fans throwing themselves around with admirable abandon. Once Hoss has been played in full we get a crowd pleasing encore or two including two of my favourite Lagwagon songs, May 16, and Falling Apart. What really comes across during Lagwagon‘s set is that they clearly love what they’re doing, this is just as well as they have now been around for more than a quarter of a century.

Lagwagon 2016On the hottest day of the year in Manchester, in a venue that resembles a building site, where the main bar was shut and despite the truly awful selection of songs inbetween the bands, a respectable crowd still attended on what was a very close, sweaty and humid night. For those who opted for an evening outside the pub and a few cold beers instead of attending tonight’s show, I understand your reasoning, but you made the wrong choice. There’s nowhere I would have rather been in Manchester tonight, although I will admit that some air conditioning would have been a welcome addition.

Lagwagon 2016You can visit the Versus The World bandcamp here and their facebook page here

You can visit Useless ID‘s website here and order the State Is Burning LP here

You can visit Lagwagon‘s website here and order the Hang LP here

You can visit Fat Wreck Chords here and  Kung Fu Records here

Photography is by Dean Unsworth, he will be launching his website soon, you can visit his Instagram account here

You can read‘s reviews of  Versus The World‘s Homesick/Roadsick LP here, Useless ID‘s State Is Burning LP here and Lagwagon‘s Hang LP  here

Toy Guitar Details New EP

Toy guitarSan Francisco punk act ToyGuitar has has announced plans for a new EP on Fat Wreck Chords.  The EP will be titled Like A Ghost and is set to drop on September 2, 2016.  The band released their twelve-song full-length, In This Mess, back in 2015.  

Full details can be found here.

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 October.  The band will be supporting their upcoming full length, Honesty Lives Elsewhere which is set to drop on Fat Wreck Chords on July 29, 2016.

Tour dates are below.

Read More…

Useless ID

Useless ID

State Is Burning

Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 4.5/5




I’ve made no secret and offered no apologies for my lukewarm enthusiasm towards Israeli punk mainstays Useless ID.  Their efforts have always struck me more as a love letter to the punk bands of the early 90’s – Bad Religion, The Descendents, No Use For A Name, NOFX – than an original spark.  More like mechanical re-creations of Tony Sly’s legacy than original works standing the test of time.  But in their twentieth year as a unit, and with the release of their eighth full length, State Is Burning, the band is forcing me to change my tune.

State Is Burning is Useless ID’s most passionate and genuine output – ever.  The twelve-track record is unquestionably the quartet’s masterwork and will be remembered as their lasting contribution to the punk scene.  In other words, I’m hooked and will be listening to State Is Burning for decades to come.

As for what made for such a powerful shift? Unrestrained passion – the type front man Yotam Ben-Horin explored previously in his recent acoustic adventure, but this time plugged in, unapologetic, and in your face.

State Is Burning aspires to the days of sub-thirty minute classics that trim the fat and concisely play to the bare essentials.  While Useless ID had a bad habit of letting repetition get the best of them, not a single chorus or verse on State Is Burning outstays its welcome.  For instance, opener “Land of Idiocracy” rattles through a barrage of jarring riffs and melodic chorus in a mere 59 seconds, but feels more complete and purposeful than past songs three or four times that length (and that’s not even the shortest track).  Accelerating at a breakneck pace with the rumbling bass and vicious snapping of drummer Gideon Berger, follow up “Stopwatch” sets up State Is Burning as a passionate political statement, moving from throaty roar to articulate mission statement characteristic of similarly aggressive Bad Religion tunes. 

The beauty of State Is Burning can be summed up in songs like “Creation” and “Genetic.”  “Creation” finds a catchy beat and assults it from every angle.  Melodic at its core, the band weaves through tempo shifts, belted choruses, full-on instrumental retreat and the type of “woa-oah” accompaniment that moves an audience to its feet. Likewise, “Genetic” barrels forth unapologetically, fueled by resentment and distrust, and culminating in an instrumental climax unlike anything else State Is Burning has to offer.  Others like “Without A Choice” thrive on angular riffs, a la The Descendents, and even classically Useless ID tracks like “Nightshift” thrive in the context of the album. “Detune” captures the magic of Lagwagon in a slow moving, dampened intro that viciously explodes into a masterful whirlwind of Joey Cape and Fat Mike.  And of course, be sure to check out the nifty little ode to the Ramones, “We Don’t Want The Airwaves,” (which made a recent appearance on an EP of the same name) for a little something on the lighter side.  That’s right, no filler here folks, just track after track of new surprises.

While the aforementioned influences have always served as a guiding light for Uesless ID, they’ve typically felt, impressionistic  – that is until now. State Is Burning frames Useless ID as the punk rock powerhouse they’ve always aspired to be.  With fire in their veins and fists raised to the sky, even naysayers can’t deny this passionate display from newly crowned punk rock royalty.  Consider me a convert.

Chixdiggit! Announce New Album With Featuring Longest Punk Song Ever

Chixdiggit!Calgary pop-punk veterans Chixdiggit! have announced plans for a very unique next album.  The album will be the band’s first full length since 2007.  The album, entitled 2012, promises a unique premise unlike anything the band has tackled prior.  According to the press release:

“2012 is no ordinary Chixdiggit! album; in fact, it’s comprised of the longest punk song ever recorded, clocking in at just under 25 minutes. Highlighting a full year of the band on tour, it’s as if you, the listener, are Chixdiggit’s roadie. You are right there with them, around the world and back again, except without all the heavy lifting.”

The single track disc is set to drop on September 16, 2016 via their home on Fat Wreck Chords.

Useless ID SIB

Useless ID

State Is Burning

Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 4/5




Useless ID have now been with us for more than two decades, the quartet formed in Haifa, Israel and despite two decades of touring and recording they have managed to retain two of the original members, lead vocalist and bassist Yotam Ben-Horin and lead guitarist Ishay Berger, who alongside Gideon Berger, the younger and noisier brother of their lead guitarist, on drums and Guy Carmel, rhythm guitarmake up the current line up. State Is Burning is their eighth studio album and their second for Fat Wreck Chords, State Is Burning follows on their Fat Wreck debut, 2012’s Symptoms.

Useless ID SIB 2State is Burning opens with Land Of Idiocracy, this is a hell of a mission statement and this bleeds into Stopwatch, it becomes clear from the outset that this is Useless ID‘s hardest hitting album to date. There’s a greater sense of urgency and anger present than on their previous albums, whilst there is a pop punk element to their music this is now firmly on the back burner and a melodic hardcore approach has taken the lead, there are even tracks on here that burn with undiluted hardcore fury.

The title track is one of the stand out tracks, and very timely given the state of politics pretty much everywhere in the world, my other personal highlight is the single that preceded this release, We Don’t Want The Airwaves, a near perfect slice of punk with more than a knowing nod to The Ramones. Let’s make no bones about this, this is Useless ID‘s best album to date. This is an album that has something for anyone who loves their punk rock, this album encompasses all the strands of our beloved genre, from old school punk rock through to hardcore all the while maintaining their trademark sound and style, albeit a more heavyweight version than we’ve previously encountered. Useless ID are a band who are clearly fuelled by global politics and the stupidity and ineptitude of those who wield power, this is not only a great album, it is one that is completely relevant to the current state of the world, the state is indeed burning and now the turmoil has a soundtrack

State Is Burning can be ordered for download and on CD, vinyl and coloured vinyl from Fat Wreck Chords here

Useless ID Full Album Stream

Useless IDIsraeli pop-punk act Useless ID has premiered a full stream of their upcoming new album, State Is Burning, which is due out July 1, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Listen to the album here courtesy For The Love Of Punk.  Watch for our full review in the days ahead.


Mild In The Streets

Fat Wreck Chords

Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged

Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 4.5/5




Who doesn’t love a Fat Wreck Chords compilation, they were a great way to hear new bands, and tracks from upcoming releases, for next to no money, as a bonus there were always a few exclusive tracks thrown into the mix. Along with Epitaph Records Punk-O-Rama series they were responsible for introducing a new generation of fans to some amazing bands. This time round things have changed as this compilation has been done with a different approach, Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged is, in case you hadn’t guessed, a collection of songs from bands and singers from the Fat Wreck Chords stable who have traded in their amplifiers and distortion pedals for acoustic guitars.

This sixteen track compilation is a lengthy affair and content is so varied that you can’t summarise the album, so i’m going to a whistle stop tour of Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged. Tony Sly, of No Use For A Name, opens the album with a soulful piano led version of Under The Garden and The Swingin’ Utters deliver an excellent foottapping country version of Fruitless Fortunes featuring slap bass and violin. Stacey Dee delivers a melancholy number, Everything Is Beautiful, this is one of the songs that is exclusive to this album and to anyone familiar with Bad Cop/Bad Cop this number will come as something of a surprise, this is juxtaposed against Sam Sadowski, of Closet Friends, who delivers some sore throated acoustic blues.

Going acoustic won’t come as a surprise from everyone on this compilation, for Old Man Markley it’s practically second nature, they deliver a mellower version of Guts ‘N Teeth. For others the acoustic approach doesn’t change anything apart from the volume, it clearly doesn’t matter if you take Anti-Flag’s electric guitars away as they remain as angry and political as ever, Israeli punks Useless ID retain their own sound, they keep the character of their hard edged pop punk intact and Matt Skiba delivers a sinister version of Alkaline Trio‘s Continental. Karine Denike bring a touch of fifties glamour to proceedings, this couldn’t be further away from the Dance Hall Crashers upbeat ska if it tried and Get Dead deliver some stripped down punk rock

We’re on the final leg of the tour now, Lagwagon‘s Joey Cape delivers a mellow acoustic number, American Steel bring some upbeat acoustica that features a mournful accordion break and Laura Jane Grace brings a great number that carries a restrained version of the fury that inhabits Against Me‘s output. The closing trilogy of songs continue to deliver, Russ Rankin brings us a heartrending tale of the loneliness of the road and the toll it takes on relationships, Uke-Hunt do a cover of Olivia Newton John‘s Xanadu, this is rather excellent, like an unplugged Me First And the Gimme Gimmes, and for it’s grand finale the album ends with an epic symphonic version of one of my favourite NOFX tunes, The Decline, personally I wish Fat Mike had done vocals over this rather than just an instrumental but it’s a faithful and bombastic end to an excellent compilation.

Compilations are usually a mixed bag but there is little to dislike on here, the versions are all original and unique takes on songs we have come to know and love, the original tracks don’t feel like they were ideas that were rescued from the wastepaper bin. This, as with every other Fat Wreck Chords compilation, is an essential purchase, if you’re a fan of any of the bands that appear on here I doubt that you’ll be disappointed with new versions or the original material. Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged brings something new to the table on almost every track, the album spans so many genres and styles that it never gets dull, buy this and mellow out for an hour or so.

Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged is available for download and on CD, Vinyl and Coloured vinyl here

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.  

Useless ID – State Is Burning

Useless IDIsraeli pop-punk act Useless ID has premiered a new song.  The track is titled “Land Of Idiocy” and comes from their upcoming new album, State Is Burning, which is due out July 1, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Listen to the song below.

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Tours: Lagwagon / Useless ID / Versus The World

lagwagonLagwagon will be touring Europe alongside Useless ID and Versus The World this July and August. Useless ID will be supporting their upcoming full-length, State is Burning, which is set to drop on July 1, 2016. 

Tour dates are below.

Read More…

Get Dead Detail New LP; Stream First Track

Get DeadGet Dead has announced plans for their next full-length.  The disc will be titled Honesty Lives Elsewhere and is set to drop on July 29, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords. Vocalist Sam King build the hype:

“We are extremely proud of this new record. We got to work with a bunch of our friends again as well as some new ones. Josh Garcia once again gave up his sleep and sanity to orchestrate the chaos. Fat Mike returned to help produce it and contribute to some late night psychotic behavior. We had Miles from toyGuitar play some instruments that we can’t pronounce and Joey from OMM come through and bless us with some world class piano playing. It’s a fast, fun record and we can’t wait to unleash it.

We will be kicking things off in Japan at the beginning of August. Then a greater West Coast tour in mid-August before we head out to the East Coast. From there it’ll be Spain, UK and a grip of European shows, ending back in Florida for The Fest! We will have a few naps, then it’s off to Australia!”

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

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mean jeans TND

Mean Jeans

Tight New Dimension

Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 5/5




A short while ago I had the privilege of reviewing Mean Jeans first release for Fat Wreck Chords and I was blown away, five star reviews are a rare thing but the Nite Vision EP deserved it as it was one of best slices of punk rock I’ve heard this year. A great single is one thing, but can they follow it up with a whole album that delivers the same relentless energy? the short answer is yes, but that wouldn’t be much of a review.

This is Mean Jeans third album and their first album for Fat Wreck Chords, it opens with the high energy Long Dumb Road and you couldn’t want a better metaphor for this band, except possibly to call it short dumb road as this is twelve brief bursts of party themed punk rock. The majority of the songs on Tight new Dimension are under two minutes in length and the only fault I can think of is that it’s on the short side, the twelve songs are done and dusted in about twenty five minutes.

You can hear the ghosts of The Ramones on the album but this isn’t just a pale reproduction, Mean Jeans have taken all that was great about da brudders, distilled it and added their own idiosyncrasies into the mix. The whole album delivers short sharp shots of punk rock which are perfectly produced and unbelievably consistent.

Don’t expect deep political insight or informed opinions on any of the songs on Tight New Dimension, this is the soundtrack to beer drinking, tequila slammers and zero fucks being given about the consequences. It’s fast, dumb and catchy as hell, if you bottled this, it would be 80% proof and come with a health warning that you’d ignore. I honestly can’t remember the last time an album impressed me this much, I may well have found my new favourite band.

Video: Mean Jeans – Croozin’

mean jeans for punk siteMean Jeans is streaming a new music video from their latest LP.  The video features the song 
Croozin'” from their latest LP, Tight New Dimension, released via Fat Wreck Chords back in April.

Watch the video below.

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useless ID

Useless ID

We Don't Want The Airwaves EP

Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 4/5




Israeli punk band Useless ID are celebrating their 21st birthday this year and they are commemorating their coming of age with new releases, their first in four years. We Don’t Want The Airwaves is the precursor to their new album State Is Burning which is due to drop this summer. The title and cover of this EP is a hefty nod to The Ramones, the sleeve also contains further hints that they are going back to their roots with Bad Religion, Descendants, Hard Skin and Talk Is Poison all referenced on the cover. They appear to be re-establishing their punk credentials but this isn’t really necessary after the last 21 years, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to remind people.

The title track is a superb bouncy pop punk track that bears all the hallmarks of classic Useless ID, this is as good as anything they’ve ever written, and it’ll come as no surprise that this track also references The Ramones. The second song is called Right Wing Killing Spree and is by far the shortest track on the EP, I readied myself for an angry hardcore blast but instead I got a surprisingly catchy acoustic protest song. With the third offering, Tension, we’re back on familiar territory, this is back to the known and is a downbeat punk rock song featuring chugging guitars and many of the traits we have come to expect from Useless ID. State Is Burning closes the EP and is another acoustic number, this one is country tinged but don’t panic, think Steve Earle or Johnny Cash rather than Garth Brooks.

We Don’t Want The Airwaves feels like Useless ID are trying to showcase their varied styles and influences with everything shoehorned into one four track EP. Like many 21 year olds they appear to want everything, and they want it now. This is a welcome return from a much loved band and I’m glad they’re back.

Fat Wreck Chords Announces Acoustic Compilation

Fat Wreck ChordsFat Wreck Chords has announced plans to release a new compilation of acoustic tracks.  The disc will be titled Mild In the Streets and is set to drop on July 1, 2016.

Full details and track list can be found here.



Green Star

Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 2/5




This is Pears second album for Fat Wreck Chords and the follow up to 2015’s Go To Prison. This is not the kind of fayre we have come to associate with Fat Wreck Chords, this is a brutal sixteen track assault of old school hardcore, all the elements you’d expect are present and correct. The stop start rhythms, the controlled chaos, the frantic drumming and the snarled vocals are all very much in evidence on Green Star. The only respite from the continuous savage pummelling are the incongruous instrumental piano breaks Dizzy Is Drunk and Jump The Fuckin’ Ship, which act as all too brief buffers of tranquillity.

The problem for me, not just with Pears but with a lot of hardcore bands, is that on record the songs become indistinguishable from one another, were it not for the piano breaks this could be one very long song or sixty very short songs. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching hardcore bands live, to me that’s it natural home and where it’s energy and intensity work best, if I were to see Pears live you would probably see a very different review but on record this just doesn’t work for me.

If you’re a fan of the relentless brutal side of punk this will be very much your cup of tea and it’s worth noting that this is an album that divides opinion, a brief internet search reveals reviews of this album that vary from “truly extraordinary” (Punk News) to “diarrhea pie” (Next Punk). This is the nature of punk music, it should provoke strong reactions, the music we love is not there to provide a forgettable background soundtrack to a polite dinner party, it’s there to demand, provoke and inspire and Pears certainly do this.

Depending on your point of view this will be one of the best or one of the worst punk albums of the year, whilst Green Star is not something I would choose to listen to I can appreciate Pears commitment and no compromise attitude to music.


Mean Jeans

Night Vision EP

Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 5/5




Portland Trio Mean Jeans were an unknown quantity to me prior to giving their Fat Wreck Chords debut, the Nite Vision EP. It took just a spin, and I must say I’m impressed.

Great melodic guitar hooks underpinned by solid driving bass and topped with great vocals. There is a hefty nod to the Ramones in their music, but they are far more than just another band who have taken and run with da brudders template for no frills full tilt rock n’ roll.

 The title track is taken from their third album Tight New Dimension, their first for Fat Wreck Chords, and it sits happily alongside two stunning b-sides that won’t be appearing on the aforementioned album. It’s a credit to their song writing that if you play this on shuffle you’d be hard pressed to identify the A Sides from the B sides and this single has seriously whetted my appetite for the new album and their back catalog. The Nite Vision EP passes by in a frenetic blur, the three tracks are done in less than six minutes, and I’m left wanting to hear more, much more. Fortunately by the time you read this the album should be available from those fine folk at Fat Wreck Chords.

This is the soundtrack to the best party you haven’t had yet and I can’t praise this EP highly enough, if you aren’t familiar with Mean Jeans then this is something you need to rectify. The three songs on the Nite Vision EP will be on repeat in my car for the foreseeable future and I can only hope I don’t encounter any red lights. My only complaint is that no one introduced me to Mean Jeans before now.


Video: PEARS – Green Star

PearsPEARS are streaming a new music video for the song “Green Star,” from their latest full length of the same name. The disc was released last month via Fat Wreck Chords.  

Watch the video below along with upcoming tour dates.

Read More…

face to face

Face To Face


Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 4/5




Punk veterans Face To Face were originally formed in California in 1991 and over the years they have maintained an admirable work ethic, to date there have been nine albums and countless singles and EP’s. Even during their five year hiatus between 2004 and 2008 the members of Face To Face didn’t sit on their laurels, as they went off and worked with punk luminaries such as Me First And The Gimme Gimme’s, The Offspring and Saves The Day before returning to the fold.

This is Face To Face‘s third studio album since they reformed and this release signifies their return to Fat Wreck Chords, over two decades after their debut was released on the label, and with Bill Stevenson of The Descendents at the helm Protection is an enticing prospect. The eleven songs on this album are all straight up shots of punk rock and  it’s incredibly hard to pick a stand out track from the pack, having said that I think that I Won’t Say I’m Sorry is the pick of the litter with it’s machine gun drumming, slick tempo changes and impassioned choruses but with the other ten cuts on Protection being so remarkably consistent it’s a close run thing.

Face To Face bear the scars of the last twenty five years and wear them like badges of honour. The album is heavily tinged with the insight, and hindsight, that has been accumulated by the band and Protection marks a return to form that not only harks back to the creativity and energy of their younger days, but also embraces and channels the highs and lows of the last twenty five years. The result is an infectious, intelligent and polished album that stands up against anything else they’ve recorded.

Mean Jeans Streams New Full Length

mean jeans for punk siteMean Jeans is streaming their forthcoming LP.  The album is titled Tight New Dimension, and will be released via Fat Wreck Chords on April 22, 2016!

Listen to the full disc (and check out that killer album art) here courtesy Brooklyn Vegan.

Useless ID Premiered New Song From Upcoming EP

Useless IDIsraeli pop-punk act Useless ID has premiered a new music video from their upcoming EP.  The song is titled “We Don’t Want the Airwaves” and will appear on the upcoming EP of the same name, which is due out May 6, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Pre-orders can be made here.

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.

Read More…

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.

Mean Jeans Streams New EP In Full

mean jeans for punk siteMean Jeans is streaming their new limited edition Single, Nite Vision.  All three songs are from their 3rd album, titled Tight New Dimension, to be released via Fat Wreck Chords on April 22, 2016! Pre-order Nite Vision here. Tour dates here.

Listen to all three songs here courtesy Brooklyn Vegan.