Your CountrySelf Released
By AJ Phink
Originally hailing from London, England, Lee Resistant has a punk rock heart and a poet’s soul, and it all comes pouring out in his heartfelt songs of loss and hope, failure and redemption, bad times and worse luck. Lee Resistant has now self released his latest EP, Your Country, that is available on CD, cassette and digital formats.
Lee Resistant‘s Facebook page can be found here
You can stream and purchase the Your Country EP here
About Last NightViolated Records
By AJ Phink
Dundee’s Delinquents are a band that are making waves and building a reputation for themselves far beyond their local scene, they have been industriously playing intimate shows on their home turf to raise donations for local foodbanks, as well as touring across their native Scotland and making a triumphant debut appearance at this years Rebellion Festival, making Delinquents a band that are making friends both on and off stage wherever they go. The band name may conjure up the spirit of 1977, but if you were expecting an album of retro punk rock then you’re going to be surprised, as there’s so much more to Delinquents than being just another punk band.
Punk is of course part of the Delinquents DNA, the tracks Acne, Waste Of Time and Valentines Day are slices of punk perfection, and Next Generation is a classic fuck you punk anthem, and from those four tracks you might think that you know what the Delinquents are all about, but those four tracks are spread across a release that is one of the most diverse and original albums I’ve heard this year. Ctrl.Alt.Defeat simultaneously manages to invoke punk rock, post punk and the more abrasive side of indie, whilst Not Your Problem and Something To Prove are intense blasts of old school hardcore. Keep On Choking brings another dimension to the album, as this track recalls the likes of The Chameleons and The Smiths, and you might think The Fuck You Song would be a straight up slice of punk rock, well it isn’t, it’s is a folk punk number that reminds me of a less subtle reimagining of Green Day’s Good Riddance, and the chugging riff of Never Gonna Fit In is a raw discordant slice of pop punk.
Delinquents have delivered an album that doesn’t fit the punk rock template, or any template for that matter, they embrace influences from beyond the usual punk arena, and the result is a truly original album that offers something unique. Trying to define an album such as About Last Night is impossible, every single track veers off on it’s own tangent, embracing punk, hardcore, folk punk, indie, pop punk and post punk along the way, making About Last Night just about the only album I’ve ever reviewed that manages to embrace pretty much everything that has been spawned by punk. Whilst the disparate set of influences on display might sound like a recipe for disaster it isn’t, Delinquents have managed to condense the sprawling array of styles into a cohesive, original and impressive album. If you can’t wait for the 29th September then you can whet your appetite by downloading the tracks Ctrl.Alt.Defeat and Never Gonna Fit In as name your price downloads via the Delinquents Bandcamp here.
About Last Night will be released via Violated Records and Bandcamp on the 29th September
VulturesTake This To Heart Records
By AJ Phink
The trio that makes up Dead Leaves openly acknowledge their debt to the Cleveland punk scene that both spawned and supported two of the members, Elliot Blair and Alex Tucker, previous outfit, Call It Fiction. As Dead Leaves were formed after they met their third member, Gene Bernardo, when they played a show at his house, then it’s clear that their roots are well and truly embedded in their local punk scene. Vultures follows on from Dead Leaves self titled debut EP and is released today on all formats via Take This To Heart Records.
Death And Taxes starts Vultures out in a mellow manner that kicks up a gear at the midway point, although the album maintains a restrained punk vibe that falls somewhere between folk punk and punk rock. The enchanting Sunrise carries the feel of fifties rock ‘n roll ballad whilst Hopeless Dweller brings the tempo down with an impassioned number, and at the halfway point Vultures kicks into life with a Bloodshot. The flip side of Vultures repeats the pattern of the first handful of tracks, including the stunning track Die Young, that build up the tempo and incorporate elements of punk rock, rock ‘n roll, indie and folk punk to impressive effect.
Vultures is an album that focuses on the exploitation of powerlessness and vulnerability, making the album’s title a poignant one, and the style of this debut full length suits the nature of the material perfectly. Vultures contains all the elements that were present on their impressive debut EP, but everything has more depth making Vultures an impressive step forward for the band, albeit one that has had a long incubation period since the bands debut EP was released back in 2014. In Vultures the Dead Leaves have delivered an album that shows that the long wait, and the painstaking writing process that was involved in the creation of their debut full length, was worth the wait.
Vultures can be ordered on CD, vinyl and digital formats via Take This To Heart Records here
The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: NormalA-F Records
By AJ Phink
The Homeless Gospel Choir are poised to release their new album, The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal, that follows on from the thankfully more consicisely titled lead single, Normal, that acted as a taster for the full length. The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal is an album that flows seamlessly between biting condemnations of the current political climate and tongue in cheek political satire, and manages to be simultaneously entertaining and fiercely relevant, which is nothing less than you’d expect from Derek Zanetti, the protest singer, author and artist who is the man behind The Homeless Gospel Choir.
Sixth Grade offers a brief opening flashback that is followed by Depression, a rapid fire slice of folk punk that is about being the sense of being an outsider that suddenly bursts into life with the a full band for the final verse. Crazy and Normal are fine slabs of punk rock that are counterbalanced by more downbeat numbers, such as Sometimes and Don’t Know, and Fear brings the strangest moment on the album, a disturbing psychotropic multi voiced dose of mental illness. The likes of Everyone and 1983 blend satire and punk rock perfectly whilst Alright is a heartfelt autobiographical protest song, and finally the album closes with the satirical and not exactly reverential take on religion, Holy Shit.
The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal is set to be released on August 18th via A-F Records and this album is one that has a tendency to grow on you, with each listen you’ll pick up a new lyric or hook that will make you spin the album again until you find yourself repeating this process until you’re caught in an endless loop. This is a unique album that has something that will appeal to everyone who has a love of punk rock, there are fine moments of defiant noisy punk that sit alongside the folk punk and moments of insight and strangeness, this is all delivered with a wit and sincerity that makes The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal a unique and deeply addictive album
The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal can be pre-ordered via A-F Records here
The Homeless Gospel Choir have just released their new music video for Crazy, that features vocals from Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance and Frank Iero & The Patience. The song is taken from their new album, The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal, that is set to be released August 18th on A-F Records.
Pre-orders for the new album are available now via A-F Records here
The video for Crazy, and The Homeless Gospel Choir‘s tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…
The Homeless Gospel Choir have just released a lyric video for Everyone, a new track that is taken from their new album The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal. Everyone flows seamlessly between biting condemnations on police brutality and tongue in cheek political satire and manages to be both entertaining and fiercely relevant, The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal is set to be released on August 18th via A-F Records.
The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal can be pre-ordered via A-F Records here
The video For Everyone can be viewed below Read More…
Grief Intensity FriendshipMy Fingers! My Brains! Records
By AJ Phink
Grief Intensity Friendship is the fourth album from Canada’s Jesse Lebourdais, this latest release is born out of the pain of grief and loss and simultaneously bound by the strength of friendship, despite the album being informed by the loss of a close friend this is not an album that’s prone to instrospection and darkness, it’s a release that focuses on looking forward to things to come whilst remembering those we have lost, and speaking as someone who has experienced far too much personal loss this year I can testify that for me this is the only healthy way to deal with grief. Grief Intensity Friendship will be released digitally via Bandcamp, and all major digital platforms, on the 1tth July with the release of physical formats to follow over the summer months.
Gaines kicks things off in an electrified folk punk style that sets the tone for the album perfectly, from here on in this is a deeply personal recording that despite acting as a form a personal catharthis is an album that refuses to get mired in the darkness that can follow, rather it retains energy and a sense of euphoria that comes across as a triumphant life affirming album. There are numerous highlights across the twelve tracks but for me Quite Distant is the perfect moment on Grief Intensity Friendship, this track summarises the album’s attitude in a shade over four near perfect minutes. Jesse LeBourdais has acknowledged pain and heartache but chooses to focus on the joy and good times that life brings us, and there are few albums that carry as positive a message as Grief Intensity Friendship manages, and that it something to be treasured.
If you’re looking to place the sound of the album I would imagine that if you created a hybrid of The Gaslight Anthem, Against Me! and early Cobra Skulls then you wouldn’t be far from the mark, Grief Intensity Friendship embraces heartland rock’s soul and melds it with punk rock energy and the spirit of rebel country to create something that is genuinely moving and energising. The other factor that really makes this album stand out is the nature of it’s recording, recorded live and using old school analogue technology there is a warmth to the recording that is sadly missing from many albums that employ the more clinical digital approach. This is easily Jesse LeBourdain‘s finest release to date, and it’s an album that I know will be amongst my favourite releases of the year when I come to look back at 2017.
The Homeless Gospel Choir have just announced their new LP, The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal, is due out on August 18th via A-F Records. Derek Zanetti, also known as The Homeless Gospel Choir, is a protest singer, author and artist based out of Pittsburgh, through his on-stage humour and vulnerability he creates an atmosphere of inclusion and community and engages the audience in a way that allows them to know that they’re not alone.
you can pre-order The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal via A-F Records here
You can view the video for the album’s title track below Read More…
By AJ Phink
Derek Zanetti, also known as The Homeless Gospel Choir, is a protest singer, author and artist from Pennsylvania, The Homeless Gospel Choir released their new single, Normal, on June 9th via Anti-Flag‘s label, A-F Records, the single is a taster of what’s to come on the band’s new full length, that will be coming out in the fall and will include guest appearances from Frank Turner and Frank Iero.
Normal is a good old fashioned two track single, and it’s one that displays two very different sides to The Homeless Gospel Choir. The singles title track is recorded with a full band and it’s a defiant three and half minutes of punk rock that is an anthem for all the punks who’ve ever felt like outsiders, and let’s face it if you’re reading this then that probably includes you. The flip side of Normal is Why?, a stripped down live acoustic track that possesses a frantic and unbalanced feel and is delivered with good natured politically sussed humour.
Normal is a single that has an immediate appeal, the title track is something of an autobiographical song with an infectious chorus, when you consider that it is coupled with it’s manic acoustic b-side you have a winning combination that hints at what’s to come. Based on the two tracks on display on this single I’m already looking forward to hearing The Homeless Gospel Choir‘s full length album later this year, but for now I’m happy enough to add Normal to my playlist and to carry on embracing being an outsider, it’s good to know we’re not alone.
Normal can be ordered via A-F Records here
GingerkickerHidden Home Records
By AJ Phink
Gingerkicker is the new solo album by Rob Lanterman, the man responsible for founding and running Hidden Home Records, this is his first solo album and his first acoustic album so he’s breaking his cherry on two counts on this release. Rob Lanterman isn’t the first punk alumni the make an acoustic recording, Greg Gaffin (Bad Religion), Nick 13 (Tiger Army) and Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio), to name a but a few, have all made critically acclaimed albums where they are shorn of their band mates, An obvious concern of a solo album being released on artists own label is that there is a distinct temptation for them to be self indulgent, but Rob Lantermen has avoided this pitfall and in the process he’s delivered an honest and impressive thirteen tracks of heartfelt folk punk.
Rob Lanterman wrote this album three long years ago, but the demands of running an indie label that is developing a heavyweight reputation have meant that it’s remained unrecorded and unreleased, until now. This is just one man and his guitar throughout, you rarely hear any overdubs and there’s no studio trickery to artificially enhance the sound, this is a raw acoustic live recording that reminds me of the melancholy yearning melody of the Smoking Popes. If you were going to level a criticism at this album, and other acoustic releases, is that it leaves little variety across the album, but that’s the nature of releasing an album that is stripped to the bone.
This is an impressive debut release from one of punk’s many unsung heroes, those who run the independent labels and support the grass roots movement that enable the punk scene to evolve and thrive. For fans of the solo releases by the likes of Frank Turner, Joey Cape and Tony Sly this would be an essential album, Rob Lanterman has all the qualities of comparable solo releases and he delivers a heartfelt album that would translate perfectly to being played with a full band. His label, Hidden Home Records, is one which has the deserved reputation of supporting the DIY grass roots punk scene, and this release indicates that he’s just at home as a recording artist as he is running a record label.
You can stream and purchase Gingerkicker here
The Hidden Home Records website can be found here
Fresh from touring the world with Joe Henry and galvanised by recent political events, not least the worrying rise of popularism, Billy Bragg is dealing with it in the best way he knows how, by strapping on his electric guitar and heading out on tour across the UK and Europe in November, under the title ‘Bridges Not Walls’.
Billy Bragg, in his one-man Clash mode, will perform songs from his long career, along with some pertinent covers by his heroes and mentors and some freshly minted songs about the state of the world.
The Bridges Not Walls Tour Dates can be viewed below Read More…
Destroy Nate Allen are comprised of married couple Nate and Tessa Allen, they are an interactive, sing-a-long, folk punk band whose unique blend of folk, punk rock, campfire songs and foot-stomping country jams set them apart. They have just released an official music video for the song Vegetables, that features footage taken at forty live shows. The track is taken from their album, With Our Powers Combined, that was recorded with Gnarboots.
With Our Powers Combined is available as a pay what you want download here
You can view the video for Vegetables below
Rude Boys Of Bar RockLame-O Records
By AJ Phink
What is now the folk punk septet, Steady Hands, began life as the side project for Sean Huber, the drummer of Modern Baseball. The album takes Inspiration from Billy Bragg, Bruce Springsteen and Frank Turner alongside other classic punk influenced singer songwriters. The genesis of Steady Hands began in the bars and basement venues in Philadelphia as Sean Huber began to establish his own musical identity away from Modern Baseball, the band was fleshed out by friends and acquaintances, including members of WC and, his colleague from Modern Baseball, Jacob Ewald. Rude Boys Of Bar Rock was released last week and it encompasses the entire recorded output of Steady Hands on one handy double LP, including re-recordings and even a brand new track.
A New Kind Of HellCreep Records
By AJ Phink
Will Romeo should be no stranger to many of you, he’s been fronting punk rock mainstays Gameday Regulars for the last five years. Now it appears that he has felt the need to spread his wings, although not too far as he’s still committed to making punk rock, as this EP marks a distinct change of style. If you’re expecting more of the same from Will Romeo then you’ll be in for a shock, Townes Cosentino is a much more subdued affair that is informed by elements of indie, folk and Americana.
His gravelly tones somewhat surprisingly suit this material perfectly, whilst the majority of the material is just vocals and acoustic guitar, there are also touches of electric lead that weave in an out of this release, provided by Tyler Pursel of Philadelphia punk band Goddamnit, which subtly enhance the songs. Will Romeo has stated that when he was composing material for this project he found that the songs practically wrote themselves, I think this shows as you get four effortless and heartfelt songs that tell a story of overcoming loss.
I’ve heard many members of fine punk bands veer into acoustic territory over the years, some work, and some just make you wish their band would plug them back in again, this release belongs firmly in the former camp. This is Will Romeo‘s songwriting stripped almost to the bone, for me this compliments his fine legacy with Gameday Regulars, rather than being an alternative to it. A New Kind Of Hell is a strong and deeply personal collection of songs that is the perfect soundtrack for those quiet moments of contemplation at the end of the day.
A New Kind Of Hell will be released by Creep Records on August 26, 2016
You can order A New Kind Of Hell here
ScreamerSongwriterFive Feet Under Records
By AJ Phink
ScreamerSongwriter is the debut album from Danish folk punk one man army Stöj Snak, the album was released earlier this month and it follows hot on the heels of four critically acclaimed EPs. I always have a mild sense of trepidation when I approach a folk punk album, I’ve heard so many over the years that promised much but just didn’t deliver, thankfully Stöj Snak has taken big strides in restoring my faith in this genre. The brief opening instrumental Prelude, lulls you into a false of security with it’s mellow strings, before he launches into the frantic opener Fuck. This is folk punk played as it should be, it contains elements of roots music, folk and country can clearly be heard, but this is played with attitude, after a few tracks it becomes clear that ScreamerSongwriter is not only the album title, but also a perfect description.
This album manages to convey a punk attitude, it has warmth and intensity, but also manages moments of tenderness and isn’t afraid to tackle social issues head on, the fact that Stöj Snak has managed all this in the space of one album is a testament to the songwriting and musicianship on this album. There’s a sense of humour present here as well, as demonstrated on the wonderfully titled, Laughter Brings People Together But No One Wants To Fuck The Funny Guy. Inevitably there are quieter moments, but these don’t jar or spoil the flow of the album, they fit in nicely and despite their slower pace they carry the same intensity as the faster tracks
A lot of folk punk releases fall a bit flat as they repeat the highs and lows of those that have come before them, that is evidently not the case on ScreamerSongwriter, this is as punk as anything I’ve heard this year yet there’s not a distortion pedal in sight. As an added bonus there are five additional tracks of outtakes, demos and alternate versions, these are a welcome addition to the album rather than the afterthought that these things often are. This is a damn fine album and I’d say that this is the finest folk punk album I’ve heard, not just this year, add a full stop. This is how an album like this should be done and it sets a new benchmark.
ScreamerSongwriter can be purchased on a variety of formats or downloaded (for the bargain price of two euros) here
Life's Too Short EPViolated Records
By AJ Phink
Balsall Heathens are an acoustic duo from Balsall Heath in Birmingham, England comprising Colin ‘Jock’ Blythe on guitar, who is better known for being the guitarist for English UK82 legends GBH, and Sam Uendo on vocals and fiddle, who currently plays in Contempt, Alcohol Licks and Screamin’ Abdabz, So it’s clear Balsall Heathens have a hefty punk pedigree behind them. They describe themselves as “gypsy pirate punk” and this release fits nicely into the burgeoning folk punk scene, although I’ll admit that “gypsy pirate punk” sounds like a lot more fun.
This five track EP was recorded in Birmingham, England and will be released via Violated Records and as you’d expect from an acoustic duo this is a minimalist release but it does maintain a punk rock attitude on the majority of it’s tracks. The opening track, Whisky In The Giro, is a spirited folk punk tinged reworking of the Thin Lizzy classic Whisky in The Jar and there are four more tracks of folk punk jiggery contained on the EP. Though this is a perfectly decent release it’s not covering any ground that hasn’t previously been trodden by numerous Celtic and folk punk bands before them and I imagine Balsall Heathens are a band best experienced live, preferably with a glass of something alcoholic clutched in your hand.
Canadian folk punk acts Jon Creeden and James Renton (of Fire Next Time) have announced dates for their Summer Burritour across Canada.
Full tour listings are below.
Toronto’s Anxiety Attack Recordings recently gathered together some of Canada’s best folk-punk bands including the likes of Jesse Lebourdais, The Matchup, Worst Days Down and James Renton of Fire Next Time to cover nine Bruce Springsteen tracks. The nine track compilation, entitled Thunder Road, sees the Canadians tackle songs such as The Wrestler, Atlantic City, and Born In The USA.
The label has posted the compilation online as a free download saying:
This tribute is a free download, No money is being made through the distribution of this compilation. All artists featured on this compilation are showing respect and paying tribute to one of our favorite musicians. If you like what you hear we highly encourage you to check out the original versions by Bruce Springsteen, as well as check out original material from the contributing artists featured here.
Various Artists – Thunder Road
Acoustic punk with a great British accent a la Frank Turner. I don’t use that comparison lightly, Barefaced Cynics also have a great way with words. I know very little about this band other than that their Be Grateful EP is a fantastic introduction to a clearly very talented young group and bodes well for future endeavors.
Barefaced Cynics – Be Greatful
I don’t post a lot two song EPs – mostly because they feel like rushed and poorly planned first efforts – but Rev Lee Peters makes an exception. The River House Demo features two tracks of acoustic good times in the vein of Chuck Ragan’s current folk punk career – and damn are they good. Keep an eye out for Peters in the future, an official EP of full length is something not to be missed.
Rev Lee Peters – River House Demo
There’s a gimmick for appreciating this album, and that is recognizing that it was written and recorded in 24 hours! The band’s description does the most justice, so I’ll do a simple little copy and paste! For fans of The Andrew Jackson Jihad for sure!
10 friends get together at around 1:00 PM. At exactly 2:00 PM, they begin writing and recording an album. By 2:00 PM the next day, they are finished. Listen to the sheer talent and energy that went into each track! Feel the exhaustion and the pride! Taste the bacon, smores, and pancakes in the spirit of each song! Let the music rush into your ears, through your veins, and then let it sit there and get really tired, when it starts making up words and laughing at anything.
Stamp Collective – The Twenty-Four Hour Album
Defiance, Ohio is a little indie-folk-punk band from the US, much like Ghost Mice or the Andrew Jackson Jihad (AJJ). Unlike the AJJ their lyrics are considerably less goofy. The band is offering their newest album “The Fear, The Fear, The Fear” through the Internet Archive’s open source audio project.