ThePunkSite.com

Rise Against EU Tour 17

Rise Against / Sleeping With Sirens / PEARS

Apollo, Manchester, UK

2nd November 2016
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Rise Against Venue Nov 17Chicago’s Rise Against hit Manchester tonight on the second date of their current UK tour in support of their new album, Wolves, alongside the melodic hardcore legends is a diverse duo of support acts in the shape of Sleeping With Sirens and hardcore upstarts PEARS. The queue for Rise Against’s return to Manchester snakes round both sides of Manchester’s historic Apollo venue and I start to get worried that we’re not going to catch the opening set by PEARS, and as that’s one of the main reasons I’m here tonight this is a worrying state of affairs. 

Pears1(Best)We thankfully make it into the Apollo in the nick of time for PEARS, they immediately kick into a furious set of hardcore and you can see why they have developed a well deserved reputation for an impressive live show. PEARS deliver an intense  barrage that befits their growing status, and as far as I’m concerned they are one of the best live hardcore acts out there at the moment. When I last caught PEARS, at this years Rebellion Festival, they were impressive, but tonight they sound sharper and more focused and there’s a reason they captured the attention of so many since their formation. PEARS have opened tonight’s show with a short sharp set that’s sets the bar so high that I almost feel sorry for the band that has to follow them, almost.
 
Pears2PEARS‘ frontman, Zach Quinn, is inevitably bare chested by the end of the set and he cuts a perpetually manic and uninhibited figure during a set that spans their short but prolific career, including material from their freshly released split album with Direct Hit. It’s an intense and all too short twenty five minute set from the New Orleans quartet, aside from the brief easy listening intermissions that punctuate their set this has been an opening salvo that was delivered at full tilt throughout. Despite the early start to their set they play to steadily filling and appreciative crowd at the Manchester Apollo, and you get the impression that PEARS have made more than a few friends tonight.
 
Sleeping with Sirens (1)Next up is Sleeping With Sirens who are touring in support of their new album, Gossip, and were something of an unknown quantity to me prior to tonight. They play a set of slick post hardcore influenced alt rock that is delivered in an accomplished and crowd pleasing style, but for me their inclusion on this tour seems to be at odds with the two other bands on the bill and for me they came across as a slightly disappointing filling in an otherwise amazing sandwich, however the enthusiastic reaction from a sizable section of the crowd, and the borderline hysteria I encountered whilst queuing to get into the venue, suggests that I am in the minority on this one.
 
RA1(Colour)There’s a lengthy changeover before Rise Against take the stage, which gives the opportunity for a varied selection of punk tunes old and new, including everything from The Clash to Me First And The Gimme Gimme’s, to warm the crowd up for tonight’s headliners. The house lights eventually drop and the four minute warning sounds revealing two huge video screens displaying cartoon apocalyptic imagery that sets the tone for tonight’s show. The atmosphere builds until the screen then focuses in on it’s last remaining target, Manchester UK, and we’re off into a set that spans Rise Against‘s almost two decade long career.
 
RA3(HiCont)Rise Against have come a long way since their days with Fat Wreck Chords, major record deals have taken them into bigger concert halls and bought elaborate stage sets and immense lighting rigs, but the core of the band and their ideals remain the same, and before the first number is out they have the crowd in the palm of the hands. New material from their latest full length, Wolves, is dropped into the set and blends in perfectly. Dancing For Rain is appropriately dedicated to Manchester and the set is theatrically punctuated by short dark animated films that depict a dystopian future, the second of these is followed by a triumphant Collapse (Post-Amerika) that’s accompanied by images of resistance and police brutality.
 
RA4It’s been too long since Rise Against hit the UK and the crowds affection for them hasn’t dimmed in the years have that passed. An acoustic Swing Life Away gets a note perfect chorus from the Manchester crowd, a further heartfelt acoustic number, People Live Here, is dedicated to those who have the courage to fight for peace in the face of aggression. Hero Of War see’s the reappearance of the full band for the finale of the song, and for the remainder of the set Rise Against return to full flow. Tonight’s set has covered the majority of Rise Against’s back catalogue and they close with Satellite from their 2011 album, Endgame.
 
RA5Prior to their return we get the final instalment of the dystopian animations, that true to the bands self depicts the downtrodden rising up as wolves against those who have created a living hell, and they retake the stage to deliver a suitably defiant encore to close what has been an impressive return to our shores. Tonight’s show was marked by stunning sets that bookended either end of the evening, Pears and Rise Against were both flawless tonight, with the latter’s also having a dramatic visual appeal. But whilst both bands have very different styles they were both equally impressive and share the same vision, and that’s pretty much punk rock in a nutshell, it isn’t our differences that matter, it’s the common bonds that bind us together.
 
Rise Against Pears Nov 17Rise Against‘s website is here and Wolves can be ordered here
 
Sleeping With Sirens website can be found here
 
PEARS website is here
 
Human Movement can be ordered via Fat Wreck Chords here
 
Live photography by Steven Alexis
 
You can click on any of Steven’s photos to view a slide show of the images
 
 
Protected Left Shortlife Split

Protected Left / The Shortlife

Split

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

California’s Protected Left and Michigan’s The Shortlife have got together to release a Split EP that is now available on cassette and digital formats via Bandcamp. The split EP follows the familiar format for these things, as it features two songs from each band, one a brand new track and the other being the almost obligatory cover of one of each others songs, and there’s also a bonus track from Protected Left hidden on the EP, if you get the Split via their Bandcamp that is.

We all love a Split EP and they’ve become a staple of the DIY punk scene, on this one we get two melodic hardcore bands who both bring different approaches to the genre. First up are Protected Left, their opener, Absolution, is a slice of earnest and furious technical melodic hardcore with some metal tinged breakneck guitar riffs and breakdowns, this is followed by their cover of The Shortlife‘s Give This To Kevin, which they seem to have made all their own. The bonus track, SMH, is only available via Protected Life‘s Bandcamp, and it’s another example of their no nonsense style, although the marked volume drop indicates this an earlier recording.

The Shortlife are very much brothers from another mother, they are borne of the same scene although their approach to delivering melodic hardcore is a much rawer affair, both on their original track, Something Stoic, and their cover of Protected Life‘s My Worst Nightmare, that again has been twisted to the band’s own style. For me the joy of Split EP’s like this where the band’s are well matched is that you get a two for one deal on discovering something new, and if you’re a fan of the grass roots melodic hardcore scene then this Split EP provides a showcase for two band’s who are more than worthy of your attention. The Split EP can be streamed and downloaded via Protected Left‘s Bandcamp here and The Shortlife‘s Bandcamp here

The Protected Left‘s website can be found here and The Shortlife‘s Facebook page can be found here

Protected Left And Shortlife Release Split EP

Protected Left Shortlife SplitCalifornia’s Protected Left and Michigan’s Shortlife have got together to release a split EP that is now available on cassette and digital formats via Bandcamp, the split EP features two songs from each band, one brand new track from each band and a cover of one of each others songs. The cassette format comes with a full download of the EP and the split release can now be streamed and purchased from both the Protected Left and Shortlife‘s Bandcamp.

Protected Left‘s Bandcamp is here and Shortlife‘s Bandcamp is here

The Protected Left‘s website can be found here

Allout Helter

Allout Helter

The Notion Of Control

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Allout Helter have returned with their sophomore album The Notion of Control, their first major release for Bird Attack Records, that furthers the bands’ reputation for pushing the boundaries of melodic hardcore, their pedigree is further enhanced as the album is produced by Trevor Reilly of A Wilhelm Scream. The Notion Of Control represents the second chapter in Allout Helter‘s history and sees them deliver an album that captures the essence of their intense live shows.

The Notion Of Control is an album that is full on from the brutal opener A Thief In The Night to it’s closing number, Passengers. Every track is a brutal blend of melodic hardcore and gruff punk with a touch of crossover thrown into the mix, this is especially prevalent around the guitar sound that carries a more technical intricate sound that is beloved of metal and crossover bands, but the rest of their sound is defiantly punk rock. Tracks such as my personal favourite Maximum Helter evidence a stronger pure hardcore sound, but for the most part this is a more technical precise variation of melodic hardcore.

With their second album Allout Helter have released an intense political blast of melodic hardcore, but crucially it’s one that separates itself from the pack by engaging a few other influences to carve out their own niche in the flourishing melodic hardcore scene. This a relentless album of furious political melodic hardcore that, aside from the occasional breakdown, doesn’t pull a single punch, meaning that some of the tracks do tend to blur into each other as their is no respite on this album, but don’t interpret that as a bad thing and fans of established acts such as Propagandhi, Strung Out and H2O should ensure that they check out Allout Helter‘s latest release

The Notion Of Control can be pre-ordered via Bird Attack Records here

Propagandhi Announce 2018 Eurpean Tour

Propagandhi VL TourPropagandhi have announced a European tour in April and May 2018. After a handful of UK shows starting on April 20th, the band will kick off the mainland Europe run of the tour with a club show at the Melkweg in Amsterdam on April 24th. Propagandhi will be touring in support of their seventh album, Victory Lap, which was released on September 29th via Epitaph Records.
 
The Punk Site Review of Victory Lap can be read here
 
You can view Propagandhi‘s European tour dates below

Read More…

Propagandhi VL

Propagandhi

Victory Lap

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Propagandhi are set to release their seventh full length, Victory Lap, via Epitaph Records on the 29th September, Propagandhi have now been around for over three decades and much has changed in that time. The current political climate has continued to fuel the band, in particular the election of Donald Trump, the rise of the far right and the refugee crisis, to name but a few of the issues confronting society at the moment, meaning that Propagandhi are as ferocious and politically focused as ever. Victory Lap is also the first album to feature new guitarist Sulynn Hago, who has stepped into David Guillas shoes, although he still makes a welcome appearance on four tracks on their latest full length.

The frantic riff of the album’s title track kicks in and it’s like Propagandhi have never been away, all the focused political fury and energy that you associate and expect from them is present. There are moments of frantic punk rock in the shape of Comply / Resist and Letters To A Young Anus, but it’s when they deliver melodic hardcore classics such Cop Just Out Of Frame, Il Flagrante Delicto, Tartuffle and the album’s lead single, Failed Imagineer, that Propagandhi truly come into their own. These expected elements are balanced against the staccato blast of When All Your Fears Collide and the comparitively mellow fury of Lower Order (A Good Laugh), Call Before You Dig, Nigredo and Adventures In Zoochosis.

It’s been five years since Propagandhi‘s last album, 2012’s Failed States, and they have returned more focused and furious than ever, and given the current state of world politics this shouldn’t surprise anyone who is familiar with Propagandhi‘s back catalogue. After over three decades and seven full length releases Propagandhi have delivered a confrontational and cathartic return to form, Victory Lap delivers the band’s signature hybrid of snarling riffs, urgent rhythms, and unapologetically politically charged lyrics that is a timely and welcome return at a time when we need band’s like Propagandhi more than ever.

Victory Lap can be pre-ordered via Epitaph Records here

SLED ABY

SLED

A Better You

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

After years of playing small tours and festivals around the world, without an actual album being released, SLED, who were formerly known as Pinhole Down, are finally set to release their first official full length, A Better You, via Bird Attack Records on the 15th September 2017. Aside from the bands core members SLED also feature members of Guttermouth, Whole Wheat Bread and This Is A Standoff to create something of a punk rock supergroup whose sound is firmly embedded in the roots of melodic hardcore and skate punk.

The frantic Numb And Dumb is a fine opening rallying call that is followed by the intense Let Go, and every single track that follows is a full tilt punk rock attack that will appeal to fans of the likes of heavyweight melodic hardcore pioneers such as Bad Religion, Pennywise and Propagandhi. The ten tracks contained on A Better You make up an impressive debut full length by anyone’s standards, and it’s one that lives up to the impressive catalogue of recent releases that Bird Attack Records have unleashed.

SLED have delivered a fine slab of intense melodic hardcore that embraces skate punk with just a touch of crossover thrown into the mix, and makes no mistake this a damn fine album of full throttle punk rock. My only issue with A Better You is the fact that there is no variation across the album, every track comes out of the traps like it’s been spiked with amphetamines, and as the chords fade out another breakneck riff kicks in. This isn’t really a complaint as there isn’t a weak track on SLED‘s debut album, but to me A Better You just ends up feeling slightly one dimensional, but having said that this is a solid debut release from a band with a fine punk pedigree behind them.

A Better You can be pre-ordered on CD, vinyl, cassette and digital formats here

Brutal Youth’s ‘Sanguine’ LP Gets European Vinyl Release

BrutalYouth-Sanguine_12InJacket.inddBrutal Youth have now been with us for almost seven years, in the time that has elapsed since their formation they have recorded three full length albums and toured the length and breadth of the North American continent, and even made a few excursions into Europe. The Canadian hardcore punks released their third full length, that carries their trademark energetic, raw, honest, heart on sleeve punk rock spirit, last year in the US and Canada, now their third album, Sanguine, is finally available in Europe via Gunnar Records.

The Punk Site Review of Sanguine can be read here

Sanguine can now be ordered in Europe via Gunnar Records here

CH3 PEU Final

CH3

Put 'Em Up

TKO Records
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

It’s best to start with a brief introduction for those who aren’t familiar with CH3, they are a band have been around since 1980 who are contemporaries of fellow So Cal legends such as Social Distortion, Bad Religion, TSOL and Circle Jerks, the release of their latest full length represents the bands first complete album of new songs in over 15 years. CH3‘s recording career had been on hiatus until recent political events stirred them back into writing, which is pretty much the only positive I can think of to come from recent political developments, and now the seminal So Cal punks are set to unleash their latest album, Put ‘Em Up, on August 18th via TKO Records.

Put ‘Em Up comes straight out of it’s corner with Model Citizen, a classic slice of CH3 punk rock that shows they’ve lost none of their fire, something that is underpinned on Not That It Matters and All The Night. The anthemic Fire And Water has a distinct feel of The Clash about it, and in that spirit the album’s title track is a politically charged number against the divisive policies of the current American administration. But it’s not all punk and protest, She Never Wanted It This Way and Blue Skies bring the album’s poppier moments, but with punk rock still firmly to the fore just as it oughta be, whilst Half The Way reveals a distinctly softer side to CH3. The God That You Deserve hits you with a melodic hardcore blast against organised religion and Take Me To Your Leader is a fine blast of punk rock that brings Put ‘Em Up to a rousing finish.

Put ‘Em Up places CH3 straight back in the heart of the current punk rock scene with a hard hitting and political slice of So Cal punk rock, there are moments that are influenced by the band’s that informed their sound, but the whole impact is of an original band who have lost none of their energy and rage after over 15 years in the wilderness. Put ‘Em Up is an album that could only have been made by a band with a long history, it revisits everything from the school of ’77 to melodic hardcore via power pop, and after listening to Put ‘Em Up my only regret is that is took them this long to return to recording.

You can pre-order Put ‘Em Up via Bandcamp here

Debt Neglector Atomicland

Debt Neglector

Atomicland

Smartpunk Records
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Florida’s Debt Neglector will release their debut album, Atomicland, on August 18th via Smartpunk Records, the album is a blast of catchy, grungy, aggressive tunes dealing with anxiety, depression, paranoia, abuse, and other warm and fuzzy subjects that is the soundtrack of a band that is hoping to enact some positive change. Over the course of half an hour Debt Neglector manage to showcase their dynamics with speed, heaviness, and attack, all while not giving up on the infectious guitar melodies and vocal harmonies that embed themselves firmly in your frontal lobes and are just impossible to pry out.

From the second you drop the needle you’re hit with the instantly infectious blast of politically charged melodic punk rock, the title track is the perfect introduction, but this is not an album that relies solely on an opening hook, Atomicland is as finer debut punk album as you’re likely to hear this year. Every single track brings the kind of manic punk rock that it’s impossible not to love, the off tempo timing changes keep you guessing and the whole package just fizzes with an energy that is fuelled by a sense of injustice, this combination makes Atomicland a near perfect delivery of punk and hardcore that sits distinctly on the melodic side of both styles.

If you’re a fan of Bad Religion, Dead To Me and Guttermouth then Debt Neglector will be a more than welcome addition to your collection, Atomicland is the rare kind of album that reminds you exactly why you fell in love with punk in the first place. Normally I’d mention my stand out tracks in a review, but doing that on this album would just result in a track listing, there isn’t a moment on Atomicland that doesn’t hit the spot and as a result I have to say that this is one of the best punk albums I’ve heard this year, and Debt Neglector sit amongst the best new bands I’ve discovered in 2017.

Atomicland can be pre-ordered via Smartpunk Records here

Surface Report Announce West Coast US Tour

Surface Report Stand BySouthern Californian hardcore outfit Surface Report have just released their debut album, Stand By…, which is now available for streaming and purchase. Surface Report are hitting the road on a West Coast US tour in support of their debut album that can be streamed and downloaded via Bandcamp here

The Punk Site review of Stand By… can be read here

You can view Surface Report‘s West Coast tour dates below

Read More…

Surface Report Stand By

Surface Report

Stand By...

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Californian hardcore quartet Surface Report was formed from an impressive collection of past and present members of Californian acts such as Castoff, Fallen Monuments and Strike The Design, and now Surface Report have self released their debut album, Stand By…. This is the latest release that seems to indicate that there is something of a renaissance occurring in the North American hardcore scene, with new band’s on each corner of the continent, including New York’s Scarboro, Texas’s Despero and Canada’s Our Darkest Days to name but a few, all releasing impressive albums in the last twelve months.

One At A Time hits you between the eyes with a furious hit of melodic hardcore, and before you’ve had chance to recover Quid Pro Quo kicks in with a more of a crossover feel. Whilst there’s no respite on Stand By… this is not an album where the short sharp shocks blur into each other as each track brings a different element into the mix. Songs such as the superb Insufficiency are classic melodic hardcore, but these are balanced against the more straight up hardcore elements and slight metal influences, which all combine to deliver an impressive debut album from a band who are a breath of fresh air in the Californian punk scene.

It’s no surprise that Stand By… is on the short side, it clocks in just over twenty minutes, and it’s over before you know it, but unlike many hardcore albums there’s something about Surface Report that had me queuing it back up for another spin. For me Surface Report have the feel of early Suicidal Tendencies mixed with classic Propaghandi, but that’s not to say this is a recreation of either of those outfits, it jut has the same feel of intensity and controlled aggression that not many manage to pull off, and on the basis of Stand By… you can’t help but feel that Surface Report have a bright future ahead of them.

Stand By… can be streamed and downloaded via Bandcamp here and their Facebook page is here

12 obal s 3mm  hrbetem.indd

No Trigger

Adult Braces

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

No Trigger have now been with us since the year 2000, they have been steadily pumping out melodic punk and hardcore songs slowly but surely every four or five years, now that five long years have passed since their last LP, Tycoon, came out, No Trigger have re-emerged and have released their brand new EP, Adult Braces. Bird Attack Records have already released the Adult Braces EP digitally, and the label will also be releasing Adult Braces on a special limited edition one sided screen printed twelve inch vinyl on August 11th.

The crashing opening chords of Sleeping Bag precede an impressive headlong blast of melodic hardcore, Holy Punks follows this up with an infectious slab of solid punk rock that brings another dimension to the EP. Dogs On Acid brings a heavier anthemic element to Adult Braces and finally Hyperaware brings the EP to a close with it’s finest moment. Somehow No Trigger have released an EP where each song exceeds the one that preceded it, and when you consider just how good the initial track is this is an impressive feat, and one that marks the long awaited Adult Braces EP out as a worthy successor to the Tycoon album.

With the Adult Braces EP No Trigger have released a short but sweet collection of four songs that borders on perfection, there might be lengthy gaps between No Trigger‘s releases but when they’re this good you don’t mind waiting, although it would nice to see a follow up before 2022, Adult Braces is a release that shows that their long hibernation has not dulled any of No Trigger‘s edge. On their latest release they have perfected their blend of punk rock and hardcore, and the result is an EP that is sure to be amongst my favourite release from 2017. 

Adult Braces can be streamed and downloaded, and the vinyl edition is available for pre-order, here

Surface Report Release Debut Album ‘Stand By’

Surface Report Stand BySurface Report are a Southern Californian hardcore punk band from San Diego who have just released their debut album, Stand By. The album is now available for streaming and purchase, and you can grab a copy of Stand By as a name your price download until Friday the 4th August via Bandcamp.

Surface Report‘s Facebook page can be found here

Stand By can be streamed and downloaded here

Propagandhi Hit The UK And Announce New LP ‘Victory Lap’

Propagandhi VLCanadian punk band Propagandhi have shared their new single, Victory Lap, the title track from their upcoming seventh album that is due out on September 29th on Epitaph Records. Victory Lap is Propagandhi‘s first full-length since 2012’s Failed States, Victory Lap delivers Propagandhi‘s signature hybrid of snarling riffs, urgent rhythms, and politically charged lyrics. Like much of Victory Lap, the title track captures the frenetic energy off an unapologetically political band at a time when political speech seems overwhelmingly fractured.

You can stream the album’s title track here and pre-order Victory Lap here

You can view Propagandhi‘s UK tour dates below Read More…

No Trigger Release Stream Of ‘Adult Braces’ EP

12 obal s 3mm  hrbetem.inddBird Attack Records have launched pre-orders for No Trigger‘s forthcoming EP, Adult Braces, that is released digitally today and physically, on limited edition one sided screen printed clear vinyl, on August 11th. You can now pre-order the vinyl, download and stream the Adult Braces EP, along with merch bundle options, via Bandcamp.

You can pre-order the vinyl release of Adult Braces, and download and stream the EP, here

The video for the track Dogs On Acid, and No Trigger‘s tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Fights And Fires Release ‘Live Life Like A Tourist’ LP Today

Fights And Fires LLLATWorcester based punk rock quartet Fights And Fires have released their new album, Live Life Like A Tourist, through Lockjaw Records today, the 14th July 2017. The new record features eight tracks of melodic hardcore infused punk rock and is now available on vinyl, CD and digital formats through all usual online platforms.

You can stream and purchase Live Life Like A Tourist via Bandcamp here

Fights And Fires tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

No Trigger To Release ‘Adult Braces’ EP On July 28th

No Trigger promo July 17No Trigger have been around since the year 2000, pumping out melodic punk and hardcore songs slowly but surely every four or five years, five long years have now passed since their last LP, Tycoon, and now No Trigger have just recorded Adult Braces, a brand new four track EP. The band will be releasing the EP digitally on July 28th and physically on August 11th via Bird Attack Records. No Trigger will be touring Europe in August of 2017, playing some regional East Coast US shows in the fall of 2017, and will also be appearing live at The Fest in Florida in October.

You can check out the video for Dogs On Acid, and No Trigger‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Audible Joes Irrational Anthems

Audible Joes

Irrational Anthems

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Audible Joes hail from Cork in the Republic of Ireland in 2010, they released their debut album, Medicine For Modern Living, in 2015 and they will be self releasing their sophomore album, Irrational Anthems, tomorrow, the 14th July 2017. If you’re expecting the more familiar tones of what has become known as Celtic punk rock then you’re in for a shock, this is a million miles away from Dropkick Murphys or The Mahones, Audible Joes serve up bare knuckle punk rock that has more in common with the likes of Bad Religion, The Flatliners, Anti-Flag and Rancid than it does with the punk bands traditionally associated with the Emerald Isle.

Irrational Anthems opens up with all guns blazing on the brutal title track and the album does not relent until the final track, Until I Die, which is the only moment of respite from the full tilt assault. Irrational Anthems has that raw passion that marks out great punk albums, every track hits the mark, but there are moments that border on perfection, tracks like Born Again Cynic, Speaker Submission and Majority Rule demonstrate just how far Audible Joes have come in the two years since their debut album was released. The album is reminiscent of the aforementioned bands that have carved their names in the US punk and melodic hardcore scenes, but Audible Joes have added their own unique passion and grit to make this an album to treasure, and it marks them out as a band who deserve, and need, to be heard by a wider audience.

Where Medicine For Modern Living felt like a blunt object, Irrational Anthems feels like those oblique edges have been sharpened to switchblade precision, the whole album feels more focused but crucially they have achieved this without losing any of the raw aggression that was present of their debut album. For those who like their punk rock to not pull it’s punches then Irrational Anthems is an album you need to add to your collection or playlist. This is the sound of punk protest delivered with an urgent and defiant spirit that makes this easily their best release to date, and it’s one that I’m confident will be amongst my favourite releases from 2017.

Irrational Anthems will be released on July 14th and will be available via all major digital retailers and streaming services.

Medicine For Modern Living is available as a name your price download here

Fights And Fires LLLAT

Fights And Fires

Live Life Like A Tourist

Lockjaw Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Worcester, UK based punk rock quartet Fights And Fires are heading in to the Summer of 2017 with their latest album, Live Life Like A Tourist, that is due for release on July 14th through Lockjaw RecordsLive Life Like A Tourist features eight tracks of melodic hardcore infused gruff punk rock that is inspired by the members of Fights And Fires finding happiness in their personal lives, rekindling a love for life and a passion for their music. As such this is optimistic release that carries an underlying message of positivity that runs throughout all eight tracks on the record, a message that is underpinned by one simple message, that you’re not on your own.

The bass rumble that opens Live Life Like A Tourist leads into the full blooded melodic hardcore of Reggae,  this intense slab of brutal punk rock lays down the template for much of the album, this is eight tracks of pummelling guitar riffs with gruff punk vocals with a dense and claustrophobic feel, but they re no one trick pony and there are notable moments that stop Live Life Like A Tourist being a one trick pony. Tracks like Awkward head into straight forward hardcore territory with a more brutal approach than much of the album, whereas Camping, and especially Ouija Board, bring comparatively mellow moments, although mellow for Fights And Fires is still very much an intense and noisy affair.

Fights And Fires are very much born of the harder edged end of the melodic hardcore scene, with the exception of Ouija Board this is a raw heavy and intense album that is influenced by the original spirit of hardcore. The raw vocal delivery and intense delivery ensure that Live Life Like A Tourist picks up exactly where their 2013 sophomore album, We Could All Be Dead Tomorrow, left off and indicates that Fights and Fires still live up to their moniker after all almost ten years together.

Live Life Like A Tourist can be pre-ordered on vinyl and digital formats via Lockjaw Records here

88 Fingers Louie TYFBAF

88 Fingers Louie

Thank You For Being A Friend

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

88 Fingers Louie are back after one of the longest breaks in punk rock history, it’s been almost two decades since their last album, Back On The Streets, was released. Since 88 Fingers Louie disbanded their members scattered to the four winds and went onto join or form numerous influential punk bands, including Rise Against and Alkaline Trio, but now they’re back together with a new twelve track album. Thank You For Being A Friend is not a release that sounds as though it’s stuck in the past, their signature sound is still present but crucially this is an album that sounds as contemporary and energetic as many bands with members who weren’t even conceived when 88 Fingers Louie disbanded.

From the opening punk rock blast of Meds it’s clear that 88 Fingers Louie haven’t just jumped onto the reunion bandwagon, Thank You For Being A Friend is an energetic and vital album that spans the styles that punk rock has spawned over the years, whether it’s the melodic hardcore of Advice Column to the old school feel of the superb Knock It Off, this is an album that immediately makes an impression. The album obviously incorporates their hardcore roots, but for me they are at their best when they’re channelling the old school, this might not be surprising as they are authentically old school, in particular The Violence Of Denial is the finest moment, at least for me, on Thank You For Being A Friend.

88 Fingers Louie have made what is arguably the best album of their career, and on the strength of this release I’m hoping we don’t have to wait until 2036 for the next one. This is a band that sounds as though they’ve found their original spirit and enthusiasm, which is a rare thing as we’ve all encountered some lacklustre reunions over recent years that give you the feeling that money is the sole motivation for a return, but this is not the case on Thank You For Being A Friend. It’s good to have them back, and if you liked 88 Fingers Louie the first time round then you’re going to love this album.

Thank You For Being A Friend is now available via Bird Attack Records on vinyl, CD and digital formats here

Aviator Releasing ‘Loneliness Leaves The Light On For Me’ LP

Aviator LLTLOFMBoston based hardcore outfit Aviator are releasing their sophomore LP, Loneliness Leaves The Light On For Me, tomorrow, June 23rd, via No Sleep Records. Aviator will play a series of US shows in June with Druse, including a hometown record release show on June 23 at Hardcore Stadium in Cambridge, MA, the band will also be joining Lume on a US tour in July.

Loneliness Leaves The Light On For Me can be streamed and purchased via Bandcamp here

Aviator‘s tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Vacant Home Release ‘Reflect, Respond’ EP

Vacant Home RRAustralian melodic hardcore quintet Vacant Home have released their debut EP, Reflect, Respond, worldwide via Mutant League Records. The band were formed in Perth, Australia’s most isolated capital city, in late 2016 and Vacant Home have quickly established themselves as one of the country’s best up and coming acts. 

Reflect, Respond is available via iTunes here and Mutant League Records here

You can view the video for Heirloom, and Vacant Home‘s Australian tour dates, below Read More…

Authority Zero BTTN

Authority Zero

Broadcasting To The Nations

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Ever since their formation back in 1994 Authority Zero have been consistently delivering their patented mix of punk rock, melodic hardcore and ska, and whilst that is still very much the case a few things have changed over the years, Jason DeVore is the only ever present member of the band and they have a new record label, their fifth to date. Authority Zero have now released their sixth studio album via the esteemed Bird Attack Records imprint, the album was released yesterday, 2nd June 2017, and is now available on splatter vinyl, CD and digital formats and it’s release will be followed by a full US tour with international tours, including Japan and Europe, to be announced later this year.

From the opening blasts of classic melodic hardcore, First One In The PitReconcilation and Destiny And Demise, you get a good feeling about Broadcasting To The Nations as these are a perfect trio of short sharp shocks to open proceedings, if Broadcasting To The Nations had carried on in this vein I wouldn’t have complained, but the title track brings an urgent ska influenced element to the album, and it’s followed by the mellower ska of Summer Sickness, something that punctuates and permeates the full tilt punk rock of Broadcasting To The Nations perfectly. The album somehow manages to shift up a gear at the half way mark, Bayside and Sevens are perfect slices of punk rock and Revolution Rock builds on this with a politically charged frantic blast of ska, every single track on Broadcasting To The Nations hits the spot and the album bows out on a high with the superb duo of tracks, One Way Track Kid and No Guts No Glory.

After more than twenty years I feel that Authority Zero have produced the best album to date, everything on the album is perfectly balanced, the decision to put Bill Stevenson, of Black Flag and Descendents fame, at the helm has doubtlessly contributed to this. To put it simply Broadcasting To The Nations is one of the best punk albums you’ll hear this year, the competing influences of melodic hardcore, punk rock and ska are perfectly mixed and balanced on this impressive album. I have always found that difficult and challenging times inspire the best punk rock, if that is the case then Broadcasting To The Nations is an album that is very much a product of it’s time.

You can order Broadcasting To The Nations via Bird Attack Records here

Fights And Fires To Release ‘Live Life Like A Tourist’ LP

Fights And Fires LLLATWorcester based punk-rock quartet, Fights And Fires, are heading in to the Summer with a new album, Live Life Like A Tourist, set for release on July 14th through Lockjaw Records. The new album features eight tracks of melodic hardcore infused punk-rock, inspired by the members of the band finding happiness in their personal lives, rekindling a love for life and a passion for their music. As such, an underlying message of positivity runs throughout all eight tracks on the record.

You can stream the track Blanquettes Avenue here

Live Life Like A Tourist can be pre-ordered on vinyl here

Setbacks Oceans Apart

Setbacks

Oceans Apart

Morning Wood Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Setbacks started out just a few short years ago and their latest release, Oceans Apart, follows on from their debut EP, The New Frontier, that was released in 2015. Their initial release was to test whether it was feasible to form and maintain a band that is comprised of five musicians from four different continents. The EP proved to be a success and as a result Oceans Apart, the bands first full length album, slowly and steadily came together and the album is now available on CD and digital formats via Morning Wood Records.

It seems obvious that the album title and the bands chosen moniker are more than appropriate given the circumstances, from personal experience I know it’s bad enough trying to organise a group of people to be ready to record or rehearse when they live in the same area, let alone scattered across four continents. Zenith doesn’t exactly kick things off, it gently noodles about in a worrying way before the strident punk tones kick in at about the one minute mark, things start in earnest from Too Much Time, from this point in you’re in for fourteen tracks of melodic hardcore that will be a blast for fans of Bad Religion, Pennywise and Millencolin.

Setbacks have managed to bring together their decades of melodic hardcore punk experience from their previous ventures and combine it to create something that recreates the hardcore sound they all grew up on and love. Such is the influence from the melodic hardcore bands that informed their sound it can seem that Oceans Apart comes across as something of a throwback, but if you like your intense punk rock delivered in an old school style then Setbacks may well be your new favourite band. This is an album that takes it’s cues directly from the bands that influenced it, Oceans Apart might not be the most original album you’ll hear this year but it’s a more than welcome blast from the past.

Oceans Apart can be streamed and purchased via Morning Wood Records here

Vacant Home To Release ‘Reflect, Respond’ EP

Vacant Home RR PromoAustralian melodic hardcore quintet Vacant Home have signed with Mutant League Records and will release their new EP, Reflect, Respond, worldwide on June 16th. Their brand of west coast melodic hardcore attracted a worldwide audience with the emotional and heartfelt debut single, Shiver, gaining over 350k views on Youtube within 6 months, now with an Australian tour with Eat Your Heart Out in their sights, a debut EP on the horizon and a growing worldwide fan base demanding more, Vacant Home are showing no sign of slowing down in 2017.

You can view the video for the track Shiver, and Vacant Home‘s Australian tour dates, below Read More…

Setbacks Release ‘Oceans Apart’ Album

Setbacks Oceans ApartSetbacks started up in 2015 having recorded and pressed a limited edition EP, The New Frontier, this was the prototype to test the waters and see the feasibility of having a band which consisted of five musicians from four different continents. The EP proved a success and the bands first full length album, Oceans Apart, slowly and steadily came together. With Aaron Gouldings unique vocal tone, something Pridebowl fans have too long been without, Setbacks have managed to bring together their decades of melodic hardcore punk experience from their previous ventures and combine it to create something oozing that 80’s and 90’s sound they all grew up on and love.

Oceans Apart can be streamed and purchased via Morning Wood Records here

Despero Somewhere Near The Bottom

Despero

Somewhere Near The Bottom

La Escalera Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Texan punk quartet Despero, that features former members of The Anchor, The Capitalist Kids, Air Tight Alibi, and Town Hall Devils, are gearing up to release their album Somewhere Near The Bottom tomorrow, the 24th of March, through La Escalera Records, the album will be available on CD and digital formats. Somewhere Near The Bottom is the band’s debut full length release, it originally appeared in a slightly shorter format via their Bandcamp last year, now the album is getting a full release via the esteemed La Escalera Records imprint.

The Bullets kicks off the album with a fine hardcore tinged blast of punk rock, this is followed by the darker themed Tiny Victories that has more of an anthemic quality and an insistent right hook of a riff. Somewhere Near The Bottom switches almost schizophrenically between their hard edged brutal side, and a more melodic counterpart, for me the latter part of their personality has the greater appeal, but both are delivered with equal passion and commitment across the album’s short sharp shock of nine tracks, that are delivered in a shade under twenty five minutes.

Despero are a band that refuse to be pigeonholed, whilst they are a full blooded punk band their delivery varies from straight up punk rock, through melodic hardcore and into full blooded hardcore. If you have any love for the likes of Strung Out, Good Riddance and Avail then this is a band you will want to investigate, as Somewhere Near The Bottom is a full blooded album of bare knuckle punk rock that will we be a welcome addition to your playlist.

Despero will be appearing at La Escalera Fest 6 in April 2017 in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico alongside thirty other bands from the La Escalera Records stable. You can buy tickets, and get more information about La Escalera Fest 6 here

Somewhere Near The Bottom can be pre-ordered on CD here and digitally here

Despero‘s Facebook presence can be found here

Casey Release New Music Video For ‘Little Bird’

Casey Love Is Not EnoughSouth Wales’ melodic hardcore upstarts Casey recently celebrated the North American release of their debut full length, Love Is Not Enough, that is now available via Hassle Records. Now the band has released a brand new music video for Little Bird, one of the many explosive tracks from the album.

You can order Love Is Not Enough on physical formats here and digitally via iTunes

You can view the video for Little Bird below Read More…

One_Hidden_Frame_-_Harmful_Content

One Hidden Frame

Harmful Content

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

One Hidden Frame were formed in 2002 right next to the Russian border in Lappeenranta, Finland, the band has now been around for over a decade and has undergone numerous line up changes over the years, the current incarnation of One Hidden Frame are now more active than ever and they have developed a heavier more aggressive sound for their latest album. Harmful Content was released a few days ago, on the 17th March 2017, via Bird Attack Records and the album is now available for download, and also on extremely limited edition vinyl.

One Hidden Frame have made a few forays into Europe, including an appearance at Punk Rock Holiday, and now it appears that they are intent on making an impact outside their home turf with the release of Harmful Content. The opening What I’d Rather Say Is… verges on post hardcore before the album kicks into the full on melodic hardcore of From Maidan To Tahrir, from this point on the album veers between the various incarnations that hardcore has spawned over the years in an intense and emotional, if not somewhat familiar, manner.

One Hidden Frame delivers a mix of melancholic 90s skate punk and melodic hardcore, it’s a mix that will definately appeal to fans of the likes of Propagandhi and Pennywise. This is a solid nine tracks of emotive hard edged punk rock that will hit the spot the for fans of the more intense side of post hardcore, and obviously established fans of melodic hardcore. For me there is nothing on Harmful Content that I haven’t heard before, but having said that this is an album that is well delivered and faultlessly produced, and it’s one that should earn them new devotees outside of their native Finland.

Harmful Content can be purchased and streamed here

One Hidden Frame‘s Facebook presence can be found here