Dead Bars Announce New Full Length; Stream First Track

Dead BarsSeattle punk band  Dead Bars has announced details for their first full-length album, Dream Gig, on No Idea Records. The album drops digitally on March 10, 2017.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the new song “Earplug Girl,” here courtesy New Noise Magazine.

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Kindling Streams New LP In Full

KindlingEasthampton, MA’s Kindling (featuring members of Ampere) has premiered a full stream of their upcoming LP, Everywhere Else, which is set to drop on August 12, 2016 via No Idea Records and follows their 2015 EP/12″, Galaxies.

Listen to the track here thanks to the good folks at Spin.

Kindling – Capital Cities

KindlingEasthampton, MA’s Kindling (featuring members of Ampere) has premiered a new song from their debut LP.  The song is titled “Capital Cities” and will appear on the album, Everywhere Else, which is set to drop on August 12, 2016 via No Idea Records and follows their 2015 EP/12″, Galaxies.

Listen to the track here courtesy The AV Club.

Kindling Announce New LP; Stream First Track

KindlingEasthampton, MA’s Kindling (featuring members of Ampere) has detailed their debut LP.  The album will be titled Everywhere Else and is set to drop on Augst 12, 2016 via No Idea Records and follows their 2015 EP/12″, Galaxies.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the new song “Weightlessly,” which can be heard here courtesy Stereogum.

ship thieves NA

Ship Thieves

No Anchor

No Idea Records

Rating: 3.5/5




Ship Thieves are a band formed by Chris Wollard of Hot Water Music, formerly known as Chris Wollard And The Ship Thieves, the fact that his name no longer appears in the group’s moniker indicates that this outfit has moved beyond being a side project, and for me this release indicates they deserve recognition in their own right. Having said that it’s almost impossible to look objectively at the works of someone from a popular band without a degree of comparison, so apologies for that to Mr. Wollard as it’s an inevitability that it’s going to happen. I am however going to try and avoid pirate or naval references in this review, as tempting as they may be.

As with many acts that start out as the side projects of an established band, they initially act as a depository for ideas and songs that don’t suit their better known act. Whilst that may have applied to Ship Thieves earlier releases I’m not sure it applies to this album, this is a strong no frills punk rock release in it’s own right. The tempo rarely lets up, the songwriting is top notch and this album features some of Chris Wollard‘s fine trademark guitar riffs. Whilst the vocals are perfectly fine they lack the bite of his other act and indicate why Chuck Ragan is the lead vocalist for Hot Water Music

This is a fine album for those who like their punk rock in it’s raw state. There isn’t a bad track on this release and it suggests that Chris Wollard has a bright future, whether that’s with Ship Thieves or Hot Water Music. However, what does let the album down is the slightly muddy production which doesn’t let the obvious energy and commitment in this album shine through. This is a damn shame as I can hear the album this could have been.

I sincerely hope that Ship Thieves go on to greater things as the potential they possess is immense, so whilst this isn’t a direct hit it’s a good broadside… dammit I almost made it.


Ship Thieves

Ship Thieves

No Anchor

No Idea Records

Rating: 4/5




In removing his name from the band’s title, Chris Wollard’s full band side project, Ship Thieves, has amassed a stand alone reputation that draws upon the talents of all of its members.  While easy enough to single out the legendary co-frontman of Hot Water Music, the project has more than developed its own right to stand on its own two legs.  With two distinct full length to their name, Ship Thieves have explored the rustic folky fields of the countryside and ragged rocker’s mentality of the city.  They’ve never written the same record twice, and the same can be said of their third outing, No Anchor.  

It was bound to happen, but No Anchor actually defines itself as the closest to Wollard’s legacy work in Hot Water Music.  Wollard’s gravelly, unrestrained bark lends itself for the first time in a Ship Thieves outing, and the band rises to the occasion.  Delivering a pulse of crunchy, runaway riffs, No Anchor sits as Ship Thieves’ heaviest and most direct work to date.  Wollard’s long since defunct side project, The Draft, serves as perhaps the most direct reference point, framing the Ship Thieves’ inherently rough nature with a heavy dose of alluring melody.

Opener “Middle Man” roars in with Wollard’s grand throaty cry in a performance sure to capture the approval of any longtime orgcore enthusiast.  Against a backdrop of muscular riffs that morph between tough and melodically astute from chorus to verse, Ship Thieves leave little room for questioning No Anchor’s direction.  Look no further that “Born Into This” for the type of epic, vocal harmonies, that Wollard and company are known for, and which Hot Water Music fans still crave.  Generally, tracks like “No Anchor” and “Rotations” fill the subtle, atmospheric side of the spectrum, whereas those like “Long Way Down” and “Something Is Missing” bare their teeth for the full strength of a forceful of a bite.  The latter in particular features some of the album’s heaviest guitaring and most tenacious riffs.  For that matter, the bulk of No Anchor’s back half comes packed with some of Ship Thieves’ grittiest entries (check out “Ruts”).

Ship Thieves’ third LP fits in well both alongside the band’s past works as well as in with Wollard’s decorated lineage.  No Anchor doesn’t take as many risks as with his Ship Thieves’ early years, and some may argue that the disc defaults to the safety of Hot Water Music and The Draft, but that ignores the immense comfort and pleasure that fans stand to reap from this latest effort.  With offerings like this, Ship Thieves continue to cement themselves as a more than a spin off or side project.

Ship Thieves – Undertakers

Ship ThievesShip Thieves (formerly Chris Wollard And The Ship Thieves) is streaming a new song from their upcoming full length.  The track it titled “Undertakers” and the disc will be titled No Anchor and is due out January 29, 2016 on No Idea Records.  

Listen to the song here courtesy Big Cheese.

Ship Thieves – Born Into This

Ship ThievesShip Thieves (formerly Chris Wollard And The Ship Thieves) is streaming a new song from their upcoming full length.  The track it titled “Born Into This” and the disc will be titled No Anchor and is due out January 29, 2016 on No Idea Records.  

Listen to the song here courtesy Substream Magazine.

Ship Thieves – Middle Man

Ship ThievesShip Thieves (formerly Chris Wollard And The Ship Thieves) is streaming a new song from their upcoming full length.  The track it titled “Middle Man” and the disc will be titled No Anchor and is due out January 29, 2016 on No Idea Records.  

Listen to the song here courtesy The AV Club.

Radon Streams New 7″ Splits

RadonGainesville, FL punk band Radon has premiered a stream of two new split 7-inches.  The band shares the releases with San Diego’s Shallow Cuts and Japan’s Worthwhile Way. Both splits will be available November 6, 2015 via No Idea Records.  Pre-orders are live.

Both releases can be heard here courtesy PunkNews.

Basement Benders – Promise Everything

Basement BendersBasement Benders (featuring members of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb, Hidden Spots, Future Virgins, Black Rainbow) has premiered a new song.  The track is titled “Promise Everything” from their debut LP, Lydiad, due out November 13, 2015 on No Idea Records.

Listen to the song here.

The first Pressing of the LP includes a bonus 7″ of Minutemen and Kinks covers.  Only 100 lavender vinyl are available via No Idea’s webstore.

Basement Benders Join No Idea Records; Announce Debut LP

Basement BendersBasement Benders (featuring members of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb, Hidden Spots, Future Virgins, Black Rainbow) have signed on with Florida punk label No Idea Records. The band is set to drop their debut LP, Lydiad, November 13, 2015.

Coinciding with the signing, the band has premiered the song “Purple Days” here courtesy Brooklyn Vegan.


The first Pressing of the LP includes a bonus 7″ of Minutemen and Kinks covers.  Only 100 lavender vinyl are available via No Idea’s webstore.

Ship Thieves Announce Third LP

Ship ThievesShip Thieves (formerly Chris Wollard And The Ship Thieves) has announced plans to release their third full length.  The disc will be titled No Anchor and is due out in January 2016 on No Idea Records.  Song premieres and pre-orders are expected to follow.

Track listing is below.

Read More…

Kindling Sign With No Idea Records; Stream New Track

KindlingEasthampton, MA’s Kindling (featuring members of Ampere) have signed on with No Idea Records. The band plans to release a new EP/12″ entitled Galaxies on November 6, 2015.  Pre-Orders are live.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the new song “Blinding Wave,” which can be heard here courtesy Stereogum.

Video: A Wilhelm Scream – ‘Walkin’ With Michael Douglas

A wilhelm ScreamMassachusetts hardcore band A Wilhelm Scream has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “‘Walkin’ With Michael Douglas” and appears on their latest full length LP, Partycrasher, available now via No Idea Records. 

Watch the video below.

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Stream – The Bomb – ‘The Axis of Awesome’

BOMB_smiths_photo_for_site_1024x1024Chicago punk band The Bomb, featuring members of the local punk legends Naked Raygun and The Methadones are streaming their new EP, The Axis of Awesome, in its entirety. The EP only dropped last week (March 17th) via No Idea Records and includes a vinyl version with a screen printed B-side which is limited to 325 copies. 

Check out the full EP stream below.

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Sunshine State


No Idea Records

Rating: 4/5




Sunshine State mesmerize on their No Idea Records debut album, Pour. The Gainesville quartet act alter the punk rulebook and crumple its pages altogether, frantically throwing down tracks that will catch the listener’s attention, severing off any drop in concentration. They’ve proved on this contribution that they know how to gel together massive riffs with harmonic vocals, matching up against punk’s brutal giant.

Beginning with Sour Mash, the bass line is a true triumph with the guitar generating afterwards. Monumental vocals bellowed by a man that seems to have a puddle of demons splashing around in his mind. He describes someone being an emotional wreck, not truly surviving, just edging by.

Lunchblood comes in second. It’s more harmonic and melodic, there is no snotty nosed, spit soaked drama. The guitar vibe is arresting, absolutely chilling, complementing the pivotal lyrical framework perfectly. Poetry pounds through the bands backstreet of hell.

The album continues that trek throughout. Amanda is loud and infectious, sincere yet poisonous when it needs to be. Lyrics that flutters proudly like a pair of well cropped eyelashes, sustaining a balance of composure and credibility – Sour  is a non-stop contradictory extravaganza. 

You can’t help but feel for the disenchanted character that walks the streets, manipulated and wasting away admits the non-so-sunny Summer. The guitar adds the backing sound to the disarray.

These songs all work brilliantly, perfected by a band that feel pain and the restraints of a broken world – and also features ex- Against Me! drummer extraordinaire Warren Oakes. They’ve come together to inspire on a record that will patrol the head for a while, shooting sparks at the core.

Sunshine State – Peace And Rain

Sunshine StateGainesville, FL punk act Sunshine State has premiered a new song.  The track is titled “Peace And Rain” and is set to appear on their upcoming album, Pour, due out September 23, 2014 via No Idea Records

Check out the track here courtesy NewNoiseMagazine.

The band features former Against Me! member Warren Oakes.

Sunshine State – Takeover

Sunshine StateGainesville, FL punk act Sunshine State has premiered a new song.  The track is titled “Takeover” and is set to appear on their upcoming album, Pour, due out September 23, 2014 via No Idea Records.  

Check out the track here courtesy AltPress.

The band features former Against Me! member Warren Oakes.

The Tim Version Announce New Album

The Tim VersionTampa, FL punks The Tim Version have announced that their new LP Ordinary Life will be released on August 12th via No Idea Records. This is the band’s first full length since 2008’s Decline Of The Southern Gentleman and a stream for the first single, A Dream About Dean’s Dream is available here.

Creepoid Album Art


Self Titled

No Idea Records

Rating: 3.5/5




Philadelphia’s Creepoid came together in the midst of a snowstorm back in 2009, which is quite apt considering their music could be described as the sonic equivalent of such an event. Just imagine the twin guitars of Sean Miller and Pete Urban IV replacing the swirling winds, liberal use of the distortion effect instead of distorted perspectives and a quiet / loud dynamic perpetrated so effectively by husband and wife ryhthm section Anna(Bass) and Patrick (Drums) Troxell that mimics the eye of the storm cycles. Ok, well maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch, but hopefully you get the point. Creepoid take elements of grunge, 60’s pop, 90’s shoegaze and even a bit of alt-country to create an impressive overall package with their self titled sophomore full length for No Idea Records.

Nadua opens the album in style, taking vocal elements from Nick Cave and Radiohead laid on top of a slow building musical wave which when it finally crescendos down on the proverbial shore it does so with brutally awesome effect. Its an incredible way to open the record and sets the bar impossibly high for everything that follows.

The bands’ grunge influence is out for all to see on Baptism which features a classic Nirvana intro and continues on to underpin the entire track, whilst Gout is a simple melodic punk rock rock song distorted to all hell and sounding the better for it. Stay Inside and Vulgar see the group exhibit a poppier sound, not entirely dissimilar to 90’s Swedish indie favourites The Cardigans.

Old Tree, the final track on the record, comes closest to matching the quality of the opening song, brilliantly mixing 60’s pop melodies with a stunning distorted guitar riff, all of which complements a beautiful vocal from Sean Miller.

Overall the second album from Creepoid pulls from such a wide range of musical influences that you could be forgiven for thinking they were creating an homage to the 90’s alternative scene, but the reality is they have created a blend of noisey alt-rock that is both unique and instantly likeable.


Creepoid Detail New Record / Announce Tour

CreepoidPhiladelphia noise punks Creepoid have announced that their self titled sophomore full length will be dropping on March 4th via No Idea Records. This will be the follow up to 2011’s critically acclaimed Horse Heaven and sees the band expand their interpretation of the quiet-loud-quiet-loud dynamic with the help of producer Kyle ‘Slick’ Johnson (Modest Mouse, So So Glos).

The band have released a stream of the album track Sunday, and you can check out all upcoming tour dates below:

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Mustard Plug Announces New Album, Streams New Songs

Mustard PlugLegendary ska-act Mustard Plug have announced that they will be releasing their seventh studio album, Can’t Control It, on January 14th through No Idea Records.

The album is available for pre-order in a variety of formats here.

In anticipation for the album, the band has unveiled two new songs. The first, The All-Nighter, can be heard here while White Noise can be heard below.

Mustard Plug are in the middle of  playing some record release and holiday shows, the dates are below. Read More…

Mustard Plug – White Noise

Mustard PlugMustard Plug has announced plans for a brand new album.  The album will mark their seventh full length and will hold the title Can’t Contain It.  No Idea Records will handle the release on January 14, 2014.

The band has debuted a brand new song, “White Noise,” which can be heard here.

Crusades – The Torchbearer

CrusadesNo Idea Records has unveiled the track “The Torchbearer” from the upcoming LP from Ottawa, Ontario’s Crusades, entitled Perhaps You Deliver This Judgement With Greater Fear Thank I Receive It, to be released on November 5th .

The song can be heard below.

Comprised of current and ex-members of Sedatives, The Creeps, Buried Inside, The Steve Adamyk Band, Last Communion, Zebrassieres, The Visitors, Pregnancy Scares, Black Tower & others, Crusades’ are no stranger to the music industry and are using this newest outfit to discuss, among other things, atheism, antichristianity, secular humanism, satanism, and a vehement disdain for the crippling disease that is organized religion.  Read More…

A Wilhelm Scream – Devil Don’t Know

A wilhelm ScreamMassachusetts hardcore band A Wilhelm Scream have announced their new full length LP, Partycrasher will drop on November 5th via No Idea Records. This will be the bands 6th full length, and first since 2007’s Career Suicide.

You can stream the track, “Devil Don’t Know,” from the new album here.

Worn In Red - In The Offing

Worn in Red

In The Offing

No Idea Records

Rating: 4/5




It would be easy to mistake Virginia’s Worn In Red as simple faceless hardcore.  But that would be missing some barely classifiable, vague but vital element.  Their latest album, In The Offing, may open with piercing cries bringing to mind those of vintage Alexisonfire, but a few moments later something much more like a fusion of Outbreak and My Heart To Joy takes hold.  Rather than maintaining a tone-deaf sense of aggression, vocalist Matt Neagle retreats into Joe Lusk’s melodic, guitar driven backdrop.  Think Castevet, but replace twinkly melodies with a conventional punk-rock structure, and worn vocals with borderline gut wrenching screams. 

But Neagle doesn’t work alone.  Guitarist Brendan Murphy also sings in tandem, his voice no less passionate.  But where Neagle sounds shrill, Murphy feels gruff.  He has a distinctively lower tone – closer to the worn delivery of New York City styled hardcore acts like Killing Time than his counterpart.  Working together, Neagle and Murphy trade off lines, words, and even phrases without much formula.  When needing something less forceful – like in “And You Knew” – Murphy even contributes some thoughtful near-singing.  Consequently, their alternating pitch and tone prevents any sense of droning or dragging often responsible for making aggressive hardcore feel dull.

Musically, Worn In Red, resembles post-hardcore acts like ­­­­­My Heart To Joy more than their breakdown, riff-heavy obsessed peers.  Ultimately they traverse the entire spectrum of hardcore and punk-rock, but never dwell on a fixed style for more than a chorus or verse at a time.  For example, “Piled Like Bricks” opens with the sudden starting and stopping of subsequent riffs, before quickly launching into a full-blown melodicore verse.  When the chorus picks up, the abruptness returns, eventually making the track’s frantic concluding moments all the more powerful.  Likewise, the quiet reflective moments, as per the opening and bridges making up “Resigned, Not Resigning” and “As Best We Can,” establish a keen sense of momentum within and between tracks.

Lyrically, the band matches their thoughtful musicianship with line after line of reflective offerings.  Throughout my listens the lyrics never became my focus, but a quick glimpse through the lyric booklet reveals some fairly heavy content about some pretty big themes.

Overall, In The Offing, has a great feeling to it.  As someone who needs that little something extra when entertaining really ragged hardcore, Worn In Red easily satisfied my rather finicky taste.  So if you fancy punk-rock, hardcore, post-punk, or anything in between, In The Offing deserves your time. 

A Wilhelm Scream Announce New Record / Tour

A wilhelm ScreamMassachusetts hardcore band A Wilhelm Scream have announced their new full length LP, Partycrasher will drop on November 5th via No Idea Records. This will be the bands 6th full length, and first since 2007’s Career Suicide. Trevor Reilly (Guitars/Vocals) said this about finally releasing the record and joining up with No Idea:

 “The last few years have been a whirlwind, and we are so proud and excited for our fans old and new to finally hear Partycrasher and play all these songs live. And to work with a label like No Idea is a dream come true, as I remember vividly poring over the No Idea catalog over at Nuno’s apartment when we were kids idolizing Hot Water Music and the dozens of other rad post hardcore bands they were always known for putting out.”

You can stream the track, Born a Wise Man, from the new album on the bands soundcloud page.

The band will be hitting the road in support of the new record at the end of October, starting with an appearance at both pre-Fest in Tampa, FL and TheFest in Gainsville. Full tour dates below:

Read More…

Live Concert Review

The Fest 11

Live (Halloween Weekend 2012)

Gainesville, Florida




For those in our little community, No Idea’s annual punk rock party known simply as The Fest has become a must-see staple. Everyone knows about it, eagerly awaits and tries to find a way to make sure they have enough money to make the trek down to the sleepy University town of Gainesville, Florida every year.

Outside of the punk realm, it doesn’t carry the same respect or admiration of say Reading and Leeds or Coachella – but let’s be honest, none of those so-called big named festivals could hold a candle up to this celebration of beer-soaked, bearded sing-alongs. No, The Fest is our punk rock Christmas and this year’s eleventh edition didn’t disappoint in any way, shape or form.

Arriving too late for any pre-Fest shows, the weekend’s music began with Bomb The Music Industry! playing on the Holiday Inn pool party. A sloppy set and horrendous sound didn’t stop the already inebriated fans from jumping around as people were excited just to see the weekend begin.

By the end, the rest of the weekend turned into a blur – so as with many recaps, this will be missing some elements. However, a groggy memory is a memory none the less; and The Fest 11 implanted more than it’s fair share.

Latterman were a huge draw having only done a few shows since breaking up back in 2007. So while Anti-Flag were sticking to songs from only their first four albums down the street at the Florida Theatre, there were equal amounts of nostalgia taking over 8 Seconds for the final sets of day one. TheLatterman love continued over the weekend as Iron Chic had the longest line-up of the festival, wrapping its way past even The High Dive a few blocks down. Those who got in were treated to the perfect Fest set of gruff punk with I Always Never Said That and Black Friday being some of the highlights.

Other-post Latterman projects in attendance were Rvivr who followed Iron Chic to an equally energetic crowd but it was Erica Freas’ acoustic set on Sunday morning at the Civic Media Centre that really took the cake. Starting late because of technical problems including an out-of-tune guitar with no-pickup,Freas’ set was full of humble excitement and genuine surprise at the reception. With people spilling out the door, I’ve never seen the Civic Media Centre that full before and everyone laughed along with her light hearted banter. A slight change of pace from the gruff punk of the weekend, Freas served as a warm-up for those nursing a hangover from the first two nights of partying before jumping into something more energetic – for most it was a choice between The Wild and Joyce Manor.

Opting to catch Atlanta’s folk-punk five-some The Wild was not regrettable despite hearing that Joyce Manor nailed it. Dressed up as characters from Moonrise KingdomThe Wild got into the full Halloween spirit of the weekend and went through Together Underground, Let Me Sing You A Song, The Saddest Thing I Ever Saw and Set Ourselves Free among others. Realizing they had more time, they were the only band of the weekend to do an encore despite being the first band on the bill. That’s not to say some bands didn’t go over, Titus Andronicus went ten minutes longer than they were supposed to but nobody seemed to mind.

Minneapolis’ Off With Their Heads were one of several bands who played two sets – one at 8 Seconds and then a late addition at Durty Nelly’s (a venue that will hopefully become a Fest regular as it was always packed and played host to numerous “secret” sets). Their first set featured your regular selection of songs from their full catalogue but at Durty Nelly’s they stepped on, said “This is From The Bottom” and proceeded to play the album front to back with no banter between. You could barely move, but fists were pumping in the air all night long.

Of course, like any Fest year, there was plenty of variety – both in styles and sizes of bands. Philadelphia’s Ma Jolie absolutely killed it inside a sparsely attended Loosey’s show up against Anti-Flag and Latterman where those in attendance were going ape-shit crazy despite the difficult time slot.

The UK’s Great Cynics closed the entire festival at Loosey’s where everyone seemed to end up at the end of the night which finalized with a speech from the venue owner who crowd surfed as Hot Water Music’s Trusty Chords played over the speaker.

Pop-punkers Direct Hit! delivered what will surely become a Fest legend with all those who couldn’t fit into the 130-capacity 1982 opting to watch through the window and crowd surf in middle of West University Avenue. Members of Mixtapes fought an ever growing cold and jumped all over the The New Top Spot playing songs from Even On The Worst Nights to a steadily growing crowd. Maura Weaver and Ryan Rockwell were in top form, bouncing off each other and showing why they’re a band who will only go up. Hell, even getting a used condom thrown at the stage didn’t stop Rockwell who just picked it up and threw it right back.

There were acoustic sets galore, bearded troubadour Paul Baribeau gave a chill inducing performance at 8 Seconds while Tim Browne from Elway did an all-request show at Civic Media Centre and opted to forgo the microphone and just get everyone to sing along instead – and sing along they did.

Smoke Or Fire’s Joe McMahon crawled into Loosey’s during their highly anticipated Saturday morning brunch and played a handful of tunes including a Jawbreaker cover which was cut short because no one in attendance could remember the first line to the third verse. Punk rock fail for sure, at least no one had a problem singing What Separates Us and Neon Lights.

Red Scare Industries was well represented throughout the weekend, especially on Friday when Elway, The Holy Mess, Dopamines, Cobra Skulls where my first four bands of the evening only to be followed by The Copyrights a few hours later. Yes, that was all just one night.

Nothington, another Red Scare alumni, gave one the highlight performances the following night in a set that was squished between the ska-double punch of Mustard Plug and Streetlight Manifesto (to make all three bands involved some spastic running around from venue to venue – but it was most definitely worth it). Streetlight were, of course, at the top of their game with Here’s To Life, A Moment of Silence, Moment of Violence and Down Down Down To Mephisto’s Café being a select few in their far too short a set. Mustard Plug pulled out some classic gems like Mr. Smiley, Brain on Ska andSkank My Numbers and even treated the crowd to their rendition Fugazi’Waiting Room for good measure.

People may love to hear Waiting Room, but as Frank Turner so eloquently put it “Everyone here tries to pretend, including me, that you just woke up and already loved Black Flag but that’s not true, you got into this shit through bands like Offspring and Green Day and shit like that.”

And with that, he launched into Blink 182’s Dammit as his opening song and every last person there sang along.

I’d be quite confident in saying that Frank Turner gave the best performance of the weekend (of course, people who saw Propaghandi may disagree). In may have been the accumulation of PBR within me, but there was something simply magical in the air as he had the crowd eating out of his hand. By the end, I was surrounded by a dozen people – both friends and strangers alike – singing arm in arm to songs like Peggy Sang The Blues, Glory Hallelujah, Dan’s Song, The Road, Long Live The Queen, The Ballad Of Me and My Friends, I Still Believe, Photosynthesis, Try This At Home and a cover ofAmerican Girl. It was something magical and glorious and the definition of the The Fest.

The same could be said for The Menzingers set a few hours prior at Florida Theatre. Touring in support of On The Impossible Past, an album that will surely be on everyone’s year end lists this year, The Menzingers could do no wrong. Opening with The Obituaries, the crowd went wild. People jumped over one another, screamed in each other’s faces, jumped and moshed and danced the night away to songs like Ava’s House, Casey, Nice Things, Good Things, Gates, I Was Born and Sunday Morning. Their choice to end with A Lesson In The Abuse of Information Technology was perfect and only cemented why The Menzingers are one of the biggest bands around right now.

Somehow, in a seemingly impossible fashion, I could still go on as I managed to watch a total of 43 bands over the weekend (yes, there were a few half sets thrown in due to time conflicts). There was still The Flatliners and Tim BarryThe Front Bottoms (who blew me away) and Broadway CallsDear Landlord, Dead To Me and Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Gateway District, Make Do and Mend and The Soviettes and many more. The list goes on and simply feels like icing on the cake alongside numerous  inmmensly memorable non-official moments of The Fest of which there are many.

A warehouse show came together on Saturday night with Into It. Over It and Slingshot Dakota playing before the cops came to break it up just as Braid began. I missed that show but was across town at the Holiday Inn watching Protagonist, Divided Heaven, We Are The Union and Binary Hearts play a hotel room show before running upstairs where Lauren Measure just finished playing and someone else was there doing a few tunes. Pulling Joe McMahon in, we did loud sing-alongs till well past four in the morning. In almost every hotel, if you kept your ears open you’d find something to keep you busy into the wee hours of the morning.

The Fest themselves threw an after party in the Holiday Inn the next night with an all cover set of Green Day, Weezer, Foo Fighters, and Nirvana performed by Astpai, Broadway Calls, Static Radio NJ and someone else who escapes me at the moment. Bomb The Music Industry! were meant to doFugazi but said fuck it and did Sugar Ray covers instead – and somehow, no one really cared.

Then again, that’s The Fest. Shit happens and you go with it. You make new friends, some for the whole weekend and some for only one random set crammed in the middle of the afternoon. You somehow end up watching The Evil Dead at Boca Fiesta with Andrew Cream and his friends from the UK. You sing with new pals from New Jersey and drunken Irish guys until the sun comes up at eight in the morning and catch up with people you only see once a year.

That’s The Fest – my most important holiday of the year. A weekend full of friends, bad hygiene, loss of hearing and two dollar tall boys; and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Human Parts

Human Parts

Andrew Seward

No Idea Records
By on September 18th, 2013 at Phone



After deciding it was time to end his tenure as part of Against Me!, bassist Andrew Seward went home to relax. Getting a job in a pizza kitchen, he spent time hanging out with friends and catching up with his family – taking a well deserved break from years on the road. But as it is with any musician, the music couldn’t rest. So whenever he had a moment of downtime, Seward would pick up his bass and start plucking along again. Slowly and surely he started forming new songs – recording the different instruments in a makeshift studio in his house in any spare time he had. These songs eventually became the ground work for Human Parts – Seward’s new band with Gainesville friends and family members.

Fresh off releasing the self titled debut, Pete Batillon called Seward to discuss how exactly Human Parts came to be. Read More…

Whiskey & Co. - Rust Colors

Whiskey & Co.

Rust Colors

No Idea Records

Rating: 3/5




Whiskey & Co. has been Gainsville’s answer to southern country for upwards of ten years now, and to this day they remain one of the only country bands on a punk label to keep their Americana roots planted in separate soil from many of those on their roster.  Rather than fuse country with gravelly gutter bound street tales, they grow their crops organic, tilling their music with a legacy of countryside practices as old as the hills.  To this end the band has kept their sound pure, and rooted in the distant past (think Gram Parsons).

Their first full length in five years, Rust Colors, continues Whiskey & Co’s dusty traditions across eleven new tracks.  Back with all of the usual suspects – including the fiddle, banjo, electric and acoustic guitars.  As always, talented front woman Kim Helm reprises her role as lead vocalist, supported by the barnyard howl of Brian Johnson.  Johnson has always been somewhat of an acquired taste (think a stereotypical southerner, like Larry The Cable Guy), so thankfully Helm’s subtle, relaxed nature takes the reigns as usual.  Occasionally they share a duet, as per the hillbilly love song “In Spite Of our Selves” and the alcoholics’ anthem “Beer For,” and although Johnson’s voice feels as awkward as ever, some may argue that it offers variety and fits the witty content.

Meanwhile, the busy backdrop keeps the music grounded and varied.  The album gravitates towards a mid-tempo range, but still accelerates and slows from time to time.  “Top Poppin’” opens playfully, the beat bouncing to talk of drinking cold beer and singing along to that perfect front porch ditty.  “Beer For…” continues the uppity prance with an alcoholic’s menu (“I want a beer for breakfast, I wanna beer for brunch-fast, I wanna beer for lunch-fast, supper-fast, dinner-fast, and desert-fast”).  Comparatively, the title track and others like “Long Way Down” assert a strong country twang at a significantly reduced rhythm.

Most songs exist around strong rural imagery.  For example, “Backward Glance” draws upon an old “oak tree” when detailing a failed love looking for a chanced rekindling.

But with such country purity also comes limitations.  While the band puts a lot of love into each song, and infuses them with their own sense of being, it’s has a very “adult contemporary” sense to it that might turn some listeners off.  Now I’m not saying they sound like Phil Collins or Rod Stewart, but they definitely favor a safe, tested road and that means taking less risks.  The band sounds very comfortable, and while not uninspired, certainly lacks the youthful vigor one might expect.  To be frank, this has always been a sticking point for me with Whiskey & Co, and Rust Colors is no different.

If you’ve found yourself tilling the field in search of some light-hearted honky Tonkin country, then Whiskey & Co. gets the job done.  But if you prefer some more grit under your tread, then Rust Colors might pass like a pebble under a tractor – unnoticed.  Now don’t get me wrong, many will get a great deal of enjoyment out of Rust Colors – but I just haven’t been one to fall for their old timey charm.