ThePunkSite.com

Donaher ISMLIT

Donaher

I Swear My Love Is True

Dodgeball Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

New Hampshire Power Pop quartet Donaher have been added to the impressive and ever growing roster at Dodgeball Records, and now they have released their debut full length via the fledgling label. I Swear My Love Is True is an album that sets out to make the definitive soundtrack to falling in love, with it’s seemingly almost inevitable flipside of heartbreak and unrequited love never far away. I Swear My Love Is True is now available on limited edition splatter vinyl via Dodgeball Records, and also on CD and digital formats via Donaher‘s Bandcamp.

I Swear My Love Is True kicks off with the brief acoustic introduction of Found Me, however this is would seem to be there just to mislead you, as from this point the album kicks into a lively hook filled full length of power pop. Tracks such as Heather, The Wrong Side Of Webster Street and the superb No Other Dude are perfect examples of lovelorn power pop that anyone who’s ever worshipped from afar will be able to relate to. Amidst the heartache inspired power pop there are brief returns to Donaher‘s gentler acoustic style with Courtney and the first half of the album’s finale, I Fell For You, before this final moment breaks out into some tortured noisey power pop.

This is an album that will be lapped up by those who love the likes of the Smoking Popes, The Get Up Kids, whose frontman Matt Pryor appears on the track No Other Dude, and the non recidivist side of Masked Intruder, as like those bands Donaher have the ability to take the yearning heartache of unrequited love and translate it into bitter sweet punky power pop. I Swear My Love Is True is a ten track album with more many more hits than misses, for me the acoustic elements break the flow of the album ever so slightly, but it must be said that Donaher have made an impressive debut and are a more than worthy addition to the Dodgeball Records family.

I Swear My Love Is True can be streamed and purchased via Bandcamp here

The limited edition splatter vinyl edition of the album can be purchased from Dodgeball Records here

Donaher Release Debut Album Via Dodgeball Records

Donaher Band Nov 17Donaher‘s debut LP contains ten power pop songs that are savagely sweet, contagiously cute, and packed with more hooks than a tackle box. I Swear My Love Is True is a record that defines the sound of falling in love and a pending heartbreak, Donaher have also released a music video for the track The Wrong Side of Webster Street that is taken from the album.

I Swear My Love Is True can be ordered on CD and digital formats via Bandcamp here

The video for The Wrong Side of Webster Street can be viewed below Read More…

Green Day Release ‘God’s Favorite Band’ Greatest Hits LP

Green Day GFBGreen Day have released God’s Favorite Band, their first greatest hits album since 2001’s International Superhits. God’s Favorite Band spans over three decades and contains twenty of their hit singles, the album also includes two new songs, Ordinary World (featuring Miranda Lambert) and Back In The USA. Green Day have also released a video for Back In The USA that is inspired by the classic John Carpenter movie, They Live.

God’s Favorite Band can be purchased and streamed here

You can view the video for Back In The USA below Read More…

Autonomics Debt Sounds

Autonomics

Debt Sounds

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Portland’s Autonomics self released their debut full length Debt Sounds last month and , like their home town brethren The Thermals,  they deliver a relentless stripped down fuzzy poppy garage punk soundtrack, but whereas The Thermals channel an undercurrent of punk rock, Autonomics debut full length has the feel of an album that is informed by the bands that were born of the garage, this is blended with a melodic poppy sensibility that the likes of Weezer deliver so effortlessly,

The album’s title, the reference to Nada Surf on one track and the fact the brief opening track, Spirit Blues, that reminds me of the mellower moments of dark psychedelia by the likes of The 13th Floor Elevators, gives you an idea that this will be an album of retro garagebut from the point the second track, Bad Blood, kicks in that’s where the mellowness ends.  Autonomics have released a gloriously dirty lo-fi mix of garage, power pop and punk rock, despite the frantic fuzzed up nature of the album it must be said that Debt Sounds carries a distinctly melodic quality, one that carries throughout the album’s eleven tracks.

Autonomics are a band that possesses the true spirit of DIY, the album is entirely self funded by working day jobs in between shows and as a result there’s a relentless energy to Debt Sounds, maybe this comes from the fact the album is made to a budget and the band were on limited time in which to record it, but whatever the reason Debt Sounds comes across with a reckless live feel that the lo-fi recording just can’t restrain. The slightly muddy mix on Debt Sounds is one that will horrify audiophiles, but for me an album of this nature wouldn’t sound right any other way and the fuzzy wall of sound on Debt Sounds is just one of the album’s many charms.

Debt Sounds can be streamed and purchased via Bandcamp here

Decent Criminal Bloom

Decent Criminal

Bloom

Dodgeball Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 
California’s Decent Criminal have signed with the newly founded Dodgeball Records and are set to release Bloom, the band’s label debut that will be released October 13th. Decent Criminal blend elements of 90’s alternative, garage rock, surf punk, power-pop and good old fashioned punk rock to deliver catchy, upbeat songs that collide with abrasive and often melancholy undertones, the end result is an album that is a more than worthy successor to their 2016 self titled debut album.
 
Cold leads you into the album with a vibrant slab of power pop before Bloom heads into the laid back strains of Still, the acoustic strains of Tender make you think that Decent Criminal are in danger of flatlining, that is until the guitars kick in for an overdriven and anthemic lovelorn chorus. Melt kicks back into the full tilt powerpop before the album’s most heartfelt number, Expectations, marks the halfway point of Bloom. Both Void and Iron are stripped down slice of heady garage rock, Neurotic delivers a gloriously deranged glam punk stomp before Waver returns to the garage infused power pop, finally Bloom ends in style, with the hedonostic lead single, Deviant.
 
The ten monosyllabically titled tracks that make up Bloom is an unexpected package of wistful songs whose  tones are carried along in a strangely upbeat style given the melancholy feel of the album. Decent Criminal‘s sophomore album contains many elements that remind me of some of my favourite bands both past and present, including These Animal Men and Culture Abuse, and the soaring guitars and treble led solo’s that permeate the album mix with hooks and melodies to create an irresistible and heady combination. Bloom indicates that Decent Criminal are another impressive addition to the ever growing and impressive roster that Dodgeball Records has amassed in it’s short lifespan.
 
Decent Criminal will release Bloom on October 13th 2017 via Dodgeball Records.
 
Bloom can be pre-ordered here
 

The Role Models ‘Dance Moves’ Album Released In The USA

Role Models DMThe Role Models released their third album in three years in the UK last month via Glunk Records, now Dance Moves will be available in the US via Rum Bar Records. Dance Moves was originally launched via a Pledge Music campaign that hit it’s goal in less than four hours. The Role Models will on tour in the UK next month with Michael Monroe, and Dance Moves is available on CD in the UK via Glunk Records here and digitally via Bandcamp here

The Punk Site Review of Dance Moves can be read here

You can order Dance Moves in the US via Rum Bar Records here

Telethon To Release ‘The Grand Spontanean’ This Friday

Telethon TGSTelethon‘s 90 minute, 30 song, 5 act concept album, The Grand Spontanean, will be released this Friday, September 29 via Halloween Records, and features guest spots by Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren and members of The Hold Steady, Less Than Jake and TV On The Radio. The Grand Spontanean is a cosmic trip of punk rock filtered through straight up rock n’ roll, power pop and every other style in which they could meld their sound into. It resulted in a true blue rock opera about a self-centred, internet addicted twenty-something realizing the world’s about to end in a storm of noise and chaos. Digital pre-orders are now available, along with a limited edition CD box set with extensive liner notes and more, you can pre-order The Grand Spontanean here

You can view a quote from guitarist Kevin Tully and Telethon‘s tour dates below Read More…

Role Models DM

Role Models

Dance Moves

Glunk Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Another year has passed and the Role Models have released their third album in three years, the album was originally launched via a Pledge Music campaign that hit it’s goal in less than four hours. Dance Moves takes you through a binge weekend with someone who has a lot to forget, or remember, the highs and lows, the exhilaration and the stinging guilt. The remembrance of loved ones past and the realization of friendships present, wanting to be lost and still yearning to be found, getting lost and being found. Dance Moves follows on from 2016’s critically acclaimed Forest Lawn album and is now available via Glunk Records.

Dance Moves is a step away from the immediate impact that the punkier Forest Lawn album had, this feels like a more mature and refined release and there’s a heavier influence from their rock ‘n roll sensibilities. Dance Moves is a perfect third instalment in a trilogy that has had the same core influences of power pop, punk and rock ‘n roll, with each album bringing one of these qualities to the fore, whether this is intended is something that only the Role Models will know for sure. Dance Moves is another solid album with no moments that have you reaching to skip over any tracks, and embedded in it’ grooves there a few stone cold classics in the shape of the album’s title track, Covered In Mistakes and Wizard Van that prove the Role Models have lost none of edge, or their tendency to pump out guitar hooks that lodge themselves firmly in your brain.

Three album’s in three years is an impressively consistent output for any band, but this is all the more impressive when you consider that the Role Models have released three album’s that each have their own character, yet maintain the Role Model‘s trademark mix of power pop, punk and rock ‘n roll. Add to this that that Dance Moves also features an impressive roster of guest appearances, including members of The Boys, The Scott Sorry Band and Robin Black And The IRS, to bolster their impressive sound, then you have a recipe for a third impressive full length in as many years, making the Role Models one of the most consistent band’s out there at the moment.

Dance Moves is available on CD via Glunk Records here and digitally via Bandcamp here

Role Models Release ‘Dance Moves’ LP

Role Models DMAnother year has passed and the Role Models have released their third album in three years, Dance Moves was originally launched via a Pledge Music campaign that hit it’s goal in less than four hours. Dance Moves takes you through a binge weekend with someone who has a lot to forget, or remember, the highs and lows, the exhilaration and the stinging guilt. The remembrance of loved ones past and the realization of friendships present, wanting to be lost and still yearning to be found, getting lost and being found. Dance Moves follows on from 2016’s critically acclaimed Forest Lawn album and is now available via Glunk Records

Dance Moves is available on CD via Glunk Records here and digitally via Bandcamp here

Don Blake BD

Don Blake

Blake District

Round Dog Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Bolton, UK’s power pop punk quartet Don Blake have recently released their latest EP, Blake District, and the bands latest offering follows on from their 2015 debut album, Pocket Universe. Blake District features five new songs from the band that build on their previous releases and keep all the harmonies, catchy hooks and punk energy that populated their debut album, but with an added maturity that has been developed over the last two years that has brought a new element to the style that dominated their earlier EP’s, and their impressive debut album.

Their debut album was a blast of high tempo punk rock, and from the opening chords of Broken Baritone it’s clear that this is still the case as they open with a slice of melodic pop punk, but any fears that they might have softened their approach are dismissed by the frantic punk rock blast of Lurking. Blake District continues to tread the line between pop punk, punk rock and power pop perfectly, The Road Home and No Stops return to the poppier side of their style, whilst On The Line revisits their punk rock roots. Whilst there is a distinct influence from the heyday of pop punk on Blake District, this is not a recreation and the emphasis is firmly on the punk and power pop rather than the poppy elements.

Having a band of this quality that are literally right on my doorstep is something that is a rare thing, but for those of you who live further afield I’d recommend getting your hands on the Blake District EP until they make their way to your neck of the woods. Don Blake are a band that will appeal to fans of Teenage Bottlerocket, The Lillingtons, The Riverdales and The Methadones, but this is not a band who have copied a style from across the pond, they have firmly stamped their own identity onto the sound, and more importantly they’ve done it with style.

The Blake District EP can be streamed and purchased here as well as their back catalogue, which is available as pay what you want downloads. Blake District is also available on transparent splatter vinyl via Round Dog Records here

Telethon Release Video For ‘Succinct, The Optimist’

Telethon TGSTelethon will release an ambitious new concept album titled The Grand Spontanean: A Tale Told In Five Acts, on September 29 via Halloween Records. The Grand Spontanean is a cosmic trip of punk rock, rock n’ roll, power pop and every other style in which they could meld their sound into. The result is a true blue rock opera about a self-centered, internet addicted twenty-something realizing the world’s about to end in a storm of noise and chaos. The sprawling, thirty track LP also features appearances by Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren and members of The Hold Steady and Less Than Jake. You can pre-order The Grand Spontanaen on CD and digital formats via Bandcamp here

The video for Succinct, The Optimist can be viewed below Read More…

Don Blake Release ‘Blake District’ EP

Don Blake BDDon Blake have released their latest EP, Blake District, that is the band’s first new material since their debut album, Pocket Universe, was released just over two years ago. Don Blake have also confirmed a short run of tour dates across the UK and Scotland, and a review of the Blake District EP will appear on The Punk Site shortly.

The Blake District EP can be downloaded and streamed here and is available on vinyl here

Don Blake‘s tour dates, and the video for the track Lurking, can be viewed below Read More…

Mr Happy Chainsaw INMB

Mr Happy Chainsaw

It's Not My Ball

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 
Mr Happy Chainsaw reformed last year after a seven year hiatus and they have picked up exactly where they left off by re-establishing themselves on their local scene, with new material, a new line up and new attitude towards performing. Before their long hiatus Mr Happy Chainsaw were a band that took toured across the UK with the likes of The Vibrators, UK Subs and Madness and you can see why when you listen to It’s Not My Ball, as this is the kind of EP that has a distinctly cross genre appeal.
 

The It’s Not My Ball EP brings three freshly penned tracks and two regenerated classics from their first incarnation. Standing There kicks things off with an upbeat poppy punk riff, this is followed by Out Of Time and Leaving Town, two tracks that have the feel of the finest vintage power pop, whilst Charlie and Your Best Friend bring a touch of old school punk rock, the latter of which will definitely appeal to fans of Dirt Box Disco. It’s Not My Ball is an impressive EP that marks the return of Mr Happy Chainsaw to recording, eight long years after they released their debut EP, We Appear To Be On Fire.

Although Mr Happy Chainsaw describe themselves as poppy punk rock they manage to avoid the pop punk clichés that have been rife in the recent renaissance of the genre, it might be poppy but it’s not pop punk, this is punk rock with a poppy veneer. Underneath the cartoonish name and covert art there lies an accomplished combination of punk rock and power pop that is not what I expected from a band who describe themselves as a cocktail of Blink 182, Green Day and Alkaline Trio, with a splash of Foo Fighters and a hint of Barry Manilow and Elton John.

The It’s Not My Ball EP can be ordered via Bandcamp here and My Happy Chainsaw‘s website is here

Julia Louise Releases ‘Brat’ From Forthcoming ‘Love Jail’ LP

Julia Louise LJPeople are unpredictable creatures, which is why they’ve got a habit of letting you down, Julia Louise manages take those terrible feelings of disappointment, twist them up and let them out to haunt the world. While Julia Louise perfectly captures the bittersweet moment of finally being free of fake friends, it’s that pain in having to realize that people you love can totally screw you over that shines on Brat, the lead single from her forthcoming debut release, Love Jail, that will be released via No Sleep Records.

Love Jail can be pre-ordered here and the video for Brat can be viewed below Read More…

Andy J. Gallagher Announces UK Dates

Andy J Gallagher September 17Andy J. Gallagher has announced a few UK dates in August and September, he will be touring in support of his recent single, Boy Racer, that was released earlier this year and ahead of his forthcoming sophomore album, Ego, that will follow on from 2009’s Helicopter, Dolphin, Submarine, an album that is now available as a free download via Andy J. Gallagher‘s website here.

The Punk Site review of the Boy Racer single can be read here

You can view Andy J. Gallagher‘s tour dates below Read More…

Nicotine Pretty DIY

Nicotine Pretty

The DIY Singles

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Nicotine Pretty are a punk laden power pop band from South Wales, their debut single, Who’s Gonna Save My Soul?, was released digitally in April 2017 via Glunk Records to critical acclaim, this was swiftly followed up just a few months later by their equally impressive self titled sophomore single, and now Nicotine Pretty have given their first two digital only singles a limited edition physical release with The DIY Singles EP, with every single copy having an individually handmade and numbered sleeve by vocalist and guitarist Ginge Knievil.

The DIY Singles EP kicks things off with the self titled track, Nicotine Pretty, a sleazy blast of  Johnny Thunders inspired power pop that makes as fine a mission statement for a band as you could wish for, but for me their debut single, Who’s Gonna Save My Soul?, is the highlight of the EP, a hyperactive fist pumping number that embodies punk rock, power pop and the spirit of rock ‘ roll perfectly. The DIY Singles EP marks the first chapter in Nicotine Pretty‘s history, and on the basis of their first two singles I can’t wait to hear what these Welsh rockers have in store for us in the future

Sadly by the time I had even started to write this review the strictly limited edition release of The DIY Singles EP had already sold out, but it’s not all bad news as both of the singles that make up The DIY Singles EP are still available via Nicotine Pretty‘s Bandcamp, and as there is also a three CD EP series in the works, with the first EP planned for later this year and a compilation vinyl release to follow, then the future looks bright for this impressive Welsh rock ‘n roll powerhouse.

Nicotine Pretty‘s Bandcamp can be found here and their Facebook page is here

Casual Friday WF LP

Casual Friday

Weekend Forever

Open Door Records / Celebrity Punk House / Hidden Home Records / Counter Intuitive Records
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

The Southern Californian power pop influenced rockers Casual Friday have released their debut album, Weekend Forever, via a joint enterprise through the combined independent alliance of Open Door Records, Hidden Home Records, Celebrity Punk House and Counter Intuitive Records. With such an impressive independent backing and it’s upbeat title, it would seem that Casual Friday are offering us the soundtrack for an extended weekend of fun and excess, but like many planned extended weekends that promise everything there’s almost inevitably a raincloud on the horizon.

Banger kicks things off with an elongated introduction that eventually brings an infectious slice of power pop and punk influenced rock that merges into the slightly heavier Direct Deposit, and there’s virtually no break as FOMO brings the pace down and this more relaxed vibe carries through into California. The majority of this album carries on down this well trodden path and with the exception of the melancholic Blackhole, that brings a touch of depth and variation to proceedings, Weekend Forever is a slice of sunny power pop and indie inspired rock that just doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the party.

There is a sense of deja vu as the Californian slacker power pop washes over you in a not unpleasant wave, but for me there’s never quite the essential hook to pull you into the album, and that’s a shame as all the ingredients are there but the mix of influences seems out of kilter, resulting in an album that’s neither fish nor fowl. There’s an obvious influence from the likes of Weezer, Piebald and The Wannadies on this release, and if those bands have a place in your heart then I’d recommend Casual Friday for your playlist, but for me Weekend Forever falls just short of the mark.

You can order the vinyl release of Weekend Forever via Open Door Records here

Weekend Forever is available for streaming and download via Bandcamp here

Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs ST

Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs

Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs

Burger Records / Dine Alone Records
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Toronto’s Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs are delivering their latest blast of punk influenced power pop with their latest self titled album, a release that follows on from their 2014 debut full length, Gates Of Hell. Their latest release represents a step up in many ways, whether this is due to fact they are now reaching out far beyond their native Canadian borders, or the fact that this is the first time they’ve moved away from the DIY home recordings of their previous releases and into the studio, whatever the reason Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs have produced an ambitious sophomore album that maintains their commitment to remaining true to their roots.

The opening track Talk 2 Her is a slice of power pop that’s close to perfection and just hooks you straight into the album, this is followed by the heavier and distinctly meaner feel of Tough, that seems to hark back to the sound of Thin Lizzy, with all the hooks of that bands classic singles. Voicemail takes things off at another tangent and brings a high tempo new wave influenced number, before we return to another slab of exquisite power pop with Judy, the first half of this eclectic album closes out with Pressure, that brings an intense blast of punk rock into the mix. The second side of the album is mainly taken up with the themed trilogy of Ragnarok, Teenage Release and PhD, that manages to combine all the elements of the first side into an anthemic three partner, and this is topped off perfectly by the album’s closing track, You Don’t Have To Be Nice.

Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs is the sound of a band who clearly love music and are determined to produce music that is influenced by bands and the scenes they love, this self titled sophomore album manages to have snapshots of everyone from The Who to Ruts DC incorporated into their sound without ever sounding like they are derivative, instead Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs come across as a band that wear their influences proudly on their sleeves. This impressive sophomore release appears to have benefitted from the switch to a studio and it feels like a natural evolution from the previous DIY releases. Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs will be released in just a few short days on the 28th July via Burger Records and Dine Alone Records.

Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs self titled album can be pre-ordered digitally here and on physical formats here

The Violent Hearts Release Stream Of ‘Porcelain World’

Violent Hearts PW HOMFollowing the disbandment of Sharks, James Mattock, Carl Murrihy and former Computers band mate Aidan Sin began work on new music under the name of The Violent Hearts. The band’s brand new EP contains two new tracks, Porcelain World and Hex On Me, and has been released via Roosevelt Records. The EP represents a perfect mix of power-pop and post-punk infused with the spirit and romanticism of The Only Ones, Buzzcocks and The Chameleons.

The Violent Hearts EP is available for streaming and download via Roosevelt Records here

The Violent Hearts UK tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Casual Friday Release ‘Weekend Forever’ As A Free Download

Casual Friday WF LPThe Southern Californian power pop influenced rockers Casual Friday have released their debut album, Weekend Forever, via a joint enterprise through the combined independent alliance of Open Door Records, Hidden Home Records, Celebrity Punk House and Counter Intuitive Records, and the album is now available as a free download via their Bandcamp.

Weekend Forever is also available on ltd edition seafoam vinyl via Open Door Records here

You can download Weekend Forever for FREE via Bandcamp here

Decent Criminal Sign To Dodgeball Records

Decent Criminal BloomCalifornia’s Decent Criminal have signed with Dodgeball Records, the newly founded label started by Showoff frontman Chris Messer, his wife Dani and Mike Felumlee of the Smoking Popes. Decent Criminal will release their debut album, Bloom, on October 13th, with pre-orders, including vinyl, launching on September 29th via Dodgeball Records.

You can stream Deviant, that is taken from their forthcoming album, here

Dodgeball Records Website is here

Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs Release ‘Ragnarok’ Video

Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs STSam Coffey And The Iron Lungs have shared a new song off their upcoming self titled LP, out July 29th via Burger Records and Dine Alone Records, the new track, Ragnarok, is part of a trilogy on the back half of the new record. According to Sam Coffey it’s about finding your true self and coming to understand your place in the world, which, given his previously disclosed passion for the fantasy is couched in the language and concepts of the genre.

You can pre-order Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs self titled LP here

You can stream Ragnarok here and view Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs tour dates below Read More…

Nicotine Pretty To Release Self Titled Free Single On 9th July

Nicotine Pretty NPNicotine Pretty are a punk laden power pop band from South Wales, their debut single, Who’s Gonna Save My Soul?, was released digitally in April 2017 via Glunk Records to critical acclaim. Now Nicotine Pretty are set to unleash their second release which, like the first, is recorded DIY by the band and is being released as a FREE download, the new self titled single will be released tomorrow, the 9th July 2017 and a three CD EP series is planned for later this year with a compilation vinyl release to follow. 

Nicotine Pretty‘s tour dates can be found here and their Bandcamp is here

You can view the video for Nicotine Pretty (from the 9th July) below Read More…

The Violent Hearts Release Stream Of ‘Hex On Me’

Violent Hearts PW HOMFollowing Sharks decision to call it a day James Mattock and Carl Murrihy, along with former Computers band mate Aidan Sin, began work on new music under the name of The Violent Hearts. The Birmingham, UK trio will release a brand new EP on the 28th July, that will feature the tracks Porcelain World and Hex On Me, that will be released via Roosevelt Records and features a perfect mix of power-pop and post-punk that is infused with the spirit and romanticism of The Only Ones, Buzzcocks and The Chameleons.

You can stream Hex On Me here and pre-order the EP here

Louise Distras Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Louise Distras June 17Louise Distras has announced that her second album will be a DIY project and she has set up a Kickstarter campaign to help make it a reality, this should come as no surprise as Louise has always been fiercely independent and committed to making music on her own terms. By pre-ordering her new album and supporting the Kickstarter campaign not only will you be contributing towards the making the album a reality, but you’ll also have access to exclusive items such as signed CDs and vinyl, AAA Gold Laminate Passes and even an acoustic gig in your living room. 

You can pledge to Louise DistrasKickstarter campaign here

Paul Johnson and The About Last Nights - Give Up The Ghost

Paul Johnson And The About Last Nights

Give Up The Ghost

Self Released
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Mississippi’s Paul Johnson And The About Last Nights have brought us an EP of full blooded power pop, with a distinct emphasis on power, they deliver high energy rock that channels everything from Cheap Trick to the Foo Fighters and The Gaslight Anthem, along with a few touches from the more melodic side of punk rock. Give Up The Ghost was self released last month and is the debut release from Paul Johnson And The About Last Nights, and if you like your power pop then this is a debut EP that really should be on your shopping list.

The EP opens with Underachiever, and the comparison to power pop greats of the past is immediately obvious, with massive guitar hooks that lodge themselves in your mind. Burn It Down, the lead single from the EP, channels a more blue collar quality with a revved up heartland rock feel, and the EP steps things up another level with American Story (Adrenaline), a track that carries the spirit of the original bands that pioneered power pop back in the mists of time. Hollywood hits a rockier note that has the fist pumping beat that all good rock ‘n roll carries and Give Up The Ghost closes, at least on the digital versions, with a raw cover of John Waite‘s Missing You that is shorn of the eighties overproduction of the original.

Give Up The Ghost is a solid five track EP that carries the spirit of power pop and rock, which has more than a nod to their eighties influences but it does this without feeling like an exercise in nostalgia, athough the John Waite cover does close things with waft of that hedonistic decade. In particular Burn It Down and American Story (Adrenaline) stand out on this EP, but whilst those are my two favourite moments from this debut EP there isn’t a bad track on this release. On the basis of Give Up The Ghost you get the feeling that Paul Johnson And The About Last Nights are only just starting to build their momentum.

Give Up The Ghost is available via all the main digital retailers

Paul Johnson And The About Last Nights website can be found here

She Makes War Release New Video For ‘I Want My Country Back’

She Makes War IWMCBLast week She Makes War released an uplifting and heartwarming slogan video for their new single, I Want My Country Back, now they have released a second video as She Makes War and a slew of excellent people voice their displeasure at the current world order as various musicians join the band, including Bristol’s hotly tipped post rock band, Thought Forms.

I Want My Country Back is available as a free download until the end of Thursday 8th June.

You can download I Want My Country Back here and view the video below Read More…

She Makes War Release Free Single ‘I Want My Country Back’

She Makes War IWMCBWhen She Makes War recently invited people to send in videos of themselves holding up angry or compassionate slogans, she never expected such an incredible response. She Makes War were originally hoping to add a few clips to the footage from the official video shoot, but when they came flooding in it was clear they’d need their own video. She Makes War released the song because it’s important to share these sorts of messages in these uncertain times, we may feel unrepresented by the people in charge, but we can still care for one another and find strength in compassionate numbers. The track is available as a free download until the UK election date, June 8th 2017.

I Want My Country Back can be downloaded here and the video can be viewed below Read More…

Orange Bomb Release ‘Pop Heavy’ Album

Orange Bomb Pop HeavyOrange Bomb are a pop punk quartet from Surrey in the UK, the band have now released their third full length, Pop Heavy, and the new album is now available via iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer, as well as via Orange Bomb‘s Bandcamp where Pop Heavy is also available on a limited edition CD

You can stream the track Dear Julie via Soundcloud here

You can stream and download Pop Heavy via Bandcamp here

Vant DI April 17

The Bushmills Tour 2017: Vant / Weirds

The Deaf Institute, Manchester, UK

27th April 2017
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Bushmills 1The Bushmills Tour is a series of four shows across the UK that features four different headliners in four different cities, the tour spans April and May with other cities being treated to The Magic Gang, We Are Scientists and The Wytches, but tonight Manchester is hosting a sold out headline set from Vant with support from Leeds quartet Weirds. It seems there’s no happy medium, either you’re late and you miss a band or the venue isn’t open when you arrive and you’re forced to have a pint in the sunshine on the eve of a bank holiday, tonight had the added bonus of being a Bushmills Whiskey sponsored tour with free samples whilst you’re waiting and on the way in we’re handed all manner of promotional material, and more whiskey, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. 

Bushmills V1First up are Weirds, prior to their appearance of the first band, Weirds, we’re treated to a full tilt set of alt rock and grunge that sets the scene nicely with more free whiskey at the bar and I’m starting to get the feeling that tonight might get a bit messy. Weirds take the stage to a crescendo of drums and echoing strings that precede a strident drum beat kicks in along with a full tilt wall of distortion that smacks you right between the eyes, yet somehow  Weirds manage to maintain a vibe that is simultaneously spacey, intense and heavy. The Leeds quartet continue to plough the grunge and alternative furrow whilst maintaining a heady edge, to say I’m impressed with their hedonistic set would be an understatement.

Bushmills V2Weirds come across as an amped up adrenaline charged band that are informed by the alternative and grunge scenes of the late 80s and early 90s but bought bang up to date and their own heady influences thrown into the mix, this is only the first band, I’m five whiskies down and having a ball, how could I not with the hedonistic combination of Weirds and Whiskey on offer. The Weirds vocalist departs the stage taking in the whole venue to blur the line between band and audience, a second launch from the stage brings the keyboards tumbling into the crowd. The combination of driving bass lines, effects laden guitar, machine gun drumming and the generally hedonistic substance fuelled vibe of Weirds is something that hits the spot perfectly and they leave as they arrive, in an effects laden loop leaving chaos in their wake.

Bushmills V3There’s just about time for yet another free whiskey before it’s time for Vant, prior to their arrival an impressive array of effects pedals are set up on stage, enough to open a small guitar shop, and the venue for tonight’s sold out show is now packed from front to back and the bar is several deep with an uncharacteristically high demand for whiskey of an Irish persuasion. Vant open with a high tempo set of bare bones power pop influenced punk rock, from the off that’s its been clear that tonight was going to be a good night, after all free whiskey is very hard to argue with but when it’s coupled with two incredible live bands you really do have a recipe for a perfect storm.

Bushmills V4Vant play a high octane set that channels the best of the grunge but when this coupled with infectious adrenaline driven songs you have a winning combination, add to this they have a sizeable live following that have the dance floor reverberating to the rise and fall of the crowd and you have the infectious enthusiasm born of whiskey and two incredible bands, whilst I’m not normally a fan of corporate sponsorship of gigs I’ll make an exception in this case, because, well because it’s whiskey. A bouncer is berated for entering the enthusiatic pit “what the fuck ate you doing in there, it’s a fucking punk show” they also apologise for playing on the night of the Manchester football derby and promise to make it up to the crowd, to be honest I thought they already had as football is one thing, but nights like this only come round every so often and for me football pales in comparison to shows like this.

Bushmills V5The crowd are impressively exuberant, and the band play an incredible fifteen song set that captures the combined essence of punk, power pop and grunge that makes for an irresistible combination. This is easily the best crowd I’ve encountered at the Deaf Institute, from my position wedged in at the side of the stage I see my whiskey bouncing across the bar such is the enthusiasm of the crowd, thankfully I collect it in the nick of time. But Vant aren’t just a band that can pack a dance floor, they embrace the spirit of political defiance that is strongly associated with the best punk bands, there’s no theatrics, they just announce an encore from the stage and continue with their charged set, for me this is just as it should be. Vants set has passed by in a hectic blur and their final number is preceded by an endorsement for safe gigs for women, something The Punk Site wholeheartedly supports.

Bushmills V6I can’t choose between tonight’s two bands, both offered perfect sets that reflected very different facets of the music we love, nights like this remind you why you fell in love with the scene in the first place, combine this with free whiskey and crowd who reflect the enthusiasm of the music and you couldn’t ask for a better combination. The journey home is a happy blur and I’m just glad I take notes during the gig as my recollections are understandably hazy. My advice would be to go and watch Weirds and Vant, and maybe treat yourself to a whiskey, preferably all three together if you can, there’s not a single thing I’d change about tonight, the following morning however was a different story.

Bushmills V7Vant‘s website can be found here

Weirds Twitter account can be found here

Photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here,

You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images

Louise Distras Fac 251 Apr 17

Louise Distras

FAC 251, Manchester, UK

22nd April 2017
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Tonight Louise Distras hits Manchester on her current headline tour, she is playing a venue that is arguably at the epicentre of some of the most influential bands Manchester has produced, tonights venue, Fac 251, occupies the building where Factory Records had their offices in the city centre, the building has now been redeveloped into a live venue and nightclub, so whilst The Hacienda and Factory Records are no more the spirit lives on, and who better to occupy a space that was central to Northern England’s punk and post punk scenes than Louise Distras, a singer who is arguably the current voice of Northern punk protest.

LD Fac HRHey Radio open the evening, they are a duo than are comprised of just two guitars and despite the lack of percussion they initially deliver a set of catchy pop punk that is not without its charms and they enjoy a banter with the sparse early evening crowd that’s arrived for their early opening slot. However, their decision to include a somewhat shambolic Busted cover in their set gives you an idea of where they lie on the scale between pop and punk. The fact their set descends into a sea of covers means that I end up heading out for the smoking area to seek shelter from the deluge of poppy cover versions.

LD Fac SCFThe next band up is So Called Friend who step things up with a fuzzy distorted original set that seems to embrace post hardcore and alt rock influences. Their sound is from the distinctly poppier end of that spectrum but that’s not to say they don’t add a bit of muscle to their songs when required. Despite the sparse crowd they play their set with an impressive level of energy and enthusiasm, So Called Friend play a short but satisfying set that started to bring the evening to life, the combination of a set of original material and their energy levels indicates we may be hearing a lot more this extremely talented and youthful trio.

LD Fac TLThe penultimate set prior to Louise Distras‘ headline slot is The Lymes, they bring a rockier element to the evening that is combined with a few knowing power pop influences, the fact that this is accompanied by some well crafted songwriting gives the impression that the evening is slowly building momentum towards Louise Distras headline set. The Lymes play an impressive set that, like fellow Mancunians Mohawk Radio and La Mode, channels the rockier side of the alt rock spectrum, but it’s all done with style and you can’t help but be impressed by their anthemic and accomplished set, and this is yetanother band to add to the ever growing list of up and coming Mancunian bands, and another band I’m hoping to hear a lot more of.

LD Fac 1Quite why Louise Distras isn’t playing the Manchester Punk Festival this weekend is a mystery to me, she’s one of the rising stars of the DIY punk scene and as she’s in the city playing her own headline show this would seem to be a formality, but as with many things in life some things will forever remain a mystery.  I’ve encountered Louise Distras numerous times, and to be honest it’s hard not to catch her live such is her work ethic, she’s already on her third tour of the year and she has extensive dates booked throughout the year including an impressive array of summer festival appearances.

LD Fac 2Technical problems with ticket sales and incredibly busy weekend on the Manchester gig circuit mean that there is a smaller crowd than Louise Distras would normally attract, but impressively this doesn’t affect her performance in the slightest, she’s as passionate and empowering as ever. Tonight is a first for me as she’s playing a solo electric set, the set comprises established favourites from her debut album, Dreams From the Factory Floor, as well as material from her forthcoming sophomore album, including her 2016 single Aileen and her forthcoming single Outside Of You, that is well on its way with it’s fundraising campaign to make her new album a reality, and on the basis of the material on display in her solo shows this indicates that this album will be something to treasure. The technical problems haven’t stopped at the ticket sales, Louise Distras has to borrow a guitar from The Lymes, indicating that there is already a sense of camaraderie between her and the impressive Mancunian outfit, due to issues with her own prized vintage Burns Cobra guitar.

LD Fac 3Despite everything she delivers her set with her customary passion and intensity, and as you would expect from someone as spirited and defiant as Louise Distras she triumphs over adversity and she delivers a passionate stripped down set. Her vocal delivery remains as heartfelt as always and she contains the fury of established punk songwriters such as Joe Strummer and TV Smith, and combines this with her own experiences and dynamics to create something that is truly special and unique in the UK music scene. On her current tour Louise Distras is premiering brand new material that hadn’t previously been played and is destined for her forthcoming sophomore album, her new material sounds as impressive as you’d expect from this prolific songwriter and it sounds like a step forward from her impressive debut album. Louise Distras can deliver songs with an emotional and fragile quality that can abruptly become a defiant roar of protest that only comes from self belief and personal conviction and experience. Some artists would have let tonight’s issues drag them down but instead Louise Distras engages the crowd and turns the evening into a triumphant intimate show that I feel privileged to have been present at.

Louise Distras Outside Of YouLouise Distras has channelled her anger, hopes and fears into hymns of love and fury for yet another let-down generation and will be releasing her new single, Outside Of You, via Street Revolution Records on the 26th May. In addition to this Louise Distras has another twenty songs ready to be recorded as soon as the album fundraiser reaches 100%. If you haven’t got involved yet you can help bring Louise Distras‘ new album to life by pledging today, and on the basis of the new material that was on display at FAC 251 tonight then I can’t think of wiser investment for a few of your hard earned pennies.

You can stream Outside Of You here and pre-order the single here

You can pledge for Louise Distras‘ new album via her website here 

The Lymes Facebook presence can be found here

You can stream The Lymes debut track, Here Again, via Soundcloud here

So Called Friend‘s Facebook page is located here

Hey Radio‘s Facebook page is here

Live photography by Michael Maffia