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Reviews Roundup: April 3 – 17

ThePunkSite.comHappy Sunday folks!  With so much news flooding our feed every week, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important to us all out there: albums!  In the interest of placing a spotlight on the music that we here at The Punk Site love and believe that you should (or should not) check out, we are launching a weekly rundown of the albums that we weighed in on.  Be sure to check out each review for each reviewer’s full thoughts and let us know what you think!

Reviews from April 3rd – April 17th

  • For starters, Joel Poe confirmed that YouTube stardom doesn’t necessarily translate well offline, and Rain City Rockers showed us that covering theme songs from your favourite Saturday morning anime series might not be the best use of your musical talents.
  • Meanwhile, Long Knives gave us a well balanced example of female-fronted male-backed indie, and Football, etc… brought a female touch to the often male-dominated emo scene.
  • The Swingin’ Utters camp gave us another reason to love Darius Koski, and Paul Cargnello returned mostly to the anglophone side of Montreal for his latest full length.
  • All Get Out released a little EP with a big sound, and finally, The Pukes reminded us that the ukelele can be a fun little tool – especially when used by an eighteen person band.
Rain City Rockers

Rain City Rockers

Anime EP

Flashlight Music Group
By

Rating: 2/5

 
 

 

 

If you were a child of the 90’s, then there’s a good chance you once rushed home after school to grab some Soda Licious fruit snacks and watch Pokemon while your totally cool mom poured a vitamin C rich cup of Sunny D (if I had to venture a guess, McConroy grew up watching The Zone on YTV).  Based on Rain City Rockers’ Anime EP, front man Andrew McConroy’s childhood likely encompassed such a routine.  The five-track EP amalgamates a collection of pop-punk anime theme songs featuring iconic series Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, Digimon and Sailor Moon, as well as an equally nerdy original tune.

The result is exactly as you might expect from a band consisting of members of Sum 41 and Gob (Tom Thacker), Die Mannequin (Anthony Bleed) and Goldfinger (Darrin Pfeiffer) playing geeked out covers of westernized anime theme songs.  The covers are true to their source and capture much of the energy that captivated kids awaiting the next adventure of Ash Ketchum, Goku or the Sailor Scouts in their ongoing fight against those menacing forces of evil.  The opening themes are every bit as brief as their original counterparts (a minute or slightly longer), and McConroy’s nasally, late 90’s-esque vocals (think Relient K, Nerf Herder, Bowling For Soup) feel right at home with the EP’s nostalgic subject matter.  There isn’t much to fault here aside from the obvious layers of cheese inherent in the originals.

The EP’s lone original offering, “If You Don’t Like Pikachu,” is somewhat of a prideful geek proclamation directed at the opposite sex.  Those familiar with Nerf Herder’s woeful “Mr. Spock” will note that the odds have improved for geeks and nerds over the past fifteen years.  “I said it goes both ways so remember these words… if you don’t like Pikachu, then sorry baby but I won’t choose you,” toys McConroy in this brief narrative response to the snobbish statement, “sorry honey but I don’t date nerds.”  It’s a catchy little number that highlights Rain City Rockers playful humour.

In theory, the Anime EP is successful at reimagining faithful covers, but it really begs the question: how necessary is it?  To be blunt: not very.  Like a very specialized Me First & The Gimme Gimmes EP, you might listen to it once or twice for a laugh, but other than “If You Don’t Like Pikachu,” the bulk of the songs are unlikely to appear on your future playlists.  At the low cost of free though, the Anime EP is worth a download for a laugh and a chuckle, but if you’re looking for a proper introduction to Rain City Rockers, you’re better off checking out their debut full length, Mayday.   

Rain City Rockers Free Anime EP

Rain City RockersSinger/Songwriter Andrew Conroy has teamed up with Tom Thacker (Sum 41, Gob), Anthony Bleed (Die Mannequinand Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfingerto announced the formation of Rain City Rockers.

The band has self-released the quirky EP, ANIME, earlier this week which is available for free download here.

If you haven’t guessed it, the EP’s tracks feature theme songs from popular anime franchises, including “Pokemon,” “Dragon Ball Z”, “Digimon”, “Sailor Moon” as well as the original track, “If You Don’t Like Pikachu”. 

Rain City Rockers Announce EP; Premiere Pokemon Theme Cover

Rain City RockersSinger/Songwriter Andrew Conroy has teamed up with Tom Thacker (Sum 41, Gob), Anthony Bleed (Die Mannequin) and Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfinger) to announced the formation of Rain City Rockers.  The plans to self-release the quirky EP, ANIME, on February 24, 2015.

If you haven’t guessed it, the EP’s tracks feature theme songs from popular anime franchises, including “Pokemon,” “Dragon Ball Z”, “Digimon”, “Sailor Moon” as well as the original track, “If You Don’t Like Pikachu”. 

The lead single, “Pokemon” can be heard below.

Read More…

Rain City Rockers Announce ‘Anime’ EP

rain city rockersRain City Rockers, the band featuring members of Goldfinger, Sum 41 and Die Mannequin have announced an EP of anime theme songs. The band’s vocalist Andrew Conroy has said this on the inspiration behind the EP:

“Theme songs really resonate with viewers, even years after the show has ended, and I wanted to do my own take on these songs…I go to a number of conventions every year, and I absolutely love the sense of community there. Giving this EP away for free is my way of saying thanks to everyone for being so awesome.”

The EP is due for release on Conroy’s own Flashlight Music Group on February 25th.

Rain City Rockers Mayday cover art

Rain City Rockers

Mayday

Flashlight Music Group
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Rain City Rockers, a kind of punk rock super-group featuring Andrew Conroy on vocals and guitar alongside Goldfingers’ Darren Pfeiffer on drums, Die Mannequin’s Antony Bleed on bass and Thom Thacker of Sum 41 and Gob could be forgiven if their debut album Mayday sounded a little disjointed. Often these collaborations end up sounding like disparate pieces of various bands thrown together. That is definitely not the case here, and Rain City Rockers should be commended for putting together a cohesive record that both sounds a bit familiar yet fresh at the same time. The result is particularly impressive as Mayday was recorded live in the studio across a single day.

There is a wide range of genres being referenced, albeit with varying degrees of success, across Mayday; ska-punk on Tori, 80’s new wave guitar bands like The Knack on Choked Up, and early 00’s pop punk on Miss Lindsay or She Doesn’t Even Know. The band are really at their best when they come together on simple infectious rock and roll. Lead single Sainte Babe is a great example of this, a well crafted meandering pop punk anthem which is good fun, and features a whimsical side with lyrics like She went to Catholic school and now you’ve got a thing for nuns that the band sometimes struggle to get right.

Monster and Disgrace both also standout, despite the fact that they are peppered with juvenile lyrics (These tricks are not for kids? On a song about prostitution? Really?), but the songs are really solid, riff heavy and full of melodies that really do grab you at first listen.

That cheeky side that the band (for the most part) get right is also nicely balanced with a dark edge, probably best illustrated in On My Own, on the surface a fairly by-the-numbers pop punk ditty, but repeated listens reveal a much darker tone in the story of lost love and betrayal; And if you want to, I could destroy you tonight.

The problem I have with the record is that on one side it is full of well written songs, executed flawlessly as the band (as you’d expect) are insanely tight and the sound is great, but on the other hand, sporadically juvenile lyrics and a sound that sometimes creeps too close to pop punk contemporaries like Bowling For Soup or Fountains of Wayne drag the overall effect down a little. Overall Rain City Rockers get right more than they get wrong and have produced an impressive debut album that sounds cohesive, despite the varied background from its members, their short life together as a band and the quite insane recording time of a single day. If Mayday is what they can come up with those limitations, I am quite excited about what the future holds for them.

Stream: Rain City Rockers – ‘Sainte Babe’

rain city rockersRain City Rockers, the latest punk rock ‘supergroup’ featuring Goldfingers’ Darren Pfeiffer on drums, Die Mannequin’s Antony Bleed on bass and Thom Thacker of Sum 41 and Gob on guitar. Add these to vocalist Andrew Conroy and the result is an album called Mayday, out yesterday via Flashlight Music Group.

You can also check out the video for lead single Sainte Babe below.

Read More…

Rain City Rockers Detail Debut Album ‘Mayday’

Rain City RockersRain City Rockers, the band assembled by Andrew Conroy and including members of punk rock stalwarts such as Gob, Goldfinger, Die Mannequin and Sum 41 have announced that their debut record, Mayday, will be released on September 16th via Flashlight Music Group. The album is full of catchy pop punk hooks and in order to create and capture a more raw sound the tracks were laid down in a single day and Conroy has said this about the process:

“The entire album was recorded live off the floor…I wanted to capture that feel with a modern sound. You may even hear some of our little mistakes – but I love the energy behind it. To me, the energy and feel is more important than making sure every note is perfectly in tune, or every drum hit is perfectly on time.”

Rain City Rockers also features Tom Thacker (Sum 41, Gob), Anthony Bleed (Die Mannequin), Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfinger) and you can hear the first single from Mayday, titled Saint Babe here.