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Video: Toys That Kill – Four String

Toys That Kill has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Four String” from their latest album, Sentimental Ward,which was released earlier this year through Recess Records.

Watch the video below.

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The Underground Railroad To Candyland - The People Are Home

The Underground Railroad To Candyland

The People Are Home

Recess Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

When I received the new album of a band who called themselves The Underground Railroad To Candyland, I have to confess that I didn’t initially hold out much hope for my writing any kind of review which would do the band’s music justice. Not least as the name immediately conjured up an image of Scotland’s seminal punk duo Jesus and the Mary Chain, merrily rampaging around in a Taratinoesque ‘From Dawn To Dusk’ sequel. 

However, after having listened to the album a few times now I also have to confess that the majority of the thirteen tracks on “The People Are Home”, enthusiastically remove themselves from that image quite quickly; and take us instead on a quite delightful auditory journey  encompassing the sounds, pop sensibilities and sardonic humour and wit of early Wire, Subway Sect, TV Personalities, Pulp and Sultans Of Ping FC (listen closely and you’ll even hear the faintest echoes of The Velvet Underground undulating beneath the surface).

Confusingly, this journey is brought to a bone shuddering halt with the completely out of place instrumental, “Baby Makes WW3”. Quite why the band decided to include it at the half-way mark (or at all) only they will know. Sadly though it marks the point where the album begins to lose some of its natural swagger and sway, and begins instead to become just a little disjointed; and, where the albums opening five tracks “Dead Leg”, “The Grown Ups Will Have Their Say”, “Yer Not The Only One”, “In Case You Dunno” and “Let’s Go! Take It Slow!” flow in and out of one another effortlessly and rather seamlessly and make perfect musical sense, with the best will in the world “Baby Makes WW3” doesn’t. Instead simply feeling like an uninvited and unwanted guest.

But the band quickly rally around again though through tracks seven to ten, “Diamond Ring”, “Worried”, “This Is A Blind Date!” and “And Now…”, and the unsettling intrusion that was “Baby Makes WW3” is just as quickly forgotten. Until tracks eleven and twelve, “Omstro” and “You Don’t Like The Summer” come along. For the second time on the same album our auditory journey is brought to a bone shuddering halt by an instrumental (the former), and by what can only best be described charitably as the albums weakest moment – and rather more uncharitably as a simple album filler (the latter).

(However, in its defence, “Omstro” would have been far better placed as the opening track to “The People Are Home”. If an instrumental had to be actually included in the first place).

Final track, “Th Ppl R Hm”, heralds a return to the albums earlier rhythmic equilibrium, though it almost comes and goes unnoticed, slightly shell shocked and dazed as we still are: which is a shame as, in more normal circumstances, it would be the perfect ending to any journey, auditory or otherwise and one that any band could be proud of.

“The People Are Home” then is without doubt an album of two extremely conflicting and confusing musical half’s. Yet the majority of it is also inarguably an absolute joy and delight to listen to at the same time. A dichotomy that, contrary to popular logic or wisdom, is not always so easy to understand or easily explained away.

Ultimately though, and despite its few troublesome moments, The Underground Railroad To Candyland have   released an album which is simply jam packed with musical treats, luxuries and wonderful discoveries.

With its incessant and highly infectious skipping drum beats, catchy treble orientated pop bass runs, chugging twanging stripped back guitar rhythms and sad angst ridden yet dreamily ever hopeful vocals then, “The People Are Home” thoroughly deserves and has earned its place in the sun – and serves as a timely reminder that great music, despite all our occasional protestations to the contrary, is still to be found out there in candyland.

Video: Yer Not The Only One – Underground Railroad to Candyland

Underground Railroad to Candyland.San Pedro, Calif., punk rockers Underground Railroad to Candyland premiered a video to their song titled Yer Not The Only One. Watch the new video, which includes a compilation of historical public service clips, here.

Yer Not The Only One is a track of the band’s most recent album, The People Are Home, released on May 26, 2015 via Recess Records.

Underground Railroad to Candyland is currently on a North American summer tour. Check out the dates below.

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the dwarves invented rock and roll

The Dwarves

Invented Rock and Roll

Recess Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

The self-styled ‘most vulgar band in the world’ are back with their latest album, The Dwarves Invented Rock and Roll (released back in August via Recess Records). The record doesn’t see the band stray far from their trademark eclectic sound which incorporates elements of folk, surf guitar, hip hop all folded into their well earned punk rock street cred. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  

Hate Rock is the band at their best, a garage punk anthem ranting about the things they hate about rock and roll (spoiler – backpacks, yoga mats, ball caps and rugrats all feature, but love and dope and sex and dreams, and death and meth and discontent are all things they love. Hardly a shock!

Gentleman Blag and Sluts of the USA are both catchy and tuneful with the former telling the story of the band’s notorious leader punctuated by pounding drums and driving riffs and with lyrics like: Gentleman Blag, any old hag, ready to shag, gentleman blag, you realise that the vulgarity never ceases, even if well disguised in layers of distortion. The latter seems a little The Dwarves-by-the-numbers, expected, but still a fun listen.

Trailer Trash is easily the album’s highlight. Great riff, great melody and features some of my favourite lyrics since Runaway #2 (from The Dwarves Must Die), ‘That tornado ripped through town, turned the whole world upside down, she vanished in a flash, with my credit cards and stash. Now I’m left here with this rash, yeah and I’m sifting through the ash for my tragic trailer trash’. Irresistibly great.

Fun to try, Kings of The World and Unpredictable all epitomise what The Dwarves are all about; melody, harmonies, killer riffs, and most of all fun mixed up with a degree of vulgarity that you can’t tell if delivered with tongue firmly planted in cheek or not. Take the lyrics from Fun to Try; ‘You can’t fool all the people all of the time, but it’s fun to try’ which seems like an homage to their faking the death of He Who Cannot Be Named back in the 90s which Sub Pop, their label at the time did not take well. (the band were dropped).

Who I am has a real sense of arrogance about it, but it totally works, the harmonies, machine gun guitars and an insane chorus all taking equal turns to shine. This could (and in my opinion should) have been the album opener as it sets the stage for The Dwarves to set out their argument for Inventing Rock and Roll and it would take a brave man or woman to argue against them.

The beauty of the music of The Dwarves music is that it shocks and delights in equal measure. On Invented Rock and Roll, they get the balance perfectly right.

 The Dwarves Invented Rock and Roll is out now via Recess Records.

Joyce Manor And Toys That Kill Announce New Split 7″

Joyce ManorJoyce Manor has announced that they will release a new split with Toys That Kill.  The split is due out on December 9, 2014 via Recess Records and features two re-recorded Joyce Manor songs and two new tracks from Toys That Kill.

A song from each can be heard here courtesy Brooklyn Vegan.  Track listing is below.

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The Dwarves Stream New Record

The DwarvesNotorious San Francisco based punk band The Dwarves are streaming their new record, The Dwarves Invented Rock n Roll, in it’s entirety ahead of the official release on August 19th via Recess Records and Greedy Records. The LP is the band’s 13th in their long career, so expect profane  and controversial lyrics, pop hooks and cover art featuring dwarves (duh!) and a few (very) scantily clad women. We can’t wait!

Check out the stream of The Dwarves Invented Rock n Roll, here.

White Night Announce New Album and US Tour Dates

Fullerton CA punks White Night have announced their new album Prophets ov Templum CDXX will be out “late June” via Recess Records/45 RPM. This is the bands first full length since 2011’s Immortal and the boys will be hitting the road this summer in anticipation of the new record dropping.

Full tour dates (check local listings for venue information):

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The Arrivals - Volatile Molotov

The Arrivals

Volatile Molotov

Recess Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

In my latest review for Man Overboard’s Real Talk, I talked about a “pop punk ladder” and placed Man Overboard near the bottom. It was alright, but nothing all that outstanding. For their part, The Arrivals will be found securely on the upper rungs of the pop punk ladder having delivered a catchy, intelligent and thoroughly fun album through the thirteen songs that create Volatile Molotov.

Not a generic or by the book album by any means, The Arrivals mix the varying elements perfectly. Honing in on a UK pop punk sound ala Futureheads alongside some Billy Bragg social commentary and you may be surprised to find out that these four dudes come from the Windy City and not from across the pond.  Of course, if pressed, I could easily name a few State Side similarities – American Steel andCobra Skulls – but it’s how they combine all of it together that makes The Arrivals climb higher up that ladder.

You see, Volatile Molotov is filled to the rim with hooks and melodies. It is both catchy and danceable (seriously, listen to The Dilemma and try not to shake that ass – it’s freaking impossible!) but not due to them writing for the lowest common denominator. No, these hooks flow naturally at a steady and unwavering pace. That pace is propelled through the constant drumming of Ronnie DiCola who heeds the ideal of “less is more.” He doesn’t barrel through every song with ferocious intensity but instead works with interesting rhythms and tempos, making the songs that much more memorable.

Two vocalists, Dave Merriman and Isaac Thotz, alternate vocal duties with slightly different delivery styles but they’re still able to blend together to create a fluid album with just the right spark of variety needed to carry the album through. Lyrically, they display a mixture of disillusion and hopefulness. They sing political songs that are truthful and wound within a story-like structure instead of simple political slogans. But even they notice that on Simple Pleasures In America and go out of their way to sing a song with a positive overtone for once and frankly, the song becomes one of the highlights of the album and the year.  With a rousing chorus (like so many of their other songs) and lyrics that see the band members celebrating the little things that they all love, Simple Pleasures In America ends the album in the best way imaginable.

Smart pop-punk, that’s what The Arrivals are; and I couldn’t be happier.

Plus, Dillinger Four’s Paddy plays bass and that’s always rad.

Toys That Kill Full Album Stream

Toys That Kill has launched a stream of their long awaited full length, Fambly 42, released today via Recess Records.  The album follows 2006’s Shanked.

Give the album a listen here courtesy PunkNews.

Stream: Riverdales – Dead End House/When In Rome

RiverdalesBen Weasel has surfaced from inconspicuousness to post two unreleased Riverdales songs in their rough mix stages. The songs were recorded during the Tarantula (Recess Records) sessions, which was that last record to be released by the band before breaking up in 2010.

Check out the two songs on the band’s Facebook page here.

Video: Underground Railroad To Candyland – We Are Not Alone

Underground Railroad to Candyland.San Pedro, California indie rock party group Underground Railroad to Candyland has released a brand new video via Big Cheese.  The puppet alligator  featuring video includes the track “We Aren’t The World” and comes from the band’s forthcoming sophomore full length, Know Your Sins, due out April 26, 2011 on Recess Records.
Watch the full video below.

Underground Railroad To Candyland – That I Dunno

Underground Railroad to Candyland.San Pedro, California indie rock party group Underground Railroad to Candyland has released a brand new track via Jaded In Chicago.  The song is titled “That I Dunno” and comes from the band’s forthcoming sophomore full length, Know Your Sins, due out April 26, 2011 on Recess Records.
Give the track a listen here.

The Arrivals Announce Tour With Toys That Kills

Chicago’s The Arrivals will be hitting the road with labelmates Toys That Kill for a tour that runs past their Fest 9 appearance and well into November. The Arrivals are currently supporting their recently released album, Volatile Molotov, which was released earlier this month on Recess Records.  The album can still be streamed in its entirity over on the band’s Punk News profile.

Tour dates can be found below.

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Tours: The Arrivals Announce Tour With Toys That Kill

In support of their upcoming album, Volatile Molitov, The Arrivals will be hitting the road with label mates, Toys That Kill, for a journey that will see both bands sharing gigs leading up to this year’s FEST 9.  Volatile Molotov follows their previous album, Marvels of Industry, and is set for an October 5, 2010 release via Recess Records.

Recess owner, Todd Congelliere has been quotes saying that this album is sure to be “the band’s grand opus” and “listens like a classic novel.”  As previously reported, the album is available for full stream before the street date over on the band’s punknews profile.

Tour dates can be found below.

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The Arrivals Streaming Volatile Molitov

Chicago’s The Arrivals are streaming their upcoming album, Marvels Of Industry, over on their Punknews profile.  The album is currently set for an October 5, 2010 release via Recess Records.

The Arrivals just finished a run of shows with Off With Their Heads, and are gearing up for a performance at THE FEST 9 down in Gainesville, FL this Halloween weekend.

Listen to the album here.

The Arrivals – Two Years

Chicago’s The Arrivals has released a new track from their upcoming follow up to their previous album, Marvels of Industry.  The track is titled “Two Years,” with the thirteen track album, Volitile Molotov, currently set for an October 5, 2010 release via Recess Records. The band is currently finishing up a string of dates in September and will make an appearance at this year’s FEST.

Check out the track here.  Tour dates can be found below.

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The Arrivals Announce Upcoming Full Length

Chicago’s The Arrivals have announced that they will be releasing their latest full length on Recess Records. The album will be titled Volatile Molotov, and will include a meaty thirteen tracks.  The band is currently streaming the first track from he release, “Frontline,” over on their soundcloud player.

Check out the track listing below, and listen to the first track here.

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Screeching Weasel

Screeching Weasel

Ben Weasel and Dan Vapid

Recess Records
By on December 11th, 2009 at New City Compound - Edmonton, Alberta

 

 

Screeching Weasel are punk rock legends, there’s no denying that. They have always been the band behind the band, influencing countless punk acts ranging from Green Day and Blink182 to Rise Against and in the past twenty-three years have released albums that have gone to become staples in the punk community. After an eight year break, the band announced their reunion earlier this year and for some reason came to Edmonton for one of their three shows in 2009. Before their show at the New City Compound, which was as amazing as you’d expect it to be, Ben Weasel and Dan Vapid took the time to sit down and discussed everything Screeching Weasel.

It’s a lengthy and very informative interview that starts with the current line-up and happenings, then dives deep within Weasel history to see how it came to be before returning to the present once again to discuss the changes of the music industry, the troubles of everything being documented and future plans for the band. Read More…