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Rancid TM

Rancid

Troublemaker

Hellcat Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Do Rancid need an introduction? Well just in case, the legendary Californian punk band have now been with us for over a quarter of a century, ever since the release of their self titled debut full length back in 1993 they have been steadily assimilating different, and often unexpected, elements of punk into their sound, street punk, ska and reggae have all featured heavily but there have also been other elements that have crept into their sound to keep each release from the band fresh and unpredictable, and if their eight previous studio albums weren’t enough each member has developed their own solo and side projects that incorporate influences that go way beyond the constraints of the punk genre, now Rancid have released Troublemaker, their latest, and ninth, full length that is now available vis Hellcat Records.

Troublemaker hits the ground running with Track Fast, a short sharp shock of an opener that channels Motorhead‘s more intense moments, before we head back in more familiar Rancid territory, it’s no surprise that there’s a strong street punk influence on the majority of the tracks, if you’re looking for highlights then Farewell Lola Blue would amongst my choices with it’s straight up punk feel, that for me is reminiscent of the old school approach of the likes of The Lurkers, and a classic Rancid chorus that hits the spot nicely. From here on in we have an album that will be more than enough to keep any Rancid fan happy, there are touches of hardcore spattered across the album that sit alongside Glam Punk Stomp, rock ‘n roll infused bangers and of course full tilt punk rock, including the fine rousing finale, This Is Not The End.

With a few noble exceptions Troublemaker seems to be Rancid playing to their strengths, with a distinct emphasis on their street punk and straight up punk rock roots. This certainly doesn’t pack the punch that …And Out Come The Wolves had, but then again few punk albums do, it’s not as catchy or accessible as Let The Dominoes Fall and it’s not as intense as their early releases or their second self titled release from 2000. On every other Rancid album there has been a song, usually a fair few, that a struck a chord with me and set the hairs on the back of my neck on end, this experience is sadly largely absent from Troublemaker, don’t get me wrong, this is not in any way shape or form a bad album, and there certainly isn’t any filler present on Troublemaker, this just doesn’t seem to quite hit the heights that many of their previous albums have hit, but having said that this is still the equal of many punk releases and a fine addition to their back catalogue.

Troublemaker can be ordered here

Reel Big Fish, Anti-Flag And Mad Caddies Announce UK Tour

Reel Big Fish Anti-Flag Mad Caddies October TourAcademy Events in association with Fireball have announced the line up for the second annual Fireball – Fuelling The Fire tour which hits the road in the UK throughout October 2017. The run of dates will feature a star studded line-up of the best in punk and ska, headlined by California’s legendary ska punk outfit Reel Big Fish, with support from Pennsylvania punks Anti-Flag and California based ska punks Mad Caddies. In addition to the announced line up, Fireball’s Hottest Band 2017 winners, Sheffield quartet Sweet Little Machine, will take the opening slot on the 2017 leg of the tour. Yet again, tickets are eye wateringly cheap at just £10 each and go on general sale on Friday 26th May with O2 priority tickets on sale at 10am on Wednesday 24th May.

You can view the dates for the Fireball – Fuelling The Fire tour below

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Reel Big Fish Announce ‘The Beer Run’ US Tour

Reel Big Fish The Beer RunReel Big Fish are hitting the road again for a summer tour dubbed The Beer Run, tapping into the band’s passion for craft beer, several venues and markets on the trek will be participating in an experiential beer festival, which will include tie-ins with local breweries, tastings, lectures, drinking games and more. Joining Reel Big Fish on all dates will be The Expendables, The Queers and Tunnel Vision.

Tickets for The Beer Run go on sale today, Friday the 28th April.

You can view Reel Big Fish‘s tour dates on The Beer Run below Read More…

Ghouls Announce Tour With Sonic Boom Six

Ghouls March 17 TourThe London based punk rock quintet, Ghouls, hit the road with UK ska punk legends Sonic Boom Six from Monday 20th March, the tour sees the two bands hit O2 Academy venues throughout the UK, including Ghouls first visit to Scotland. Coming from a range of different musical backgrounds, Ghouls have never bowed down to specific genre restrictions or a scene of any sort, they simply pride themselves on making original, stand-out music that gives them the possibility to tour the world. 

Ghouls Facebook presence can be located here

Ghouls tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Faintest Idea Reveal Video For ‘Ouroboros’

Faintest Idea Mar 17Faintest Idea have revealed their latest video, Ouroboros, the final piece in a trio of videos that make up a short film detailing the socio-political issues faced in the UK as a result of the current Conservative government. In the final episode of the three-part series our plucky banker who featured in the first two videos has the tables turned on him as he’s dressed in The Hunt’s traditional red regalia, and chased through woodland by the band who have donned fox masks in a delicious reversal of roles. Faintest Idea have also announced a run of UK/EU tour dates and festival appearances for spring and summer.

You can view the video for Ouroboros, and Faintest Idea‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Green Day Feb 17

Green Day / The Interrupters

Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK

6th February 2017
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

I’m not usually a fan of arena concerts, I tend to find they lack they the atmosphere and intimacy of the small to mid sized venues, add to this that these enormous venues aren’t usually designed for live music, they are better suited to Disney on ice or sports events, along with the inflated bar and merchandise prices and the ridiculous queues for absolutely everything, you potentially have a recipe for a disappointing and expensive evening. But I must make it clear that I’m in no way blaming the bands for this state of affairs, there is no way that Green Day could appear at any other venue in Manchester and play to everyone that wanted to see them, and on the basis of tonight’s crowd I’d guess there were still a fair few disappointed fans, so the choice is to simply to put up with the downside of these shows, or stay at home, and as I’ve missed the last few tours by Green Day I’m taking the former option.

Green Day are touring in support of, Revolution Radio, their twelfth studio album, and a release that has marked something of a return to form for the band, this epic tour is covering three continents, countless countries and tonight is the penultimate night of the first European leg of the tour, one that has covered pretty much all of Western Europe, and for me there is a added attraction to this section of the tour as Green Day are accompanied by The Interrupters, a band I’ve wanted to catch live ever since I heard their triumphant sophomore album, Say It Out Loud, that for me was one of the best albums to be released in 2016. As it’s an early start for their set the only sensible option is to brave the rush hour traffic, and the typically damp Mancunian weather, and head down to the Manchester Arena to ensure I catch them.

There is a fine selection of well chosen tunes covering the last forty years of punk belting out in the arena, everything from seventies UK punk acts such as The Clash and Elvis Costello, through to harder edged American acts such as Bad Religion, which marks a promising start to the evening prior to the opening set by The Interrupters. The three Bivona brothers that make up three quarters of the band, who are clad in matching monochrome outfits, and vocalist Aimee Interrupter take to the stage, whilst the arena is nowhere near full, a healthy crowd has had the good sense to turn up early to catch tonight’s support act. From the opening number, A Friend Like Me, it’s clear that The Interrupters are going to make a lot of friends tonight, the sound is perfect for their set and their enthusiasm and energy shines out from the opening chords.

Despite not having played venues of this size before The Interrupters seem at home on the cavernous stage, their set is a riotous high energy snapshot of their career to date, with a few well chosen covers thrown in, Too Much Pressure by The Selecter and Operation Ivy‘s Sound System, that highlight their influences. My personal highlights from the set were By My Side, She Got Arrested and Media Sensation, all of which appeared on last years stunning sophomore album, Say It Out Loud. The Interrupters capture the spirit of the original two tone movement like no other band that I’ve encountered, the hyperactive quartet swiftly garner an enthusiastic reception from the Green Day faithful with their short set of ska infused punk, a set that for me is all too brief, as this is a band that you need to see live if you get the chance.

The Manchester Arena is packed by the time Green Day are due take to the stage, after the welcome of selection of punk tunes the epic Queen single Bohemian Rhapsody emerges from the PA, and it receives a response from the crowd that is straight out of Wayne’s World, this was followed by the Ramones classic Bliztkrieg Bop, which is accompanied, for some reason, by a cheerleading drunken pink bunny, that I strongly suspect was Tre Cool, warming the crowd up, before the ominous strains of Ennio Morricone‘s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly ring out indicating that Green Day‘s arrival is now imminent. I’ve previously seen Green Day at this venue, back on the Warning tour, a tour which was marred by many of the pitfalls I highlighted earlier, any concerns I may have had about history repeating itself were swiftly laid to rest by Green Day.

Green Day open with a rousing Know Your Enemy, with Billie Joe Armstrong engaging the crowd from the off, these days Green Day are augmented by three additional musicians, providing additional guitars and vocals, and in the case of Jason Freese pretty much everything else, there are impressive pyrotechnics, that I can feel the heat from from my stage right position, circle pits appear early in the set and there are rabble rousing speeches for freedom, and of course against the baffling election of Donald Trump. The set covers much of Green Day‘s three decades and twelve studio albums, although much of it is drawn from the classic albums Dookie and American Idiot, and of course their latest album, Revolution Radio, but it includes material from the majority of their releases, including a few numbers from their 1991 sophomore album, Kerpunk.

It was pleasing to hear Billie Joe Armstrong make a plea for people to stop filming the concert, not for copyright or ego reasons but encouraging people to live in the moment rather than filming it, a sentiment I wholeheartedly endorse, there was a brief reduction following this appeal, but it was sadly shortlived. Their set veers between the epic numbers, that are designed for arenas, and their upbeat punker material, and even a rather self indulgent extended medley that was comprised of King For A Day and compositions by George Michael, Lulu, Monty Python, The Undertones, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, whilst this might indicate a shift away from Punk, their decision to include a cover of Operation Ivy‘s Knowledge in their set, the second time this influential band has been covered tonight, indicates they are not as far removed as some would have you believe.

For their first encore they return with two tracks from what is regarded by many, myself included, as their best album, American Idiot, the title track from that LP and Jesus Of Suburbia are riotously received, before Billie Joe Armstrong returns on his own for a final downbeat acoustic encore. Green Day played an impressive two and a half hour set, they were so good tonight I almost forgot how much I dislike the Manchester Arena, and there is no higher praise I can think of. This was at it’s heart a rock show, but Green Day have retained enough of their roots to make it a punk rock show. I leave the arena to further vintage punk strains and the inevitably huge queues. By the time I actually exit the venue half the stage has already been dismantled by a small army of roadies, and when I eventually step outside, and finally get to have a cigarette, the roads surrounding the venue are flooded with a sweaty and delirious horde who are slowly making their way home in the chilly Manchester night.

Everything about tonight’s show, apart from the venue, was perfect, from the pre show music and The Interrupters flawless opening set onwards, throughout their set Green Day had the capacity crowd in the palm of the hands, from the opening chords of Know Your Enemy through to the delicate closing chords of the inevitable final encore, Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life). I got the impression that this is a band that is still loving playing live, and importantly they are a band that still believes that rock n’ roll still has the capacity to change the world for the better. Green Day have kept there political rage, if anything it’s even more prominent now following recent unfortunate developments in US politics, yes they can be a little self indulgent in places, but what’s the point of playing an arena show if you can’t have fun with it?

Green Day will be returning to Europe later this year, as well as further legs that will cover Oceania and North America, and on the basis of tonight’s show this is a tour that you really don’t want to miss.

Tre Cool visited Manchester’s Cat Café whilst he was in the city, you can read about his visit here 

The Punk Site review of The Interrupters 2016 album, Say It Out Loud, can be found here

The Interrupters website can be located here

Green Day‘s official website can be found here

The Interrupters Confirm UK Tour Dates

Interrupters SIOLHot on the heels of the release of their sophomore album, Say It Out Loud, that was produced by Rancid‘s Tim Armstrong and released in July 2016 on Hellcat Records, LA based ska-punk quartet  The Interrupters have announced a run of UK headline shows following their prestigious support to Green Day on their arena tour in February

The Punk Site review of Say It Out Loud can be read here

You can view the video for By My Side, and the UK tour dates, below Read More…

Burn It Up Release Full Stream of ‘Toys’

burn-it-up-toysBurn It Up‘s new album Toys has officially been released and is available for purchase, and it can also be streamed in full via Bandcamp, as well as for purchase through iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. The band will be hitting the road this Fall on the Get Amped Tour, alongside We Were Sharks, North11 and Samecity.

The Punk Site review of Toys can be read here  and Burn It Up‘s Bandcamp is here

The tour dates, and the tour announcement video, can be viewed below Read More…

burn-it-up-toys

Burn It Up

Toys

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Burn It Up, formerly known as Mrs Skannotto, have announced that they will be releasing their sophomore album, Toys, which follows on from their 2014 debut, Outlier. Toys is scheduled for release on October 14th, Burn It Up incorporate elements of alternative rock, reggae, punk and ska that means Toys is an album that is hard to classify, the six piece’s distinct sound reflects the eclectic musical backgrounds and styles of each band member, and their shared influences, which is something that becomes abundantly clear as you make your way through the ten tracks that comprise Toys.

The album opens with sinister lullaby tones before the New York sextet kick into the dark skanking of 101 and Fire Man, the single Affluenza ups the tempo with a more frantic number, which has a stronger punk element than the opening pair of tracks, after this the album heads into heavy dub of Heartbeat. Toys continues in this vein, veering between ska and dub with the occasional injection of adrenalin from the punkier elements of the album. Burn It Up are a band in a crowded genre that is hard to stand out in, as there are many established bands that play ska punk hybrids, but I think there’s definitely room for Burn It Up as they bring their own style and unique mix of influences to the party.

This isn’t your standard ska punk crossover by any means, the ska element is more predominant on the majority of tracks than you typically find. The horn section is given equal billing in the mix to the other instruments and as a result this is an album that will appeal immensely to fans of The Mad Caddies, Sublime and Reel Big Fish, along with anyone who has a love of the original Two Tone bands of the 1980’s who pioneered the ska punk sound, such as The Beat and The Specials. Fans of their debut album will not be disappointed with Toys and those who were fans of their previous incarnation, Mr Skanatto, will be glad to hear that they are still keeping the ska flame burning brightly in their sound.

Toys can be pre-ordered here

Burn It Up Premiere Video For ‘Time Capsule Overdose’

burn-it-up-toysBurn It Up have released the third single, Time Capsule Overdose, from their upcoming album Toys, premiering the claymation video for the track. With the release of Toys under a month away the band are hosting a guitar giveaway. If you pre-order their new album through their Bandcamp, you will automatically be entered for a chance to win the new guitar. The contest will run until October 13th and one winner will be selected and contacted via email (must be continental US resident for chance to win).

Toys can be ordered via iTunes or from Burn It Up‘s Bandcamp here

The video for Time Capsule Overdose can be viewed below Read More…

Burn It Up To Give Away A Guitar To Celebrate Release Of ‘Toys’

burn-it-up-toysThe release of Burn It Up‘s new album Toys is under a month away, and in anticipation of its release the band are hosting a guitar giveaway. If you pre-order, or have already pre-ordered, their new album, you will automatically be entered for a chance to win the new guitar. The contest will run until October 13th and one winner will be selected and contacted via email, sadly for us Europeans you must be a continental US resident for chance to win, you do however still get a great album of ska influenced punk if you pre-order so everybody wins, whether you can win the guitar or not

You can pre-order Toys here and view the prize in the video below

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Bumpin Uglies KIT

Bumpin' Uglies

Keep It Together

Right Coast Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Sometimes a band can throw you a curveball with their choice of band name and album cover, in this case a suspiciously familiar clown riding a unicycle whilst juggling chainsaws, can mislead you into assuming what’s contained within, Bumpin’ Uglies have certainly done that with their latest release, Keep It Together. I’ll admit this is a band that are new to me, I made assumptions about their likely sound and style, what I wasn’t expecting from this Maryland trio was this album to contain some seriously accomplished reggae and ska influenced punk.

For the most part Keep It Together is a mellow amalgamation of reggae and ska that occasionally ups the pace with an injection of punk attitude and adrenaline. For the majority of the album the reggae and ska influences are dominant, from the opening number of All In to the closing acoustic track, but this is an album that keeps things interesting by varying the level and mix of the three dominant influences, if I have to tell you what they are again you obviously haven’t been paying attention. My personal favourites are Sorry, I’m Not Sorry and Stop The Fall, but it’s not easy as this is a consistent and laid back album, with only the final acoustic number All That I Need not quite hitting the spot for me.

Bumpin’ Uglies have made a seriously impressive album and if you’re a fan of the likes of Sublime and the Mad Caddies then you’ll definitely want to get yourself a copy of Keep It Together. This is a very much a case of not judging an album by it’s cover, as this is an excellent hybrid of ska and punk that will accompany hazy nights, or days. The main problem with this album is that as I have now discovered they have an extensive back catalogue I’m going to have to make some serious investments.

Bumpin’ Uglies web presence can be found here and their bandcamp is here

You can order Keep It Together via iTunes and the usual sources

Skittish Itz - BTR

Skittish Itz

Back To Reality

Hidden Home Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Idaho’s Skittish Itz have been with us since the winter of 2006, meaning that they have been relentlessly touring and plying their own brand of frantic ska tinged punk rock for almost ten years. This quintet feature the usual guitars, drums and bass but also features a member, Haffstack, who is billed as ‘pure awesomeness’ alongside his role of fill in guitar, I don’t think any other band I’ve encountered has made that claim of one of their members! Back To Reality is the follow up to last years Start The Game mini album and their latest offering picks up exactly where their last release left off.

From the opening number CDL Class B, it’s clear that Skittish Itz don’t take themselves too seriously, they play an infectious brand of pop punk which has a strong ska influence, this skanking beat blends in seamlessly with the cartoonish punk style and adds to the upbeat tone of the album. Numbers such as Midlife Crisis Man and Hungry Hungry Hipsters, which is one of my favourite song titles of 2016, are light hearted and entertaining without veering too far into the comedy end of punk to mark them out as a novelty act. Underneath the light hearted approach and comedic lyrical content there is some grit and substance to their music.

This album will appeal immensely to fans of the likes of Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish and their sound is pitched somewhere between the two bands output, that pretty much tells you everything you need to know. Back To Reality is eleven tracks of light hearted punk rock that is done with style, it combines punk rock attitude, frantic skanking guitar riffs and anthemic choruses that together make a highly enjoyable album. Back To Reality might not be an original take on punk rock, but it is one that’s fun and bouncy enough to keep you happy throughout the twenty four minutes that the eleven tracks are done and dusted in

You can order Back To Reality here

The Hidden Home Records web presence can be found here

Burn It Up Announce ‘Toys’ LP And Free Download of ‘Affluenza’

Burn It Up ToysBurn It Up, formerly known as Mrs Skannotto, have announced their new album Toys, which is scheduled for release on October 14th. To celebrate the new album announcement, the band is offering a free download of the first single, Affluenza.

You can download the first single for free here and view the video for Affluenza below

 

Read More…

Barstool Preachers BP

The Barstool Preachers

Blatant Propaganda

Pirate Press Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

The Barstool Preachers formed two years ago in the creative and diverse seaside town of Brighton in the UK, they released the One Fool Down EP, which sold out in less than a month, last year and have been relentlessly touring both the UK and Europe and playing numerous festival dates, they will be supporting Street Dogs and The Slackers later this year in addition to their own headlining shows. The result of this punishing schedule is that this impressive quintet have received critical acclaim and they have now bought us their debut full length, Blatant Propaganda, that features their own unique blend of ska and punk rock.

Opening track Trickledown is an upbeat ska punk number that contains a political message, it is one that makes a solid and promising start to the album with it’s infectious beat and defiant vocal delivery, the rest of Blantant Propaganda follows this path, but that’s not to say this album is in anyway a one trick pony. The relentless and irresistible ska beat is an ever present but the approach, attack and style vary constantly throughout their debut album, but all the time containing a valid and defiant political message. The track Good News is one of the highlights, it is an attack on the state of the media, anyone who’s ever endured Fox News will be able to identify with this, that is delivered with their trademark sound. My other personal favourite is the closing track, Ballad (Of The M1), this is a tale of the trials and tribulations of their life on the road, whilst these two tracks are the ones that stood out for me there isn’t a weak track in sight on Blatant Propaganda. This is an impressive debut album from a band that doesn’t just talk the talk, The Barstool Preachers are a band that walks the walk with a confident swagger. They have been involved in positive action and regularly support charities, both in their local area and internationally, this activity marks them out as a band that are true to their roots and beliefs.

The combination of ska and punk guitars is backed up with an impressive brass section and swirling keyboards that forms a gloriously infectious album, the blend of punk, street punk and ska is severely addictive and the upbeat tone nicely juxtaposes the solid social and political messages that their compositions carry. This is music with a message that also has the benefit of the skanking beat that all great ska records carry, but with a welcome injection of energy and anger that is provided by the punk influences. Fans of the likes of The King Blues, The Interrupters, The Slackers and The Specials will adore this album and Blatant Propaganda will be on my playlist for the foreseeable future, and I would suggest that it should be on yours as well.

The Barstool Preachers tour dates and social media links can be found here

Blatant Propaganda can be downloaded from the usual sources, the vinyl with a download of the album can be ordered here

Bolshy Release ‘Ignorance Is Strength’ Video and Free Single

Bolshy PromoBolshy are a riotous seven piece who push the boundaries of Ska Punk and infuse their infectious music with messages of anti-capitalism and equality. They kicked off their journey in summer 2012 busking on the streets of Liverpool, since then they’ve taken the UK underground scene by storm, sharing stages with the likes of The RestartsRadical Dance Faction and Culture Shock. They have released the new track and video, Ignorance Is Strength, and will to be recording their debut album Reap The Storm in the coming months

The video for Ignorance is Strength can be viewed below and the track is available as a free download here

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The Interrupters Release Two Songs From ‘Say It Out Loud’ Album

Interrupters Band Pic

Los Angeles based ska punk band The Interrupters have released their sophomore album, Say It Out Loud, this week on Hellcat Records. The album packed with snarling guitar riffs and growling vocals that pays homage to the life saving power of music, Say It Out Loud is undeniably fun and urgent in message. Backing their modernized two tone tinged, guitar fueled, melody heavy sound are lyrics that confront everything from social control and self-empowerment to domestic violence and the media circus surrounding the presidential election.

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