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Video: Ducking Punches – Fun Fun Fun

Ducking PunchesDucking Punches has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Fun Fun Fun” from their 2016 Xtra Mile Recordings debut, Fizzy Brain.  

Watch the video below.

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The Lion And The Wolf Confirm UK Tour With Kevin Devine

Kevin Devine Jan 17 TourFollowing the release of his second album, The Cardiac Hotel, which is out now through Xtra Mile Recordings and Grand Hotel Van Cleef, The Lion And The Wolf will take to the road with Kevin Devine in two weeks time. The run of six shows also features Laura Stevenson and will see the three artists visit Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds and London.

The Lion And The Wolf‘s sophomore album, The Cardiac Hotel, can be purchased here

Tickets are now on general sale and the tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Tours: The Lion And The Wolf To Join Kevin Devine

 The Lion and the Wolf 1The Lion And The Wolf, the solo project of Thomas George, has announced that they will be joining Kevin Devine on tour in January and February.  The band continues to promote their second album, The Cardiac Hotel, available now via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Tour dates are below.

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Video: Ducking Punches – Greedy Bones

Ducking PunchesDucking Punches has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Greedy Bones” from their 2016 Xtra Mile Recordings debut, Fizzy Brain.  

Watch the video below.

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Video: The Lion And The Wolf – Heaven Forbid

The Lion and the Wolf 1The Lion And The Wolf, the solo project of Thomas George, has premiered a new music video from their upcoming Xtra Mile Records debut.  The label will release their second album, The Cardiac Hotel, on October 7, 2016.  

The track is titled “Heaven Forbid” and can be viewed below.

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Skinny Lister Announce New LP; Stream First Track

Skinny ListerUK-based folk punk band Skinny Lister has announced a full length follow-up to their 2014 album, Down On Deptford Broadway.  The album will be titled “The Devil, The Heart & The Fight,” and will be available on September 30th via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the track “Wanted,” which can be heard below.

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ducking punches

Ducking Punches

Fizzy Brains

Xtra Mile Recordings
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Ducking Punches are a quintet that hail from Norwich, England, this is their third album and the first for Xtra Mile Recordings. In boxing terms Ducking Punches is a technique used not only to create a solid defence, but also to engage and draw a reaction, and I must say that on the basis of this album it would seem the band have chosen an appropriate moniker.

Ducking Punches have a long association with Frank Turner, vocalist and guitarist Dan Allen played guitar for him when he was unable to play live due to an injury that threatened to curtail a tour, and Frank has returned the favour by making a cameo appearance on the opening track, Greedy Bones, and it’s noticeable that he is a significant influence on their overall sound. Whilst this is ostensibly a folk punk album they have avoided many of the clichés that appear on innumerable releases of this genre, there isn’t a drinking song or anything even remotely resembling a jig to be found on Fizzy Brain. They have avoided the predictable and there are strains of post punk introspection to be found on this release in addition to more obvious styles and influences you would expect to find. Throughout Fizzy Brain changes of tempo and style pepper the album and the shared vocal duties, between Dan Allen and Sophie Porter, on a number of the songs provides an engaging contrast.

This is a rousing and passionate album but for me there’s an almost imperceptible quality missing from the overall mix, maybe it’s because I find that this album is neither fish nor fowl. It’s possibly due to the diverse nature of influences of display on this album that it doesn’t appear to have an established identity, but having said that this is a satisfying and engaging album and that does lure you back in after your initial exposure. Whilst Ducking Punches don’t manage to land a knockout blow this album does deliver over the 11 tracks contained on Fizzy Brain, and for fans of folk punk that want something more satisfying and original than tales of boisterous carousing this is an authentic grass roots release that is well worth investigating.

 

Video: Frank Turner – Mittens

Frank TurnerUK singer-songwriter Frank Turner has released a new music video.  The video features the song “Mittens” from last year’s Positive Songs For Negative People, but will also serve as the lead single for the new EP, Mittens, which will also feature four new tracks.

Watch the video below.

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Ducking Punches – Greedy Bones (Ft. Frank Turner)

Ducking PunchesDucking Punches has made a surprise announcement and swap of labels.  Earlier this year the band announced a publishing deal with Bomber Music, but the band recently it is changing direction to Xtra Mile Recordings for the 2016 release of their next full length, Fizzy Brain.  

Listen to the new song here.

 

Will Varley Announces New LP, Posts Video

Will VarleySouth London based singer songwriter Will Varley has posted a video for his latest track Talking Cat Blues, which predictably includes a montage of cats doing “hilarious” things. The song is the latest to be taken from his upcoming new album Postcards from Ursa Minor due to drop on October 30th via Xtra Mile Recordings.

In addition to supporting label mate (and thepunksite favourite) Frank Turner on his November UK tour, Will Varley is also hitting the road on his own in February/March 2016.

Check out the video for Talking Cat Blues and the full list of upcoming tour dates below.

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Beans On Toast – The Great American Novel

Beans on Toast 2015London-based folk singer-songwriter Beans on Toast has premiered the first track from his upcoming new album.  The song is titled “The Great American Novel” and will appear on the upcoming LP, Rolling Up The Hill, due out December 1, 2015 via Xtra Mile Recordings

Check out the catchy new tune about a Brit touring America below.

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Video: Frank Turner – Josephine

Frank TurnerAcoustic punk troubadour Frank Turner has posted a music video for Josephine, a track taken from his latest full length, Positive Songs For Negative People, available now vis Xtra Mile Recordings and Polydor Records. 

Watch the video below.

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Frank Turner

Positive Songs for Negative People

Xtra Mile Recordings
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Frank Turner has come a long way from the hungover punk quietly strumming his guitar on a side stage at a folk festival. With his last two albums, he clearly announced his intentions to cater to the arena crowds, adding plenty of accompaniment to supplement his sing-along anthems. Somewhere during this transition his songs began to play on mainstream radio and his shows became an awkward blend of young drunken frat bros and old punk rockers. Having released six albums, three compilations, a live recording, splits and numerous EPs in only the past nine years, Turner is undeniably a prolific recording artist. But this tendency to release every snippet of song has resulted in some dead weight in the past, including the bulk of his previous full-length, Tape Deck Heart

Thankfully, Positive Songs is a refreshing song collection from North America’s favourite troubadour with a funny accent. This isn’t a complete departure, rather it seems like a logical progression in his continued album cycle. There are many England-specific references that most people won’t get (although you don’t need to know Winnipeg to appreciate The Weakerthans), lots of references to roads and plenty of charming songs about love, sadness and travelling. Where the last release seemed like an awkward glimpse into his personal diary of heartbreak filtered through Foo Fighters styled arena rock, this time around we see glimmers of hope. This isn’t exactly hardcore PMA though, Turner’s knack for self-deprecation and sad bastard barroom sing-alongs are still present. The juxtaposition suggested in the title is aptly played out in the song list, as a choir sings rejoice, rebuild, the storm has gone (The Next Storm) seconds before Turner makes the proclamation that I am so much worse than I have ever been (The Opening Act of Spring). But the dominant emotion on the album is channeled on Get Better, which is a triumphant call to healing, as he sings repeatedly We can get better because we’re not dead yet as the song ends. 

While musically the album is not a large departure from what we have seen before, there is enough variation to keep it from feeling stagnant. On Glorious You a funky bass line drives the song as the lyrics celebrate what makes a friend great. The backing vocals from talented Canadians Billy the Kid and Lindi Ortega  add some interesting harmonies. The ghost of Frank Turner’s punk rock past briefly shows up on Out of Breath, which effectively blends post-hardcore, arena rock and a dose of Celtic punk. While it sounds like a recipe for disaster, the lively track provides a welcome change of pace in the album and adds to its diversity, which is where Tape Deck Heart failed so miserably. On Josephine, the music is reminiscent of The Killers, as he sings a love song with plenty of whoas in the background. The music at the start of Love Forty Down sounds like he is attempting a folk punk cover of a pop punk song. It’s both ridiculous and wonderful at the same time in a way that only he could pull off. On the final track, he completes the cycle that started with the restrained folk of the opener. Song for Josh is a live acoustic track that laments the suicide of a friend. It is a strong finish to the album. 

On the first listen through it is clear that this is a great album. It is a long way from the scrappy folk of Campfire Punk Rock, but it is one of the strongest of his many song collections. Perhaps it is just the gradual realization that he is an artist who is going to play what he wants.Many people felt a similar level of acceptance when Against Me! released Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which came from a completely different musical world than Reinventing Axl Rose, but was just as great. I accept the fact that I might be standing next to a kid half my age at a Frank Turner show. Good music is simply good music.

PJ Bond Supporting Frank Turner’s In-Store Shows in August

PJ BondAcoustic singer-songwriter PJ Bond has announced that he will be supporting Frank Turner on his run of in-store shows around the release of his latest LP, Positive Songs For Negative People. PJ Bond’s latest record is Where Were You?, which itself dropped back in May via Xtra Mile Recordings and ahead of these shows, he is streaming Everglades, one of the tracks from the LP.

Check out the stream of Everglades and the full list of in-store shows with Frank Turner below.

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Dan Adriano & The Emergency Room Streams New LP

Dan AdrianoDan Adriano, bass player and vocalist for Chicago punks Alkaline Trio is streaming Party Adjacent,  the latest LP from his side project Dan Adriano & The Emergency Room in it’s entirety. The record is due to drop this week (17th July) via Asian Man Records and Xtra Mile Recordings and you can check out the stream here.

Dan will be on the road this summer in support of the record on a co-headlining tour with Jeff Rosenstock. Check out the full list of dates below.

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Tours: Beans on Toast (UK)

Beans on Toast 2015UK based, self styled drunk folk artist Beans on Toast (aka Jay McAllister) has announced a series of autumn shows across the UK. The 18 date tour kicks off in November and sees him out in support of his latest full length, The Grand Scheme of Things, released earlier this year via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Check out the full list of dates below.

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Frank Turner Performs Three New Tracks

Frank TurnerAcoustic punk troubadour Frank Turner recently played three new songs for Punks In Vegas.  The songs will appear on his upcoming full length, Positive Songs For Negative People, is set for release on August 7, 2015.  The LP will be released via his longtime label Xtra Mile Recordings and Polydor Records. 

Watch the full performance here.

Frank Turner Details New LP

Frank TurnerAcoustic punk troubadour Frank Turner has announced that his upcoming full length will be called Positive Songs For Negative People. The record will be released via his longtime label Xtra Mile Recordings, with the official release date yet to be set. In an update sent to fans yesterday, the man himself has said this about the album:

“It’s a record about survival, defiance, about picking yourself up when you’re down, and the title reflects that. It came from a late night drunk conversation with an old friend, I was trying to explain what I do for a living, and, well, it just came out like that.”

As more information is available, we will be sure to bring it to you.

 

Skinny Lister

Skinny Lister

Down On Deptford Broadway

SideOneDummy Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

After impressing the folk-punk community with their breadth of traditionally rooted celtic sounds, Skinny Lister returns with their follow up effort, Down On Deptford Broadway.  Boasting the same lively ensemble of accordions, mandolins, violins and acoustic instruments, the English six-piece revisits the festival-size, feel-good formula that made Forge & Flagon such an indulgent joy.  Down On Deptford Broadway places particular emphasis on traditional song structures, showcasing how modern fun can derive from old ways.  

This time around the songs land with a lighter touch, partly because more prominent female vocals (sounding as if from some far off, exotic Scottish or Irish fields), but also from a more intricate instrumental approach.  Songs like “What Can I Say” feel fragile and delicate thanks to Lorna Thomas’ feminine charm, channeling the likes of Neko Case in a warmer, folkier aura.  Likewise, the soft acoustic backing and highland fiddle gracefully glide into position in “Bonny Away,” and a somber, mood setting tempo tugs at listeners’ heartstrings in “The Dreich.”  These tracks represent exceptions rather than the norm, but deserve an early mention because of how they influence Down On Deptford Broadway’s unravelling identity.

Consequently, Down On Deptford Broadway is an overall less forceful beast even when Skinny Lister bares its teeth and bites down hard.  A song like “Cathy” or “George’s Glass” marches forward thoughtfully as Lorna Thomas and Dan Heptinstall share in parallel and trade vocal duties right up to their harmonizing chorus.  The energetic blasts of an enthusiastically pumped accordion culminate in an airy chorus that’s just as fun to sing along with as it is to close your eyes and imagine yourself stopping for a troupe of musicians at a street corner in Hyde Park.  Others like “Six Whiskies” swagger along to the blow of a tin whistle guided chorus of best friends downing ale at their local pub.  Even the uppity toe tapper, “Ten Thousand Voices,” flows casually.  The main point being, most songs are less direct than perhaps fans will remember from past outings, with a softer approach meaning that Down On Deptford Broadway doesn’t quite reach as high as Forge & Flagon.

Of course there are a few stadium chargers floating around in the mix to keep things lively.  “Trouble On Oxford Street” probably marks the album’s single biggest and best anthem, which wouldn’t be problematic if it wasn’t so early in the track listing.  Similar efforts, like “This City,” take a more casual approach during the back half, but aren’t quite as memorable or impactful as the simpler, higher energy counterparts.  

Still, Down On Deptford Broadway keeps Skinny Lister as a frontrunner when it comes to the realm of traditionally informed celtic punk.  The band continues to distance themselves from, although still invites, comparisons to The Pogues, The Real McKenzies, and any number of other celtic influenced acts out there maintaining both familiarity and uniqueness.  The album is a little tame compared with Forge & Flagon, but thrives on Skinny Lister’s more subtle approach.  A solid sophomore follow up for one of London’s most unique folk-punk acts.

PJ Bond Full Album Stream

PJ Bond - Album packshotAcoustic singer-songwriter PJ Bond is streaming his brand new full length, Where Were You.  The album dropped today via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Check out the full album here.

PJ Bond - Album packshot

PJ Bond

Where Were You?

Xtra Mile Recordings / Black Numbers Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

I’ve always had a soft spot for Philadelphia, PA acoustic troubadour PJ Bond.  Sure, his debut album, You Didn’t Know I Was Alphabetical, relied heavily on the strength of the opening track, but that track landed on a heck of a lot of my playlists.  It’s been a lengthy five year road, but Bond has finally returned for his second kick at the can with his latest full length, Where Were You?.  Compared with past works, considerable effort has gone into making his sophomore effort a very complete offering.  Balancing catchy choruses and heartfelt delivery with PJ Bond’s breezy, folk-fired americana, the album unveils a balance of small town life and heartfelt ambitions.

Never in a rush to reach for more than what is right in front of him, Bond channels the essence of an American Joel Plaskett.  Modest storytelling through an honest man’s lens makes for a very intuitive listen that spans casual rock n’ roll (“Broad Street”) and a wispy 60’s folk heart (“The Better Option”).  Opener “Everglades” introduces the latter with the gentle invitation of backing “oo-ooo” vocals pushing the song into upbeat melody and lasting memory.  Meanwhile, those like “87 Broadcast” channel a retro vibe circa American Taxi and Gaslight Anthem.  But it’s the breezy, loosely sing-along moments of songs like “The Better Option” that really set Where Were You? up with some staying power.

What Were You?’s only real drawback lies in the somewhat overly tame execution.  Between album highlights, PJ Bond can sometimes revert to a relatively passive state.  While the songwriting is highly intensional and the lyrics of smalltown lifestyles generally flourish, it can get washed away in some of the more casual instrumental moments like the light country twangers “Calm In The Corner” or “Hellfire.”  The most successful of the reserved moments actually resides in the album’s most minimal and intimate sessions.  Purely acoustic strummers like “For J” actually amplify the spotlight just on the power of their words alone.  These incredibly personal moments speak volumes to PJ Bond’s capacity for connecting with his audience.

PJ Bond has come a long way in strengthening his sound.  Where Were You? should answer any outstanding questions about Bond’s confidence in holding an audience beyond a track or two.  His soft approach to songwriting is a breeze to listen to, and with continued effort in advancing a more adventurous spirit, will surely see PJ Bond traversing plenty of more ground.

Dan Adriano (Alkaline Trio) Announces New LP

Dan AdrianoDan Adriano (of Chicago punks Alkaline Trio) has announced that his side project, Dan Adriano In The Emergency Room, will release a new LP titled Party Adjacent on July 17th via Asian Man Records/Xtra Mile Recordings. The man himself has said this about the project:

“The Emergency Room started as something for me to do with songs I had been writing that didn’t seem to have a place on Alkaline Trio records…”

Check out the album art and track list for Party Adjacent below.

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Skinny Lister Full Album Stream

Skinny ListerLondon-based folk band Skinny Lister is streaming their upcoming sophomore album, Down On Deptford Broadway, due out in North America on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 via Xtra Mile Recordings 

Listen to the new song here.

The album was produced by Ted Hutt (The Gaslight AnthemFlogging MollyLucero).

Skinny Lister – This Is War

Skinny ListerLondon-based folk band Skinny Lister has released a new song.  The track is titled “This Is War” and is set to appear on their forthcoming sophomore album, Down On Deptford Broadway, due out in North America on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 via Xtra Mile Recordings The album was produced by Ted Hutt (The Gaslight AnthemFlogging MollyLucero).

Listen to the new song below.

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Stream: PJ Bond – ‘The Better Option’

PJ BondAcoustic singer-songwriter PJ Bond is streaming another track from his upcoming full length, Where Were You. The song is titled The Better Option, and is streaming now via soundcloud. Where Were You is due to drop on May 4th via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Check out the stream of The Better Option below.

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Frank Turner Streams New Song ‘Get Better’

Frank Turner 2014Acoustic punk troubadour Frank Turner has posted a lyric video for Get Better, a track which will feature on his as-yet-untitled 6th full length, due out later this year (we assume through Xtra Mile Recordings). Through a post on his facebook page, Frank confirms work on his album is close to being finished with more details to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The lyric video for Get Better can be checked out below.

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PJ Bond Signs to Xtra Mile Recordings

Press Pic 1Americana singer songwriter PJ Bond has signed on with Xtra Mile Recordings and announced that the first release for his new label will be Where Were You, a full length due to drop on May 4th. Ahead of the official release, he is streaming the lead single Broad Street. 

PJ Bond has said this about joining the Xtra Mile family:

“Xtra Mile is one of the rare labels where it seems that they put out music that they truly believe in, and are not so much constrained by genre that they’ll question whether or not it is a ‘good idea’. This approach by clearly music-loving people is what drew me most to XMR, and was supported by everyone with whom I spoke about them. Honesty, respect, heart, these are the common threads. All in all, I think I’ve found a lovely home.”

Check out the cover art for Where Were You and the stream of Broad Street below.

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Skinny Lister Announces New Album; Premieres Music Video

Skinny ListerXtra Mile Recordings has announced the signing of six-piece London-based folk band Skinny Lister.  The band plans to release their forthcoming sophomore album, Down On Deptford Broadway in North America on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.  The album was produced by Ted Hutt (The Gaslight AnthemFlogging MollyLucero).

To mark the occasion, the band has released the new song “Cathy” from the new album.  Singer/guitarist Dan Heptinstall comments:

“Cathy” is an ode to addiction and recklessness… A declaration of desire for someone or something that you know is bad for you, and you’d be wise to steer well clear of. It’s the classic wrestle between head and heart.”

Check out the new track in video form below.

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Beans On Toast Announces New UK Dates

Bending over backwards tour poster-1UK drunk folk artist Beans on Toast has announced a series of shows across the UK in support of his most recent record, The Grand Scheme of Things. The album, his sixth, was released back in October last year via Xtra Mile Recordings.

Check out the full list of dates below.

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Franz Nicolay Streams New Album

Franz NicolayBrooklyn based multi instrumentalist Franz Nicolay is streaming his new record, To Us, The Beautiful, which dropped earlier this week via Xtra Mile Recordings (UK) /Silver Sprocket (US). The record is the first new material since 2012’s Do The Struggle and the title is an excerpt from a traditional Ukranian toast “To us the beautiful, and to those who disagree, may their eyes fall out.

LIsten to the full disc here.

Franz Nicolay Announces New Album, Streams ‘Marfa Lights’

Franz NicolayBrooklyn based multi instrumentalist Franz Nicolay has announced his new record, To Us, The Beautiful will be released on January 19th via Xtra Mile Recordings. The record is the first new material since 2012’s Do The Struggle and the title is an excerpt from a traditional Ukranian toast ““To us the beautiful, and to those who disagree, may their eyes fall out” .

Ahead of the release (which can be pre-ordered here), a stream of Marfa Lights is available, and you can check out the cover art and track list below.

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