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The Super Vacations

25 Oct

My introduction to the Super Vacations came by way of a 7″ split that I received in the mail. I hadn’t heard of either band on the split, and had no idea what to expect when I put the needle down. The driving rhythms and psych-tinged guitar instantly grabbed my attention. I was pleasantly surprised, and blown away by The Super Vacations. They released their 3rd full length album, Heater Pt. II, with Funny / Not Funny Records back in September. Check out the two songs below from this release, “Controller”, and “El Ray”, then hurry over to F/NF‘s site and get you a copy before they are all gone.

The Super Vacations – Controller from Heater Pt. II (2012)

The Super Vacations – El Ray from Heater Pt. II (2012)

The Super Vacations

Funny / Not Funny

Holograms

15 Aug

Swedish punk rock…kind of hard to imagine from a country whose top exports have been outfitting the world’s middle class for decades and whose social system is famously egalitarian. But Sweden has its share of factories and, no matter how good your health benefits are, working in a factory sucks. That’s how the Holograms met: going out for drinks after their factory shift. Their brand of working class punk is accented by gravelly basslines and frayed synths (they are Swedish after all). The self-titled debut is packed with chilly, desperate war cries like “ABC City”. If you dig, get your hands on the entire album — it’s one of my top five of 2012 so far.

ABC City from Holograms (2012)

http://capturedtracks.com/

Mean Jeans

6 Jul

Mean Jeans are a pop-punk band out of Portland Oregon. They released their second album, On Mars, back in April on Dirtnap, it is catchy as hell! Full of rad hooks and goofy lyrics, On Mars blows through 36 minutes without really taking any time to breathe. The track below, “Anybody Out There”, they pull out all the stops with xylophone (i’m guessing) at the beginning and “oh-oh-oh’s” throughout. It’s a great punk rock track, and would fit nicely into any summertime playlist. Enjoy.

Mean Jeans – Anybody Out There? from On Mars (2012)

Mean Jeans

Dirtnap

Green Noise

Estrogen Highs

7 May

I’m short. I’ve been short all of my life, so I’m pretty used to it. But, I would be lying if I said I’ve never dreamt of being taller. I’m not asking for anything extreme like 7 foot, just average, 6 foot would be perfectly acceptable. When I heard Estrogen Highs’ new single “I Wanna Be Tall”, the chorus really hit home with me. It simply states, “I wanna be tall like you”. It’s a great punk rock song that starts out slow with a warm glow of feedback and lonely guitar before it kicks into full assault of fuzzy guitar and pounding drums. Check it out below along with another track from their new album, Irrelevant Future, out now on Trouble In Mind.

Estrogen Highs – I Wanna Be Tall from Irrelevant Future (2012)

Estrogen Highs – Grass of Leaves from Irrelevant Future (2012)

Trouble In Mind

Sonic Avenues

24 Feb

Sonic Avenues, a punk band out of Montreal, Quebec. Their second album, Television Youth, came out in January on Dirtnap Records. The title track, included below is a great example of their dirty, loud, lo-fi punk rock sound.

Sonic Avenues – Television Youth

Dirtnap

Sonic Avenues

Bad Sports

28 Aug

I love punk rock. I love everything about it. I enjoy it in almost all of it’s forms. No matter how broad my musical tastes have become with old age, when I hear good punk rock I get really excited. Bad Sports is good punk rock. Hailing from Denton, Texas, they do everything good punk bands do, including tight guitars, snotty vocals, and songs about girls. Bad Sports play with serious energy, their songs are very catchy and have an old school vibe to them, drawing comparisons to bands such as the Buzzcocks. “Can’t Just Be Friends”, the track below, reminds me a lot of the Ramones with a little Hard-Ons mixed in. Yes, I just wrote that. Their 2nd LP Kings of The Weekend just came out and it’s really good, you should go buy it.

Bad Sports – Cant Just Be Friends from Kings of The Weekend (2011)

www.dirtnaprecs.com

Capsule

11 Jun

Capsule is a three-piece, post hardcore, punk rock band that I stumbled across the other night while searching for music. They play hard and fast, almost as if each member is trying to out do the other. “Neuralize So Numb”, the opening track, clocks in at a blazing 1:05. The song is angry, aggressive, and very catchy. It ends almost as quickly as it starts, and it will punch you in the face, so you have to pay attention. I really like this song, and I hope you enjoy it too.

Capsule – Neuralize So Numb

http://www.myspace.com/capsulefl

Mind Spiders

13 Apr

Mind Spiders is the new project of Marked Men singer Mark Ryan. Their debut self-titled album is definitely not a Marked Men redo. The punk rock is still there, just now it’s full of reverb and distortion, like mold has grown on it. Along with the fuzz is the sci-fi noises that make the album sound at times like it was intended for a B-movie soundtrack. The song “No Romance” is one of the more punk rock songs on the album. It’s quick song, just under two minutes, but it gives you a small taste of the lo-fi goodness that this album consists of. Thirteen songs in total, including a spaced out version of Little Richard’s “Slippin’ and Slidin”, the album takes a little over 30 minutes to listen to before you start it over again, because it’s so good, you’ll have to play it again.

- By Todd S

No Romance

Mind Spiders Site
Dirtnap Records

Cap’n Jazz

24 Apr


Cap’n Jazz were such a short-lived band that their entire musical catalog fits on a double album. But what a double album it is – a sloppy, cryptic, energetic, engaging masterpiece – and it’s being reissued by their erstwhile label, Jade Tree, as a double vinyl LP on June 15, 2010. To celebrate, the boys are getting the band back together for a set of reunion shows in select cities, including two sold-out shows in their hometown of Chicago. Cap’n Jazz’s influence extends well beyond those 34 songs. Their musical family tree includes other Monsters of Emo – Make Believe, The Promise Ring, American Football, Owls, Ghosts and Vodka, Joan of Arc and Owen. This is the kinda musical act you make a road trip to see. And, unless they add a Detroit show, I will have one in my future. Or maybe I’ll cash in some SkyMiles so Sean and I can geeeeek out at the LA show, the way we did when we saw The Promise Ring in Austin back in the day.

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Dag Nasty

29 Jun

Among my punk friends your credibility diminishes in direct correlation to each subsequent Dag Nasty album you profess to enjoy. Those punk friends then, according to their criteria, are much more punk than I. “Can I Say” (the beginning and end of Dag Nasty for my punk-er friends) and “Wig Out at Denko’s” stand out as my favorites by far, but “Field Day” played hand in hand with those first two albums on my desert road trips to and from college over the years (Although to this day, I still haven’t ripped it to my computer—that’s changing today though. I mean, come on, the opening lines to the title track are, “Here on the beach I’ve got the sun / I’ve got the surf, I’ve got Mexican food. Life don’t get better than that!).

The shift in sound between “Can I Say” and “Wig Out at Denko’s” occurs mostly in the albums’ tempos and vocal styles. On the second record, the band slows things down a notch and singer Peter Cortner sings more often than he yells on “Wig Out at Denko’s.” The transformation continues on “Field Day.” Basically, the band continued to add more melodic elements to its hardcore sound, thus they’re often cited as one of the bands that influenced later emo bands (I threw up in my mouth a little bit just using that term. Ugh.).

. . . I just axed most of this review. Rehashing the band’s history was boring me, and hell, anyone could find that info online, or listen to the music and make up their own mind on whether or not Dag Nasty is a band they’ll enjoy. It’s sad because this post doesn’t do justice to the band, nor to their influence on my life. It’s close to impossible to talk about bands that mean a lot to me in a space so small (see my Lloyd Cole post as another example). I could organize an entire memoir around these Dag Nasty records. Dag Nasty dominated my stereo when I met Alisa. “Four on the Floor” came out the year of my first radio show. The people and bands I worked with during the first half of this decade were likewise influenced by the band, and I expect the connections I made with Dag Nasty as their soundtrack will last a lifetime.

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