The album, facet, is set to be released this Friday, 08/11/2023, through Hex Records.
The debut record for Oakland trio, Facet, is a solid 10 tracks of post-punk/post-hardcore noise rock. Formed in 2019, the band early on wrote and released an EP titled, Duck, eight songs of noise mayhem. On the new record, they expand on that noise and more. The bass guitar is such a driving force and bears most of the weight on a lot of the songs. It’s thick sounding and fuzzy, a bit sludgy, but really wonderful to hear. The guitars rip through lots of dissonant riffs, noisy feedback, and nice heavy tones (Automatic, Triple Check and Yoga). And it’s persistent from track to track. The album plays like a warm drive on an empty highway, weaving in and out of ambient melodies and aggressive tempo changes (Bury and Smong). The vocals are screaming out words, but they’re harsh enough to keep you interested, and usually followed by long instrumental breaks. A cool chaotic sax plays in the closer, Clothier. A solid debut for sure, for this Oakland trio.
The album, facet, is set to be released this Friday, 08/11/2023, through Hex Records.
Blood Money EP release Show.
Bands that played:
The Ala Wai Virus.
This was the first local show I went to in a long while. I can't recall the last one I went to...but, the lineup was too good to pass up.
This is my first time seeing YUH w/their newest singer. Other affiliated acts include Lice, It all returns to nothing, Violent Beach, and likely choke more. Of course, I arrived at the show midway through what may have been the bands' first or second song. Great set from these grindcore enthusiasts, a really tight onslaught of sharp musicianship and violent vocals.
This would be my first time watching Smooth Taka perform. His sound consists of pop/electonica, dreamy vocals and soothing beats. Pretty chill stuff, very enjoyable. He had a video playing in the background, I think he said he just looked up "VHS Japan," on youtube and played the first thing that popped up.
Badass Noise is a 4 piece punk/hardcore band from Big Island of Hawaii. I've seen them at least a couple times before...can't recall when...Municipal Waste? And another time before that. Affiliated project, Old Habits Die Hard (saw them once at a OAMP show in Waikiki) and possibly more? This is also when someone spilled their entire beer on me (all good yo) and a cool dude named John (from Waianae), who witnessed the incident, buying me a beer after the set. Thanks homie!
My first time seeing Blood Money perform, and I think it was only their 2nd show, first one was in, I think, December. Pretty dope set. I got to jump off the stage and all I got was floor (LOL). All good tho, but I think security had to run up stage and stop people from doing that shit, I think it got a bit rowdy, all good tho. No physical release of the EP, but it's up on Bandcamp and other streaming services. Affiliated acts include the Darlingtons and Oceans Deep.
This would be my first time seeing Aswang play (you know what Aswang is? Look it up). Been listening to them for a bit now and catching some live sets online, so it was good to finally catch them live. Lots of energy in this band, and a pretty chaotic set too. Caught them a few times afterwards. Also, picked up a copy of their latest release on tape. Good stuff guys. Affiliated acts...I think get plenty.
First time catching this band with this lineup and its new name, originally Drink from the Ala Wai. They brought the same energy as its original formation, a lot more lively and now with some dual guitar action. I think they have an album in the works. Looking forward to that. Keep listening to get infected. Affiliated acts...get plenty too, I think.
A new indie music compilation is out right now titled, Stop Making Cents, by CorpoRAT Records. The label launched in 2018 by Kris Martin as a way to help empower local musicians in the community. Based in Spokane, Washington, CorpoRAT is home to more than a handful of local Spokane artists which include: Indian Goat, Itchy Kitty, Bad Motivator, thrpii, Vanna Oh!, and Kung Fu Vinyl. Like past compilations such as the Punk-O-Rama series (Epitaph), the Fat series (Fat Wreck Chords), or the few titles from Nitro Records, Stop Making Cents features a dope set of tracks that make up the Spokane music scene. The comp is made up of six bands and 17 tracks. It features a wide range of sound covering a lot of ground with the noise of rock n' roll, punk rock, hardcore and hip-hop. This comp serves as a nice introduction to new indie music or a small peak into the world of CorpoRAT. Whatever your cup of tea, Stop Making Cents, will surely help you find your new favorite band.
Website - CorpoRAT Records
The band is called ILS (pronounced ilz) and they are a 4-piece based in Portland, Oregon. They just debuted a track off of their upcoming album, Curse, set to be released July 4 this year. Pre-orders are up now on BANDCAMP.
Based on this first single only, I know this is going to be a banger of an album. It sounds heavy, loud and intense, just the way it should be for a group of noise rockers.
For fans of Jesus Lizard, Drive like Jehu, or Unsane.
I got to check out Feeble's album release show back in December. Also playing at the show were Grapefruit, Earl Grey and Soon. It was a dope show, Feeble played all the songs off the new album, my first time hearing any of the new stuff. I think they went to Maui the next day with Soon.
The newest album is Growing Out of Touch, a flavorful mix of indie pop medleys coated in purple sticky punch and passion orange guava. It's as sweet as it sounds without any of the stickiness. The songs are laced with poppy hooks and spacey guitars, a constant upbeat of rock and pop jams. The lyrics have a common thread of staying indoors, sleeping in, and getting high – an almost daily routine for some people these days. This might be your survival guide to get you through the month. For any other day of the year, it's pop punk for the soul.
Once again, out of nowhere, some new music from the one and only Scott Sellers. You might know him from his previous projects, Rufio and Mercy Street, but as of late, he has been writing and releasing solo work. And it's amazing.
This time though, he released a batch of acoustic renditions of tunes from his previous projects. The album is titled, unplugged, i suppose... A nice list of choice tracks too, as listed below:
1.Above Me (Perhaps, I Suppose... by Rufio)
2.Closure (The Judge, solo)
3.Being Strange (Being Strange, solo)
4.Don't Hate Me (EP, by Rufio)
5.Follow Me (MCMLXXXV, by Rufio)
6.One Slowdance (Perhaps, I Suppose... by Rufio)
7.Gravity (The Judge, solo)
8.The Grey (Let Me Live, by Mercy Street)
9.Road to Recovery (Perhaps, I Suppose... by Rufio)
Sellers does another acoustic rendition of Above Me, the first one being released around 2007? It was up on Rufio's MySpace page for the longest time (this one), but it may have been the same version that appeared on a special edition 7” that was made specifically for the band's last show at The Glasshouse in 2007 (do copies of this 7” actually exist?). But it was a cool rendition of Above Me, complete with a toned down intro of the electric version. On unplugged, i suppose..., Sellers adds some strings/synth action to carry the bulk of the melodies and does so with all the songs that appear on the album. It's a warm addition to the songs and especially shines on One Slowdance (my personal favorite of the songs). The song Closure sounds like it was originally meant to be an acoustic song with its folk type leads and upbeat bass line. And speaking of bass lines, Don't Hate Me keeps that original bass riff on this album too (the bass line during the slow breakdown). It's all a nice new take on all these songs. And if you're familiar with the songs, and love the originals, you might appreciate all the subtle differences these new renditions have to offer. I know I do.
SOON, a four-piece made up of members from Rotten Blossom, Lice, and Siblings (and probably many other projects...), formed in 2018, and now have 12 new tracks of fast punk and hardcore. The new album, What the Fuck did we do to the Earth, is raw and abrasive as can be and probably what you might expect based on the title alone. Four of the tracks originally appear on their first demo, now revised and updated for a clearer sound. The tunes are still thrash filled and gritty though, and violently fast and heavy on impact. Sure, it's 12 tracks in 12 minutes, but condition yourself before listening, you'll be exhausted by the end.
Another Hawaii ska band? Yes, please. Like most (if not all) local ska bands past and present, No Villains Left is no different: strong horn parts, a groovy rhythm section and off-the-wall lyrical content (“...and if you love me, let me eat your crust,” - Pizza is For Winners). After four years of playing shows and crafting a sound that's fresh and original, it's time NVL release an album. And it's a good one too, not Turn-the-Radio-Off, “good.” NVL is made up of 5 seasoned musicians, they skipped formalities and went straight to Why do they rock so hard? territory. It's a 90's ska/punk party on this debut record, Bright Lights.
The album opens big with the track, Dark Days, a punk-ska tune with a catchy horn riff and dual vocals going back and forth on verses. This song is followed up with an even bigger horn theme, Pizza is for Winners, a ditty that pays homage to the dish best served with sausage and pepperoni, yeah, pizza (deep dish or the floppy kind? The floppy kind). Another funny track on the album, is the rocking tune, Hairline. This is a tune dedicated to a receding hairline (Push back against the wall, no, it's never gonna come back, IT'S NEVER GONNA COME BACK). Sad times, for real.
A few other key tracks include, Weighed Down (a big sounding rock-ska track complete with whoa-oh-ohs), Modern World (a song that sounds like it should have been strictly instrumental, but the vocals sound dope too), and She's Not the One (one of the more aggressive tracks on the album with some double-pedal action at the end). But the most skank-friendly song on the album is 4321, a dance track worthy of extended play at a live show. It's an uplifting song with a moving bass line and clever lyrics that would work a crowd into a sing-along. Most noteworthy part of the track is the battle between the trombone and trumpet, trading 4s before playing in unison to a climactic, Lift those feet!
Listeners got a taste of the record back in October when the band released the album's first single, the title track, Bright Lights. It was soon followed by the Christmas themed single, Ding Ding. No, the title is not referencing bells (hahahahahaha) But now with a full album and 10 fresh tracks in tow, it's time to rejoice and dance and skank and eat plenty pizza until kanak attacks. No Villains Left have a solid record here. And it's dope. Shootz.
Ninjas with Syringes will be releasing a new album, Punkanomics, featuring 13 new punk rock gems. Check out it on iTunes, spotify
My review below...
According to a new study in punk rock the best way to open an album is with an acoustic guitar. And then some. PDX punk-rockers, Ninjas with Syringes, lecture the masses with 13 new tracks of solid punk-pop tunes on Punkanomics. It has been a good four years since the release of a NWS full length (Jetsetter), and on top of that, four other albums, three EPs and eight singles worth of material (among the eight, Helloween is the best). The writing hasn’t stopped, and its only gotten better.
The songs sound a lot more polished than previous efforts and lead singer/songwriter Matt Danger had a good chunk of time to fine tune these tracks. The album starter, Bones, is a hell of a track, opening with an acoustic lick before kicking in the distortion and jumping into full speed of punk-pop goodness. And it's a consistent tempo of rock and melody moving forward.
The track, Northern, is structured like a punk-pop gem, first with a slow intro crashing into some mosh-friendly verses. It hits hard and fast, like the anthemic rocker, Got Dead, which shares the happenings of life on the road and rock shows across the country. The road life sounds like a rad fucking time, but also, “don't fuck up Get Dead songs in Minnesota.”
Tugging on the heart strings is the song, Ira, another acoustic based track with some strong riffs and great harmonies. This song feels personal as do the rest of the songs on this album. It's a huge step up from songs like, Robot and Ninja Gaiden is Hard. But what matters most is that it plays well and translates musically to other similar paced songs like Blamegasm and Specter And it sounds awesome, even without piano, which was used heavily on the album, Pornographer. On this album though, piano only appears on the closer, Epoch.
This is definitely one of the better albums to be released in 2019. Punkanomics, is a easy favorite and enjoyable listen. If there's one lesson to be learned from listening to this album – it's not to keep writing songs, but rather to keep practicing your instrument, so you don't fuck up in Minnesota.
Listen to the album on iTunes, spotify
New music video by ALOMAR for the track, Hey Alexa. The song is on the the upcoming full-length, Soul Case, to be released through Small Mammal Records on cassette, July 5th (Pre-Order HERE). The album features 10 new songs. A nice follow up to 2016's, Midwestern. Yo, Eddie Gancos' vocals are sounding sweet as ever. Can't wait to hear the rest of the songs.