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.
I went to once-a-month punk on the Saturday before last, the 17th and really enjoyed this one. Everyone on the flyer played, with a sort of last minute addition (MISTERMEANER!!!). I even got there early, like, two pints and one monster, early. And I stayed til the last song. The streets were still pretty active on the walk back to the zoo, maybe because of all the recent graduates celebrating (congrats to all of this years new graduates!). But yeah, I dug every one of the sets. The theme of the night, Punk Vs. Ska.
Look Out! Rosie! opened, and played a very energetic set. I think they're from Hawaii Kai side. Nice blend of punk and ska grooves.
Anti-Matter played second, with some high energy punk rock, fast and sweet. Really nice sound. They mentioned a CD release show coming up, I think in the beginning of July. Flyers were passed out. Check them on Facebook HERE.
MisterMeaner brought the rage afterwards. Loved the set, but maybe I didn't show it? I'm fine with just watching the band, especially in small settings. Looking forward to their upcoming show with Good Riddance though. That's gonna be a tight show. I'm still waiting for that moment to hear, AREA 51, live. In fact, I hope they open with that song.
The last time I saw Black Square was at...I can't think of the venue name...right at fort street mall and Beretania...that one place you go upstairs...anyway, it was there, Upstanding Youth played and so did Buckshot Shorty. Maybe a couple other bands too? I'm unsure. It was a nice chunk of time since then, so it was especially nice to hear their songs live finally. The Rude Boy song they played is really tight. I think it's a newer song, but I imagine they've been playing live for a while now. I need to hear that again.
Pimpbot closed the night. Excellent set as always. Tons of energy with non-stop jams. And I think they played a few more songs than originally planned. Very nice. The crowd was definitely enjoying themselves. I thought I was going to see a fight break out in front of me. I'm glad that didn't happen, it was too late into the night for that to happen all ready.
Black Square and Pimpbot will be playing this Saturday again too! Info HERE. Along with Super Fuct. Should be fun. #localmusic