Website - CorpoRAT Records
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
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
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
I was able to make the show on the 26th. Missed all openers (Black Square plays tomorrow in Kailua with The Smitz at Boardriders and Pimpbot turns 13-years-old and will be playing in Waikiki on Saturday), and all ready maybe a half hour to 45 minutes into Big D's set? I was able to catch about 9 songs, from what I can remember. These are the songs in no particular order:
- Find Out (I think they played Find Out, wasn't too familiar with the song. Funny, it reminded me of Jah Ska's, Milk Chocolate).
- Describing the Sky
- Girls Against Drunk Bitches
- Little Bitch
- A Steady Riot
- Noise Complaint
Chris Bush, a former sax player (he told me he played on the Gypsy Hill EP, Good-Luck and How It Goes), performed with the band, which was cool. I wondered if they played Cutshow. Oh and How It Goes turns 10-years-old! Really great batch of songs, with some of my favorites on it. Glad I got to hear a few of them live.
Turns out too that Hawaii was the first stop for their tour. I think they're currently in Australia, but since then all ready made stops in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Awesome.
The new album by Five Iron Frenzy is titled, Engine of a Million Plots, and is up for pre-order on itunes. Holy crap! I didn't forget that I pledged for their kickstarter, but I went ahead and made a pre-order anyway...I really wanted to hear a new track off of it. The new track is, So Far...dayum, it's a tight track. Horn section is fantastic, crisp guitars and bass, drums are tight, and Reese Roper's vocals are as lovely as ever.
Looks like they did release a couple singles last year. I thought I'd wait it out...I couldn't wait any longer. I basically just paid ten bucks for a single. Worth it...check it if ya got a chance. Five Iron Frenzy is back.
This compilation was just released a couple days ago by the wonderful people at Indie Vision Music. It's volume three of their Ska compilation series. They've been releasing awesome stuff through out the years, and a bunch of other kinds of comps such as their Summer Slam and Fighting from the Ground Up series...I'm not sure if those are still going on though? It's actually been a while since I've visited the website. I just so happened to read about this comp through a bunch of tweets (Oh social media, you're such a wonderful tool!). And I haven't gone through all 28 tracks yet, but I'm streaming through it as I write this and everything is oh-so-lovely.
The lineup on this comp is really tight. It includes tracks from superstars like, The O.C. Supertones, For Pete's Sake, The Insyderz, an unreleased track from, The Dingess, The Anchorage and Codename Rock (They have on here, Mile Markers, their newest track that they released last year). Some other band's I'm hearing for the time and digging include Christafari and Atombender. Again, this comp is 28 tracks long, lots of time to check out everything.
But the one track that did catch my eye, and the one I'm keeping on repeat for now is the track from Upstanding Youth, Burn With It. That was a surprise to see them on this thing. I was surprised because they played a final show last year (I didn't attend it) and I didn't know they had released music after, A Senses of Urgency. The songs on, Burn the Process, are tight though. Be sure to check out the compilation HERE and best of all, it's free. Free is good right? Your new favorite Ska band will likely be on this compilation. Check it.