Monday, August 7, 2017

The Hills and the Rivers - Apocalyptic Dreams

Pittsburgh folk punk group, The Hills and the Rivers, appropriately released their album Apocalyptic Dreams last November, and it's the perfect music for the modern times. With both XVI - The Tower, and XX - Judgement's, symbology woven together into the album cover, this album promises right from the start to tell a story of the upheaval our world is going through.

"Secondhand Grin" goes through a few musical shifts, showcasing this band's excellent musicianship.

"The Tower" starts off with the card from Tarot's Major Arcana of the same name - which represents such things as chaos, upheaval, and destruction, losing the "crown" that you've built up as things start to come crashing down - then applies that to our lives in the world today. All with a catchy chorus.

"The Collapse" follows, with some descriptive apocalyptic imagery, laid over a smooth melody.

"Sorrow" is slower, with some lower vibrations, but it really hits home with how many of us feel right now.

"Lift the Veil" conjurs up more apocalyptic imagery, outright saying, "We are living in an apocalyptic dream."

"Lot's Wife" was good, but the symbology went beyond me on this one.

"Wild Wolves" asks questions about nature - is everything just chaos, or is there an order?

"Misery's Company" brings up things like how all life is meaningless, and everyone dies, but that we can't think that's all we are.

"Folk Steady" is a groovy finish to a great album that lifts the energy back and gets you wanting to create some movement.

Check out Apocalyptic Dreams on Bandcamp before it's too late!

Also, see album reviews for Straight Line Arrival - If No Place, or Broken Glass Kids - Another Step Back

Friday, August 4, 2017

Straight Line Arrival - If No Place.....

The first full band release by Straight Line Arrival, If No Place....., came out in May, earlier this year.

Starting with "P.A.W.S.", we get the confession that Sky doesn't believe he deserves to be where he is in his career compared to more talented friends, something I personally connect with 100%. It delivered so good, too. Very catchy.

"I Don't Got Money, I Got Friends" is more agressive, and filled with some self-loathing.

"Of Floods" starts off calm, but builds up quickly. The flow of this song is kinda like tides coming and going.

"I Just Want My Sweatshirt Back" is another agressive song, not showing any remorse at a relationship that is over.

"No Place" calms it down again, and is also very catchy. This is, in my opinion, the best track on the album by far. Definitely a great song to round out this short, but powerful release by Straight Line Arrival.

Check out IF NO PLACE..... on Bandcamp today!

Also, see album reviews for Wolfe Sunday, and Icabod Kobain - Demo '94

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wolfe Sunday

Wolfe Sunday released his self-titled EP earlier this year. Starting off with the catchy "Song For You", this album declares, "This was never just a phase, we will never change our ways."

"Mixtape" asks to go back and start over, when nothing is left but a mixtape to remind you of how it used to be.

"Damage Control" is about having a party at your house, there's people you don't know, more keep coming, beer is on all the shelves, and you're just trying to maintain the damage control.

"I Spend More Time At Service Stations Than On Stage" is a song about Wolfe Sunday's daily life.

"The Barstool Brawler's Son" tells the story of someone who grew up with a hard life that turned into a life of violent alcoholism.

"Let's Start A Fire" is a quick one about singing songs to light fires within those listening.

"Making Memories" is about Wolfe Sunday's memories with his ex's.

"Everything We Lost" sounds remorseful remembering what has been lost in a previous relationship.

"Shoes" is a weird audio file add-on with instructions for getting a bottle of Coke out of a car.

"I'm Still Not A Rockstar, But I Sure Wish I Was" is a song about trying to be successful making music.

"Living Rooms Aren't For Living In, Anyway" is fast-paced punk.

"English Water" ends the album with a more heavy metal feel.

This self-titled EP by Wolfe Sunday is filled with potential radio hits. I'd recommend checking it out for yourself over at Bandcamp!

Also, see album reviews for Icabod Kobain - Demo '94, or Broken Glass Kids - Another Step Back

Monday, July 31, 2017

Icabod Kobain - Demo '94

Are you ready for a blast from the past? Cats Not Cops's Keith Kaaos just re-released his high school band's demo, and it's everything we could have hoped for from a '90s high school punk band whose music managed to time capsule itself into 2017.

Coming at you loud and fast, the album starts off shouting about things getting fucked up "Every Single Day"

"Fuck Off" is full of testosterone and agression.

"Beer Song" is an anthem for teen parties that's saying what's on everyone's mind, "We want more beer and alcohol!"

"I Don't Wanna Be" expresses the feeling most of us have growing up in angst, where we don't wanna be like our parents.

"I Want to Eat your Cunt" is as sexually agressive as you'd expect from a bunch of angsty teenagers.

"Single" is a reminder of the benefits of that single life, and all the partying that goes with it.

"Fuck Tomorrow" shouts about not caring about the future.

"Goodbye" is a goodbye to someone that apparently Keith doesn't care about anymore.

"Untitled Bonus Track" leaves us with a bunch of ambient noises to round out a classic high school punk album from the '90s. I would recommend this album to anyone who grew up in the '90s, as it's a very refreshing splash of nostaglia.

Now, Keith Kaaos is better known as Cats Not Cops, the uke punk from Johnson City, TN. It's cool to me to get a look at where Keith's musical journey began, and to see how it's changed over the years into the calmer, more mature sound that you get with Cats Not Cops.

You can check out Demo '94 on the Cats Not Cops Bandcamp, of course!

Also, see Cats Not Cops//Captain Chucke - UKElear Assault, or album review for Funkrust Brass Band - Dark City

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Funkrust Brass Band - Dark City

A couple weeks ago, I talked about Junkyard Golem by Out of System Transfer. Danielle of OoST also hit me up with an album from another band she's in - Funkrust Brass Band. This disco punk brass band's debut album, Dark City, was released only a couple months ago, and you really need to check this musical fusion out!

Full of high energy, Dark City opens up with "Funkrust", which you'll probably find it nearly impossible to not dance to (dancing in your seat counts). The song asks, "Are you ready for the Funkrust Brass Band?" Well let me tell you, you better be ready because these folks are coming at you strong.

"Elevator" keeps it rollin. Trance-inspiring lyrics in this one help you let go of inhibitions and really let yourself get lost in the groove.

In "Zoology", the lyrics and rough style in the vocals really bring out some of the band's more punk roots.

The title track, "Dark City", has some serious attitude expressed in the instrumentals, alone. Plus some more trance-inspiring vocals shouting at you to tie the song together, and WOW!

"Swamp Samba" keeps the motion swinging, with some happiness-inspiring lyrics, "We can run on sunshine. We don't need no money at all." If that don't make you smile among all the endorphins you're probably already releasing from dancing along, I don't know what will.

"Catch Yr Death" is another you can really feel the attitude in the instrumentals. Some catchy lyrics, too.

The album ends with "Riptide", which more attitude-packed instrumentals, and an smooth lyrial flow.

I would highly recommend Funkrust Brass Band to pretty much anyone. This album is an incredible musical fusion masterpiece that makes me wanna run out and go see this band live!

Check out Dark City - available on Bandcamp!

Also, check out album reviews for Broken Glass Kids - Another Step Back, or Out of System Transfer - Junkyard Golem

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Broken Glass Kids - Another Step Back

Canadian folk punk group, Broken Glass Kids, released their full-length debut album, Another Step Back, just this past June.

"Spit 'n Blood" opens with a bit of a haunting tone, which changes up into some light-hearted bluegrass in "Ordinary Magic," which reminds us there's "magic in the every day."

"Midsummer Heat" is a lot of things. Smooth and catchy come to mind.

"Burn the Map" will make you want to quit your job and hit the road until you don't know where your home is anymore.

Until "Going Home", that is, which will make you long for the place you've left behind. There's nothing like the feeling going home after a long time out on the road. This song just might call you back.

"Calculated Risks" is another smooth track, and has some sweet harmonica on it.

"Down With It" is super catchy, and has a nice mandolin solo. Working class song about how the system takes everyone "down with it".

The album closes with "Each Other's Heros", which is an incredibly inspiring song about how we can be each other's heros. This song is very real, down to Earth, and sure to make you smile.

Another Step Back is a solid debut for the punks from Toronto, and I highly recommend you check these folks out!

Also, see album review for Joe Billy - Let 'Em Fall, or featured album Cats Not Cops//Captain Chucke - UKElear Assault

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cats Not Cops//Captain Chucke - UKElear Assault

Ohio's Captain Chucke and Tennessee's Cats Not Cops teamed up for a split, UKElear Assault, and it just became available yesterday! The new split features three new originals and a cover, each!

Cats Not Cops is the one-piece folk punk/uke punk band of Keith Kaaos, based out of Johnson City, TN.

Captain Chucke is a folk punk/uke punk based out of Athens, OH.

Check out the split on Bandcamp!