Tag Archives: Punk rock

Two-Bit Sister – The Jackal EP Review

Compressing a wide assortment of influences stemming from the energy and buoyancy of Weezer and Nirvana, through to the texturing of Jack White and Queens Of The Stoneage, Two-Bit Sister are certainly a fresh and animated take on alternative rock. With a tight and solid rhythm section, driving guitars and soaring vocals, Two-Bit Sister set loose their own brand of infectious rock-pop nationwide this Spring with their EP, The Jackal.

Hailing from Margate, Kent, Leon Peskett (guitar and lead vocals) and Connor Bluemel (drums and backing vocals) formed Two-Bit Sister in 2013 after dissolving their previous bands. Knowing each other from their school days and having jammed together for the past few years, the pair soon clicked and amassed a strong string of songs.

Title track The Jackal is a happy, jolly song which makes it a great introduction track to this band’s sound. It’s the sort of song that will make you instantly happy if it came on in the car on a summer’s day. Your whole mood would lift and you’d feel great. Jackal features some uplifting and inspirational, even if at times depressing, lyrics that will have you singing along, “Although bitterly I’ll pass you the gun now merrily/Because the picture in the middle of the writing of the wall says stop and breath/Easy now my friend/You know we’re going to make it to the end/If you disappear/I will be right here”.

Two-Bit Sister

Two-Bit Sister

Track two Times has a pleasant, gentle introduction consisting of electric guitar and very American style vocals allowing the chorus “Put on your suit I hope it fits like a glove/Times like this you weren’t made for love” to be heard clearly. The rest of the instruments suddenly come in turning this song into a punk rock song. The vocals are also reminiscent of Cobain in parts. The start of Times is also inspired by the likes of Nirvana with the solo electric guitar riff playing before the explosion of instruments happens.

Turbulence is another Nirvana influenced track. It’s dark and droning but utterly indulgent. It has that haunting sound making it a desolate sounding song. There’s an emptiness to this track that makes it super attractive.

Wanna Know finishes the EP with its incredibly catchy chorus, “Do you wanna know?/Why the grass is green and your hair doesn’t grow?/Do you wanna know/Why people scream when your picture is shown/Do you wanna know?” This is the ultimate summery song that has an instant feel good vibe about it despite the slightly angry lyrics.

Two-Bit Sisters The Jackal EP is a solid mix of rock influences and seamless lyrics that would suit being anyone’s summer soundtrack. The Jackal EP will be available from April 21.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Reviews

The Offspring Celebrate 20 Years Of Smash With Album Performances And Special Anniversary Releases

20 years ago, The Offspring released their breakout album Smash on Epitaph Records and made history. To celebrate the band will begin playing the album in its entirety on tour in Europe this May, June and early July before finishing out the summer with soon to be announced US Smash dates. You can visit Offspring.com for the full list of current tour dates and to see which dates are the designated Smash shows.

This August, Epitaph will also commemorate the anniversary with a special 20th Anniversary Edition of Smash. The Offspring’s Dexter Holland and Noodles as well as Epitaph CEO Brett Gurewitz, recently shared their thoughts in a retrospective posted on RollingStone.com.

In addition to special 20th Anniversary merchandise, the band are also offering a ‘collector’s box’ combo as a companion piece to the Smash 20th Anniversary Edition. The box will feature both the CD/Vinyl package and a curated collection of commemorative items including a custom wood box, art print, photo prints, pin, patch, replica pass and guitar pick. You can pre-order now via Offspring.com – for the first 250 ordered, the art print will be on fine art linen canvas, numbered and signed by the artist and band.

Smash has sold over six million copies in the United States alone – certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Selling 11 million copies worldwide, Smash is the best-selling independent label album of all time.

The Offspring’s album Smash was an impactful and immediate hit when released in 1994, making a place for the band in an exciting and significant time for alternative music. The album’s first single Come Out and Play hit number one on Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The following single, Self Esteem peaked at number four and Gotta Get Away hit number six on the Billboard Modern Rock Track Charts.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News

The Menzingers Announce New Album, Rented World

Philadelphia-based band The Menzingers will release their new album Rented World on April 22 via Epitaph Records. Rented World is the fourth studio release for the band and the follow-up to their critically-applauded album, On The Impossible Past (2012).

In Remission is the first track from the new album and one where the band observes, “Maybe the future’s just a little bit weird”; a statement that sets the tone of Rented World.

The Rust Belt punks are in a crucial period of growth. Now in their mid-20s, members Greg Barnett (guitar/vocals), Tom May (guitar/vocals), Eric Keen (bass) and Joe Godino (drums), seek a greater wisdom in life even if they are old enough to know better. A theme that strongly permeates throughout the album.

“Things start to feel a little more serious,” said May. “When we were younger we wrote fiery songs because at that age it’s your world view. Now I look at the world and think ‘well, maybe I’m not right all the time.'”

Another change for the former Scranton, Pennsylvania house mates is their studio location. They entered Miner Street Studio for the first time in Fishtown, Philly in the Autumn of 2013. Jonathan Low, whose rich Americana influences can be heard on his work with The National, Sharon Van Etten and Kurt Vile, was enlisted to engineer the album. When writing the new material, the band recognised their shifts in their craft, shifts they knew would best be handled by Low. “We wanted to go to somebody who wasn’t used to recording punk records, though it wasn’t in a pretentious way, like we wanted to become an indie rock band,” stated May.

The end result is an album that fearlessly collides the snarl of emo with grungy, 90s grit and exploring the celestial expanse of post-rock. It’s slightly new territory for a band coping with their mid-20s. And lyrically touches on matters that any red blooded human of that age can relate to.

Fans are invited to pre-order Rented World by visiting: www.themenzingersstore.com. Those who missed the band on their recent US dates with label mates Off With Their Heads can expect future tour plans to be announced for later in the year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News

EMA Confirms Release Of New Album, The Future’s Void

Indie darling EMA has announced she will releasing the eagerly anticipated follow up to 2011’s successful, Past Life Martyred Saints. Titled The Future’s Void the record will be released on the 7 April on City Slang Records. Two years in the making, The Future’s Void looks set to be just as enjoyable yet musically diverse and challenging as its predecessor. While Past Life was an introverted angst ridden album that dealt with tough relationships and the deeper searchings of the human soul, EMA has stated that The Future’s Void is about the bigger picture, the world at large, the state of our planet and the overwhelming presence of technology in our society. In particular how people use technology as something g to hide behind and how certain ideas that we dreamed about ten years ago are now an every day reality.

A veteran of the San Francisco and South Dakota noise pop and punk rock scenes, EMA’s records retain the waves of feedback and distortion, the avant garde song writing structures and the confrontational in your face style of that world. However her music is a more concise and accessible combination of all those elements with a great deal of warmth and an ear for more popular music in her lyrics and melodies. Last time round much was made of Anderson’s punk and noise roots and the lyrics on the new record address how it feels to be a media starlet, attacked online and over analysed and how this can take you away from the scene you came from and the people that made you who you are. All the while her sly sense of humour and vibrant personality on display over the album’s ten tracks, which like her last album were recorded at home as opposed to the studio, allowing for better improvisation and spontaneous song writing.

Already available from the album are videos for two tracks Satellites and So Blonde. Satellites is a classic EMA futuristic techno number while So Blonde harks back to the days of grunge and Courtney Love.

By Josh Bennett


Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News

Dugout Reveal Details Of New Album, Where There Used To Be Meaning

Dugout is a four piece pop-punk band from Lansdale, PA established in May of 2011. Since their inception, they have released a five song album titled Gimme Tha Loot in 2011, a seven song album titled On Our Own in 2012 and a single titled Sudden Death In Pennsylvania which has been featured on several compilation albums.

The band signed with Painted Ox Records in January of 2013 and has plans to release an acoustic EP as well as a follow up album to On Our Own. The follow up album is due out March 21 2014 and will be called Where There Used To Be Meaning. In the summer of 2013 they finished up a national tour with the band Fairgrounds and they are in the process of scheduling an east coast tour for Spring 2014.

Dugout’s new album Where There Used To Be Meaning is set for release on March 21 2014 via Painted Ox Records. They have recently released a teaser video for their new release running on the Painted Ox Records YouTube channel (which you can watch below).

Where There Used To Be Meaning is the fourth release from Dugout and their first via Painted Ox Records. The album will be made available worldwide on iTunes, AmazonMP3, Spotify and many other online stores.

You can catch Dugout live on the following dates:
21 March Lansdale PA
22 March Washington, DC
23 March Richmond VA
24 March Virginia Beach VA
25 March Myrtle Beach SC
26 March Charleston SC
27 March Jacksonville FL
28 March Daytona Beach FL
29 March Orlando FL
30 March Miami FL
31 March Tampa FL
1 April Gainesville FL
2 April Tallahassee FL
3 April Panama City FL
4 April Augusta GA
5 April Winston Salem NC
6 April Baltimore MD

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News


Showponies are a new punk rock band from Kent. They have recently released their debut EP and video for track, She’s So Retro.

The band combine a simple, carefree energy with catchy vocal melodies akin to ‘70s and ‘80s punk bands as well as modern garage rock/pop acts. The band literally rehearses in a stable that used to train up horses for show jumping events – hence their rather unusual name.

The four songs on their self-titled demo EP are 11 minutes of sing-a-long punk recorded at Unstudio in the legendary Tunbridge Wells Forum and mastered by Spot On Sound in California.

Showponies released their debut EP on 28 February (although it’s available now through www.showponies.bandcamp.com) and are looking for shows over the coming months.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News

The Summervilles – Twelve Ways To Fuck Up Before Breakfast Album Review

The Summervilles are a three piece power-pop punk rock band from Melbourne, Australia. Forming in late 2010 and releasing an EP in 2011, the group has spent the last year and a half writing songs together to put on their new album, Twelve Ways To Fuck Up Before Breakfast. They recorded, mixed and mastered the album entirely by themselves.

Although creating the record independently, it is the self-recording that unfortunately limits the effectiveness of this album. The levels are unequal within tracks, losing vocal definition and making the music murky in tone. The Summervilles show great energy, intent and commitment and must surely be so much better live. The sound quality here is reminiscent of the recordings we enthusiastically make on our phones at gigs which, when played back, sound tinny, that fizzing impact lost and we wonder why we bothered to record it.

The Summervilles

The Summervilles

Listening through the record, there are echoes of The Buzzcocks, The Clash even Tenpole Tudor particularly in Once More Without Feeling – a more anthemic standout track where the audience can enjoy singing along with the chorus, “Oh so empty now/Wo oh oh/Wo oh oh”. This includes some interesting backing vocals sadly heard only faintly.

I’ll Be Gone has a nice structure which is more identifiable compared to the other tracks which are in danger of merging into a similar sound. Moving Under also tries something different, a quirky guitar riff with the vocals really making an impact with admirable singalong lyrics like, “I was never the type to walk you late at night/Moving under stormy skies/Now I will be the man who will always hold your hand/Moving under stormy skies”.

A couple of tracks are more pared down and have a nice contrast. It would be good to hear a less strained vocal where lyrics are more thoughtful as in the track, I Will Hold It True. The emotions would get better exposure if the vocals dropped down and this song in particular could be very effective.

The Summervilles will be much loved by existing fans and hopefully others will join them through the live experience because the album alone – due to the recording quality – may not recruit many more.

Currently only available online, the album will be getting a physical release independently in late 2013 in 12″ vinyl format.

By Kate Dexter

1 Comment

Filed under Music, Reviews