Tag Archives: punk

Introducing…The Age Of The Universe

For ages, men have been gazing at the night sky, wondering at the beauty and mystery of the universe. We don’t really consider it, being so busy living through our daily routines, but if you think about it, the entire concept of this existence is even wilder than the most imaginative science fiction work.

The Age Of The Universe set out to capture these fascinating thoughts and visions through their own blend of alternative rock.

The band’s debut studio effort, Singularity, is an unpredictable and uncompromising cocktail of punk, alternative rock and psychedelia: think members of Pink Floyd jamming with someone from Muse and Black Sabbath. They have recently revealed the lead single, Alive, which is accompanied by a video directed by Grzegorz Telenga and Krzysztof Wróbel.

This is in-your-face and inspirational rock music that lingers on the echoes from the 70s yet looks forward to a creative and personal future.

The Age Of The Universe’s album, Singularity, is available to buy now.

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Paws – Youth Culture Forever Album Review

Paws are set to release their second album, Youth Culture Forever, on June 2 via FatCat Records. The album saw the band decamp to a studio in the woods just outside New York to hone and expand on the sound that saw their debut Cokefloat! acclaimed by the likes of Pitchfork, BBC music and nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year Awards.

Recording at Adam Pierce’s (Mice Parade/ Swirlies) studio in the woods outside of New York City, Paws produced the album themselves in an attempt to strive for the sound that they had always imagined for the band. As Phillip Taylor from the band says: “It feels like everybody considers our debut LP to be lo-fi which really bothered us as we felt it was the complete opposite by comparison to our early releases”. He states that he wanted Youth Culture Forever to be: “…bigger and louder, softer and quieter” and to “…present the potential of our dynamic range more accurately than the first album”. This can be heard right from the album’s opener, Erreur Humaine which opens with Taylor playing a gentle, lilting guitar riff and ruminating on the end of a relationship with typical searing honesty before the full band explode into life, sounding heavier, fuller and darker than ever before.

Paws

Paws

Tongues is a happy go luck tune with its upbeat, summery sounds and those pleasant harmonies that add something, making it more of a sing-a-long song. Tongues combines the elements of Cokefloat! that made it such a thrilling debut; an expert use of dynamics, an anthemic chorus and painfully honest lyrics while incorporating an increased use of texture and expanded instrumentation.

Someone New is that angry infused song that everyone needs after a relationship break down. Someone New speaks about seeing your ex partner with someone new, “Do you wanna the truth?/Do you wanna know the truth?/I’d rather pack my bag and leave this town/Than risk the chance of seeing you around…with someone new/You’d promised me we’d be friends/No I never want to see you again…” It’s grungy, powerful and angst ridden. Someone New is the perfect song for when you’re having a bad day.

Owl Talons Clenching My Heart is a solemn track with grungy, distant sounding vocals. They’re droning yet this song is surprisingly comforting with its swooning guitar riffs and jagged bass line.

Give Up explodes with the lyrics, “Tired of acting like I don’t care/You know I care…”. Give Up is another brilliant punk rock song which you are instantly able to sing-a-long to and jump around like an idiot to if you so wish. It would make an excellent live track. This song will lift you out of your seat immediately – your feet can’t help but tap along.

Alone is the ballad of album, it’s entirely different from the previous tracks. It appears just before half way through breaking the album’s lovable yet slightly repetitive sound. It allows the album to breath and introduces a completely different side to this band. Alone shakes up your opinion of Paws – you thought they could just do grunge and punk rock but they have this surprisingly gentle side. The vocals on Alone are outstandingly beautiful – they’re raw, exposing true feeling behind the words.

The title track YCF is so blissful in comparison to the other songs on the album. It’s acoustic and sounds as if it’s been recorded in someone’s bedroom on a whim. The vocals are gravelly, gorgeous yet grungy. As the penultimate track for the record, it has the perfect blend of everything.

Paws Youth Culture Forever is to be released on June 2 on FatCat records.

 

 

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Introducing…Change Of Fire

Salt Lake City rock band Change To Fire announces the upcoming release of their new EP, Our Bodies In The Gears, produced, mixed and mastered entirely by the band themselves in their tiny practice space which is covered floor to ceiling with old punk rock flyers and Stars Wars memorabilia.

The album’s lead single, Big Apple, 3 AM, was released on May 13, in advance of the album. The song gets its name from the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, Turtles In Time. Lead singer Blue Alvey describes the song as being about: “…people putting a price on one another, using religion as the basis. It’s about breaking free of that mentality.”

Guitarist and producer Brad Rhoades describes the seven track EP as: “…short, sweet and straight to the point. We wanted to keep it punk rock and real but still add some pop shine to each song.”

The single is now available for free download through Change To Fire’s official website, http://www.changetofire.com where you can also find a music video supporting the single as well as photos and additional information.

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Introducing…Szilenze

Rising stars Szilenze have put together a Did-It-Themselves late spring national tour and will be hitting the road May 22, 2014. The tour will kick off in Iowa City, Iowa at Gabes.

Throwing caution to the wind and daring to succeed where so many others have failed, this rag tag group of fighters will take their never-give-up attitude, try-or-die work ethic and overwhelming positivity on the road and to the masses. Szilenze has been relatively unknown for the majority of their existence but have finally kicked the door open and dare you to try to close it.

Making bold statements with their songs, such as Shut Up & Listen, Take This Life, Dear John, Nothing Left to Say and more, Szilenze isn’t afraid to deliver a message that comes right from the heart and speaks to the human condition. Themes of love, loss, hope, anger, angst and acceptance are recurring and speak to everyone on one level or another; it’s clear Szilenze has “gone through some stuff.” Don’t worry, though, as Szilenze also has fun with some tongue-in-cheek songs: Mr. Right Now, Popular, Where Were You and more. For those coming out to discover Szilenze for the first time, get ready to see and hear a band that delivers on its message of Shut Up & Listen.

Shedding their old skin and reinventing themselves, Szilenze has taken to dressing up in outfits they call Steamrock. It’s a bold look to match their over-the-top alter egos which has many in the fandom, comparing them to KISS. Szilenze blends the elements of theatrics and music with a stunning visual that is an indulgent treat for the eyes and ears. Of course having an average band height over 6’2″ doesn’t hurt, either.

Szilenze has gained momentum with their anti-bullying outreach and their song Take This Life which speaks about real life situations within which the members have found themselves and friends. Szilenze has also been in The Flair Gun Publications with their message of support for the LGBT community. Szilenze wants to reach out and connect with those often overlooked and held down because they themselves were. They seek to be champions for the little guys, the underdogs, the freaks, the geeks, the nerds, the uncool, the lonely, the sad, the confused and anyone and everyone who’s ever felt they weren’t good enough or made to feel less than by another person.

 

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Introducing…This Wild Life

This Wild Life will release their debut album Clouded on May 27. This Wild Life will also perform all summer long on the Vans Warped Tour. You can listen to the first cut from the album History by visiting Alternative Press.

Hailing from Long Beach, CA, This Wild Life is duo Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso. Jordan and Del Gross grew up in the tightknit DIY punk scene in Long Beach. They quickly became friends after working at the same musical instrument store, bonding over music of their teens. The conversations were about hardcore, punk and scream bands such as Thursday, The Used, and Senses Fail. Soon enough, they started their own pop-punk band and made music together as This Wild Life. They played fast, they played loud and they didn’t stand out from the crowd until they did the least “punk” thing possible. It was also bolder than anything in the punk rock rulebook: they got quiet and played acoustically.

The music itself connected with fans, even as it surprised them. They take pride in making music based in hardcore and punk rock but with wider appeal. In contrast to the harsh music that This Wild Life grew up on, Jordan finds inspiration for his vocals outside the hardcore punk world: “Sara Bareilles is one of my favourites. Maybe people wouldn’t expect that. Or maybe they would.”

A big part of who they are as a band is to remain true to their DIY punk ethic. The band put in the work to gain the support of their fan base. Now, This Wild Life has an army of 80K YouTube subscribers with videos of over 2.75 million views.

Clouded is their debut full-length and was recorded with Aaron Marsh of Copeland. Clouded maintains the core attributes of their sound – Jordan’s vulnerable, expressive lyrics, DelGrosso’s nimble fingerpicking – while pushing themselves towards more ambitious sounds. “We tried out a string section, pianos, different kinds of guitars, we didn’t want to limit ourselves,” Jordan notes.

Clouded is the triumphant result of years marked by small triumphs, big struggles and countless floor shows, bringing This Wild Life’s heartfelt, melodic and acoustic punk-rock to a bigger audience they’ve earned.

Fans are invited to pre-order Clouded by visiting here.

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The Menzingers Premiere Video For New Single, I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore, And New Album Out Now.

The Menzingers premiered their new video for their single I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore via Stereogum. The track is off their new album Rented World out now on Epitaph. CDs and vinyl copies are available at menzingerstore.com and digitally at iTunes.

No longer house mates in Scranton, PA, the title Rented World, mirrors the band’s lifestyle since moving to Philly in 2008. The band was renting separate spaces around the city but maintaining a practice space in North Philly where the majority of the record was written. Faithfully archetypal Rust Belt punk, Rented World is an album concerned with maintaining a sense of self, the softening of posture and the burden of harsh realities.

The Menzingers kept it Philly-local for Rented World and enlisted Jonathan Low to engineer the album at Miner Street Recordings. Low’s distinctively rich Americana sound resonates through the careers of The War On Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile and The National.

The Menzingers didn’t write the answers into Rented World. The record admits to an in medias res that comes with one’s late 20s, old enough to know better but still seeking greater wisdom.

You can catch the band on tour this Spring in support of the album with Lemuria, PUP and Cayetana. Tickets are on-sale now at: www.TheMenzingers.com.

May 29 Providence, RI – The Met
May 30 New York, NY – Webster Hall
May 31 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
June 01 Washington DC – Rock and Roll Hotel
June 02 Rochester, NY – The Bugjar
June 03 Toronto ON – Opera House
June 04 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
June 05 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
June 06 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
June 07 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock
June 08 Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
June 10 Davenport, IA – River City Experience
June 11 St. Louis MO – Firebird
June 13 Denver, CO – Marquis
June 14 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
June 15 Boise, ID – The Shredder
June 17 Seattle, WA – El Corazon
June 18 Portland, OR – Branx
June 20 San Francisco, CA – Slims
June 21 Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy
June 22 San Diego, CA  – The Irenic
June 23 Phoenix, AZ – Pub Rock
June 24 Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
June 26 Austin, TX – Red 7 Inside
June 29 Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds Downstairs
June 30 New Orleans, LA – Siberia
July 02 Tampa FL – Orpheum
July 03 Orlando, FL – The Social
July 04 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade – Middle
July 05 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter
July 06 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar

(All dates with Lumeria, PUP, and Cayetana)

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Flatcat – Heartless Machine Album Review

Heartless Machine is Flatcat’s first album in eight years. Flatcat are from Bruges, Belgium and their newest album, Heartless Machine, has recently been released on Eye Spy Records.

This is the band’s third and most labour-intensive studio release to date. In the last two years Dieter “Minx” Meyns (vocals/guitar) learned all about recording music with only one goal: to record most of the new Flatcat album himself. This explains the long wait…

Over the last two years, the band acquired professional recording gear to take care of vocals, guitars and bass themselves to leave only the recording of drums up to Dé Studio in Belgium (that also recorded Flatcat’s debut album back in 2002). In search for the ultimate punk rock sounding album, Minx made an appointment and had an intensive talk with Bill Stevenson (Descendents/Black Flag) after the Descendents show at Groezrock 2011.

The band decided to work with Bill and Jason Livermore who mixed and mastered the album at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado. The result is Heartless Machine.

First stand out track is Loose Tongues which has influences of Sum41, classic Green Day and Jimmy Eat World in it. It’s punk rock done in the American style. It’s the sort of music you used to love in your teens and a slight guilty pleasure.

Title track Heartless Machine has a darker, grungier sound to it. It’s got a good sing along chorus that will be perfect for live shows, “Here we go again/It all looks so well-rehearsed/Dragging me back in/Thought I was blessed but I am cursed/You must be/You must be the most vicious girl I’ve ever seen/You heartless machine.”

The Maladjusted is a punchy, punk rock, teenage rebellion track. It’s the distorted guitar that kicks this song off. On this song, Flatcat sound very similar to Simple Plan’s original pop/punk rock sound they introduced to the music industry back in 1999. Flatcat seem to have a knack for writing great sing along choruses, “Spat out by your loved ones/Condemned by those we trusted/If growing up means giving in/Call us the maladjusted.”

Take Shelter is another song that has an incredibly catchy chorus which is instantly recognisable even if you’ve only heard this song once. Take Shelter is the sort of song you’ll want to hear again. It has a surprisingly summery upbeat guitar riff which kicks it off alongside the fast tempo drums. There are elements of Blink 182 that can be heard in this song. Take Shelter explores the idea of isolation and loneliness through cleverly written metaphorical lyrics: “I wonder if you hear it too the rolling thunder/Am I alone feeling the rain ‘cause I’m going under/Don’t want to get caught in the storm/I need to take shelter.”

Leech will get your feet tapping – it just suits a summer afternoon driving around in your car, “You’re a leech sucking my blood/Trying to drain me but I’m holding strong/You’re a leech sucking my blood/And you’ve been doing it too long/Doing it too long.”

Not What I Signed Up For features an acoustic start to the track which is refreshing after all the punk rock focus in the other songs. The vocals seem softer and are very Billy Joe Armstrong inspired. The music seems chirpier and more stripped back than the previous tracks. It has a happier sound despite the lyrics, “This is not what I signed up for/This is not what I had in mind…”.

The Great Escape is the best track on Heartless Machine. There are folk influences heard in the guitar riff which is a first for this record. It sounds like a completely different band as Flatcat introduce Mumford and Sons influences into parts of the track. The Great Escape has that upbeat folk tempo that blends perfectly with the “Oh oh oh oh/I I I I/ Won’t let you down” chorus. It’s the penultimate track on the record and is a brilliant one at that.

Flatcat’s Heartless Machine is out now via Eye Spy Records.

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