6.28.2017

UPRIGHT CITIZENS

































"colour your life"
Year:  1995
Country:  Germany
Label:  Impact
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  38 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Pop Punk





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"open eyes, open ears,
brains to think"
Year:  1985
Country:  Germany
City:  Berlin
Label:  none
Format:  LP
Tracks:  22
Time:  53  min.
Lyrical themes:  anarchism, pacifism
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk        Hardcore
 
 
 
 
 
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"Make the future mine & yours"
Year:  1983
Country:  Germany
City:  Berlin
Label:  H'art Musik
Format: CD
Tracks:  15
Time:  32 min.
Lyrical themes:  anarchism, pacifism
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk        Hardcore
 
 
 
 
 
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ED GEIN































"smoked + bad luck"
Year:  2017
Country:  US
City:  Syracuse
Label:  Hex
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  16
Time:  32 min.
Lyrical themes:  social issues, politics
Genre:  rock
Style:        Grindcore
















It’s always nice to see that cover art isn’t a dying detail in today’s downloading-obsessed times, and this latest from grind/hardcore guys Ed Gein entices with not only an excellent album title, but very cool art as well — showing humans with Mack trucks as heads. This New York-based trio are armed with a political lyrical edge to boot, which helps give an extra push to their tunes. With an equally skilled take on grind, hardcore, punk and sludge, Ed Gein tend to keep their songs short and sadistically violent. (The band’s motto, after all, is "Go fast!”) With all three members singing, the urgency of the frantic music is escalated into realms of AmRep-style noise rock and angry punk; while no one player sticks out as being particularly proficient on his instrument, the three no doubt gel together perfectly. With cool, angular, driving bass lines keeping the rhythm underneath the noise, this never degenerates into something too unhinged; although the listener would be hard-pressed to remember one of these songs when all is said done, it still resembles music. Somehow managing to pay homage to both Unsane and Napalm Death at once. The band's lyrics, primarily written by bassist Aaron Jenkins, are politically charged and features social commentary, on topics including racism, sexism, homophobia, animal liberation, etc. this bass-heavy, extremely cathartic release is highly recommended.
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6.23.2017

FORUS






























"lights"
Year:  2014
Country:  France
City:  Bayonne
Label:  Effervescence
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  10
Time:  26 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk         Prog Rock
















pop punk, melodic hardcore and skateboard. and here we go with another band which sound or remind as some kind of "prog punk". In this case is a french band recalling in the 90s melodic hardcore or pop punk bands, which also add to their receipt a particular riff guitars, keyboards, bass and rhythmic section (drums) closer to prog rock, progressive metal or complicated and virtuous musicians as RKL or (less): Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment or perhaps symphonic rock bands, in the sense of Forus also write complicated compositions. They are not so great musicians like prog rock celebrities of course, but they can to remind those kind of sounds and music, and this fact become Forus in a very original band and a true hidden gemm too.
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"we"
Year:  2011
Country:  France
Label:  Effervescence
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  10
Time:  22 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk         Prog Rock





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6.20.2017

THE METHADONES





































"not economically viable"
Year:  2004
Country:  US
City:  Chicago
Label:  Thick
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  39 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Pop Punk



















The third full-length from The Methadones and second from the solidified lineup of Dan Vapid (Screeching Weasel / Riverdales / Sludgeworth), Mike Byrne (ex-Vindictives), Pete Mittler, and Mike Soucy finds the band taking a somewhat different route than the band's past endeavors. "not economically viable", an album loosely based on the movie Falling Down (in which a disgruntled office worker takes revenge on those causing his disposition), takes cues from both classic punk (yes, they still channel the Ramones a good deal) and the mature side of 90s pop, both likely due to Vapid's past projects, and is a little more guitar-driven this time around, with scattered solos thrown about, and devoid of any post-20th century influence whatsoever. Hower, despite the album being overall a strongly solid, forty-minute chunk of pop-punk, there's some noticable filler in the early-to-mid setting, . Nearly every track on the disc is catchy, even if the record ends up suffering from "every-song-sounds-the-same" syndrome as a result. "bored of television," "mess we made" and "million miles" are three of the best examples showing off the band's inherent ability to hook you like sidestage cane antics, but to be honest, it's tough to say how much lasting value the record as a whole has. The first couple spins I found myself relatively enjoying the album, if not drifting off around the aforementioned filler parts. Flash foward several listens later, I still drift off towards the same parts, and the ones I enjoy just seem less overwhelming than they were at first. The themes the album claims to have loosely attached itself too are even then a bit abstract to be noticeable - except for "Suddenly Cool," with its comments towards "climbing the social ladder" - and don't do much, if anything at all, to reward close attention to such. "not economically viable" is a brilliant album and perhaps the band's best effort (*Review by Brian Shultz).
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THE BROKEDOWNS
































"life is a breeze"
Year:  2014
Country:  US
City:  Chicago
Label:  Red Scare
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  16
Time:  36 min.
Lyrical themes:  politics, parody
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock


















"To describe The Brokedowns as just another Midwestern pop-punk band would be to sell the Elgin, Illinois four-piece extremely short. Yes, they are from the Midwest, and yes, there are more than enough hooks and sing-along choruses to check all of the pop punk boxes, but there's so much more too, from impassioned shouts to clever, pointed lyrics, and it's all deftly assembled on Life Is A Breeze. The record shows a band that, after a period of evolution, has figured out a sound all its own, and is now making the most of it. If you are familiar with the band's past output, then you are already aware that after starting out with a heavier sound on early records, The Brokedowns infused much more melody, to great effect, on their previous full-length, 2010s Species Bender, and on a number of subsequent split 7-inches. On Life Is A Breeze, the band sticks with that sound and seems quite comfortable doing so. The record kicks off with Joliet, the Maui of the Midwest, which serves as a sort of a tourism jingle for the band's home region. It lays an effective foundation before the record launches into a series of standout tracks. The Gospel of Mustafa, Life Is A Breeze, "murder junkie/CPA" "everything is immoral" are all as good, if not better, than anything on "species bender", and "murder junkie / CPA" specifically hearkens back to that record with its similarity to "loyal looper" (theme from renegade), which is no bad thing. Unfortunately, there's little time to come up for air, as the next handful of tracks, starting with Born on the Bayou Too, are just as strong. In fact, the quality stays high all the way through to the closer, "a child's guide to Black Metal". As a whole, Life Is A Breeze is an extremely satisfying follow-up to Species Bender, taking everything that was great about that record and building on it. The one shame is that, coming so late in the year, Life Is A Breeze is likely to miss out on a spot on many year-end lists. It's certainly an honor lost, though I'm not so sure The Brokedowns care about that sort of thing (*Review writen by Adam Eisenberg)
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THE SISTERS OF MERCY

































"first and last and always"
Year:  1985
Country:  UK
City:  Leeds
Label:  none
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  40 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Goth Rock




















One of british's leading goth bands of the 80s, The Sisters of Mercy play a slow, gloomy, ponderous hybrid of post-punk and psychedelia, often incorporating dance beats; the one constant in the band's career has been deep-voiced singer Andrew Eldritch. (There is some disagreement as to whether the group took its name from an order of Catholic nuns or from the Leonard Cohen song of the same name.) Eldritch originally formed the band in 1980 with guitarist Gary Marx and recorded its first single with a drum machine dubbed Doktor Avalanche. Guitarist Ben Gunn and bassist Craig Adams were added to make live gigs feasible, and the Sisters built a reputation through several singles and EPs. Gunn left the band in 1983 and was replaced by Wayne Hussey. The Sisters of Mercy recorded their first full-length album, First and Last and Always, in 1985, but two years later, internal dissent had split them apart; Marx left to form Ghost Dance, and Adams and Hussey departed shortly thereafter. A legal dispute ensued over the rights to the name Sisters of Mercy; Adams and Hussey attempted to use the name Sisterhood, but Eldritch released an EP under the name to prevent its usage, and the two finally settled on the Mission. Eldritch chiefly utilized a corps of temporary sidemen from this point on (although former Gun Club bassist Patricia Morrison was an official member of the group for a short time) and rebounded with his two biggest-selling American LPs, Floodland and Vision Thing. Despite ceasing studio recordings, Eldritch kept the band active as a performing entity through the first decade of the 2000s and beyond. ~ Steve Huey
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