Wednesday, 22 January 2020
You might not recognise the name Jake Robertson but he's been one of the Aussie punk scene's most prolific figures in recent years. He's been in a few bands I'm familiar with such as Ausmuteants, School Damage and Hierophants and even more that I'm not (Drug Sweat, Leather Towel, No Limit, Swab, The Frowning Clouds, The Snoozefests...). He's also behind solo project Alien Nosejob, the Clunes based outfit responsible for several eps and the 2018 album Various Fads & Technological Achievements.
Now there's a second album, it's available via Anti Fade Records and Drunken Sailor and it's titled Suddenly Everything Is Twice As Loud. It follows hot on the heels of last November's HC45 7" (https://ironlungpv.bandcamp.com/album/hc45-7-lungs-150) and where that ep was a hardcore rager, this time around we're treated to a more varied record. You may have heard excellent preview track Television Sets (it went down well on a recent Just Some Punk Songs show) but that's not the only stand out. Most of the tracks tread the line between indie punk and garage, if I was to make comparisons with another modern era band it'd probably be Freak Genes. For a solo project there's plenty going on. You can check it out here : https://aliennosejob.bandcamp.com/album/suddenly-everything-is-twice-as-loud
This is one of the "punkier" tracks, a song about not fitting in, it's called Black Sheep...
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
The Drowns (https://www.facebook.com/thedrowns/) are a band who always go down well when I play them on the show. They're from Seattle and I gave you a bit of info about them when I featured them last year (https://justsomepunksongs.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-drowns-bricks-of-ol-rainier.html).
They've just released their second album (following up 2018's View From The Bottom), it's titled Under Tension and it's available on coloured vinyl (1000 Black Vinyl, 500 Blood Red Vinyl, 300 White Vinyl, 200 Blood Red w/ Black Spokes Vinyl) and cd via Pirates Press Records https://shop.piratespressrecords.com/products/the-drowns-under-tension-lp-cd
As you hopefully already know, they put out quality working class anthems and with the album being produced by Ted Hutt (the Grammy award winning Brit responsible for producing bands such as Dropkick Murphys, Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly, Street Dogs, Bouncing Souls, Tiger Army, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones etc) you can guarantee it's going to sound great. It's an album that's going to impress by a band that'll no doubt go down a storm when they come over to the UK to play the Rebellion Festival again in Blackpool later this year. They'll also be touring around Europe. As well as a cover of the Jimmy Cliff classic The Harder They Come, there's both sides of a single that came out last year (Hold Fast / Demons) as well as choice cuts such as Cue The Violins, Waistin' Time and Them Rats. You can check it out here : https://thedrowns.bandcamp.com/album/under-tension
This is the song I played on Sunday's show, it's called Wolves On The Throne...
We've been pushed down for far too long
They kept us blinded to what's going on
Hard times are coming
There's no time for running away
We can back down to their stale beliefs
Or we can stand up and bare our teeth
The choice is yours
The future starts today
Their numbers are thinning
It's just the beginning
Compassion's in fashion, my friend
I'll bet my empathy
Against their bigotry
Ignorance won't win again
Thieves hold the coffers
Wolves on the thrown
There's no more saviors
We have to make our own
(Taking final offers, democracy's been sold)
To the laughed at and the left behind
To those struggling to find peace of mind
At the end of the day
Our pride is all we keep
But if we stand up as a united force
We can break rank and change the course
We can show them all that we won't be bought so cheap
Status and wealth Don't define sense of self
Keep your dignity firm in your grasp
Tear down the monuments
To their intolerance
Dance in the smoldering ash
Monday, 20 January 2020
Jodie Faster are an explosive hardcore punk band from Lille who formed in 2016. They line up thus; Ripoll (drums, backing vocals), Braeckman (bass, backing vocals), JayJay (guitar) and Mika (vocals). You can get more info on them here : https://www.facebook.com/JODIEFASTER59/
They've just released their debut album, Blame Yourself. It's 17 tracks of fast as fuck, kick ass political punk. It's available via numerous labels (including TNS Records in the UK) with the digital version being "name your price" on Bandcamp : https://jodiefaster.bandcamp.com/album/blame-yourself
It'll come as no surprise that there are a couple of songs on the album that deal with France's current state of political unrest, Still Not Loving The Police and We All Bleed Red paint pictures of rebellion and violence. Did Not Vote sends a warning to President Macron that the majority didn't want him and how it's time to take the power back. Several tracks deal with themes of capitalism, religion and fascism but as well as politics there's also songs about the punk rock community, both the good (Gloucester's Finest) and the bad (Punk Police). All in all, a top album so check it out.
This song is a solution to inequality, born out of frustration and hopelessness and it's called Push The Button...
My generation will end up in a bin ! Pauperized to the limit. We are being raised with a sense of self esteem But this modern life… annihilates it For all I care you can blow it all up Erase the human race from the surface of the earth ! A nuclear war for real equality The poor will die, he's quite dead already The rich will die, and the mighty will too Make everyone equal under a big mushroom ! Drop Hell on us, solve the question A-Bomb, H-Bomb, push the button !
Sunday, 19 January 2020
"First they came ..." is the poetic form of a prose post-war confession first made in German in 1946 by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals and certain clergy (including, by his own admission, Niemöller himself) following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent incremental purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Many variations and adaptations in the spirit of the original have been published in the English language. It deals with themes of persecution, guilt, repentance, and responsibility.
Today's song made me think of "First They Came..." It's a song that shows how you don't have to be shouting at a wall to get your point across, sometimes simmering rage works equally as well. A whisper can be more powerful than a roar.
Last year when I featured Ugly Feeling by Portland punks Abolitionist, I mentioned that they looked to have called it a day. I'm not certain they'll never be back but in the meantime the band's vocalist Dustin Herron is going down the solo route. It's just him, an electric guitar, amp and microphone. No hanging about though, already he's released a debut album under the name DZTN 1980 (https://www.facebook.com/DZTN1980/). The album's titled Outside The City and it's available digitally as a name your price download : https://dztn1980.bandcamp.com/album/outside-the-city-lp-2020
The album consists of 13 tracks. Though a solo project, it's still very powerful. There's an undercurrent of menace as the songs interlink. The lyrics feature lines such as " Behind the scenes they formed their plan...They gathered intel on every piece of scum" and "Any free society could be erased." There's "This was a perfect time to put everyone in line, up against the wall" and "He remembered the good old days like a slap in the face, back before speaking out got you thrown in a cage." Paranoia and dawning realisation abound. There's also fighting back and maybe a hint of optimism... "It was time to strike back, time to fight. He had said never again, not ever again. It was time to fight." "The "good old days" ... but now they had more in store. Gonna be okay. It was his lucky day. Gonna be okay."
It's a fascinating album that conjures up (to me at least) thoughts of Orwell, Bradbury and Dick. It's an album to be listened to as a whole rather than cherry picked through. Very enjoyable and thought provoking indeed.
This is He Watched Them Die...
It was a crisp, sunny November day when everything came to a head. He was walking his usual walk, doing his best to drink in the fresh morning air. Taking in the sound of the birds, chattering away (like most birds do), when he heard shouting up ahead, a chorus of angry voices that crashed together like a wave on a rocky beach. At first, he didn't recognize the faces that looked down from their tenuous perch below the maple trees. He thought it was weird to see the four of them with ropes around their necks. "What the fuck is this? Do I really see what I see?" he thought to himself as he froze where he stood. So, it was in disbelief that he watched them fall in a such a violent way toward the ground below, just stopping short. He watched them die. The mob that had gathered were overseen by a small group of ugly men dressed in ugly clothes. The purplish hue that had overtaken the four faces were more beautiful than that cloth. The chorus of angry voices slowly died away as those on display stopped their swinging and kicking. He wanted to kick and swing, too, at every single one of 'em, he wanted to rip their fucking eyes out, but he just watched instead. As he stood there, frozen like an antelope trying to pretend the stalking lion couldn't smell it, something occurred to him. He knew who those four faces had belonged to, he recognized his own personal connection to the moment. One was a teacher he'd had in high school, another a school nurse sometime before that. It was then that he realized that things had turned for the worse, and that things could not be the same as before ...
La Femme Brutal (https://www.facebook.com/lafemmebrutalband/) are Laura Sisteró and Alba Miquel. They're from Barcelona and they recently released a very enjoyable ep titled The Future Is Brutal. It's available via Hidden Track Records and you can check it out here : https://hiddentrackrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-future-is-brutal
They released a video for one of the tracks, Ciudad Muerta, and you can watch that here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47BPLsgxSuw It translates as Dead City and it's both powerful and very catchy. The same can be said of the other 3 tracks, there might only be two of them in the band but they make a rich and sonorous noise. I think it's their debut release so as introductions go, it's an impressive one.
This is my pick of the ep, it's a joyfully upbeat singalong titled Esplendor...
Saturday, 18 January 2020
Another guest review today, this one from Tadpole Records' Darren Bourne. Darren wants to introduce you to a new local band called Plastics (https://www.facebook.com/plastics.bn1/)...
Plastics are a 4 piece from Brighton, England. They formed in January 2019 and are led by vocalist Oli Carter Hopkins along with Sam Rack (Drums), James Claringbould (Guitar) and Louis Orm (Bass). In January 2020 they released a 6 tracks demo called “plastic world” on Bandcamp & Cassette which you can check out here :
People have already been comparing it to Exit Order, but that may be just Oli’s vocals, as I find Plastics a bit more tribal sounding and that’s no bad thing as this is punk rock – I’ve seen them a bunch of times live and they seem to be getting better with each gig & really setting their place as another great BN1 band (Brighton postcode).
Members have been / are in bands like Salt Wound, State Funeral, Loot Camp (Hip Hop), Never, Human Cell and Gutter Knife, so if you like any of those guys be sure to check out Plastics & go see them live because that’s where the magic really comes through in my opinion.
Favourite track for me is “Bitter” – I love how it builds up & Oli sounds pissed off, and in 2020 I want my Punk rock to be pissed, not nice. But there isn’t a duff track on the demo from the Intro to the final track “Nerve Pusher” which is a perfect ending track to a perfect demo.
This is Bitter...
Thursday, 16 January 2020
Madrid based band Biznaga have been around since 2011 and featured on here 3 years ago with a track from their impressive Sentido del Espectaculo album (https://justsomepunksongs.blogspot.com/2017/01/biznaga-una-ciudad-cualquiera.html).
Now they're back with a taster song for album number 3. It'll be released by Slovenly Recordings on March 6th and titled Gran Pantalla. Translating as Big Screen it'll deal with the amount of surveillance in modern day society. Our lives are largely lived out on screen. Cameras are everywhere. It's a theme with plenty of scope for discussion and add a bunch of tunes that will no doubt have the critics throwing around the usual Buzzcocks comparisons (though am I alone on hearing a bit of The Wedding Present type guitar work on this new song?). I'm sure it'll be an album worth waiting for. You can find more info here : https://www.facebook.com/biznagapop/
This is the first single from the album, I've no idea what the lyrics translate as but that doesn't spoil the enjoyment of a song that starts strongly before building up into a joyfully upbeat crescendo of an ending. It's called 2k20...