Saturday, December 21, 2013

ECT 2013 Review & F**ked Up "Year of the Dragon" Premiere @ LPR NYC (Video)

So earlier this year my good buddy and fellow rock enthusiast Chris informed me of the 3-Day "East Coast Tsunami" hardcore festival in Reading, PA taking place in late September. Some of the usual suspects were playing over the course of the weekend (Cro-Mags, Hatebreed etc) but the Friday night show had a bill featuring The Bouncing Souls (headlining) and Fucked Up...same night.

Now the Souls were and still are one of my favorite punk bands. I was introduced to them in high-school and went to many shows then and through college. I hadn't seen them since but had always wanted to. I would always miss them when they came through town or they were playing some event like the Vans Warped Tour in which I just couldn't deal (#oldman).

Fucked-Up is one of my favorite bands currently who Ive seen recently many times. The live FU show is amazing and I've posted about it before (Middle East - Boston 2010). That said I jumped at the chance to see the Bouncing Souls and FU together. Staying with the new and rekindling the old.

So I drove down to Philly, picked up Chris and headed out to Reading. The town is pretty blue-collar and the venue (Reverb) looks more like a windowless sports bar from the outside...perfect setting for the festival. The Agnostic Front tattoos were many and the Chain of Strength-esque hoodies were donned by pretty much everyone. The male/female split was the typical 90%/10% for these types of shows. 

While we waited for the Bouncing Souls and FU to come on we checked out Street Dogs (former Dropkick Murphy's members) and Menzingers who were awesome. We heard a few more bands with great names like "Stoked on Being Pumped"...I probably got that wrong. 

Fucked Up came on and they were amazing as usual. The crowd was kind of sparse that early in the evening but Damian still got down off stage and sung face to face with anyone in arms length. He is such a solid front man. They played a good set with songs across the catalog...but no Black Hats which I desperately wait to hear at every show (my shouting unheard).

After the show I got to talk to Damian, explaining how seeing FU and the Souls together on stage was such huge deal. He had said something similar on-stage as I guess the Souls had an impact on his band growing up as well. Very cool.

Here is a pic of me an Damian. Man, I look like such a dork.

While I was at the FU merch table two of the band members were working I asked "When are you coming back to NYC?" They replied "Tomorrow at Le Poison Rouge". Crap...I was in PA all weekend. I was bummed but even more so when I found out they played a new and unreleased track from the Zodiac series "Year of the Dragon". Here is the video. So freakin good. I think it comes out in the April and a full-length album later in 2014. Fingers crossed.

The Bouncing Souls closed the night and played literally every song I had wanted to hear from Green Ball to Argyle to present.

Show was solid. Greg and crew definitely look a little older but they sounded like I just showed up at the Trocadero 1993.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Album Reviews: Cheers, Ho-Hum & Jeers

Ok. So I've purchased a heroic amount of music this summer thus far. Ran across some real gems but the majority of bands I was pretty stoked for...really let me down. Here is a quick rundown of highlighted Cheers, Ho-Hums & Jeers.


Savages - Silence Yourself

The music is tight. The vocals are solid. They sound like a mix of Suede, Autolux and Fugazi. The sound is fresh and the hooks are quick and loud. Refreshing (see also Jeers)

Appleseed Cast - Illumination Ritual

Just recently fell in love with their older albums. This new release it right up there with the old favorites. You need to put these guys on and kick back for a bit...really absorb this one.


The Thermals - Desperate Ground

I like this album cause I love their sound but there is absolutely nothing new here. No real departures across any of the tracks. One of the best live shows still though.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

I don't know why with every release I always they will ever go back to the Fever To Tell, Is Is EP or even Show Your Bones sound. There is a few stellar tracks on here but for the mostly part its the same progressive snooze.


Phoenix - Bankrupt!

Such a disappointment. The last two albums were phenoms. On Bankrupt there is absolutely zero emphasis on guitars. I cant really find any tracks that I thoroughly enjoy. Entertainment...maybe. Its all electro fuzz and boring. What happened fellas?

Cold War Kids - Dear Miss Lonleyhearts

Speechless. So boring. They have some explaining to do. It was a few years ago but Loyalty to Loyalty was such a rocking album. Not understanding why the new tracks are so mellow. 

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

I think out of all of the releases this summer I was looking forward to this one the most. From the album title to the iconography of the cover etc. I really dug the first two albums. They were smart, punchy guitar ridden easy listeners. The new one is incredibly boring. Maybe I need a few listens but none of the songs grabbed me like the other albums. Goes back to the absence of guitar which I've seen with a few other artists. I get want to expand your art...but there needs to be a core element that you hold onto. I should have known what was coming when the performed on SNL with a voice modulator.


Just wanted to note that the new Suede (Bloodsports) and Bob Mould (Silver Age) albums are really good. Now if Suede would ever come to the states...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister: Documentary

Great film. Even greater album. Intro to the title track always gets me. Transports me somewhere. "Tip of the cap" to Pitchfork TV.