Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best Of 2009- Top Albums 5-1

Alright this is it. Thanks for sticking with me. Am I completely predictable? Probably. But I am who I am and I like what I like. What were your top albums of 2009?

5. O Pioneers!!!- Neon Creeps
"My Life As A Morrissey Song"
I'm going to start this off by stating the obvious: O Pioneers!!! fucking rule. They're like Chuck Ragan fronting an old school Against Me! with lyrics that are simple, repetitive (but not too much so), and relatable. Neon Creeps just saw OP!!! getting better, with a bigger sound but without losing what made their debut, Black Mambas, great; raw energy.

4. Set Your Goals- This Will Be The Death Of Us
"Gaia Bleeds (Make Way For Man)" (Link Removed)
Set Your Goals completely outdid themselves on this record, something I didn't think was possible after the amazingly pirate themed Mutiny!. This album has so much emotion and honesty in it, especially one of my favorites "The Fallen". Death of Us also has one of their most badass and brutal songs, "Gaia Bleeds".

3. Regina Spektor- Far
"Eet" (Link Removed)
I'm a sucker for anything with piano and I'm an even bigger sucker for Regina Spektor's voice, so this album was pretty big for me this year. Her lyrics are so honest and the stories she tells are so weird, it's hard not to be drawn in. I was a little let down by Begin To Hope because there was less piano but Far has completely restored my faith in her.

2. Bomb the Music Industry!- Scrambles
"(Shut) Up the Punx!!!"
This should come as no surprise to anyone. I love Jeff Rosenstock and all of the music he makes. Scrables is BtMI!'s best album yet. The lyrics are as good as ever and the music is still completely badass. There are curve balls around every corner, whether they're random samples, songs heavy with piano, or the brutal "Gang of Four Meets the Stooges (But Boring)".

1. Manchester Orchestra- Mean Everything To Nothing
"Mean Everything To Nothing" (Link Removed)
This album didn't leave my car stereo for about four straight months after it first came out. It's so raw and southern, I can't help but rock out to it. Andy Hull's voice is so much better in Mean Everything and his lyrics cut deep. The sound on this album is huge and I really couldn't say enough good things about it.

Best Of 2009- Top Albums 10-6

And we're back. It's best we keep moving. I envisioned this "best of" post being a lot shorter and taking up a whole lot less space. My apologies.

10. Weatherbox- The Cosmic Drama
"Two Satchels Of Light"
Weatherbox's American Art is one of my favorite albums of all time. I know it's kind of early and weird to say that, but I always come back to it. Always. And it's still as good of an album as it was when I first heard it. The Cosmic Drama was definitely a grower, but once I let it grow on me I love it. Every song is good. It may not be as good as American Art but I'm okay with that.

9. Dear Landlord- Dream Homes
"High Fives"
This album is so much fun to sing along to. It's catchy pop-punk with lyrics about things that matter. But seriously, how hard is it not to sing along to "Three To The Beach" turned up all the way in the car? "We're not that hopeless, we're not as fucked as you think. In short lived moments we can do anything."

8. Portugal. The Man- The Satanic Satanist
"The Sun"
The Satanic Satanist is by far P.tM's most accessible release to date, which isn't a bad thing by any means. In fact for those who are just finding the band, it might be a good place to start. Every song is catchy in its own way and the musicianship is great as expected, but the keyboard and guitar sounds are especially good (sorry drum and bass, your album was Church Mouth).

7. Kevin Devine- Brother's Blood
"Brother's Blood"
Kevin Devine is a story teller and a talented one at that. On Brother's Blood his stories and characters are better and more complex than his previous albums and they really engage the listener. The music itself may be a little bit of an Elliott Smith rip off, but it makes for a damn good album, full of raw emotion and energy.

6. Fake Problems- It's Great To Be Alive
"Heart BPM"
To be completely honest, I had no idea if this band was a joke listening to this album, until I got to the last song "Heart BPM". It's so ridiculously huge sounding with all the horns, gang vocals, and even more ridiculous (but at the same time completely badass) lyrics. It's a good kind of ridiculous, though. The album is super catchy and "Heart BPM" is easily one of my favorite songs of the year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Swellers- End Of Discussion

I was pretty surprised the first time I heard The Swellers' self-released first album End Of Discussion. I had listened to My Everest periodically since it was released but never enough to want to dig into their back catalogue. Now fast forward to this fall, when their latest (and greatest) album, Ups and Downsizing was released. I was and still am very impressed with the new album which lead me to search and listen to their other releases, and THAT leads us to my confusion over End Of Discussion (There has to be a better way to describe that, I apologise). Anyways, End Of Discussion is a straight forward skate-punk record with clear influences from NOFX, Bad Religion, Lagwagon etc. It puzzling because I can barely hear any of that in their later releases that are pop punk. Maybe I'm not listening close enough. End Of Discussion is a great album nonetheless, especially "His Name is Robert Paulson" their completely badass ska song.

Track Listing:
1. Immunity
2. Anything
3. His Name is Robert Paulson
4. Sightless
5. I Wanna Be in the Mob
6. Sunshine
7. Zombie Pirates From Outer Space
8. Erased
9. Losing my Girl
10. Get the Process Changed

Best Of 2009- Top Albums 15-11

I've been debating whether or not to do a "best of" post, mainly because so many people do them this time of year, this would just be white noise. That and Rolling Stone has once again failed me in their end of year issue, this time end of decade (anytime I have to see U2 mentioned more than 15 times in a magazine I involuntarily vomit. It's not my fault, blame "Vertigo" and every other post '80s song they've released.) Back to things that are relevant, I tried the best I could to make a list of my favorite albums of the year and the tracks that accompany them are the songs that I listened to the most from that album. Let's do this.

15. Moneen- The World I Want to Leave Behind
"The Glass House"
This album is incredibly catchy. It's no Red Tree, but amazing in its own right. A lot of people have been skeptical about this album, but it still has insane musicianship and meaningful lyrics, the two things Moneen is known for. It has some of Moneen's softest songs and it has some of their most brutal. "The Glass House" is the six minute epic closer to the album and it is both.

14. P.O.S.- Never Better
"Low Light Low Life"
P.O.S. really stepped up his game on this album. The things that come out of his mouth are brilliant and insane and he manages to make it all flow together. It blows my mind. Plus Jason Shevchuk from None More Black does badass guest vocals on "Terrorish" and he samples Fugazi's "Five Corporations." What other rapper does that successfully?

13. Person L- The Positives
To be completely truthful I didn't like the last Person L record at first listen, so I brushed it aside and hoped for a Starting Line reunion. But this album totally changed my opinion of the band. It's post-punk with some experimentation and a touch of soul. The Positives is one of those records for me that I have to listen to from start to finish and it calms me down/ puts me in a good mood. Sorry for doubting you Kenneth.

12. Frank Turner- Poetry Of The Deed
"Live Fast Die Old"
As obsessed as I am with Frank Turner, this is unfortunately the right ranking. Last year Love Ire & Song was number 2 for me (but going against the '59 Sound isn't fair), so it's hard not to feel a little disappointment. Still, the album is great, especially the first four songs. His lyrics are as good as ever on Poetry, which is part of the reason this record still rules.

11. Polar Bear Club- Chasing Hamburg
I absolutely loved both the Redder the Better and Sometimes Things Just Disappear and at first listen I didn't think Hamburg was at all up to standards with PBC's earlier releases. At second listen, I started humming along but still wasn't convinced. Third listen completely changed my mind. I have no idea how. This album is amazing, don't ask me if I like it better than Disappear though, that's just mean.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Elliott Smith- Figure 8 Demos

Figure 8 is probably my favorite Elliott Smith album (though XO and From A Basement On The Hill aren't far behind). I know any "true" fan is supposed to claim his self titled album and Either/Or as their favorites but I've never been able to handle an entire album of soft singing and acoustic guitar, no matter how amazing the lyrics are. So apparently I'm a poser, deal with it. His later albums have incredible instrumentation to go along with his already incredible lyrics, I don't understand how that's a bad thing. Anyways, Figure 8 is a great indie album that shouldn't be overlooked (or shouldn't have been overlooked). These demos are really good quality live studio versions of some of the songs that appeared on Figure 8. Several of the songs didn't make the cut for the album, so that is reason enough to download them.

Track Listing:
1. Brand New Game
2. In The Lost & Found (Instrumental)
3. No Life (Amplified)
4. Pretty Mary K
5. Stained Glass Eyes
6. Stupidity Tries
7. Tiny Time Machine

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kudrow- Lando

A while ago I posted the stream of this album because, as a rule, I post anything that relates to Jeff Rosenstock. Since I posted the stream, Lando has been added to the Quote Unquote Records website and therefore, is now up for free download legitimately. After spending a good two months or so listening to the album, It hasn't gotten old. Kudrow sounds like a 90's indie/punk bands (think Superchunk, The Get Up Kids, Archers of Loaf etc.). It's hard to compare Kudrow to BtMI! because BtMI! is one of my favorite bands, but the two have definite similarities and differences. Kudrow has the same intensity and energy that BtMI! has but without all of the excess craziness of the loops/synths/whatever Jeff feels like. So in that aspect, I might prefer Kudrow. Don't hold me to that though, this is only a four song ep and I don't think I could ever get tired of the horns and weird shit that makes BtMI! unique. You can still order the ep on vinyl here, so get on that. I already got mine and it looks/sounds great.

Track Listing:
1. Commutilation!
2. Blink-182 Reunion
3. Favreau
4. Brooklyn Pool

Tokyo Police Club- The Interface Session

I have a soft spot for Dave Monks' voice. I don't know what it is but every time I hear him sing, it makes me smile, which is one of the reason why I love Tokyo Police Club so much. The other reasons having to do with the pure indie bliss that fills every one of their songs and their interesting/quirky lyrics. The Interface Sessions are the completely stripped down approach to three songs from Elephant Shell and one from A Lesson In Crime. It's just Monks and an acoustic guitar. And boy, does it sound good. This is a must for any fan of TPC and for any fan of indie-pop.

Track Listing:
1. Tessellate
2. The Harrowing Adventures Of
3. The Nature of the Experiment
4. Centennial

The Please & Thank Yous- Thank Yous...

The please & thank yous are a punk band from Chicago. Their sound is a mix of the noodling bass lines of early Alkaline Trio (think "Nose Over Tail" and "Clavicle"), the honest lyrics and raw vocals of the Promise Ring, the catchiness and energy of the Ergs!, and the badass drumming of Lifetime. They remind me of Dear Landlord a lot, which I consider to be a great thing. Thank Yous... is a compilation of various demos and live tracks that the band has recorded from 2007-2009. All of the eleven tracks on the compilation are worth the listen, though the acoustic tracks do seem a little awkward and lose the album a little steam, it's not enough to take away from the rest of the songs. tpaty have an album coming out early next year, so watch out for that, and I'll try and keep you updated.

Track Listing:
1. Peas & Cheese
2. Excuse Me
3. Ligeia
4. Modern Goth
5. Lifetime!
6. Political Science
7. The Lonesome Crowded Midwest
8. The O'Really Factor
9. Speaking Of The Devil
10. Hey, USA
11. You're Right

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Minus the Bear- Highly Refined Pirates Demos

The first time I listened to MTB's Highly Refined Pirates I was in a post-hardcore/screamo phase (curse you underoath & silverstein) that many in my life feared would never end. Luckily Pirates is completely badass and I took to it right away. I owe a lot to this band, as well as this album, not only for knocking the screamo out of me but for opening up an entire genre to me that I otherwise would most likely have ignored. These demos are simply amazing. The quality is good and it just sounds like the band is jamming live. The only problem that I have with them is that I could only find four of the 14 songs on Pirates (that parts mainly my fault, so sorry). These demos are well worth the download and several listens. Also, Minus the Bear's new album is supposed to come out in early 2010 so keep an eye out for that and I'll keep you posted on that.

Track Listing:
1. Spritz!!! Spritz!!!
2. Absinthe Party At The Bear House
3. Women We Haven't Met Yet
4. I Lost All My Money At The Cock Fights

The Riot Before- Fists... Out of Sockets

Fists... Out of Sockets is the recent acoustic album from Richmond, Virginia's folkpunk/orgcore band the Riot Before. The album features seven songs from their amazing debut album, Fists Buried In Pockets, rerecorded acoustically with strings, horns, and all of the gang vocals one could hope for. I can't say enough good things about this band or this album. They mannaged to put as much, if not more energy and emotion into this acoustic release than they did the original album. And that's saying something, because the original album was pretty fuckin great. The only complaint that I have is that they didn't include their incredible "We Are Wild Stallions" on the acoustic album. This album is highly recommended for any fan of early Against Me!, The Gaslight Anthem, Fake Problems or just music in general. Please, don't miss out on this band.

Track Listing:
1. Fist Buried in Pockets
2. Threat Level Midnight
3. 5 to 9
4. I Have My Books
5. Words Written Over Coffee
6. You Can't Sexy Dance To Punk Rock
7. Capillaries

Piebald- Geek Of The Week

Piebald's We Are The Only Friends We Have is one of my favorite indie/punk albums of all time. With that being said, Piebald started off as a much harder, more raw band than their later works show and this ep is the proof. Geek of the Week is a mixture of driving hardcore, clever lyrics, and chaotic/deep screams. The quality of the ep is the only bad thing about it because, as far as I know, it was the band's first official demo. The ep itself is solid and all of the songs are well worth the listen, if you are looking for a heavier Piebald sound with better quality recording, definitely check out When Life Gives You Lemons. It's easily my second favorite Piebald record. This band was a favorite of mine and lets all hope there's a reunion tour in their distant future.

Track Listing:
1. Protagonist
2. Watch Her Flow
3. Time Lost
4. Pretty Face

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Ataris- The Boys of Summer EP

I have mixed feelings about the Ataris. I'll always have a soft spot for End Is Forever because it was the sound track to many of my summers growing up. It, along with JEW's Bleed American, served as a gateway into the punk music scene. So Long, Astoria, the album this single came from, was the Ataris most successful album, but also a weak album as a whole. Don't get me wrong, there are amazing songs but there are also shit songs, and when they released their next album Welcome To the Night I had lost all interest (see: ska phase). But to get to the point, The Boys of Summer ep has their incredible cover that takes the name of the ep, as well as an acoustic version of "In This Diary", some solid live tracks, and a b-side. It's a good quick listen, that highlights a solid album.

Track Listing:
1. The Boys Of Summer
2. Takeoffs And Landings (Live)
3. Unopened Letter To The World (Live)
4. A Beautiful Mistake
5. In This Diary (Acoustic)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Silent Years- The Silent Years

The Silent Years are a quirky indie band from Detroit. This is their debut album and it's full of dynamic, creative indie-pop. Think the tempo changes of Arcade Fire and the instrumentation of Pavement. The singer's voice bothered me a lot when I first started to listen to them because he over does it sometimes but I got over it. I do prefer this band when they're loud and rockin ("This Town") because the slower songs tend to drag ("Devil Got My Woman"). They released an ep earlier this year called Let Go that is their best batch of songs yet (seriously, "Taking Drugs At An Amusement Park" is so catchy). This band definitely grows on you and is well worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1. No Secrets
2. Someone To Keep Us Warm
3. This Town
4. Aisleways
5. Someday
6. Lidocaine
7. No More Magic
8. Devil Got My Woman
9. Take The Money Out
10. Sharks
11. The Devil Wears Sunshine
12. Lost At Sea

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Best Flyer For A Show In Recent Memory:

Kudrow's (Jeff from Bomb the Music Industry!) debut ep:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Random Songs

Gonna keep this short because honestly I got nothing right now. SORRY. More (and hopefully better) posts to come. These are just a bunch of recent random songs that are either bonus tracks or demos.

Weatherbox- "Saving the World One Pizza At A Time"

Ted Leo- "Last Days"

Set Your Goals- "The Lost Boys (Featuring Jordan Pundik)"

Fake Problems- "Heartless"

Save the Vinyl: Video

Save The Vinyl Alert #1 from Vinyl Vlog on Vimeo.

Just reposting this to spread the word. I love listening to vinyl and you should too!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shining Through- Man vs. Wild

I was searching a few months back for bands that sounded similar to Weatherbox (and weren't old school Say Anything) and was pleasantly surprised by San Diego's Shining Through. Their sound is along the lines of Weatherbox, Criteria, and Piebald but with more hooks and a lot more pot. Shining Through definitely shares it's main sound with Weatherbox: the stoner-rock with winding guitars and meaningful lyrics that are lost in metaphors. Where the two differ is that Shining Through is more straight forward about their sound, which gives them a catchier sound and Weatherbox experiments more and takes more chances with their sound. Shining Through's Man vs Wild ep is a little addicting, especially to a Weatherbox lover like myself. The band released another ep called Shapeshifter that is up for free on Absolutepunk.net but I decided to post this one because it's my favorite out of the two.

Track Listing:
1. Man Vs. Wild
2. Axed
3. The Smoke and The Sounds
4. When it Wasn't Fun
5. So We Say
6. I'm Okay
7. Hanging On A

Monday, September 21, 2009

mewithoutYou- I Never Said That I Was Brave

I Never Said That I Was Brave is the second release from the Philadelphia based experimental indie rock band mewithoutYou. The five song ep shows the band sounding incredibly raw and hard compared to their later releases. The music is more aggressive and singer Aaron Weiss screams, instead of his usual singing/speaking methods. Three of the songs on the ep were rerecorded and for later albums (two for [A to B] Life and one for Catch for Us the Foxes). To be completely honest, I prefer their later albums much more to this one (especially [A to B] Life). That's not to say this one isn't good, because it is, but it just doesn't compare to any of their full lengths. It's pretty interesting to see how far this band has progressed from album to album and it all started here. Their latest album It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright is amazing and highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. I Never Said That I Was Brave
2. Flamethrower
3. Dying is Strange and Hard
4. We Know Who Our Enemies Are
5. Four Word Letter

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Less Than Jake- Better Class of Losers

I feel like when I started this blog I was posting a lot of ska and for one reason or another I don't anymore, so this is for all of those fellow ska fans (way to stick with it). Anyways, Better Class of Losers is a Less Than Jake ep released on cassette in the very early days of the band (I couldn't find a date but 1994-ish). Also, some of the songs on the ep were rerecorded for the band's debut, the beloved Pezcore. The quality of the recording is pretty good considering it's a old cassette recording. The songs on the ep are amazing, old-school Less Than Jake. They're upbeat, aggressive, catchy, and most importantly have horn sections (I'm glaring at you In With the Out Crowd). Classic. Seriously. I used to listen to Losing Streak and Pezcore every day. I love this band and you should too.

Track Listing:
1. Liquor Store
2. Shotgun
3. Big
4. 24 Hours In Paramus
5. Down In the Mission
6. St. James Hotel

Paramore- Tour Preview Pack

I get why people don't like Paramore. Too poppy, too simple, and, yeah, some of their songs sound the same. But whatever, the way I see it is this: I'd much rather listen to a Paramore song than a Nickelback song (or Papa Roach or Hinder etc.). And while I do loath the song "Decode," pretty much all of their songs are incredibly catchy, with huge choruses, and lyrics people can relate to. Not to mention their drummer is a fucking monster (seriously, listen to "Let the Flames Begin" or "For A Pessimist.."). Basically I can see why other people don't like them, but it's hard for me not to. This is the "tour preview pack" for Paramore's upcoming tour with the Swellers and Paper Route. It only features one song from each band, which is a bummer but for all those art lovers, there's printable tour posters and all that jazz, as well as random coupons (one of them says $5 off fan club membership but I wasn't aware being in a fan club cost money... kind of a rip off). Anyway Paramore's track is the acoustic version of "Ignorance," the first singe off their new album and it sound pretty good. I was super excited when I heard the Swellers because they don't suck but they're recently signed to Fueled By Ramon (a label that probably hasn't signed a good band since they signed Paramore in, what, 2005?). They are a pop-punk band but not the nauseatingly over produced kind that we're used to. It's a little strange to see Paper Route on this bill but whatever, they're good.

Track Listing:
1. Paramore- "Ignorance (acoustic)"
2. The Swellers- "Fire Away"
3. Paper Route- "Gutter"

Friday, September 18, 2009

Portugal the Man- "Do You" Video

This video is weird, but I like it. Plus "Do You" is probably my favorite song off of The Satanic Satanist.

Andrew Jackson Jihad- Holey Man, Holy War + Issue Problems

Holey Man, Holy War is AJJ's first demo and all of its four songs were rerecorded for the band's next two demos, as well as their first full length Candy Cigarettes and Cap Guns. For a demo, the recordings sound pretty good, just more raw. It should also be noted that "Lady Killer" is one of my favorite AJJ songs. Issue Problems has several songs that were rerecorded for the amazing People That Can Eat People Are The Luckiest... as well as one or two from AJJ's split with Ghost Mice. These songs are great folk-punk with interesting/weird/witty lyrics and if you haven't gotten into this band yet, you're missing out. Their new album Can't Maintain just came out and it's awesome. Seriously, I know I say that about a lot of bands/artists but AJJ's new album is their best yet.

Holey Man, Holy War:
1. My Father Didn't Love Me
2. Lady Killer
3. The Cigarette Song
4. Who Would Jesus Fuck Up

Issue Problems:
1. Brave As A Noun
2. Survival
3. Murderer
4. People
5. Randy's House
6. Power Plant

The Taxpayers- A Rhythm In the Cages

I was wondering around the Quote-Unquote Records website as I do and stumbled upon this gem. Apparently it was a part of their "Maximum Summer" deal where they posted a new album every week until labor day for free (obviously). Sure, not all of the albums were new but they were to QUQ and they're free so I'll let it slide. Anyways, The Taxpayers are a punk/folk band from Portland, Oregon and honestly when I first listened to this record I wasn't a huge fan. HOWEVER, after giving a second chance, I am thoroughly impressed. This band makes so much noise it's ridiculous and despite that they are still catchy (maybe not in the pop-punk sense that people are used to *cough*Fall Out Boy*cough*, but really who wants that anyways?). The Taxpayers do Latterman-Esq punk rock and Against Me!-Esq ballads. Their charm is in their imperfections. The bad quality recording, the singer's scratchy voice, and some sloppy playing; if the band didn't have any of that, there would be less keeping them from sounding like every other punk band, which they aren't. I especially like the band's lyrics. There's something about how simple they are that makes them great. I'm also a sucker for any song with lyrics that tell a story, and many of their do. I would highly recommend this band to anyone.

Track Listing:
1. Never Getting Warm
2. White Walls
3. This Building Is Falling Down
4. Dig Too Deep
5. No Lodging For The Mad
6. Needle's Eye
7. Militaristic Kitchen
8. Cuyuahoga Canal
9. Stealing Apples From The Man
10. Bike Cops
11. Montana
12. There Is Trouble

Brother Ali- "Us" + "Tight Rope"

Brother Ali's The Undisputed Truth is probably my favorite rap record of all time (though Atmosphere's God Loves Ugly is up there too). His new record, US, comes out on Tuesday but has already leaked. No, I'm not giving you the link to the album find it yourself or be a good person and buy it. Instead here are the links to two tracks on the album, one of which Rhymesayers has up for free, and the other one I upped. As far as the album goes I'm a little disappointed. It's definitely not as aggressive and The Undisputed Truth was but maybe it will grow on me. The tracks themselves are solid and the lyrics are great as usual. The album has a sort of retro, 1920s feel to it which is different but in a good way. I don't know, I'm still undecided.


"Tight Rope"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Portugal. the Man- Autumn Tour 2009 EP

This is the free sampler that PtM just posted on their website to celebrate their current tour with Drug Rug, Hockey, and Robert Francis (AND one incredibly random but equally awesome date with the Get Up Kids). The ep features two songs from each of the four bands, with the exception of Robert Francis who only has one song. The two songs by PtM are off of their latest album, The Satanic Satanist, and are some of my favorites on the record ("Do You" and "People Say"). I'd never heard of Hockey before this sampler but they sound pretty good. Sort of like a dancier, punkier version of the Strokes (that description didn't really do them justice but they're pretty good, trust me). Robert Francis is an indie/folk/singer-songwriter that has a retro feel to his music. Drug Rug has the most in common with PtM musically out of all of these bands/artists. They're sound is a more chill version of The Satanic Satanist with a lot more pot and lo-fi thrown into the mix.

Track Listing:
1. Too Fake- Hockey
2. Wanna Be Black- Hockey
3. Do You- Portugal. The Man
4. People Say- Portugal. The Man
5. Nightfall- Robert Francis
6. Coffee In The Morning- Drug Rug
7. Never Tell- Drug Rug

Friday, September 4, 2009

Three Summers Strong- We Will Get There + If You Change...

Three Summers Strong is a kick-ass punk rock band from the UK who I've just recently discovered. Their songs are upbeat, with catchy anthemic choruses, and lyrics that are relatable and that are about things that matter (Think Latterman, The Riot Before, O Pioneers!!!, and The Gaslight Anthem (Sink or Swim era)). The band's demo, We Will Get There, is a collection of four acoustic songs, two of which were rerecorded for the band's ep, If You Change The Way You Look At Things, The Things You Look At Change. One of my favorite songs by the band (I know it may be a bit premature to say things like that but whatever, I do what I want) is also on WWGT, the Gaslight Anthem/Hot Water Music Esq "Let's Get This Song Airplay!" Three Summers Strong's most recent release is the aforementioned If You Change The Way... and it's a five song, full band recording. The ep is filled with uptempo punk rock that sounds like it's straight out of Gainesville. Highly recommended.

We Will Get There (Demo):
1. We Don't Need No Introduction!
2. I Will Write
3. Let's Get This Song Airplay!
4. Sink Or Swim

If You Change The Way...:
1. Lovers, Sinners, Saints
2. Lock and Key
3. I Will Write
4. A Life Worth Waiting For?
5. Sink Or Swim

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Paul Baribeau- Demo

Paul Baribeau writes thoughtful, raw, clever, and honest folk songs. Simple as that. His music always puts me in a good mood, even if I'm having the shittiest day I can listen to one of his albums and feel completely relieved of all my worries. I honestly don't know a lot about where this demo came from or when it was made, so sorry about that. The songs on the demo are simple, acoustic and incredibly catchy (classic Baribeau). If you like this, definitely pick up his debut self titled album as well as Grande Ledge (I prefer the self titled but both are amazing).

Track Listing:
1. If I Knew
2. Through the Wall
3. How Could That Be True
4. The Mall
5. Eight Letters
6. Sand Dollar

Gallows- Demo (2005) + more

Frank Carter from Gallows is one of the most badass front men in punk music today. Not only does he tear it up on stage, publicly mock "bands" like Brokencyde and Jeffree Starr but he's also a tatoo artist. He also could be one of the most badass gingers ever (I mean look at that). But enough about Frank, more about Gallows. For those who don't know, Gallows is a hardore/punk band from the UK whose debut album Orchestra of Wolves, is one of my favorite hardcore albums is a long time. This demo is from 2005 and is incredibly raw (yes, more raw than their studio albums). Unlike most demos, it's also listenable. Three of the five songs on the demo were rerecorded for Wolves and the other two are solid listens. I also uploaded a separate file of some b-sides from the Wolves era that are all pretty damn good.

Demo Link
Track Listing:
1. Just Because You Sleep Next To Me
2. Abandon Ship
3. Will Someone Shoot That Fucking Snake
4. Swarm Over Death
5. The Ballad Of...

Wolves B-Sides + more:
1. If Credit's What Matters I'll Take Credit (Hot Snakes Cover)
2. Staring At The Rude Bois (Featuring Lethal Bizzle) (The Ruts Cover)
3. Nervous Breakdown (Black Flag Cover)
4. Black Heart Queen
5. Sick Of Feeling Sick
6. Wrathchild (Iron Maiden Cover)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Polar Bear Club- "Ten Minutes" Video

I love this band. And I love the Get Up Kids. This video of PBC covering TGUK just makes sense. Both bands are on tour right now and Polar Bear Club has a new album coming out in mid-September. I suggest you get on all of that.

The Mountain Goats- The Hound Chronicles

This is the second full length release from North Carolina's indie/folk/lo-fi band the Mountain Goats. The Hound Chronicles is comprised of all acoustic songs because when the album was recorded, 1992, singer-songwriter John Darnielle was the only member of the band (The Mountain Goats are still considered John's band even though they know have consistent members other than John). The actually album was only available on cassette (and is long out of print) so the sound quality of the mp3s are pretty mediocre. As for the songs themselves, they are what you would expect from Darnielle (amazing lyrics), though the Mountain Goats' later efforts are stronger. If you've never listened to this band before, start now, you have a lot of catching up to do.

Track Listing:
1. The Garden Song
2. Going to Wisconsin
3. Spilling Toward Alpha
4. Alpha Negative
5. Torch Song
6. Be Quiet
7. The Cow Song
8. (Untitled)
9. Going to Chino
10. Standard Bitter Love Song #4
11. Going to Mexico
12. Lab Rat Blues
13. Going to Kansas
14. The Water Song
15. Going to Spain
16. Keep It on Your Mind (Hank Williams cover)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brand New- Live At Southside Festival

Jesse Lacey may be the most annoying front man of the indie/punk/altrock/whatever music scene. Don't get me wrong, because I love Brand New's music to death, but there's something about the way he carries himself that makes me want to dropkick his perfectly gelled head off a cliff. The other attributing factor to this "problem" I have with him is the way he performs live. He's so whiny and squeaky one minute and the next he sings perfectly in tune. I know it's supposed to add to the performance because it's him being emotional, but it just ends up pissing me off. With that being said this is one of the better Brand New bootlegs, especially since it was recorded through the soundboard. If you're a Brand New fan then you should definitely check this out because the band only has a handful of legit bootlegs. Also they play a few songs from their new album that sound pretty good. I know this was circulating in a bunch of different (shitty) formats, for the one I just upped all of the songs are separated and there's no password, so there should be no problems.

Track Listing:
1. You Won't Know
2. Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades
3. Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't
4. The Shower Scene
5. Sowing Season
6. The Archer's Bows Are Broken
7. Millstone
8. Bought A Bride
9. Jaws Theme Swimming
10. Jesus
11. Gasoline
12. Degausser

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beans On Toast- Bedroom Sessions

I couldn't find any good pictures of Beans On Toast (aka Jay Kay) for this post and it was pissing me off. Not only does he not have legit pictures on the Internet (come on even I have some of those(but really)) but the only official releases that he has are on various, random compilations. Come On! Get me a full length or even just an ep, I want to hear that shit on vinyl. All of my complaining aside, Beans On Toast is a great artist that writes simple, clever, optimistic, and upbeat songs about whatever and whoever he feels like writing a song about. Most of his songs are politically charged with a humorous spin but he does slip some songs about love in there as well. To be honest he reminds me a lot of Billy Bragg (something he knows and takes pride in) and Frank Turner. Anyways this is one of the few recordings that he has so I figured I'd post it. Beans On Toast also does a whole lot of touring, mostly in the UK and usually opening for badass bands (the last flyer I saw was of the Frank Turner/Fake Problems/Beans On Toast tour) so get on that.

Track Listing:
1. you look alot fitter on your myspace picture
2. wave goodbye to EMI
3. kate moss's birthday party
4. i fancy laura marling
5. the last romantic fools.
6. fuck the smoking ban
7. the big goodbye
8. today is the tomorrow that we thought about yesterday
9. i shot Tupac Shakur and all i got was this lousy t-shirt
10. no fit girls in NYC
11. thanks for fucking up the world for us
12. the country's gone to shit
13. the media circus
14. you fat bastard
15. health & safety
16. m.d.m.amazing
17. hippy crack
18. fancy dress frisbee
19. eggs benadict
20. can't buy me love
21. binge drinking
22. steven nolan and the chinese army
23. 9,450,000
24. braintree

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Wild- The Wild EP

I found this ep while paroosing around the Quote Unquote Records website and was pleasantly surprised. The Wild, based in Atlanta, sound like a more chill version of Defiance, Ohio but instead of violins, The Wild sprinkles harmonica on their tracks to make things interesting. Most of their songs are to a similar vein of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb's Front Seat Solidarity and have politically/ socially based lyrics. Definitely good stuff. The Wild are currently touring random dates around the country so check that out, and if you like the ep you can donate money to the band, buy a physical copy of the ep, or be the reason the band has to stop making music because you didn't contribute.

Track Listing:
1. They Too Will Know
2. The City That Never Sleeps
3. We Will Drive These Warlords Out
4. We Shall Overcome
5. Oh, Alex

Bomb the Music Industry- "Wednesday Night Drinkball" Video

I love this band. Scrambles is amazing. Buy it on vinyl.

Bomb the Music Industry- Wednesday Night Drinkball

Latterman- Demo

Latterman is one of those bands that was great from the start and this demo is the proof. They write fast, upbeat punk songs with anthem-like choruses and political lyrics that get the point across without being preachy. All three of the songs on the demo were later re-recorded for the band's sophomore full length No Matter Where We Go which is also highly recommended. There is an earlier demo/ep from the band called None Of These Songs Are About Girls but since Jay over at "With Hope in Our Hearts" already posted it along with some other Latterman goodies I figured it'd be silly for me to re-post the ep. Latterman broke up in 2007 but one of the new bands that some of the guys formed, Bridge and Tunnel, is really worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1. Doom! Doom! Doom!
2. My Bedroom Is Like For Artists
3. This Project is Stagnant

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weatherbox- An Introduction to The Cosmic Drama

I'm not really sure if it's completely legit for me to post this, but Altpress.com was giving it away for free so to me that's fair game (plus I can never resist anything Weatherbox related). All five songs that are in this ep-sort-of-thing are from Weatherbox's new album The Cosmic Drama, which comes out in September, and all of them are amazing. Complex musical arrangements, time changes around every corner, and thoughtful, creative lyrics make for an amazing group of songs. It also makes the wait for the entire album even harder. The vinyl pre-order went up on VC about a week ago so you should definitely check that out, especially since the record is only being released on vinyl and in digital formats (and on the 200 cassettes of the un-mastered version). This album is one of my most anticipated of the year and the Intro is proof that it won't disappoint.

Track Listing:
1. That Mann
2. Ask My Flashlight
3. Don't Say Nice Things
4. YouTube the Clouds (Anything That Flies)
5. No Hands (Anything That Moves)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jets To Brazil- Orange Rhyming Dictionary Demos + Bootleg

Blake Schwarzenbach is one of the greatest songwriters of our generation. There, I said it. His lyrics are the perfect balance of raw, clever, and emotional. If listening to the song "Accident Prone" doesn't produce some kind of emotion out of you (whether it be tears, anger, or more tears), you don't have a heart. Plain and simple. These demos from Blake's post Jawbreaker band, Jets to Brazil, are a win for any Schwarzenbach fan. They show the epic musical arrangements of JtB with the closest thing to Blake's raspy vocals JtB ever got (no gloss, just raw). There are only six songs included in the demo but there is also a dynamite live radio set of 12 songs that makes up for it. The live set was taken from a Japanese radio broadcast in 2001 and has songs from all three Jets to Brazil albums. Schwarzenbach is or was in a new band (they may or may not have broken up. information is sketchy on this band) called the Thorns of Life. They apparently recorded an album in early 2009 but no details have been released on when or if it will be released.

Track Listing Demo:
1. Chinatown
2. King Medicine
3. Lemon Yellow Black
4. Morning New Disease
5. Resistance Is Futile
6. Rose

Track Listing Live Radio Set:
1. Intro
2. You're the One I Want
3. Morning New Disease
4. You're Having the Time Of My Life
5. Lemon Yellow Black
6. Air Traffic Control
7. One Summer Last Fall
8. In the Summer's When You Really Know
9. Orange Rhyming Dictionary
10. Chinatown
11. Sea Anemone
12. William Tell Override

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Good Old War- Pure Volume Sessions

Fuck I slacked last month. Sorry. [Insert excuse here]. Anyways a while back I posted a great ep by a great band, Days Away, and said that since the band broke up I would post some stuff from the guys' new band(s). This is me actually following through. Good Old War are a pop band, an indie/folk pop band, but a pop band nonetheless. Think the Shins with more Simon and Garfunkel-Esq harmonies or Fleet Foxes minus the coma. All this makes one of the catchiest, happiest sounds heard in a long time while still maintaining a sense of creativity unlike most pop artists around today. It's a definite throwback to pop in the '60s and '70s. The Pure Volume Session itself lacks a little because it is only an acoustic guitar and three dudes singing but the practically perfect harmonies between the three of them make up for that fact. Basically if you're not sure if you want to buy the album (you should by the way because it's amazing) this session serves as a sort of introduction. Plus if you buy the album you get the track with Anthony Green's guest vocals.

Track Listing:
1. Coney Island
2. I'm Not For You
3. Tell Me
4. We've Come A Long Way
5. Window

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Frank Turner- Live At Pike's Garage + 'The Road'

I'm madly in love with Frank Turner. It's no secret. His music is so relatable, catchy, intense, emotional etc.(I could go on forever). This specific recording is a bootleg of a small show he did in Beverly and it is well worth taking a listen. Not only does he play an amazing set of songs (though the set list was incredibly short) but he also plays a song from his highly anticipated new album Poetry of the Deed ("Dan's Song"). During some of the songs you can hear one of the audience member's toddler singing along with Frank but never over him (it's also one of the cutest things ever). I also added in his new single at the bottom called "the Road" which is amazing as usual. His new album comes out in September so get ready for that because it will be completely and utterly bad ass.

Track Listing:
1. Nashville Tennessee
2. Dan's Song
3. Long Live The Queen
4. Photosynthesis
5. Thunder Road
6. Ballad Of Me And My Friends

Frank Turner- The Road

Cobra Skulls- Eat Your Babies

This is the first release from Reno punk/rockabilly band Cobra Skulls and it's a hard one to pin down. First off it's a solid ep of fast-paced punk rock with a little twang mixed in. But compared to CS' full lengths, the ep lacks the spark and uniqueness that Sitting Army and American Rubicon thrive on. The band have matured greatly, both musically and lyrically, since this debut ep and at times it's a little hard to believe it's the same band. If you haven't checked out Sitting Army and American Rubicon, do so immediately because they're both great punk rock records. And if you're a hardcore Cobra Skulls fan, you'll definitely want to download this ep.

Track Listing:
1. Cobra Skulls Broadcasting Co.
2. Cobra Cougar
3. Cobra Skulls Revolution
4. Donnie Rumsfelt My Cobra Skull Ass
5. That There's Cobra Country!
6. Cobra Skulls Lockdown
7. Stick It To The Cobra

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shook Ones- Demo (2004)

This is the demo from Washington melodic hardcore band Shook Ones. With one listen to this demo, it's clear that this band was destined for greatness. Brutal verses, melodic choruses, and tempo changes around every corner make Shook Ones' demo (and their other work) fun to listen to. The quality of the recording is excellent for a demo, so no worries there. All four songs on the demo are great and definitely worth the listen, especially if you're a fan of melodic hardcore like Kid Dynamite and Paint It Black (and Shook Ones). The band just released a new album called The Unquoteable A.M.H. and even though some people are talking shit because it sounds "more poppy," the bottom line is that it's good fucking music so go buy it.

Track Listing:
1. Jersey Beach Pail
2. Panic -Attack- On The Terraces
3. Wishin Roulette
4. Attitude Is The Agent

Atmosphere- Leak At Will

Of the select hip-hop artist that I listen to, Atmosphere is definitely in my top three (my other favorites are Aesop Rock and Brother Ali). God Loves Ugly and the Lucy Ford eps are two of the greatest, most personal,emotional, and aggressive rap records of my generation. That being said, Slug and Ant have continued to progress their music away from their roots while still keeping old fans happy. This ep that Rhymesayers is giving away for free, is more to the vein of their most recent full length, When Life Gives You Lemons..., with Slug creating damaged characters with drug problems, relationship problems, social issues etc. Ant's beats are great, as usual, using random samples, upbeat tempos, and great bass lines. If you like this album, then you'll definitely like When Life Gives You.., and should definitely look into their older stuff.

Track Listing:
1. C'mon
2. They Always Know
3. The Ropes
4. White Noise
5. Feel Good Hit of the Summer Part 2
6. Mother's Day
7. Millie Fell Off the Fire Escape