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)