Monday, 20 July 2015

Rozwell Kid


Rozwell Kid are a four-piece alternative/punk band from West Virginia that formed in 2011. They started as a side solo project for Jordan Hudkins, who played drums at the time in a band called Demon Beat. Over the next few years, a few solid members joined him, and we now have a full-fledged Rozwell Kid. They're signed to Broken World Media, which is kind of obvious due to all their associations with bands like The World Is A Beautiful Place... and Old Gray. However, they don't really sound like those bands. Imagine if you took the fun catchiness of Weezer and mixed it with the loud, heavy guitars and distorted bass of Dinosaur Jr. This hybrid can go by the name "Rozwell Kid". The songs have great melodies, fun lyrics, and that same pop sensibility that early Weezer had. But they really crank up the distortion in their songs, just like any one of your favourtie 90's "grunge" band. This silly/serious dynamic makes for one hell of a good band, that can make you laugh, sing, and mosh. What more could you want? Enjoy.

1. Rocket
2. Dylan, Don't Do It
3. New Mexico
4. My Saturn
5. '93 Connie & Ronnie
6. Ace Venture Pt. 3
7. Born 2 Drum
8. Sweets
9. Hawaiian Shirt
10. Empty Glass

1. Bonehead
2. Van Man
3. Lipstick
4. Unmacho
5. Gumshoe
6. Afterparty
7. Chain Wallet
8. Dirt Wave
9. Guts
10. Rozwell Man

1. Man Overboard (blink-182 cover)
2. Wendy Clear (blink-182 cover)

1. Sleeping Bag & Rozwell Kid - Chincilla
2. Sleeping Bag & Rozwell Kid - Dogfood
3. Sleeping Bag & Rozwell Kid - Total Doofus
4. Sleeping Bag & Rozwell Kid - Miguel
5. Sleeping Bag & Rozwell Kid - Crystal Kit
6. Sleeping Bag & Rozwell Kid - It's Cool

1. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Fat Heaven
2. Rozwell Kid - The Weather (Spirit Night)
3. Kittyhawk - Soft Serve
4. Two Knights - Benji's Cool Times Summer Jamz

1. Kangaroo Pocket
2. Weirdo
3. Sick Jackets
4. Bangs
5. Halloween 3.5
6. Smear Me
7. Creeped Out
8. Armadillo
9. Droner
10. Birthday Sombrero

1. Baby's First Sideburns
2. Magic Eye
3. Stunt Kite
4. Hummus Vacuum
5. Angus Soundtrack Deep Cut
6. Dipped

1. Rozwell Kid - My Head
2. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Chest & Shirt

1. Wendy's Trash Can
2. Total Mess
3. Boomerang
4. Futon
5. MadTV
6. South By
7. UHF On DVD
8. Booger
9. Wish Man
10. Blow It
11. Gameball
12. Michael Keaton

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


No are a hardcore/punk/noise band from London, England that formed in 2011, and are apparently breaking up soon, which is unfortunate. They've put out some of the most abrasive and noisy hardcore in recent memory. If you're looking for something to blow your speakers, here you go. The guitars have this bright and sharp, cutting tone to them, which kind of makes them sound like Gang Of Four, if Gang Of Four were speed freaks. They make use of some odd chords, and sometimes they can even be outright noisey and atonal, and just as driving and percussive as the drums. Every instrument sounds like its distorted in some way, even the vocals, which are a major contribution to the spastic explosion of this band. Here's their discography to make your ears bleed and mind blow. Enjoy.

1. Growing Up Together
2. Intricate
3. Through These Eyes
4. How You Tell Them
5. Unless You Find Me First
6. Breath
7. Accidents

1. Germ
2. Remembered Forever
3. Come Together
4. Pathway
5. Legitimate
6. Big Black Wings
7. Marching Home
8. Don't Forget

1. Become Less
2. Nothing
3. Too Easy
4. Perspective Helps
5. Done Good Wrong
6. Skeletal Hand
7. Shifting Clouds

1. Revert
2. Remains
3. Shaking
4. Run Dry
5. Blunder
6. Toil
7. Reverse
8. Inhuman

Monday, 13 July 2015

No Sir


No Sir are a five-piece hardcore/punk band from Santa Rosa, California that formed in 2011. They share members with a ton of bands, including Creative Adult, and have played shows with all the Bay Area hardcore greats, such as Dangers, Graf Orlock, Punch, Comadre, etc. With those to namedrop alone, you know this band has got something good going on. They play a really sludgy brand of hardcore, with a tone that walks the line between Flipper's abrasiveness and Black Sabbath's dark riffs. Throw in the anger and pace of Cursed, and voila, you've got No Sir. They've got a great atmospheric going on, with some really harsh vocals that really stand out, and an instrumental background that proves to be both dysphoric and energetic. Anyway, here's their fantastic debut EP and sole LP. Enjoy.

1. Welcome To The Holy Land
2. WRSHP
3. The Kingston Beat
4. Pharmacy City
5. Rat Boots

1. The Future Is Bright
2. The Crowd
3. C.A.L.I.F.O.R.N.I.A.
4. Anxiety Consumption
5. I Doubt I'll Ever Swim Again
6. Wet Worlds
7. I Pushed Back
8. Interlude
9. The Baseline Percentage
10. Bad Vibes
11. Mommy I'm A Good Boy

Tristan Tzara


Tristan Tzara were a six-piece screamo/hardcore band from Dortmund, Germany that lasted from 2000 to 2002. They played the same kind of chaotic and dark music that Orchid and pg.99 were perfecting over the pond. Having said that, Tristan Tzara were still their own breed of animal. For one, they were a lot more "together" than the aforementioned types of bands. Don't get me wrong, there are still moments of utter abrasiveness and confusion, but those are also accompanied by moments of crushing unity, kind of like a Drive Like Jehu song that's gone to 11. This band has some really interesting guitar spots, where their dual guitars mesh perfectly to create some odd chord patterns. Their vocals are also scorching for the most part, but they do balance it out with some spoken spots, even over more violent and loud instrumental moments. But that's all descriptive rambling, the only thing that really hits you is the music itself. So below is their only two albums, both of which are worth being floored by. A full discography was also released in 2014, featuring both albums plus a ton of extra live, unreleased, and demo tracks that span the entirety of their tenure.  Oh, and they also shared members with another amazing German hardcore/screamo band, Louise Cyphre. Enjoy.

1. Anatomies
2. Seaside Suicide
3. Song 7
4. Untitled
5. No Poem
6. I've Seen It All
7. Schwüle über Europa
8. Danse Macabre

1. Ah Feel Like Ah Said
2. Schizophrenia
3. A Mad Gleam
4. Song 4
5. Untitled #3
6. Tarotplane
7. Come On Jane

1. Anatomies
2. Seaside Suicide
3. Song 7
4. Untitled
5. No Poem
6. I've Seen It All
7. Schwüle über Europa
8. Danse Macabre
9. Unreleased #1
10. Unreleased #2
11. Ah Feel Like Ah Said
12. Schizophrenia
13. A Mad Gleam
14. Song 4
15. Untitled #3
16. Tarotplane
17. Hajde Jano (7/8)
18. Seaside Suicide (Live)
19. Anatomies (Live)
20. Untitled #1 (Live)
21. Schwüle über Europa (Live)
22. I've seen it all (Live)
23. Song 7 (Live)
24. No poem (Live)
25. Danse macabre (Live)
26. Ah feel like Ah said (Studioversion ohne Bass)
27. Schizophrenia (Studioversion ohne Bass)
28. A mad gleam (Studioversion ohne Bass)
29. Song 4 (Studioversion ohne Bass)
30. Untitled #3 (Studioversion ohne Bass)
31. Tarotplane (Studioversion ohne Bass)
32. Hajde Jano 7/8 (Studioversion ohne Bass) 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Two Knights


Two Knights are a two-piece emo/math rock band from Denton, Texas that began in 2009. They've worked with awesome labels such as Count Your Lucky Stars and Skeletal Lightning, and played with tons and tons of awesome bands. They also share members with Father Figure, who you should also definitely check out. As far as sound goes, this band has got one formula down, and one formula is all they need to be awesome at what they do. All of their jams come down to the four essentials of emo: noodly guitar + complex drums + whiny vocals + self-deprecation = Two Knights. Enjoy.

FFO: Tiny Moving Parts, Native, Merchant Ships, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate)

1. Quilt Chamberlain
2. Bangarang!
3. Lois Lame
4. If You Knew Me Like I Knew Me, You'd Hate Me Too
5. Ilsa
6. (If You're) Sleeping On The Floor (You Won't Fall Out Bed)

1. innards - brain
2. innards - chumpchange
3. Two Knights - thomas rabon: rydel high class president
4. Two Knights - what would zooey deschanel do?

1. Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) - Everything Small Is Just A Small Version Of Something Big
2. Mountains For Clouds - Does It Really Antimatter?
3. Two Knights - Solo Swimming
4. Driving On City Sidewalks - For You, Celeste

1. Devonte's Inferno
2. I'm Your Dad And You're My Dad
3. We Are At Max Creed
4. I'm Here For The Pizzah Partie
5. D4 What The Puck (Like if They Made Another Mighty Ducks Movie Except This Time They're Pissed)
6. A Dime Is A Titan
7. It Sucks When You Hate Everyone

1. If It's Brocken, It's Brocken
2. It Doesn't Matter Matt, I'm Never Going to Cast Boulderfall
3. Just Pick a Dead End and Chill Out Till You Die
4. Clark Can't
5. Symphony for the Righteous Destruction of Humanity
6. Dear God, This Parachute is a Knapsack
7. Everything Will Kill You
8. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
9. Dangerously
10. Leave My Body in Milwaukee
11. Dawg... You Watch Smallville?
12. Sorry: The Musical
13. Major League Bullshit

1. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Fat Heaven
2. Rozwell Kid - The Weather (Spirit Night)
3. Kittyhawk - Soft Serve
4. Two Knights - Benji's Cool Times Summer Jamz

1. The Reptilian - nahimastay
2. Two Knights - Dazzler
3. Victor Shores - Not Yeti
4. Boy Parts - Live a Long Time and Take Care of Yourself

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Refused


Refused are not-so fucking dead. In fact, they just released their first album since they revolutionized the shape of punk to come 17 years ago. But we'll get to that later. Refused began way back in 1991 in Umeå, Sweden by a group of young gents that had a bone to pick with capitalism. And they certainly didn't keep quiet about it. The early years of Refused can be marked by a revolving door of members that all sought out one thing: unabridged, angry hardcore in the vein of Born Against. This is what you get on their debut album, This Just Might Be... The Truth. Their energy, political agenda and heavy guitars are all present here, though it's only a inkling of what they would later become. Their early stuff is straight-up punk at its core, nothing more. Is this a bad thing? Not in the slightest.


In 1996, Refused finally became Refused. Their second album, Songs To Fan The Flame Of Discontent featured their classic line-up, which just clicks. The production is tighter, the band is tighter, and what you hear is a band that hit its stride. The songs are way more rhythmic, they get a little experimental, and vocalist Dennis Lyxzén began developing his style of screaming that would soon become his main way of singing. The guitars chug out rhythms off of each other, the drums roll like thunder in the back, and the bass is thick. Their songs are much more distinct here, the lyrics a little more well-thought through, and their energy and anger honed. This is kind of like their transitional record, where they enter it a bunch of young hardcore/punk kids, and leave it experienced musicians developing what would become more and more known as "post-hardcore".


Naming an album The Shape Of Punk To Come could have been of the most presumptive and pretentious things a band has ever done. The only problem is, it fucking lived up to its name. Their third album is easily one of the most influential and defining albums both in post-hardcore and punk overall. It is an obvious predecessor to the bands that would carry their torch on throughout the 2000's, such as Thursday, Alexisonfire, and Rise Against (which are by no means unknown bands). This is an album with an agenda, and that is a call to arms for "new noise" to take "the airwaves back". Punk needed a referendum, and this was it. There's a few reasons behind this. For one, The Shape Of Punk To Come is incredibly experimental in nature. Refused pushed things beyond limits that no band before was wiling to go. It's an album full of things that shouldn't work, but somehow do. There's jazz interludes, electronic breaks, dance beats, crowd cheers, samples from speeches, samples from their own live shows, a cello here, an upright bass there, a spoken word bit, and suddenly the distorted guitars and screamed vocals are back. It makes absolutely no sense in theory, but perfect sense in delivery. They merge ideas seamlessly, going from one place to another so fast that they could give the listener whiplash if they're following along close enough. 



This album is scattered with references to other works of art, which are certainly interesting to try and pick up on. What do Ornette Coleman, Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Allen Ginsberg's HowlApocalypse Now, and Nation of Ulysses all have in common? They're all referenced on The Shape Of Punk To Come. Regardless of all that, there's a reason this is one of the most celebrated albums in modern punk rock, and it's not because the genre became dominated by literary jazz-punk (which would have been a fine outcome too). Refused perfected their rhythmic attack here, with the guitars and drums being so in sync throughout these hard-hitting, off-kilter patterns they were coming up with. There was no real straight-forward chugging here, the band just keeps pumping out unique rhythm after unique rhythm, which just adds to the insanity of these songs. There's no real safe, comfortable place to land. It's like a Fugazi song at its extreme, it's got its own kind of funk to it. The guitars are incredibly sharp, and cut through with some complex riffs that are still hard to replicate with the same finesse they did (again, kind of a Fugazi thing). 

But what really made them the godfathers of millennia punk were those few moments where you're reminded why you started listening to extreme/aggressive music in the first places. The goddamn adrenaline. You know how they say everybody remembers their first time? Same thing applies here. I think everybody remembers the first time they heard the explosive climax of "CAN I SCREAM?" and have been hooked ever since. And there are so many moments like that on this album, where Refused redefine what it meant to give it everything you got. They simultaneously mastered what every band had been working up to, and created the template for every band to follow. They perfected what everyone had been working on, and paved the way for everyone after to try and beat. There's a hundred different ways to say the same thing. The Shape of Punk To Come is a milestone album, and one that everybody should experience at some point in their lives.



Sadly, all good things come to an end. In the same year Refused released The Shape Of Punk To Come, they opted to burn out rather than fade away. Their final tour was enough to put them over the edge, as tensions were peaking and members were waning. This was later documented in a film called Refused Are Fucking Dead, made by guitarist Kristofer Steen. Their last show has become a thing of legend, since it was shut down by police, but carried on by a chant of "rather be dead" apparently. They also released a statement about their break-up, which I'd suggest reading. It's interesting, to say the least. 


That was 1998. The band's members went their own ways, and that was that. Until 2012, when they reunited to do a bunch of shows and festivals. By the end of that year, it seemed to be the end of a brief but successful reunion. They remained quiet until late 2014, when rumours about a full-fledged reunion were finally confirmed. However, long-time guitarist Jon Brännström  wouldn't be joining them. According to him he was fired, according to the band he quit, who knows. Regardless, this reunited Refused began playing shows again, and a few months back released their first new single since their breakup years back. And now, that single has been followed by a full album titled Freedom, released by Epitaph Records. 


It's seemed to have garnered a pretty wide ranges of opinions, as most anticipated comeback albums do I suppose. It's definitely Refused, and has got some solid riffs and slight touches of experimentation. Despite that, it's much more straight-forward than the album it's technically following. There's a lot more rock influence, and features a lot more conventional structures and melodies. That's where a lot of its criticisms are coming from, for it being so safe and uninspired in comparison to The Shape Of Punk To Come and the reputation Refused have garnered over the years they've been absent. Personally, I like it and am glad they didn't try to recreate their past music, because that probably would have ended up being a lot worse. Albums like that can't be done again, they come out in a time and place, and those are things that are impossible to recreate. So instead, we get a decent rock album in 2015 under the moniker of Refused. Maybe that's a stain on the legacy of a band so obsessed with their own death to come back and claim "nothing has changed", maybe it's a preservation and continuation of it. Whatever, nevermind. Here's the band's full discography, all their studio albums and other releases in between. Refused Party Program lives on. 

1. Hate Breeds Hate
2. Break
3. Where's The Equality?
4. Soft
5. I Wish

1. Pump The Brakes
2. Perception
3. Strength
4. Who Died

1. Burn It
2. Symbols
3. Sunflower Princess
4. I Am Not Me
5. Everlasting
6. The Real
7. Pretty Face

1. Intro
2. Pump The Brakes
3. Trickbag
4. 5th Freedom
5. Untitled
6. Strength
7. Our Silence
8. Dust
9. Inclination
10. Mark
11. Tide
12. Bottom

1. Rather Be Dead
2. Jag Ater Inte Mina Vänner
3. Circle Pit
4. Lick It Clean
5. Voodoo People

1. Rather Be Dead
2. Coup D'etat
3. Hook Line And Sinker
4. Return To The Closet
5. Life Support Addiction
6. It's Not O.K
7. Crusader Of Hopelessness
8. Worthless Is The Freedom Bought...
9. This Trust Will Kill Again
10. Beauty
11. Last Minute Pointer
12. The Slayer

1. Circle Pit
2. Lick It Clean
3. Jag Ater Inte Mina Vanner
4. Voodoo People (The Prodigy cover)
5. Bullet (Misfits cover)
6. Cheap
7. Burn It
8. Symbols
9. Sunflower Princess
10. I Am Not Me
11. Everlasting
12. The Real
13. Pretty Face
14. Half Mast (Born Against cover)
15. Perception
16. Who Died
17. The New Deal
18. Guilty
19. Hate Breeds Hate
20. Break
21. Where's Equality
22. Soft

1. Re-fused
2. Another One
3. Enough Is Enough
4. Fusible Front
5. Reach Out
6. Fudge
7. Blind
8. Back In Black (AC/DC cover)
9. The New Deal
10. I Wish
11. Where's Equality
12. Who Died?
13. Burn
14. Racial Liberation
15. Hate Breeds Hate
16. I'll Choose My Side
17. The Marlboro Man Is Dead
18. Defeated
19. Live Wire (Motley Crue)
20. Gratitude (Beastie Boys cover)
21. Bonus Track

1. Worms of the Sense / Faculties of the Skull
2. Liberation Frequency
3. The Deadly Rhythm
4. Summerholiday Vs. Punkroutine
5. Bruitist Pome #5
6. New Noise
7. The Refused Party Program
8. Protest Song '68
9. Refused Are Fuckin' Dead
10. The Shape of Punk to Come
11. Tannhäuser / Derivè
12. The Apollo Programme Was A Hoax

1. New Noise
2. Blind Date
3. Poetry Written In Gasoline
4. Refused Are Fucking Dead (Bomba Je Remix, Long Version)

1. Elektra
2. Old Friends / New War
3. Dawkins Christ
4. Françafrique
5. Thought Is Blood
6. War On The Palaces
7. Destroy The Man
8. 366
9. Servants Of Death
10. Useless Europeans