Band: Terrible Love EP: Doubt Mines Label: Big Scary Monsters Release date: 19 January 2018 Sounds like: Emotional hardcore wreckage
Remember when I wasn’t sure which members of loads of post-hardcore bands were in Terrible Love? Well, I still don’t, apart from possibly Gareth Davies who used to hit the bass strings in Funeral For A Friend. Anyway, line up changes to the TL roster have meant there’s a new set of lungs on the microphone in the form of a fella called Jack Saunders. With this second EP, Terrible Love continue the tension and gloom-laden, stripped back attack their debut EP, Change Nothing had. The mixture of stark, pummeling aggression, married with the more atmospheric moments on this new EP, Doubt Mines, add depth to their strained and ravenous soundscapes.
Opening track First Flowers begins with some sullen guitar strumming, leading into a morose bass-led thump of grim feelings that continue this morbid tone through this scathing hardcore strut. The snapping, isolated blasts of each instrument rip through alongside Saunders’ rasping vocals, as bass, drums and guitar punctuate with a strained earnestness to be heard. On the scorched attack of Burn The Fields, there’s a Jeremy Bolm-feel to the screeching vocals, whilst musically it romps home with the agitated discordance of La Dispute destroying their instruments and tossing them into a huge monument of roaring flame. The dense and scratching tension bleeds through on Doubt Mines; it’s either in your face at once – or not there at all. One minute your being gripped by the throat and hurled around the place, the next your slumped on the ground trying to figure out what the hell has just happened.
Part of me feels Separate Graves could be a love song in a sense. The chorus of “I’ll hope and I’d pray/You’ll lay beside me/In a separate grave” which I initially took as fairly venomous, is oddly full of longing sentiment and has that neck-chill bristle of a gang-vocal participation. This strongly reminds me of some of the greatest moments from WesEisold’s American Nightmare (so that’s every single moment then) both musically and lyrically deep. Yeah, this has all the feels, even with the weird feedback-strewn outro of tripping noise whacked on at the end.
Launching itself from a stack of speakers, Doubt Mines is a guitar-windmill of hot-headed old-school hardcore; it thrashes, smashes and bashes through all the checkpoints without slowing down at all. “So I will always sing/Those songs that I have always sung/And cherish memories that they bring” roars Saunders, content to punch us all in our hearts. A Better Light follows a similar grim-faced punk rock onslaught; taunt, bullish, pit-worthy hardcore that feels both encompassing and brotherly, as well as intimidating and rejecting, much like everything about Terrible Love’s savage and emotionally raw output.
Fans of modern, wrought and scathing post-hardcore will find some absolute gold on this 5 tracker – Terrible Love’s Doubt Mines is a cracking second EP and showcases some great song writing by this London mob – excellent work.
Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists at The Trunk Space in Summer of 2014
Travis James of Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists has always sung loudly the praises of his fellow Phoenix folk punk Daryl Scherrer, and the adoration has always been mutual, a fact held most evident by the frequency with which Scherrer’s The Blood Feud Family Singers pop up on Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonist shows. Of course, the two bands do compliment each other very well, but this musical te ta tet goes deeper than just two bands who sound good one after the other.
Scherrer and James are kindred spirits musically who both come at the art of making folk-punk from a highly romantic standpoint and idolize their musical creations above all others. That’s not said to call them cocky men, or say they are full of themselves, however one of them did release a 30-song record about his divorce entitled Crapheart and the other literally named his band after himself, but I say it more to illuminate the passion which goes into every song they write, even more so the ones they choose to release, and in this case the ones they have chosen to cover.
On January. 17 the two bands released Cover Your Tracks a two-song split EP where TJAAA covered The Blood Feud Family Singers folk-noir masterpiece “Let Me Down and Lay Me Down.” While Scherrer and his BFFS took a swing at James’s high energy punk rock – show tune “Everybody Dies (The Night I Almost Died) of James’ 2014 full-length Overdressed and Under Arrest.
Of The Blood Feud Family Singers handling of his track, James said: “it’s like, how my writing brain works but slowed down and broken up for all the elements to shine.” While Scherrer said, “I often forgot that you, not I, wrote it. In those moments where I forgot it wasn’t my song, I was very proud of what a good song I’d written. And then I’d remember, with a certain amount of disappointment, that I didn’t write it, and I’d think, ‘Well, dammit. Good job, Travis.’”
The EP is on Bandcamp for the low price of free and streaming below.
Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography THICK at Palisades in Bushwick, Brooklyn, winter of 2016.
New York punk three-piece THICK released a brand new video on January 18th for their tune “Girlie” and it’s the group’s first new track since October of 2016. “Girlie” is a kick-ass song that uses some pretty intense vocal harmonies to sell the chorus and it translated into an even more kick-ass video complete with lighthearted shenanigans, headbanging and a group of incorrigible ladies reaping havoc all over New York City.
Anti-System was an anarcho-punk band from Bradford, West Yorkshire, in England. Originally the band came into existence in early 80’s to be revered as one of the pioneers of the UK82 hardcore punk sound. Their lyrics dealt with the usual topics of anti-establishment, anarchism and animal rights but in an even more direct and confrontational way than most of the contemporary band of the time.
Their most controversial song “Leather, Bristles, Studs, and Ignorance” off their last EP “A Look at Life” sparkled a lot of tension between them and the local punk-rock crowd, especially GBH fans that felt directly offended by the Anti-System’s song. The above mentioned EP is also notable for the band’s sound moving more into the heavy metal / thrash direction, which makes Anti-System an influential band for the later development of crust punk genre. However, it became their last record in that era, partially due to members of the band being imprisoned for smashing up three butcher shops, destroying an abattoir and freeing all the cows that were sent for slaughter there.
In 2014, Anti-System came back together with a new line-up to steer the punk circles again with their old school sound and uncompromising message. They even managed to record a brand new EP in 2017 called “At What Price Is Freedom?” (Boss Tuneage Records), followed by a series of shows, including their current Balkan dates in beginning of 2018.
After their shows in Greece and Bulgaria we sat down together with the editor of Sofia Rebel Stationzine to interview Dean Martindale (vocals), Mark “Varik” Teale (guitar) and Kevin Frost (drums) about Anti-System and their legacy. Modern day photos by John Bolloten and Mr. & Mrs. Hardcore Photography, 80’s photos unknown.
OK, let’s start with the introduction. How did you get involved in the DIY punk and subculture and then how did you become a member of Anti-System?
Varik: We were a band with no instruments for two years, when we were 13-14-15 years old. No instruments, just going “rah-rah-rah”. No money, nothing. Then we started our own band called Morbid Humour. We practiced at the same space as Anti-System.
When Anti-System first started they made a single (“Defence of the realm” EP, 1983) but in a very quick time some of their members have left. So they carried Anti-System ongoing using my old band Morbid Humour. Me and Keane were both in Morbid Humour. Back then we’ve got some basic instruments, we were just 16-17 years old.
At the time of “No Laughing Matter” LP (1985) Mick Teale was the Anti-System’s singer and Keane was on the bass. There was a direct action against the meat trade. Smashed the vans, the wagons of the meat industry, let the animals out. Smashed, paint, and fuck everything up. But then they’ve got caught. I didn’t get caught but them two got caught. Then, after this, we did the second record (“A Look at Life”, 1986) but the only original member was the drummer from the first record. But he wasn’t punk anymore. We thought it was his band, so we finished as a band.
Through all this time we thought it was his band, so we couldn’t redo it. But we said fuck that, we took the name Anti-System four years ago and we took the young lad, the good singer Dean, and we carry on from there. It’s going good, the band gets stronger. We are now doing gigs everywhere, it’s cool.
Mark Keane: Mick Teale joined after Nogsy left and I joined on bass after Mickey Knowles was dropped by the band, and Varik joined shortly after we started working on the album “No Laughing Matter” (1985).
Me and Mick Teale were imprisoned shortly after recording “A Look at Life”. We were sent to a prison based on a military style. We were given a bad time for being vegetarians, fed the same shit for every meal. The inmates respected us after a while.
Dean: Hello, my name is Dean. I sing in Anti-System. Before Anti-System I was a drummer in a cover band with the original bass player Mickey Knowles, who was on the single. He saw me sing in another band, so he asked me can I sing in Anti-System. So, obviously, I said yes.
So, we’ve been doing this for four years now and it’s fantastic. I’ve got into the punk scene with bands like Black Flag, The Casualties, Crass, Conflict, all the anarcho bands, and everything just got from there.
Kevin: I’m Kevin, currently playing drums for Anti-System. I joined the band February 2016. I first came across Anti-System in the very early 80’s and used to put up a gig for them around 1984. This never came off. Always been familiar with the band, with all their releases in the past. I came from a very heavy punk background from 1979. I’ve played for various punk bands, I still play for a punk band called The Varukers, also play for Disorder and a few other punk bands along the way. I came to support Anti-System a couple of years ago in Wakefield with another band called The Vile. I’ve got caught in Anti-System and I’ve been ever since.
What does anarcho-punk mean to you and is it true that by the mid 80’s the scene just died down because of everyone being a self-righteous asshole?
Varik: Yeah, it would have been like that a bit cause the scene died down. In England it died down and a lot of people were despondent with how everything went. Thrash metal was coming and it seemed a lot of people were moving to that. Punk was left for a while, myself included. I’ve left the punk scene for a bit because of children, family, and other stuff to do.
For many years, I’ve always wanted to come back and do it but couldn’t get the members. It wasn’t until 2016 when the new version of Anti-System really came together. After a couple of bumpy years to start, until we’ve got solid again to be productive and get things back in line. To tell the fucking establishment to fuck off again.
It’s been brilliant last five years. Four years ago my dream has come true to be again in Anti-System. So it’s not just for the fans but for me as well and I’m so proud with my band. Proud with what we do, with what we stand for. Against fascism and against fucking inequality in our society. This has been always what we are about. I, personally, am not gonna stop fighting until I’m dead.
Dean: Anarcho punk to me means solidarity, everybody working together to create live music, like what we have today. The gigs in Athens, Thessaloníki, Sofia were all fantastic. There is no money involved but everybody gets together and enjoys the scene. We’re also all vegan and vegetarian, cause it’s also all about animal rights. They have reason to be free just as much as we have. It’s all about friends, not food. Animals are our friends, not our food.
Kevin: I’ve told the world many, many times, mainly with The Varukers, that you and the rest of the world are very, very special. The UK is rubbish. You’ve got treated so badly in the UK. You will play venues where they treat you so bad, but when you play other places, in Europe especially, everyone’s so welcoming and it’s almost like you’re on a different planet, to be honest with you. All of Europe, all of the rest of the world. But, to me, the UK is just crap.
I’m not very polite about it, there are surely a lot of good people in the UK who try very, very hard after all throughout the years, but the UK is one of these places where people like to stab you in the back no matter how hard you try. We’ve had various promoters over the years putting on some fantastic gigs, but there’s always this small minority that always like to demoralize them and stab them in the back on every opportunity they ever have.
If you’re in a band and you’re touring for a living and you have to make a little bit of money, it’s almost like a daily job to you. If you can’t survive as a band, you’re gonna die. That is an unfortunate fact. You have to survive, but a lot of people forget about that.
Many people today think that anarcho-punk is about not giving anything back to anyone. But I think this is not true. So do you think that your records cost anything, that your gigs cost anything?
Varik: Yeah, everything has a cost. Unfortunately. You know, it would be great if we lived the dream of fucking anarchism—of sharing, of equality. But unfortunately we have to use evil bastard money. You know, this is a fact of life. Anarcho does not mean you don’t need to survive. That’s why there’s cooperatives and things in place. I believed when we grow old we’re gonna get rid of the system. But a different way of life like this is quite naïve. To me anarchy is a personal endeavor, which really means that the old views that we can live like that as a mass society, we can’t live like that with other people. This is so sad to see when we grew up believing in something different.
The reality is a big fucking world full of ignorant people. We’ve got live it. So anarchy to me is trying to make that world as best as possible. Greed, fucking war, politics—the old fucking law. It doesn’t fucking work. They still keep recycling it, but it doesn’t fucking work. We need the people to take the fucking power. And the people are their own fucking government. That’s the solution in my book. But it’s a dirty fucking world and a dirty game of politics. Cash, greed, everything we are against. And we fight against it all our lives and nothing changes but your personal environment and the people you are with.
Kevin: Anarchy nowadays is a form of ideology. While it tends to be a personal ideology that everybody thinks about it in their own way. Anarchy as a way of life without government, etc. will never ever work. So a lot of the old punks of the 70’s and 80’s now think of anarchy as an ideology. You live your own way as best as you possibly can without shitting on other people. And that is the way really that it’s gonna go forward.
I’ve always lived my life by these rules. I’ll do whatever I like as long as I don’t shit on other people. And I think that’s what the punk scene as an ideology has progressed to over the years. You can never have anarchy since there are far too many idiots in the world these days. The world nowadays is just based on greed. Everybody is out for whatever they can make to anybody else. They don’t give a shit about how they make people feel, how they treat people. The world is a very, very dangerous place at the moment. But as long as you as an individual live your life by the rules that you’ve set up for yourself, then you yourself can be at peace.
I think that and that’s exactly how I live my life. And I’m pretty sure a lot of the old punks of the 70’s and the 80’s do the same. They’ve realised over the years that anarchy is a way of life, it will never ever happen. But as a personal choice, it’s one of the best choices you’ll ever make.
In the past, the punk scene was like a breeding ground for hunt saboteurs, militant animal rights and animal liberation activism. And now, when veganism is so mainstream in the UK and all around the world, do you think there’s still ground for militant animal rights? Do you believe in it? Do you think that vegan and AR activism now is far from what it has been, i.e. when Barry Horne was still around?
Dean: Oh, I think it’s great that veganism and vegetarianism is becoming very mainstream. People are now standing up and realising what’s wrong with the fur farming industry, that the meat industry is killing the planet. Even the dairy industry, how small calves are being ripped off from their mothers straight away just to be used as products. It’s fucking horrible…
Varik: Meat industry is fascist. If you eat meat you are depriving someone of their life. If you’re making this decision, to me, if you eat meat you’re a Nazi. It’s the same mentality. Tear, fucking grab, smash, kill.
If you take vegan, you take peace. You take humanity, a higher level of understanding of the fucking planet and what you’re doing with it. Abusing animals just for selfish fucking consumption, you need to think do you want this for your fucking children…
Thank you very much, is there anything else you would like to add?
Varik: We, Anti-System, love Bulgaria. We love the people. We love this place. And we love what you are doing. Because we did the same.
Dean: And the hospitality is fantastic.
Varik: And the more there is like this, the more there will be a community and humanity. In England, people only care about themselves. When you come to people like this, with same views; it spreads. The humans are bad, the air is bad. In England people stand around like dead sheep with no fucking emotion. They don’t have lives, they are fucking androids.
They are programmed to serve the system. Fuck that shit! We are Anti-System.
Band: Chiller Album: S/T Label: Rockstar Records / Dirt Cult Release date: 2 February 2018 Sounds like: darkwave emotive punk left out in the rain.
There is a weird coldness to Chiller‘s sound, making their moniker surprisingly apt. Featuring member’s of Feral Trash, Black Tower and Mother’s Children this Canadian four-piece are a somewhat of a super-group in the deep underground of the punk rock world. A film-noir cloak envelops Chiller; from their quirky, irregular sound, to the sinister simplicity of their album cover and logo – which brings to mind a Jo Nesbo book about someone who cuts off people’s hands and probably sews them together, or something equally weird (note: I’ve not read any).
The off-kilter indie-punk jangle of opener, Agony, has a haunting 90s-style melancholy to it. Especially on the crooning, chest-pounding chorus, where the dual-vocal overlap is used to terrific effect and will go on to feature on the remaining 7 tracks that make up this self-titled effort. The call and return male/female vocals on the Son of SamHeretic should be enough to touch your heart, especially the frantic and grasping way the track’s title is spat in the song’s thrashing coda. The guitars chime and belt out a crisp, sometimes buzzing racket and it fizzes with determination and raw feeling. The pacy Offred, launches itself forward through a twisting and teasing grunge-indie bounce, with the back and forth vocals, which seem to reference a lost spirit or an apparition. Like many of the tracks on offer, there is a pensive and solemn tone hidden beneath the breakneck three-chord attack. The spaghetti-western style intro on the noir-sounding Satisfied is superb and evolves into this snotty, brackish tune, that berates the listener for swallowing lies and ultimately, accepting desertion.
The emo-rock of the solitary Strangers changes pace for a bit – vocals drip with desperate loss, radiating this forlorn longing, cries of never-ending pain all backed by this gloom-drenched, fast-paced Alkaline Trio maudlin punk. The chorus is also absolutely huge, cries of “STRANGERS! STRANGERS!” is so deliciously pained (and catchy) it sounds as though he could have fallen off the soundtrack of a certain 80s inspired sci-fi show that’s pretty popular at the moment. Crank it to 11.
Absolutely absorbed by the glowing, Cold Cave gloom on the dramatic Unanswered – “Someone tell me, why? WHHHHYYYYY???” roars from Chiller’s mournful lungs, coupled with some beautiful backing vocal “woohs” concluding with a flourish of rain-drop-sounding keys within this wistful and heavyhearted scrawl of chewy, post-punk spite. Don’t be fooled by the high-noon-esque intro to closing track, The Void – the 20 seconds of wistful guitar strokes are trampled under hooves by a stampede of rapid fire punk rock. Lip-curling vocal snarls, crunching chords and bruising percussion thunders past in a breathless, scrappy exhaustion of sound.
Chiller’s debut is rough around the edges, but that’s what gives it that certain charm. Through these 8 tracks and 24 minutes they incorporate enough styles, menace, aggression, loss and love to pique your interest. A promising and sharp-sounding debut.
Stream Agony below. Chiller’s self-titled album is released on 2 February through Rockstar Records, pre-order it here.
It’s gotta be hard to be born on Christmas Day. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own lights and gifts that no one’s really thinking about candles on cakes or birthday presents. That’s why it’s probably better to postpone any sort of celebration until after the holiday season, which is just what The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan did for his 60th birthday bash.
Though the Celtic punk icon hit the big six-oh back on December 25th, he celebrated with his fans and famous friends last night at Dublin’s National Concert Hall. The party came in the form of an all-star concert featuring Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, Glen Hansard, Carl Barat of The Libertines, The Sex Pistol’s Glen Matlock, Sinéad O’Connor, and others. Only one guest got to perform with MacGowan himself, however, as Nick Cave was joined by the singer on “Summer in Siam”. Check out video of that performance, which also sees MacGowan singing “The Wild Mountain Thyme” solo, above.
Also in attendance were Johnny Depp and U2’s Bono, who played “Rainy Night in SoHo” together. Watch footage of their collaboration below.
The new year has only just begun, but 2018 already promises to be a year replete with great punk and hardcore offerings. There are hotly anticipated records from young up-and-comers and equally exciting releases from time-tested veterans. There are reunion records from some of our personal favorites and others that cathartically speak to today’s crazed sociopolitical landscape.
In true punk rock fashion, this year’s crop of releases comes in many different shapes, sizes, and sounds, and the versatility is promising to say the least. Senior writers Collin Brennan and Ryan Bray sorted through this year’s upcoming punk releases and cherry-picked a small handful that fans should keep their ears open for. Okay, we’ve said our piece. We’ll see ya in the pit.
How does a band follow up on breakthrough critical success? There’s never an easy answer, but Ought has so far done a credible job of keeping their steadily growing momentum going. The band turned some serious heads with their first two records; 2014’s More Than Any Other Day and 2015’s Sun’s Coming Down. The buzz was enough to attract the attention of Merge Records, who will release the Montreal art punks’ third effort in February. For Room Inside the World, the band enlisted the services of producer Nicolas Vernhes, whose past credits include work with other experimental-minded acts like Animal Collective and the Dirty Projectors. So far, the collaboration seems to have coaxed some new sounds out of the foursome. “These Three Things”, the record’s first single, still finds Ought indulging their artier instincts, but it sounds more in line with New Order than the Television and Pavement influences of the band’s past records. –Ryan Bray
It doesn’t take a truffle pig to sniff out the irony in the title to Superchunk’s forthcoming 11th studio album, What a Time to Be Alive. But just in case you couldn’t read between the lines, the North Carolina rockers went ahead and shared the bitingly sarcastic title track, a pop punk stomper that features what might as well be the defining sentiment of the Trump era: “The scum, the shame, the fucking lies/ Oh, what a time to be alive.” Superchunk already proved they’re back on their game with 2010’s Majesty Shredding and 2013’s I Hate Music, but it will be interesting to see if they can stay vital while indulging in some righteous political cynicism. –Collin Brennan
Since forming in 2008, The Men have crafted one of the most exciting and unpredictable bodies of work in the American punk and hardcore underground. The band navigated its way from the pulverizing noise of its earliest records to a sound more informed by country and straight-forward rock and roll, only to shift back to its ferocious roots on 2016’s Devil’s Music. That Drift, the Brooklyn act’s latest effort due out March 2nd, again marks a sonic shift is at this point to be expected, but it’s always hard to anticipate where exactly they might land next. Based on the record’s first single, “Maybe I’m Crazy”, The Men are ready to try their hand at their own warped interpretation of industrial and new wave. The song sounds like a new sonic fit for the band while still indebted to its noisy, experimental roots. –Ryan Bray
It’s almost a farce to call Titus Andronicus a punk band in the wake of 2015’s The Most Lamentable Tragedy, a 93-minute rock opera with quasi-literary ambitions and a tendency to gobble up genres indiscriminately. That album was rumored to be the group’s last, and it certainly sounded as if singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles was leading the charge of his Light Brigade with no thought toward the future. But it turns out that Stickles and co. have at least one more cough in them before the final bang, and if new single “Number One (In New York)” is any indication, it will be a slower, quieter gasp for air this time around. We keep waiting on Stickles to quit trying to top himself, but “Number One” might be the band’s most sprawling track yet — an eight-minute slow build that arrives at chaos without the crutch of thrashing guitars. –Collin Brennan
Acid Dad’s origin story stretches all the way back to 2014, when the Brooklyn psych-punks pooled their super powers at a drag show and a star was born. They’ve pulled much of the New York punk scene into their orbit since then (and left more than a few venues trashed in their wake), but they’ve only just got around to recording a proper debut album. The full-length format would seem to lend itself to the dynamic melodies that bubble underneath the fury of their live set, and it should give even more room for the occasional bluesy guitar riff and psychedelic freak-out. –Collin Brennan
As The Bronx famously said, “New Year, New Me…” let’s kick things off by looking at the upcoming tracks, singles and random noises that are being kicked around at the moment as we stage dive headfirst into the devil that is 2018.
American Nightmare – The World Is Blue (Rise Records)
You’re not dreaming. Back together with the line up that recorded the fantastic We’re Down Til We’re Underground and giving two fingers to name infringement, American Nightmare roar, kick, scream and thrash their way into your ears. The World Is Blue is the kind of wake up we all need and this 104 second hardcore punk barrage is truly something special. Vocalist Wes Eisold still has the fire – his words are wrought and spat with guttural, passionate venom and he’s never sounded so good. His screams of “SALVATION!” twinned with the gnarled, gurgling bass-thumping, scything guitars and brutal drum patterns are near perfection – welcome fucking back to the party dudes. The new self-titled album is out 16th February, see you in the pit.
Chiller – Heretic (Rockstar Records)
An often overlooked label, Germany’s Rockstar Records have some cracking bands on their line up (Problems,Toys That Kill, Quader and Pretty Hurts to name a few). Chiller are a new addition to their roster made up of members of Feral Trash,Black Tower or Mother’s Children (no, me neither) and their spirited, dark-edged punk rock is absolutely cracking. Heretic is raw, loud and laced with an air of melancholy and razor-sharp riffs and some cracking male/female dual vocal call-and-return. Their are traces of possible Danzig-inspired goth-punk woven throughout, but Chiller carve out their own disgruntled, blunt and direct attack and it’s wonderfully dramatic. Their self-titled album is out 2nd February.
Sweat Threats – Hermit
With a fairly apt name, Sweat Threats (and you will be feeling one or both of these conditions during the running time of Hermit) are two dudes from Ireland – Matthew Sutton and Niall Jackson. This racket is an absolute knife to the throat; furiously agitated post-punk is splattered over the walls, leaving a flashing, incriminating smear of warped delight. Channeling the similar heart-racing bounce and wild, renting energy of Les Savy Fav fighting Death From Above at a foam party; Sweat Threats are a glorious mess of ramshackle, boisterous chaos – huge scrambled guitars collide with the bass-drum pounding percussion to create this roaring storm.
If you thought Caution was a warm hug of general loveliness in musical form, then Applause is the follow up kiss on the cheek. The opening roar of “SEND APPLAUSE TO YOUR HEART STRINGS!” should be enough to tell you the road we’re travelling down with Tiny Moving Parts. The guitars twiddle with gorgeous, twinkling delight, whilst the stop-start riffs add a battering-ram punctuation of noise and the sudden, frantic time changes, from frothing, alt-rock to scribbled punk throwdowns is infectious and an absolute treat. The new album, Swell, is out 26 January.
Rolo Tomassi – Balancing In The Dark (Holy Roar)
With sunlight but a distant memory, Rolo Tomassi go full end of level boss. Whilst the opening 50 seconds of this might seem an eerie calm, it’s all a trick and one they utilise extremely well. Eva Spence’s vocals are a hacking rasp, bringing to mind the howling wail of Jacob Bannon in places. Her brother, James, adds his own bark to proceedings, whilst the stringent, abrasive guitars hack and slash through the alt-metal mire of doom and gloom. Even the keys sound as though they’re decaying in the filth and rot. Credit to drummer Tom Pitts around the 2:45-ish mark, the beat he’s bashing out is an absolute barrage. This is dark, a punishingly, unholy and feral descent. Welcome back. The new album, Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It is out 2nd March.
Titus Andronicus will return this year with a new album called A Productive Cough. Due out March 2nd via Merge, the seven-track effort is a noted departure from the sprawling rock opera of the band’s last record, 2015’s The Most Lamentable Tragedy.
Recorded at New Paltz, New York’s Marcata Recordings with producer Kevin McMahon, A Productive Cough eschews the “punk rock anthems” of Titus’ past albums to focus on spacious ballads. Singer-songwriter and frontman Patrick Stickles brought in 21 musicians to help with his newly expansive sound, including pianist Rick Steph (Cat Power, Hank Williams Jr.), cellist Jane Scarpantoni (R.E.M., Lou Reed), and Brooklyn singer Megg Farrell. The resulting effort puts the focus on the orchestral flourishes that have long hid in the background of the band’s music.
Which is why despite its lack of chorus, the eight-minute “Number One (In New York” makes for the perfect lead single for the record. The song is one 64-bar verse that builds on the back of swelling piano and saxophone towards a gang-chorus ending surrounded by ringing bells. “Yes, I’ve been everywhere, but everywhere that I’ve been/ I’ve been out of my element, even in my own skin,” goes the outro. “And I can’t begin to think what I’d tell people back home/ So I tell it to the microphone.”
Check out the track via its Ray Concepcion-directed video below.
The video also serves as a trailer of sorts to a 60-minute making-of documentary that will be released February 26th. More clips from the doc will be revealed over the coming weeks at the album’s website, where you can also find an interview with Stickles about what went into the creation of A Productive Cough.
Pre-orders for the album are going on now. In addition to all standard formats, there’s a “Peak Vinyl” limited-edition pressing on marbled blue-gray wax that includes a 7-inch featuring the band’s nine-minute reimagining of Bob Dylan’s “(I’m) Like a Rolling Stone”. The track is only otherwise available on CD or digitally.
A Productive Cough Artwork:
A Productive Cough Tracklist: 01. Number One (In New York) 02. Real Talk 03. Above the Bodega (Local Business) 04. Crass Tattoo 05. (I’m) Like a Rolling Stone 06. Home Alone 07. Mass Transit Madness (Goin’ Loco’)
Stickles will tour behind A Productive Cough, but not with his usual full band. Instead, the shows will feature just him and pianist Alex Molini doing an intimate “acoustic” set. Pile’s Rick Maguire will provide support for the 31-date trek, and you can find the complete schedule below.
Titus Andronicus 2018 Tour Dates: 03/07 – Kingston, NY @ BSP Kingston 03/08 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair 03/09 – Providence, RI @ AS220 03/10 – Burlington, VT @ Arts Riot 03/11 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz 03/13 – Toronto, ON @ Great Hall 03/14 – Detroit, MI @ El Club 03/15 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean 03/16 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency 03/17 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club 03/18 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown 03/19 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall 03/20 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge 03/22 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Festival 03/23 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile 03/24 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios 03/27 – Sonoma, CA @ Gundlach Bundschu Winery 03/28 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel 03/29 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place 03/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater 04/02 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar 04/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar 04/06 – Ft. Worth, TX @ Ridglea Room 04/07 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda 04/08 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall 04/10 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn 04/11 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade 04/12 – Durham, NC @ The Pinhook 04/13 – Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel 04/14 – Philadelphia, PA @ UArts Black Box 04/15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Murmrr Ballroom
Billie Joe Armstrong took Donald Trump to task on Instagram yesterday, blasting POTUS for his reckless and deranged tweets about his “much bigger” and “more powerful” nuclear war button.
“This isn’t funny,” the Green Day frontman wrote sternly. “This is our president acting like a madman drunk on power THREATENING to kill innocent starving people by way of nuclear war. The 25th amendment needs to be enforced. This man is sick and unfit for office. I don’t care if your liberal or conservative.. this has to stop . Please share #impeachtrump.”
Armstrong’s opinions weren’t completely well received, however, as one fan spoke up in retaliation in the post’s comments section, as Alternative Nation points out. “I hate to sound like a dick Billie but you are liberal and people have the right to support trump,” said the fan, “and whatever you say won’t change anything to trump supporters.”
This is when the outspoken punk rock veteran redirected his political anger and frustrations toward the Trump sympathizer, unleashing a savage condemnation basically disowning any of his fans who choose to side with the 45th president:
“well then go fuck your self you stupid piece of shit. If that’s the way you feel about mass destruction and murder then fuck off. Stay the fuck off my Instagram and don’t come back. Don’t listen to my fucking records. I have no problem telling ignorant fucks like you to go to hell. That goes for any other stupid fucks that think this behavior should normalized. Get the fuck out!”
Of course, this is hardly the first time Armstrong and Green Day have made headlines for their opinions on Trump. Previously, they chanted “No Trump/ No KKK/ No fascist USA!” during a performance at the American Music Awards shortly after the 2016 Presidential Election. The group also depicted Trump as an apocalyptic zombie in the music video for its politically-charged rock anthem “Back in the USA”.