Riot Fest 2021 Lineup Finalized

Courtesy: Western Publicity

The official lineup for this year’s Riot Fest has been finalized.

The 2021 Riot Fest is scheduled to take place Sept. 16-19 at Douglass Park in Chicaco, IL. The whole thing kicks off the evening of Sept. 16 with performances by the likes of Alkaline Trio, Patti Smith and her Band, and Morrissey.

Sept. 17 is the first, full, official date of music for this year’s festival. It features performances from a wide range of acts, such as Smashing Pumpkins, NOFX, and Anti-Flag.

Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, and Living Colour join the likes of Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Run The Jewels, and Gwar for the second day of this year’s Riot Fest lineup.

Sunday will see just as many and varied acts taking the stage. Among the most notable of the performances planned to close out this year’s festival are those from the likes of Slipknot, Simple Plan, and Body Count. The Flaming Lips will take the place of Pixies following that band’s recent announcement that it was halting its tour plans due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The full lineup for this year’s Riot Fest is noted below.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
MORRISSEY, ALKALINE TRIO, PATTI SMITH AND HER BAND, JOYCE MANOR (performing S/T), WDRL, KRISTEEN YOUNG

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS, COHEED AND CAMBRIA, LUPE FIASCO (performing The Cool), NOFX, DIRTY HEADS, SUBLIME WITH ROME, CIRCLE JERKS, DINOSAUR JR., MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK, THRICE, CIRCA SURVIVE, MEG MYERS, THE LAWRENCE ARMS, BEACH BUNNY, ANTI-FLAG, LIVING COLOUR, FISHBONE, ENVY ON THE COAST, THE SOUNDS, AMIGO THE DEVIL, EYEDRESS, BEACH GOONS, MEET ME @ THE ALTAR, SERATONES, RADKEY, KISSISSIPPI, JACKIE HAYES, OXYMORRONS, GIRLPUPPY, SEŃOR KINO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
RUN THE JEWELS, FAITH NO MORE, DROPKICK MURPHYS, RANCID, TAKING BACK
SUNDAY, VIC MENSA, GOGOL BORDELLO, MAYDAY PARADE, BAYSIDE, STATE CHAMPS, THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES, ANDREW W.K., BEST COAST, BIG FREEDIA, GWAR, HEPCAT, LES SAVY FAV, THE BRONX, FOUR YEAR STRONG, CITIZEN, FUCKED UP, JOYWAVE, NIGHT MOVES, MAN ON MAN, THE BOLLWEEVILS, ACTION/ADVENTURE, GANSER, JUST FRIENDS, THE ORPHAN THE POET, BEARINGS, SPIDER, DEVON KAY & THE SOLUTIONS

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
SLIPKNOT, MACHINE GUN KELLY, THE FLAMING LIPS, DEVO, MR. BUNGLE, NEW FOUND GLORY, SIMPLE PLAN, THE GHOST INSIDE, BODY COUNT, THURSDAY, K.FLAY, KNUCKLE PUCK, HEALTH, THE BLED, MOTHER MOTHER, 3OH!3, ALEX G, FEVER 333, KENNYHOOPLA, BLEACHED, THE GORIES, FACS, RATBOYS, BLACKSTARKIDS, THE CLOCKWORKS, PET SYMMETRY, MELKBELLY, GYMSHORTS, THE WEAK DAYS, AIRSTREAM FUTURES

Tickets for Riot Fest 2021 are available here.

More information on this year’s Riot Fest is available along with all of the festival’s latest news at:

Website: https://www,riotfest.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RiotFest1

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dropkick Murphys Debuts ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ Video

Courtesy: Born & Bred Records

Dropkick Murphys kicked off the weekend with a new music video.

The band debuted the video for its latest single, ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ Friday. The song is the latest single from the band’s latest album, Turn Up That Dial, which was released April 30 through the band’s own label, Born & Bred Records.

The premiere of ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ follows that of the album’s other singles, ‘Middle Finger,‘  ‘Smash S*** Up,’ ‘Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding,’ and ‘I Wish You Were Here.’ The musical arrangement featured in ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ is a gentle ballad type song that the band’s established audiences will find quite familiar, even with its own unique identity. It is one of those songs that will have audiences clasping one another’s shoulders, singing in unison, as they sway back and forth to the music.

The video for ‘H.B.D.M.F.’ finds the band singing its new single on a stage in front of an audience of puppets. Many of those puppets are figures that audiences might recognize from Dropkick Murphys’ recent livestream event, Dropkick Murphys St. Patrick’s Day Stream 2021…Still Locked Down, and from the album release party for Turn Up That Dial.

Dropkick Murphys founder and co-vocalist Ken Casey talked about the video’s creation during a recent interview.

“We had to learn to get creative making videos during the COVID restrictions,” he said. “We had to think outside the box, but it led to some really hilarious stuff like this video.”

In other news, Dropkick Murphys is gearing up for a tour with Rancid. The tour, dubbed the “Boston To Berkeley Tour II”, is scheduled to launch Aug. 10 and to run through Oct. 16. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

DateCityVenue
Tue. 8/10Waite Park, MNThe Ledge Amphitheater – Waite Park
Wed. 8/11Kansas City, MOGrinders
Fri. 8/13Lincoln, NELincoln On The Streets
Sat. 8/14Wichita, KSWave
Sun. 8/15Sauget, ILPop’s Outside
Tue. 8/17Washington, PAWild Things Park
Wed. 8/18Cincinnati, OHThe ICON Festival Stage at Smale Park
Fri. 8/20Gilford, NHBank Of New Hampshire Pavilion 
Sat. 8/21Worcester, MAThe Palladium Outdoors
Sun. 8/22Lewiston, NYArtpark Amphitheater
Mon. 8/23Columbus, OHEXPRESS LIVE! – Outdoors 
Wed. 8/25Richmond, VAVirginia Credit Union Live! 
Fri. 8/27Asbury Park, NJStone Pony Summerstage 
Sat. 8/28New York, NYForest Hills Stadium 
Tue. 8/31Philadelphia, PASkyline Stage @ Mann Music Center 
Wed. 9/1Bridgeport, CTHartford Health Care Amphitheater in Bridgeport
Thu. 9/16Milwaukee, WIBMO Harris Pavilion (Summerfest) *
Fri. 9/17Des Moines, IALauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park #
Sat. 9/18Chicago, ILDouglass Park (Riot Fest) *
Fri. 9/24Nashville, TNAscend Amphitheater +
Sat. 9/25Atlanta, GAAtlanta Civic Center – Outdoors +
Mon. 9/27Corpus Christi, TXConcrete Street Amphitheatre
Tue. 9/28Grand Prairie, TXTexas Trust CU Theatre at Grand Prairie
Wed. 9/29Oklahoma City, OKThe Zoo Amphitheatre
Fri. 10/1Denver, COMission Ballroom Outdoors
Sat. 10/2Sandy, UTU of U Health Plaza Rio Tinto Stadium
Mon. 10/4Nampa, IDFord Idaho Center Amphitheater
Tue. 10/5Seattle, WAWAMU Theater
Thu. 10/7Palo Alto, CAFrost Amphitheater
Fri. 10/8Sacramento, CADiscovery Park (Aftershock) *
Sat. 10/9Santa Ana, CAObservatory OC Festival Grounds
Sun. 10/10San Diego, CAGallagher Square at Petco Park San Diego
Tue. 10/12Mesa, AZMesa Amphitheatre
Wed. 10/13Paso Robles, CAVina Robles Amphitheatre
Fri. 10/15Las Vegas, NVTheater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
Sat. 10/16Los Angeles, CAShrine LA Outdoors
   
* Festival date 
+ without The Bronx, opener TBA   
# Dropkick Murphys with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones & Jesse Ahern 

More information on Dropick Murphys’ new tour dates and album is available along with all of Dropkick Murphys’ latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.dropkickmurphys.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/DropkickMurphys

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/DropkickMurphys

More information on Rancid’s upcoming tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.rancidrancid.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rancid

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/rancid

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Punk Purists Will Enjoy Steadfast’s Latest LP

Courtesy: Pine Box Derby

Almost a year ago to the day, independent punk rock outfit Steadfast released its then latest album, Transmitters through Pine Box Derby.  The problem is that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, its release never really got the distribution and coverage that it otherwise could have had.  To that end, Pine Box Derby is giving the album a new push to punk rock fans worldwide.  Those audiences are certain to appreciate this new record in part because of the record’s featured musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s featured musical arrangements add their own appeal to the album, so they will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, they make Transmitters a record that will send a strong signal of its own to any punk rock fans.

Steadfast’s most recent album Transmitters was released July 10, 2020, but as noted, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted its distribution and coverage.  Had it received the distribution and coverage that it deserved last year, it no doubt would have become one of the year’s top new independent and punk rock albums.  That is proven in part through its featured arrangements.  The arrangements in question are punk rock at its purest.  Throughout the course of the album’s 11 songs, the arrangements immediately lend themselves to works from the likes of Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, and to a lesser extent, Green Day.  As a matter of fact, if audiences were to hear any part of this album without knowing it was Steadfast, the vocals alone would lead listeners to believe they were hearing DKM co-vocalist Al Barr or even Rancid front man Tim Armstrong.  The addition of the catchy guitars, driving time keeping, and rich bass line does just as much in each song to make the arrangements bear such a close similarity.  Even with all of this in mind, the arrangements do still bear their own identity separate from those of the aforementioned bands.  That is revealed through a close listen.  It is just that the similarities are that close between Steadfast and its more well-known counterparts.  All in all, the arrangements featured in Transmitters prove to be reason enough in themselves for audiences to hear the album.  They are collectively just one part of what makes Transmitters successful.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements add another layer of enjoyment to the album.

The lyrical themes featured in Transmitters are fully accessible in their own right.  Right from the record’s outset, the band offers up a song in its title track that celebrates independent music and the pirate (independent) radio stations that help spread the word about that music.  This is made clear right from the song’s lead verse, which states, “I heard the needle on the record drop while the DJ said “this ain’t the top of the charts/The music’s fast and it’s f****** loud/This is your pirate radio!”/Hear the sounds from the underground/Beaming their waves all over town/It’s a radio riot and it won’t settle down it’s a force they can’t control/Turn it all the way up – to the limit/Gonna watch the speakers explode/Turn it all the way up – to the limit on Revolution Radio/Revolution Radio/Turn it all the way up for the world to know/That it’s a force that they can’t control (whoa oh) Revolution Radio.”  The song’s second verse continues that celebration of all things independent as it states, “Transmitters to receivers hidden around the town for the disbelievers/To hear the truths from the rebel youths on the pirate radio!/Tune it in, turn it loud, sing along until you’re falling down/It belongs to me and you so be proud that it’s a force they can’t control.”  So right here, audiences clearly understand the accessibility of the album’s lyrical themes.  That simple, accessible theme, paired with the song’s equally infectious musical arrangement, makes the song in whole a powerful whole for the album.

As much as ‘Transmitters’ does to show the importance of the album’s fully accessible lyrical themes, it is just one example of that impact.  ‘Integrity,’ one of the album’s late entries, is accessible in its own right even as it presents a familiar political commentary throughout its three-and-a-half-minute presentation.  Front man Jason Bancroft takes no sides here, instead indicting politicians really on both sides of the aisle.  This is made clear as he sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “You’re a career politician with nothing to say/A puppet of a party who’s pulling the strings/With everything you do and everything your say/It proves that you have no f****** integrity/Now we’re sick and tired of the same old s***/How can you ignore the truth with no regrets?/The passions of the people will not calm lightly/You’re adding fuel to the fire of the next uprising/Don’t tell us lies just tell us the truth/See people suffer from your indecision/Don’t tell us lies just tell us the truth/Are you ready for the inquisition?/It’s defiance not reliance that we need/Because the system that’s controlling us is making us bleed.”  The song’s second verse continues the indictment of the political elite on both sides as it attacks both sides for “Giving to the rich/While robbing from the poor/Getting what you want by giving empty promises.”  Such lyrical content is familiar territory for any punk band.  Keeping that in mind, it is yet another clear, accessible theme that because of that clarity and connection, shows once more, the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  It is just one more of the songs that serves to show the noted importance.  ‘Just Disbelievers’ is yet another example of that importance.

‘Just Disbelievers’ is, lyrically, a familiar anthem for a disenfranchised generation.  It is an anthem of proud defiance against those who would otherwise just discount said individuals.  As with the other themes addressed here, it is an all-too-familiar lyrical theme in the punk realm.  The anthem opens with Bancroft singing in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “We may seem young and hopeless – we may seem all the same/You might think that you know about us – but you don’t even know our name/You might think that you can stop us – put our backs up against a wall/It will take much more to stop us – because you’ll have to stop us all/We won’t go down without a fight/We might not win but that’s alright/We won’t go down without a fight/We won’t give in – no!”  that proud defiance continues in the song’s second verse in which Bancroft sings, “We are all saints and sinners – losers and sometimes winners/We are not king and queens/or followers/Just Disbelievers!/We will not be forgotten – won’t be content just to move along/Didn’t say we weren’t contradictions/But when we’re not right we’re still not wrong.”  Such content goes back a long way through the history of punk (and rock/metal in general).  That the band presented such a familiar theme in such an easily accessible fashion, reminding a whole new generation of listeners to stand up to those who would just toss them aside, is even more proof of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  When it and the other lyrical themes examined here are considered along with the album’s other lyrical themes, the whole leaves no doubt as to the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When that overall content is paired with the album’s equally accessible punk sounds, the whole of that content forms a solid foundation for the album.  Taking all of that into account, the sequencing of that content rounds out the album’s most important elements.

Transmitters’ sequencing is important in part because in considering the album’s content, it ensures the album’s lyrical themes change from one song to the next.  From the fun to the more serious to the generally contemplative, the themes change throughout the course of the record’s 40-minute run time.  That in itself ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  Additionally, the sequencing keeps the record’s energy high from one arrangement to the next.  The DIY, garage punk stylistic approach stays largely the same throughout with the changes in the arrangements remaining subtle from one to the next.  A close listen to the songs reveals those subtle changes from one song to the next.  That and the constant energy does its own part to keep listeners engaged, too.  When it and the engagement and entertainment ensured through the album’s lyrical variety are considered together, it shows clearly the role of the album’s sequencing to its presentation, too.  All things considered, these three elements make Transmitters an impressive offering from Steadfast that deserves its own share of attention among punk purists.

Steadfast’s most recent album, Transmitters is a positive offering from the independent punk rock band.  The album’s success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are all high-energy compositions whose melodies and general presentations lend themselves to comparison to works from the likes of Rancid, Dropkick Murphys and even Green Day.  They are infectious works that even with the comparisons in mind still have their own identities, making for reason enough to hear the album.  The album’s lyrical themes are just as accessible as their musical counterparts.  They are varied from one to the next, ranging from the silly to the serious.  When they are considered along with the album’s musical arrangements, the collective gives audiences even more reason for audiences to hear the album.  The record’s sequencing brings all of that content together and keeps the album’s energy high from start to end.  At the same time, it ensures listeners remain engaged and entertained by changing up the record’s lyrical themes throughout its 40-minute run time.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Transmitters a presentation that any punk purist will enjoy.

Transmitters is available now through Pine Box Derby.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.steadfasthtx.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steadfasthtx

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Dropkick Murphys, Rancid To Tour Together

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Dropkick Murphys and Rancid will tour together this summer.

The bands are schedule to launch what has been dubbed the “Boston to Berkeley II Tour” Aug. 2 in Waite Park, MN. The tour is scheduled to run more than a month and wind down Oct. 16 in Los Angeles, CA. It features performances in cities, such as Corpus Christie, TX; Gilford, NH and Palo Alto, CA.

DKM front man Ken Casey said in a prepared statement that he and his band mates are looking forward to getting back out in front of audiences.

Can’t wait to get back out there and kick the touring door open again,” he said. “This is a great lineup and we are gonna take the country by storm.” 

Rancid front man Tim Armstrong shared Casey’s anticipation.

“Looking forward to hitting the road with the Dropkick Murphys again for the second edition of our Boston To Berkeley Tour,” said Armstrong. “Our good buddies The Bronx will be joining us on tour as well.  See ya in the pit!”

Dropkick Murphys’ upcoming live dates are in support of its latest album, Turn Up That Dial. The album was released last month through its own label, Born and Bred Records.

More information on Dropick Murphys’ new tour dates and album is available along with all of Dropkick Murphys’ latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.dropkickmurphys.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/DropkickMurphys

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/DropkickMurphys

More information on Rancid’s upcoming tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.rancidrancid.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rancid

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rancid

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lost In Society Debuts New EP’s Lead Single

Courtesy: Wiretap Records

Punk rock band Lost in Society premiered the lead single from its new EP this week.

The band debuted its new single, ‘Say Anything‘ Thursday. The song is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming EP, Stay Jaded, which is scheduled for release June 18 through Wiretap Records.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Say Anything’ is a driving composition. The combination of the instrumentation and front man Zach Moyle’s vocals lend the song to comparison to works from Rancid.

According to comments from Moyle, the song’s lyrical theme centers on a relationship-related topic.

“Recorded mid-quarantine, ‘Say Anything’ is the first song written and produced in our own studio space,” he said. “The song covers the anxiety of opening up and showing vulnerability in a relationship. I tend to have a habit of shutting down when faced with difficult conversations, so this song hits on those frustrating moments.”

More information on Lost in Society’s new single and EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lostinsociety

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lostinsociety

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Punk, Pop Punk Fans Will Agree Mercy Music’s New LP Deserves Its Own Time In The Light

Courtesy: Wiretap Records

Independent pop punk band Mercy Music released its new album this week in the form of Nothing in the Dark.  The 10-song record is short, clocking in at only 26 minutes, but despite that short run time, it proves itself a positive new offering from the band.  That is proven through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  This is proven right from the album’s outset in the form of its single ‘Living With a Ghost.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Even If I’ve Lost,’ the album’s closer, is another of its high points.  It will be addressed a little later.  The album’s title track, which comes just past the record’s midpoint, is another key addition to its presentation.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the other two songs noted here and the rest of the record’s works, the whole of that content makes this album a work that will appeal to any pop punk fan.

Nothing in the Dark is a record from which no pop punk fan has anything to fear.  That is proven from start to end of the record, which clocks in at less than half an hour.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in the form of ‘Living With A Ghost.’  The song is a strong start to the album.  That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement, which exhibits a wide range of influences.  On one hand, the infectious guitar riffs couple with the bass, drums and vocals to make for a composition that lends itself to works from the likes of All Time Low.  The guitar solo in the bridge is immediately comparable to those of Dropkick Murphys.  On yet another hand, one could just as easily compare this song to works from New Found Glory.  Keeping all of this in mind, it goes to show just in this case what makes this song stand out among the album’s entries.  It shows the wide appeal of the album’s musical content.  Of course, the song’s musical content is not all that is worth examining.  The song’s lyrical content adds to its appeal in its own right.

The song’s lyrical content delivers an uplifting message that couples well with the upbeat sense in the work’s musical arrangement.  Front man Brendan Scholz delivers the message right from the song’s opening as he sings, “Only going up from here/Broken in a brand new year/But it’s alright/Something good will come around/Put all their faith in me/In the red with mouths to feed/I fight/They fall and break/I play pretend/I see it/Won’t leave it alone/Believe this or so I’m told/Don’t/But I need to/And it’s okay/Take it from me/Are we just fucked/To live and die unknown/Living with a ghost.”  This verse in itself delivers a seeming message of perseverance, accepting one’s situation, but making the best of said circumstances.  That message continues as Scholz sings in the song’s second verse, “Honestly I’m ruled by fear/And losing all that I hold dear/But it’s alright/Something good will come around/This idiotic make believe/That I’ll be the man I want to be/But it’s alright/The light is gone/Too weak/I need a friend/I see it/Won’t leave it alone/Believe this or so I’m told/Don’t, but I need to/And it’s OK/Take it from me/Are we just fucked to live and die unknown/Living with a ghost.”  Again, that message of accepting the situation but seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is echoed, just in a different way.  That uplifting message couples with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement to make clear why this song is such a key addition to Nothing in the Dark.  It is just one of the songs that makes the album stand out in this year’s field of new punk and pop punk records.  ‘Even If I’ve Lost,’ the record’s finale, is another example of the album’s strength.

‘Even If I’m Lost’ clocks in at just above the two-minute mark.  To be precise, its run time is two minutes, 14-seconds.  In that short time, the band manages to impress just as much here as at any other point in the record’s run.  That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  This full-throttle work is comparable to works from Pennywise, Rancid and plenty of other punk bands in terms of its sound and stylistic thanks to its guitar riff, precision time keeping and vocal delivery.  Working through this song without a lyrics sheet to reference, the lyrics are difficult to fully decipher.  What can be deciphered without lyrics is that the song seems to deliver a message similar to that of the album’s opener.

One can hear at least to a point, Scholz making statements about things not getting any easier, but trying “even if I’ve lost.”  There’s also a mention of recognizing how “everyone around you betrays” and “the biggest detriment” being something having to do with “common sense.”  Again, not having a lyrics sheet to reference, some of the words get lost amid the instruments.  However, enough of this is decipherable to know that the song seems to deliver another uplifting message, this time of not giving p, despite the situation.  To that end, if that is in fact the message being delivered, then message and received and appreciated.  Together with the song’s positive vibe and fiery energy, the song in whole proves in its own way why the album is worth hearing.  It is just one more of the album’s most notable songs, too.  The record’s title track does its own part to exhibit the album’s strength.

‘Nothing in the Dark’ offers audiences an acoustic performance from Scholz.  It is just him and his guitar here, which makes for its own impact.  The song clocks in at just over two-and-a-half minutes, but even in that short time, the emotion delivered through Scholz’s vocals and guitar playing translates well.  Together with the lyical content, that impact increases.

Scholz sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m still awake/Eyes are bleeding/Pain I never wanted to know/You’re finding peace/Sweetly Sleeping/but you know how this one goes/When I go out I’ll be sure/That I go out alone/We can be two lonely people/the way it was before/My body shakes/Not f****** dealing/Wait for me to go…but you know how this one goes/When I go out/I’ll be sure/That I go out alone/We can be two lonely people/The way it was before.”  The rest of the song continues in similar fashion with the noted statement about an obvious breakup between a couple.  There is a certain intensity in Scholz’s voice as he sings some of the lines.  When it is juxtaposed against that simple approach to the song’s arrangement, the emotional impact makes for that much more strength.  Considering that impact, when the song is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes the album a record that is sure to appeal to any punk and pop punk fan.

Mercy Music’s new album Nothing in the Dark is a work that punk and pop punk fans alike will agree is worth hearing at least once.  That is proven through the album’s musical and lyrical content.  As evidenced here, the musical arrangements are catchy and infectious while the lyrical content is accessible in its own right, adding even more to the record’s appeal.  All thee of the songs addressed here serve to support the noted statements.  When they are considered with the rest of the album’s works, the whole becomes a work that punk and pop punk fans will agree deserves its own moment in the light.  The album is available now.  More information on the record is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.mercymusicforyou.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mercymusicforyou

Twitter: http://twitter.commercymusic1

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Wanted Noise Debuts ‘Go Get’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Independent surf punk band Wanted Noise debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band — Sury Sherman (vocals, guitar)), Jim Salamack (bass, vocals), Caleb Atkins (guitar, vocals), and Taylor Wagnerowski (drums) — debuted the lyric video for its new song ‘Go Get‘ Thursday.  The video takes a minimalist approach, presenting the song’s lyrics on an animated chalk board.  The board is the only image on the otherwise white screen.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Go Get’ is an up-tempo composition whose guitar, drums, and vocals lend themselves collectively to comparisons to works from fellow punk rock band Rancid.

The song’s lyrical theme encourages listeners to never give up on their dreams, according to Salamack.

“This single speaks for the youth and adults who never grew out of doing what they’re passionate about,” said Salamack. “Not giving up on your dreams by giving in to what society thinks is best for us. This song also speaks for this band. We met in college, got our degrees, but at the end of the day, we still would much rather be on stage sharing our experiences with our fans. Hopefully our music can inspire others, as the bands of our generation did for us.”

“’Go Get’ was a saying my high school track coach Gary Sanchez used to tell us at practice,” added Salamack. “If you want it bad enough, you need to go get, go get,” forgetting the ‘it.’ I swear he knew that it would spark a song title one day.”

‘Go Get’ is available to stream and download through Spotify and Apple Music.

More information on Wanted Noise’s new single is available along with all of the band’s news at:

 

Website: http://wantednoise.bandcamp.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wantednoiseca

 

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Junkstars’ Latest LP Is A Win For Punk Purists Everywhere

Courtesy:  Despotz Records

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Sweden is one of the richest nations in the world in terms of its musical culture.  Originally known for bringing ABBA to the world so many decades ago, a lot has changed for the northern European nation since then.  Now it is known as one of the world’s major centers for “extreme metal.”  Bands such as In Flames, Amon Amarth, Meshuggah, Soilwork, and others have and continue to call Sweden home.  Dark prog-metal acts such as Leprous, Evergrey, and Opeth among others also call Sweden home.  And of course there is also the far more extreme black metal bands such as Ghost, Marduk, Naglfar, etc.  Considering the broad spectrum of metal that Sweden has to offer the world one would think that other than save for ABBA, metal seems to be the only music that Sweden has to offer.  Enter Junkstars.  The Stockholm , Sweden-based trio is one of a handful of acts that is trying to change the musical culture and reputation of its home state.  With two albums already under its collective belt since 2012 the band has already made quite the impact on audiences; audiences not just in its home country but around the world.  It added to that impact late in 2015 with the release of its third full-length studio recording This Means War.  Considering the album’s overall sound and its lyrical themes one can only assume that the album’s title is a direct statement about its mission of change.  It might not be.  That is just this critic’s own take on the album’s title.  Regardless of whether or not this was the aim with the album’s title, its overall presentation presents a band that (to this critic) has clearly declared war on that reputation established by all of those other Swedish bands.  And if the band’s latest album is any indication Junkstars is definitely winning that war.

Junkstars’ new album This Means War is an explosive salvo from the Stockholm , Sweden-based punk rock trio.  This is regardless of whether or not the title of the band’s new album is meant to be a statement about the band’s identity among all of Sweden ’s various metal acts.  The album’s opener ‘’Kill the Ravens’ is just one song that exemplifies this argument.  The song is a no-nonsense composition into which the band wastes no time launching with its pure punk rock sound.   That sound in question is one that fans of Rancid, Social Distortion, The Distillers, and others of that ilk will appreciate.  It is just part of what makes this song stand out in the bigger picture of the album’s presentation.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note.  The song’s lyrical content comes across as a social commentary of sorts.  That can be inferred as front man Max Malmquist sings, “Raise your walls and seal your fate/Either way it’s all too late/You have it all/You have control/But deep inside/You’re weak and small/All alone within your gates/Filled by greed/And fed by hate/You have it all/You have control/You’ve isolated your on souls.”  The song’s lead verse, it comes across as a damning indictment of the world’s elitists and their associated collective mindsets.  The song’s second verse plays even more into that theme as Malmquist sings defiantly, “The time has come for you to pay/Cause we can’t stand it one more day/With strength in numbers we’ll prevail/We’re organized and we won’t fail/We’ll burst right through your city walls/And occupy your royal halls/You had it all/You had control/But now your empire shall fall.”  One can almost see Malmquist and his band mates—Tobbe Ljungqvist (bass, vocals) and Mathias Wanneberg (drums)—pumping their fists along with their audiences as they sing these lines.  It plays into the band’s statement about the aim of the songs to address the world’s ugliness. It also echoes just one of the familiar themes presented in so many classic punk anthems that have come before.  Keeping all of this in mind it serves to show why ‘Kill The Ravens’ is just one example of what makes This Means War a standout pure punk album.  ‘Snakebites’ is another example of what makes this record stand out in the punk rock field.

‘Kill The Ravens’ is a key example of what makes Junkstars’ new album This Means War stand out among 2015’s vast sea of punk offerings.  It is just one example of what makes the album stand out, too.  ‘Snakebites’ is another of the album’s key compositions.  The Rancid influence noted before is front and center in this song in regards to its musical arrangement.  From the song’s driving tempo, established by Mathias Wannenberg to Malmquist’s equally up-tempo guitar line and Ljungqvist’s low end, the song’s musical arrangement will impress any punk purist.  The same can be said of Malmquist’s own vocal delivery.  His gravelly delivery is just as similar to that of Rancid’s own front man Tim Armstrong.  That’s just half of what makes this song stand out in the grand scheme of the album’s musical picture.  The seeming social commentary exhibited in the song’s lyrical content makes the song stand out even more.  That can be argued as Malmquist sings here, “A thousand years of ignorance/A lifetime of decay/Despite a million warnings/We face ourselves today/Bring your friends/Listen up/It’s already too late/Gather a militia and resurrect our fate/Our actions led to this/Therefore stand your ground today/Get it straight/Gear up/Don’t look the other way.”  Malmquist comes across here as saying that mankind has put itself in its current position “despite a million warnings.”  And because of what mankind has done throughout the eons there’s no turning back.  Man must stand up and take the chance to make things right.  That can be argued even more as he sings in the song’s chorus with his band mates, “Snakebites (snakebites) coming our way/Blood stains (and shattered brains) all over the place/We won’t (no, we won’t) become their prey/Snakebites (snakebites)/It’s Judgment Day.”  It’s a straight forward message.  And the fact that it is delivered so clearly in such a small space of time (the song’s run time comes in just under three minutes) is even more impressive.  Malmquist didn’t try to get verbacious with the message.  He got right to the point and made it relatively accessible for listeners.  The song’s driving musical arrangement added to that, the whole of the song shows why it is another key addition to the album.  It is still not the last of the album’s prime compositions, either.  ‘Old Man’s Dead House’ is one more of the album’s key moments.

‘Kill The Ravens’ and ‘Snakebites’ are both key examples of what makes Junkstars’ new album This Means War stand out in the punk rock community.  That is thanks to both their musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  The same applies to ‘Old Man’s Dead House.’  This song, seemingly about youthful rebellion, is another of the album’s key compositions.  Listening to this song, audiences will again note its musical arrangement.  That arrangement borders on pop punk.  But still maintains its pure punk identity even with its catchy, radio ready sound.  That balance of pure punk and radio friendly rock is just one portion of what makes this song stand out.  The song’s anecdote about an old man’s house (the forbidden zone so to speak) and the urge to defy that authority is just as important to the song as its musical foundation.  Malmquist sings in this song, “In the town where I was born/Was a house that nobody wants to be in/It was dark/It was cold/And we couldn’t stand the feeling/To get in and explore/To see what’s going on/What’s behind of the door/Let’s take it to the floor/They all told us not to go/And we didn’t have the rights to/But who cares what you get told/When you’re young and want that feeling.”  That is as clear as a song can get in its message.  It isn’t so much about the house as it is about that coming of age through which everyone goes.  In this case that coming of age was attributed at least in part to exploring a creepy old house that was off limits.  Part of growing up for anyone is testing one’s boundaries and defying authority at least to a point.  That Malmquist and company would base that coming of age story in such fashion makes that coming of age message all the more entertaining.  The combination of the wonderfully told tale and the song’s equally infectious musical foundation makes even clearer why this song is another of This Means War’s key compositions.  Together with the other noted songs and those not noted here, all nine songs join together to make This Is War an album that is winning the war against the watered down, radio ready, bubble gum pop punk that is currently polluting the world’s airwaves.

Junkstars’ new album This Means War is a win in the musical war against all of the watered down, radio ready, bubble gum pop punk that is currently polluting the world’s airwaves.  This is clear from the album’s beginning to its end.  From the seemingly damning indictment of the world’s elitists in the album’s opener ‘Kill The Ravens’ to the alleged social commentary of ‘Snakebites’ to the catchy coming of age story within ‘Old Man’s Dead House’ this record presents plenty for punk purists to appreciate.  That includes not just those songs but the rest of the compositions not noted here.  All things considered This Is War shows in the long run to be another win in the musical war against all of the watered down, radio ready, bubble gum pop punk that is currently polluting the world’s airwaves.  It is a record that every punk purist will want to hear and should hear at least once if not more.  It can be ordered now in a variety of bundle packs via Junkstars’ online store at http://despotz.bigcartel.com/artist/junkstars.  More information on the band’s album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.junkstarsofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/junkstarsofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thejunkstars

 

 

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Me First And The Gimme Gimmes Coming To The 2015 Punk Rock Bowling And Music Festival

Courtesy:  BSG PR

Courtesy: BSG PR

Veteran punk rock band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes will perform at this year’s annual Punk Rock Bowling an Music Festival.

Festival organizers announced today that the San Francisco-based band has been added to the Club Show lineup for this year’s festival. Also announced as special guests are: Manic Hispanic and The All Brights, which features members of The Loved Ones and Good Riddance. The All Brights’ performance at this year’s festival marks the band’s debut. Tickets for the show, which will be on Friday, May 22nd, go on sale this Saturday, April 11th at 4pm ET/1pm PST. Doors open at 9pm PST/12am ET.

This year’s Club Show schedule consists of seventeen shows and kicks off Friday, May 22nd. It will feature more than sixty bands through the course of the weekend-long schedule. All shows are 21 and over with valid ID. Some of the other bands tapped for the club show schedule at this year’s festival are: Frank Turner (performing solo), GBH, The Rezillos, Laura Jane Grace, 7 Seconds, Hagfish, 88 Fingers Louie, Icons of Filth, Aggrocats (featuring members of Aggrolites and Hepcat), Street Dogs, English Beat among others. The festival’s three main stages will be headlined by Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, and Refused. Also scheduled to appear this year are: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Murder City Devils, Conflict, Turbonegro, Bad Manners, and Sick Of It All, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Anti-Flag, Swingin’ Utters, A Wilhelm Scream, The Business, Bombshell Rocks, The Muffs, Mahones, Sniper 66, PEARS, I.R.A., Success!, Get Dead, Avenue Rockers, Eliza Battle, Sounds of Threat, and Battle Born.

The festival in whole is an all-ages, all-day event that will include food, drink, and clothing vendors. Along with all of the vendors and bands expected at this year’s festival, fans can take part in the festival’s bowling tournament, pool parties, poker tournament, and music and comedy shows.

Audiences can get more information on the 2015 Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival and purchase tickets online at:

Website: http://www.punkrockbowling.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Punk-Rock-Bowling-and-Music-Festival/288077407910557

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PRBCCommittee

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Courtesy:  BSG PR

Courtesy: BSG PR

Full Band Lineup Announced For 2015 Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival

Courtesy:  BSG PR

Courtesy: BSG PR

The organizers of the annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival have announced the complete lineup for the 2015 edition of the festival.

The festival’s organizers announced previously that Rancid, Refused, and Dropkick Murphys will share the bill as the headliners for this year festival.  It was also previously announced that The Muffs, Bad Manners, Swingin’ Utters, Discharge, and The Business had all been tapped to perform this year.  Now it has been announced that along with all of those bands, another group of bands has been added to this year’s festival.  Those bands are:  Sick Of It All, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Anti-Flag, A Wilhelm Scream, Mahones, Sniper 66, PEARS, I.R.A., Success!, Get Dead, Avenue Rockers, Eliza Battle, Sounds of Threat, and Battle Born.  Festival founder Mark Stern was upbeat when discussing the official announcement.  He discussed not only his pleasure at having all of the bands for this year’s festival in place, but the importance of having them on board.  “We are very excited about the 2015 lineup” he said.  “We strive to keep things fresh and over 80% of these bands have never appeared at PRB. With bands from all over the States as well as Sweden, UK, Canada and even Columbia, it’s going to be another classic Punk Rock Bowing weekend!”

The 2015 edition of the three-day festival will take place over the course of May 23rd – 25thin Las Vegas, NV.  It will be held on 7th Street and Stewart Avenue near the city’s famed Fremont Street.  All of the latest updates on band lineup, ticket information, and more is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.punkrockbowling.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Punk-Rock-Bowling-and-Music-Festival/288077407910557

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/PRBCommittee

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.