Basement is a band from the UK that plays gruff post-hardcore with leanings towards emo. They’re pretty reminiscent of bands like Lifetime and Saves The Day, and they get compared to Balance and Composure and Title Fight all the time. These guys are touring the United States this August with Such Gold and Daylight. Here’s the dates, go see them if you get a chance. This album doesn’t really bring anything new or revolutionary to the table, but I think it’s really enjoyable nonetheless. Definitely check it out if you are into any of the aforementioned bands. These guys are going to blow up in that scene, I’m sure of it.

Buy.

Download.

Here’s my second post in the newly started RRC series. Once again, we have a mixtape coming from, in my opinion, the best punk/hardcore band around right now, Fucked Up. This second installment in their series of mixtapes brings more alternate and early takes from the Hidden World era, as well as radio interviews, live performances, and some pretty enjoyable banter. My favorite bits on this tape are the radio interview in which they discuss drug influence on Hidden World and the Protest the Hero dis-track. That’s right, old beef between tech-metal-hardcore Canadian band Protest the Hero and Fucked Up. It’s a pretty enjoyable listen. There’s also a couple of really good tracks by other artists on this one. In particular, their selection of Starjets’ “War Stories” is top-notch. Just like last time, I meticulously cut this myself and scanned the insert for your reading pleasure. Anyway, download this and look forward to the next RRC post, probably for Boat’s Hiss Like Your Idols.

Download.

Buy.

 

 

 

Mockingbird Wish Me Luck come from Kitchener, Ontario. These guys are my new favorite punk band, à la Hot Water Music, RVIVR, Small Brown Bike, etc. They just finished a Canadian tour with the awesome band Sharks, and as far as I know, this is their latest release. It’s only a 2 song 7″, but it packs a serious punch. Trust me, just pick this up if you are into any of the aforementioned bands. These songs are going to be on heavy rotation for me this summer, I can already tell.

Download.

Buy.

P.S. Go pick up their 2009 release “Goodbye Debris” right here while you’re at it.

After another dormancy of a few years, Raein is back with another full-length record. The reigning kings of the European screamo scene return with their best material to date. Where other bands within this same vein tend to rely on conventions, Raein discards and looks elsewhere for inspiration. Raein truly proves that on this album. This record sounds more inspired by bands such as Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. than any 90s emo or hardcore bands. Bended notes, feedback, and walls of distortion are as common as the clean guitar parts, and each bit is highlighted by the production of this beautiful record. The prevalent bass adds a certain groove to this record that many within this genre lack. Shared vocal duties work extremely well for Raein. Most lines are done by both vocalists, adding noticeable elements of vocal interplay when one rises above the other. Don’t snooze on this one, it has the potential to be regarded as the magnum opus of European screamo.

Pick up a copy when this comes out. The entire project was self-produced and your support helps to cover some of those pesky production costs.

Download.

I am not entirely sure what to say about this album. Small Brown Bike are a band that’s basically reached cult status in the No Idea Records-esque punk/post-hardcore scene. When I was at the Fest 8, I met people who flew from all over the globe to see the band play a reunion set. After splitting up in 2004, they’ve reunited and released a new full length. If you are familiar with the band, this album will seem like a natural progression. It feels more modern, but it’s still very much like the old stuff. If you don’t know Small Brown Bike, picture the middle ground between gruff, emotive punk like Hot Water Music and more intense emo/post-hardcore bands like Castevet (or CSTVT, stupid damn name change). Yeah, that’s all I got. Check it out. There’s a reason these guys are so influential.

Preorder.

Download.

More Cattle Drums

February 24, 2011

I have watched this video at least 5 times today. The song hooked me almost instantly and hasn’t let go yet.

Tiny Engines is releasing Cattle Drum’s amazing debut The Boy Kisser Sessions with 3 extra songs. You can buy all the songs on itunes, or for only $4 on Tiny Engine’s bandcamp page. The 3 new songs, like the rest of the release, are really awesome. This band can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned. The band says that they will be recording a full-length this summer. I’m stoked.

Click here to stream and/or buy the entire release.

Caught these dudes with Algernon Cadwallader and Big Kids in Portland back in January. Personally, they reminded me of Tigers Jaw crossed with Against Me! Pretty good live show, to boot. I guess this band is now a combination of original members of Lee Corey Oswald and the band Business Day. I’m not sure. Also, the vocalist of this band is in Carrion Spring, who did a 8″ split withTe Lloraría Un Puto Río, The Discord Of A Forgotten Sketch, and Beau Navire last year. Cool. Tom May of Menzingers sums this band up much better than I could:

“Jovi meets Slayer meets Natalie Merchant! Wait, that’s not right. Bolsheviks meets Orwellian Socialism meets post-civil war reconstruction era lingering racism! Wait, that’s definitely not right. Apparently I’m terrible at comparing existing artists as a means to describe Lee Corey Oswald. That’s a good thing. The boys swap genres like partners at an end of the world orgy. Punk rock, folk, indie rock, and rock and roll all meet up for a humble yet humbling experience when you grant your ears and eyes the privilege of their experience. Lyrically the boys (Gods, really) seem to have found a pinpoint way of telling the stories and sharing the feelings of our modern, overly informed while under-informed, seemingly lost generation. As we stumble our way through the darkest regions of overbearing consumerism and moral ambiguity, it’s voices like these that vocalize the poignant truths we all feel but lose when we try to project them. I mean all that, it totally sounds like a bunch of douchy garbage, but fuck it, they are great. Their harmonies are great, the songs are there, and they’re pretty good looking too. Oh yeah, beer. They’re a haven for drinking fans with a music problem.”

I can’t stop listening to “These Four Walls.” Definitely reminiscent of earlier Against Me! Check that one out for sure.

Check out these downloads from their bandcamp page (set your own price!) and order their new cassette, Let’s Talk About Awesome Feelings. I did.

BUY Let’s Talk About Awesome Feelings!

Demo 2010.

Sun Songs.

 

Sharks – Show of Hands

December 29, 2010

Here’s something a little different. Sharks are a British d.i.y. punk band that are blowing people away with their first official EP. Recently, I’ve been obsessed with The Clash, and I couldn’t have heard this band at a better time. The singer sounds exactly like Joe Strummer. The band plays a mix of classic punk (The Clash and The Buzzcocks) and modern melodic punk (The Gaslight Anthem and The Hold Steady) but makes it all their own. “Show of Hands” is a confident and refreshing debut from a band with a lot of potential. I’m excited to see where this band goes in the future.

Buy.

Download.

I’ve been waiting for this split for a long time, and the waiting has really paid off. 4 dynamic songs from 2 very different bands (sonically, at least). At first, it might seem like a weird combination, but after a few listens, the split totally makes sense. Splits are so much better when the bands don’t sound like carbon copies of each other, anyway. “Poison Ivy” is definitely the stand out track for me. Scratch your mind.

Buy.

Download.

This band came out of left field for me and ended up kicking me in the side of the head. I think I initially hesitated to listen due to the fact I thought their name was dumb. Oops. There’s a lesson to be learned here; and no, it isn’t “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” because it isn’t a cover, it’s a band name. The lesson is that life is full of regrettable decisions and life goes on.

So much solid material here in an all-too-short 14 minute package. Cattle Drums, for some reason, remind me of what Nada Surf could have sounded like if they decided to grow some bigger balls while writing their song “Popular.” The vocals are a combination of talking, singing, and shouting. The best description I can come up with is that Cattle Drums take Brainworms’ sound and sprinkle some extra twinkle top of the whole recipe, filling the void that Brainworms left in my heart when they broke up.

” Sluts and Coconuts” and “Two Pigeons” are the two shining moments on this brilliant ep. “Two Pigeons” has a rollicking country sound to it, enhanced by banjo plucking and gang sing-a-longs. Despite ambiguous lyrics, the chorus for “Sluts and Coconuts” sends shivers up and down my spine. You’ll see what I mean.

From what I can tell, these guys are part of that whole scene with Sirs and Zona Mexicana which seems to be really burgeoning right now. Everything coming out of there puts an awesome spin on the midwest emo sound. Check them out and order a copy of their EP with the money you have left over after buying your P. Diddy shrimping boat.

EDIT: Haha. I just found a punknews.org review for this that also mentions Nada Surf’s “Popular.” I swear I didn’t find that until after I wrote this. I’m glad the feeling is mutual though.

Buy.

Myspace.

Download.