The Bouncing Souls are like a punk rock fairytale, a high school band that stuck together for over 20 years, rising through the ranks with years of hard work. They’ve certainly progressed over time, but their core sound remains the same throughout their discography. They take influences from all over the punk spectrum, from pop-punk, through Oi!, to hardcore; they touch on all aspects of modern and classic; if any band were just ‘punk’ without any qualifiers or sub-genres it would be them.

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Long songs are dumb. If you’re in a band and contemplating making a 10 minute epic, don’t. 99.9999% of the time it will suck. While you’re jamming away in your 4 minute guitar solo, or screaming along to your 12th chorus; I can tell you that no one is really paying attention and all of the interest is synthetic.

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All the recent Black Flag activity reminds me of the schisms of medieval Christianity or the English war of roses period. There’s a lot of he-said she-said, legal threats, splits/reformations; but in the end, it’s just a bunch of old men arguing over who is the ‘real’ heir to the throne. Read More »

What an odyssey the career of Against Me! has been; from anarcho-folkpunk, through mid-western americana, to transgendered themed rock’n’roll. Ever since quitting the teenage politics of anarchism, Tom/Laura has been missing a muse or subject to his/her writing. ‘Searching for a Former Clarity’ was mostly about fan back-lash to selling out, ‘New Wave’ about the stale nature of modern music, ‘White Crosses’ was the band running out of lyrical steam. The most interesting moments on these records we’re the brief allusions to his double life as a women.

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Holy crap, the last time this blog was updated was for the ‘best music of 2012′! I don’t even really have an excuse, I’ve just been sitting around playing video games. Hopefully 2014 will feature more frequent updates (we have a few ideas on the back-burner…), we do plan to bring out of long-awaited-highly- anticipated-debut album in the next few months… so that’s something I guess.

Anyways like every year, I feel like this year is the worst year for music yet. I’m not gonna even go into it this time cause it just makes me feel old. Here are the few shreds of dignity we managed to find in this year’s turd pile:

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It’s been a pretty average year for music, not as bad as last year, but overall still pretty mediocre. What’s most notable to me is that this year lacks a real front runner, or a new band to blast out of the margins and take the punk world by storm. The list features a lot of established bands and their 3rd or 4th album. There are some new bands and first albums on the list but I would classify most of them as underdogs who I found by accident and aren’t universally known. There also seems to be no movements or emerging trends (mid 1990′s skate punk, mid 2000′s folk-punk, etc.), just echos from yesteryear. Then again, I could be just getting cynical and angry with age, time for my quarter-life crisis jazz phase I guess.

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We’ve already pronounced the album to be dead, and that filler songs are pointless in this age. It should come as no surprise that we don’t plan on pursuing the album form in the foreseeable future. We feel that the best way forward will be for us to release short EPs on a regular basis. Similar to what Black Flag did in the beginning.

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With the release of our 2nd EP we’ve decided to take a bit of an odd ball pricing strategy. Our last EP was available for free streaming, download, and physically. While we were happy to share our songs without charging anyone, we noticed some things:

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I was watching a documentary about the drummer of Hole, Patty Schemel, titled “Hit So Hard”. It featured a lot of Courtney Love screen time. Though the movie wasn’t really about her, she wasted no time inflating her significance in the context of women in rock and roll. It’s depressing to think that she is the token go-to reference for female modern rock singers. Here is a list of better role models:

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Husker Du to me represents the bridge between 80s american hardcore punk and 90s alternative. The band began their life as a somewhat generic 80s hardcore band, but evolved into something unique, paving not only their own way but the way for Nirvana, the Pixies, Superchunk, and the Foo Fighters.

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