It seemed like underground music spent most of 2019 trying to decide what it wants to be. We hedged our bets and focused our efforts on clickbait covers, interviewing cool bands we like, and Nicolas Cage memes. The future is a bit hazy, but here’s what cut through the noise for us:
It’s time to pour yourself some eggnog and face the bitterness of another holiday season. Most xmas songs are blatant cash grabs or deeply problematic, but there are some that really capture the bleak hopelessness that only the holidays can bring! So this year, skip the Michael Bublé, and ruin xmas with these holiday classics:
There are a lot of crappy punk covers out there, we just recently made one. Here is a list of covers that do more than throw distortion and ‘punk’ beats at the hits. Only one song per band. The cover must be a punk cover.
Nonstarter play a throwback style of melodic skate-punk that harkens back to the spirit of Bigwig, Belvedere, or Downway; reading like a love letter to all those snowboarding videos and mid-90s punk compilations.
Filthy Hearts are a punk band that write the kind of anthemic scream-alongs you’d stumble upon at Fest or Pouzza. Made out of former members of the Larimers, Vice Dolls, Party Like Thieves, and the A-OKs; ‘Beyond Repair‘ shares some semblance to it’s ancestors, but paints a darker picture, touching on alcoholism, depression, and the aftermath of failed dreams.
It’s been a zonkers year for us! We put out an EP, made 3 music videos, covered a KISS song, played CMW, played NXNE, played JOPOFEST, and made a bunch of friends along the way.
Ramones are the beach boys of punk rock and the inventors of pop punk. While I feel like they never made a perfect album, they never made a bad one. I’ve always been impressed with what they managed to accomplished while working within the constraints they set for themselves. Not being ‘musicians’, as Johnny would say, never stopped them from making great songs.
Moonraker is a band I can relate to. They make me laugh, they make me cry; they kinda feel like the Simpsons mixed with Jawbreaker. They do a great job channeling the comedy and tragedy of youth into the familiar template of midwestern punk. While I can definitely detect trace amounts of Dillinger Four and Lawrence Arms in their blood, Moonraker have managed to carve out a niche of their own consisting of endless pessimism and an internal monologue crueler than Micheal Jackson’s dad.
90s skate punk nostalgia can be a mixed bag. With a lot of today’s bands sounding like NUFAN c-sides or crappy high school bands, you sometimes wonder if there is any room for growth left in skatepunk. Nerdlinger pull it off on there new album ‘Happy Place’, capturing the golden age of Fatwreck without all the tedium typically attributed to throwbacks of the era.
We covered a Kiss song recently, in prepping for it I fell into a dark hole that involved me listening to all 20 (+ EPs, live, solo, etc) of their albums and reading each of their biographies. Between the drunken car crashes, police raids, and trashed hotels, I found some hidden gems and a story of flawed people who faked it until they became the biggest band in the world. Here’s some of the songs I didn’t know about until I dug a little deeper: