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:
It’s been a pretty good year for music. A couple of sleeping giants woke up a dropped their best albums yet; but also some newer bands came out of left field to surprise us.
I’m having anxious feelings with another new Rancid album release looming. I just don’t want be hurt again. I’ve ranked their albums from worst to best to reflect on what makes for a good Rancid album. I only counted studio full-lengths on this list; no EPs, splits, side projects, etc.
There’s a lot of bad pop-punk out there. Listening to the radio, you might get the impression that there’s no depth to it. I decided to make a list of personal favourites, rather than the consensus favourites (Descendents, Ramones) all the other listicles copy and paste. Hopefully this can prove to you that there’s more to the genre the skinny jeans and teenage angst.
Power-violence can be a tough jar of pickles to open. With it’s impenetrable song structures, dissonant melodies, and broken telephone production; the genre feels almost set up loose the audience. Blank Side’s EP ‘Etheric’ does a pretty good job making the more challenging elements of the music accessible.
2016 has been weird, Bowie’s dead and Trump’s president. A lot of my favourite bands disappointed me, other bands I thought were just ok, surprised me. Here’s this year’s picks for best music:
Bass players are the puppet masters of the band. Like some kind of wizard behind the curtain, they control everything (tempo, drops, root notes, goatees), but non-musical types can’t even hear them. That’s the trick to being a good bassist; not being noticed for ruining a song. Let’s see who did well:
‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’ was the first Dead Kennedys song I ever heard. In it’s one minute run time, it had more ideas than most other songs:
“You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
Unless you think”