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. Iâ€™ve always been impressed with what they managed to accomplished while working within the constraints they set for themselves. Not being â€˜musiciansâ€™, as Johnny would say, never stopped them from making great songs.
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.
Thereâ€™s a lot of bad pop-punk out there. Listening to the radio, you might get the impression that thereâ€™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 thereâ€™s more to the genre the skinny jeans and teenage angst.
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:
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.
The Malaysian Oi scene a bit of a paradox to your typical basic who only sees the world in ways that CNN and Hollywood allow them to. Outpacing it’s western contemporaries to transcend a foreign subculture, it has turned into something uniquely it’s own. Putting their own local twist to the lyrical themes; it brings new life to a once stagnating genre. Because of the language barrier + no marketing, this music remains fairly scarce in an age of internet abundance.
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:
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.