Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Pears - Snowflake

  Pears first featured on this Blog last year with their excellent cover of The Ramones' Judy Is A Punk (  Since then, they've been building up a reputation as being one of the most exciting new bands around.

  From New Orleans, they feature Zach Quinn (vocals), Brian Pretus (guitar/vocals), Alex Talbot (bass) and Jarret Nathan (drums). Currently signed to Fat Wreck Chords, they've recently followed up stellar debut album Go To Prison with a new single called Letters To Memaw. Check out the single and album here :

  Featured on the Going Nowhere Fat comp and the new single, this is Snowflake.....

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Comrades - Lice Bingo

  Do you think the songs in this blog are a little too poppy, maybe you'd prefer something a little noisier once in a while, then this could be the song for you. I'll add the lyrics as without them you'll be at a loss as to what the hell's going on. It sounds like the end of the world with everyone dying horribly. Bloody good it is too.

  Comrades are New York City's finest crust/folk/ska/punk tribe, they previously featured in this blog last year ( and they're back again due to the release of their new video (a video that'll go down well with any skaters amongst you).

  Taken from their excellent We Got This!!! album  ( (,  this is Lice Bingo........

They gave you a funeral, but not a wake your asleep and you don't realize how much they take from your soul just another hole to fill with empty promises and words and every dollar that you spend is one more that you have to earn, it's an endless cycle no one learns. 

Yo requerdo risa 
as the cities burned 
Yo requerdo risa 
at the end of the world 

bad habbbits bad habbits bad habbits getting worse 
self serenading rainy days 
lying facedown in the dirt 
my friends say i should get some help 
but getting better just feels worse 

Yo requerdo risa 
as the cities burned 
Yo requerdo risa 
at the end of the world 

brutish tendancies lead me away from anticipating, affectionate nights, new conversations, with hope continoulsly deflating that anyone can fathom rewiring, undomesticating we're all wrong wrong and backwards leaving books unread, smiles turned down, knives unsharpened and brains unfed, you'd say i'm not a hero for anything worthy on the side of the road beat up anxious and dirty

Monday, 28 September 2015

Ashtray - Punk Rock Candy Mountain

 Big Rock Candy Mountain is a folk song that was first recorded by Harry McClintock way back in 1928. It's a song about a hobo's ideal vision of paradise that's been re recorded many times since by people like Burl Ives and Dorsey Burnette. A punk version of the song by The Restarts is a favourite of mine (

  The version I'm posting today is by Santa Rosa band Ashtray. Inspired by the likes of Operation Ivy, Blatz, Joan Jett etc they got together in 2002 and as far as I'm aware are still a going concern despite not currently being overly active.

  If you want to check them out they have their Power Of Positive Drinking album from 2008 up on bandcamp :

  In a land where all the cops have wooden legs and little streams of alcohol come trickling down the rocks, this is Punk Rock Candy Mountain.....

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Hum Hums - London

  On their Facebook page, The Hum Hums have a large list of influences. It's a list that includes many of your punk favourites; Stiff Little Fingers, Operation Ivy, The Vibrators, Ramones, Descendents etc but it also includes acts that were much more pop orientated like The Archies, Bay City Rollers, Shangri-Las, Jan And Dean, 1910 Fruitgum Company, Herman's Hermits......

  Hailing from Saitama, Japan, The Hum Hums combine elements of all their influences to produce a heady brew of infectious bubblegum pop punk. A 3 piece comprising Satoru Maruko (guitar/vocals), Takahiro Onoue (bass/vocals), Tomoaki Makamura (drums/backing vocals), they formed in 2010 and released debut album Teenage Loser in 2013. Now they're back with the follow up, Back To Front, which is out on Waterslide Records :

  Currently touring America, they've just released a new video for their song London. It's a delight.......

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Fallout - Talkin' Punk Rock Civil War

  The Fallout are a politically charged punk rock band from Toronto, Canada. They claim a kinship with bands like Stiff Little Fingers, The Jam, D.O.A., Moral Crux etc, all bands that play with a similar upbeat tempo and who've penned many a socially concious song between them.

  If they sound like your cup of tea (and to be honest, if they don't why are you reading this blog?), there's a great back catalogue of their music awaiting your attention here : 

  The song I'm posting today can be found on 2004's Turning Revolution Into Money album and it's a rallying call for you all to get out into your local community and make a change by getting involved. If all you do is sing along at the shows of your favourite bands, nothing is ever going to change for the better, it's actions not words that'll bring about a revolution. Starting off with a Woody Guthrie soundbite, this is Talkin' Punk Rock Civil War.......

"Now, boys, you've come to the hardest time.
The boss will try to bust your picket line.
He'll call out the police, the National Guard,
They'll tell you it's a crime to have a union card.
They'll raid your meetin', they'll hit you on the head,
They'll call every one of you a goddam red,
Unpatriotic, Japanese spies, sabotaging national defense!

That if you don't let red-baiting break you up,
And if you don't let stoolpigeons break you up,
And if you don't let vigilantes break you up,
And if you don't let race hatred break you up,
You'll win. What I mean, take it easy, but take it!"

Please don’t get excited cause I’m not keeping score
of the chances you’ve blown and opportunities ignored
to help the ones you love and say you care for
while you talk righteously all about it

And it ain’t getting better in fact it’s getting worse
poor are getting poorer the meek inheriting the earth
while here in the America’s we’re still giving birth
to the notion we’re all created equal

Now I don’t think you understand what you’re fighting for
Our music, poetry and politics don’t lead to a cure
We need more than talkin” punk rock civil war

Please don’t take me wrong, don’t get pissed off
but the injustice and violence that you think you can stop
continues everyday as we sing our protest songs

Talk without action produces no results
self-gratifying lifestyles removing any doubt
the chimes of freedom have long wrung out
in a world where direct action counts


Friday, 25 September 2015

Top 10 Songs Chosen By John Robb (The Membranes, Goldblade)

  Last week I sent out a few requests for top 10's to people who's music I've enjoyed over the years and whom I thought would come up with great lists that I could share with you all. One of the first to reply was John Robb who doesn't really need an introduction although I gave The Membranes a brief one when I posted a song from their brilliant new album Dark Matter/Dark Energy (

  Today, the band are in Tallinn, Estonia, performing the album at the Membranes Universe Event where they'll be backed by the 30 piece all woman Kammernaiskoor Sireen choir. Not your typical punk gig, not your typical punk band.

  The album is going to be remixed by a number of top artists, including Youth (Killing Joke), Therapy, Neubauten, Bad Seeds, The Pop Group and many others. You can find more details on their Facebook page :

  Besides making some of the most interesting and exciting music around, John also promotes it on his Louder Than War site. It's a place where anything goes as long as it's fresh and exciting. As they say, no borders no boundaries, just looking for the next buzz. Check it out here :

  Back to the top 10, despite being busy preparing for the Estonian gig (where besides performing he's also going to be in conversation with top CERN astro physicist Umut Kose) John was kind enough to reply to my request thus......

"Today I have been listening to........"


 2) T REX - Jupiter Liar

 3) BIG BLACK - Kerosene

 4) FUN DA MENTAL - Oh Hell No Worry


 6) PINS - Dazed By You

 7) ADAM AND THE ANTS - Whip In My Valise

 8)  SWANS - Lunacy


10) EVIL BLIZZARD - Everybody Come To Church

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Moral Crux - Revolution (Shouldn't Be So Hard)

  It's been a long time coming but next week sees the release, on Mooster Records, of the Revolution ep by Moral Crux. From Ephrata, Washington, they released a string of classic albums between 1987-2003 but since then new material has been conspicuous by it's absence.

  The current line up is James T. Farris (vocals), Jamie Jaspers (bass), Jeff Jenkins (guitar) and Scott R. Rozell (drums). The music is the catchy, political punk rock  that you fell in love with way back when and the bandcamp page where you can get more details on the ep is over here.......

  12 years on, they've still got it. This is the lead track, Revolution (Shouldn't Be So Hard)......

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Fuck Off And Dies - Time Traveling

  The Fuck Off And Dies are 3 potty mouthed party animals from Saint Louis, Missouri, who started a band as an excuse to get drunk more often.

  Playing fun, up tempo pop punk that's got a hardcore edge to it, they got together around 6 years ago. They feature vocalist/guitarist Dan Marsala (who's also a member of Story Of The Year), bassist/vocalist Mark Attack and drummer Black Out Down.

  December 2011 saw them release their debut album, Songs In The Key Of Fuck, whilst the Young Punks/Old Drunks ep surfaced in 2014. A couple of months back they released their second long player, Dear Liver. You can check them all out here :

  They don't need no fucking Delorean, they're fucking partying. This is Time Travelling......

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top 10 Songs Chosen By Mike Patton (Vista Blue/The Loblaws/The Robinsons)

  Another great top 10 today, this time around my thanks go out to Mike Patton who's submitted a list that will appeal to fans of power pop and pop punk. Mike's featured on here before with his band Vista Blue, you can snap up their excellent recent ep here :

  Over to you Mike.........

Top 10 Pop-Punk Songs That Have Inspired Me to Write

If you've ever heard any of my bands (Vista Blue, The Loblaws, The Robinsons, etc.), then you know that my music leans way more to the "pop" side of "pop punk." We're mainly inspired by the Beach Boys and Beatles, I guess. And even though we loved being a part of the New Orleans DIY punk scene, I think the term "power pop" describes us just as well as anything else.

So I know I'll blur the genre lines with my top 10 pop punk songs that have inspired me as a songwriter, but here's a list anyway!

10. The Decibels - Poor Sidney
The Decibels are definitely power pop, but we listened to them a lot when we first started the Robinsons, along with a heavy rotation of mostly pop punk stuff. And not that you'd be able to tell due to our lack of execution, but they even gave us some great advice about home recording and guitar sounds when we were recording one of our first albums. Their whole Big Sounds album is wonderful.

9. Ashtray Babyhead - Elaine, Elaine
Also not a pop punk band, but I always saw them as a more pop punk version of Weezer, one of our all time favorites. I loved their melodies and chord changes, and I can point to several of my songs directly inspired by their first two albums. (You may have heard of this same band as The Kicks, after they randomly decided to change their name while on tour with Superdrag.)

8. Groovie Ghoulies - Tunnel of Love
We played with the Ghoulies in 2000, and I hadn't known a lot about them. But I immediately fell in love with their blend of horror, pop punk, positivity, and fun. I think they helped open us up to the idea of writing lyrics about the things we enjoyed.

7. Travoltas - Pray For Sun
The Travoltas blew us away with amazing melodies and harmonies on each and every track.

6. Kung Fu Monkeys - Last Day of School
I was also way late to the party when it comes to KFM, and it's been one of my biggest regrets. When we first met Timbo from Mutant Pop and agreed to do the Loblaws record, he sent me all of the KFM stuff he had, and it's all I listened to for months. While we're not writing as much pop punk these days, I know James's music would've inspired me to write better pop punk songs if I'd discovered it years earlier. It's a shame this band didn't get more recognition.

(I wrote a sequel to this track for the Robinsons' Sunflower album in 2010. You can find it here: )

5. Second Saturday - Forty-Nine Percent
This song is written by Wyatt, my Loblaws bandmate. We met on AOL and became great friends, and this is the first song he sent me. It was originally recorded by his Mississippi band, the Pendletones. This version is by Second Saturday, which also features Todd from Vista Blue/Loblaws/Robinsons. Wyatt is the best songwriter I know, and even if most of his stuff is not pop punk either, he's constantly helped me step up my game.

4. Huntingtons - Growing Up Is No Fun
This was one of those times that I bought an album at Tower Records just because of the cover. In this case, they guy was wearing an MTX shirt, which settled it right there. I couldn't believe how good it was! A band that wrote about fun stuff, kept it simple, and sounded GREAT. Within a week or so, we tracked down their whole catalog and devoured it.

3. The Queers - I Can't Get Over You
There's not much to say about the Queers. Like us, Joe was the ultimate Beach Boys fan and didn't care if people respected that or not. His pop songs are the best there are in pop punk.

2. MTX - With My Looks and Your Brains
I might never come close to his level, but Dr. Frank is my constant reminder to make the lyrics mean something to someone, even if it's just me. My goal is usually to make the lyrics fun or to make a song get stuck in someone's head. Dr. Frank nails BOTH every time, and it's scary.

1. Ramones - 7-11

There's a chance that none of the songs on this list would even exist without the Ramones, right?

I met her at the 7-11
Now I'm in 7th heaven
Tell me, tell me
Can this be true
I never thought I'd ever
meet a girl like you

She was standing by the Space Invaders
So I said can I see you later
Yeah we went for a little spin
Down to the Holiday Inn

We was young and in love
We was young and in love
And you're the only girl
I'm ever thinking of

We went down to the record swap
The kids were dancing
to the blitzkrieg bop
Bop-shoo-wop shoo-wop shoo-wop
Bop-shoo-wop shoo-wop shoo-wop

What ever happend to the radio
And where did all the fun songs go
Summer fun, with the Beach Boys on
But we all know what went wrong

We was young and in love
We was young and in love
And you're the only girl
I'm ever dreaming of

And so we went down to the dance
Which turned into a whole romance
And after just one night
I never knew that things could be so right

I kissed her and hugged her
And I said good-bye
Last thing I knew
She wouldn't make it alive
Oncoming car went out of control
It crushed my baby
And it crushed my soul
Now all I've got is sorrow and pain
Standing out here in the rain
The crash, shattering glass
The sirens, and pain
Is driving me insane oh-yeah

We was young and in love
We was young and in love
And you're the only girl
I'm ever thinking of
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Monday, 21 September 2015

Scraps - Shoot You Dead

  After impressing with their debut 4 track s/t ep (, London punks Scraps are back with a new release on No Front Teeth Records. It's a split 7" that features a couple of new tracks from Scraps and two from German band Needle Exchange (a band who's debut album can be found here : .

  Influenced by 70's punk rock heroes like The Dead Boys, The Clash, New York Dolls, The Ramones, The Boys etc.... Scraps got together at the end of 2013 and line up with Liam Rudy (vocals/guitar), Bobby Passion (bass/vocals) and Kris Hood (drums/vocals).

  There are 4 versions of the split available here :!product/prd1/4303213735/nftr-169

  This is the video for Shoot You Dead.....

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Fucking Pigs - Herpes Attack

A cautionary tale today, be careful where you stick it!

  I don't know anything about the band featured in today's update other than that they were called Fucking Pigs and that they were recording offensive lo-fi punk n roll songs sometime back in the 90's. It's not really surprising though that I missed them at the time, most people did.

  Now we have the opportunity to discover them, and a host of other obscure 90's acts thanks to the efforts of Black Gladiator and Slovenly Records who have just released a wonderful compilation of songs from the archive of Jaime Paul Lamb. A double lp entitled WE'RE LOUD: 90's Cassette Punk Unknowns, it's a veritable pick and mix of off the radar, outsider anthems that demands your attention. 19 bands, 33 tracks, recorded between 1993-99 on cassette by bands such as Barf Bags, Mega & The Nerdz, Lukey & The Chicken Slitz etc, you can check it out here :

  This is Herpes Attack.......

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Top 10 Songs Chosen By Welly (Artcore Fanzine)

  Following on from yesterday's update, Welly, the lead vocalist of Violent Arrest has been kind enough to submit a top 10 list. He previously featured on this blog with his old band Four Letter Word. Aside from a long career fronting great punk acts he also edits Artcore Fanzine ( First published in January 1986 it's one of hardcore punk's longest running publications.
  As the job of condensing a long running love affair with music down to a mere 10 selections was an impossible task, Welly's top 10 will focus on newer songs from bands that have appeared in the fanzine.

  Over to you Welly..........

Even though I ask every band the dreaded ‘five albums’ question when interviewing them, it’s pretty much impossible to narrow music down to shortlists. So with that in mind, I had to place in some parameters on this, or risk losing my mind. So, here are ten great songs that have grabbed my attention since the turn of the 21st Century, by new bands who I’ve interviewed and have appeared in the zine Artcore, usually as a result of hearing these stop-in-yer tracks. Anyone can trot out a list of classics of yesteryear with the caveat ‘this could all change tomorrow’, so in the spirit of new (ish) music, here’s some examples of how and why punk rock can be just as vital as it ever was, and also a hello to all those who say ‘modern bands can’t write songs’.

SMOGTOWN – I AM THE CANCER (US / 2000)First up is SMOGTOWN. I first heard these Southern Californian beach punks on their 2000 album ‘Fuhrers of the New Wave’, that this opener is from. In the year 2000, I asked old pen pal Mike Clarke of Inflammable Material to recommend me something I’d not heard, and he recommended this. Needless to say, I was hooked. What is so good about this band, even though for some reason they continue to be largely overlooked, is that they brought back that old Californian punk sound without being derivative. And while you can hear that signature geographical sound, they are completely their own band. This album was a concept record, recorded by Duane Peters, but in the process, all the songs got rearranged, slightly skewing the beach gang theme. A lot of the other songs on this record are just as outstanding such as ‘Neighbourhood Brat’, but not much of this album is on YouTube so...


The year 2000 also brought to the world STRIKE ANYWHERE from Richmond, Virginia. Incendiary hardcore full of passion and soaring choruses, and from the get-go on their debut 12”, the opening shouts from this title track definitely woke you up after half a decade of tepid pop punk, and all slap-bang in the middle of a tedious trend of self-indulgent emo; “To live in discontent, anti-establishment. Not by words, or by fashion, by nature. Since the day we were born, if we just look inside each of us, a thousand rebellions sleep.”

DFA from the wilds of Manitoba, that brought us the likes of PERSONALITY CRISIS, STRETCH MARKS and THE UNWANTED, three names that should be recognisable to anyone who ever bought a few BYO records. But DFA took their hardcore velocity to another level, creating a ripping thrash that was both sharp as a tack, and came with questioning lyrics. On ‘Destined For Assimilation’, they say; “this scene has opened my mind, taught me to think, changed my life” and asks about what happens as you get older. Although hardly ever mentioned, DFA were up there with all the other great new bands of the turn of the century such as TEAR IT UP, LAST IN LINE, THE RITES or HOLIER THAN THOU?


If there was modern band that could claim genuine inheritance of the classic Chicago punk sound of old, then it was SHOT BAKER. Mixing the tough working class UK approach of bands like THE EFFIGIES with the soaring anthems of NAKED RAYGUN, then here you have it. On this one, they tackle that age old youth dilemma of wanting to pack up and skip town; “I’m sorry Illinois but I’m leaving, I’m dreaming, I’m gone.” And this was before their two great albums.   


The San Franciso Bay Area’s STRUNG UP were straight out of the gate with a belting hardcore 7” on Kangaroo Records, quickly followed by an album ‘Society Rot In Hell’, and this song featured on both. Handling the timeless punk subject of police, you can hear the strains of other old bands of their locale such as MDC, BAD POSTURE and VERBAL ABUSE. This band had so many great rippers, it’s hard to pick just one, and it could just as easily be skate shredder ‘Christ Air Not Christ’. STRUNG UP stood shoulder to shoulder with the other killer bands of this time such as NIGHTSTICK JUSTICE, DOUBLE NEGATIVE, KNIFE FIGHT or VIOLENT MINDS.

Long Island’s CAPITAL really stood out in an era of metallic hardcore, as they mixed in the tough no nonsense crunch of locals KILL YOUR IDOLS with all the passionate melodic delivery of bands like AVAIL. This song really captures the imagination of anyone who ever discovered the underground, as it talks about something anyone involved can relate to; “it was seventeen years ago, there were three of us. In combat boots, we missed the bus... We were on a mission, to get some records, get some music, get some zines. The people in the store were older, I could tell they were onto something. And now I spend half my life, just chasing that excitement, of hearing something new.” Exactly.

When I first heard Australia’s BURNING SENSATION, I was so taken aback that this song became the title for an international compilation that soon came out with Artcore, of which this link is sadly the only on YouTube, so apologies for the advertising. The tension in this song is palpable, harnessing that fine art of falling apart. With lyrics about inevitable demise, this dark post-punk slow burner mixes the likes of WIPERS and SORRY. The fact that the rest of their only record, is ferocious hardcore more like DEEP WOUND makes it even better.

You’d think that this bunch of skate brats would be from nowhere other than a beach community in eighties California, but no, they’re from the East Coast. Unashamed Dick Dale guitar rides atop scorching hardcore punk of the DEAD KENNEDYS meets AGENT ORANGE with ADOLESCENTS harmonies variety. NIGHT BIRDS sound like the end result of all those great bands of the last decade or so such as GOVERNMENT WARNING, CAREER SUICIDE, VOID CONTROL or DEEP SLEEP.


Nottingham’s ENDLESS GRINNING SKULLS, featuring members of a whole slew of other bands, show what experience can be easily translated into. Their theme tune, takes a RUDIMENTARY PENI style riff and adds a thin layer of crust, but trains a keen eye on that long line of U.K. anarcho bands that were more about substance than how dirty their jeans were. And as a result, the grinding tension of this one will continue to rattle in your brain long after it’s finished.


DIE – LIFE IS HATE (UK / 2013)

This brings us to DiE, which are flag bearers for all the new hardcore bands coming out of the U.K. Complete and total nihilism set to overloaded guitars and oompah stomp. Sounding like an old Mid-West (such as THE FIX) or Boston hardcore (such NEGATIVE FX) band, they completely nail the template of straight forward old hardcore, whereby you could remember individual songs, amidst a blur of speed and distortion. Hear this, then seek out their two EPs to date.


And just because everybody cheats, here’s five more killer tunes, or ‘honourable mentions’, of the last five years that you should definitely hear, that I struggled to cull from this list of a mere ten. Thanks for the space Mick. Cheers, Welly