Show Review: Guttermouth/The Queers/Agent Orange

I just want to start out with stating I think Guttermouth and The Queers are underrated when I comes to being popular in punk rock. Will they ever be a band like Rancid? No. When I want to see quintessential and offensive punk rock; this is where I go. These bands are not politically correct and not here to impress, they are here to be fun punk rock like it is supposed to be.

That being said, this was a show I was super excited for. After all these years of missing them come through town, I got to see The Queers and Agent Orange. I don’t know what I was doing with life that I kept missing these shows but I finally got my act together.

I am thrilled that a local production company Come and Take it Productions, has decided to bring these tours into town and give them a place to play. Needless to say, I got to the show late which usually isn’t my style. I actually like to check out opening bands. I regret not seeing the One Shot Down and the Atom Age. One Shot Down is a local Austin band and I love their hardcore style. The Atom Age I have heard so much about and I love what I have heard from them.

But my heart truly lies with The Queers. I love their sweet pop punk songs but then they turn around and offend me (in a good way). Everyone was going crazy and enjoying songs such as “Murder at The Brady House” and “Love Love Love” which were some of my favorites. They also did two covers; The Ramones “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” and Screeching Weasel’s “Cindy’s on Methadone”.

Guttermouth is one of my favorite bands to see. The first time I saw Guttermouth was the best. In Emo’s heyday in Austin, Guttermouth played there quite a few times. I once saw them throw a kid out for looking like he shopped at Hot Topic (and for being an asshole). From then on, I was a fan for life. They don’t care what they look like or how they sound for that matter. Some of their songs are ridiculously good and well written. Even though the subject lines of their songs are over the top but they are still weirdly relatable.

Lastly, I got to see Agent Orange. I have been a fan for a long time now. Living in Darkness is one of my favorite nihilist punk albums. It is dark surf punk opus. I was happy to see that they still tour and I love hearing their songs. My only real bone to pick is that I wanted their set to have that dark edgy sound rather than how they performed their songs live. I can get over member changes but arrangement changes might be where I draw the line. Regardless, I think all the bands on this tour are underrated in the punk’s vast culture and there should be more line ups like all these bands currently on tour.

 

Festivals: Riot Fest Denver 2016 Day 1

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It is said that “Riot Fest Sucks” (at least that’s what they want you think). I think setting the bar really low on expectations takes the edge off when it comes to impressing your audience. When it comes to Riot Fest, this festival has done such great lineups the past few years I am officially a repeat customer. I went to Chicago two years ago and this time I went to Denver. The Denver Riot Fest is almost a literal rodeo. Being from Texas, I understand this setting. It is almost too familiar. The festival set up was part rodeo, part Warped Tour parking lot.

Since I got there a bit late, I went straight to see my favorite fest band: Fucked Up. I think I love this band even more as they progress into their albums. I also enjoy Damian’s podcast.They played a short set but did not disappoint. They played classics like “Crooked Head” and  “Black Albino Bones”. I learned that “Black Albino Bones” is about record collecting and I am going to revisit that song. I think Fucked Up is really well thought out music but doesn’t take itself that serious either. The highlight of their live show was when Damian carried out armfuls of water for the audience and was still screaming into the mic.

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Damian Abraham of Fucked Up

I spent the rest of the fest in the literal rodeo ring. I got to see the Aquabats! I love that they are live action super heroes of sorts. I  have enjoyed their shows and have been a fan for years. Their fan base is literally little kids and way too old adults. But we are all on the same page here. We love to party and fight villains. Their stage show was the best in the sense that 1.) their songs are catchy 2.) they had dancing sharks like Katy Perry super bowl style 3.) they had inflatable pizza slices to crowd surf on: Surf’s UP!

My favorite highlight of the Aquabats set was when MC Bat Commander taught children to circle pit, literally. Yes they literally just ran in a circle but this will be an important concept they will learn later down the line. The children are our future after all. They also had some funny musical jokes where they would play parts of other people’s song you wouldn’t think the Aquabats would know. They are a lot more hip than you think for guys dressed in costumes.

The rest of the festival was a perfect trifecta of Fat Wreck Chords bands: Lagwagon, NOFX, and Descendents.Lagwagon is still one of favorites. They play each song with such precision and heart. I love their last album Hang a lot and was stoked to hear “Cog in the Machine” again live. They played their classics such as “Violins” and “Making Friends”. The only thing about big festivals is that you only get mostly classics from a band like Lagwagon but each one of theirs is a gem.

I was anticipating the NOFX set. The band has had a crazy year. They wrote a book. They did a tour. Fat Mike did a detox. I feel like this show would be a bit of a regroup for this band. Once NOFX took stage that rodeo arena was packed to brim with punk fans. I had to watch from the seats since the arena was getting too full. That’s great for NOFX though. I feel they did a great set and played newish songs such as “72 Hookers” and “I Believe in Goddess”. They debuted “Six Years on Dope” from their new album First Ditch Effort coming out in October. I am digging their new release so it was cool to get a preview. Their set was mediocre but I kind of want that from a NOFX. I only come to this conclusion from other NOFX fans at Riot Fest. I eavesdropped on a lot of conversations that either loved the set or thought it wasn’t their best. NOFX is not about perfection but they still know how to entertain.

The Descendents are one of my top ten favorite bands. I don’t think I could give them a bad review since I am super bias on the subject. I will say that I loved seeing them at Riot Fest Chicago two-year ago because they did Milo Goes to College front to back and that was a real musical moment. I was also excited to hear their new release Hypercaffium Spazzinate live for the first time. I believe their new album holds up live. They played a very good mix of all their albums and I can’t wait to see them in my hometown for Sound on Sound festival in November.

I also got to check out the half of the Deftones set. I still sweat that band a lot and I am not ashamed. By the end of the night I was all rodeo-ed out.

I’m Getting Too Caffienated Waiting on New Descendents Album!

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The Descendents are a major influence on my life philosophy. I follow the All-o-Gistics. Milo Goes to College has never left my car stereo. I drink coffee like a fucking champ. I saw Filmage in an actual movie theater. I see them perform live every opportunity I get. After all these years the day has finally come:

JULY 29, 2016 Hypercaffium Spazzinate will FINALLY be released.

It is on Epitaph Records and can be ordered here. The last release they had on Epitaph was Everything Sucks in 1996. Descendents’ fans have been patient and loyal thus far.We also have been teased the past month with the release of these songs online:

“Without Love”:

“Victim of Me”:

I love both these tracks. “Without Love” is a quintessential Descendents love song and demonstrates what is appealing about their music. Their love songs have so much honesty and truth. I like that they have moved forward from their earlier teenage angst but still have kept their musical and writing style in tact. I can’t wait to hear the rest. The songs are also available on Spotify.

What’s even better than a new album? Seeing that new album live! Luckily with this new release they have also announced tour dates. They will be on major festivals like Riot Fest and Sound on Sound. I will be at both dates and will bring more news from the Descendents’ tour.

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Show Review: Refused/The Coathangers/Plague Vendor

I have been forunate enough to catch Refused three times in my life and this is a short list of the following experiences:

1.) The first time I saw Refused live, the first statement out of my mouth was ” I want to feel this good all the time!!” And yes I was sober.

2.) The second time I stated that, “When I die and my life flashes before my eyes, the two times I saw Refused will be included.”

3.) Third time, I got to do a meet and greet.

Besides the details of my obsession, this tour’s lineup is pretty great. The local band they chose for this date was Residual Kid, which is an Austin favorite. I saw that their singer graduated from high school the previous week and then got to play a show at the Mohawk. Yeah, we are all a bit jealous. I like their style a lot but since they are so young I feel their style will keeping developing into something more complex. They are a great opener though for a tour like this though.

I also dug Plague Vendor. I liked their odd style the most; fashion and musically. Their members had styles varying from dad wear to goth but I like to keep guessing where this is going. Plus their music and style doesn’t feel forced, it’s who they are. They are here for the music. I think they are excellent musicians and I really enjoyed their live show. I can say it is not for everyone. I like that kind of dark and trashy (I use trashy as a positive here) style of music. Who am I to judge when I love Sisters of Mercy? They are also on Epitaph Records, and someone important definitely sees the appeal and I think you might too.

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Refused at Mohawk 2016

I was pretty excited to see The Coathangers since I had seen their name around the blogosphere. I really also love female supported bands since their are so few. But I didn’t really get that into them as much as I wanted. I love their vocals and they are talented musicans. I just think it is just difficult to judge when there are a lot of bands in their particular genre that do a similar style. It makes it difficult not to compare them with other bands too harshly. But I lot of people came to see them play and enjoyed their set. Also they are opening for Refused, so that does say something about their band. The verdict is still out, so check them out for yourself and be the final vote.

Refused was and still is amazing. I was excited for the show since I was starting to see pictures from their Houston date at Free Press. They opened with “Elektra” and everyone lost it. Finally being able to see a festival headliner at a club show ultimately created a unique experience. They played all their newer songs sprinkled within their hits, which I enjoyed since I wanted to hear as much from their catalog as possible. I also really liked that Dennis Lyxzen has some poignant things to say about the ideas of freedom. They offered up Sweden to their fans and whatever they can do to keep that ideal.

What truly struck my as beautiful was during the week the verdict of the Brock Turner case come out, Lyxzen stated that guys need to get their act together to keep female population safe against sexual assault. It was a tough week all around and it was refreshing to here that kind of advocacy. I also told him this at the meet and great. And their band is amazing too.

I usually hate meeting people I really admire. That is because I want to continue to like them. I truly can say that Refused were SUPER nice guys. I was surprised due to my pessism of people being awful. But they made that experience wonderful and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next.

And “New Noise” will also be my JAM!

Joyce Manor Cover Murder City Devils

I recently saw one of my favorite bands Joyce Manor on tour with Modern Baseball and Say Anything this past month. Unfortunately, some of my content was messed up for a full review of that show. But my favorite moment from this tour is what remains. I can’t describe how much I love the Murder City Devils. So when I see bands like Joyce Manor embrace their love, it is magnificent.

They did a cover of Murder City Devils “Midnight at the Mutter Museum” off the Thelema EP (2001). I thoroughly enjoyed their version from Joyce Manor and I hope you do too.

Notes: My storage space cut out the last bit of the video. Also the non-landscape view is due to poles in the view and my height, apologies on those issues.

 

Modern Baseball: New Songs,Documentary and Album

A lot is going on in the Modern Baseball camp. They have a new album coming out on Run for Cover Records titled Holy Ghost. It’s due out on May 13, 2016, which will be followed by their tour. They have been releasing bits about the album for months. They also are filming a documentary called Tripping in the Dark. It will follow the band from early beginnings to their release of the upcoming album. Here’s the trailer of the documentary:

 

On a side note, they also did a cover from one of my favorite recent bands Violent Soho. I am glad they are a fan of a band I really admire and I can’t blame them for wanting to do a cover by this band. Here is them doing Dope Calypso. Can’t wait for the new album:

 

Fat Wreck Chords Takes SXSW 2016

Even though most SXSW veterans will say this year’s festival wasn’t above and beyond might not be appreciating the roots of the festival. Growing up punk in Austin, I used to wait on the sidewalks of Emo’s hoping to get into the SXSW Fat Wreck Chords showcase. Those were the golden years of Rock Against Bush for Fat Wreck and we needed NOFX’s anthems then.

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Ray Rocket at Fat Wreck Chords Showcase SXSW2016

Let’s focus on today; we need their help against Trump and to celebrate their classic punk tracks. This year NOFX released their memoir and brought the best of their label roster to SXSW. The showcase at Buffalo Billard’s was intimate enough for the stylings of Ray Rocket’s acoustic set and to rock out in the pit. All the bands I bought albums from this past year were on the lineup: Ray Rocket, The Dirty Nil, Mean Jeans, toyGuitar, Night Birds, and NOFX.

The two bands I haven’t gotten to see within the past years were my most anticipated: Mean Jeans and Night Birds. I was fortunate enough to go to the Fat Wreck Anniversary Tour this past year but did not get to see these gems. Mean Jeans would be my vote for most anticipated band for the fest. NOFX is definitely everyone’s favorite but I am always curious to find out who is going to be the next wave of punk. Mean Jeans has the amazing grit and snarl that true punk rock has, but also contains the roots of the Ramones tangled within every song. Their energy and live show was everything I expected from their music and is a perfect fit for the label.

Night Birds has also been a favorite of mine for the past year. They are the hardcore punk that I need to revival the sweet melodic punk I love. Most of the audience noted that the Night Birds are one the best live band. That is definitely the truth. They come running out the gate and you are coming with them no matter what. Their guitars and angst reels you in and leaves you wanting more.

Of course, the end of the night is topped with the sweet cherry that is NOFX. They are the crowd favorite and everyone goes crazy. Maybe because it was St. Patrick’s Day or the fact they were finally back in Austin but it felt good to have NOFX just play a solid set and have fun with it. I hope this continues to be a traditon with Fat Wreck Chords and SXSW.  The most important part of this festival is to remember why we listen to music in the first place: the classics and new finds.