26-04-11

Because the keys look like teeth.

I went to a screamo-something show last week. Suis La Lune from Sweden and Pianos Become The Teeth from the US of A stopped by to play at the Eglantier in Antwerp-Berchem, so I went to take a look at what they would would do.
Apparently, they play music. Great.

The Black Heart Rebellion opened the show but due to circumstances I wasn't able to see them. Too bad, I heard they were pretty decent.

Suis La Lune was the first band to perform after my arrival at the venue. Soundscapes mixed with hardcore-screamo dredged in an bath of epos. Convincing performance, cool band. Held my attention for a while, then lost it again.

When Pianos Become The Teeth entered the, eh… floor, I got pretty excited. I'm not all that familiar with them, but I know a couple of songs and they are really good. The live show, well, was beyond my expectations. They really surprised me, grabbed my attention, got me feeling angry and sad and it seemed they played their hearts out. The passion was definitely there. Overwhelming performance, I got me some shivers from time to time. No shit. I need to get into this.

24-04-11

Nick Van Waes tiene un pene pequeño

The weekend of the 22nd of April is a special weekend for everything punkrock and hardcore. And that might just be the things I'm really excited for.

"Do you know the Punk Rock?"

You probably don't care about the hassle it took me to get there, the rising sun, the 3 stupid hardcore-hipsters at the bus stop or the posters I had to try to attach to the fences (which appeared far more difficult than expected).
I only went Saturday. I didn't care too much about Friday.
I did hear that Millencolin was good and they played pretty tight, so I'm bummed out I missed that. Further Seems Forever didn't get a lot of audience, Craig's Brother wasn't all what people maybe expected and they were tons of presumeably bad deathcore bands. That's what I heard.

Anyway, here's the report. I might tell some more in the upcoming zine edition (coming this summer hopefully).
I didn't get to see everything I wanted, mostly due to laziness and beer drinking at the campsite. Nevertheless, It was a wonderful day and I saw the essential.

The day started off with Dead To Me. They've been around quite a few times, and god damn I'm glad these guys were on the bill. It's a shame they had to open the festival, but it's cool they played. And how!? (Literally translated from: "En hoe!?") Great show. The guys were tight as fuck at 11 am, played with enthusiasm (at 11 am) and got a considerable audience together (at 11 am, that's right!). Some dancing, some singing, mostly waking up and enjoying a top class punk rock show, with a hint of ska/reggae every now and then. If I were them, i'd stick to punk rock.
A band that have always stuck to punk rock is Teenage Bottlerocket. Now my mind is blown, one of the best band in the world play at noon. Weird shit. Anyway, fun story: I had to pee right before the band started, so I'm at the pee booth, and I hear the drummer started Skate Or Die, so I fired every drop I had into the 'pissijn' at full speed and nearly shit myself doing so. Luckily nothing got dirty, I ran to the front, started dancing my ass off and crowdsurfed incidentally before the end of the song. Such a great band. The next 30 minuted they treated us with a setlist of awesome songs, some everyone knows, some less famous, but all equally good, fast, catchy (!!) and punk rock. It's weird to see them on such a big stage after their show in Nijlen a couple of years back. I think they're getting bigger than Kiss, one show at a time. They played a lot of awesome songs, including Todayo (last song), Lost In Space, Bloodbath At Burger King, Welcome To The Nuthouse and I Don't Wanna Go. I also noticed I need to do more sports. I had to rest for 2 songs after each circlepit. Fucked up, innit? I enjoyed the show anyway, awesome band!
Next up was a dance party for 2 (hundred) at 12h45. Streetlight Manifesto got the swing going in the tent. Asses were danced off, lyrics were sang along to and melodies were wooh-ed along to. Great party, talented musicians, and a safe mix of songs from their original albums. At the live show, their songs definitely sound longer than on cd, on the border of boring/less interesting. Their songs are incredible, but sometimes I thought they were playing the same thing for 10 minutes, which wasn't the case. Aight, I had a lot of fun, it was actually the first time I saw them and they made me happy.
I wanted to see Piebald, but I forgot or I didn't care all too much apparently (I really only know 1 CD, and not really through and through). The opportunity for beer arose, so that must have played a role as well. On a related note: Later that day the guys from Piebald were doing a signing session, and we were actually waiting for the Descendents who would follow them, but I decided to get Piebald's signatures as well. Because I didn't have something cool like a record of theirs, I asked them to sign the Alkaline Trio cd I had just bought in the merch market (From Here To Infirmary). Cool story, innit? Piebald was like "Yeah, this makes sense. What the heck!". Cool guys, now I'm starting to regret that I missed the show.
So let's move on to the second best show of the festival. That one was performed by Dear Landlord. There are a couple of reasons why their show was as good as it was. 1) They played the small podium/tent, so no barriers or gay distances; 2) They were given 40 minutes to play, which means they could and have played about every song they wrote/recorded up to now (excluding Crashing, Neighbours and maybe (not sure) Lost Cause); 3) On top of that, they played motherfucking Sleepless In St Paul (wow, seriously, that made me so happy) and Avoidance Learning (both songs originally by Rivethead); 4) Dear Landlord is the best band in the world; 5) Lots of mates partying along, always cool. So, in sum, awesome show, great atmosphere, best songs, best band, absolute love. I really really really love this band. That should cover it, I think? Hah.
Then I got to the Descendents signing session, saw some Goldfinger songs, got pretty bored and felt like drinking beer at the campsite. Guess what happened?
Due to sheer laziness I didn't check Dashboard Confessional, nor No Trigger, nor Boy Sets Fire, which wasn't the best decision I ever made but because of the band following them I wasn't all that bothered.
That's right. Descendents entered the stage, and after I shoved two pizza baguettes into my stomach I decided to go dance and sing along in the front rows. I was so happy, so really really genuinely happy to see the Descendents, one of the first punk bands I and many with me got into as a teenagers. They started off with Descendents, then got into a whole bunch of songs, some of their best ones, some I didn't expect but was pleased to hear and some of their other best ones. Solid setlist, I didn't have one single problem with it. They made my day, week, year. It sounds cheesy but singing along to those songs really means something. It must be pretty cool to know you belong. I hope my day will come. I'm not a loser. Even I like food - food tastes good and thou shalt not partake of decaf. Wow. Really overwhelming.
Sitting there with your mouth full of beer. Your eyes are glazed, your face is red. Who's gonna pick you up and use you for tonight?
And when you're on the streets with a needle in your arm, selling your body for another fix, who's gonna pick you up and take you home with them tonight?
Not me.
Again, I skipped a band I initially wanted to see but because of not caring and so on I didn't see Saves The Day, nor H20 or The Used for nostalgic reasons.
But I did went to see NOFX, and I got what I expected. A lot of babbling, although it seemed alright and not too much this time. Good setlist, not unpredictable but neither predictable. They keep the show interesting, I must admit. Always fun to hear their songs, I should listen more NOFX. A lot of dancing, singing, partying, cool show! Theme from a NOFX album to finish, good idea!

So, a lot of other things happened, I met a lot of people, some cool, some less cool, kissed two girls by deceit, got rejected a couple more times, the sun was shining, I had tons of fun, smelled like shit today.

Hooray for punk rock!

18-04-11

Not so teenage anymore

Also recently, another one of the best contemporary pop punk bands around released a new EP. The world-class band Teenage Bottlerocket put out Mutilate Me, of which the title track already amazed me. Now let's check out the rest.

Fat Wreck Chords, 2011

1. Mutilate Me
2. Punk House Of Horror
3. Henchmen






Well, Mutilate Me definitely stands out as a classic TBR song. Incredibly catchy, it makes you sing along about some sado-masochistic fetish without getting you uncomfortable! That's the power of good music. The next songs seem b-sides rather than EP material. Not bad, but Punk House Of Horror is basicly a late Lillingtons song (maybe sped up a bit) and the tempo change in Henchmen rather weirds me out than to appeal. Sounds like an early Offspring song. (EDIT: Haha, just found it's actually a Bad Religion cover. Makes sense. I should have known that!) To be honest, I had greater expectations for this new material than were delivered.

Nevertheless, this is really really really really one of the coolest bands around, deserve all the attention they get, being on Fat, touring with NOFX and all that jazz! Also on European tour right motherfucking now, this Saturday at Groezrock, main stage, pretty early (12 o'clock-ish). Get this EP anyway along with the reissue of Another Way (great record, finally taken care of in a descent way) and their hit albums Total, Warning Device and They Came From the Shadows.

Dear Dopamine

Two of my favourite contemporary pop punk bands have released a split 7". They go by the names The Dopamines and Dear Landlord.

Paper + Plastick, 2011

The Dopamines:
01. Douglas Bubbletrousers
02. Heads Up Dusters


Dear Landlord:
03. Neighbors
04. A Little Left



It seems that the Dopamines have actually taken a bit back from their last album. Still catchy, but less overwhelmingly powerful. Nevertheless they deliver 2 superpar songs that once again remind people that the Dopadudes aren't a Copyrights rip-off but a geniusly good band. Great compositions, only the vocals are less convincing.

Dear Landlord surprise on their side by lack of any intro - which actually isn't a surprise for anyone who still remembers Dream Homes. I'm really glad to finally hear soms new songs recorded, and I'm excited they sound equally as good as everything they've done before. Same themes, different hooks. I think I've heard A Little Left live before, but I'm not entirely sure. I remember a song starting 'slowly' and then booming into pure punk rock genius. Could be this one.

Anyway, Dear Landlord are on a European tour right now, they play Belgium at the Groezrock festival this Saturday. Be sure to check them out, they play really early but they're really good. Pick this up! (Along with their other records, if you haven't already.)
The Dopamines should definitely tour Europe as soon as possible and do like 7 shows in Belgium. Maybe 6, as I'd have to work on Saturdays.

07-04-11

Punk rock sauna

Show at the Rockcafé in Leuven. Yesterday. Thank God for the guys of Kickass records.

First up, From The Tracks from Sweden and Scotland! Quite the combination. Technical melodic punkrock. Fast. Groovy. Cool!

Second up was Belgian band Homer, and they were awesome. Not too technical, not too simple, great riffage and a cool party going on.

Headlining the night was Rebuke from Sweden. With the drummer from This Is A Standoff, who is insane. Damn! I was really impressed by these guys actually. Interesting skatepunk, cool to watch!


Yeah, not much to say other than "check it out!".

04-04-11

The right phrase

http://www.smbc-comics.com/
So, there was this band called For Science, from new Jersey I think. They split up in 2008 I think. I'm not entirely sure on a lot of facts about them, but I do know they have grown on me as one of my absolute favourite bands.
I did a short review in the magazine, which went something like this:
Their second album, 'Tomorrow's Just Another Day' is probably one of my favourite albums, and it should be one of yours too, but their debut is absolutely worth mentioning. For Science is in the same league as the Ergs! as far as I'm concerned, but around here in Europe, they get way less attention and exposure, which is a shame. Fast, melodic, original pop punk with 'acquired taste' vocals, I guess. Once you get used to it, you'll surely find it great. Mostly songs about movie stars and heartbreaks on this album. Less diverse than their sophomore album, but it gets the "repeat button seal of approval" alright. They split up.
Oddly enough, the first record I got by For Science was their EP Way Out Of Control, but that never got much spins on the stereo. So today I decided to jam things up a bit and repeat the shit out of this EP.

 It's Alive Records, 2007

1. Swan Song
2. Soledad
3. Just Pray
4. The Rides
5. Leaving New Brunswick
6. Swimming Around Fighting Frowns
7. Way Out Of Control
8. Salutations



It's pop punk. What did you expect? 8 songs, 13 minutes, no mucking about. For Science keeps things interesting with everything they released. A lot of experimenting going on on this EP, vocally especialy, and additionally some sound effects and some instrumental arrangements you wouldn't expect.
It starts off with some feedback and it kicks right into one hell of a catchy riff. Hard to not move. Singing starts. Incredibly hoarse but powerful on its own as well, definitely one of my favourite aspect about the band, but this is probably something personal. I think it transfers great emotion, which I can really dig in a band. Soledad is a good example. Also, as with every For Science record, Mikey Erg does some backing vocals. Why wouldn't he?
Track 3 slows the record down a bit but doesn't drag on, so it doesn't get boring in the least. The Rides takes you on a ride to For-Scienceville, a place full of superrapid drums, deeply mixed vocals, fast and groovy guitar/bass, some shouting and an occasional rhythmic variation. It goes in a similar fashion, each song hiding more secrets than you can imagine.
Overall, great EP in fact, similar to their other work but no copy, and it's refreshing on its own. It's way out of control, crazy and fun songwriting played by great artists with integrity for the music. Not really scientific, just amusing.