Some of you might have read my latest zine where I complain about tumblr people being weird.

Well, they still are, but because of the easy usability of the site I made another tumblr blog (in addition to idontgotoparties).
It's called Punk & Hardcore memes and I try to make slightly amusing memes using punk & hardcore lyrics.
It's really nothing important but last night I spent a good half hour or an hour making the following meme thing, so I wanted to post it here. I thought it was pretty cool.

Here it is, it's based on Masked Intruder's Heart Shaped Guitar:


Okay, so I have a music blog, which basically means I have to write about the "best of 2012" or something.
This is hard work, ya guys. 365 days of music is a fucking lot to reflect on in one blogpost. It's a lot.
So, now it's December and this horrible task is upon me. I will not make some stupid lists cause that's not how I rolllll (although I really like lists mostly). Like last year, I will try to make an overview of records I liked this year, shows I've seen and enjoyed this year, bands whose dicks I sucked this year, and more. What? Don't judge me.

UPDATE (08/01/2013): I totally forgot to mention The Helltons' Nowhere On The Map, which is absolutely one of the best pop punk records of the year. So, I hope that's cleared up now!

Let's start of with something really obvious: the competition for absolute best album of the year.
There are quite a few contenders, 3 of my favourite contemporary bands put out a new record, all in the first half of 2012. I'm talking about The Hextalls' Rock You To Sleep, The Fake Boys' Pig Factory and The Dopamines' Vices. These are the first that come to mind when picking an album of the year. I'm pretty sure The Fake Boys would feel weird being in competition with 2 pop punk bands and they (rightfully) think pretty highly of themselves, so I guess they'd feel weird being in competition with anyone actually. The stupid thing is that none of these bands have toured Europe this year, so I can't make a decision based on album goodness:live performance ratio.
The Hextalls, in my opinion, stand out because they make the most catchy songs on the planet. No question. They find a way to use chords unlike other bands and their vocal melodies are definitely somewhat original in comparison with other pop punk acts. The Fake Boys are one of my favourite bands and I easily lose my shit to any of their songs, but with this new album they proven to be on another league. Another league of losing shit and perhaps finding shit back. The slowest punk record of 2012, but possibly also the best, and certainly the realest. Makes me wanna headbang, be angry at the world and also dance like a motherfucker. The Dopamines, finally, are such a consistently good band but yet they manage to impress me with every record. Whereas the band used to be compared to death with other bands (most notably the Copyrights, which I never understood), they now wrote the blueprint for dopaminescore (I use this term as an analogy to ramonescore, please don't use it regularly).
And then in August Masked Intruder put out a full length and that one didn't leave my stereo for a few weeks. It's tha catchiest shit of the year (did I just contradict myself regarding my comment on The Hextalls? yes, I did. fuck off.). Definitely also a contender for record of the year. At this stage, the gimmick isn't old yet, the music and lyrics are super fresh and really fantastic, so I absolutely love the shit out of the album. Same for Apologies, I Have None's debut album London. Seeing them perform 4 times the last few months I'm convinced that this is one of the most solid records of the year. I'm hooked start to finish, the album is perfectly sequenced, put together, mixed. It sounds like an album. You know what I mean? It sounds like it was made for the purpose of being a beautiful package of harmonies, sound dynamics and awesome songs. And from the same country, yet not the same region, The Murderburgers! They made their best record yet with How To Ruin Your Life. I'd like to award the world record for most words in 15 songs ever to them. Also the most incromprehensible words. Yeah... Good job guys!

So I think I've made my decision: I'm not gonna choose. Fuck choosing.

There were 2 records this year which made me wish I wrote them. I mean, there's probably more, but two of them are so relatable it's kinda scary.
The first one is Like Bats' Midwest Nothing. This records is primarily underrated, I feel, so please go check it out. It feels like a slow punk record, but these guys actually play pretty wicked songs. And yeah, the lyrics are what tops this of for me. Excellent.
- This is all I know. Aimless nights and targeted frustrations. Why can't I just leave you alone? All I want is to see you in my dreams.
- I know you’re tired of me because you don’t laugh at my jokes anymore. I know that I’m ugly and in your way. 
- I guess this ain’t the worst that could happen. I guess I’m still here. I guess that means the worst will still happen because I’m still here. But I don’t give a fuck where I’m going to, just as long as I’m slowly fading there with you. 
- I don't wanna be loved. Don't wanna kiss. Don't wanna fuck. Twenty. No hope. Just pushing my luck. Staring at my shoes.
- They might call this giving up. I think we’ve only just begun to see what’s real.
Absolutely love it. Fucking hell.
The other one is actually a Belgian release, The Dutch Rudders' Black Holes EP. A huge step from their previous release, a huge step forward. Or upward. I don't know. Fact is that this EP sounds a lot like my life at times. And it sounds great. It's pretty dark though.
- Sometimes I wish I could stop falling in love.
- Getting drunk is so cliché but it's the only thing that works for me.
- Maybe I'm just not your type of guy. But then tell me why you had to try.
- Everytime I say that I'm okay I die a little more inside. I can't go on this way. I'm not okay. I'm not okay.
- I'm facing black holes. I just smacked my head.
- Once again, I'm waking up and wish I'm dead. Once again I goit this bottle in my hand.
- I'm just waiting for another day to die. Life just disappoints again.

Speaking of EPs, some of my favourite releases of 2012 were also really short. The best song of 2012 is Unfun's Caroline, put on an EP with the previously released Shallow Graves 7". The most punk song of 2012, clocking in at 8 minutes, the embodiment of anger and for a long time a song I tried to fall asleep to. Also one of my favourite songs to scream out while walking home drunk from a lousy party. One of my favourite song to bulk when I felt stupid and alone. One of my favourite songs.
House Boat, though, made a song longer than Caroline, but also less coherent. It's called 21st Century Breakroom and it encases everything you love about punk rock.
All of Be My Doppelganger's monthly singles were really cool, especially In Yr Wires/Spring Break Up
The Drug Church EP was another big surprise in my musical life. Excellent songs. Soul Control released the Bore Core 7". Grooviest hardcore band around. The Wellingtons wrote another batch of songs on a Hey Hey 10" and they're always delightful. I was really happy I could see them again this year. Australia's best.
But good music doesn't have to come from the other side of the world. There's been a lot of great Belgian releases to. The Adjectives surprised me with 15 minutes of super-fun pop punk rock on their debut Bam! Trapped Inside also put out a bunch of songs on a demo, pissed off female-fronted old school hardcore. Or, you know just "hardcore".
Off The Charts released a new EP at the start of this year, which was a phenomenal couple of songs, bound to get stuck in your head. Outline came out of their hole and put out a tape, also with 3 songs of turn-of-the-century 2000s hardcore, pissed off music by super nice guys.
The same description goes for Ashes. Pissed off, heavy as shit and ready to take over the world. They put out a 2-song EP and a videoclip for a new song, each one harder than the last. You better watch out.
Our neighbours from the Netherlands in This Routine Is Hell also released some new songs under the name Repent. Repeat. Fucking fuck, angry songs for angry people. Love it.
Then from the land of Great Britain I discovered a whole bunch of bands. Nai Harvest put out the Feeling Better 7". Loose Cannons put out a new 7". Hindsights put out their debut Wheathered 7". Forrest. put out a great EP. Losing Sleep put out a rad demo. So many great bands, I'd be glad to live there.

I actually did live in the UK for 5 days last summer. Just to see At The-Drive-In. And of course, other great bands such as The Subways, Ceremony, Touché Amoré, Apologies, I Have None, Fidlar, Social Distortion, The Vaccines, Mastodon.
I had the chance to see Ten Speed Bicycle, who I'm really psyched about. and Chalk Talk and Everyone Everywhere in London the day before Reading, so that ruled. Chalk Talk is amazing (they have a new record called Bad Influences), Everyone Everywhere is... also amazing actually. Got to see them twice on that tour so that ruled.

I'm not gonna get too much into shows I saw this year, cause that's a hassle and I like a lot of shows I see generally. Let's say though that Apologies, I Have None in Leuven was off the hook, The Copyrights in Nijlen ebenso, Crossbone fest ruled in its entirity with the cherry on top being Mikey Erg (who released a split 7" with Alex Kerns this year, sick shit! and a Fucifier 7", trashy stuff). Oh, and seeing Dr. Frank play songs was marvelous. The Direct Hit! shows were super fun, Groezrock was really good because of Refused, Alkaline Trio, Dillinger Escape Plan and others, and Joyce Manor in Antwerp is another one worth remembering. And let's not forget the Midnight Souls release party.

This party was to celebrate the release of Going Through The Motions, an album I have thoroughly enjoyed this year and although it sounds great coming from my speakers, it's even better on a stage or floor in some venue. Dudes are killing it.
Let's talk other full lengths. As we speak the new Sugar Stems record is blasting on my turntable. It's called Can't Wait and it's probably not as good as Sweet Sounds (it's a lot softer) but nonetheless a great record. The guys and gals breathe pop music and I fucking love it.
Talking pop music whose previous album was most likely better, The High Hats put out an album called And Then Came Cancer which is real cool, but yeah... The same country (I think) brought us Tyred Eyes, who released The Piercing Stare, The Thousand Lies. There's something about Scandinavia and power pop that makes it evil but overtly fun at the same time.
The new Billy Raygun record arrived at my doormat today and that rules too. They're amazing songwriters. On one hand it's a shame they don't manage to record/mix/produce their stuff very well, it seems, on the other hand it has its charm and I like the songs regardless. Great band.
Mixtapes finally put out something you could call an full-length album, Even On The Worst Nights. I used to be all about this band and I still love 'em to death but I haven't given this that many spins. Great songs, though, super catchy stuff, like always.
Oh, and the new Teenage Bottlerocket of course. On of my favourite bands released Freak Out! this summer and managed to yet again put out an album of amazing pop punk gems that are as fresh as Will Smith in Bel-Air.
There was a new Chotto Ghetto record, called Sparkles, which kinda got under the radar I think but I really like it. Some of the strongest material they've written.
Other mentions for The Ponches - The Long Goodbye, PJ Bond/Brian Bond - Brother Bones/Baby Bones, Sick Sick Birds - Gates Of Home, Gateway District - Perfect's Gonna Fail, and many others.

If you're like "where is Make Do And Mend?", "why isn't Title Fight in this blog?", "what the fuck, why don't you mention The Menzingers", well, I have one answer for you, and I bet you're not gonna like it: I didn't check out those albums. I really enjoy Make Do And Mend, the Menzingers and Title Fight but for some reason I am just not motivated to check out their new material. Weird, innit? Super weird. But yeah, you should know by now that that is how I roll, and you'll just have to accept the way I roll. If you want 2012-lists with those albums included, please visit more relevant blogs than this one. You should know better than to think I would listen to relevant records. Fuck no. I liked Coexist by The XX, though. That is a relevant record I think. Lotsa people liked it. Me too. I like that record. I think it's nice. It's hard to not like it I think.
 I wouldn't have listened to it if it wasn't for my internship at V2 Records though. Got some nice records there, like the Riverboat Gamblers' The Wolf You Feed and JJ DOOM's Keys To The Kuffs.

Some bands I've listened to a lot in 2012, but should've done earlier, are definitely Cheap Girls and Crusades.
Asian Man recently reissued the first 2 Cheap Girls records so that's rad. I should probably check out Giant Orange but I haven't yet so I'm not gonna say anything 'bout that.
Crusades put out a new EP Parables which leaves me wanting more, but I just discovered The Sun Is Down And The Night Is Riding In about halfway through 2012 and it's radical!

For 2013 I'm really looking forward to the Be My Doppelganger Artless LP, A Strength Within LP,  the MC Karel Unluck EP, songs by Parry Gripp, new material by Nerf Herder maybe? Possibly more, I can't think anymore.

Oh, and here's my last.fm list of most listened artists of 2012:
  1. Parry Gripp
  2. The Dopamines
  3. Nerf Herder
  4. Teenage Bottlerocket
  5. Ultimate Fakebook
  6. The Hextalls
  7. Mixtapes
  8. Lifetime
  9. Cheap Girls
  10. Be My Doppelganger
That's it, bye.


Monster Zero Mish-Mash

Things I have become at the Monster Zero Mash 2013 in Innsbruck:

- incredibly drunk
- pretty badly injured
- a complete fucking moron
- an object of general concern
- a bonehead
- a thief
- a laughing stock
- an even bigger pop punk fanatic

In short, I (got) really fucked up but I managed to see amazing bands as there are (dutchism):

- The Bat Bites. oh man, the motherfucking Bat Bites
- The Apers, playing Reanimate My Heart in its entirity
- Maladroit, what a good fucking band
- DeeCracks who played no less than THREE MUGWUMPS SONGS WITH CHRIS MUGWUMP and also a great set of their own
- The Priceduifkes, best band
- The Murderburgers who shouted a lot of HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY
- The Ponches. tight band, lotsa Italians
- Teenage Bubblegums. fastest band around I think.
- Zatopeks. well yeah, some parts of it.
- I missed the Sex Toys and Tough.

So yeah, punk rock show whoa oh oh

Perhaps I'l write a better report of the trip in the next zine.

Who knows.


AB? More like AGAY!

So I went to 2 shows in the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, one on Sunday and one on Monday.

On Sunday The Bronx and The Hives were playing. Obviously, sick line-up, both amazing shows.
I wasn't really overwhelmed by The Bronx but they played a great show, with a great variety of songs, although mostly new ones. The banter was kinda annoying though.
Now, The Hives play the most danceable music ever so it's really fun. Their singer is known for his banter and it was less annoying than the Bronx' but in a way also more annoying but not pretentious. Weird, I know.
Musically, both acts shredded the audience to bits. In a good way. Loved the shows.

Monday it was Crystal Castles. One of the few electronic acts I, and many fans of punk/hardcore I think, can really enjoy. Perhaps because the music is walking a thin line between dance-y and aggressive. Amazing show, the set was amazing, the lighting was great, Alice was in great shape and it's always nice to see a live drummer. Ethan's renditions of the songs mainly stuck to the album versions, expect for probably their most famous song, Alice Practive (I think it was that one, not entirely sure), it was all weird but cool.

Now, if you follow this blog or you know me (probably/hopefully both), you know I'm not a fan of the AB.
One reason is not related to the AB itself. It's just the fact I don't like being in large venues. There's too many people and the whole edge of a rock show gets lost. All of the 'festival'people come out and either they act stupid or there's just too many for me to properly enjoy a show in a way I like to enjoy a show.
At the Bronx/Hives show there were a lot of smelly people. I don't know why, but that was the case. I personally smelled it.
At the Crystal Castles show, I was in the direct vicinity of 2 'Snooki"'s. Two girls of under-average height, intoxicated, dancing all extravagantly, taking pictures of themselves etc. One of them was even turned to the other side of the venue for half of the show. That's just silly. I respect people having fun in their own way, but it kinda bothered me.

Other reasons are mostly due to the AB policy itself. Expensive drinks, expensive tickets and mostly additional ticket services, ...

Pros are mainly good sound/acoustics, free toilets (at least nowadays...) and it's not too difficult to reach.


Ubehaget bliver ubeskrivelig usandt

My friend from Never Trust An Asshole records recently put out a record by Kollapse, a Danish hardcore punk band with member of the Mighty Midgets. I was interested so I listened to it and wrote a review.
So yeah. Free/pay-what-you-want download over here: http://nevertrustanasshole.bandcamp.com/album/kollapse-10-vinyl
Do itttttt.

Kollapse - Kollapse
(TNS/Never Trust An Asshole/5FeetUnder/Throw Me Off Balance, 2012)

1. Coffins
2. Man Machine
3. Liberate
4. Grief
5. No Gods
6. Minamata Disease

Keywords to describe this band and record are: dark, hardcore, crust, punk, Denmark, good. I think the main rule is that bands that start with a K are crust bands and bands that begin with a D are D-beat? Something like that. I don't have clue actually. I guess crust bands use a lot of D-beats as well?
Anyway, this is supposedly a Danish hardcore band, influenced notably by crust punk. Even just the distortion level on the bass gives that way. It's hella distorted, which makes it sound really cool, really shred-esque. The intro to this record is basically such a bass riff, building up to a climax (cfr Ceremony's Dead Moon California but filthier). And the climax in this case is basically a really catchy yet ominous riff to the song Coffins. Listening to this record makes me realise why I don't listen to crust all that often, I think one of the reasons is definitely the vocals. With Kollapse, there's 2 singers and I like the shrieky, screamy vocals, but not so much the grunty, bellowed vocals. But it's no reason to stop listening, though. It's definitely audible and probably really good in its genre. I can get used to it. Maybe I'll like it after some more listening. And for me, dual vocals are definitely interesting. The vocals work together in a collaboratory sense, which plays out really well in a song like Man Machine. Lyrically the album is pretty dark, as it is costumary for such music. "Is happiness for the clueless?" they ask. I don't know, man. It makes me sad thinking about that. "Growing up means watching all my heroes turn to humans." Oh damn. If you're in a good mood, I suggest you don't listen to this record. But you can tell by the artwork I guess. Dark shit. Good shit though. Not everything dark is evil.
There's a nice balance between slow 'bash your head into a wall' parts and faster 'jump around and hate life' parts. In my book, those are good parts, although their names may deceive you. They're real good. I think what strikes me about this record is firstly that they bring down my entire perception of crust punk, secondly that they pull it off so well. They just rely on writing good riffs and combining them into good songs, and they don't try to fancy it up with unnecessary elements. They embrace the power of full-measure-length chords/notes and they don't try to get a bass or guitar line in it, or do a silly drum fill. No, they just let it go and that's powerful enough. Other than in No Gods - which features a bad-ass movie sample or something - there's little actual soloing going on. And I mean that in a good way. I think. I mean, like I said, they just write good songs and go with that, and I admire that. They don't get really monotonous. Closer Minamata Disease is proof that they know what they're doing and can do it for about 4 minutes even, without getting super boring. It's to god-fucking-damn heavy to be boring. And I'm just listening to the mp3's now. I can't wait to put on the vinyl and hopefully someday see them perform, cause they sure as hell have spiked my interest! The a capella break (in Danish! (I presume)) in this middle of the song is super intense and the screams that kind of go beneath the covers of the music afterwards just penetrate the mind, it's like you're walking the corridors of a mental hospital. Sick.

Although I'm unfamiliar with the genre other than the occasional Tragedy record, I really enjoyed this. This 10" record came with a DIY hand-sewn screen-printed bag, which is pretty freaking rad. Blood-red vinyl, too, this is a work of art an sich. But the music is the most important and most impressing part of this package of course. I suggest you go get it now! Do itttttt.



Yo I'm MC Karel and I'm here to say "wassup"
I'm here to ruin the show, cause you all know that I suck
What the fuck - Move up front - Bitches show me what you got
Cause these guys are 'bout to kill it with their loud music and stuff
So dance, dance, dance and move your booty to the beat
It's Outline, motherfuckers - And I got a front seat
If this sounds familiar to you you might have been at the show yesterday. I mean at the show in Leuven. There was also a "the show" in Mechelen but that's not the show I'm talking about.
This show I speak of was a hardcore show in the Rock Café. It was a fun show.

First up was Every Stranger Looks Like You. The name sounds like they could be a bad metalcore band, fortunately this wasn't the case. They were a three-piece slow-paced somethingcore band. Maybe hints of Cursed or something, but less overwhelming. Pretty cool actually, something interesting and not overdone to the max. More like, overdone to the min. (Yeah, good play on words there.) ust really cool, check it out if you like heavy music or something.

Die nächtste band was Heartfelt. There's a Dutch punk rock band with that name but I don't know if they still exist. Anyway, this is the Limburgian band. They just started out, they're pretty cool. I don't really know what to say. Kinda melodic. Cool. Check 'em out. Yeah. Do that.

Then it was Outline's turn. They asked MC Karel to do an intro so I did, I kinda screwed up the 4th line and I'm not a good rapper by default so I guess that wasn't really good but it was fun to do and stuff. Thanks Ari for the neat beat. Their show was rad, the demo songs tend to strike me more and more and the new songs are pretty damn nice. Also I wanted to interview them for the next zine but due to forgetfulness that didn't work out. Thanks to new technology such as e-mail and stuff it will work out in the end though, so stay tuned for that.
These guys are awesome, they rule the pans of the roof (dutchism) and you should, as usual, check them awwwwwwt.

Headliner Reality Check came awwwwwll the way from Poland, and they ruled. They play like old school straight edge 90s idon'tknow kind of hardcore. Great riffage, great vocals, great songs. Yeah, it was definitely good. They got some moshing. If I wasn't kinda lazy I would've maybe also did a dancemove, but that didn't go through. Sorry. Anyway, cool band, they're on tour so support and shiznizzle.

Also, look out for an Outline/MC Karel split. Heh.


Still none

A ticket Roosendaal-Eindhoven and back costs €26,20. That's more than I expected. But I like the trains in Holland, and I liked the Sunday evening show at Kaffee Aloys, and I also like KFC a bunch.

So after a Hot Wings Menu I got down to the Aloys to check out bands.
First band were locals He Said No. Their soundcheck was a lousy cover of the Bronx. Fortunately they did it better during the actual set, and the other songs were alright as well. I remember a Ramones cover, Carbona Not Glue, which is a cool pick. And some others. Their own songs were alright, I kinda enjoyed them. Singer Toon should go a bit more "at it", i think. Overall nice show.

Then it was Apologies, I Have None. I've seen these guys 4 times in the past 4 months now, and I enjoyed every time more and more. I can't believe how these guys manage to be so fucking (still sitting) TIGHT! Damn! The new song was great, the regular songs were awesome, the atmosphere was... okay? I'm a big fan so I sang almong to most of the words except for the ones over silent music cause I don't think anyone should hear me singing.
Anyway, lovely show, great chaps.

Crazy Arm concluded. They had fast parts which I liked, but they also had slow parts which I didn't like. That basically sums up my experience with Crazy Arm. I mean, musically they're really good and they have great songs but the whole The Boss-admiration isn't really my thing.

Mad Jakes/Less Than Caddy... hmm, fuck this

Less Than Jake and Mad Caddies. You might have figured that out from the title.
The place to be was the MOD is Hasselt - or should I say SKAsselt? HAHA! Cause, you know, that's how ska jokes go for all I know. Ska jokes pretty much suck.

First band up was Wildheart. Very non-interesting. Female on the bass. Not even ska. Didn't care.

Mad Caddies were great though! I only know their album "Duck & Cover", and I only know that, like, barely, but I could really enjoy it. Pro-tip: if you've drank like a litre of tea beforehand and are drinking beer you'll most likely have to go to the bathroom sometime soon. So don't go stand in the front only to have to shittily annoy people by going all the way to the back. Just a hint.
Great set anyway, some classics I guess and some new songs I guess. They're an interesting band and they know how to keep a show on the edge. Nice!

I'm more of a Less Than Jake fan though. After I bolted on their performance at Readig earlier this year after 10 minutes because of extreme drunkness and tiredness, I rejoiced in this second opportunity. Just a fun show. They taunted a guy because he lost his cell phone in the pit and according to punk rules that isn't cool. That was funny but also kinda stupid. Anyway, Great set, danced a bit, sang along a bit, enjoyed myself.
That's how I roll.

Some after-show beers and a safe trip home thanks to de Jare. Or should I say Skare? HAH!


Go to bed, Charlie, you're drunk.

Last Thursday I had another date (another?!) with the  punk rock. The show took place at Rockcafé, Leuven. Geez.

I arrived in the middle of The Ignored's set. Cool! Fast! Funny! Nice! Punk! Awesome!

Bedtime For Charlie was yet again amazing. They're an awesome band, one of the few skatepunk bands I can really really appreciate. Great set, new songs sounded ace, old song sounded equally good actually, I had a lot of fun and bought the new record cause that's what true punx do.


I fucking love this band.

They are the best band ever.

No, silly, I'm not talking about the Ramones. I'm talking about the Dutch Rudders.
"Dutch rudders?" you say, "isn't that a sex thing?"
"Yes" I say, "that's a sex thing. But they're also a band. A punk rock band from Zele. They are the best band ever. Period."

So that's what I say. Now here's what I have to say about their new EP, called Black Holes. They released it this weekend, but I had to work all weekend because I'm an idiot so I missed is. The line-up was super cool but I missed it. Bummer, right? I fucking missed it.
But at least they put the songs online so I can listen to them and review them cause I'm a professional music review dude.


1. Caroline
3. Falling Apart
4. Going Down
5. Sick
6. LJD

The last thing the Dutch Rudders put out was an EP called Shame Is For The Weak. That was great. It had pop punk music on it and they were a three-piece back then.
But now everything has changed. Actually, only some things have changed. They have gained a guitarist/singer called Jelle, and his influence on Black Holes is noticeable. First of all, the harmonies are plenty! With three vocalists now, the choruses are stronger, the verses are more diverse and the entire thing is vocally more interesting, also due to the different styles the singer can take on. It's a thin line between throaty and raspy, and in between there's gruffy and hoarse and other adjectives that mean the voice is kinda husky (oh snap). And then there's yelling as well. The potential that The Dutch Rudders had already has been strengthened by adding a second guitar which makes the whole sound more melodically driven and pretty much just better. More coherent, perhaps? Better at their instruments, definitely. I mean, no question. Seriously.
So let's get down to the sounds. After the sample of someone saying "I fucking love this band etc." the Rudders start rowing their paddles. I mean playing their instruments. The first song is called Caroline. That's a girl's name. They sing about drinking. I think most songs they write are about drinking. And love and stuff. I think I've heard this song live before. And it stuck with me, so that's a good score on the catchy-o-meter. The Dutch Rudders don't cease to impress me with fun songs aboutsad subjects. I mean, the guitar melody during the chorus couldn't contrast more with the lyrical content. I'm not okay, I'm not okay. Yeah, man, totally! I, too, am not okay. Sometimes. Perfectly danceable and singalongable. Great start to the EP.
Comparing this to the demo, I think they've gone for a deeper, slightly darker and more edgy sound. I'm thinking Dopamines, Chinese Telephones maybe, Red City Radio. I don't know, man, it's all just punk rock in the end, and the Rudders have managed to do something really good with this punk rock.
COVALENTBOND is playing in the meantime, and I hear more escapist punkrock poetry about everyday life. Great song, no real standout but it's a fast one! Also, an all caps song title, who do they think they are? Dillinger Four? Please...

Falling Apart is kinda the hit song I think. It's been in and out of my head ever since I first heard it live and it's just ridiculously cool. The intro immediately grabs you by the throat and throws you around to start dancing, moshing, stagediving and then the verse start and he sings "Getting drunk is so cliché but it's the only thing that works for me" and I feel like that's the truest thing anyone has sung in 2012. Innit? Yea. But, wait! There's more. The chorus fucking blasts at you and you can't help to sing along to it. Like, physically. Your vocal cords automatically start singing the song. Same thing with the ending. You can't help it. So, pro-tip: don't listen to this on a busy train or something cause you might make a fool out of yourself singing along to tunes no one in the real world has heard of. The riffs and drum parts in Falling Apart are pretty awesome. I can't really describe it - wait, isn't that my job as a reviewer? - but it's just a really good song. Trust me, I'm not an engineer.
Going Down, eh? This song seemingly provided the EP with it's title, Black Holes. Seemingly, Black Holes refers to blackouts from being drunk. Seemingly, the guys in the Dutch Rudders like to drink alcohol. Well, I can't blame 'em. They have problems, so they need to cure 'em. I, too, drink alcohol. See? I have a lot in common with this EP! I bet we'd get along fine! I like the fact that they sing about going out/going down cause it's supposed to be like really fun but they make it seem like it can never go right and always ends up in disaster... which is also true I guess. Anyway, I love the little solo/melody licks in the second verse (is that a verse?). Yet again, Jelle's voice is a magnificent fit for this and it actually all sounds pretty convincing.
Track 5 is called Sick. That's a pretty generic title, so it could be anything. But apparently, they're sick of "the pain" and "the hurt". Man, I feel like I'm listening to a drunk emo record. The song kicks ass though, another really fast one, the drums come through really good and the bass part makes for a great transition into the finale. The ending is pretty phenomenally composed for a punk rock song. Well done!
The EP ends with LJD, which allegedly stands for Life Just Disappoints. Geez, these guys don't seem to catch a break, do they? I'd hurry up and buy their album already, just to make them feel a bit better! This tune is probably my second favourite on the EP. The drum track is yet again very steady yet edgy. (Oh shit, I've used the word edgy twice.) LJD finishes the EP in a grand way and the way the solo builds itself to finally conclude in a guitar-esque bass riff with the words "I'm just waiting for another day to die. Life just disappoints again." going on and on is fantastic.

Oh man, I just realized I've been really positive about this.
Seriously, guys, the Dutch Rudders haven proven they are part of this "punk rock" music everyone is talking about and they did a freaking good job with Black Holes. Please buy this from them, or listen on bandcamp and give them money or blowjobs if you're a girl or buy a shirt or I don't know just support them they deserve it I guess.

Oh, and there's a bonus track called Breezerslut, which starts with an Austin powers sample and is basically just Ward screaming over this wild-ass tune for a short minute. It's the best song that's not on the album.


Sunday Funny Sunday

Attending 2 shows in one day. That's how I roll, motherfucker.
That's right, I just called you motherfucker. Cause that's how I roll. Man.

First I went to check out rdr-fest, cause I thought that was the right thing to do. I saw 2nd perform, Belgian poppy punk rock dudes. Not bad, singalong type of stuff, they are really fun to watch and were really motivated despite the early hour and opening slot. Good start!

The second band (... weird, I just saw the 2nd band) was Drunk Machine. Apparently they weren't originally supposed to play but I was happy they did. Wacked out Israeliens (aren't they all?) who played a sort of experimental punk rock and/or roll. Like if At The Drive-In took a chill pill. I mean, Drunk Machine was still really energetic and stuff, but I guess primarily the bass playing had a real tempering flow.
Man, this is really difficult to decribe. I don't know, I loved the shows, these guys are awesome, I have no idea what to compare them too other than Thurston Moore smoking a joint while riding a unicorn through the depths of the earth. Something like that.

After that i had to go, cause I wanted to go to Aarschot, where a hardcore show was being held. Despite my train being cancelled and having to sit on the bus for 1u15m instead of 20 minutes on the train and arriving barely a minute before my other connection, I made it in time at the Klinker to see Outline.

Outline is a hardcore band. Oh, you knew that? Okay, let's say Outline is a good hardcore band. They remind me a lot of those 2000-era bands like Carry On or The Suicide File. I could be way off. Anyway, they're great, pretty pissed off and a fresh breath in Belgian hardcore, which is always nice.
Fun fact: I had the bass line of Off The Map stuck in my head for a few days a few weeks back and couldn't figure out where it came from. Now I finally know!

Next up: Ashes. I already had a few beers in my closet (dutchism) so I didn't really care anymore, ergo I danced quite a bit. It was a lot of fun. I even stagedived, which is a rare case for me. All in good fun though, i hope I didn't bother people. If I did, well, sorry. This band is super tight though. Heavy but pretty damn exciting. The vocalist has such a brutal voice, it's pretty awesome. Great riffage, drumage and bassage too, young guys but full of commitment. These are people who keep a scene like this one going. Super stoked for hardcore, setting up shows, promoting other bands, playing their hearts out. Nice to see that. I like that. You should too.

The headliner was Have It All. I kinda have no idea of their music expect for "hardcore" but I know it was a fun show. I did my signature move "lift the musicians in my neck and try extremely hard not to fall down" and also other wack dances. Lotsa fun! Great band! They're from Italy!

After the show I ended up being pushed in front of the microphone to do a MC Karel song, so I busted out Introducing MC Karel and the bass player/drummer from Have It All started doing a beat and it was really fun and primarily funny.
MC Karel don't give a shit.

So yeah, great way to spend a Sunday, that's for sure.



New zine is ready and roaring to get to you!

Interviews with:
- Tom Stray of Team Stray/Army Coach fame
- Forest Pooky
- Midnight Souls
- The Snips

- pizza reviews
- "how to dance"
- things

Only 50 cents for a 20-page A5 format zine.
It would be greatly appreciated if you bought it, or stole it, or read it or whatever.


05/11/2012: no idea what's playing but I've been told to go (Rockcafé, Leuven)
08/11/2012: Bedtime For Charlie (Rockcafé, Leuven)
12/11/2012: Unfun (Fortyweight space, Brussel)
18/11/2012: Apologies, I Have None/Crazy Arm (Kaffee Aloys, Eindhoven)
09/12/2012: The Hives/The Bronx (AB, Brussel)
14+15/12/2012: Monster Zero Mash (PMK, Innsbruck)


The Welly's

So, the beloved Wellingtons from Australia are on tour again, and they played a couple shows in Belgium last weekend. I was super sad cause I couldn't go on Friday or Saturday, but luckily they had a last-minute show in Herenthout on Sunday, so I was happy. I like being happy way more than being sad.
I met those guys and gals in Italy last year and they're really nice and I like them and I like their music a lot so yay!

First band, though, was Coma Commander, playing their third show apparently. Didn't sound like it. It was tight, great and cool punk rock music! Whoa!

Then the Wellingtons. One of my favourite bands, not really punk rock but really good and fun and nice and likeable. They played really good songs with kinda bad sound but they did their absolute best to give it their absolute best. The new songs sound really cool, like Devil In A Cardigan is a really cool song. Zac also dedicated Come Undone to me, which was a cool thing to do. I'm glad I've discovered their music and met them. They were really cool people last year and they still are really cool people, cool right? I know! Their drummer moved to Sweden so he isn't in the band anymore which was a shame cause he wa pretty rad. But the new drummer was also rad! They played a Ramones cover called I Wanna Be Sedated! That's a good song. I mean, the Ramones did it better, but come on, the Ramones did almost everything better! So that's tough! Nonetheless the Wellingtons played a fun show, which is great because I like fun shows! Great set, great vibe, good songs, some beers, nice Sunday surprise!
I also bought a 10" EP and I semi-jokingly asked them to sign it and they did it and now I have a super special version of their EP Hey Hey, which you should buy, by the way.

I hope you've also seen 'em and if not you should definitely go next time cause, you know, that's a fun thing to do. And there was this guy whose name I don't know/remember who also thought it was good and this girl who also thought so I think. So that's saying something right!

This has been a fun show review. Kinda stream of consciousnesslike, which results in using the same words but I think it's a fun way to describe a show cause I get sick of using fancy words sometimes.


I'm here to say: "I'm here to say"

I'm lazy. I kno-how. Here's what happened last Saturday.

It was Dimitri & Jef's birthday partay, which was hella fun. I got hella drunk and I did my first show as MC Karel. Oh geez.

First up was fries. I went to the same place as I did last time I was in Roeselare. The fries are really good but they ruin it by putting a literal ton of salt on them. Kinda ruined everything. Also, the guy behind the counter came to the venue at like, 2 am later that night and was all coked up and fucked. Weird. Only in Roeselare.

Then beers. I was on time, so rather early actually. Good amount of people, it promised to be a good night. After a while the first band took the stage: Eastwood.
Holy moley. Good shit. They covered Hot Water Music's Jack Of All Trades, and I guess they draw a close comparison to Hot Water Music, and stuff like The Loved Ones, Latterman, all that jazz. They're a really cool band, definitely worth checking out and seeing live. Bass playing was pretty original and creative, the riffs were great, punchy yet fuzzy (that doesn't add up...). Great show, I wanna see them again.

Saw half of No Refund. They did a Copyrights cover. They're young dudes, and I think it's really cool to see those guys play and jam out. They still have to sort shit out, musicwise and like, playing tight and stuff, but generally they're walking a good road and they're doing what they like, which I admire.

Next were The Lamourettes. I favoured hanging out outside and getting drawn on by this weirdo guy Jordi over it. Maybe not the best decision I ever made.

Then it was time for The Helltons, I think. They killed it. They're such a great band and it's a shame they aren't famous. Buncha french guys were there, so it was lotsa fun. Listen to the Helltons if you aren't already. Crucial stuff.

Wank For Peace was the last band. They ruled. They're kinda all over the punk rock place and it was really cool. they did a Blink cover I didn't recognize until 1 minute in. Really enjoyed it, bought the record, the whole shebang.

Then it was time for MC Karel. I couldn't hear the music really well so I didn't know if I was on the beat or not. I was also really drunk so I forgot my lines and kinda skipped parts and it was really awkward but kinda fun.

I also did an acoustic session for MC Karel with Jordi, which will possibly be featured on the Sunglasses Sessions thing.



To live and die with lions

A couple of years ago I heard Dude Manor by Living With Lions. Sure, I liked it. That's abaout all I have to say about that.

I had nothing to do on Monday night but it was brought to my attention by the wonderful Facebook taht Living With lions were on tour and playing Antwerp that night. Well... okay! I'll go! If you insist!

So I arrived and I was the first person there. I guess I was kinda early but then again the whole night saw like 10 to 20 people. Quite a shame, quite a bummer. I don't know why, maybe Monday blues, maybe Living With Lions isn't cool enough, maybe there was another punk rock show. Who knows.

My buds in Off The Charts opened that shit up. I think 4 people watched. Anyway, good set, you know the drill. OWTH cover. New songs. Less new songs.

Marathonmann (dubbed Maratonijnman by Armin OTC) from Germany was the support tour act for Living With Lions. Honestly, I didn't think it was gonna be any good, but they totally proved me wrong. Screamo-ish band, hints of that Title Fight sound that's so popular right now. They sing in German. They had a great time on stage and I liked it so I bought their 7". Cause why wouldn't I?

Living With Lions were really great. Apparently they used to have a frontman or even 2, I'm not sure. Anyway, now it's the guitar player singing. He did a great job. Not much to say other than that. The drummer looked like Ward from Dutch Rudders and the guitar player like Eddy from Thuis. Fun trivia. I enjoyed the show, it was a lousy turn-out and I missed the encore due to train schedules.

I also went to a party, got home a 5 pretty drunk and had to wake up at 9. Whoo!


The wolves

Rockaway Beach is blasting on Studio Brussel nobody here seems excited about that. Weird.
Anyway there's nothing to do at my internship now so I'll do a blog post. I also have to finish my preperatory sheet for my thesis but I'm not really feeling that. It's 12 o'clock so I'll guess we'll eat something soon. I'm excited to eat something.? I'm hungry.

Oh, right! Blog post! It's about this show I went to on Sunday. It was in café Paradox in Kessel-Lo. I'd never been there. It was cool. Really big. Like a pool bar but without pool tables. Just really big actually. It was hardcore night, set up by the guys in Ashes. Real cool.

First band was Tomorrow We Fight. Young dudes playing their 3rd show or something. It wasn't good. It was pretty bad actually. Tempos were off, solos were off, rhythms were off, riffs were all similar and overdone. But I don't wanna be all negative about these guys (I'm actually rarely negative about bands) cause at least they're fucking doing it. They stand there with their instruments. They wrote the songs! They butchered this Parkway Drive cover (oops!)! They are into it and are doing their best to make something of it. It wasn't all bad, either, my head was nodding sometimes and some parts were actually well-composed and really interesting. Give these guys some time and they'll "get there", wherever that is. I mean, there was one song that started with a breakdown! Gotta give them credit for that!

Second band were Dutchies called This Is History. At first the high-pitched vocals really put me off, but after a while it started to sound kinda cool. Music-wise: heavy shit. Really cool. I got really into, I did a blitz-mosh during one song. They had really cool riffage and didn't rely on clichés to get their sound across. Just raging, aggressive and creative hardcore. Need to check out.

Ashes followed. They rule. They ruuuuuuuuuule. Seriously, they're really good. They played a lot of songs and they're angry and stuff. The crowd started getting wild, ferocious even, and when they played their "hit song" Losing Track things went wack. Their demo Hold On is really good, you guys, so pick it up. There's a few copies left. Cool dudes with hearts in the right places and minds set to rage.

I went to grab pizza during Running Out. I caught bits of it and it sounded cool so I kinda regret not seeing it. Dutch band, groovy hardcore.

Violent City closed the night. Holy fuck. The place exploded. Bar-dives, stagedives, ignorant mosh. Coolness! Violent City plays kinda old school hardcore and the kids seemed top go wild for what they were doing. Great set, good times. Finally bought the new CD. About time.



Rockcafé show, agaiiiin.

I missed a couple of bands, then arrived when Countdown was playing. Such a cool bands. Vocals are absolutely terrifying (=positive!). I love the dark sound, the heavy riffs and the overall intensity of this band.

A Strength Within. Crazy. They play every show at their very best and this was no exception. Even with Tom's finger injury he still kicked the fuck out of those jams. Mike was slightly ill and his vocals were less brutal than normally, but it was still good. I'm really glad these guys are getting more and more response, they're probably the hardest working band in Belgium (like, objectively). The songs are there, the attitude is there, the performance is there. The people were there. And they danced hard. Oh, how they danced. It was a show upon which one could definitely say "hardcore lives". Oh, how it lives...

Another evidence that hardcore lives is Overthrown. All the way from Singapore on their European tour with the Strength and also No Turning Back. And they killed it. The vocalist was awesome. I remember "MOVE" being yelled like, literally a thousand times. I guess he wanted to see people dance. I understand. Dancing is fun. I remember "I DON'T KNOW THIS MIC. I DON'T KNOW THIS STAGE" which was I thought was a cool line. I remember talking about meeting people in the pit, making friends at hardcore shows. Positive attitude and cool songs. Great band, you should check 'em out. People seemed to be into it. They played a Sick of It All cover, too. I don't like Sick Of It All, though.
Anyway, super fun show, everybody was having fun, dancing or just enjoying an energetic show from 4 guys from the other side of the world.

Summer in Fucktober

Normally I would do a big blog post about last weekend, which was the Summer In October festival, aka The Greatest Festival In The World (Perhaps).
But I really can't. And that makes me sad to this very day. I've got 2 reasons for it.

REASON 1: No Saturday fun.
My parents were having a big party for their anniversary and the housewarming and I really couldn't get out of that, so I could only go on Friday. Fuck my fucking life. Minus 1000 punx points.

REASON 2: Friday night killed, well, Friday fun.
I drank too much. Or I didn't but I couldn't handle it either way. I partied to the Dutch Rudders, Maladroit and possibly the Accelerators. Then I went to see The Murderburgers and I went to the toilet (which I apparently didn't even make) to puke my fucking guts out. Apparently I spent the rest of the Murderburgers show at the back of the venue feeling bad. I don't know. I feel like a fucking idiot. I am a fucking idiot.

I missed Kristof Verwhite too because I went to bed because of that.

I woke up feeling okay and having swastikas and "JIZZ" written all over my face. Gotta love Jordi "fuckface" Ostir.

The Dutch Rudders
were great. I like them. They have good songs.
Maladroit was awesome. We played Twister in da pit. They're really good.
Accelerators must have been good. I heard they were really good. I believe that.
Fraser Murderburger played in a duck suit. I remember that.

So, I'm primarily bummed for not being able to go on Saturday and for being a total fuck-up on Friday.
I hope everyone who was there had The Greatest Time Of Their Lives and perhaps enjoyed the This Ain't Summer In October festzine I made (if you missed it, there are still some left!).

Support punk rock. This Shit Town. De Kroenkel (I'm sorry for apparently puking on your restroom door/floor/pissijn, I really am). De Lenny. The bands.


One-ball B.

Oh, menneke. Slightly last-minute, the guys from Off The Charts arranged a show for their buds Apologies, I Have None in Leuven, at the infamous Rockcafé. So, yay! There were a couple of my favourite things represented at this show: Apologies, beer, pre-show pizza, Jordi Ostir, punk dancing, de Pejer and the Off The Chaars dudes.

Because of delay there was plenty of hangout time, which is fun. Punk rock shows are a bit like elementary school. During the sets you have to pay attention to the band, between the sets you talk to friends and meet new people. Like this guy, Arthur, who I've met at the Joyce Manor show, who is a real cool dude and he told me he liked my zine so I like him. That's how I roll.
The difference with school is that school drools and punk rules. Guess you all knew that.

When Silver & Gold started, I was... amazed. I haven't seen them before but I'm totally into it. Hoarse vocals and melodic riffage. Really great show, full of energy despite just coming out of a traffic jam or something. Killer songs & riffs. Yup, I dig it. You should too!

Up next: Apologies, I Have None. 4th time seeing 'em. And you know what they say, huh. Fourth time's a charm! And it was rather charming, actually. After a quick soundcheck they started playing a song I didn't know, with a mic that was showing troubles. It got solved though, and just in time too! The next thing I new they started playing Sat In Viccy Park and everyone went nuts. I'm not fucking kidding! everyone seemed to be into it. Dancing around, moving about, pogoing, punk mosh, stagedives, crowdsurfs, and lots, lots of singalongs. Mic stands barely survived. I think nobody really expected it, neither the band nor the audience. But it happened and it was really fun. It had been a while since I left an punk rock show sweaty like a pig, so that felt pretty good and satisfying. I'm a nutcase sometimes. The entire show was top notch, the band played at what I assume was their very best. All hits, no shits. All kills, no fills. Ya know. The fucking 26, man. The 26, dude. The god damn 26.

Post-show hangouts were lotsa fun. Sometimes I wish my life was a punk rock show. Sometimes I think it is.
Got a ride home with the Dilbeek punx (real punx, pissing on cars and stuff) and walked on top of bicycles.
Great night.



You know I always enjoy a good rockcafé show. Unfortunately sometimes things overlap so I can't see everything. Yesterday was such an evening. We have the This Ain't Noise radio show between 8pm & 9pm, then we need to get the streamfile and that takes another 20/30 minutes. So I only got to Rockcafé at aroung 9:45 pm.

Darko was playing their set when I arrived. Holy shit guys. Darko is amazing. Melodic skate punk/hardcore in the vein of Strike Anywhere or None More Black. Great songs, enormous energy and a show to say "you" to (dutchism). I don't have a lot to say, but check them out and buy their stuff.

Also check out Lineout from Italy (also with a new album) and Eastwood from Ostend.

James Joyce Manor

"Kunt gij zondag werken, Karel?" - "Eh, ja, maar ik moet wel door rond 7 uur. Of 8 uur gaat ook nog." I'm glad I said that, cause otherwise I would've missed one of the coolest shows of September. I had already missed quite a lot of cool shows cecause of other priorities, but Sunday the 30th of September was clearly marked and I was resolute to attend.

So after a busy day at work I took the train to Antwerp, and I hurried to thee Kavka venue cause I figured Apologies, I Have None would have started already. And I was right, unfortunately. I walked in and I could hear them play 60 Miles I think. I don't remember which song it was but it was good. Apparently their fanbase in Europe is not that great, though I think they're doing well in Britain. Nonetheless there were quite a few people there for a Sunday night, watching the band play.
Now, I'm gonna pull the hipster card this time only because this is one of the few occasions I can, but: "I was totally into Apologies, I Have None when they were still underground." I actually saw them play a great set last year in front of 10 people or so. They only had the Joiners & Windmills/Sat In Viccy Park 7" out then, but they convinced me. I guess I'm not that good of a hipster cause they were a 2-piece band before that and a good hipster would've known about them then and stopped liking them when they became a 4-piece band.
Anyway, I saw 'em again at reading fest last month, their debut London has been out for a while now and I must say I'm a solid fan now. So, naturally, I loved their show! They have absolutely killer harmonies, kinda their trademark (I compared them to the Copyrights in the last year's blogpost, which holds true for sense of harmonizing), and also really cool melodies, contrast dynamics and overall use of song construction. Each instrument is now pretty crucial to make the songs come to live.
I guess you could argue that some of their songs sound alike, but that doesn't bother me at all and I'd like to call it coherent songwriting rather than sounding alike. Especially when you get into it more you notice these guys have great ideas and a definite view on their musical output.
'nyway, a lot of emotion and stuffz. Anthematic, big singalong parts, without the actual singalong by other people than me and a few other weirdos in the crowd. Stellar performance. (I think stellar is a good term here because they're British and that word sounds kinda British. Yes, that's how I write reviews. Gigiddy.)

Then, after they had done playing and I saw a good half or more of their set, an incinerating force from the Californian country was on the stage in the form of Joyce Manor. Not Joyce Manure. Not Joyce Major or Minor. No, they're Joyce Manor. Four guys playing their hearts out. Awesome. I was "worried" that I wouldn't know any of the new songs and they would play a lot of those, but au contraire! Almost their entire debut full length was played, and couple other, including 2 or 3 new songs (that sounded great, I didn't hesitate buying the record after the show) and a Murder City Devils cover. I lost shit during Beach Community (a very preserved form of losing shit, though this is probably my favourite song of theirs), during Constant headache (a slightly more open version of losing shit, including dancing around and jumping in Domien's back screaming words), and during motherfucking Five Beer Plan (all-out shit-losing, that song is dope! included losing shit and also singing out of tune very loudly on my part.)
On the other hand, there was a definite Sunday-atmosphere, so most people were like "OH MAN I'M NOT GONNA MOVE ARE YOU CRAZY MOVING IS SUPER DUMB I'M NOT MOVING ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME" so there wasn't a lot of animation on the crowd. Joyce Maneur (oops!) played an amazing show though, it was tight, interesting and they're just a really nice punk band. They played the right songs, had the right attitude, the right smiles, the right vibe. On of the coolest shows I've seen recently. Srsly. Joyce Manor is a real cool band, as my bud Bram told me about a year ago. I'm fucking glad I listened to him.
Always believe den Bram.



Oh, Rockcafé, how you keep me entertained in times of boredom, work, school and internship.
Last week (on Tuesday, I know, I'm slacking this blog big time) there was another punk rock show with punk rock bands playing punk rock songs on a starry punk rock night. Every night is a punk rock night.

I arrived halfway into Altitude's set. I had a date with pizza at 7 and the show supposedly started at 7:30. Of course, just this once, the Kickass dudes started their show on time, so I was a tiny bit tardy. No worries though. Altitude was cool, man! Kinda poppy but very much rocking. A bit too much blaccering in between songs, but okay. I can see that through the fingers (dutchism!). I'd like to see these guys again, which is a goal most bands try to reach with their audience, so good job on that, Altitude!
The again, they covered NOFX' Linoleum. Ok, everyone, come on. Stop doing that. Pick another song. Make things interesting. And don't do Bob either. Or True Believers, Or, god help me, Bro Hymn. No offense, but at least try to shake it up a bit.

Next band up: Off The Charts. It is no secret that I have a mancrush on these guys, so sorry that I'm biased. They started out with a new song, actually an old new song. I haven't seen them play in quite a while so I'm not so much up to date. Anyway, it was great. They seem to surpass all their previous efforts with every new song they make, which is a good thing! They played another new song as well which they dedicated to MC Karel, so that was cool. I wonder if MC Karel's popularity boomed after that night. The rest of their set was actually really tight. I've seen them play some good shows and some bad shows, this was among the good ones. I guess that counts for something? They always seem to pull through though and they're proving that they're an upcoming force to be reckoned with. Also, they did an Off With Their Heads cover - Clear The Air. See! That's a cool shoice for a cover. Not too obvious, not too convenient, yet fitting and something different.

Then it was the time for Rebuke. Swedish guys with a British drummer who drums in -I think- 90% of European skatepunk bands. The singer looked kinda like a crust viking bur he was actually really adorable when he was talking, which created a cool Scandinavian yuxtaposition. They're a cool band and put on a great show and all, but the music doesn't really cling or linger with me. It's there to enjoy, but it's gone the next second. I guess it's not so much my thing. Doesn't mean I won't go next time, and also doesn't mean I didn't buy the new EP en 7". Because I will and I did. I'm a sucker for poor bands.

So, get this. After the show we were all hanging out, and my friend was texting me saying I should go to this party. And I kinda sorta said I would so I felt obligated so I left the Rockcafé and it's hangout crew, among which the Dilbeek connection, a little early. Now, funny thing happened. First of all the party was pretty damn boring. Second of all I don't go to parties. Third of all I had to get up early the next morning. So I went home at about 00:45. And guess who passed by at the exact moment I got out on the street, away from the party? Yes, why, of course, the Dilbeek dudes. They apparently were driving around yelling at students. Which I thought was hella funny. So in a quick turn of events I was in the car with them, driving around the block, yelling at stupid students (whoa, great alliteration I made there!). That was odd, but a lot of fun. To top it off, they drove past and dropped me off at my dorm, so i didn't have to walk home. Man, these guys. These guys.


Dr. Kepi

In an attempt to not entirely forget about this blog I will now tell you a story about musicians.


Part 1: The Austrian Man who Cut his Hand.
Once upon a time, there was a band, called DeeCracks. There were 2 guys in this band. Actually 3, but 2 main people. They toured and toured around the land, the continent and maybe even in the sky. They always played really loud and fast and everyone who knew them loved them. But then, an evil beer bottle attacked the drummer of the band! He cut his hand open and needed 5 stiches. 5 stitches, not one more, not one less. He was able to play but in pain. Terrible pain. It appeared DeeCracks' luck had turned.
But fortunately, the booking Gods provided them with 3 acoustic shows. So Mike DeeCrack, the drummer of whom I spoke, could rest his hand. He rested while Matt DeeCracks, who played guitar and sang their joyful songs, played the set of songs in an acoustic way. The kingdom was impressed. They had never expected that it would be actually good, because DeeCracks music is particularly created to be played electric, fast and loud. But Matt's hoarse, raspy voice trembled through the castle of Nijlen, de Kroenkel. It trembled in our ears and it made us feel warm inside and it delighted us. Although the songs seemed a bit odd and out of place, Maat DeeCrack pulled it off to deliver a powerful and enjoyabel set. The attendants applauded, cheered and exchanged hand-to-hand gestures to express common agreeance.

Part 2: The Savant American who Appeared to be a Doktor.
The kingdom went to grab beverages at the bar, but after a while the stage was encaptured again. Not only was the whole room decorated with lovely pieces of extraordinary art by Andrea Mange (of the clan of The Manges), Stefan Tijs (heir of the Stardumb empire) and Kepi Ghoulie (a musical wizard - some say he bleeds rock'n'roll), but there also appeared to be another bard, a very admirable bard I must say.
It was Frank Portman, under his moniker Dr. Frank, who was shining there, on that stage. And he started to play and there was a general delight. The citizens requested classic songs from the long-disbanded touring tribe The Mr. T Experience, and Dr. Frank provided the songs as best as he could remember - The MTX were around for a long time and they had a lot of songs in their archives. He delighted us with these classics that the citizens all helped to sing, and he added some of his recent ventures on the solo route.
This Dr. Frank seemed to be a very charismatic singer and he was able to play a full set without boring anyone, I would guess. Some say he is the greatest songwriting in the punk (ba)roque era, and although that is a rather daring statement, no one knows how far we are from the truth.

Part 3: The Returning American with the Blood of Rock'nRoll
After a quick but necessary interruption - and a visit to the vomitorium for me - the final act of the night would bestow its talents upon us. This travelling misfit went by the name of Kepi Ghoulie. If one was to ask him how he was doing, he would sincerely answer: "I'm doing fine, so leave me alone." He is a gentle man, however, and he was ever so excited to perform his musique for us.
People from all over the kingdom were gathered there now, and as Kepi was to begin, some brave man shouted out. "Stormy Weather!" it resonated through the room. And so Kepi played the songs. He seamlessly played songs, some by request, some by own initiative. He invited a lovely dame to the stage to play this magical board of keys that produced soundwaves. He did his utter best to create what would later be known as a "rock'n'roll party" to which we were gladly participating.
The compositions of Kepi were drawn from various eras in history. Classic traditional songs such as The Beast With Five Hands (which handles the topic of loving a monsters rather than slaying it on a quest - very eye-opening) as well as songs from the post-Groovie Ghoulies dispansion were chanted, and when the end was near Kepi even tackled some songs by other musicians, for example Billy Bragg of England.
It is not entirely certain if the man who calls himself Kepi actually physically bleeds rock and/or roll, but metaphorically we can assume so.

And so I want to conclude the tale of the nomads with guitars, travelling around the world in search of happiness and rock music.



Rockcafé shows can get out of hand, man. Sometimes they're just a quiet get together of 2 guys and a horse's head, but sometimes people actually show up and it becomes a party.
Wednesday was a party. I arrived "on time" so basically an hour too soon, and because of other issues I was two hours early. Beers it is! I was destined to go home early that night, as soon as the bands were done playing. Let's recapitulate how that worked out.

It didn't. The first guy on the stage was this guy Jeff, who went by the stage name Divided Heaven. Acoustic folk/punk rock. Y'all know tha deal, innit? Real cool dude, real nice voice, real cool songs. I liked him.

Then, The Snips. Never heard of 'em before. Apparently, they've been a band since 1998 or something. They play punk rock, like, I don't know, early Offspring or maybe The Vandals? Fun, energetic, with a definite 90s vibe but a fresh note to it. I really dug it. Totally forgot to buy a record though.
Cause I decided to interview them. Without any preparation or any knowledge of the band. So the interview was pretty lousy, but hopefully kinda funny so that'll make up for it. Then, all of a sudden I was staying to party. Hanging 'round, drinking beers. Jamming to At The Drive-In and The Weakerthans with the drummer. Being a wingman for the bandmembers, which was, I guess, ultimately to no avail? I'm not sure. I don't think you get blowjobs for playing punk rock. You have to play stuff like All Time Low or Enter Shikari. I bet they get all the blowjobs. ALL OF THEM.
Anyway, it was also a really cool idea to go on this giant fun fair swing that was in front of the bar, after a fair deal of beers. Shit was super fun. Super exciting. Super fun.


Oh snap I forgot to ask them about poutine! Damn.

"The meaning of life is that there is no meaning."

Monday. Deirmonde. I like to pronounce Dendermonde like that. After my first day of internship I went from Brussels to Termonde to go and see a hardcore show. Weird. I had fries in Deirmonde and the guy was a total dick so fuck that. Food was good though. I love fries from the fryture.

Got to the Zenith. First paying attendant of the night! Yay! Didn't get a price, but I did get to see Rebuild. Benji was absent again, which sucked, and Gijs had some vocal difficulties, which also sucked, but nonetheless they play every show the best they can do and I really admire that. I always love to see Chiel smash those drums, he has a really unique style and that's awesome. So despite the absence of the bass (who needs that anyway?) they put on an enjoyable show. The new songs are mindblowingly good. Really. Losing Love, wow. Abandoned, fuck. Really excited to hear the recorded versions of those songs.

Next up, The Homeless. Home game for these melodic hardcore dudes. Great shows, it had been a while since I've seen them, but they're definitely making progress. New stuff sounds stellar and they've definitely gotten better at making songs. Not that they were bad at first, they're just better now. The guitar dude should do more vocals.

Accept The Change. Second to last show. Really glas I could catch 'em before their end. Fucking great band. So heavy yet so delicate sometimes. Tom has such an... honest stage presence. He just says what's on his mind, that's awesome. They released a last 2-song EP with two of their best songs ever. Go out with a bang, I guess. Get Out There is absolutely fenomenal, a 5 and a half minutes outburst. "The earth is flat and jacking off will make you blind." Awesome show. Tough crowd.

Then I went to see the Midnight Souls. Again. I like that band. Let's just keep it at that.


Story of my life. Had a lot of fun though.

Punk a la France

The day after Skatefest I went to France! The lovely Jerome was driving over to Hazebrouck on a Sunday and he offered me a ride, which I gladly took.
So off we went to Hazebrouck, a 1,5 hour drive I think. Cool!

When we arrived the first band that played was Short Days, a folk/punk band. Really just a punk band with bagpipes. I didn't like the bagpipes, I did like the punk.

I don't remember the name of the band after that, but they were also punk rock. Surprise?

Then it was Burning Lady's turn. Streetpunk with female vocals. Really cool.

I Was A Teenage Alien was fun. Pop Punk Pop Punk Hey Hey Hey.

But okay, I was there to see Banner Pilot. I can't see them at Veusseleir Calling, so I was lucky top see them then. They played a cool set. I mean, they're not the world's greatest live band but I love the songs, I love the band, I love that fucking bass, so I was stoked as fuck. Played the hits and some more. Solid.

Then pizza and a sleepy ride home. Thanks again!

We skate/We're cool

Next tardy update. Skatefest, Olen. I don't skate.

First band I saw were the Adjectives. They're a fairle young band, playing catchy pop punk. I saw them last year and was still skeptical cause they sounded a bit gimmicky, but their show in Olen, at least the first part, convinced me that these guys are definitely in it for, well, 'it'. The set slowed down and got a bit sloppy after guitarist Sander broke a string, but my overall thought was "gee, these songs are fun!". I would like to say, though, that a lot of the songs sound the same. They start with a guitar riff for a couple bars, with or without vocals, and a couple bars in the rest of the instrumentation follows. Then there's a catchy solo and a final chorus or something and it's done. So I like it, but it doesn't stand out. Also, it seemed like the drummer/bass player were kinda disinterested, which could be untrue, but it looked like that.

Next band was, Stonepiler. Stoner rock, probably? I don't know, they were a rather heavy rock band. Didn't saw the entire show biut they sounded cool.

Gino's Eyeball. They could be Belgian's NoFX, but instead they're Belgian's Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. Silly covers, silly medleys, silly audience participation (even at 2pm, but they got some reaction), silly jokes, silly selfmade songs, silly stage presence and an overall silly show. You probably know how they roll. I mean figuratively, but you probably know how they roll literally as well.

Violent City, I think? Great band, I once again failed to buy the new EP, but from what I hear it's super good, you guys. If someone in Violent City is reading this, please remind me to fucking buy your cd next time! Thanks. Love, Karel.

The Octopussys. Despite the fact they play a lot of shows everywhere, I haven't seen them a lot. So Skatefest was a good opportunity. I'm not the biggest fan, but they're a real cool band, they work really hard and they play punk rock music, which is always a plus. It's pretty stupid to wear sunglasses in the shade, though. Anywayyyy.

I guess, maybe Perceptions was next? I don't know man, the whole day was a great show/hangout/beer combo so it all overlaps a bit in my mind. I do remember seeing Perceptions, though, and they were okay. Standard metalcore/hardcore guys. Got people moshing, which was fun(ny).

CanIrepeed didn't have de Jelle with them but they're a fun band. I like their Fresh Prince rip-off song, and some of the others as well, so yeah. Pretty wasted by now.

Wasted enough to dance wacky to A Strength Within! Yay! They were amazing. One of the best sets I've seen them play I think. But I think they just get better every time they play, so that could be the secret. Anyway, I danced superduper wacky, but I had so much fun. Only fell down once. Sang along with the few words I can sing along to, and sang along to some lyrics I didn't really knew but kinda guessed. A Strength Within is one of those bands I see live fairly often so I don't really put on their records anymore.

Same thing with The Priceduifkes, who were next. I have no clue how many times I've seen these guys. And every time they get me dancing, stomping, falling down or acting stupid.
This time, though, was the first time I've seen them play with a second guitar player/playah, with name (dutchism) den Tony Crackup. If you know the Crackups, then you should know den Tony can play some damn fine guitar. Pretty cool, i hope their new songs will surely benefit from having 2 guitars. Anyway, I'm drifting off. Show was great. Classic PDS. What did you expect?

The Crackups were up next. Amazing band, great show, too bad they're calling it quits. They played a Nobodys cover with Ricky PDS on vocals, and they also played all of their great hits, such as A Girl Is Only Good To Fuck. Which is, as you should all know, The Greatest Song Of Our Generation And Hopefully Of The Next One. So yeah. Cool.

After that things got totally out of control when people started to draw things on me. It was really funny at the moment, but I felt kinda stupid afterwards. I had a swastika the size of my back on my... back with the word "jizz" written in my neck. Okay, I guess that's still pretty funny. I also remember "TURTLE POWER" "VAGINA" "OTC" and a bunch of names and scribbles.

Spent time hanging out, being drunk and eating mexicano sandwiches during Campus (okay), Deadline (okay) and Pay No Respect (holy motherfucking fuck, what the fucking fuck was that?). Heard half of Saves The Day but I already seen them the week before so yeah. They were okay. I got a ride home with A Strength Within, who are real cool dudes and I'd like to thank them for that.

The Beach Men

Let's catch up. First up, a show I went to exactly one month ago, which was really cool but I still haven't talked about it on the blog.

On August 7th, The Lokerse Feesten were in full effect and they had booked the Beach Boys. The fucking Beach Boys, people. You can't not like the Beach Boys, even if they're old and worn out.

First band was De Mens, which is a good rock band but they should definitely consider making their songs shorter, cause that would have made the experience all the more enjoyable. Anyway, they have some hits so it was alright.

Then it was time for The Beach Boys. I've counted, and there were no less than 15 people on the stage, playing an instrument and/or singing. Of course what was left of the original Beach Boys, plus a backing band. And that backing bands had a backing band as well. I mean, 2 drummers? Holy shit.
The set started out with Little Honda I guess, or maybe there was a song before that. It started off awesome, that's for sure. The Boys were having fun, Brian Wilson was ruling a lot. They're all old (I'll stop saying that now) so they're stage antics are definitely not up to par, but the show did go on, for a good hour or so (i don't remember) and the dudes delivered. They fucking delivered.
All the hits (except for Be True To Your School, which really was the only song I missed in their set, so that's alright). The show slowed down in the middle so it got a tiny bit boring, but the pace was back near the end and overall I danced a lot, smiled a lot and had a lot of fun.
It was just wicked that I had the chance to see the Beach Boys perform in the year 2012, but the fact that they didn't let down is even better. Cause, let's be honest, those things can go really wrong as well.

So, kiddos, that's why God made the radio.


Run, Forest Pooky, run!

Look. I can't listen to everything. I want to, I really want, but I can't. Every once in a while I get a message from someone and they tell me "would you listen to my album?" and I'm like, "of course!" cause I love music and I love to support artists.
I'm pretty sure the reason why Forest Pooky send me his album was because otherwise I probably wouldn't have heard it, and that would've been a shame. Promotion is everything (well, a lot of things) so I'll gladly help out this fine chap by featuring his fine album on my blog. So the reason why I'm reviewing this is because otherwise you probably wouldn't have heard it. Now hear.
Out 14/09/2012!

Forest Pooky - Every Key Hole Has An Eye To Be Seen Through
(Production 386, 2012)
1. Deaf House
2. Walking Around The Block
3. Stones Hardly Move But They Can Always Think About It
4. Heart And Faith
5. The Darkness Comes
6. Side Of The Lane
7. Our Greatest Times Won't Dissappear
8. Broken Hands
9. My Shrink (Has Got A Lot To Deal With)
10. Attack Of The Tooth Picks
11. Soul Dealer
12. Hit And Burn
13. Deaf House (Tambien)

I had a stuffed bear named Pooky once. Actually, I still have it and I still sleep with it. Anyway. The name comes from his previous band, The Pookies. Other than that he has earned some stripes by playing in Sons Of Buddha, Black Zombie Procession, Opium Du Peuple and Annita Babyface And The Tasty Poneys (yes, that band!). So I guess he is to be trusted, music-wise. Let's get into this.
Let me start of by saying I like this album. Let's make that clear. It's a good album. I like it. Okay? Now, we'll go on.
The first track sets a tone of acoustic folk with a pop sensibility, including nice 'ooooh's and the title being set in context. It's more of an intro maybe than an actual song. It gets reprised as a full-blown song at the end, and I guess I like the reprise better but the first one fits better to the album. Which probably was the intention. Good job on that, Forest! He kicks it up a notch for the rest of the album. As said, he played in punk rock bands of all kinds so going solo, there's obviously that note of punk present. Walking Around The Block builds itself nicely and features and upbeat and fun guitar, backed by drums that come in later in the song. And maybe keyboards? I think I hear keyboard, but I could be wrong cause I'm not good at that. Most tracks of the album have this fun, uplifting quality that's typical for punk rock but transposed to folk instrumentation and songwriting. My Shrink (Has Got A Lot To Deal With), for example, sounds to me like it could be a Bowling For Soup song.  Which is a good thing, of course, I love Bowling For Soup. It's probably one of my favourite songs on the album. Same thing with Side Of The Lane, it's just a really catchy song, you can't help singing along, you nod your head immediately and it's easily recognizable. That's the kind of musical punk rock ideas that strike me, and that's what I mainly love about the album. Of course, the advantage of such folk/punk rock artists (see Chuck Ragan, Tom Gabel, Frank Turner, ...) is that they keep me interested because of their background but they also introduce me to quieter folk music, which I really dig sometimes. Forest Pooky does the same thing. He mixes and matches soft guitar picking and heavy strumming into this nice little album here (a good example of that is Our Greatest Times Won't Dissappear). In Our Greatest Times he sings, "I've heard that sleep is just an exercise for death", which reminds me a lot of the famous Nas lyric "I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.", which might be coincidence but I think it's awesome and shows intermusicality.
Noteworthy is that Forest is from Washington DC (where I met the President of the United States, again.) so he doesn't have a French accent that, well, French artists have. If I'd compare him to Greg Laraigne (from Genève), I think that would definitely be a distinguishing feature. Their music is kinda similar. It's the same idea. I think Forest experiments more with the songs, though. Most of the time that works, but only for example the song Heart And Faith... nah, that doesn't do it for me. The riff sounds really weird and I don't think it fits anything. But it's sandwiched between Stones Hardly Move... and The Darkness Comes which are both great songs. Especially Stones Hardly Move... is a standout track. The moment Forest breaks out "I'm so close to dying, I'll keep on digging, shoveling stones." is magnificent. Most lyrics seem pretty personal but very pictural. Lots of metaphors, not necessarily mysterious but clever nonetheless. There's anthematic choruses that I can imagine a crowd singing along to with all their hearts (Broken Hands, Walking Around The Block).
After My Shrink the album loses touch a bit, I think. The songs are still pretty good but they stand out less. The melody in Hit And Burn is amazing though, certainly when it combines with the vocal delivery. The album comes full circle with the reprise/tambien version of Deaf House. And I would certainly hit repeat.

Forest Pooky is in the same lane as Greg Laraigne, Mark McCabe, Chuck Ragan and all those punk frontmen gone solo guys. I'd like to see him perform, cause most of the times the songs have a lot more effect in an intimate setting, you know, with the guy singing the songs directly at you. Forest has a great voice and an affinity to make cool folk music. It's an interesting mix of sad and happy, but with an overall  realist vibe. Get into this if you like stuff like this!

I'd also like to applaud myself to have only made two Forest Gump joke.


Everyone Talks revised

Another Chalk Talk/Everyone Everywhere show, this time in good ole Belgium. In good ole Antwerpen, even. Good ole Antwerpen-Berchem!
Den Eglantier housed 3 bands this evening; It's kind of a tradition that there are delays, so instead of 18h30, the show started at 20h00. No worries, I was able to hang out and drink some beers so the waiting wasn't bad.

The first band, Accept The Change, played on of their last shows as a band. They're splitting. I hadn't seen them play in forever, so gladly I could see them one more time (actually, I'll probably see them on Monday too!). Their shows have always been incredibly intense, both hard-hitting as on the verge of breaking down.
They played most songs off of Escapism Is A Dying Art, and also a new song (even though they're breaking up, that's cool). Songs like Nameless Boys and Inhibition are pretty overwhelming (both featured guest vocals too!) but the whole show ruled. Sad to see you go, motherfucker.

Also, everything was really, really loud. Glad I had my earplugs.

Chalk Talk killed it once again by jamming immensely good songs in an immensely good way. I think I covered this here, right?
Same for Everyone Everywhere. Great band. They didn't visit Antwerpen they said, so I yelled "Tell us about Stonehenge!" (which they were going on about last week) and it got a laugh. I don't like to yell stuff at shows, but it was alright. They were awesome.

Also, good turnout! Check out Mendville and Steady Anchor bookings!

Losin' pounds

Rockcafé shows. I always love 'em. UK and Germany punk rock this time.

First band on and off stage was Nai Harvest. Guitar and drums. Nothing more. Beautifully crafted screamo in the vein of Algernon Cadwallader. Great songs, great performance except for some minor mishaps of the guitar cable letting go of its jack hole 2 times, luckily only at the end of the songs. Singalong sentences and riddling riffs. Nice guys too, I had some leftover pounds sterling and they gladly accepted a few for their records/changed some so I could buy Smile & Burn's stuff.

Hindsights were on tour with Nai Harvest. Both played their first non-Island shows, which was pretty cool and exciting. Hindsights are a total Title Fight/Basement/Daylight rip-off, but it was very good. I mean, rip-off might be a harsh term to use, cause they had some cool stuff going on of their own, like the dual vocals, some cool riffs and drum patterns. Enjoyed the show, bought the EP.

Smile & Burn closed off the night. At first it was okay. Fun punk rock with a No Idea edge. But ultimately the show really convinced me and I decided I liked them. Got dancing a bit, high-fiving, and all that jazz. They played a great show. And that's what I love about most shows. I don't have/make time to check out all music, so by going to shows I get immediate satisfaction in the checking out department.
There were small after-show hangouts, record buyin', high-fivin', compliments givin'.

Also some more beers and I tried to hit on a girl which obviously I was unsuccessful at.