29-01-12

Download fanzine 1 & 2

Hey, I don't think I've mentioned it yet but I put PDF-files for This Ain't Noise zines #1 and #2 up for download. They're sold out so if you haven't read them yet you can do so now!

#1: http://www.mediafire.com/?ndm0vdxdjr18hvd
#2: http://www.mediafire.com/?tgzitnic62bpws5

Enjoy!

#3 and #4are still available in print!

Also I've started working on the 5th edition, which is pretty cool!

24-01-12

The Ultimate Facebook

Long before the Facebook took over our lives, in 1994, a rock band by the name of Ultimate Fakebook came to life. 3 years later they put out their debut album and in 1999 (the year like which you're supposed to party) they released an album called This Will Be Laughing Week.
I've recently discovered this record on soem power pop blog probably. And I was like "I'll give it a listen". Being all "yeah, not bad." I gave it another listen. And another one. And now I find myself genuinely enjoying this album. It's become "playlist official".

Sooooooooooo... review? kinda?

Noisome Reocrds, 1999

1. She Don't Even Know My Name
2. Tell Me What You Want
3. Of Course We Will
4. Brokÿn Nëedle
5. A Million Hearts
6. Soaked In Cinnamon
7. This Will Be Laughing Week
8. Little Apple Girl
9. I'm All Out Of It Now
10. Far, Far Away
11. Glitter & Glue
12. Downstairs/Arena Rock
13. Real Drums
14. Perfect Hair

So, 3 guys playing power pop/rock 'n' roll music. And they made this record. More than 10 years ago. They did a good job.
They start with a bang and grab the attention of the listener straight away with delightful guitar chords, nice but strong drumming and and a dude singing. And you're like "oh, this is catchy." and "I think I'm hooked". The first song is just a real fresh, hitting starter, semi-mellow, semi-upbeat and the chorus displays the singer's range of voice immediately. Or maybe his lack of range. He does these octaves that sound loike he almost can't reach them. I think he can, but there really aspirated. Anyway, he's a great singer, definitely for the power pop genre and I like what he does with his voice.
The record continues and with Tell Me What You Want it embarks on probably the catchiest song. Just that hook in the chorus, the vocal melody and harmony and those 4th-count-stops (i don't know how to call it) just make it a really infectious hit song. Great for singing along, but if you're not good at singing I'd keep it to yourself cause it's pretty intense. Further on more rocking pop hits pass the digital needle (I downloaded the record, so yeah...), and in Broken Needle the singer even uses this really high voice so I guess he's really capable of singing really good. (man, I'm making so much sense right now.)
the, time for the OBLIGATORY BALLAD. A quick Google search teaches me that there are a lot of people thinking this is a Starting Line song. Well, people who think that: it's not! This is, however, a really awesome song. It's slower and more candy-coated than the rest, but it fits the gab and shows these guys are great songwriters and can push any kind of song to a catchy pop level. I'm still in love, but I'm one of a million hearts you'll someday break. That's a damn spot-on lyric. And there are a lot of good lyrics on the record. Some identifiable, some weird and some just fun.
Back to ROCKING with Soaked In Cinnamon. Whoa. This whole song is soaked in cinnamon. So sweet. The title track basically breaks down the album as a kind of acoustic interlude. And near the end I'm beginning to hear some filler. The second "half" of the album isn't as strong as the first one. Songs like Little Apple Girl, Real Drums and I'm All Out Of It now are really good, but some of the others don't pack the punch that the first songs have. But they're totally made up for by Far, Far Away, an incredibly catchy song about Star Wars. So, yeah, the second part has really great moments but sometimes it's weaker than expected. Still hella catchy, no worries.

All in all, This Will Be Laughing Week will get on my iPod thingy and I'll listen to it a lot more because I'm digging it a lot. If you're a fan of great pop rock/power pop, good singing, catchy rhythms and great melodies you'll have to check it out. I'm off to check out the rest of their albums, I'll let you know if they're also worth your while!

Anyway, you can download their 'comeback' (?) album on their site, if you're interested. It's called Daydream Radio Is Smiling Static.

Everyday I'm shuffling.

I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF EXAM PERIOD AND ALL I DO IS GO TO SHOWS I'M SUCH A REBEL.
Actually, it's nice to be able to enjoy a gig once in a while in between studying. So yesterday I treated myself on some fine-ass punk rock in the oh so (in)famous Rock Café.

First band up and atom was Charlie Bit My Finger, a Belgian pop punk rock band much alike Blink 182 I guess? Good stuff, actually, I was digging it. Last show with their singer I was to understand. Put on a good show, they looked motivated and some tunes were really catchy. I think I'll keep my eyes open for this in the future.


La bande séconde was Truro. I had already seen them once! They have an EP out and the songs are definite jams! Obviously they've gotten better, I really like the harmonies and dual vocals. It's pretty technical stuff, which is sometimes hard to get through to me because my mind likes simple things. But it sounded great!

Last band was The Shuffle, and they were more of a straight-up heavy punk rock band. The singer was wearing a Living Daylights shirt, and their music kinda sounded similar I think? Correct me if I'm totally wrong. I really dug them, interesting songs and song structures. They also have an EP out so buy it guyz and galz!

Cool show. I always like Kickass shows cause they're always cool although I never know any of the bands.

21-01-12

Vagina in this place

Yesterday was Cut Here!'s last show. I attended 2/3rds of it. What a shame, cause the other 3rd was bound to be really good, and so it was apparently. Anyway, I'll stop crying over that, I saw 4 bands and hung out quite good.

First up was King Terror. Not really my thing. It wasn't bad and they had interesting songs, to say the least, but the masks and the pretty extreme statements and all are not what I look for in bands. But if you like music that is faster than the fastest music you know, chekc out this band. Members of Vuur, I have heard. So, for the fans...

Next up were the PDS with a fast set, cause otherwise they wouldn't fit in the bill for being too poppy perhaps. Anyway, I really like this band and was stoked to hear some songs they don't always play so hooray for Fokkie, Hey Boermans, and the Dwarves' "Let's Fuck" among others. Great set. I fell down and hurt my leg. Boo hoo.

Then Scheisse Minelli was on stage. I'd never seen or heard them but boy, they're great! 80's stuff, hardcore punk, and they put on a cool show. Nothing else to say, cool band!

Lastly I saw Cut Here! playing their final show. Great show. I recall a Minor Threat cover and a Circle Jerks cover and of course their own songs. They were a good band, go download their EP on slambrigade.be and, I don't know, maybe give it a listen. It's okay.

I missed Reproach and Sunpower, which is a major bummer.

I just barely caught my last train. I had to run like hell. Man, that sucked. Fuck my life, right?

14-01-12

BWP/DEP/HW

That's only a few letters for 3 hardcore bands whose bandnames are longer in reality. They stand for, respectively, Brutality Will Prevail, Dead End Path and Harm's Way. If you haven't heard any of them, don't fear, neither have I... until yesterday, that is!
There was a show in JH Thope in Bruges, which is cool cause I don't think I've ever been to a show in Bruges actually. Weird, huh?

Anyway. Show started off with BWP, who played a really down-tempo, not-yet-sludgy kind of heavy hardcore. Vocals were not really fitting, though. Sometimes it sounded like his voice cracked and it started to almost sound like my screaming/singing, which is... pretty bad. Anyway, as the set went along it didn't bother me that much, so I guess it's alright. Kids were into it a lot. Mosh started at 0:00, as they would say on YouTube. Intense show, really impressive overall.

Next up was DEP who played a more straight hardcore kinda thing I guess. I don't know, I was paying less attention by then (guess how that came to be...). Their singer was really cuddle-able, but when he started singing you knew there was no fucking around. Great show actually, I think I could get into this.

Last band was HW. Most remarkable thing about this band is 1) their brutal sound and 2) the magnitude of their vocalist. You do'nt wanna mess with that dude. Holy shit no. Other than that, cool show but got boring quite fast. Also I was quite well in the wind (dutchism) by then.

Conclusion: Hardcore rules, hangouts rule, Bruges rules, Duvel rules.

11-01-12

I have no home.

Hello there. Say, my fair chap, dost thou have gotten acquaintance of this particular record they calleth "Can't Go Home" by a musical ensemble under the name of the "Varsity Weirdos"?

Well, if you have, you deserve a feather (dutchism!). If you haven't, please read along and consider making the right choice.
The right choice is to listen to it.


The Varsity Weirdos are not an active band anymore, I think. I'm not sure. There's little information on the webs and I haven't heard about them for a while. Anyway, they're Canadian, some members are also in Fear Of Lipstick and they've put records out on It's Alive Records. 2 EPs, a split and a full length. Today I wanna talk about their full length, Can't Go Home.

These weirdos are as Ramones-influenced as it gets. In a world of modern pop punk bands doing all sorts of innovative stuff, they've gone back to the roots, the 1970s-'80s, when punk was catchy but deliberate. There's nothing cheesy about the Varsity Weirdos. They're full of style and know their ways around writing a good pop (punk) song.

It's Alive Records, 2010

1) Cut Throat
2) Can't Go Home
3) Look At The Stars
4) L.S.F.E.S.
5) I Hate The Phone
6) End World
7) F.B.I.
8) Disconnected
9) Why I Didn't Like August '93 (Elevator To Hell)
10) October
11) Hammer
12) You Bother Me


Can't Go Home starts off fairly nice and quiet with some rung chords. The words "I wanna cut my throath and die" accompany this introduction and will set the tone for the rest of the album. You know how most pop punk bands are all feel-good and positive? Well, The Weirdos are the opposite. Can't Go Home is an album with musical content you can dance to and be happy, and you can even sing along and be happy. Until you get further into it and you read the lyrics. They're not deep and moving but they're definitely straight and harsh. Like, you can sing along to "I need you..." in Look At The Stars and be all "yeah, this is so cool" and then realise he concludes with "...to leave" and then you're all "oh, wow, never thought of it that way". The lyrical themes are about as hardcore as they get in pop punk, but they're camouflaged by that lovely light-hearted pop sensibility so you don't even know what you're dealing with. The rhymes are silly or simple absent and even pretty bad sometimes, but the message is clear and once it gets to you, you get an entirely different perspective on this album. I know I did. It's about coping, finding your place and trying to get your head straight. I mean, "I hope our love lasts just as long as our life and all the stuff in space, yeah." sounds rather goofy. Well, it isn't, and that's the point.
So, basically, initially I listened to this record and I liked the music, the catchy melodies, the chords, the song structures, the drums, the singalong chants (C-O-M-M-UNICATION, I'M WANTED BY THE FBI), the vocal melodies, the changes of pace. Superficial stuff. And the superficial stuff is great, But then it got spun more and more and I noticed all these things that make it a better record than another record. Simple drum patterns but with added punch and some fitting fills and focused on the right moments. No overacting on this record. It's all kept basic, and therefore charming. They used those - frankly - simple, classic, overused chord progressions and just lifted them to their own standard. They're digestible and played like they should be played: downstroked and steady but with enough strumming variation to keep it interesting for an entire record. They're not original but that's not their intention. I'm guessing their intention was to make songs that sounded like the Ramones and in the end they were better than other bands that do that so they got to release records. I'm glad they did. It's Alive is a record label where you can probably blindly purchase a record and be impressed. All good stuff, and Can't Go Home is no exception.
Some people might be put off by the vocals itself, which is usually a pretty important issue in a band. If you can't stand the vocals, chances are you're not gonna listen to the band. But please don't let this discourage you. They're not that out-of-the-ordinary anyway. I have no idea who does the main singing cause all members are credited as doing vocals. However, Corey and Eric are credited as "vocals + guitar/bass" respectively and Derek and Cam are "guitar/drums + vocals" respectively, so I guess Corey and Eric are lead singers and Derek and Cam do backings! Seems like a fair conclusion. Anyway, one guy has a pretty sharp, retained, extremely nasal, slightly high-pitched voice which serves the fast songs very good (cfr. F.B.I.). The other guy has a broader, mellower, more familiar voice which fits the "slower" songs well (cfr. Hammer). They come together really nicely in their cover of Elevator To Hell's Why I Didn't Like August '93. Good cover, nice take on it and it fits the album quite well.
Now, I've talked about the lyrics, which are far better than they look at first sight, and as usual this is accomplished by the way in which they are sung. Expression is key in music, definitely when singing. This one of the reasons why Can't Go Home ends so strong. The last song is called You Bother Me and it's one of the few pop punk songs that can give me shivers over and over. The subject matter is fairly simple: things are not working out with some girl. Typical, almost stereotypical, but it's written in a very down-to-earth way. What you see is what you get, and I like that with this band. There are few bands who can pull off such actually blatently banal lyrics (remember the Ramones?), but the Weirdos do it. Just listen to him singing/shouting "Things could not be worse" like it's the most normal thing in the world, it's even followed by a "whoa oh oh". It's alienating, the way he sings it. It draws you. And then the records gives it's last spins to the repeated lyric "Maybe we should not be together" which, in my opinion, may be repeated over and over again. Unfortunately it ends with a final rung chord and a final exclamation of desolation.

So basically with Can't Go Home, the Varsity Weirdos haven't written an original record, nor an interesting one, not outstanding and not even remarkable. But it's an honest album, it's catchy as hell (literally, "as hell") and its simplicity is key to its succes. Actually, make that "its simplicity should be key to its succes", cause I feel like this band does not get the recognition they deserve.

Also be sure to check out the Fly Me Up To The Moon EP and the High School Teen Party EP, both equally solid.

The Saddest Skeletons

Whoa. It's been a damn while since I went to a show, but Monday brought me relief because there were bands playing in Kavka. Bands who interested me. Score!

First, Midnight Souls played. I like the Midnight Souls. It's been a hella long time since I've seen them, though, maybe even since the release of Colder... I'm not sure, but it's been long. So I aspired an interesting show and whuddayanow, they still deliver. More than ever, actually. They're playing tighter, better, more passionate than ever before. The old songs sound crisp and piercing, but the new songs, man, the new songs were quite the dealio. Blew me away. Made me go all "what just happened?" and thinking "wow". Superstoked for Going Through The Motions, their next release, coming out on March 10. Go to 't verschil on that date, it's gonna be a blast!

Next, Hessian. I've wanted to see them for a while now. They feature Black Haven/Kingdom/Losing Streak members and they're raising the bar in the Belgian punk hardcore scene. Just incredibly overwhelming. Elements of hardcore, obviously, but combined with crust, metal and drenched in an entire atmosphere of satanic rage. The adjective 'fast' is definitely adequate, 'talented' as well, and also 'pissed off'. They ripped it for sure. They have a record out, you should probably buy it. Don't miss out!

Then the headlining bands. First were We Were Skeletons. I don't think they really were skeletons, but that's okay. They played chaotic screamo-like music. It was good. Didn't quite struck me, but it was undeniably good. Bass player's voice was ruined though, so he didn't sing apparently. They had some really great melodies and I've enjoyed them.

Then The Saddest Landscape. They said something about exchanging energy with the crowd, something I totally agree with, but their music didn't seem all too fit for dancing and I hadn't heard a second of it so I didn't even know what I was up to. It was great though, they performed a great show, got into it, sang songs, played them as well and sometimes the singer would get all crazy and that was nice cause sometimes that's what happens. Great show, but again it didn't quite struck me.
You should check out these bands though, they have some records and even a split with eachother! And they're great guys I reckon.

Other than that: the bands weren't really microphone-friendly, it seemed, haha. Mic got discorded at the first Souls song, smashed several times during Hessian and the mic stand got messed up during the Saddest Landscape. Geez.