Monday, 16 October 2017

Album Review: Say Goodbye by Plan 37


What do we feature a lot of on CPRW? Canadian punk rock. Currently one of the best scenes in the world. Today we're reviewing the first full length from Toronto's Plan 37, titled Say Goodbye. Plan 37 formed in early 2012 and feature members of Deforesters, Sinkin' Ships, The Roman Line and The Unbelievers. They have released a handful of EPs and split releases and this September they released Say Goodbye on My Fingers! My Brain! Records.


The first of the thirteen tracks on Say Goodbye is named Already Here. Already Here wastes no time in laying down the marker for what to expect on the album - a great mix of sing-a-long street punk with a large dose of buzzsaw pop punk. The bands I'm most reminded of are early The Riptides and The Have Nots if you remove the ska elements. If you like those bands, you will without a doubt like Plan 37. The second track on the album is Bullet Catcher. The opening part of the song is very heavy, focussing largely on some bass and drums to get things going. Vocally the singer is quite harsh, with a great amount of intensity and aggression used with every word he growls out. Red Shirt falls more into the pop punk bowl. Played at a slower pace than you might expect after the opening two songs, it focuses more on melody rather than blistering musicianship. Like the true pop punk classics there are harmonies and background hand claps a-plenty. A great fun song. Me & U, Pt. II does feature that blistering musicianship. An energetic charm explodes out of the song and fills its audience with a punk rock joy that's hard to explain. The song is about get back together with a former partner realising why you broke up in the first place. The track has a wonderful story telling feel to it that plants images in your head of what's happening in the song.

The fifth song is True Lies. Kicking things off with a pounding drum beat and some vocals, this short song is another that's bursting with energy. The chorus really stands out with some huge gang vocals that plead to be screamed back at the band with your fists planted firmly in the air. The song is only a short one but kicks some serious arse throughout. I really loved On The Run from the first time that I listened to it. From the opening guitars, that will have you jumping around the room, to the infectious chorus, which will be wedged firmly in your head for hours - it's everything I want in my pop punk. Suburban Outfitters has somewhat of a horror punk feel to it. The song is very bass heavy with some quick guitar licks layered over the top. This different twist on their sound is great and shows some diversity which is always welcome on a punk record. I particularly loved the lyrics "Time To Stand Up, Time To Be A Dad, Cause You Love Your Wife, It's Time To Be A Man." There is an aggression and power to those gang vocals that really help the line hit home. Vanpire is the first time on Say Goodbye where Plan 37 utilise a dual male and female vocal partnership, other than for harmonies. It works a treat with the male vocals being some of the harshest on the album so far, when the female vocals join in there is a sweetness that offsets the harsher vocals perfectly.

Fighting To Die is a song that punches you in the face repeatedly for its one minute and fifty-one second duration. This street punk song rarely relents and is just a huge amount of fun. The vocals seemingly come from every direction leaving you with a feeling of not knowing what's coming next. The no thrills free-for-all is an absolute treat and will create some magical mosh pit moments. Shockmaster has a fairly long musical intro that has been missing thus far on Say Goodbye. It builds nicely into another street punk sing-a-long. Shockmaster is perhaps more reserved than the previous songs. This approach is refreshing and offers a nice rest bite to the unstoppable hurricane that's been happening so far. 2 Feet & A Heartbeat is another more reserved slower number, feeling like a great barroom sing-a-long track. One of those great songs where you throw your arms round your neighbours and sing like it's your last chance. The gang vocals are just exquisite, making the listener really feel a part of Plan 37. I like that feeling. The penultimate song is named Attack Of The Crummy Crummies. The pace is ramped back up here with the aggressive vocals returning to the Plan 37 sound. The energy that comes out from the song throughout is superb and is a real pick-me-up for the closing couple of songs on the album. Plan 37 appear to be on a mission to finish the album with a bang. Last up is the album's title track Say Goodbye. The perfect song to finish the album on. It perfectly sums up why I love Plan 37 and the whole album. It takes the best of what the album has to offer, hard hitting pop punk anthems that will get you dancing, singing and smiling. Say Goodbye is about saying that last goodbye to somebody you care about. There is a good time party feel to the song rather than more of a sad mournful sound that you might expect. That's exactly why I adored the song.

Say Goodbye is one of my albums of the year. It's superb and deserves yours and everyone else's attention. It's not like much I've heard recently and really is just a breath of fresh air. Just go and check it out!

Stream and download Say Goodbye here: https://plan37.bandcamp.com/

Like Plan 37 here: https://www.facebook.com/Plan37

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Gig Review: Gaz Brookfield at The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes 12/10/17 (by Emma Prew)


It may come as a bit of a shock to some readers but sometimes I go to gigs without Colin. Sometimes my gig buddy is my dad – Colin is always invited but doesn’t always fancy it – particularly if the gig is in Milton Keynes (my hometown and where Papa Prew lives) and is more along the lines of folk and/or acoustic-based music. That was the case on Thursday night when Gaz Brookfield, self-proclaimed solo acoustic guy, would be making his debut appearance in Milton Keynes at the wonderful Craufurd Arms. We’ve seen him play locally before, both times at Bedford Esquires, and are always up for seeing him again. He’s rather good!

Support on the night came from Bedford-based Rhys Kirkman, who also supported Gaz Brookfield in Bedford last time around, and Nick Parker, who was along for the ride for the whole UK tour. Unfortunately, due to struggling to find somewhere close to the Craufurd Arms to park, we ended up arriving, into a half full venue, after Rhys had started his set – it also turns out doors at 8pm actually meant music starts at 8pm. Luckily we only missed a couple of songs. What we did hear was just as good as I remember from last time around. Catchy and, for the most part, upbeat songs with a great storytelling element to them. The highlight of his set would have to be the closing song, The Tallest Man In The Pub – a slightly amusing yet genuine tale about being tall. Not something I can relate to but a good song nonetheless!


Given that all three artist on the bill were ‘solo acoustic guys’ the change over period between acts wasn’t very long – never a bad thing (unless you’re in the queue for the bar I guess… that’s your loss). So, soon Nick Parker was taking to the stage. Neither myself or my dad had heard of Nick Parker before but I assumed that, sandwiched between Rhys and Gaz on this bill, I would like him. It wasn’t long before that assumption was proved correct. This was quite a performance with plenty of unexpected added extras to keep the audience attentive without things turning gimmicky. Nick’s set featured audience participation in the form of: loud speaker mobile phones making whirring sounds that wouldn’t be out of place on a Radiohead record, lyric sheet handouts that encouraged the ladies and gents of the audience to sing different parts of a really sweet love song and German signs spelling out the chorus to another song about how the British apologise too much. It really made me want to listen to him again and that’s exactly what I did, the next morning.


This run of tour dates was the second part of the I Know My Place, Gaz’s fourth album, tour – the first set of dates was back in the spring, before ‘festival season’. Gaz referred to I Know My Place as being his ‘new’ album but of course we’ve all been listening to it for almost a year. This certainly showed as the Craufurd Arms crowd was singing along enthusiastically to all of the songs – new and old. The venue was reasonably well packed out as well. I’m always a bit sceptical about how popular a lot of the more local shows that I go to will be but Gaz Brookfield is certainly an artist who draws in a crowd. Particularly as he’d never actually played in Milton Keynes before, as a support or otherwise. A Gaz Brookfield show is filled with great anecdotes about each song and about life on the road as a full time musician – the ironically titled It’s All So Rock And Roll, for example, plus songs about his unreliable vehicles, Cursed and Ode To Ozzy (the beloved old van). He’s a very down to earth person and I think that’s the reason why he has such dedicated fans, he just writes great and relatable songs. Plus they convey wonderfully into a live setting.

My absolute favourite song from the last album is titled I’ve Paid My Money which is about those people at gigs that we all hate who stand near the front and then talk through the artist’s performance or yell stuff at the person or people on stage, all while you’re standing there trying to listen. It’s more apparent at acoustic-based shows and so it is something Gaz Brookfield has had to deal with time and time again. When he played the song in Bedford last time around, there were people talking through his set which was annoyingly apt. However, in Milton Keynes the crowd was a lot more respectful and if mouths were open it was because they were singing along. I don’t want to appear bias to my hometown over my currently-residing-in town but gigs in Milton Keynes are always better than gigs in Bedford. That’s partly down to The Craufurd Arms (although the town’s other main music venue, MK11, is pretty darn good too) being such an awesome venue. Both Gaz and Nick said as much themselves, particularly commenting on the sound set up and the brilliant hospitality they received. It makes me proud to be from Milton Keynes. I love The Craufurd Arms.

Other highlights of the set included Land Pirate’s Life, The Diabetes Blues (parts 1 and 2), Be The Bigger Man and a special rendition of Cornish Fishing Town, a song that has only been played live two times before and featured Nick Parker on the mandolin. Although Gaz Brookfield is a self-proclaimed solo acoustic guy, much of his more recent recorded material features a full band so it was great to get a little taster of full band Gaz Brookfield. He and his Company Of Thieves are embarking on a full band tour early next year which I’m very much looking forward to – but this gig left me fairly content until then. I urge you to go and see Gaz Brookfield live – he’s probably coming to a town near you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.


This gig review was written by Emma Prew.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Column: Manchester Punk Festival 2018


Did you all see the huge announcement for the Manchester Punk Festival last week? Propagandhi are playing! Incredible! How has this DIY festival in Manchester pulled off such a feat in just its fourth year?! Because it's the best festival of any kind in the UK. Here's why.

Before my love letter to MPF begins, here's a little bit of history about the festival. Manchester Punk Festival is a not-for-profit DIY punk festival based in Manchester (you probably guessed that by its name) created by a group of Manchester music promoters - TNS, Moving North and Anarchistic Undertones. The first edition of the festival was in 2014 and was headlined by The Filaments and Apologies, I Have None. For my money the line up that year was one of the greatest line ups ever put together for a UK punk festival. The next year things only got bigger - with the addition of another stage and some big headline acts in the form of Citizen Fish and The Flatliners. They again topped this in 2017 with the addition of yet another venue, Gorilla, and headline appearances from Strike Anywhere, Belvedere and Paint It Black, who were making their first UK appearance in years! The speed at which the festival is growing is incredible. Then this year Propagandhi get announced?! You really don't get much bigger than that but, at the same time, you just know that the MPF lads will find a way to top it. The growth that the Manchester Punk Festival has achieved in such a short space of time is nothing short of remarkable.

So why has MPF grown so quickly? Firstly you have to look at that first year. There was only one non UK act on the bill, Joe McMahon of Smoke Or Fire. The rest of the bill was comprised of some of the best of the current UK scene as well as some old favourites reuniting for the festival. It's a credit to the strength of the punk scene on our tiny island that so many great bands could come togther for, what at the time was, a two day festival and help put on an incredible weekend. From then on, the international acts have been coming to Manchester and the bands themselves have gotten bigger and bigger to the point where no band seems like an unrealistic announcement anymore. If it wasn't for the great UK acts helping to lay the MPF foundations that first year would MPF still be a thing?

Secondly it's the location. MPF is based in the centre of Manchester's city centre at a variety of different sized venues all within walking distance of each other. For the first three years of MPF Sound Control was the home of MPF with two stages used at the venue. Sadly this year Sound Control won't be used and will be greatly missed. So many of my favourite MPF memories have happened in that venue. Another favourite venue of many who have attended MPF is Zombie Shack. This small bar only has a capacity of 140 people but is always a party. You'll get as big a kick out of the zombie/tiki themed decor as you will the dozens of excellent bands playing at the venue all weekend. Last year saw the addition of Gorilla as another big stage and it was a very welcome addition to the festival. All the venues at MPF are fantastic for punk rock shows of whatever size.

The people you will meet are another excellent reason that MPF is just the best. It's very rare to bump into someone you dislike at a DIY punk show, everyone is usually super friendly and wants to be your best friend. Now add this attitude to a festival where people, not just from the UK but from all over the world, gather to see some of the best bands in the world. If you talk to a stranger, and I urge you to do so, you will no doubt make a very good new friend. There is something about the festival that just brings people together and it's something the world as a whole needs more than ever. A punk crowd is such a good example of strangers being together, getting on despite any differences and just being a good friendly bunch of folk.

Lastly and most importantly MPF is so good because of its organisers - Andy, Bev, Kieran and Tree. These four men and their volunteers work tirelessly on the festival alongside their full time jobs and other punk rock commitments - all for the love of punk rock. They get no financial gain for the time and effort they put in to putting on the best festival possible. It takes a very special type of person to sacrifice so much of their time to do something that is so special to so many people. I can't help but feel like there is a ridiculous amount of stress involved in putting together the weekend and then ensuring that it runs as smoothly as possible and that everyone has the best imaginable time. I've said this many times over the past three years, and no doubt I'll say it many more times in the future, but thank you fellas.

I urge each and every one of you reading this to go and buy a ticket to the festival. It will be the best decision of your year!

I'll see you there!

Buy your ticket to Manchester Punk Festival here: https://manchesterpunkfestival.co.uk/tickets/

This column was written by Colin Clark.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Top Tens: Andy from The Eradicators' Top Ten Punk Rock Influences


Kids in the Hall
This is the obvious one, since the scope of the band is based on a character from the sketch. I grew up watching this show religiously and it's crazy to think for such a strange sketch comedy show they were able to get on national TV along with a feature length film later down the line. Hopefully they come back for some more, which seems likely based on recent press they've received.

Atom and His Package
I think I found out about Atom as a result of checking out random stuff that No Idea put out. I saw him at the Fireside Bowl right after I heard the Making Love record, and couldn't believe that he was able to sell that place out with just him, a guitar, and a sequencer playing tongue-in-cheek songs about Enya and Rob Halford. When the Fest line-up got announced this year I became more excited about his set than my own.

7000 Dying Rats
This band holds a special place in my heart. I met one of my best friends (Ryan Durkin, singer of my other band Bad Mechanics and we also run the small label Hewhocorrupts Inc.) at one of their shows, and I would have never met my wife (I met her while on a CTA bus while I was en route to their recording session) without this band. For those not in the know, 7KDR was primarily a grindcore band who didn't have lyrics (just made up sounds and didn't bother to put words to them) but mixed every style imaginable and had either the best song titles or the best stage banter or the best in-between sample tracks ever. Plus they had Derek Hess do all of their artwork, which still is crazy to me.

The Woods brothers & my Milwaukee buddies
I'm very fortunate to have met Nick Woods and the rest of the guys in Direct Hit back in 2008, and they've been at it for almost 10 years. I was in a band with Nick and his brother Peter (the band was Galactic Cannibal), and they were somewhat the catalysts for me wanting to continue playing music as I was almost done with being in bands after one of my last ones (Tension Generation) broke up in 2012. I had the idea for the Eradicator in 2012 and wanted to make it happen in 2014 but was hesitant to do it. I remember telling Peter about it and he thought it would be fun, and I asked Nick if DH would want to be the "backing band" on the first record - and they all agreed. So if it wasn't for those guys I probably wouldn't have done it. As well, if it wasn't for Ryan Bollis, who is very much into collecting things, I wouldn't have wanted to collect records again which was part of the reason why I did this band... to keep putting out records.

Curt's New Hat
I've never met or seen Curt Oren play, but remember seeing his story being shared around in 2015 by some friends who played with him, and thought it was such a ludicrous but amazing thing. For those who don't know, Curt seems to be a guy who wants to take a joke to the point of no return / point where it shouldn't go. He made a hat that said "Curt's New Hat" on it, and thought it was funny, so he made a shirt that said "Do You Know About Curt's New Hat". Then he changed his Facebook name to "New Hat". Then he got a custom license plate with the letters "NEW HAT". Then he spent nearly his life savings taking out a billboard off a highway in Iowa that said "Do You Know About Curt's New Hat". Hearing about it was so obscene, but amazing to me at the same time.

AT&T Internet Family Commercials
This is a weird one to be influential, but I'm going with it. AT&T has these TV commercials that are incredibly stupid where it's an "internet family" that loses internet coverage, then after 5 minutes they are pulling their hair out, then after 15 minutes they're losing their minds with boredom. I remember seeing it and thinking "what if these people were real, and they actually couldn't live without the internet". I then took that approach with the Eradicator in order to write an entire album based on that one 3 minute sketch, thinking "what if the Eradicator was a real person... how would he live... what's his story?". So oddly enough that commercial is influential to me.

Green Day
If you're in your early/mid 30s and are still into upbeat/pop punk, and you don't think Green Day is influential, then you're probably lying to yourself. If it wasn't for Dookie I wouldn't have wanted to check out their back catalogue, which wouldn't have led me to Lookout Records, which wouldn't have led me to hearing of other similar bands in my area.

Andrew W.K. & The Darkness
This one is a tie. I remember both of these bands coming out at around the same time, and there was such a showmanship to both of these bands that is influential to me. Plus their song subject matter is light hearted which fits with the whole theme of what I'm doing with this project.

Nut Screamer
This is a noise project that my Milwaukee buddies turned me on to, and the concept is insane. It's a guy who recorded audio of himself riding roller coasters, then put it on a 7" and played shows. Ryan Bollis told me he overheard someone in a record store talking about Nut Screamer playing live, and apparently the set lasted 3 minutes and it was just this guy screaming over an audio sample of him riding a roller coaster, and the set ended with a pool of blood on the floor. So the concept of having just random nonsense being pressed on a record was influential for doing 10+ minutes of squash noise on the B side of the first record I did.

Dillinger Four
They're my favorite band of all time. No further comment.

Stream and download The Eradicators new self titled album here: https://eradicator.bandcamp.com/

Like The Eradicator here: https://www.facebook.com/theeradicatorband/

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Album Review: Victory Lap by Propagandhi (by Omar Ramlugon)


I don’t think it’s out of turn for me to say that with the utmost respect, it’s about fucking time we had another Propagandhi record. As the pop dingbats collapse in on themselves with one meaningless platitude after another and a bloated, venal narcissist makes it his civic duty to sow outright chaos while his base of gong farmer chickenhawks rattle sabres, and every day answers the the question of “How much worse can it get?” with a Billy Mays-esque “BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE”, it feels like now is a time as ripe as ever for an acerbic reality check.


And so it arrives, in the form of Victory Lap, Propagandhi’s fervently awaited follow up to 2012’s Failed States. Like many of their contemporaries over twenty years into their careers, Propagandhi’s perspective has undoubtedly been altered by the inexorable passage of time; singer/shit-hot guitarist Chris Hannah is now closer to 50 than 40, as are the majority of his fellow Canuck thrashers in the quartet, with the exception of new guitarist Sulynn Hago. As you’d expect, this has bled into their songwriting, as Hannah explains; “For most of the songs I wrote on this record I tried to go in with a different philosophy than I have in the past. Instead of labouring over every word and making everything perfectly fit some sort of end result, the rule was ‘First thing out of my mouth is the first thing that goes on the paper.’”[1]

It’s an approach that has worked; the gut-level, instinctual reaction sentiments of the lyrics hit just as hard as the diatribes of earlier albums, but with an added immediacy and ferocious abandon that seems a more fitting attack on the pinwheeling mayhem of common discourse. The band are sounding stronger than ever, the rhythm section of Todd Kowalski and Jord Samolesky tearing into their parts with sheer precision, while Hannah and Hago trade off of eachother just as well as the previous team of Hannah and David Guillas, who does appear on the record but it’s not made clear on which songs he is featured.

The opening and title track wastes no time, going straight for the throat of the #MAGA crowd over a gnarled, slithering power chord riff; “When the flames engulfed / The home of the brave / The stampede toward the border was in vain / Faces palmed, faces paled / As the wall they said would make them great could not be scaled.” ‘Comply/Resist’ flexes its muscles after a deceptively slow start with crushing palm muted chugging, while ‘Cop Just Out Of Frame’ opens up with powerful, melodic riffing as it namechecks Thích Quảng Đức’s act of self-immolation in protest of Buddhist persecution as it ends with a ringing sentiment on his sacrifice; “They say that Quang Duc's heart survived the flames unscarred / A righteous calling card, left upon the palace gates / For the invertebrates, their grip on power pried apart / By just one frail human being. No weapon, no war machine.”

By and large, Victory Lap is an even more uncompromising record that its predecessor, which itself was no picnic, however this weight and gravitas is as much down to Hannah’s incandescent lyrics as much as the pummelling musical accompaniment; ‘Letters To A Young Anus’, in spite of its tongue in cheek title, forcefully tells its young listener to “Be careful how much you reveal / […] The water is poison despite how hard we / Mark our little X to rearrange the deck / Damned if we don't, damned if we do”. In fact, it’s almost a relief when the earnest but upbeat ‘Failed Imagineer’ barrels along, its consolation of an old war veteran being a relative comfort amongst it all.

I hasten to add that in spite of the often sobering lyrical content, as a counterpoint Victory Lap also features some of the strongest melodies that Propagandhi have ever put together, as ‘Lower Order (A Good Laugh)’ and ‘Call Before You Dig’ ably demonstrate. Furthermore, the band sound re-energised and invigorated; whether this is because of Hago’s recruitment is anyone’s guess, but it’s quite telling that only two of the songs on the record cross the four minute mark. The final song, ‘Adventures in Zoochosis’, is one of the most outright beautiful songs in Propagandhi’s catalogue, opening with chiming arpegiatted guitars, before the menace weaves its way back in with sampled sickening banter from the 45th US President. The song is a tragic lament, an elegy to the generation to come, as Hannah seemingly accepts his eventual doom while in the same breath hoping for his sons to carry on; “You grab your little brother’s hand run like the wind / And if I’m not there, don’t look back, just go.”

Victory Lap is perhaps Propagandhi’s best album yet. It consistently fine tunes their thrash-metal/punk blend, while throwing in some of earlier records’ furious energy and melodicism to completely kick arse for the best part of forty minutes. It’s an album that gives voice to the primal internal screams of despair that many of us may be experiencing every time we look at the news, and arguably serves as a sharp call to arms to make sure we can’t let it get any worse. Let’s hope it doesn’t.

We’ve missed you, guys. Don’t make us wait five years for the next one.

[1] http://teamrock.com/feature/2017-09-20/propagandhi-the-elephant-in-the-room-is-civilization-itself

Order Victory Lap here.

Like Propagandhi here: https://www.facebook.com/Propagandhi/

This review was written by Omar Ramlugon.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Album Review: Are You Ready? by Backfire Away


Yesterday we reviewed 69enfermos latest album and mentioned about wanting to look further at South American punk bands. Well, purely by coincidence today's review also features a South American band - Backfire Away from Sao Paulo, Brazil. In September this five piece pop punk/hardcore punk and released the EP Are You Ready?, here are my thoughts on it.


The EP begins with title track Are You Ready? Fast guitars and hard hitting drums are the order of the day here and are joined brilliantly by some angry, aggressive and passionate vocals. Are You Ready? is about spending time with your friends and family and finding a common cause to be passionate about. The chorus in particular really stood out to me on my first listen as the singer screams out "If You Don't Stand For Something, You Will Fall For Anything, Think About Your Friends And Your Family, Are You Ready To Do The Right Thing?" That's one of the choruses I can easily imagine a crowd of people screaming back at the band. The second song is named Evergreen. Evergreen is a lot softer in sound compared to the opening track. I'm reminded a bit of New Found Glory here with bit of the harder music combined with more poppy vocals. I like that Backfire Away aren't afraid to test out more than one genre of punk rock and I love how well they do them. Evergreen is about looking at yourself and trying to work past the bad times. Drowsy is a fantastic song. Starting out slowly the song is a builder. The beginning is quite slow and soft finding itself in the emo genre of music before things really kick off and we are treated to a frenzied pop punk assault. The range in vocals on Drowsy is fantastic, they do from soft emo, to fast pop punk before finishing with a primal hardcore scream. I like songs that make you feel like you've been on a journey and this is certainly one of those. Lastly is the song No Patience. No Patience is about airing your grievances with someone to try and safe the relationship. This is another song that builds and flows nicely. This time however it starts at a pace before moving into a slower more emotional section before and a big finale that includes a fantastic piece of guitar soloing.

Are You Ready? is an EP that leaves me wanting to hear much more from Backfire Away. Personally after yesterdays perhaps impulsive decision to look deeper into the world of South American punk rock I am now ready to fully commit to uncover the best that the continent has to offer. If, like me, you are just on the edges of listening to South American punk rock that Backfire Away are a great band to start this next chapter of musical discoveries.

Stream and download Are You Ready? here: https://backfireawayhc.bandcamp.com/

Like Backfire Away here: https://www.facebook.com/backfireawayhc/

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Album Review: A Place We Call Home by 69enfermos


Something that we don't feature enough of on CPRW is punk rock from South America. One of the longest running bands are melodic hardcore/skate punk band 69enfermos. 69enfermos formed all the way back in 1995 in Colombia before relocating to Brazil. In 2015 the band released their first full length sung in English named Beyond Orders. This year they released a brand new album named A Place To Call Home. Let's hear how our punk pals in Brazil do it.


Opening track The Lie starts out with a nice little bass line before we are treated with some hard and fast punk rock. No doubt about where the band's sound and influences come from, 90s skate punk! The Lie is about not trusting the government and believing that you are being lied to. The vocals are strong, adding a softer tinge to the music with the high pitched soar that compliments the relentless pounding background music. Attitude is a very positive track. It's about having a positive mental attitude despite all of the bad situations you might encounter in your life. I really like the no thrills approach to song writing that 69enfermos take - there's no showing off, the music is about being accessible and relatable and that's what I love about punk rock music. The third track on A Place To Call Home is titled Rejected. The harmonies on the track are an absolute treat to the ears. Gosh I love a good harmony. The bass and drums really stand out on this track - it rumbles, it pounds and it hits you right in the gut. Rejected is about feeling outcast from society and wanting more from your life.

The fourth track is also the album's title track, A Place To Call Home. This song is about being proud of where you are from despite its flaws. Given that 69enfermos picked this song for the album's title, it's obvious that this is a topic that the band are very proud to tackle. Following this is the song Be Smart Don't Play The Fool. This track has more of a softer pop edge than the four songs preceding it. This track is simply about looking after yourself and trying to make sensible decisions. It's seen as punk to make bad and reckless decisions but it can also mess you're life up so it's quite refreshing to hear a band play a song that encourages people to be smart and not to play the fool. If you like No Use For A Name then you'll probably adore this song. Not The Answer is one of my favourite tracks on the album. The lyric "Punk Is No 'Bout Making The Wrong Decisions, Punk's 'bout Being You" perfectly encapsulates everything that 69enfermos are trying to say on A Place To Call Home. I just get a feeling of enlightenment when listening to the song. A real feeling of "Yeah, that's right. It's so simple but it's right." If I were to ever put a smiley emoji on the end of a sentence in the blog this would be it. The seventh track is named One More Day. The guitars at the start are bursting with energy and get the song off to an excellent start. The song itself is actually fairly sombre, it looks at the ending of a relationship and trying to get it back even if it's just for one more day. This is another track that all NUFAN fans will lap up.

On My Own sees 69enfermos revert back to the positivity that has made this record so wonderful to listen to. It's about believing in yourself and working hard to prove any doubters wrong. As a generally pessimistic person, hearing all this positivity is just the best and I'm finding it all really rather moving. For You To Know is a short little song coming in at only twenty-three seconds long. It's a super sweet love song where the band's singer proclaims his love for his partner. You might say that the song is short but sweet. It does its job in making your heart do that fuzzy thing when you think about somebody that you love. The penultimate song on the album is We. I particularly enjoyed the buzzsaw-like guitars coupled with the melodic nature on the vocals during the verses of the track. The soft Bad Religion-esque "ooozin-ahs" were brilliant in their subtlety, adding another layer to the sound without being too domineering. Last up is the song In The Nineties. When I was reading the track titles before listening to the album and knowing that the band was from the 90s this was the song that I was most looking forward to hearing. Before listening I assumed that this track would be an ode to the legendary 90s skate punk era and I was correct. It's about using music as a tool for time travel and using the songs of a certain era to go back to a time in your life, in this instance to the 90s. 90s punk rock is arguably the greatest era of punk rock and listening to 69enfermos you can really hear the love that the band have for it. They lived it and they're still proudly living it.

A Place We Call Home is a superb record for anyone who needs some positivity in their lives or just loves 90s punk rock. 69enfermos prove that punk rock is superb all over the world, even in the places where you wouldn't necessarily expect to find it. I'll now be making sure to look further into South American punk rock to unearth some more great bands.

Stream and download A Place We Call Home here: https://69enfermos.bandcamp.com/album/a-place-to-call-home

Like 69enfermos here: https://www.facebook.com/69enfermos/

This review was written by Colin Clark.