Friday, 29 May 2020

Video Premiere: Dolphin Suicide by Laserchrist

Today we are incredibly excited to premiere the brand new video for South London via South Africa dirty melodic psych punks Laserchrist for their song Dolphin Suicide. The song, which was written before lockdown began is the bands first with new bass player and UK DIY punk legend Ollie "Jugs" Ward and Laserchrist's first new material since their 2018 debut DIY-Bother.

Dolpin Suicide was mixed by drummer Yusuf Laher and mastered by Rogan Kelsey (Lapdust Studios) in South Africa. The video was put together by frontman Daz's bored housemate Ryan Griffiths. Check the video out below.

Laserchrist also have their debut album in the works. Keep an eye on all their social media pages to stay up to date with when that's likely to be released and anything else they might have going on at the moment.
Laserchrist on YouTube

CPRW Playlist: May 2020

CPRW Playlist: Here's what Brett, Chris, Dan, Dan#2, Emma, Lee, Marcus, Omar, Richard, Robyn and myself have been listening to in May.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Album Review: Hello MY NAME IS by ALLDEEPENDS

Ever since catching one of ALLDEEPENDS’ first sets at Book Yer Ane Fest in Dundee at the end of 2019 I’ve been excitedly awaiting them to release something. The three piece, who met at Conroy’s Basement in Dundee attending Make-That-A-Take shows, blew me away with their unique style of punk rock incorporating folk, punk and hardcore and I came away from BYAF telling everyone about this fantastic band I had discovered. Throughout the early part of 2020 the band began to release videos in support of their upcoming debut EP named Hello MY NAME IS on Make-That-A-Take Records. I couldn’t wait to review it. So much so that I let it jump to the front of my review list.

The EP fittingly begins with the first song that ALLDEEPENDS ever released – SOPHT (An Homage To Aesop’s Tuff). The track opens with a simple guitar riff that actually fills you with energy before the vocals come in. I was very pleased that the 7” arrived with a lyrics sheet as the band’s lead vocalist sings extremely quickly and the song is very wordy. I loved this though as it adds something so different a lot of modern punk rock music. I was so impressed with how he managed to keep this tempo up throughout the song – I can barely keep up when I’m reading the lyrics. The song is about how stupid it is to put on a front that you’re always some kind of tough guy and pushing down your more emotional needs. What an introduction to ALLDEEPENDS! The second song is titled Is That Your Walking Distance Or Mine? This track is about struggling to live two different lives – the first as your true punk rock self and the second as the “normal” working type. There’s a marching-like melody to the track that makes you feel like it’s taking you somewhere which is, I guess, the point given the title of the song.

Side B of the 7” begins with the song I Paid For My College Education, I’m Going To Fucking Use It. After an amusing introduction with a sample of somebody saying they’re never going to pay back their student loan, the song jumps into a rowdy punk rock banger. The track is about using your university education and not being ashamed by that. I hope that you worked that out from the title though. Throughout the song, the band’s singer uses many scientific terms that I really don’t understand – even after googling them. I am super impressed with how he manages to use them all in a song and still make it sound like punk rock sing-along. Last up is You Can Never Have Too Many Black T-Shirts. This was the other track that the band released in the build up to the EP’s release. It felt very fitting during these times of no gigs due to COVID-19 and lockdown. It’s about the scene, the friendships you make and the feeling of going to watch live bands. The lyric “when I see you again, I’ll sing the words right back at your face” were particularly apt. Gigs mean so much to us all and hearing a song like this really helps to remember the good times we used to have and will have again.

I expected big things from Hello MY NAME IS and ALLDEEPENDS blew all of those expectations out of the water. For a first release, the band have set the bar extremely high but I can only see them getting better and better. I’m really hoping that, when we’re allowed to do fun things again, the band can find their way down to London so I can see them again. ALLDEEPENDS are the best new band of 2020.

Pre-order Hello MY NAME IS on Bandcamp here.

Like Make That A Take Records on Facebook here.
(ALLDEEPENDS do not have Facebook… yet.)

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Album Review: Dead Inside by CF98

CF98 are a Polish skate punk band who have really been making a name for themselves in recent years. So much so that this year they were given the opportunity to play Manchester Punk Festival. We all sadly know what happened there but I’m sure their mere inclusion on the line up made a few more people check them out. I was one of those people and was so excited to see them live. The festival would have been a great place to garner some attention for their (at the time) upcoming new EP, Dead Inside. After getting an early listen, I was even more disappointed not to see them in Manchester but I was excited to review the EP.

After an introduction, which I assume features samples of songs from their previous releases, we start properly with the EP’s title track Dead Inside. The song takes a little time to build and the thing that really caught my attention was the strength of lead singer Karolina’s vocals. They sound incredible on this release. If this is your first time listening to CF98, this is the perfect choice as a opening track. The poppier side of the song will ease people into the song but the track has enough edge to please the hardcore punk rockers. I enjoyed the subtle oooohs and aaahs during the song, perhaps playing a little tribute to the legendary Bad Religion? Up next is Shine On. This is actually a sub-one minute song which really surprised me. CF98 do a fantastic job of fitting a lot in to such a short track. I was genuinely surprised when I looked at the track times and realised its length. The band play at breakneck pace as Karolina sings a song about a person’s journey and how they got to where they are. The fourth song, Pink, immediately grabs your attention with the lyrics “pink is just for girls”. Hopefully anyone reading this will know that it’s not. That’s what the song is all about, not conforming to gender stereotypes and feeling trapped by them. It’s mad that it’s 2020 and there are still so many gender stereotypes, I hope that bands like CF98 can go a long way in smashing through some walls.

Oh Boy was a stand out track. I really enjoyed how the track jumps between different melodies. It not only keeps the energy high and but it also keeps the song sounding interesting. Something CF98 do really well is build towards big choruses. They build in such a way that by the time it hits you can’t wait to sing the song straight back at the band. Oh Boy is a political song that questions leaders’ need to divide their people rather than everyone working together. The penultimate track is titled Gasoline. This felt like one of the more emotional tracks on Dead Inside. On it Karolina sings about going through a particularly bad break up, feeling incredibly angry and eventually wanting to return to a safe space. This is a track that I’m sure plenty of people listening will be able to relate to in a big way. Never Quit ensures that Dead Inside finishes in a positive manner. The song talks about struggling with mental health and keeping on fighting no matter how bad things get. The lyric “you never lose if you never quit” is particularly inspiring and one I wish I had heard when I was at my lowest moments. The band add an urgency to the song that makes the song feel even more important than it already is. It makes you think “I really need to listen and pay attention to this song” which is even more important given its topic.

CF98 are one of the leading skate punk bands from mainland Europe. In the unlikely event that you haven’t checked them out yet, I suggest now is the time to start!

Stream and download Dead Inside on Bandcamp here.

Like CF98 on Facebook here.

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Album Review: The Wrath Of Throf by Snuff

When you think of legendary UK punk rock bands that are still active today, none come bigger than Snuff. The long running band, lead by the one and only Duncan Redmonds, have been going for as long as I have been alive and they have built up passionate fan bases from many different generations. Whenever the band releases some new material it’s always the cause of much excitement throughout the UK punk scene, as well as many places further afield. Recently they released The Wrath Of Throf on their own 10past12records. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to check it out a little early.

The EP begins with Drink Freely From The Chalice Of Lunacy. Snuff have had many line up changes over the years but have always managed to maintain their own sound. A large part of this is down to Duncan’s unmistakable vocals. They are full of melody and heart but also have a working class feel to them that makes you think of a mate down the pub telling stories. This song is on the more serious side of Snuff, a mid-tempo punk rock song that has a great breakdown which builds brilliantly to a big ending. Nothing To See Here starts with a beeping that flat lines before the band launch into a faster song that will get a crowd nice and rowdy. Duncan’s vocals go along at an impressive pace that really helps to inject a lot of energy into the track. On my first listen, I figured this was a straightforward punk song but when you really listen there so many little layers and intricacies that I really enjoyed. The third track is titled Conductor 71. Something I’ve always enjoyed about Snuff is how brilliantly they use harmonies in their music. That really comes to the forefront for the first time on Conductor 71. This somehow gives the song some extra intensity as the band storm through the song at an impressive speed.

Poetic Nonsense kicks off the second half of The Wrath Of Throf. Starting out with some keys, the song sounds like it’s going to be one of the more chaotic tracks on the EP. It doesn’t however turn out to be that way. It’s an urgent song with the sprinkling of keys adding a playful side. I really enjoyed how the song builds throughout, keeping you invested and making you think there’s going to be quite some ending to this song. Of course there is, as Duncan bluntly shouts the final lyrics in the big finale. The penultimate song might be my favourite on the EP. Named The Bells Of Hell, it sees Snuff taking steps into the ska world to introduce us to the song. This is Snuff at their silly best and I couldn’t help but smile like an idiot and do a little jig when I first heard the song. It’s immediately catchy, so much so it will be the only thing you sing to yourself for the next week after listening to it. The inclusion of the trombone for the first time on the EP was very welcome and adds to the drunken barroom style sing-along that you will no doubt have to the song. The final song, King Of The Wild, presents another barroom sing-along moment. It’s a slower song that heavily features the keyboard and the trombone. I think Snuff are really at their best when they step away from a more conventional punk sound. The song’s highlight is the big gang vocal harmony section at the end of the song. This moment, when they’re finally allowed to play live again, will be a huge crowd pleaser and will no doubt gain such a great amount of crowd participation.

The Wrath Of Throf is another wonderful release from Snuff. To be so prolific after thirty years of being in the band is a testament to the song writing ability of Duncan Redmonds and the rest of Snuff. It’s such a shame that their tour supporting this release has been postponed until January. At least it gives you plenty of time to learn the songs before then.

Stream and download The Wrath Of Throf here.

Like Snuff on Facebook here.

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Album Review: Terminal Amusements by Drakulas (by Chris Bishton)

Terminal Amusements is Drakulas’ second album and was released on Dine Alone Records last month. Described as an art-rock quartet from Austin, Texas, it's not a term given to a band that would normally prick my attention. I mean, I had to Google what art-rock is (a sub-genre of rock with an avant-garde approach, by the way, which was apparently at its peak in the late 60s and early 70s). However, touring with Spells just before COVID-19 hit and boasting members from the Riverboat Gamblers, The Marked Men and Rise Against is a CV that certainly does get me to sit up and take note.

So, first thing’s first. Art-rock… this is not an orgcore, gruff, pop punk record. Far from it. It's something quite different to what I would usually buy these days. If it was released in 1980, it would be straight up post-punk/new wave – there's a helluva lot synth all over the album. And there's quite a nod given to bands like The Damned and The Dickies – bands that have been around for a couple of generations. Perhaps this is also why they're described as art-rock, although even Dave Vanian and Leonard Graves Phillips et al. weren't knocking about in bands the late 60s?

The band says that the record draws on a fictional, late 70s New York City. Songs about porn, drug use, gangs and seedy clubs. A kinda reverse engineered dystopia. Yet, despite these references and comparisons to long established bands that started out in the 70s, Drakulas and this record are fresh. So much so that, now having listened to this record a lot, I think I get the art-rock thing. Drakulas are modernist, they are experimental and they're here with a record in 2020 that works so well.

The first track is Sin Will Fill You. Awkward guitar chords start before a manic two minutes that really does remind me of The Dickies. I immediately realise the record is going to be a bit different to what I'm used to (don't get me wrong, I do like The Dickies, but I rarely listen to them these days and I wouldn't buy anything new from them).

This is followed by Level Up, the single from the album released late last year. It's slower, perhaps poppier – it’s very catchy – and one of my favourites on the record. Dark Black ups the tempo again. Imagine a really sped up Joy Division. It's really cool.

The record continues like this throughout. The momentum does change from song to song, but it's all pretty fast. I don't think you'd get anything other than that with members from the Riverboat Gamblers and The Marked Men. The stand out tracks for me are Pretty Tommy, which is fast and Fashion Forward, a bit slower and more like The Damned.

All 12 songs are over in less than 30 minutes, as the record concludes with the title track Terminal Amusements, which starts with just a vocal and backing guitar before drums and the full band crash in after a minute or so to bring the album to a frantic finish.

People say trends in music always come back around, but I can't say I've noticed any kind of trend for art-rock recently. Instead, I'd say Drakulas are pretty crisp and contemporary, at least to the point where they stand out from so many others in the punk scene at the moment. They're not going to be everyone's taste, but I think they're pretty aware that's the case.

So perhaps that's it. Perhaps that's the answer. Perhaps you're going to go away and listen to Terminal Amusements and think "What's he on about? They're not even punk. Of course they're different ’cause they're not even in the scene."

If that's the case, then I'm fine with that because, as the saying goes, the definition of punk is liking whatever you like. And I really like this.

Stream and download Terminal Amusements on Bandcamp here.

Like Drakulas on Facebook here.

This review was written by Chris Bishton.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Top Tens: Colin's Top Ten Band He's Discovered In Lockdown

Being in Lockdown has sucked. We can’t see our friends and families. We can’t go to gigs. We can’t do any of the things we love. It has provided us with plenty more free time to do other things though. I’ve enjoyed having more time to listen to our ever expanding record collection and I’ve started playing Football Manager again. I’ve also found the time to release a 155 track compilation raising money for Music Venue Trust that you should check out here. And I’ve also had loads of time to discover new bands. Here’s a top ten of bands that I’ve discovered so far.

I discovered Articles thanks to The Fest 19 playlist. The Gainesville Florida based trio play that typical Fest sound – raspy vocals, great melodies and catchy hooks. In March, Articles released a new two track single named Smoking Section / Pool Party that absolutely rips. FFO The Lawrence Arms, Ann Beretta, Smoke Or Fire.

Finnish punk rockers Custody were one of the highlights of the first Boatless Booze Cruise live stream festival for me. I think I was drawn to them as they played full band rather than acoustic like the majority of the acts. Melodic gruff punk of the highest order is what Custody do. Writing and performing songs that have you aching to throw your fists high and sing along. Check out their recently released second album on Brassneck Records now! FFO Leatherface, Hot Water Music, The Run Up.

Fail Sons
Washington D.C. punks Fail Sons were a recent Bandcamp discovery. It is still the best place to find new and exciting punk bands, especially if you can’t get to a gig. Focussing more on the fast paced pop punk side of things but never shying away from throwing in a guitar solo, Fail Sons are one of the most exciting bands in the genre I’ve discovered in some time. FFO Pinhead Gunpowder, Teenage Bottlerocket, Zatopeks.

Fine And Great
This wasn’t so much a discovery but I was told about them during the lockdown so I think they still count. Fine And Great consist of Manu of Captain Asshole (the person who told me about them), Tooney from Call It A Wasteland and Hannes from Kick Back. Fine And Great play emo pop punk and feature fantastic dual vocals from Manu and Tooney. This band are so new that they’re yet to play their first show, other than a live stream at Boatless Booze Cruise last weekend.

Grey Matter
Bad Time Records have earned a reputation for releasing quality ska punk music. When new UK distro Pookout Records got some new stock from Bad Time Records in, I took a punt on Grey Matter and was not disappointed. The Michigan based band take everything you think you know about ska punk and add so many other influences. In a genre that sometimes gets tarred as “all songs sound the same”, it’s great to see a band that proves that that’s really not the case. FFO experimental ska punk.

Kids On Fire
Much like Bad Time Records, Seattle’s Tiny Dragon Music have a reputation for only releasing quality punk rock. During the lockdown, the label had a big sale so I bought Chosen Family by Burn Burn Burn from them. I also decided to take a chance on an album named Songs In The Key Of Bummer by a band I hadn’t heard of called Kids On Fire. This turned out to be a fantastic decision as Kids On Fire are awesome. They play fast paced indie punk rock with fantastic vocals and plenty of opportunity for singing along and having a lot of fun. FFO The Loved Ones, Forever Unclean, The Drowns.

New Yorkers Postage are another band that I discovered because they are playing The Fest. Featuring Mike Moak from After The Fall, you might expect this quartet to be more of a hardcore sound. That, however, is not the case. Playing a mid-tempo pop punk with an edge, on my very first listen I knew this was a band for me. I don’t know how often they get out and play shows due to Mike’s After The Fall commitments so I’m going to make sure I take the opportunity to see them at Fest. FFO ALL, The Mr T Experience, Night Surf.

Stuck Out Here
Stuck Out Here are a four piece band from Canada. In their own words, Stuck Out Here play “party angst anthems” which I think is a perfectly accurate description. Like Postage, this is mid-tempo pop punk that will get you singing along with all the passion. Their 2019 release, Until We’re Each Someone Else, is packed with great moments and I implore you to check it out. FFO The Menzingers, Signals Midwest, The Penske File.

Swayze are another band from Canada, a country that produces a crazy amount of brilliant punk rock music. One of the biggest kept secrets on this list, I was very surprised to see that they don’t have much of an online following. Their latest EP, St Angry (which you can expect to see a full review for on CPRW in the near future), is packed with high tempo punk rock with big gang vocals and fantastic harmonies. This is a band who seem to write songs with my tastes in mind. FFO Lagwagon, Captain Asshole, MakeWar.

Wiretap Records have become one of my favourite record labels over the past few years. They release so many great records from bands of a variety of different punk genres. In Virginity they have another brilliant band on their hands. The three piece from Daytona Beach, Florida, are just about to release their new EP Death To The Party on June 5th and looks set to explode among fans of emo/pop punk music. FFO Expert Timing, Dikembe, Modern Baseball.

This top ten was written by Colin Clark.