Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Classic Album: The Warriors Code by Dropkick Murphys

Today is St Patricks day, which for me as an un-Irish punk loving fella means one thing – it’s Dropkick Murphys day. It’s been my yearly tradition for over ten years now to always listen to the legendary celtic punk band every St Patricks Day. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the release of The Warriors Code, arguably their career defining album. I went back and checked it out.

The Warriors Code begins with a song named Your Spirits Alive. Beginning with some soft bagpipes and some piano the song builds into a rowdy punk rock anthem about paying tribute to lost friends. Ken Casey and Al Barr’s dual vocals are always a highlight of any Murphys song and they work together brilliant on this opening track. The next song, title track The Warriors Code is a more controlled track and is about Boston boxing legend Micky Ward, who also featured on the album cover artwork. Dropkick Murphys are no strangers to taking traditional music and making it their own and they do just that in the third song Captain Kelly’s Kitchen. Based on the traditional song Courting In The Kitchen this track is a trademark Murphys party song. With vocals coming from all directions you can’t help but want to sing, dance and be merry when this song comes on. The Walking Dead is a more straight forward punk song lamenting the old times and crying out for something new and different.

Sunshine Highway has an instantly recognisable introduction, including a pounding drum beat and accordion before the band launch into a song about drug rehabilitation. Scruffy Wallace’s pipes really shine throughout the song as does a Marc “The Kid” Orrell guitar solo. The next song Wicked Sensitive Crew was written as a response to claims that Dropkick Murphys promote violence. Lyrically this is one of the funniest Murphys songs ever, poking fun at “pop punk tough guys with neck tattoos” and claiming that they’re actually “touchy feely sensitive guys.” Musically it’s another Murphys party song that will get you arm in arm with strangers in the pit singing along to the chorus at the top of your voice. The Burden takes us to the halfway point of The Warriors Code. This song is a slower song about believing that someone has strength when nobody else does.

The second half of the album see’s the band returning to their hardcore punk rock routes with the song Citizen CIA. At just one minute and twenty eight seconds long is by far the shortest onthe album but ticks all the hardcore punk rock boxes. It’s relentless in making you want to get crazy and break things and scream along with the chorus. On the next song – The Green Fields Of France (No Man’s Land) the band change things up completely. This is a slow, thoughtful folk song. Here Al Barr’s vocal is absolutely perfect in an cover of an anti war ballad by Eric Bogle. Barr’s voice really grabs your attention and makes you really listen to what he is singing. The first few times I heard this song it really managed to pull on my heart strings. Take It And Run changes musical direction again and is a rousing rock and roll number. Barr and Casey’s two and throw vocal delivery really make the song.

Up next is the song that took Dropkick Murphys up another level in terms of popularity. The song I’m Shipping Up To Boston comes from an unpublished Woody Guthrie lyric about a sailor looking for a wooden leg. This song was featured in the Academy Award winning film by Martin Scorsese, The Departed and introduced the band to a whole new legion of fans. Ironically this is my least favourite of all the Murphys songs but was definitely a career defining song. The Auld Triangle is a criminally underrated Murhpys song in my opinion. Beginning with a lengthy introduction featuring piano and some pipes before the song explodes into life with Ken Caseys gravelling Irish American tones really stealing the show in this song about life in prison. The penultimate song Last Letter Home is an extremely sentimental song. It’s tells the true story of communications between American Sgt. Andrew Farrar and his family before he sadly dies in the Iraq war. The song talks about Farrar wanting the band to play an acoustic version of the classic Fields Of Anthenry at his funeral, something the band did. This song really displays why so many people love the Dopkcik Murphys, it shows them as a band of the people and never forgetting where they have come from despite all of their success. The album concludes with a reworking on the Boston Red Sox song Tessie. The Boston Red Sox Baseball team went eighty six years without winning the World Series, the biggest prize in baseball. The year the Murphys released this song the Red Sox finally managed to win the series and since then the band have become somewhat of a good luck omen for the organisation, being involved in winning the World Series each time they have performed at Fenway Park. Tessie, despite it being somewhat of a hometown song has always been a big hit when I’ve seen them come play live in England, despite baseball not really being that popular a sport here. I’ve never really understood that but its always great fun to see them play it live.

Find out more from Dropkick Murphys here: https://www.facebook.com/DropkickMurphys

Now listening to A Few Good Men by Dropkick Murphys

Album Review: Make It Through The Night by Resuscitators

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of seeing Off With Their Heads live at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston. One of the support acts were local act Resuscitators. I remember from the very start being extremely impressed by these four guys playing their own anthemic brand of skate punk. The songs were full of interesting hooks and Ioved that all four members of the band took turns singing and created some excellent harmonies. In January this year they released a brand new EP named Make It Through Another Night, I checked it out.

The first song on the EP is called Jaws Of Life and it took me slightly by surprise with the ska punk tinge in the introduction. Then the vocals kick I’m instantly in love with the sound. They are delivered in a fast and slightly chaotic manor, really hitting home each word to make a strong point. Hopefully the Resuscitators guys won’t hate me for saying this but the vocal is never especially strong, even for a punk band but I loved this. It reminds of one of the reasons I love punk rock music, because it’s an everyman genre of music where you don’t need to be “the best” you just need to have a passion for the music, something shown in abundance here. We Are The Sons And Daughters Of GG Allin (which I think is a play on the Red City Radio song We Are The Sons And Daughters Of Woody Guthrie) is about the struggles of being in a small band and how getting to play shows, even if it’s to a mostly empty room is the most satisfying thing in the world. The song builds slowly at the start and comes to life with a fantastic fade in primal scream and some great work from the bass and drums. The third song is called Stronger Drinks. This is another fantastically chaotic song with vocals seeming coming from ever.

I imagine the next song Little Victories is a great opener for live sets. Starting out with gang vocals shouting out “We’ve Got Bottles, We’ve Got Petrol, We’ve Got Nothing Better To Do Tonight” you can just see a crowd getting involved, shouting along with fists in the air. There feels like there is a bit more control in this song but again the multiple vocals make you wonder what’s going to happen next. The excellently title The Ataris Ruined My So Called Sex Life comes next. Beginning with some loud crunching guitars this is another more controlled and mature song. The song is a cry for help when you feel lost and alone after a loss in your life. Like I can see Little Victories as a great opening song I can see this song being a great song to finish a set on. The use of harmonies down the finishing straight of the song are as strong As  I’ve heard from any band this year. Make It Through The Night finishes with a nice acoustic version of the song W.W.P.D. which originally featured on Resuscitators first EP Black Label. It’s good to see that the band can strip things back and play a more serious sound. Even though the song isn’t strictly all acoustic, the full band come in halfway through the track it really shows how talented the band are as a group of musicians.

Resuscitators are one of the best kept secrets in the UKs underground punk scene. I really like that they do play straight forward punk music but it’s also has their own unique sound to it. If you hear a Resuscitators song played, you can instantly tell that it is the Resuscitators, a true sign of a great band.

For more Resuscitators info go here: https://www.facebook.com/resuscitatorsband

Now listening to Boys On The Docks by Dropkick Murhpys 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Album Review: Crash EP by Hora Douse

Hora Douse are an alternative rock/punk band from Manchester comprised of Tom Lee (the?), Jonny Russell and Reece Gibson. In October 2014 they released a new three track EP titled Crash. I checked it out.

Crash begins with a track with the same name. The song bursts into life from the get go, seemingly with no actual intro. The melodic structure of this song is very interesting and not something you hear that often. To my untrained ears it felt like the verses had two melodies, one delivered by the vocals and one by the guitar. This leads into a great chorus that really makes you want to bang your head. The second track Bored does have an intro that builds nicely into the song. This song is played at a faster tempo and the interesting dual melodies are still in full force. Bored feels like a great combination of a hardcore punk song with strong enough hooks in the chorus to give it a hint of a big pop punk sing along. The third and final song Speak is the real stand track here. Speak goes down a different musical avenue than the previous two song, they were straight forward punk rock – Speak is a slow burning emo song. The vocals feel more tortured and strained than on the previous two songs which really helps convey the emotion carried in the song. If you’re a fan of Moose Blood then you will absolutely love this song.

On the EP Crash Hora Douse show a huge amount of potential as a band. They already seem to have their own unique sound worked out and have the ability to make it work in a number of different ways. I look forward to seeing where these guys go next.

Stream and buy Crash here: https://horadouse.bandcamp.com/

Follow them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/HoraDouse

Now listening to We Are The Sons And Daughters Of GG Allin by Resuscitators

Friday, 13 March 2015

Slam Dunk Festival 2015 (Part Two)

This week the organisers of Slam Dunk announced the final wave of bands to play the festival. In all honesty I was somewhat disappointed by the announcement as it didn’t really represent my musical tastes, from reading the comments on Facebook though they have made a lot of people very happy with the announcement, some even calling it the strongest line up they’ve ever seen. Despite my initial disappointment there were three bands announced that really caught my eye.

The first band that caught my eye recently reformed post hardcore band Finch. Having originally been around between 1999 and 2010 the Temecula five piece reformed in 2012 to celebrate ten years of the classic debut album What It Is To Burn. That tour, which included a sold out show at the Brixton Academy was so successful that the band decided to stay together and put out a new album titled Back To Oblivion. Finch’s set will no doubt be another of huge nostalgia as they take fans back to the days of Drive Thru Records as well as gaining an army of new fans with their fantastic new material.

The next band who caught my eye was Moose Blood, surprisingly making their debut appearance at the festival. Moose Blood will without a doubt draw one of the biggest crowds of any band at the festival as they quickly becoming one of the most popular alternative bands the UK have to offer. Judging from their recent headline set at Colchester Arts Centre it will be a polished set with huge sing along moments. This could be another career defining weekend for the Canterbury four piece as they gain more and more fans every day. Expect huge reactions to the songs Bukowski (my favourite) and Boston.

The final act that really caught my eye was Rob Lynch. Returning to the festival for the second year in a row, this time he is bringing his full band to play songs from the excellent debut album All These Nights In Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul, released by Xtra Mile Recordings. Combining acoustic, folk and pop punk Lynch creates songs that not only are very deep and thoughtful but will also leave you a big smile on your face and your throat hoarse after singing at the top of your voice. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Rob Lynch perform live once before, supporting Masked Intruder and Vinnie Caruana at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston back in 2013. That night I found him to be an incredibly watchable and engaging performer and you could clearly see he is destined for big things.

Also performing at the festival are You Me At Six, Taking Back Sunday, Architects, Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis, While She Sleeps, Reel Big Fish, The Wonder Years, Neck Deep, The Bronx, We Are The Ocean, Gallows, Millencolin, Goldfinger, Crossfaith, Cartel, Bayside, Zebrahead, H2O, Comeback Kid, Emmure, Thy Art Is Murder, Mariachi El Bronx, Stick To Your Guns, PVRIS, Set It Off, Beartooth, Fireworks, Transit, Such Gold, Bane, Lightyear, Big D And The Kids Table, Patent Pending, Deeznuts, Trash Talk, A Loss For Words, ROAM, Knuckle Puck, Being As An Ocean, The Color Morale, This Wild Life, As It Is, Seaway, Aaron West And The Roaring Twenties, For Hope, Baby Godzilla, Shapes, Dead Harts, Wind In Sails, Only Rivals and Survey Says. 

Now listening to Drive by Off With Their Heads

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Gig Review: Less Than Jake and Yellowcard at Koko 9/3/15

Less Than Jake are touring machines. At the beginning of the year they had a tour with Reel Big Fish and Authority Zero across America. Now they are back in the United Kingdom for a co-headline tour with old friends Yellowcard with Chunk! No, Captain Chunk in support. They played two sets at Koko in Camden this week, I went along.

First up were Chunk! No, Captain Chunk. This was a band from France who I’ve been aware of for a while now after seeing them on line ups for Slam Dunk Festival but never really gave them a chance. I soon found out these five guys from Paris play a blend of pop punk and metalcore music. Lead singer Bertrand Poncet is equally adept at singing a nice clean pop vocal as he is laying down a heavy growl. Even though this style of music isn’t one I’m too keen on it’s easy to see from their performance that they are a band that are destined to go quite far in their scene. A good portion of the crowd really seemed into their set and the cover of Smash Mouths All Star from the Punk Goes 90s compilation went down a storm and put lots of smiles on lots of faces.

Up next were Florida’s Yellowcard. I was staggered to find out Yellowcard have been a band since 1997, almost twenty years! Yellowcard are one of the most unique bands in the world of pop punk, incorporating a violin and in more recent years a piano into their sound. The band is a bit of a weird one for me, I’ve been aware of them for a long time now and have always found them good enough to listen to but I’ve never really gotten on board and became a massive fan so I went into their set not really knowing what to expect. Surprisingly I wasn’t the only one who seemed somewhat apprehensive at the beginning of their set, despite seeing a lot of kids in Yellowcard shirts there crowd seemed very stale at the beginning of their set. I later found out that this was because they were playing songs of off newest album Lift A Sail so I guess only the real diehard fans really knew them. Eventually though the kids woke up and Yellowcard put on a polished, energetic set which everyone really enjoyed. From what I could tell front man Ryan Key’s vocal was spot on and his ability going between playing guitar and piano was very impressive. The biggest reaction of the set was for the song Ocean Avenue where everyone went nuts, even I, despite not knowing the words found myself trying to sing along. I finished the set extremely impressed and was very happy to have had the chance to see them. Now however I was absolutely buzzing for Less Than Jake.

This would be my ninth time seeing Less Than Jake in less than five years (the next night would be my tenth) and every single one of those times I’ve come away feeling like I’ve just seen the best live band ever. Whether it’s at a club the size of Koko, somewhere smaller like the Camden Barfly or the Concorde 2 in Brighton or on big stages at festivals such as Reading or Slam Dunk this Gainesville five piece never have to put the biggest smile on my face. This night would be no different. Starting out with a the big sing along Look What Happened the whole floor of Koko didn’t stop moving throughout the set. Playing a career spanning set list there was something for everyone to enjoy. It amazes me how after all these years as a band Less Than Jake still play with so much enthusiasm for what they do. Chris and Roger are for sure the stars of the show, harmonising throughout the songs perfectly as well as being very entertaining between songs the enjoyment of everyone doesn’t stop for a moment. Chris gave a special mention to long time trombone player Buddy, who a few weeks prior to the tour had just had a pacemaker fitted, so the fact that not only was he there performing but running around the stage and at one point for the balcony was a testament to what kind of man Buddy is. As ever all the stops were pulled out for the whole production of the set. There was a huge back drop with artwork based on most recent album See The Light as well as confetti, toilet paper guns and Less Than Jake balloons being shot into the crowd at various points of the set. It’s clear that Less Than Jake don’t just turn up to a venue to play song, they come to party and their enthusiasm is infectious to the whole crowd. There were too many highlights of the set to mention here but one in particular really stood out. It was during the classic Automatic from the album Losing Streak, midway through the song they switched up and played the chorus of the song We’re All Dudes from Good Burger (that 90s Nickelodeon film starring Kenan and Kel in a burger place). I went nuts because of this, Good Burger has for a long time been one of my favourite movies and I never ever expected to see them play We’re All Dudes live so this was the best surprise. At the end of their set I was talking to a couple about how we had grown up with Less Than Jake, I’m 29 now and I’m guessing that they were a similar age and we remarked how there were probably people there ten years young than me who also would have grown up with the band. That’s quite a remarkable thing really, especially when you consider that Less Than Jake are a ska punk band who despite being very successful have never really had a big chart hit. This night, and the next cemented my belief that Less Than Jake are the very best live band on the planet, everyone should go and see them at least once in their lives, though I suspect that if you see them once you’ll have to keep going back again and again.

 Now listening to Games That People Play by New Town Kings

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Classic Album: Borders and Boundaries by Less Than Jake

When you speak about the genre of ska punk one of the first bands thought of is legendary Gainesville heroes Less Than Jake. Since forming all the way back in 1992 they have put out eight fantastic studio albums and have entertained fans all over the world by being the very best live band in the world. This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the album Borders and Boundaries, an album many believe to be one of their best. I went back and gave it a listen.

Borders and Boundaries was scheduled to be released on Capitol Records, the same label that put out previous albums Losing Streak and Hello Rockview but after a new president came into the label it was decided that Less Than Jake would put out the record on another label. Fat Wreck Chords was the obvious choice for the band and as they say, the rest is history.

The song Magnetic North kicks off the album with bassist Roger putting down some great rumbling lines before Chris adds with some nice guitar riffs and Vinnie adds some great drum blasts. Then the horns join in and the song really jumps into life. Like every Less Than Jake song it’s a sing along, with the chorus especially being huge. Up next is the song Kehoe. Kehoe is all about flying the flag for ska punk, something that the band has continued to do to this day. Musically this song feels slightly more aggressive than previous Less Than Jake songs but the horns are still there to keep the mood upbeat and the track danceable. Suburban Myth is the first track on the album where both Chris and Roger share vocal duties and it really adds to the sound. Chris and Roger could both easily sing lead in their own bands and together they are just awesome. This is one of the more ska punk songs on the album rather than punk with horns and is about going back to the town you grew up in and reminiscing about old times. The fourth song Look What Happened is one of the most popular Less Than Jake songs ever. Starting out with Chris singing the intro over the top of Rogers bass this draws a massive reaction from a live crowd. When the full band kicks in the song really stirs into life with Chris and Roger sharing verse and chorus duties respectively and it works perfectly. Dual vocals add so much life to a song. The song itself is about wanting to get away from home when everything goes wrong. This song also appears on Less Than Jakes next album, Anthem. Hell Looks A Lot Like L.A. is a faster tempo song about the frustrations of moving to the big city as a youngster and it not being what you wanted it to be. The horns provided by Buddy, Darren and Pete really come to the fore on this song and will keep a crowd skanking.

The sixth song Mr Chevy Celebrity is all about the friend you have as a child who is bad influence. It’s one of the most interesting and fun songs on Borders and Boundaries. Up next is the song that really made me fall in love with Less Than Jake – Gainesville Rock City. To this day I still get excited when I hear that key turning, the engine starting and that classic horn riff. The song builds for a good minute before the lyrics kick in. Chris and Roger’s tag team vocal delivery is again perfect and Roger’s intensity on the last chorus really keeps the excitement of the song going strong. Malt Liquor Tastes Better When You’ve Got Problems is a song quite clearly about drinking when life isn’t going your way. Lyrically this is one of the bands best; the lines “I’ve Been So Busy Denying, That I’ve Always Wound Up Living, Pay Check to Pay Check, Scraping By But Hardly Trying” really hit home. Track number nine is called Bad Scene And A Basement Show. This is a break up song, in particular about a break up that happens at a gig. Musically the guitar and bass are heavier here and the horn blasts are short and stabby giving a sense of urgency. I really enjoyed the bridge towards the end of the song where the only Chris’s guitar and vocal can be heard and the song takes a bit of a musical shift to finish off. This songs blends effortlessly into the track number ten, Is Thing On? This song starts out feeling out quite sombre and thoughtful before kicking up some gears for the chorus. I really like the changes in directions throughout the song, taking you from restrained and thoughtful to a big chorus to a finished that will have a whole crowd jumping up and down in unison.

Pete Jackson Is Getting Married is one of the most underrated Less Than Jake songs. It’s a whole lot of fun from start to finish and never fails to put a smile on my face. The song is about the typical “white trash” wedding and tells the story of all the things that might happen on the might. It’s not a serious song that will give you some deeply profound thoughts. It’s a song for having fun with, for laughing with, for singing along to and to dancing to. No band makes music more fun than Less Than Jake. 1989 is a song about growing up and not really feeling like you’ve made any progress. Chris’s voice is perfect here and really carries the melody of the song well and the horns really keep the energy of the song high. The introduction to Last Hour Of The Last Day At Work is fantastic. A pounding drum beat from drummer and lyricist Vinnie and some of Chris’s guitars riffs slowly fade in; doing this really grabs your attention straight away. The song is about making sure you pick the path you want in life and not getting stuck in a dead end job you don’t really want, life is really short, make sure you make the most of it. This is some advice I wish I had had in my younger years from my parent. The penultimate song on Border and Boundaries is Bigger Picture and its starts of like a whirlwind. The song goes along at this pace nicely throughout the track before getting to a musical interlude when a tambourine and even a woodblock of some description is used before one last big finale of the chorus. The final song on Borders is Faction. This is a fast paced ska song is about resisting the urge to give in to peer pressure to fit in and being strong enough to be your own person no matter the cost.

Borders and Boundaries is the album that began to change Less Than Jake from a ska punk band to a punk band with good horns, not all fans are big on this musical direction but nobody can deny just how many great songs have stood the test of time from the Borders and Boundaries era of Less Than Jake and still get some of the biggest reaction and their live shows. 

Like Less Than Jake here: https://www.facebook.com/lessthanjake

Now listening to Nervous In The Alley by Less Than Jake

Album Review:Pocket Universe by Don Blake

When I think about awesome punk bands from the UK who don’t anywhere near enough attention one that immediately springs to mind is Lancashire’s Don Blake. This four piece pop punk band who formed in 2012 have just released their new album Pocket Universe on Round Dog Records. I excitedly check it out.

Opening track Can’t Turn It Off really caught me by surprise. I was expecting a full on pop punk assault with guitars going super fast. What I discovered was quite a restrained track where the band shows more focus on the lyrics rather going at 1million mile per hour. That being said, I loved this more restrained version of Don Blake. Can’t Turn It Off is about worrying about bad things and trying to find a way out of your own head. The second song Is It Fixed? is as good a pop punk song as you will find from any band on the planet. The tempo in the song is upped but there still feels like the Don Blake boys are holding back from really exploding into life. The song is actually incredibly serious. It’s about someone who committed suicide and asking questions wondering if everything is now better. Hopefully this isn’t a true story. The Plan is another absolutely brilliant song. Completely shifting melodies between chorus and verse it feels like they’ve moulded two songs into one and creates and really interesting sound.

The fourth song King Of The World has a great intro that builds nicely before the vocals kick in. The song is about being the boss of your own life and knowing it’s the right place to be. I loved the two lines in the chorus that read “I’m Here Where I Belong, All Insecurities Are Gone;” really relatable lyrics. Things You Should Have Dona And Should Have Said is played at a higher tempo than the previous songs and is all about the power of hindsight and learning from your mistakes. The music of the song has a Millencolin skate punk feel to it, which combined with lead singer Joe’s melodic pop punk singing create some pop perfection. More traditional buzzsaw guitars open up the next song Towing Chain. The pace of this song doesn’t really slow down for a second as Joe sings about needing to escape from home. He uses the metaphor of home feeling like being in a grave during the chorus – “I’m Just In Over My Head, About Six Feet To Be Precise.” Existential Horror takes us to the halfway point of Pocket Universe. This is quite a downbeat song about how essentially every single person’s life is really just a speck of dust in the grand scheme on the universe and how all your wonderful life experiences don’t really mean a thing. A nice cheerful song.

Every Day begins with a cool little drum intro before jumping into one of the catchiest songs on the album. The whole song makes you want to sing along with the band as they play a song about putting up with that person who talks a good game but in truth is all words but no action, everybody knows someone like that. Any Better is another of my favourites on the album and takes an approach that you don’t often here in pop punk. The song is only a minute and a half long and the first fifty seconds of the song is all music. It builds brilliantly into an explosive fist in the air pop punk anthem. I thought this song would have been a great way to start the album off and would be a great opener for Don Blake live sets. Song number ten returns to a more melodic pop sound. Don’t Know When is about over thinking things, and asking if life will ever get easier. As someone who suffers sometimes with social anxieties I really relate to the lyrics “But That Feeling Never Really Goes Away, Where Gravity Never Really Takes A Split Second Break, When My Brain Assesses The Success Of Any Conversation.” At just one minute and five seconds long Where Else Would I Want To Be? is the shortest song on the album. It’s a fun little song about home towns, the good times of doing the things you loved as a youngster and the awkward times of when you meet an old acquaintance from school and trying to avoid the conversation of “what have you been doing since school?”

The twelfth track on Pocket Universe is named Take The Hint And Just Go Home. This song is about making the best of life and always trying to have fun. This is another mid-tempo pop punk song, not reinventing any wheels but still being incredibly enjoyable. Don Blake know exactly what they are good at and really seem to focus on perfecting it. The penultimate song Ticking Boxes is all a song all about spending too much time over thinking choices you’ve made and living to regret them. I’m wondering if one of the Don Blake boys has some kind of career in mental health as many of the songs on this album seem to be about the subject. It’s good to see a band cover such a topic as I’m sure there are many people out there listening to Don Blake who suffer from similar ailments. For some reason when I heard the opening riffs of final song Give It A Try I was reminded to the hit Automatic Song Monster. This pop rock anthem is a slower song that really makes you want to chill out. That is until we get about two thirds of the way through and the intensity of the music increases and the drums get hit harder.

I really enjoyed this different take on the pop punk genre from Don Blake. It proves that you don’t have to play super fast and sing just about girls to create great pop punk records. This is a mature records full with great musicianship and mature, well written songs. Excellent work.

Stream and buy Pocket Universe here: https://donblake.bandcamp.com/

Now listening to Smile Now, Cry Later by Voodoo Glow Skulls

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Album Review: Lifestyle Brand by Imperial Leisure

I won’t lie, when I first read the email asking me to review a new album I fan girled – a lot. The band in question is in my opinion the best live band in the country, performing with an unbelievable amount of energy and boundless enthusiasm. You’re guaranteed to come out of one of their gig covered in sweat with the biggest grin on your face, humming any number of their brilliantly catchy songs as you go. The band I’m talking about is obviously altska pioneers Imperial Leisure. Their brand new album Lifestyle Brand is due out on the 6th of April and I was incredibly excited to listen to it. Then I got a bit worried, what if it was rubbish? I guess there was only one way to find out....

With the opening horn blasts of opener Victory Notice I had a feeling my worries would be unfounded. This was the Imperial Leisure I know and love. This was horn driven songs accompanied by front man Denis’s rapid vocal delivery and a huge chorus. There was a nice moment tow thirds in when the guitars got that slight bit heavier and built towards a big finale that you just know would have a live crowd jumping up and down with glee. The second song Lucky People continues in this vein, only with added keys which give the track a nice extra layer. After only one listen I’m already singing along with the chorus of “All You Lucky People, Lovely Lucky People, You Get Down, You Get Down Down Down Down.” The opening of the third track Animal has more of a traditional ska sound before the vocals kick in and the song goes down a more rock and roll road. The band effortlessly switches between the two genres throughout the song, showing first class musicianship. The breakdown towards the end almost transports you to a rock and roll jungle, using the brass to somehow create the sounds of an elephant. The intro of the fourth song Three Women One Night reminds me of an old movie, when someone is in a jazz club with a sole trumpet solo leading into a story. The trumpet is slowly replaced by the keyboard playing a similar tune; this was a very enjoyable part of the song before Denis burst into life and energetically tells the story of a crazy night. The horns really come to life in this song and it will have the whole crowd in a skanking frenzy.

Nasty Boy is a song that Imperial Leisure have been playing life for a little while now and is a very welcome addition to their set. The guitars are harder here than in the previous songs and this gives the track a feeling of a rock song with brass rather than a ska song. The chorus is again absolutely huge and will have everyone singing so so loudly. Splendid Marvellous is a song that really allows the guitars and bass to really shine, with the bass player really laying down some nice lines. Of course this all leads towards the horns really taking things to another level later on in the song. Storming into life before really slowing things down to end the song on a tempo that is rare for an Imperial Leisure song. On Christmas day last year Imperial Leisure released a music video for the song Razzle Dazzle. This is a high energy dance song about decorating your lady private area with jewellery – the vajazzle. This song will definitely be a big hit in the live arena, with its witty if not slightly obscene lyrics and another huge chorus. Razzle Dazzle is a hell of a lot of fun! The eighth song Festival starts out with a hip hop beat with Denis rapping the first verse. There’s a key change and the song builds towards a big chorus before switching back to the hippity hop. The song is all about going to festivals and having the time of your life. Last year I wrote a blog about my dream festival line up (here) and including Imperial Leisure in the line up, they are the perfect festival band.

Isle Of Slice is another song with a hip hop flavour. The song reminds me of the song Great British Summertime from debut album The Art Of Saying Nothing, except this song is about having the best time somewhere actually sunny. Machine vs. Monster see’s the band really pick the tempo up, this is the song that will get the crowd moshing at the live shows. Credit to Denis for being able to keep up with the tempo when delivering his lines, it must be absolutely knackering. I got slightly out of breath just listening to the song. Thankfully for me the tempo is slowed right down for the penultimate song The Big E. This really lets the Imperial Leisure boys really show off their ability as musicians as it, aside from background oohs and aaahs is completely instrumental. The Big E is one of my favourite songs on Lifestyle Brand. The twelfth and final song on the album is named Creeper. The music at the start of this song makes you want to bang your head, it’s short and stabby as Denis carries the melody with his vocals. It’s yet another song that you can’t help but dance along with, with all the members of the band laying down their own stamp on the song. It builds brilliantly into one final big chorus with feels far more controlled in the delivery and then the song just stops....and so does the party.

I think this is without a doubt this is Imperial Leisure’s best album to date. They band know that they are a live band first and foremost and seem to have a written a whole record that would excellently fit into an already stellar set list. I truly think that all the best songs by any band are the ones you can imagine live before actually getting the chance to see it. Lifestyle Brand features twelve songs that I can imagine live. Great stuff!

Check out all the information you could ever need from Imperial Leisure here: https://www.facebook.com/imperialleisure?ref=br_tf

Album Review: Manchester Punk Festival Volume 2

The organisers of the Manchester Punk Festival have just released the second of a series of compilations showcasing some of the amazing bands that are playing the festival this year on April 17th and 18th. I take a look and give my verdict.

The first song on the compilation is by Swedish heavyweights Atlas Losing Grip. These guys expertly combine metal and melodic punk rock to create a sound all of their own. The song Nemesis features on the 2015 album Currents. I’d imagine that Atlas Losing Grip’s set at the festival will have some of the biggest mosh pits. Manchester’s Leagues Apart are one of the bands that I’m most looking forward to seeing at the festival. I’ve not seen them live since they played Anti-Fest at Hatfield University back in 2012, which are far too long ago. They play raspy voiced sing along punk rock similar in style to Hot Water Music and The Lawrence Arms. Last year’s debut album Brief Interviews With Hideous Men made it into my top ten of the year list, their set is not to be missed. They will also be playing a Rancid cover set at the after show party at Retro Bar on the Saturday night. Pacer guitarist Dave House brings his brand of indie, pop and punk to the acoustic stage. The song Follow Me has an uplifting feel to its despite its downbeat lyrics. The song has a quality about it that you know will have a live audience captivated by every word. Hardcore punks Throwing Stuff will no doubt have of the most entertaining sets of the festival. Having seen them support Masked Intruder last year I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band put more energy into a performance.

Pop punk act Hindsights are a band that are on a lot of peoples “bands to look out for in 2015” lists. Playing on the Friday night just before the awesome Creeper they are sure to appeal to a lot of the younger members of the festivals audience. The X Ray Cat of The X Ray Cat Trio will be playing the acoustic stage. From Leeds, he combines surf, rockabilly, punk rock and psychobilly for what could be one of the most interesting and unique sets of the festival. The word unique can also be used for Beat The Red Light (my favourite band name in punk rock). Combing one of the best horn sections in the business with elements of ska, hardcore, thrash and metal there isn’t another band quite like Beat The Red Light. Headlining the aftershow party at Joshua Brooks, these guys from High Wycombe will pull out every last bit of energy you have for one final dance/skank/slam. Hampshire’s Almeida are another band who use elements of metal music in the sound. Some of the guitar work is as technical as I’ve ever heard from a punk band. Lead vocalist Tom West brilliantly carries the melody with is soaring delivery and will get you singing songs back at his at the top of your voice. Check out their debut album Fantastic Massacre, released on Lockjaw Records.

The Domestics, from Suffolk are somewhat of a throwback to legendary 80’s hardcore bands such as Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Poison Idea and Chaos UK. This is fast and furious punk rock at its finest and will go down very well with older members of the festival as well as introducing younger fans to a classic era of punk music. Liberation member Joe Yorke brings his brand of acoustic folk, punk, ska and reggae to Manchester. Like a lot of the bands at the festival Joe is fully steeped in the DIY ideology rooted in punk rock and many of his songs are about politics and solidarity. Chesire’s Simmer are a band who describe themselves as ambient punk and are another band who the youngsters will adore. The music is a great mix of punk rock and indie and the vocals are far more relaxed and laid back than what you would usually expect from a punk band. The vocals remind me of a band who I cannot remember the name of, check back later to see if I actually remembered the band. Completing this compilation is Tim Loud of Bootscraper with the song The Other Guy. Another of this county’s seemingly endless supply of immensely talented acoustic folk/punk types, Tim Loud will play a very entertaining set. The Other Guy reminds me of the Mad Caddies, if the Mad Caddies played acoustic folk music. The sound is fun and jovial and certain to put smiles on faces and get toes a tapping. 

Buy tickets, see all the bands playing the festival and find out more here: http://manchesterpunkfestival.co.uk/site/

Now listening to Rampant Horse Is Rampant by Leagues Apart

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Gig Reivew: Moose Blood at Colchester Arts Centre 3/3/15

Moose Blood and Creeper are two bands who are very clearly on the rise. Two of the most popular of the current crop of British punk bands emerging from the underground who this year have already been on tours this year with some of the heavyweights of alternative music in the UK, Fightstar (Moose Blood) and Funeral For A Friend (Creeper). This week both bands are on a weeklong tour of the UK starting last night in my hometown of Colchester. I went along to the Arts Centre to see two bands I think have the potential to be real success stories.

I arrived at the Arts Centre as local act Dan Warburton was already a good way through his set. Dan Warburton (tonight nicknamed the Breadman, a joke that took me way too long to get) is an acoustic singer songwriter with strong pop punk influences. Not being too familiar with his music I found it difficult to get fully invested in his set (maybe a little because I kept checking my phone to see how my beloved Crystal Palace were getting on in their game against Southampton) but it was great to see a local act having the chance to play to a decent sized crowd and he clearly had a lot of fun doing it.

Up next were Creeper, a band I’ve been wanting to catch live after hearing their debut EP last year. I’d seen singer Will’s and guitarist Ian’s previous band Our Time Down Here a couple of times and always thoroughly enjoyed their shows and was expecting big things for Creeper. Boy, they didn’t disappoint. Considering these five guys have only been a band since 2014 it’s amazing to see just how polished they are as a band. Will is one of the most charismatic front men I have seen in a long time, he had the audiences undivided attention. Clearly massively influenced by Davey Havok of AFI but never feeling like a cheap knock off, he really stole the show. Unfortunately for me the set felt a little short, not surprising as they only have the one EP released so far. If that EP and a very impressive live show are anything to go by then Creeper are destined for the top.

It always amazes me just how far Moose Blood have come in such a short space of time. The first time I ever heard of them was when they were the opening act for Broadway Calls, Gnarwolves and Great Cynics at the Camden Underworld back in 2013. Not many people that night knew who they were but almost everyone was very impressed after that performance. Since then they have released their debut album I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time on American label No Sleep Records, toured all around the UK with some of the biggest bands in our genre and also had a highly successful tour of the United States. Later this year they will take part in the Warped Tour, which I believe is the biggest travelling festival in the world. The kids at Colchester Arts Centre were clearly very excited for them to be in town, within the first thirty seconds of opening song, the phenomenal Bukowski one young lad was already on stage ready to dive back into the crowd. Stage diving was a running theme throughout the set with the crowd getting more and more amped throughout. Seemingly being forever on tour has seen Moose Blood grow into a very accomplished live band. They didn’t miss a note throughout the set despite the chaos going on around them. Lead singer Eddy’s voice was exceptional, my mate Jon suggested that his voice may actually sound better live than on record and I have to say I agree with him. This performance proved just why Moose Blood are so highly thought of in the music world. They are an exceptionally gifted band with a skill for writing incredible songs and playing absolutely flawless live shows. 

Now listening to My New Dress Up Shoes by The Smith Street Band

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Album Review: We Cool? by Jeff Rosenstock

Jeff Rosenstock is a musician, producer and record label owner known in the worldwide punk rock scene for his strong DIY values. One of the New York natives former bands Bomb The Music Industry only ever released their music on a pay what you want basis and that along with the ability to write and perform wonderful songs and they gained an almost cult like following of fans during their existence. BTMI played their final show in New York in January 2014 and since that time Jeff, as well as producing The Smith Street Bands amazing album Throw Me In The River has been working on a brand new solo record named We Cool? I gave it a listen.

Before I heard any of the record I wasn’t really too sure what to expect musically. Would it be a more stripped back acoustic record as Jeff was going it alone or would it be a full band record like his previous bands Bomb The Music Industry or The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches? After pressing play on the opening song Get Old Forever I found out that it would be acoustic. Then about one minute into the song I found out that I was wrong and that this would be a full band punk rock party of an album. Get Old Forever is all about the insecurities Jeff feels with getting older and how he feels that perhaps he should be settling down with a steady job and have a family and not be spending his time getting drunk at house shows. He soon comes to the conclusion that he’s living a great life without having any regrets and he shouldn’t get hung up on the things he won’t achieve. This is a really strong opening track for the albums and really shows where Jeff is in his life at the moment. The second song You, In Weird Cities is another song where Jeff questions his life. He sings about missing his music friends and how they are placed all over the world. There’s a nice reference to Chris and Fitzy from The Smith Street Band amongst some others. He gets over missing his friends by listening to their records and it feeling like they are together. The vocal delivery is quick and feels urgent and the music is played at a great pace and gives the effect of chaos which is always fun. Novelty Sweater strays away from the punk sound and has a bit of an indie pop Weezer feel to it. The music is more feels way more controlled than on the previous two songs and shows off a nice variety to Jeff’s song writing skills. Song number four, Nausea is the perfect sing along party song. Lead by a piano you can’t help but to dance to this song, I’m having a little bop sitting at my desk writing this. Where the music in the song is jovial and fun the subject matter is quite different. It seems like Jeff is struggling with some anxieties about justifying his life choices to the people he loves and begins to push those people away.

Beers Alone Again is a slowed down methodical song. Because of this you can’t help but really tune into the lyrics of the song as Jeff sings about drinking by himself because all of his friends have gone out without him. I’m Serious, I’m Sorry is one of my favourite Jeff Rosenstock songs ever. Beginning with just some electric guitar and Jeff’s distinctive voice skips along at an urgent pace. This song is an apology to a friend who he failed to help grieve for a loved one. Whether the story is true or not the lyrics are incredibly powerful and moving. If you only check out one song from this album I implore you to choose this one. I don’t want to post any lyrics from it so you can go into it as fresh as I was the first time I heard it. Hey Alison is a straight forward unapologetic punk rock song with a huge chorus that you will be singing for days. Polar Bear Or Africa is another stand out track. Sound wise it’s quite hard to pin it to a certain genre, parts of it feel like a punk anthem, part of feels like a power pop song and the synthesizer gives it a feeling of something completely different. I like the cross genre nature of the song, it takes you on a rollercoaster throughout the song, keeping you wondering what will be coming next. Polar Bear Or Africa is another song about growing up and maturing. It talks about the realisation that as you get older you need to look after your body and regretting taking all the needless chances that all young people take before they know better. When you’re young you don’t think about how the choices you make in life will affect the people you love. I thought this was a really interesting and unique subject for a song.

Hall Of Fame is another methodical song. The sound is that of alternative pop music with a lot of emphasis placed on a pounding drumbeat and some distorted bass lines. The song itself is about trying to keep your place, knowing that there is always someone ready to take it when you got knocked down. All Blissed Out is the most experimental song on the record; musically I can’t really explain the sound other than being a bit strange. I don’t really like to use the word strange though as that feels negative and makes me sound like I’m saying the song is bad. The song is not bad at all. I really can’t explain this song; you’ll have to listen to it yourself. All Blissed Out does sync perfectly into the next song on the album, The Lows. This is a great drinking song and see’s Jeff’s lyrics in perfect downtrodden form again. He sings about life as a touring musician in a small band and struggling to keep a life together back home. He verse about his relationship with his parents is genius “Trade A Few Beers For Crashing On Couches, And Overstaying Your Welcome With Your Parents, They’re Furrowing Their Brows While They Wondered What Happened, They’re So Fucking Bad At Hiding Their Disappointment.” The final song Darkness Records begins like the first one began, acoustically. Like the first the song soon bursts into life and is joined by the full band and features some really rapid fire drumming before returning to the acoustics. An excellent song to close a great album.

We Cool? shows just what a talented musician and song writer Jeff Rosenstock is. The album features twelve very different songs that whilst being different still very much sound like a Jeff Rosenstock song. I think this is an album you will listen to again and again and every single time you listen to it you will find something else about it that you love. An early contender for album of the year.

Stream and buy We Cool? here: https://jeffrosenstock.bandcamp.com/

Get all the latest Jeff news here: https://www.facebook.com/jeffrosenstockmusic

Album Review: Lost Kids by Stick and Poke

Recently I was reliably informed there is more music other than punk rock. Whilst I agreed that this statement is indeed a true fact I also argued that the term punk rock covers a very big spectrum of music. Any people I know think that when I talk about punk music I’m just talking about a group of people playing three chords as fast and as loud as they can and are shouting any old nonsense into a microphone. This simply isn’t true in the slightest. Elements of punk can be found in many genres of music. One musical genre that springs to mind immediately is folk music (and not just because I’m about to review a folk album, honest). They both share similar subject matters, such as politics and life on the road and then there’s the DIY spirit and community that connects the worlds of punk and folk. More and more artists are bridging the two genres and having great success. One folk act that I think is absolutely amazing is Canadian duo Stick and Poke. Last year these two amazingly talented young women released a new album titled Lost Kids. Here’s what I thought of it.

Lost Kids begins with the song Teeth On A String. Beginning with a violin introduction before the signature Stick and Poke sound shines through, Alison Soldnik playing acoustic guitar and Lauren Boyko playing the ukulele with both girls singing and creating beautiful harmonies. Lauren’s ukulele gives all of the songs an upbeat vibe and permanently keeps a smile on your face throughout. Teeth On A String tells the story of a girl who falls for a bad guy and wondering why it all went wrong. The dual vocals are excellent throughout and make you want to sing along. The violin addition towards the middle of the song adds a brilliant extra layer to the overall sound of the song. The opening couple of seconds of Distance instantly reminds me of the classic Against Me! song Reinventing Axl Rose, a band I suspect are a big influence on Stick and Poke. Distance is about someone who you care about who is not around anymore and the feelings of missing the simple things like the sound of their voice or how it feels to hug them. Incredibly relatable song. The third song Poison is played at a higher tempo and has more of a punk feel to it. This brilliant song is about strong bond of friendship that connects Alison and Lauren after all of their adventures together playing shows and travelling around Canada together. Poe is a song with an interesting sound – guitar, ukulele and violin act as a backing sound and let the vocals carry the melody of the track. 

Youth Crew was my immediate favourite song on Lost Kids. I related to the song instantly, it’s about militant straight edge kids who judge and preach at people who don’t follow the same lifestyle as them. As a non drinker one of the first things people ask me is am I straight edge? The answer I always give is no because I really hate being thrown into that group of people. Live the way you want to live, don’t judge or try and change people that choose to live life differently to you. I really loved the verse that goes “Even Though I Live The Same Way, I Won’t Perpetuate Your Stupid Clichés, Did You Forget Why We’re Even All Here? It’s About The Music Not The Fucking Beer.” Tattoo worthy lyrics.

I Don’t Like Love Songs, But I Love You is quite obviously a love song. It’s a sweet little tale about meeting someone who inspires you to be the better version of you. The example given in the song are about finding it easier to write about the things you hate but feeling inspired to write a song about what you love because of a special person. That’s the sort of person you need to keep in your life! The seventh song Time is another higher tempo song and is about the feeling of loneliness in feeling that you don’t belong somewhere. This is another song that screams early Against Me! with passionate vocals over the acoustic guitar. Crooked Rooms is the longest song on the album and has a more sombre feeling to it. It’s again about living in the big city and not really enjoying it. I love the lyrics in the pre-chorus. They go “Cuz This City May Be Big, But The People Here Are Small, And They Often Choose To Waste Their Lives Doing Nothing At All.” Creatures has a feeling of country music to it. Of all the songs on Lost Kids this is probably the only one I’m not a big fan of, it’s definitely not a bad song, just not one for me. The final original Stick and Poke song is called Lost At Sea. This song is another song about friendship and sticking together through thick and thin. The song’s lyrics are very heave on metaphors which really makes you listen deeply to the song and fully understand it’s meaning. This shows a really special song writing ability. Lost Kids finishes properly with two cover songs – Corpse Grinding Women by Harley Poe and Waiter by Heathers. I don’t know the originals whatsoever so I can’t really do a comparison but I can say that I really loved the Stick and Poke versions.

Lost Kids is an album packed with great folk (with a hint of punk) music from two wonderfully talented young women from Canada. I wish them all the luck in the future and hope they can have the successful career they deserve for their talents.

Stream and buy Lost Kids here: https://stickandpoke.bandcamp.com/album/lost-kids

More information on Stick and Poke can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/StickandPoke

Monday, 2 March 2015

Classic Album: At Your Convenience by 4ft Fingers

Dougie from 4ft Fingers is moving to Australia. Where this is an amazing thing for Dougie and his family it really sucks for big fans of 4ft Fingers like me. For me 4ft Fingers have been a massive influence in my current love of underground punk rock, they were one of the very first bands from the scene I ever really listened to. I still remember getting their second album Hero To Zero from the Plastichead Records mail-order catalogue on the basis of liking the cover art. Happily I love Hero To Zero so I went an brought their debut album At Your Convenience. For me At Your Convenience is one of the best punk rock albums ever and still brings a massive smile to my face whenever I listen to it. As a bit of a celebration to one of the most important bands in my life I go back at review At Your Convenience.

The album kicks off with the classic (a word I might use a few times in this review) Brickwall. The song is perfect for starting the album the off in the right way. It’s a fast and fun skate punk anthem that will have you singing along in no time at all. Listening back now as a more mature(ish) I can hear all sort of great musicianship from the bands engine room, especially some really intricate bass lines. The next song One For The Road is a great punk rock drinking anthem. It’s the sort of song that will make you want to put your arm around whoever is near you and scream along with the chorus. Track three Pictures starts out with some excellent guitar riffs that really grab your attention from the beginning. The song screams intensity throughout with lead vocalist Rob’s voice seemingly more serious than the jovial style from the opening two song. Slowly Sinking is another more serious song that sees’s the band venture into the world of politics. The band takes a stand against MPs and politicians who are liars and only seem to be looking out for themselves. It’s quite scary and disappointing that the song is as relevant today as it was in 2001 when it was first released. Killing Time is a more upbeat number and sees add an element of ska to their sound. It’s about that one friend that everyone has, that guy you only really ever spend any time with if nobody else is around. (If you don’t have one then it might be you) I really love how the band switch between ska for the verses and then go all out skate punk for the chorus, complete with some fantastic harmonies.

The sixth track Coffee Grinder also mixes some ska guitar with some skate punk. The band is showing fantastic ability and songwriters and musicians to seamlessly jump between two genres of music. My Song is a song that every punk rocker could relate to. It’s about being on a night out with your friends, probably visiting some kind of popular establishment, asking the DJ to play your favourite song and having to wait for a long time to hear it. Drunkenville is another classic 4ft Fingers song. Like One For The Road it’s a fun punk rock drinking song, all about drinking to get away from the bad things in life. I always find it kind of ironic that some of my favourite songs are about getting drunk even though I have been sober for my entire life. The gang vocals towards the end of the song are excellent and give that fantastic feeling of everyone being in it together, I big reason of why I love punk rock as a culture. The classic 4ft Fingers tracks continue with Hopeless Romantic. This is a full on ska punk song complete with horns and an incredibly skankable beat. Having seen the band a few times I can say from my experiences that this is one of the tracks that get’s everyone in the room dancing.

The tenth song Learn To Survive is the song that’s really grown on me the most on the album. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realised just how good this song is. Returning to a more serious punk sound Learn To Survive is all about teaching yourself how to be a grown up without ever really being given any sort of training, how sometimes it can be hard but if you stand up for what you believe in then you’ll be fine. Broken Bones is another song in a similar skate punk sound. The song starts out with some furious drumming that makes you believe that something big is coming. The band blasts through two verse’s and a couple of choruses before getting a nice long musical interlude before finishing up with a big finale of a repetitive chorus and some excellent, Bad Religionesque harmonies. The penultimate song Sense Of Direction for me is THE classic 4ft Fingers track. A staple of their live set due to the brilliant simple la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, OI, OI, Oi! This get’s everyone singing and smiling live, and if for some unknown reason you’re not a fan of the band you will be after this song. What I really love about the song though is the positive message about having the courage to speak up and say what’s on your mind. It’s amazing to me that such a amazing message can come out of what on the surface is just a bit of a silly song. The original version of At Your Convenience finishes with the song Goodbye Good Luck. This is a break up song, and something again easily relatable (sadly) for too many people. They finish the album just how they started it, fast and furious punk rock which is fantastic to sing along to.

At Your Convenience really is a timeless classic for me. Even after all this years on listening to it consistently I still get excited hearing the songs and still smile and sing along. I don’t know where 4ft Fingers will get mentioned in the list of all time greatest UK punk bands, I’m not in charge of the list, however if I was they would certainly appear very close to the top of the list. For me 4ft Fingers are legends in our brilliant little scene.

Check out more from 4ft Fingers here: https://www.facebook.com/4ftfingers

Now listening to We Had A Pact by Creeper