Monday, 20 January 2020

Album Review: Growing Out Of Touch by Feeble

I seem to be getting into the habit of reviewing Feeble albums the year following their release. I first discovered the Hawaiian punk rocks early in 2019 after finding their debut album, Hope This Ends Well, on Bandcamp. That album was released in the summer of 2018 so I was pretty late to the party. In December of 2019, the four piece released their second full length – Growing Out Of Touch. I'm writing this review on January 3rd so I'm getting much quicker, hopefully for their third album I'll be able to review it in the same year it was released. If you're new to Feeble they are four "kinda bummed dudes" from Honolulu who write emotional pop punk music. I think they're ace!

Growing Out Of Touch begins with the song Shamowowza. The song starts slowly with just guitar and vocals as the band’s lead singer sings about missing somebody, thinking about them and wanting to get high. After the opening verse the rest of the band come in, things get louder and the intensity of the song increases. There's an element of chaos in the track that I really enjoyed, the tempo switches around quite frequently and leaves you feeling a bit like "what's coming next?". I love that feeling when listening to new bands. Up next is The Haunting Of Spaghetti Shaq. This song sees Feeble take a look at themselves and question why they're growing out of touch with people. Musically there's a real urgency about the song and the singer’s voice really adds to this as it gets more strained throughout the song. As the song progresses, the guitars get a bit atmospheric and even shoe gazey while the vocals get softer before a big finish with some gang vocals and guitar flourishes to finish the track. Gorilla Glue 4 is up next and I immediately fell in love with the song. It's a more conventional pop punk song that draws you in from the start. In true Feeble style, the song does get more chaotic and urgent as it goes on but it remains full of hooks and melodies. The song is about wanting to stay inside and trying to make someone who's trying to get you out see why that is. It's incredible how the vocals got more stressed and frustrated as the song goes on, really showing the emotion of the song.

Bozo Sushi is a short song that wastes no time in getting started. The track is about working with somebody you really don't get on with and the frustration that brings. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever heard a song about having a bad co-worker which is surprising as I'm confident we all work with plenty of people we don't actually like. The song is pretty relentless as Feeble's singer lists all of the reasons why this co-worker irritates them. It's like one endless stream of thought and it works so well as a song. The fifth track, Stratford, is definitely one of the stand out songs on Growing Out Of Touch. Starting with vocals and guitar, it has a particularly poppy feel to begin proceedings. This welcomes the listener into the song and gives them the urge to sing along with Feeble. Of course, the full band soon joins in and the song goes into a chugging yet melodic story about how things never seem to go the way that you planned. I'm sure a lot of people will have felt like this at some point, so the song is extremely relatable – this will really help listeners to connect with Feeble. Demo $quad begins with an audio clip from the Adam Sandler classic Big Daddy before launching into a song about needing space to deal with your mental health problems. Demo $quad was chosen as a promo single before the release of Growing Out Of Touch and it's plain to see why. It gives you a little bit of what Feeble are all about. Whirly guitars, sad lyrics, emotional vocals and loads of hooks.

The seventh track is titled Cap'n Holt. The song is kind of split into two parts. The first part is slow and quiet as they sing about feeling low, wanting someone to reply to a message and having negative thoughts about it. The second is louder and more angry as they let their frustrations build up and talk about why this is hard for them. I really enjoyed how Feeble structured the song, it makes for a very interesting listen. The penultimate song on Growing Out Of Touch is named Clingy. Again starting quickly, the track is another of the more pop punk sounding songs on the album with its up-tempo pace and sing-along moments. The urgency in the track is powerful and does and great job in giving the ending of the album a boost in the energy, in case you're beginning to lag in all the sadness. Clingy is about becoming over reliant on things to help you get over a break-up. During the song the problem of over thinking things and it preventing you to sleep is mentioned. Throughout the song there's a feeling of hyperactivity, until the end of the track when things calm down and the singer talks about getting over things and finally being able to sleep. The ninth and final song on the album is Don't I Know U?. The song starts in a sombre fashion, with some quiet vocals. As you will have come to expect from Feeble now, it's not long before things get loud. The song is full of distorted guitars and pounding drums soon come in too. It's not the most up-tempo of tracks but it's damn powerful. The slower chugging nature of the song really adds to the emotive vocals and the guitars add extra layers to this feeling. It's the best way to finish this album.

Hawaii isn't really the first place you think of when you think of sad punk music. Feeble however are an exception to the rule. Growing Out Of Touch is another great album from the band that will please fans of pop punk and emo music and will hopefully help people who are going through similar things to the topics that are touched on the album.

Stream and download Growing Out Of Touch here:

Like Feeble here:

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Do It Together: Meet Just Say Nay, Toodles & The Hectic Pity and Katie MF

Do It Together 2020 is just one week away and we wanted to help you get to know some of the amazing acts that are playing the weekend. Thanks to Jak from Just Say Nay, Callum from Toodles & The Hectic Pity and Katie from Katie MF for answering our questions.

Callum from Toodles & The Hectic Pity

Hello, who are you and what band do you play in?
Hey! I am Callum and I played in Toodles & the Hectic Pity.

Can you describe your band please?
Toodles are a three-piece folk punk band from Bristol, taking influences from bands like AJJ, Neutral Milk Hotel and The Mountain Goats. Honestly, it’s mostly pretty up-beat stuff but the themes are very much not and I think some of the songs we’ve been writing recently owe an awful lot to emo  and pop punk as well – which is a fun space to be in, sat in between a lot of interesting genres.

The three of us have known each other since we were teenagers and started a band when we were leaving school, but because we went to different unis it was a bit of a slow-burning start and for the most part I was sending demos that I recorded on my phone over to the other two. We got to practice maybe once every few months and then I went to Canada for six months – but we very slowly wrote the songs that would be part of our first record, Call In Sick, which our close friend and indispensable collaborator Iwan of Invisible Llama Music released for us in 2017. We have a new release due from Specialist Subject Records in February which is called Ghosts, Guilt & Grandparents. Hopefully we will have copies in time for Do It Together!

How was your 2019?
We started off 2019 by playing a rare Bristol show with Chewing on Tinfoil, then touring around the UK with my brother’s band, (then Jake & the Jellyfish, now known as Sunliner) which was super fun. We played a whole bunch of places we’d never been before. Then we also got the chance to play with Spanish Love Songs and Microwave, and we did two shows with Jeffrey Lewis in Bristol and London, which was nuts – and then got to play Specialist Subject’s birthday all-dayer to celebrate 2 years in Bristol, which was honestly such a fantastic show with the likes of ONSIND, Garden Centre, Grand Pop and Me Rex.

To be honest, we’ve been laying low a little bit since then and working on writing and recording the new EP, Ghosts, Guilt & Grandparents. We recorded with Tim Rowing-Parker of WOAHNOWS and Dogeyed fame over the summer and had an absolutely lovely time with it, too. Since then we’ve been working with Specialist Subject on planning this release and focusing more on 2020 – which is going to be a busy one.

What was your first exposure to DIY punk rock?
To be honest my first exposure was my brother’s band, Sunliner (formerly Jake & the Jellyfish). Jake is about five years older than me and was, naturally, involved in DIY punk music way before I was – organising gigs for himself and other bands at The Croft in Bristol and around the country – and introducing me (through the fact he was simply playing them in the car or wherever else) to a whole bunch of bands.

Also, weirdly enough, it came from the other direction too. My sister who is two years younger than me is an avid music-discoverer in a way that I am definitely not. When I hear something that I love, I’m into it and I’ll listen to it to death. I go to gigs a lot too but I don’t spend time browsing Bandcamp or Spotify in search of new things. But my sister really does spend a lot of time discovering new music and, to be honest, most bands I’ve ever liked have come through her recommending them to me. From late in school and then at uni, I started to attend DIY shows more regularly in Cardiff and Bristol – most formatively at the Deadpunk Alldayers. I think that’s when we all realised that we wanted to make music but also that, unlike some young musicians, we didn’t have our eyes on stardom or anything: we really did have our vision of success as being part of the DIY scene. So in that sense, we’ve essentially achieved our dreams.

What does “Do It Together” mean to you?
To me, it’s really about the fact that the DIY scene really is about collaboration. It’s not just “Do It Yourself” in an individualistic sense, it is about “Do It Yourselves” – plural. Essentially it’s an anti-gatekeeper, anti-industry-insider, anti-fame-and-fortune approach to creativity. DIY punk is, or should be, a real fuck you to certain ideas about musicianship and creativity – who’s allowed to do it and what that means. It should attempt to break down fan/artist divides and accept that people making and organising are part of the same project as people who are participating. And basically, a fuck you to the marketisation of everything in our lives including music. In fact, bands, musicians, creators, consumers, participators – we’re not in competition with each other and we’re not trying to get ahead. We’re trying to build shit together and promote solidarity and community.

Tell us about the DIY scene where you’re based?
Bristol has a thriving music scene and DIY scene – which goes without saying. But that’s not to say that everything’s ok and everything’s easy. Venues are still closing down, for one thing. For another, DIY promoting is a pretty thankless task. We could do with more smaller DIY spaces for cheaper, smaller shows. We’ve got a lot of mid-size venues in Bristol which can be a daunting prospect for most bands. Plus, promoters are taking big financial risks putting on shows and have more bands looking for shows than they can reasonably organise. It’s a rough game! I wouldn’t want to do it, but I’m thankful for those hardworking people who spend time and energy doing it.

We’ve gotta find a better model for supporting DIY shows all over the UK, because right now the weight falls heavily on the shoulders of those with real drive and passion and there’s always a danger of burnout and financial trouble. In Bristol, I’ve got massive respect in particular for Eat Up and Eat Up For Starters who are doing some of the best, most inclusive, most radical work carving out room for feminist, queer, trans and non-binary friendly spaces in the DIY music scene. But it’s also on us, the music-lovers, to cherish what we have and go out and participate and pay in and buy merch and support bands and promoters. Otherwise there’s a decent chance we could lose them. People give up every day and even more decide not to get involved to begin with. And that’s a real shame.

How would you sell Do It Together to someone who’s on the fence about coming?
I think that Do It Together seems like a real labour of love. There’s plenty of all-dayers and weekenders and gigs going on but, again, it’s really worth supporting the people who are putting the love into it. Be Sharp, Lockjaw Records, Colin’s Punk Rock World and Shout Louder are all projects born out of enthusiasm for live music. They’re not soulless profit making agencies looking for the next band to blow up. Otherwise they wouldn’t have booked us! Not saying this to sound up ourselves, but I know that we were put on this bill because the people involved really like us. And I think sometimes as a gig-goer you’ve got to put your faith in the hands of the mega-enthusiasts and say “Hey I’m going to trust your recommendation and see where it takes me.” And that’s rarely something you regret.

What other act are you most looking forward to seeing at Do It Together?
Triple Sundae. But also, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to see any of the other bands on the line-up live before – so I’m really excited for that. Just a bunch of lovely new faces and new music to enjoy.

What song from another band on the line-up do you wish you had written?
Pollution by Triple Sundae. It’s just a perfect punk song, start to finish. And what a riff!

What does the band have planned for the rest of 2020?
So, us and Triple Sundae are playing some shows either side of Do It Together Fest – in Cardiff on the Friday and Oxford on the Sunday. Then February 7th sees us put out our second EP, Ghosts, Guilt & Grandparents, which is out from Specialist Subject Records. Really stoked for that! We should be doing a Bristol launch show in February, and then a UK tour in March on the week leading up to Chris Fishlock’s annual all-dayer at the Exchange in Bristol, “Fishstock”, which is on the 28th of March. That tour is almost fully booked now – playing a whole bunch of places we haven’t been before which is really fun. Then it’s a bit of an open book. We’re hoping to get over the Europe, too. But right now we’re just focusing on the immediate shows around the release.

As I said, we had a fairly quiet 2019 but I think 2020 is going to be a big year for us.

Speaking of Europe – we’ve never been over as a band so if you are reading this and you want us to play your town or have any recommendations please send us a message!

Jak from Just Say Nay

Hello, who are you and what band do you play in?

Hello, I’m Jak and I sing and prance around in Just Say Nay.

Can you describe your band please?
Nonsense. It’s all just complete sugary, head bopping, tongue twisting nonsense.

How was your 2019?
For the most part it was pretty bloody amazing. JSN finally got our album out and for a while we all felt like nothing bad was ever going to happen again in the world ever.

What was your first exposure to DIY punk rock?
My first experience was when there use to be local gigs in Dartford town. This was around 2003 perhaps. A band called My Dad Is Big. Amazing fun they were. Paul Smith will know, he was there.

What does “Do It Together” mean to you?
Everyone’s stronger together right?

“It’s dangerous to go alone.”

Tell us about the DIY scene where you’re based?
JSN are based right in the heart of Be Sharp country. The scene we’re in is the best. Other bands don’t believe me when I tell them about how good we have it.

How would you sell Do It Together to someone who’s on the fence about coming?
You mean there would be people on the fence about coming?

I’d say, you can walk in knowing nobody and leave knowing the finest humans you can ever wish to know.

What other act are you most looking forward to seeing at Do It Together?
Lightyear always. Our boyfriends in Call Me Malcolm and Triple Sundae. And Our Lives In Cinema too, their bass player is so mysterious and moody it just makes me go all giddy.

What song from another band on the line-up do you wish you had written?
That’s easy, For years and years I have always wished that I had written “Life Jacket Water Wings” by Lightyear.

What does the band have planned for the rest of 2020?
Playing this album to death everywhere we can. I can’t imagine it’d be too long before you start hearing a bit of new music from us either, I say, I say.

Katie from Katie MF

Hello, who are you and what band do you play in?
Oh hey. I’m Katie MF and I play in, erm, Katie MF. We’re working on the name…

Can you describe your band please?
We are beyond description – a folk/punk reckoning for our times; an explosive force of nature, a… god sorry, I’ve had a coffee. We play poppy/folky/punky/angry stuff and have a bit of fun with it – think break-ups and Brexit. And dancing. Bad dancing.

How was your 2019?
Pretty great to be honest. We went on our first tour (3 nights counts) and started to feel really solid as a band – we don’t get to play full band shows that often (I do a lot of acoustic stuff), so it’s taken a little while to really gel but I think we’re there now and it feels GOOD. Ben (bass) and Tobias (drums) are infinitely better musicians than I am so it’s a consistent pleasure to play with them.

Plus we/I supported a few personal heroes, released another EP and, importantly, made a bunch of new friends.

What was your first exposure to DIY punk rock?
That is a difficult question. Probably when I was 16/17 – my friends ran a few (mostly metal) nights at The White Horse in Wycombe (where I grew up) and I’d hang around not really knowing what was going on but hoping someone else did. Then my punk side lay dormant until about 3 years ago when I starting ‘doing the music thing properly’ – my songs got faster and louder then, as a band, we got booked to support Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves at New Cross Inn, got written up on CPRW and found a whole new community. So thanks CPRW!

What does “Do It Together” mean to you?
I could write an essay on this, but in sum: family, community and sharing equally in the disappointments and successes. The whole is bigger than the sum of the parts. It’s taken me too many years to really appreciate that.

Tell us about the DIY scene where you’re based?
In a nutshell, it’s about being able to go down to NXI (or anywhere else putting on a punk show) and always seeing a friendly face or five – whether they’re on stage or in the crowd. It’s supportive and inclusive, and holy shit there’s a lot of talent.

How would you sell Do It Together to someone who’s on the fence about coming?
You’ll meet some of the best people there are and have a chance to see a few bands who are unlikely to still be playing local shows this time next year. It’ll be a guaranteed tonic to all the shit that’s going on in the world right now. Plus, Lightyear.

What other act are you most looking forward to seeing at Do It Together?
Eat Defeat. Always and forever. And Call Me Malcolm because, somewhat unbelievably, it’ll be my first time. And Goodbye Blue Monday. And Uniforms.

What song from another band on the line-up do you wish you had written?
Shortcuts [by Eat Defeat] – it’s in my head at least 5 times a week.

What does the band have planned for the rest of 2020?
More of the same, but better. I’m going to be announcing a little solo run with some pals soon and have a few louder and longer things in the works…

Check out the Facebook event page for Do It Together here:

You can buy tickets here:

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Top Tens: Ten Things Colin Wants To See Happen In The Next Decade

As with the start of any new year or decade, you spend quite a lot of time looking back at the things you've enjoyed. I think it's now time to look at things in the future and think about what you'd like to see in the next decade. That's what this top ten is – ten things that I would like to see happen in the next decade.

Continued Growth In Diversity Of Bands
Something that has been great to see in the last couple of years of the last decade is the growing amount of diversity on line-ups at punk gigs throughout the country. There's still a lot more work to be done and I'm hoping by the end of 2029 we won't be talking about making sure line-ups are diverse but instead they just will be.

The Punk Scene Continues To Thrive
The DIY punk scene seems to be bigger than ever at the moment, it really appears to be on an upwards trajectory and I really hope this can continue as the decade goes on. There are so many fantastic bands popping up in all corners of the scene, in all the different sub-genres, that it's such an exciting time to be a fan of new punk rock music. Long may this movement continue!

More Venues Built Rather Than Destroyed
A very worrying trend in the past decade was the amount of music venues that were closed down. I'd love to see this trend changed and for more venues to begin to open up. Without venues we don't have places for bands to play, they can't make money to continue being bands, we don't have new bands anymore. This is a something I don't want to be a part of. Luckily there are organisations like the Music Venue Trust helping out the small venues that are in danger. Check them out.

DIY Festivals Continue To Grow
So many of my favourite memories of the last decade have been attending DIY punk rock festivals, seeing great bands and making great friends. It seems as if more and more of these festivals are starting all over the place, so much so it's hard to keep up with them and to go to them all is pretty much impossible. Putting on these festivals takes a great deal of work and I'm forever thankful for everyone who puts so much effort into them. We must continue to support these events, not just by buying tickets but also by spending money on merch, sharing news on the festivals and saying thanks to the fine folk who put them on.

CPRW Keeps On Going
Without a doubt, Colin's Punk Rock World is the best thing I've ever done. From where we started in June 2014 to where we are in January 2020 blows my mind. We currently have a team of ten people helping on the site which is ridiculous. People actually want to give up their time to contribute to this little project that started as a way to focus my mind during some heavy poor mental health times. I'd also like people to continue to read CPRW and sometimes even take stock in our opinions. That's a wonderful feeling that I want to continue for as long as humanly possible. We continue to expand with the formation CPRW Records. It's early days but I'm so excited to see where that's going to go in the next decade.

More Attention On Many Of The Punk Bands We Love
Something that frustrates me a lot is the lack of attention a lot of bands I love get from the mainstream music world. I know music is all subjective and based on opinions but I just don't get how some very good bands from our punk scene get absolutely no attention. The influencers who seem to decide what's good and what isn't just ignore punk rock and there's so much incredible talent being completely overlooked. I'd love to see this change and see more of our bands get some love from areas that aren't just the DIY punk rock scene.

Travel To More Places For Gigs
I love my home scene of the New Cross Inn but it's always so nice to visit different places and experience their scenes. It's always quite eye opening, just to see so many other people in a place that I don't get to go to very often enjoying something I love in their own unique way. You also get to discover a load of new local bands whenever you go to different places for DIY gigs and festivals. A great example of this is when we made the trip up to Dundee in November for Book-Yer-Ane-Fest. We got to see so many brilliant acts we had never heard of.

Complete My Must See Bucket List
I've been very lucky to see a lot of bands that I really love over the years. Many that I never thought I'd get the chance to see. However there are plenty that still remain and I hope to cross more off of my list in the next decade. The trouble I have is that I keep discovering more must see bands from all over the world so the list keeps getting bigger and bigger!

Go On Tour
It's always been a bit of a dream of mine to go on tour. I have no musical or singing ability to speak of, so could never do it as a member of a band. I also can't drive, so doing it as a driver is not possible. There's something about the camaraderie of a tour that fascinates me. I, one day, would like to experience life in the van, going to different shows everyday, perhaps not knowing what is awaiting you. To experience the mental highs and lows, to see why bands put themselves through these things when they could just sleep in their comfortable beds every night. It's something I'd really like to do before the decade finishes.

Mental Health
I've always been honest about my struggles with mental health on CPRW. I'm very lucky to have found myself a scene that understands my struggles and there is always somebody to talk to if I am struggling. More and more bands are making big efforts to talk openly and honestly about mental health and it's really helping a lot of people. Seeing the stigma of "you're a man, you can't show emotions" slowly but surely get broken down is such a wonderful thing to witness and I expect the next decade to continue this important movement. The DIY punk scene has a great network of people who you can talk to and will go out of your way to help you whether you know them or not.

This top ten was written by Colin Clark.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Album Review: Places by Jacob Horn Trio

Jacob Horn Trio are a seven piece band from Chicago, Illinois. Fronted by Jacob Horn, the band released a brand new five track EP in December. It's superb. If it had been released earlier in 2019, there is every chance it would have ended up on my top ten of the year list. Sadly I didn't hear it earlier but at least I now have the chance to tell you all about it now. Titled Places, it features five brass filled punk rock songs about muddling through your twenties.

Places begins with the song Eyesore. Eyesore is the song that first alerted me of Jacob Horn Trio when I was searching through Bandcamp. The track begins with some passionate vocals from Horn as he strums his guitar. It's quite a striking start that gets you intrigued immediately. Then we get some horns and I know that this is a band for me. Horn sings with such urgency and the horns give the song a massive sound. It's a song about people looking back at the old days in a city where you won't spend your whole life. Up next is Randolph. The urgency in Horn's vocal remains but this is the first time I hear some real soul in his voice as well. Randolph is about becoming a bit of a recluse, not wanting to leave the house and shutting yourself off from the outside world. For the first time on the EP you can hear vocals from Devon Kay (of Devon Kay & The Solutions and Direct Hit!) adding a different element to the band's sound. The two vocalists mesh well together and give the song a distinct style. The horns are present but do lead the way like they don't on Eyesore, instead they're used to add another melodic layer.

Arizona is a short song, at just over a minute long, and is about your friends slowly fading out of your life but being happy for them. Despite the short length of the song, Jacob Horn Trio do a great job of packing a lot in. So much so, it's actually surprising that the song is so short. I loved the use of the acoustic guitar on the song, it gives a soft feel alongside Horn's vocal. The ending of the song has a big finish that I can imagine is great live. The penultimate song, Southport, is a real stand out on an already superb EP. It's a slower paced songs with horns that remind me of Permanent Revolution era Catch 22. Despite the slower pace, the song moves along with a great deal of purpose that really draws you in. The chorus is one written for the big sing-along, repeating the lines "you can say we like each other well, I guess that says it all" four times in a row. Repetitive lines are a great technique for creating an earworm. Towards the end of the track, things get more urgent with more repetitive lyrics before the music drops out and we get some lovely gang vocals until the horns come back in to finish the song. Places is completed with the song It's A Wonderful Life. Picking the pace back up, the song sees the Jacob Horn Trio at their urgent best. The song starts with a punchy melody that will encourage you to sing along with the band. This style continues throughout all of the verses and sounds superb. Of course, the chorus sounds absolutely massive and there is almost a feeling of celebration as Horn sings about having a great time with friends. The song is about living in a city where everything is too expensive, knowing it would probably be better to leave but deciding to stay because of the great people you surround yourself with. A wonderful way to finish the EP.

Places really is very good. There aren't many bands around making music like this at the moment so there's a freshness about the EP. The urgency spread heavily throughout Places gives it such an infectious energy that it is hard to avoid getting swept away with the songs. If you miss Bomb The Music Industry then I seriously recommend checking out Jacob Horn Trio.

Stream and download Places here:

Like Jacob Horn Trio here:

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Album Review: Imposter by The Grool Brothers

Spending a little time scrolling through Bandcamp can bring up some wonderful discoveries. This morning I was looking through a someone’s collection on the website and came across a band I'd never heard of before named The Grool Brothers. I clicked the play button and quickly got excited. This is the exact punk sound that I love. It's melodic punk rock with loads of hooks, wonderful shout along vocals and a beautiful feeling of chaos. After a little bit of research, I discovered that The Grool Brothers are a four piece from Indiana and Chicago who released their most recent EP in September of last year. It's named Imposter and here's my review of it.

The EP begins with its title track, Imposter. Blimey, this hooked me quickly. Starting out with a big chorus and some gang vocals, I immediately want to be involved in the song. There's so much infectious energy here, I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it. The song is about that person in a community who only takes and doesn't give anything back. We all know this kind of person and they're a very frustrating person to know. The Grool Brothers really do the best job of portraying that emotion in the song. Following Imposter is the song Missing Out. There's so much going on in this track and I love it. It's got that equal parts melody and chaos style that I love. After a pretty lengthy introduction, the gang vocals again get the song off to a massive start. If you can listen to this and not feel the urge to throw your fists in the air then I offer you a salute. I love the part of the track when the vocalist sounds as if they are standing slightly further back from their microphone. The quieter moment makes you really listen hard to what's going on and before long we're right back at the full shout along blast that I'm really loving a lot. The third and, sadly, final song on the EP is Hard Fade. Hard Fade actually begins with more of a pop style than the other two tracks on Imposter. It soon grows and gets gruffer as the song progresses. It's slower as well, giving the song a more serious tone. This builds towards the amazing gang vocals and a big chorus that will get your blood pumping but also have you really thinking about the meaning of the song. It's about remembering to hold on to and enjoy what you've got as it won't last forever.

That last sentiment is a bit of a metaphor for the entire EP. I loved it whilst it was on but it's just too short! I want more and more of this as I enjoyed it so, so much. All three songs really hooked me in, so much so that it's pretty impossible to pick a favourite track. If you're looking for a new band to really get behind in 2020 I seriously suggest you check out The Grool Brothers.

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Album Review: A Dog's Life by The Muttnicks

I first became aware of German punk rockers The Muttnicks after seeing them on a boat in Hamburg Harbour at last summer’s Booze Cruise Festival. I was instantly impressed with their live show, being slightly reminded of The Bouncing Souls during their set. The Muttnicks are a relatively new band in the German punk rock scene, having only formed in 2017, but already seem to be making a name for themselves. Last November they released a brand new EP titled A Dog's Life. It took me way too long to get round to checking it out.

A Dog's Life begins with the song Changer. It starts with a welcoming guitar introduction, played at a mid-tempo pace that builds nicely towards the vocals. Vocalist Phil Muttnick has a great voice, it's clear but also contains plenty of power and venom, making you really feel what he's singing. Changer is about making positive changes in the world so that it's a better place for everyone. The song has some great sing-along moments that will bring a crowd together in such an uplifting way. Up next is Toxic (sadly not a Britney Spears cover). The uplifting nature of the opening track disappears here and is replaced with a pretty sad track about being in an abusive relationship. Throughout the song, Phil lists the ways in which one half of a relationship has been horrible. I'm sure most people will find at least one thing on this list to be relatable in someway so the track may be slightly cathartic for them. Towards the end of the song it does seem to get more positive as Phil sings about making the choice to end things. The final song on A Dog's Life is perhaps the hardest hitting. At just a minute and a half long, this is verging on a hardcore song. My Decision is about not being afraid to be whoever you want to be despite what people might think. This is a really powerful and uplifting way to finish the EP. All the best hardcore tracks have an uplifting nature about them and My Decision certainly has that.

In 2019 we discovered a lot of great bands from Germany thanks to Booze Cruise and The Muttnicks are without a doubt one of my favourites. A Dog's Life shows them as a band who aren't afraid to speak out on big topics and have the ability to write songs that really make you feel something when you're listening to them.

Stream and download A Dog's Life here:

Like The Muttnicks here:

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Column: Colin's Festival Plans 2020

It’s that time of year again. That time when Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day are done and dusted and you start to look forward to the year ahead. I imagine a lot of people reading this will be looking at the plethora of punk festivals available to them and deciding which they want to go to. Emma and I decided early which we would be going to. Here's a little preview of them to help make your decisions easier!

Do It Together Fest, 24th–25th January

Of course I'm going to this, I've helped to organise it! Together with my best buds from Be Sharp Promotions and Shout Louder, we've put together Do It Together – two days of brilliant DIY punk rock bands from all genres and headlined by the one and only Lightyear! My mind is still blown by that. Taking place at our home from home of the New Cross Inn in South London, also appearing will be The JB Conspiracy, Eat Defeat, Burnt Tapes, Call Me Malcolm, Forever Unclean, Triple Sundae, Goodbye Blue Monday, Uniforms, Katie MF, Just Say Nay and more! The theme for the festival is celebrating the punk rock community and all the wonderful people in it. It's going to be a proper mates fest, so come be our mate.

Manchester Punk Festival, 24th–26th April

The UK's best punk rock festival returns for its sixth edition and it's looking better than ever – and the whole line-up is yet to be announced. I've been going to Manchester Punk Festival every year since it started and it's been so wonderful seeing it grow into the can’t miss event that it is now, whilst sticking to its core DIY fundamentals. It's basically a punk rock family reunion where it seems like everyone we know from the punk rock scene – not just in the UK – makes the pilgrimage to Manchester. It's a weekend of the best bands and the best hangs. So far they've announced international acts such as The Flatliners, Red City Radio, Shai Hulud, Belvedere, Broadway Calls and Signals Midwest, as well as UK acts Random Hand, ONSIND, Roughneck Riot, Popes Of Chillitown, Ducking Punches, Fresh and PMX. The festival has one more announcement to go and I suspect it's going to be amazing.

Bristol Booze Cruise Festival, 22nd–24th May

The first incarnation of the Bristol Booze Cruise happened last year and we were gutted not to be able to make it. We then decided that this year we would definitely be attending. Aiming to showcase smaller bands not just from the UK but from North America and mainland Europe as well, the festival has only had one announcement so far but our decision to attend has already been very much confirmed. I was so excited when I saw bands such as Restorations, Free Throw, Mikey Erg, Antillectual, Ramona, Trophy Jump, Moonraker, Sewer Rats and Lone Wolf were coming to the UK to play alongside The Run Up, Darko, Burnt Tapes, Goodbye Blue Monday, Aerial Salad, Brutalligators, H_ngm_n and Pardon Us. There's another corporate rock festival happening this weekend but Bristol for Booze Cruise is definitely the place to be.

Hamburg Booze Cruise Festival, 12th–14th June

Last year we went to our first Hamburg Booze Cruise Festival and it was one of my highlights of the entire year. Taking place in a handful of venues around Hamburg docks, including a boat, Booze Cruise is the best time. It's a super friendly and inclusive festival where you can go not knowing anybody and leave with a load of new pals. The best way I can think of describing it is as the best European equivalent to The Fest in Gainesville. You will find a great combination of established and up and coming punk rock bands from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The line-up is yet to be announced but I'm sure you can get some clues from the Bristol Booze Cruise line-up…

Kaiser Fest, 17th–18th July

In all honesty, I don't have a lot of information about Kaiser Fest. I know it takes place in Antwerp, Belgium, and I know that it's put together by the guys from Captain Kaiser and that our buddy Jason from El Topo Bookings is helping out. Last year they had The Copyrights, Kepi Ghoulie, The Priceduifkes and Lone Wolf on the line-up. Already announced for this year are Captain Kaiser (obviously), Goodbye Blue Monday (we're basically following them around in 2020), Coma Commander, Beans On Toast, Funeral Dress, The Sewer Rats, Aster and Tom De Ridder . That'll do nicely.

Punk Rock Holiday, 10th–14th August

Perhaps the biggest punk rock festival in Europe now, Punk Rock Holiday is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Taking place in Tomlin, Slovenia, it's a festival whose setting we've long admired from afar and we decided it was finally time to pay it a visit. Particularly because there are apparently plans to build a road right through the middle of the grounds. They always attracted the biggest names in punk rock and this year is no different with Flogging Molly, The Bouncing Souls, Anti-Flag, Refused, Strike Anywhere, Bad Religion and Mad Caddies. If that's not enough, the beach stage is showcasing some of the best underground bands in the world with Eat Defeat, Captain Asshole, Faintest Idea, Abraskadabra, Petrol Girls, P.O. Box, Chump and The Sewer Rats making me very excited to attend this festival.

That's just six of the great festivals happening this year! Be sure to also check out Bearded Punk Fest, El Topo Goes Loco, Slam Dunk Festival, This Is My Fest, Jera On Air, Punk Rock Raduno, Wonk Fest, Rebellion Festival, Brakrock, Wotsit Called Fest, Arrowfest, Pouzza Fest, Punk Rock Bowling, The Fest and Book Yer Ane Fest.

This column was written by Colin Clark.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Top Tens: Dan Kilvert's Top Ten Releases Of 2019

10. III by Masked Intruder
If you don't know Masked Intruder, they take the idea of making fun of how creepy most love songs are to the extreme: they are stalking you and are known criminals singing you sweet love songs about breaking into your house! This album is a continuation of the style of rock-and-roll-super-poppy-punk their last EP put them on the path towards. I love the guitar licks and singing these hooks on this record to myself (not too loudly though – the other people on the train wouldn't get the joke!)

9. Operation Exodus by Adrenalized
In the summer at a Hit The Switch show in London, I was chatting to another person enjoying the show who recommended this album by Adrenalized as the best skate punk record to come out so far this year. I took his recommendation and he was damn right about this record being a delight to listen to. It contains so many face melting riffs that leave your jaw well and truly dropped, and it's impossible not to be blown away by the last 50 seconds of "Decide". All this is topped by tight-knit production that brings out every little lick. Put simply, this record is awesome.

8. Flash Gordon Ramsay Street by The Decline
This is another banging skate punk record! I went into this one with the same expectation as I did for Adrenalized, what I got was a little more personal – it's full of takes on certain mental health topics with a touch of humour to keep it from getting too miserable. It's still full of great skate punk riffs but the songs’ lyrics connect deep: "Get Hyrule, Save Zelda" alludes to bad depression spells – skipping out of work to just escape into video games. The record is full of really deep takes like this. I'm a massive Decline fan after this record and can't wait to see them when they're next in the UK!

7. Interrobang by Bayside
So many people sleep on Bayside, they dwell in the emo scene but have a habit of writing some of the best minor chord punk rock songs. Interrobang is another perfectly produced record dripping in misery. The heavy guitar and beautiful vocals are a combo that my ears just can't get enough of.

6. Complaint by Watsky
The only rap record to make my list this year. Everything this guy makes I love and when he announced a 9 track album, I was a little disappointed that it would be too short for me to get my full Watsky fix. However, I'm glad to report that everything on this record hits hard and feels deeply personal. "Welcome To The Family" makes me cry on every late night train ride; "Mean Ass Drunk" is a party piece I love rapping along to; and "Limo 4 Emos" reminds me of friends helping me out of bad head spaces. The lyrics are poetry as usual and he has really improved his singing voice while trying new styles of songs with different production, which leaves the whole thing sounding fresh and which stands out from his last release. I can't wait for the next Watsky record, 'cause every single one seems to make my top 10 lists.

5. Morbid Stuff by PUP
Morbid Stuff is a perfect follow up to a record that I already thought was perfect! It expands PUP's sound wonderfully, adding more chorus-y pop-punk to their set list. My personal favourites are: "See You At Your Funeral" the lyrics for this made me burst out laughing on my commute to work (rhyming "produce section" with "healthy selection" is silly but inspired); "Scorpion Hill" blends a clean country hook with a punk rock song, broaching a beautifully depressing subject; "Sibling Rivalry", with one of those super shouty choruses, hit close to home when I think how I fight with my brother; and finally, "Full Blown Meltdown" is the angry jam that I needed to get me through my year. To reiterate: this record is perfect. Each song feels different, but still contains the PUP sound. Like their previous record, this one is a tough act to follow – but I bet they will.

4. Glow by Triple Sundae
Although I may have heard all these songs live before hearing this EP, it still hit me harder emotionally than anything else on this list. Triple Sundae have a way of writing really meaningful, personal lyrics, plus their songs are catchy while standing out from the other stuff I have heard this year. The melodies are so good. "Swisher" and "Safe" still sometimes make me have a cry and I always shout the bridge to "Everything's Cool" when it comes on in the car. It's great watching people I know making amazing music, and I will repeat what I have already said to them: "Please keep making more music!"

3. Never Better by Burnt Tapes
Speaking of watching friends’ bands flourish, when the first single "Yuzi" was released I knew we were in for something special from Burnt Tapes. The production was perfect and the song had dropped right after the end of a long term relationship, so the lyrics really hit me at the right time. When the full record rolled around, there were so many stand out tracks that weren't singles. To me, its amazing blend of punk-pop instrumentation with rough-round-the-edges punk rock vocals hits all the sweet spots – creating the ultimate sing-along regret punk! This record has made many people's end-of-year lists for all the right reasons. If you haven't yet, go pick it up!

2. Passenger by Fabled Mind
This is exactly how I like my punk rock: fast, political and unpredictable. My first listen to Passenger by Fabled Mind turned into multiple back-to-back listens, as I played it through front to back, then again, then again, I honestly love to listen to this record on loop, the vibe it gives off reminds me of early Rise Against. The writing is great: every song is single-worthy and I also love how the vocals perfectly match with the riffs. Also, this is some of the best drumming I've heard this year – not a drum beat out of place. I can't wait to see what these boys do next if this is only their first record. It left me craving more!

1. Maximum Effort by Just Say Nay
So I stuck this on on the day it came out, on the way to the dentist. Then on the way back. Then I found myself then going to Just Say Nay’s album launch show the same day. I had started the day having no intention of going to a gig. That's how much draw these songs have to me: I just had to see them played live, especially "Kuromouri" which is a ska Decline-esque (the NOFX track, not the band that also made this list!) song clocking in over 8 minutes. To me, it's the best song to come out this year. I love everything about this record: the song structures are clever, the riffs are banging, the basslines are killer, the harmonies are awesome and the lyrics are theatrical but still connect deeply. There isn't a boring moment on the record. When I listen to Maximum Effort, I want to see it all played live again. I will definitely be seeing Just Say Nay at every opportunity!

This top ten was written by Dan Kilvert of Tape It Shut.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Album Review: Memez, Dreamz and Limousinez by Prize Dink Camp

Folkert Van Kerckhove of Koala Commission, Chrandesyx and El Topo All Stars has yet another new band – Prize Dink Camp. The trio, completed by Lander De Visscher (also of Koala Commission and El Topo All Stars) and Zeno Van Moerkerke, play synth-lead ska punk music. Not something you often hear, but in the hands of these three gentlemen, it works really well. In November, the trio released their debut EP titled Memez, Dreamz and Limousinez. It took me far too long to get round to giving it a proper listen but, when I did, boy golly did I enjoy it.

Memez, Dreamz and Limousinez begins with the song Mental Breakdown Polka. Starting out with Lander's immense key playing, giving the song a bit of a dramatic opening, before leading the listener into an upbeat section that will have them moving from the outset. It's not long before Folkert's fantastic voice comes in and he leads us through the song. If you've never heard Folkert sing before, I think his voice is best described as soft, melodic and captivating. There's a ferocious keyboard lead breakdown in the middle of the song that really helps the song transition into its final moments, getting a crowd amped up one last time. Up next is The Floor Is Lava. It's quite a lengthy song at four minutes and forty-six seconds but it packs lots in. Whereas the first track featured a lot of keys, The Floor Is Lava is much more of a guitar lead song. It's understated though, allowing the listener to really focus on the vocals. The song’s big moment really comes in the chorus with the commands of "the floor is lava, so you better jump around." Like Mental Breakdown Polka before it, The Floor Is Lava finishes in a big way with Folkert singing some "whoa-ohs" as the rest of the band add some gang harmonies of "jump, jump, jump around." It's such an energy boosting way to finish the song. The final song is titled Billy. The song opens up in a crunching fashion – apparently it is possible to "crunch" with a keyboard. I was very impressed with how well Folkert and Lander managed to get the guitar and keys working together on the track, both seem to lead but also allow the other to shine. This is definitely the hardest of the three tracks on Memez, Dreamz and Limousinez, showing some great variety from the band. It's a song about how the world is in decline, so the harder style works really well with the message of the track. This was the perfect choice to finish the EP with as it leaves you thinking about a serious issue.

I love how different Memez, Dreamz and Limousinez is from every other ska punk release out there. It's always refreshing when a band tries to do something different and also manages to pull it off. This is a seriously talented trio and definitely need your attention.

Stream and download Memez, Dreamz and Limousinez here:

Like Prize Dink Camp here:

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Album Review: Dear Life by My Altamont

My Altamont is the project of New Jersey/Philadelphia based musician Chris Tull, formerly of bands such as Erotic Novels, Jantones and Hellstroms. Influenced by the likes of The Ramones, Superchunk and Jawbreaker, in November My Altamont released a brand new EP titled Dear Life. I came across it thanks to Bandcamp discovery and I'm always keen to feature new bands on CPRW so here's my review.

The opening track on Dear Life is named Love And Affection. Instantly I can hear The Ramones influence on My Altamont. The buzzing guitars and simple but driving drums and the Joey Ramone-esque vocals really grabbed my attention. The song is about how your actions and behaviour, even if you don't mean it, can have big effect on your relationship. I thought a really nice touch was to include a female backing vocal (provided by Sandra Bullet) on the song. It helps the track play out like it's a conversation between the two of them. Gravity's Staircase is a slower song that's also really sad. It's about the life of an astronaut and how when you're in space everything is fine but being back on Earth you suffer heavily with depression. It's really interesting song topic that I've, unsurprisingly, not really heard before. My Altamont does a wonderful job of painting this picture that really allows you to imagine what's going on.

The third song on the EP is titled My Whole Life. Picking the pace back up, the song is a bit retrospective as My Altamont looks back at things they've done in their life and comes to the conclusion that they've been wasting their life. Despite the general glum feel to the song, it actually sounds quite upbeat and is packed with hooks and will get stuck in your head pretty quickly. The penultimate song is named The Greatest Day. That title is pretty misleading as it's another really sad song. On this track, My Altamont talks about being in a car accident, being hurt and believing that it's the best thing for everyone. Sad, sad stuff. My Altamont just broke my heart on the track, one of the saddest I've heard in some time. The tempo is again picked up for the final song, Sad Summer. Obviously, from that title, it's fairly obvious what it's about. On the track, My Altamont looks at what it's like when you're struggling with depression, not being able to get out, or even up out of bed during the summer whilst everyone else is out having a lovely time. I do prefer My Altamont when they are playing this more uptempo style, probably because I'm a massive Ramones fan. The big chorus at the end of the track is the perfect way to finish this fantastic EP.

Stream and download Dear Life here:

Like My Altamont here:

This review was written by Colin Clark.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Album Review: Return Of The Infamous Four by Drunktank (by Brett Coomer)

Drunktank released Return Of The Infamous Four all the way back in July of 2019, their first album since 2010’s Infamous Four. I had never heard of the band before picking up this review, but when a band is described as "energetic mix of skatepunk and 80s metal" my interest is immediately piqued. With a name like Drunktank and a tagline of "damaging ears and drinking your beers since 2003", it's clear that the band members have a sense of humour, don't take themselves too seriously, and have a lot of fun doing what they do.

Drunktank are a four-piece band from The Hague, Netherlands, that formed in 2003. By 2010 they’d released 4 EPs as well as their first full length album, and described themselves as fast, melodic and singalong 90s skate punk with a pinch of 80s metal. Since I hadn't heard of the band before, I decided to listen to their debut album to get a feel of the kind of music they've played over the years. I found that it leaned more towards skate punk with small touches of metal, featuring riffs and a tone similar to early Lagwagon.

Return Of The Infamous Four’s stylised artwork reminds me of the mid-2000s Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse which I never really watched to be honest, but it immediately made me think this album would feature a heavier metal influence and I was not disappointed. Drunktank’s latest album dials up the 80s metal guitar riffs and solos without forgoing the fast skate punk promised by the band’s self-description – providing listeners with plenty of head-banging and singalong moments throughout the album. Even with some member changes since the release of their first album, Drunktank have stayed true to their theme, sense of humour, and the diverse set of influences.

Return Of The Infamous Four wastes no time kicking into gear, with ‘We Want More’ and ‘Hammer Of Justice’ setting the tone for the rest of the album with gang vocals, harmonised guitar riffs and a catchy singalong chorus on ‘We Want More’. The third track, ‘Waste Away’, is where the album really hits its stride though. The song features a strong melody and some satisfying harmonised guitars and vocals, highlighting the best of Drunktank in just under 2 minutes. The quality continues with ‘Green Button’, which has some resemblance to Propagandhi and, of course, guitar solos.

The 80s metal dial is turned up to 11 on ‘Hellraisers’, with squealing pinch harmonics and an anthemic chorus which I can imagine being belted out by a leather-pants-wearing lead singer with long but perfectly prepared hair (from what I’ve seen on YouTube, the Drunktank members are neither long-haired, nor do they wear leather pants on stage, but it wouldn’t be completely out of place). ‘Courage Of The Few’ stands out as one of the songs with a political edge, about coming together to fight injustice. The lyrics aren’t on the level of Bad Religion, Good Riddance or Refused but it’s nice to hear a more serious side from Drunktank.

‘Raising The Bar’ is more straight-forward punk and unfortunately does not live up to its title. It’s not bad but is definitely one of the weaker tracks on the album. Thankfully Drunktank return to top form with ‘Army Of Darkness’, a fast and relentless track about an army of undead warrior assassins which could be construed as a bit cheesy and/or fun depending on your feelings about the zombie apocalypse.

The album doesn’t let up going into the final two songs. ‘Darker Side’ showcases what the band does best, mixing melodic punk and metal with some nice guitar work and harmonised vocals. The titular final song is a reminder of the band’s mission statement of damaging ears and drinking your beers, and has a cool guitar solo that fills most of the final minute. It’s a strong finish to a good album and makes you want to answer the call to raise your fist and make this scene better than all the rest.

Return Of The Infamous Four is pretty much a continuous onslaught of metal infused fast-paced melodic skate punk, but there are a few aspects that help to set it apart in the genre. And although the music will definitely appeal more to fans of skate punk, there is enough here to draw in people who like metal, hard-rock and fun in general. Hopefully it’s not another 9 years before we allow Drunktank to damage our ears with a new album.

Stream and download Return Of The Infamous Four here:

Like Drunktank here:

This review was written by Brett Coomer.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Column: 2020 Is Going To Be Great!

2019 was another wonderful year for CPRW. We continued to showcase many of our favourite DIY punk bands and discovered plenty more which we happily told you all about. We visited a new festival – Booze Cruise Festival in Hamburg – and went along to some old favourites, such Manchester Punk Festival and Level Up Fest, and had a smashing time watching great bands and hanging with the best people. We also celebrated our fifth birthday in June by releasing a 125 band compilation album showcasing so many of the friends we have made through CPRW. Again a huge thanks to everyone who contributed, shared and bought the comp – we have raised £670 for Mind (so far). You can still get it here. We had a great year in 2019 and we're planning an even better 2020.

Hopefully you've seen by now the biggest news we have about CPRW for 2020. Following the success of our fifth birthday comp, I have decided to start up CPRW Records. I had a lot of fun putting together the birthday comp and enjoyed communicating with bands and getting it all put together so I figured it would be good to make it a more regular thing. The aims of CPRW Records are simple – showcase some of our favourite bands and raise money for charities we care about. We are planning to release a new comp every two months, all based around a different theme and raising money for a different charity. The first two themes are based around Positive Communities and Bands With Less Than 200 "Likes". The Positive Communities comp is out on the 24th of January, pre-orders will be up soon and the Bands With Less Than 200 "Likes" is scheduled (in my fancy new Star Wars calendar that my sister got me for Christmas) for March 20th. More details on that, including a much snappier title, will come at the beginning of March. If you have any ideas for future themes or you would like to get involved in some way, please don't hesitate to get in contact with us at

Don't worry fans of words! Even though we're expanding, we won't be neglecting our album and gig reviews, top tens and columns. These are the things that are the foundation of CPRW and we will continue to post these articles as regularly as ever. We still retain a great passion for sharing releases we love with you and hoping that you enjoy them as much as we do. We're also planning on adding some different features to the blog which we think you will enjoy and create some interesting discussion among the punk rockers. If there's one thing we love, it's a passionate discussion about music. We've got a few new contributors joining the CPRW team to help with the workload and give fresh perspectives on different topics. They’re as passionate and excited about punk rock as we are and will be great additions to our already brilliant team. Look out for new articles from them. Also, if you're passionate about punk rock and fancy writing about it get in touch – we love welcoming new folk to the team. Our email is

We're looking forward to some new releases from our favourite bands in 2020. 2019 was a great year for new releases and, with all the great bands all over the world, we fully expect the coming year to be the same. There's nothing we love more than getting excited over new albums and we can't wait to hear what bands are going to release in the coming months. We're also looking forward to another year packed full of gigs and festivals. First up for us is Do It Together, an event we're excited to put on with our best buds Paul from Be Sharp Promotions and Sarah from Shout Louder and Lockjaw Records. Tickets and details are available here. I'd buy tickets if I were you, it's going to be a special weekend. Speaking of our best bud Paul, Be Sharp Promotions have an incredible year lined up and I really suggest you give their Facebook page a like to keep up to date with some of the incredible things he's got lined up for the New Cross Inn.

Festivals are always a big highlight of every year in punk rock. We're excited to return to Manchester Punk Festival and Hamburg Booze Cruise in 2020. We're also going to some festivals we've never been to before – the Bristol edition of Booze Cruise, Kaiser Fest in Belgium and Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia. We can't wait to check out some new bands and make some new punk pals in the summer.

2020 is going to be another big year for DIY punk rock and we're looking forward to attempting to cover as much as it as we possibly can!

This column was written by Colin Clark.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Top Tens: Colin's Top Ten Albums of the Decade (2010–2019)

At the end of every year it's tradition to get reflective and think about your favourite things and, in the case of CPRW, our favourite albums of the year. It's also the end of the decade so it's only natural to look back of your favourite albums of the decade so here are my top ten favorite albums that were released between 2010 and 2019. Enjoy.

10. The Anachronist’s Cookbook by Will Tun & The Wasters (2015)

This was my album of the year in the first CPRW albums of the year list. Will Tun & The Wasters were a collective from Bristol who combined ska, punk, hip hop, gypsy and folk and played social and political music. When I first heard The Anachronist’s Cookbook it was like nothing I had ever heard before and I was all for it. This is an album where you not only learn things but truly have the best time. It's an educational party. I love an album which emits a lot of energy and that can certainly be said about The Anachronist’s Cookbook. It just makes you want to dance and sing. Before writing this list, I hadn't listened to it in ages but hearing it again gave me that nice feeling I had when I first heard it.

9. We Cool? by Jeff Rosenstock (2015)

When Bomb The Music Industry sadly decided to call it a day, it was a pretty sad day. Thankfully, Jeff Rosenstock carried on releasing music under the his own name, but with a backing band. We Cool? was the second release under that name but a release that really seemed to make people, away from just the DIY punk community, worldwide really take notice. We Cool? actually finished below The Anachronist’s Cookbook on my 2015 list but I've placed it above on this list because it has stayed with me much longer. I feel like this album helped shape some of my tastes for the decade, with a more chaotic sound but also with lyrics about growing up and trying to work out what you're doing with your life when you hit 30 years of age.

8. I Was Broken When You Got Here by Call Me Malcolm (2018)

This is the most recent album on my list. For me, it's the album that revitalised the current boom in the UK DIY ska punk scene. Call Me Malcolm blew all expectations out of the water when I Was Broken When You Got Here was released. I can remember being told just how good it is before I had the chance to listen to it and being sceptical. Moral of the story: I shouldn't be so sceptical. Adding a bit more crunch into their sound than was previously found on their debut but also retaining the upbeat and catchy melodies, I Was Broken is an album that looks into mental health with the band being brutally honest with their struggles throughout the lyrics of the songs. Listening through the album now, every time a song begins I just grin with excitement with what is to come.

7. The New International Sound Of Hedonism by Jaya The Cat (2012)

It took me a while to really ‘get’ Jaya The Cat but when I did I knew this was an extremely special band. The New International Sound Of Hedonism was the album that introduced me to Jaya The Cat and eventually started a love affair that continues to this day. Containing fourteen reggae punk songs that all make you want to dance and sing along, every time I listen to it it gets better and better – even seven years after it was released. Despite a lot of the content not being something that I would endorse, you can't help but get swept away with the album. Whether it's a chilled out song or a riotous party banger, Jaya The Cat have this brilliant way of capturing the audience's attention on each track.

6. On The Impossible Past by The Menzingers (2012)

If I hadn't have included On The Impossible Past on this list, I'm sure I would have had some pretty angry reactions. I can't think of another album released in the past decade that has put a band more on the map than On The Impossible Past has for The Menzingers. Featuring Menzingers classics such as Good Things, The Obituaries, Gates and Casey, this is another album that looks at growing up and finding your place in the world. Such a big theme of this decade for me. The Menzingers do an amazing job of painting pictures with their lyrics and generally just making you feel that you can relate to every word they sing. The passion that this album creates in people is truly amazing.

5. Throw Me In The River by The Smith Street Band (2014)

2014 was without a doubt the hardest year of my adult life and the first time I really came to terms with the fact that I suffer from mental health issues. Of course, I found help in music and, in particular, a band from Australia that I had recently became obsessed with – The Smith Street Band. Throw Me In The River is just incredible from start to finish. It's just so powerful and emotional. It takes you on a journey of ups and downs for anyone who suffers with mental health problems and I really held onto it. This was the first time I think I really related to music on a level like this rather just thinking it's got a nice beat and makes me smile. Albums like this made me realise why I love music so much and why it's so important.

4. Fail Forward by Wank For Peace (2014)

French punk rockers Wank For Peace are the perfect band for why you shouldn't ever judge a band by their name. Fail Forward, which sadly turned out to be the band’s final album, was a real grower for me. It's a raspy vocalled melodic punk/hardcore sound that gets me more pumped up than any other album ever. This album is forever my pre-football match soundtrack. It's one of those albums that never fails to get me moving in some way. Musically it's very powerful, not only does it make you want to move around but the messages in the songs are inspiring – with songs about mental health, personal growth, political and social justice and friendship among other things. I heartbreakingly never got to see these songs live but the band have been back playing the odd show in 2019 and I'm hoping they play the odd show somewhere near me in 2020.

3. London by Apologies, I Have None (2012)

I don't think there has been a more definitive album from the UK punk scene in the last decade than London by Apologies, I Have None. The band started off as an acoustic duo before gradually becoming a full band and London was their first full length release as a band. The combined vocal and songwriting talents of Josh and Dan really make this album what it is. Emotional punk rock with catchy pop hooks and life affirming lyrics. Having two different songwriters and singers gives London this wonderful dynamic where you really get the best out of both performers. Seeing these songs played live always elicits such a passionate response from a crowd and I do consider myself very lucky to have been able to seen Dan's songs live before he sadly left the band.

2. Not Like This by Iron Chic (2010)

Think back to pre-2010 and before Not Like This was released, how many bands sounded like Iron Chic? Now think again, in 2019 how many bands sound like Iron Chic? The New Yorkers were probably the first gruff punk band I ever got into and have been a big reason I have become a fan of so many others who have formed since Not Like This was released. Not Like This features ten absolutely perfect tracks. Like a lot albums on this list, the album is packed with songs about growing up and trying to find your place in the world. There are so many tattoo worthy lyrics throughout the album, it’s absolutely staggering. I imagine there is someone, somewhere who has the lyrics to the entire album on their (probably quite large) back. The way in which Lubrano delivers the vocals is brilliant, it's pretty slow paced but packed with intensity. The slower pace really allows the listener to pick the lyrics up very quickly and shout them straight back at the band. Iron Chic are one of those special bands who become one with their crowd.

1. Holy Shit by Davey Dynamite (2016)

Holy Shit by Davey Dynamite is not only my favourite album of the decade but my favourite album ever. I can still remember the first time I ever heard it. I was sitting in my bedroom at my mum’s house looking for new albums to review, I was on and they were streaming Holy Shit. I clicked play out of curiosity and was blown away. There was this powerful and raw sound that I hadn't heard since the first time I heard Against Me!. I remember having goosebumps as I listened to the album again and again. No other album ever has moved me in such a way as Holy Shit. It's not just about wanting to move around and dance or that kind of business though. It's the messages packed into the album that really hit home. Davey talks about appropriation, homophobia, politics, social injustice and generally standing up and fighting for what you think is right. Davey pulls absolutely no punches with the lyrics on Holy Shit. They're frank and blunt showcasing such an intensity that makes you really believe in everything that they're singing and it's so powerful. I truly believe that you can listen to this album and want to be a better person, to just go out and join the fight to make the world a better place for everyone. It epitomises what I think punk has really become this decade – it’s about coming together, helping one another despite constantly being held down by "the man." Punk’s always been as much about being a movement as it is about the music, Holy Shit displays what is best about both of those things. Thank you Davey, for writing this album.

This top ten was written by Colin Clark.