Tag Archives: Punk Rock

Fenix TX: Cre.eping Out of the Past

Fenix TX: Cre.eping Out of the Past – Album Review

Fenix TX CreepWhat is it about 2016 that has Fenix TX and other legendary punk bands putting out new material? Perhaps it is the current political climate in America, maybe it is the ice caps melting, or it could be that the message they have been spreading for years has finally become front page news?

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The Virginmarys Eat Across the USA

The Virginmarys Interview

dividesThe Virginmarys have created a distinctive recipe for tasty rock music with a solid base of heavy rock ‘n roll, a heaping serving of punk angst and a dash of British snarl. As they just wrapped up a tour of the United States, we asked them if they could share some of their recommendations for can’t miss food joints across the Southern United States.

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Album Review: The Departure – Gateways

2Pop-punk has always been a thing right? It didn’t start with Green Day or Blink 182. Try not to dance to The Sex Pistols, “Anarchy In the UK”, and The Clash’s “Rudy Can’t Fail”, or anything by Husker Du. It really goes back to the likes of the Kinks, who are super underrated as a proto-punk band. But in reality, who doesn’t want to dance while throwing snarky, pouty faces at endearing fans wearing safety pins in their nostrils.

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Album Review: Chameleon Technology – Blank Canvas

Hey everybody…

Remember punk rock?

Blank%20Canvas%20CoverI’m not talking about 5 Seconds to Summer. I’m speaking more to the DIY punk ethos, attitude, not the ones who were lucky enough to “make it” as much as I love many of those bands.

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Protagonist’s Florida Vacation

Boca Raton’s Protagonist might not be Florida punk rock royalty, but if not, they are certainly the skilled craftsman who are deeply appreciated by the Sunshine State’s rock commoners. They’ve toiled on stages across the state and the world for the past fifteen years and made quite an impact. We recently caught their high-energy live show in Orlando and chatted with talented front man Pete Marullo afterwards.

Peter Marullo of Protagonist
Peter Marullo of Protagonist

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SWMRS Tear Up Orlando

I remember the first time I saw Green Day a few decades back and left the show knowing that I had witnessed something special. I also realized that the distinctive music they delivered was a fresh and welcome new take on punk rock. Friday night in Orlando, I had the same feeling, watching SWMRS, four talented Oakland, California punks deliver a fiery 45 minute set.

SWMRS Concert Backbooth, Orlando
SWMRS Tearing it up at Backbooth, Orlando

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New Market For Rise Against

Rise Against Black Market Album Review

Rise Against is a rare band that’s proven an ability to transcend multiple rock genres. They cut their teeth as a punk band, are hugely popular with hardcore fans and have a dominant position on active rock playlists.

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In July, these socially conscious Chicago rockers dropped their seventh album, and their first offering in three years. On Black Market, we still hear much of the sound their fervent fans have come to enjoy, mixed in with a few new twists, primarily to a more mainstream sound. Listening to the lyrics, there’s also a more prominent focus on relationships, with fewer songs about social and political issues.

The album kicks off with an interesting twist. “The Great Die Off” begins with a beautiful string arrangement; a placid and relaxing start to the album, but it is oh so brief, before it evolves into a violent explosion of rock ‘n roll. Beautiful! This diverse social commentary with violent themes is a great start to The Black Market, and just might be the best track on the album.

The first single off of the album, “I don’t Wanna Be Here Anymore” is a gritty rocker that is absolutely everywhere on rock radio. It’s a crossover song that fits into just about every rock ‘n roll genre and is destined to be on many year-end Best Of lists. The song, about a relationship nearing its demise, kick starts with ferocious drums from Brandon Barnes, who plays a prominent role throughout The Black Market.

“Tragedy and Time” is another good example of the more mainstream slant that is pervasive on the album. The song has good harmonies and nice melodies – like so many other pop rock tunes. Decent stuff, but I’d be curious to see whether it is embraced by longtime fans of the band?

The album does feature a few cuts that will certainly appeal to Rise Against’s passionate hardcore fan base. “The Eco-tourist In Me” thankfully jettisons them back to their hardcore punk past. It’s fast, it’s aggressive, and it’s a cry for action – a familiar and fitting combination for the band. “A Beautiful Indifference” is a thrasher cut from the same cloth. Good stuff!

The most intriguing cut on the album is “Sudden Life,” a hopeful song which is masterfully produced. It features Tim McIlrath at his most vulnerable and the vocals are tremendous. The lyrics are intelligent and provoking on this track and throughout the album, a longtime trait for Rise Against.

All told, I loved about half of the album, but was lukewarm towards the rest. If you haven’t purchased the album yet it, grab it below and let us know your thoughts?

Rock On!

Get Busy Living EP Review

Get Busy Living – All Good Memories Fade EP Review

Get Busy Living band

The Manhattan, Kansas based band, Get Busy Living has been busy living since their debut EP, Won’t Back Down. Fans of their first EP will be pleased to hear that the band has released their second EP, and if you were a fan of the first, you won’t be disappointed by the second.

I have mixed feelings about the band’s most recent EP, All Good Memories Fade, but at the end of the day I love the new EP for all the same reasons that I loved the original EP. Get Busy Living just plain kick ass and I truly believe that if the band had started making music five years earlier, a lot more people would have heard of them. They remind me of a time when pop punk ruled the world; a time when bands like Four Years Strong and Mayday Parade were thought of as gods and everyone’s pants were a little bit tighter. However, it’s Get Busy Living’s commitment to their genre that I enjoy so much. This is a band that refuses to sellout and their latest EP is cold hard proof of that.

All Good Memories Fade is the stuff that mosh-pits are made out of. It’s hard not to jump around when you hear the heavy guitar riffs throughout the album. Just like the band’s first EP, All Good Memories Fade is not afraid to bring it hard with every instrument. The drums kick, the guitars wail, and the bass matters; it’s the band’s willingness to play each instrument as hard as they can that really embodies the soulful pop punk feel throughout the EP; Not to mention the dual vocals that reminds the listener of the band’s heavy influence from Four Years Strong.

The lyrics on the album are light and simple in the best of ways. The band knows how they feel and they’re not afraid to put it out there. It’s the feelings behind the lyrics that remind the listener that it’s pop music, and it’s the simplicity behind them that remind the listener that it’s punk music. The fourth song on the EP, “The Last Five Years” carries perfect examples of this “This girl is not to be trusted, so boys watch out. Just keep your guard up, she’ll rip your heart out”. If that line alone isn’t enough to remind you of Forever the Sickest Kids, the rest of the song will be.

However, it’s the bands reminiscence of their predecessors that I both love and hate. Get Busy Living’s first EP reminded me of everything I love about pop punk. I couldn’t listen to it without thinking about the gods of pop punk. I absolutely loved that about the first album and I love it about the second. Yet, somewhere deep down I was hoping for some maturity or progression, and I don’t know that I hear any of that in the latest EP. It’s really difficult for me to listen to Get Busy Living without thinking of these other pop punk gods. But even as I type these words I realize that my complaint is a hollow one. Sure, the band chose to cover Lil Wayne’s Lollipop on their latest EP, and yes, I’ve heard a very similar cover years prior by Framing Hanley; but who the Hell cares? Get Busy Living is committed to a genre at its purest form and no one can fault them for that.

All in all, I think the success of the latest EP comes down to the individual listening to it. If you like old school, loud, pure pop punk music, than you’re going to love All Good Memories Fade; and if you don’t like that particular kind of music you flat out will not like the EP. At the end of the day Get Busy Living knows what kind of music they’re trying to make and follow through with their vision, quite successfully. Get Busy Living is a band that I don’t think will ever sell out and for that pop punk salutes them; pickup All Good Memories Fade,  today.

Joey Farese