Music

Biffers :: Frankie’ Road :: Greenway Records

 

The Biffers are from Livorno, Italy, and as I am not super familiar with the Italian punk scene, I had no idea what to expect when I put on The Biffers record, Frankie Road. The packaging was great, a cool monochromatic design to the sleeve and a clear blue record made it that much better.

Fat Wreck Chords :: Going No Where Fat

When I was in high school Fat music comps played a huge part in shaping my records collection. I was guaranteed to like at least half of the tracks. It is where I discovered Life in the Fat Lane. Back then between Fat and Epitaph comps, I never had to look far to find my new favorite bands.

Beach Slang :: Mr. Roboto Project :: Pittsburgh PA :: August 23 2015

On Sunday I had the chance to see Beach Slang live for the first time. I had loved them for the first time I heard their first EP but I missed them last time they came through Pittsburgh. This time, even though it was a Sunday night, I was determined to go see them. As a relatively recent transplant to Pittsburgh, I had also never been to the Mr. Roboto Project before. Though I am sure that I missed something special the first time they performed in Pittsburgh, I am glad that I got to see them at such a great venue.

Big Awesome :: Party On :: Jetsam-Floatsam


A few years ago (maybe two?) Big Awesome released the Birdfeeder EP, it was 4 tracks that simply ended too soon. Now, they have finally released Party On which is their first full length. Party On is a record that ebbs and flows and takes you in surprising directions.

I am obsessed with the first track, What Grows Up Must Come Down, though I am not quite sure how to articulate why. It is an alternative track with a killer hook and a 80s new wave vibe. It has this visceral quality that hit you right in the gut and starts haunting you.

Hooper, gives the listener a feeling of intimacy, the track is filled with insight references and specific names, yet we never feel alienated, since the subject is so universal. “when I was young, those were the days / before we went our separate ways / we met each night between those streets...this has made me the person I've become”. Wolf is a chaotic indie garage rock track that approached you aggressively with them music then punches you in the guy with it’s lyrics and what they infer, “I heard the words you spoke to me / but they just ran right through my skull / I never thought you were serious / you were always crying wolf / I owe you a big apology / I owe you a little more respect”.

To Live and Die In The Dirty South is a song that seems a bit hopeless, and the lyrics are full of resignation, “I've been here eight years and nothing's changed / a few more roads don't mean a thing / there's nothing I can do and nothing I can use...I've watched this fire burn / and turn into a pile of coals / this town seems to bury me” and while Party On starts off echoing those sentiments “but I'm too tired to turn around again / I look all over and I find love at the end” it takes a turn “I'm picking up again / I'm moving straight ahead / I can see a light at the end”.

Warnings has a chaotic creepy kind of vibe and Birdfeeder pt II (The Reckoning) is a messy track (and I mean that in all the best ways) with a killer extended metaphor. “I've been feeding birds again / the kindness spreads around / they've landed on my bench again...I have given all I could give / but then I realize I'm wrong / as long as I have love to give...I watch them fly away again / it hurts to say goodbye / I watch them flying back again...I pick my head up and see / the beauty that surrounds me”.

Through some of the lyrical content I started to put the pieces of the puzzle together, an attitude, a vibe, a reference to Cafe Metro until it all came together. One of the band members spent sometime in my hometown area, going to the same venues and being exposed to the same awesome scene. I am not sure if the connection to this album comes from that frame of reference, or if that will spread across to all of those punk who grew up in small town scenes, but I’ll always root for some hometown band members.

Party On’s sound is true to what we loved about Birdfeeder, it is still the hybrid of emo/indie/garage rock that was awesome about, but it is more mature and robust.

Versus the World :: Homesick/Roadsick :: Kung Fu Records


Versus the World has members of both Lagwagon and The Ataris but somehow has an Ignite meets early A New Found Glory sound. Homesick/Roadsick has an upbeat sound that is perfect for summer. This is a record to listen to on a road trip, this is a record to listen while hanging out with friends when it is almost too hot outside, it is a record to shake away the winter chill.

Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves :: Scars :: Wiretap Records


Scars by Woves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves is an album I liked as soon as I heard it, but that I love more each time I listen to it. It created a great balance of aggression, grit, gravelly vocals, and hooks. Great for getting a piit all riled up yet giving them something to sing along to.

Ma Jolie :: Jetpack Mailman :: A-F Records

 

Ma Jolie is a Pennsylvania hardcore band that I have been hearing a lot about. Their EP, Jetpack Mailman, made me understand why. They capture the feel and energy of a show so well, that I was half on guard for a stray fist. Each track on this EP shows a different side, peels, off a different layer of their sound, that just gives you a peek at just how complex they are.

It was several months ago when I lost my mind at one of the best show line-ups I ever saw: MTX, The Queers, and Screeching Weasel. I was instantly looking up tour dates and texting friends. Unsurprisingly, there were no dates that even ventured close to Pittsburgh, but there was an NYC date and hell, I will never turn down a reason to go to New York.

Soundtrack to Sleep :: East Coast Anxiety

 

Soundtrack to Sleep’s East Coast Anxiety is a 4 track EP that feels so much more robust than 4 songs. It is raw, natural, intimate, and messy in all the right ways. They are self described emo/shoegaze, but every track on East Coast Anxiety is way too full of emotion to fall into the shoegaze category, these songs will have a pit going.

Timeshares :: Already Dead :: SideOne Dummy

 

I have been sitting on this album for a while. By “sitting on” I mean that I have been listening to it on repeat, enjoying the hell out of it, forgetting that I had to review it, until it came to the end. From the first moments of State Line to State Line, I felt like there was something familiar about this album, not so much a sound, but a feeling. It was a feeling as though, I had known this all my life. Already Dead has an Americana sound for a new generation. It melds rock and roll and punk with the sound and feel of American small towns. You can tap your foot to the beat, but it still has gruff edges, and feels intimate. A restlessness and rawness permeates the whole album.There is also some vulnerable quality to the vocals, that feeling that you get when you are in a bar listening to the band, and they know that you are the one who is there to listen, they are laying it all out for the ones who care to pay attention.