Thursday, May 28, 2020

Members of The Darkness, The Donnas, Flogging Molly, Gogol Bordello, My Chemical Romance Quicksand & More Join Forces for COVID-19 Relief Single As #ROCKFORHOPEPROJECT

By now, we're all gotten mildly "used to" social distancing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE,) missing out on birthdays, anniversaries, and everyday life milestones we all take for granted, nearly everything being indefinitely cancelled, cabin fever, etc. It's all become strangely "normal" and abnormal all at once, but we're all doing our part each and every day to beat this thing... even celebrities. We're sure you've seen a number of televised remotely-recorded concerts to help raise funds for our frontline workers. Most of these have been great, but some have been pretty cringe-worthy and seem a bit phoned-in, as if they feel required to do/say something during these trying times. Case in point: back in March, Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot and he famous friends' oft-parodied rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine." Eric Slick (Dr. Dog) even recruited some Indie Rock/Hip-Hop buddies to cover a similarly-minded tongue-in-cheek rendition of blink-182's "Miss You" and Colin Young (NUDIE MAG) enlisted a bunch of his Hardcore/Punk friends to record a cover of Smash Mouth's "All Star." Well, we promise, if you've managed to reach this far... this modern day celebrity charity single is well worth your time! Last week, Gogol Bordell guitarist/Hey Guy frontman Boris Pelekh released a single, with a bunch of Punk/Indie Rock friends in toe, credited to #rockforhopeproject or simply, ROCK FOR HOPE.

Pelekh and his band of merry misfits have have assembled a remotely-recorded cover of "I Believe In Miracles" from The Ramones' 1989 album, Brain Drain. ROCK FOR HOPE consists of charity organizer, producer, film editor, and sound mixer/guitarist Boris Pelekh, vocalists Justin Hawkins (The Darkness,) Frank Turner (Möngöl Hörde, Million Dead,) Walter Schreifels (Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today,) Eugene Hütz (Gogol Bordello,) Tom Higgenson (Plain White T's, Million Miler,) and Brett Anderson (The Donnas,) drummer Michael Miley (Rival Sons,) guitarist Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero & The Future Violents,) and bassists Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas (MUTEMATH, Pink Dust,) and Nathen Maxwell (Flogging Molly.) "ROCK FOR HOPE was inspired by my mom, who's in her mid-sixties and a staff nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian [Hospital] in Queens," explains music director and project organizer Boris Pelekh. "Her hospital became a central hotspot of the pandemic in New York City and her unit was re-purposed for COVID-19 patients. The situation was growing more grim by the day, so it became very difficult for me to isolate at home and not try to help somehow. I decided to muster up a bunch of friends from other bands to come together, virtually, and lay down a hopeful and anthemic Punk Rock song."

"Our goal is to raise everyone's spirits and help raise funds for a charitable organization that's on the frontlines fighting for our well-being. I picked one of the most timeless Punk bands from Queens and their song couldn't be a better fit," Pelekh continued. ROCK FOR HOPE have partnered with Partners In Health (PIH,) which is a global health organization restoring social justice by bringing quality health care to the most vulnerable around the world. "PIH is uniquely positioned to respond to COVID-19, leveraging deep experience in treating infectious disease outbreaks and responding to emergency situations around the world. They're launching a comprehensive effort to support this response across its network of supported countries around the world to contain and control the spread of the virus, ensure that patients are provided with dignified care, and demonstrate to the world what aggressive action in vulnerable settings can achieve. More than 88% of all our funding goes directly to our sites.'" LOUDWIRE recently ran a premiere of ROCK FOR HOPE's "I Believe In Miracles" in conjunction with its wide release last week. If you're interested in supporting Partners In health's charitable cause for those affected by COVID-19 can donate, via Boris Pelekh & #rockforhopeproject's recently launched GoFundMe page. ROCK FOR HOPE's "I Believe In Miracles" is now streaming exclusively on YouTube.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Guts of The Ice - An Exploration of "Puck" Rock/Hockey-core #15: Pat Society Curates Rink-rousing Playlist (Violent Society, Battalion Zośka)

Pat Society Pictured with Bernie Parent (Flyers, Bruins, Maple Leafs, Blazers)

Not entirely unlike Wrestle/Wrassle Rap or Basketball Rap, there's, apparently, a whole sub-genre of hockey-themed Punk/Hardcore—oftentimes, referred to as "Puck" Rock or Hockey-core. Yes, I've been a die-hard fan of Punk/Hardcore for 15+ years and I, too, only first heard about Puck Rock within the last few weeks. Although, once I started diggin' around, I discovered about 10-15 bands at the forefront; this was, then, gradually narrowed down to 10 "front-line" bands, which will be chronicled here over the course of coming weeks. The "top-scoring" bands we selected include: Crippled Youth, SLAPSHOT, The Hanson Brothers/Nomeansno, Two Man Advantage, The Boils, D.O.A. THE ZAMBONIS, Pansy Division, The Hextalls, and THE RAMOMS' "Gritty Is A Punk" flexi-disc. We sent out a short 6-question interview form to all of the aforementioned bands, received some back, heard a few choice words, and still have yet to hear from a few more. We'll be running those interviews, as well as features, profiles, etc. in the coming weeks. EDITOR'S NOTE: be warned, while I'm a casual hockey fan, I DO NOT claim to be an "expert" on the sport, nor will I EVER claim to know "everything" about hockey-themed Punk/Hardcore. Now, let's just try to have some fun and learn more about the sub-genre together!

Pat Society is a Philly Punk scene veteran, who has been releasing fast, furious, and politically-driven Punk/Hardcore for 25+ years. Society is/was part of Violent Society, Cranked Up! and Battalion Zośka and works for Creep Records' sister label Violated Records. Additionally, Pat Society has produced records for The Droogettes, The Oppressed side-band Fatal Blow, Infant Mortality, Deceptacons, and his own newly-formed band, Battalion Zośka. The latter's 2019 self-titled debut boasts contributions from Neil "Newts" Newton (Angelic Upstarts,) The Boils' Greg Boyle & Eric Endrikat, and Dez Cadena (Black Flag, The Misfits,) as well as members of both Violent Society & Combat Crisis. Society produced NJ Street Punk band The Parasitix's debut full-length, No End In Sight, due out Friday, July 22, 2020 on Violated Records. Pat Society tells The Witzard he enjoys "hockey, football, soccer, Punk Rock, cooking, travelling, etc." via text message. Although, he's lived in the Philadelphia area his whole life, Pat is, admittedly, a Vancouver Canucks fan, somehow. Pat Society actively plays in two hockey leagues as a defense and a wing and admits he's been a hockey fan since 1981 when he attended his first game. Wayne Gretzky, Pavel Blue, Ron Francis, Sidney Crosby, Trevor Linden, Dale Hawerchuk, Illka Sinosalo, and Pelle Lindbergh all rank amongst Society's favorite players. We reached out to Pat Society after Greg Boyle suggested it and he was kind enough to curate a YouTube playlist full of Hockey Punk favorites and rink-rousing classics exclusively for Guts of The Ice.


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Puck Rock/Hardcore Purveyor

01. Two Man Advantage - "Skating Down The Ice"

Pat Society: "Two Man Advantage was a band I met when we played with them on Long Island, NY at one of their first gigs. I became great friends with them and they have done a lot of records since then."

02. D.O.A. - "Give 'em The Lumber"

Pat Society: "D.O.A. are the hockey kings and this song is pretty funny; about [smacking] someone over the head with a hockey stick."

03. The Vandals - "Change The World with My Hockey Stick"

04. The Misfits - "I Wanna Be A New York Ranger"

05. Lummox/The Cretin (Dayglo Abortions) - "Hockey Fight"

06. Les Dales Hawerchuk - "Dales Hawerchuk"

07. The Hanson Brothers - "A Night Without You"

Pat Society: "Hanson Brothers took their name from The Hanson Brothers in the hockey movie, Slap Shot."

08. Goldfinger - "Wayne Gretzky"

09. CHIXDIGGIT! - "(I Feel Like) (Gerry) Cheevers (Stitch Marks On My Heart)"

Pat Society: "CHIXDIGGIT! If you remember Cheevers' mask, this song is pretty funny. He used to put stitches on his mask for every time a [puck] hit him in the face."

10. S.N.F.U. - "Cancer Sticks & Hockey Sticks"

Pat Society: "S.N.F.U. used to have a "hockey rivalry" with D.O.A. They would play each other in the old days."

11. The Boils - "Bullies"

Pat Society: "I remember Greg Boil writing these Hockey Punk songs. I was like, "what the Hell are you doing, Greg?" And, then, people ate it up... so much for what I know."

Pat Society Pictured with Stéphane Richer (Devils, Canadiens, Lightning, Blues, Penguins)

12. Violent Society - "Times of Distraught"

13. The Misfits - "This Magic Moment"

Pat Society: "I grew up listening to 50's and 60's [music] from my dad and when this song was recorded by The Misfits, I instantly loved it... the Project 1950 LP is so great for a cover album."

14. Circle Jerks - "Rock House"

Society: "Under-rated Circle Jerks song they will never play..."

15. Battalion Zośka - "80's Kid"

16. 7Seconds - "Happy Rain" (7-inch Version)

Society: "This song was on the Out The Shizzy record... this is a totally different version."

17. Infant Mortality - "Toxic Huff"

Society: "From the deepest bowels of Wilmington, Delaware. The greatest band you never heard. I produced this track with my buddy, Arik Victor."

18. Cranked Up! - "Get Out"

19. Social Unrest - "Good for You"

Society: "Old school Bay Area Hardcore... I love it."

20. The Exploited - "The Massacre"

Society: "From my favorite Exploited album [The Massacre]. I love the drumming on this; brutally fast."

21. Battalion Zośka - "Heather"

22. OFF! - "I Don't Belong"

Society: "Best band in years..."

23. Pidżama Porno - "Twoja generacja"

Society: "Great Polish Punk band [you] should check out."

24.The Sods - "No Pictures"

Society: "Great band from Essex, UK."

25. Violent Society - "Totally F**ked"

Pat Society Pictured with Marcel Dionne (Red Wings, Kings, Rangers)

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Japanese Jazz Fusion Trio Nautilus Return with Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" Cover & New Keyboardist (Rucksack Records/The Find Mag)

Nautilus are a Funk/Jazz/Hip-Hop trio hailing from Tokyo, Japan. Their current line-up consists of drummer Toshiyuki "Toshi" Sasaki, bassist Shigeki Umezawa, and keyboardist Mariko Nakabayashi. Nakabayashi joined Nautilus earlier this year when long-time keyboardist Daisuke Takeuchi parted ways with the band. We've previously showcased Nautilus' expertly executed covers of the Beastie Boys' "Root Down," "Tears," a dual cover of both DJ Shadow's "Organ Donor" & Giorgio Moroder's "Tears," The Stylistics' "People Make The World Go Round," and De La Soul's "A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays" now re-titled "Rollerskating Jam Named "Sundays,'" which incorporates elements of The U.M.C.'s "One to Grow On." Primarily instrumental-based and released on limited-run 7-inches, when necessary, Nautilus have recruited additional musicians/vocalists to provide additional embellishments across their covers.

For example, "Root Down" features German vocalist Fleur Earth and the B-side of "Rollerskating Jam Named "Sundays'" features a remix from German producer glueset, as well as rhymes from Canadian emcee Abdominal and additional embellishments from Japanese songstress Kei Owada. Additionally, Nautilus have previously covered Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner," Gil Scott-Heron's "Lady Day & John Coltrane," Roy Ayers' "We Live In Brooklyn Baby," and Bob James' "Nautilus" from which they take their name. All of the aforementioned releases have either been issued by Japanese imprint Palette Sounds or German-based Agogo Records in conjunction with DJ Oonops' sub-label Oonops Drops. Now, Nautilus have joined forces with The Find Mag founder Danny Veekens' new label venture, Rucksack Records, for their latest cover. Nautilus' instrumental Jazz Fusion/Soul-Funk rendition of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" will appear on their upcoming comp. Jazzvolution Chapter Three: The Final Round.

It appears as though "Ain't No Sunshine" was recorded by Nautilus prior to Daisuke Takeuchi exiting the group because, according to The Find Mag, it's performed by Toshiyuki Sasaki (drums, synth,) Shigeki Umezawa (bass,) and Takeuchi (electric piano) as recorded/mixed by Naoki Hayami. "Japanese trio Nautilus made this cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" for Jazzvolution Chapter Three. Sadly, their tribute track is more fitting now after the Soul legend passed away in March, months after this cover was made," Danny Veekens explains within a recent feature on The Find Mag. In addition to Nautilus, Jazzvolution Chapter Three: The Final Round boasts contributions from The Expert, Marcus D, Dexter, A Cat Called FRITZ, Vice beats, Dr. Dundiff, BudaMunk, WYL, Kazumi Kaneda, Soul Supreme, The Natural Yogurt Band, and Kid Sundance. Nautilus' nearly 6-minute cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" is now available on streaming platforms. Jazzvolution Chapter Three: The Final Round will be released in full Friday, June 5, 2020 on Rucksack Records/The Find Mag.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

With The Quickness #5: Illustrator & Musician Glenn "Glenno" Smith's (Mainly) Australian Rock Selections Playlist [The Witzard Interview]

SOURCE: Glenn "Glenno" Smith (@glennoart)

"Glenn "Glenno" Smith is an art mercenary, paying the rent in Sydney with his wonderful wife Gina and the beginnings of an army of vengeful cats. He spends most of his time drawing wizards for Doom bands and spikey lettering for bands that don't care if the text is legible or not. He teaches illustration, plays in a band called CHINESE BURNS UNIT, and can be found sitting in position at his desk most hours of the day. Glenno is also making inroads into the dysfunctional world of fine art, curating, and exhibiting in a vain hope to seem legit and adult... not to mention gathering cult-sized numbers of Followers, via Instagram. Consider his refreshing Kool-Aid at #glennoart [@glennoart,]" reads the ABOUT THE ARTIST section from Bizarrism, Vol. 2: The Revised & Expanded Edition By: Chris Mikul with Illustrations By: Glenn Smith.

I believe, we first heard about Glenno Smith's artwork, via a post on Chris Shary's Instagram, but, of course, now, we can't seem to find the post in question. Regardless, Smith is an "Australian illustrator and sometime musician," according to Discogs. He's played music with CHINESE BURNS UNIT, LAWNSMELL, STITCHFACE, a reunited SPLATTERHEADS, and most recently, HELLEBORES. In addition to his own musical exploits, Glenno Smith has designed imagery—albeit, both official and unofficial—for a gaggle of artists, including Tegan & Sara, The Bronx, Hard-Ons, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Lightning Bolt, Jay Reatard, Doomsday Festival, HELLEBORES, Artimus Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd,) Municipal Waste, Snoop Dogg, Rank Sinatra, and more. We've been emailing back-and-forth with Glenn Smith for a few months now and decided to enlist him to curate a (mainly) Australian Rock-based playlist for the latest installment of With The Quickness. Additionally, we conducted an interview with Glenno himself about all this music, artwork, and remaining creative during quarantine. Below, you'll find all of that greatness complimented by a bunch of Glenno's original artwork, plus, an additional YouTube playlist of Australian Rock "deep cuts" not included on Spotify.

Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Australian Rock Enthusiast

I. What inspires your unique style of artwork? It seems to often blend gory Metal-tinged imagery against more cutesy, whimsical characters, which is great!

Glenn "Glenno" Smith: "Cute-ality." I like the idea of innocent things being [malevolent]. My favourite art as a kid had always been the laboured-over detailed stuff you'd see in 2,000 ad comics (Simon Bisley) ...and, then, I searched—H.R. Giger, Albrecht Durer, Dan Seagrave, Pushead, Ed Repka, and Geof Darrow—a lot of artists that participated in the Heavy Metal & Punk scenes. I'm a huge fan of [linocuts] and woodcuts and that has lead me towards beautiful/horrible Japanese stuff, like the Yōkai artists, both Manga and Ukiyo-e. I tend to draw what I'm asked to do (it's a job and a way to get by—I feel very lucky to be doing this) but when I'm left to my own devices, I try to push my next drawing to slay the last one—technique needs to improve and innovate some new way of drawing into each piece, so I can stay enthused.

II. How did your latest project, HELLEBORES, initially come together? Who's in the band and what is each members' role?

Glenno: I met my wife, Gina, at art college in the early 90's and we formed a band called LAWNSMELL. It took 20 or so years for us to get romantic, married, and in this new band... I suppose, it's an extension of the LAWNSMELL thing—it's very sentimental anyway you look at it—I play guitar and Gina sings most of the songs. We are joined by Jonny T. who is, also, in my other band, CHINESE BURNS UNIT, on bass—Jonny is a major Pop junkie, like myself. Evan completes the 4-piece—he's played in some of my favourite bands: Obat Batuk, Amateur Drunks, and recently, Boom Boom Kid.

SOURCE: Glenn "Glenno" Smith (@glennoart)

III. What might you cited as some of your greatest sources of inspiration and influence when creating your art, music, etc.?

Glenno: I have time, space, and a burning ambition to create. It's not always been this way, but when you work from home, I can partition time into work stuff, fun stuff, and grab my guitar at will. I am always sketching riffs or ideas and get back to them, if the spark yields something worthwhile. There is nothing in particular that influences me—Gina's lyrics have meant I have a skeleton of a song to flesh out, which helps—art just happens, if you let it; time and space. It's, also, cool living in Australia. This place is sort of isolated and art isn't really something that is fostered or appreciated locally, like it is in larger populated countries with longer enlightenment histories. It gives us an edge to the art/music from here and we are left to make our own opportunities.

IV. Now that HELLEBORES' debut has been properly unleashed, what else are you currently working on or prepping for release, be it musically or artistically?

Glenno: We have four songs recorded with another seven or so to be worked up—we rarely play, so we aren't over-playing these songs before we get them recorded—this can be both good and bad, but it gets done. Over-thinking things is the death of simple stuff. We are shooting a film clip on Friday, which is something I've never really done—should be fun! We were to tour Japan with my other band, CHINESE BURNS UNIT, but, then, the plague hit. New CHINESE BURNS UNIT record is half done, as well—I really like the songs on it, so far.

SOURCE: Glenn "Glenno" Smith (@glennoart)

V. How would you say HELLEBORES differs stylistically from your past musical projects, CHINESE BURNS UNIT, LAWNSMELL, STITCHFACE, SPLATTERHEADS, etc.?

Glenno: Firstly, SPLATTERHEADS were one of my favourite bands when I was a teenager and through luck and enthusiasm, I ended up putting out a live record for them and playing bass in a re-formed line-up—all the other bands, I've written most of the music for, so you can hear my Pop [tendency] in all that output. I have never considered myself a musician, but I am, somehow, musical and it's this style from ignorance that keeps me fascinated with song-writing. You can know too much. The best example is when people say that The Ramones wrote songs that anyone could write because of the pure simplicity and their sense of humour. They have never been bettered. No one has come close. They weren't overwhelmed by the infinite baggage of musicality that the musical Jedi seem to struggle with and end up in dead-ends and over-played, clever bullsh*t. The Ramones can only be described as The Ramones. They are an element, like gold or oxygen to me. Somedays, I get a buzz from writing a song that writes itself. It's magical that this tune, made up of all the run-of-the-mill, available chords just showed up—and even better that I've had such great friends in my bands to make these occasions available on vinyl as tunes.

VI. Who are some of your favorite bands/musicians you've been fortunate enough to design artwork for and why for each?

Glenno: I'm just going to list them—all those on this list are great friends and make great music: Hard-Ons, SPLATTERHEADS, The Meanies, Pod People, Bloodduster, The Chills, Conquest for Death, Bored! Stompin' Riff Raffs, Electric Wizard, Insect Warfare, Frenzal Rhomb, D.R.I. Acid King, Tegan & Sara, Hammerlord, Violator, Cough, Church of Misery, Cosmic Psychos, Nunchukka Superfly, Dr. Colossus, Propagandhi, Rose Tattoo, Canine, Scrotal Vice, Spermbirds, The Bronx, Clowns... the list is a lot longer, but this will give you some idea—some of these bands, I contacted after designing something, simply as a fan. That is real joy when it gets used. Most of my favourite artists, when it comes to Rock "N" Roll stuff, do the best art for the bands they love—Chris Shary is a prime example of that.

SOURCE: Glenn "Glenno" Smith (@glennoart)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Zilla Rocca & Pecue Join Forces for Collaborative 1996-inspired Blends/Remix EP 96 Ways I Made Out (Three Dollar Pistol Music/Sole Imperial)

So, The Witzard regulars may recognize the artwork/overall style displayed above to be that of one Patrick "Pat" Quinn AKA Pecue Design or simply, Pecue. Quinn previously designed the "top-billing" movie poster-sized feature artwork for our Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary All-around Breakdown (PB30) last year. Basically, I just gave Pecue the idea to take inspiration from one of my personal favorite Beasties lyrics, "I'mma Die Harder... like my kid, Bruce Willis!" and he just ran with it, incorporating elements from the Paul's Boutique cover, the iconic Capitol Records Building, Willis' beloved character John McClane, and, of course, the Beastie Boys themselves. Not only is Pecue a Philadelphia/South Florida-based designer, but he's, also, a producer in his own right; having released a slew of instrumentals, remixes, and the like on his own Bandcamp page, as well as on his newly-minted imprint, Sole Imperial, each accompanied by original one-of-a kind artwork designed by Pecue himself.

"Last year, I dropped my album, 96 MENTALITY. and a few months later, my fellow Philly Rap nostal-jack Pecue dropped his instrumental/remix record, '96 Native," Zilla Rocca explains within a Bandcamp description. "We've been mad cool for years, but I didn't know he had a deep love affair for 1996 until his record dropped," Zilla continues. It sounds like Zilla Rocca & Pecue had been planning to do some sort of tie-in/cross-promotion for each other's 1996-inspired records and, now, nearly a year later, we have their collaborative 96 Ways I Made Out EP. Essentially, Pecue took two tracks from Zilla's 96 MENTALITY. and remixed/blended them together with two instrumentals from his own '96 Native. So, now, "Spy vs. Spy" + "63rd St, El Stop" = "Spy vs. Spy" (Pecue Remix) Feat. Vic Spencer and "Live from The Driver's Seat" + "Back On The Block" = "Live from The Driver's Seat" (Pecue Morey's Piers Remix.)

96 Ways I Made Out T-shirts Designed By Pecue (Sole Imperial)

96 Ways I Made Out EP is filled out by three additional 96 MENTALITY.-era CD-only loosies and remixes boasting features from Zilla Rocca's own Wrecking Crew/Career Crooks & Call Out Culture/Cargo Cults affiliates. We're treated to appearances from s.HaBiB, Wally Clark, ALASKA, Blockhead, Small Professor, and Vic Spencer (again) on "Side B" of 96 Ways I Made Out. Additionally, it sounds like Zilla Rocca is still planning to release projects with Career Crooks, Cargo Cults & Midnight Sons, with Small Professor, ALASKA & DJ Chong Wizard, respectively, throughout the remainder of 2020. Zilla Rocca & Pecue's collaborative 96 Ways I Made Out EP is now available to stream, purchase, or download directly from Three Dollar Pistol's Bandcamp page. Both 96 MENTALITY. & '96 Native are still available on Bandcamp, as well. So, if you're diggin' what Zilla & Pecue have cooked up together, we would strongly suggest checking out the originals!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Guts of The Ice - An Exploration of "Puck" Rock/Hockey-core #14: OFFSIDE REIDARS Frontman Jari Mikkola & "Game Day" World Premiere (The Witzard Interview)

Not entirely unlike Wrestle/Wrassle Rap or Basketball Rap, there's, apparently, a whole sub-genre of hockey-themed Punk/Hardcore—oftentimes, referred to as "Puck" Rock or Hockey-core. Yes, I've been a die-hard fan of Punk/Hardcore for 15+ years and I, too, only first heard about Puck Rock within the last few weeks. Although, once I started diggin' around, I discovered about 10-15 bands at the forefront; this was, then, gradually narrowed down to 10 "front-line" bands, which will be chronicled here over the course of coming weeks. The "top-scoring" bands we selected include: Crippled Youth, SLAPSHOT, The Hanson Brothers/Nomeansno, Two Man Advantage, The Boils, D.O.A. THE ZAMBONIS, Pansy Division, The Hextalls, and THE RAMOMS' "Gritty Is A Punk" flexi-disc. We sent out a short 6-question interview form to all of the aforementioned bands, received some back, heard a few choice words, and still have yet to hear from a few more. We'll be running those interviews, as well as features, profiles, etc. in the coming weeks. EDITOR'S NOTE: be warned, while I'm a casual hockey fan, I DO NOT claim to be an "expert" on the sport, nor will I EVER claim to know "everything" about hockey-themed Punk/Hardcore. Now, let's just try to have some fun and learn more about the sub-genre together!

Upon publication of our extremely well-received Guts of The Ice ##6: Two Man Advantage's Spag Shares Hockey Punk Records accompanied by Drunk Bastard's own HOVID-69 (Hockeyvirus 69) Playlist, we noticed a Comment that piqued our interests, to say the least. It read: Great post! Here's our brand new Hockeycore band... and our first music video," with links to Bandcamp & YouTube pages all credited to Offside Reidars. Needless to say, we don't always, admittedly, see such Comments posted to The Witzard right away... but, coincidentally, soon thereafter, @spag69 posted a Comments of his own on one of Offside Reidars' Instagram posts, which read, "Check it out Puck Rock from Finland @sharpcheddar856." So, with Spag's stamp-of-approval, I knew I had to check these guys out and soon "skated" into @offsiderediars' DM's on Instagram. OFFSIDE REIDARS are a self-described "Beerleague Hockeycore" band hailing Rovaniemi/Lapland consisting of three players from legendary beerleague hockey team, Reidars: lead singer/guitarist Jari Mikkola, bassist/vocalist Juha Tuiskuvaara, and drummer Jari Körkkö. Mikkola says, "COVID-19 ended the hockey season and our beerleague way too early and that sucks, but our band's first mini-LP is coming out soon... and we're really excited about that." OFFSIDE REIDARS' self-titled mini-LP will be released digitally and limited edition 12-inch vinyl Friday, May 29, 2020 on Hiljaiset Levyt/Roku Records. Below, you'll find our comprehensive interview with OFFSIDE REIDARS' Jari Mikkola, along with the world premiere of "Game Day."


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Puck Rock/Hardcore Purveyor

01. How did you first get into both hockey and Punk/Hardcore music?

Jari Mikkola: I have enjoyed watching hockey since I was a little kid, five or six. I have, also, played hockey since I was a little kid, but I never played in a club or team. I've always played outdoors, "pond" hockey, or whatever you call it. In Finland we call it "beanie" hockey because outdoors, you rarely wear a helmet; the original and, probably, the best form of hockey. I got into Punk Rock around [the] late 70's-early 80's. My older brother was [into] first generation Punk in [the] late 70's, so I heard most of the stuff really early. For me, the whole Punk thing started seriously with Dead Kennedys, The Exploited, Bad Brains, Discharge, and from Finland, Lama & Terveet Kädet. But never forgetting the earlier greats, The [Sex] Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones, etc. The energy of Hardcore Punk was, and still is, really addictive. I started my first Punk band, Aivoproteesi, in 1982. I have been in bands ever since, touring all over Europe and releasing records. None of the bands have been mainstream or very "commercially successful"'s always been more about lifestyle and attitude. I think, it's more or less the same with the other guys in our band. We are all old Punks and have been in various bands. Except the other two are 10 years younger that I am haha. I think, our bass player, Juha, played hockey in a real junior club for some years as a kid. Bands we have been in include Aivoproteesi, Greenhouse AC, Yhteiskunnan Ystävät, Polttoitsemurha, Desert Planet, and Los Mogulos.

02. What made you decide to combine hockey and Punk/Hardcore stylings through music?

Mikkola: It was my idea to start this band and it came quite naturally. Why not combine the two of my favourites: Punk and hockey? And in my opinion, Punk Rock, or Hardcore Punk, is the "musical" equivalent of hockey. Fast, sweaty, and [adrenaline]-filled. I introduced the idea to two of my beerleague teammates, guys that I knew were Punks and musicians, in May 2019 at our hockey team's season ending party, so we are a "new" group. We all play in a really cool beerleague hockey team called Reidars. We have a lot of musicians and media professionals [on] the team. We have always done game advertisements and funny videos, acting like a real professional team, but mostly just online (our website and social media) and just to have fun. I've made the music for most of our team's videos and that, also, guided me towards the idea of starting a hockey-related Punk band.

03. For fans new to the "Puck" Rock/Hardcore sub-genre, which release(s) from throughout your discography would you recommend starting out with?

Mikkola: Well, so far, we have only released two songs, "We will remain!" & "Gamesaver" on Bandcamp (and most of the streaming services.) We, also, made a music video for both songs, you can find them on YouTube and Facebook. Our first physical release is coming out soon; it's a 12-inch vinyl with eight tracks. The tracks will be available, also, on streaming services. We are really pleased how it all took form finally... the songs are good, the production is good, and it's on vinyl! We are, also, releasing a new music video when the record comes out.

04. Aside from your own band's music, what other hockey-themed groups, releases, singles, etc.would you recommend, as well?

Mikkola: D.O.A.'s Kings of Punk, Hockey & Beer definitely. Anything by The Hanson Brothers or SLAPSHOT. I was on tour with Nomeansno in [the] 1990's with my previous band, Greenhouse AC. That's the first time [I] heard about Hockey Punk (i.e. Hanson Brothers.) The term "Hockey-core" we found on a 7-inch EP from 2000 by a Finnish band, Rebound.

05. If still active, what are the future plans for your band? If currently inactive, do you have any immediate plans for any special re-issues or a proper reunion/comeback?

Mikkola: We are very active at the moment, but we don't have any major plans. Our band has not played any gigs yet, so that might be happening in the future (when this damn virus thing is over!) Let's see how it goes. If the album goes well, that might give some directions to the band. We will [always] play hockey, that's for sure! Here are more links: Facebook, Instagram, and Vimeo.

06. So, what can you tell us about your upcoming debut mini-album/EP you've been teasing on the @offsidereidars Instagram page in recent weeks?

Mikkola:We started to write the material last summer and our first "goal" was to release a 7-inch vinyl single as DIY without any label. But we just kept on writing songs, as they came out quite easily, and, then, we thought of a 4-track EP. But more songs kept on coming... we would have, probably, ended with enough material for a full album, but we decided that eight tracks on a 45 RPM 12-inch vinyl is the best format. Mini-LP's are usually great... all killers, no fillers. All the songs on the record are simple, good Punk/Hardcore Punk songs with influences from all the good Punk we have liked and heard in nearly 40 years. The lyrics are little stories from a (beer league) hockey player's point of view, small scenes and situations that we have experienced or, at least, felt. And not forgetting the Punk attitude in general, you know, f**k the system and all the idiots haha.

We started the recordings at our rehearsal basement [in] early January this year. Our bass player, Juha, is quite experienced in recording. All tracks were recorded in five sessions. Then, I did the mixing, I have, also, some previous experience on that. After mixing, we decided to hire a real professional for mastering. And, then, we idiots realised that this whole thing, probably, needs some financing... we contacted some old friends, who run small Punk/Indie labels, played them the material, and two of them decided to participate. So, it will be a joint release with Hiljaiset Levyt & Roku Records. Basically, it's still all DIY, the labels came in so late; but without them, we would not have a 12-inch mini-LP, probably, just that single... so, eventually, [it] all turned out really well.

Except for this virus thing, it ruined one part of the original plan. Our hockey team, Reidars, has played every spring for years a hockey tournament with like-minded beer league teams participating from all over Finland. The tournament is called [the] "Rockhockey SM" Tournament (SM stands for "Finnish Championship" in Finnish [abbreviation], not what you think...) Our original idea was to sell loads and loads of the vinyl at that tournament to the drunken players of other teams... but as all events this Spring, [our] tournament was cancelled. Damn. But, luckily, the labels that are now releasing the record have quite good distribution, also, I think, we can get records away from our hands anyway.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

hate5six Shares Youth of Today "No More" Music Video Edit Restored Directly from VHS Master Recording (Revelation Records)

Youth of Today - We're Not In This Alone CD Booklet (Revelation Records, 1997)

Youth of Today (YOT) are a Straight Edge Hardcore hailing from Danbury, Connecticut/New York, New York and originally active from 1985-90, 1994, 1999, and 2003-04. Founding members Ray Cappo & John "Porcell" Porcelly re-formed YOT with bassist Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand,) and drummer Sammy Siegler (Side By Side, RIVAL SCHOOLS) in 2010 and have been moderately active ever since. Youth of Today are oftentimes credited with helping establish the "Youth Crew" sub-culture of Punk/Hardcore, along with popularizing both straight edge and vegetarian/vegan lifestyles. YOT's seminal albums Break Down The Walls, Can't Close My Eyes, and We're Not In This Alone all released between 1986-88 on Wishing Well, Positive Force & Caroline Records—all of which have since been re-released on Revelation Records—are critically-acclaimed, widely-beloved, and helped shape the genres in their earliest aughts.

Youth of Today's most recent release, a 7-inch titled "One Night Stand," was issued by Revelation Records for Record Store Day 2019 in a number of multi-colored variants. It was, seemingly, recorded in 1989-90 and features a cover designed by Sammy Siegler in homage to both The Partridge Family's David Cassidy and Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen" 7-inch. Youth of Today are still actively touring (well, not currently) and, fingers crossed, still recording music together, but today's feature harkens back to a fan favorite lifted from 1988's We're Not In This Alone. So, "legend has it," Sunny Singh at hate5six recently acquired a VHS master copy of YOT's "No More" music video directly from Dave "Sausage" Walling (The Boils, Damage, Blacklisted) at Six Feet Under Records. "Youth of Today's 1988 "No More" was one of the defining moments that brought vegetarianism, veganism, and Animal Rights into the Hardcore community discourse. This music video, directed by Dan Nicholes, is cited by many as the catalyst for re-thinking their place in the food chain," Sunny Singh wrote on Instagram & YouTube.

Youth of Today - "NO MORE" VHS Tape (SOURCE: @hate5six)

"While this video has circulated on The Internet for many years, to my knowledge, this is the first and only direct-from-master digital conversions in existence. I was told only five copies of this tape were made: one was sent to Sally Jesse Raphael, one to Phil Donahue, and this is a third that recently ended up in the hands of Dave Sausage from Six Feet Under Records, who, then, allowed me to digitize and restore the footage," Sighn continued. Adding that "this is truly one of the craziest [Hardcore] artifacts I've been able to work on." We've recently exchanged emails with Sunny Singh directly, one of which you can read below in mildly edited form. hate5six's newly restored and re-mastered edit of "No More" is now available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube. Youth of Today's back catalog is available directly from Revelation Records in a number of formats, as well as digital streaming platforms.

"Dave [Sausage] acquired the tape from a friend, who won it off eBay in '97 or '98. Dave reached out to me a few weeks ago about wanting me to digitize/restore/upload it. He stopped by this past Monday and I ended up converting it the same day. I spent a few hours working to clean up the footage. I was, initially, going to leave it as-is to be true to the media, but opted to re-master. This involved EQ'ing and compressing the audio and using iZotope RX to remove some of the high-end hiss that is present in VHS. I, also, removed some of the visual VHS artifacts using NeatVideo and by applying some sharpening. VHS tends to experience upwards of 20% signal loss due to magnetic remanence decay after one or two decades, so the fact that this tape from 1988 came out as clear as it did was a blessing."

- sunny hate5six // one man op (@hate5six)

"Y" is for Youth of Today from ANOTHER PUNK ABC BOOK (SOURCE: @hecreative)

Monday, May 18, 2020

With The Quickness #4: THPS Producer Ralph D'Amato Curates Playlist Ahead of Pretending I'm A Superman & Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2

Pretending I'm A Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story Behind-The-Scenes

Last week, Activision announced their plans to release a re-mastered version of their wildly popular video games Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (1999) and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (2000) together, packaged as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2. Affectionately known by fans as THPS, this beloved game series birthed THPS 1-5, Tony Hawk's Underground 1-2, American Wasteland, Project 8, Proving Ground, Ride, Shred, HD, and more between 1999-2016. My sister and I, personally, "owned" (well, our parents bought us) THPS1-4, THUG 1-2, and American Wasteland for our N64 and it was a major part of my childhood. Plus, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater's in-game soundtracks played a huge role in my musical exploration as a youth and even as an adult. Last year marked 20 years since the original THPS game was released, which spawned a whole series worth of games, as well as like-minded spin-offs Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 1-2, Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder, and Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer.

It was the first time I had ever heard of artists such as Black Flag, De La Soul, Del The Funky Homosapien, Iggy & The Stooges, Jurassic 5, Madlib/Quasimoto, MF DOOM, Mos Def, Public Enemy, and more, which I still listen to and enjoy to this day. We recently heard about an upcoming documentary entitled Pretending I'm A Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story or simply "THPS Film" for short. Pretending I'm A Superman's site describes it as an "independently produced documentary in association with Steve Berra & Eric Koston's own The Berrics. Former Neversoft producer Ralph D'Amato and award-winning Swedish director Ludvig Gür teamed up in 2016 to create a film about the game that defined a whole generation." Pretending I'm A Superman tells the story of Tony Hawk, his skater buddies, and developers who came together to create the best-selling game, as well as a look into how skateboarding became a part of mainstream society.

THPS Film has been making its rounds on the film circuit/screenings for a while now and it appears as though its wide release may have been delayed, like just about everything else, due to COVID-19/Coronavirus. We've been communicating directly with the documentary's producer and ex-Neversoft producer Ralph D'Amato, who worked on a handful of the THPS games, for quite a few months now, via email. D'Amato was kind enough to select some of his personal favorite songs from the soundtracks for THPS 1-4, THUG 1-2, American Wasteland & Project 8 for our ongoing With The Quickness curated playlist series. Ralph D'Amato's playlist features shred-worthy selections from the likes of Goldfinger, The Distillers, Flogging Molly, The Clash, and Rancid, as well as his own band, Dead End Road.

Now, don't get me wrong, growing up, my friends and I were definitely "outside kids," but every night, weekend, or rainy day, we were inside playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater; spending countless hours perfecting our tricks, being exposed to new music, going to Action/Extreme sports events, and, actually, learning how to skateboard in real life. So, taking inspiration from Ralph D'Amato, I decided to put together a 55-song playlist consisting of my favorite songs from the THPS titles I "owned" as a kid. You can find both Ralph D'Amato & The Witzard's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater-inspired playlists embedded above and below. Pretending I'm A Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story is coming soon to digital streaming platforms, via The Berrics & D'Amato Productions. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 will be released on Friday, September 4, 2020 for PS4, Xbox & PC.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Dave Sitek & Daniel Ledinsky Share Their Long-awaited Album As THE NEVERLY BOYS Dark Side of Everything (Alchemy Recordings)

Daniel Ledinsky & Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio) are THE NEVERLY BOYS. While it appears as though they've released a few now-scrubbed songs and have, seemingly, had a couple false starts over the years, Ledinsky & Sitek have finally unleashed their proper debut album together as THE NEVERLY BOYS, Dark Side of Everything. Back when these Nation/world-wide shut downs first started happening a few months ago, as events, concerts, and whatnot started getting cancelled indefinitely, many artists began hosting livestreamed concerts, album listening parties, etc. It was Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and we saw a post on both THE NEVERLY BOYS & Dave Sitek's personal Instagram page that Sitek would soon be hosting a late night stream of THE NEVERLY BOYS' then-untitled album on his page (@davesitek.) We, of course, tuned in, as did many other fans who had been hearing rumblings about the project for quite a while now; R&B/Psychedelic Soul-Funk singer and producer Miguel, an apparent friend of Dave Sitek, posted he would be listening to THE NEVERLY BOYS livestream and, seemingly, ushered in an influx of new fans, as well.

What we heard of said album that ominous night back in March was phenomenal and today, that album, now titled Dark Side of Everything, is available to the masses on digital streaming platforms. We've, actually, been communicating with either Dave Sitek himself or someone from his team for quite some time now on his Twitter & Instagram pages. Aside from a lone self-titled 2010 album under the guise of Maximum Balloon, THE NEVERLY BOYS serves as one of Sitek's only outer-TV On The Radio/"solo" project. He's produced album s for Beyoncé & JAY-Z, Nat King Cole, DOOM, Ho99o9, Jane's Addiction, Scarlett Johansson, Karen O. Kelis, Miguel, Tom Morello, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and most recently, Weezer. Daniel Ledinsky has previously collaborated with Blondie, Cee-Lo Green, Grouplove, Carly Rae Jepsen, Refused, and Tove Lo. LEDINSKY even achieved a #1 world-wide anthem of his own with "Donald Trump Makes Me Wanna Smoke Cr*ck" in 2016 as part of Atlantic Records' 30 DAYS, 30 SONGS: Written & Recorded By Musicians for A Trump-free America series. Prior to forming THE NEVERLY BOYS, Sitek & Ledinsky worked together on songs for TV On The Radio, Blondie, P*ssy Riot, and Grouplove.

THE NEVERLY BOYS' Dark Side of Everything was entirely written, produced, and recorded by Daniel Ledinsky & Dave Sitek and for the most part, sounds nothing like any of their aforementioned releases. It has an underlying Alt. County/Electronic vibe reminiscent of Sturgill Simpson, Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes, Daughn Gibson, and the like. Our personal favorite is still "Burn, Hollywood, Burn" (no, unfortunately, it's not a Public Enemy cover!) which was originally released back in 2017; it vaguely reminds of us a would-be Lana del Rey B-side birthed from the flames of The Apocalypse. Dark Side of Everything's 12 midnight release was accompanied by a YouTube premiere for lead single, "Never Come Down," directed by film-maker/photographer Mason Poole. "Explorations in visual synthesizers, aka "how to make a music video in quarantine,'" Poole wrote on Instagram prior to the clip's world-wide premiere. THE NEVERLY BOYS' long-awaited debut, Dark Side of Everything, is now available on digital streaming platforms, via Alchemy Recordings, as well as a full-album YouTube stream. Below, you will find an official album release statement from Dave Sitek & Daniel Ledinsky themselves.

"THE NEVERLY BOYS know you are many things. You are a pilot, flying on a giant rock through space. You are an explorer, navigating the depths of modern living. You are an animal seeking shelter from the blue flickering light of modern living.

If you can manage to cultivate stillness in the midst of the hustle, THE NEVERLY BOYS would like to present to you a human story. An honest story about finding your place in the world. With all of its glory and all of its drama, they seek to give a voice to the unknown, the magic, the heartbreaks, and the aspirations. They hope you find comfort in their songs.

"Don't let them tell you that you're never gonna win. Don't let them tell you The Sun won't rise again. In the end, every dog has its day. The master dies, eventually," from THE NEVERLY BOYS' song, "Director's Cut."

Please, listen to the album. It's important. Now, more than ever."

- Dave Sitek & Daniel Ledinsky (THE NEVERLY BOYS)

Thursday, May 14, 2020

DJ Bacon Returns with Beastie Boys & Pink Floyd Mash-up Album BEASTIE FLOYD with Remixes, Mega-mix & Instrumentals (DJB Bandcamp)

Australian DJ, producer, and turntablist Scott Barker, better known as DJ Bacon, is a well-documented Beastie Boys super-fan. Barker has previously released remixes of Beasties fan favorites "Egg Man," "Sure Shot," and "Shake Your Rump," as well as an infamous Run-D.M.C./Beastie Boys mega-mix fittingly titled "RUN-BST." We conducted a comprehensive 2018 interview with DJ Bacon himself, in fact, coinciding with the 7-inch/digital re-releases of both "Back In Hell" (Run-D.M.C. vs. AD/DC) B/W "Sure Shot" Rock Steady Remix and the aforementioned "RUN-BST" mega-mix. So, of course, when it came time to coordinate our full-album 3-part Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary All-around Breakdown AKA PB30, DJ Bacon was amongst the first people we reached out for contributions. He ended up penning a deeply personal blurb for "A Year & A Day" (Suite d.) from "B-Boy Bouillabaisse" as part of PB30 "Side B"/Part II.

So, needless to say, we were pretty ecstatic when DJ Bacon emailed us a few weeks back with a press advance for his then-upcoming project, BEASTIE FLOYD. Yes, you guessed it, BEASTIE FLOYD is a Beastie Boys vs. Pink Floyd mash-up/remix album! Billed as the proper full-length follow-up to 2018's "Back In Hell" mega-mix, BEASTIE FLOYD is described as "DJ Bacon's most ambitious project to date, there are equal borrowings from the obscure and well-known elements of both bands." Not only does BEASTIE FLOYD consist of five individual remixes, DJ Bacon has decided to remix himself as part of a 20-minute BEASTIE FLOYD mega-mix split into two 10+ minute sections. DJ Bacon attests, "in fact, there has never been a whole remix album released as a mega-mix by anyone before now." We can imagine DJ Bacon's BEASTIE FLOYD would serve as a great alt. soundtrack to either BEASTIE BOYS STORY or BEASTIE BOYS BOOK, too!

It's a bit harder for us to pinpoint the Pink Floyd instrumentals/samples, but on the vocal side of things, DJ Bacon expertly incorporates elements from the Beastie Boys' "Shake Your Rump" & "Stop That Train" from Paul's Boutique, "Root Down" & "Sure Shot" from Ill Communication, and last, but not least, "So What'cha Want" from Check Your Head. Oddly enough, the Beastie Boys seem to have been fans of or, at least, influenced by Pink Floyd, as a few of their songs sample the band: "Looking Down The Barrel of A Gun" from their Dust Brothers-produced Paul's Boutique makes use of elements of Pink Floyd's "Time" from The Dark Side of The Moon (1973) and "Johnny Ryall" samples "One of These Days" from Meddle (1971.) Additionally, the Beasties' newly-remastered "Gratitude" music video from Check Your Head was created as an homage to 1972 concert film Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii and was filmed in Rotorua, New Zealand around 1992. DJ Bacon's BEASTIE FLOYD is currently available to purchase, stream, or download on Bandcamp with a 7-inch vinyl edition coming soon, as well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Guts of The Ice - An Exploration of "Puck" Rock/Hockey-core #13: Peter Marullo & Jeff Berman Curate The Boils/Hockey Punk Playlist (Protagonist, Divided Heaven)

Not entirely unlike Wrestle/Wrassle Rap or Basketball Rap, there's, apparently, a whole sub-genre of hockey-themed Punk/Hardcore—oftentimes, referred to as "Puck" Rock or Hockey-core. Yes, I've been a die-hard fan of Punk/Hardcore for 15+ years and I, too, only first heard about Puck Rock within the last few weeks. Although, once I started diggin' around, I discovered about 10-15 bands at the forefront; this was, then, gradually narrowed down to 10 "front-line" bands, which will be chronicled here over the course of coming weeks. The "top-scoring" bands we selected include: Crippled Youth, SLAPSHOT, The Hanson Brothers/Nomeansno, Two Man Advantage, The Boils, D.O.A. THE ZAMBONIS, Pansy Division, The Hextalls, and THE RAMOMS' "Gritty Is A Punk" flexi-disc. We sent out a short 6-question interview form to all of the aforementioned bands, received some back, heard a few choice words, and still have yet to hear from a few more. We'll be running those interviews, as well as features, profiles, etc. in the coming weeks. EDITOR'S NOTE: be warned, while I'm a casual hockey fan, I DO NOT claim to be an "expert" on the sport, nor will I EVER claim to know "everything" about hockey-themed Punk/Hardcore. Now, let's just try to have some fun and learn more about the sub-genre together!

So, through the process of putting together this weekly Guts of The Ice column over the past few months, we've reached out to all sorts of musicians, fellow fans, Punk/hockey enthusiasts, etc. Such interested parties have provided us with potential leads, additional bands to cover, information, factoids, and much, much more. Two people we've dealt closely with through the publication of Guts of The Ice are Peter Marullo & Jeff Berman, who currently play together in Protagonist, a band signed to ex-Less Than Jake drummer Vinnie Fiorello's Paper + Plastick imprint. Marullo was recently described to me by Jeff Berman himself as a "THE biggest Boils fan and historian," as well as his best friend. Additionally, Peter Marullo functions as the manager for Berman's solo project, Divided Heaven. Jeff Berman, a long-time fan of The Boils, as well, was, actually, in the band from 2001-06 and played on TKO Records' "second" version of Pride & Persecution, The Boils/Last Target's Nobility & Nihilism split CD (2003,) and final full-length album, From The Bleachers (2005.) So, considering both Jeff Berman & Peter Marullo's long-time fandom and continued involvement with The Boils, we thought it would be fun to have them put together a Boils/Hockey Punk-centric playlist for Guts of The Ice. Below, you'll find Peter & Jeff's 15-track playlist, along with breakdowns they wrote for each selection. Protagonist's latest release, Fallout from The Chronicle, is now available on Paper + Plastick and contains three Boils covers, a Violent Society cover, and a couple acoustic cuts.


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Puck Rock/Hardcore Purveyor

Peter Marullo from Protagonist and Jeff Berman from Divided Heaven (ex-The Boils) put together this playlist that celebrates The Boils! And Hockey! But mostly The Boils! Enjoy!

01. The Boils - "Blood On The Field"

Truth be told, when Greg Boil showed me some of his new songs that would become [The Boils'] From The Bleachers, I was hesitant. Greg told me that he wanted our new record to be "fun" and not so "serious." Yeah, the new record would have the socio-political songs The Boils were known for, but Greg wanted the record to have a dynamic and diversity, even if some of the songs were about sports. Bridging that gap, for me and Greg, took some adjusting, if I remember correctly. I think, "Blood On The Fields" best exemplifies everyone's strengths and reminds me of the band's power and collaboration.

02. Green Day - "Fire, Ready, Aim"

Green Day played this song at The NHL All-Star Game earlier this year. When Green Day tap into their Garage Rock vibes and mix in some dirty, they are so f**king fun.

03. The Boils - "Philly Shreds"

I recall Dave Sausage riffing this song for years. I took great pride in adding the pre-chorus, the chorus, the solos, and having them stick. This song just worked, ya know? Mike [Bardzik]'s drumming is superb and Greg turned this into a hometown anthem like only he can do.

04. The Boils - "The Arson Song"

When Greg showed me the demo for this song, it surprised the Hell out of me; it was like The Boils giving Rancid a run for their money! A favorite of mine off From The Bleachers.

05. The Boils - "New Majority"

Greg Boyle is a genius and a great song-writer and this song may be his finest hour; blistering, stinging, eloquent, intelligent, catchy, powerful, and brave.

06. Mötley Crüe - "Smokin' In The Boys Room"

"The "Hey" Song" [Gary Glitter's "Rock & Roll, Part 2"' is fun and all, but every time I hear it, I wish it was this classic Crüe cover!

07. Protagonist - "Paper Dolls" (The Bois)

Protagonist's take on the classic Boils ripper from the greatest split 7-inch of all time.

08. Protagonist Feat. Greg Boil - "From Florida to Philadelphia"

A song about friendship forged in/through the flames of Punk Rock. Joint effort. Teamwork at its finest.

09. The Trouble - "Back On The Map" (SLAPSHOT)

Can you get any more Guts of The Ice than The Trouble covering their home town heroes, SLAPSHOT? The embodiment of Punk, Hardcore, and hockey. Back when music was still dangerous.

10. Violent Society - "Times of Distraugh"

A before you hit-the-ice must-have to reinvigorate the blood in your veins and the samurai spirit to don the proper war face, as you are about to meet your enemy on the ice, the enemy who will fall.

11. Legion '76 - "Banner Falls"

If you've never heard this tune, you will soon be chanting it, as you carry the head of the opposing side's head goalie. Victory!

12. THUNDER & GLORY - "Deny Them Victory"

The spiritual and much harsher successor to The Boils say it all in the title on this one.

13. Dropkick Murphys - "Blood & Whiskey"

Both will run through the streets of the city on the night of The Championship.

14. Hudson Falcons - "Come Out, Ye Black & Tans" (Traditional)

The best rendition of this traditional Irish tune could only be done with the swagger of New Jersey's Punk/Rock "N" Roll heroes, THE HUDSON FALCONS.

15. Hour of The Wolf - "Overload"

If I was a professional hockey player or a professional wrestler about to face off against my opponent in the squared circle... this track would be my "Eye of The Tiger" and in that instance, there would be no chance to face defeat.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

HARD FOUL & These Bastards Share Previously Unreleased Tracks for El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​​​.​​​​3 (el puente Bandcamp)

HARD FOUL & These Bastards at KFJC 89.7FM's "Wall," 2020 (SOURCE: @these.bastards)

Last month, we told you about SPAZZ LIVE AT CBGB JUNE 29, 1997: A BENEFIT FOR EL PUENTE YOKOHAMA and conducted a very informal "interview" with Dan Lactose (SPAZZ,) Scotty Heath at Tankcrimes, and Shigeru "Shiggy" Sato from El Puente Yokohama. Shiggy's infamous venue/bar/restaurant, El Punete, has been shut down since this whole COVID-19/Coronavirus calamity started and, unfortunately, he's received little to no financial backing form the Japanese Government. Shiggy launched an el puente yokohama Bandcamp page at the beginning of April and has gradually been collecting and uploading releases in an attempt to keep El Puente afloat. Shiggy's long-time friends, fans, and supporters have donated releases to help support El Puente Yokohama, which appears to be how he attained SPAZZ LIVE AT CBGB JUNE 29, 1997 (directly from Dan Lactose, Chris Dodge & Max Ward) with assistance from Scotty "Karate" Heath.

el puente's Bandcamp page currently boasts a slew of releases, including El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​.​​1-4 & Vol. ROSE, SLIGHT SLAPPERS - WE ❤️ EL PUENTE EP, BADU ERYKAH Live at Daikanyama, and, of course, SPAZZ LIVE AT CBGB. Last week saw the release of both El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​.​​4 AND El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​​​.​​​​3, which are both currently available to purchase directly from El Puente Yokohama's Bandcamp page... but, for purposes of this feature, we'll be focusing primarily on Vol.3. It appears as though El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​​​.​​​​3 was quietly uploaded this past weekend, but, luckily, we received a handy-dandy Bandcamp Notification email as soon as it went live. Primarily a Power Violence-leaning comp. El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​​​.​​​​3 features 12 extremely rare and previously unreleased selections donated by ACxDC, KANDARIVAS with Daniel Mardhany (Deadsquad,) Flagitious Idiosyncrasy In The Dilapidation AKA F.I.D. These Bastards, HARD FOUL, DIEjA, MORTIFY, VISCERA INFEST, Cliterati, and FIGHT IT OUT.

For purposes of this article, at least, we've decided to focus primarily on ACxDC, These Bastards, HARD FOUL, and Cliterati's contributions to El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​​​.​​​​3. First and foremost, ACxDC's "Ashes to Ashes" will be re-released on their new album, Satan Is King, to be released on Prosthetic Records this upcoming Friday, May 12, 2020. Additionally, Cliterati's submission, "Unf*ck The System," appeared on their 2019 Tankcrimes release, Ugly Truths / Beautiful Lies. The Witzard regulars will, likely, recognize both These Bastards & HARD FOUL's names from our previous coverage of their music right here on the site. These Bastards consists of Alex "Stoney" Yeung, Dave "Bruno" Bruno, Leech (Dan Lactose's brother,) and T.C. Bonelocs. We previously featured their self-released 2018 Old... ...and p*ssed 7-inch/digital EP, as well as a Wed. Night Live @KZSU session that originally aired on 90.1FM 1/23/19. Here, for El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​​​.​​​​3, These Bastards offer up two brand new tracks, "San Francisco 2050" Feat. HARD FOUL's own Frank Ripple and "We Must Bleed" (The Germs cover) both previously unreleased prior to their appearance on this comp.

HARD FOUL is a newly-formed Hardcore/Power Violence band featuring Dan Lactose, Kurlee Daddee, Frank Ripple & Cris R. We previously ran a feature on HARD FOUL's debut Live On KFJC set, which aired on 89.7FM a few months ago. Said KFJC 89.7FM set originally aired on March 14, 2020 from 3-6:00PM and featured an opening set from These Bastards, as well. So, aside from the "Hard Foul - Live on KFJC 12Mar2020" stream uploaded to Kurlee Daddee Productions' Soundcloud page, their submissions for El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​​​.​​​​3 mark HARD FOUL's first officially released material. Both "All Talk No Action" and "Ruthless Crime Addicts"—formerly know as "Ruthless Crime Addikts"—were previously featured within HARD FOUL's Live On KFJC set. Supposedly, there's a HARD FOUL/These Bastards split 7-inch being mastered as we speak to soon be released on "Hirax" Max Ward's own 625 Thrashcore imprint. Again, El Puente Benefit Compilation Album Vol​​​​.​​​​3 is currently available to purchase on Bandcamp, along a slew of additional rarities in support of Shiggy & El Puente Yokohama.

Monday, May 11, 2020

FIGHT AMP: Guitarist Mike McGinnis On Ugly Kids Doing Ugly Things 15th Anniversary Cassette Re-issue (The Witzard Interview)

Fight Amp Live, 2005-06 (SOURCE: Mike McGinnis)

Knife Hits Records is an independent Heavy Punk music imprint based in Philly. Their current roster includes Low Dose, Rid of Me, now-defunct Fight Amputation (or Fight Amp,) Günna Vahm, Plaque Marks, Lesser Light, Hulk Smash, and Arcadius. In fact, Low Dose, Rid of Me, Plaque Marks, and Lesser Light feature ex-members of Fight Amp. Knife Hits is owned and operated by Mike McGinnis, who plays/played guitar in Fight Amp, Low Dose, Plaque Marks, and Rid of Me, as well as Pale Shelter. Knife Hits was founded in 2004 as "an off-shoot of the Sludge Punk band FIGHT AMPUTATION, the label was originally coined [as] a collective due to it's on-again-off-again habit of releasing various formats, it's communal nature of various entities chipping in to release music, and it's existence as a show/tour promoter from time to time," their website explains.

Although Fight Amp has been broken up since 2016, they're still fairly active on social media and we recently spotted a post n their Instagram page (@fightamputation) announcing something special: a commemorative 15th anniversary re-issue of Fight Amp's 2005 debut EP, Ugly Kids Doing Ugly Things, pressed onto limited edition gold/black cassettes. We decided to reach out to Knife Hits owner Mike McGinnis and Fight Amp co-founder to learn more about said Ugly Kids Doing Ugly Things re-issue. McGinnis was kind enough to answer some of our questions, which you can now read below in the form of a proper interview accompanied by some archival photos, as well. Fight Amp's Ugly Kids Doing Ugly Things cassette is now available for pre-order on Bandcamp with orders expected to ship on/the week of June 12, 2020.


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Sludge Punk/Hardcore Specialist

I. Aside from it being the EP's 15th anniversary, what else prompted you to re-release Fight Amputation's Ugly Kids Doing Ugly Things now?

Mike McGinnis: I had, actually, planned on doing this project when Fight Amp was still an active band, I think, in 2015 or 2016. Our last album, Constantly Off, had a cassette version and the person that made them did a great job. So, I put a new master and artwork together, put the order in with the same person because we had a rapport, paid a deposit, and waited. And waited... and got strung along, until I talked to other labels in the same boat and realized we had all been ripped off. I attempted some things to recover the funds, but the person disappeared. The lost money and, then, Fight Amp ending soon after derailed the project. The sad part was it was intended to start an entire series of cassette re-issues for every mainline Fight Amp album chronologically. But, now, being stuck under stay-at-home orders during COVID-19 and having time to focus got me motivated to make it happen again. So, here we are and it's been a fun project to gather and share old videos and photos from the era. I'm excited to get to the next release.

II. What can you tell us about Ugly Kids Doing Ugly Things' album title and accompanying artwork?

McGinnis: The album title was just a tongue-in-cheek response to people's perception of the band and our friends, at the time. We were typical sh*theads from the "wrong side" of the tracks known to cause trouble. The stories weren't always true, though, but, yeah... we were the ugly kids doing ugly things. The artwork was painted by our friend, Doug Foulke, and... I'd have to let him speak to the meaning behind it. I'm sure it was influenced by some kind of mind-bending substance.

III. So, what differentiates this re-issue of Ugly Kids Doing Ugly Things from the 2005 versions on Knife Hits & Iron Age?

McGinnis: The 2005 original release was championed by one of our best friends, Kevin Campbell. He worked together with the band, as [well as] Knife Hits, and we released a 7-inch as the first ever "true" Knife Hits release that wasn't a demo tape. People liked it, so we worked together with a fan of the band, Ravi Binning, and his label, Iron Age Records, to do a CD version. The newest re-issue is cassette/digital-only. If enough demand were there, I'd consider a new vinyl version, maybe, a 12-inch at 45 RMP, but it's hard to say how much people want an EP from 15 years ago by a band that isn't active anymore.

IV. What were some of Fight Amp's biggest sources of influence and inspiration while recording Ugly Kids Doing Ugly Thing?

McGinnis: A wide array of music for sure, but we were definitely pulling from multiple heavy sources and wearing it on our sleeves: The Melvins, His Hero Is Gone, Deadguy, From Ashes Rise... and a lot from the [Northeast] Heavy Punk scenes, like PG. 99 & Orchid. We definitely weren't trying to sound like anything specifically, though, myself and most of the people I've written alongside have always written what comes to mind and worries about the influences after the fact.

V. How did Fight Amputation link up with then-unknown producer/engineer Will Killingsworth to record Ugly Kids Doing Ugly Things back in 2004?

McGinnis: Speaking of influences, I recall Bucket Full of Teeth & Orchid being big influences and that's why we recorded with Will. We wanted something raw, but with clarity, which, I think, is exactly what we got.

VI. What's next for your post-Fight Amp bands Low Dose, Rid of Me & Plaque Marks, as well as your label, Knife Hits Records?

McGinnis: Rid of Me is my most current band with Itarya [Rosenberg] from Low Dose and the second Fight Amp drummer, Mike Howard. We just released a tape and had a tour planned with Soul Glo (I'd be on it right now) but COVID chopped that one down. We're currently writing and demoing for an album and we have a limited vinyl release planned for the cassette songs with bonus tracks soon. Plaque Marks is my other current project and we have an entire album finished and mastered and ready to go. We were planning a Fall release and a European tour, but, again, COVID is making a lot of that unknown, so we'll just have to wait and see what the next few months look like.

Low Dose was on a bit of a hiatus to focus on other projects and personal lives, but, again, with COVID-19, that will definitely be extended into an unknown amount of time, so nothing planned, as of now. Though, we did have a couple new songs I'd love to get recorded eventually. As far as Knife Hits, since I'm a two-bit operation, I just take it one release at a time. Since Ugly Kids is selling well, I'd like to move onto the next Fight Amp tape re-issue next and if that does well, I'll continue down the line chronologically. And if they all do well, I'd like to take the funds from them and, actually, put out a band that isn't my own.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Machine Gun Kelly & Travis Barker Share Socially Distant "Bloody Valentine" Music Video On The Late Late Show (Bad Boy/Interscope Records)

For quite a while now, rapper, actor, and musician Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) has been teasing his so-called "Pop-punk album," Tickets to My Downfall, for quite a while now. It was supposed to be released earlier this year, but has been delayed for obvious reasons and now, has a street date of July 17, 2020. Tickets to My Downfall was produced by blink-182 drummer and Hip-Hop enthusiast Travis Barker, along with SlimXX, BazeXX & RookXX, according to Wikipedia. MGK provides vocals and guitar, while Barker plays drums across Tickets to My Downfall; according to numerous interviews with Machine Gun Kelly himself, the album will, supposedly, feature contributions from blackbear, Goody Grace, MOD SUN, Chris "Fronz" Fronzak from Attila, Young Thug, YUNGBLUD, and The Used frontman Bert McCracken. Aside from the aforementioned tidbits and a viral video of Machine Gun Kelly feverishly dancing/skanking across a table backed by, seemingly, disinterested label execs.

MGK has been flirting with his Rap-Rock/Pop-punk persona for quite a while now, having toured with Fall Out Boy on their 2018 M.A.N.I.A. Tour, collaborating with Travis Barker & YUNGBLUD, X Ambassadors, and Lzzy Hale (Halestorm,) and forging a unique friendship with Marilyn Manson. As part of his Lockdown Sessions series, MGK has covered Rihanna, Oasis & Paramore, as well as original songs incorporating or directly inspired by PVRIS, Shawn Mendes & Mike Posner. Last year, Machine Gun Kelly famously portrayed Tommy Lee in Netflix's silver screen adaption of Mötley Crüe's wildly debaucherous memoir, The Dirt. Plus, for its companion soundtrack, MGK appeared alongside Mötley Crüe themselves on an original track dubbed "The Dirt (Est. 1981.)" While Kelly has been releasing more Hip-Hop-centric singles since the top of the year, it appears as though his latest, "Bloody Valentine" serves as our first official taste of Tickets to My Downfall. Although, we would argue "why are you here" and Machine Gun Kelly & Travis Barker's spot-on cover of Paramore's "Misery Business" are, likely, cut from the same cloth as Tickets to My Downfall.

"Bloody Valentine" seems to reference Shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine and takes sonic inspiration from Tom DeLonge-era blink-182. Aside from its ties to Pop-punk/Hip-Hop, "Bloody Valentine" is an extremely catchy song in its own right. Last week, we were treated to the official audio from "Bloody Valentine" and this week, saw the release of its official lyric video, but the other night, Machine Gun Kelly & Travis Barker appeared together on The Late Late Show. "Kels" & "Trav," as they affectionately call each other, treated host James Corden and his late night fanbase to a music video they made for "Bloody Valentine." It's a fairly straight-forward performance-style music video with Kelly & Barker practicing appropriate social distance and even features an appropriate-for-TV self-edit by MGK himself. "Bloody Valentine" & "Misery Business" are both currently available on streaming services. Machine Gun Kelly & Travis Barker's Tickets to My Downfall drops Friday, July 17, 2020 on Bad Boy/Interscope Records.