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The Witzard Presents: Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary All-around Breakdown, Part I (PB30 "Side A") https://thewitzard.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-witzard-presents-beastie-boys-pauls_3.html

Friday, February 14, 2020

Members of One Step Closer, Strength for A Reason & Worn Release Vicious Existence EP As Choice to Make (Flatspot Records)

CREDIT: Spencer Chamberlain (Ngagency)

Choice to Make is a Hardcore band from the ever-growing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scene, which consists of WORN, One Step Closer, Cold World, Final Descent, Heart Out, Frostbite, True Identity, and more. Choice to Make is made up of members of One Step Closer, Strength for A Reason & WORN; consisting of vocalist Nate, guitarist Caleb, second guitarist Ryan, bassist T.K. and drummer Adam. Nate, Caleb, Ryan, T.K. & Adam previously released a self-titled demo in 2018 on 12Forty Records and a Promo 2019 EP (boasting a Dracula cover!) through Street of Hate fan'zine. Now, they're returned with a new EP entitled Vicious Existence through Baltimore-based Flatspot Records. We recently received a press release from a firm managing Flatspot Records, which readily compares Choice to Make's sound across the EP to "early Biohazard, late 80's Agnostic Front, and Underdog." It does have a bit of an underlying Thrash Metal vibe, comparable to early Anthrax, Testament, and even Metallica when they were still actively covering The Misfits.


"In a scene riddled with fashion-first "Punk" upstarts and breakdown fetishists, Choice to Make delivers a vital dose of Hardcore that is equally confrontational and groovy with roots buried evenly the classics of Hardcore and the modern landmarks that have shaped the genre's development over the past two decades," said press release continues. Little else is know about the band, but much like many of their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Hardcore scene peers, Choice to Make's Vicious Existence EP is undoubtedly a stone cold stomper! Two pre-release singles, "Disconnect" & "June" were premiered at NO ECHO & CVLT NATION, respectively, and yesterday, Brooklyn Vegan hosted an exclusive full album stream. Choice to Make's next scheduled tour date is: 03/20 - Wilkes Barre, PA at Karl Hall (Record Release Show) with Death Threat, Mindforce, HANGMAN, Victory Garden & The Answer. Choice to Make's Vicious Existence EP is out now on Flatspot Records.


Thursday, February 13, 2020

LUKE SICK & WOLFAGRAM Share "650" from Upcoming YEGG WAR Cassette Teased In 36CrazyFists #4 (IRON LUNG Records)


"Luke Sick is, also, working with Toronto beat-maker Andrew Nolan AKA WOLFAGRAM (Intensive Care, Column of Heaven) for a full-length tape release through IRON LUNG Records. The working title is: Yegg War..." read a blurb in the June 2019 installment of 36CrazyFists. 36CF is a digital/emailed 'zine run by SPAZZ's Dan Lactose AKA DJ Eons One. In addition to SPAZZ, Lactose has recorded and released music with Superbad, Funeral Shock, DANK GOBLINS, Deny The Cross, Grand Invincible/Collab, Underbucket, and CCCRRCCSSLLRRKKRRSSS, as well as a gaggle of other bands and runs his own label imprint, Tinted Windows Record Co. A few of the aforementioned groups have been with Megakut Records & Gurp City's own Luke Sick AKA Clell Miller & J. Luke Oakson. Earlier this morning, some additional details and release specifics concerning Yegg War have been properly announced to the masses: LUKE SICK & WOLFAGRAM's Yegg War project will be released on cassette and digital album on Friday, March 13, 2020.


According to IRON LUNG's Bandcamp page, Yegg War boasts beats by WOLFAGRAM, raps by Luke Sick, cuts & scratches from DJ Raw, cover art designed by Dan Lactose, and layout by Damien "IHAA" Miller. Additionally, Yegg War was fully produced, mixed, and mastered by newcomer WOLFAGRAM and was recorded over the summer of 2019. Let's just be completely honest here, with that cast of characters, Yegg War is gonna be nothing short of fantastic! Along with all that information, IRON LUNG Records has let loose the first proper single from LUKE SICK & WOLFAGRAM's Yegg War, simply entitled "650." It's a 3-minute slice of dusty, vinyl crackle-filled old school Boom-Bap/Hip-Hop, which has been described as "a little drugged, a little thugged, and criminally smooth." Yegg War cassettes (CS) are limited to 200 pro-dubbed high-bias cassettes in a classic J-card and clear/clear Norelco box. Both cassette and digital copies of LUKE SICK & WOLFAGRAM's Yegg War are currently available for pre-order directly from IRON LUNG Records.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Amy Farina & Fugazi's Ian MacKaye & Joe Lally Re-emerge with "Clean Kill" from CORIKY's Self-titled Debut (Dischord Records)


Ian, Joe & Amy (CORIKY) 2019 Fort Reno, Washington, DC / CREDIT: Claire Packer

Not only has Alec MacKaye returned with his first active band in 20+ years, HAMMERED HULLS, his brother, Ian MacKaye, has now re-surfaced with a newly-minted group of his own: CORIKY [pronounced: "ko-ri-kee."] Supposedly, coriky is "a dice game, like liar's poker," according to photographer Mark R. Bacon. A recent Dischord Records press release simply explains, "Coriky is a band from Washington, DC. Amy Farina plays drums. Joe Lally plays bass. Ian MacKaye plays guitar. All sing. Formed in 2015, Coriky did not play their first show until 2018. They have recorded one album. They hope to tour." In their earliest aughts, CORIKY, then-unnamed, were often billed as "Amy Ian Joe (Name Unknown,)" "Ian, Amy & Joe," and, I've heard, at one point, were even toying with going by The Odds; an homage to husband and wife, Ian MacKaye & Amy Farina's other band, The Evens. Together, Amy, Ian & Joe have collectively spent time playing with Ataxia, The Black Sea, Decahedron, Egg Hunt, Embrace, The Evens, Fugazi, The Messthetics, Minor Threat, Pailhead, Sevens, The Slinkees, Skewbald / Grand Union, The Teen Idles, and The Warmers. Anyways, I've been hearing rumblings about CORIKY for quite a few months now... and just yesterday, Amy Farina, Joe Lally & Ian MacKaye triumphantly returned with their debut single as CORIKY, "Clean Kill."


Along with said single, CORIKY have announced their signing to Ian MacKaye & Jeff Nelson's iconic imprint, Dischord Records, as well as the announcement of their self-titled debut album. I believe, it was promised CORIKY would sound something like "Fugazi meets The Evens," which makes complete sense, and "Clean Kill" does, in fact, sound like a fusion of both legendary DC area bands. As stated above, "Clean Kill" features Ian MacKaye on guitar, Joe Lally on bass, and Amy Farina on drums with all three providing vocals at various points throughout. It's a phenomenal "coming out" track and, hopefully, will represent what's to come from CORIKY's self-titled debut full-length. Although, likely, most promising, to us, at least, are the instrumental breakdowns and about the last 40-seconds to minute of "Clean Kill," as here, CORIKY show a bit more of their decades-old Punk/Hardcore roots. CORIKY, supposedly worked on said material with Ian MacKaye & Joe Lally's long-time collaborator, producer, and engineer Don Zientara's Inner Ear Studios. Either way, we can almost promise, it's definitely gonna be something to experience for fans both old and new. CORIKY's self-titled debut full-length will be released Friday, March 27, 2020 on Dischord Records.


c o r i k y Lyrics Sheet / CREDIT: 7 Inch Gold Blade (@7_and_7_is)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

DRAIN Share "Sick One" from Debut CALIFORNIA CURSED & Re-create Iconic 1987 Santa Cruz Skateboards Poster (Revelation Records)

CREDIT: Eric Palozzolo, 2019 (Left) & Tim Piumarta, 1987-ish (Right)

DRAIN is a Santa Cruz, California-based Metal-tinged Crossover/Hardcore Punk band, who are, seemingly, obsessed with sharks; particularly, late 90's crime-fighting half-man/half-sharks and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles knock-off, Street Sharks. DRAIN first commissioned Raul Cruz to design some Street Sharks-like characters to be featured across the cover for their 2-track Promo 2018 EP, which was, later, slightly modified as the Default picture for the band's Twitter profile, drain831 (@drain831.) Behind the bloodthirsty sharks, DRAIN consists of vocalist Sam "Sammy" Ciaramitaro, guitarist Cody "Codster" Chavez, bassist Justin Rhode, and drummer Tim "Timmy" Flegal. Now, DRAIN have returned with a new single, "Sick One," from their full-length debut, CALIFORNIA CURSED, which, also, boasts shark-laden artwork. It's an adorable little "Baby" Shark designed by Derek Pratt complete with sunglasses, blood drips from his collar, and, of course, Heavy Metal studded wristbands. "Sick One" is definitely, as its title suggests, a "sick one," clocking in at just 58-seconds, but repeated listens will, more likely than not, turn your brain to sludge.


Just yesterday afternoon, DRAIN uploaded "Sick One" to their Bandcamp page and, additionally, shared a visualizer for what they're calling a "succinct, hard-hitting, groove-laden" single. Although, while "Sick One" IS our first official taste of DRAIN's Revelation Records debut, CALIFORNIA CURSED, it, actually, isn't the first song we're hearing from the album... DRAIN's aforementioned Promo 2018 (or 2018 Promo) EP, lo and behold—although, we didn't know it at the time!—featured two additional cuts from then-untitled debut, CALIFORNIA CURSED, "Army of One" & "California Cursed." Only formed as recently as 2016, prior to the release of their Over Thinking EP, DRAIN have already amassed quite the reputation for their impassioned, unhinged live shows, mesmerizing crowds at Sound & Fury 2019, This Is Hardcore 2019, and mostly recently, LDB Fest 2020. "We feel that our shows embody what it means to truly be alive. There is no facade and no cosplay, as to who we are," frontman Sam Ciaramitaro explains. "We just play every show like it's our last and encourage everyone in the room to be whoever they want to be and do whatever they want to do," Ciaramitaro continued.


Another "Fun Fact" about DRAIN: while they're the latest in a long line of Punk/Hardcore bands hailing from Santa Cruz, they seem to be actively paying tribute to their forefathers. Up above, you'll see a poster-sized image of skateboarder Henry Gartland launching himself over a frenzied DRAIN. It's an homage to an iconic 1987-ish shot of skateboarder/Santa Cruz Bicycles co-founder Rob Roskopp hurling himself over BL'AST! in an eerily similar manner. BL'AST! have been active on-and-off since 1983 and their various line-ups have featured Joey Castillo (The Bronx,) William Duvall (Alice In Chains,) Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag,) Dave Grohl, and Nick Oliveri (Queens of The Stone Age.) Scroll Down to see a video on the making-of DRAIN & Henry Gartland's re-creation of BL'AST & Rob Roskopp's iconic '87 poster. DRAIN's full-length debut, CALIFORNIA CURSED, was produced by Taylor Young (Twitching Tongues, NAILS, Code Orange) at The Pit Recording Studio. CALIFORNIA CURSED will be released on Friday, April 10, 2020 on Revelation Records. Pre-orders for the eagerly-awaited 10-track album will go live at REVHQ starting Monday, March 2, 2020.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Spanish Love Songs Return with "Beachfront Property" Music Video from New Album Brave Faces Everyone (Pure Noise Records)

CREDIT: Katie Neuhof (Pure Noise Records)

Spanish Love Songs are a five-piece Los Angeles-based Punk/Indie Rock band consisting of guitarist and vocalist Dylan Slocum, guitarist Kyle McAulay, bassist Trevor Dietrich, drummer Ruben Duarte, and keyboardist Meredith Van Woert. Initially formed in 2014, Spanish Love Songs have released two fill-length albums and an EP on Wiretap Records, Bearded Punk Records, Uncle M Music, and A-F Records. Spotify and Bandcamp, also, list an additional Name-Your-Price album-length collection entitled LITTLE GIANTS from 2016, which appears to consist primarily of acoustic/demo recordings. Currently abroad on a three-week UK/EU tour supporting The Menzingers, Spanish Love Songs just released their third highly-anticipated album, Brave Faces Everyone, this past Friday, via Pure Noise Records. Brave Faces Everyone was preceded by three pre-album singles/music videos, "Losers," "Kick," and most recently, "Beachfront Property." Last week, prior to the full album's release, Spanish Love Songs, along with FLOOD Magazine, premiered one final music video for "Beachfront Property," as directed by Ian Shelton & Will Acuña.


It's a well-executed clip for one of the catchiest songs on an extremely catchy album; Shelton & Acuña, basically, just filmed Spanish Love Songs performing "Beachfront Property" in front of a red sports car (maybe, an old Mercedes Benz?) in a stark red-colored room, but it's very effective! Brave Faces Everyone was recorded late last year with Spanish Love Songs' in-house producer/guitarist Kyle McAulay at Howard Benson's West Valley Recording Studios and has already drawn comparisons to the works of Bruce Springsteen, The Menzingers, and Manchester Orchestra. A sort of running mantra/theme through the album is "when you're young, you just want to be heard," as frontman Dylan Slocum laments. "If you sing something loud enough and long enough, hopefully, people are able to find some peace in that," Slocum laments within an album press release. Again, Spanish Love Songs are currently on a UK/EU tour in support of The Menzingers through February 15, 2020 and will be embarking on their own State-side tour starting Thursday, February 20th supporting The Wonder Years, alongside Free Throw & Pool Kids. Spanish Love Songs' Brave Faces Everyone is now available in both physical and digital formats directly from Pure Noise Records.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Roughneck Jihad & Awkward Join Forces for "DROMEDARY," The First In A Series of Upcoming One-off Singles? (EOOM/Ghost Locust Music)


Late last night, I noticed a Tweet from Roughneck Jihad (@roughneckjihad) which read, "Check our this continent-spanning Hip-Hop collaboration with the beat and cuts by @AwkwardUK and the rhyme by yours truly, Roughy Rough." It included a mysterious YouTube link labelled "MC Roughneck Jihad and DJ Awkward "Dromedary."' Bay Area emcee Roughneck Jihad and Bristol, UK-based producer Awkward have, in fact, collaborated before, but, seemingly, not to this degree. Awkward mastered Jihad's 2018 Red Herring Mixtape and years prior, produced "Amen" & "Barbarian" from Third Sight's 2016 album, IV. Within a 2018 All-around Breakdown for his Red Herring Mixtape, Roughneck Jihad told The Witzard, "in addition, [Awkward] is remixing a narrative/comic book album, The Red Sentence, for me." Supposedly, according to Awkward, "DROMEDARY" is "just a taster and there will be more to come. Perhaps, some singles [and] maybe, a full-length..." When I posed the question, "Damn, so we're really gonna get a continent-spanning full-length album from MC @ROUGHNECKJIHAD + DJ @AWKWARDUK?!!!??!" Roughneck Jihad Replied, "Yes, one single at a time." "DROMEDARY" is just what I've come to expect from Roughneck Jihad: eerily poignant bars backed with quick-strike comic relief juxtaposed against a glitchy beat provided by Awkward that sounds like it's self-destructing and falling apart not-by-note.


So, it sounds like, in time, or, maybe, even single-by-single, we'll get a continent-spanning full-length collaborative project from Roughneck Jihad & Awkward. Awkward has previously worked with Open Mike Eagle, Quakers' 7STU7, Stepasaur/Stepchild AKA Gary "Gee" Ealey of Malakai fame, N8NOFACE, Isaiah Toothtaker, and countless other sharp-tongued emcees. Awkward, additionally, released two volumes-worth of Beastie Boys remixes as POSSE IN EFFECT on his own Ghost Locust Music and contributed a blurb about "Hello Brooklyn" ("B-Boy Bouillabaisse") for our extensive Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary All-around Breakdown, Part II (PB30 "Side B.") To any effect, "DROMEDARY" is a hard-as-nails slice of nostalgic Boom-Bap/Hip-Hop that's definitely worth checking out for long-time fans, as well as new-comers. MC Roughneck Jihad & DJ Awkward's "DROMEDARY" is now streaming exclusively on Awkward's roastlonely YouTube channel. Stay tuned for more from these extremely prolific cross-continental collaborators! It's, also, worth noting Roughneck Jihad & The Diabolical Doctor Strange are currently holding a remix contest for their 2019 collaborative effort, THE ADVENTURES OF DR. VOODUN. Remix producers are urged to reach out directly to @jihadtheroughneckmc on Instagram for further details.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

TYPECASTE's New BETWEEN LIFE EP Premiered at HARD NOISE & Rain of Salvation Release "The Sound of Triumph" (Flatspot Records)


CREDIT: James Grottola (Flatspot Records)

TYPECASTE is a "Long Boston" (Long Island/Boston)-based 90's Metalcore-leaning Punk/Hardcore band. As of February 2020, TYPECASTE is signed to Baltimore imprint, Flatspot Records, and consists of frontman Dylan Carlo and additional members, Sean, Joey, Ray & Marazzo—yes, it's nearly impossible to find their last names online! Following a self-titled 2017 DEMO EP and critically-acclaimed creature of habit EP (2018) TYPECASTE have returned with their third consecutive EP entitled BETWEEN LIFE. Late last month, world-renown Heavy Metal magazine, KERRANG! ran an exclusive premiere of pummeling BETWEEN LIFE EP track, "Traverse," and now, The Hard Times & Pure Noise Records' HARD NOISE has run their own "ALBUM PREMIERE" of the full 4-track EP. Although, it clocks in at less than 12 minutes total, BETWEEN LIFE really is a skull-crusher, honestly, more so indebted to Metal/Metalcore than Punk/Hardcore.


You can instantly tell Dylan Carlo, Sean, Joey, Ray & Marazzo really give it all they've got and by the final note of closer "Under The Wreath," have sincerely left it all on the table. When asked by HARD NOISE interviewer Fred Pessaro how BETWEEN LIFE differed from TYPECASTE's previously released EP's, Carlo responded, "[for] this EP, we wanted to push things even further. Just show progression in the band's creativity to help shape our own. I know Sean has [spoken] about wanting to create our own "world," like, how he feels other bands do." Dylan Carlo continued, "I agree with him and love the idea of creating something that is ourselves. Lyrically, I wanted to become a better writer and I hope we all improved! I feel like we all pushed ourselves to do the best we could. I'm proud of this release." Carlo, additionally, explained to HARD NOISE that TYPECASTE always knew "Under The Wreath" was going to be the EP closer "because it's a big song."


"It is, probably, the most progressive or different TYPECASTE song..." I would have to strongly agree with frontman Dylan Carlo, as their BETWEEN LIFE EP is great as a whole, but listen after listen, "Under The Wreath" really leaves a lasting impression. TYPECASTE will soon be embarking on a North American Tour with like-minded skull-crushers, Sanction, SeeYouSpaceCowboy & Vamachara from 2/15-3/21/20. Oddly enough, members of TYPECASTE are, also, part of Rain of Salvation, along with select players from SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Adrenaline, and other Long Island/Delaware/Connecticut area bruisers. Earlier this week, Rain of Salvation self-released their latest single, "The Sound of Salvation," on Bandcamp for just $1.00 or more. TYPECASTE's BETWEEN LIFE EP will see a wide release tomorrow, Friday, February 7, 2020 on Flatspot Records.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Jade Hairpins Revealed to Be Jonah Falco & Mike Haliechuk from F*CKED UP, Plot February 2020 UK Tour Behind 2018 12-inch (Merge Records)


Jade Hairpins quietly released a 12-inch/digital single on Merge Records back in October 2018 consisting of two 7+ minute-long tracks, "Mother Man" & "Gracefully." Discogs list their Genre/Style as Electronic, Rock, Pop, Synth-Pop, and Indie Rock and Jade Hairpins themselves label their genre as "Alternative" on Bandcamp. I'm, personally, reminded a bit of the bleeps and blips of The Bravery, The Cure, Four Tet, LCD Soundsystem, and New Order. Seemingly, out of nowhere, Monday afternoon, Merge Records (@mergerecords) mysteriously Tweeted, "~ t o m o r r o w ~," along with a 9-second video and a glowing Jade Hairpins logo. As promised, the following day, Tuesday, February 4, 2020, @mergerecords Tweeted, "Hhhhhaayyyyyeeeeelllllloooo! Back in 2018, Jade Hairpins emerged mysteriously like a pair of cranes from a tall grove, shared their immediately danceable debut 12-inch single, "Mother Man" B/W "Gracefully," and just as quickly, receded back into the shade." It was followed up by yet another Tweet, which read, "... turns out, Jade Hairpins is the brainchild of Jonah Falco & Mike Haliechuk of @F*CKEDUP infamy. Together, they will present the debut live performances of Jade Hairpins this month in The United Kingdom!"


It has since been revealed within a Merge Records press release that the clues were, in fact, there all along: Tankcrimes released F*CKED UP's 2018 "High Rise" 7-inch ahead of Dose Your Dreams, backed by the B-side, "Tower On Time," which was credited to Jade Hairpins. Plus, if you were to comb back through the unsung lyrics for Dose Your Dreams' "Accelerate," you'll find the line, "her hair was pinned by jade." I'll say this much, it definitely doesn't sound anything even remotely similar to F*CKED UP, but Jade Hairpins, indeed, rock in their own way; you can tell Jonah & Mike are having fun flexing their non-Punk/Hardcore abilities, as a "side-band" is intended to do! It appears as though F*CKED UP frontman Damian Abraham, much like the rest of the world, knew absolutely nothing about Jonah Falco & Mike Haliechuk's involvement in Jade Hairpins, as made apparent by a string of recent Tweets. In celebration of their very public "coming out" as Jade Hairpins, Falco & Haliechuk will be embarking on a February 2020 UK Tour from 2/14-23 with openers Nation Unrest, Basic D*cks & High Vis. Jade Hairpins' 2018 debut, "Mother Man" B/W "Gracefully" is still available in both physical and digital formats through Merge Records.


"So, Mike & Jonah have a new band that I know nothing about! Check it out... as I will be doing, too! Yo, it just hit me: Mike & Jonah are kinda handsome, huh? No wonder people always ask... me... if I'm the drummer... UPDATE: It does not sound like Ruination or Scare Tactic. UPDATE #2: I dig it! It sounds like a record Mike would have made fun of me for buying at #RicsCollectables (RIP) back when were were in our 20's. Go see them on tour and tell Jonah I [say,] "hello," BUT NOT MIKE! J/K say, "hello" to Mike. Also, if you are a wrestling fan, please, talk to him as much as you can about UK Pro-Wrestling! @InsaneChampWres, @ThisIs_Progress, @ProWrestlingEVE, #WorldOfSport: He loves it all! (He's kinda shy, so you may have to work on him to open up about his passion.)"

- Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham (@leftfordamian)

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

ialive Returns with "Arabian Hash" Feat. Day Tripper & Curly Castro from Guest-heavy I'LL WAIT FOREVER (Cold Rhymes Records)


Monday morning, self-described "Rap singer, song-writer, beat-maker, and pal" Donovan "ialive" Phillips quietly announced he'll be releasing his fourth (fifth?) solo studio album, I'LL WAIT FOREVER, later this month. It will be his fourth consecutive release with Baltimore-based Cold Rhymes Records run and operated by Dan "Height" Keech & MISTER AKA Cool Guy Bry. We first heard about ialive through an interview posted by John "Jumbled" Bachman on his blog a few years back with both Donnie & Darko The Super, together, billed as The Hellhole Store. ialive's Height Keech-produced TIMEWAVE ZERO (2017) and self-produced follow-up, DON'T DO NOTHING (2019) were, easily, two of our favorite Hip-Hop albums of the last few years. I'LL WAIT FOREVER is the direct follow-up to ialive's Odds & Ends-style 2019 EP, ODD ORTS, which boasts remixes from both Juan Cosby & Unsung. Now, it appears as though this collaborative nature was a bit of a precursor to what we now know as I'LL WAIT FOREVER, which is, honestly, still a bit unexpected from typical "lone wolf" ialive. Regardless of said circumstances, I'LL WAIT FOREVER is being billed as ialive's "first attempt to gather all of his favorites and allow them to do their thing over his productions."


For I'LL WAIT FOREVER, ialive has recruited the vocal abilities of some of his close friends and live performance buddies, including The Witzard regulars Zilla Rocca, Torito, GOLDZILLA, Sleep Sinatra, Uncommon Nasa, Darko The Super, Height Keech, MISTER, Day Tripper, Ray Strife, Lt Headtrip, GooGiE, and Unsung. I'LL WAIT FOREVER will, additionally, feature "new-comers" (at least, to us) Painted Faces, Dizzo, Cat Park, Curly Castro, andrew. Yikes The Zero, and The Binary Marketing Show. Monday night, ialive (@ialive) posted the statement below to his personal Instagram page. Ahead of I'LL WAIT FOREVER's wide release in a couple short weeks, we've been treated to pre-album single, "Arabian Hash" featuring Day Tripper & Curly Castro of The Difference Machine and Wrecking Crew, ShrapKnel & GRIFT COMPANY, respectively. ialive's I'LL WAIT FOREVER will see a wide release on Friday, February 21, 2020. It's currently available to pre-order digitally directly from Cold Rhymes Records. I'LL WAIT FOREVER will already be Cold Rhymes' second release of 2020, as preceded by Trauma Lavern AKA P.T. Burnem & Fat Milk's recent Album Announcement FAIL EP. Next up will be a currently untitled collaborative album from Aradamus & Height Keech, which will be dropping in March 2020.


"I started sending beats to friends and loosely forming this album in my head, just as I was finishing DON'T DO NOTHING in summer of 2018. I've always been extremely inspired by Handsome Boy Modeling School's albums, as well as @djprincepaul & @dan_the_a, in general. [Dan The] Automator's curatorial skills shine so hard on the @gorillaz's first (and best) album. Another album that locked in as a kid was The [World Famous] Beat Junkies Volume 2 [with] @rhettmatic! I always loved the seamlessness and really choice tracks. This album taught me another level of patience, persistence, follow-through, and adaptability. I had to adjust with timing and content like never before. What I proudly present to you could not be a thing with out all the amazingly talented people I've [had] the honor of calling collaborators and friends. I'm happy to announce that this record will be available 2/21, via @coldrhymeslabel and you can pre-order it now. Linkin' Bio."

- Donovan ialive (@ialive)

CREDIT: Handsome Boy Modeling School, circa 2018 (@hbms_official)

Friday, January 31, 2020

Bobby Obsy Presents... ROBO BOY EP: The Debut Release from The Find Mag-affiliated Rucksack Records (All-around Breakdown)


"Rucksack Records is a new label founded by The Find Mag. The tagline is "LOOKING BACK, THINKING FORWARD," meaning a focus on progression in beat-making while, also, giving an ode to the past. I've decided to start it because I want to support producers who take things a step further; who dare to push boundaries. Think of beat-makers who, also, do (Jazz) instrumentation, for example. I guess, beats are the core of it all, but to put it in a broader perspective: Rucksack Records is all about Hip-Hop, Jazz, and beats.

I [bet you'll] think, "why not The Find Records?" That's a deliberate choice. I want The Find Mag to remain the independent editorial music platform it is, to protect it from becoming a "label promo machine." [They're] definitely going to be closely related to each other, but I, also, wanted to start something fresh, which, over time can, maybe, even venture into musical directions further from The Find's identity. Who knows. The label officially launches in April, with currently three vinyl records in-the-works. 'til then, Robo Boy is today's kick-off release to give a first glimpse of what's in store for Rucksack Records."

- Danny Veekens (@rucksack_records)


Exhibit 0 - INTRODUCTION: Who Is Bobby Obsy?

"Nick Poulianitis (AKA Bobby Obsy) is a London-based music producer and designer. His versatile workflow in music production involves mainly synthesizers [and] sample-based sounds with the help of vintage samplers and live bass. His career as a designer compliments his music persona and is mainly focused on character creation and concept art. His vision is to create new Sci-Fi worlds through his music and designs. His debut album, Rusty Gate, released on November 1, 2018, via Vinyl Digital, on all digital platforms, and, also, on vinyl through Qrates crowd-funding. The vinyl record is available on various digital platforms, such as HHV.DE and even in record stores in Japan, Jet Set Records being one of them. His [performing] experience as a DJ varies from DJ'ing in bars in Greece and London, to performing live beat sets at Oslo, Hackney venue in London, and at the 2017 Reworks Festival in Greece. Here's his thought process: design, thinking, and concept art on his new release, Robo Boy, which [consists] of three instrumental tracks."


Exhibit 1 - MUSIC: About The Music

"Before it gets down to concept, meanings, and statements, here is my thought process on the music production: the tracks' groove pattern doesn't stay the same, you'll notice pixelated transitions from my SP-404, metallic sound design from my trusty AKAI & Ensoniq 12-bit samplers, dreamy galactic melodies, and, of course, my favourite singing bass Jazzy melodies. The tricky part was to still make them easy to listen to, without becoming too technical. I see many producers easily falling into that trap. I needed the tracks to be easily consumed by anyone. Imagine looking at the Robo Boy art; Pop Art colours, easy on the eye, kid-friendly design next to a super-techy drum-less Jazz composition full of [freestyles, complex harmonies], etc. etc. Doesn't really make sense.

Every track can be considered "Hip-Hop" because all three of them are mainly based on Hip-Hop groove patterns. However, the structure is not your typical 4-minute loop that dominates the Hip-Hop industry since the 80's. All three tracks are influenced by the classical sonata, as well as the legendary discography of Charles Mingus. I was listening a lot to Mingus, while working on these three tracks. Creating a decent Hip-Hop groove can be relatively easy compared to other genres of music.

Creating a timeless Hip-Hop groove, especially, nowadays (a classic) is extremely hard. There are so many good producers out there doing just that and there are so many decent/great Hip-Hop music releases dropping every day. Even in this lo-fi over-saturated scene, almost any beat is, at least, decent. They all sound the same, but they are decent. I wouldn't mind any lo-fi playlist playing on the background, though.

I wanted to move away from that. And the way I chose to do it is by moving away from that 4-minute loop production workflow. If you look at Rusty Gate, it is exactly that. 4-minute loops all over the place. Back then, I was a Boom-Bap "purist," that's how I fell in love with Hip-Hop in the first place. Boom-Bap is still one of my favourite genres to vibe to. After releasing my "purist" Boom-Bap album, though, it is about time to move away from that. This EP marks the beginning of my adventures towards a new sound, a new signature style combined with my nerdy designs."


Exhibit 2 - MUSIC: Track Breakdown

"'Starclimber:" This track is a trip. It starts somewhere, it completely changes, at one point, and it comes back to the main theme. What I love the most about it is the drum pattern, complex and solid. The track is full of atmospheric synth, metallic Rhodes, and groovy sound FX. It really takes me to space. That is why I named it "Starclimber." In terms of the concept, when creating the track, I imagined Robo Boy flying through the galaxy. He is a "star-climber" and I wanted to create that vast space surrounding him. There is a mysterious feeling to this track. A combination of happiness and sadness.

"Astral Venture:" This is the "happy" track of the EP. There is this small intro, influenced straight from Japanese Anime intros. I even used Japanese harmony techniques to come up with that melody. I see it as the Robo Boy "theme song." If there was ever a Robo Boy Anime series, I would like the intro to be based on that beginning melody. "Astral Venture" is a song full of hope, full of sharp piano melodies to lead the track, and old school-style sampled repetitive trumpets. It represents Robo Boy's human aspect: him being naive and immature, in some ways.

"Electric Serenade:" "Electric Serenade" is the "heavier" track. This is the most Boom-Bap-y of all three tracks. I focused on the drums mostly. By focusing more on mid/low frequencies and the groove, I wanted to create that grounding feeling. The way I see this track is that it reminds me that the galaxy is black. Yes, it's vast and represents complete freedom from gravity and all that... but it's dark as Hell—and definitely dangerous. This track emits more energy than the other tracks. It is more like a "battle theme" for Robo Boy. It represents his powerful, serious mode, which he hasn't mastered yet."


Exhibit 3 - CONCEPT: Who Is Robo Boy?

"The album title refers to the character on the cover, who represents a concept of a new fantasy world. In that world, Robo Boy is humanity's last hope. We, humans, didn't take care good of our planet and today, the very core of Earth is collapsing. It's only a matter of time before Earth becomes uninhabitable. We invested all of planet's remaining resources in technology and with that being said, we created a highly intelligent and skilled cyborg, with the aim to travel the stars and find us a new habitable planet. This cyborg is Robo Boy.

He is designed with the highest-end technology and combines the power and intelligence of machines, as well as feelings and emotions. In our world, Artificial Intelligence uses machine learning to mimic human intelligence. The "computer" has to learn how to respond to certain actions, so it uses algorithms and historical data to start making predictions.

In this fantasy world, Robo Boy is an offspring of the highest level of Artificial Intelligence, but still needs to go through a similar learning curve. So, in non-machine terminology, he is still a kid. A naive teenager, who hasn't yet realised how important his mission is and how he can properly use his powerful abilities.

This is where the story begins. A naive cyborg teenager, travelling the stars, trying to find a new habitable planet in order to save humanity from [extinction]. He is enthusiastic for his upcoming adventures, but unaware of the dangers that come with them."


Exhibit 4 - CONCEPT: Purpose & Meaning of The Story

"It's pretty simple: I combined climate crisis and technology in one fantasy world. Robo Boy represents a potential positive outcome of the evolution of technology in the future. He represents freedom and hope for a better tomorrow. If you want to rock with Robo Boy, apart from the fact that he is the sweetest little cyborg character yet created, it's, also, because you want to be part of a bright future for mankind and for our planet.

Nowadays is as crazy as it's ever been. There is just so much going on. There is so much debate on how technology will affect our lives, while Australia is burning for two years straight. Let's all hope for the best and strive to becoming the best versions of ourselves. Robo Boy symbolises this idea of good change."


EXhibit 5 - CONCEPT: How I Came Up with The Idea

"I moved to London [in] September 2018, when I was about to release my debut LP, Rusty Gate. My life changed dramatically. I moved to one of the great cities [in] the world. Fast-paced lifestyle, multi-culturalism, [and] high-end technology in everyday life in a career-oriented culture. As you can imagine, coming from Thessaloniki (Greece,) I found this transition quite overwhelming in the beginning. Working as a bartender in Central London (yup, pays the bills,) I come across hundreds of people every day, having all sorts of convos. It was easy to spot two of the most popular subjects of discussion: 1.) climate crisis and 2.) the rapid growth of technology. These two subjects, along with my ever-growing need to progress and expand my arsenal of skills, in regards to the arts, influenced Robo Boy greatly.

"Let's create a robot character," I thought. And make some pixelated music, to send out a message reminding us to be aware of our relationship with technology. Also, the climate crisis is really happening right now and this sucks majorly. With my new release I thought, I [wanted] to present a new character to the world, which, through, music and design, will represent this idea of a brighter future. The reason why I care so much about just three tracks—investing my time building on a solid concept and creating bespoke illustrations—is only because of the over-saturated market in Instrumental Hip-Hop. This release is a statement.

My mentor and great friend, Propo'88, showed me the true, real way of taking care of business, when it comes to music production, [and] paying for mixing and mastering, as well as investing in good cover art. I have to give him credit for that and, I believe, that this is how every artist should approach his or her work. That's what I tried to evoke by working on an entire concept for Robo Boy. Feedmyego mixed these tracks and [Ivo] Statinski mastered them. Both of these professionals are a pleasure to work with."

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Suicide Machines Re-emerge with Roger Lima-produced "Awkward Always" from First Album In 15 Years Revolution Spring (Fat Wreck Chords)

CREDIT: Mark Marfa Capodanno (Fat Wreck Chords)

Detroit-based Ska Punks The Suicide Machines were initially active for 15 years from 1991-2006 and remained disbanded for about three years before reuniting in 2009. They've been actively playing "reunion" shows ever since and at a gig with The Code in May 2018, announced they were currently working on a new record. "In December 2019, Fat Mike dropped a list of albums that were coming out in 2020. One of them was The Suicide Machines and today, we finally get to unveil the details!" read an exclamatory press release from Fat Wreck Chords. Said Suicide Machines album, Revolution Spring, has a street date of Friday, March 27, 2020 and yesterday, we were unexpectedly treated to its lead-off single, "Awkward Always." Revolution Spring was recorded in "about 12 days" at Recordo Rancho, a studio run by Marc Jacob Hudson, who currently plays bass for Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers. The Suicide Machines' line-up heard across Revolution Spring includes frontman Jason "Jay" Navarro, drummer Ryan Vandeberghe, bassist Rich Tschirhart, and guitarist Justin Malek. Oddly enough, Malek is/was, also, the drummer in Navarro's post-Suicide Machines band, Hellmouth, as well.


Revolution Spring was produced by Roger "Lima" Manganelli of Less Than Jake fame, along with The Code frontman Marc Code; Lima & Code painstakingly whittled down 30 new songs The Suicide Machines wrote and recorded over the last few years into the 16 tracks now featured across Revolution Spring. According to Fat Wreck Chords, Revolution Spring, the band's seventh studio album and first since 2005's War Profiteering Is Killing Us All, is "full of blistering, rousing songs [that] finds the band on truly explosive and energetic form." "This album is legitimately pretty autobiographical," Jay Navarro explains. "A lot of it is very personal–about how I am and where I am now and how I got where I am now mentally. I kind of wanted to leave my children with an understanding of who I am as an older person. Maybe, years from now, when I've passed away, they can pick up the record and look at the lyrics and listen to it and, if they didn't already know exactly, go "okay, so this is what dad is about,'" he continued. The Suicide Machines' new single, "Awkward Always," is now available on digital streaming services. Revolution Spring is currently available for pre-order directly from Fat Wreck Chords and will see a wide release on Friday, March 2, 2020.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Saudade Music Collective Recruit Lamb of God's D. Randall Blythe & Lee "Scratch" Perry for New Single "Lions" (Sargent House)


Saudade is a music collective from THolyGhost consisting of Chuck Doom, Dr. Know, Mackie Jayson, John Medeski, Gil Sharone, Robert Thomas, Jr. and David Torn. Together, Saudade's players have either recorded music or spent time playing with Deftones, Team Sleep, ††† (Crosses,) Bad Brains, Cro-Mags, Marilyn Manson, Medeski, Martin & Wood, David Bowie, Weather Report, Hazen Street, Madball, Palms, The Million Dollar Bashers, and more. Chuck Doom, who, seemingly, spearheads Saudade, by most accounts, is a protégé of legendary Jazzman/bassist, Jaco Pastorius. Saudade have, thus far, collaborated with a slew of part-time members across their releases to date, including Chris Bittner, D. Randall Blythe, Yeti Bones, Frank Maddocks, theOGM, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and Chelsea Wolfe. Saudade, initially, burst onto the scene in 2016 with the release of their debut self-titled single, which featured core members Chino Moreno, Chuck Doom, Dr. Know, John Medeski & Mackie Jayson, as BitTorrent-exclusive digital bundle. Saudade have since signed with Sargent House and released three digital singles throughout 2019: "Shadows & Light" with Chelsea Wolfe, "Crisis" and "Sanctuary Dub" with Hip-Hop/Hardcore Punk group, Ho99o9 (pronounced: "Horror.) Ho99o9 recently added ex-Black Flag drummer Brandon Pertzborn as their newest member.


Another new track, "MyGoalsBeyond," additionally, recently appeared on a 12-inch/digital EP for Shadows & Light / Sanctuary Dub, along with aforementioned "Crisis." Today, Saudade suddenly returned with a widely unannounced sixth digital single entitled "Lions;" this time, featuring a line-up consisting of Dr. Know, David Torn, John Medeski, Robert Thomas, Jr. Mackie Jayson & Chuck Doom, along with D. Randall Blythe & Lee "Scratch" Perry. Yes, that's "D. Randall Blythe" as in Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe filling in for Chino Moreno on "Lions" and sharing co-lead vocals with esteemed Reggae/Dub producer and Beastie Boys collaborator Lee "Scratch" Perry. Saudade have shared music videos for both "Lions" & "Sanctuary Dub," which are, essentially, eerie multi-media collages mixed with assorted behind-the-scenes/in-studio footage behind the making-of each respective track. It's currently unclear where "Lions" Feat. D. Randall Blythe & Lee "Scratch" Perry will ultimately end up... but it's currently streaming, via THolyGhost Recordings under exclusive license to Sargent House. Saudade's Shadows & Light / Sanctuary Dub 12-inch vinyl EP is now available through Sargent House, but limited to just 1,000 copies.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Durand Jones & The Indications Release Spot-on Cover of David Bowie's 1975 Philly Soul Single "Young Americans" (Dead Oceans)

Durand Jones & The Indications dressed as The Batmen (@voodoonola) 🎃

David Bowie once described his then-new album, Young Americans, as [being] "the definitive Plastic Soul record. It's the squashed remains of ethnic music, as it survives in the age of Muzak, written and sung by a White Limey" within an 1976 Playboy interview. Said terminology was previously used by Paul McCartney to describe The Beatles' 1965 album, Rubber Soul, as well as Bowie's most commercially-successful album, Let's Dance (1983.) David Bowie and producer, Tony Visconti, recorded Young Americans primarily in Philadelphia between August 1974 & January 1975 with a slew of local musicians; this including an early-career Luther Vandross, Sly & The Family Stone drummer Andy Newmark, Carlos Alomar (James Brown, Chuck Berry, Iggy Pop,) and later, John Lennon at secondary sessions in New York. "Young Americans," actually, interpolates the Lennon-sung line, "I heard the news today, oh boy!" from The Beatles' own deep album cut, "A Day In The Life," which originally appeared on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Although, not explicitly featured on "Young Americans," John Lennon did, however, contribute guitar and backing vocals to both his own "Across The Universe" and "Fame" elsewhere on Young Americans.


Now, nearly 45 years after its initial release, Neo-Soul revivalists Durand Jones & The Indications have released their own cover of David Bowie's "Young Americans" from his 1975 album of the same name. The Indications' core line-up consists of guitarist Blake Rhein, drummer Aaron Frazer, bassist Kyle Houpt, keyboardist, Steve Okonski, and, of course, namesake Durand Jones. Jones recently appeared on a yuletide vinyl-only cover of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas" with The Lions/Aggrolites super-group, The Night Owls. Durand Jones & The Indications have released two critically-acclaimed full-length albums, a self-titled 2016 album and its 2019 follow-up American Love Call, on Dead Oceans/Colemine Records. "Young Americans" is Durand Jones & The Indications' second stand-alone/non-album single since releasing American Love Call last year. It's currently unclear as to whether "Young Americans" and it's predecessor, "Cruisin' to The Park," will end up re-appearing on a new EP, full-length, or something similar from The Indications. For the most part, Durand Jones & The Indications' version retains the original Blue-eyed/Philadelphia Soul charm embodied throughout David Bowie's "Young Americans." Durand Jones & The Indications' "Young Americans" single is now available digitally through Dead Oceans.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Jumbled & Eben Dennis "Hit It Out of The Park" with CodyCodyJones, Sarah FM & Swampwalk-assisted ORSULAK EP (Harford Reckord Tapes)


We've been repping Jumbled AKA John Bachman here at The Witzard ever since his 2018 release, [I wish it was longer] or simply, WIWL. Self-described as "somewhere between Madlib & Mike Watt," the teacher, husband, father, beat-maker, dish-washer has been nothing short of productive these last four years. Bachman is a huge component in both the Baltimore and East Coast Hip-Hop music scenes and has, personally, been a great ally here at The Witzard. Jumbled has released action shots ep, The Ghost of Len Bias with UllNevaNo, THE INSULT with Dwell as Bully Preston, Merry Christmess, YOU DON'T KNOW?!, You Best Not Miss with Lace Berriez, Padre, and August Heat all on his own imprint, Harford & Reckord Tapes since WIWL. His latest effort, ORSULAK, definitely doesn't disappoint either; here, Jumbled has joined forces once more with his long-time friend and collaborator, Eben Dennis, for something that's a little more Mike Watt-leaning than his typical output. John Bachman was approached to create a Film Noir-style song for use in a film and soon reached out to Dennis to supply some guitar riffs for use as sample sources.


Lo and behold, said film was never, actually, released, but Jumbled managed to turn the 15-20 isolated guitar licks Eben Dennis sent into the nine tracks now featured on ORSULAK. Bachman & Dennis had previously collaborated on "Sam Adams" from [I wish it was longer], as well as a track for a Twin Peaks tribute album, and were/are in Baltimore-based Indie Rock band, Soft Peaks, together. ORSULAK is, of course, an homage to lesser-known baseball journeyman, Joe Orsulak, who played for both The Pittsburgh Pirates and The Baltimore Orioles. Jumbled & Eben Dennis reached out to a few friends for vocal embellishments: emcee CodyCodyJones from Pittsburgh, singer Sarah FM from Baltimore, and singer Swampwalk from Pittsburgh. Also, in tribute to Joe Orsulak's tenure with The Orioles & The Pirates, ORSULAK is available on a super-limited edition 8-inch lathe-cut vinyl available with either orange or yellow logo variants designed by salk. AKA clint. Nichols. There were only 15 total 8" lathes made and there are currently just EIGHT left on Jumbled's Bandcamp page. Jumbled & Eben Dennis' ORSULAK EP is currently only available on Bandcamp, but should be gong live on streaming services later this week.


"In Summer of 2018, Jumbled was approached about creating a Film Noir-style song for use in a film... so, he reached out to friend and old bandmate, guitarist, Eben Dennis. The two had collaborated on tracks before; including "Sam Adams" from Jumbled's first album, [I wish it was longer], creating a track for a Twin Peaks tribute album, and playing in Baltimore band, Soft Peaks. While the film never came out, Jumbled is proud to present a new project called ORSULAK (a nod to lesser-known baseball journeyman, Joe Orsulak.) Instead of collaborating on just one track, Dennis sent 15-20 isolated guitar tracks that Jumbled chopped up into these nine songs.

Adding some bass and other layers, he, then, reached out to a few friends for vocals. This is his first time adding sung vocals to his beats, working with Swampwalk & Sarah FM. While each take a different approach, both flow over the tracks. The final track on the EP, "Swing & A Miss," is another "home run" from Jumbled & CodyCodyJones. The performances from Swampwalk & CodyCodyJones (both living in Pittsburgh,) alongside Baltimore's Jumbled & Sarah FM, make a fitting tribute to Orsulak—who spent time with The Pirates, as well as The Baltimore Orioles."

- Jumbled (@NapalmDef) ⚾

Friday, January 24, 2020

Jay "J-Zone" Mumford Pens Liner Notes for The M-Tet's Just Announced Sophomore Album TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION (Funk Night Records)

CREDIT: Ivan Scruby/NOBL (@noblphotos)


"Growth is a slippery slope for musicians. Once you've become established for a sound and style, the expectation to adhere to what put you where you are looms overhead at every writing session, rehearsal, and show. Purists for Meters-style Funk would, probably, scoff at a band suddenly rolling out Yamaha DX-7's and double-neck guitars, no matter how stank the groove. But, then, there's the musician's inner itch for exploration, experimentation, and expansion that keeps the process that much more exciting at a time where most of us won't reach higher tax brackets through music. The incentive to keep going is growth. But, perhaps, the most difficult feat is straddling the line—to grow and build upon a trademark sound while managing to not alienate a core audience. Bay Area Funk quartet, The M-Tet, manage to pull off the ever elusive Option C on their sophomore long-player, TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION.

Lead single, "Gotta Be with You" kicks off the affair and after an opening drum break from Michael Reed—who was gracious enough to let me use his vintage Ludwig set on a recent gig I played with Ben Pirani's band and The M-Tet in Oakland—it's evident that The M-Tet has already expanded upon the late 60's era Booker T/Meters influence of their debut LP. The melodies are more polished and the production more elaborate, but without losing the grease. "You Should See The Other Guy," my personal favorite track on the album, incorporates a mean, driving shuffle, while Joe Baer Magnant's driving guitar tone and Gary Pitman's hair-raising chords evoke some of the grittier early 70's Blues-Rock in only a hair above two minutes. Speaking of Blues, "That Old Hammond Organ" introduces a slinky 12/8 groove ripe for a Soul soliloquy with Pitman conducting the sermon. "What's Left to Give" gives us sweetness with groove, while "Pinch Hitter" brings the horns—in particular the big baritone sax—to the party for a hip-shaking nod to the world of Dyke & The Blazers and a look at the band's wide range of Soul influences.

Fans of The M-Tet's debut (2017's Long Play) need not fret over the more varied terrain, though. They cover the reliable bread and butter Funk with syncopated, Hammond and guitar-driven nuggets, like "Katrin's Deli" and let Reed flex on the kit with the nasty second single, "Ray Ban, Pt. 2"—ripe with beautifully nerve-pinching guitar sound F/X recorded live to tape. But "VAMP, Oakland" manages to merge ol' reliable with something new: The M-Tet's trademark quartet Funk with layers of percussion, courtesy of Jungle Fire/Sure Fire Soul Ensemble's own Steve Haney.

Regardless of the variations in style, groove, and mojo, the driving force of the rhythm section is the glue that gives the virtuosity of Magnant & Pitman a nice canvas to throw down. Bassist Chris Lujan drives the bus, tastefully flexing when it fits, but never intruding on the groove, while Reed's right foot and left hand have a discussion that greasily (is that a word?) stitches it all together.

Overall, TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION is just that—a relentless ride through Funk & Soul that ebbs and flows though different influences, but never slows down. And an example of staying true to an overall aesthetic, without being a facsimile."

- Jay "J-Zone" Mumford (The Du-Rites)


The M-Tet's anxiously-awaited sophomore full-length, TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION, will see a wide release on Friday, March 13, 2020. It will, likely, be released across digital retailers, but physical vinyl copies are extremely limited to 500 LP's world-wide on Funk Night Records (Fnr.) The M-Tet's previously released 7-inch singles on Fnr will, also, re-appear here in part, as "Gotta Be with You," "VAMP, Oakland," "Ray Ban, Pt. 2," and an impassioned cover of Childish Gambino's Funk-drenched hit, "Redbone," are featured across TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION, as well. The M-Tet's members either are/were part of Majestic Soul, The Incredible Say Whats! Thelugknuckles, Chris Lujan & Electric Butter, Joe Baer Magnant Group, Secret Sidewalk, Gene Washington & The Sweet Sounds, and more. The M-Tet's TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION is now available for pre-order directly from Funk Night Records with a street date of Friday, March 13, 2020.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

With The Quickness #2: Descendents/ALL Artist Chris Shary Curates Playlist Full of 20 Punk Favorites (Exclusive Spotify Playlist)

"SUNNY & SHARY Beach Umbrella Rental" (Artist Unknown)

Chris Shary is a Descendents/ALL-affiliated artist, drama teacher, father, husband, dork, and self-described "Grade "A" [Certified] smarta$$." Shary has been scribblin' pictures of mostly Punk bands ever since 1988 and had a short-lived music career himself; making records with his own bands, Evel Knievel Rice, Pilot Car, and Sizewell, as well as performing back-up vocals on 7Seconds' Leave A Light On and Down By Law's Blue. While most well-known for his work with Descendents/ALL, Chris Shary has created album artwork, T-shirts, concert flyers, etc. for blink-182, The Dead Milkmen, The Dickies, FIELD DAY (ex-Dag Nasty,) The Germs, Good Riddance, The Queers, Redd Kross, Rise Against, and Teenage Bottlerockets. Chris Shary designed the artwork for Descendents' Cool to Be You, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, SpazzHazard 12-inch EP, and and "Feel This" 7-inch flexi-disc.


Shary, also, created the cover artwork for ALL's albums Mass Nerder, ALL, Problematic, and Live Plus One with Descendents. Chris Shary says he's, likely, designed hundreds of T-shirts for countless Punk bands since '88. It appears as though Shary was very recently drawn into an episode of FOX's beloved animated sitcom, Bob's Burgers. With The Quickness #2 features 20 tracks hand-selected by Chris Shary himself showcasing everyone from Black Flag to Swingin' Utters and even a "deep cut" from Desmond Dekker & The Aces from 1968! An assortment of Shary's hand-made goods and products are available to purchase directly from his Big Cartel store with an additional assortment of limited edition T-shirts available from Bifocal Media. I would strongly suggest Following Chris Shary (@chrisshary) on Instagram, if you don't already, as his Punk-themed posts are well worth your while!


CHRIS SHARY'S "WITH THE QUICKNESS" PLAYLIST (TRACKLIST)

01. Black Flag - "Rise Above" from Damaged (1981)

02. Snuff - "Hey, Boff!" from There's A Lot of It About (2019)

03. Swingin' Utters - "Undertaker, Undertake" from Peace & Love (2018)

04. The Damned - "Love Song" from Machine Gun Etiquette (1979)

05. Redd Kross - "Jone Hoople" from Beyond The Door (2019)

06. Groovie Ghoulies - "Chupacabra" from Go! Stories (2002)

07. Madness - "Bullingdon Boys" Non-Album Single (2019)

08. Desmond Dekker & The Aces - "Israelites" from Intensified (1968)

09. L7 - "Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago" Non-Album Single (2017)

10. Gameface - "I Owe You One" Non-Album Single (2019)

11. The Lillingstons - "Night Visions" from Stella Sapiente (2017)

12. The Slits - "Typical Girls" from Cut (1979)

13. Meat Puppets - "Nine Pins" from Dusty Notes (2019)

14. SHARP/SHOCK - "Superficial" from Youth Club (2018)

15. Jawbreaker - "The Boat Dreams from The Hill" from 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (1994)

16. Fireburn - "Controller" from Shine EP (2018)

17. PEARS - "Green Star" from Green Star (2016)

18. Direct Hit! - "Blood On Your Tongue" from Human Movement with PEARS (2017)

19. 7Seconds - "Satyagraha" from Soulforce Revolution (1989)

20. Masked Intruder - "Please, Come Back to Me" from III (2019)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Richmond, Virginia Hardcore Punks Ghouli Return with Debut EP NOTHING with Bob Quirk (Doctor & Mechanic Recordings)



Ghouli are a macabre-inspired Richmond, Virginia-based Hardcore Punk band, who just released their debut EP, NOTHING, earlier this morning. We, actually, first learned about Ghouli last week, when Stereogum Senior Editor, Tom Breihan, posted the first installment of his new Let The Roundup Begin: The Month In Hardcore - January 2020 column. Ghouli hail from an area that boasts a decades-long pedigree of great Punk/Hardcore bands, which includes newcomers One Step Closer, CANDY, Break Away, NOSEBLEED, Division of Mind, Red Vision, and Left Cross. Ghouli were formed in early 2018 and their current line-up consists of frontwoman Sam Poe, guitarist Mikey Kent, bassist Ethan Mackenzie, and drummer Eric Kelly, including former members of Hold Tight, Radio Reds, and Teen Death. Mikey Kent recently told The Witzard, via email, that Ghouli are "heavily influenced by 80's Hardcore bands, like T.S.O.L. & Poison Idea, old school Death Rock, like Christian Death, and 2000's bands, like Government Warning, Direct Control & F*CKED UP."


NOTHING is Ghouli's proper follow-up to their self-released 2018 Demo. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Bob Quirk—who has previously worked with Iron Reagan, Fried Egg, left Cross, and Haircut—during Summer 2019 at Ground Up Studio. According to Discogs, Quirk, also, recorded, mixed, and mastered Ghouli's 2018 self-titled Demo EP. Much like its predecessor, NOTHING was self-released digitally on Ghouli's Bandcamp page with clear red-hinted cassettes available from Orlando, Florida-based imprint, Doctor & Mechanic Recordings AKA DAM Recordings. With six frantic tracks clocking in at just under 13 minutes, NOTHING is a guttural "punch" to the head, reminiscent of Black Flag's 1981 full-length debut, Damaged cover image. Ghouli's upcoming gigs include 1/22: Richmond, Virginia (RVA) with Lipid & Iron Cages at VSC and 2/7: Norfolk, Virginia with Bato at Studio 239B. Ghouli's NOTHING EP is now available on digital streaming platforms, as well as the aforementioned cassette tapes, via Doctor & Mechanic Recordings.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

"More Than Toast" Re-mastered Single/Flexi-disc from Mtx forever: A HISTORY OF THE CONCEPT OF THE MR. T EXPERIENCE (Sounds Rad!)


The Mr. T Experience (oftentimes, abbreviated as "MTX") are a long-standing Punk Rock/Pop-Punk establishment hailing from Berkeley, California. MTX have been active ever since 1985 and are a product of the same local "scene" as The Donnas/Electrocutes, Green Day, Jawbreaker, NOFX, Operation Ivy, Rancid, and Tilt. They, also, share stylistic similarities with other bands not native to The Bay Area, who are, often, closely associated with this movement, such as The Queers, Screeching Weasel, and The Groovie Ghoulies. MTX's unique sound is, additionally, characterized by a heavy Ramones-ian influence and they even went as far as to cover 1978's Road to Ruin in full, as part of Selfless/Clearview Records' Ramones Covers Album Series. MTX were mainstays at iconic Punk/Hardcore club, 924 Gilman Street/Gilman during the 1990-2000's and were signed to Lookout! Records 'til about 2004. The Mr. T Experience's current line-up consists of "Dr." Frank Portman, Ted Angel, Bobby "J" Jordan, and Jaz Brown. Trusty fans of The Witzard may know MTX from their appearance on 1996 comp. Generations I: A Punk Look At Human Rights, which was covered, here, as part of the eighth and final(?) installment of John Swan III's beloved Various Artists: How Compilations Influenced A Generation column.

MUSIC VIDEO CREATED BY: Madeline Brownley "on her dad's phone"

While it's not exactly "new" material, The Mr. T Experience have returned at the top of 2020 with quite a few exciting announcements in tow for both long-time and newfound fans: a special 5x7" Valentine's Day flexi-disc version of "More Than Toast," a career-spanning 24-song 2xLP entitled Mtx forever: A HISTORY OF THE CONCEPT OF THE MR. T EXPERIENCE, and a couple new seasonally-appropriate T-shirt designs. Said 5x7" "audible valentine" features a newly re-mastered version of "More Than Toast" from 1994's Our Bodies Our Selves. It will, also, be featured on Mtx forever, along with an assortment of 23 additional greatest hits, fan favorites, and deep cuts from across The Mr. T Experience's 30-year catalog. MTX's "More Than Toast" flexi-disc/valentine is currently available for pre-order directly from Sounds Rad! along with either a CANDY HEARTS T-SHIRT or "SONGS ABOUT GIRLS" T-SHIRT. As of 1/20/10, members of Sounds Rad!/MTX's Mailing List will have received a special "Dibs! List" email invite, letting them sign up for a special Dibs!-only pre-pre-order version of Mtx forever. It's further explained as a "limited [edition] first pressing LP on 180-gram lavender vinyl with a large-format poster shipped in a super-Rad custom shipping box" that's limited to just 300 packages. Dibs! List pre-orders will go live on Valentine's Day and are expected to start shipping by or before March 2, 2020. Mtx forever: A HISTORY OF THE CONCEPT OF THE MR. T EXPERIENCE will, then, see a wide release on Friday, March 13, 2020.


Mtx forever 2xLP Tracklist:

SIDE A

01. "Love American Style"
02. "More Than Toast"
03. "I Believe In You"
04. "Hell of Dumb"
05. "Naomi"
06. "Deep Deep Down"


SIDE B

07. "She's Coming (Over Tonight)"
08. "Dumb Little Band"
09. "The End of The Ramones"
10. "Oh, Just Have Some Faith In Me"
11. "Even H*tler Had A Girlfriend"


SIDE C

01. "Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba"
02. "Book of Reverberation"
03. "I Wrote A Book About Rock & Roll"
04. "The History of The Concept of The Soul"
05. "F**ked Up On Life"
06. "I Don't Need You Now"


SIDE D

07. "Swallow Everything"
08. "I Fell for You"
09. "Zero"
10. "...And I Will Be with You"
11. "Leave The Thinking to The Smart People"
12. "London"

Friday, January 17, 2020

Four Year Strong Return with "Talking Myself In Circles" & "Brain Pain" from Upcoming Album BRAIN PAIN (Pure Noise Records)

CREDIT: Lupe Bustos (Big Picture Media)

Worcester, Massachusetts-based Melodic Hardcore/Pop-Punk band Four Year Strong have finally returned with the announcement of their long-awaited fifth full-length album BRAIN PAIN, produced by Will Putney. Fans have been eagerly awaiting a proper follow-up to Four Year Strong's self-titled 2015 album, which was "followed-up" by a 2017 Odds & Ends-style compilation called Some of You Will Like This, Some of You Won't. Four Year Strong consists of vocalist/guitarists Dan O'Connor & Alan Day, bassist Joe Weiss, and drummer Jackson "Jake" Massucco. To be completely honest, I had never heard of Four Year Strong (FYS) 'til the other day, when my buddy at work casually mentioned "Four Year Strong had a new single out;" it soon clicked that I vaguely recognized the name "Four Year Strong" because I had received an email earlier that very same morning from a press agent at Big Picture Media. Come to find out, once I checked my email again, Four Year Strong had not only released ONE, but TWO new songs that fateful day!


Going into this completely blindly... I really didn't know what to expect, aside from the fact that FYS' label, Pure Noise Records, had recently released super-strong efforts from the likes of Bayside, Senses Fail, Microwave, Selfish Things, Save Face/Graduating Life, and Hawthorne Heights, yes, THAT Hawthorne Heights. Needless to say, I was extremely impressed by the overall sound, style, and feel of Four Year Strong's "Talking Myself In Circles" and "Brain Pain." Especially, lead-off single, "Talking Myself In Circles," which has, additionally, received an accompanying music video. It's a rather chilling, yet great video that, somehow, falls somewhere in-between Marilyn Mason's gut-wrenching early 2000's visuals and OK Go's unique brand of stop-motion/single-shot trickery. Also, major shout-out to drummer Jackson "Jake" Massucco for sporting a Gang Starr T-shirt throughout "Talking Myself In Circles." Four Year Strong's fifth studio album, BRAIN PAIN, will be released Friday, February 28, 2020 on Pure Noise Records. Four Year Strong's "Talking Myself In Circles" & "Brain Pain" are now available on your digital streaming platform of choice.