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Year-end Guest Post: Philly Post-hardcore Band AMORA Share Their Favorite Albums & Singles of 2022 (Heading East Records)

AM0RA 2022 press shot (CREDIT: Nicky Fechtmuller) It's funny how things work out sometimes. My friend, Omarey, and I went to a The Color Fred Bend to Break 15-year Anniversary Show at Underground Arts in Philly back in mid-November. Both long-time fans of Fred Mascherino (ex-Taking Back Sunday, Breaking Pangaea) and going primarily for his not one, but TWO bands on the bill—his current band, The Color Fred, and long-defunct super-group Terrible Thing's first show in 11 years—we admittedly didn't know any of the other bands on the night's bill. We got there early and got some beers and Liquid Deaths before the show started. Omarey & I were treated to an impromptu one-song solo set from Liam Frost from Oceans In The Sky, who is signed to Fred's recently-launched label imprint, Heading East Records . Next up were openers AMORA, whom I had never heard of before, but we're f***ing fantastic! See, this is why you must trust the musical tastes and overall judgem

Sonic Stocking Stuffer: Mutually Assured Destruction's Ace Stallings Describes The Making-of Break Away's 2017 A Straight Edge X-Mas EP (Edgewood Records)

Break Away's A Straight Edge X-Mas EP cover shoot out-take (SOURCE: Ace Stallings) Break Away was a Richmond, Virginia-based Straight Edge/Youth Crew Hardcore band active from 2010-19. Break Away's primary line-up consisted of vocalist Ace Stallings, drummer Sam Deyerle, guitarists Shane Legano & Dewey "Dewey Zei" Seigler, and bassist Eric Hoyt. Break Away's members played with or would go on to, eventually, make music with BOXER, C.C.P., Cast Aside, Dead Beat, Dead Serious, Hate O Four, Mutually Assured Destruction, No Other Way, Sentinel , Shattered Xistence, Tempter, and Tough Luck. Although, Break Away broke up in 2019, we recently saw Ace "Lurch" Stallings (@AceXEdge)—who is in Mutually Assured Destruction and Sentinel, was once a member of C.C.P., and is involved with Big Takeover Festival, the Forum of Passion Podcast, and Richmond's own Raven Records—Respond, "Tis the f***in' season," to a Tweet by Spooky Daniels (@Ba

All-around Breakdown: Take Today's Joseph M. Edwards Breaks Down New Communiques Vinyl LP Re-packaging (Pedal Boy Records)

Take Today, L-R: Mark Bancroft, Emily Reed, Joseph M. Edwards, and Donald Bush pictured with Communiques LP's (SOURCE: Instagram) Take Today formed in the early 2000's (2003, to be exact) after the demise of a previous project, Empty Handed NJ . Take Today's current line-up consists of vocalist/guitarist Joseph M. Edwards, bassist/vocalist Emily Reed, guitarist/vocalist Mark Bancroft, and drummer Donald "Don" Bush. They're from Southern New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia. Although, Take Today's Bandcamp page readily lists their "hometown" as Burlington, NJ. Take Today released Communiques, Volume One as a trio including Joseph, Emily & Don in 2014 and followed it up with Communiques, Volume Two as a quartet in 2021. Back in early November, Take Today combined Communiques, Volumes One/Two as one cohesive "album"-length release containing the original seven songs, plus, three additional bonus tracks

All-around Breakdown: Stan Ipcus Discusses The History Behind The Beats & Rhymes On Best of Max Bent & Stan Ipcus - He's The Beatboxer, I'm The Rapper (Props Kid Records)

Hell yes, believe it or not (oh, you better believe it!) beatboxing is still alive and well in 2022. If you don't believe us, go check out The Best of Max Bent & Stan Ipcus: He's The Beatboxer, I'm The Rapper. It's a sprawling nine-track collection that spans 25 years of organic D.I.Y. beats and rhymes collaborative efforts between two life-long friends, Stan Ipcus & Max B. Human Beatboxer Max Bent and seasoned emcee Stan Ipcus have been performing and recording together since the late 90's when they were both students and aspiring musicians at The University of Maryland (UMD.) They, literally, met on-air in 1998 during a live freestyle session broadcast on college radio station, WMUC, when Max was beatboxing for a room full of rappers and Stan Ipcus stepped up to the mic to flex his skills. The audio recording of that WMUC moment—plus, eight other Max Bent & Stan Ipcus beatbox/emcee collaborations spanning almost 25 years—is included on this new Bes

All-around Breakdown: Former Glass Jaw Guitarist Nick Yulico Discusses Debut EP from New Band 10 Minute Major with Fellow LIHC Vets (self-released)

10 Minute Major live at The Kingsland - Brookylyn, NY (CREDIT: Bella Bennett @rand0mbella) 10 Minute Major is a new Alternative Rock, Post-hardcore, and Indie Rock-leaning band hailing from Huntington, New York consisting of four seasoned Punk/Hardcore vets. 10 Minute Major's current line-up is vocalist/guitarist Nick Yulico, guitarist/backing vocalist Eric Perry, bassist Bart Ostrowski, and drummer Pete Figoni. Amongst them, these Long Island Hardcore cats have spent time making and playing music with Glass Jaw (an early iternation of Glassjaw,) The 2 Minutes Hate, and Breadless Circus. We've been keeping an eye on 10 Minutes Major (@10minutemajorband)'s Instagram, as well as members Nick Yulico (@nickyulico,) Eric Perry (@kimjongmfdoomm,) and Bartholomew "Bart" Ostrowski (@strauss_thall)'s personal pages for quite a few months now. Actually, back in February, 10 Minute Major quietly released a single called "Everyone Lies" exclusively on their

Titus Andronicus Slide Down Your Chimney with Festive Offering "Drummer Boy" Interpolating Billy Joel's "Piano Man" (Merge Records)

Titus Andronicus, L-R: R.J. Gordon, Patrick "Paddy Stacks" Stickles, Chris "Big Steve" Wilson & Liam "The Younger" Betson (SOURCE: Big Hassle) Not entirely unlike Bob Dylan and/or Bing Crosby & David Bowie long before them, New Jersey's own Heartland Rock stalwarts Titus Andronicus are cranking up the festive mood yet another notch with the release of their first-ever stand-alone holiday single, "Drummer Boy." Having released one of the year's most celebrated Rock albums with The Will to Live and dazzled ecstatic fans across America, Titus Andronicus have much to celebrate. Plus, they're sharing plans to ring in The New Year with additional tour dates across The United States, Canada, The United Kingdom, and Ireland. "Drummer Boy" lifts the musical components from Billy Joel's timeless 1973 anthem, "Piano Man," and retrofits it to tell The Nativity Story from the perspective of "The Little Dru

One Step Closer Share New Song "Dark Blue" Ahead of 2023 Tours Across Japan, Southeast Asia & Australia (Run for Cover Records)

One Step Closer (CREDIT: Spencer Chamberlain) Ahead of an expansive 20-date cross-continental tour, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania's own One Step Closer have shared their first new single since their 2021 full-length, This Place You Know . "Dark Blue" finds One Step Closer leaning into the most Melodic Hardcore/Emo elements of their sound without sacrificing an ounce of energy we know and love them for. The song launches into a towering chorus that pushes the band into even more anthemic territory and offers hints at new potential directions in their sound. "Dark Blue" is the start of a compelling new chapter for One Step Closer and listeners should keep an eye out for more from the band in 2023. The group will be on tour for most of the winter with upcoming shows in the US, Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan, and more through 2022-23. "Earlier this year while driving through The Pacific [Northwest], I was struggling with how much we were about to be touring t

Melodic Pop-punks GAMETIME Share New Single "Just Start" Featuring Peter Munters of Runner Runner & Over It (Gametime Music)

GAMETIME L-R: Kyle Devlin, Nick Pickrell, and Gabriel Hancock (SOURCE: Kyle Devlin) Kansas City, Missouri's own GAMETIME have released another new single after reuniting at the end of 2021. The Melodic Pop-punk band was initially only active from 2002-04. GAMETIME's recorded output from their initial two-year stint as a band includes a self-released self-titled EP from 2002 and Let The Games Begin released on Minor League Recordings. Both EP's were later re-collected and re-released together as a 12-track version of Let The Games Begin now appearing on streaming services. Swedish imprint A Song In My Heart Records issued their own even more expansive 22-track compilation simply dubbed Gametime in 2019; it boasts selections from GAMAETIME and Let The Games Begin, as well as tracks that originally appeared on various compilations, assorted demo recordings from different sessions, and two previosuly unreleased acoustic cuts. GAMETIME's latest single, "Just Sta

Sulu & Excelsior Share First Single & Official Lyric/Music Video for "Run & Hide" from Upcoming Third Album So Ends The Honeymoon (Slow Jam King Productions)

Sulu & Excelsior "Run & Hide" video still (SOURCE: Steven E. Mallorca) Long-time friend, collaborator, and one of our favorite artists here at The Witzard, Steven "Steve" E. Mallorca AKA Sulu has returned with the first single from his latest solo project/band, Sulu & Excelsior's third album, So Ends The Honeymoon. "Run & Hide" is the first piece of the musical puzzle that will soon be revealed to be So Ends The Honeymoon and So Ends The Honeymoon is the final album in a what has become a three-part sonic trilogy; directly preceeded by The AntiMatter Suite (2019) and E ddie Romero (2016.) In-between Eddie Romero/The AntiMatter Suite and So Ends The Honeymoon, Sulu has graciosuly gifted us a couple non-canon projects including 2017's "The Over Under" holiday single, Refinished (Remix Album) featuring new, slightly updated versions of all of your favorites from both Eddie Romero & The AntiMatter Suite, and XLCR Ins

The Sound of Animals Fighting Share First Song In 15 Years with "Apesh*t" from Forthcoming APESH*T EP (Born Losers Records)

The Sound of Animals Fighting (CREDIT: Porter McKnight) The incubation is complete; re-emerging from the dank ooze of the early 2020's, The Sound of Animals Fighting (T.S.O.A.F.) returns with their new EP, APESH*T, their fourth release and first new music in 15 years. "APESH*T is equal parts renewal and the culmination of all that came before. A revival of spirit while maintaining the integrity of the key ingredients and processes that have always made this project a rewarding outlet for us. It is our best work," says The Nightingale. Masked Rock collective The Sound of Animals Fighting started in 2004. Core members The Nightingale AKA Rich Balling (Hospital Gown, ex-RX Bandits,) The Skunk AKA Anthony Green (Saosin, Circa Survive, F**kin' Whatever, L.S. Dunes,) The Walrus AKA Matthew "Matt" Embree (RX Bandits, Biceratops,) The Lynx AKA Chris Tsagakis (RX Bandits, Technology,) and a super-mysterious character known only as The Koala... APESHIT by The Sou

ALL/Drag The River Frontman & Armchair Martian Bassist Chad Price Discusses A Vulture Wake's New Album One.Kingdom.Animal (The Witzard Interview)

Bloomington, Indiana's genre-eschewing own A Vulture Wake (A.V.W.) recently unleashed their second EP of the year! Animal is a progressive powerhouse of hooks and riffs—five songs continuing the band's ongoing movement to "Do No Harm; Take No Sh*t," while taking aim at the powers that be, inner demons, and a bleak future on this dying planet. A.V.W. now offers solutions to the issues raised in their previous releases—commit violence, give in, leave the planet, sleep? The choice is ours. Animal follows the critically-acclaimed and fan-embraced Kingdom EP—also, produced, engineered, and mixed by Mike Kennerty (The All-American Rejects, Direct Hit!, These Enzymes.) Just this past Friday, both the Animal EP and its predecessor, Kingdom, were collectively packaged together as the 11-track One.Kingdom.Animal album. Available on colored vinyl through Thousand Islands Records and limited to 500 LP's, it comes with a lyric sheet insert and black inner-sleeve and featur

All-around Breakdown: Little Low's Christine Atturio & Mike Assatly Take Us Through The Making-of Reasons to Grow EP (Wiretap Records)

Little Low, L-R: Mike Assatly, Eric Pocock, Christine Atturio, and Kris Moya (SOURCE: Facebook) Little Low hails from The Bay Area, formed by guitarist and vocalist Christine Atturio (Save Ends,) drummer Mike Assatly (Spirits, BearTrap,) guitarist Eric Pocock ( Discourage ,) and bassist/vocalist Kris Moya (Jabber, Long Knives.) While we would attest Little Low sound something like a musical menagerie falling somewhere in-between Paramore, Weezer, and Cults, yes, their members have collectively played with Punk/Hardcore greats BearTrap, Discourage, and Long Knives. Originally started as a solo project in Boston by Atturio, Little Low released a self-titled EP of acoustic songs in 2020. After a move across the country in 2021 and missing the comradery of a full band, Atturio & Assatly asked Pocock & Moya to join and Little Low was born anew. With each member bringing their unique set of musical chops to the table, Little Low melds together driving Hardcore drums, sparkly Em

"You Crazy for This One, Steve:" Steve Aoki Shares Taking Back Sunday "Cute Without The "E" (Ziri)" Remix from HiROQUEST Remixes (Dim Mak Records)

"Just Us Two" video shoot, L-R: Steve Aoki with Taking Back Sunday's Shaun Cooper, Adam Lazzara, Mark O'Connell and John Nolan (SOURCE: Hai-Online.com) So, yesterday afternoon, we saw a post from former Taking Back Sunday (TBS) rhythm guitarist and founding member Eddie Reyes on Facebook , which explained, "Hey, guys, go check out the remix Steve Aoki did for this old jam; it's pretty cool. I was [a part] of something special that I still love, respect, and deeply miss very much. Proud of the dudes and thanks for the opportunity to be a part of something special." So, then, we did a little digging and digital sleuthing and soon, stumbled upon Taking Back Sunday's "Cute Wihtout The "E" (Ziri)" (Steve Aoki Remix.) Aoki has remixed Emo/Punk Rock mega-hit, "Cute Without The "E" (Cut from The Team)" from TBS' 2002 debut full-length, Tell All Your Friends . It appears as though "Cute Without The "E&qu