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Showing posts from March, 2022

Sulu & Excelsior Shares New Song "A Penny for You" for 2022 NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest Submission (Slow Jam King Productions)

We just recieved an email blast from our old friend, multi-instrumentalist/rapper/singer, director/editor/engineer/mixer, etc. and modern day Renaissance Man Steve "Sulu" Mallorca. Steve is a de facto one-man band operating, recording, and performing as Sulu & Excelsior (XLCR) since about 2016. Sulu & XLCR have since released two full-length albums, Eddie Romero (2016) and The AntiMatter Suite (2019) both of which we personally enjoyed and covered at length here at The Witzard. Additionally, through COVID-19 restrictions and Pandemic-related Lockdowns Sulu has recorded and released two Bandcamp-exclusive albums, as well, for various Bandcamp Friday festivities: 2020's Refinished (Remix Album) and XLCR Instrumentals (Instrumental Remix Album.) Now, Sulu & Excelsior have returned once more to share their annual NPR Tiny Desk Contest submission. If we're counting correctly, this will be Sulu's FIFTH Tiny Desk Contest submission (come on, guys, aw

"What's The Time? It's Time to Get ILL:" ILL COMMUNICATION Share Rhythms & Rhymes for The End Times EP (Safe Inside Records)

ILL COMMUNICATION (CREDIT: Matt Welch) ILL COMMUNICATION started as a few friends from the Oxnard & Tehachapi Hardcore scenes who had talked about making music together for over 15 years. After playing and touring across North America & Europe in bands such as THE WARRIORS, Diehard Youth, NO MOTIV, Retaliate, and Gravemaker, they named the band (after the Beastie Boys,) wrote some music, and started playing out. Soon after, they recorded two EP's that where released online, as well as a one-sided 12-inch on Another City Records. All their releases have been and will be written, recorded, and engineered by a core group of friends. Musically pulling from classic Hardcore bands such as Beyond, Turning Point, and Inside Out, as well as well as mix of other musical styles. Rhythms & Rhymes for the End Times by ILL COMMUNICATION Lyrically addressing a variety of topics from the state of the world to chillin' out with friends; ILL COMMUNICATION has been known to gi

3 Feet High & Rising: SEMANTICS Return with Single "Get In The Car" & Announce New Album Paint Me Blue (SideOneDummy Records)

SEMANTICS pictured with their touring guitarist (CREDIT: Harley Jones) Cathartic and emotive Australian Post-punk group SEMANTICS has signed to prominent Los Angeles-based Indie label SideOneDummy Records (Flogging Molly, The Gaslight Anthem, KILL YOUR IDOLS) for the release of their debut album, Paint Me Blue, which is due out across the world this May. In addition, the band unveiled their anthemic and infectious lead single, "Get In The Car," as well as the music video. Also, limited edition vinyl is now available for pre-order. Paint Me Blue was produced by GRAMMY-nominated producer Jack Shirley (Gouge Away, Joyce Manor, Tony Molina) and showcases their mastery of Punk & Indie sensibilities with a distinctive Aussie flair. Lyrically, the band delves into mental illness and environmental depression. "Each song is discussing a facet of life as a young Australian in today's world, whether it's juggling work with study, opening a dialogue about mental healt

The Hold Steady Frontman Craig Finn Announces New Solo Album A Legacy of Rentals; Shares First Single "Messing with The Settings" (Positive Jams/Thirty Tigers)

Craig Finn (CREDIT: D. James Goodwin) Craig Finn has announced the release of his eagerly-awaited new album. The Hold Steady frontman's fifth solo LP, A Legacy of Rentals, arrives on CD and digital download, via Positive Jams/Thirty Tigers this May. The album will be available in several formats, including CD, standard vinyl, and limited-edition white vinyl (online orders only.) Both physical pre-orders and digital pre-Saves are available now. A Legacy of Rentals was largely written during the heaviness of 2020, in the shadow of The Pandemic and the George Floyd murder that tragically occurred in Finn's hometown of Minneapolis. Recorded in May 2021 with Finn's long-time collaborators, producer Josh Kaufman and engineer D. James Goodwin, A Legacy of Rentals is heralded by the first song, "Messing with The Settings," available today on all digital streaming platforms. An exclusive album trailer, also, titled A Legacy of Rentails, is available now, as well. &q

Former Punk/Hardcore Frontman, Podcaster & Stand-up Comedian Neil Rubenstein Discusses Career Ahead of Motion City Soundtrack Tour (The Witzard Interview)

Neil Rubenstein's "headshots" (CREDIT: Ryan Brook) Neil Rubenstein has worn many hats throughout his career: musician, frontman, talent manager, pick-up baseball player, label co-owner, tour manager, podcaster, reviewer/critic, and stand-up comedian. Rubenstein was once a member of Punk/Hardcore bands Irony of Lightfoot, Sons of Abraham, Tetsuo, These Enzymes, and thisyearsmodel. He acted as tour manager for Motion City Soundtrack, Kittie, and RIVAL SCHOOLS and briefly operated his own artist management agency, Sons Modern. Neil Rubenstein co-owned, operated, and revived Fadeaway Records along with fellow Long Islander, scene photographer, and long-time friend Michael Dubin. Fadeaway issued note-worthy releases from The Movielife, Brand New / Safety In Numbers, a split from Rubenstein's own thisyearsmodel & Hot Rod Circuit, Kevin Devine's The Miracle of '86, and a 2017 compilation EP entitled Between The Bars (The Songs of Elliott Smith.) Neil Ruben

The Drowns Share First Single "Live Like Yer Dyin'" from Upcoming 1950's Rock "N" Roll-influenced Lunatics EP (Pirates Press Records)

The Drowns Live - CREDIT: Trude Gilman ( Our favorite raucous Rock "N" Rollers from the Pacific Northwest, The Drowns , have announced their new EP, Lunatics, and released a video for the first single, "Live Like Yer Dyin.'" Lunatics is the follow-up to the band's recently-released 7-inch, "Know Who You Are," and their previous full-length, Under Tension. For Lunatics, The Drowns once again got back into the studio with producer Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys, The Bouncing Souls) to re-capture the magic they created for Under Tension. "'Live Like Yer Dyin'" is my love for Little Richard in one song. It gets up and goes, right from the first beat. Pure and simple Rock "N" Roll, lightning in a bottle," says frontman Rev. Lunatics showcases incredible growth in The Drowns' song-writing—revealing an array of influences the band has not showcased in their prior releases.

D.C. Melodic Hardcore Five-piece Praise Return with "All In A Dream" from Upcoming Album All In A Dream (Revelation Records)

Beneath every blast of feral Hardcore is a sense of melody—not a three-part harmony or earworm hook, but the right mix of pace, phrasing, and a heap of intangible passion. Formed as a five-piece unit in the Greater D.C. area, Praise's mission statement has been to work within the box of traditional Hardcore while exploring the bounds of melody in every possible sense. This means more than splicing power-chords with catchy accents, but rather, mining the work of the masters inside and outside of the genre and immersing themselves in the roots of those who changed Hardcore's sound and boundaries; but it doesn't just stop there. Along with their love of the rich history of Washington, D.C. Hardcore Punk, Praise's sound darts and dashes through scenes, decades, and genres, united by the core tenets of a catchy song and the impulse to deliver a message. From 80's Minneapolis Power Pop and Dag Nasty to The Cure & Leatherface, along with sprinkles and nods to t

PURE HEEL Return with Super-limited Edition Lathe-cut Picture Disc 7-inch Single & Music Video "Rockin' In The Free World" (Irish Voodoo Records)

It should be no secret by now that Buffalo Wrestle-core bruisers PURE HEEL are one of our favorite rising Punk/Hardcore-adjacent bands here at The Witzard. HEEL's current line-up consists of Eric Borawski AKA Doughy Ramone AKA Sweaty Vedder AKA Thick Neilsen AKA Bad Borawski, Jay Galvin AKA Captain Annoying, Jesse Muscato AKA The Claw, Rob Ohlenschlager AKA The Boy, and Joey Simmen AKA The Mangler. Amongst them, PURE HEEL's members have collectively spent time playing with The Bonesaw Romance, Buried Alive, Despair, Ghosts of War, Heavy Hearted, Kid Gorgeous, Lewd Dwedz Phased Out, P*ssing Match, Slugfest, Worse Things, and Wreckage. PURE HEEL have been together since 2016 and started dropping music online with Demo '16, soon followed up by King Kong Bundy EP (2017,) and Crime Spree (2019) all self-released on their Bandcamp page. PURE HEEL signed with Fullerton, California-based Irish Voodoo Records in 2020 and shortly dropped a self-titled 2-track lathe-cut/digi

The Roughneck Riot Bassist, Guitarist & Background Vocalist Ryan Taylor Talks New Album Burn It to The Ground (The Witzard Interview)

The Roughneck Riot - CREDIT: Jim Taylor (@jimtaylorphoto) The Roughneck Riot have recently unveiled their forth studio album, Burn It to The Ground, on SBÄM Records . The Folk-Punks from Warrington, UK shared their debut release, Night Train with The Reaper , self-released in 2010. Since then, this band of highly talented musicians have become Folk-Punk legends. Armed with banjos, mandolins, an accordion, and, of course, guitar, bass, and drums, they are often mentioned in the same breath as greats, like Flogging Molly & Dropkick Murphys. When it comes to The Roughneck Riot, a political and socially-critical message and the passion for Punk Rock are, clearly, the mission first and foremost. The Roughneck Riot are without a doubt anti-Fascist and anti-"d*ckhead" (but aren't we all?) who believe International solidarity is more important now than ever. Burn It to The Ground is an album born out of what the band calls a "post-Brexit Apocalypse" that takes t

Chinese Burns Unit Share Animated Music Video for "Buffalo Chocolate" from Borrowed Gear Ahead of Australian Tour Dates with The Meanies

Sydney, Australia-based Pop-punk (or xKVLT POP PVNKx) band Chinese Burns Unit returned late last year with their new album. Borrowed Gear was unleasehd just in time for one of the last Bandcamp Fridays of 2021. Glenn "Glenno" Smith is an artist, guitarist, bassist, vocalist, and the primary driving force behind Chinese Burns Unit (C.B.U.) They're about to play a few shows in support of The Meanies—March 31st at The Lansdowne , in New South Wales, Australia and the following day (April Fools' Day,) at Manly Leagues , also, in Sydney. In support of The Meanies' "Better Late Than Never" Desperate Measures Tour, Chinese Burns Unit have released a music video for "Buffalo Chocolate" dubbed "the first single" (if that was the game they played) from their newest album, Borrowed Gear. "Whilst in the North of Vietnam, Gina and myself were kindly taken to a village near [Sa Pa] by a wonderful woman called Big Pan. She told us the s

BE WELL Share New "Treadless" Single & Music Video, Announce Hello Sun EP & Upcoming Tour Dates (Revelation/End Hits Records)

BE WELL L-R: Peter Tsouras, Aaron Dalbec, Shane Johnson, Brian McTernan & Mike Schleibaum (CREDIT: J.C. Carey) Melodic Hardcore super-group BE WELL are back to announce a new EP, Hello Sun, out in May on their new label home, Revelation Records. Serving as a follow-up to the band's critically-acclaimed Equal Vision Records debut, The Weight & The Cost (2020,) Hello Sun is full of high-energy, Melodic Hardcore-infused with raw emotion and lyrical depth. Across the six songs housed on said EP, frontman and producer Brian McTernan (Battery, The Movielife, Turnstile, Sesnses Fail)—who owns and operates renown Salad Days Studio —finds emotional catharsis through examination of childhood trauma, depression, and fatherhood while still providing a hopeful light. Today, the band shares the first song on Hello Sun, "Treadless." Clocking in at just over two-minutes, the fast-paced track showcases the impeccable musicianship of the band, additionally made up of guitar

Luke Sick & Damien Discuss STRIKE THE CLUTCH's THUNDER! SILENT, Megakut Records & I Had An Accident Releases (The Witzard Interview)

Damien is a rather mysterious character. The producer is owner of Spokane, Washington-based tape label, I Had An Accident (IHAA) Records and we've been in contact for quite a few years now. IHAA has released limited edition tape and digital collections from Rabbi Max, Walter Gross, Tenshun, CCCRRCCSSLLRRKKRRSSS, Brycon & G-Pek's annual There's No More Room In Hell Series, EQUIPTO, BRZOWSKI & MC Homeless, Uncommon Nasa, P.SO & 2 Hungry Bros., and Stu Bangas. Damien has issued a handful of his own solo cassette tapes on the label, as well as collaborative projects with the likes on Tenshun (10shun,) Namo, Luke Sick, Bonzo Speechless, Deep (2 Hungry Bros.,) Koba Dera, Kuartz, and with Luke Sick, Deep & QM as The Snake Mountain Crew. Luke Sick is an emcee, producer, artist, etc. Gurp City crew member, and the owner/operator of both Megakut Records. He's sometimes known as J. Luke Oakson, Clell Miller, Luke The Sick Sailor, and Sour Porch. Luke has bee

Long Island Hardcore/Emo Revivalists KŌYŌ Return with "Ten Digits Away" Single & Music Video, Announce Signing to Pure Noise Records

Koyo (oftentimes stylized as either KOYO, KŌYŌ, or KOYO LIHC) are a Long Island-based Hardcore, Punk, and Emo revival—sometimes, described as "Stony Brook Hardcore"—band featuring current and ex-members of Adrenaline, HANGMAN, Rain of Salvation, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Soul Provider, and TYPECASTE. KOYO have been together since about 2020 and its current line-up features Joey Chiaramonte, Mike "Marazzo" Marazzo, T.J. Rotolico, Harold Griffin, Steve "Spanos" Spanos, and Salvatore "Sal" Argento. KOYO's sound primarily harkens back to early 2000's Long Island Melodic Hardcore/Emo and evokes bands such as Taking Back Sunday, The Movielife, Glassjaw, and RIVAL SCHOOLS. KOYO released three EP's between 2020-21, Painting Words Into Lines, Short Beach Sessions, and Drives Out East, issued by The Coming Strife Records, Reconsider Records, Life & Death Brigade, DAZE, and Triple B Records. Each EP was released in multiple color variants,

All-around Breakdown: Thirsty Curses Frontman Wilson Getchell Supplies Background On Making-of Band's New Album To The Ends of The Earth

Thirsty Curses is an eclectic Rock "N" Roll outfit based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Thirsty Curses' material draws from numerous genres including Punk, Folk, Country, and Grunge and explores lyrical themes ranging from the existential to the absurd. Thirsty Curses' songs are both impassioned and sardonic, comical and foreboding. Late last year, Thirsty Curses dropped a double-feature music video showcasing single, "Nothing Really Matters," and a pseudo-intro spotlighting "One of These Days." We did a feature on the music video(s) which we described as echoing something to the effect of Guns N' Roses meets Every Time I Die with a bit of Scissor Sisters-style "campy" piano bar cabaret mixed in, for good measure. As YES! Weekly wrote, "Thirsty Curses make Rock "N" Roll, with a boisterous beer-swilling edge to it. Many of these songs are about living it up while things fall apart at the seams or, at least, trying t