Gabe 'Nandez pictured in the Wikiruta desert of Central Mexico (SOURCE: Jeff Weiss) Last night, I posted an off-the-cuff "Tweet" on X (formerly known as Twitter,) which read, "Man, this new @GabeNandez album is straight Fire Emojis rn fr fr no cap... or whatever it is the youth of today would say these days! But, seriously, great job once more, @Passionweiss!" with a couple hashtags and a Bandcamp link to H.T. III. It was meant partly in jest towards today's youth of which I am extremely, admittedly, out-of-touch, as most 35-year-olds likely are, but not at all in jest towards 'Nandez and/or H.T. III. Oddly enough, I was just telling my friend and co-worker about 'Nandez's music on Spotify earlier this week and today, we have a brand new 'Nandez album treat for our earholes. During a cold sunset in the mountains of Central Mexico, Gabe 'Nandez grabbed some water, candy, and a machete, and wandered into the desert in search of the myst
Don't Sleep 2023 band photo (CREDIT: unknown) Whoever said "lightning only strikes once" clearly has not met Dave Smalley. From being right in the middle at the birth of US Hardcore Punk with D.Y.S. to creating the blueprint of Melodic Hardcore with Dag Nasty, from helping to invent Pop-punk as we know it with ALL to finding himself in the middle of the West Coast Punk explosion of the 90's with Down By Law: Smalley was always on the forefront every time Hardcore Punk stretched its envelope. While others may use a legacy like that as an excuse to take it a little slower, Dave Smalley has no intention to rest on his laurels and keeps writing new music and releasing records. When he founded Don't Sleep with fellow East Coast Punk Rockers Garrett Rothman, Tony Bavaria, Jim Bedorf, and Tom McGrath in 2017, the world was more than excited about seeing him front a fast yet melodic Hardcore band again. Being motivated by the immense positive feedback, Don't Slee
Tightwire full-color illustration (CREDIT: David Buist, @david_buist) The best Pop-punk bands come from the Midwest. That thar's a scientific fact. Another proven law of Ramones-core is that the second album is even better. So, you can see why we're fired up about this new record: Head Full of Snakes is destined for greatness! Tightwire came storming outta Minneapolis in 2018 with a catchy/crusty/spooky debut, Six Feet Deep, and toured with Dillinger Four, CHIXDIGGIT!, Off With Their Heads, and more. Since then, they've only gotten stronger with the addition of Noelle Stolp on second guitar and added vocals. She's Iowa Punk royalty! And now that Tightwire 2.0 is armed with 12 new songs about darkness and damnation, they'll be hitting the road on some tasty tours and festivals. It appears as though since Tightwire's 2018 effort, Six Feet Deep, the band has gone through some major changes, re-structuring, revitalization, and is now back better than ever! We g
wattmilliams' Matt Williams (CREDIT: Rob Cella) Matt "wattmilliams" Williams a passionate musician, song-writer, bass guitar teacher, audio engineer, and real estate agent active within the thriving music scene of Philadelphia/South Jersey. Primarily playing the bass guitar, Williams has accumulated years of valuable experience through touring, session work, and collaborations with esteemed artists, such as HUXLEY, Good Look, Sigourney, Gold Coyote, Garden State Radio, and The Shimmy Shimmy's. Williams has been fortunate enough to play direct support for a wide range of acts across various genres, including Living Colour, Disturbed, The Pretty Reckless, Royal Blood, Punchline, Lit, and more. These opportunities have allowed Williams to showcase his versatility and adaptability as a musician. While "Drama Queen" exudes raw energy and unapologetic rebellion, it offers much more. Demonstrating his creative audacity, this gritty exploration delves into t
Roberto Galdamez pictured with the original Will to Live The Therapy Sessions oil painting (ART: P.J. Svejda / CREDIT: Esperanza Galdamez) Formed in 1997 with the purpose of establishing a united Texas Hardcore scene, Will to Live was at the forefront of a new wave of bands there that would, eventually, carry the flag for the Lone Star State into the future. They helped push their local scene in becoming a hotbed for Internationally-renowned acts, such as POWER TRIP, Frozen Soul, IRON AGE, Bitter End, and many more. Combining insightful, inspiring lyrics with the unmistakable spirit and ethos of Hardcore Punk with the brutality of Death Metal breakdowns, Will to Live has written pummeling anthems that have earned the band a die-hard following in Texas and abroad for over 20 years. Now in 2023, history continues for Will to Live. Helmed by vocalist Roberto "Rob to Live" Galdamez (TRUE INTENTIONS, Outpost 31,) drummer Mike "Fury" Arellano (Spirit Adrift, Method of D
AMORA live at Bonk's Bar - July 31, 2023 (CREDIT: Nicky Fechtmuller) AMORA is made up of five of the sweetest, most gracious guys I've ever encountered in this industry—Billy Zee, Chris Swanson, Tristan Wikler, Bryan Rodriguez, and Nick Magidson—who, just so happen to be actively making some of the most brutal, punishing Punk/Emo/Post-hardcore (or "Lansdale Sad Punk," as they describe it) out there right now. Having shared bills in recent months with everyone from America's Got Talent contestants LILIAC to fellow Philly Punk hyphenate (insert sub-genres) phenoms Kaonashi & Being As An Ocean, I met Billy & Chris in November 2022 after a chance encounter at a The Color Fred show at Philly venue Underground Arts. Martyr: A Recital of Self-Destruction by AM0RA What turned into an impromptu label showcase for Fred Mascherino's (ex-Taking Back Sunday, Say Anything, The Lemonheads) Heading East Records that featured Oceans In The Sky's Liam Frost
SUNSTROKE's Brandon Wallace and Christian Debuque after band practice (photographer unknown) SUNSTROKE appear to have this uncanny ability to be able to pull parts and pieces from their (and, in turn, your) favorite bands/artists, sub-genres, eras, labels, etc., throw them all into a sonic slicing and dicing belender and to paraphrase Madonna, "make them feel shiny and new..." SUNSTROKE readily draw influence from Dag Nasty, Embrace, Fugazi, Hüsker Dü, Rain, The Replacements, Rites of Spring, and Revolution Summer-era Dischord Records. They've been through, like most Punk/Hardcore bands, their fair share of members, but have seemed to have landed on a semi-permanent line-up, and have released a gaggle of albums, EP's, splits, and one-off singles on a variety of labels, such as Axe to Grind, Coin Toss Records, New Morality Zine, and WAR Records, since initially forming around 2017. Oddly enough, SUNSTROKE recorded two of their latest songs, "Frank"