Navio Forge were a four-piece emo/hardcore band from the Bay Area, California, that were really only around for a year, 1993. They only played a total of two shows, which were both at the legendary Gilman Street. Despite that, they've become a very well-known name in the development of emotional hardcore/screamo/whatever you want to call it. This is mostly due to their sole record, As We Quietly Burn A Hole Into.... Navio Forge took what was happening with DC/Dischord in the late 80's and pushed it to its boundary. Their songs really retained an element of hardcore a lot of their peers were slightly eschewing in favour of quieter and more dynamic parts. Though they did still make use of spoken word, their instrumentals rarely relax. Navio Forge went full-force on every song, with distorted, chaotic guitars, ripping bass riffs, and beating drums. Their vocals are shredded in anger and distraught, which comes to a climax at the end of "Haloed Eyes", when he literally begins crying. This could be excessive to some, but is pretty much what put Navio Forge on the map, so evidently some must love it. Enjoy,
Policy Of 3 were a a four-piece emo/post-hardcore band from New Jersey, that existed from 1989-1995. Despite their tenure being longer than most of their contemporaries, they only had a two year slot (from 1993 to 1995) where they were formally releasing music. Their sound focused on arpeggiated guitars with spoken/sung vocals, much like their fellow Ebullition Records bands, such as Moss Icon and Still Life. Their songs featured the "Angry Son" dynamic, with quieter, melodic parts building up to distorted, octave-heavy climaxes. Especially in their heavier, more punk-oriented parts, they sound more in the vein of Drive Like Jehu than Hoover, but always manage to balance the two, while still sounding like their own distinct band.
In their time, they only released one LP, Dead Dog Summer, in addition to a few 7"'s and appearances on compilations. Their entire discography is collected on 2005's An Anthology, which is below. These guys a great band, and though they didn't get quite as much attention as some of their contemporaries, I'm sure a ton of people will instantly fall in love with them once they hear this. Enjoy.
White Lung are a four-piece punk band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada that formed in 2006. They've slowly built up a solid reputation through some phenomenal albums and a stellar live show. A lot of discussion surrounding this band involves their similarities to riot grrrl bands such as Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and Babes In Toyland. Though the influence is definitely there, the only prominent comparison would be the vocals, since White Lung are a female-fronted band, as well as most of the band's members being female (though they don't seem to have an overtly feminist agenda). The guitar work is very angular, and usually eschews the typical power-chord sound of punk in favour more post-punk influence, often employing sharp, bright, trebly, octave riffs. They play hard and fast, and waste no time getting to the point in each song. White Lung are probably one of the best and most notable "punk" bands around today, and definitely a personal favourite of mine. Every album they've put out is worth a listen, and each one is better than the last. Enjoy.
Perfect Pussy are a five-piece punk/noise band from Syracuse, New York, that formed in 2012. They got their start as a band by being formed to appear as a band in a movie, Adult World, and continued as a legitimate band following it. Their demo EP/demo came out a year later, and in 2014, their debut full-length, Say Yes To Love, was released. They've garnered a ton of attention and acclaim, and rightfully so. Along with bands such as White Lung, Fucked Up, Viet Cong, etc., they've been taking traditional "punk" and throwing their own spin on it, to preserve the energy while expanding on the genre. And they've certainly been noticed for it, thankfully.
They sound like a combination of Bikini Kill and Melt-Banana, with a tinge of Sonic Youth in the mix. However, you'd be hard-pressed to find an exact comparison to Perfect Pussy. Their shouted vocals are muffled by reverb and distortion. The bass and drums are what drive the songs, while the guitars swell in noise and chaos, which can sometimes be oddly melodic, partially due to the touch of keyboards. They keep it short, but burst with their utmost energy in each and every song, which demands to be blasted through headphones. I'm sure a lot of you have heard this band, but for anyone looking to get into them, I thoroughly mean it when I say, enjoy.
Beach Slang are a four-piece punk/rock/alternative band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that formed in 2013. They sound like a cluster of The Psychedelic Furs, Built to Spill, Archers Of Loaf, and Dinosaur Jr., with the heavy guitars of My Bloody Valentine and the songwriting of The Replacements and Jawbreaker. They keep things melodic and energetic, in the best ways possible. Their vocals are distinct, though would make for a great "Steal My Sunshine" cover. Their songwriting is great, their lyrics are solid, they've got a solid, fuzzy guitar sound, and already have two perfect EP's out, and they can only get better from here. Beach Slang are easily one of the best up-and-coming bands around, so I highly suggest giving them a listen. Their name has been all over the place, so I'm sure they've already gotten around. Catch them on tour now with Cursive (aka the best band ever). Enjoy.
Alright, I know it's been a long time since I posted anything in the pop punk vein (partially because I admittedly don't listen to a lot that doesn't involve Milo), but here's an essential modern pop punk band for those of you who have been waiting: Major League.
Major League are a four-piece pop punk band from Manuta, New Jersey that formed in 2007. They were a five-piece until 2014, when their singer left, and guitarist took over vocal duties. If you already listen to bands like Handguns, Seaway, State Champs, and Knuckle Puck, along with the obvious Man Overboard and The Wonder Years, you already have a pretty good idea what Major League sound like. Their songs are catchy, they've got a solid energy, and their production work is really good. They're currently signed to No Sleep Records. Enjoy.
Former Thieves were a four-piece hardcore band from Cedar Falls, Iowa. They came roaring out of their dead-end home state in 2010, with an EP on Mayfly, and were heard even louder on their sole full-length in 2011, put out by No Sleep Records. A year later, they made the choice to burn out instead of fade away, and had to break up, unfortunately. While they were around, they toured vigorously, with bands such as Every Time I Die, as well as bands just getting their start, such as Code Orange Kids, and toured with La Dispute, Defeater, and Native (where I first heard/saw them, and was absolutely blown away). They take influence from bands such as Converge, Coalesce, Every Time I Die, and Modern Life Is War. I haven't listened to these guys in a while, and meant to post them a long time ago. Listening to them again is just as good as before, both of their records are absolutely solid from front to back. Hardcore fans pay attention, this is important. Enjoy.
The Dirty Nil are a three-piece punk/rock band from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. They began in 2006 while still in high school, but have only been properly touring/recording since 2011. These guys take obvious influence from bands like Hüsker Dü and The Replacements (especially circa Sorry Ma), along with the dirty fuzziness of bands like Nirvana. The Dirty Nil play upbeat, energetic, rock and roll music, not much more needs to be said. These guys sound like they're putting everything they've got into it, and write some of the catchiest songs around for a modern punk band. Like The Replacements, they make classic rock influence cool, by occasionally throwing in guitar leads and such, showing that these guys can really play (and they do Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and Neil Young covers, how awesome is that??). The drums are pounding, the "mothafuckin' fuzz bass" is rocking, and the vocal harmonies are stellar. They drop some funny yet relatable lyrics, and everything about this band just screams "good time". They put out their last 7" on Fat Wreck Chords, and are supposed to have their debut full-length coming out this year. Any fan of good, energetic music has to check this band out, they are probably one of my favourites in their genre around, and just all around a great rock band. Try and support them if you can, and enjoy.
I've been meaning to do a post on Career Suicide forever, so here it finally is.
Career Suicide are a hardcore punk band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, that do punk right. They've been kicking since 2001, and have dropped nothing but solid material since then. They take influence from 80's hardcore, and without any knowledge of the years on their records, you'd probably think they were from straight out of that era too. Which is perhaps the greatest thing about Career Suicide: the honesty. There's no throwback gimmick, no need for nostalgia, just raw music made by a bunch of people listening to nothing but The Germs, The F.U.'s, Void, etc., etc., etc. They've got the sound down, and have no issue pulling it off. There isn't much better than straight-up hardcore punk, and Career Suicide are easily one of the best names to note. Their members have been involved in a ton of other bands, most notably Fucked Up. Enjoy.