Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Laughing Hyenas


Laughing Hyenas were a punk/blues band from Ann Arbor, Michigan that were around from 1985 to 1995. In the band's ten year run, they only had two consistent members, which was vocalist John Brannon (formerly and currently from Negative Approach) and guitarist Larissa Strickland (formerly from L-Seven, not to be confused with L7). They had a few different bassists and drummers, though their original two (Jim Kimball and Kevin Munro) did later play in a fantastic band called Mule. Kimball also played drums in The Jesus Lizard a few years down the line. Those two guys were replaced by the bassist and drummer from Necros, to continue the hardcore punk lineage in this band.

Regardless, back to Laughing Hyenas. Though the band's background was definitely hardcore punk, they took a markedly different approach to punk as a whole. They came out with the same blisteringly intensity, but with more blues/garage rock influence, making these songs just as visceral, but with a larger musical palette to take from. Brannon's vocals just shred, and he does sound quite different to his distinct bark in Negative Approach. Strickland comes up with some very inventive riffs that blend punk, blues, and a hint of noise rock together effortlessly. Their sound did progress through the years, though. Their first two LP's are sonically similar, with their magnum opus Life Of Crime having slightly slicker production (with play sin their favour). It's their final LP, however, where the band's change is sound is definitely apparent. It kind of likes a cross between The Rolling Stones and Nick Cave (who was a definite influence on their whole career, especially his stuff with The Birthday Party), which is a fantastic mix. It's darker than the rest of the band's material, and the early raw punk influence has clearly matured into a full, deep sound in which the band really explores its ideas in length.

Since it doesn't really fit naturally anywhere in this post, I must as well as just lump it in and say that almost all their releases were put out through Touch and Go. After they break up, Brannon formed Easy Action, and years later reformed Negative Approach. Strickland sadly died in 2006, but with phenomenal music like this, her legacy won't soon be forgotten. Enjoy.

1. Stain
2. Hell's Kitchen
3. That Girl
4. Gabriel
5. Playground
6. What Tomorrow Brings
7. 18

Note: This was their demo tape

1. Stain
2. Hell's Kitchen
3. That Girl
4. Gabriel
5. Playground
6. What Tomorrow Brings
7. Soul Kiss
8. Candy [Bonus Track]
9. Dedications To The One I Love (Live) [Bonus Track]
10. Don't Bogue My High [Bonus Track]
11. Public Animal #9 [Bonus Track]

Note: Bonus tracks from a 1995 reissue of this EP

1. Love's My Only Crime
2. Seven Come Eleven
3. Black Eyed Susan
4. Lullaby And Goodnight
5. Sister
6. Desolate Son
7. Dedications To The One I Love
8. New Gospel

1. Everything I Want
2. Hitman
3. Let It Burn
4. Kick
5. Here We Go Again
6. Wild Heart
7. Outlaw
8. Life Of Crime

1. Crawl
2. Living In Darkness
3. Walk
4. Girl

1. Just Can't Win
2. Hard Time Blues
3. You're So Cruel
4. Stay
5. Slump
6. House Of The Blues
7. Each Dawn I Die

Friday, 27 January 2017

Sparta


This is Sparta. Sparta was a city-state in Ancient Greece known for its militaristic government led by Gerard Butler. Outdated jokes aside, Sparta was also a post-hardcore/alternative rock band that formed in El Paso, Texas in 2001. After the break-up of At The Drive-In, the band's former members wishbone-d into two halves. Vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez started prog rock band The Mars Volta, while the band's rhythm section became Spartans. They were guitarist/vocalist Jim Ward, bassist Paul Hinojos (who switched to guitar in Sparta), and drummer Tony Hajjar. After the band's first two records, Hinojos left the band and was replaced by Keeley Davis (who's actually playing guitar in At The Drive-In now in place of Jim Ward).

Naturally, with a similar line-up of At The Drive-In, Sparta definitely shares quite a bit in common with them. Though much more melodic, the dynamics, odd rhythms, and pulsating energy are all present here. Jim Ward's vocals take the forefront, which strike the exact balance between gruff delivery and catchy melody. Really the best thing to do is just listen to them, the songwriting is solid, and fans of good alternative rock will definitely dig it. Plus it does sound like a natural continuation to At The Drive-In, so they're a good fix until the new AtTDI album drops this year. Enjoy.

1. Mye
2. Cataract
3. Vacant Skies
4. Echodyne Harmonic (de-mix)

1. Cut Your Ribbon
2. Air
3. Mye
4. Collapse
5. Sans Cosm
6. Light Burns Clear
7. Cataract
8. Red Alibi
9. Rx Coup
10. Glasshouse Tarot
11. Echodyne Harmonic
12. Assemble The Empire

1. Guns Of Memorial Park
2. Hiss The Villain
3. While Oceana Sleeps
4. La Cerca
5. Breaking The Broken
6. Lines In Sand
7. End Moraine
8. Death In The Family
9. Syncope
10. Tensioning
11. Travel By Bloodline
12. P.O.M.E.
13. From Now To Never
14. Splinters
15. Farewell Ruins (Bonus Track)

1. Untreatable Disease
2. Crawl
3. Unstitch Your Mouth
4. Taking Back Control
5. Erase It Again
6. Atlas
7. The Most Vicious Crime
8. False Start
9. Weather The Storm
10. Red.Right.Return. (Straight In Our Hands)
11. Without A Sound
12. Translations

Misser


I was trying to come up with new pop punk bands to share, only to realize I had yet to post this incredible band from a few years back. They only put out one album, but it's a very personal yet catchy record, which blends pop punk and emo. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this project was created by members of Transit and This Time Next Year. Their touring line-up also featured another member of Transit, in addition to Polar Bear Club and Defeater. With a solid line-up together, they came out with Every Day I Tell Myself I'm Going To Be A Better Person, which is probably one of my personal favourite pop punk albums to come out in the past few years. They also released two EP's, but I've only got one. You know the drill, if you've got the other, please send it my way so I can share it with ze world. Got it, thanks Hamza! Enjoy.

1. Just Say It
2. She Didn't Turn Out To Be That Great
3. Hating

1. Permanently
2. Time Capsules
3. Bridges
4. Weightless
5. Just Say It
6. I'm Really Starting To Hope The World Ends In 2012
7. Reconnect This
8. Stay Asleep
9. Bad News
10. She Didn't Turn Out To Be That Cool
11. I'm Sick?
12. Sanity
13. The Waits

1. Goddamn, Salad Days
2. Infrared
3. Burn Out
4. Alone, Die.
5. Slow It Down Write It Out

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Christie Front Drive


Christie Front Drive were a four-piece emo/indie rock band from Denver, Colorado that were around from 1993 to 1997. They've played two reunion shows since, one in 2007 and one in 2014. This band are one of the greats to come out of indie/emo in the 1990's, and though they may not get as much exposure as bands like Sunny Day Real Estate or Mineral, they are nonetheless an important and influential act. It's also 2017 now, and this blog has been going since 2012, so it's almost criminal that I've not gotten around to sharing them on here for so many years.

What Christie Front Drive really perfected were their melancholic guitar melodies that would often build up to a climax of shimmering chords in extended instrumental breaks. The band really worked together to create these massive songs with an attack and release tension, often topped off by some heartfelt, soaring vocals. The main attraction always remains the instruments, though. There are some truly fantastic rhythms and melodies within their discography, many of which would define what a midwestern "emo" band sounds like. From the gentle arpeggios at the beginning of "Valentine", to the dissonant outro of "Field", to the dynamic "Slide", to the massive choruses of "Seven Day Candle", this band can do no wrong.


There are a few things to mention in regards to their actual discography. First off, they have two absolutely essential albums. Both of them are technically self-titled, but are more commonly referred to as Anthology (which is a compilation) and Stereo (which is their sole full-length). The former contains all their material up until 1995, which would be their first two EP's (both also self-titled), as well as their first two splits, one with Sineater and one with Jimmy Eat World (which is available as well if you want the JEW side). The one thing Anthology does not contain is their split with Boys Life, which was released later in the same year. Their one album was released in 1997, which as mentioned before, is known both as Christie Front Drive and Stereo. The band also released a slew of compilation tracks throughout their career. I included them all in one download, though they are tagged with individual artwork and titles and such. The most notable appearance is their track on the legendary (Don't Forget To) Breathe comp, but the others are solid as well. Enjoy.

1. Christie Front Drive - Slide
2. Jimmy Eat World - Digits

1. Turn
2. Dyed On 8
3. Long Out
4. Lot
5. Pipe
6. Dirt
7. Slide
8. Now I Do
9. 4010
10. Away

1. Christie Front Drive - Instant Romance
2. Christie Front Drive - Bowl
3. Christie Front Drive - Valentine
4. Boys Life - Sight Unseen
5. Boys Life - Homecoming
6. Boys Life - Two Wheeled Train


1. Saturday
2. Radio
3. First Interlude
4. November
5. Second Interlude
6. Fin
7. About Two Days
8. Third Interlude
9. Seven Day Candle
10. Fourth Interlude

Mary Tyler Moore Theme - Punk TV 1995
After The Parade - For Want Of... 1996
Bag - Bread: The Edible Napkin 1997
Field - (Don't Forget To) Breathe 1997

John Cota


John Cota were a four-piece hardcore/screamo band from Oakland, California that were around from 2009 to 2013. They played a really heavy, almost sludgy sounding brand of hardcore at breakneck speeds with shrieked vocals. They put out a fantastic split with Ten Thousand Leagues, who I just finished a post on, so I figured I'd throw these guys on here too. Enjoy.

1. 1
2. 2
3. 3
4. 4
5. 5

1. John Cota - Curtains
2. John Cota - Dissemble
3. John Cota - Our Vacation, Ruined
4. Ten Thousand Leagues - Burning Victim
5. Ten Thousand Leagues - Home Along The Tracks
6. Ten Thousand Leagues - Loose Ties

1. Stevejobs
2. Housefire
3. Ballpit

Ten Thousand Leagues


Ten Thousand Leagues are a four-piece screamo/hardcore band from Los Angeles, California that formed in 2010. After a stellar demo and a solid split, their debut "full-length" (clocking in at 18 minutes) came out last year. As expected, it was one of the best screamo records of the past year. In terms of sound, they clearly take influence from the Bay Area hardcore scene, whether it be older bands like Portraits Of Past or modern legends Loma Prieta, this band's sound is fully formed and well-rounded. The play a very chaotic brand of screamo, with off-kilter rhythms, dissonant chords, and an aggression that often blurs the line into hardcore territory. What else can be said, Ten Thousand Leagues are as solid as they come. Enjoy.

1. Pieces of Mosaic
2. Blank Scripture
3. Timepiece
4. Forfeit This Routine
5. Early Morning Eyes

1. John Cota - Curtains
2. John Cota - Dissemble
3. John Cota - Our Vacation, Ruined
4. Ten Thousand Leagues - Burning Victim
5. Ten Thousand Leagues - Home Along The Tracks
6. Ten Thousand Leagues - Loose Ties

1. Robin Scherbatsky
2. Guillotine Pipe
3. Disassemble Monoliths
4. Bad Seed Complex
5. Right (Spitboy)

1. Bern
2. Courtney
3. Prat
4. Simon
5. I Hate You
6. Jennifer
7. Canada
8. Hyphen-Youth

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Bomb the Music Industry!


Bomb the Music Industry! were a punk/ska/indie band from Baldwin, New York that formed in 2004 and played their last show in 2014. This project has had a slew of members and musicians involved in it over the years, however the Mark E. Smith of the band is singer/guitarist Jeff Rosenstock. Hopefully that name is familiar, since he's put out two phenomenal solo albums in the past two years. Laura Stevenson also played keyboards and sang for them at a point, and she is probably the other most well-known member (who also happens to have some incredible solo material). BtMI! focused heavily on DIY ethics, making their name very fitting. They put out quite a few albums through their years, and I'd go as far as to say they're one of the most notable punk bands to come out post-2000. Rosenstock's songwriting skills matched with a strong, full band (including keys, percussion, and brass instruments) behind him make for some catchy, insightful, and energetic music. Don't know what else to say, just get on this if you haven't already. Enjoy.

1. Blow Your Brains Out on Live TV!!!
2. Does Your Face Hurt? No? 'Cause It's Killin' Me!!!
3. It Ceases To Be "Whining" If You're Still "Shitting Blood"
4. Big Plans of Sleeping In
5. I'm A Panic Bomb, Baby!
6. Sweet Home Cananada
7. Funcoland vs. The Southern Electorate
8. Ready... Set... No!!!
9. "I'm Too Cooooool For Music"
10. Pike St. - Park Slope (by Harvey Danger)
11. "FRRRREEEEE BIIIIIIIRRRRD!!!!!! FRRRRREEEEEEEEE BIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRDDDDD!!!!!!!"
12. Future 86

1. Happy Anterrabae Day!!!
2. Congratulations, John, On Joining Every Time I Die
3. Showerbeers!
4. Stand There Until You're Sober
5. Dude, Get With The Program
6. Bomb The Music Industry! (And Action Action) (And Refused) (And Born Against) Are Fucking Dead.
7. Brian Wilson Says SMiLE a.k.a. Beard Of Defiance
8. Syke! Life Is Awesome!

1. Old And Unprofessional
2. King of Minneapolis Pts. I & II
3. Even Winning Feels Bad
4. Side Projects are Never Successful
5. 5 Funerals
6. My Response To An Article In Alternative Press
7. Sorry, Brooklyn. Dancing Won't Solve Anything.
8. It's Official! We're Booorrrrrriiiiing!!!
9. From Martyrdom to Star(tyr)dom
10. All Alone In My Big Lonely Apartment
11. Fuck The Fans
12. Grudge Report
13. King of Minneapolis Pts. III & IV
14. Anywhere I Lay My Head (Tom Waits)

1. Jobs Schmobs
2. 493 Ruth
3. Bike Test 1 2 3
4. Unlimited Breadsticks, Soup and Salad Days
5. No Rest For the Whiny
6. 25 Hour Goddamn Telethon
7. Depression is No Fun
8. I Don't Love You Anymore
9. Pizza Claus is Comin' to Town
10. Never Trust a Man Without a Horribly Embarrassing Secret
11. Get Warmer
12. The Last Party (Foul)

1. Bomb the Music Industry! - Save the War
2. Bomb the Music Industry! - I'm Terrorfied!!!
3. Bomb the Music Industry! - This is a Singalong
4. Bomb the Music Industry! - Ghost of Corporate Future
5. O Pioneers!!! - Punknews is Stoked
6. O Pioneers!!! - Yo Bones!
7. O Pioneers!!! - You Know That Part in Superman III, Where He Is All Bad Ass and Stuff? Yeah, I Bet That's How You Feel Right Now.
8. O Pioneers!!! - Bad Scene, Aaron's Fault 

1. Cold Chillin' Cold Chillin'
2. Stuff That I Like
3. It Shits!!!
4. Fresh Attitude, Young Body
5. Wednesday Night Drinkball
6. 25!
7. $2,400,000
8. Gang of Four Meets the Stooges (But Boring)
9. 9/11 Fever!!!
10. (Shut) Up The Punx!!!
11. Can I Pay My Rent in Fun?
12. Saddr Weirdr
13. Sort of Like Being Pumped

1. This Graceless Planet (We Versus the Shark Cover - 2005)
2. Tell My Boss, "I Hate You" (2005)
3. This Year For Presidents' Day, I'm Giving Up on Rock and Roll (2006)
4. 4 Inches! (Rick Johnson Rock and Roll Machine Cover - 2006)
5. Come On, This Shit Is Getting RIDICULOUS. (2006)
6. If Assholes Got Awards, I'd Have A Trophy Case (but with some different words) (Infamous Jake Cover - 2006))
7. All Alone In My Big Empty Apartment (Demo - 2006)
8. This is a Singalong! (Original Version - 2006)
9. The Soul Crushing Northeast (2006)
10. D13 4 YR G0V3RNM3NT (Anti-Flag Megamix - 2007)
11. Little Brother (Andrew Jackson Jihad Cover - 2008)
12. Pog (Demo - 2008)
13. Gold Soundz (Pavement Cover - 2008)
14. (jeff disapproves of this bonus track) SUPERTALK! (2005 - 2008)

1. Bomb the Music Industry! - THERE'S My Bailout!
2. Bomb the Music Industry! - A Shine To It (Laura Stevenson cover)
3. Laura Stevenson & The Cans - Halloween One and Two
4. Laura Stevenson & The Cans - It Ceases to Be "Whining" if You're Still "Shitting Blood" (BtMI! cover)

1. You Still Believe In Me?
2. Planning My Death
3. Slumlord
4. All Ages Shows
5. Big Ending
6. The First Time I Met Sanawon
7. Struggler

1. Campaign For A Better Next Weekend
2. Vocal Coach
3. Everybody That You Love
4. Sponge Board/Baby Waves
5. The Shit That You Hate
6. Hurricane Waves
7. Sick, Later
8. Why, Oh Why, Oh Why (Oh Oh Oh Oh)
9. Savers
10. Can't Complain
11. Everybody That Loves You
12. Sunny Place Shady People
13. Felt Just Like Vacation

1. The Forecast - The Reasons (The Weakerthans cover)
2. Into It. Over It. - Need You Around (Smoking Popes cover)
3. The Swellers - El Scorcho (Weezer cover)
4. Bomb The Music Industry! - Punk Rock Girl (Dead Milkmen cover)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Ramshackle Glory


Ramshackle Glory were a punk band from Tucson, Arizona that were around from 2011 to 2016. The band was primarily a new project by folk-punk superstar Pat The Bunny. This band came after his mostly solo projects, such as Johnny Hobo & The Freight Trains and Wingnut Dishwashers Union. Even though there's a fuller sound backing him, Pat does what he does best here: personal reflections done in upbeat punk songs. Anarchy never sounded more fun. The band's debut, Live The Dream, is particularly fantastic. They also put out a split with Ghost Mice, who are another great band. In 2016, Pat The Bunny announced he was retiring from music, since he didn't feel like punk rock fit him like it used to. As expected, Ramshackle Glory also called it quits too, but at least got a farewell show and a final album out there. Enjoy.

1. First Song
2. More About Alcoholism
3. We Are All Compost In Training
4. From Here Till Utopia (Song For The Desperate)
5. Never Coming Home (Song For The Guilty)
6. Vampires Are Poseurs (Song For The Living)
7. Of Hallots And Harricades
8. Bitter Old Man
9. Your Heart Is A Muscle The Size Of Your Fist
10. First Song, Part 2

1. Introduction
2. Last days (goddamn)
3. Who are your friends gonna be?
4. Gospel music for the coming Social War
5. The club hits of today are the show tunes of tomorrow
6. Fuck everything
7. Exploration of coercion in everyday life
8. Song for next May Day
9. Last song

1. Ramshackle Glory - Eulogy for an adolescence shattered against Elliot Street Pavement (here's to being young!)
2. Ramshackle Glory - Any place (growing up)
3. Ramshackle Glory - Love song for the birds in our back yard
4. Ramshackle Glory - No Shelter
5. Ramshackle Glory - Punk is the worst form of music, except for all the others
6. Ghost Mice - House On Fire
7. Ghost Mice - House Of The God Of War
8. Ghost Mice - House On Wheels
9. Ghost Mice - House Of Chaos 
10. Ghost Mice - House Of The Undying

1. Junk Bones
2. Collapse Fury Redemption Loss
3. Broken Heart
4. Homeward Bound
5. War on Christmas
6. Die Alone Live Together (Born to Lose)
7. Into the Wind
8. Face the Void
9. The Hand You Reach Out Is Empty (As Is Mine)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Cross My Heart


Cross My Heart were a four-piece emo/indie/post-hardcore band from Baltimore, Maryland that formed in 1997 and broke up in 2001. In their few years together, they managed to release two EP's, a split, and one phenomenal full-length. Unfortunately, I only have the full-length and one EP, so if anyone has the remaining split and EP, let me know! Thanks for helping me find the EP! Anyway, in regards to their sound, they played a clean, somber form of indie rock with very mellow chords and depressing lyrics. In terms of musical comparisons, you could say they were in the same lane as bands like Penfold, Christie Front Drive, or even The Appleseed Cast. However, what made Cross My Heart such a phenomenal band was that they didn't purely beat the listener with these overtly depressing subject matters. There was also this articulate aggression underlining their music, giving their material a multi-faceted emotional level. Not to mention, they crafted some catchy melodies and riffs. Basically, if you're looking for something in terms of emo-tinged indie rock, this is it. Enjoy.

1. Dornier
2. It Doesn't Take That Many Pills To Sleep Forever
3. Today I Discovered The World
4. Determination
5. Track Five
6. Secret To Tell
7. The Hypnotist

1. No Give Backs
2. Are You Still Happy?
3. Destination Eventually Somewhere
4. The Reason I Failed History

1. The Great Depression
2. Tonight We'll Light Ourselves On Fire
3. Paris
4. London Bridge
5. With Bells On
6. Infinity Doesn't Live Here Anymore
7. Self-Loathing Bastard
8. Angels & Gargoyles
9. How Slowly We Forget