Monday, 28 November 2011

Knives Out - Here Again (2011)

Knives Out - Here Again (2011) [Next Punk Records]
I was quite happy last week because I received a copy of the album Here Again, by Swiss punk n rollers Knives Out. And it's a pretty good listen. The albums opening track "I'm Here" screams rock n roll right from the start and the band keep the level up. The song "Walking Away" was particularly good. It's melody is a nice little head bopper and it's a nice number. The problem I had was this album was that nothing really seemed to stand out. The vocals were pretty good, but the musicians came accross as very pub standard rock n roll and to be honest I felt like they're capable of better. The riffs aren't spectacular, they're not bad, they're just not anything too special or important here. It comes accross as a bit repetitive. "Start Again" and "Foe" are not bad songs in their own right, but like I said, nothing stands out too much. It's obvious they've put quite a bit of effort into their album launch and the recording of it etc, but it just hasn't caught my attention as much as i hoped it would of. I the end it's a disappointing 6/10.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Defects @ The Wellesley Inn, Methil

Saturday November 26th 2011 @ The Wellesley Inn, Methil
What. A. Fuckin. Night. Great times and not one i'll forget in a hurry.... well let's hope not, cause here's the review! This was my first time at a gig in Fife that wasn't Dunfermline and I didn't know what to expect. I figured we'd be a in a function room sorta thing at a local pub and I was right, but it was pretty damn good if I'm honest. The layout of the place was spot on and everything about the place was great. Loved it. I'm not going to lie, when I first walked in I was confronted by a skinhead in a West Ham United tracksuit screaming at the bar (as in behind the bar) cause no one was there to serve us, all the while having the word "FIFE" tattooed accross his knuckles. Ye jump to conclusions, but he was a good lad.

Razorblade Smile
So starting off we've got Razorblade Smile from Glasgowville. Now I'm convinced I've seen them before somewhere, but not entirely sure. To be honest, they were a bit off for me. I thought the vocalist was very good, her voice suited the music very well, she just seem struggled a bit to push the energy onto the crowd, but for fuck sake, what opening band does. It's too early to get anyone in the mood, it's an impossible task. Musically however they didn't seem to gel. Musicians that is, not what the were playing. It reflected a bit too much like a jam session, but still, I thought they were nae bad like! 6/10

Prairie Dugz
Then! Oh Then Oh Then! I got me a treat. Prairie Dugz. Fuckin' smashin. Loved it. What I got from their performance was this. I like UK Subs, you like the subs, we all like the subs. But what If we were to give the subs tons of speed. Then make them more powerful. We're talking about the 6 million dollar band here, we can rebuild them and make them stronger and the result is in Ayrshire. And even saying that I'm taking away from them their own style, cause by fuck do they make their own. If you can see this band live, go and bloody see them, they are brilliant. 9/10
This next band I had the distinct pleasure of having a few brews with up the road afterwards, but you know me, no special treatment. Hi-Fi Spitfires played a particularly good set, but to be honest I think the only thing stopping me from getting more into them was how high the previous band had placed the bar. But take nothing away, a solid set, the crowd loved it, tight as hell, if anything wasn't on form for this band, to be honest it was probably me, So i'll definitely be seeing them again if I get the chance. 7.5/10

Hi-Fi Spitfire
Now I would have been happy with what I'd already been offered, but we're forgetting one thing here, we've The Defects all the way from Belfast Rock City this evening and it's their turn for a bash on the speakers. These boys come out guns blazing and just tune after tune is something that's very easy to fall head over heels for. They're energy was unquestionable, stage presence impeccable and playing to perfection. I'd heard a lot of hype kicking about for this one and I was not left disappointed, not in the slightest. 9.5/10

Overall the gig gets a 9/10 from me. Half an inch short of spectacular. I would also like to extend my hand to the Fife Scene. You lot showed up in your numbers and supported your scene. Well done, keep it up. It was was a bastard of a night to be outside, but for those of you who braved it, good on ye. Every person I spoke to at the gig were absolutely top people and a great time was had by all. Thanks also to the bands for having faith in a dodger that comes up asking for a CD to review for a fanzine you've probably not heard of.... yet! It's much appreciated and I will hopefully have all the CDs reviewed by the end of the week. And finally the best for last, for feeding me, picking me up and housing me for the evening a big thank you to Pauline and Jim Brown, I had an awesome time, thank you.

Kvelertak @ o2 abc, Glasgow

Thursday November 24th 2011 @ o2 abc, Glasgow
Yer stereotypical friendly
welcome to Glasgow
On a completly baltic Thursday night in Scotland, probably the worst of the winter so far, we drove down from Aberdeen to Glasgow. When we got to Glasgow we fought the wind and rain, luckily only for a few hundred yards, but it was all gonna be worth it cause tonight, Kvelertak are in toon, and I'm going to see them for the first time. While not a punk show per say, its still got heavy elements of it, so well worth a wee mention, but right off the bat it's fucked up. The aforementioned weather means we miss the opening band Wolves like Us and just catch the last few songs of The Secret. However I will say from the last few songs that I did catch of them, I wasn't that into it. Came accross as a bit generic metalcore stuff, wasn't a fan, but they certainly had a few folk into them. Now when Toxic Holocaust came on I was expecting big things. I was quite impressed with the first few songs, but by about the 4th song they just sounded like Slayer. Good. But not much originality in there at all. Infact said song, I could have sworn was a mix between Angel of Death and Raining Blood. Particular highlight was the song titles, which were mostly just very very very very very metal. "667, Greater than Evil" , that sorta thing. Well worth a chuckle. But however, these guys got the place bouncing and albeit a timid crowd in Glasgow still one of excitement for a Thursday and the band gave it everything they had.

Kvelertak then came on and by god they fuckin blew me away. You're talking 3 guitarists, bassist, drummer and vocalist and these boys are tighter than an Aberdonian at a charity gig. Keep in mind this band played for an hour with only one album released and every song they played was like hearing hit after hit after hit. They grasp you in like a child needing comfort and all of sudden everything isn't just ok, it's fuckin marvelous. The sound of the black metal meets punk rock with a Guns 'n' Roses swagger. If you haven't heard of this band, get the listened to.

It'd be cheap of me to judge the entire gig based on 2 1/3 of a the bands, so I'll just mark up Kvelertak and give them a very impressive 9/10

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Ziplock - Nothing to Prove (2011)

Ziplock - Nothing to Prove (2011) [Horn & Hoof Records]
The Norwich based punk's EP Nothing to Prove blasts off with opening track "One Step Behind" and while in areas it sounds a little rush recorded with some mis-timings, it's full of contagious energy and not to be sniffed at. "Change Your Routine" is a chainsaw of street punk and while it's a really short burst of energy it's pretty good. "Not Cost Effective" and "Mental Block" are also examples of the simplistic, but powerful riffs, but what I feel completely commands this EP is the vocals which is very self-evident in the latter. "Meltdown" without a doubt is their pub anthem. All in all it's a not bad wee number, however a bit too similar musically, which spoils it a bit. Apart from needing a bit more diversity, it's pretty good. 7/10

The Brothel Corpse Trio + Bittersuite @ The Moorings, Aberdeen

Friday November 18th @ The Moorings, Aberdeen
The gig opened up the traditional Moorings Friday night 2 band bill and did a pretty good job. While the Moorings, or in particular the Fudge Promotions lads, have a thing for never putting two punk bands on the same bill it would seem, they always have a good bands on. It's trying to please everyone in the pub who would be there regardless if anyone was playing. So to start off we've got Bittersuite. I was quite impressed with the guys, they weren't half bad. It was sort of post Guns N Roses with Alice in Chains vocals. While the imitation Guns n Roses stuff is done quite often, not to mention quite badly as well, I was surprised when these guys did a not bad job. I thought they were trying to make it their own, but the GNR cover at the end, albeit an encore, shattered that haha.

Brothel Corpse Trio's Squidy in action on the Double Bass

Phil & The Sideburns

Brothel Corpse Trio hit the stage next. I've never really been a fan of this band. It started very zombie pish with hints of pyschobilly when they first started up, but I'd been told their new stuff was harder and faster and to be honest throughout the performance I quite enjoyed them. While not quite the Elvis meets GBH I was told to expect, it was still a tightly played and well orchestrated set. And Squidy was right when he said he cut out all the clicking on the Double Bass. 7/10

Jono's not very photogenic anyway....

Friday, 18 November 2011

Gum Bleed Interview (Nov 2011 - Post European Tour)

So another tour of Europe man! This time 2 weeks across Germany, Denmark and Czech. How did everything go this time round?
it was 2 weeks and 4 days, everything was going well, but we are very tired after the tour, cos we have shows every night.

I heard you had a great time in Denmark especially?
for punk rock show, i prefer germany. but for sightseeing or meeting some beautiful girls, i suggest denmark :) you should know it.
and i have to say, copenhagen is more than crazy.
as i said denmark is great, but germany still has the stronggest punk scene, firmly punk rockers and leftwing movements.
now i'm more looking forward to uk scene...

Any mad stories from the tour or are you guys generally good boys on the road?
ugh... we met some white pride hooligans in train station of duisburg and some skinheads on street of copenhagen. they wanna fight with us. but we didn't do that, they are too simple, stupid and.. kind of big. so the best way is to be safety and do not kick their ass or punch them on face.
it was sad to see the real rightwings in europe, cos we've heard that rightwings, white power shits are growing in europe.

You've been playing off of the "No War, But Class War" EP. It seems alot softer than what I expected?
yes. softer? oh maybe your right... we are more and more interested in 77 punk rock, not that hardcore as before. but we will still play some hardcore/street punk songs.
gum bleed wanna back to the root of punk rock, also plus the spirit of street punk.

Any plans for a new full length album and if so what you got in mind for it?
yes! a plan for the full length new album, we may start in december 2011 and release it next year. i think it'll be a totally gum bleed style album, then less ppl will say we are no.2 casualties or chinese casualties etc.
12-13 songs in project alreday.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Northern Aggression - Project Bonehead Volume 2 (2011)

Northern Aggression - Project Bonehead Volume 2 (2011) [Insurgence Records]

The Knockarounds - Falling Down: Hardcore Skinhead anthem right from the get go with this lot. Lyrically a tribute to the victims of pain endured through life and it some parts the guitar has an excellent selection of get up and go about it. Good Track.

Fighting Chance - Somethin's Gotta be Done: Almost Japanese sounding intro that plays into a war cry of battle drums, but instead of the heavy handed go for it street punk style I was expecting we get something quite different. For this compilation I have the benefit of the lyrics and lyrically it tells the tale of  racist oppression in several forms accross several locations. Another good track.

The Class Assassins - Outside Looking In: Old School sound from The Class Assassins. Musically it's Lates 70s Belfast sounding all over. Lyrically as well. Another good track here.

Union Made - Left to Right: With an intro that would have you convinced your about to be aurually molested by nu-metal, it fast changes with the verse riffs that still have a heavy edge of fast metal, but a slight grind sound to it. Not the best track on the comp, but still not too bad, bit too metal for me.

Wisdom in Chain - Nazi Headstomp: AUS ROTTTTTTTEN! Sorry guys. I love the sound though, but thats who instantly comes to mind throughout this song, but they JUST make it their own. And I'd love to sing that chrous at a gig. Fast as hell and demands you fuck shit up. Brilliant Track.

Death in Custody - Carbomb: By the time we've got to the chorus you can tell this song ain't lasting anything more than 2 minutes, and why the fuck should it. It's awesome drunk bounce around verse and chorus riff is perfect for the pit.

The Blackout Brigade - Pushed too Far: Theres something about this track, the intro and verse a very good. As is the build up to the chorus, but having the lyrics in front of me I would have went a bit different with the riff for the chorus when it comes, but they still do a good job. Good Track.

Nuts & Bolts - It's Up to You: Vocally everything seems a bit out of place in the song, there doesn't seem to be a proper slot for the lyrics to come in and it ruins it for me. Musically it's not that bad.

The Press - Just Another Warning: At the start of this song I'm convinced they're about to run away with Stiff Little Finger's Alternative Ulster, but they don't even do that, they seem to miss a few riffs to even rip that off properly. Vocally it's all to slow and rather monotone. Not a Fan.

Class War Kids - Common Threads: Here comes the sound from the street. Lyrically and musically it's brilliant. Love it. Will follow up more on this band because this is what keeps me going! Top Song, best on the compilation.

The Fallout - Riot Boys: Lyrically it's a not bad song and musically it's got a very catchy, bouncy riff to it and it's pretty damn good. Vocally it's not bad either, it just seems a bit one directional, but it's still pretty good. Great Track.

The Oppressed - I Don't Wanna: No doubt leg-ends in their own right, these boys show why. It's old school Oi! Boots marchin on the streets, chanting it's message loud and proud. Another Great track and it's about time I got my hands on some more Oppressed tunes.

Stage Bottles - All You need is Hate: Well this is a fast change of pace. Shit! how to describe this 77 chant along, with Oi verses with ska punk bridges. But that sound of old 80s brass, which is a nice rapid pace as well. This song is pretty damn good! Another band i'll follow up on here!

Hold A Grudge - Time's Up: A Madman vocalist combined with street punk riffs and chant along pieces before breaking into a very nicely done chrous riff. This song then finishs off with an anthem broadcast chanting along to the words... "Time's Up"

Fate 2 Hate - Trust: Hard mixture of street punk and Oi in a fully charged orchestra of brutality. A great song to listen to and bounce around to as well, well worth a listen or twelve.

Mic Crenshaw - Follow Your Instincts: Right how many times does this happen that a compilation will get thrown together and someone will through on a track, right at the end, that makes no sense being there. Lyrically yes, but no part of this musically should be on this album. I'm following My instincts and switching off. If it was done as poetry of some sorts it could be pulled off, but this gangster rap shit, doesn't work.

Overall: It's a pretty good compilation. A few bands I'll be following up on, one or two I'll quickly forget and the rest is pretty good as well. I'd definatly say you should be giving it a listen. The compilation was put together to combat an ongoing Nazi propaganda situation in the north-east of the US, where the bonehead braindeads have been handing out white power music. 7/10


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Global Unity Musik II - Various Arists (2011)

Global Unity Musik II - Various Artists (2011) [Riot Ska Records]
Riot Ska Records continues it's dedication to the DIY punk underground by creating a compilation of bands from around the world with the aim of spreading their music to further beyond the globe. So here's what Dead Cities Fanzine thinks of it, and I'm quite excited about this, cause this Riot Ska records lad, he's got good taste!

Artist - Track Title - Track Time
1.Atrocity Solution - Dark Days 04:20
Grab you boots and let's go! This sounds like it should be the latest release from Star Fucking Hipsters and has just as much quality to it. With excellent, what sounds like dual vocals, but could be how it's recorded, but it's done with some style! The guitar riffs are excellent throughout. Would love to hear more from these guys.

2.Foolish - Simple Life (ft. Union Jack) 02:37
Pick it Up! Skank fest on our hands here with Foolish, but a twist that edges between ska and full on punk rock with the guitar in the verse, then the chorus blasts your ear drums into submission. Excellent Track. It really mixes it up with different speeds and riffs throughout.

3.Opposition Rising - FTW 02:14
Glad to know that these guys treat FTW as Fuck the World, unlike the bullshit of For the Win. Pet peeve like. This song is fuckin hardcore. This is exactly how punk music should sound. A musical threat and is literally a Fuck You to the world. Excellent with some metal undertones in there as well.

4.1000 Drunken Nights - Stagnant 03:50
All old school ska vibe with some brilliant wee brass sections and the guitar during the verses, only thing not having that vibe of back in the day is the vocals, and that's a good thing. But from that... old school meets new school like a kick in the balls when we hit the chorus and it really gets going. Great track.

5.Beng Beng Cocktail - As We Sew, So We Reap 03:12
The intro to this song has an eerie edge to it with the acoustic guitar and varying instruments in the background. The song gets going and one of the vocalists sounds like he's whispering with a really bad cough. Overall it's a good track, but I'd love to here it done with an electric guitar rather than acoustic, perhaps its not as good sounding that way as I hope it is, but maybe it is.

6.CBiHCITY - Grey Days 01:02
Fast as hell hardcore for fans of Minor Threat. These boys don't seem to do anything slow and why the fuck should they!?! Only problem is it's over before it's time

7.Banditos - Loan Riders 03:33
I've already reviewed this song on the RiotSka Records Sampler and it's a brilliant song, but I'm one of these guys that thinks once you've gave a track to that compilation, you can't use it for another one, that's just how I'd run my music however and like I said before, It's an excellent acoustic track with great melodies.

8.Prophet Margin - The Church Reserve 03:45
An almost reggae vibe from this band at the start before hitting it more ska territory. Dual vocal combo that works very well. Musically it's pretty good until it hits the chorus, it sounds a bit unorganized, but like it's missing a bar, but still sounds pretty good!

9.E.A.T.E.R. - Point Of No Return 02:08
Someone in here is going to slow and I can't pick out who, it may be all of them but at different sections. But it's still a pretty good song, but I don't feel like its the bands strongest, they sound like they've more to offer.

10.Global Parasite - Ad Nauseum 03:19
Get yer Organs oot! Slowed down and dragged out intro before an infectious song loving virus takes grip of the song. Heavy handed fast as fuck riffs throughout and a vocalist that wants your attention and he wants it fuckin now!

11.From The Cradle To The Rave - Greed 02:00
The first wee bit of this sounds like "Going to Ibiza" by the Vengaboys, but that lasts all of 3 seconds thank fuck, before launching into the tirade that is the punk rock equivalent of Pendulum and in my opinion, if you're into that sorta thing, better than them. Its incredibly difficult to get me into techno anthems so to speak, but this band do it with ease. Get them listened to now!

12.Spanner - Autonomous Spaces 03:41
Vocally this guy doesn't sound angry enough about what he's talking about, maybe he's a calm lad haha. It does sound like he's talking rather than singing, but when the chorus hits it's very evident he has the talent to do it. Slow riff for the verse and echoing brass section, but apart from that I don't imagine them to be very wild live if this song is anything to go by.

13.The Dubtones - Propaganduh! 03:21
A nice song with excellent lyrics that anyone with a brain can relate too. Not too slow, but not too fast either with a nice melodic chorus, wooooooo-oooo Propanganduh!!!

14.The Poseurs - What Will You Do Then 02:34
Holy shit, If Brody Dalle has a voice like a gravel truck, then this cunt ate the fuckin gravel truck! A harmonious anthem during the chorus, a fast as hell bridge and then a ska verse riff, these guys want to bring it ALL together and they do it very well. Someone get this lad some cough medicine!

15.Manitoba Lights - Pharmacopia (Drug The Children) 02:21
I think the vocalist from this band has caught the same cough as the guy before this. It's a nice combination of brass and ska riffs on the guitar and the lone trumpet in the foreground of the chorus sounds a bit daunting. All in all another good track!

16.Eskera - Xicano Ska 01:56
Creepy screeching guitar and a hardcore ska vibe from these guys before the hard hitting chorus that screams attitude. It's an interesting song with the band not limiting themselves to anything in the slightest, vocally however it could be better, but still a good track none the less.

17.Ghetto Blaster - Whatchu Gunna Do 02:06
Another one reviewed in the Riot Ska Records Sampler and in fact their EP has been reviewed on here as well. It's a great track infusing rap in the verse and hardcore in the chorus. Good Track and a good band, give me a listen and read the review of their EP here.

18.Smiler - All Failed 01:37
With vocals like an army drill Sergeant and a guitar riff that sounds like war its a nice blast. The build up in the middle sounds like the build up from the Power Rangers theme song though and the drums don't seem very well organized at all.

19.Dead Subverts - In The Name Of Art 02:10
Vocally out of time I felt in the verse, the chorus is simple but a definite crowd pleaser and the song screams raw power. A good listen and I feel these band have alot more to offer so I'd like to hear more!

20.Divine Spark - Call Of The Wild 04:12
Yet ANOTHER off of the Riot Ska Records Sampler is the slow doomy headbanger that is Call of the Wild. Another great band from the Riot Ska family. When the song hits its doomy hardcore at it's finest and another song of pure raw power once it gets going with the feeling of drudgery at the beginning.

21.Braindead - It Won't Be Drawn 02:15
Another ska riff with a twist, just that wee squeeze of lime that affects the taste in a good way, for me anyway. It's the lime the Corona needs, the chorus riffs let them down a bit, but the the bridge is strong.

22.The Murder Chord - Whiskey & Water 01:51
This song starts off with a mellow car chase feel to it, lyrically it's not bad as a party anthem, but the the piano doesn't sound very well done on this track and overall the track is missing that burst of energy. It's like a 2 minute build up to nothing almost.

23.Broken Nose - That Girl 02:45
Multiple, albeit brief, brass section here with dual-sex-vocals. It's ok and half way through I expect it to go harder into it, but it doesn't. The vocals from these two are brilliant, but the band, like the previous, is missing that prolonged burst of energy. Towards the end we get an almost marching style music before going out.

24.The Decline! - Let Me Out 03:35
An almost country vibe mixed with punk n roll with bits of Bad Religion thrown in there, a popular band to copycat it would seem these days haha. No doubt however they make this their own, but live it wouldn't be more me, but I can see it being a good show for most folks.

Overall: In the end this is an excellent compilation, like I said, the lad has good taste. Theres a few tracks that let the side down a bit, plus the songs already on the Riot Ska Sampler, again what I was saying about using the same song on different compilations. But in general it's all very well put together and sounds brilliant so you should definitely be getting a hold of this. All in all... 9/10.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Rebel Spell - It's a Beautiful Future (2011)

The Rebel Spell - It's a Beautiful Future (2011) [Rebel Time Records]
Right from the get go an explosion of punk rock hits your ears. Bad Religion styled vocals and the go for it attitude of the instruments combined with a melodic overtone are a perfect combination and this band pull it off with brilliance. The opening, and title, track screams at you to pay attention. "It Can't Be Just Me" does the same thing however with a powerful drum and bass pounding during the verse it screams 'anthem motherfuckers!!' and it has a lovely piano piece towards the end as well. "All We Want" starts off sounding like a track off an Exploited album, but calms into their own sense of fury for the verse before trailing back to the riff in the chorus. There are massive hints of Against Me! in this band as well, but in my opinion they pull it off better. The song "Uncontrollable" is a particular delight from this 12 track album. Starts off with an almost Russian vibe to it that speaks up with great results before hitting the verse, but the chorus... fucking amazing. The melody of it, the riffs, the beats, utter fucking perfection. Another gem is "Tragedy" with it's lyrics which are truly inspiring to those of us who've come out the other side of self destruction mode. "Murderers" is also a good number and one of the stand outs on the record. "The World Turned Upside Down" while lyrically good, goes on for too long on the acoustic clean section before the rest of the band show up and it needed it earlier, it was great, but needed it earlier! But fuck it, it's an amazing album and I'm not going to dock points for being 40 seconds late on the last track. 10/10

At time of posting, this download is available for free: