Posts Tagged ‘Punk / Pop Punk’

THE INTERRUPTERS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Wicked lively rockin’ riotous jumpy friendly freakin’ sweet The Interrupters are such pure perfect poppy ska punk I have no need for commas.

I saw them open for Rancid one (two?) year(s?) ago, downloaded a few songs, and left it at that. Yet those four songs off their eponymous album (Liberty, Take Back the Power, Family– featuring Tim Armstrong, and A Friend Like Me) have deftly manoeuvered themselves onto my favourite playlists. I got to thinking, What if the rest of the album’s this good?

Spoiler: it is. They have that ska beat bounce down so well it guides the groove in every tune, no matter if the melody itself is more mellow (which it rarely is). Ideal for jogging, toking, talking, pogoing, dancing, living!

Not only that, but they take the time to write about important, honest issues, everywhere from human rights to human relationships.

I hope they get the attention they deserve.

LOVESICK SAINTS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Lovesick Saints feel familiar. My first thought when I saw the name was, “Don’t I know them?”

Well, I do now!

They seem to sit amongst the “new” faces of punk, a radio-ready strain pioneered by acts such as Hot Water Music and The Gaslight Anthem. A softer edge, but a tighter set. Even their latest EP title speaks to popular appeal: Dia De Los Meurtos. (My Etsy feed is saturated in sugar skulls!)

Though they aren’t as raw as my preferred acts, they have just enough spice to make you sweat. They’re dry skin on the outskirts of Vegas, ice flushed through the eye. When I listen to them I see half-dead desert highways, signs bleeding neon on the stars.

All in all they stick to the expected, enough that you feel at home in the sound. With long-ish instrumental spaces, it’s easy to find lulls between the vocal-doubled, emotive choruses. Before you know it, you’ll be tapping your toe in your sleep.

Check out War Story, a surprisingly poignant tribute to lost soldiers.

IDA MARIA SAUCINESS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Point blank — Ida Maria should be on your radar.

The Norwegian punkster, who just revealed her brand new EP, Accidental Happiness [LAVA/Republic Records], is one catchy-ass songwriter. (Yes, I said it! Catchy-ass.)

The EP showcases her awesome songwriting, from the swaggering swing of Boogie With The Devil’s Soul, to the prickly, punk-y pop declaration I’m Bad News. Simultaneously, the title track exudes entrancing emotion wrapped up in another unshakable refrain. In late 2012, the artist overcame an overwhelming alcohol addiction, and the music reflects her journey with its striking clarity and realization of true creative fulfillment. Ida Maria has officially returned.

She has released two successful full-length efforts (Fortress Round My Heart and Katla), which spawned global hits like I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked and Bad Karma. Her music had been placed everywhere from Royal Pains to Gossip Girl.

Listen to the saucy, just-released bonus track (Sick Of You) below.

THE EPIDEMICS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I had a migraine when I turned on The Epidemics. By the time the album finished, my skull was screaming, and I was happy about it.

The best bands enhance your headaches. They don’t make the pain go away, but they make it better.

The Epidemics are Swedish and female-fronted, a Frankenstein built by the disembodied limbs of goth, metal, and punk rock. Though all the songs (I’ve heard) are written in English, their Facebook page is a collage of English and Swedish, reminding me passion knows no borders.

The sizzling, speedy guitars and grade-B lyrics are pure horror-punk, but not so abrasive that radio-rockers would faint. The sound is serrated, but sedated, a numbed edge on which to slide.

Waking Up the Dead was a strong first album, drawing genius (whether subconsciously or intentionally) from Die Mannequin, The Distillers, The Misfits and The Gits. The only song I could have done without is Never Grow Up, which means 90% of the album hit me the way it should’ve. That’s a brilliant ratio!

Now, they have half of their second album free to stream on The Pirate Bay- that’s how I discovered them in the first place. It will always blow me away when artists offer their art for free. They have to eat same as any of us, and yet here they are, turning their hearts into a no-pay buffet.

I’m amazed. I only hope I’ll have that strength one day.

MY WOSHIN MASHIN

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’ve got my fingernails stuck in this sound.

I know I’m not the person you’d expect to see chugging a Russian/German electronic rush. (Especially from a band so distractively badass!) What can I say? Talent’s talent, regardless of genre affiliation.

My Woshin Mashin (yes, you read that right) is a three-man set, each member more crammed with skill than the last. At first the sound came off almost too dangerous for my unprepared ears, but I quickly grew to love the chaos.

The feedback hits hard, screaming of underground clubs and violent dreams. You may think this group’s only prerogative is to fill up all respective dance floors, but I assure you there’s more than meets the dehydrated eye. If you listen, you’ll find a message in between remixes.

When it comes to social commentary, Evil Must Die (their 2013 album) has its bases covered. The band members themselves explain it best:

“Our first album was… hard beats, funny lyrics, dance tunes… a very funny album. But when we were working on Evil Must Die, we decided to concentrate on things from the real world- degradation of the television, money as a modern god, animal rights, really bad people we know and their behaviour, the loneliness of true heroes, etc. By this album we’re trying to say that people must be more intelligent and simple; they must try to change themselves into a better way and try to find the real values of life. It’s not about the money, a good job, democracy, power, expensive stuff, social networks or television. It’s about the inner God who can be described simply: Love.”

In other words, these blokes will compel you to rave and philosophize simultaneously. Magic.

Get a sampler of the album below, and prepare to be dosed!

LOUISE AUBRIE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Louise Aubrie is the perfect blend for BTB! She has pop, indie and post-punk influence under her soft rock belt, culminating in a soulful, symphonic splash. Her look channels a vintage vibe, but I assure you her music is nothing but timely. It’s raw without being too rough, a true inspiration for anyone going through a hard time.

It’s the lyrics that hit me. Time Honoured Alibi (her 2013 album) is especially rife with poetic pains. Anyone could relate to the heartache of In Honour or the relational struggle in Keep It Coming. Her words are so fluid, anyone’s head could burn in commissary.

This isn’t just another chick with a guitar. Louise is a serious musician with the heart of a punk and soul of a poet, cut between tenacity and sensitivity. And her music has taken her across continents. She first began recording music in London only to relocate to New York where she soaked up the creative influence of the city, surrounding herself with other musicians.

Though she rocks the speakers by her lonesome, she’s been lucky to garner support from some mad powerhouses. Boz Boorer (long time musical director and co-writer for Morrissey) has brought Louise’s gleam to a shine, producing both of her albums and co-writing Where Are You.

And that’s the song I leave you with. Not because it was my favourite, but simply because the romantic angst therein is about as honest as an artist can get.

THE STORY SO FAR DROPS FLAWLESS LP

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

California’s own, The Story So Far, have released a new album entitled What You Don’t See, available for purchase now. The record was produced by Steven Klein, who you may know from a little band called New Found Glory. I must admit, I was a little nervous when I first heard Klein was going to be working on this record, for some of his previous work is compiled with bass, bass, and more bass. However, the album isn’t too mixed down, it’s somewhat perfection actually.

Two years ago, this band came crawling out from under a rock, with a debut album (Under Soil & Dirt) that made me an insta-fan. This record also gave them major success, touring with many known names, and giving punk rock fans that fix they had been yearning for over the years. It was actually one of the best freshmen albums I had ever heard. Currently, The Story So Far completely negates that age-old theory that once a sophomore record comes along that bands tend to demise. This album in fact solidifies all of the fame they have acquired.

To be blunt, I truly cannot find a single flaw in this album.

One thing about The Story So Far that always grabs my attention are the lead vocals, for they are undeniably blessed in that area. Parker Cannon is a diamond in the rough; no whining, no screeching, just pure talent. He is so relentlessly talented on recordings and so full of energy, that you will be sucked in immediately. Long story short, this record doesn’t have a single filler track on it. Standout tracks include: Things I Can’t Change, Right Here, and The Glass.

If you are a fan of bands such as The Wonder Years, Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, or any pop punk band, you will dig this new product.

Check out the official video for Empty Space below, and get a tease of what you are in store for on this new record. Their music has continued to shatter anyone who doubts their staying power. They now own the world.

Job well done.

MARLA MASE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


It’s hard to find a musical artist who embodies the essence of that latter word. Many will sacrifice exploration and honesty for chart-topping singles.

Marla Mase does not sit among the superficial. As a result, her art has for the most part remained underground. I’d like to do my part to change that.

She’s fresh out of our beloved New York. A playwright and a poet, a lover and a mother, unafraid to stray into the daring or erotic. Music is one of the many mediums she chooses to channel.

The most awesome thing about her work is that some of it is spoken word. I know, I know- that’s a music form still out on the fringe. But if you give it a chance, you’d be amazed at where it can take you!

Whether singing or speaking, rhyming or fiddling with free verse, Marla’s voice will grip you tight. She dances on the balance beam between music and poetry. Not once does she falter. I feel like she’d have done better at Studio 54 or Woodstock, surrounded by the similarly minded. No bother- she’s striking out just fine on her own.

If you’re interested, her multimedia performance has been booked for the Summerstage Festival in NYC this year. It will use “spoken word, dance and visual imagery to explore themes of confinement, sexuality, body image, trauma, oppression… and freedom.” In other words, it’s gonna be a spa day for the senses, and an enlightening one at that!

Her fan-base is world-wide, and that’s no surprise. This sort of musical expression could find a home in varying ethnic roots. One minute you’re threading through heavy vines in the jungle; the next, you’re transported to the dizzying streets of Tokyo. Undoubtedly, her message is universal.

Take Piece of Peace. It’s a straightforward plea, but one that anyone could relate to.

RANCID RETURNS WITH BIG ‘F*CK YOU’

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’ll do my best not to gush. It’s just… Rancid was a landmark group for me. …And Out Come the Wolves was one of my first proper punk albums (right next to Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols). Songs like Daly City Train and David Courtney still boil my blood with nostalgia. They’ve got a rev in their rocket that made undeniable ripples on the alt. seascape. And Tim Armstrong’s voice is always set to make me melt.

…I just channelled fan-girl. Geez.

Even if they’re not your favourite, you must concede that they helped revive street punk in the ‘90’s. Not only did they blow dust off the underground, but they dared to bring it to mainstream attention. Amazingly, they did so without sacrificing their essence or honesty.

People have, however, been pining for new releases. Almost each core member has pursued side-projects through the years, and prolonged silences have popped up here and there. Their last album Let the Dominos Fall was released in 2009, and there’s been little mention of upcoming projects since.

But hope prevails! They’ve just released a single.

A red-hot, pure punk, NSFW single.

My heart’s pumped full of happy. Fuck You goes back to their radical roots (see what I did there…?), never sacrificing tone for tension. It removes previous ska influence and replaces it with hard-boiled chorus-lines.

The song was enough to add sizzle in my step, but the fact that it’s a free download rocked me into overdrive. That’s want you want to see from punk veterans: legitimacy.

I ended up gushing, didn’t I? Oh well.

BLINK-182 RELEASES HOLIDAY TUNEAGE

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


On December 18th, Blink-182 will release a brand new EP entitled Dogs Eating Dogs, but in the meantime, the infamous punk trio has decided to give us an early holiday treat by releasing the first single, Boxing Day. I can feel the total composition of mawkishly seasonal elements in this track, and it’s nothing short of awesome.

According to Mark Hoppus’ Twitter, fans who pre-order one of their holiday music packages will get a free download of Boxing Day this week, so be sure to look more into that for details!

Give it a spin, for ’tis the season to be jolly!

SUM 41, LIVE FROM THE STONE PONY

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Punk music is just something that always makes me weak in the knees, yet few bands in particular really stand out in the genre. That being said, one of them goes by the name of Sum 41.

On Sunday night, I celebrated 10 years of amazing music with their album Does This Look Infected, to a line around the infamous Stone Pony in Asbury Park. As we all know, the Jersey Shore has been devastated due to Hurricane Sandy, and some good music is just what we needed. Little did I know that I was in for one of the most epic nights, ever.

The night kicked off with some local openers including NJ rockers Set It Free, along with a two-piece called I Am Dynamite. As the night progressed, the venue got more and more crowded. I could only imagine how hyper the pit was going to be when Deryck and the boys hit the stage, for the crowd was getting warmed up with some Beastie Boys and Kiss blaring through the house system. 10:15 rolls around, and Sum 41 finally take the stage, kicking the night off with a bang with Hell Song, as hundreds of fans start to mosh, crowd surfing and fist pumping in full affect.

It had been quite some time since I had seen Sum 41 in concert, and I was amazed to see how tight they were. They literally sounded exactly like they do on their records, and their sound had aged incredibly. Maybe it was because I was so young the last time I saw them, but I really appreciated it more this time around.

Deryck’s vocals were extremely on point, Cone and Steve did their thing as always, and Steve-O mastered the drums like a king. Their energy was just indescribable. They continued to soar through hits on Does This Looked Infected, including Still Waiting, which turned the energy in a whole new direction. You could feel the room shake on this one, while Deryck and Cone stood high above the crowd on speakers, bringing five lucky fans on stage to watch the entire concert from an extremely intimate view.

As the night went on, the boys took on some partial covers, including We Will Rock You and even a little Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. Of course, their biggest hits were thrown in the mix as well, including In Too Deep and Fat Lip.

All in all, it took one show to make me realize how much this band truly rules. They deserve to have been in the business for 10 years, and I hope this anniversary tour embeds that in people’s brains. If you’re lucky enough to have this tour wreck your town, do yourself a favor and get tickets as soon as you can. It’s honestly one of the best shows I have been to in quite some time.

Long live the punk revival that is Sum 41!

HOT WATER MUSIC

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Here’s my wisdom to impart for the day: Hot Water Music is boiling over with talent.

We all know how picky I can be about punk (and all its sub-genres). I gotta have it tight as cuffs or bloody as open heart surgery. Hot Water Music has got all that covered and they don’t put on airs about it. Their rhythm section is sublime, their guitars fully impacted.

And they prove that when it comes to vocalists, two is better than one. Having two “lead” singers adds a new dynamic and maturity to the music, one that’s clearly evident when you tune in.

Their latest release of awesome (unleashed earlier this year) drips of fresh venom whilst owning the dusty grunge of post-punk revival. Exister features thirteen tracks, all of which I’ve had on repeat. It’s usually easy for me to snatch and grab a song to label my fave, but I’m having trouble doing so. Each song stands fine on its own, but it’s the culmination of their joint power that really bubbles my sores.

HWM has had their ups and downs. There’s been almost break-ups and all out disbanding, and just before this album they had an eight year hiatus on the music front. If I may say so, I don’t give a bleep. Through all of that, their quality has persevered. This latest heart-punch proves it.

Punk may be dead, but guys like these sure keep the corpse kickin’.

PUNK ROCK BOOBIES [PROLLY NSFW!]

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

So needless to say, yesterday was hella fun! Topless protest (sorta/kinda/not really a protest – see video below) in Bryant Park… The boys were lovin’ it! And I loved how happy it made them! I mean, look at those faces. Kinda makes me wish I had boobs. Anywho, I digress…

Meet Moira Johnston, a female rights activist from Philly who has become notorious for blaring her ta-ta’s this summer, to bring awareness to the fact that it’s a woman’s legal right to be topless in NYC. Crazy, right? I had no clue either! According to a 1992 law, female New Yorkers have the right to go topless anywhere men can, so long as they’re not engaged in commerce.

Learn something new errday!

On a separate yet related note, within hours of posting the above picture to my Facebook account, the photo was removed. Nothing says punk rock like violating Facebook! I don’t know if this was all Facebook’s doing, or if one of my “friends” turned me in first, but either way, I found it to be a complete joke! Which then, of course, circled back to why Moira has her boobies flappin’ in the breeze in the first place.

Oh, society. You and your stupidity never cease to amaze me.

NOT SO LUCKY

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Not So Lucky is a munchable chocolate Pop Tart. These boys were brought together by rivalry, respect, and an undying passion for music. They reek of pop-punk with the same uppity appeal as Fall Out Boy, All Time Low or Boys Like Girls.

Each boy has his own unique love-affair with musical vibrations, but it is these differences that bring such a solid sound together.

They’re perfect for late summer nights, for grads, proms, or sneaking out with friends. Such a circumference of life is one I no longer belong to, but there will always be kids looking to have fun. I like knowing there will always be bands ready to help new generations make new memories.

This music is a litter of puppies cuddling my auditory canal. It’s shockingly genteel but still bubbling over with energy. A great way to grab the tail-end of summer.

YELLOWCARD HAS MAJOR STAYING POWER

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Yellowcard’s Here I Am Alive is certainly an anthem for the underdogs, the bullied, and the dirty little freaks. And in the Robby Starbuck-directed clip, the visual message parallels lyrical content as Ryan Key sings to “to the kid I was before,” heading back in time (joined by Tay Jardine of We Are the In Crowd) to pay a visit to his younger self.

The result is a heartwarming pop punk clip that resonates.

The new album, Southern Air, is their eighth studio album in 13 years.

Talk about staying power!