Category Archives: Punk

DC’s Pure Disgust is back with a timely, rage-filled album

Pure Disgust’s self-titled album, released on Bandcamp on July 13,  is take-no-prisoners punk to the extreme, with boiling hot lyrics that match seething, agitated vocals like “The new racism is a denial of racism.” Rings a bell, doesn’t it?

Some songs, like “White Silence” or “Untitled,” begin with deceptively calmer throwback intros, but then let loose like an angry dog, linking timely subjects like No Child Left Behind with the failing prison system. Some songs end on a fade, which is not always appealing for a punk anthem, but that’s only a minor point.

I’m imagining a Pure Disgust show ending in a sweaty, frothy, beautiful mess.

 

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Filed under Hardcore punk, Punk, Speed punk, Uncategorized

The Julie Ruin’s Hit Reset is out now

Hit Reset, Kathleen Hanna’s latest installment of her off, on musical project The Julie Ruin, can be ordered online today, but you can still hear it through Spotify and read Ann Powers’ take on the album at NPR Music here.

If you haven’t heard Hit Reset yet, Hanna sounds just as good as the first Julie Ruin album, a bit more reserved than Le Tigre, and with all the fire she’s had since she was 9, when she first heard Gloria Steinem speak.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/4D4vLiYKRycKzBSX1Y1sjg

Watch The Julie Ruin’s video for “I Decide,” with Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee, wearing a Yoko T-shirt, walking down a thoroughfare at South By Southwest.

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Filed under artpunk, Feminist punk, Garage Punk, Hardcore punk, New Music, Punk, Riot-Grrrl, Uncategorized, VIdeos

Catch The Buzzcocks on their brief U.S. tour

British punk originators Buzzcocks have announced an eight-date U.S. tour, welcome news for fans.

They kick off Sept. 22 at Vic Theatre in Chicago and wrap up Oct. 1 at Irving Plaza in NYC. Tickets go on sale June 17 but an AmEx presale starts tomorrow (6-14). They’ve already been touring in Europe as part of their 40th (!) anniversary.

For the U.S. dates visit BrooklynVegan.com, while the Buzzcocks‘ site lists their UK/European dates.

Not that you need a refresher, but check out “Something’s Gone Wrong Again” (one of my favorite songs):

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Filed under '80s, Garage Punk, Post-punk, Punk, Tour Dates, Tour Info, Uncategorized

Hear early Jack White in raucous song “Itchy”

Jack-White 2 star tabernacle2

Third Man Records will release music from Jack White’s early, early days, with pre-White Stripes bands Two Star Tabernacle.

Third Man has released a live cut of Two Star Tabernacle’s “Itchy” on Jan. 16, 1998 at the legendary Gold Dollar in Detroit, where the White Stripes got their start.

Jack White is introduced as “Jackson White” before they launch into a rollicking country punk banger that’s purely got White’s name all over it. The first line is even about how he wishes TV was black and white again — those colors an early indicator of what would drive his most famous band.

Jack White 2 star tabernacle“Somebody better break my fingers” he repeats, and gets more harried and unraveled as the drums go off the chain. The song would have fit in nicely with the Stripes’ first album, right next door to “The Big Three Killed My Baby.”

 

“Itchy” is part of Third Man Records’ latest Vault package — for $60 you can get that, plus music from Jack White and the Bricks, (which included Brendan Benson, who later joined the Raconteurs), and music from The Go, a Sub Pop band that Jack White played briefly with. The package will be available until Jan. 31.

Read more on the Vault package at thirdmanrecords.com.

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Filed under Blues, Blues Rock, Garage Punk, Punk, Two Star Tabernacle, Uncategorized, White Stripes

Cold Beat’s sophomore album “Into the Air” shows a band in sync

After a strong showing with their debut LP “Over Me” just last year, punk and electro-pop band Cold Beat is back with “Into the Air.”

Already, the band seems deeply in sync, a feat that could take more than a few albums for a new band to master before they can focus on pushing personal boundaries.

Bassist, vocalist and primary songwriter Hannah Lew, previously with the San Francisco surf-rock trio Grass Widow, easily carries the weight of Cold Beat’s vocals. Her strong yet angelic sound acts as a guiding light for the album’s dark points. Add the rest of the band’s playful pop/synth style, and Cold Beat can embody the punk-crossover rebellion of Blondie or the bleeding-heart shoegaze of Dum Dum Girls.

Lew’s lush voice soars throughout the album — it radiates romantic warmth, mirroring Debbie Harry’s opulent style.

Haunting, isolating melodies and moody soundscapes are what Cold Beat does best, evident in the synthwave wanderings of the instrumental “Clouds” and the drum-machine and space-rock album closer “Ashes.”

But the band can also change its attitude within a song. They build tension with a guitar clang and propulsive drumming on the protopunk “Sisters,” a song that later finds solace in a flowing melody, which was somehow there all along. Compare those textures with the brisk guitar strumming of the straightforward “Am I Dust,” or Lew’s heartbreaking indecision on “Broken Lines,” and Cold Beat’s broad versatility on “Into the Air” becomes even clearer.

The new album, “Into the Air” was on Lew’s label Crime On the Moon on Sept. 4.

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Filed under Dream pop, Electro-pop, Indie Rock, New Wave, Post-punk, Punk, Review, Space rock, Synth pop

Radkey: Johnny Cash version prompted “Personal Jesus” cover

You certainly can’t say “Personal Jesus” will ever be the same.

Radkey has shared a hard-driving, marathon cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus.” The band has sped up the tempo and amped up layers of guitars, cloaking the alt-80s anthem in full-throttle punk rock. Radkey’s version is under 2 minutes if that helps describe the song — listen below:

Isaiah Radke described how the band happened upon “Personal Jesus” — and it’s not the way you might think:

We were on the road listening to the radio and heard Johnny Cash’s version of the song. I heard how simple the riff was, and pictured how it could easily be turned into a killer rock song. We’d always wanted to cover Depeche Mode, but we could never really pick the right track. We’re really stoked about being able to do our own version of this song.

Radkey-Club-pic

Their debut album, “Dark Black Makeup” is out now.
Radkey’s tour dates are below:
Sep 08 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Sep 09 Iowa City, IA @ Gabe’s
Sep 10 Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
Sep 11 Denver @ Larimer Lounge
Sep 12 Salt Lake City, UT @ Music Garage
Sep 14 Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
Sep 15 Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Sep 16 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre Lounge
Sep 18 Oakland, CA @ Leo’s
Sep 19 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Sep 20 Long Beach, CA @ Alex’s Bar
Sep 21 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
Sep 22 Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock
Sep 25 Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
Sep 26 St. Louis, MO @ The Demo
Sep 27 Springfield, MO @ The Outland Ballroom
Sep 29 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
Sep 30 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
Oct 01 Hudson, NY @ The Half Moon
Oct 02 Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Oct 03 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Oct 04 Washington DC @ Black Cat Backstage
Oct 07 New York, NY @ The Studio at Webster Hall
Oct 08 Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
Oct 09 Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
Oct 10 Chicago, IL @ Township
Oct 15 Vienna, AT @ Fluc
Oct 16 Muchen, DE @ Strom
Oct 17 Stuttgart, DE @ Zwölfzehn
Oct 18 Wiesbaden, DE @ Kulturzentrum Schlachthof
Oct 20 Paris, FR @ La Boule Noire
Oct 21 Nijmegen, NL @ Merleyn
Oct 22 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Kleine Zaal
Oct 23 Utrecht, NL @ EKKO
Oct 24 Brussels, Beligum @ AB
Oct 26 Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
Oct 27 Bristol, UK @ The Exchange
Oct 28 Birmingham, UK @ Hare and Hounds
Oct 29 Sheffield, UK @ Leadmill
Oct 30 Nottingham, UK @ The Bodega
Oct 31 Manchester, UK @ SOUND CONTROL
Nov 02 Glasgow, UK @ King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Nov 03 Newcastle, UK @ 02 Academy 2 Newcastle
Nov 04 Leeds, UK @ Key Club
Nov 05 London, UK @ The Dome

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Filed under Garage Punk, Heavy metal, Post-punk, Progressive Rock, Protopunk, Punk, Punk-rock

Hear Bikini Kill’s unreleased demo “Ocean Song”

Bikini Kill performs in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s.

Bikini Kill performs in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s.

A previously unreleased demo from punk rock band Bikini Kill was released today in T Magazine for the New York Times.

The song, “Ocean Song,” is among two other previously unreleased songs not included in the riot grrrl band’s first work in 1991, “Revolution Girl Style Now!” It was self-released only as a cassette on Yo-Yo Studios.

In the story, Bikini Kill singer and leader Kathleen Hanna discusses her initial nervousness upong listening to the demo tapes again, but later laughed it off, saying, “It just sounds like people who are experimenting and goofing around.” Guy Picciotto of Fugazi helped remix the songs for the reissue.

Hanna also discussed her childhood and how even then she was working on finding her identity through what she wore and did. She recalls how she wished she had been a Girl Scout, so she bought a uniform at a thrift store.

“I always wanted to be a girl scout, and I didn’t get to be a girl scout! So I went to the thrift store, and luckily, I’m 5-foot-4, so I could still fit into a large Girl Scout outfit. And I wanted to be a cheerleader, so I got a cheerleader skirt, and I mixed it with a punk rock shirt.”

Hanna talked about how she eventually merged her stage costumes from her job as a stripper and her work with Bikini Kill.

“I’m still operating in a sexist society whether I’m in a strip bar or I’m in a punk club. …. I was really trying to take my body back while I was on stage, and I used costuming as a way to do that.”

Check out the recently released “new” Bikini Kill demo “Playground,” below, and hear “Girl Soldier” from their album “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah”– that song was just released last year.

“Revolution Girl Style Now!” remastered, and with the previously unreleased songs, will be reissued Sept. 22 on Bikini Kill Records.

Bikini-Kill-Revolution-Girl-Style-Now-cover-

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Filed under Feminist punk, Punk, Punk-rock, Riot-Grrrl

Enjoy this stream of Cold Beat’s new album “Into the Air”

The punk electro-pop band Cold Beat is streaming their new album “Into the Air.” The new album, their second LP and out Sept. 4 on Crime On the Moon, shows off the group’s wide range of influences.

Strong vocals throughout, from bassist and vocalist Hanna Lew, embody the rich-sounding youth of early Blondie’s pop nuggets and that punk rock sound, as on “Broken Lines.” Lew’s voice may be the closest to Debby Harry’s as you can get, while still maintaining her own identity. Her vocals soar freely throughout the album, emitting a dreamwave warmth.

The vintage synth sound of “Am I Dust” and the ragged guitar intro and propulsive drumming of the punk-driven “Sisters” both show the band’s broad versatility on the album. They can be haunting, as on the instrumental “Clouds” and moody, on the space-rock closer “Ashes.” Through it all is Lew, who makes the whole thing sound easy. The San Francisco native‘s previous project was with the all-girl outfit Grass Widow.

Cold Beat only has a handful of tour dates, so you’ll have to head to Brooklyn to see them.

COLD BEAT NEW YORK DATES:

Fri. Sept. 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool

Sat. Sept. 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium

Sun. Sept. 20 – New York, NY @ Other Music (7PM)

Sun. Sept. 20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn

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Filed under Dream pop, Electro-pop, Indie Rock, New Wave, Punk, Space rock, Synth pop

The carefree punk sound of Wimps’ “Super Me” is worth a listen

I love the lighthearted punk vibe of Wimps, a Seattle three-piece whose first LP, “Repeat,” was released in 2013, but are Seattle punk-rock veterans. Wimps have cool nicknames too: Guitarist and vocalist Rachel Ratner is Butts, bassist Matt Nyce is Meth Teeth and drummer Dave Ramm is The Intelligence.

After touring the states in support of “Repeat,” in 2013, they self-released a series of tapes, as well as put out a 7-inch on Help Yourself Records and support for the band grew from there.

Stream their latest five-song cassette EP “Super Me,” which was released Aug. 7 on Kill Rock Stars. A full-length EP is due later in the year.

Here’s the remainder of their tour dates:

08/21 Portland, OR @ Star Theater (w/ Fucked Up)
08/27 Seattle, WA @ Olympic Sculpture Park at Seattle Art Museum*
08/28 Spokane, WA @ Baby Bar*
08/29 Boise, ID @ The Water Cooler*
* w/ Pony Time

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Filed under Punk, Punk-rock, Seattle

Royal Headache’s album “High” streaming at NPR Music

Royal Headache‘s new album “High,” is streaming now on NPR Music’s First Listen.

The Sydney band’s operating on a first-name basis with the public – vocalist Shogun, drummer Shortty, guitarist Law and bassist Joe. With the album at only 29 minutes (still longer than their 2011 debut), there’s only so much time to get to know them, but they’ve used that brief period of time wisely.

Their song “Another World” is a barn burner of a punk/mod revival song, and the title track is a plaintive and honest love ballad. The band also ekes in elements of soul that find a home within their punk/DIY sentimentality.

Creating these “slow” love odes that are penned to take off at a dizzying pace just accelerates the emotional roller-coaster you might find yourself on when you hear the album. The members of Royal Headache certainly sound like they’re having a good time on “High,” and we’re all welcome to listen in.

http://www.npr.org/player/embed/429329500/429437936

Royal Headache’s “High” is out Aug. 21 on What’s Your Rupture? and on their Distant and Vague label in Australia. The band will be touring with Total Control and Sheer Mag.

ROYAL HEADACHE TOUR DATES:

Mon. Aug. 10 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey

Tue. Aug. 11 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios

Thu. Aug. 13 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop *

Fri. Aug. 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Origami Vinyl

Sat. Aug. 15 – Los Angeles, CA @ Berserktown Festival

Mon. Aug. 17 – Austin, TX @ Red 7

Wed. Aug. 19 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle #

Thu. Aug. 20 – Detroit, MI @ UFO #

Fri. Aug. 21 – Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar

Sat. Aug. 22 – Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola

Mon. Aug. 24 – Boston, MA @ The Great Scott #

Tue. Aug. 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade #

Thu. Aug. 27 – Baltimore, MD @ Windup Space #

Fri. Aug. 28 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA #

Sat. Aug. 29 – Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades #

 

* w/ Total Control

# w/ Sheer Mag

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Filed under Mod-Revival, Punk, Punk-rock, Streaming