New song by Lemuria

•October 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The brilliant pop punk ensemble that is Lemuria have posted a new song on their Myspace. The song is titled Expert Harder and will feature on their new 7-inch on Hex Records. Check it out!

I know it’s been a bit quiet on here lately, but keep checking back for reviews of Teenage Bottlerocket, Nothington, Broadway Calls, Strung Out, All Or Nothing/Chaos Days, plus interviews with The Menzingers and Good Luck!

September Interview: Banner Pilot

•September 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

One of Fat Wreck’s most exciting new signings; Banner Pilot are finally getting the recognition they deserve for their brand of snotty, super catchy pop punk. I had a chat with Nate about the ‘scene’, certain festivals and touring…


Firstly, introduce yourself please!

Nate: I’m Nate. I play bass guitar and lead guitar on the albums, and bass guitar live. 

You recently released your new album on Fat Wreck. How did that come about? Is it a label you have always wanted to work with?

Nate: It was pretty straight forward; we sent them some demos, they liked them, and that was that.

Definitely, Fat has always been the label we wanted to work with more than any other!

How was your time in Off With Their Heads? Why did you decide to leave?

Nate: It was awesome! I love that band. Super fun to play with those guys. The only thing was that I can’t tour 11 months out of the year or whatever it is they’ve been doing. I’m always down for playing with them again if they need a bass player for a stray show or something.

The US pop punk scene seems to be quite healthy at the moment. Would you agree with that? What bands within the genre are would you champion?

Nate: Absolutely. I think the first few years of this decade pretty much sucked (say, 2000-2003), then you started to have a few good bands crop up, and now the last 3-4 years have been excellent. So, presumably everything will start to suck soon and we’ll have to suffer through another cycle.

Bands I’m digging lately include RVIVR, Little Lungs, New Creases, The Measure (SA), The Dopamines, The Menzingers, etc etc. Definitely a lot of great bands right now. 

The Fest 8 is coming up, what does the festival mean to you? When you’re there, do you try and catch as many bands as you can, or do you just catch up with friends?

Nate: It’s always a highlight of the year for me; tons of awesome bands, friends from across the country all in one spot, excellent falafel sandwiches, things like that. I usually try to catch as many new bands as possible but yeah, catching up with friends is half the fun. 

You’ve covered ‘Ever Fallen In Love…’ by Buzzcocks. Is 70s/early 80s UK punk something you take a lot of influence from?

Nate: No, not at all. Sex Pistols were the first band I got into, when i was 12 or something, but that style of music hasn’t aged that well for me. I mean, I don’t mind it, but it’s not something I actively seek out or ever feel like putting on. I still like The Clash a lot but I put them in a different category I guess. 

I totally regret doing that cover. I don’t know what we were thinking. We yanked it off the record for all later pressings!

How do you feel about the current trend of (illegal) downloading? Do you think it’s detrimental to music or do you feel there are positives?

Nate: It’s good and bad, mostly bad I guess. The good thing is, tons more people can hear your music. The bad thing is, well, it’s pretty much decimated the industry! And I don’t mean ‘industry’ as in some dude in a suit who conducts market research on how eyeliner affects sales among the tween demographic. I just mean in general it’s become way, way harder to make a living off of music. Or even to break even. 

What do you think the future of pop punk is? Can you see the genre growing and growing?

Nate: Like I was saying before it goes in cycles so we’ll definitely have plenty of dry patches ahead, where the big band will be a terrible overproduced group called Morning Sunset or something, and we’ll all be bummed. But then some new shit will pop up. You’d think the well would eventually go dry, but I bet there’ll be lots of good bands in this genre of music for years and years to come. At least until 2014. After that, it’s probably done for.

You’ve yet to visit the UK [I think!]…is this something you’re hoping to change soon?

Nate: Yes! We will be there in March or April, it’s looking like.

Finally, let us know about one of the most embarrassing stories involving a band member on tour…

Nate: Probably the time in Kentucky we got loaded hours before the show and completely trainwrecked on stage; Mike literally forgot how to play guitar and walked off stage, and the rest of us fumbled awkwardly through a hastily thrown together set of Misfits and Lillingtons covers. Actually no, that wasn’t embarrassing, it was fucking awesome. We messed up the song “All” by the Descendents! It’s one second long!

New Dead To Me album details

•September 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Dead To Me have set a release date for their new album African Elephants. The follow up to their debut Cuban Ballerina will be released on November 10th.

A track off the album, Modern Muse, can be downloaded here.


1. X
2. Modern Muse
3. Nuthin Runnin Through My Brain
4. A Day Without a War
5. Bad Friends
6. Liebe Liese
7. Cruel World
8. Three Chord Strut
9. California Sun
10. Fell Right In
11. I Dare You
12. Tierra del Fuego
13. Blue

Above Them – Blueprint For A Better Time

•September 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Above Them are a band that excel at two things. First and foremost, they instil passion and hunger into anyone within earshot. Almost as important though, they like to give the listener time for reflection and recuperation.

The Ponte trio’s debut album is an impressive mix of crashing drums, powerful vocals and intricate guitar lines played with a real sense of authenticity. For those new to the band, they bridge the gap between Gainesville punk rock and UK post hardcore. Like if Hundred Reasons and Gunmoll went on to form a super group. Sort of.

Putting sub-genres to one side though, the best way to sum up Blueprint For A Better Time, is that it’s an excellent rock album. It’s got all the ingredients – anthemic choruses, riffs that bring out the air guitars – even in the most reserved among us, and great sing-a-long lyrics. Front man Oli has a voice way beyond his years; such emotion and captivating qualities in a northern accent is quite the feat.

I really feel Above Them have a sound that could cross over into ‘the mainstream’, while still sounding very real and genuine. It may not be the bands’ goal to reach the dizzy heights of stardom, but if they keep writing tunes of this calibre, it would be a crime for them not to get more recognition.

Nothington post new tracks

•September 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Country-fuelled punk rockers Nothington have posted three new tracks off their new album onto their Myspace page.

The new record is out on October 6th on BYO Records. The band is also releasing their debut effort All In on vinyl in late October on Left Off The Dial Records.

We’ll also be seeing them in Europe in February; dates coming soon!

Polar Bear Club – Chasing Hamburg

•September 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I won’t hide the fact that Polar Bear Club are one of my favourite bands around at the moment. Right from their 2005 demo, the band has been producing some of the best anthemic tracks of our generation. We got a taster of the new album with The Summer of George EP, but to be honest, it did not prepare me for this output.

Chasing Hamburg is a giant of an album. It features PBC at their heaviest, their most vulnerable, and their most accessible; and at its best, it’s quite frankly stunning. Now, I made sure I gave this record a fair number of plays before metaphorically putting pen to paper, as I remembered how much Sometimes Things… grew on me after each listen, and this album has certainly followed in its predecessors footsteps.

To pick a highlight would be like picking a favourite child, but we all know parents can do that really, so I’ll continue. Living Saints sees the band move smoothly into ‘pop hit’ territory, but without losing any integrity at all. It’s catchy, intelligent and memorable; you’ll be singing it for hours on end. Drifting Thing is the surprise of the album. With drums and bass only playing a minor role, Jimmy Stadt’s vocals and lyrics really shine through. However, One Hit Back is where the band really excels. It’s got everything that’s brilliant about PBC and more: passion, great lyrics and stacks of melody. It’s the Our Ballads of Chasing Hamburg.

Unfortunately it’s not a perfect album. Opener See The Wind is good but not brilliant, and the chorus to Take Me To The Town really doesn’t sit right with me. Weirdly, it seems rushed, which makes it stand out as the rest of the album sounds like it’s been gone over with a fine tooth comb.

Just two minor gripes in an otherwise fantastic album really is a testament to the bands’ songwriting. They have really hit their stride with this release, and I honestly think they are still refreshingly unique. The band borrows all the best bits from gruff punk, adds their own technical flair and throws in a huge amount of pop melody; obviously a winning recipe.

Sad, sad news: The Steal split

•September 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

UK melodic hardcore heroes The Steal have announced that their show in Kingston on Friday (18th) will  be their last ever gig. The gig will take place at The Peel, and is supporting Paint It Black and Ceremony.

The dynamic four piece are well known for their passionate posi hardcore anthems, and their two blistering albums S/T and Bright Grey.

A myspace blog from the band explains all:

So we had our first practice in 8 months last Sunday and it went well,
the cobwebs were well and truly dusted off, the cogs were greased and
my hands were bleeding by the end… friday should be good fun. Also,
in between bouts of tea, coffee and discussing the finer points of
Dave’s magical prowess we decided that friday would be the last gig we
play as the Steal. We think it’s a nice end being at the Peel, where we
played our first gig 4 years ago. Also playing with Paint It Black,
whose member’s current and past exploits were a primary influence on us
playing the music we do, is a nice touch. We think the band has come to
it’s natural end and we wanted to give people a heads-up if they wanted
come see us one last time.
Keep Moving Forward.