Astpai – Burden Calls

The energy is consistent on Burden Calls, but the songs bounce between revitalized rock 'n' roll and rote. Half of the album frays the punk-pop tradition of snots singing about boredom and disenchantment. Yet, on the whole, there's no doubting Astpai's professionalism; this is a focused album with limited filler, often capturing the energy of a … [Read more...]

Billy Idol – Kings and Queens of the Underground

There isn't any getting away from it. 1977 was a cultural watershed year for music and, now approaching four decades on from the first appearances of the Sex Pistols, Clash, the Slits, Siouxsie & The Banshees and a host of other less well remembered bands, the whole UK punk thing remains spoken of as if it were the actual end of music history, … [Read more...]

Book: No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens

Through numerous interviews and entertaining details, Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steve DiLodovico have brought to life the history of the storied music club City Gardens, which existed in the ‘middle of nowhere’ in New Jersey in the 1980s to mid-1990s.  This “cement box” (description courtesy of Mickey Ween) located in Trenton hosted a veritable Who’s … [Read more...]

Afghan Whigs – Do to the Beast

Your attention please: I just bought tickets to The Afghan Whigs -  in 2014. These tickets, however, are considerably more expensive than door prices would have been at Sudsy’s - the bar and laundrette that hosted local legendary line-ups, and most probably the place where many of us first saw the whigs - their affectionate abbreviation at that … [Read more...]

Parquet Courts – “Sunbathing Animal”

For many, the late 1980’s were a renaissance for punk in America, and SST stood as not just a record label, but a stamp of approval. Greg Ginn used the label to foster the growth of some of punk rock’s forefathers – Black Flag, Husker Du, Meat Puppets, even Sonic Youth got their start on the raucous label. Unlike many other genres that saw their … [Read more...]

Calling All Astronauts – “It Could Have Been Lust”

“It Could Have Been Lust,” the sixth and final single for Calling All Astronauts' 2013 debut Post-Modern Conspiracy is a fitting end to the life cycle of the band’s introductory LP. In comparison to most of the songs from that album, which abruptly begin and end with a similar fit of guitar riffs, drums and keyboards, “It Could Have Been Lust” … [Read more...]

Lemuria – The Distance Is So Big

Lemuria are a fun little 3 piece band out of New York. Previously releasing music through Art of The Underground, No Idea Records and Asian Man Records, they settled in to Bridge 9, a dominant label in the hardcore punk scene to put out their second album Pebbles. After touring half of the world, they went back into the studio to record The … [Read more...]

Q&A with Apologies, I Have None

There is a small gray van, standing on the 'Oude Markt' in the city of Leuven--a place that is known to many students as “The longest bar in the world”. I have gathered inside to do a quick interview with Dan Bond and Josh McKenzie from the British punk quartet Apologies, I Have None, just before they took the stage at The Rockcafé in Leuven, … [Read more...]

Q&A with Grave Babies

Hiya Danny!  Your new album Crusher is out in late February and it’s your debut for the Sub Pop sub-division Hardly Art.  You’ve previously released a cassette/vinyl album, a 7” single, and an EP on other labels.  How did you end up with Hardly Art? Hardly Art put out our last release which was our EP and the 7" ("Pleasures") before that as … [Read more...]

Jowls – Cursed EP

Keeping up with the D.I.Y. ethos so readily found in punk rock and hardcore music is something that, with the explosion of digital music, has become easier for many musicians, allowing them to promote and share their music to a nearly unlimited audience. And with the backing of a small, independent record label that subscribes to the same creed, … [Read more...]