REVIEW: LastLight / Tausend Löwen unter Feinden – Compilation of Unity


7” split 2017 Unity WorldWide Records

Compilation of Unity is a split 7 ” combining the best of two worlds: OCHC and TLUF. The first three songs are by the German old school hardcore band Tausend Löwen unter Feinden (TLUF). They are one of the best hardcore bands coming out of Germany the last couple of years. The next two songs are by a new American melodic hardcore band called LastLight from Orange County, California. With ex-Ignite Member Joe D Foster on guitar the songs reminds me a lot of a more mid tempo Ignite. The split got released on the new label Unity Worldwide Records founded by Joe D. Foster and German-based hardcore scene veteran, ‘Billy’ aka Sven Guenther. The goal of Unity Worldwide Records is to help friends on both sides of the pond releasing their music!

Both bands are one of those really interesting bands I came across the last couple of years and this split 7” is one of the coolest releases I’ve heard so far. Specially the third song ‘What We Have’ is really great. It makes this split 7” a real must have with its combination of German and English lyrics and guest apperances of Jae Hansel (LastLight) and Dennis Brightside (Rykers). ‘What we have’ is a real killer track but all five songs are winners. 9/10

Track list:
1. Tausend Löwen Unter Feinden – Illusion
2. Tausend Löwen Unter Feinden -Berg
3. Tausend Löwen Unter Feinden – What We Have feat. Jae Hansel (Last Light) und Dennis (Ryker’s)
4. LastLight – Conquer And Rise
5. LastLight – New Beginnings

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/tausendloewenunterfeinden
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/LASTLIGHT

REVIEW: For I Am – All About Perspectives

For I Am – All About Perspectives
CD/ LP 2017 Bearded Punk Records, Trilob, Infected Records, Disconnect Disconnect Records

The last couple of years the Belgian female fronted pop punk band ‘For I Am’ is making a name for themselves. I was pretty impressed back in 2015 when they released their first EP ’15 Minutes Late’ loaded with decent well-structured pop punk songs including good vocals, nice backings, …

Listening to ‘All About Perspectives’, I’m still impressed by the quality of the songs. For I Am keep proving that they have the skills to make great pop (punk) songs but also ass kicking punk rock tunes. The experience they gained the last couple of years is dripping from this new record. ‘For I Am’ and ’All About Perspectives’ are still highly recommended! 9,5/10

Track list
1. Simpleton For President
2. Nightburn
3. Or Was It Steve
4. It’s You
5. Wayward
6. An Unusual Kind of Magic
7. Linda
8. Laundry Man
9. Home For Summer
10. Rob’s Story
11. Sticky Sweet
12. (Make It Out) Alive

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/foriamband

REVIEW: War With The Newts – Dead Eyes

War With The Newts – Dead Eyes
CDEP 2017 DIY

I thought Grunge was dead? Well it seems it isn’t, ‘War With The Newts from Berlin, Germany seems to keep it alive in some mutated form with a pinch of hardcore and punk. Does the combination work? Well I think it does. The Hardcore and punk spices up the grunge influences taken from bands as Dinosaur Jr. and Mudhoney and gives it some extra power and aggression.

With Cobains spirit wandering around in the Dead Eyes EP, War With The Newts deliver an EP that is kind of refreshing in the nowadays hardcore and punk scene although it grabs back to the highdays of the Grunge. 8/10<

Track list:

1.Megalodon
2. Ass Moustache
3. Castration
4. “Ceasar” Salad

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/warwiththenewts/

REVIEW: Landlines – Blue

Landlines – Blue
CDEP 2017 DIY

Earlier this year in April the Dutch punk rock trio Landlines released their new EP Blue. It’s the follower to their ‘Logical Fallacies’ début album from 2016.On ‘Blue’ Landlines keep on following the same path as with ‘Logical Fallacies’ bringing us their own style of punk rock. It’s a combination of what I call the new wave of British punk with its emo driven melancholic tunes, a dash of melodic American punk with a good rocking beat and some streetpunk. The hoarse vocals suits the music just fine. It is good quality punk straight from the Netherlands. 8/10

Track list:
1. Rock Bottom
2. We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat
3. “Take Lots of C”
4. Blue

FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/landlinespunkrock

FESTIVAL: Brakrock 2017

On my way to Brakrock, our own Belgium Punk Rock Holiday festival, it was raining swimming pools but luckily it kept dry for the rest of the day. Although the t° could be a bit warmer I had a great time at this fine outdoor punk rock fest at the Ter Elstlei in Duffel.

Brakrock is the annual gathering of punk rock minded people who go to the festival not only for the atmosphere in this nice green park setting with its riverbank, water and castle ruin but mostly for the great music divided over two stages AND without any overlapping shows.

Brakrocks history start in 2012 and over the years they had a fine collection of bands on its stages. I loved the 2016 edition but this year might be their best ever (line-up wise) with The Real Danger, Not On Tour, Useless ID, D.O.A., Undeclinable Ambuscade, The Real McKenzies, No Fun At All, Good Riddance, Face To Face, Altitude, F.O.D. Nothington, Get Dead, Pears, Unsure, Chixdiggit, 88 Finger Louie, Teenage Bottlerocket.

Get Dead

BRAKROCK HISTORY

  • EDITION 2012: Billy The Kill, CobraSkulls, Arizona, F.O.D, Overweight, Simple Simons, C.A.B
  • EDITION 2013: Belgian Asociality, Teenage Bottlerocket, Get Dead, Straightaway, Knalselder, Antillectual, Toxic Shock, Face The Fax, Wölf, Steamy Grease, The Reeves, This Kid, Archetype, Momma Knows Best, Harsh Realms, TST, Dusty Boys Horseclub, White Label
  • EDITION 2014: Useless ID, Implants, Morning Glory, Joe Mcmahon, Mark Foggo, Flatcat, Wolf Banes, Local Resident Failure, Counterpunch, F.O.D, Homer, Officer Down, Trash Candy, Wölf, Young Hearts, Psychonaut.
  • EDITION 2015: Teenage Bottlerocket, Diablo Blvd, Kids Insane, Tim Vantol, Get Dead, Not On Tour, Adrenalized, The Decline, FOD, The Setup, Skin Of Tears, The Priceduifkes, Cheap Drugs, You Nervous?, Set Things Right, Moments, Generation 84, NOFX coverband
  • EDITION 2016: Strung Out, Adolescents,The Dwarves, A Wilhelm Scream, Flatliners, Authority Zero, Such Gold, Versus The World, Mean Jeans, Antillectual, Young Hearts with guests Unsure and Gwyllions, Trophy Lungs, The Decline, Homer, The Uprising, For I Am, Kill The President, Cold Reading, Secret Faith, Hans Rooftop, Mutt,
  • EDITION 2017: The Real Danger, Not On Tour, Useless ID, D.O.A., Undeclinable Ambuscade, The Real McKenzies, No Fun At All, Good Riddance, Face To Face, Altitude, F.O.D. Nothington, Get Dead, Pears, Unsure, Chixdiggit, 88 Finger Louie, Teenage Bottlerocket

Undeclinable Ambuscade

Unsure

My personal highlights (from 14:00 on, couldn’t be there earlier) were No Fun At All who still proved to be one of Sweden’s best, Face To Face who just killed it, Teenage Bottlerocket was great and Unsure nailed it. Also Get Dead (bit of an underrated band if you ask me), Nothington, Chixdiggit, 88 Finger Louie and Undeclinable Ambuscade played a great show. Honestly there were no real downers here or maybe The Real Mckenzies (they always will be the little brother of the Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly) and D.O.A. These old farts could not really convince me.

D.O.A.

THE ECO THING AND THE GROWING PAINS

Brakrock is an eco-minded festival that pays attention to their ecological footprint when it comes to use of space, materials, water, energy, catering, waste, …  also their choice for local and Fairtrade products  and their social awareness can be seen as an example for a lot of festivals. At any time the festival area looks pretty clean in comparison with some other festivals where you are walking through garbage by the end of the day.

But as the festival has grown in attendees the eco thing could not really meet with the extra crowd. For example there were not enough reusable drinking cups (so they had to use throwaway cups which is a shame when you pull the eco card.

Also there wasn’t  enough food in the catering area at times (its not good publicity when you run out of wraps and fries). Also some sme extra choice in food would be nice, there more than hamburgers, fries and wraps. Maybe some extra food trucks would be a nice addition in the future (ex. Just like your mom, Loving Hut Veganerie, …). It might solve to long waiting lines.

Well mostly these are just some growing pains that can easily be solved. Keep up to good work Brakrock we need more fests like yours.

www.brakrock.be

REVIEW: Bummertown – No going home

Bummertown – No going home
LP 2017 DIY

It is always nice to receive a vinyl package in the mail containing a record from a band in anohter continent you never heard before. This time it is the ‘No going home’ 10” EP by a Canadian punk rock band called ‘Bummertown’.

This three-piece from Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada brings us five pop punk songs that are in a way inspired by the surf punk rock sound we all know from bands as the Queers (USA), The Manges (It), the Travoltas (NL) but without the summer vibes. You can describe it as pop punk loaded with melancholy, a depressive vibe and a small pinch of grunge.

So it might not be the most cheerful summer album but it isn’t a real bummer either. I found it really enjoyable and would love to hear more from them in the future. 8/10

Tracklist:
1. Head Case
2. Head Aches / Dig you out
3. Stuck
4. Wide open
5. Cycle

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/bummertownband/

INTERVIEW: John Joseph (Cro-Mags, Bloodclot)

Over the years I’ve met some fine, interesting and inspiring people within the hardcore and punk scene, meetings that will stick with me one way or the other. Mostly they were musicians from (inter)national bands big and small and just to name a few: Rodrigo (Satanic Surfers) when he was fronting Atlas Losing Grip (RIP), Lars Frederiksen and Old Firm Casuals, Mitts from Madball, Issa from Good Clean Fun (RIP), Ingemar from No Fun At All, Adam from H2O even twice, Pete from Sick Of It All, Colin and Daryl from Cock Sparrer,  … But one of my most memorable will be my meeting with author, NYHC musician and vegan Iron Man John Joseph from The Cro-Mags/ Bloodclot.

Anyone who is into hardcore, punk and even metal has heard of John Joseph and the American hardcore thrash band from New York City the Cro-Mags because both are legendary. Started by Harley Flanagan and the Cro-Mags were one of the first 80s bands that mixed hardcore, punk and thrash metal. They released their first album ‘The Age of Quarrel’ on Profile Records in September 1986 and it had John Joseph on vocals, Parris Mitchell Mayhew  and Doug Holland on guitar, Harley Flanagan on bass and Mackie Jayson on drums. ‘The Age of Quarrel’ became a real hardcore classic.

For some the Cro-Mags  are more known for their several line-ups and the separate versions of the Cro-Mags that were touring simultaneously during the 1990s and 2000s, one led by Harley Flanagan and one by John Joseph. Anno 2017, John and Mackie brought AJ Novello and Casey (who replaced Craig Ahead because Craig had knee surgery) to groezrock to bring that authentic NYHC Cro-Mags sound.

You could say that the Cro-Mags are notorious for the quarrel between John and Harley but John Joseph don’t give a fuck about any of that bullshit: “There isn’t no quarrel on this end. You never hear me talk shit, I don’t give a fuck. Look me and Mackie played on the record. I got a new band and a new album. We come out and have fun. When you are dealing with a person that constantly steals money from the band, ratted me out to the government. Why at this point in my life should I deal with a negative person?  AJ is in the band for 20 something years, Craig plays with us … I don’t care we do it to have fun. We come to Europe to play some festivals, everybody has a good time. There’s no beef, nobody is talking shit. The last time I went to Europe with him (Harley) he stole all the money, he stole the money in ’78 and in 91’. I went home broke and lost my apartment. Everything he writes in his book is bullshit. The real story is that we do this shit to have fun and not for the money. I make more money when I stay at home than to come over here. But I do it to have fun. If it wasn’t fun I wouldn’t do it. It is as simple as that”, John says.

“And about us not being the real Cro-Mags, its half the Cro-Mags the other half … who gives a fuck. Most of the shows we play are sold out. People don’t care about the beef they want to hear the music”, John adds. “I sang on all the records except for Best Wishes and  I quit why? Because the money got stolen by my supposed to be best friend that tried to put me in prison”, John says. “Harley stole from the band and stole the Century Media Records money. He so forced me to finish the unfinished tracks, make a record an do a USA and Europe tour to get out of the contract that he got me involved in.”, John says.

Besides being the frontmen of the Cro-Mags, John Joseph is an author known for his books ‘The evolution of a Cro-Magnon’ and ‘Meat is for pussies’. He just signed a quarter of a million book deal and just released an updated version of ‘The evolution of a Cro-Magnon’ because people were selling the first edition for too much money online, ripping people of.  “Everything in my book is the truth. That’s the real story. It ain’t about the Cro-Mags, it’s a positive book about overcoming obstacles and it helped a lot of people. It is not about being a tuff guy, it is about compassion and helping people, it is about going out and feeding the homeless,  …. It is about giving and not taking and bragging”, John says.

John has a new book coming out about PMA on which he spent 3 years of writing. The book deals with his and other people experiences on overcoming shit in their lives and getting things done.  “It’s a book about how we all help each other and not sit there and talk shit about each other. If you put people down constantly you are an insecure motherfucker because you got to put them down to make yourself feel better. That not a man, that’s a coward. We spread positivity and love and help people PMA that’s what it is all about.”, John adds.

A real man is someone who helps other people and has compassion.

John got a new band together called Bloodclot with himself  on vocals, Todd Youth (ex-Murphy’s Law, e- Danzig) on guitar, Nick Oliveri (Dwarves, ex-Kyuss, ex-QOTSA) on bass and Joey  Castillo (ex-QOTSA, ex—Danzig, The Bronx) on drums. They have an album out called ‘Up in Arms’ on July 14th through Metal Blade. Decibel Magazine gave it 5 out of 5 stars and it got voted as the best album in John’s career. “I do the music for the love. A new Cro-Mags album is probably not going to happen but instead I went a did a bad-ass album with these guys in Bloodclot,” John says.

JOHN JOSEPH: http://www.purepma.com/

CRO-MAGS: https://www.facebook.com/Cro-Mags-28749578197/

BLOODCLOT: https://nl-nl.facebook.com/bloodclotofficial/