Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Lipreader/Brick Mower @ Township, 4/17/12

By Jason Duarte

Nothing breaks up the work week like a weeknight show. Tuesday night, Lipreader, The Please & Thank Yous and Meat Wave joined forces with New Brunswick, NJ's Brick Mower, for a fun night of pop punk tuneage.
This was my first introduction to Meat Wave, which features local recording dude, Joe Gac. Their drummer was mesmerizing, and their hooks were memorable. The vocals and guitar reminded me of the Marked Men, but more electrified and gritty.
The Please & Thank Yous played next and belted out some new songs. According to singer/guitarist Geoffrey Schott, there's a finished new record, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Those dudes are always a good time live.
Brick Mower took the stage next, and killed it. They too, played some new songs, and existing favorites such as "Slow Too Fast." They were selling a tour-exclusive demo tape limited to 30, which has three of my new favorite Brick Mower songs. Much love was shown and their Chicago fanbase grew that night - just in time for their return on June 30 with Black Wine.
Lipreader closed out the night, playing songs off their Broken Heart Attack 7'' and some others I hadn't heard before. It's always cool seeing a drummer who's also the lead singer. The Ergs!, Phil Collins/Genesis come to mind. And The Eagles. And Black Wine actually. They played a solid set to their hometown friends and fans, and when the music was done, everyone was hanging out and mingling; buying merch, shaking hands and drinking beers. A damn good way to throw some fun into the workweek. Plus, BRICK MOWER SLUMBER PARTY!

Here's a dark video I shot of "Slow Too Fast," the last song of Brick Mower's set Tuesday night. Enjoy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Matt Skiba and the Sekrets announces summer tour

Looks like Matt Skiba and the Sekrets is kicking off its first tour on June 7 in Chicago at the Metro in support of its brand new debut album Babylon, out on Superball Records May 8.

June 7, 2012 Chicago, IL Metro
June 8, 2012 Cleveland Heights, OH Grog Shop
June 9, 2012 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts
June 10, 2012 Washington, DC The Black Cat
June 12, 2012 Cambridge, MA Middle East
June 13, 2012 Brooklyn, NY The Bell House
June 20, 2012 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
June 22, 2012 West Hollywood, CA Troubadour
June 23, 2012 San Diego, CA House of Blues
June 24, 2012 Pomona, CA The Glass House

Presale tickets can be purchased through Front Gate Tickets here.

Listen to "All Fall Down" and "Voices" off Babylon.

Review: Screaming Females @ Subterranean, Thursday, 4/12/2012

By Jason Duarte

Originally published by Gaper's Block

New Brunswick, NJ's Screaming Females are not just another three-piece punk band. It would be unfair and inaccurate to pigeonhole their sound as simply punk, garage or indie because it's all too vague. If you threw indie, garage, punk, noise, pop and a dash of darkness into a blender and set it to high, walked out of the kitchen, forgot about the blender, then came back an hour later, you'd come back to a huge mess, blended to perfection. Soak it up, wring it into a glass, introduce some radiation from your microwave and then you have Screaming Females.

Screamales, as the band's fans refer to them, played the Subterranean in Wicker Park Thursday night in support of its new fifth studio full length; the Steve Albini-engineeredUgly, out on Don Giovanni Records. Screaming Females' vocalist/guitarist Marissa Paternoster has a voice that carries the Riot Grrl torch. It isn't "pretty;" actually, it's quite an acquired taste, but once the taste graces the palate, a Screamales song to a fan is the bell to Pavlov's dog.

The Females played fan favorites like "Laura and Marty" and the ever-melodic, "I Don't Mind It" off its 2010 full length, Castle Talk. Paternoster's patented screaming plays a more dominant role on the Screamales' earlier songs like "Theme Song" or "The Real Mothers" off What If Someone Is Watching Their T.V.? To watch her transition from singing to screaming is to watch Lon Chaney Jr. turn into the Wolfman just for a few seconds before turning back. It appears she unhinges her jaw and flips a switch into her alter ego, engulfing the microphone with her mouth and letting loose a barrage of sound, bellowing from the depths of some seemingly faraway hollow place.

The Screamales added some new ones to their set; their first single and the first track on Ugly, "It All Means Nothing" as well as "Rotten Apples," which much of the crowd already knew. Fans were eagerly pogo-ing, singing along to Paternoster's urgent lyrics and moving their bodies to her gritty guitar solos, which were orchestrated well with bassist Mike Abbate's driving, progressive bass chords. The Screamales inspired camaraderie between fans last night. The total stranger next to me who was losing his mind noticed I knew the words to some tunes, so he proceeded to grab my shoulder several times throughout the set as if to say, "How about that one!?"

The band had an interesting stage presence — Paternoster is short and fiesty-looking, whereas Abbate is tall, silent and has a gentle demeanor, and drummer Jarrett Dougherty falls somewhere between the two, and always wears what looks like a Polynesian kukui nut necklace. The band isn't one for stage banter and when Paternoster does speak, she sounds apathetic and complacent — but in a cool way. She'll say, "Here's another song." A female audience member yelled, "Marissa, my boyfriend loves you!" to which Marissa, looking unimpressed replied, "That's nice." The flattery kept coming, which seemed to make things just a little awkward, since it wasn't reciprocated. They blazed through some more tunes before closing the night strong and without an encore.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Teenage Bottlerocket to release 'Freak Out!' July 3 via Fat Wreck Chords

By Jason Duarte

Holy shit! It's been a few years since Teenage Bottlerocket's last full-length, 2009's They Came From the Shadows. On that record, TBR seemed to be moving in a more skate-punk/thrash-fueled direction. Judging by the title and song names of this new album, it looks like they're moving even futher in it.
Being a friend and fan of this band since 2005, I couldn't be more excited for this release. The dudes have come a long way in their 10 years of being a band and I can't wait to see what the future holds for Kody, Miggy, Brandon and Ray with this one. Here's something you may not know about this record: "Headbanger" was written by Kody and Brandon's previous band called Sack. Listen to it here. They've been throwing it into their live set for years now, so I'm stoked they're re-recording it as a TBR song.
As a matter of fact, they're shooting a video for it at Brandon's house in Ft. Collins tonight at 5 p.m. So show up if you're in the area dressed as a metalhead and be in the upcoming TBR video, dummy!
"Punk House of Horror" and "Mutilate Me" were released last year via Fat Wreck on the Mutilate Me 7''. I doubt the band would re-record them, but who knows. As far as I know, the rest of the tracks are brand new.
This is what bassist Miggy Chen has to say;
Friends! We are beyond excited to announce our new full length, Freak Out! The record comes out in July on Fat Wreck Chords and we can't wait for everyone to hear it! These songs are some of our favorites we've ever done. We recorded it at the Blasting Room with out longtime friend and engineer Andrew Berlin and we're stoked on how everything turned out. It's been over 10 years since Teenage Bottlerocket began and a lot of amazing things have happened since then. We are so grateful to everyone who has helped make our life so awesome and we hope you enjoy the record as much as we enjoyed making it!!"

Here's a studio update from drummer Brandon Carlisle, originally posted April 4:

Track listing:
1. Freak Out!
3. Cruising For Chicks
4. Necronomicon
5. Maverick
6. Done With Love
7. Punk House of Horror
8. Never Gonna Tell You
9. In the Pit
10. Mutilate Me
11. Who Killed Sensei?
12. Radical
13. Summertime
14. Go With the Flow