Weekly Label Profile: Insubordination Records

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Name: Insubordination Records
Lifespan: 1996-Current
Web Site: http://insubordinationrecords.com/
Notable Releases/Bands: Apers, Backseat Virgins, Be My Doppleganger, Beatnik Termites, Copyrights, For Science, Hard-Ons, Proteens, Radio With Guts, Unlovables
Info:
Started by Reggie Silvestri and Pat Kim in 1996 for Beatnik Termites albums, the label quickly grew from there and Chris Thacker was welcomed on board. In 2004 Mark Enoch brought Knock Knock Records into Insubordination Records and things continued to grow from there. Even today Insubordination records is well known for putting out quality pop punk for many years now, not to mention the now yearly Insubordination Fest in Baltimore, 3 days of pop punk that everybody loves

Top 15 EP’s of 2009

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A Top 15 list because it’s better than a Top 10. But there was so much good music that came out this year I had to split it up. This list includes, EP’s, Singles, splits and 7″s – Albums will be a separate list.

1. Hard-Ons With Neil Hamburger: American Exports
2. The Steinways: Art of the Underground Single Series Volume 27
3. Psyched To Die: Sterile Walls
4. Drag The River: Can’t Leave These Strays
5. John K. Samson: City Route 85
6. The Copyrights/The Dopamines: Songs About Fucking Up
7. Transgressions: Waste My Time
8. The Ergs!/The Measure[sa]
9. The Dazes/The Wimpy’s: Greetings from Japan!
10. Barrakuda McMurder: Slow Crawl
11. Spork Kills: Beaches Love Us
12. Drag The River: Under The Influence Vol. 5
13. Sandworms: …it’s a fucking demo
14. The Measure [sa]: Art of the Underground Single Series 37
15. The Apers: Art of the Underground Single Series Volume 28

Weekly Label Profile: It’s Alive Records

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itsaliverecords
Name: It’s Alive Records
Lifespan:
2004-Present
Web Site:
http://www.itsaliverecords.com/
Notable Releases/Bands: The Copyrights, Zatopeks, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Apers, Dear Landlord, For Science, Steinways, The Dazes, Barrakuda McMurder, The Methadones, The Dopamines, The Festipals, Get Bent, House Boat
Info:
It’s Alive is one of my current favorite labels, everything they put out is gold. Not only do they put out great tunes but Jenna and Adam who run it are awesome. Some labels have mp3 downloads or nothing, It’s Alive has a better concept, for an extra $1 they’ll throw in a cdr of records so you can rip them or listen to in your car. I’m a huge fan of this. Their mission? Put out awesome records by great bands. So far they’re knocking that out of the park. Recently they put out the House Boat album “The Delaware Octopus”. They were awesome enough to put out 50 “Tour” Editions with the release. Fans were so excited for this they crashed the site while trying to get to it for three hours. The way I see it, that’s one hell of a compliment.

REVIEW: Art of the Underground Single Series 27, 28, 36, 37, 38

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Art of the Underground has been steady for quite some time now, they put out singles by some great groups. The downside of this operation is when these singles come out they’re generally limited to 300 so you need to scoop them up quick. Anyway, here’s a look at a few of them.

AOTUThe Steinways: Art of the Underground Single Series Volume 27
Oh fuck, the Steinways! Art of the Underground and the Steinways have really outdone themselves with this one. Volume 27 is one of my favorite releases from this series, if it wasn’t for the Ergs! one this one would take the gold. The first song on this gem “Black Lung” is one of my favorite Steinways songs, as with any good pop punk song, it always get stuck in my fucking head. This song also has some classic Steinways lines in it. The second song “Headache – Girlfriend = Zen” holds up to another Steinways standard, great song titles. And oh shit, we’ve got ACE on vocals in this one. This one is yet another great tune from the group that should have never broke up. Make sure you go out of your way to check out these songs kids, it’ll be worth it!

1. Black Lung
2. Headache – Girlfriend = Zen
AOTUThe Apers: Art of the Underground Single Series Volume 28
Ah here are the Apers, aka Screeching Weasel of Europe with an addition to the Art of the Underground singles collection. A great addition to the collection too might I add. “One More 2nd Chance” is a great pop anthem anyway you look at it, it’s definitely a great addition to the songs you’re gonna listen to after you fuck up and your girlfriend kicks you the curb. She might not take you back but at least the Apers won’t judge you, (well maybe but you fucked up so you deserve it right?). The second tune we’ve got here is almost as great. It’s a nice catchy pop song with an easy to learn chorus that you can get down after hearing once so you can trick everyone at the show into thinking you know the song. This one is another of the AOTU series that you should be keeping an eye out for because it’d like to have a home in your record crate.

1. One More 2nd Chance
2. Wait A Little Longer

AOTUThe Manges: Art of the Underground Single Series Volume 36
The Manges have a generic pop punk sound, but that’s not a bad thing. If you looking for something that sounds like it could come from lookout records in the 90’s you should look into the Manges. This single has a couple of songs (as always). The first one “Duck and Cover” has some great poppy guitar work and lyrically it’s about what you expect from a punk song, love this one. The second tune on here “Bad Brain” is fun, it starts out really strong, maybe better than the A side but then it’s down fall comes in, the last part of the song just repeats ‘Bad Brain’ over and over and over and over and over. Generally I don’t mind when a song finishes like this, but here it’s actually quite annoying.

1.Duck and Cover
2.Bad Brain

AOTUThe Measure [SA]: Art of the Underground Single Series Volume 37
This was one of my first encounters with The Measure [SA], and enough to keep me on the hunt for more of their tunes. The Measure [SA] is a little hard to describe musically. They combine elements of pop punk, indie and folk, somehow. Nothing really shines through more than the others (except maybe the pop punk), it’s more like hints of different types of music blended beautify. If you’re a fan of these guys you should be on the hunt for this record, both songs are great. The first song maybe a little better than the second but both are on constant rotation for me.

A. We’ve Upped Our Standards, Now Up Yours
B. The Five Chimes

AOTUKepi Ghoulie: Art of the Underground Single Series Volume 38
Kepi Ghoulie of the Groovie Ghoulies was forced to split out on his own when the band split, some people say it’s worked out for the best. Personally I think Kepi’s stuff is pretty hit or miss, luckily this one is a big hit. Volume 38 of the Art of the Underground collection I think is the best solo stuff Kepi has put out. Both songs are done with an acoustic flair, the first one “Bye Bye Brain” is my new favorite Kepi Ghoulie song, you just can’t go wrong with this one. The second song stays steady with a good rhythm that threatens to get stuck in your head and compliments the first song excellently.

1. Bye Bye Brain
2. Brain Scrambling Device

REVIEW: The Apers: You Are Only As Strong As The Table You Dance On

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aperstableFeel pop punk has gotten too sugar coated and sweet? Think it’s lost its edge and raw energy? Think the Dutch can’t rock? Wish more bands like Screeching Weasel were around and less like the Ramones? Do yourself a favor and check out the new Apers album. Asian Man Records is bringing us this album with a monkey on the cover, which is always a plus. “You Are Only As Strong As The Table You Dance On” not only has a really fucking long name, but it’s got some damn good songs too. My favorite probably being “Friday Night Killed Saturday Fun”. My advice if you like the early stages of the pop punk scene is to go pick this one up.

1. Word Is Out
2. Friday Night Killed Saturday Fun
3. Please Come Back To Me (I Can’t Live Without You)
4. I Feel Like A Lame-Ass Extra In A U2 Video
5. Every Day Is A Rock N Roll Day
6. …But Then She Smiles
7. Killing Me Again
8. Winterthur
9. Always Have Paris
10. Put Down The Hamburger
11. 24 Bottles Of Fun
12. Hold On To Me
13. Whatever It Takes

Get it from Asian Man Records HERE

Get You’re Only As Strong As the Tables You Dance from Amazon HERE

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