REVIEW: Skinny Genes: Meh

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CoverSkinny Genes is a very highly anticipated band for a lot of pop punk enthusiasts, it’s the band of Ace. You know, the guy from the Steinways and House Boat that has a few songs but they’re really great and you wish he had his own band. Well now he’s got his own band and it’s about as great as you’d expect it to be. ‘Meh’ instantly won me over with a Simpsons reference then kept my favor with five fucking great songs. These aren’t just Steinways or House Boat songs by Ace; the entire band has a different sound than those previous ones (though nothing drastic). Anyone that’s a fan of pop punk needs to own this, it’s so fucking great. Out on Bloated Kat Records so go buy it now. Right now.

1. Old Man Yells At Cloud
2. Comfortably Dumb
3. No Service
4. Worst
5. Mansion Shack Apartment House

Get it from Bloated Kat Records HERE

SHOWS I SEEN: Insubordination Fest 2013 – June 27th-29th 2013 – The Ottobar

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The Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
June 27th-29th 2013
Insub Fest 2013
I saw most of the bands, if they’re not listed I either missed them or just drank too much to remember.

THURSDAY

Steinways – A super fun set by the Steinways as always. I’m glad they did a reunion for Insub fest this year. This was my favorite set of the night.

Mikey Erg! – Not quite as good as some of the other Mikey Erg sets I’ve seen, not as many Ergs songs as normal and no Psyched to Die ones, but it was still really good. He covered ‘Sweet Iron Lady’, it was pretty fucking great.

Houseboat – It’s a bit unfair to compare Houseboat’s set this year to their one last year but for some reason I have to. This year’s set wasn’t as good but 2012’s would have been hard to top anyway. That’s alright though Houseboat still brought a great set that was pretty fun.

Team Stray – I don’t really remember much of this set, I blame the alcohol.

Slow Death – I also don’t remember much of this set for the same reason.

Rational Anthem – Rational Anthem was fucking awesome as always, they were just about the best set of the night (Steinways beat them by just a hair). Everyone should see this band a million times.

Young Rochelles and the Quarantines I missed despite wanting to see them again.

Trashkanistan – Trash was awesome as always, I wish there were more people drunkenly singing along but there were a few up there. Shit was fun.

Flamingo Nosebleed and the Meeps I also missed despite really wanting to see Flamingo Nosebleed.

Hellstroms – I came in a little late but I think I only missed like two songs. Hellstroms were awesome, I’d say they were a great opener to Insub but there really should have been more people watching. They covered ‘Fist Fight in the Parking Lot’; it was one of the highlights of the weekend.

FRIDAY

Dog Party – Dog Party was pretty decent, though I was unaware of how young they were so I’ll upgrade it to they’re really good.

Dead North – First time I’ve Seen Dead North and they were pretty great. They played all the songs I was hoping for too.

Paper Dragons – I’m so glad this band decided to get back together. Their set was fucking great and I think they impressed a lot of people there.

Direct Hit – I only caught part of their set but what I saw was pretty fun.

Sick Sick Birds – My favorite Baltimore band, they had a great set as always, I think a lot of people took notice to them as well.

Dead Mechanical – Dead Mechanical is a band that out of town folks seem to love. There was a decent amount of people for this one and they played a quality set like they always do.

Night Birds – Night Birds are one of those bands that you can’t resist partying when they play. They’re always incredible and just destroy whatever is in front of them. This set was no exception, and then they went and closed it with a Ramones cover for good measure.

Kepi Ghoulie – There’s always one set that I expect to just be alright and they totally just blow me away, this year Kepi was that set. I’ve seen Kepi play every year and it’s always alright but this was so much fun. There were balloons, a sharkcam and a big ol party, but it wasn’t too much over the top which had been a problem in the past. This was my favorite set of the weekend.

Copyrights – As always the Copyrights were fun. I was so beat by the time they played I was just going to stand on the sidelines and observe. That only lasted about 1/3 of the set or so then I had to get in and go up front.

SATURDAY

Danny Vapid & The Cheats – I wasn’t super excited for this set just because they were such a disappointment last year. Luckily I guess they were aware of that fact and fixed things this year. They totally brought it and I couldn’t have been happier, finally a really good Danny Vapid & The Cheats set!

Beatnik Termites – Not a big crowd to watch the Termites, but that’s nothing new (for some reason). The people that were up there were enjoying it though. They had what I’d call and average Beatnik Termites set. Personally I was hoping for more Bubblecore songs.

Candy Hearts – A solid set by the Candy Hearts, no one got hurt this time that I’m aware of so that’s a plus.

Lipstick Homicide – Personally Lipstick Homicide was the real headliner of Saturday. They killed it as always and there were plenty of people partying when they played. This is also a band you need to see a billion times. I think it goes without saying they were the best set of the night.

City Mouse – I was pretty pissed that I missed City Mouse last year so I made sure I caught them this year. They had a pretty solid set, not a ton of people were at the Ottobar yet but the ones that were seemed pretty stoked.

Marshmallows – Even though they weren’t actually the opener for Saturday (I missed Schroeder & The Brillo-Pod) I’m going to say they were a great opener for Saturday. They played a good set; I think they were even better than last time.

SHOWS I SEEN: Steinways/Lipstick Homicide/Team Stray/Rational Anthem – June 26, 2013 – The Gutter

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The Gutter – Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Steinways – I’m not sure when the last time the Steinways played was but they’re not a band anymore. I’m going to assume this was their first show in a while, even if it wasn’t they were still great. They fucked up a minimal amount of times and the set was fun. I’d say they played a lot of great songs, but really all of the Steinways songs are great. This got me stoked for Insub Fest!

Lipstick Homicide – Lipstick Homicide played all of my favorite songs and they complete tore shit up. Their set was fucking perfect!

Team Stray – I’d never seen Team Stray before but have listened to them a lot. This wasn’t quite what I expected but they were still pretty fun.

Rational Anthem – Rational Anthem were fucking awesome as always, they closed with Imaginary Girlfriend and played Cool Story so I was happy for the night. Previous to this I had a horrible day in New York; their set made it all worth it.

The Gloomy Ones – I missed a good chunk of the Gloomy Ones set but what I caught I didn’t really care for.

REVIEW: Science Police: You Are Under Arrest in the Future

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SPBloated Kat Records continues on their attempt at ruling the pop punk world with another great release, this time it’s the debut EP of Science Police a band that features Grath Madden (Steinways, House Boat, Barrakuda McMurder), Marisa (Besties, Ergquist), Andy (Panther Moderns), Joe Evans (Joe Evans), Ace and Grivet (both Steinways). That’s a pretty large band, especially for a pop punk band but they make it work. As with most bands that have Grath Madden in them you probably have a basic idea of what this sounds like, and that idea is pretty much right. The main difference is the addition of some vocals from Marisa and the keyboard (also Marisa). Personally I think they’re both great additions to a Grath band, not only do I really like both Besties and Ergquist but this really keeps the band from sounding like just another version of the Steinways (though yeah that sound is totally in there). It’s pretty simple, if you liked Ergquist and you like the Steinways or House Boat or Barrakuda McMurder there’s a very good chance that you’re going to like this band. They’re great songs by people that know how to make them sound great.

Get it from Bloated Kat Records HERE

Get it from Science Police HERE

SHOWS I SEEN: Insubordination Fest ’10 – June 19th-26th 2010 – Ottobar and Sonar – Baltimore, MD

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Insubordination Fest ’10 – Ottobar and Sonar – Baltimore, MD

June 24th – 26th, 2010

It’s been a long fucking weekend, starting Thursday and going until Sunday. Most of this is due to Insubordination Fest 2010. It was great, but I’m not sure how I’m still standing. All of this in the great Baltimore, MD. Thursday pre-show happened at the Ottobar, it was fun but I only stayed for half. Friday and Saturday were at the shitty Sonar.
Why is sonar shitty? Well first off it was not the fault of the people that put on the event at all. They fought tooth and nail to get things right so everyone could have a good time and not die but fucking Sonar won out in the end. First off their beer was super expensive, I mean $5 for PBR, and they raised the prices just for the event. Then rumor is some car windows got broke Friday night (people suspect this is the club’s front for ‘we’re mad because we didn’t sell as much beer as we wanted’). So Saturday they lock it down. No re-entry, and to top it off they started charging $3-$4 for water. And a side note the bathroom was a fucking nightmare. So yeah, don’t go to Sonar. On the positive side the event was a total blast. I spent most of my time between the smaller 2nd and 3rd stages because they had the best stuff going on, here’s a little what it looked like. (Pretty sure I got the stages and order right, sorry if I screwed up)

PreShow:

The Quarantines – Your average Quarantines set, and by that I mean they were really great. Solid too, I only have 2 complaints. The set started a few minutes early so I missed a little bit of it, and the vocals could have been better, but that’s no fault of the bands, all sound system.

Firecrackers – I saw them last year at the pre-show, they were pretty good. This year they were really good as well, they were a lot more polished then they were last year.

The Proteens – A great set, super fun, I will see them as many times as I can.
Friday – Day 1
PG-13’s (2nd Stage) – Pretty good set, I’ve never seen these guys before but they were really good, great way to start the day.

PETS (3rd Stage) – I only got to see 2 songs, but it was quite good, they had big blow up PETS letters too.

Old Wives (2nd Stage) – Ruled, I only caught about half the set but they were great.

The Sandworms (3rd Stage) – One of the best sets of the fest, I figured the Sandworms were going to be good but goddamn they blew me away, could have listened to them all night.

The Visitors (2nd Stage) – They were ok, didn’t much care for them but pretty good filler.

Dear Landlord (3rd Stage) – A great set as always, another one of the tops of the fest, everybody was really into it.

Full Of Fancy (3rd Stage) – This was my 3rd time seeing Full of Fancy, and it was the best set I’ve ever seen, they covered Marriage too, fucking awesome.

The Hamiltons (2nd Stage) – The Hamiltons won Insub fest. These guys looked a lot like the Ergs for some reason. They had an opener that told some jokes, played a couple of Ramones covers, all their best stuff and a new song, fucking super amazing set.

Iron Chic (3rd Stage) – Great, another band that was better than I expected, and I expected them to be good. They busted out a great cover of Green Day’s ‘She’ too.

The Prozacs (3rd Stage) – While everybody was watching the copyrights the Prozacs were bringing the fun in full fucking force on the 3rd stage, super fun set.

The Hextalls (2nd Stage) – Ah holy shit the Hextalls rule every time, I wished they’d played Ramones T-shirt, but besides that no complaints, they were fucking great.

The Queers (Main Stage) – I’ve seen the Queers about 5 times, this was the 2nd or 3rd best set I’ve seen them do. Very pop heavy, they skipped out on 2 of my favorite songs but Wimpy was there and Kepi came out and did Rockaway Beach with them, it was great.
Saturday – Day 2

Cell Mates (3rd Stage) – Cell Mates always put on a quality show and this was no exception, these guys are on point.

House Boat (2nd Stage) – Fun set, I wished I could have made it up front for this but it was already jam packed by the time I got there, jerks started a little early too.

The Jetty Boys (Main Stage) – Sounded great, I’d love to see them again, hopefully in a better venue (aka better sound quality).

Dead Mechanical (2nd Stage) – Rocked it like always, jerks also started a few min early.

Be My Doppelganger (Main Stage) – One of the most fun sets of the day maybe. They had a beach theme complete with backdrops and blow up beach balls and palm trees (which were going around in the crowd)

Head Home (3rd Stage) – Quality set from these guy, solid as fuck.

Deep Sleep (3rd Stage) – One of the best Deep Sleep sets I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot). I was glad to see a good crowd for them finally.

The Dopamines (2nd Stage) – Holy shit, one of the best sets of the weekend, no surprise. I was so wore out after this. Also they were awesome and took their money they made from the fest and bought everyone beers (until it ran out, which was probably quick because beers were expensive as fuck).

The Beatnik Termites (Main Stage) – Solid set as always, played some new stuff, the album is gonna rule.

Baracuda McMurder/Steinways (2nd Stage) – Baracuda McMurder had this spot, I got to stage, see Michelle up there and I think “hm that looks like Michelle, she’s not in this band” about that time they say “We’re the Steinways” SUPRISE STEINWAYS REUNION SET! Another of the most fun, best, ware me the fuck out sets of the weekend. I’m not sure how I was still standing after this was over. And it was hilarious.

The Side Project (3rd Stage) – Threw in a solid set here, so glad they got added, they deserved it. Anyone who was watching OWTH during this missed the fuck out.

Sick Sick Birds (3rd Stage) – One of the best SSB set’s I’ve seen, (another band I’ve seen a lot), they were great and played their asses off.

The Slow Death (3rd Stage) – I would have never guessed this was the same band I was hearing from their CD. Dropped was all the country sound from their songs and replaced with good old punk. Great set by these dudes too, way too many people missed out.

Teenage Bottlerocket (Main Stage) – A little underwhelming, but maybe because I’ve seen them a bunch too. But a good set, average for them, which is still good. It was fun.

The Tattle Tales (2nd Stage) – I was really really surprised by how good the Tattle Tales were. Not that they’re a bad band at all (in fact they’re quite good), but wow, they were good live.

Like Bats (2nd Stage) – Maybe the biggest injustice of Insub Fest (band wise). Like Bats jumped on last minute to fill a spot for the Sidekicks. They played the same time as the Smoking Popes. There were not many people watching. Still they brought it like a headlining act. And I mean fucking brought it, they were fucking great, one of the best sets of the weekend. They’re weren’t many people there but that didn’t stop a few from attempting to crowd surf.

REVIEW: Dangerous Intersections I-VI (Traffic Street Compilations)

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Traffic Street Records is still a pretty young label but they’ve established themselves as a standard for quality, besides the great 7″s and splits they’ve put out so far they’ve also got a great series of compilations going for them. It’s rare that I look forward to a comp coming out but it’s rare a series of them is constantly this good. So far Traffic Street’s Dangerous Intersections has made it up to volume six so I figure may as well just go through them all here. Six volumes, four songs, four bands, seven inches.

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Dangerous Intersections I

Released on January 29, 2009, classic cover art by Dick Crawford. Now out of print but here’s the stat’s anyway 300 black, 103 blue-green-silver mix.
First of the Dangerous Intersections series is by Rational Anthem, a fairly average punk song, honestly not the band’s best stuff but it’s still a damn good song. Iron Chic is up next with a pretty melodic song, reminds me of some Hot Water Music jams, I approve of this song and would like to hear more from this band. Amen and the Hell Yeahs, long fucking name, but they’ve got a song about drinking so it’s alright. And closing things out on this first volume is the Unwelcome Guests with a pretty good song. This might be the best song on here if it weren’t for Rational Anthem. Overall a damn fine four song comp.

1. Rational Anthem – Of Kids Left in Cars With Windows Up
2. Iron Chic – I Never Get Winded
3. Amen and the Hell Yeahs – Brothers and Sisters In Bourbon
4. Unwelcome Guests – Floating Away

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Dangerous Intersections II

Released on February 22, 2009, Lauren Measure supplied the cover here, which has really grown on me, I’d hang this thing up on my mantle now….if I had a mantle…and a painting of this big enough. As for the pressing of this one we’ve got 354 black, 117 yellow surprise, 24 citrus, 5 lemon-lime, 4 orange, 3 toilet water.
Volume two has Basement Black starting things off not a bad song but somewhat forgettable, I imagine this would fit well in the middle of a full album. Dead Mechanical is next on the list and they bust it out with a fucking awesome song, worth the price of admission just for this one alone. Pretty Boy Thorson & The Falling Angels, another band with a fucking long name, unfortunately I don’t really care for the song they’ve got here but I’m sure it’ll appeal to a lot of other people, they’ve kinda got a Lucero thing going. The Measure [SA] ends volume two, as normal they offer up a damn good song, these guys rule a whole fucking lot. Dangerous Intersections II had more weak links than volume one but with Dead Mechanical and The Measure [sa] on it, there’s no way you can go wrong buying it.

1. Basement Black – Freedom or Beer … Whatever, Dude
2. Dead Mechanical – Poison Bearer
3. Pretty Boy Thorson & The Falling Angels – Start Me On Interferon
4. The Measure [SA] – How to Thrash a Million

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Dangerous Intersections III

Released on May 13, 2009, cover art that reminds me of a pretty awesome flyer for some reason by Gord Lafler. Record nerds, 301 black, 150 sour grape, 54 crystal scum.
Volume three, The Closet Fairies, things get real fast, real fast, great opener. Apocalypse Meow follows with another great song, volume three is half way over and highly enjoyable with high energy and fun falling out of its pockets. Where can we go from here? Well The Dopamines come in and answer that with a song that i fucking love the title to. And as normal The Dopamines are awesome. The closer is Todd Congelliere, you may know him from F.Y.P and Toys That Kill. A slower song than I had expected not only because of the performer but also the previous three songs set a fast pace. This also sounds like it was recorded in his bedroom, which isn’t bad, I fucking love it. Volume three is the forerunner of awesomeness at this point, I’m actually kind of blown away at how good this one turned out.

1. The Closet Fairies – SKUMPUNK
2. Apocalypse Meow – Babies Got It Made
3. The Dopamines – My Future’s So Bright, I Have to Wear Night Vision Goggles
4. Todd Congelliere – Channel 11

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Dangerous Intersections IV

Released on May 22, 2009, Stewart Breaks brings my personal favorite fucking cover art of the Dangerous Intersections series. 320 black, 175 sky blue, 70 sky grey.
The Strait A’s open Dangerous Intersections volume four, and well, this song is kinda great. Like Bats follows them with a really fucking cool song, this is probably the best song up to this point on any of these. However they’re followed by one of my favorite discoveries of 2009, Rumspringer. I do like the Like Bats song just a bit more, and that’s saying a lot because Rumspringer is really fucking great and this is no exception. Last is Barrakuda McMurder, Steinways fans know what’s up. They have hands down the best song title in Dangerous Intersections history. Too bad it takes about as much time to say the track title as it does to listen to the song, coming in at under a minute, it’s a fun little song but almost gets dwarfed by what was ahead of it. overall, I thought volume three kicked a lot of ass (and it very much does), but volume four just takes it to the next level.

1. Strait A’s – Go Away
2. Like Bats – Sleepwalker
3. Rumspringer – No Lights On
4. Barrakuda McMurder – I Broke Up (With My Girlfriend (So That I Could Write Pop Punk Songs About It))

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Dangerous Intersections V

Released on August 26, 2009, I’m still on the fence as far as this cover goes done by Brett Wensel. 330 black, 167 mineral water, 60 brown trash.
Pretty excited to be listening to all of these right in a row, let’s get going with Dangerous Intersections V. Troublemake opens it up with a great into song, actually it’s just a great song in general, I’ll be looking for some more Troublemake stuff soon. The long named bands is back with The Legendary San Diego Chargers, lucky for them, they’re really good despite their name. A catchy rock jam lets me look past the name of the band. Shang-A-Lang comes in pretty startling after that song, loud, fast, unorganized, I can take a pass on this one. Ending things is another long named Andrew Jackson Jihad, I recently really learned to appreciate these guys, due to a big part of this Billy Joel cover, good stuff. Dangerous Intersections V gets another big thumbs up from me, due in big part to the MVP Troublemake.

1. Troublemake – Use Six or Seven Times and Destroy
2. The Legendary San Diego Chargers – Fred and the Kids Are Dead
3. Shang-A-Lang – Don’t Bring Him Around
4. Andrew Jackson Jihad – You May Be Right

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Dangerous Intersections VI

Released on March 4, 2010, Ryan Agate boasts a wicked cool cover for the latest installment. 333 black, 180 barbicide, 60 UK yellow, 5 smokestain.
Lastly we’re at the final installment (for now) of the Dangerous Intersections series, the long named bands are back again, No High Fives to Bullshit starts us off I really don’t like this song, it may grow on me, but I wouldn’t put that as a reflection on the band because No High Fives to Bullshit has done some pretty good stuff, they can’t all be hits. The Manix have the second song on this thing, and it’s exactly what I needed for some energy, love this song, I’m now stoked on  The Manix. The Humanoids up next, with a pretty good punk song, good stuff here too. And for the final song of the record we’ve got The Taxpayers with a downbeat song, lots of slow guitar strums and slow-paced singing for the first minute until it picks up into something that seems to try a little too hard. I’d give The Taxpayers another try but this song left a bad taste in my mouth. Dangerous Intersections VI was pretty good, much like all the others. It’s a quality series of compilations, looking forward to the next volume already.

1. No High Fives to Bullshit – My Friends?
2. The Manix – Red Truck
3. The Humanoids – Pride by the Barrel
4. The Taxpayers – The Lights

Get Dangerous Intersections I-VI from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: The Riptides: Tales From Planet Earth

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Asian Man Records brings us the new Riptides album. New classic pop punk, this will fit in on your shelf very nicely between your Queers albums and your Steinways records. They’ve got a sound that instantly hooked me and I think this is their best album to date. Awesome cover and even better sounds. If you’re a fan of pop punk don’t wait to go get this record.

1. Hung Up
2. She Gets Around
3. I Go Mental
4. Omega Man
5. Dial M For Murder
6. Two Minute Penalty
7. Stranger in the House
8. Shell Shock
9. I Can’t Have A Merry Christmas
10. Call Me
11. Tattletale
12. Shit Outta Luck

Get it from Asian Man Records HERE

Get Tales from Planet Earth from Amazon HERE

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