Artist: Soda Bomb
Soda Bomb // The Future Is Gonna Suck
Been waiting for this one for a minute. Exactly a year ago Long Island pop punk band Soda Bomb released their Hooligan EP. It wasn’t their first release but it was the release that really caught my attention. With its nods to similar NY bands who have come before them like Brand New, The Movielife, and Patent Pending, it struck a very fondly nostalgic chord for me. Plus it was just a lot of fun. Now the band is back with a new album that they’ve been working on for a good while called The Future Is Gonna Suck. Heh.
The album is seven tracks (five new, two re-recorded) and it sports a tinnier, more lo-fi sound than their last few EPs. Even though the production is a bit thinner, the band makes up for it with energy and humor. With their laid-back and somewhat self-deprecating personality, the band would have you think that they put the “slacker” in their slacker punk, but these guys are actually really hard working. They’ve got the passion and when they aren’t busy writing, recording, or playing shows, they are promoting their stuff to anyone who will listen. Thankfully for them they don’t have to push too hard to get it into my ears. I’m already there.
BANDCAMP | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK
Title: How It Is//I’ll have the milk steak, boiled over hard, and your finest jelly beans, raw
Artist: Open Letters
Open Letters // 1-6
I’ve struck pop punk gold. If you turn your nose up at the scent of the genre, well then you’re gonna have to just get over yourself. I know that a lot of it can be painfully obnoxious, but if done correctly it can be a heck of a lot of fun. Take Vancouver trio Open Letters for example.
Having a lot more in common with punk than pop, these three young kids absolutely shred their way through this 5-song EP. There is a lot to love about this EP, and it all starts with how aggressive it is. Yes, it’s really catchy music with high-pitched (verging on nasally) melodic vocals, but the music is furious and the lyrics are packed with anthems of youthful angst. Lines like “Eat shit and die!” and “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, fuck everything!” are delivered with a laugh and a wry smile. Also in true form the song titles are ridiculous and ridiculously long. It just goes to show you how much fun this band is having and how much fun they want you to have.
Their EP 1-6 is available as pay-what-you-want on their Bandcamp, but know that any and all money made from the digital sales goes straight to the WISH Drop-In Center Society (a non-profit that helps women involved in the sex slave trade). That’s just another reason to be in love with this band.
BANDCAMP | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK
Sail Hatin’ // Endeavors
I’ve been meaning to share this EP for a while now, but for whatever scheduling reasons I haven’t… until now. Sail Hatin’ (see what they did there?) is a NY/NJ rock band that, like so many others these days, seems fixated the 1990’s.
While not entirely original, the guys use early emotional hardcore and pop punk as a jumping off point and keep their sound lean, mean, and to-the-point. They know when to throw the punches and and when to let tracks mosey along. They also see the virtue in well-executed gang vocals, which is always a plus in my book. The EP is short and sweet and ends with what is easily their strongest track (sequencing is everything, folks) which only makes you want to go back and listen to the whole thing again. Which I did… several times.
PS - The band also features Victor Massari on drums. If you’re not familiar with Vic, know that he runs the pretty fantastic blog/radio show Sweet Nothings. So check that out too while you’re at it.
BANDCAMP | FACEBOOK
Title: Bart's Nightmare
Artist: Soda Bomb
Soda Bomb // Booger: The Mini EP
Yeah, that’s a giant booger with a face. Soda Bomb knew exactly what they were doing when they named this EP after bodily refuse and made the cover a giant glob of snot with a face. These Long Island punks decided to have fun and drop these two tracks on the world for no other reason than they just wanted to. And they also wanted to call it Booger.
Now I know that so many people out there get their undies in a bundle when people compare one band to another but I don’t really give a hoot. These guys will forever remind me of Your Favorite Weapon era Brand New and there is nothing I can do about that. So while many people are cringing and pretending that they didn’t listen to that album in high school I am rejoicing because I just listened to that album last week and Soda Bomb hits that same sweet spot. And that just makes me smile.
BANDCAMP | FACEBOOK
Girls In the Eighties // Teenage Royalty
Girls In the Eighties is a band/project/whatever that I’ve been following off and on for the last couple of years. The band has always been a little peculiar offering little to no information about themselves, and to be honest, the band sorta slipped from my memory after going somewhat silent since their last release Faceless Sonic Boom a couple of years ago.
If you do some digging into the band’s past you’ll find that the songs on the band’s most recent release, Teenage Royalty, were actually written and recorded in 2008 and released digitally in 2009. With surprisingly catchy hooks and tons of tingling fuzz, that super lo-fi first iteration of the album had a humble release but still managed to make some respectable blog rounds. Now here we are some three years later and the band has completely reworked and re-recorded the entire album. They’ve boosted the production value and given it a fuller sound and Teenage Royalty has never sounded better. I don’t think that these guys will be slipping from my memory any time again soon.
Teenage Royalty was released today on Ailanthus Recordings. If you are into super catchy pop punk/powerpop then you’ll definitely want to check this one out.
BANDCAMP | SOUNDCLOUD | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK
Title: Present Tense
Artist: School Knights
School Knights // FRE(EP)
My favorite Denver noisemakers just plopped this one out the other day to my utter elation. This is the first we’ve heard from the guys since they released their debut album All Dawgz Go To Heaven last summer. If we were to get an annual summer release from the guys that would be just about perfect. Their sun bleached pop punk is about as fun as it gets and it wouldn’t fit anywhere half as well as it does being blared from your speakers on a humid summer day.
Stylistically the boys aren’t really trying anything new here. Rather they are slightly tightening the screws on their already winning formula. The guitar work alone on this EP is worth the price of admission. Bouncing guitar lines trace back and forth all over this thing amping up the catchy factor tenfold. If you’re a sucker for this kind of stuff like I am, School Knights should be a welcome addition to your earspace.
BANDCAMP | FACEBOOK | TWITTER
Quarterbacks // Loveseat
This charming band emailed me their album a few days ago, but I had already beaten them to the punch after seeing them featured on Decoder. They are called Quarterbacks and they refer to themselves as twee-punk, but that’s a tag that I would really resist to pin on them. While the band certainly has an endearing quality to their music, they thankfully never take it to a cutesy level.
Their album Loveseat actually reminded me a bit of Let It Happen era MxPx on first listen. Not so much in their sound but more in their approach to songwriting. The tracks are all short (under two minutes) pop punk bursts with insanely catchy hooks, quirky lyrics, and simple instrumentation. It’s an easily digestible album that rewards multiple listens. The music is pretty sugary so I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but if your looking for fun-loving pop music devoid of any pretense then this might be for you. Quarterbacks know exactly what they are gunning for and I’d say they hit pretty close.
Pay what you want for the album on their bandcamp or grab the tape from Miscreant Records.
BANDCAMP | SOUNCLOUD | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK