Alkaline Trio – Is This Thing Cursed?


As we move into the Post-Warped Tour era (don’t write letters, we know it’s coming back as a festival in a year or two), it’s a comfort to know that there are still classic 1990s pop-punk bands you can count on. The mid-to-later half of that decade was full of great punk bands with a lot of fire, and some killer melodies. One of those bands was Chicago’s Alkaline Trio, led by founding vocalist/guitarist Matt Skiba, also doing time in Warped mainstay Blink-182. Their ninth and most recent release, Is This Thing Cursed? put out on their longtime label Epitaph, feels like a win early on. In spite of a five-year gap between albums, the enthusiasm of the band can be felt in the songs and was intended to recapture the feel of their earliest work. Continue reading


Teenage Time Killers Book One-Off Show For September


Teenage Time Killers concert

Teenage Time Killers, the supergroup put together by Mick Murphy (My Ruin) and Reed Mullen (COC) is putting on a one-off all-star concert in Los Angeles on September 12th. Featuring many of the big names that make up each of the tracks of Greatest Hits Vol 1, (Rise Records) taking the stage with Murphy and Mullen will be Randy Blythe, Corey Taylor, Neil Fallon, Lee Ving, Tommy Victor, Vic Bondi, Phil Rind, Ron Beam, Tony Foresta, Clifford Dinsmore, Tairrie B. Murphy, Jonny Webber, Greg Anderson, Pat “Atom Bomb” Loed, Karl Agell, and Trenton Rogers. Tickets are already on sale at this link:

 

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teenage time killers GHVol1 album cover 2015


ALBUM REVIEW: Teenage Time Killers – Greatest Hits Vol.1


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Have you ever heard an album so good you thought it was made just for you? Like someone reached into the great boombox in your brain and pulled out just what you wanted to hear? Well, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Rise Records) by Teenage Time Killers is that album for me. If you have yearned for some new tunes to come along and kick your ass back to 1988, then this music is for you. Masterminded by Mick Murphy (My Ruin, and Reed Mullen (Corrosion of Conformity), the core band is rounded out by the ubiquitous Dave Grohl and chipping in everything except lead vocals and Greg Anderson (Sunn O)))/Goatsnake) and his mighty axe. In addition to a cavalcade of former and current stars from across punk and metal, it’s an ambitious attempt to turn the idea of a supergroup on its head.

Certainly, a lot of hype has gone on about the assembled players, especially the vocalists. If you re thinking of Grohl’s Probot project, you are not far off. That was Grohl paying tribute to his metal heroes. TTK is all about paying tribute to a certain mindset. An era when writing fun, smart songs that hit you where you live was the norm. Mullen has put his distinctive angry yelp on many C.O.C. albums and does a fine job here on the opening track ‘Exploder’ and on ‘The Dead Hand’. ‘Exploder’ is just a classic punk track with all the whoa-oh-ohs you can handle. Second track ‘Crowned by the Light of The Sun’ sounds like an early-era Clutch song and thus Neil Fallon is right at home singing over some stone grooves. The most blistering track here is the thrash/punk ‘Hung Out To Dry’. Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) just slays the track with his parts.

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Following these first salvos the rest of the album is a tad uneven in a few places, but on repeated listens the entire thing holds together well. Jello Biafra is predictably pissed off in the too-short ‘Ode to Hannity’. ‘Barrio’ featuring Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio/Blink 182 has the second-best track on the album. It’s another fun old-school sing-a-long that is both fun and political. Mike IX (EyeHateGod), Tommy Victor (Prong/Danzig) and Tairrie B. Murphy (My Ruin) anchor the three of the remaining real standout tracks. While it’s great to have an album in 2015 with Lee Ving (Fear), Karl Agel (COC Blind/King Hitter) and Phil Rind (Sacred Reich) altogether, at times you wish the tracks were a little stronger. Although a little short of total greatness for all the meaningful names, Teenage Time Killers backed up having the stones to call this album Greatest Hits Vol 1.

 

8.0/10

KEITH CHACHKES


Matt Skiba And The Sekrets- KUTS


matt skiba and the sekrets kuts

Matt Skiba is very busy these days. He’s fronted Alkaline Trio for close to two decades and also dabbled in side projects like Heavens and The Hell. In case you didn’t know, he’s also currently filling in for Tom Delonge in Blink 182.

And because apparently the devil makes good use of idle hands Skiba just released KUTS (Superball Music) with The Sekrets. The Sekrets almost being a supergroup for the Alternative Press crowd as it also features AFI bassist Huntar Burgan and My Chemical Romance’s Jarrod Alexander on drums.

Are you still with me? Good, because if you are a fan of any of those aforementioned groups then you are in for a pleasant surprise with KUTS.

The formula here hasn’t drastically changed. It’s simple, yet effective songwriting mated to a bright, but not overbearing mix. And that’s not to say that 2012s Babylon or Haven’t You EP weren’t good, but The Sekrets are starting to stretch their sound a little more as opposed to sticking with traditional pop-punk compositions. While there still are bits pf punk fire from time to time like on opener ‘Lonely and Kold’ and ‘She Said’ it seems that Skiba and his cohorts have been revisiting their The Smiths, The Cure, and Echo & The Bunnymen LPs.

This more post-punk approach really sets in on the second half of KUTS. Songs like ‘Way Bakk When’ and ‘Hemophiliak’ shift The Sekrets’ emphasis to melancholy as opposed to two minutes of aggression. ‘Never Believe’ and ‘Vienna’ close out the album and finds Skiba further channeling Johnny Marr with simple but haunting music to compliment his almost world-weary vocals.

Skiba finds a way to honor some of his musical heroes without it coming across as just a love letter to the late 70s and early 80s. But then again the man has time for what seems like 400 other musical projects. Not sure how he does it, but hopefully he won’t stop soon.

8.0/10

HANSEL LOPEZ


Music Video: Matt Skiba and the Sekrets – Album Teaser Video


matt skiba and the sekrets kuts

Matt Skiba and the Sekrets are streaming a teaser video for their new album Kuts, which will be out June 2, 2015 via Superball Music. The band features Jarrod Alexander (of A Static Lullabye,) bassist Hunter Burgan (of AFI,) and of course, led by Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio).

KUTS Track Listing:

01: Lonely and Kold
02: She Wolf
03: Krazy
04: She Said
05: I Just Killed to Say I love You
06: Way Bakk When
07: Krashing
08: Hemophiliak
09: Never Believe
10: Vienna

Superball Music on Facebook


Teenage Time Killers Issue More Info On Greatest Hits Vol 1


Photo credit: Tairrie B Murphy

Photo credit: Tairrie B Murphy

Teenage Time Killers will be releasing their long awaited release Greatest Hits Vol 1 on July 31, 2015 via Rise Records. The brainchild of Corrosion of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin, guitarist Mick Murphy (My Ruin, The Birds of Satan) and producer John “Lou” Lousteau, the project has released a track listing along with a breakdown of guest credits. All instrumental tracks on Greatest Hits Vol. 1 were recorded at Dave Grohl‘s 606 Studios in Northridge, California. The album was produced by Lousteau, Mullin and Murphy, engineered and mixed by Lousteau at 606 Studios.

Stream “Barrio” (with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio) and “Hung Out To Dry” (with Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God) below.

01. “Exploder”
Vocals: Reed Mullin
Featuring Pat Hoed (Bass), London May (Drums)

02. “Crowned By The Light Of The Sun”
Vocals: Neil Fallon
Featuring Jim Rota (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

03. “Hung Out to Dry”
Vocals: Randy Blythe
Featuring Mike Schaefer (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

04. “Power Outage”
Vocals: Clifford Dinsmore
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)

05. “Ode to Hannity”
Vocals: Jello Biafra
Featuring Mike Dean (Bass)

06. “Barrio”
Vocals: Matt Skiba
Featuring Brian Baker (Guitar)

07. “The Dead Hand”
Vocals: Reed Mullin
Featuring Woody Weatherman (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

08. “Egobomb”
Vocals: Corey Taylor
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)

09. “Plank Walk”
Vocals: Pete Stahl
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

10. “Time To Die”
Vocals: Mike IX Williams
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar)

11. “Days Of Degradation”
Vocals: Tommy Victor
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)

12. “Clawhoof”
Vocals: Tairrie B. Murphy
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)

13. “Big Money”
Vocals: Lee Ving
Featuring Pat Smear (Guitar & Bass), London May (Drums)

14. “Devil In This House”
Vocals: Karl Agell
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)

15. “Say Goodnight To The Acolyte”
Vocals: Phil Rind
Featuring Jason Browning (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)

16. “Ignorant People”
Vocals: Tony Foresta
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Nick Oliveri (Bass)

17. “Son Of An Immigrant”
Vocals: Johnny Weber
Featuring Brian Baker (Guitar)

18. “Your Empty Soul”
Vocals: Aaron Beam

19. “Bleeding To Death”
Vocals: Vic Bondi
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)

20. “Teenage Time Killer”
Vocals: Trenton Rogers
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Pat Hoed (Bass)


Tom DeLonge Out Of Blink 182?


Blink 182

Blink 182

The ongoing saga of whether Tom DeLonge had quit or was dismissed from Blink 182 keeps getting interesting. It originally began as the band’s publicist, Mark Hoppus and band drummer Travis Barker said he had left the band ‘indefinitely.’

In a statement, Barker explained:

Matt Skiba of the Alkaline Trio will join Blink-182 in replacement of Tom DeLonge at the 8th annual Musink Music and Tattoo Festival. “We were all set to play this festival and record a new album and Tom kept putting it off without reason. A week before we were scheduled to go in to the studio we got an email from his manager explaining that he didn’t want to participate in any Blink-182 projects indefinetly, but would rather work on his other non-musical endeavors.” Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus plan to honor all Blink-182 commitments including the Musink Festival and are excited to have singer/guitarist Matt Skiba join them for this project. “No hard feelings, but the show must go on for our fans.” Additionally, Skiba will continue to make new music and tour with the Alkaline Trio.

Photo Credit: Simone Joyner/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Simone Joyner/Getty Images

But DeLonge rebutted in a statement of his own:

LETTER TO THE FANS
Where to begin?
The truth is always a good place. Let’s go there.
I love Blink and am incredibly grateful for having it in my life. It has given me everything. EVERYTHING. I started this band, it was in my garage where I dreamed up the mischief.
So what have I been doing behind the scenes? Well, I’ve tried to make things work. I’ve tried to help move this band down 50 different paths using my people, or other people, and people we don’t even know. I tried to put forth ideas about how we can grow and challenge ourselves to become a better band. I’m not sitting around waiting for someone else to do the work. I’m not wired that way.
The big reset was when I tried to put together a band summit in Utah where we’d talk and work things out. It quickly was narrowed down to three hours in someone’s dressing room in a shitty casino. What I hoped would be a positive get-together away from everything turned into an awkward meeting in a smelly convention hall dressing room. But it was there that I told Mark and Travis that as long as we talked, and things were good between us as real friends, that I would be engaged and work passionately. I’d mirror our personal relationship. Exact words.
Then, the EP was the test. Months later, we’re recording those songs. I was in the studio for two months and they came in for around 11 days. I didn’t mind leading the charge, but we had all agreed to give it 100%. And this time- no baggage.
Despite that, we still somehow managed to self-sabotage.
At one point, squabbling and politics forced me to pull the EP down at a time when 60,000 fans were trying to purchase it. And that blew my mind. I’d been trying so hard but that moment ultimately broke my spirit. I then realized that this band couldn’t lose the years of ill will.
It was after that episode that I promised myself I would never be in that position again – to rely on the words we said to each other.
I remember asking one of them on the phone, “did you try your best? Like we all agreed to?” He was silent.
Are they at fault?
Am I? Of course. I’m nuts.
But there’s three of us – we’re all accountable. At the end of the day, we’ve always been dysfunctional, which is why we haven’t talked in months. But we never did. In the 8 years we have been together it has always been that way.
Over the past two and a half years, while a recording partner was being sought for a new Blink record, I launched a media company. I just put out a new Angels & Airwaves record and as some of you know, there’s a lot more coming – comics, books, a film, etc. The books will all come with music. This is a wheel that’s already in motion. So you can imagine my frustration when I was handed a 60-page Blink contract saying I couldn’t release an Angels album for 9 months and that the Blink album had to be recorded in 6 months, which was impossible for me. Doing so would force me to breach several artist contracts. Authors, Concept Artists, Animators… Many people.
They did eventually drop the Angels provision, but the part about having to finish a Blink album in 6 months remained. All of these other projects are being worked, exist in contract form– I can’t just slam the brakes and drop years of development, partnerships and commitments at the snap of a finger.
I told my manager that I will do Blink 182 as long as it was fun and worked with the other commitments in my life, including my family.
But Mark and Travis know all of this.
I wrote this same letter to them a year ago. But it created a massive argument, the biggest one yet actually. I just wanted us to do things we all agreed on. But that was their moment to dig in. From their view I was controlling everything. In reality, I was scared to put myself out there again. To repeat the EP experience.
I also wrote all of this to their managers this past December (who told me my bandmates weren’t angry and agreed with some of my ideas of how to grow the band).
So you can imagine my surprise when a press release went out yesterday—without my knowledge—about the band’s future. This is new to me. It’s not in my nature to fuel negativity about the legacy of the band on something as trashy as the Internet world.
But I guess that’s another example of how I differ from most. I follow the light… I follow passion and I make art. I hang with my son, my daughter and my wife.
At the end of the day, all of this makes me really sad.
Sad for us.
Sad for you- that you’re witnessing this immaturity.
I know them very well, and their current actions are defensive and divisive.
I suppose they’re doing this as a way to protect themselves from being hurt.
Like we all do.
And even as I watch them act so different to what I know of them to be, I still care deeply for them. Like brothers, and like old friends. But our relationship got poisoned yesterday.
Never planned on quitting, just find it hard as hell to commit.

Tom

Blink 182 has been confirmed for the 8th Annual Musink Festival at the OC Fair & Event Center on March 20-22, 2015. They will be headlining the Sunday date with Yelawolf and Prayers.


Rancid, Bad Religion and Blink 182 Headlining 8th Annual Musink Festival


Musink Festival Musink Festival

Rancid, Bad Religion and Blink 182 have been confirmed as headliners on the 8th Annual Musink Festival at the OC Fair & Event Center on March 20-22, 2015.

The schedule is as follows:

Rancid

Rancid

March 20th:

Rancid
Sick Of It All
The Interrupters

Bad Religion

Bad Religion

March 21st

Bad Religion
OFF!
Ignite

Blink 182

Blink 182

March 22nd

Blink 182 with Matt Skiba of The Alkaline Trio
Yelawolf
Prayers