For most styles of music, the word ‘generic’ gets used as a negative critique to discredit the artist’s creative ability and expression. However, in the last decade or so, the term ‘generic pop punk’ has become a shameless staple in a scene that values catchy hooks, relatable lyrics and sing-along choruses over all else. Now on their fourth album, Kings Of The New Age (Pure Noise), pop punk hotshots State Champs continue to freely put out the same kind of music they have always loved. Continue reading →
The very nature of Simple Plan’s hotly anticipated sixth record, Harder Than It Looks (Self-Released) is actually doubly prophetic. The French-Canadian fourpiece have kept it rather simple indeed since they hit it big with ‘I’d Do Anything’ way back in 2002. Not known as a hugely poetic or introspective lyrical band, the pop punkers instead let the music do the talking in all its springy, bobby greatness. That’s not to say the means by which to achieve this is easy, hence the album title.Continue reading →
Two things remain certain when it comes to Texas pop-punk veterans Bowling For Soup: the band is wonderfully self-aware, and they remain the undisputed champions when it comes to bridges.Continue reading →
Cosmic Ninja has a new EP coming out called Dissident Transmission (Self-Released). Its first track, ‘By Design’ is a wonderful disco-inspired danceable tome. It’s a song ABBA could have done either in the 1970s or now. My favourite lyric is, “…wake up, enough’s enough! kill your masters…” The lyrics of ‘By Design’ and the rest of Dissident Transmission are a strong stand against the corruption of government entities. Dissident Transmission is a wake-up call to those who are angry about how the government is deliberately misleading the citizenry. The lyrics are heavy and in-your-face but the music itself is pop punkish with a new wave feel. Continue reading →
Australian pop-rock trio Short Stack have put out their fifth studio album Maybe There’s No Heaven (UNFD), using it as a means to tell the story of their career ups and downs and love lives since their debut Stack Is The New Black in 2009. Though it has its faults, punchy choruses and exhilarating instrumentals come and go to keep it worth hearing more. Continue reading →
Self-titled albums can be something of a double-edged sword (just ask Suicide Silence…) particularly when you’re jumping in twenty-five years into a career and following a significant line-up change, Zoltán Téglás having departed in 2020 after over a quarter of a century behind the mic stand. Understandably, there is always caution and concern about such an integral part of a band’s sound changing, let alone that happening this deep into their innings. Here, though, Californian punks Ignite benefit from never having been the most prolific of outfits – Ignite (Century Media) being only their sixth album overall despite the band debuting in 1994 – and the fact that their last outing, A War Against You, was not their strongest. More melodic than his predecessor, though not to the detriment of any gusto, Eli Santana (actor, guitarist for Holy Grail, Incite, ex-Huntress) is the voice of their return to competitive action some six years on, and fits in seamlessly.
Weymouth-based punks Weatherstate have returned with their second album, Never Better (Rude Records), a lethargic commentary on the current state of the world. Bringing a unique edginess to pop-Punk, the band shines a light on the common outlook of society over the past few years. The vocals deliver an ironic unity of bouncy melodies and jeering grittiness. Though they provide a limited range in pitch and tone, the monotony works for the record’s apathetic theme.
One of the titans of the North American summer Music Festival season is Riot Fest, and we were damn glad to see it come back strong in 2021. Especially after Lollapalooza did such bang up numbers coming back, and kept the safety methods strongto minimize the effects of the pandemic, you knew Riot Fest was going to go hard, and bring it big time. Even with the departures from the lineup of Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, and others, it was as stacked a lineup as the fest has ever had. If you’ve ever been to Riot Fest, Lollapalooza, Coachella or any other festival, you’ve witnessed the power of live music bringing people together. At Riot Fest 2021, we learned that even a global pandemic is no match for a community this passionate and devoted. What makes Riot Fest particularly special, though, is the integration of bands and artists from several generations, and the consequent mingling of their fans. Whether you’re twelve or sixty years old, there’s someone on the lineup for you.
Sad news to report as Rob “Bobeats” Vitale has died, apparently from COVID-19, according to posts from friends. Rob was best known as the co-founder and lead singer of NYHC band Black Train Jack, and later Nine Lives. Condolences and tributes have been pouring in from all over the Hardcore and greater Punk world. Born from the members of another classic band, Token Entry, Black Train Jack had two major albums on Roadrunner Records in the early 1990s with 1993’s No Heroes and 1994’s You’re Not Alone. BTJ was innovative and inspired many by blending old-school NYHC sounds with a brilliant melodic sensibility (vocals, vocal harmonies, and guitars) that had a huge influence on the 90s pop-punk that followed. We send our sympathies out to Rob’s family, many friends, and countless fans at this time. Continue reading →
Legendary Pop Punks The Offspring will release their new album Let The Bad Times Roll on April 16 via Concord Records. The new album will be their first in 9 years, the follow-up to 2012’s Days Go By andwas once again produced by Bob Rock, who also worked on the band’s last two LPs. Check out the debut single, the title track, right now! Continue reading →