Man, I always have a soft spot for Californian pop/punk, especially when it’s a young band coming on like the 90’s never ended. And that’s where I introduce you to The Bombpops. Founded in 2007 by dual singer/guitarists Jen Razavi and Poli Van Dam, the 4 piece band take the title of their sophomore album ‘Death In Venice Beach’ from Thomas Mann’s celebrated novella about the price of artistic life.

The follow up to 2017’s ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ it sees the band explore dark themes of alcohol addiction, health problems, toxic relationships and suicide all wrapped up in high energy punk pop.

 

But the dark lyrical themes are certainly not the first thing that hits you about The Bombpops. The SoCal sound that inspires the band is prevalent throughout, you could say ‘Death In Venice Beach’ sounds like the lost 90’s soundtrack you need to fill the hole between ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ and ‘Josie and the Pussycats’.

Take latest single ‘Double Arrows Down’. Lyrically inspired by Poli Van Dam’s diabetes seizure and subsequent dice with death, it’s actually a euphoric blast of dual vocal melody and overdriven guitars, with a sugar-buzz pop melody that will inject sunshine into anyone’s dreary day. Sweet vocal melodies The Dollyrots would die for and the sort of catchy choruses Letters To Cleo perfected in their prime.

And so it continues for 30 minutes or so. 12 short, sharp, shocks of punk pop that do not overstay their welcome. Songs that would’ve bombarded the airwaves back in the day and singles that would’ve been vying for attention with the likes of Bowling For Soup and Sum 41 on your TV screens.

 

‘Dearly Departed’ name-checks doomed celebrity couples over high energy pop/punk. Sid & Nancy rub shoulders with JFK & Monroe as Jen & Poli deliver pitch perfect vocal harmonies and dirty guitars in unison. A tight rhythm section and a crisp production courtesy of (among others) NOFX’s Fat Mike only adds to the high quality.

With the likes of ‘Sad To Me’ and ‘Zero Remorse’ they have a knack of delivering a verse that create momentum and builds to what you just know is going to be an anthemic, killer chorus that will stay in your brain long after the song has ended. The girls’ vocals work well together and it is that, along with the top notch songwriting, which lifts this album high above the current competition.

The bouncy bass intro and the offset guitar riff in ‘Notre Dame’ will bring to mind The Offspring, ‘In The Doghouse’ comes on like The Creepshow at their most commercial and the raw tale of isolation and heartbreak that is ’13 Stories Down’ sounds like a female-fronted NOFX. Elsewhere you’ll swear you’ve heard the likes of ‘Radio Silence’ and ‘House On Fire’ before. And that my friends, is the knack of a catchy melody put to very good use.

 

There are lots of comparisons that can be made to lots of cool bands when listening to ‘Death In Venice Beach’ and that’s not a bad thing. The Bombpops wear their influences proudly on their sleeves and have their own imitable style and their own way of exorcising their own personal demons with a set of strong, bouncy tunes.

To be honest, you could imagine any of the 12 songs on offer to be featured on MTV, with the band playing next to a swimming pool or a frat house in California, surrounded by teens with nothing more on their mind than pulling the hottest cheerleader and downing a four pack. And while in these troubled times those sort of antics may seem as distant a memory as the 90’s actually are, it’s still the great escape some of us need right now.

Buy ‘Death In Venice Beach’ Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

What with lockdown entering its gazillionth week we scour the net for new tunes to brighten your day but I think we’ve reached the point where a little darkness might be the order of the day rather than sunshine and roses. so here’s NOFX to lighten the mood. Welcome to the darkness kids

Enough darkness how about some boot boy Rock and Roll courtesy of the new one from Faz Waltz?  OK, Here goes your wish is my command and up this week on RPM we review the brand new album from Faz Waltz.

Finally, we love Johny Skullknuckles round ere so when we see he has a video to accompany the song he wrote and recorded on less than 24 hours it would be rude of us not to show it.  So here goes. ‘This City’

It was in 2006 that Detroit punks The Suicide Machines called it a day after 15 years and six albums. The break didn’t last too long because in 2009, the four-piece reconvened to play the occasional show and embarked on some even less frequent touring. There was no sign of new material on the horizon that is until now.

‘Revolution Spring’, their seventh album, and the first new material since 2005’s ‘War Profiteering Is Killing Us All’, was released March 27th.

What you get for your buck is plenty of bang with some Dropkick Murphy style lead vocals driving the rousing songs.  The band sound energised from the break.  you get the full force on opener ‘Bully In Blue’ but there’s plenty of skank on ‘Awkward Always’

There are sixteen songs on offer here and the band say they had thirty written so it’s not like they were short of inspiration.  They continue to dish up sharp sounds with an excellent production that shines on songs like ‘Babylon Of Ours’.

The songs deal with real issues to the band and whilst they’re at it they also have a far wider appeal. Police brutality, American Imperialism and class war are all covered so not such a superficial record. they don’t hold back with opinions either ‘Flint Hostage Crisis’ being a good case in point. Some heavy topics covered as well like attempted suicide but I have to say that the overriding feeling I get from listening to the record is how up and positive it sounds and out of bad situations comes a positivity.  ‘Trapped In A Bomb’ has a rollicking bass line rumbling away urging this song forward. Punk rock isn’t just for the kids and the older wiser guys can give the young pups a run for their money and this is proof.  A very American feel to the record when they cut loose like on ‘Detroit Is The New Miami’ they really hit their stride mixing some hardcore with their skank and not sounding out of place.

Old and new fans alike will find Revolution Spring an energetic anthemic, hardcore, ska-punk roots mixing pot and it’s good to have the band back making music that sounds fresh and vibrant and there’s a lot of music to get through here.

Get it Here

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Author: Dom Daley

How could we not give this banger some time all on its own? The answer is simple we couldn’t so here it is in its whole gory glory the brand new video from The Good The Bad And The Zugly and the man behiond the (Oxygen) Mask

 

If you want more then how about some Bombpops?  Here they are with a track taken from the brand new album ‘Death In Venice Beach’ and the lead track ‘Notre Dame’

Cokie the Clown Limited Edition Throbblehead
Limited to 1000 hand-numbered figures
SHIPPING EARLY DECEMBER
 
**Not guaranteed for delivery by Christmas, although most US customers should be OK***
NOTE: For customers outside of the US, your order will take an average of 4-5 weeks to reach you via economy shipping, which does not have tracking. If tracking is needed, you can upgrade to priority shipping at an additional cost but must email us for details.

Cokie the Clown, Fat Mike’s alter ego, has now been elevated to Throbblehead status.  This figure is limited to just 1000 hand-numbered units, stands at 7″ tall, and is made of a high-quality polyresin.

Re-creating the cover art from Cokie’s first full-length album “You’re Welcome,” this Throbblehead comes complete with noose, squirting flower, and clown shoes.

“Punk rock was never just music to me, it was my life,” says Cokie. “My parents were just relatives, my family was always NOFX.”

I’d still describe Clowns a new band  but then they’ve been doing this hardcore rock n roll lark for six years which would hardly make them new really, it’s a tough one but one of the best records released this year without a doubt is ‘Nature / Nurture’ and its a great move on the face of it signing for Fat Wreck Chords. About eighteen months ago I stood in the Ballroom at Blackpool Winter Gardens in the early afternoon and watched Clowns own the day and turn in a pulverising and quite beautiful set and that was before we even had a sniff of the latest album (which, Incidently is their best by a country mile)  and before that I’d seen them in one of the smallest stages of the festival a year or two before that where they’d just released ‘Bad Blood’ and that was a brutal – pulverising performance that made those present sit up and take notice of these Australian loons kicking the shit out of our ears with their punk rock.  Wind forward to a cold November in Bristol as part of their jaunt around Europe in support of Nature/Nurture’ Clowns are in the motherfuckin’ house boys and girls and it’s a school night and the place – whilst not packed to the rafters is in decent shape and very busy indeed.  Anyway rewind the evening a little and first up is three-piece Glug.  Two ladies on guitar and Bass swapping vocals in the briefest of sets that was basically ten minutes and a bit but ten songs and plenty of between-song banter. they were never going to steal the show they knew it and we knew it but it was great to see them doing what they do on a school night.

Next up were the four-piece local lads The Broken Bones Gentleman’s Club. who to be fair have been around the block and are used to this kinda Monday night punk rock show as they proceeded to smash out their tight set of Hardcore punk rock for the next twenty-five minutes or so.  Flip is a bundle of energy and turns the screw on the rest of the band as they get pushed harder and faster and tonight it really works.  Cookie is our prowling the audience poking for a reaction and its working.  Tonight The Broken Bones Gentleman’s Club are smashing it (as the kids say) as for what they played I couldn’t even begin to break it down as song titles were irrelevant. Maybe they played ‘Reasons’ maybe they didn’t but what mattered was tonight they were on form and took no prisoners and impressed those who’d bothered to turn up on time and give these punks the time of day.  Great effort.

Finally, Clowns are ready as the busy venue is up for what is about to unfold and I’ve been looking forward to this since it was announced. Stevie has a sharp new haircut (since last time) and after a few stretches were ready to go and without any fanfare and ‘I Shaved My Legs For You’ is riffing the fuck out of the room and from the off this is going to be something special. Hanny J is a great foil for Stevie as they are both penned in by the dual riff maesters Rod and Will either side as they unleashing the venom. What a blistering opener, then it’s back to the rapid assault of ‘Infected’ off the uncompromising ‘Bad Blood’ album and that’s where they stayed for the title track and low and behold they open up ‘These Veins’ as well and the band sound on fire.

Next track up is ‘Freezing In The Sun’ which was released as a single prior to the last album but it only gave a slight glimpse into what was to come as the band took a giant leap sonically from the first two albums to ‘Lucid Again’ and then ‘Nature / Nurture’ where they seem to have really come of age and grown into something really special. Some of the songs steered them into Janes Addiction Territory (when Janes were on fire of course) and this single was their most accessible track to date and tonight it was pounding and they executed it to within an inch of perfection.

The band then flip-flopped between the most recent couple of albums with the pick of the tunes from both slotting in very nicely indeed. It took Williams a while to get into the audience but when he was comfortable he was like a cat on a hot tin roof not standing still for a second as the band hammered home the tunes giving him the space to do his thing and boy did he do it.  ‘Like A Knife At A Gunfight’  grew into a swirling beast that it is but it was overshadowed by the monumental ‘, I Wanna Feel Again’ that showed how much this band has grown over their short tenure and all those shows are paying off because I wouldn’t want to be in a band and follow these on stage on this evidence. To suggest it was epic isn’t an understatement at all.

By the time we hit ‘Soul For Sale’ and a quick check of the time we knew we were reaching melting point in the set, the whole place was twitching at the very least as some lost their collective shit it was only ‘Never Enough’ to wrap up the evening. A  fitting ending to a superb night of Hardcore entertainment from a band that was on fire and one I can’t recommend highly enough they were simply a sight to behold.

If you get the chance you really should check these Clowns out. It’s never too late to pick up one of the albums, hell even go for the first one that they sadly neglected this evening but I guess its fair that you can’t have everything. Now, these and Bronx on a doubleheader would be just the best idea if someone could make that happen in 2020 I’d be grateful.  Clowns from Australia I salute you, you came – we saw – you rocked.  Fuckin Awesome!

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Author: Dom Daley

Idles release a new clip from their live album that’s coming out December 6th.  Recorded at the famous Le Bataclan  It’s Idles innit.

Finally rounding off the three new videos is this Amazing song from Jaz Coleman.  Jaz celebrated musician, composer, producer, author, lecturer, traveller, philosopher, actor & Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’  releases his new album on 29th November and it deserves your attention.

Recorded with Russia’s oldest orchestra, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, this stirring body of work taps into the more melodic, uplifting aspects of the KJ musical canon

Grave Pleasures have a new record out ‘Doomsday Roadburn’ out now on Svart Records and an audio-video is available which isn’t great to watch but you can pick it up Here. Whilst it’s a live album there were two songs recorded at the Moptherblood sessions which this is taken. So we’ve delved into the back catalogue and brought you this bad boy entitled ‘Mind Intruder’ Facebook

As the nights are getting longer you need more excuses to get up in the morning well, on that score we’re offering you a forth video this week and this one is taken from NYC’s MakeWar and its taken from their Debut Fat Wreck Chords album ‘Get It Together’ – the track is entitled –  ‘Oh Brother’ – enjoy!

We’re going to start this week’s Rainy Days and Mondays with BadCop/BadCop and a track taken from their second album ‘Warriors’

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Keeping it Fat Wreck Chords with a brand new album in the bag Mean Jeans are here to tell you that ‘Steve Dont Party No More’

Finally Fat Wrecks Favourite sons NOFX with an olden but golden ‘Six Years On Dope’

“A gigantic sike is an escape plan,” says Billy Jeans. “It’s the idea of being able to just drop a big ‘ol whoopsie-daisies on everything we’ve done up to this point — the songs, albums, the band’s existence, my own personal existence — and play the whole thing off as a goof. It’s a joke on the fantasy of sneaking out the backdoor on a crummy identity you didn’t necessarily mean to create.”

Gigantic Sike is Mean Jeans’ fourth full-length — or fifth, if you include last year’s Jingles Collection, a 23-song assemblage of unsolicited product jingles written for brands like Totino’s, Skoal and Mountain Dew. (“I think the jingles are our best work, but I guess you can’t mosh to windshield-wiper endorsement ballads,” Jeans explains.) The trio recorded Gigantic Sike‘s 11 songs over three days in Los Angeles in December 2018 (the first day was spent learning the tracks; the next two spent hammering them out). Like all prior Mean Jeans albums, Gigantic Sike falls into the category of three-chord, heavily Ramones-influenced party punk.  Um? What else can I say? Thats pretty much it.  Band loves The Ramones and plays fast catchy punk and does it well with a great production.  What are the songs like? Well, The record opens with “Party Line,” and within the first 15 seconds, Billy Jeans sings about Coors Light, cocaine and mentions his actual phone number. Wow imagine AC/DC gave out Angus number on Whole Lotta Rosie. Loons.

‘Basement Animals’ whilst having the Ramones buzz saw guitar riffing away it has a real power pop melody and I’d say more so evident on ‘Just A Trim’.  Sure The Ramones homage is such a mountain to get over but if you can get over that and just appreciate a band knocking out some punk rockin’ power poppin’ rock and roll then there is plenty to enjoy here thats for sure.  Even if they never ever stray from the formula.  I’m OK with that.

‘I Fell Into A Bog’ is inspired by the time drummer Jeans Wilder actually, literally fell into a Florida bog during the Fest and wasn’t located by the band until the next morning (true Story apparently) — ‘Gigantic Sike‘s’ mission statement  is the idea of being able to run away from all of the stupid decisions you’ve made so far in life, ‘Time Warp’ is the exit strategy,” Billy Jeans says. “Siking a misled party life and taking the time warp to start over again is a theme in the record — laughing at what you’ve become and wondering if you can just warp your way out of it.” How can you not have a soft spot for that outlook on life?

At times I’m reminded of one of the finest exponents of wall of sound power pop punk rockers Los Pepes take ‘Stuck In My Head’ as an example and the rather good ‘Buddys Leaving’ before we head back out on the Dee Dee highway of ‘I Fell Into A Bog’.  wait, What a synth? Sure is ‘What The Fuck Is Up Tonight’ is pushing the envelope.  Nah not really but its a welcome sidestep.

Nowadays, Mean Jeans’ members are scattered across three different states, and they’re probably feeling the effects of being in a party-punk band for more than a decade. But Billy Jeans says despite the loose theme of Gigantic SikeMean Jeans isn’t going anywhere. “How do you function as a band when you live in three different cities?” he asks. “You gotta wing it. Make up the rules as you go. We never had band practice when we were all in Portland, so what our new strategy presupposes is, maybe that’s punk?” Maybe it is Maybe punk doesn’t even exist anymore in 2019 maybe its just a value or a nostalgia trip you like taking, who knows. Maybe its all things to all men and as long as there are bands like Mean Jeans knocking out snappy two to three minute punk rock tunes the world is still spinning and is still a pretty neat place to live.  Party on dudes

Buy Gigantic Sike Here

Author: Dom Daley

The band head out on a nice tour of North America with the awesome Clowns and Teenage Bottlerockets

catch them at-

·06 Sep in Fort Worth, TX, US @ MASS (Fat Tour)

·07 Sep in Oklahoma City, OK, US @ 89th St (Fat Tour)

·08 Sep in Kansas City, MO, US @ Riot Room (Fat Tour)

·09 Sep in St. Louis, MO, US @ Fubar (Fat Tour)

·10 Sep in Omaha, NE, US @ Lookout Lounge (Fat Tour)

·11 Sep in Green Bay, WI, US @ Lyric Room (Fat Tour)

·12 Sep in Milwaukee, WI, US @ Company Brewing w/ Clowns

·13 Sep in Minneapolis, MN, US @ Turf Club (Fat Tour)

Strung Out has been together for almost 30 years –You would be forgiven for thinking they are a new band such is the energy of these songs. Produced by Cameron Webb, who was behind the helm of 2009’s Agents of the Underground, it’s a record that has the fire of a new band.

The band are older (obviously) and dare I say it wiser. Yet they play like young men musically and lyricly they view a “big Picture”  as they struggle to make sense of the chaos of the world we live in.

Much of frontman Cruz’s lyrics come from the death of someone he was incredibly close to. That’s something which has exaggerated and exacerbated Cruz’s emotional fragility and continues the spiritual and philosophical journey he says he’s found himself on in recent years. At the same time, though, these songs are also infused with a spirit of hope and defiance.

“I lost my best friend six or seven months ago,” explains Cruz. “It was right before we started writing this record, and that really put a shadow on things. Some of these songs – especially “Monuments” and “Bloody Knuckles” – reflect that loss. But that’s what’s always made our band work. The music is this metal machine and then you get these vocals that express this vulnerability in a melodic way – and there’s love and there’s searching in all that machine. This record starts out hopeful and then it kind of degrades. It sobers and ends with loss. But there are so many things on this record that I’m still figuring it out.”

The albums starts with ‘Rebels And Saints’ and don’t get lulled into a false start becasue its a woven dash and the sunny Californian feel hits you. Melodic and fast. whilst ‘Daggers’ might be darker its almost punk metal in the riffs and pace it tells a story of personal turmoil within the backdrop of an increasingly dystopian America.  Strung Out’s trademark melody and aggression is more metal than Bad Religion and its ebb and flow is maintained throughout the album. Its not really a scene that has taken off massivly in the UK and has a very American feel to it songs like ‘Dissapearing City’ cross over as does the pacey and layered harmonies of ‘Politics Of Sleep’.

Penultimate track ‘Strange Notes’ is bordering on Anthrax metal thrashing mad with a frantic drum roll on the intro like I say some might say it ebbs and flows through the gears throughout the album whilst the next man might say its that constant ebb and flow that pulverises that detracts from the songs as there doesn’t seem too much light and shade throughout the three quarters of an hours worth of music. They could totally land a slot at Download though which might well help US punk cross over to the UK.

The band head out in support of the album for the rest of the year throughout North America where I’m sure they’ll hoover up audiences with their energy alone.  To be fair they’ve always had a tonne of energy  but this is a little more metallic that say ‘Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues’ that was just the right side of this frantic paced style of music.

Buy Songs Of Armour And Devotion Here

Author: Dom Daley

Strung Out will be making the following appearances this fall. Dates below.

SEPTEMBER

18 – Ybor, FL – Crowbar

19 – Gainesville, FL – The Wooly

20 – West Palm Beach, FL – Respectable Street

21 – Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music Hall

22 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl

24 – Wilmington, NC – Reggie’s 42nd St.Tavern

25 – Virginia Beach, VA – The Bunker

26 – Baltimore, MD – Otto Bar

27 – Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury Lanes

28 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge

29 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall

OCTOBER

01 – Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall

02 – Montreal, QC – Club Soda

03 – Quebec City, QC – La Source

04 – Ottawa, ON – The 27 Club

05 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House

06 – London, ON – London Music Hall – Rum Runners

08 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Crafthouse Stage & Grill

09 – Detroit, MI – Small’s

10 – Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge

11 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club

12 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room

13 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre

31 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre

NOVEMBER

01 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre

02 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon

03 – Boise, ID – The Olympic

04 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall

08 – Dallas, TX – Three Links

09 – Corpus Christi, TX – House of Rock

10 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live

12 – Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock

13 – Las Vegas, NV – Dive Bar

14 – San Diego, CA – Irenic

15 – Santa Barbara, CA – Velvet Jones

16 – Sacramento, CA – Holy Diver

17 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s

19 – Fresno, CA – Strummer’s

20 – Morro Bay – The Siren

21 – Lancaster, CA – American Legion

22 – Garden Grove, CA – Garden Amp

23 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre

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