Friday, October 12, 2012

Idle and the Bear: Currently Closed

Idle and the Bear is on an indefinite hiatus.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Destroy Nate Allen (Featuring Gnarboots) - With Our Powers Combined

It’s not very often that simply by reading a band’s bio page, I end up liking said band before getting a chance to actually hear their music. Destroy Nate Allen are a folk punk duo who happen to be married to each other, which by itself is a really cool concept alone. I like folk punk (a lot) and marriage is also a pretty admirable thing to me. These two things combined? Pretty awesome. Also, in an attempt to capture the duo’s live show energy in album format for the band’s upcoming release ‘With Our Powers Combined', DNA enlisted the help of Gnarboots (former members of Link 80 and Shinobu) to add a lot more instrumentation to the songs. I have to admit they chose the absolute perfect musicians for this, because Link 80 and Shinobu albums have more energy than a Voltorb wrestling a Pikachu. Every song on ‘With Our Powers Combined’ is full of this Voltorb/Pikachu energy, and it makes for an entertaining as hell listening experience. Don’t miss out.

The first two songs, “Waking Up Is Hard to Do” and “Emergency”, might be two of the most energetic songs on the record. The former being a really short song that is mostly the musicians slamming on their instruments as hard as possible for short spurts with many intermissions consisting of vocalist Tessa griping about how awful mornings are. It’s a very relatable song, because morning’s are indeed pretty awful. The latter of the two songs is probably the most pop punk oriented song on the record. Nate (guitarist/vocalist) does the majority of the singing for this one, but Tessa is still there to add her spritely, energetic backing vocals. This is probably one of my favorite songs on the record, despite the repetitive nature and the simplicity. Actually those two things are probably my reasoning for liking the song. Plus the organ part is awesome and fits in very well. Most songs have organ, and it kind of makes the album sound way more ska than it would’ve otherwise. I mean, there are quite a few songs that are just straight up ska-punk songs on this record anyway, but what else can you expect when your songs are backed by Asian Man Records dudes? A prime example of this ska business is the song “We Talk Occasionally on the Internet”.

Lyrics on ‘With Our Powers Combined’ are centered around the lives of Nate and Tessa Allen. These are songs about relationships, movies, mornings being lame, and anything else they could cram into these small, energetic folk-punk numbers. The lyrics don’t disappoint, and they’re always belted out with catchy vocal melodies and on top of high-octane instrumentals (with exception of “Long Weekend Blues”, which is an entirely acoustic song). I feel as though Destroy Nate Allen long ago figured out what they do best, and put all effort into honing their craft. The payoff is awesome. Well, at least for the listeners.

If you’re in need of a new folk punk record that will earn itself hundreds of plays on your computer or ipod or whatever, then you needn’t look any further, because ‘With Our Powers Combined’ is excellent. The album is set to be released on June 5th, and you can go ahead and pre-order it over at DNA’s webstore. I highly recommend it, too. Not that my opinions matters or anything...*sigh*


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Monday, May 21, 2012

Quiet Clouds - Demo 2012

Quiet Clouds are a new band full of experienced emo/punk musicians from Florida. The band consists of a guy from the band Wavelets and two dudes from Little League (not THIS Little League, but rather a way better band by the same name). If you're familiar with either Wavelets or Little League, you're pretty well versed in what to expect from Quiet Clouds, or so it may seem. This band is much softer and more atmospheric than Wavelets and Little League. They play a more mellowed out stream of this awesome indie-emo-punk blend. It's pretty great. Maybe the "Quiet" in the band's title is there to inform us that this band is going to be quieter than the bands it stemmed from. That probably has nothing to do with it at all, actually.

If you visit Quiet Clouds on bandcamp, you'll see that they have this cool three song demo posted. The album cover (top of page) is totally fitting. It's in black and white, which is how I picture a music video by this band would be. There's also clouds...which makes sense and all.  If these songs are a representation of what kind of music this band will be releasing for years to come, then I'm pretty excited.

These three demos are excellently written and full of clever riffs and unpredictability. If I were to make some sort of drama film in the future, I'd feel practically required to use a song by this band. It'd be perfect for pretty much any important scene for character development or emotional conflict or whatever. Also, if I weren't to make some drama film, and instead I just needed music to play while driving around or sitting outside with friends, I'd also feel pretty much required to turn on a Quiet Clouds song or two. Preferably "In the Event that Everything Goes Terribly Wrong", because that's my favorite song out of these demos. The guitar riff kind of reminds me of this RVIVR song...or that band Kudrow, really. Well, parts of the guitar riff do. This song does some pretty weird shit and it all sounds awesome and, admittedly, a little bit brooding.

You should check these demos out and we'll try to keep you updated with new music by this band whenever it's released. You should also go to the bandcamp pages for Little League and Wavelets, because they're actually more of the kind of emo-punk I get into. Faster and more infectious. You'll probably like it, dear reader. Just like you'll probably enjoy Quiet Clouds.


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Flip Like Wilson EP

Flip Like Wilson are an energetic pop punk group from the U.K. The Bear actually (favorably) reviewed demos they had up on bandcamp not too long ago, so this band isn't new to Idle and the Bear. We were lucky enough to be sent via email their upcoming self-titled EP, and we're totally grateful, because Flip Like Wilson are one of the bands we get submissions from that we enjoy greatly. To the point, finally; here's a review:

This EP is five songs, four of which being previously unreleased, and the remainder, "Lily", being previously released on the band's bandcamp demo. It's a pretty awesome song. I thought so when I listened to the demo, and I still hold that opinion now. It's catchy pop punk performed expertly. The vocal melody sticks to your brain like Krazy Glue (that's not a product placement, by the way. Coming from me, it's a Less Than Jake reference more than anything) and the simplicity of the song is endearing. There's a very Mixtapes/Bad Religion/Offspring-esque guitar solo towards the end of the song, and I feel like the song would be incomplete without it. It'd also be incomplete without the standard repeated chorus with gang vocals coming in...

Anyway, I should go to the beginning of this EP, rather than the middle. The record starts off with one of the most energy-filled songs on the record, "Consider This". Okay, I have to admit that this song sounds a shit load like All Time Low. That one song, "Damned If I Do You", I think it's called? I used to live with one of my best friends, and she's really into that band. They grew on me. It's just poppy goodness. Fuck haters. Regardless, Flip Like Wilson overall sound more like Fall Out Boy than them. And I'm talking 'Take This to Your Grave'. I fucking love that album.

Another song worth mentioning is the song "Millionaires". It's the other song that stands out on this release. It's a solid pop punk song with a good amount of energy and intensity and it's definitely infectious as fuck. A song that's not really worth listening would be the album closer "Twenty Eleven". I just can't really get into that one so much. It sounds too much like the first song, in my opinion. It's not bad, but it's just a little bland. It's no reason not to listen to this EP, because you might/probably will like it. Shit sounds different to everyone. Flip Like Wilson are definitely a band worth checking out, and we'll update this post with a link to purchase the EP once it's released-so check back often. 3.5/5 pizzas or whatever we occasionally use to rank albums.


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Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Was A Hero - Youth and Defeat

I Was A Hero absolutely saved the spring of 2012 as far as far as music releases go. Well, for me, at least. Nothing else I listened to this season hit me nearly as hard as this album 'Youth and Defeat'. It's seven snotty melodic punk songs that sound like the product of pop punk fans who grew up in the 90s. The sounds sound like a mix between Descendents, Saves the Day, and any number of bro-core type bands. Somehow this concoction came out sounding pretty fucking awesome...and kind of like Handguns. A lot of bands sound kind of like Handguns, these days. Especially Handguns.

There honestly isn't a single song on 'Youth and Defeat' that I dislike. They're all strong, catchy as fuck, and full of energy and feel good pop punk guitar riffs. It's perfect. This album probably contains a song or two that will help define the summer of 2012 when we're all old fucks and looking back. Unless you're already old, I guess. You'll just be an older fuck and this section of your life will probably all blend together like a smoothie. A really bad tasting smoothie, most likely. "Bus Rides Cost Too Much" might be my favorite song on this release. It embodies every positive aspect of I Was A Hero, and it does so perfectly. However, it's really hard to say I like one song more than the rest, because the rest put up a really good fight. Songs like "Cheap Tea" and the title track "Youth and Defeat" really fuck with the curve here. I don't know man-it's just a solid release all around.

You can download this album for free (or choose to donate money to the band for the download) on their bandcamp page. You can even just stream it first if you're not yet ready to make the commitment of having these mp3s on your computer for easy listening access. But if you download it, you can scrobble your plays of the songs and make people think you're cool. Eh...


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Second to Last - Vessel

Second to Last are a Californian pop punk band that sound like they're secretly from either the Midwest or New England regions. They play in a style similar to bands like Title Fight, The Wonder Years, Handguns, and you can fill in the rest of that list yourself. It's not a bad thing. The deal with bands like this is that I can get into them and enjoy what they're doing, but I know that when I play them for my friend it's going to become an instantly polarized conversation. I just know that they're not for everyone. However, if you like the bands I mentioned a few sentences ago, Second to Last are for you.

'Vessel' is a four song EP, so basically just enough playtime for me to craft an opinion on this band. It's a good thing for me that there are four songs, because I only like half of this release. So if there were two less songs, I'd only have one new song that I like. And still, if there were like 12 tracks, there'd be 6 new songs in the world that I don't like. Actually, none of this makes any sense. For all I know this imaginary LP could have just ended up having 2 songs I didn't like and 10 that I found awesome. I never took a statistics class; fuck it.

These songs are pretty unimaginative and lack a good deal of creativity, but it'd be lying to say they're not enjoyable. It's whiny sounding pop punk music that we listen to when we're feeling a certain way and shit. Everyone has that vice. Well, everyone that doesn't go crazy and turn out a crust punk or something. The guitar leads are unimpressive throughout this record, which sucks because that honestly is usually the thing that keeps me interested in these kind of bands. The lyrics are pretty good though, I have to say. These songs definitely have sing-a-long potential among my group of friends. I honestly review on the weirdest merits...

I really like the songs "Feels the Same" and "Dry Spell" on this release. They're the catchier ones and feel the most complete as songs. "Feels the Same" being the catchier of the two, having vocal melodies that stick to your noggin. "Dry Spell" is mainly my pick due to the instrumentals. The intro riff is simple and cool and is accompanied by a very cool chord progression. The backing vocals in this song also cement it as a fine example of what this kind of pop punk can sound like when done right. The lyrics to this song also come across as passionately written...or that can be due to the awesome performances by the vocalists. It's something.

You can currently stream this album on the band's Absolute Punk profile, and we'll update this review with a link to where you can purchase this album on June 5th when it is physically released. It's not bad; you should check it out for yourself.


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Monday, May 7, 2012

Lower Lands - Growing Pains

We’ve posted a few reviews of I Am Mighty Records releases in the past, and I’m pretty sure they’ve all been at least remotely positive. The trend isn’t changing now, simply owing to the fact that this premier EP ‘Growing Pains’ from the English punk band Lower Lands is awesome.

We’re introduced to Lower Lands (although, they are pretty popular in and around Lincoln, where they formed in 2010, I’m certain) through six great songs and if they’re a stickler for good first impressions, then they have no reason to worry with this EP, because it’s a great first impression. The first song, “Wide Eyes”, is loud and powerful and this awesome blend of 90s alternative music with melodic punk. The song starts and then just over four minutes later you’re starting it over and never making it to the rest of the EP. Which is cool, but also a shame; the rest of the EP is just as great.

The song “Why Don’t We Just Build a Cathedral?” is my favorite out of this album’s six, and probably because it sounds like one of the better songs written by bands like Brand New and Say Anything. Those bands that I can only get into depending on what song is being played for me. That’s not the case with Lower Lands, though, because I can get into all the songs on ‘Growing Pains’. Plus the title is shared with a sitcom on Disney that we all used to watch a shit ton. That’s always cool. That’s also probably why The Wonder Years went with their band name, too. There’s also a song on this release with my name in  the title...I figured that this paragraph was already lacking enough fluency to go ahead and add to it another statement that didn’t necessarily belong anywhere. I suck.

Either way, enough of my stupid shit. You should head over to the I Am Mighty webstore and purchase yourself a copy of ‘Growing Pains’ by the lovely melodic punk/alternative rock band Lower Lands. And be happy, for once.


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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lemuria- Varoom Allure 7"

I have never heard anything by Lemuria that I didn't love. There was one time when I didn't think I liked Pebble, but then I listened to it a second time and it turned out that I loved it just as much as anything else Sheena and Alex have ever done. If you've somehow missed them, they're a cute, interesting, quirky, altogether  fun indie pop band from Buffalo, NY. This little 7" was released on Record Store Day 2012, and I didn't fucking get it. Sucks, right? Either way, they streamed both the songs online so I think I'll survive until I can get my hands on a copy. I'll probably end up buying it for way too much on Ebay or something, you know. RIYL Very Okay, The Ergs, Cheap Girls, Eisley
"Varoom Allure," the title track, is awesome. It has the same old interesting rhythm and melody as most Lemuria stuff, with very choppy staccato vox. You also get to hear a little more of Alex's vocal abilities, which is pretty cool. Sheena Ozzella's parts are very, very cute. It's a great song.
"Cannonballs To Hurt" is a little heavier than "Varoom" and has more Sheena. Max's bass lines are pretty fun and it's overall awesome.
This single is super fucking awesome.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

All Over The Place- Leaving Today

All Over The Place is this kickass ska band from Cleveland.  I like them a lot. It's a cycling group of members, normally around seven people. They've been together for two years now and this is their third release, including the EP given away for free on Bandcamp last year. It's pretty good stuff, guys. RIYL Atomic Potato, The Fad, Streetlight Manifesto
This band is super, super catchy. "The Past" is a faster song with heavy bass and addictive horn lines. I like it a lot. They're clearly having fun and I can get into that. There's some cute synth in "It Should Have Been Me." The vocal style and the lyrics remind me a lot of the Smoking Popes, which is a really high compliment from me. Just you know, without all the guitar solos and with horns. Same difference. Kellen Bearden is an enjoyable bassist and it shows through the entire album.
"Faker" is a little hectic at first, but as soon as you get that horn solo in there, they pull me back in and suddenly it makes sense. Really fun song live, I'm sure. Wes Meadows is a great vocalist- it's kind of like unicorn babies in my face... Yeah. That analogy didn't work that well, but I'll run with it. The tempo change was tasteful, and the lyrics are once again great.
The band has a very fast, fun, if not goofy sound. "Dreamgirl" was a single they released earlier last year before being put on this album, and it's fucking sweet. The guitar lines are cool and I love the song itself. Definitely blast-in-the-car-with-the-windows-down-soundtrack material. Can this song be playing in the opening to the movie about my life? Or you know, just to whatever 80s style teen movie they feel like making soon. (Am I being hopeful?)
Some other favorites of mine:
"Life," "Leaving Today," "Agreeable."
Only complaint with the album over all is the timing can be a little off. But that's really all I could find to criticize... I love these guys. I bet you would too.

Comments below. I'm starting a betting pool as to whether or not Wes stands for Wesley or Wetherby. GO!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spraynard - Exton Square

Spraynard have recently put out a new 4-song record on Asian Man Records titled 'Exton Square’. If you’re a repeat offender when it comes to the Idle and the Bear website, then you’re probably familiar with my review of the previous Spraynard record ‘Funtitled’, and therefore you’re familiar with the whole “this band sounds like Latterman” stuff. I was absolutely inescapable. That comparison had to be made, and so it was made by tons of people. The thing I can most easily say about ‘Exton Square’ would have to be that if I had heard this record first, rather than ‘Funtitled', I probably never would’ve said anything about how much the band owes their sound to Latterman or whatever, because I feel as though this new album kind of defines Spraynard’s unique sound and gives us a bit of a notion of how quickly this band develops and progresses their music. I guess this kind of makes this album a crucial part of any solid pop punk album collection, then. Right?

The album starts off with “Can I Borrow a Feeling?”, which is a song that seems absolutely focused on the idea of a cathartic build up being the perfect way to start an album. They’re totally right about least if they were aiming to please me. I’m sure they weren’t, because that’d be pretty foolish. I’m easy to please and my opinion isn’t worth a damn. But if you do think my opinion is worth a damn, you should probably already have this album in your shopping cart over at the Asian Man Records webstore.

Regardless, the album starts off pretty soft and whatnot, and then we’re figuratively slapped in the face with the song “You Can’t Get There From Here”. The intensity of the vocals has kind of gone down a bit since ‘Funtitled’, but it’s definitely an improvement in my opinion. Spraynard’s vocals are excellent and don’t really need the extra gruffness to get their point across. This album gives me the impression that they’ve listened to quite a bit of Harvey Danger. Am I wrong? I don’t think I’m wrong. I could be, though. They could just have the same influences as Harvey Danger. Oh yeah, the second song definitely starts sounding like they’ve listened to a lot of Latterman about halfway in...but I guess it’s kind of unavoidable. Your influences have to be displayed somewhere when you’re standing on the shoulders of giants; that’s just science, Gunther.

Okay, so this album sounds great from start to finish, and that’s a pretty solid reason to get into the band Spraynard. I also had the privilege of seeing them play in Philadelphia at the First Unitarian Church with Classics of Live, BTMI, Captain We’re Sinking, and Mike Park not long ago and I can honestly say that you’d enjoy seeing them live...whoever this is that I’m addressing right here. Why do I write reviews in such a fucking weird fashion?

Okay so, I already posted the link to Asian Man at some point in this review, and that’s really all you need. It’s five dollars and you can totally buy Lawrence Arms shit while you’re already on the website. So I don’t get why you haven’t done so yet.


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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tall Tales - An Introduction To

Tall Tales are a new Cincinnati pop-punk band who have just released their debut EP, finally. I say finally because I've been kind of waiting for it to be finished for quite some time now. I guess at least 99% of you won't really be able to relate the "finally" part. Well, actually, after you listen to the EP, you might be thinking, "FINALLY!", despite not even knowing about the band or album until the release of 'An Introduction To". This phenomenon could easily be chalked up to how great all four songs on this release are. And it's pretty much dire you listen to them as soon as possible. Which honestly shouldn't be too hard for you to pull off, because you can either stream it for download it from the Tall Tales bandcamp page.

If you're wanting some sort of RIYL for Tall Tales, bands like Saves the Day, Grown Ups, and I guess you could kind of take a brocore band like Man Overboard and remove all the cheesy lyrics, faux excursions into hardcore punk, and throw in better vocalists (because Zach and Brian are awesome behind the microphone. Especially when they're singing different shit at the same time, like in the song "Male Fraud") and add the cynicism and flavor of Cincinnati (I'm not talking about Gold Star, either). This DIY EP, recorded by the band on their own, is loaded with four really catchy songs that do those of us who have heard The Copyrights more than enough times the favor of mixing it up a little bit, whether you're focusing on the more intuitive leads or the fact that the songs aren't four chords repeating. Not that I don't love that brand of pop punk just the same. People just get burnt out and need something like Tall Tales to even them out. It's just science.

Okay, well you have the bandcamp page. You have the strong recommendation of Idle and the Bear, and you have the fingers required to facilitate the commencement of this music entering your ears (assuming you were born with fingers and have not yet lost them). And hey, if you end up not really digging Tall Tales, you can use those same fingers to plug your ears. Or to go click on whatever shitty band you'd rather listen to.


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Friday, April 6, 2012

The Radio Reds- Let It Show EP

The Radio Reds are a post-punk band from Greensboro, North Carolina. It's a four piece group that's been playing together for about a year now, starting off as vocalist Stephen Kent's solo project. This EP is going to be released on April 10th (only four days), so I suggest you mark that on your calendar.

This is a super long EP. It's only four tracks, but they still manage to pull out a full 16 minutes. That's impressive. "Lucky Strike," the first track, starts you off with a pretty good impression. It sounds kind of like a grunge/indie blend, and it's pretty good. Stephen Kent has a strong voice, and the instrumentals are solid. It's a slower song, but the guitar melodies are fairly interesting. Patrick Boyd and Kent together (both guitarists) make an interesting play back and forth. 
"Disconnected" is a similar song to "Lucky Strike."
"California Snow" actually shows off the bass a little bit (Michael Kent) which I enjoy a lot. The guitar melodies are also pretty interesting. The lyrics are also really great. This track sounds almost like Third Eye Blind and Nirvana had a love child together. 
"Bedroom Noise" is a little pop punk-ish. That made me smile. It's much more upbeat than the other three tracks, and it's pretty fun. Overall, it's a pretty good EP.
It makes me think of the nineties. If you liked the nineties, you'll probably like this. And I mean, who didn't?


Say Anything- Anarchy, My Dear

So, I'm finally getting around to this. I love Say Anything, and I am willing to take any shit I get for reviewing them... So bring it on. Say Anything is an indie/punk/whatever rock band from Los Angeles. They are extremely fun. The line up has hectically changed from duos to full 4-5 member groups in the past 12 years, but Max Bemis and Cody Linder have been in it since the beginning. Say Anything are probably most known for Max, crazy shows, being hated, and changing teenage girl's lives forever. Everyone thinks they're awesome or awful- and I thankfully fall into that first category. Forever catchy, brutally honest, and cutesy- thanks for twelve years of awesome, you guys. Anarchy, My Dear was released on March 13th of this year.

"Burn A Miracle" starts us off with a super fucking catchy beat and very Bemis-esque lyrics. Super descriptive, overflowing with metaphor. The beat itself is very bouncy (dare I say staccato?) and all over the place in the best of the ways. It's a great way to start off the record, seriously.
When you hear Max Bemis talk about the record, he describes this as their first attempt at really writing a "punk" record- mostly in the ideals. I think the music is actually more poppy than we're used to, but when you're saying things like "Burn America if you've gotta soul, burn the dream!" you can definitely hear that mentality. 
"Say Anything" is definitely sounding a lot more like what I'm used to with them. It's a seriously great song with interesting guitar riffs and adorable lyrics. It's starts off slow and acoustic, but they build it up into a full band, fast, and demanding sound. It's awesome.
"Night's Song" has the cutest beat ever. It's bouncy, cutesy, you name it. It also displays something that I always look for in their songs- a really interesting melody. Every now and then, they just go all over the place. It switches between instruments and they're almost always doing their own thing. The bass line especially sounds great.
"Admit it Again" is an interesting choice. "Admit It!!!", off of the "...Is a Real Boy" is probably one of their most infamous songs. Let's be honest, most people hated it. It was a great rant, but the execution was a little off. However, Max Bemis picks it up again on this album. The music is a little bit more intricate, the lyrics are a little more in depth, but it's pretty much the same song. Hence the "again."
"So Good" is a really, really cute song. Sherri DuPree is a lucky lady. (You know, besides being really cute and having her own awesome band. That might also contribute to her luckiness.)
"Sheep" is a fairly interesting song. It reminds me a little of the 80s. It's not a bad song; it's just not one of my favorites. I do like the tempo changes, however.
Skipping ahead to one of the real stand-out tracks....
"Anarchy, My Dear" is a fucking AWESOME song. It's one of my favorites. Amazing lyrics, great rock ballad. One of those songs you want to listen to over and over again. I will listen to this song a thousand times.

Overall, I liked this album a lot. I don't think it's their best, but it's impressive and I'm going to listen to it a lot. The sounds vary, but they stay pretty much in the same pop-rock style that they feel most comfortable in. I think Max Bemis did an admirable job with his attempt at changing the mentality and outlook of the band, but let's face it- Max is still Max and his lyrics will always have the same tone. :)
Listen to it, really. If you hate Say Anything, then go listen to your Four Year Strong or whatever.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grey Area/ The Reveling/ The Copyrights/ Luther Split LP

Grey Area, The Reveling, The Copyrights, and Luther getting together to release a four-way split? Holy shit. Yes. This is the best combination ever. Grey Area is this awesome New York based pop punk band. We fell in love with them on their Go Rydell split, and it's been history since then. It's really upbeat, fun stuff. The Reveling is also from New York, and is a little less poppy and a little more punk. They're awesome. The Copyrights are probably one of the more well-known pop punk bands in the US, coming from Illinois. They're really, REALLY great live. Luther is a pop punk/alt rock band from Philadelphia, and admittedly the band I know the least about.
Okay, let's do this.
Grey Area: "Lucky" is super catchy. It really sounds like Copyrights meets Smoking Popes. The lyrics are pretty great too. I really like the guitar melody. "Bad Anything" is a little faster, and a little rougher. These lyrics are significantly badass. The drums make me happy, too. So far, so good. It's a little fun, a little serious, and both tracks are dance worthy at shows.

Reveling: The Reveling know they have a soft spot in my heart waiting for them, so this part shouldn't be an issue. "Trust Me" is a BADASS song. I love it. The beat is super catchy from the first second, first off. Sean Morris has the best voice and the lyrics are amazing. The lyrics to "It's Time To Ride" are the kind that you want tattooed on your arm or painted on your wall or something. Okay, maybe just written in the corner of your notebook... Either way, I love them. The song is really great. Bravo.

Copyrights: These are pretty standard awesome Copyrights songs. "The New Frontier" and "Straight To The Office" are both fast, hard, and addictive. Make any innuendos about that as you want. I like "Straight to the Office" a lot, cause it's a little more fun than "The New Frontier." Either way, they do a really great job with it. I don't think I've ever heard a Copyrights song that I didn't want to tap my foot/shake my head/etc to.

Luther: For a band I had listened to a handful of times, these guys really impressed me. "Sixty-One" is a wonderful song! I love it. The beat is really catchy and I like the guitar tone a lot. "This Door Is A Penthouse" is just as sad than "Sixty-One." It's still a good song though. They both are. I own Siblings and Sevens, and I'm probably going to start listening to it a whole lot more now.

So my thought process was that four bands = four times as many chances for a song to suck. However, they prevailed and did an amazing job. Kudos.
Here goes the linking spree...


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Great Apes - Debut 7"

Great Apes are exactly the kind of band that Idle and the Bear is cut out to review. They're new (or up and coming, or whatever term/phrase you swear by), they play punk music, and they play it damn well. They have kind of a dirtier sound and their songs kind of bring bands like Maladroit, Arms Aloft, and Mayflower to mind for me. Maybe like a slightly slowed down and tighter version of those bands. Slower at times, tighter usually, but definitely with the same amount of energy.

Great Apes have a series of EP's coming out soon, the first of which being the self-titled one that this review happens to be concerning. The EP starts off with a slower number titled "Sam's Song" (for whatever reason, I had a lot of trouble not typing 'Sam's Town' just then). It's very melodic, and the awesome, rough lead vocals are backed by some pretty awesome back ups at various places throughout the song. It's a nice song, but it doesn't bring too much new to the table, nor anything that is at least colorful enough to stand out. It's followed by a song I like quite a bit more, however.

'This is a Trans World' follows the Screeching Weasel derived pop punk formula pretty straight forward. With the level of power used, it comes off almost sounding like a Street Dogs song, or that new melodic punk group that Jay Navarro is singing for these days. It appears to be a song about transgender folk and it being A-okay with Great Apes. That's mighty white of you, Great Apes. We're on the same page. It's a good song. It feels a bit folky even. And the shouting of, "boys will be girls!" at the end is pretty fucking cool. I dig it.

With the third and last song, "Detonator", I feel more reassured in my Street Dogs comparison. The rhythm kind of gives me a 'Let's Go' era Rancid vibe, though. That or basically any song by Buck-O-Nine during the non-ska bits. What "Detonator" succeeds most at is solidifying this 3-song EP as a worthwhile ear-endeavor. The songs are all pretty good, while not really being that great (to me, at least). They definitely sound like a band I could see friends of mine getting into a bit more than me, but that's a compliment. My friends have decent taste. Some of them. Some of them have horrible taste, Billy. 

Check out Great Apes! Do it. They have like a facebook and a bandcamp page and everything. They have EPs soon to be released on Say-10 Records, too. And we'll be posting an update when that occurs so you can pick up a physical copy of this cool little record. Until then, you can check out what they have up on their bandcamp. You won't be disappointed. 


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Monday, April 2, 2012

Bright & Barrow release comp. to raise money towards Parkinson’s Research

The record label Bright & Barrow decided to put on their humanitarian pants recently and put together an awesome compilation full of great punk bands such as Direct Hit!, Goin’ Places, Great Cynics, Candy Hearts, Banquets, Caffiends, and many more. For 15 dollars, your ass gets a 22-song digital compilation, and a really cool t-shirt (photo above). It isn’t just for your ass, either; you can enjoy the music in through your ears and the shirt goes great on your torso. All proceeds of your purchase go to and 100% of that money goes towards Parkinson’s research.

Do your part!

Even if you honestly don’t care too much about researching Parkinson’s, you at least get 22 songs for 15 bucks and the t-shirt is clever. Shit. Sounds worth it to me. Thanks, readers.


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Two New Dopamines Songs Posted

Head over to It’s Alive Records’ bandcamp page and listen to the two new songs off the upcoming Dopamines’ record ‘Vices’.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Single from The Never Setting Suns' new album!

So The Never Setting Suns is this awesome rock band from Cinci. Frankly, I have no idea how Idle and I haven't met them yet, being in the same town and all, but you know... Happens. Either way, they're really really fun. Their newest album, Time & Eternity, came out on March 24th (last Saturday) and I strongly suggest you invest in it.
Here is the single from the album. It sounds really great. It reminds me a little of Cheap Girls (<3) and a little of Only Thieves. The guitar melody is super catchy and I adore the vocals. It's very good at being mellow without being boring or slow. You can also feel the ending in your rib cage, which is the best feeling in the world.
Great guys, great music. BUY THE ALBUM. If you don't like it, I give you permission to punch me in the ovaries. (You'll like it.)


Friday, March 23, 2012

Tigers Jaw stream new song on Youtube

This is a pretty short post, really. Tigers Jaw have a split with Black Clouds coming out in April on Run For Cover Records and they've prematurely released one of the songs from their side of the split onto their youtube page:

If you like the song, you can pre-order the split over at Run For Cover Records' website.


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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Goin' Places - Relationship Sneakers

Goin' Places are one of those bands where you right away know who their major influences are. This record is full of snotty pop punk anthems, constructed for and by fans of Screeching Weasel and The Queers. It's not the most original album to ever happen, but it's definitely a lot of fun, pretty funny, and definitely catchy. A few songs into the album 'Relationship Sneakers', you pretty much know what Goin' Places are all about, and you've probably already developed your opinion on the band. Take it for what it is, or don't. I don't run your life.

The record kicks off with what is probably one of the most The Queers sounding songs in the world...other than songs written by The Queers. Well, actually it kind of surpasses some of the Queers songs as far as sounding like The Queers goes. It's even titled "Be With Me". Pretty pop punk. And partway through the song, there's suddenly organ parts. What the hell? I guess it's to make the listener feel as though they're at a hockey game. Right?

The title track "Relationship Sneakers" is pretty much one of the silliest, yet best things I've ever heard. It's just a simple song about the dude's girlfriend buying him new shoes and clothing to replace his unbecoming pop punk guy gear. This song takes an interesting direction towards the end with this cool vocal part where the backup vocalist was repeating every time the lead singer sang "night", but it kind of decides to head back into the standard formula with another iteration of the catchy-as-fuck chorus.

The rest of the album is littered with simple-yet-genius pop punk songs in the vain of  Mr. T Experience, The Ergs, and whatever else you can think of. But, I see it as a good thing. It's a fun album that I can see myself listening to a shit load, but I can also see that annoying the shit out of my friends who lack the same penchant as I for this sort of thing. So I guess this is one of those polarizing albums where you'll probably either like it or dislike it, love it or hate it. Whatever. I think it's cool, and if you do you should probably go over to their bandcamp page and check it out. You can stream it for free, even. You're all set.


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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Aspiga / Hanalei Split 7"

Aspiga and Hanalei are two bands from Jump Start Records. Aspiga is an indie punk band from New Jersey and this is their third release. Hanalei is an indie rock group from San Francisco. I think it might be just one guy, but the members have changed a lot so I can't tell. This record was released on February 28th.
Aspiga definitely has more energy than Hanalei on this split. The two tracks from them are very upbeat, addictive, and fun. "Laughing This Off" has relate-able lyrics and a super, super catchy guitar line. "Thanks, But I Can Throw Myself Out" follows the same trend. It sounds like if Mixtapes was a little tired when they wrote their music. It's pretty great. They do a good job of making you instantly add the rest of their albums to your list of albums to buy.
Hanalei is a lot more laid-back, but just as enjoyable. I really enjoy the vocals on this side. "Get Gone" was stuck in my head for at least 20 minutes after I heard it for the first time, which is fairly impressive considering my attention span. "Cut Dead (Jesus and Mary Chain)" is another great song with a super mellow tone. It's a really calming track, ha.

Overall, thumbs up.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mega Gem- Demo

First off, I am an awful reviewer. I listened to this stuff and it's been on my list for about 2 months now, and I'm just now getting to it. Sorry. Anyway, Mega Gem is this really cute quirky pop band from Denver. They have a rotating group of members that usually includes 7-10 people. This demo was recorded back in 2011, and they have a full length coming out this Spring. RIYL PS Eliot, Summer Salt, Radiator Hospital
They have a really interesting sound. They have just about everything going on in this demo- strings, horns, guitar, bass, drums, and everything in between. It's all very upbeat and catchy and you can tell they have a hell of a lot of fun with it. 
"Puddles" is a soft song with amazing horn lines and harmonies throughout it. The lyrics are very sweet, the drum beat is catchy as hell, and it's awesome. It's the kind of music you want to listen to while you're winding down at night. 
"Onions" has the best lyrics. Honestly. The kind you'd get tattooed on your shoulder and not regret a week later. The song is also badass, though. It's really catchy and has lots of laughing in it. And who doesn't like laughing?
The next two songs are just as catchy. "Creepy Fingers" has an amazing guitar melody. The entire demo is really fun. I love it. You can tell they have a lot of fun playing together and that's always really cool when you can hear that in the music. Can't wait to hear the full length!


Archers and Arrows - Self Titled EP & Split w/ Bottle Knowledge

Archers and Arrows are a melodic punk band from Lausanne (Switzerland). I haven't really listened to much punk from Switzerland, but I went into this review assuming that they probably sounded similar to punk bands from any other country.

I was right.

Archers and Arrows sound like a punk band, and it's a good thing. The vocals are gruff, the melodies are catchy, the guitar leads are simple enough, and the energy is somewhere between moderately high and absurdly high. Archers and Arrows play the exact kind of music they should be playing, as they clearly know what they're doing.

Archer's and Arrows - Self Titled EP

The song "It's So Cool, We Will Die All Together," starts off the Archers and Arrows EP on a very good note. Well, on a lot of good notes, I suppose. This song features both incredibly catchy, hardly-possible-to-comprehend vocals and the coolest little repeating bass guitar intermission. It's pretty awesome. At this point, I have to say A&A remind me a lot of bands like Arms Aloft and Mayflower. Arms Aloft for the ability to make pop punk sound dirtier than a Sam Kinison stand-up act, and Mayflower for creating gruff-voiced vocal melodies that refuse to leave a person's head. 

This awesome first song is followed by a song I prefer even more, "The Support". I don't know what it is about this track, but it definitely hits every nail on the head, for lack of a cooler phrase. It's one of the more interesting songs on the record, which is saying a lot for this EP, because all the songs bring their own bit of greatness. I mean shit, this song managed to throw in some screamo vocals and I didn't suddenly dislike them or anything. 

This EP is pretty great from beginning to end, and I feel pretty lucky that it ended up in our e-mail. It would've sucked to not have been introduced to Archers and Arrows, because their shit is pretty great. You can find all the songs from the EP on the band's facebook page too, which is pretty convenient. Listen to this shit.

Archers and Arrows split w/ Bottle Knowledge

The Archer and Arrows half of this split shows us the band implementing far more pop and twinkly emo influence into their sound. All three songs for this split are awesome and worth checking out. They can be checked out over at their facebook page, as well. Do it.

Bottle Knowledge are another band from the same area as Archers and Arrows. They kind of sound like what Fugazi probably would've sounded like, had the band been started many year later. You can listen to their half of the split on their facebook page too, and it's definitely worth it. All three songs are pretty awesome.

Hey, there were two albums in this review post. Weird.


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Friday, March 9, 2012

The Sidekicks - Awkward Breeds

Sometimes I get sick of Ohio; my whole life has been based around this hunk of Midwest and it can get tiring after so much time. But then stuff like The Sidekicks releasing a new album happens, and I'm back to being 100% in love with Ohio. If you haven't listened to 'Awkward Breeds' by The Sidekicks yet, then you're probably insane. Or just busy. It's one of those two things. This album is stuffed with excellent songs and a variety of unexpected musical choices. There's a lot of classic rock and pop rock influence, and it blends well with the pop punk overtones. With 11 absolutely perfect songs, it's very hard to argue against this album ending up being album of the year for 2012, or at least in the running for it.

It's seriously tricky to even try to pick a few songs out of the bunch to recommend to people who want to give The Sidekicks a chance. The album starts with the song "DMT", which is catchy and loud and excellent. It certainly sets the tone for the awesomeness that follows throughout the next 40 minutes or whatever. This song is followed by "Grace", which is a song I like even more. It has this slow, poppy intro which is broken in half with powerful vocals as the verse kicks in. There's some pretty sounding, "ooohs" going on at times throughout the song too, and that's always fun. Then the track "Peacock" comes on and the listener is absolutely convinced that they accidentally put on a Shins album by accident. Seriously. Try to tell me this song doesn't sound like The Shins.

The album is packed full of songs that are absolutely perfect. There's a lot of moments where you'll be like, "they were listening to a lot of Weezer when working on this one," or "is this Jimmy Eat World?" And there's other moments where you'll just know it in your heart that you're listening to some of the finest punk music Ohio has ever had to offer. The entire full length plays out like a seriously pleasant dream. Songs like "The 9th Piece" and "Baby, Baby" are 100% crucial to check out if you're interested in this record. 'Awkward Breeds' by The Sidekicks is a winner.

You can purchase this record over at the Red Scare website. Or, if you're not quite ready for that level of commitment, you can just head over to Alt Press and listen to all the songs while they're still streaming for free. It's up to you, dear reader! This album is like 5 out of 5 stars or whatever a legitimate reviewer would declare at this point in the process. It's great.


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

fun.- Some Nights

fun is perhaps one of the best pop bands there is. I fell in love with Aim & Ignite in 2009, and I'm falling in love with this record today. I actually don't know anyone who hasn't fallen in love with them. It's a trio of three sweet guys making awesome music. This album was released on the 21st. RIYL The Format, Jack's Mannequin
The music is a little bit more produced than it was on Aim & Ignite, but that's expected to happen when you become one of the most popular indie bands in America. It's less piano heavy and more traditional full-band centered. Still a lot of piano, though.
The intro starts off very sweet and quiet. Piano and Nate. The best kind of combination. Oh, and some opera singing. It does a great job of slowly, slowly building up into this amazing orchestra thing. It's awesome. And then "Some Nights" has some awesome, awesome a capella. Super cute. Also, Nate gets a little gruff with his voice. Never heard that before, but most definitely appreciated. The percussion is amazing. It reminds me of the Lion King a little, I can't even lie.
Here's a little highlight of some of the best songs-
"We Are Young feat. Janelle Monae"- no surprise that this song is amazing. It was released as the first single, and everyone fell in love with it. The lyrics are completely wonderful and the piano/drum combination gives you that endorphin rush music can give. Oh, and Janelle does a great job.
"All Alright"- Extremely catchy chorus. Reminds me a little of "Be Calm" from Aim & Ignite. Probably because they're both really, really good anti-panic songs.
"Out On The Town"- The bonus tracks are usually great, aren't they? As per the usual, the percussion and the lyrics are mind-blowing. Great, great song.

Only complaint I could possibly have is the overproduction. It sounds really good, but I miss the sound of Aim & Ignite. Either way, amazing record. Check it out.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Cheap Girls- Giant Orange

Cheap Girls is this badass Lansing indie rock band. You've probably heard of them before, and you've probably seen them before. I swear to God, even the times I'm NOT going to see Cheap Girls, I end up seeing Cheap Girls. It's like when you get two gumballs out of the machine or something. Anyway, they're really good. Ian and Ben Graham combined with Adam Aymor make up Cheap Girls. We've talked about them before. (ps. that split is a lot better than Idle makes it sound like.) This was released on February 21st. RIYL Tin Armor, Sundials, The Lemonheads
Holy shit, this album is amazing. The last time I saw Cheap Girls (out of a thousand. 1001, if you include when I  just saw Ian Graham.) was almost right before they released this, and I got to hear a couple of these songs live and I knew right then I was going to fall in love with this record. And I did.

Cheap Girls is unbelievably catchy and creative. The melodies are always fairly intricate with lots of interesting guitar and occasionally keyboards. Ian Graham has an awesome voice. Also, he is the bassist and vocalist, so we're like the same person. That's a joke, because he's better than I am. The first thing I did while listening to this record was text Idle and say "I've always liked Cheap Girls. But this was the first time I understood Jeff Rosenstock completely." 
"Gone All Summer" was an awesome, awesome way to start off the record. Incredible lyrics and a really, really addictive melody. You rock back and forth in your chair a little bit when it's on.
"Ruby" is my second favorite song. IT'S SO GOOD. Picture perfect instrumental balance. Emotionally striking lyrics. So catchy, you would put it on the juke box a thousand times and stay in the restaurant for all thousand. Drums you feel in your stomach, even through your shitty laptop speakers. Overall, bravo bravo bravo.

The best song on the entire album is "Cored To Empty." I have a habit of always picking the acoustic Cheap Girls song on the record as my favorite, but that's okay. The lyrics almost made me cry. It's an amazing, amazing song. Brings me back to when I first heard "Her and Cigarettes" but this time, it was less about being catchy and more about being perfect. This song wins the record.

Some close runner-ups include "Right Way," "Mercy-Go-Round, and "On/Off Switches."

I'm already predicting this being in my top 2012 albums.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Placeholder- Nothing Is Pure

Placeholder, originally Coastal, was formed in March of 2011. Just two months later, they released their first EP Demonstration. This was recorded last year also and released on the 20th of December. These four guys are a pretty impressive post-hardcore machine with powerful beats and catchy melodies. RIYL The Polar Bear Club, Balance & Composure, Close Only Counts
This album is not the kind of album you can passively listen to. It's extremely emotionally charged and strong to listen to. The words are in that strange subcategory of lyrics that are so specifically personal to the band that you can connect to them more than vague lyrics. Fairly rare and always a nice surprise. They make a badass combination with the vocalist's voice, which is a nice combination of angsty and focused.
The music itself is very bass and drums heavy, which I can appreciate. Creative drum rhythms and strong bass. Props to that. The guitar lines can also be really melodic and interesting, so they have the entire package for you. 
Songs especially worth listening to are "Give Up," "What This Means," and "Resent." "Resent" is definitely my favorite; it's very catchy and intense. Overall, this is a pretty good record. I wouldn't say it's one of the best I've heard ever, but I would say I'm definitely going to listen to it many times again. This is partially due to the fact that it's not my scene, so it's fairly important to take my opinion with a grain of salt. If I think it's pretty good, and this is your thing, then you'll probably fall in love or something.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wavelets- Athaletics

Wavelets is this badass emo band from Gainesville. Aren't all the best bands from Gainesville, or is it just me? (It's totally not just me.) They released this on Tiny Engines on January 10th of this year and I'm pretty sure thousands of people are already blaring it in their basements. I made that last part up, but it at least should be true. It's that good. RIYL Algernon Cadwallader, Dikembe, Grown Ups, Dads, Snowing, Weatherbox
Let me go ahead and describe this record to you in a few short phrases: Awesome guitar riffs. Awesome lyrics. Awesome. It's that perfect combination of calming and interesting. The music is very laid-back and emotive. It's pretty awesome when you can feel the musician's emotions through the speakers. The songs all have direction and great dynamics and it's very impressive.
Some of my favorites are "Bad Scene, Jawbreaker's Fault," "Kelly Hewitt Loves Waterworld," and "My Dad The Manatee." Not just because they have awesome/hilarious/both song titles, even though that helps.
Fans of Cursive everywhere will rejoice when they hear this album. It's just as awesome, but this time, it doesn't make you cry! (I hope that makes sense to some of you.)
My favorite thing about this album is hands down the guitar riffs. Super melodic, cyclic stuff that just makes ears happy. I love listening to all the different melodies they can come up with in every single song. Normally, I get much more excited about the bass or drums, but this album just has badass guitar. 
Lastly, listen to the lyrics. The lyrics are super relate-able and very well written. I'm getting super into it.



Friday, February 24, 2012

Defying Control - Time Changes

Have you ever wondered what it'd sound like if Saves the Day never turned awful and if the punk music that was popular on MTV in the 90s actually went in the right direction after all? Basically, it'd sound sort of like the melodic punk group Defying Control from over in Portugal.

Defying Control a lot of catchiness and impressiveness to the table with their newly released two-song EP. Both songs have excellent, relatable lyrics and are instrumentally as sound as the Batmobile. 'Time Changes' is an EP that might make you throw away all of your Polar Bear Club records, because they definitely struggle to hold a torch to such an excellently executed melodic punk effort.

I promise you'll like both songs on this release. Even though I know it's totally possible that you won't, because not everyone is into the same shit. But, I promise that if you happen to be a clone of myself or many people I know who would definitely enjoy the fuck out of this record, you will enjoy this release. Do yourself a favor and check out Defying Control's website and head over to their soundcloud page to download 'Time Changes' for yourself. You'll probably like it. There's even an awkward key change towards the finish of the first song, "Time Changes". I mean, it feels a little bit awkward, but still comes out sounding pretty good with the backup vocals in place. I don't know what I'm saying. I like this EP, though. That's all.


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The Lonely Kids Club - When the Time Comes EP

The Lonely Kids Club from Kent, Ohio have blessed my pop punk soul with some the nicest sounding songs let forth into the scene since 2012 started two months ago. Apparently Max Stern from Signals Midwest (Cleveland) sent them our way, and for that I repeatedly thank him.

TLKC have the same sort of energy as Signals Midwest, i.e. high energy, but basically sound like a more diverse version of the Lawrence Arms instrumentally, with vocals that sound similar to a manly version of Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy. Which is definitely a compliment coming from me...I'm not really into Fall Out Boy, but I can't deny the vocal prowess of that Stump dude. They also boast this overall elegance that's common in a Gaslight Anthem Record. Don't let that put you off if you're like me and don't like Gaslight for shit, because The Lonely Kids Club are definitely professionals at what they do. 'When The Time Comes' is simply an excellent EP, and even if it were to garner international attention, it'd still deserve much more than that.

This album has it all. "Early Varnished Afternoons" is an excellent power-pop tune with a simple chord progression and is raptly followed by "Not Alone", which is a more somber sounding acoustic number. There's definitely a decent amount of diversity for a six song release, and it's pretty refreshing. The last string of short albums I reviewed were generally all same-sounding twinkly emo songs, which I still thought were great, but this EP definitely tops most of the EPs we've reviewed over our term of existence.

The final song on the album is titled "Home", and this one I find a bit funny in an odd, specific to me sort of way. Basically, it starts off acoustic and turns into an electric jam. The ska-punk band I'm in has a song titled "Home" which does exactly the same thing. We're like band buddies now or something. Regardless, this song is an excellent way to finish off an album. It's powerful, longer than three minutes, and leaves you with a feeling that its an ending that would be quite difficult to top if the album were to continue. It's pretty awesome.

You can download "When The Time Comes" for free over at The Lonely Kids Club's bandcamp page. Which is perfect, because I never have any money and definitely would like to burn a copy to listen to whenever I'm forced to drive somewhere. Why can't everything be in either walking or biking distance? Stupid world. LISTEN TO THIS EP.


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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A few free albums from Carucage Records!

Carucage Records are this small label based out of both St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee. They seemingly have a lot to offer in the emo-punk department, which means Idle and the Bear are as interested as two music dorks could possibly be. Carucage Records shot us an email asking us to aid in promoting some of their albums and the fact that you can choose to download the albums for free or purchase yourself a physical copy from their webstore. After listening to the first link in the email, I was sold. Here are a few albums you should take notice of when you dive into the world of Carucage Records:

The Innards side of this split is a bit on the heavier side when compared to the latter half, but I’d have to say I find both sides to be equally energetic. Innards deliver some solid hardcore punk/skramz type shit for the first bit of the song “Brain” on this split, and then completely abandon the style and go for a more indie-emo approach, albeit still topped with screaming from the vocalist. The variety represented in their small, three minute portion of the split is pretty excellent. Two Knights play more of just straight forward twinkly emo...with the addition of insanely interesting percussion bits. The vocals are more snotty and therefore more relatable to by me, since I’m a stupid pop punk dork. 

More of what you heard in the last album from Innards. So, their side of the split is great. The Reptilian are absolutely perfect. I’ve reviewed their music in the past, and I’ve always been deeply impressed by it. You should check out this split just to hear more of what Innards have to offer and to feast on the cornucopia of awesomness that The Reptilian bring to the Thanksgiving table. It’s not Thanksgiving, is it? Oh yeah, it’s February. Fuck it.

This split made a weird decision that is not seen very often. It starts off with one band, then there’s two songs by the other band, then it finishes off by playing a song by the first band again. It’s kind of a cool method, because it mixes them up a bit. I feel like it’d make more sense going every other song or something, but hey, what the fuck do I know? Adaje are way more screamy than the other bands in this article. There’s two main vocalists, one who screams and one who just bark-yells. It’s kind of interesting in that the guitar takes some weird turns at some parts in the songs. It’s definitely some interesting music, and some pretty good music. My only beef with this split as opposed to the other ones on this post would have to be the fact that I had to double check the album to make sure the band has actually changed. The style between Adaje and Lizards With Personality is far too similar to put them on a split together, but I guess that’s what they went with, and it’s too late to hate now. The songs are definitely good, either way.

You should check out Carucage Records’ webstore and get a feel for everything they have to offer! I’m going to do the same after I post this review! And eat mozzarella bites...but that’s hardly related. Later!


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Direct Hit! / Hold Tight! split 12"

I awoke this morning to a text from our dear friend Billy. The text inquired as to whether or not I've heard this new Direct Hit! split in which a new singer was incorporated. Billy then went on to tell me that the Direct Hit! songs are "not that good." Well, my initial thought was that perhaps Billy had just stumbled upon some new band that just happens to be going by the same name as DH. Then I remembered that Billy has a head on his shoulders and probably would've done a little bit of research before sending me such a text. My second thought was that maybe Billy is right, and these songs aren't that good. Yeah...we're going to have to go with the latter on this one.

The Direct Hit! side of the split starts off with some stranger shouting, "fuck you! Get pumped!" And if you didn't read below on the bandcamp page where it states that they used a different singer for these songs, you might just be convinced that this is some sort of Direct Hit! parody and not the real thing at all. This stranger continues to yell throughout the rest of the songs, which seem to be trying their damnedest to fit in with the Hold Tight! side of the release. Honestly, if you're into this heavy stuff, you might seriously dig these new Direct Hit! songs. The only real issue would have to be the fact that they should've used a different microphone on the lead vocalist. His barks sound way more grumbly than intended. Also, the fact that these songs sound absolutely nothing like the Direct Hit! we're accustomed to sort of hangs me out to dry. It's like when New Found Glory released all those International Superheroes of Hardcore songs that were hilarious and fun. The thing is, NFG intended those songs to be hilarious. I don't think the humor was as intended by Direct Hit! Or maybe it was, honestly. It would explain a lot.

Overall, the DH! side of the split is for people who listen to Champion and whatnot, I suppose, and it serves its purpose well in that sense. However, the Hold Tight! side of the split is for absolutely everyone. The songs are equally as heavy as the songs on the DH! half, but they feel far less draggy with HT!'s vocalist. The songs are also much shorter and therefore are in the habit of never outstaying their welcome. There's 11 cool little numbers on Hold Tight's side, and pretty much all fun, energetic, and exactly the type of hardcore punk I get into. There's a definite Go Rydell/Kid Dynamite sort of feel to the songs, and with that sort of resemblance to other bands we all love, it's sort of impossible to alienate anyone in the process.

You should check out both sides of the split, because you honestly might dig the weird hardcore excursion by the Direct Hit! boys. I mean, they're awesome dudes, so you should definitely check it out. And while you're at it, you should definitely check out their full length Domesplitter, because it is fucking awesome. The Hold Tight! side of the split is excellent and can be found for free download at their bandcamp page, or you can just pick up a physical copy of the split back at the DH! bandcamp, if you'd prefer to go that route! Options, options, options! Point is, check it out. You'll probably like it.


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