Saturday, April 27, 2019

Audio Ammunition Podcast Episode 1 - The Dirt, Steve Jones, Drunken Sailor Records

In this, our fantastical debut episode, we talk about how we all discovered punk music, the Netflix Motley Crue biopic The Dirt, Sex Pistol's guitarist Steve Jone's autobiography Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol and our love for Drunken Sailor Records. Enjoy!

Our theme song is "Alright" by Radiohearts -

 Audio Ammunition is a monthly podcast that covers music in all forms whether it be in film, TV, digital and/or vinyl release. Audio Ammunition originally started as a blog concerned with giving much needed press to local and smaller bands. We primarily deal with punk, power pop, new wave, garage, indie, and hardcore.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

More Fuel For The Listening Fire

Bar Stool Preachers – Grazie Governo LP (Pirates Press)
Is ska making a comeback? Did it never really go away? I won’t bore you on its evolution, but a little band called The Interrupters having been hoping so. Wait a minute; this is a review about Bar Stool Preachers. Is Bar Stool Preachers in the same school? Yes and no. I make a connection because the Interrupters singer does sing backup on a track called “Choose Friends.” Grazie Governo is a little like the Newtown Neurotics playing ska. Bar Stool Preachers mix ’77 and Fat Wreck style punk, rock and ska all together with politically and socially conscious lyrics on their second LP, Grazie Governo. More Clash influence than Specials.  – Ed Stuart

Cyber Bullies – Leather and Lazers Cassette (More Power Tapes)
Cyber Bullies are a fast, sloppy mess. The Bullies hail from Buffalo, NY and feature two members of Radiation Risks. Leather and Lazers is like a lo-fi garage punk with some So Cal influence keyboards added. Cyber Bullies play five songs in five minutes with quirky vocals. I have a feeling there may not be a middle ground on this one.   – Ed Stuart

Dee Rangers – All You Need Tonight LP (Low Impact)
This record is such a treasure that it made my Top Ten of last year. Dee Rangers, from Stockholm, Sweden is combination of power pop, ‘60’s garage, R&B and rock n’ roll. All You Need Tonight is a like a shot of ‘70’s era Flamin’ Groovies mixed with Sonics fury. This is the band’s seventh LP, yes, you read this right, and it’s as good as some band’s debuts. Melodic, fun, and upbeat, what more do you want?  – Ed Stuart

Night Birds – Roll Credits LP (Fat Wreck)
If you have read any of my other Night Birds, you know I’m a fan. This LP is no different. Night Birds are now a five piece since their original guitarist re-joined the ranks. Roll Credits adds a touch more pop, listen to “Radium Girls” and their cover “I Need A Torch” by Suicide Commandos. Yes, Night Birds still has rippers like “My Dad is the BTK” and “White Noise Machine” and overall they still tap into all the classic ‘80’s So Cal sound mixed with their surf sound. Roll Credits is also available as a 7” box set with different songs having the covers drawn by different artists. – Ed Stuart

NOFX – Live In A Dive - Ribbed LP (Fat Wreck)
This is the eighth LP in the Live In A Dive series. Live In A Dive is a series that was on hiatus, but gets a rebirth with NOFX’s offering Ribbed. Ribbed, originally in 1991 and this live recording is from 2012, features the NOFX classic “The Moron Brothers.” Ribbed was the last LP to feature Brett Guerwitz as producer and the last LP to feature a different guitarist than El Hefe before he took over guitar duties. What can I say about this LP? Ribbed is more punk/metal than later NOFX records, which might have influenced later Fat bands like Propagandhi and Lagwagon. Ribbed did also help build the NOFX sound which they have stayed with ever since. This live LP has commentary by the band about how hard these songs are to play live, which is pretty funny considering how many years these have been playing these songs.  – Ed Stuart

Sad Hill – Good If It Goes LP (Self-Release)
Sad Hill is right on the borderline. Good If It Goes has each foot in different worlds. One being late ‘80s college rock and the other being melodic ‘90’s alternative rock like a Jimmy Eat World meets Everclear. Sad Hill, from Western Australia, definitely employs the melodic verse and crunchy power chorus to good effect, which was featured heavily in both decades.  – Ed Stuart

Steady Hands – Truth In Comedy LP (Lame-O)
Steady Hands is Sean Huber’s solo effort. Who is Sean Huber? He was the drummer in the widely popular Modern Baseball. Huber, backed by a group of Philadelphia musicians, wisely did not recreate his previous band. Truth In Comedy is more emo meets Americana with Huber out front and center. Steady Hands is a chance for the drummer to show his stuff and not be behind the kit.  – Ed Stuart

Wood Chickens Must Die – S/T EP (Crush Grove)
“We Skate In Boots,” might be the driver of this EP. Wood Chickens, supposedly cow punks, but sounding more like a skate punk on this EP to me. I’m thinking JFA, early DRI, maybe a touch of early Supersuckers on this S/T EP. “Return of Skunk Ape,” is an answer to the earlier “Skunk Ape,” which is more country punk. I’m not sure. Wood Chickens want to keep you guessing and sometimes that isn’t bad.  – Ed Stuart

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

More Music to Fuel The Savage Spirit!

The Dahlmanns – American Heartbeat LP (Beluga/Ghost Highway)
This is my first time hearing The Dahlmanns, I’ve heard the band’s name around before of course but this is my first exposure to them. All I keep thinking as I’m sitting here listening to this record is why haven’t I gotten off my lazy ass and checked out this band before! This is the band’s 2nd LP but they’ve released a bunch of EP’s since their debut in 2010.  If you don’t fall in love with these songs just from Line Dahlmann’s vocals alone, then you have no soul! It also helps that the tunes here are so super catchy and well written, they have a timeless feel to them. What a marvelous LP, I’m going on the hunt for more Dahlmanns records! – J Castro

Direct Hit! – Crown of Nothing LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
This is the band’s 5th LP and they continue to tweak their sound slightly, keeping it similar yet not letting it become stagnant. Out of all the current “Fat” bands with the classic “Fat” sound, Direct Hit are my favorites. Their 2013 LP Brainless God is an absolute masterpiece in pop punk lore and Crown of Nothing doesn’t fall too far from it. Direct Hit’s kind of remind me of Propagandhi if Propagandhi were actually good. They cram loud guitars coupled with strong yet snotty vocals, laid over catchy as measles in an unvaccinated kindergarten class room melodies. Great record to add to an untarnished discography.  – J Castro

Flesh Rag – Inside Your Mind LP (Schizophonic/Loose Lips)
It’s about that time for the mighty Flesh Rag to reawaken from their slumber deep within the mountains of the north, swinging their mighty battle axe reminding us how puny and weak we all really are. This is the band’s second LP, continuing their unique brand of tough, macabre psych that sounds like the Pink Fairies cut with the MC5 or imagine The Stooges writing music on a bad acid trip at a morgue. Flesh Rag sounds tight and mighty as ever on this album, the songs fly by you like a hurled hatched narrowly missing your head.  Remember, if not handled properly Flesh Rag records can cause permanent damage. – J Castro

Isolation Party – Fiberoptic Holiday LP (No Front Teeth)
This London Ontario band’s debut LP comes in like a comet from the north, leaving a fiery trail of destruction in its wake.  Isolation Party takes angular post punk guitars and wraps them around power pop melodies to create one of the year’s most exciting LP’s! If you’ve ever said to yourself:  “Swell Maps would be so great if they weren’t SO weird” or “I’d like more power pop bands if they weren’t so sappy,” then Isolation Party are the band for you.  Their song “Mr. Telephone” is an instant classic and once listened to, will hug your brain for days. If you dig early XTC, Pere Ubu, or Magazine then you’ll instantly want to raise a glass to these guys. – J Castro

Ben Katzman’s De-Greaser – Quarter Life Crisis LP (BUFU)
These guys come from Miami Beach, FL and play a paint peeling, face melting brand of loud ass rock with punk rock ferocity. I mean, the first thing that hits you when listening to this record is the guitars, everyone else in the band seems to be running to catch up to them. This isn’t a bad thing at all. And those guitars aren’t just a hard open palmed slap to the face hit either. I mean they hit like wrecking ball to the chest.  Once you get the air back into your lungs you’ll be begging for it again! If you’re into bands like Turbonegro, Zeke, and Electric Frankenstein then I highly recommend these malcontents. – J Castro 

Johnny Mafia – Princes de L‘Amour LP (Dirty Water)
Johnny Mafia are a pretty cool band from Sens France, listening to this record is my first time hearing them. The band has been around since 2010 and this here is their second LP, the first on the Dirty Water label.  The band lists Jay Reatard and The Ramones as influences but the songs on this LP seem to me to fall more towards the Libertines, Cribs, Vaccines sound instead. Let me state that there is nothing wrong with that mind you, I like every one of those bands and I mean listing Johnny Mafia amongst them as a compliment. But if you’re looking for that manic, under produced, recorded in my mother’s garage sound, you won’t find it here.  – J Castro

Neighborhood Brats – Claw Marks LP (Dirt Cult)
This band has been scorching the earth with releases since 2011 and in my opinion, after 2 LP’s and 6 EP’s hasn’t given us a clunker yet. If you’re not familiar with this band, this is as good a place to start as any. I love it when punk bands grab what’s great about different genres of punk, smash them all together and come up with something that sounds familiar yet totally unique. That’s exactly what Neighborhood Brads have done and continues to do so in brilliant fashion on this LP. If you get the chance, go see this band live while they’re touring in support of this LP right now, you won’t leave disappointed. – J Castro

Pale Lips –After Dark LP (Spaghetty Town/Alien Snatch/Gods Candy/)
How can you not like this band? I mean seriously, if you claim to be a rock n roll fan you’ve got to dig Montreal’s Pale Lips. They play short, fun, catchy tunes that when played at high volume feels like someone opened the windows to your musty old soul and let in a cool breeze. They take the core fundamentals of classic rock n roll from the 50’s and 60’s and add their own unique, contemporary spin to it. So like the old adage goes, “what once was old is new again.” This is Pale Lips second LP, hopefully there will be many more to come. The universe needs more bands like this. – J Castro

Quitters – Singing Like Nobody’s Listening 12” EP (Red Toad Music)
Quitters are from Montpelier, France and have been around since 2015. This is their 3rd release and already seem to have found a sure footing in their sound. This quartet plays loud, catchy songs that have an emo and indie rock touch to them. If you’re into bands like 00’s emo punk heroes like Get Up Kids, The Movielife and The Anniversary you’re going to go seriously nuts for Quitters.  This kind of music isn’t necessarily my first “go to” but even I can tell this band puts a lot into their craft and for that alone I can admire what they set out to do. – J Castro

The Sensations – Just Let Me Turn You Up LP (Paper and Plastick)
Tokyo’s Sensations play wild, good time pop punk with Ska influence. Just from the opening song “Dig Your Own Grave” you can tell these guys are all about a good time like early Fishbone. That opening song pretty much sets the tone for the entire record. I know some cringe at the mention of “ska” but the hons are used sparingly on this record and I don’t get that cheese ball frat boy feel from these guys that I used to get from band like Mustard Plug or MU330. These guys have more in common with bands like Less Than Jake or a less scrappy Operation Ivy. The Sensations must be absolutely explosive live. – J Castro

Territories - S/T LP (Pirate Press)
WOW, Territories are a really great band from Calgary, Alberta! I’m really digging this quite a bit. This record of starts off with really thick, melodic guitars and a rhythm section that sounds like distant thunder echoing in the mountains during the monsoon season. The vocalist has an earnest Springsteen style about him that makes listening to this record feel like putting on your favorite worn in denim jacket. All of the songs ooze this charismatic heartfelt sincerity you don’t get much in punk rock, not the real deal like this anyway. Territories goes well on the same shelf as groups like Iron Chic and Gaslight Anthem.  – J Castro

Useless ID – 7 Hits From Hell 7” (Fat Wreck Chords)
These guys have been around since the mid 1990’s and have released a crap ton of LP’s and EP’s on a myriad of different labels, probably outlasting most of them. The fact that this band has been around for as long as they have is to be commended for sure. From what I can tell, this is the band’s 11th EP and they released their 10th LP on Fat Wreck Chords in 2016. If you’ve never heard Useless I.D. before, let’s just say they’re right at home on Fat Wreck Chords. They play tight, fun loving, baggy shorts/backwards baseball cap, riding your skateboard down a steep hill style of punk rock.   – J Castro

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Hey Jack! More Reviews!

Hey Jack!  More Reviews!

Swingin’ Utters – Peace and Love LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
These guys have been around for a very long time and have put out 8 or so LP’s not including a few compilation records. Somehow these guys have done the impossible, they top themselves with every succeeding release. It’s hard to pinpoint their sound because they clearly do their own thing but if you like Cocksparrer, Stiff Little Fingers, and Billy Bragg then these guys will suite you just fine. Playing punk rock for as long as these guys have, you’d think they would have fizzled out by now like a lot of bands have done. But age seems to be fueling the fire where it seems to douse it for most. Let that be a lesson to you kiddies - never underestimate middle age rage! (J Castro)

Bad Sports – Constant Stimulation LP (Dirtnap)
This is now the Denton, TX trio’s 5th LP and there appears to be no build up in the fuel injection. This is the band’s loudest and tightest batch of songs to date. The song All Revved Up To Kill has been bouncing around in my head since I first heard this record a few months or so ago! Bad Sports play catchy, black leather jacket, beer soaked punk rock n’ roll. The downside with this kind of music is that a lot of it falls into the lunkhead category, which this band most certainly does not EVER. There’s a difference between playing stripped down or minimalistic style as opposed to simple minded crap rock under a "punk" disguise specifically for pit goons.  (J Castro) 

Personality Cult – S/T LP (Drunken Sailor)
This is one fire ball of a first record by this Carrboro, NC quartet!  This record had me in a head lock just from the opening guitar on the first song titled “Burned.” If you’re lazy, you can possibly toss this into the pop punk bin I suppose. But if you listen to the record more and more, you’ll find the band climbing out of that bin and hunting you down for the injustice. Personality Cult sounds to me like pop melodies riding on a long bead of thick guitars with some Briefs style hooks and Steve Adamyk Band sensibilities.  This record is going into the “Best of 2019 so far” bin for sure! 
(J Castro) 

Moron’s Morons – Indecent Exposure EP (Slovenly)
This is the first record I’ve heard from this band and it was no let down. Poland’s Moron’s Morons are a rock n roll dumpster fire and I love it! So that dumpster fire I spoke of before, imagine someone trapped and screaming inside said dumpster while it’s a blaze and you’ll get a clearer picture of what the band sounds like. Fast, Frantic, Lo-Fi garage punk the likes of which this earth spits out less and less these days. But when one does manage to crawl out from the pits of hell, they’re a formidable force. With songs like “Vibrator Violator” and “Devil Sucks My Cock and Swallows” it’s best that you just stand aside and let Moron’s Morons do their thing. If you don't get it, don't ask just leave. 
(J Castro)  

Duck & Cover – Rob Them Blind LP (Rum Bar)
This Boston quartet plays quick, catchy, good time rock n roll. These guys sound like they listen to Thin Lizzy every bit as much as they listen to the Ramones. They describe themselves as being a mixture of 80’s hair metal and punk rock. While this may trigger some millennials and conjure up images of The Dirt, rest assured Duck & Cover only take the good parts of that kind of music. Such as the tough, melodic guitar hooks and the “hey relax, have a good time, its the weekend” spirit which even I miss from rock n roll of that era.  No politics, no agendas, just listen and have fun. Damn that's refreshing! (J Castro)  

Rat Parade – Our Plague EP (Self Released)
Rat Parade are form Hamilton Ontario and these hungry young lads play politically charged, searing street punk not too dissimilar from bands like Exploited or GBH stuff like that. Or so I thought from the opening song which is called “Age if Disinformation.” Then the second tune chimed in called “Second Chance” and has the band switching gears completely. This song has a similar feel to the old Dead Boy’s song “Not Anymore.”  The other two songs on this EP are tethered in the middle of the above comparisons often hitting both walls but now being propelled by old school, unpolished pop punk riffs kind of like Crimpshrine. (J Castro)  

Sweatshop Boys – Two Men LP (Rockstar)
Israel’s Sweatshop Boys knock it out of the park once again with their 2nd LP. When I say knock it out of the park, I actually mean knock it out of earth’s breathable atmosphere. This band plays ultra-infectious power pop that skates on punk’s edges. If you dig bands like The Undertones, Teenage Head, The Boys, Generation X stuff like that, then you’re missing out not buying this record! I dare you to listen to the song “Unaware (Coco)” and not swing your unkempt mane from shoulder to shoulder.  These guys are one of the best bands around right now, jump on 'em before you’re left with nothing but a sad bewildered look on your face. (J Castro)  

The Sharp Shadows – Lessons LP (Dadstache)
I first heard Sharp Shadows back on their 2016 LP Small Victories and they won me over with that record back then. This new LP picks up where their previous LP left off. This Brooklyn band plays top shelf power pop similar to The Plimsouls with some, dare I say indie rock influences peppered throughout their stellar tunes. With Lessons, Sharp Shadows continue to display some really good production and song writing. These guys remind me a lot of bands like newer power pop bands Locksley and Free Energy. I’m not even sure if those two bands are even around anymore, but if they are they’d be wise to pick Sharp Shadows as their next touring mates! (J Castro)  

Ten High – Slackjaw Gaze 7” (What’s For Breakfast)
This band comes from Fayetteville, AK and have made it a point to destroy as many ear drums as possible. The first tune and title track is a full frontal assault on the senses. It’s a fuzzed up, blown out power surge of rock n roll that hits its intended target yet send shards of noise all over the room. The second song titled “No Waves” is a bit more restrained and has a slithering guitar riff capable of wrapping itself around you and constricting the air out of your lungs. All in all, a pretty cool two banger here from a band I’ve never heard of up until now. I’ll be looking for more from these guys for sure! (J Castro)

The Persian Leaps – Pop That Goes Crunch LP (Land Ski)
WOW this album is a bonafide stunner!  The Persian Leaps play top shelf power pop with loud Grade “A” guitar hooks mixed with laid back Morrissey/Ian Brown style vocals. Apparently this band has been around since 2012 releasing EP’s here and there along the way. This is their first LP and it does consist of remastered songs off those EP’s. But this record sounds cohesive and it’s got 18 songs!  Imagine if you will a band that sounds equal parts Stone Roses and Replacements?  I know, I know hard to believe but yeah, Persian Leaps are that good!  I would never kid about a description like that! One of the best records I’ve heard all year! (J Castro)

Science Man – S/T CASS EP (More Power)
Science Man plays some pretty cool dark, busted up, post-apocalyptic, new wave-y garage punk similar to Stalin Video or even Lost Sounds. Science Man also kind of reminds me of something like The Clean mixed with Slip It In era Black Flag but played through speakers that have been dropped out of a 4 story window and partially run over by a garbage truck. Five out of the six songs on this release are great and thunder right out of the gate with an impressive amount of force but the 6th song on the album called “Airport Underground” sounds like something off of one of Brian Eno’s Ambient records.  (J Castro)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

3 more reviews

Gentlemen Jesse – Bryan 7” (Wild Honey)
What the hell?!? New music from GJ himself?!? Leaving Atlanta was on heavy rotation when it came out and still gets the love. Wild Honey unearths two more tracks from the Leaving Atlanta sessions and graces the world with their presence. The rumor goes GJ wrote 15-20 songs and only chose the best ones for Atlanta, but after hearing “Bryan” I wonder. If you’re unfamiliar with Gentlemen Jesse, he is steeped deep in ‘70’s American power pop, ‘60’s British Invasion and ‘50’s rock n’ roll and blends all of them effortlessly. For a few years, this ex-Carbonas man helped ruled the power pop world and was a major player in getting Atlanta known on the map as the musical force that it is right now.  – Ed Stuart

Only On Weekends – Another Wasted Night LP (Self Release)
Only On Weekends shoots straight for your pop-punk loving heart. Another Wasted Night leans to modern bands like the Menzingers instead of The Queers driven model. The same guy who recorded a Menzingers LP produced this LP. Only On Weekends, hailing from New Jersey, have enough hooks, crunch and chorus to get the younger fans energized.  – Ed Stuart

Young Rochelles – S/T LP (Sounds Rad)
I think it’s safe that numerous bands in the pop-punk world worship the Ramones. I don’t feel this statement will knock the Earth off its axis. After a few singles and EP’s, The Young Rochelles have released their debut LP, S/T. The Young Rochelles, who share members with the New Rochelles, are no different. They play an upbeat Ramones meets Queers meets Screeching Weasel with some sugary ‘90’s pop-punk vocals. If you like your pop-punk to give you cavities, Young Rochelles are your band. – Ed Stuart