Refuse, Resist, Review
Bones finally caves in and reviews some CD.
TOWER OF DUDES Earl
I was rather hoping that this band was somehow an off-shoot of the Towers of London, but actually they turn out to be a travelling folk-country-punk band based in Prague. Not exactly something that normally would get my attention, especially when bands of a Celtic/folk/rock nature (i.e. Flogging Molly) leave me absolutely cold.
They have a very cosmopolitan line up from US, Canada and England and it says here they use a wide variety of instruments, namely accordions, mandolins, banjos, steel guitars, dobros (?), mantars (?), xylophones, trumpets, melodicas and even a steel toed bathtub.
I note that a number of the tracks (Start, Social Earl and Preach) are all spoken word and barely 10 seconds long. Quite what the point of these are escapes me, but at least they are short, which cannot be said of the gibberish that makes up part of last track Stop, whose final 4 minutes are seemingly drunk Dukes of Hazzard/Deep South style ramblings.
Whilst fans of Mumford & Sons may find something worthwhile in their compositions, and it cannot be denied that the lead singers accent at times reminds me of Caleb from the Kings of Leon, there is nothing vaguely punk about them. Also goodness only knows why they would waste a goodly proportion of the CDs playing time with infantile spoken sections.
REFUSE RESIST Socialised
Now this really is punk rock. More for the fans of Black Flag, Agnostic Front and Discharge, rather than say Blink 182 or Offspring, as its straight up hardcore. Definitely a band for the boots and braces brigade!
Now I know that this type of music is an acquired taste and frankly if youve never liked it before then this album is unlikely to change your point of view. However if you are a fan of ear-bleeding, tinnitus-inducing, loud punk/Oi then I strongly suggest you visit the Scream Records website and get yourself a copy.
The band hail from Boston and were formed in 2007 by Shawn Refuse, Mike Barone and John Mehlman and they have toured with several of the big names in the punk scene like Business, The Casualties, Time Again, and Leftover Crack.
Manic drumming, crunching guitars and heavy bass set the back drop for all the tracks, each of which are fast and furious and come in under 3 minutes. Stand outs for me are IRS, Middle America and Sunday Matinee, mainly for their Oi based chant-along choruses.
Frankly, not a band Id heard of before, but one Ill definitely be keeping a look out for in future.
Hailing from Oxford, Shattered Dreams describe themselves as pop-punk with a rocky edge. Whilst the band have been together for approximately 3 years, the current line up of Steph Branch Vocals, James Macke - Lead Guitar, Matt Parsloe - Rhythm Guitar, Matt (Spud) Oliver - Bass Guitar and James Coulson Drums, have only been performing for just under a year.
As some of you are aware I am getting on in years and inhabit a world that largely remains in the late 1970s. This was a period that spawned the DIY punk ethic of releasing your own music without the assistance of fat-cat corporate record labels, and therefore I feel a certain warmth towards the band as they are unsigned and this is a self financed 3 track EP. However it must be said that their music is professional sounding and made to a very high quality.
I guess the fact that the lead singer is female makes comparisons with Paramore inevitable, but the band stand up in their own right making darn catchy power-pop music. Steph certainly has a husky, come sexy voice, and the band has an almost retro feel. The California Sun style guitar intro to first number Get Outta My Way would not have been out of place on a Ramones track, and the thumping drums have a certain Topper Headon feel to them. This would make a great single as the chorus certainly worms its way into your memory.
I think Green Day must be an influence on the band, as second number You Tried Your Best This Time has more than a touch of Hitching a Ride to it, but hell there nothing wrong in that. One again this is another unfeasibly catchy number. Last track has more Ramones drumming and guitars at the start, but actually the songs tempo ebbs and flows over the course of the song, and is a fitting finale for their EP.
So in the interest of supporting home grown talent I suggest you e-mail the band at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out home you can get a copy before they sign a multi million pound deal with Sony, and are next seen playing Wembley.
MISCONDUCT One Step Closer
These are on the same record label as the aforementioned Refuse Resist, but definitely have a less hardcore, more So-Cal vibe to them, having a few touches of Good Charlotte and New Found Glory to their music.
They hail from Sweden although there is not a hint of an accent in Fredrik Olssons voice, being definitely more San Francisco than Stockholm. However they must have something going for them as they have toured extensively in Europe and Scandinavia, and in 2006 received the award for the Best Swedish Live Band.
Its difficult to know what to say about this album as there is really nothing to dislike, although equally there is nothing radical or original about their music. Yes, it has been done a thousand times before, but if you like Blink 182, Anti Flag or Rise Against then the chances are youre going to like this.
Most of the tracks are vaguely anthemic and have the requisite make up for pop punk tracks, although I cant help feeling that this genre of punk has recently been heading down a dead end. However, good luck to them and I rather hear this on my radio than some rnb/ hip-hop dross any day!
BUCK BROTHERS We are merely Filters
If only Roy Castle were still alive today he could crown the Buck Brothers as a the highest number of gigs in a 12 hour period record-breakers and they could all get a certificate from Norris McWhirter. As unbelievably this London based three piece do indeed hold the afore mentioned world record.
They have been putting the fun back into rock 'n' roll since 2005 and
have recently toured with both Primal Scream and Goldfinger. They play
short, sharp, fast paced pop music which they like to describe as catchier
than a nail on a pair of fishnet stockings.
The Buck Brothers seem like a band that dont take themselves too seriously, and I bet they are a cracking live band to boot. So check out the live dates on their website and get along to see authentic World Champions in action.