Sunday, September 28, 2014

Song Of The Week: 9/28/14

Song: "Alligator"

Artist: Foxboro Hot Tubs

Album: "Stop Drop And Roll!!!"

Year: 2008

"Alligator" is a song that appears to be about someone who aggravates, irritates and agitates the vocalist. The vocalist just wants the person to get away from him as he sees him as a shady character and someone he doesn't want to associate with. "Alligator" doesn't contain the best lyrics in the world but it is a cool Kinks style garage rocker. Foxboro Hot Tubs formed as a band back in 2007, hailing from the Bay Area in California. It has been said that the band formed after a few late night jams and a few too many bottles of wine. At first, the band tried to hide their identity, using fake names and what not. Of course, anyone who heard their music automatically started drawing Green Day comparisons and eventually, they were proven right as all of the members of Green Day are in the Foxboro Hot Tubs. Unlike other Green Day side projects Pinhead Gunpowder, who had a more gritty punk feel, and The Network, which was an ode to early 80's electro, new wave style pop, the Foxboro Hot Tubs had a stripped down garage rock feel. In 2008, the band dropped their first full length album, "Stop Drop And Roll!!!". The lead single "Mother Mary" reached #16 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The second single on the album was "The Pedestrian". In 2010, the band played a new song live called "Fuck Time". In 2012, "Fuck Time" saw the light of day on a record, but it was on Green Day's album "Dos!". "Dos!" would be the second of a trilogy of albums Green Day released in late 2012. In fact, it has been rumored that "Dos!" was originally supposed to be the second Foxboro Hot Tubs album. In 2013, the Foxboro Hot Tubs performed a secret show in Oakland. The performance featured several songs off of "Dos!" as well as the majority of "Stop Drop And Roll!!!". In 2014, the band performed at the SXSW Festival in Texas. Currently, the Foxboro Hot Tubs remain active, but it is important to remember that they are a side project and Green Day is the main focus of members Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tre Cool and Jason White. The band seems to pop up here and there during Green Day downtime. Besides playing the SXSW festival recently, there doesn't appear to be any new material coming out by the Foxboro Hot Tubs anytime soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Song Of The Week: 9/21/14

Song: "Ink Soaked Pages"

Artist: Thought Riot

Album: "Sketches Of Undying Will"

Year: 2003

"Ink Soaked Pages" is a song that appears to be about the beauty of undying will. There's something impactful about someone who has been through so much physically, emotionally and psychologically, yet, there's still a fire inside of them. A spark that's just looking to ignite. For a punk song, the lyrics are quite poetic. Thought Riot formed as a band back in 1997, hailing from California. The band was driven by progressive political thoughts that many of their lyrics expressed. They were highly influenced by the writings of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. After some line-up shuffling, the band recorded a demo in 1998 called "Our Six Best Takes". 2000 saw the band record yet another demo titled "Bright Dreams For A Dark World". By 2001, Thought Riot caught the ear of label A-F Records and in 2002 the label released Thought Riot's debut full length album, "Shattered Mirror Syndrome". Thought Riot began touring with bands you would consider their peers in punk rock such as Anti-Flag, Good Riddance, Pipedown and Strike Anywhere. In 2003 the band released the EP "The Dangerous Doctrine Of Empathy". Later in that year, the band released their second full length album, "Sketches Of Undying Will". Between 2004 and 2006, Thought Riot toured relentlessly, including an appearance on the Warped Tour. In 2007, the band confirmed on their MySpace page that they had several songs written but not recorded as well as having some songs recorded that were never released. Unfortunately, Thought Riot was basically disbanded by 2008. Currently, Thought Riot is no longer a band. They could never quite keep a stable line-up over the years and it just seemed like the band was going nowhere. They did have one song surface after their break-up called "Rock Is Not Revolution" but i'm not quite sure what year that came out, perhaps it was one of those finished songs that the band was referring to on their MySpace post. If you're a fan of politically charged punk like Anti-Flag, Pennywise, Good Riddance or Rise Against then perhaps you should give Thought Riot a go. Not a real groundbreaking band, but not bad either.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Song Of The Week: 9/14/14

Song: "Closet Monsters"

Artist: Sink The Bismark

Album: "Sine Metu"

Year: 2011

"Closet Monsters" is a song that appears to be about being stuck in a rut in life. The vocalist seems prone to making the same mistakes over and over again and there just doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. It seems he feels that time is running out for him to make the necessary changes to steer his life in the right direction. Sink The Bismark formed as a band back in 2008, hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. It took the band a few years to build up a following and eventually in 2011, they signed a deal with I Hate Punk Rock Records. The band's first release was an EP called "Without Fear". 2011 also saw the band release their debut full length album entitled "Sine Metu". The band remained very much an underground band and have been touring relentlessly, spreading their brand of melodic punk rock music. In 2013, the band performed an acoustic song called "Decades", no word yet if that will see an official release or not. In 2014, the band did state that they were working on new songs and for their fans to get ready for some new release information. There's not a whole lot of info out there about Sink The Bismark, but if you've heard their debut album "Sine Metu", it's a really solid effort. If you are a fan of bands such as The Gaslight Anthem, The Loved ones, Against Me!, The Menzingers, The Flatliners and Red City Radio then Sink The Bismark should be a band you should check out. Real solid melodic punk rock band.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Song Of The Week: 9/7/14

Song: "Sick Boys"

Artist: H2O

Album: "Don't Forget Your Roots"

Year: 2011

"Sick Boys" is a song that appears to be an ode to the rebel, the punk or the outsider. It glorifies being the bad boy, the guy you don't want to fuck with but the girls all want to get with. The song was originally performed by Orange County, California punk legends Social Distortion and released on their 1990 self-titled album. The version I chose is a cover of the song by hardcore punk stalwarts H2O. H2O formed as a band back in 1995, hailing from New York City. Lead vocalist Toby Morse was actually a roadie for Sick Of It All when he decided to form his own band. In 1996, the band released "H2O" and filmed a video for the song "Family Tree". 1997 saw the band release "Thicker Than Water". This album featured the song "Everready". H2O earned opening slots for bands like The Misfits, Pennywise, Sick Of It All and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. They also toured Japan for the very first time. In 1998, H2O played their first Warped Tour and in 1999, the band released "F.T.T.W.". This album featured the song "One Life One Chance" and the band played with the likes of NOFX, The Bouncing Souls and 7 Seconds. In 2000, the band recorded a punk version of Ice Cube's song "It Was A Good Day". 2001 saw H2O sign with major label MCA Records and release "Go". This album featured tracks like "Memory Lane" and "Role Model", perhaps the bands most popular song. In 2002, H2O released the "All We Want" EP which features three new tracks as well as two live songs. From 2004 to 2007, H2O mostly toured, playing in the U.S., Japan and performing for the first time in South America. In 2008, H2O signed with Bridge 9 Records and released "Nothing To Prove". This was their first album of original material in seven years! The album spawned two singles, "What Happened" and "Nothing To Prove". 2008 also saw the band release their very first DVD called "One Life One Chance". In 2011, H2O released an all covers album called "Don't Forget Your Roots". The band payed tribute to many of the bands that influenced them including Social Distortion, Sick Of It All, Rancid, The Clash, 7 Seconds, The Descendents and more. In 2013, it was announced that H2O expected to have a new album out but that year ended without a new release. Currently, the latest news on H2O was that they did in fact enter the recording studio in February of 2014 but as of now, there has been no news about when or if a new album will be released any time soon. The band tours relentlessly, sometimes it seems at the expense of getting in the studio and putting out new music. Unfortunately for underground bands like H2O, the money is on the road, not in the studio so that is perhaps why releases have been spread out over years. Whatever the deal, H2O is a staple in the New York City melodic hardcore punk scene.