Sunday, September 27, 2015

Song Of The Week: 9/27/15

Song: "Siouxsie Jeanne"

Artist: Polar Bear Club

Album: "Death Chorus"

Year: 2013

Place Of Origin: Rochester, New York

Years Active 2005-2014


I'm not totally convinced what "Siouxsie Jeanne" is about, but my guess is it's about someone who is dying or near death and "Siouxsie Jeanne" is possibly his guardian angel. She is there to provide some comfort to him in a time that is anything but comfortable. It seems that every now and then he snapped back to his reality, back to the pain and back to the realization that he's dying, but as the light fades, "Siouxsie Jeanne" is there once again to comfort him. Could be totally wrong about that, but I guess that's why some songs are left open to interpretation!

POLAR BEAR CLUB DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2008 - "Sometimes Things Just Disappear" (Red Leader Records)
2009 - "Chasing Hamburg" (Bridge Nine Records)
2011 - "Clash Battle Guilt Pride (Bridge Nine Records)
2012 - "Live At The Montage" (Bridge Nine Records)
2013 - "Death Chorus" (Rise Records)


Polar Bear Club came together from various post-hardcore bands that were based in the Rochester and Syracuse areas of upstate New York back in 2005. When the band released their first EP, 2006's "The Redder, The Better", they generated a lot of buzz on the underground punk/hardcore circuits, garnering interest from as far as Australia, who took a particular liking to Polar Bear Club. Taking influences from such acts as Small Brown Bike, Silent Majority, Hot Water Music and Lifetime, Polar Bear Club began to hone their musical style. One band that took Polar Bear Club under their wing very early on was The Gaslight Anthem who pegged the band to open for them on many tours over the years. Gaslight probably also had a great influence on Polar Bear Club as you can definitely hear a more melodic style on the more recent PBR albums, without losing some of their hardcore elements. To me, Polar Bear Club's contemporaries are bands like The Flatliners, Off With Their Heads and Dear Landlord. It's a sound that's rooted in hardcore, but has definite melodic and pop elements to it and the use of rough vocals (think Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music). The band's Bridge Nine Records years were a highlight most definitely, including 2009's "Chasing Hamburg", 2011's "Clash Battle Guilt Pride" and the acoustic live album, 2012's "Live At The Montage". The band has built quite a cult following ever since the beginning with it's fans in Australia, and in 2011 and 2013, they got a chance to play for them as part of the Soundwave Festival in both of those years. When the band recorded their most recent album, 2013's "Death Chorus", vocalist Jimmy Stadt was having major voice issues. After years of really straining his vocals both in studio and on the road, Stadt realized he had to change his vocal style in order to keep on touring and making music so when you listen to "Death Chorus", you notice Stadt's vocals are much cleaner than on Polar Bear Club's previous releases. The band supported their most recent album by touring with hardcore legends H2O. The current status of Polar Bear Club is that they are on hiatus. Vocalist Jimmy Stadt confirmed this in 2015. As far as I know, this isn't a break-up, just the band taking a break. At least I hope that's all it is. Polar Bear Club is a very solid band. If you're already a fan of The Flatliners or Hot Water Music or even The Gaslight Anthem, Polar Bear Club should be on your musical radar.


1. Living Saints
2. Killin' It
4. Screams In Caves
5. At Your Funeral (Saves The Day cover)
6. Light Of Local Eyes
7. Blood Balloon
8. Close Knit
9. Hollow Place
10. Drifting Thing

Monday, September 21, 2015

Song Of The Week: 9/21/15

Song: "Wild Turkey"

Artist: A Wilhelm Scream

Album: "Partycrasher"

Year: 2013

Place Of Origin: New Bedford, Massachusetts

Years Active: 1999-present


"Wild Turkey" appears to be about someone who has given up on whatever dreams he has and takes solace by spending his days at bars, where his only companion is his bottle. You get a sense that people look at the man and feel frustrated for him, like maybe he had some sort of talent and was destined to do something good with it, but he threw it all away and now drinks away his days. The man seems rather content with his decisions however, even going so far as to drink a toast to those people as well. It's a real drowning yourself in sorrow and booze type of song!

A WILHELM SCREAM DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2000 - "The Way To A Girl's Heart Is Through Her Boyfriend's Stomach" (Tank Records)
2001 - "Benefits Of Thinking Out Loud" (Tank Records)
2004 - "Mute Print" (Nitro Records)
2005 - "Ruiner" (Nitro Records)
2007 - "Career Suicide" (Nitro Records)
2013 - "Partycrasher" (No Idea Records)


When A Wilhelm Scream formed as a band back in 1999, they were originally called Adam's Crack, then soon changed to Koen before ultimately deciding on Smackin' Isaiah. Their 2001 album, "Benefits Of Thinking Out Loud", was originally released under the Smackin' Isaiah moniker but was re-released in 2003 by Jump Start Records with the band's new name, A Wilhelm Scream. Though their early sounds before becoming A Wilhelm Scream were based on skate punk/ska, with the release of "Benefits Of Thinking Out Loud", you can see the band was shifting into a form of technical, melodic hardcore punk, much like Propagandhi, Strike Anywhere or Strung Out. In 2004, the band hooked up with Nitro Records and put out a three album barrage in 4 years including 2004's "Mute Print", 2005's "Ruiner" and 2007's "Career Suicide". The latter album was so fast and technical that the band decided to drop some songs that couldn't keep pace! It would be 6 years before the band's next full length album release, the longest span between albums for the band. They did however release some EP's during that time as well as tour Canada and South America. The band's most recent release was 2013's "Partycrasher". Currently, as recently as August of 2015, the band has confirmed that it has been working on new material for a follow up to "Partycrasher". A Wilhelm Scream doesn't have the notoriety of some melodic hardcore bands like the previously mentioned Propagandhi or Strike Anywhere, but I would put them right up there with those bands. If you want aggression, A Wilhelm Scream brings it. If you want technical, fast paced punk rock, A Wilhelm Scream brings that too. The band's lyrics span a wide variety of topics, sometimes political, sometimes about social issues and sometimes about personal topics. A Wilhelm Scream is a very solid punk rock outfit, respected around the majority of punk rock circles but especially so in the local Boston punk rock scene. A Wilhelm Scream is a band that is all about the love of making music together and performing together. There are a slew of bands out there with the same passions, that have to grind along the way, touring relentlessly, getting their name out there, all while most likely having regular jobs back at home. It's that passion and hunger that comes through in their music and hopefully, they get enough out of their tours and music that they can sustain the ride in the future. Unheralded and under the radar, A Wilhelm Scream is a band that every punk rock music fan should know.


1. Bulletproof Tiger
2. The King Is Dead
3. Boat Builders
4. Rip
5. Number One
6. The Horse
7. The Soft Sell
8. I Wipe My Ass With Showbiz
9. Walkin' With Michael Douglas
10. Australias

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Song Of The Week: 9/13/15

Song: "Tonight We Feel Alive (On A Saturday)" (acoustic)

Artist: Four Year Strong

Album: "Enemy Of The World" (Special Edition)

Year: 2010

Place Or Origin: Worcester, Massachusetts

Years Active: 2001-present


"Tonight We Feel Alive (On A Saturday)" appears to be about not worrying about life's problems or the many obstacles you face as you go through life and having a positive outlook. It's more about striving ahead and forward and not looking back with regret nor having any fears about what might lie in the future. It's about living for the day and enjoying the moment and taking life as it comes. By shedding yourself of negative vibes and avoiding the many pitfalls and obstacles that might set you back, you tend to feel more alive and have a more positive energy about you. This acoustic version of "Tonight We Feel Alive (On A Saturday)" appears on the Special Edition of the band's 2010 album "Enemy Of The World". The full rock version of the song is also found on that album as well.

FOUR YEAR STRONG'S DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2005 - "It's Our Time" (Open Your Eyes Records)
2007 - "Rise Or Die Trying" (I Surrender Records)
2009 - "Explains It All" (Decaydance Records)
2010 - "Enemy Of The World" (Decaydance Records)
2011 - "In Some Way, Shape, Or Form" (Decaydance Records)
2015 - "Four Year Strong" (Pure Noise Records)


Four Year Strong formed as a band back in 2001. The members were all in high school in Worcester, Massachusetts when they formed the band. After years of struggling to gain an audience outside of the local Boston punk rock scene, they finally began making some headway with their 2007 release, "Rise Or Die Trying". Their 2010 release, "Enemy Of The World", proved to be their most successful album to date however, peaking at #47 on the Billboard 200 charts. With songs such as "Wasting Time (Eternal Summer) and "It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now", Four Year Strong was building itself around a sound that was foundationally melodic, pop punk, emulating bands such as early Blink 182 and Green Day, but they also had a little bite to their music as well. They kind of remind me of a band like A Day To Remember. Their music is definitely pop, but with a bit of aggression to it. After a short hiatus from 2011 till 2015, rumors began to circulate that the band may be breaking up. That was put to rest, thankfully, as they first released an EP, "Go Down In History" and then a full length, 2015's "Four Year Strong". Other than that short hiatus, Four Year Strong has prided itself on being a hard working band that seemed adamant to get their name out there. Since it's inception, they have been touring relentlessly trying to garner a fan base. They have toured with a who's who in the punk rock world, including bands such as Rise Against, Bayside, Blink 182, The Swellers, A Wilhelm Scream, Story Of The Year and New Found Glory to name a few. They have also taken part of many festivals including the Taste Of Chaos Tour, Warped Tour, Soundwave Festival, Slam Dunk Festival and Bamboozle Festival. All in all, Four Year Strong is a solid band. They're nothing earth shattering and they don't really separate themselves from the pack, but they release energetic, melodic, fun punk rock sing-a-long type songs. They are as influenced by mid-90's alternative pop like Third Eye Blind, Everclear and No Doubt as they are punk bands like Green Day, Blink 182 or MxPx and you can hear it in their sound. Solid band.


1. Stuck In The Middle
2. Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)
3. Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
4. Go Down In History
5. Just Drive
6. Tonight We Feel Alive (On A Saturday)
7. Bada Bing! Wit' A Pipe
8. It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now
9. We All Float Down Here
10. Tread Lightly

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Song Of The Week: 9/6/15

Song: "If Not For You"

Artist: Anti-Flag

Album: "Their System Doesn't Work For You"

Year: 1998

Place Of Origin: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Years Active: 1988-present


I have absolutely no idea!!! I can't find the lyrics to "If Not For You" anywhere on the net. I can tell you that is a punk rocker in the same vein as very early Social Distortion. Think Social D's "1945". "If Not For You" is an Anti-Flag song, so I'll take a stab and say it's meaning probably has some sort of anti-government theme or some sort of social or political or anti-political stance to it. I could be wrong but hey, it wouldn't be the first time!!

ANTI-FLAG'S DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1996 - "Die For The Government" (New Red Archives)
1998 - "Their System Doesn't Work For You (A-F Records)
1999 - "A New Kind Of Army" (Go-Kart Records)
2001 - "Underground Network" (Fat Wreck Chords)
2002 - "Mobilize" (A-F Records)
2003 - "The Terror State" (Fat Wreck Chords)
2006 - "For Blood And Empire" (RCA Records)
2008 - "The Bright Lights Of America" (RCA Records)
2009 - "The People Or The Gun" (SideOneDummy Records)
2012 - "The General Strike" (SideOneDummy Records)
2015 - "American Spring" (Spinefarm Records)


Anti-Flag formed as a band back in 1988 but quickly dissolved after playing just one show! Thankfully, singer guitarist Justin Sane and drummer Pat Thetic decided to give it one more go and reformed the band in 1992. Establishing itself in the underground punk rock scene, Anti-Flag brought a style of punk that was about revolt and rebellion. Much like a band such as Bad Religion, Anti-Flag was and is not afraid to put their social, political or cultural views on their sleeves. They advocate many progressive political action groups, Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Occupy Together to name a few. Because their name is Anti-Flag, doesn't necessarily mean they are anti-American. Quite the contrary. They are pro 1st Amendment which allows them to speak out against some government policies or against wars or against other issues such as poverty and domestic abuse. Anti-Flag's message began to reach the masses a little more by the time their 2003 album "The Terror State" was released. This album was their highest charting album on the Billboard 200 charts and led to the band signing on with major label RCA Records for the next two releases. You can even go back to 1999 and say the band really began to hit their stride and find their sound when the line-up completely solidified with Justin Sane on vocals/guitar, Chris #2 on bass/vocals, Chris Head on guitar and Pat Thetic on drums. Anti-Flag as a band is very active. Since 1996, the band has not only released 11 full length albums (some of those are comps of old EP's), but they also released a slew of EP's, splits and compilations. Currently, Anti-Flag just released their latest album, "American Spring", in 2015 and they are touring to support that record. There are never too few social, political or governmental issues that a band like Anti-Flag can't expose and shine a light on in hopes of opening people's eyes to injustice. They fall in line with other politically charged and socially aware punk rock bands such as Rise Against, Bad Religion, Good Riddance, Pennywise and Strike Anywhere. Their views are also in line with hard rock/rap outfit Rage Against The Machine, with whom they played live with outside of the 2008 Republican National Convention as a form of protest. Even if you're not so much into politics in your music, you can't deny that behind all of the messages is some pretty kick ass punk rock tunes!!


1. This Is The End (For You My Friend)
2. The Press Corpse
3. Turncoat
4. The Bright Lights Of America
5. 911 For Peace
6. A New Kind Of Army
7. No Paradise
8. Underground Network
9. Brandenburg Gate
10. Die For The Government