Sunday, February 28, 2016

Song Of The Week: 2/28/16

Song: "Fists Buried In Pockets" (acoustic)

Artist: The Riot Before

Album: "The Riot Before Acoustic"

Year: 2011

Place Of Origin: Richmond, Virginia

Years Active: 2003-2011


"Fists Buried In Pockets" appears to be a song about coming to the conclusion in life that you are not going to achieve all your goals that you have strived for and you are not going to be able to attain all of the things that perhaps you desire. It's kind of a sobering thought, to know that your life is not going to turn out the way you had hoped it to. The original version of "Fists Buried In Pockets" could be found on The Riot Before's 2009 album, "Fists Buried In Pockets". This version I chose to be my song of the week was originally released on the 2009 acoustic album, "Fists...Out Of Sockets" which was re-released in 2011 simply as "The Riot Before Acoustic".

THE RIOT BEFORE DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2005 - "Horseshoes And Hand Grenades" (Fall Of The West Records)
2009 - "Fists Buried In Pockets" (Say-10 Records)
2010 - "Rebellion" (Paper + Plastick Records)
2011 - "The Riot Before Acoustic" (Gunner Records)
2012 - "2005-2007" (Say-10 Records)


The Riot Before got it's start back in 2003, very much the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Brett Adams. Following the trail blazed by fellow Richmond, Virginia artist Avail, The Riot Before set out to create punk rock music which placed a heavy emphasis on great, personal lyrical themes. After getting their name out there locally through touring, the band released their debut album in 2005, "Horseshoes And Hand Grenades". Starting in 2009, The Riot Before began to become something of a hired gun for several prominent punk rock labels, beginning with Say-10 Records for their 2009 release "Fists Buried In Pockets" and Paper + Plastick Records for their 2010 album "Rebellion". The band's "Acoustic" album was distributed by Gunner Records then in 2012, The Riot Before came full circle, back to Say-10 records to release the compilation album "2005-2007" which featured the band's early EP's and out of print material. Unfortunately, this promising band broke up in 2011 as several band members decided to go in different directions or had more pressing obligations at that time. I discovered The Riot Before just before they broke up so I never had a chance to see this band live. If you like bands such as Polar Bear Club, Smoke Or Fire or The Flatliners, then you would most likely enjoy The Riot Before. This is a band that I really, really like and I'm so disappointed that they are no more. Currently, vocalist Brett Adams appears to have put down his guitar and voice (hopefully not forever) to become something of a food connoisseur. He currently works at a place called Woodsman Tavern in Portland, Oregon both serving drinks and preparing food. Interesting career change!! Unfortunately, most small punk rock bands seem not to last as there really isn't any financial profit in keeping a band intact if you don't crossover with at least some small success. This causes many a great band to dissolve, which is exactly what happened to The Riot Before. Very unfortunate.


1. Threat Level Midnight
2. The Oregon Trail
3. Capillaries
4. Tinnitus
5. We Are Wild Stallions
6. To Live How We Believe
7. Redneckties
8. Words Written Over Coffee
9. Really Good Reasons To Swear
10. Back Stage Room

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Song Of The Week: 2/21/16

Song: "Suitcase Life"

Artist: Donots

Album: "Better Days Not Included"

Year: 1999

Place Of Origin: Ibbenburen, Germany

Years Active: 1993-present


"Suitcase Life" appears to be a straightforward song about life on the road. You can see that being on the road and touring is starting to weigh on the vocalist and he yearns to be back home around familiar people and familiar surroundings. But this is the life he chose and being in a band requires some sacrifices along the way. One of them being is that you have to get your music out there to the masses and a big part of that is touring.

DONOTS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1996 - "Pedigree Punk" (School Bust Records)
1998 - "Tonight's Karaoke Contest Winners (Headshock Records)
1999 - "Better Days Not Included" (Supersonic/BMG Records)
2001 - "Pocketrock (Burning Heart Records)
2002 - "Amplify The Good Times" (Supersonic/BMG Records)
2004 - "Got The Noise" (Supersonic/BMG Records)
2006 - "The Story So Far/Ibbtown Chronicles" (Gun Records/Sony)
2008 - "Coma Chameleon (Indigo Records)
2010 - "The Long Way Home" (Lockjaw Records)
2012 - "Wake The Dogs" (Solitary Man/Vertigo Records)
2015 - "Karacho" (Solitary Man/Vertigo Records)


The Donots are a pop punk band from Germany that formed back in 1993. After playing locally for a few years, the band recorded and released their very first album, "Pedigree Punk", in 1996. Early in the band's career, they earned opening slots for bands such as Propagandhi, Blink 182 and No Use For A Name when those bands toured Germany. The band's breakthrough album was 2002's "Amplify The Good Times". The band's popularity saw a spike thanks in part to the hit single "Saccharine Smile". In fact, that single helped the band gain a very big following in Japan of all places. 2004's "Got The Noise" helped continue the Donots' success, mostly in Europe and Japan. In 2008, the band shifted it's style a bit with their album "Coma Chameleon". They went away from the pop punk style and had a more alternative rock with punk influence vibe. After releasing the 2010 album "The Long Way Home", the Donots earned a spot opening up for Green Day on the European leg of their "21st Century Breakdown" tour. The band's 2012 album, "Wake The Dogs", proved to be the Donots' first top 10 album, reaching #6 in their native Germany. Surprisingly, some 20 years into their career, the band embarked on it's very first tour of the United States, supporting Flogging Molly on the east coast and Anti-Flag on the west coast. In 2015, the band released "Karacho". This was the band's first album to be sung in the German language. An English version of this album was released that very same year in Japan. Currently, the Donots seem to be like the Energizer bunny, they continue to release albums almost every two years and they continue to be on the road. In fact, in December of 2016, the band plans on playing their 1000th concert. While most of their success has been relegated to Europe and Japan, there is no denying that they are well respected amongst U.S. punk bands, including Green Day and Anti-Flag. The Donots style reminds me of pop punk bands such as Rufio, The Starting Line, MxPx and old school Green Day. Though they shifted their sound a bit, into a more alternative rock feel, they still have those pop punk/melodic sensibilities to their sound. The Donots didn't quite get the same crossover success here in the States as a band like Millencolin did, but they are a very good band that should be checked out if you haven't already. If you're a fan of pop punk bands then the Donots should impress you.


1. So Long (featuring Frank Turner)
2. Saccharine Smile
3. Wretched Boy
4. Outshine The World
5. Come Away With Me
6. Stop The Clocks
7. Calling
8. Pick Up The Pieces
9. We Got The Noise
10. Whatever Happened To The 80's

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Song Of The Week: 2/14/16

Song: "Do Tell"

Artist: We're Not Afraid

Album: "Adventures In Poverty"

Year: 2011

Place Of Origin: Los Angeles, California

Years Active: 2008-present


I can't find the actual lyrics to "Do Tell" anywhere on the internet, but by trying to listen to as much of them as I can make out, the song appears to be about the vocalist having a vision of where he wants to go in life and how to go about getting there while there is someone else who perhaps didn't see things the same way. The vocalist's conviction is so strong that perhaps this other person has a change of heart and sees the error of his or her ways but I get a feeling that it's too late and this person has missed the boat. I could be totally wrong about that because it's kind of hard to make out all the lyrics to the song.

WE'RE NOT AFRAID DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2011 - "Adventures In Poverty" (World Records)


We're Not Afraid formed as a band back in 2008, hailing from the hills of Hollywood in Los Angeles, California. After setting their line-up, the band recorded their first album, 2011's "Adventures In Poverty". This album was distributed by World Records oversees but in the States, the band had to basically self release the album. There's really not a whole lot to say about this band. They ironically, only have a MySpace page on the internet which is oddly out of date in the world of Twitter and Facebook. Currently they appear to be unsigned at this time. I'm kind of surprised no punk labels have taken to We're Not Afraid. I could see them on a label like Fat Wreck Chords or SideOneDummy. They are a melodic, pop punk band who sound like a mash up of bands such as Strung Out, Slick Shoes, Unwritten Law and early AFI. While their sound isn't anything groundbreaking, I found their album "Adventures In Poverty" to be a pretty solid effort. As for any new material or touring schedules? No idea. The band hasn't really put itself out there through social media to post any updates or things like that. Their only album came out in 2011 so, being 5 years ago, for all I know, the band has broken up.


1. Dead Fish
2. Casual Ties
3. Back To Life
4. Hope
5. One Man Economy
6. Closed Eye Drive
7. Simon B.
8. The Fire That Thought...
9. Live It Your Way
10. Do Tell

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Song Of The Week: 2/7/16

Song: "Honor Is All We Know"

Artist: Tim Timebomb & Friends

Album: "High Noon In A Dark Blue Sea"

Year: 2013

Place Of Origin: Berkeley, California

Years Active: 2012-present


"Honor Is All We Know" is a song that appears to be about standing strong in the face of adversity. It also has a rallying feel about it, especially when it comes to friends, family and those that are closest to you. It's about you having their backs and them having yours. There is a definite honor in loyality and their is honor in family. This song is definitely dedicated to standing up for what you believe in. "Honor Is All We Know" was re-recorded by Rancid and was the lead single of the band's 2014 album of the same name.

TIM TIMEBOMB & FRIENDS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2012 - "Tim Timebomb Sings Rock n Roll Theater" (Hellcat Records)
2013 - "High Noon In A Dark Blue Sea" (Pirate Press Records)
2013 - "Winding Far Down" (Pirate Press Records)
2013 - "Special Lunacy" (Pirate Press Records)


Tim Timebomb, of course better known as Tim Armstrong from the legendary punk band Rancid, is a side project of Mr. Armstrong in which he collaborated with a slew of musicians to play music that mostly influenced him. It all started with a musical film project that Armstrong was working on called "Rock n Roll Theater", in which he wrote all the music for. After that, the project turned into, almost a jam session type atmosphere with him releasing a song a day from October 29, 2012 to October 28, 2013, a whopping 365 songs!!! Many were covers, some were originals and the band members were ever changing. Three albums, a total of 36 tracks, were released in 2013, featuring the standout tracks out of the year's worth of singles. Though Tim Timebomb & Friends got it's start in 2012, Tim Armstrong has been a fixture in the punk rock scene dating back to the mid 80's. He was a member of the hugely influential Operation Ivy and when that band disbanded, he and bassist Matt Freeman formed Rancid in 1991. Drawing influence from The Clash, Rancid would go on to be one of the most successful and influential punk rock bands to come out, drawing on a hardcore sound while splashing in elements of ska and reggae. The band has released 8 full length albums since their inception. Tim Armstrong is also a member of the punk/hip hop group the Transplants, which features Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker. He and Freeman are also in a band called Devil's Brigade. As you can see, Armstrong is constantly working and always seems to be working on various projects at any given time. Most recently, his main project, Rancid, has garnered the majority of his focus. The band dropped "Honor Is All We Know" in 2014 and as recently as January of 2016, it has been confirmed that the band has been working on a new album in the studio. As for Tim Timebomb & Friends? After they finished releasing their marathon of singles in 2013, it appeared Armstrong began focusing on Transplants and Rancid projects. Tim Timebomb seems to be a downtime project for Armstrong but, knowing that he loves jamming together with friends, I wouldn't be surprised to see more releases from this project in the future.


1. We Did Alright
2. Cupid Aims
3. She's Drunk All The Time
4. Ooh La La (Faces cover)
5. Change That Song Mr. DJ
6. Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison cover)
7. Roots Radicals (Rancid cover)
8. California Sun (Riviera's cover)
9. Adalida (George Strait cover)
10. Bad Luck (Social Distortion cover)