Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A review of "Ghost Town Rockers" by Stray Bullets

The Stray Bullets, man I can't say enough about their new album, "Ghost Town Rockers" out on Dying Scene Records.  The album is chock full of catchy, and socially conscious ska and punk rock songs packed with a heavy punch that makes you think and want to move your feet!  It's been sometime since they released "...The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Misfortune" which was simply a fantastic album but "Ghost Town Rockers" just may top it.

Track one, "Knife For The Pusher Man" opens the album with a kick.  Before I continue, have you ever wanted to kill a drug dealer?  Perhaps one who was selling in front of a rehabilitation facility?  Thats what this song is about.  Jon Cauztik (singer/songwriter/guitarist) has no problem stating his thoughts on what he found as an epidemic many years ago.  Of course, he didn't initially kill him but wrote a song about his frustration and aggression toward someone who participates in such behavior.  You can also find the video for the song, here.  Track one kicks right into "New Prisons", a socially conscious song about society's lacking of valuing education over the criminal justice system.  A line that is pointed out, "They built a new prison when clearly they needed a school..." really sums it up well.

Other tracks such as "Peace Signs" give a more ska and reggae feel which the Stray Bullets are known for as well as a punk rock twist. Alongside that, the musically upbeat "Keeps Me Down" really keeps the energy flowing on the album, too.  The song really has an optimistic feel to it in a sense regardless of the title.  As we all know, the police department has been in the news lately with several different incidents and "Sirens" touches on that issue, as well.  Not only that but the lead guitar work done really adds a lot of layers to the songs and keeps the listener very interested. Another anthem that has been well circulated since the album came out is "Public Enemy #1" as well as "Chicago Gallows".

Towards the end of the record, it wraps up with "Pro Patria Mori" (translation: "It is sweet and fitting to die for your country.") You also have "Walls Come Crumbling" which is a personal favorite and "Campesino Blood" which has a historical twist to it.  Lastly, "Ghost Town Rockers" is simply an anthem which fits fine at the end of the record and the acoustic and melodic "Rocket Ship" ends off the album nicely.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

A review of "Wildfire" by the Dirty Mugs

Hello everyone,

Its been a little bit since I updated this page!  I recently started doing reviews, interviews and more for Dying Scene and amongst other things.  I recently reviewed a really cool band  called the Dirty Mugs who has a new album out called "Wildfire".  If you're into roots music with some punk rock and rockabilly thrown in the mix, this just may be your band.  I originally wrote the review for Dying Scene and got the go ahead to throw it up on here.  For those whom are interested, the you can find the original review I wrote for "Wildfire" by the Dirty Mugs, here!

Here is the review:

"East Grand Record Company do an amazing job releasing a diverse amount of bands and music whom are relevant to the punk rock scene. The band I am covering today is a fantastic folk and punk act out of the back woods of Eastern Oklahoma called The Dirty Mugs. Their fusion of punk rock and folk music is like none other as they they make an effort to create their own sound while staying true to their punk rock roots. What automatically comes to mind is a mix of Chuck Reagan, and rockabilly greats, the Cramps, and you can certainly hear some inspiration from the Pogues, as well.
“Wildfire” brings a certain breed of energy that you seldom hear these days. For example, the first song off the record, “Dance With Me” is a high speed folk punk track that starts the album off with a fantastic tone. The anthemic “SGAF” is another gem that is accompanied by a melody you would here from a punk rock band. As I stated earlier, the Dirty Mugs are no stranger to trying new things and expanding their musical diversity while in “O’Death”, the intro sounds like a gospel song which is eventually followed by catchy guitar licks that you would hear in a band such as the Kings of Nuthin’ as well as an accordion. I really can’t complain about a band who goes out of their way to add different elements of music to keep the listener surprised and in suspense of the next song.
A personal favorite, “Row” is a pick me up type song that makes you want to put on your dancing shoes, and dance in a circle at one of their shows. If you are interested in more roots based songs (plenty of which are on this record), I would suggest hitting the track button to “Woodsfolk” or “As close as It Gets”. The explosive “Bomb Caravan” is a socially conscious track that makes you want to pump your fist with, as well. The album ends with “Expect Resistance” which is a perfect ending to the sixteen track powerhouse known as “Wildfire”. Its a short but sweet song that gives “Wildfire” the edge it needs. Overall, this is great album with roots based influences mixed with the energy of a punk rock band. I highly recommend this album to anybody who is a fan of true folk punk."

Originally submitted on on October, 3rd, 2014