I just want to float away on guitars like these.. if only the drums would stop making me dance. A perfect song for the drive to the party or the middle of nowhere. A double negative outburst of pop positivity wrapped in gooey distortion and hand-clap candy. I’m calling this power-pop because in 2011 I think it qualifies. Original yet dangerously catchy!
“Anti-Anti” (download mp3)
A classic punk rock theme, if there is such a thing. “I don’t need a..” fill in the blanks. Reminds me of the Buzzcocks more raucous material. Crashing guitars and a lyric that celebrates alienation from freakin’ everything. It’s very positive.
“Don’t Need A” (download mp3)
from “Lost Art”
“Don’t Need A” (play)
Jets To Brazil’s “Cat Heaven” is a sublime musical invocation of the blissful part of being in love. If there’s a heaven I want, it’s the one described here. From the purrrfectly titled Perfecting Loneliness album on Jade Tree. Timeless.
Jets To Brazil – “Cat Heaven”
(right click, “save as” to download the mp3, or left click to play)
Alkaline Trio – “Queen Of Pain” (mp3)
A funny thing happened to the Alkaline Trio on the way to being one in a bazillion obscure pop punk bands in the wastelands of the post-music business. They got famous. Through relentless touring and real fan appreciation and good songs and energetic live shows, by gosh, they’re gettin’ big the old way, and it’s a beautiful thing. On every stop at this summer’s Warped Tour, Alkaline Trio is one of the more eagerly anticipated acts. Here’s an early cut from their 2002 split with Hot Water Music. It rocks. To hear what they sound like now, after a decade of seasoning, check out their myspace and DL the iTunes 10 Song Warped Sampler. These guys are gr8.
“Queen Of Pain” (mp3)
Hot Water Music – “God Deciding” mp3
Really one of the best bands of its type is Gainesville, Florida’s Hot Water Music. Before “emo” became a sort of oft ridiculed yet much beloved genre of its own, it was, once upon a lamenting teenager, a sub-genre of indie punk rock. Hot Water Music reminds me of the songs that first inspired the “emo” label – emotional punk rock that it is. The passion and unbridled commitment that this foursome brings to a song like “God Deciding” is emotional as fck but in no way wimpy or wistful. The interlaced vocal hooks are monsterously catchy and the band rocks like it was their last day on earth. So glad their “break up” was short lived. This band is the cats meow.
Hot Water Music
“God Deciding” (mp3)
Cloak/Dagger – “Don’t Need A”
A friend in High School once made a list of all the songs that said “I don’t wanna” in the lyrics and polled everyone to get their additions. It got pretty long, more than a page of college ruled binder paper, remember paper? Anyway, it had like, half the Ramones entire output and some Elvis Costello and much more. Here’s a new take on an old theme, freshly blurted by the wonderful Cloak/Dagger, from that lesser known bastion of punky ferocity, Richmond, VA. They rock live and have opened for Fucked Up and Kill Your Idols. beMySpaceFriend them, play their music loud and bounce all around like a jumping bean.
“Don’t Need A” (mp3)
from “Lost Art”
Fucked Up – “Baiting the Public” mp3
If you’re more concerned with blowing hardcore fans’ minds and having fun than you are in pursuing any conventional commercial appeal, one thing you might do is name your band Fucked Up. This marauding gang of punkers from Ontario, Canada gained some serious momentum last year, and at this point nothing but stopping will prevent them from reaching a jubilant world wide audience. Mainstream piffle this is not. Their sound is redonkulously loud and powerful. Exceedingly pissed vocals, and superbly creative guitar bass and drum work, all add up to some devastating and entertaining punk rawk, with a gr8 sense of musical adventure. On the Jade Tree label. Enjoy, public.
“Baiting the Public” (mp3)
from “Hidden World”