20 years ago Anti-Flag released Underground Network on Fat Wreck. This album was and still is deeply influential and important to me. I was 18 and had been into punk for about 3 years. I was already deeply political and dissatisfied with most media but this album drove it further. I obsessively read the liner notes and did further studies based on the subject matter. The idea of an underground network existing outside of the mainstream to present information and entertainment is what led to this blog and for me to want to do a political podcast that is now happening. Also this album was the beginning of Anti-Flag coming into their own sonically and production wise. For me, this one still holds up musically and ideologically. My standout track on this is Bring Out Your Dead, but the whole record is fucking solid! So go check it of you never have, or rediscover it if it’s been awhile.
If you’ve ever wondered if you could mix smooth ska with brutal mathcore, the answer is fuckin yes!! Holy shit, this goes into the most interesting evolutions of ska list. The Best Of The Worst’s latest album Better Medicine. Another solid release from Bad Time Records. The sound is just fuckin insane, manic and beautiful. For me, it’s the most interesting band in ska since Blue Meanies. This is the new ska for the weird kids! I can’t pick a stand out as each track just has so much going on. If you need on music at all, play this one! Every bit of this from the vocals to the instrumentation is at the top of its game! They even have a gnarly fuckin 2Tone breakdown on one track and this whole record is full of gnarly breakdowns. So, figure out how to skank and hardcore dance at the same time for your new fitness regimen and blast this fucker till the paint melts from your walls! Stalk and support at the following links.
If you’ve been sleeping on this band, the alarm is goin off and it’s time to wake the fuck up. Kill Lincoln’s Can’t Complain should be in everyone’s list of most exciting ska or punk releases of the past year. The sound is No Torso’s horn section meets Catch 22 meets a bit of east coast emo with the energy of east coast basement hardcore. There’s even some sweet fuckin breakdowns. This band is helmed the Mike who also runs Bad Time Records. And all this amazing music is headed by solid vocals about real shit. Highlight track for me is Last Ditch Denial. If you’re getting old and still living in this scene, you’ll feel it in a bittersweet way. Get a hold of this and skank till ya knees give out and you’ve gotten a noise complaint! Stalk and support at the following links
For those who don’t know, there’s some amazing ska coming out. One of those is We Are The Union’s latest, Ordinary Life. The core of this album is vocalist Reade coming out as a trans woman bracketed by honest observations of mental health struggles a lot of us deal with. Everything on this album is fuckin amazing and Jer has the sickest Trombone solo on Morbid Obsessions, one of the highlight tracks on this. The other two are the Mad Caddies sounding Boys Will Be Girls and Make It Easy which sounds like Slackers meets Midwest Emo. Purely amazing music with Reade’s solidly pop punk vocals sweetening every track. We Are The Union is the ska punk for the current generation and everyone needs to jam it loud enough that your neighbors know the words. Support and stalk them at the following links
KRS ONE dropped his new one Between Da Protests a couple weeks back. Holy shit, he brought the boom bap! This is the best hip hop album I’ve heard in a long time. KRS lays is down with woke political that’s always been his signature in track like Don’t Fall For it, Black Black Black and through every track on this. His rhymes and flow are still on point as always. The producing brings back an old era that has been lacking in the myriad of 808 trap that rules the present landscape of hip hop. This is a hard breath of air we need in the current post hope reality. Bump this shit loud. Check the links below for this.
Recently the New Orleans New Tone pioneers Bad Operation dropped their debut on Bad Time Records. Wtf is New Tone? Well, take the political forefront of 2 Tone and it’s smoothed out stylings then add some modern ska punk to it. Think Specials meets Big D and The Kid’s Table. Holy checkers is this album fucking amazing! If you consider yourself ska, rude or just ska curious then Bad Operation is what you need in life! Right from track 1 this gets you moving and thinking. My standouts on this are the title track and Siren’s call. Evidence that ska is the revolution you can dance too. Get ahold of those now. Blast it loud enough to freak out your neighbors and dance till you’re in fighting shape!
Last week Yungblud’s latest full length dropped. Now, I know that on simply hearing the music that maybe it doesn’t sound at all punk aside from Strawberry Lipstick (total 77 scream out) or the clearly Cure influenced title track. But if you really think about it, this is punk fucking rock. This whole thing is an ideological “fuck you” to this conservative hellscape we’ve been living through the way hard core was during the Reagan administration. Every fucking song means something, it’s not some empty pop shit to be forgotten 10 minutes later. Honestly, it’s something I wish existed when I was 17 and really dealing with the fight between “fuck society” and “loneliness kinda hurts”. My stand out track on this is a tie between God Save Me and Weird. This is the album 2020 needed in a year where we’ve all been forced to hang out with our problems and actually deal with em. No matter how hardcore you are, there’s something on this album to resonate with, so check it out.
Yes, we do album reviews free of charge. Just hit me up at one of the below links and send a link where I can listen to it. If I like your stuff, I’ll review it and say many nice things. If I don’t, I’ll tell ya and not do a review. That’s right, we don’t do shitty reviews. We may not be big like Alternative Press or MRR ( it is only one writer) but at least it’s a free review by someone who genuinely digs your shit. DM is the best way to get a hold of me
In 2007 an absolute classic of brutal crust came screaming from the backwoods of West Virginia. Appalachian Terror Unit with their full length Greenwashing. This is 8 tracks of punishing doom rammed up your ass at breakneck speed. We can again thank Profane Existence for putting this beast out. My top track is Let’s Take The Fight To Them. A perfect track for guillotining the rich. This whole album is just pure metallic crust, so if your a punk or metal head looking for a bridge, this has descended from the vines of the ancient wood to choke your soul. Play it loud enough to see what creatures are down.
A little over a year ago an amazing release of blackened crust came blasting out of Sweden on Profane Existence! Swordwielder’s System Overlord. Holy fuck, this is amazing! 9 tracks of brutally crushing and complex black doom crust. my standout is Violent Revolution because it’s such a siren song for the strange reality we find ourselves in at present. Most of the songs clock in at 4 to 6 plus minutes and every bit of this time is spent painting a landscape of the dystopia that caresses the present world hellscape. Their sound is the progression of what Amebix began. This is progressive crust and what you need to hear right fuckin now if you haven’t yet. Crank it to 11!