The Exquisites latest release, Home, finds them continuing down the same road they began on their debut; featuring rough around the edges punk that also knows how to slow things down and the hoarse but soulful vocals of Jason Clackley. This album finds the band a bit more comfortable with its sound than before, and Clackley opening up a bit more about his past than on the previous release.
This album finds Clackley’s lyrics being both reflective and featuring a sense of determination to move forward. Lyrics like this, for me personally, is the best way for a singer to write lyrics of that nature because it shows where they’ve been but also how they’ve grown and changed because of it. While there is certainly something to be said for albums that can absolutely devastate you emotionally or get you so pumped up on positivity you feel like you can take on the world, those albums are defaults for certain moods. The relatability of a lyricist/vocalist dealing with life as a whole, and doing so in a relatable manner, is one of the harder things for a songwriter to accomplish.
READ More Here: https://www.punknews.org/review/14689/the-exquisites-home
Maty’s Corner #27
Duane Peters and the Great Unwashed Review
Coming out in 2012 was Duane Peters and The Great Unwashed. A bit of a one off side project from the master of disaster. While short lived, they did release on great album titled Beautiful Tragedy. It’s out and out punk blues with a lot of great piano and even a bit of harmonica, a definite departure from other music that Duane has put out. Most of lyrics sound like lost writings from Charles Bukowski’s urban genius. The two big stand outs for me are Coffee In The Kitchen Gone and the title track. This was released vinyl only or you can download it from http://duanepetersandthegreatunwashed.bandcamp.com/album/beautiful-tragedy
Go ahead and get this if you don’t a have it. A must for fans of Duane and just good sad music.
Maty’s Corner #16
Pulley: The Esteem Driven Engine Still Matters
Pulley started up in 1994, right in the beginning thick of the Southern California skate punk revolution of music that shaped my life. This 5 piece hard hitting melodic punk unit is led by Scott Radinsky who was no stranger the punk scene by 94 having been in Scared Straight during its 10 year existence (83-93) being heavy hitters in the Nardcore Mystic Records scene. They then went on to become skate punk greats Ten Foot Pole. Radinsky was in charge of that unit for their first 2 releases then forced to leave due to his pro baseball that he was already 3 years deep into. Being that baseball conflicts with the tour schedule of most punk rock I see it is making sense. That didn’t preclude Radinsky from being the voice of TFP’s seminal single My Wall.
Right outta the gate Pulley was a bit of a super group consisting of Radinsky from his aforementioned bands; Jim Cherry (may his soul be rested) of Strung Out; Matt Riddle of Face To Face and No Use For a Name; and Tony Palermo from Ten Foot Pole and Unwritten Law.
Pulley’s first drop in was 1995’s Esteem Driven Engine. A strong door kicker of a debut from these punk veterans. It slams open with Cashed In which would be a candidate on a best of record. Right away this first album sets a tone for more introspective lyrics which tends to happen to us punks as we get older. Take for instance Bad Religion’s material from the mid 90’s and forward.
Right after this was 97’s 60 Cycle hum. Again a really strong track starts the whole album off on the right foot, or left if ya skate goofy. The most interesting track on this was Noddin’ Off. It kicks like Ten Foot Pole or Scared Straight. I think kinda letting us all know that they remember who they are. Another overall solid effort from this board breaking unit.
1999 brought us @#!*, referred to as self titled. Honestly my favorite album by these guys. I believe it’s also their most popular. The lyrics start getting real introspective and the music on a couple tracks is even a bit dark. It’s still Pulley. The differences show growth in the band and they sound tighter than their first 2 albums. The stand out for me has always been Over It. Somewhat of a scathing indictment of the rat race that even the punk scene can degenerate into. Less of a middle finger and more a wake up call. The more incendiary and equally great track is Nothing To Lose. It’s been the background to a fuck you in my life numerous times. Just a great one to sing with and let something out.
2001 marked Pulley’s first album as a 4 piece, Together Again For The First Time. Jim Cherry had left the band to pursue Zero Down and dropped one solid album with them before he departed us. Despite the missing guitarist, this is as solid and tough an album as Pulley had put out. The first real stand out on this is “Hooray”hooray,matters,olympus,friends, for me. Another honest critique of the scene from the perspective of growing up but not giving in. The other one that hits me of this effort is “Same Sick Feeling.” Always sounds like one off of the 99 album and that’s not at all a bad thing.
2004 marked Pulley’s longest gap between albums. Matters shows the band hasn’t lost a bit of edge over their first 10 years. The band just sounds tighter with each offering they put out. It was also dedicated to their guitarist and friend Jim. This for me is like 99’s “self titled”. Most stand out on Matters is Insects Destroy. Has a bit of Bad Religion and Pennywise feel. Makes sense being that they were all label mates for so long. This marks Pulley’s final album on punk rock Olympus of Epitaph records and their last full length to date.
2009 after about 5 years Pulley gave us their first ep on a new label, Time Insensitive Material. Ghost Inside My Skin is the stand out of this short offering. It’s a blend of classic Pulley with some new ideas. The first glimpse of something new to come. 20011 gave us The Long And The Short Of It ep. Coming in at only 3 tracks, it leaves me hoping for a full length in the near future. There’s been rumors swirling around a new full length since 2012. I was fortunate to see them play recently. After 20 years of Pulley and 31 years of Scott Radinsky, neither part shows any sign of letting up for a long time to come.
Check out Pulley if you don’t know ‘em, re listen or catch ‘em live if ya do.
Article published in the popular Mega Zine STAMINA #3.
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Black Flag became America’s premier hardcore punk rock band in the early 1980s
Guitarist Greg Ginn formed the group in 1977, two years after he graduated from UCLA with a degree in economics and founded SST Records, an affiliate of the SST company he started originally at the age of 12 yrs. old. The label quickly grew with a loaded roster of other critically acclaimed punk rock bands, including Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth, and Meat Puppets.
When the bands original singer Keith Morris left Black Flag to form the “Circle Jerks,” Black Flag went through several vocalists before discovering Henry Rollins, a Washington, DC, punk kid, who gained the bands attention when he jumped onstage with the band and began slam dancing during a live song at a New York performance.
From 1984 to 1986, Black Flag released more than one LP per year, in addition to a continuous touring schedule world wide. In 1986 Ginn dissolved Black Flag and focused on his popular hardcore label SST and composed several solo releases using various guest performers in his one man band releases. He has since focused his time and attention on running SST as a leader in the hardcore label industry and his involvement in the soon to be announced, return of “Black Flag,” with a new album release full of new tracks and a tour scheduled with North America and Europe show dates, to be announced in 2013.
While it was Ginn who composed all of Black Flag’s music and the majority of its lyrics, Rollins’ career got the greatest boost from his former band’s momentum,when he formed the popular hardcore band, simply called the “Rollins Band.” The Rollins Band recorded several albums and gained a world wide following that intensified after its appearance on the 1991 Lollapalooza Tour. By the release of 2000’s Get Some, Go Again, the original Rollins Band had moved on and replaced by the members of Mother Superior, an L.A.-based trio, which provided a more straight-ahead hard-rock canvas for Rollins’ hardcore lyrics and shouted vocals. In 1998, Rollins collaborated with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Flesh-N-Bone, Flea, and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine on a remake of the 1970 Edwin Starr hit “War” for the soundtrack to , “Small Soldiers.”