Sleep It Off Records – Release Date: 6/20/11
Less Than Jake has returned with Greetings from…, marking their first new material since 2008’s GNV FLA. This EP displays more confidence and focus than the previously mentioned album, and it’s arguably the band’s best effort since their 2003 full-length, Anthem. Recorded by bassist Roger Lima at his own studio, The Moathouse, and mixed and mastered by Descendents/ALL guitarist Stephen Egerton, Greetings from… not only sounds great, it also captures the essence and excitement of Less Than Jake’s celebrated live performances. The first track, “Can’t Yell Any Louder”, is upbeat, hyper-melodic and packed with horns. It’s easily one of the catchiest songs that LTJ has written in recent years, not to mention one of the most ska-influenced. “Goodbye, Mr. Personality” is next and it’s more laidback and mid-tempo, yet retains a strong sense of ska flavor and sounds similar to the band’s Losing Streak album. “Harvey Wallbanger” features plenty of their patented “whoa-oh” vocals and talks of America’s continued economic recession, and it’s followed by an introspective song about wanting to make a difference called “Oldest Trick in the Book”. The final entry, “Life Out Loud”, is fast-paced, straight-ahead punk rock and reminiscent of LTJ favorites like “National Anthem” and “Scott Farcas Takes It on the Chin”. It’s as passionate as it is catchy, and clearly the EP’s standout track. Greetings from… showcases a reenergized Less Than Jake. If this EP serves as a taste of what’s to come, fans should eagerly anticipate the release of their next album.
Dan Vapid is back with his latest musical endeavor, Dan Vapid & The Cheats. After Screeching Weasel’s abrupt breakup, Vapid reunited with two former Methadones members, guitarist Mike Byrne and drummer Mike Soucy. He also recruited bassist Simon Lamb to complete the band’s lineup. They plan on recording their debut album this fall and releasing it next year. We spoke with Dan about the band’s origins, their influences, songwriting, touring and what he hopes to achieve with The Cheats. Continue Reading…
Boss Tuneage Records – Release Date: 7/11/11
Textbook has been together for over ten years, perfecting their own style of alternative rock that’s influenced by everyone from The Replacements to Naked Raygun. Fronted by former Not Rebecca singer/guitarist Dave Lysien, Textbook has released a total of four full-lengths, and the band’s continued development is clearly apparent on Out Of My Universe. The EP was recorded by Matt Allison at Atlas Studios and sounds reasonably polished, yet retains the right amount of energy and edge. The first song, “Crowding”, is an urgent, fast-paced rocker with classic Midwestern punk inspiration, and it’s followed by “Please Reconsider”, which is a concise, melodic tune that clocks-in at less than two minutes. The title track is up next and it evokes The Hold Steady in terms of its guitar work and enjoys an extremely infectious chorus. “Laugh Out Loud” is a melancholy, mid-tempo song with a slight country influence, while “I Can’t Take You Anywhere” is pure power pop and absolutely the catchiest song on this record. The final entry, “Who’s Sorry Now”, is a fitting conclusion as it showcases nearly all of Textbook’s finest attributes. Such traits include; creative songwriting, earnest lyrics, an ample amount of backing vocals, skilled musicianship and a knack for blending various genres into a unique sound. Out Of My Universe is recommended for fans of Husker Du, Lucero, Gameface or anyone searching for quality, pop-infused rock this summer.
Textbook UK tour dates with The Magnificent:
July 16 – Leeds @ The Well
July 18 – Brixton @ The Windmill
July 19 – Cambridge @ Portland Arms
July 20 – Derby @ Victoria Inn
July 21 – Sheffield @ The Red House
July 22 – Manchester @ Gulliver’s
Keith Morris needs no introduction. For nearly 30 years he has been at the forefront of punk rock. Last year he created the supergroup OFF! and many would argue it’s some of the best punk to be released in a long time. Keith was very candid in revealing how OFF! came together as a unit and what’s changed since he started out in his first band. OFF! is set to rock the Pitchfork Music Festival on Saturday, July 16th and they will also be playing a second show at Reggie’s the following day on Sunday, July 17th. Interview by Kevin Corazza. Continue Reading…