In April of this year, Banner Pilot released their latest album for Fat Wreck Chords, called Souvenir. We conducted an email interview with singer/guitarist Nick Johnson and discussed in detail what is arguably their most diverse and complete record yet. We talked about how it was written, the recording process, its lyrics and more. We also conversed about the music scene in Minneapolis, touring and several other topics. After the interview, be sure to check out Banner Pilot’s video for the first song on Souvenir, “Modern Shakes.” Continue Reading…
Fat Wreck Chords – Release Date: 5/27/14
The first Masked Intruder album sent shockwaves through the world of punk rock. Their raw talent, mystique and the fact that they seemed to appear overnight were all integral factors in the band’s initial momentum. In the last couple of years, they’ve toured around the world and after the dust settled a bit, it raised the question: what’s Masked Intruder’s next move? With Fat Wreck scooping them up, the bar was raised. On M.I., they’ve strayed slightly from their criminal and hijinks-heavy themes, and focus more on love. They’ve tweaked song structures a bit, incorporating more vocal harmonies, doo-wop influences and most impressively – a song almost completely made up of vocals. They’ve also re-recorded two existing songs, “I Fought the Law,” from their demo and “Hey Girl,” from their split with The Turkletons. M.I. is a perfect album for music fans, because it doesn’t conform to the standard three-chord formula most pop punk sticks to, but they are maintaining their sound. The Ramones-core fanbase gets short, fast songs like “Hey Girl” and “The Most Beautiful Girl.” Heart-wrenching songs like “Stars” display raw desire, honesty and humility. The vocals are sincere and pitch-perfect. “Almost Like We’re Already In Love,” Masked Intruder’s impressive vocal display, is sheer magnificence. Their barbershop quartet-style of singing is guided only with shakers and finger snaps. The lyrics paint a picture of yearning, and do it in a way that sounds just plain pretty. Think of it as an evolved version of the intro to “Wish You Were Mine,” from their first album. M.I. is a must, as it’s one of the best albums that’s been released this year.
– Jason Duarte
Rapids are releasing their debut EP this Saturday, called Traction. The relatively new band features members of Slapstick, Colossal, Dead End Days, The Love Shots and others. Their EP was recorded last winter by Chris Heilemann in Elgin, IL and its cover art is by Jason Swearingen. Beginning this Saturday, the EP can be downloaded at Rapids’ Bandcamp page. Rapids are also playing the very same day at Quenchers with Two Houses, Nervous Passenger and Costanza. The show starts at 10:00 PM, is 21+ and costs $5. Check out an exclusive stream of one of Rapids’ new songs below, called “Coroner Bar.”
This Saturday, The Lawrence Arms are playing Metro with The Copyrights, Sam Russo and Dog & Wolf. The show starts at 6:00 PM, is all-ages and tickets can be purchased here. The Lawrence Arms are touring in support of their latest album and Epitaph debut, Metropole, while The Copyrights just announced that they’ll be releasing a new 7” on Fat Wreck Chords this summer called No Knocks. Also, Sam Russo released a split EP on Red Scare last month with TLA singer/bassist Brendan Kelly and it can be ordered here. Check out the above photos of The Lawrence Arms that were taken by JIC’s own Katie Hovland. They’re from the band’s practice space and were shot just before their recent show at the Concord Music Hall.