It's hard to differentiate between Alice Bag the band and Alice Bag the person, of Alice Bag then versus Alice Bag now. Of course in a way they are all interchangeable, one in the same, and in other ways they couldn't be more different if they tried. This latest release from Alice Bag shows all that and more about her. This, the third album from the Legendary, mischief making, boundary pushing musical entity known as Alice Bag is called Blueprint and it's an eclectic urban mish mash of styles and sounds and palettes, much like the ex-elementary school teacher Alicia Armendariz, aka Alice Bag, is, and much like her hometown of Los Angeles is as well.
There's nothing really "Punk" about this album, and that's a good thing. To try to contain Alice Bag into such a constrictive limiting musical bind is ridiculous. She's much too smart and much too good to fall for that trap. Her musical diversity is on full display here, everything, her roots, her influences, her upbringing, her everyday interactions, y todo, and musically it all sounds pretty good and it's really interesting to listen to. It's a refreshing change from the same regurgitated "more Punk than thou" BS going around nowadays. Opening track Turn It Up is a super poppy, uplifting, Riot Grrrl type of song, if you're into that sort of thing, and then the following track, Invisible, is a super lush, slinky, mesmerizing song that sounds like something off the latest Blondie album. Alice Bag has an incredible voice. She sounds fantastic on here, whether shouting out some angry feminist rhetoric about unfair wages with Kathleen Hanna and Alison Wolfe on the tune 77, or crooning like an exotic torch singer in a Vegas lounge on a lonely Tuesday morning on the tune White Justice. The band she has backing her on this release are no slouches either - they do a great job of conveying the musical mood that Alice Bag is conjuring up on each individual song, whether it's the funky riffs in Shame Game, the sugary sweet Pop of the title track Blueprint, or Stranger, or the Geza X style of Quirk on the song The Sparkling Path. Well produced, great sounding, yeah, this is a really refreshing release from Alice Bag. Give it a listen. I'm pretty sure you'll like it. It's good to have her back. 😀
This release was put out there by Don Giovanni Records. Available on blue vinyl by clicking here. You can also buy Blueprint from the Alice Bag website (www.alicebag.com) and at every gig she plays, which is a lot. Also available digitally on Spotify (click here), Apple Music (click here), Bandcamp (click here), Amazon (click here) and everywhere else Punk music is marketed to the masses like the disposable commodity that it is.
Well here it is! The 12th album from G.B.H., the seminally charged Punk Rock band from Birmingham, England. My love affair with the band is both lengthy and legendary - I was at Jock's wedding reception, for christ's sake! LOL I'd go anywhere just to see them. My friends and I followed the band one year out to a shithole town in the desert called Las Vegas back in the early 80's to see them play a warehouse to a handful of people, and I think I helped save the bands collective ass one night at Perkins Palace, but I digress. I've loved the band since like forever, and like almost everyone else I tuned out and lost interest when they went Metal (you know they did - admit it) but now that it's "cool" to be a Punk band again, G.B.H. is back and bigger than ever and touring their asses off and putting out some good new material - like the 12 songs on this brand spanking new release called Momentum.
Well, they’re still sort of a Punk band... lol Songs are ripping but the guitar tone is very 'metalish' on here - more so than ever! I get the progression and growing as an Artist thing and all that, but whammy bar leads? Really? On a G.B.H. album? hahaha Ok, whatever. I like Slayer too. There's double kick drums galore all over here as well. Ugh. The shouted out gang like vocals make this sound like it was recorded by some NYHC band for the Combat Core label back in the late 80's... and that's not a good thing. The saving grace of Ross' splendid semi-noodling bass work and Colin's gloriously sounding voice keep this album from being a total snore. Colin Abrahall has one of the most easily identifiable snarls in Punk music. Total ear candy. He could sing a Trump speech and I'd find it interesting. He sounds great on here. He always does. This sounds like a G.B.H. album. I mean, nothing's gonna match that early, raw, furious, D-Beat inspiring early output from days of yore, but overall this is a pretty good set of tunes here. Some of the songs on this CD suffer from that "sounds like an earlier songs riff" thing that's going around lately, and if you're a true G.B.H. fan you'll hear them all for yourself, but other than that there's really nothing much to complain about. It's new G.B.H., and some of the new songs are really sharp, and it all sounds great when it's played loud like it's supposed to be. I'm rocking this shit all the time. There's some cool songs on here - LOVED that Fifty What? song about being the old guy still hanging out in the scene ("it's just a number kids" Collin smirks at the end), and Us Against The World, Liquid Paradise (The Epic), The Perfect Storm, I Never Asked For Any Of This, all just top notch stuff. The CD seemed to get better towards the end of it for some reason. The material just got better for some reason IMO. Anyways, check out the new album from G.B.H. - especially if you're one of these old fucks that complain about how there's no good new Punk music being released anymore. And please, please don't go see them at Punk Rock Boring. Go see G.B.H. play a headlining set somewhere so you can hear these songs played live as they're meant to be heard. 😎
Put out by Hellcat Records, but available from Epitaph Records. I dunno what's going on with that. Click
here to buy it. Corporate Punk Rock still sucks... yada yada yada. Click here to get Momentum on glorious red colored vinyl. Click here to "like" G.B.H. on Facebook. Click here to "follow" them on Instagram. Click here to see if I give a shit... heh
I've been waiting a long time to get my hands on this release, especially after hearing William Shatner's gloriously campy take on The Cramps classic tune Garbageman, and I gotta say, this Dr. Demento Covered In Punk compilation lives up to the hype, no doubt about it! The premise is simple - classic and modern day "Punk" bands covering some of the most popular songs to ever air on the superlative radio program, and it's simply genius. Put together by John Cafiero, in a painfully obvious exploitative manner, this release is aurally captivating, playing out like a classic episode of the time-honored Dr. Demento radio show of yore... I think. Is it still being broadcast? Is radio still a thing? Do people still listen to that corporate dreck? Meh. Whatever. This CD, and the Dr. Demento show in general, harken back to a time when radio was interesting and full of characters like the aforementioned Dr., who were willing to break the broadcast rules in order to expose people to good, but not necessarily popular, music. The tunes on here, when they work, are amazing. Besides the aforementioned William Shatner song, the Osaka Popstar's Demented Punk Orchestra With The Roto Rooter Goodtime Christmas Band cover of the Dr. Demento radio show theme song Pico & Sepulveda is nothing short of heavenly brilliance. Colleen Green's dreamy take on I Like is fantastic - same with The Kipper Kids doing Mah Na Mah Na, the song from The Muppet Show that gets stuck in your head for days after hearing it. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts doing Science Fiction / Double Feature from The Rocky Horror Picture Show is pure Pop sweetness, and the same can be said of James Kochalka Superstar doing Dead Puppies. Adam West doing The Thing is mind blowing, and Fred Schneider doing Fluffy will bring tears to your eyes - good or bad depends on your musical taste! 😉Sooo much good stuff on here. The Meatmen doing I Love Beans, Telephone Man by Quintron & Miss Pussycat, It's A Gas (originally credited to one Alfred E. Neuman) by Los Straitjackets, Hell, even The Vandals doing National Brotherhood Week is noteworthy... there's so many great songs on here - no wonder this is a 2 CD collection!
The more "mainstream" Dr. Demento songs are on here too, songs like "Weird Al" Yankovic's Eat It, done by Shonen Knife over the riff to Smoke On The Water, which is a bit disconcerting to hear at first, and the theme to the 60's Batman TV show sung by The Hamburglars is a bit weird as well, but good - really good!! The Dead Milkmen's Punk Rock Girl is given an excellent going over by Philly Boy Roy, and The Dead Milkmen add their unique twist to Groucho Marx's classic tune Lydia The Tattooed Lady, and Brak's version of ST Institutionalized has to be heard to be believed. Yeah, it's exactly what you think it sounds like... hahaha There's a few painful misses on here - Osaka Popstar's version of Fish Heads is complete dog shit, and so is their version of Pico & Sepulveda, and so is the theme song Dr. Demento Covered In Punk that they do. That band is just mediocrity en mass. Surfin' Bird by Nobunny is a dud, same with The Misfits version of The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati... ugh! "Weird Al" Yankovic delivers a kind of disappointing note for note version of the Ramones classic Beat On The Brat, and Balzac covered Rat Fink - why I don't know. Sounds terrible. Whatever. The booklet that came with this thing is unbelievable. It's a great read and packed with crazy artwork from all sorts of different and varied artists. It states in the liner notes and at the beginning of the first CD that all this music was recorded exclusively for this release, although a few songs are obviously not, but despite everything, warts and all, this is an amazing release, chock full of demented music and archival information that could only come from the mind of someone as deranged and well versed as Dr. Demento is, and Dr. Demento Covered In Punk is truly one of the best Punk, if not just best compilations period, ever put out. It's entertaining, with a musical variety that could of only come together under the guise of celebrating the genius of Dr. Demento, and it's a great, well put together, comp. Highly recommended.
Brought forth into this world by the geniuses at Demented Punk Records, and you can click here to go to their website and check out all the great merch they have there. That Shatner shirt... 🤣🤣🤣 You could also go to the official Dr. Demento Covered In Punk website by clicking here. The comp is available in CD and beautiful colored vinyl format, as well as digitally. "Like" the Dr. Demento Covered In Punk compilation on Facebook by clicking here.
Written by GE 138.
A few weeks later I'm cleaning out said purse and I go - Hey! There's that Better Broken CD Brian gave me to review, and I throw it on top of the pile of music on my desk to review when I got the time. A few days later I finally get around to burning it into my music library and I give a listen a few times to get a handle on what's happening musically. There's something going on here but I can't quite put my finger on it. First off, that Rush comparison is pretty apt. The singer dude is a dead ringer for latter day Geddy Lee - wether that's a good thing or not I'll leave up to you. At times he also sounds like that tool bag from At The Drive In as well. He croons quite lovely and is the perfect match up to Better Broken's soft serve melodic Emo Punk. Brian's bass lines weave in and out of everything, sometimes pounding out the accents and sometimes playing the hook to the songs - total ear candy. The drummer is good - fluid smooth with popping drum lines, and he can really set a mood when they play the slower stuff. I mean, don't get me wrong, these guys can start quite a fast paced gallop when they want to, but they mix things up with pretty vocal melodies layered on top of everything and lots of dramatic start/stops to build up musical tensions, environments, and contrasts, like they do on Rain Man and the title track. Smooth FM radio friendly sounding tracks make up the better parts of this release, which I guess is a good thing, but songs like Mind and Dark Ages show that these guys can get down and dirty if they have to. It's kind of insulting to call this stuff Punk, Emo, Alternative, or whatever, because Better Broken are kind of doing their own thing, which is a little bit Hot Water Music, a little bit Hawthorne Heights, and a whole lot of Rush, ha ha, but it's totally catchy, good stuff on here. They are definitely worth a listen. Better Broken. Check them out. 👍🏽
Written by GE 138.
This is an cool compilation, put out by the lovely fellows at Panic Inc., a local (sort of) label who've put out a lot of sick, kick ass music over the years. This release is a compilation whose stated purpose is to benefit the homeless and less fortunate amongst us, all proceeds generated going to help them and all that, and this comp is chock full of lots of tasty Local talent, some still active, some long dormant, and all the bands on here span a wide, diverse musical assault that highlights the talent inherent in all the bands present, bands ranging from the mathematical musical wizardry of The Bitters, the Viking operatic Thrash of Drouth, the slogan spitting in your face Punx of Opposition Rising, to the nightmarish howlings of Local legends Vihan Rytmi (RIP). Other Local bands of note on here are Back Stabbath (first song from their demo I believe), Faceplant, Unfair Fight, Life's Torment, Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones, and Alarido, a criminally underrated band of note. This comps got a little bit of something for everyone, as long as you can stomach noisy thrash leanings, a sound which a majority of these bands on this release are testing the boundaries of. Never gets boring, that's for sure! Yeah, kudos to Panic Inc. for putting together a good compilation for a great cause. 39 songs for $7. What a deal! Some interesting stuff on here - check it out! 😀
Brought to you by Panic Inc., so you have them (him) to thank for this release. I believe it's only available digitally via Bandcamp, and you can click here to check that out to download and donate if you're interested. All proceeds from the sale of this compilation will be generated annually to help fight poverty, and that's a super cool thing to get behind. Salud!