Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Miseries "I AM WITHOUT ME" (2010)

I missed most of last Friday's show at the Burner's because I went to see Bob Dylan, which is why there wasn't a write up of the show. Luckily, the first 3 bands (the one's I missed) were giving out their Demos/EPs for free, so I picked them up. I'm going to start with New Miseries today since they were the first band to play. Plus, since they're from Stroudsburg, they're pretty local.

Track Listing:

1) (11:11)
2) Black & Blue
3) Rain
4) Deathbeds

I'm going to start off by saying that according to their facebook page , they're a melodic hardcore band. I don't really see that. The first track is very melodic, but it's an intro track with no vocals. Musically the rest of the tracks are fairly melodic, but not what I typically think of when the words "melodic hardcore" are used. That being said, this is a fantastic demo. The recording quality is great. Everything fits well together. The guitars feed off the drums and bass and vice versa. The aggressive vocals mesh well with everything else. It's most definitely a demo worth listening to, and they have a show in Tobyhanna this Friday that if you can make it to, you should. I don't regret going to see Bob Dylan, but I do regret missing New Miseries set. Click on the mediafire link (posted by the band on their facebook) to download the demo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November and December Shows

**I did my best to put on a list of all the local stuff going on this month and next. If there's anything that you know of that isn't on this post, let me know and I'll add it. You should definitely go to as many of these as possible, even if you have to drive a little bit. The facebook links underneath each date go to the events page so you can get more info on bands and such.


11/19- Relapse Records Showcase feat:
Hero Destroyed, Iron Thrones, Fight Amp, Mose Giganticus
Secret Art Space
Located on Rink St.
(the alley behind 4th st./diagonal to Wildflower)
Bethlehem, PA
$8 Doors at 7:30pm


11/24- 5th Annual Thanksgiving Eve at Gravel Pike
Animal Haus, Run For It, Stoked on Being Pumped, & Rough Justice
The Gravel Pike Inn
595 Gravel Pike
Collegeville, PA
$5 Doors at 7pm
Stay On Point Booking

11/26- All Ages Phoenixville Punk Show
Rough on Rats, Run For It, Stoked on Being Pumped, Dead End Kids
Lighthouse Lounge
243 Bridge St
Phoenixville, PA
$7 Doors at 6:30pm

11/26- Food Not Bombs Benefit Show
We Have Heaven, Pet Milk, The Complete Strategist
Secret Art Space
Located on Rink St.
(the alley behind 4th st./diagonal to Wildflower)
Bethlehem, PA
$6-$8 Donation Doors at 7pm

11/28- Black Friday Indie Craft Mart
Come see 15-20 local crafters/artists/packrats selling their wares and score a perfect holiday gift for all the loved ones on your list. Screw the mall, shop local!
Confirmed: Eskandalo Hair/Wink Magazine
Loly Designs- Fabulous hair accessories for the holidays!
Save the Kales
Square of Opposition/LVAC
Renee Uzzardi
Matthew Zillhardt and Jessica Echevarria
Christine Rallis- Unique Jewlery and handspun wool items
Paula Donham- Mosaics
Emi Fox - knitted crafts
Sam Keller- Jewlery and Photography inspired by nature
LEOPOCO- Robert Daniels
Blind Willow Book Shop
Raw Stone Images
Kansas Boxes (excellent way to give a gift!)
Gina Mento
Christina Galagarza- C2G2- Repurposed jewlery
Secret Art Space Located on Rink St.
(the alley behind 4th st./diagonal to Wildflower)
Bethlehem, PA
12pm to 7pm


12/17- Skarhead, Wisdom in Chains, Naysayer, Animal Haus, Through This Defiance,
Concrete Reality
The Polish Club
328 E High Street Phoenixvilla, PA
$10 Doors 6:30pm
Stay On Point Booking

12/18- Pearls and Brass, Serpent Throne, Gods and Queens
The Nowhere Club@ Christian's Spring 2890 Christian Spring Rd
Nazareth, PA
$12 @ the door
Doors at 8pm
18 and over, BYOB w/ID and $3 Corking fee

12/25- Super Bang Pow Xmas Funtime Hangout feat Paxton (last show) + 2 or 3 TBA
Secret Art Space Located on Rink St.
(the alley behind 4th st./diagonal to Wildflower)
Bethlehem, PA
50 Cents doors at 7pm

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Interview with the Straphangers

Hello everyone,

New for this week, an interview with Straphangers, from New York (mostly). These guys have played St. Bernard's a few times, and seriously know how to party. They've got a six-song demo out, aggressive, old school hardcore, it's excellent, fucking great, and more songs on their myspace, the address of which is at the end of the interview.

The following is an interview with the band, conducted via e-mail. Be sure to check these guys out, their recordings are super-intense, and they have a great live show.

I seem to remember at one of your past shows you mentioned that the five of you are from different towns in NY and NJ. Is this right? I mishear things all the time, but if not, how does that work as far as practicing and whatnot?

Yes, three of the Straphangers live in queens, Emily lives in NJ, while Larry travels two hours each way from Staten Island. But traveling once a week to Queens to practice is doable and when we have to bring equipment for shows someone always manages to find a ride.

Any favorite places to play? How far west have you played?

We have had pretty good responses in PA. We were in Bethlehem and Pottsville twice and had some fun times there, and Pottsville was the farthest west that we have played. And once a month we will play somewhere in the city. Most of the punk/metal venues are now in Brooklyn and Queens so there’s usually a pretty good turn out for the shows in those boroughs. A lot of the places that we started out in are closed, like Bar 131 in Queens, the Continental, Knitting Factory (closed in Manhattan and re-opened in Brooklyn), Otto’s is always a favorite of ours located in downtown NYC, but they recently had a fire so we’re not sure when we can start playing shows there again. Most recently, the best response we had was at the Hill Tap Tavern and we’ve deemed it “the best response” because three people were bleeding profusely by the end of our set.

Your style pulls a lot of from hc, punk, and metal—what kinds of bands do you find yourselves playing with? I’d imagine you could get on all kinds of different shows.

We have played with so many different kinds of bands since we started. We are always happy to cross genres and play with new and different bands, but we have also been booked on some shows where we were completely out of our genre. In those instances we either cleared out the room because we were too heavy or the place went insane because people had been waiting for an aggressive band. When playing out close to home we usually play with a lot of the Adrenaline Head bands, one of those bands is YoScunt who just played some PA shows with us back in October.

I like the artwork on the demo. You all horror fans?

Yes, very much so. We’ll even cover some horror movie theme songs so keep an ear out for those when we play.

You guys have been together almost ten years. How has the lineup changed in that time?

Straphangers has gone through many changes over the years, and the music has progressed to what it is now. There have been several guitarist changes and Mike, the drummer, left for a couple years and sang in another band, but he is now back permanently. We are all very happy with the line-up now and hopefully things will continue to progress.

What bands have you seen that have had a strong effect on you—anyone in particular who’s had an influence on your style on stage?

The local New York scene has affected us greatly. Our peers are probably the most influential components in our lives as musicians. We all feed off of each other’s energy and creativity and it has been very interesting to see all the bands that we’ve been playing with for years change and grow.

Do you have upcoming plans for touring and/or recording?

We will begin working on a full-length album in January and February and hopefully by the spring time we’ll get back on the road and start promoting the CD. We all have full-time jobs and some of us are parents so it’s hard to do long tours, but we are going to try one or two 4-5 day tours in the summer.

Since this is a Bethlehem-based blog—do you think you’ll be out this way again in the near future? The last two shows you played at the Burner’s seemed to get a pretty good response.

We definitely want to hit Bethlehem again. Probably won't return there until the spring though, after we are done with the CD. True Blue Productions hooked us up with the past two shows at the Burners so I'm sure Billy Dukes and Walt will have us out there again when we are ready to do some more mini-tours in PA.

Thanks again to the Straphangers for the interview--check out their info below, and by all means, if they're playing nearby, go see em. -- Mark Rooster

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Straphangers/123179234370450 http://www.myspace.com/straphangers/

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First Blood "Silence is Betrayal" (2010)

Track Listing:
1) Intro
2) Silence
3) Preamble
4) Enemy
5) Resist
6) Truth
7) Detach
8) Enslaved
9) Confront
10) Fear
11) Occupation
12) Fascism
13) Lies
14) Messenger
15) Survive
16) Armageddon II

When I first listened to First Blood's debut album "Killafornia" a year and a half ago or so, I enjoyed it. It was heavy and it was aggressive. When I heard that they were coming out with a new album, I was marginally excited. At the very least I thought it would be a decent listen and not a waste of time. I seriously under-estimated it. First Blood took the formula from "Killafornia", refined it, injected more anger and aggression, and "Silence is Betrayal" is the result.

How often do you see one word song titles? It's rare to see a band that can convey the meaning of a song so easily. Most song titles are a phrase, and on rare occasions, a sentence long. From the start of "Intro" to the end of "Armageddon II", the songs all fit their names. I feel like this is a concept album for sure. Lyrically the songs are pretty socially concious and focus on the state of the world right now. Whether it be the wars going on in Afghanistan and Iraq, or the way corporations take advantage of the masses, it's all covered. The anger and aggression in the music gets the point across that something needs to be done, and that sitting back and doing nothing is contributing to the problems.

After 3 listens, this album has exceeded all my expectations. I expected to like this album, but it has joined Terror's "Keepers of the Faith", Madball's "Empire", and My Turn To Win's "No Challenge" (I've been meaning to write a review on this since I got my vinyl copy, but haven't yet. I'll get there) as my list of favorite albums of 2010. Definitely check it out.