by Zac Lomas, edited by Erik van Rheenen
After embedding oneself deep enough into any music scene, you inevitably reach a certain point where you know whether or not someone will like a band based on the pre-existing music they love. For example, if a record is ever advertised “For fans of: Hot Water Music” my ears perk up and I’m usually hooked. This same phenomenon is true of the recent Bouncing Souls and Menzingers split, with the pair of punk stalwarts complementing each other so well stylistically that the transition between sides A and B is almost seamless.
With each band offering an original and a cover, the split’s crossover appeal is undeniable and both bands do not disappoint in their reinterpretations of the other’s work. The Souls inject a shot of adrenaline into “Burn After Writing,” adding their signature upbeat brand of punk to the song’s already hook-riddled chord progression. On the opposite side of the record, The Menzingers adopt the soaring and bouncing musical dynamic of the Bouncing Souls in their reimagining of the Jersey band’s classic “Kate is Great.” However, vocalists Tom May and Greg Barnett add that unique Menzingers twist with their distinctly gruff and baritone voices that make the song their own.
While the covers are nothing short of fun, it is the split’s originals that offer up the real highlight. “Blackout” is the kind of song that fits snuggly into the Souls’ back catalogue, showcasing their natural talent as songwriters with lyrics like, “We take our stance, we make our plans. Our hearts are in good hands!” And if to remind listeners that this was the same old Souls, the song even starts with a string of “whoas.” The Menzingers once again adopt an earnest portrayal of the intersection of humanity and alcohol in “The Shakes,” a theme that permeated their LP On The Impossible Past. Opening with a sizzling guitar lead, “The Shakes” epitomizes The Menzingers’ brand of brash punk rock, culminating in the song’s resonant chorus of “I got the shakes, baby, the sha-a-akes, so what do ya say about me and you? Buy some booze for breakfast too.”
POZ Discussion: Most Anticipated November Releases
November is here, and there are a slew of great records coming out this month that PropertyOfZack team members couldn’t be more stoked to hear. In today’s new Discussion, we’re highlighting our personal Most Anticipated November Releases. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with what you’re looking forward to as well
Punk Goes Christmas (11/05)
It’s kind of shocking that Punk Goes Christmas hasn’t happened until now; there’s a long tradition of punk bands doing Christmas tunes that goes as far back as the Ramones. Christmas tunes are usually some mix of goofy and sentimental, two moods that punk bands tend to excel at, and over the past decade, it seems like nearly every scene band of note has taken a crack at writing one (or covering a classic). We’ve even made it a yearly tradition here at POZ to review our favorites on Christmas Day.
The lineup contributing to Punk Goes Christmas’s tracklist nicely pulls together the ghosts of pop-punk past, present and future to join in the caroling gang chorus, from old guard favorites like New Found Glory and Yellowcard to young upstarts Real Friends. Notably, Fearless have pared back on the screamo /metalcore / heavy music acts that have dominated the last few Punk Goes… releases, and one of the few included here, Issues, has seen frontman Tyler Carter make a bit of a splash in the past few years with Christmas tracks under his own name. If the album proves anywhere near as solid as its track list (and let’s face it, Christmas songs really only come in two varieties, good and great), we’re in for some early holiday goodies. - Jesse Richman
A Wilhelm Scream - Partycrasher (11/05)
November is apparently a banner month for punk albums, possibly none quite as important as A Wilhelm Scream’s aptly named hiatus-shattering record, Partycrasher. Six years removed from a studio effort, the band proved its legacy in the genre on the new album with eleven searing, scathing, sneering new cuts. Still brash and angry like the best of A Wilhelm Scream’s back catalog, the band only adds polish since taking a leave of disappearance — not rust. - Erik van Rheenen
The Bouncing Souls, The Menzingers - Split
During a way-too-early conversation regarding AOTY candidates, I jokingly mentioned to a friend that my top spot was currently occupied by The Menzingers’ On the Impossible Past, since no album from 2013 captured my heart and headphones the way that bottle rocket of a record did a year ago. Having to wait for next year for a new full-length from the band verges on cruel-and-unusual punishment, but a split 7” between The Menzingers and punk elder statesmen The Bouncing Souls should be a firecracker in its own right. Featuring a new cut and a cover from each, a lighthearted Souls take on powerhouse “Burn After Reading” and The Menzingers’ spin on “Kate is Great” is the only punk-goes-something we need this year. - Erik van Rheenen
Anthony Green - Young Legs (11/12)
I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what the birth of Anthony Green’s children was going to mean for his musical productivity, be it through his solo work or his main act, Circa Survive. But here we are at just about two years since the birth of his second son, Luke, and Green is about to release Young Legs, his second solo album in as many years (which brings his release count to three since 2012 began, when you account for Circa’s Violent Waves).
Green’s solo work has always been much more mellow and light-hearted than the atmospheric, aggressive blend that Circa has become known for. Young Legs will bring about an interesting sound, as he is now identifying his solo work as Anthony Green and the Good Old Band, which will feature the entire trio that comprises Good Old War, along with a familiar face in Circa Survive guitarist Brendan Ekstrom. In terms of sound, it should be noted that Green recorded this album shortly after completing work on his last solo effort Beautiful Things, so it will be very interesting to see how the two records compare to one another. No matter what it sounds like, it’s a safe bet that plenty of people will be listening to the new songs from the scene’s favorite family man. - Donald Wagenblast
Matt Pryor - Wrist Slitter (11/12)
Matt Pryor has always been prolific — between the Get Up Kids, the New Amsterdams, albums released under his own name, his Terrible Twos children’s music project, and his newest band, Lasorda, Pryor’s been averaging better than an album a year for the last decade, most with the kind of hit-or-miss rate you might expect from someone cranking out songs as fast as he can go.
by Eric Osman of Lame-O Records
Let’s face it. The Fest is intimidating. I’ll be the first one to tell you that there are FAR too many awesome bands for you to catch everyone you want to catch. Doesn’t matter how well you plan out your schedule on the rad Fest 12 iPhone app, or how many times you convince yourself that you’ll go see that band instead of drinking that Pabst. You won’t. You need a small list of “must-sees” that you make damn sure you get yourself to instead of slugging a third PBR. Seriously dude — it’s only noon. This is my list, and I highly suggest you get to these sets.
We’re also super stoked to be having two Lame-O Records bands on The Fest this year: Modern Baseball (Saturday - 7:10 @ The Wooly) and Ma Jolie (Saturday – 1:30pm @ The Lunchbox, 8:00 @ Rockey’s). Definitely work those in your schedule and drink a beer with us. It is Fest, after all.
The list always starts with The Menzingers. No matter how many times I see this band, if they’re playing a festival, it simply does not matter who else is playing or what else is going on. They’re The Menzingers, and they always come first. Some people might think or ask, “How can you reason driving across the country for a festival and seeing a band who lives in the same city as you?” They’re The Menzingers. They have three incredible LPs, each one better than the last. I’ve also heard that the band will be selling their new split 7” with The Bouncing Souls for the first time this weekend. Are the Menzingers my favorite band playing Fest? Yup. Are The Menzingers my favorite band playing punk music right now? If not, they’re damn close. You can’t miss The Menzingers at Fest. It’s simply not an option.
The Smith Street Band
If you don’t know The Smith Street Band by now, you still have time to put your headphones on, ignore the outside world and any of your obligations, and sesh their latest effort: Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams. You have some time, they don’t play until Sunday at 8 at The Florida Theater. These Australian punks were onto something with the release of their sophomore LP, Sunshine and Technology, but fucking nailed it with the new EP, catching the attention of Asian Man Records for the first USA release of their back catalog. It’s just well done punk focusing on being in your twenties and kangaroos. Okay, not really kangaroos, but I’m sure they get asked about kangaroos all the time. The band is currently on tour with Frank Turner, and you can expect they’re on their A-game, as it seems like they’ve been on tour forever, tweeting last week, “Canada is the 10th country we have played on this tour! Fuck yeah!” Here’s a jam from their last LP. Don’t miss them.
Whenever I get a chance to talk about music to a large group of people, be it in person or on a website like PropertyOfZack (thanks Zack!), the first band I try to shove down one’s throat is Kite Party. Thankfully, they’re playing Fest again, because it would’ve been kinda awkward to fit them in this otherwise. This band, dare I say it, put out a perfect first record. Each song is equally astounding, and it hasn’t gotten stale in the three years I’ve had it on repeat. They’ve embarked on short tours in the past with Glocca Morra, as well as Three Man Cannon and Tigers Jaw, but they certainly stand out as a different band in the current “scene” or whatever. Maybe that’s why the world hasn’t stopped turning and realized that Kite Party is one of the best bands in the game right now. The band also happens to be one of the most exciting live bands as well, partially due to the skill and creativity of drummer Pat Conaboy. Their Fest performance was one of my favorites last year, and I wouldn’t dream of missing them. 5:30 on Thursday at Boca Fiesta. See you there.
The Menzingers have begun recording their new album with producer Jon Low (Restorations, The National). Check out a tweet from Low below after the jump.
The Menzingers, The Bouncing Souls Announce Split 7”
The 2013 Tsunami Fest will feature The Bouncing Souls, Man Overboard, The Menzingers, and more. Check out all the details below after the jump.