Friday, August 16, 2019
Released: March 16, 2019
I've known vocalist Pat Society and guitarist Jim Roadie of Battalion Zoska for a few decades. Two of my favorite Philly people.
Battalion Zoska from conception to album release, seemed like a precision attack. Veteran Philadelphia musicians who know what they are doing, had a vision as well as the necessary talent to accomplish their goals, all while doing it with a fire and desire that is extraordinarily refreshing!
Check the introductory video below:
Neil Newton from Angelic Upstarts and Dez Cadena (Black Flag/Misfits) make guest appearances on this solid, highly recommended, one of 2019's best punk albums!
I love the pointed sentiment of "Arm Everyone" almost as much as I love the Adolescents meets F.O.D. harmony background at the end of the song.
Absolutely, positively identify with the track "80's Kid', as I was a 16 year old in 1982. Lyrics hit it exactly.
"Island of Lost Souls" paints a vivid picture of the state of addiction, Needle Park, Kensington Ave.
"Moral Coward" is another example of how lyrically, Battalion Zoska puts together thoughts and feelings, breaking things down concisely and poignantly driving their point home. Plus I was walking around for days singing "You're a moral, you're a moral, you're a moral fuckin' coward". Meaning, as driving and powerful as the songs are, Battalion Zoska has the melodic hooks that stick.
Battalion Zośka (pronounced Zoshka; Sophie in Polish) was a Scouting battalion of the Polish resistance movement organisation - Home Army (Armia Krajowa or "AK") during World War II. It mainly consisted of members of the Szare Szeregi paramilitary Boy Scouts. It was formed in late August 1943. A part of the Radosław Group, the battalion played a major role in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
Zośka was named after Tadeusz Zawadzki, who used the name as his pseudonym during the AK's early days. He was killed during a partisan action.
Zośka fighters liberated prisoners of the concentration camp Gęsiówka in the August 1944. The 383 able-bodied prisoners (including 348 Jews), both men and women who were left in Gęsiówka to assist with the destruction of the evidence of mass murder, were rescued from certain death. Most of these survivors joined the Zośka unit and fought in the Warsaw uprising.
That Battalion Zoska went from conception, to demo, to recording and pressing the album, to playing Rebellion Festival in such a short time, demonstrates the band members drive and professionalism. Another classic Philly record!
The self titled album is available on CD and LP. My copy is on red/white split vinyl and included a full set of autographs. Also available on orange/yellow split vinyl.
Pat's vocal snarl comes across on one of the album's most hardcore songs, "Scum of the Streets". There is an integrity and honesty that hits hard with Battalion Zoska.
Do not miss your chance to see Battalion Zoska live in Allentown on Saturday August 17, 2019 and in Philly on Saturday October 12 at vocalist Pat's birthday bash. Both shows are incredible line ups, beyond Battalion Zoska.
The album wraps up with a cover of the Submachine classic, "Beer Song". The original was on the Submachine / Filth split 7" that was released in 1992. I used to see Submachine live all the time way back when and became friends with some of the gentlemen in the band. By the time "Beer Song" was released, I was one year sober (currently at 28 years sober and still love the "Beer Song"). I think Submachine vocalist Alex might have busted my chops a bit back then, because I think he may have witnessed my consumption 30 years ago or so... I love Submachine's home of Pittsburgh PA.
Nice way to wrap up the album, lest you forget that Battalion Zoska understands a life balance that must include having some fun.
Friday, August 9, 2019
"The Right Stuff"
Released: August 9, 2019
I dig Brooklyn's UV Rays. The pop songs they write display their obvious talents without being gaudy, a word here meaning "ostentatiously or tastelessly ornamented". They are experts at composing multi-layered, transitional and moving songs. I love the UV Rays for a lot of the same reasons I love Bloc Party, even though they don't sound the same. "The Right Stuff" is a perfect starting point to experience all of the resources available to this four-piece band. The vocals, guitars and driving rhythm all build up and soar.
"The Right Stuff" is another successful EP in their rapidly growing arsenal of songs. Their vocals play off each other as easily as their instrumental prowess cohesively blends. Guitarist Adrien DeFontaine takes the vocal lead on "Girlfriend", drummer Erica Warner handles the vocal lead on "Overrated' and bassist Tim Marchetta-Wood leads "The Right Stuff".
I hope this Brooklyn NY group continues to write, record and share their creations. The world is a better place with their contributions.
Download or stream at Bandcamp:
And here is a video of the Soundtown Session with the UV Rays performing "Faster Now" (love this song and video):
Thursday, August 8, 2019
Vice Squad / The Droogettes
Split 7" / CD
Rebel Sound / Violated
Released: August 1, 2017
Released: August 1, 2017
Last week, Pennsylvania Punk Rock Legend, Patryk Boyle (Violated Records, Battalion Zoska, Violent Society...) posted a photo of Beki (see below) from Vice Squad performing at Rebellion Festival.
My first thought was, "Wow"! I mean, Vice Squad was one of those "Punk and Disorderly" bands from the early 1980s that blew my mind. They are STILL standing strong, standing proud.
My second thought was, I need to remind people to get that Vice Squad / The Droogettes CD that Pat released on his record label, Violated Records. Pat released the CD version, which included two bonus tracks added to the 7" that Rebel Sound released.
The Droogettes are amazing. Vice Squad is amazing. Hopefully you already have this, if not, do yourself a favor and make sure you have both band's extraordinary punk releases.
So then I got to thinking, am I up to date on Vice Squad?
So I looked them up on bandcamp and found out Vice Squad has released three EPs in 2019. Apparently all digitally. Someone please release these on vinyl (or if they have, please direct me).
Also, if you haven't purchased The Droogettes debut LP, "Clockwork Girls", order it now. My write up is here for your reference.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Pirates Press Records
Released: May 10, 2019
I love "novelty" records. I've always loved novelty records, ever since I started buying records in 1972 when my parents hooked me up with an allowance. In 1975 when I was nine, Dickie Goodman released Mr. Jaws. "Disco Duck" was released in 1976, I was ten, I loved that Rick Dees 45. One of the very first records I ever purchased was Chuck Berry's "My Ding A Ling" from 1972, I was six. I've also loved cover versions of songs. I also have known Jodi for a few decades and have gotten to know Ginger for her other band, the freaking amazing Droogettes. So there are a ton of key points as to why I love this record!
I also love the Philadelphia Flyers and love "hating" Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby. That the Ramoms recorded a song called "Gritty Is A Punk" with the chorus: "cry Sidney, cry, called offsides, oh yeah" is simply amazing. The track "Gritty is a Punk" is sung to the tune of the Ramones "Judy is a Punk". For those who don't know, Gritty is the Flyers mascot, who was introduced this past season (and was one of the few highlights to a bad season).
The Flyers Dave Schultz, known for being the "Hammer" also released a novelty record in 1975 that is proudly in my record collection.
So yeah, of course I also love the Ramones. If it were not for that first Ramones album, released in 1976, the same year as "Disco Duck", my life certainly would have taken an alternate path. That first Ramones album is still one of my all-time favorites and one of the most influential albums, period.
Listen to the three Ramoms tracks digitally on Spotify:
"Boogie Not Snot" is a re-write of "Blitzkrieg Bop", with the chorus, "Hey Ho, Let's Blow". "Rockaway Beach" is pure and classic.
Three more classic songs from the Ramoms. This record is mandatory!
The 7" is limited to a pressing of 500 copies on blood red vinyl (resisted putting a photo of Crosby with a bloody nose and crying or something).
There is also a promotional flexi available with just the song "Gritty is a Punk". You NEED to obtain that as well.
With the beginning of hockey season just around the corner, how awesome would it be to set up the flexi as a giveaway at a Flyers game, say to the first 3,000 in attendance and then have the Ramoms play live on ice between the first and second period, or do an entire concert at the end of the game. Maybe Greg Boyle has a few connections as the Flyers play the Boils song "The Orange and the Black" at games the Flyers win!
RAMOMS Upcoming Gigs:
Ramoms with Blanks 77, Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups and Sewage @ The Kingsland, NYC on August 10, 2019
RAMOMS play with Divided/Heaven @ Ortlieb's in Philly on September 25, 2019
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Paul Meatsquat, the legendary drummer of the Russian Meatsquats, is now making professional music videos and band photography. Paul teamed up with Zonder/Wehrkamp for "Do Anything" and "If It's Real". Check the ridiculously amazing videos below:
Paul is available for your band's video and publicity photography. Paul has been my friend for almost 40 years. His work ethic includes going the extra mile without question.
Paul Meatsquat's contact information:
Zonder/Wehrkamp contact information:
DON'T BREAK DOWN
A FILM ABOUT JAWBREAKER
DON'T BREAK DOWN: A FILM ABOUT JAWBREAKER [Official Trailer] from September Club on Vimeo.
On August 6, 2019, the film will be available digitally on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. Streaming will be available on Amazon Prime.
On August 6th, I will be watching this on Amazon Prime.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
"I Dig Go-Go Girls"/"The Dreaded Pigasaurus"
Released: May 24, 2019
"I Dig Go-Go Girls" was originally done by Cheap Trick. It did not appear on Cheap Trick's first LP from 1977, though it was recorded at that time. A 1998 re-release included "I Dig Go-Go Girls" as a bonus track. All of Cheap Trick's albums released in the 1970s are mandatory.
Monkey from The Adicts makes a guest appearance on The Dickies version of "I Dig Go-Go Girls". If you don't already have the first two Adicts LPs, 1981's "Songs of Praise" and 1982's "Sound of Music", you need to snatch up those two classic punk gems.
The Dickies first two albums, 1978's "The Incredible Shrinking Dickies" and 1979's "Dawn of the Dickies" are absolute punk classics and should be considered mandatory records on many levels, including the fact that A&M released them! I personally would add just about the entire Dickies discography to the "mandatory" checklist, but really, everyone should own at least the first two LPs.
I find it exciting that The Dickies have released this 7" and that they plan on releasing a new LP in 2019. The Dickies play NYC on October 31, 2019 and Philadelphia on Friday November 1, 2019. The intimate Kung Fu Necktie club in Philadelphia would be the smallest venue I have ever seen the Dickies play. I've seen them many times, including at City Gardens in Trenton NJ and in the Lehigh Valley PA (I think it was Lupo's). The Dickies never disappoint. They also have a knack for covers ("Banana Splits", "Paranoid", "Nights In White Satin", "Communication Breakdown", "Sounds of Silence"...) and this Cheap Trick track is killer.
Check the digital version of this hot pink 7" on Spotify:
Thankful Slope Records released this 7"!
So glad the Dickies still exist, record and play live.
Hope you go out and obtain tons of Cheap Trick, The Dickies and The Adicts if you don't already have them and make sure you add this 7" too. Looking forward to a new full LP!