Friday, August 16, 2019

Battalion Zoska Violated Records LP

Battalion Zoska
"Battalion Zoska"
Violated Records
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. 
  

History lesson: 
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.

Cheers,
Frank FOE
FOE zine
















Friday, August 9, 2019

UV RAYS "The Right Stuff"

UV RAYS
"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:


Spotify:



And here is a video of the Soundtown Session with the UV Rays performing "Faster Now" (love this song and video):




Cheers,
Frank FOE
FOE zine


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Vice Squad / The Droogettes split

Vice Squad / The Droogettes
Split 7" / CD
Rebel Sound / Violated
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.


Cheers,
Frank FOE




Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Ramoms - Problem Child / Gritty is a Punk / Boogie Not Snot


RAMOMS
"Problem Child" 
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 also have a split 7" available with the Dad Brains. Write up here.



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

Cheers,
Frank FOE






Thursday, August 1, 2019

Paul Meatsquat videos for Zonder/Wehrkamp

PAUL MEATSQUAT
ZONDER/WEHRKAMP

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:

Cheers,
Frank FOE





Jawbreaker "Don't Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker"

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. 
Love Jawbreaker.


Cheers,
Frank FOE


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Dickies "I Dig Go-Go Girls"/"The Dreaded Pigasaurus"


THE DICKIES
"I Dig Go-Go Girls"/"The Dreaded Pigasaurus"
Slope Records
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!

Cheers,
Frank FOE 






Sunday, May 5, 2019

Harrington Saints "1000 Pounds of Oi!"

HARRINGTON SAINTS
"1,000 Pounds of Oi!"
Pirates Press Records
Released: May 10, 2019




I love the title. "1,000 Pounds of Oi!". 
If I was cloned as a five piece band it would be it would be about 1,150 pounds of FOE, so you know, these five gentlemen probably come in around 1,000 pounds and they certainly deliver the oi!


The title sets the tone for the album. Driving punk, that lyrically takes on some difficult (heavy) topics, yet when playing their loud oi!, you can tell they are intentionally having fun, hoping you'll join in, all the while delivering a hopeful and uplifting aura. Just check the video for the title track and see for yourself:



Band Members
Darrel Wojick - Vocals
Mike C. - Guitar
Jayson Shepard - Guitar
Mike "Deuce" Miller - Bass
Forrest Maestretti - Drums






Vocalist Darrel Wojick has a potent presence on the microphone. A distinctive voice and poignant delivery command immediate attention. The rest of the band is tight, constructing classic oi, hardcore, street punk that energizes and incites!


This is full length number three for the Bay Area of California band. If you know them, you will want "1,000 Pounds of Oi!". If you love energy instigating punk, yet haven't noticed Harrington Saints yet, this is a fine starting point! 



Pressing Information
   500 - 12” Black Vinyl 
   250 - 12” Blood Red Vinyl (PPR Version) 
   250 - 12” Highlighter Yellow Vinyl (Contra Version) 
1,000 - Digipak CDs w/ Poster Insert



Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Insanity Alert "666-Pack"

INSANITY ALERT
"666-Pack"
Seasons of the Mist
Released: January 25, 2019



Insanity Alert are an Austrian crossover thrash metal band.  The Dave Of Death (guitar, choreography), Don Melanzani (drums, percussion), Heavy Kevy (vocals, propaganda) and MC Brownnose (bass) rip through the 22 songs on "666-Pack" in 33 minutes. Of course a few of those songs are genius in just a few seconds. "8 Bit Brutality" is a hysterical 8 seconds long. "Stop... Slammertime" is 9 seconds long, and a classic.


Musically and sonically, Insanity Alert bring together massive influences such as Municipal Waste, SOD, Iron Reagan, DRI, AC and Gang Green. Beer and thrash. 


Check the video for "All Mosh/No Brain":




Lyrically I appreciate Insanity Alert's humor and the points they make. 

Obviously the title ("666-Pack") is great. "Chronic State of Hate", "A Skullcrushin' Good Time", "Why So Beerious?" and "Saturday Grind Fever" are precious, pit instigating tracks. "I Come / I F*ck Sh*t Up / I Leave" is an instant thrash high-water mark. 


Insanity Alert's "The Body of the Christ is the Parasite" lyric video is below and the point is... well... on point.



After seeing someone's face get totally smashed, with enough blood on the floor it looked like the aftermath of a hockey high stick bloodying the ice, I despise the windmill karate dancers even more than the first time I witnessed them at a Cannibal Corpse show so long ago... So I am all on board with "Windmilli Vanilli".

Windmilli Vanilli
Stupid posers at the show
Everybody hates them so
Karate moves do not belong
This is thrash, you double-dong!
Bring me the heads of Windmilli Vanilli
Bring me the heads of Windmilli Vanilli
Windmilli Vanilli, they must die
Why the f*ck they're even there?
For the music? They don't care!
Violent dancing is no fun
The pit belongs to everyone




See you in the pit... well, maybe more like near the pit... I am 52 after all....


Cheers,
FOE

Insanity Alert FB
Season of Mist FB
Season of Mist

The Reapers "Rip It Up"

THE REAPERS
"Rip It Up"
Rebellion Records/LSM Vinyl
Released: February 01, 2019


I must admit, this type of music makes me crazy (in a very positive way)!
Hypes me up, gives me energy like a B-12 shot! The Reapers take the old oi sounds of Last Resort, hype it up with a ton of rock n roll energy ala Rose Tattoo and blast through with a Templars and Maddog Surrender spirit. 


Check the tracklist, The Reapers are not messing around:

TRACKLIST:
Things Are Bad (Intro)
Ultra-Violence
Ugly Mug
Always The Underdog
Bankers
Never Change
The Righteous Ones
Wrong Side Of The River
Sirens Of Sorrow
Broken
Alcohol
On Our Own
F.T.W.
Saturday Night

Self described as "Working Class Street Punk from Utrecht/Rotterdam, The Netherlands", this entire album inspires an old school circle pit with singalong chorus' and good times. Take a listen to "Ultra Violence" for example. If it does not make you feel like jumping in the circle pit at some dive bar, I feel bad for you! Wishing The Reapers were a local band I could see on a monthly basis!


Adrenaline is known as the “fight-or-flight" hormone. The Reapers are the adrenaline soundtrack. Listen to "Sirens of Sorrow", with the lyric, "Sirens of sorrow, you better f*cking run or there will be no tomorrow" (don't have a lyric sheet so I might have heard that wrong). Fight or flight man! Whew!

The opening riff of "Sirens of Sorrow" is sooooo Rose Tattoo. Love it!

"Wrong Side of the River" even has a "1-2 F*ck You"! Classic. Little things that make me happy!


I am listening to this digitally. If you know me, I need to get this on vinyl. I feel ridiculous not dropping a needle on this. Love "Rip It Up". 


The intro track to this album is the first minute and a quarter from the video below. It is from the movie "Network" (1976) about "a television network that cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit". 

That first 1:17 minutes exemplifies the fuel of The Reapers. "I'm As Mad As Hell and I'm Not Gonna Take This Anymore!"