Posts Tagged ‘Punk Rock’

Honah Lee “Life Won’t Let Me” Review

The newest addition to the Good Time Gang roster, Honah Lee, are back from the swamps of New Jersey with a new album, entitled “Life Won’t Let Me” (Good Time Gang Recordings). Having put out a split with The Plurals last year, do they go in the same epic and catchy direction or somewhere else entirely? Here’s a review.

This is pretty mid-tempo, catchy and overall good power chord driven punk. The guitars, as on “Bobby’s Dead” and “Leave It to my Goddamn Brain” are sharp and concise. Power chords are their best friends. Played by vocalists/guitarists Tim Hoh and “Dim”, they drive the melodies and add extra an extra kick. The occasional guitar solo is Ramones-esque where it stays within the songs key and melodic range without being too outlandish (they would do Johnny Ramone proud). The bass is punchy and sometimes fuzzed out. It helps enhance the rhythm from just a typical punk rhythm to something else…probably something like if Martin Hannett tweaked a few knobs here and there during production. The bass plays it’s part but also has its own space.

I really like the vocals and the lyrics on this album. Singer Hoh has a hookiness in his raspy voice that’s undeniable. Songs get stuck in your head with nicely placed melodies and “oh ho ho” vocables that make the record such a return listen. The lyrics are great here too. Lots of singing about beer, parties and mid-20s life. On “Bobby’s Dead”, Hoh sings “Gimme something with a badass tempo, gimme something that’ll stick in my head/Gimme something with some real emotion/Gimme something so I know I’m not dead”. This coupled with the “nah-na-na-nah” choruses are great party anthems. I can only imagine a room full of sweaty punks screaming along. This song will be a great live crowd pleaser.

If you’re looking for something that’s mostly uptempo, catchy and a great overall listen, I recommend this. Go pick it up.

Josh David and the Dream Jeans “Can You Believe We Landed On the Moon?” review

So, it’s been a little while since the album release for Josh David and the Dream Jeans‘ full length, “Can You Believe We Landed On the Moon?”. Here’s a review of said album.

The immediate difference between Josh David and the Dream Jeans and every other Lansing band that I’ve encountered is their front man, Josh David. When he performs with the band live, he goes wild, strangling himself with the mic and running around in his underwear. This live presence translates well to the record. David screams at the top of his lungs (and surprisingly) has the occasional bit of melody seeping out, like on “Tall Paul Rides Again”.

I really enjoy the lyrics on this album. They’re quirky yet meaningful. “Aware of the Riverman”, about fellow Lansing-via-Seattle friend and musician, Johnny Unicorn, mentions Unicorn by name. “His name’s John Benjamin Adams but you can call him Johnny Unicorn” David scowls. It’s really great that David is paying tribute to such a great friend in song. “Capitol City 2-Step” is about David’s hometown of Lansing, MI and the pride he has for the city and the mitten state. “Lansing Michigan’s where I call home” he screams.

Guitars here are noisy, dissonant. Blasts of noise and feedback occur frequently as well as power chords that chug throughout the album. Guitarist Nich Richard shreds with little regard for the well being of the instrument (or his own well being for that matter). The occasional solo happens but they’re kicked out fast. The bass, played by Michael Boyes, is audible and usually follows the guitar lines. Boyes reaches toward the top of the neck occasionally, adding a bit of dissonance on the low end too. The drums (played by Christian Urabazzo) are tight and fast. Usually following the hardcore 1-2 snare downbeat, they keep things moving.

My only complaint is with the length of the album. 14 songs at (mostly) under two minutes, with little changing musically throughout the album, can make it hard to sit through. My favorite tracks are “Capitol City 2-step” and “Aware of the Riverman”. I encourage full listen straight through to see what sticks with you but, in my mind, only a few tracks stand out. That’s not to say that all of the other songs are sub-par. It’s just that 14 tracks on a punk rock record is a lot to sit through.

If there’s an album that makes you think of old school Michigan punk (like The Meatmen or The Crucifucks), it might be this record. Regardless of what it makes you think of, check this out here.

Mark Kroos Interview

Our interview with guitarist Mark Kroos is now available:

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