Wednesday, November 30, 2016

They own us. Produce us. Consume us.

'Allo! Hope you guys all had a relaxing and decadent Thanksgiving break. For my non-US readers, umm, I guess whatever. Good times innit? I was too busy all week eating, drinking, playing with legos (no joke..thanks Evanio!), and generally being as unproductive as I didn't have time to do the normal write up for this week's episode. Which means you get all the good music stuff with none of the rhetorical fluff. So crack open your favorite beverage, kick off your shoes and get lost in the silky sounds of this week's punk rock playlist.

Annnd the web player link:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Acting unaffected by this hand of fate

Why hello there internet people, and welcome to another episode of Wednesdays With Andrew. In store this week is an absolutely tantalizing playlist to enjoy, featuring tunes from the likes of Transplants, Arrogant Sons of Bitches, Lifetime, 88 Fingers Louie and so much more.  Ok less talk, more punk - let’s kick it.

Annnd the web player link –

The Network – Teenagers from Mars

We kick off the week with The Network’s new wave-ish cover of the Misfits classic Teenagers from Mars.  Although they don’t stray too far stylistically from Danzig’s original vision, they do slow it down, add a clanky, somewhat metallic feel to it and also eschew the Misfits’ typical lo-fi sounds for a more refined production. This track is off The Network’s debut (and only) album, Money Money 2020, released in 2003. Although the band tried to hide their identity through weird monikers (Fink, Captain Underpants…the Snoo??), it came apparent pretty quickly that this was just a side project for the dudes from Green Day. Come on Billie Joe – we could recognize that voice from miles away!

Transplants – Tall Cans in the Air

Up next we have the punk-hop sounds of SoCal supergroup Transplants. The band got its informal start in 1999 when Rancid/Operation Ivy frontman Tim Armstrong and his longtime friend and Rancid roadie “Skinhead Rob” Aston started playing around with Pro Tools and writing beats for fun. Pretty soon they decided to formalize some of the material and put out an album, which is about the time they enlisted the help of Blink-182 drummer Travis Baker. Tall Cans in the Air is off the Transplants’ debut eponymous album, released in 2002 through HellCat Records. The song, like much of the rest of the album, has a fun and loose vibe to it, highlighting the dueling vocals of Tim and Rob, heavy bass lines and silky guitar runs.

The Big Sleep - Pinkies

Pinkies is a soulful tune from Brooklyn’s The Big Sleep, off their 2008 record Sleep Forever. I believe the song’s biggest strengths lie in the arrangement and production, as opposed to the notes and chords that make up the song - Pinkies is noisy and transcendental, skillfully leveraging guitar pedals, atmospheric melodies and pervasive drums to create an alternate reality for the listener to get lost in. The rest of the album is equally creative, not relying on conventional song structure or musical arrangements; definitely worth checking out when you have a spare 42 minutes.

Lifetime – Turnpike Gates

If you’ve been even marginally paying attention to Wednesdays With Andrew for a while, you’ve most likely realized that I am a huge fan of Dan Yemin, who has earned celebrity status in the melodic hardcore punk scene. Before founding the almighty Kid Dynamite, Yemin was the lead guitarist for New Jersey punk outfit Lifetime. Formed in 1990 in New Brunswick, Lifetime built their signature sound around 2-minute or less songs, blazing rhythms and pop-laced melodies. Going against the grain of the general thematic content of their contemporaries in the NY/NJ hardcore scene, singer Ali Katz emphasized more positive and personal themes through his lyrics. Turnpike Gates is off Jersey’s Best Dancers, their 3rd full length and last release before disbanding in 1997.

The Saints – I’m Stranded

(I’m) Stranded is the title track off Australian punk rockers The Saints’ 1st LP, released in 1977 on EMI. Channeling the popular UK and US punk movements of the time, The Saints created a savage, unrelenting and scathing sound for its fellow citizens in the far east.  Although the band has slowed down somewhat of late, founding member and lead vocalist Chris Bailey is very active and The Saints are still playing bills. Happy fun fact for the band – in 2001, the Australassian Performing Rights Association (or ARPA…kinda like the RIAA for our friends down under) included “I’m Stranded” in its Top 30 Australian Songs of all time.

88 Fingers Louie – Summer Photos

Now we move on to Chicago greats 88 Fingers Louie, and their catchy little tune Summer Photos. Off the 1998 album Back on the Streets, Summer Photos showcases the band’s talent in blending raw emotion with thoughtful songwriting and sing-along choruses. Although the dudes in 88 Fingers Louie are busy with other projects (like Rise Against and Our Darkest Days), word is they are writing and recording new material, which would potentially mean their first release since 2009!  Did You Know? The name 88 Fingers Louie is inspired by a character from The Flinstones: he’s a shady piano salesman/gangster.

Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built

The House That Heaven Built is an instantly memorable youth anthem from Canadian rock duo Japandroids. This track drives forward with a focused energy and purpose, while retaining a somberly reflective quality. The House That Heaven Built is off Japandroids’ 2nd LP, Celebration Rock, which received critical acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork and The AV Club. Originally from Vancouver, these two canucks have been rocking and rolling since 2006. Be on the lookout for Japandroids’ new album, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, which is slated to drop January 27 2017.

Ex Hex – Don’t Wanna Lose

Don’t Wanna Lose is a garage-y, bubblegum tune from DC punk chicks Ex Hex. Walking a fine line between fuzzy and coherent, distorted and poppy, loud and soothing, this rollickin’ anthem has something to please the whole family. Don’t Wanna Lose is off Ex Hex’s debut full-length Rips, released through Merge Records in 2014. These gals have been gaining a lot of attention, playing large shows like SXSW, earning glowing reviews from Pitchfork, and supporting national acts like Speedy Ortiz.

The Arrogant Sons of Bitches – Kill the President

I guess it’s time to dust off my ‘Where’s John Wilkes Booth when you need him’ shirt I made in November 2004. The Arrogant Sons of Bitches capture some of my current feelings with their belligerent ballad, Kill the President, off their final studio album Three Cheers for Disappointment. Shortly after the release of this 2006 record, frontman/songwriter Jeff Rosenstock started focusing on the also-now-defunct Bomb the Music Industry! Rosenstock is famously devoted to DIY punk ethic, releasing free music online and offering free stencils for fans to make their own home made shirts. Rosenstock is currently pursuing a solo songwriting career (check out his latest release, Worry) and still active with his crowd-sourced indie label, Quote Unquote Records.

MxPx – Letting Go

We end this week’s playlist with MxPx’s Letting Go, which was one of nine short tracks (clocking in at just over 18 minutes) from their 2001 Renaissance EP. This EP was the only one MxPx ever did through Fat Wreck Chords, and they had to promise to not include any songs about God in order to meet Fat Mike’s anti-religion policy (he also has a ban on anything emo, haha!). Letting Go is what you’d expect from MxPx – fast and energetic, oozing with pop, with driving vocals provided by singer/bassist Mike Herrera. I always get a ‘teen angst’ vibe when I listen to MxPx, which runs counter to their lyrical content – I realized recently that Herrera’s high vocal range just makes me think of high schoolers. Huh.

Alright, that’s it for this week guys. Hope you enjoyed the music, and keep tuning in every Wednesday for more hot n ready punk rock. Next week we have some great tracks on deck, like the Smiths, Assorted Jelly Beans, Dicks and Social Distortion - it's gonna be fun. Hit me up if you have song suggestions or if you’re a band and want me to play your shit. Keep gettin’ schwifty; later gators.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Killing time all the time isn't what brings you here

Howdy folks. Trump is a piece of shit, Steve Bannon is worse than Joseph Goebbels, Mike Pence is an anti-human rights vampire etc. etc. etc. Let's focus on the positive vibes of this week's #WWA playlist. I hope you can find some solace in the sweet and sour sounds of this week's diverse range of songs. Please keep the feedback coming, share with friends, and above all, enjoy.

Wipers – Over the Edge

We kick off the week with a loud, fuzzy rock n roll anthem from Portland punk trailblazers (ahhhhh see what I did there?!) Wipers. Formed in 1977, Wipers are often considered the first Pacific Northwest punk band, and would go own to influence not just local punk movements like riot grrrl, but also nationally acclaimed grunge bands like Nirvana, Melvins and Mudhoney. Kurt Cobain often cited Wipers as a major influence, and Nirvana covered a couple of their songs throughout the early 90s. Over the Edge is the first track off their 1983 album of the same name.

Strike Anywhere - Chalkline

Chalkline is an emotionally charged and blisteringly fast track from Richmond hardcore band Strike Anywhere. The song is off their debut album Change is a Sound, released in 2001 through Jade Tree records, and is a poignant statement about gender inequality (this, coupled with the album’s first track “You’re Fired,” makes this quite appropriate given who we elected commander-of-pussy last week). Strike Anywhere has made a name for themselves through their musical style of catchy melodies and hardhitting, aggressive songwriting, as well as their strictly self-imposed devotion to sociopolitical causes, ranging from police brutality and women’s rights to anti-capitalism and political corruption. Although they haven’t released much new material, they still actively tour…go see them when you get a chance!

Guantanamo Baywatch - Barbacoa

Up next we have another band from Portland, OR, Guantanamo Baywatch. Barbacoa is a raucous surf instrumental off their 2012 full length Chest Crawl, released through indie label Dirtnap Records. Shimmering, atmospheric and hazy, this mirage of a song hooks you in from the first reverb-soaked distorted guitar chord. The rest of the album, including both instrumentals and vocal-driven tunes, is heavy on the dank surf runs heard here, while also incorporating more indie blues themes, reminiscent of contemporaries like Mac Demarco or Wavves.  By the way, Guantanamo Baywatch wins this week’s “best band name” award.

Violent Femmes – Issues

Issues is the first single off of Violent Femmes’ latest release, 2016’s We Can Do Anything, their first studio album in 16 years. In addition to the band’s core trio, this record features the self-described “Horns of Dilemma,” instrumentation ranging from bass cajon to accordion to banjo and electric 12-string. Issues is a rambling, goofy and hook-driven track that embodies all the weirdness and stylistic diversity that has distinguished the Violent Femmes over their storied career. We were all happy to see the band make amends and get back together after some bitter infighting over the use of their hit ‘Blister in the Sun’ in a Wendy’s commercial…Wendy’s, for when you want something slightly better than McDonald’s.

The Bouncing Souls – The BMX Song

The BMX Song is a crunchy and singsongy tune from NJ pogo punks The Bouncing Souls.  This track is off their 2nd LP, Maniacal Laughter, and showcases the Souls’ light-hearted thematic content, bouncy feel and driving rhythms. Maniacal Laughter was produced by the legendary Thom Wilson, who has engineered and produced numerous acts including The Offspring, Face to Face, Dead Kennedys, Bad Religion and The Vandals. The Bouncing Souls have been consistently active since their inception in the late 80s, and released their 10th studio album, Simplicity, earlier this year.

IAM – Petit Frère

IAM is a hip hop group formed in 1989 in the coastal city of Marseilles, France. Short for ‘Invasion Arrivée de Mars’ (Invasion from Mars), they often employ the local vernacular ‘Mars’ in their songs to describe their homebase of Marseilles. Petit Frère is one of IAM’s most successful singles, released in 1997 as part of their album L’École du Micro d’Argent. This was a starting point for future collaborations with some members of Wu-Tang Clan, and you can hear them sample C.R.E.A.M. at the beginning of the track. Petit frère deals with the dark realism that faces many non-White French people, topics that are characteristic to IAM’s thematic style, such as street violence, racism, Islamophobia and censorship.

GWAR – Fishfuck

Fuckin’ GWAR time. Punk meets heavy metal meets broadway musical meets latex. These are the things that GWAR is made of. If you haven’t seen their live stage show, which involves (but is not limited to) being sprayed with various bodily fluids, the decapitation of existential threats to humanity (ranging from the Pope to Justin Bieber) and interplanetary battles, then you are not living. Fishfuck is a catchy little ditty the whole family can enjoy on the way to church on Sunday morning. This track is off their 1999 album We Kill Everything. Fun personal fact – (the first time) I lost my wedding ring was during a raucous GWAR show at the 930 Club; the fake semen, urine and blood just lubed it right off. 


Link 80 – Verbal Kint

Verbal Kint is the 1st track from skacore band Link 80’s debut full-length, 17 Reasons, released in 1997 through Asian Man Records. Link 80 wrote songs chaotic in nature, relying heavily on a chugging rhythm section as a backdrop to earsplitting horns and shatteringly loud lead vocals.  Link 80 was well known for incorporating TV and film references within their music and, true to form, Verbal Kint is based on Kevin Spacey’s character in the The Usual Suspects. Fun time video alert! They made a pretty shitty music video for this song, which you can view here:

SCREW32 – Painless

Alongside so many other greats, including Rancid, Green Day and AFI, melodic hardcore outfit SCREW32 is part of the East Bay punk movement during the early 90s. Like their contemporaries, they got their start playing gigs at the music collective at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley. SCREW32 created a sound influenced by both west coast punk and DC-style hardcore, centered around catchy melodies and refined lead guitar riffs, while maintaining a strict DIY ethic. Painless is a groove-driven track from the band’s last album, Under the Influence of Bad People. Although the band broke up soon after the release of this LP in 1997, founding members Andrew Champion and Grant McIntire (vox and guitars, respectively) reformed the band with new members this year. Catch them today if you live in California, or in early 2017 when they go on tour!

The Datsuns – Harmonic Generator

Harmonic Generator is the single off New Zealand hard rockers The Datsuns’ eponymous debut album. These Middle Earthers blend psychedelic rock-inspired sounds, evocative of acts like Wolfmother or Black Mountain, with a heavier four on the floor rhythm, complete with rambling guitar solos and call and response choruses.  We’re thinking about you guys in the wake of those terrible earthquakes: hope that you and all your friends and family are safe and sound.

The Sidekicks – DMT

Like the powerful hallucinogenic drug its named after, DMT is a mend-bending and intense song. The raw emotion in lead singer Steve Ciolek’s vocals reminds me of Rivers Cuomo, whereas the songwriting and instrumentation offer more depth and soul than you’d find in your average Weezer song.  Based in the inexhaustible college town of Columbus, OH, The Sidekicks have been consistently touring and putting out new material since banding together in the late 90s. DMT is off their 2012 release Awkward Breeds. Fun technology note – these dudes still use Yahoo, which I guess is the vinyl of email providers?

Dead Boys – What Love Is

We end the week with the original sonic reducers, Dead Boys, and their not-so-romantic love anthem What Love Is (guys – do NOT include this track on your girl’s Valentine Day mixtape). A bedrock of the early punk movement and frequent headliners at the famous CBGB club, Dead Boys went down as one of the rowdiest bands of the 70s, leaving a trail of chaos and violence wherever they went. After drummer Johnny Blitz was stabbed several times in the chest during a street fight, larger-than-life personality John Belushi filled in for him on drums. What Love Is comes off their 1st studio album, Yound Loud and Snotty, recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York in 1977.

Thanks for listening guys. As always, keep tuning in every week for more great music and to show these often-neglected bands the love they deserve! Let me know if you have tracks you want played, or if you’re a band who wants me to make them famous. KEEP FUCKING SHIT UP AND SHOW THE WORLD WE DON’T WANT AUTHORITARIAN WHITE SUPREMACIST BIGOTS IN OUR ELECTED OFFICES

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this breaking news item…the nation had a brain fart and decided to elect Donny Trump to become leader of the free world. Trump, a sociopathic narcissist with the decorum and poise of a drunk chimpanzee with Down's Syndrome, will go down in history as one of the most dangerous demagogues of our time. We’ll all be sad to see our dude-in-chief Barry Obama go, and now must come to terms with the fact that a spoiled rich brat with donkey brains will be rubbing his jollyrancher-sized fingers all over the nuclear codes. May the gods have mercy on our souls.

OK now on to important business…this week we have some great classics, like the Guttersnipes and Bad Brains, to relative newcomers such as RVIVR and the Heartburns. Enjoy the playlist!

And here's the web link:

The Heartburns – Help Me Make it Through the Night

We start this playlist with the blaring rock n roll sounds from Finnish punkers The Heartburns. Based in the frigid tundra known as Helsinki (I just looked up their weather…it’s like 20 degrees and snowing there, what the fuck?!),The Heartburns write driven and energetic songs over top of simple 4-chord arrangements, punctuated by piercing guitar leads and sing-along choruses. These Vikings have been putting out music since the release of their 2006 EP, Fucked Up in a Bad Way.  Help Me Make it Through the Night is off their 2008 full-length, Fixin’ to Die, released through the Combat Rock Industry label.

 RVIVR – Big Lie

RVIVR have been electrifying crowds since 2008 with their speedy, pop-fueled melodic punk and energetic live performances. Based in Olympia, WA, the band stays true to their city’s storied riot grrrl past, committed to spreading feminist ideals while blasting macho culture. Big Lie is off their 2013 full-length The Beauty Between, and displays RVIVR’s ability to balance meaningful and complex songwriting with driving speed, aggressive hooks and singalong melodies.

Bad Brains – Sailin’ On

Sailin’ On is typical of the chaotic yet rooted sounds engendered by hardcore pioneers Bad Brains. Originally conceived as a jazz fusion band, the DC natives quickly favored the blistering and frenetic guitars and breakneck paces heard here over the more RnB and groove-based songwriting they originally contemplated. Sailin’ On is off the band’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, released as a cassette-only offering in 1982. You can hear the lasting impact this album has had on popular music today, impacting a range of artists from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime to Beastie Boys, Soulfly and 311, and even acts like Moby and No Doubt (both of whom covered this track).

Black Eyes – Deformative

Speaking of noisy DC bands…Deformative is off the debut album of DC post-punk band Black Eyes, who were active in the early 2000s. Willing to explore new spaces and eschew conventional arrangements, Black Eyes distinguished themselves through their use of discordant dueling vocals and incorporation of jarring synth sounds. Reminiscent of a disco night in Hell, Deformative is driven by drum and bass and marked by piercing melody lines that cut straight to the core. Although Black Eyes has been defunct for over a decade now, all the dudes from the band are active with other projects, including but not limited to Mi Ami, Earthen Sea and 

The Guttersnipes – Highest High, Lowest Low

Highest High, Lowest Low was off UK punk band The Guttersnipes’ 1994 album, Asylum. Haunting and jangly, this track features dark surf tones, throaty vocals and even a Van Halen Eruption-inspired guitar solo. Formed in London by ex-Cock Sparrer vocalist Shug O’Neill and bassist Andy Kline, The Guttersnipes built off the success of the UK street and Oi punk movements.  This past August their old record label came out with a previously unreleased live recording of a 1980 Guttersnipes concert in Copenhagen; it’s called 1234 See You at the End and is on Spotify…go check it out!

Authority Zero – One More Minute

One More Minute is an island-soaked anthem from Mesa, AZ natives Authority Zero, a band formed in 1994 by a group of high school buddies who had nothing better to do in the desert. Early on, Authority Zero went through numerous lineup changes, focused mostly on local shows and continued to refine and re-refine their sound. The guys didn’t release their first full-length, Passage of Time, until 2002, to critical acclaim. The album, which includes One More Minute, blends up-tempo skate punk and aggressive vocals with heavy reggae and Spanish guitar influences. Fact time - of the 5 original members, only vocalist Jason DeVore is still actively involved with the band.

New Bomb Turks – Jukebox Lean

Jukebox Lean is a rollickin’ tune from long-time Epitaph band New Bomb Turks. The founding members all met on campus at Ohio State University in 1990 and quickly honed their unique garage punk sound, inspired by forbearers like Naked Raygun and Didjits as well as feeding off contemporary acts like The Devil Dogs and Dwarves. Jukebox Lean is chaotic and heavy-hitting, and showcases New Bomb Turks’ staple scratchy vocals and unforgiving fuzzy guitar hooks. It was originally featured on their 1996 release Scared Straight.

Butthole Surfers – Who Was In My Room Last Night

Next up is a track from Butthole Surfers’ 1993 album, Independent Worm Saloon (which sounds like an album title Dave Barry made up). Butthole Surfers creators, Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary, formed the band in the late 70s when they met at college in San Antonio. Early on in their career, Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra discovered the surfers of butt and paid for studio time to release their first self-titled EP through Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label. Fueled by psychoactive drugs and a dark sense of humor, and rooted in 80s hardcore punk, Butthole Surfers would make a name for themselves through their unique blend of psychedelic rock, punk and electronica. They got their big commercial break in 1996 with the hit track Pepper, which was the first single off their album Electricclarryland.

Lagwagon – Tragic Vision

Tragic Vision is the opening track off Lagwagon’s debut full-length, Duh, which was recorded and produced by Fat Mike in 1992.  It acts as a sort of cautionary tale for, and laments the cyclical nature of, the effects that lazy greed and apathy have on shaping our society.  Blazin’ speeds, intricate lead guitar parts and hook-minded choruses define the album’s sound, and Duh went on to be a very influential punk record through the 90s and beyond.

Bad Astronaut – Needle in the Hay

Trying to stake out new territory, Lagwagon’s singer Joey Cape formed Bad Astronaut in 2000 to explore a different sort of sound. Where Lagwagon focused on fast and sometimes thrashy melodic skate punk, Bad Astronaut was an outlet for more emotional alt-rock and indie-centric songs. The goal of this project was always to release records (and not worry about touring), and Bad Astronaut only ever played 4 live shows. Needle in the Hay comes off the band’s debut album Acrophobe, released through Honest Don’s Records, which was a subsidiary of Fat Wreck Chords designed to publish material that didn’t fit the Fat Wreck bill.

The Living End – Bloody Mary

We close out our weekly playlist with this soulful and creeping song by Australian band The Living End. Bloody Mary is off their breakout eponymous debut album, which was released in 1998 through EMI’s subsidiary in Australia, Modular Recordings. Bloody Mary, lyrically themed around the old-timey children’s game, encapsulates the band’s wide-ranging influences, from 50s rock n roll like Elvis Presley to rockabilly à la Stray Cats all the way to punk trailblazers like The Clash and Rancid. The Living End was very favorably critiqued for bringing fresh ideas to rock and roll, and bassist Scott Owen has famously made playing upright acoustic bass cool again.

OK that’s it for this week guys. Let me know if you have tracks you want played, if you’re a band who wants me to make them famous, or just send over a list of your darkest fears and/or deepest desires. Follow me on facebook and all that jazz. 'Til next week folks!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Comportez-vous mal!

Bonjour messieurs et mesdemoiselles, et bienvenu à Wednesdays With Andrew, votre dèstination pour toutes choses punk rock. As some of you may know (and probably most of you don’t), I lived in Toulouse, France for 5 years when I was in middle and high school. This was the era of my life when I was exposed to, and fell in love with, the music and attitude of punk. So for this week’s playlist, I am going to be featuring bands solely from the old country; a land of cheeses, terrible beer, great wine (if you’re into that) and friendly folks. Many of these French bands I listened to and saw live back in the day; many I have just come to discover as I put together the playlist. I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do, and remember, comportez-vous mal!

Web player link –

Uncommonmenfrommars – Dead Inside

We start the week with the track Dead Inside, courtesy of one of my favorite bands from high school, Uncommonmenfrommars. Dead Inside is the 2nd track off their 3rd album Scars are Reminders, which was released in 2006 off the Parisian indie label Wagram Music. This album was a departure from their earlier, more carefree sound and signals a maturation of their thematic and musical concepts…but overall still embodies that catchy melodic skate sound that made them national favorites. Three of the 4 guys are brothers, and are actually originally from DC (like me), moved to France at an early age (like me), are super cool (like me), and decided to stay in France and become rock stars (unfortunately not like me). I fondly remember drinking beers with them after a show they played in Toulouse – super chill dudes, and they make phenomenal music.

Bérurier Noir – Vivre Libre ou Mourir

Bérurier Noir is a Parisian punk band that has inspired a huge cult following across France since forming in 1983. From what I hear, their live shows were a weird mélange of circus freak show and anarchy rally (Insane Clown Posse anyone?) Aiming to replicate the style (and success) of the 70s punk movement in the UK, Bérurier Noir wrote songs built off of simple power chord arrangements, street punk chorus chants and lyrics focused on anti-consumerism and disenchantment with the current social order. Their decision to opt for a drum machine over a live drummer created some distinction, and ended up being a staple of their sound throughout their long career.

Ludwig Von 88 – William Kramps le tueur de bouchers

Oh you like drum machines? So do French punk bands from the 80s. A contemporary of Béurier Noir, Ludwig Von 88 focused their sound around fast and hardhitting power chords, drum machine and other electronic instrumentation, dissonant harmonics and nonsensical and often juvenile lyrics. William Kramps le tueur de bouchers features some of that speed and noise, while also rolling in a horn section and syncopated ska guitar riffs.

La Femme – Où va le monde

Up next is Où va le monde by psychedelic krautrock act, La Femme. Born in 2010 in the luxurious tourist haven of Biarritz by leading members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, La Femme craftfully blends synthetic pop with punk and surf guitar tones against a backdrop of mesmerizing dual melody lines.  Où va le monde is an enchanting track that sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of Pulp Fiction. This song is off their sophomore full length, Mystère, released in September of this year on the Born Bad label. Do yourself a favor, and go check out this release – it’s a fun listen.

Les Betteraves – Euh…punk?

Les Betteraves were a party-fueled ska punk band formed by high school buddies Meuh and Kojack in Paris in 1999. Dripping with irreverent humor and heavily rooted in the ska movement of the early and mid 90s, Les Betteraves (DUH alert: it’s a play on words of ‘better halves’) quickly gained a large fan following through constant touring and fun live shows. Their popularity continued to grow even after they broke up in 2003. Euh…punk? is indicative of their breakneck speeds, growling vocals and dedication to the ever-popular ska breakdown bridge.

Guerilla Poubelle – La fin suffira

After Les Betteraves disbanded in 2003, Meuh and Kojack didn’t waste any time putting together a new project…this time in the form of skate/street punk band Guerilla Poubelle. This new group drew from a lot of the speed-driven melodic sounds honed during their time with Les Betteraves, while refining their songwriting depth and breadth, and focusing on more serious topics like environmental stewardship, DIY concepts and breaking free from social norms. La fin suffira is the 2nd track of their debut album, Il faut repeindre le monde…en noir. Annnnnd now….a gif of my main man Zidane’s headbutt felt ‘round the world:

Freygolo – All Is Said and Done

All Is Said and Done is from ska-punk band Freygolo, based in the beautiful town of Nice. I remember after I met them, they asked me to edit some of their lyrics cos their English wasn’t so good; I think I probably made it worse. This is a driving and forceful tune that works to catch you off guard through the use of interweaving reggae hooks. All Is Said and Done comes off Freygolo’s 2004 sophomore release, Time to Drop the Gun, published through the Medside Music label. Freygolo’s first album, Sur(Prize) Fool, is one of my all-time favorites, and I have probably listened to that CD ten thousand times (and it has not yet burst into flames). Woefully, you can’t find Sur(prize) Fool on Spotify, but you can check out some songs on Youtube -   Oh yea and speaking of Nice…fuck violence, fuck guns.

Burning Heads – S.O.S.

S.O.S. comes to us from Orleans punk/hardcore act Burning Heads. Of all the bands on this week’s playlist, Burning Heads probably gained the most popularity here in the U.S., thanks to their breakout album Be One with the Flames, released on Epitaph in 1998. S.O.S is off their following album, Escape, which was released through Victory Records. This record refined their NY-style hardcore sound, while delving into additional influences, from atmospheric ska to pop punk and melodic hardcore. Formed in 1988, Burning Heads is active to this day with their original line-up. They want you to be their friends on facebook! Go do it here:

Noir Désir –L’homme pressé

This cheeky track, translated to ‘The Busy Man’, is from Bourdeaux rock gods Noir Désir; specifically, from their 1996 double-platinum (in France, this means selling over 600,000 copies) 666.667 Club. Noir Désir was a big deal in France (and the rest of Europe) through much of the 80s, 90s and early 00s. They created a distinctive sound, feeding from a lot of genres that were popular at the time, ranging from punk to grunge to funk and even some traditional celtic folk. As well as the fame afforded for being part of a seminal rock band, frontman Bertrand Cantat also found himself in the middle of a sad international conflict when he “accidentally” killed a well-known actress in Lithuania. Oh yeah I guess while we’re at, fuck domestic abuse too.
Seven Hate – Golden Dream

We close out this symphonie fantastique with a staple of the European melodic hardcore scene, Seven Hate. Formed in the picturesque town of Poitiers in the early 90s, Seven Hate liked to make fast, pounding songs dripping with sticky sweet melodies. Golden Dream is off their critically successful 1999 full length, Is this Glen? Although these guys haven’t been super active since 2004, they do get together every once in a while and do limited tours for their ardent fanbase.

Alright, mes amis, that’s a wrap for this week. This is such a small sampling of all the great punk rock tunes that come outta France, so please go explore and find more!  As always, let me know if you have ideas for playlists, song requests, dick pics, etc. Follow me on facebook (and maybe twitter soon? I don’t know). OH and please please please go fucking vote next week. Donald Trump is such a little shit nugget, we really all need to band together and reject this threat to our democracy. Until next week, live long and prosper.