Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Merchandise keeps us in line

Happy Peruvian Flag Day, you Wednesday whumps, and welcome to another episode of Wednesdays With Andrew! This week's playlist has some fantastic tunes, thanks to the brains and brawn of great fucking bands like Against Me!, Germs, Banner Pilot, Pulley and Fugazi. Without further ado, let's get this shindig spinning.

Annnnnnd here is the web player link for all you dinks.

OK, we're opening up with some organs, but don't worry, you're not at church. Far from it. Here's Your Future is the opening track for Portland (Oregon) trio The Thermals' hard hitting album, The Body, the Blood, the Machine. Chock full of religious imagery and set in a not-too-far-fetched dystopian society, the concept album tells a gripping story against a backdrop of fast, heavy and catchy songs.

I suppose that (Just Another) Protest Song is pretty fitting, given all the shit going on these days. Trump backing out of the Paris Accord - are you fucking kidding me? If my heart could barf, I think it would. Anyway, this track is from snotty Philly punk band Posers. Relying heavily on the sing-along repeated chorus and lead lady Jade's impressive pipes, the song also shows that these wannabes can do it all in terms of rhythm - mid-tempo, stop-and-go, syncopated ska, double-time, you fucking name it they fucking do it. Along with other newcomers like Night Birds and Fat Heaven, Posers are really paving the way for a new generation of street punk.

Up next we have a couple tunes from revered musical powerhouse Laura Jane Grace and her band Against Me! Stabitha Christie, which may be one of my favorite puns of all time now, was released in April of this year as a two-track vinyl single. This song, along with First High of the Morning, were b-side material that didn't make it on their 2016 LP Shape Shift With Me, which was Against Me!'s 7th studio effort. Dead Rats is part of that full-length, and provides a look at the band's heavier side...showing a little more teeth, and featuring more of that LJG growl.

Oh man speaking of Agatha Christie...the trailer for Murder on the Orient Express looks good, this movie is gonna be a barrel o' fun.

Dead Rats, now on to Dead Tracks. From those Minneapolis punk rockers of Banner Pilot, this track (get it? sigh) is indicative of their trademark sound, blending mid-tempo rhythms with memorable guitar hooks and snarling melodies. Dead Tracks is off their latest effort, 2014's Souvenirs, a 12-song salute to good, rock-steady punk. Scuttlebutt on the street is that they're brewing some new stuff in 2017. Stay tuned.

Fugazi. Ian. DCHC. Nuff said. Well ok almost nuff said...Merchandise may be my favorite song by them. OK nuff said.


Your Life in France is a moody, reverby blast from Californian post-post-punk outfit, Ceremony. Off their latest record, 2015's The L-Shaped Man, Ceremony continues to show off their eclectic influences, pulling from a wide array of sounds that at once harken back to proto-goth acts like Joy Division, 80s hardcore a la Adolescents and even jangly, surf-soaked tones reminiscent of the Beach Boys. Can I just say this WWA thing is beginning to feel a lot like 7 degrees to John Reis - the Drive Like Jehu, Rockets from the Crypt, Hot Snakes guitarist produced this album. Also - life in France seems pretty fucking good to the alternative right about now.

For a brief time in the early 00s, Ryan Adams decided that he wanted to be in a hardcore band. So he donned the pseudonym 'Warren Peace' (niiiice, puns all over this bitch today), partnered with long-time NYC punk rocker Jesse Malin ('Irving Plaza') and released a hardcore album titled We Are Fuck You, using the moniker The Finger. That 2003 release, which included this track What Is It, seemed to quench Ryan's need for (punk rock) speed; The Finger was promptly dismantled afterwards.

We don't shy away from 90s, Epitaph-y melodic skate punk here on WWA, and songs by Pulley are no exception. No "I" in Team is the first track off their 2016 full-length No Change In the Weather, which marked their first studio release in 12 years. True to the album name, Pulley is still playing their same brand of melodic, fast and edgy punk rock, albeit with a bit more wisdom and depth (I mean these guys are older now...) This album was NOT released in conjunction with Epitaph, but through El Hefe's new-ish record label, Cyber Tracks.

We'll end our little one-man song circle this week in a cloud of sensimilla. Legalize It is the sonic equivalent of a deep tissue massage and is courtesy of the late, great Rastafari Peter Tosh. As 1/3 of Jamaican mega reggae act The Wailers, Peter Tosh  had gained a lot of prominence by the time he struck out on his solo career in 1974. Legalize It was the title track of his debut solo album, released in '75. Fun fact to end the day - Tosh was an avid unicyclist, and would often entertain the crowds at his shows by hopping around on his one-wheeler. Cool!

OK guys, that's it for today's merry melodies. Keep listening every week for more punk-soaked playlists, and keep in touch with requests, feedback, skittles, whatever. Enjoy the rest of your week!


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