Punk

Bad Planning "Throw"

Pop Punk group Bad Planning has released a new single called "Throw" from their forthcoming album, Et Fortes, which is due out on May 6th via Jump Start Records.

   

Meat Wave "Honest Living"

Punk trio Meat Wave have released the first single, "Honest Living", from their forthcoming Swami Records debut. The single is accompanied by the Jess Price directed video below, and is the first new music from the group since their 2021 EP "Volcano Park".

This is the work Swami John Reis (Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu), Rob Crow (Pinback) and Atom Willard (Against Me!).

You can catch Meat Wave at Sleeping Village on March 25th with PLOSIVS.

   

Savak’s elaborate single-releasing strategy revealed

ultranyc.com/legacy-artists-tiktok/

Between October 1982 and September 1983 Michael Jackson released seven count em seven singles off his paradigm-shifting sixth solo album Thriller with each of the singles in question charting in the Top Ten which set a record that wouldn’t be broken until Drake put out Certified Lover Boy (also his sixth studio album) late last year. This is a turn of events that obviously sticks in the craw of Savak, nearly as much as in mine, because the band have released five advance singles to date off their upcoming LP Human Error / Human Delight to be released on everyone’s favorite day of the year April 15 (via Savak's own Peculiar Works label in partnership with Ernest Jenning Record Co. and btw note how the album’s title is a clever nod to Thriller’s “Human Nature”) no doubt in an obvious bid to knock the Digrassi High School grad off his high horse and while none of their singles has cracked the top 10 as of yet I’m sure this blog entry will turn the tide because I mean could it be mere coincidence that this will likewise be Savak’s sixth full-length release having put out four LPs and one EP between 2016 and 2020.

What makes this singles-going-steadily-along strategy all the more impressive is that the three gentlemen who make up Savak are what’s known in the music biz as “veterans” or as “legacy artists” in the latest parlance, but they sure as heck don’t act like it because they keep popping off one razor sharp single after another like clockwork at the start of each month—at least they we they’re not pregnant!—songs that are overstuffed with garage rock grit and power pop glint and with hooks a’ plenty at the ready to the point where honestly I’m concerned the trio may be taking a few too many gas station pep pills but hey whatever works. 

In core you were wondering the core of Savak is made up of Michael “Jaws” Jaworski (Fifth of May, The Cops, Virgin Islands), Sohrab Habibion (Kid$ For Ca$h, Edsel, Obits) and Matt Schulz (Holy Fuck, Enon, Lake Ruth) accompanied on their soon-to-come album by six count em six individual bass guitarists and at least two saxophonists and overall this is a band that’s got more punk rock cred than a warehouse full of Subaru Imprezas (if you thought you’re punk as f*ck you’d better think again my friend) I mean heck Sohrab even has a Youtube page full of digitized Betamax tapes of DC hardcore punk shows that he filmed back in the day during the scene’s salad days.

So anyway on the heels of their last LP Rotting Teeth in the Horse’s Mouth by almost exactly two years which was a lyrically downcast politically-minded record about “fallacies, narcissism, and slime” (the perfect slogan for 2020!) Human Error / Human Delight takes a more varied light-and-shade approach as indicated by the record’s title, kind of like a melding of Rotting Teeth and the overall brighter Mirror Maker EP, it makes sense that the album-opening “No Blues No Jazz” explicitly makes reference to no arbitrary boundaries / no districts…no lines to redraw” in its pro-overturning-of-geopolitical-and-musical-boundaries-and-pledges-of-allegiance-of-all-kinds stance.

In a sense this makes the Savak album-opener the equivalent to the MJ/Paul McCartney duet “The Girl Is Mine” off from Thriller which is also a song rooted in dialectical materialism and the struggle between contradictory forces. And then I’d have to say “Cold Ocean” is the “Billie Jean” of Savak’s Human Error / Human Delight because it opens with a propulsive/plodding repetitive riff which later goes into a killer-hook refrain (can you feel the sand / slipping through your fingers / do you feel the tide / pulling you in) and similarity as you can tell by those lyrics it’s also a song about the pull of paranoia and dark romantic intrigue (the music video captures this as well in both instances). 

And hey I don’t wanna give away which Savak song is the “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” of the album but my vote goes for the highly danceable and highly philosophical “My Book on Siblings” because obviously Mike, Matt and Sohrab totally gets the Foucauldian subtext of that MJ classic (seriously, read the lyrics again and tell me it’s not about the Panopticon) and I’d better end it here before the theories get totally out of hand but in the meantime listen to those five Savak singles (ten songs in all) and try to make your own correspondences. (Jason Lee)

   

Belmont "Aftermath"

Pop Punk group Belmont has released their sophomore album, Aftermath, via Pure Noise Records.

The album's lead single, "Parasitic", was released back in January and was accompanied by the Michael Herrick directed video below.

   

Bummer Camp learn(s) to "Laugh All Day"

A lot of times when I'm writing these reviews or rants or whatever they are exactly it's sometimes difficult to decide if a band’s name should be followed by a singular or a plural verb. Like most people would say “The Doors were on tour in Miami when Jim Morrison was arrested for indecent exposure” because to say “The Doors was on tour when Jimbo etc etc penis etc etc” just sounds weird. But to say “Duran Duran is a band known for their sometimes risqué music videos” versus "are a band known for..." isn’t so weird at all even though there’s at least two “Durans” in the group. It’s all darn confusing sometimes.

What’s also darn confusing sometimes, and just about as common these days, is the question of whether a “band” who’s really just a single dude or dudette or charcoal briquette (whatever!) should be treated as a singular entity or a collective identity. And to complicate/simplify matters further it’s not unusual for individuals to refer to themselves as “they” these days. So hey, why not use the plural form of verbs for these individuals-cum-bands like for instance: “St. Vincent are known for being romantically linked to Kristen Stewart” which isn't bad actually because this makes it so much easier to have sex with entire bands at once and to describe such encounters in grammatically precise terms. 

Anyway what I’m really driving at here is that Bummer Camp is/are one of those “one-man bands” that gives verb-tense fixated music blog editors headaches (and don't even get me started on one-woman bands!) but for the rest of humanity Bummer Camp is/are simply purveyors of good head music, that is, if you’re chill enough for it because Mr. Bummer has a way with entrancing songs built around looping repetitions and layer-by-layer wall-of-sound constructions like a DIY musical paper mâché project made up of Rick Rubinesque Def Jam-era drum loops, bedrock bass riffs, and circling, swirling layers of guitar (plus the occasional synth natch) pasting scraps of melody-upon-melody and texture-upon-texture but while never losing the minimalist feel of each basic building block either. And by any given song's end you may feel like you huffed a little too much Elmer's glue

Bummer Camp's latest single “Laugh All Day”—his/their third single in the preceding five months—provides a good case-in-point for the points above. The song also fits his/their social-media self description to a tee, i.e., “gothy folk pop from Queens” and lyrically it's either “about my life, my friends, my family, my job, [or] my car and the inadequacy it feels because it only has one headlight" because that's what Bummer Camp songs are about.

"Laugh All Day" opens with a chugging chord progression that would do Paul Westerberg proud with its restrained “aging punk rocker aging gracefully” raggedy folksy vibe but accompanied by a primitive drum machine and catchy as hell to boot. Then about half a minute in there’s a lead part that enters with this distinctive mid-tempo-contemplative-melodic-goth feel to it where you just know that if Molly Ringwald were in detention she'd go up onto the library's stairwell landing and do her preppie anarchy dance, a mood that's intensified further by the swampy echo on the vocals sung with a Richard Butler-esque sunglasses-at-night insouciance. Ergo, gothy folk pop from Queens. 

“Laugh All Day” bops along contentedly but it also keeps slipping in these subtly spectral moments too—like how the guitar line mimics the vocal melody at first but then starts to detach until it spins off into its own curlicue melodic figures finally reaching escape velocity about halfway through the song, and then dissolving into a shimmering halo of sound, and then a plucky palm-muted surf’s up section, and then a rhythmic drop and a cascading guitar line soaring over the top, and then a wordless vocal croon soaring over the top of the soaring guitar line, with the end effect something like a chorus of cicadas on a still summer night. 

So with these recent single releases who knows if Bummer Camp is building up to full EP or an LP or a fold-out-gatefold-triple-album concept record that'll come with a full set of van decal stickers illustrated by Roger Dean. But wherever it all ends up I'd say it’s a safe to say this one-man band will keep us oscillating wildly (or oscillating mellowly) until we reach the end of the ride. (Jason Lee)