Yesterday, The Menzingers released their fourth full-length album, Rented World. (Read our review here.) The band surprised its hometown fans when it was revealed that they were playing a secret CD release show at the Golden Tea House last night with Nona and Holy Mess opening. With less than a day’s notice, fans flocked to this West Philadelphia venue. Punk rock time was thrown to the side as the show was sold out before doors were scheduled to open. The Menzingers threw a crazy party, and you can check out scenes from the show in the gallery below.
Philly raucous rock outfit The National Rifle was moving in a decidedly 80s electronic direction on their last album, Almost Endless, and three of the bandmates have rechristened themselves with a evocative new name – Bondage and Discipline – and continue to chase that sound further. The band plays it debut headlining set tonight at Kung Fu Necktie. Download “Only Your Love” below and get tickets and more information at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Toronto punk four-piece PUP is enroute back North after taking SXSW by storm (see The Key and PureVolume), and they stopped by Golden Tea House this past Saturday night to showcase their aggressive style of raspy pop punk. They played second, alongside Tender Vision, Great Red Spots, and Dead Tenors.
The band sped through songs off their forthcoming self-titled album, and they were as precise as they were maniacal. Vocalist and guitarist Stefan Babcock stood atop the drum kit as he slammed on his instrument, before rushing back to the mic to chime in with his scratchy, heartful shouts.
They tore through heavy and fast riffs, and nailed every tasteful guitar solo. Some people sang along, and the crowd turned into a lively mosh pit once PUP jumped into their anthemic single “Reservoir”. Babcock put his back to the crowd as he jammed out, being pummeled by bodies as he stood on the edge of the jumping punks. Towards end their set they played an amazingly raw cover of “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys, during which Babcock jumped up on top of the crowd and managed to climb his way up on to the balcony. These guys seriously killed it live, they are gritty, real, and have the talent to pull off their craft while going crazy at the same time.
Philly’s Bleeding Rainbow make the music of survival. I mean that in a few ways, the first being a sheer reflection of their sound. The torrent of interlocking guitars – founding member Rob Garcia chugging away in your one speaker alongside feedback-wrangler Al Creedon in your other – driven forth by the propulsive drums of Ashley Arnwine and the aggressive bass of Sarah Everton. The music is a shield, a defensive noise-punk barrier build to guard not only the vocal ruminations of Everton and Garcia, but to protect the hard-working hard-touring Philly four-piece in general.
It’s also about survival from the perspective of struggling artists, frustrated wage-earners, deeply thoughtful creatives who are endlessly pigeonholed – as fellow Philly writer Elliott Sharp observed, it must be frustrating to have Pitchfork determine your band’s narrative. It’s the survival of the women in the band who face marginalization and sexist dismissiveness in day-to-day life, and unfortunately in their music lives as well – people, Arnwine is simply an asskicking drummer, and to qualify it any other way (“actually” “surprisingly”) is the most heinous of backhanded compliments.
This is a band that gets buzzed up and knocked down by the music intelligentsia and perseveres; it’s a band which, when I saw it perform at Golden Tea House in January, flipped a hellish series of technical / PA / microphone mishaps into a transcendent and cathartic set of meditative, Glenn Branca-ish drone. It’s taken the band years of growth to get to this point, pushing through roadblocks that may have derailed others. You hear it in its ever-expanding sound – compare the raging and powerful “White Nose” as they play it below for this week’s Key Studio Session to the first time they played it for us in 2010, when they were a two-piece and still called Reading Rainbow.
Bleeding Rainbow plays Golden Tea again this Saturday to celebrate the release of the new Interrupt, its new album out this week on Kanine Records. It’s not their easiest to listen to – at turns it can be raw, biting, forlorn, enraged and rarely poppy – but it’s undoubtedly the truest to where the band is at artistically, what they’ve experienced as musicians and as people, and what it’s taken for them to get through the time, noise to combat the noise, a catharsis for emotions and situations that are at once deeply personal and specific and yet oddly universal. Stream and download the Key Studio Session the band recorded for us below, and get more information on the album release show here.
Philly pop punk band The Weaks are celebrating the release of their first EP on Lame-O Records in two big ways. First, The World Is A Terrible Place and I Hate Myself and Want To Die is streaming on BrooklynVegan in advance of its February 11th release date. In addition, The Weaks – featuring Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo, formerly of Dangerous Ponies – are holding a record release show this Friday at Golden Tea House for the EP.
The name of the record is a play off of scene-famous Connecticut punkers, The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, as well as a Nirvana deep cut from the 1993 compilation The Beavis and Butthead Experience. Celebrating with The Weaks will be Washington-based band Cowardice, Philly natives Kite Party and Thin Lips (other former members of Dangerous Ponies playing their debut show).
Folky Philly indie rock outfit The Hundred Acre Woods recently visited Space Jam Sessions – the new video project of local photographer (and Key contributor) Allison Newbold – where frontman Winthrop Stevens performed the gut-wrenching “Base of My Heart.” Totally stripped down to an acoustic and his voice, the music thrives with its simply heavenly melody. The band throws a release party for its new EP Cold In the Morning tonight at Golden Tea House alongside Alex G, I Kill Giants, Au Revoir, and SHMNS. For more info, check out the Facebook event.
Local alt-rock outfit Goodnight Lights headline Broad St.’s Boot & Saddle tonight. The Collingswood, NJ natives released a blistering new track “Convince” at the end of 2013, prequel-ing a 5-song EP set for release this year. In addition to the EP, Goodnight Lights are currently filming a music video that will be completed at tonight’s show. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Shorty Boy Boy and Roof Doctor can be found here. Listen to “Convince” below.