ALBUM REVIEWS: Pop Punk Playlist

While I enjoy listening to a variety of artists within the alternative music genres, it's no secret that pop punk is my go-to on most occasions. And while I could trash some poor indie act's latest effort, I'd rather just tell you about the punk records that I like and why I like them. I'll leave it up to you to decide if these tunes are worth your playlist. But here are some quick reviews on six punk records recently added to My Apple Music


5 Years Behind - Thick

Epitaph, March 2020


This is the first full-length album from Thick, an all-female Brooklyn three-piece. Their record is poignant and edgy. The unapologetic nature of the songs hit you in the face right from the start with the title track. The real jewel on this album for me is song #6, Mansplain. Check out their live performance on PBS below. I just have a lot of fun listening to this record, and my crush on Nikki Sisti is for real. This is a pretty quick record, at about 30 minutes of running time. And If you lean right politically, then you should probably keep on moving. But if you love women and the issues they face, then these short bursts of politically-charged punk rock are well worth the listen.



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Some Freaks of Atavism - Screeching Weasel

Monona, March 2020


The 13th release for Ben Weasel and company is also the first in about five years. This is an act that doesn't need a ton of introduction. And while they never achieved much commercial success, their stature within the pop-punk community is great. There have been a fair amount of lineup changes, but the latest reincarnation has put forth an admirable piece of work. This album is a good record for old and new Weasel fans. Standout tracks for me are God Help Us, Settle In, and Turn it Around but the entire album is a fun listen from beginning to end. Hopefully there's more in the future and this isn't the last effort from Screeching Weasel.


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Revolution Spring - The Suicide Machines

Fat Wreck Chords, March 2020


Another band of crusty old dudes gets it together for a release long overdue. It's been a while since Suicide Machine's last release so I was excited to give Revolution Spring a listen. And honestly they sound the same as they ever did. Without hesitation I can say this album rocks pretty hard from the opening track Bully in Blue through to the finish. Familiar themes, nothing new here, but a solid listen if you're in the mood for some hardcore ska punk. So put in the earbuds, grab that skater and cruise around town with Revolution Spring making your ears bleed. Just be careful while you're shredding not to wipe out... the ER's got their hands full with Covid-19 patients at the moment!


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Death in Venice Beach - The Bombpops

Fat Wreck Chords, March 2020

The socal quartet's 2nd full-length has a familiar Fat Band sound. Think Face to Face, Pennywise, and Millencolin. The first single Notre Dame has a radio-friendly vibe with a catchy hook and lyrical edge. The second single Double Arrows Down continued the darker themes, check out the music video below. I also dig that two women front this band. Jen Razavi and Poli Van Dam have put to rest any negative commentary on whether they can actually play guitar. They shred through track after track with catchy riffs & melodic anthems like Zero Remorse and Sad to Me. These chicks kill it, plain and simple. It's not their fault they're super hot. So get over it. I'm hoping to catch them post-pandemic as they reschedule Boston.


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High Risk Behavior - The Chats Bargain Bin Records, March 2020


The debut record from this Australian punk trio came to me as a recommendation on Apple Music. I'm glad I clicked on the link. They plow through fourteen chaotic and raucous tracks. There's honestly not a track on this album that doesn't totally kick ass while also making you chuckle. Fun imagery and storytelling. The humor is reminiscent of Dead Milkmen but it has more of a Sex Pistols, early punk sound. Your mom will not approve of you hanging out with these blokes, because you'll be coming home with barf on your shirt and having pissed on yourself, but shit you had a good time! Just remember, all you need is good Pub Feed...




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Good Run - The Dolly Llamas

No Label, December 2019


So I found this album when I was searching for songs about tacos. I know that sounds random, but I love tacos and I thought a taco-themed mix could be fun during quarantine time. That's when I stumbled onto the Dolly Llamas Meltdown at Midnight (Tacos). The Dallas, TX act is a spirited group and as far as I can tell, unsigned. Go figure. But they make a lot of noise and are a bit of an acquired taste. Don't look for harmonies in this hardcore skate punk record. The album in general is loud, obnoxious, off key, and against the grain in many ways. I like the taco song and I think they're pretty funny. Other standout tracks are Break the Rules and Nobody Loves Anyone. Oh, and the album art kicks ass, so there's that.


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Oh and just a heads up... I'm in the process of planing and producing a new podcast with an old surf punk friend of mine from the college days in Gainesville, FL. Scott Snot and I hope to review some new music, tackle some current issues, and straighten out a few millenials on what it really means to be punk rock. Punk & Aspirin should be dropping it's first episode near the beginning of summer, more to come on this project soon


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