More goodness from Boner Pirate*
So much good music hasbeen coming out this year. Year end list is going to be a raging boner jam, no lie. Practically every one of my favorite active bands have been hard at work in the studio making albums or split seven inches or babies or whatever. It's been a relief knowing that even as "punk rock" is being fondled in the rectory by the likes of Father Epitaph and Head Deacon Tooth & Nail there are still girls and guys out there making shit worth caring about. Fake Problems, Turkish Techno, American Steel, Arms Aloft, Cobra Skulls, Too Many Daves, Strike Anywhere, American Riot, Teenage Bottlerocket, Something Fierce, the Takers, the Dopamines, Dear Landlord, Paint it Black, Dead Mechanical, and Red Tape Parade have all put out AWESOME music this year. Between this year and last year, I honestly believe that we're in the midst of some sort of punk golden age. Hell, even the Bouncing Souls are making their best tunes in more than a decade.
We've also seen some bands come into their own and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with, for lack of a better word, forebears. Spawning from the now legendary Rivethead (which also featured Zack of Dear Landlord and Off With Their Heads), Banner Pilot made what is arguably the best pop punk album in a year full of them. It's poppy, it's mean, it's drunk, it's got great choruses that sag with the desperation that seemingly only Midwestern bands can sink to.
Fortunately, Nick's Schwarzenbach-on-downers lyrics are Hail Mary'd down the line by Nate's insanely great music in a way that turns into boozy, woozy catharsis. It's why lines like "stay here much more and we'll get outlined in chalk...how'd another year turn out so bad?" become fist-pumping anthems and "to hell with red lights driving on/an open cage, this bird is gone/but I can't leave this town if you're not with me" becomes an almost wistful paean to friendship and loyalty. "Starting at Ending" on a glancing listen can sound like a love song until you realize it's about being desperate for the work week to be over so you can get drunk and fall asleep reading. "I pick a day to say I'll quit/I'm either filled with hope or full of shit" indeed.
So they made one of the best records of the year. So the fuck what, Matt? People make good records all the time. Well it's a good thing they BRING IT live. When they played Insubordination Fest this summer, they PACKED the second stage area. I can't remember the last time I was in a show that crowded. And practically every person there knew all the words to "Empty Your Bottles." It was intense. People were chucking shit. Crowdsurfers couldn't get back on the floor because there was no room. I saw two teenagers toss their (I think) 8 year old brother in the garbage can, which he continued to rock out in. One dude was dancing on the bar. When it was over and I caught my breath, I felt the way I do after I've had a really intense therapy session - drained, lightheaded, and like I have just vomited up my soul. If you miss seeing them live you're gonna kick yourselves when they blow up and go down in the history books.
Central Standard - http://www.mediafire.com/?lx5livf2cl2
Starting At the Ending - http://www.mediafire.com/?lkymm1nzzez
Northern Skyline - http://www.mediafire.com/?zgmzetndyzh
Farewell to Iron Bastards - http://www.mediafire.com/?ydrj5yd0mmz
*I would be remiss in failing to point out that Andrea coined the phrase "Boner Pirate" and thus rightfully insists on credit