Archive for Punk Rock

Review: Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown [2009]

Posted in Green Day with tags on May 11, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon Green Day 21Green Day’s follow-up to 2004’s Grammy Award winning American Idiot, flows more like the soundtrack to Rent than 1994’s Dookie. With every pop-punk cliche accounted for on 21st Century Breakdown, the rock trio continues to prove that they dominate the scene with their perfect delivery and execution of the fundamentals. The 18-track punk rock opera employs predictable rhythms (“Horseshoes and Handgrenades”), catchy lyrics (“21st Century Breakdown”), and repetitive power chord patterns (“Know The Enemy”) — exactly what one expects from the band, however Green Day has mastered the formula, pulling it off better than any pop act since Abba. On tracks such as “Last of the American Girls,” Billie Joe Armstrong demonstrates his knack for writing infectious lines (“She puts her make-up on like graffiti on the walls of the heartland”). The aggressive and acoustic driven “Peacemaker” contains a psychedelic Austin Power’s groove, while “East Jesus Nowhere” makes a rhythmic impression of a Marilyn Manson radio single. Overall 21st Century Breakdown is a tight conceptually-styled affair on par with American Idiot -Meds

4 StarsGreen Day is Billie Joe Armstrong (Guitar/Vocals), Mike Dirnt (Bass), & Tre Cool (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “Song of the Century”
  2. “21st Century Breakdown”
  3. “Know Your Enemy”
  4. “Viva La Gloria”
  5. “Before the Lobotomy”
  6. “Christians Inferno”
  7. “Last Night on Earth”
  8. “East Jesus Nowhere”
  9. “Peacemaker”
  10. “Last of the American Girls”
  11. “Murder City”
  12. “Viva La Gloria (Little Girl)”
  13. “Restless Heart Syndrome”
  14. “Horseshoes and Handgrenades”
  15. “The Static Age”
  16. “21 Guns”
  17. “American Eulogy”
  18. “See The Light”

Produced by Butch Vig — Reprise Records 2009 —

Resurrection: The Ramones – Road To Ruin [1978]

Posted in Ramones, Resurrection with tags on April 27, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-road-to-ruinPersonally, one of the hardest tasks for me to do is to pick my favorite Ramones album. I can cheat and say my favorite is All The Stuff and More Vol 2 because technically it is. I just won’t do that, so to clear myself of future regret, I’m going to review ONE of my favorites. Road to Ruin, I feel offers some of the New York icons best work. RTR was released in September of 1978 and still to this day holds the test of time. From start to finish, RTR offers different types of songs rather the old “1-2-3-4” that The Ramones got famous, or infamous for. The bittersweet “Questioningly” tells the story of a tortured man yearning for a lost love, to someone he knew along time ago. “I Wanna Be Sedated” is still a staple in classic rock stations across the country that listeners can’t help but sing along to. The Sonny Bono “Needles & Pins” also shows up on RTR and the Ramones actually make it better. This is their first album with Marky Ramone taking the throne, replacing drummer Tommy Ramone. Tommy actually stayed on to co-produce the album. RTR was re-released and remastered featuring bonus live tracks and demos in 2001. If you do not have this album, you should get it immediately or start praying for your rock and roll soul. It’s not a great way to introduce yourself to The Ramones but a great way to explore the boundaries that they subliminally broke -NZA

Track Listing:
  1. “I Just Want to Have Something to Do”
  2. “I Wanted Everything”
  3. “Don’t Come Close”
  4. “I Don’t Want You”
  5. “Needles & Pins”
  6. “I’m Against It”
  7. “I Wanna Be Sedated”
  8. “Go Mental”
  9. “Questioningly”
  10. “She’s the One”
  11. “Bad Brain”
  12. “It’s a Long Way Back”
  13. “I Want You Around (Ed Stasium version)”
  14. “Rock n’ Roll High School (Ed Stasium version)”
  15. “Blitzkreig Bop/Tennage Lobotomy/California Sun/Pinhead/She’s The One (Live)”
  16. “Come Back She Cried AKA I Walk Out(Demo”
  17. “Yea,Yea (Demo)”

PS: Just a side note — Dee Dee wrote “Questioningly” about Joey, Linda, and Johnny. If you don’t know the story see End of the Century

Review: The Ray Gradys – Rednecks, Zombies, Terrorists [2008]

Posted in Ray Gradys, SOS Metal Update with tags on February 10, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-ray-gradysPhiladelphia punk rock band The Ray Gradys are a high-energy crew whose unbelievably strong chops and solid musicianship help turn in a raucous release in the form of their latest 11-track jaunt REDNECKS, ZOMBIES, TERRORISTS. Blistering fast chops and tongue in cheek humor are served up with booming bass lines, rendering a well-rounded punk rock assault on tracks like “Modern Day Punk,” “Mustache Riders in the Sky” and “Conformity.” Retaining a fresh sound while referencing acts like NOFX and Rancid, cuts like “A Reply From the Critics” and “Holiday in Iraq” embody the brazen punk rock attitude that you can’t buy at the mall. When you’re ready for a slab of versatile and potent punk rock, you can’t go wrong with the latest by The Ray Gradys. -Mike SOS

Review: The Human Abstract – Midheaven [2008]

Posted in Human Abstract, SOS Metal Update with tags on February 3, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-human-abstractThe Human Abstract return with their sophomore effort, the conceptual 10-track release titled MIDHEAVEN. Chock full of prog-rock excess, poppy hooks, and flashy instrumental flourishes, this California outfit, now a quintet thanks to the addition of an omnipresent keyboardist, merge screamy Warped Tour punk rock pretense with odd-metered time signatures and spots of metallic musical chaos filtered in for a scattershot listening experience. Tracks like “Calm in the Chaos” could have come from old school Dream Theater archives, while cuts like the schizophrenic “Breathing Life Into Devices” and “Metanoia” showcases glimpses of this group’s past direction rounded out with a mainstream sound that could have come from bands such as Avenged Sevenfold or Between the Buried and Me. Despite parts of this disc shining (especially guitar-wise), the overall vibe radiated by this slipshod affair seems a bit too self-absorbed and muddled to make a lasting impression, as the band’s lineup changes and stylistic shiftings seemingly still need some time to sink in. -Mike SOS

Review: Rudimentary Peni – No More Pain [2008]

Posted in Rudimentary Peni, SOS Metal Update with tags on February 2, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-rudimentary-peniEnigmatic UK anarcho punk rock veterans Rudimentary Peni have made a lasting mark on the punk rock genre with their no holds barred and intense music and their latest release NO MORE PAIN furthers the unit’s underground legacy. Buzzing guitars, sneering vocals, punchy basslines and bashing drums all collide with the fervor of a ’77 punk rock riot on cuts like “Eyes of the Dead” and “Sublime Fantasy No. 1,” while this trio’s steadfast musical style gives off realistic vibes of discord without sounding rehashed for a second. Crusty and raw  throughout its entire 20-minute span, this short and sharp offering proudly exudes the true spirit of punk rock. -Mike SOS

Review: Too Tough To Die: A Tribute To Johnny Ramone [2008]

Posted in Ramones with tags , on November 7, 2008 by gearsofrock

amazon-johnny-ramoneBy Nza

In true legacy form, another Ramones DVD has surfaced and this one, like the others is a keeper — Too Tough To Die: A Tribute to Johnny Ramone was released on Nov. 4.

The show was originally put together to help celebrate the Ramones’ 30th anniversary of their first gig but ironically Johnny Ramone passed away just two days after it happened. Captured on this rockumentary are interviews and performances by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eddie Vedder, Deborah Harry, the Dickies, X, Henry Rollins, Dickey Barrett of the Bosstones, Tim Armstrong of Rancid, Tommy, Marky, CJ Ramone, and many more. Rob Zombie hosts the show with all proceeds going to cancer research.

I’m usually not a fan of others covering the Ramones and strongly prefer the originals, but there are some worthy performances on this disc. Henry Rollins along with Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols shred through “Commando,” “Judy is A Punk,” and the classic “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Eddie Vedder performs “I Believe In Miracles” amazingly as always (if you’re a Pearl Jam fan, you know what I’m talking about). Closing out the DVD, in good taste , is Johnny Ramone’s memorial service. Nicolas Cage, John Frusciante of the Chili Peppers, CJ and Tommy Ramone, Eddie Vedder, and Rob Zombie pay tribute to one of the godfathers of punk with beautiful and heartfelt eulogies. This is a must-have for any Ramones fan and even someone looking for some proper punk rock.

Buy Too Tough To Die: A Tribute to Johnny Ramone

Set List:
Today your Love, Tomorrow the World and You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla) – Dickies
Los Angeles and Because I Do – X
I Just Want to Have Something to Do, I Wanna Be Sedated, She’s The One and It’s a Long Way Back – RHCP
Durango ’95 and Wart – Daniel Rey, CJ Ramone and Marky Ramone
Don’t Come Close and I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend – Pete Yorn, Daniel Rey, CJ Ramone and Marky Ramone
Bonzo Goes to Bitburg – Dickey Barrett, Lawernce Katz, Daniel Rey, CJ Ramone and Marky Ramone
Cretin Hop – Tim Armstrong, Brett Gueritz, Daniel Rey, CJ Ramone and Marky Ramone
I Believe In Miracles and Sheena is A Punk Rocker- Eddie Vedder, Tim Armstrong, Brett Gueritz, Daniel Rey, CJ Ramone and Marky Ramone
Judy is A Punk, Commando, and Blitzkrieg Bop – Henry Rollins, Steve Jones, Daniel Rey, CJ Ramone and Marky Ramone
over the credits
Pinhead – The Ramones (live from CBGB’s)
Judy Is A Punk – Joan Jett, CJ Ramone, Daniel Rey, and Bill Stevenson
Teenage Lobotomy – Josh Homme, CJ Ramone, Daniel Rey, and Bill Stevenson