Riot Fest Chicago 2014 recap: Day Two
Phil Collins - September 21, 2014
The skies had cleared but the residue of the rains from the night before remained apparent. It was, after all, 14 short hours after Friday night’s festivities concluded that Saturday’s began. So, it was no wonder that the sun shined down on muddy, messy fields. It would be another sloppy day in the pit. The cheesy songs of The Pizza Underground could be heard on the way in through the North Avenue entrance and by 12:25, one of my most anticipated bands of the day kicked things off on the Rise stage. Anti-Flag, pictured above, played a fairly even spread of songs spanning their 20-plus-year career. They closed their set with “Power to the Peaceful” off 2003’s “The Terror State.” Drummer Pat Thetic set up in the crowd for the last song and was joined by the rest of the band for the most energetic part of the set. Anti-Flag also played “Fuck Police Brutality,” “Die For the Government,” “This Machine Kills Fascists,” “Cities Burn,” “Turncoat,” “I’d Tell You But…” and “Sodom, Gomorrah, Washington D.C.” They opened with “The Press Corpse” and played two songs off their excellent 2012 album “The General Strike”: “Broken Bones” and “This is the New Sound.”
Read more here

Riot Fest Chicago 2014 recap: Day Two

Phil Collins - September 21, 2014

The skies had cleared but the residue of the rains from the night before remained apparent. It was, after all, 14 short hours after Friday night’s festivities concluded that Saturday’s began. So, it was no wonder that the sun shined down on muddy, messy fields. It would be another sloppy day in the pit. The cheesy songs of The Pizza Underground could be heard on the way in through the North Avenue entrance and by 12:25, one of my most anticipated bands of the day kicked things off on the Rise stage. Anti-Flag, pictured above, played a fairly even spread of songs spanning their 20-plus-year career. They closed their set with “Power to the Peaceful” off 2003’s “The Terror State.” Drummer Pat Thetic set up in the crowd for the last song and was joined by the rest of the band for the most energetic part of the set. Anti-Flag also played “Fuck Police Brutality,” “Die For the Government,” “This Machine Kills Fascists,” “Cities Burn,” “Turncoat,” “I’d Tell You But…” and “Sodom, Gomorrah, Washington D.C.” They opened with “The Press Corpse” and played two songs off their excellent 2012 album “The General Strike”: “Broken Bones” and “This is the New Sound.”

Read more here


Riot Fest Chicago 2014 recap: Day One
Phil Collins - September 20, 2014

Riot Fest hit Chicago last weekend and this year it was markedly bigger. The festival moved from the south side of Humboldt Park, its home in 2012 and 2013, to the north side of the park. This gave Riot Fest roughly double the amount of space to sprawl out on. The number of stages increased to seven. The number of ferris wheels increased to two. The number of conflicts in set times increased to … a lot. Naturally with more bands, more stages and a longer walk between stages, there were more opportunities for set times to conflict. Nevertheless, I saw 27 bands in three days, almost exactly the same amount of bands I saw last year. I had a blast. ALL, pictured above, kicked things off on Friday evening. This is the offshoot of Descendents that formed when Milo had too many professional commitments to play with the band regularly. I listen to Descendents a lot more than I listen to ALL, but I thoroughly enjoyed ALL’s set. Their more hardcore songs were the best ones, without a doubt.
Read more here

Riot Fest Chicago 2014 recap: Day One

Phil Collins - September 20, 2014

Riot Fest hit Chicago last weekend and this year it was markedly bigger. The festival moved from the south side of Humboldt Park, its home in 2012 and 2013, to the north side of the park. This gave Riot Fest roughly double the amount of space to sprawl out on. The number of stages increased to seven. The number of ferris wheels increased to two. The number of conflicts in set times increased to … a lot. Naturally with more bands, more stages and a longer walk between stages, there were more opportunities for set times to conflict. Nevertheless, I saw 27 bands in three days, almost exactly the same amount of bands I saw last year. I had a blast. ALL, pictured above, kicked things off on Friday evening. This is the offshoot of Descendents that formed when Milo had too many professional commitments to play with the band regularly. I listen to Descendents a lot more than I listen to ALL, but I thoroughly enjoyed ALL’s set. Their more hardcore songs were the best ones, without a doubt.

Read more here

In Rotation: UGLYBoNES/Step Right Up split

Phil Collins - September 9, 2014

Chicago hardcore bands UGLYBoNES and Step Right Up released their split yesterday on bandcamp. This is uninterrupted, uninhibited hardcore. Three songs each. Less than 10 minutes total running time. Several stabs in the face and get outs. An unexpected rager of a guitar solo on “No One Talks” wraps up the UGLYBoNES half of the split. That is followed quickly by Step Right Up’s circle pit ready “Nine To Five.” Those two songs back to back are the breadwinners.

UGLYBoNES and Step Right Up play a split release show on September 27 at Fallout in Chicago. Flagass, Dead Split Egos, The Pervert Preachers, Alley Slob and Davey Dynamite round out the bill. The new songs will make energetic additions to both bands’ sets. This is the second release of the year for both bands. UGLYBoNES put out “Wrong Goods" in January, while Step Right Up released "Brass Knuckle Lullabies" in April. Stream the full split below:

- See more at: http://changetherotation.com/uglybones-step-right-up-split.html#sthash.fm8ox3oM.dpuf

The Falcon, RVIVR, World/Inferno release new songs

Phil Collins - September 8, 2014

The Falcon, RVIVR and The World/Inferno Friendship Society each released a new song in the last week. The Falcon’s release marks their first new song since their 2006 full-length, “Unicornography.” The song, “We Are the Bald,” will appear on the Red Scare Industries 10-year anniversary compilation. “Red Scare Industries: 10 Years of Your Dumb Bullshit” will be released in full on September 9. The label will host a 10-year anniversary party at the Metro on October 25, featuring performances by The Falcon, The Lillingtons, The Methadones, Elway, Masked Intruder, Direct Hit! and more. Red Scare Industries was co-founded by The Falcon and The Lawrence Arms frontman Brendan Kelly. He is joined in The Falcon by Lawrence Arms bandmate Neil Hennessy and Alkaline Trio vet Dan Andriano. Listen to the new track above and follow the link for all three songs:

 http://changetherotation.com/falcon-rvivr-world-inferno-release-new-songs.html#sthash.Yu8nwRAx.dpuf
Random Records with Steve O

Kid Dynamite

Steve O - August 26, 2014

You like Kid Dynamite, right? Of course you do, that was a dumb question. As one of the best and most influential hardcore bands in recent times (a great tribute record can be found here, Kid Dynamite crafted a sound of their own. And when you’ve worn out their too short discography and want to listen to something else (wait… that happens?), check out some of these similar bands.

Brutal Youth

Gotta start with the best, right? Honestly, Brutal Youth probably deserve their own Random Record instead of sharing with these other bands, but they fit the theme wonderfully. Short, fast, to the point, and energetic as fuck, these Canadians are right at the top of the best hardcore bands today. They’re fantastic live, with singer Patty running all over the place, and they’re super nice people too. 2013’s Stay Honest earned its place in our Best of the Year Bracket. Give it a listen here.

Brutal Youth

Highlight(s): “xPiss&Winex” and “Albatross”. Songs about friends and one of the best articulations about being straight edge (and not having m/any straight edge friends – something Patty and me share) that I have ever heard. If these songs don’t get your toe tapping or bring a smile to your face, check your pulse, you might not be alive.

- See more bands at: http://changetherotation.com/random-record-not-kid-dynamite.html#sthash.gAwUicBL.dpuf

Recap: Propagandhi and RVIVR at Concord Music Hall
Phil Collins - August 23, 2014
It was a stacked lineup at Concord Music Hall on Wednesday. Propagandhi, the veteran vegan punks from Canada, headlined the show. They do not tour the States very often, so their appearance alone was cause for excitement. They brought RVIVR on tour with them. RVIVR’s 2013 album “The Beauty Between,” of course, won Change the Rotation’s album of the year bracket last year. War on Women were also on the bill, with fresh copies of their excellent 10-inch, “Improvised Weapons.” Chicago locals La Armada rounded out the lineup for this final show of the tour.
The show started so early that I got there just in time to catch RVIVR. They started their set not five minutes after I walked in, and it looked like our group was not alone in this situation, as the room continued to fill as RVIVR’s set blasted along. It was a bummer to miss two great bands, but I am so glad I was in there in time to see RVIVR’s full set. They opened with the first three songs off “The Beauty Between,” in order. The vast majority of their set was comprised of songs from that album, the band only detoured for a couple other songs from their catalog. That was just fine with me, as “The Beauty Between” remains my favorite release of thiers. From the deliberate buildup of guitars in the first half of “The Seam” to the eyebrow-raising delivery of vocals from Erica Freas on “Spider,” those songs have been staples for me since the album’s release.
- See more at: http://changetherotation.com/index.html#sthash.LBmCBxm1.dpuf

Recap: Propagandhi and RVIVR at Concord Music Hall

Phil Collins - August 23, 2014

It was a stacked lineup at Concord Music Hall on Wednesday. Propagandhi, the veteran vegan punks from Canada, headlined the show. They do not tour the States very often, so their appearance alone was cause for excitement. They brought RVIVR on tour with them. RVIVR’s 2013 album “The Beauty Between,” of course, won Change the Rotation’s album of the year bracket last year. War on Women were also on the bill, with fresh copies of their excellent 10-inch, “Improvised Weapons.” Chicago locals La Armada rounded out the lineup for this final show of the tour.

The show started so early that I got there just in time to catch RVIVR. They started their set not five minutes after I walked in, and it looked like our group was not alone in this situation, as the room continued to fill as RVIVR’s set blasted along. It was a bummer to miss two great bands, but I am so glad I was in there in time to see RVIVR’s full set. They opened with the first three songs off “The Beauty Between,” in order. The vast majority of their set was comprised of songs from that album, the band only detoured for a couple other songs from their catalog. That was just fine with me, as “The Beauty Between” remains my favorite release of thiers. From the deliberate buildup of guitars in the first half of “The Seam” to the eyebrow-raising delivery of vocals from Erica Freas on “Spider,” those songs have been staples for me since the album’s release.

- See more at: http://changetherotation.com/index.html#sthash.LBmCBxm1.dpuf

In Rotation: Ritual Control: No Affinity 7-inch

Phil Collins - August 19, 2014

No Affinity

This is a promising early release from the Bay Area hardcore group Ritual Control. Four quick, engaging tunes comprise “No Affinity,” the first vinyl release from the band. Ritual Control is female fronted hardcore at its best: these are unrelenting, memorable songs that you can’t help but envision being screeched out in a basement somewhere.

Chicago based Residue Records put this 7-inch out in January. They pressed 100 copies on dark yellow vinyl, 100 copies on lime green vinyl and 400 on standard black vinyl. I stumbled upon this recently at Reckless Records and picked it up on a whim. It was described as female-fronted hardcore, which immediately sounded appealing to me. I had heard about the label’s two night showcase at Township that weekend, so I was ready to hear more of the Residue’s music.

Ritual Control did not play that showcase and it does not appear that they play many shows. They are a fairly new band and while I can find their bandcamp page, I cannot find many other official traces of them online. They put out their first demo in 2013, followed by “No Affinity” in January. “Inoculation,” their upcoming EP, comes out in November. Hopefully a tour follows, because I want to see this band thrash through a 20-30 minute set in a basement somewhere. Or a bar. A bar would be fine. Download “No Affinity” at Ritual Control’s bandcamp page, or stream it in full below.

- See more at: http://changetherotation.com/ritual-control-no-affinity.html#sthash.BtvhCjkC.dpuf
Phil Collins - August 9, 2014

Shit Lord

The new “Richardson” Richardson EP is hardly more than five minutes in length, but that is all the time it needs to leave an impression. Fans of the band will immediately notice something different about this set of songs. The band recorded these three tracks with a live drummer. This is a big deal for a band known for having three bassists and no drummers. So, what do DeKalb’s denizens of doom sound like with live, rather than programmed, percussion?

They sound like they are at the top of their game. “Shit Lord” is comprised of three quick hardcore songs that must barely outlast the snapchat used as the album cover. Its brevity ultimately leaves me wanting more, which is exactly what hardcore should do and is exactly what the EP format should do. The title track is the strongest of the three, judging from early exposure. The concluding chant “I’m the shit lord, I’m the shit lord, I’m the shit lord” is likely to become a live favorite. The EP is available on “Richardson” Richardson’s bandcamp page (pay what you want for the download.) Stream the full EP below.

- See more at: http://changetherotation.com/index.html#sthash.h7l3UlHU.dpuf
Phil Collins and Steve O - July 28, 2014

Steve O and I have both seen Andrew Jackson Jihad several times during the last handful of years. During this span of time, the band has transformed from a two person acoustic live show to a full band electric live show. Their recorded music, in turn, has followed a trajectory moving away from pure folk punk and toward indie rock territory. In this point/counterpoint, I detail the merits of this change and Steve O discusses the reasons why AJJ is better as a two-man enterprise.

- See more at: http://changetherotation.com/point-counterpoint-ajj.html#sthash.4ng7anGD.dpuf


Liner notes: The Priceduifkes/Direct Hit! split 7”
Phil Collins - July 16, 2014
  
Welcome to the second edition of Liner Notes, a feature in which I will talk about the production design, packaging, and process of buying a particular record. I am building a collection of vinyl. The look and feel of the record is important to me, otherwise I would be satisfied to have all my music solely in a digital format. People do not buy records because it is convenient. They take up a lot of space, they are fragile and they get dusty. Record collectors do not mind these drawbacks so much because of what we get in return: big artwork, full liner notes and the tangibility of vinyl.
This is a quick and dirty split between two of today’s exciting pop punk bands: The Priceduifkes from Belgium and Direct Hit! from Milwaukee. The split 7” features a new song from each band and the bands doing a cover of one of each other’s songs. The split was just released this summer with a 600 copy run (250 blue on Say-10 Records, 250 red on Red Scare Industries and 100 green available through Interpunk). I was lucky enough to get one of the translucent blue copies directly from The Priceduifkes when they were here in Chicago, supporting Masked Intruder at Beat Kitchen. In fact, I got the last copy of this split they had on them. I had never heard of The Priceduifkes before that show, but I was hooked on their sound right away. Naturally, a new split with a pop punk powerhouse like Direct Hit! is going to attract my attention.
There is one cover for the Direct Hit! side and one cover for The Priceduifkes side. Direct Hit! gets the blue zombie-like guy holding a beer, smoking a cigarette and bleeding in various places. On the flipside, The Priceduifkes get a more normal, if scruffy looking bro, also drinking a beer. Buddies post-zombie apocalypse? Maybe. When unfolded, the two covers reveal themselves as one glorious image, pictured below.

The roses on The Priceduifkes’ side guy’s shirt appear again on the inside cover and again on the center label of the record itself. Why roses? They match the rest of the reds on the cover. If anyone has some greater thematic insight on that, please share. This split is definitely worth checking out. If you are a fan of Direct Hit! you are pretty likely to get into The Priceduifkes as well.

- See more at: http://changetherotation.com/liner-notes-priceduifkes-direct-hit-split.html#sthash.eVTCiIr6.dpuf

Liner notes: The Priceduifkes/Direct Hit! split 7”

Phil Collins - July 16, 2014
 

Welcome to the second edition of Liner Notes, a feature in which I will talk about the production design, packaging, and process of buying a particular record. I am building a collection of vinyl. The look and feel of the record is important to me, otherwise I would be satisfied to have all my music solely in a digital format. People do not buy records because it is convenient. They take up a lot of space, they are fragile and they get dusty. Record collectors do not mind these drawbacks so much because of what we get in return: big artwork, full liner notes and the tangibility of vinyl.

This is a quick and dirty split between two of today’s exciting pop punk bands: The Priceduifkes from Belgium and Direct Hit! from Milwaukee. The split 7” features a new song from each band and the bands doing a cover of one of each other’s songs. The split was just released this summer with a 600 copy run (250 blue on Say-10 Records, 250 red on Red Scare Industries and 100 green available through Interpunk). I was lucky enough to get one of the translucent blue copies directly from The Priceduifkes when they were here in Chicago, supporting Masked Intruder at Beat Kitchen. In fact, I got the last copy of this split they had on them. I had never heard of The Priceduifkes before that show, but I was hooked on their sound right away. Naturally, a new split with a pop punk powerhouse like Direct Hit! is going to attract my attention.

There is one cover for the Direct Hit! side and one cover for The Priceduifkes side. Direct Hit! gets the blue zombie-like guy holding a beer, smoking a cigarette and bleeding in various places. On the flipside, The Priceduifkes get a more normal, if scruffy looking bro, also drinking a beer. Buddies post-zombie apocalypse? Maybe. When unfolded, the two covers reveal themselves as one glorious image, pictured below.

full cover

The roses on The Priceduifkes’ side guy’s shirt appear again on the inside cover and again on the center label of the record itself. Why roses? They match the rest of the reds on the cover. If anyone has some greater thematic insight on that, please share. This split is definitely worth checking out. If you are a fan of Direct Hit! you are pretty likely to get into The Priceduifkes as well.

- See more at: http://changetherotation.com/liner-notes-priceduifkes-direct-hit-split.html#sthash.eVTCiIr6.dpuf