What I’m Thankful For – Part Two!

Who cares if it’s december? It’s time to continue what I started, so let’s talk about the top two records I’m thankful for!

If you missed it, read about numbers five through three over here

The Five Records I’m Most Thankful For – A Thanksgiving Record Extravaganza! .. (part two)

2) Iron Chic/Not Like This/Dead Broke Rekerds/Yo-Yo Records/2010/Official Website

There are very few things in this world that I can say that I love. I love pizza. I love my stupid cat that I have to clean up after. I love my family. I love Iron Chic’s Not Like This.

Bought this Euro red version from a seller in England

Bought this Euro red version from a seller in England

When I was a young’n, there was a Long Island band called Latterman who, despite not achieving the success they deserved while active, have been incredibly influential to countless punk rock bands.  They influenced an entire style of punk. After Latterman broke up, the members formed and joined a whole slew of new projects, one of which is Iron Chic.  Iron Chic and Latterman certainly share some similar sounds, but while Latterman is influential, Iron Chic is just so much better. There, I said it.

Not Like This is 31 minutes of anthemic punk rock bliss.  Every song is laden with distorted bass lines, classic 90’s Long Island emo guitar work, and scratchy, melodic vocals you can’t help but sing along with.  If you get a chance to catch the band play on Long Island some time, you’ll see just what I mean when a few hundred strangers sing along louder than the P.A.  You’ll also notice that the band will play nearly this whole album, because it’s filled with some of their best work to date.  “Cutesy Monster Man” is one of the greatest opening tracks for any album ever.  “Know What I Mean, Jellybean?” and “Bustin’ (Makes Me Feel Good)” are both simultaneously sad as fuck and triumphant as hell. How is that even possible?!? I love this album, and until I get another Iron Chic full length, I’m gonna keep spinning it.

1) Less Than Jake/Muppets 7″/1997/Liquid Meat Records/Official Website

ltj1

When I was a kid, I really liked Less Than Jake. They honestly got me into punk rock. I had every CD I could get my hands on, even the weird Japanese import that came with an obi strip.  One day I found their website (this was 1998, I barely used the internet back then!) and saw that they did a lot of mailorder sales, and that they had a ton of vinyl releases. I really didn’t even know bands were still releasing vinyl back then, and I thought that was so cool! I got a money order, put it in an envelope (!),  wrote out a post-it saying what I wanted, and I waited. Eventually I received this beauty, the Less Than Jake Muppets seven inch. This baby is super cool and contains four covers of Muppets songs, plus some pretty neat DIY-style artwork.  When I was younger I was very happy with this record. Now, I can certainly see it’s flaws, mostly with sound quality. But I can’t not love this record. It’s responsible for my love of vinyl. Less Than Jake’s Muppets really symbolizes a different era for me, where everything was new and exciting and I couldn’t wait to hear more new music. For that, it’ll always be the record I’m most thankful for.

-mayt

I hear them calling my name

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What I’m Thankful For – Part One!

Somehow it’s already the end of November, so lets talk Thanksgiving. Despite the mess going on in my life, I actually do have plenty to be thankful for: my dad is getting better by the day and I’ve got a great family and an amazing, supportive girlfriend.  Thanksgiving is an important day in America, and it’s good to give thanks. Now, this is a music blog, so forget about all that sensitive junk and lets talk records!

The Five Records I’m Most Thankful For – A Thanksgiving Record Extravaganza!

Note: I have a reasonably small record collection, and for the most part I have it pretty well trimmed down to my 150 or so favorite records.  Cutting down a list of my top five will absolutely vary on any given day, but a quick look-through and here are the ones I pulled out, in a very particular order:

5) Captain, We’re Sinking/It’s A Trap/Kind of Like Records/2008/Official Website

I began this list by looking at the records that meant the most to me, but when I needed to narrow down the last one, I thought of the record that has gotten the most play on my turntable over the last few years.  That honor, by a large margin goes to Captain We’re Sinking’s It’s a Trap.  No frills, just four songs that get stuck in your head that just rock much harder than they have any right to.  I’m going to need to buy a backup copy pretty soon because this thing HAS to be getting worn out by now.  I just saw this band again at Fest and it was awesome having a packed room of kids singing along with every song. Check out “Crushed by Milwaukee’s Best” if you don’t believe me.

4) Brandtson/Send Us a Signal/The Militia Group/2004/Reissued 2010/DREAMOVER Records

(The Now Defunct) Brandtson was one of the great early 2000’s emo bands, but they really hit it out of the park with 2004’s Send Us a Signal.  While their earlier emo influences are still there, Brandtson put together a much more rounded indie record with Send Us a Signal, their best to date.  This album came out at such a weird time, when I wasn’t sure what the hell I was doing with my life.  Songs like “Just Breathe” hit me just right, and really put to words the way I was feeling.  In 2010 DREAMOVER Records had a Kickstarter to press this album on vinyl, and here’s my backer-exclusive orange vinyl variant. This is an excellent version of an even more excellent record

3) NOFX/So Long and Thanks For All the Shoes/Epitaph Records/1997/Official Website

When I was about thirteen and realized that there was more music out there than Nirvana and Metallica (literally the only two bands I listened to), I got adventurous at my local record store and bought a few tapes from their “punk” section.  Not long after, NOFX released this album, So Long and Thanks For All The Shoes, and it became an instant favorite.  I remember at the time hearing that album was where NOFX lost their edge, but I think that’s ridiculous, mostly because THIS ALBUM IS SO GODDAMN FAST.  Seriously, when I first put the 2010 reissue on my record player I thought I had it on the wrong speed setting.  So Long.. puts any “fast” punk band to shame, plus it’s really, really good to boot.  Two of the songs on this record, “All His Suits Are Torn” and “Quart in Session.” have the BEST lyrics NOFX’s Fat Mike have ever written. Top five, no question. I’ve got the 2010 reissue on green, and I love it.

Stay tuned for the number two and number one records I’m most thankful for!

-mayt

This hysteria lives inside of me

Preorder – Iron Chic – Split N’ Shit

Iron Chic/Split N’ Shit/Dead Broke Rekerds/2011/Official Website

Iron Chic is a punk rock band from Long Island, New York.  In 2011, Iron Chic had two European seven-inch releases: a split with the UK’s Pacer and the (Cosmic) Future single. These two records featured four new songs, which were released stateside on the digital-only EP Split N’ Shit. Now, that digital EP is being released on vinyl on the band’s bass player’s record label, Dead Broke Rekerds. Confused yet? Too bad, because this EP kicks major ass, featuring one of my favorite Iron Chic songs “Those Heads Are Our Heads.”  This release is a must have fans of Midwest-via-Long Island punk rock, and features a new alternate cover song.  Split N’ Shit is available on pink (/100) blue (/100) and black (/400) vinyl and the pre-order comes with a full-color poster!

Listen to the EP Here

Pre-Order the EP from Dead Broke Rekerds Here

The Menzingers – On the Impossible Past

The Menzingers/On the Impossible Past/Epitaph Records/2012/Official Website

I have been listening to On the Impossible Pastlot.  The Menzinger’s previous full-length, Chamberlain Waits has pretty much hit punk legendary status at this point, so when On the Impossible Past first came out there was definitely those that didn’t think it held up.  Yes, there’s less punk and more rock and roll. Yes, it’s also a fantastic album.  From the first track, “good things,” to the closer “freedom bridge,” the Menzingers’ third LP is full of great guitars, heavy vocals and excellent lyrics.  The album has a track or two that aren’t perfect, but songs like “mexican guitars,” and “casey” are some of my favorites of 2012.  To me, there’s nothing better than listening to a tune and hearing lyrics that really hit home, and this album really gets there for me.  On the Impossible Past is full of songs about friendship, love and nostalgia.

The record itself is just good, not great.  The sound quality is clear when I blast it on my technic, but the packaging isn’t amazing.  The jacket is your standard single jacket, but the album art is clear and the sleeve doubles as a lyric sheet.  Instead of a download code my copy had two CD versions of the album which I put to good use at home and in the car. Overall, The Menzingers exceeded my expectations for an amazing follow-up record.

Listen to my favorite track “Mexican Guitars” on spotify here or on youtube here

mayt