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Anyone who paid attention to a new Pennywise album over the last seven years knew that something was happening within the band and, while they might not have known what the problem was, they knew it didn't sound good. The Fuse betrayed the first hints of trouble; on that album, Pennywise was beginning to show a bit of age and wear, but at least they were still trying to stir the pit a bit as songs like “Knocked Down,” “Take...

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Monday, 30 April 2012
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As I flipped through the endless number of TV channels on cable yesterday, I started to wonder if musicians had just thrown in the towel and called it quits. More and more, I was finding singers tied into corporate commercials and TV shows where they try to sell their single at the end. Such a gimmick isn't a bad marketing ploy I suppose, but rarely do I find anything worth my hard-earned ninety-nine cents. Does anybody else cringe when they...

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Monday, 30 April 2012
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It might sound bizarre given the conformist climate present in every other area of the period, but the fact is that the 1980s may have been th most creatively fertile decade in modern music history. Everything seemed to get the opportunity to blossom at the same time in the Eighties; while the dinosaurs like Starship and The Eagles were either dying off or falling apart, pop tarts like Toni Basil were striking gold with re-written flopped pop singles from the...

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Saturday, 28 April 2012
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It's hard to know what to make of Skip The Foreplay's Epitaph debut, Nightlife. On one hand, it's hard not to laugh because, with a mix of screamo and dubstep as well as a great big dollop of pop frontloaded onto a hyper-aggressive, metallic base, the Montreal-based band seems intent on presenting themselves as a tarted up and feminized caricature of metal. Metalheads would have every right to sneer at that but, on the other hand, the band presents that...

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Saturday, 28 April 2012
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Why is it that every time a profitable market trend hits the music business, a few old, totally inappropriate hands shoot in the air to announce, “Me too!” Over the last few years (three or four) the trend has been to reissue the back catalogues of established acts with fresh and new digital remastering treatments applied to spruce up the music. This trend has proven to be rewarding in a few cases; as the vaults have been pillaged (see the...

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Friday, 27 April 2012
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I was perfectly satisfied when Killing Joke released Absolute Dissent in 2010. Actually, I was grateful for the triumphant return of such a seminal band after their nearly thirty-year absence. Okay, let’s face it, I would feel fortunate to experience only half of their eight or so albums from 1980-1989. I never imagined that I would be able to enjoy a new chapter of Killing Joke and that it would be as good as it was. To be able to...

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Friday, 27 April 2012
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Hey Junky, Awright, so, le's do da dance again shall we? I got alla music fo' ya, an' I think yer gonna line what I got dis week! I gotcha some special, tasty bits o' SWAG fo' ya that I think'll turn'at lil chippy inta a full-blown habit! Firs' I gotcha da piece'atchu c'n get mos' anywhere, I gotcha da new OFF! tune, "Cracked." Remember las' week're somethin' when I said "Gee, that band must be getting comfortable or something,...

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012
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There's little doubt that one of the more highly anticipated specialty releases in the first half of 2012 has been the 126 Inches Of… vinyl singles box set by NOFX. It might be difficult to understand why such a release would capture the imaginations of both fans and critics, but reasoning is actually surprisingly simple: since forming in 1983, the band has committed a tremendous amount of music to the proverbial wax, almost always in limited numbers. Simply said, a...

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012
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At a certain point in their careers, every band has an incredible moment of clarity in which they realize they've broken through and been accepted by a community of listeners. It's a great, exciting moment – but there's a catch: the band has broken through and become an establishment, which means they have to work even harder to impress their fans. At that point, just towing a line is no longer an option because those supporters who have been with...

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012
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At a certain age, a band must put down childish things and make a choice: they must decide if they're making music for their fans to enjoy or for their own personal creative fulfillment. This choice has been known to be the death of some bands, but making it one way or the other shouldn't necessarily cast positive or negative tones on the band; it really is just something they need to do in order to start making the music...

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Sunday, 22 April 2012