RUINERS: Typecast

This band from Houston, Texas released their debut back in 2016 and after being busy with doing shows and writing new music, they have released the sophomore album. Although it is touted as post-punk, this sounds more like emo-punk with some post-punk mixed in, but it’s still better than straight out emo.

The album is tightly played, with energy to spare from these four guys. The songs have improved from their debut and really show off just how the time between releases has helped. Starting off with “No,” the band gets a blast of power that rips through your skull and continues on the next track “Swipe.” These two songs are a great one-two punch to get things rolling. “Raptor” is another crazy track that is just like a kick in the groin.

The band has matured a bit and you can hear the rawness of the emotions in the music so well on this album. Turn it up and have them cave your head in.

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SECRET SMOKER: Terminal Architecture: LP


These three guys from Baton Rouge, LA play emo…yes it’s emo, but it’s actually really good emo with a hint of screamo and a bit of hardcore in the mix giving this a better than most sound. Most times when you hear the term emo it makes people think of kids that are depressed with bad hair and ridiculous makeup, but this could change your mind about the music at least.

The sounds emanating from the grooves of the very cool see-through vinyl are heavy, full of emotions and will give you a kick in your pants…damn cool so far. These guys are like the link of what emo was in the old days and for that I’m glad. Well written songs with tight, yet not perfect playing made this one a real winner. Yes the vocals could get annoying on emo albums, but we get the whiny vocals, but also shouty, angry vocals that add so much to the diversity of the album. The songs range from being fast to slower and add in the fantastic playing, this makes for a very cool listening experience.

This was a surprise for me since I had long given emo a wide berth and hearing this makes me realize that there are a few people who can pull this off well.

THE WEEDS: Roots​ / ​Routes EP: 10″

Roots/Routes EP cover art

THE WEEDS are an American four-piece emo, pop punk band from Boston, Massachusetts that have had their six song EP released on hand numbered, two limited colors 10″ vinyl and comes with a digital download as well.

“Sunset Eyes” brings together the catchy sounds of the ringing guitar, and the harmonious melodies of the duet of Justine DeFeo and Joe Lacy which made for a real treat to start off the EP. “Attention” is very similar to the preceding song with another fantastic duet from DeFeo and Lacy and keeps the high quality continuing without stopping. On “Death Valley”, DeFeo takes the lead vocal and her emotive voice and the incredible music takes this song onto another plane and makes it an instant classic. The band seems to be taking their playing up a notch on this song, becoming even more catchy and melodic than before. “Feel Nothing” is another out of the ballpark hit with the band giving it all they’ve got and the vocals just lift you up and take you away. “Up to Speed Your Life” is a great mix of sweet vocals mixed with a wall of sound from the band that is thick and full and has a ton of melody. Ending with “Stranger Than Fiction”, the band has left you with the feeling of a beautiful summer day, not too hot, just right. The jangling guitars, the emotive singing from DeFeo, and the great drumming all made for a terrific ending to the EP.

For a band that I was completely unfamiliar with and seeing the dreaded “emo” tag listed with their description, I was extremely taken by this band and will be looking for further releases. I think that I’ve found a band that can both relax me and excite me with their music.

STICKUP KID: Nothing About Me: 7″

A pop punk EP from this San Jose, CA five piece band that has five songs on it and comes in three different colors and only five hundred were made.

These five songs go by quickly and they do a good job at what they do. It’s got more punk than a lot of pop punk bands, the bite is there, there’s punch, and power that makes it really shine for me. It’s a really well produced EP, and the band can play very well, the singer has an almost emo type sound to his voice. “Breathing” and “Dreaming of Kenny Rogers” were the highlights on this EP for me, both are full of energy and soaring vocals, pounding drums and great flash on the guitar. They are better than a lot of other bands in this genre an other bands could take a hint from these guys as how to get some excitement into their records..

If you are a fan of this genre, I would suggest that you check them out, they have catchy songs and memorable hooks to make this one a keeper.

ANNABEL: Youth in Youth: CD

Youth In Youth cover art

ANNABEL is from Kent, OH and these four guys have put out eleven new songs that are pretty damn catchy and stick with you after you turn off the album.

On this, their sophomore album, have put out a mighty fine mix of indie pop, and emo, but not the crappy, mopey kind, more of the emotional part of that type of music. There are tons of hooks on this album, the drumming really has a nice feel, the guitars have some nice fuzz on them, the bass lines are throbbing in the background and the singer has some really nice harmonies going on throughout the album. These guys have a couple of real short instrumentals to break things up and not every song is fast, but everyone has something to keep your interest throughout. The production and mix could be a bit better, with the bass getting lost sometimes, but you still get the emotion and feel that they are putting forth.

I really think that this is going to give them a good push and make people take notice of them.


This band has been generating a ton of hype in the U.K. about them being leaders of the U.K. rock revival…I don’t get it at all.

These five guys from Cambridgeshire play modern rock with emo type singing and do a good job of rocking out in spots, but the modern rock is really thick, more rock, less of the emo/post hardcore type stuff might convince me that they are contenders, but it just doesn’t give me enough rock. Now if we review it from the emo/post hardcore side, it’s a pretty good album with a bunch of anthemic songs and big production. There are eleven songs on here with “1949” being a mellow, ballad type song that didn’t grab me, but the guitar work and drums throughout are really good. The vocals are sung/shouted throughout and do a great job of putting forth a lot of emotion and are well done. I did think that the first song reminded me of TENACIOUS D in the vocal area, and I thought that I would ask my wife and she confirmed it. “Beggars” starts the album off and rocks out pretty good, “Lighthouse” has an uplifting chorus and keeps up the pace, “Death Rattle” has riffs galore, and ‘Wake Up’, Misdemeanour’ and “Bury Your Head” all keep the intensity up.

The new rock gods to save rock in the U.K., that’s not up to me, the newest band to put out a really good emo/post hardcore album…yep!


Eleven new songs from this five piece Swedish rock band who have some punk, modern alternative and emo mixed in.Their latest full-length, entitled Rivals came out last November through Swedish label Panic & Action and was recorded in New York.

On their third album they have given us some hard-hitting, melody driven songs that have a lot of energy and really good production from producer/mixer/engineer Mike Plotnikoff (ALL AMERICAN REJECTS, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, BON JOVI), so you know it’s done clear and with care for maximum hit potential. Of course, this also means that there are two slow songs for the ladies, “I’ll Be There For You”, and “Bonnie & Clyde (The Revolution)”,  one total ballad and a power ballad with all the pompous bombast you would expect. The first track off of Rivals is Working Class Punks”, which has a lot of intensity, a little snottiness, and a punk-based punch that grabs you right away. “Love Kills” is the album’s first single and the punk angst of this song made it stand out and will be a popular song in their set, and so many more great kick-ass songs on this album.

The band are really good players and do a great job of rocking out and should stick to that and drop the ballads, but you have to give them credit for trying anything that they can to get radio play. I just hope that they get recognized for the harder faster songs because a lot of people would be shocked to find out they aren’t the sensitive band that those songs make them seem like.