Strange as it sounds, the Ramones actually hurt themselves by arriving on the scene too good. Already fully formed, their 1976 debut The Ramones was the perfect sound for their street punk aesthetic. So when you arrive on the scene with a near perfect approach of what you do, where do you go from there? Similar to the Strokes, they released two more dominant albums in the same style in Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin and a decent one in Left Home, but then hit a wall where you had fully explored their style and formula. That being said, they drew up the blue print for punk music and took well-traveled pop sounds to a new and thrilling speeds. In honor of Tommy Ramone’s recent passing (the drummer and producer of the band and the last living Ramone), we give you our 10 favorite Ramones songs.
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Underneath the Rainbow
Last week, Black Lips released their seventh studio album, and their first since the 2011 Arabia Mountain. Which was their first album to ever truly leap outside of their comfort zone. An album in which some fans chastised due to the fact that they brought on a “refined” producer such as Mark Ronson to help clean things up. I personally loved the album, and although it was a venture from their more underproduced, tinny, garage sound on early greats such as Black Lips! and Let It Bloom, it showed that they could still carry the grittiness and feel of their early punk influences into a new realm of produced punk. Underneath the Rainbow pushes the Lips deeper into unknown territory, bringing on a very seductive southern style that almost delves into full-on rockabilly at some points. And the result is fantastic.
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A Band Called Death
Rock history is filled with tragedy: ugly band breakups, festival disasters, and deaths at 27. So when you actually get a documentary about a band called “death”, one might expect more of the same tragedy. And while there is some tragedy in this story about three religious Detroit brothers playing punk music in 1974 before punk was punk who somehow went completely unheard, the heart of the story is absolutely life-affirming: celebrating family, rock ‘n’ roll, and a firm belief that death doesn’t have the last say.
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David Byrne & St. Vincent
Love This Giant
We at LxL have been at this for almost a year now. In this past year I have written my fair share of reviews and to be honest, I’m a bit tired of writing just the standard 700+ words all lumped together in a few poorly spelled paragraphs for a review. So for this particular off-kilter duo and their off-kilter album, I’m going to try and mix things up with a bit of an off-kilter review that tracks exactly how I came to develop my opinion for this album.
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JEFF The Brotherhood
After my first listen to JEFF The Brotherhood’s new rocker, Hypnotic Nights, I suddenly had the urge to crack a beer. Or six.
With The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach in the production seat, brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall roll out their best album to date. Hypnotic Nights sees JEFF expanding their signature sound beyond straightforward garage rock and punk. Varied instrumentation, polished recording, catchy hooks, and killer energy make the brothers’ seventh album a must listen.
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From the first snare hit, Ugly explodes and continues to be as loud and in your face as a Jersey woman, minus the spray tan and facelift. The New Jersey group masters many diverging genres, yet still finds a way to make it their own brand of loud and ugly punk rock. Yes, the album name drop was intentional.
Continue reading “Screaming Females Review: Ugly”
If you know me, I don’t exactly exude the punk rock. I hate complaining, and think most people who rebel do it for no good reason. But I believe there is a time for almost every music genre so sometimes I even my pooh bear self gets angsty from time to time. As of late, there has been a bunch of minimalist, noisy punk bands that I really enjoy, so here is a five song playlist to showcase some of my favorites.
Continue reading “LxListening: Scrappy Little Punk”