NOFX’s new song “Oxy Moronic” is an addictive punk rock anthem about the highs and lows of big pharma, from their upcoming album “First Ditch Effort.”
Punk has always been a genre with a thick history. Ever since its inception decades ago, the name of the game has been speed, fury, and a love of rebellion. It makes it all the more discouraging now that punk has become a numbers game, one where breaking free from oppressive convention is painfully rare. It’s so common seeing up-and-coming punk bands begin slipping into a pattern. For every At the Drive-in and Gaslight Anthem, there are ten other groups appearing to stake their claim from the over-harvested stock brought about by The Ramones, Dead Kennedys , and Bad Religion. We really haven’t seen a huge punk revolution since the late 90’s. But from the rambunctious shores of Santa Cruz come Stellar Corpses, a punk band with a fascination with The Lost Boys and a penchant for classic, crowd-pleasing alternative anthems. With their newest album Dead Stars Drive-in, Stellar Corpses fall into a rut, one where experimenting is forbidden and the template is all the more enforced.
While Stellar Corpses are a punk outfit first a foremost, there are some interesting examples of the band escaping the rapid-fire rush of the punk world. “Pins & Needles” offers a boom-heavy groove with just enough swing and glide to stand out (a very cool use of the upright bass instrument from bassist Dan Lamothe). The band even opens the 50’s rock book, with the single “Vampire Kiss” harkening back to Elvis Presley’s groovy voice. For a genre so venerable and rooted in history, these examples are proof that the genre can go somewhere new. These unorthodox combinations are very welcome and more interesting than one might expect.
Still, Stellar Corpses love their punk. It becomes perfectly clear that these guys grew up listening to the intensity of The Misfits along with the more modern alternative punk bands like AFI or Rancid. The revving guitars and furious drum fills of “Train Wreck” bleed adrenaline, while the title track harkens back to 90’s era AFI with melodic guitar solos and a riotous pace that would make even Blink-182 gasp for air. Drummer Kyle Moore shines during the mind-blowingly intricate fills of “Be Still My Heart.” Bassist Dan Lamothe, once again, uses the upright bass in a very fascinating way, keeping the distortion low and the melody smoother. It’s a cool way to approach punk, one that the band should surely capitalize on for future musical endeavors.
Vocalist and lead guitarist Dusty Sheehan plays a mean axe, with his solos being remarkably gritty, but full of groove. “Blood Red” has a great guitar solo, for example, so Sheehan shows his virtuosity with the six-string very well here. Sheehan’s vocals, however, while respectable, don’t show very much range. He croons like Davey Havok and screams like Tim McIIrath, but his vocals feel repetitive and don’t do much to distinguish one song on the album from another. For a band with so much respect for the entire spectrum and history of punk music, Stellar Corpses haven’t done as much research as they should have.
Despite some solid musicianship, though, Stellar Corpses’ songwriting is where Dead Stars Drive-in loses momentum. Punk music is something of a straightforward affair; successful punk bands like The Ramones and The Clash are amazing since they can keep a stunningly frantic pace, all while making enough left turns to keep the pace from getting stale. Sadly, Stellar Corpses never make those left turns on Dead Stars Drive-in. Many of the songs are fine punk songs, all things considered, but when every song uses the whole “whoa” backing vocal line atop chugging power chords and snare drum gatling guns, the album goes from “fine” to “less than fine.” This becomes clearest when comparing the archetypal punk songs like “Steel Butterfly” and the ridiculously named “Death Ray Vision.” Half of the album sounds interchangeable; there isn’t nearly as much variety in the songwriting as there should be, causing Dead Stars Drive-in to melt together into one giant, middle-of-the-road punk marathon (two words that really should never be put together).
Dead Stars Drive-In may have some small instances of uniqueness, but it quickly becomes extremely difficult to find those instances behind the derivative nature of the rest of the album. For every step outside of the punk archetype the band makes, there’s another two steps back into stale power chords and overused “whoas” of the vocals. The template is organized neatly, but Stellar Corpses never seem to draw outside the lines with Dead Stars Drive-in.
“Vampire Kiss,” the groups’ new video for their first single off the album was recently filmed in Hollywood at a raucous house party, by director Jared Sagal (Rockerrazzi Films), check out the band performing the track singer Dusty Sheehan calls “a tribute to the greatest vampire movie of all time, The Lost Boys, filmed in our hometown of Santa Cruz.” View everything online athttp://www.youtube.com/StellarCorpses.
STELLAR CORPSES CONFIRMED TOUR DATES:
DATE VENUE CITY/STATE
March 23 Sharonville Convention Center Cincinnati, OH
(Horrorhound Weekend with The Koffin Kats, Harley Poe, The Big Bad, and more!)
March 24 Third Street Dive Louisville, KY
March 25 Lindberg’s Springfield, MO
March 26 Wreckroom at Zietaine Nights Amarillo, TX
March 27 Rocky Point Cantina Phoenix, AZ
March 28 House of Blues San Diego, CA w/Tiger Army
March 29 Favorites Las Vegas, NV
March 30 The Bum Steer Winchester, CA
April 12 Tropics Fullerton, CA
April 13 Webers Reseda, CA
April 14 Babylon Fresno, CA
Stellar Corpses…morbidly fun punk rock from Santa Cruz: www.stellarcorpses.com
Become a fan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/StellarCorpses
View videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com/stellarcorpses
Follow the band on Twitter: @StellarCorpses
Celebrating its eleventh year of raising funds and awareness to non-profit organizations, Sub City (Hopeless Records’ 501c3 non-profit organization, which has raised more than two million dollars for charity), wrapped it’s 2013 edition of the Sub City Take Action Tour Featuring The Usedlast Friday, March 1st at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA. This year was one of the biggest years in Take Action Tour history with over $95K raised for charity, with this year’s charity of choice being It Gets Better Project, a national organization created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. In addition, the official drum set used on the tour was auctioned off and 100% of the proceeds benefited It Gets Better Project and The Living The Dream Foundation equally. Sub City founder, Louis Posen, stated, “A heartfelt thank you to all the bands, fans, management, labels and partners for making this one of the biggest Take Action tours in its 11 year history. The 2013 tour may be over but we and the music community will not stop taking action until teasing, bulling and victimizing young people for being themselves comes to and end.”
The tour featured alt-rock headliner, The Used, with support from We Came As Romans, Crown The Empire, and Mindflow. Kicking off at Las Vegas’House of Blues on January 11th, the annual nationwide charity tour circled the US through February, showcasing some of the best bands in music today while raising funds and awareness for It Gets Better and the concept that we can all help play a part in making a positive impact. Ten percent of the cost of each ticket purchased was donated to It Gets Better and Sub City. Lead singer of The Used, Bert McCracken, tells us, “The Take Action Tour has been an incredible experience that will be impossible to forget. Thirty-three shows from the east coast to the west coast of the US; and the positive energy has been contagious. We want to thank Hopeless Records and the It Gets Better Project for inspiring not only us, but thousands of others as well. We are blown away by the insane amount of love and support that still exists for The Used after nearly twelve years on the road. After all these years, The Used still have the best fans in the world, by far! Thanks again, see you soon Used fans!”
The chosen charity for the tour, It Gets Better Project, is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or struggling to find themselves can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge and watch videos of love and support.
“Working with The Used and everyone involved on the Take Action tour was a pleasure. It is great to collaborate with such a passionate group who support young people and are working to make a difference. We look forward to working together in the future.” says Stephanie Laffin of If Gets Better.
Bert and Jeph from The Used have created an It Gets Better video to help support the cause. Fans can view the video HERE: http://youtu.be/N-0MtFYFs-g.
In addition, Hopeless Records, in partner with their non- profit organization Sub City, presented the Take Action Compilation Volume 11, a compilation album for charity. This year features two CDs full of unreleased and exclusive tracks from The Used, Bad Religion, AWOL Nation, All Time Low, 3OH!3 and many more. 5% of the suggested retail price from the sale of this compilation go to continue to fulfill Sub City’s mission to connect bands, fans and causes they are passionate about. For the most current donation total and full list of charities benefiting from this and other Sub City releases, please visit: SubCity.net. The compilation is now available at any BEST BUY and on iTunes, here: http://smarturl.it/takeactionvol11.
Take Action Vol. 11 Track Listing:
1. The Used – The Lonely*
2. We Came As Romans – Fair-weather*
3. AWOL Nation – Sail (Unlimited Gravity Remix)*
4. Bad Religion – Fuck You*
5. The Wonder Years – Local Man Ruins Everything (Nervous Energies)*
6. Mayday Parade – Oh Well, Oh Well
7. Falling in Reverse – The Drug In Me Is You
8. Enter Shikari – Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here (Tek One Mix)*
9. Whitechapel – Animus
10. Periphery – Far Out (Instrumental)*
11. Sleeping With Sirens – James Dean & Audrey Hepburn (Acoustic
12. All Time Low – The Reckless & The Brave (Acoustic)*
13. Never Shout Never – Pray For Peace (Demo)*
14. 3OH!3 – You’re Gonna Love This (Wuki Remix)*
15. The Summer Set – Fuck U Over
16. Say Anything – Their Notions
1. Glass Cloud – Everybody Wants To Rule The World*
2. Ice Nine Kills – What I Never Learned in Study Hall (6 Feet Below)*
3. Memphis May Fire – Prove Me Right
4. Upon This Dawning – A New Beginning
5. Parkway Drive – Dark Days
6. SHARKS – Sea Of All Seas*
7. Balance & Composure – Quake
8. Silver Snakes – All My Eye*
9. Broadway Calls – Bring On The Storm*
10. We Are The Ocean – Machine
11. Transit – Skipping Stone (Alternate Version)
12. Seahaven – Understanding*
13. Set It Off – Dream Catcher
14. I Am The Avalanche – I’ll Be Back Around
15. The Scene Aesthetic – Carelessly (feat. Dresses)*
16. Plug In Stereo – I Hope You Know (feat. Tay Jardine)*
17. William Beckett – 48 In A Hospital *
18. Itch – London Is Burning*
19. Twin Atlantic – Make A Beast Of Myself (Space Brother Remix)*
20. The Animal In Me – Speak*
21. Hell Or Highwater – Come Alive (Acoustic)*
22. Palisades – Bury It (Acoustic)*
* denotes rare or unreleased
For more information on Take Action Tour, please visit: TakeActionTour.com/2013
Supporters of Take Action include Tilly’s, Anger Music Group, Hopeless Records, Equal Vision Records, Rise Records and all of the artists and labels included on the 2013 compilation.
For more information on It Gets Better, please visit:
About It Gets Better:
In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
The It Gets Better Project™ has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of “Glee”, Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more. For us, every video changes a life. It doesn’t matter who makes it.
About Hopeless Records and Sub City:
Founded in 1993, Hopeless Records is a Southern California independent record label home to breakout artists All Time Low, There For Tomorrow, Anarbor, We Are The In Crowd, The Wonder Years and many more. Throughout its 17 year history, Hopeless Records has released more than 150 albums and launched the careers of Avenged Sevenfold, Thrice, and many other notable artists. In 1999, Hopeless Records formally started supporting non-profit organizations under the Sub City banner with charitable albums, tours, and events. Now itself a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, Sub City continues the mission of connecting bands, fans and the causes they are passionate about. Sub City has raised more than two million dollars for over 50 non-profit organizations.
Purchase Tickets, here: www.TakeActionTour.com/2013
The Used Announce Vulnerable II Re issue, Now Available For Pre Order Here: www.hopelessrecords.com/artists/the-used
JANUARY 25TH | STAGE AE | PITTSBURGH, PA
Celebrating its eleventh year of raising funds and awareness to non-profit organizations, Sub City (Hopeless Records’ 501c3 non-profit organization, which has raised more than two million dollars for charity), is pleased to announce the 2013 edition of the Sub City Take Action Tour Featuring The Used. This year the tour will be benefiting the It Gets Better Project, a national organization created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers going through tough times that they are not alone – and it WILL get better. The Take Action Tour will be stopping by Stage AE in Pittsburgh, PA on January 25th. Make sure to pick up your ticket today, here: www.takeactiontour.com/2013. VIP ticket options will be available to fans, which include front of the line passes, collectable laminate and signed copy of Vulnerable II.
The tour will feature alt-rock headliner, The Used, with support from We Came As Romans, Crown The Empire, and MindFlow. Kicking off at Las Vegas’ House of Blues on January 11th, the annual nationwide charity tour will circle the US through February, showcasing some of the best bands in music today while raising funds and awareness for It Gets Better and the concept that we can all help play a part in making a positive impact. Ten percent of the cost of each ticket purchased will be donated to It Gets Better and Sub City. The 2011 Take Action Tour raised nearly $50,000 to help further the mission of the non-profit, SEX, ETC., with over 19,000 fans attending the 30-stop city tour. Previous benefitting charities of the Sub City Take Action Tour also include Driving For Donors, Do Something, America’s Youth Hotline, ReachOut.com and The National Hopeline Network. To date, Sub City and the Take Action Tour have donated over 2 million dollars to over 50 non-profit organizations.
It Gets Better Project is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or struggling to find themselves can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge and watch videos of love and support.
“The It Gets Better Project is thrilled to collaborate with The Used and Hopeless Records on the upcoming Take Action! tour. The Used are powerful voices for young people, well known for their community involvement and outreach, and for encouraging young people to embrace their individuality.” Stephanie Laffin, Board of Directors at It Gets Better Project, stated. “We look forward to working together to share the message of the It Gets Better Project with young people across the US, and letting LGBT youth know that it can and will get better.”
Bert and Jeph from The Used have created an It Gets Better video to help support the cause.
“It’s our privilege to work with such a lovely charity that does so much good in this confusing world. Please check out itgetsbetter.org and we’ll see you on the Take Action Tour,” says The Used frontman, Bert McCracken.
We Came As Romans’ guitarist/lyricist, Joshua Moore, also tells us, “We’re excited to be back touring in the US after three months. Though it’s fun to do international tours, there’s nothing like touring our own country, especially with such a well respected band like The Used, who a lot of our band grew up listening to, and on such a renowned annual tour. We can’t wait!”
In addition, Hopeless Records, in partner with their non- profit organization Sub City, presents Take Action Compilation Volume 11, a compilation album for charity. This year features two CDs full of unreleased and exclusive tracks from The Used, Bad Religion, AWOL Nation, All Time Low, 3OH!3 and many more. 5% of the suggested retail price from the sale of this compilation will go to continue to fulfill Sub City’s mission to connect bands, fans and causes they are passionate about. For the most current donation total and full list of charities benefiting from this and other Sub City releases, please visit: SubCity.net.
THE USED: www.TheUsed.net
Selling over 3 million albums worldwide in the span of their career, The Used released their highly anticipated album “Vulnerable” earlier this year on their own label, Anger Music Group partnered with Hopeless Records. The album has sold over 70k copies to date and continues to climb. The band will headline the Take Action Tour benefitting ItGetsBetterProject, a cause they are extremely passionate about.
The band is also excited to announce the release of Vulnerable II- a 2 disc re- issue of the highly successful 2012 release Vulnerable that includes the 12 original tracks, 4 brand new songs, 3 acoustic versions and 3 remixes. Vulnerable II will be released January 22, 2013.
The CD and bundle packages are now available for pre order here: http://www.hopelessrecords.com/artists/the-used
2013 Take Action Tour Dates:
***A limited number of four pack tickets will be available through venue ticketing sites. Buy four tickets for the price of three. These will be sold in limited quantities so act fast! This will be available in all of the markets except: Asheville, Washington DC, Atlantic City, and Tampa.***
1/11/13 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
1/12/13 Salt Lake City, UT In the Venue
1/14/13 Denver, CO Summit
1/16/13 Kansas City, MO The Beaumont
1/17/13 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
1/19/13 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
1/20/13 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room
1/22/13 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
1/23/13 Chicago, IL House of Blues
1/25/13 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
1/26/13 Rochester, NY Water Street Music Hall
1/28/13 Washington, DC 930 Club
1/29/13 Boston, MA House of Blues
1/30/13 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
2/1/13 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre
2/2/13 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
2/4/13 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
2/5/13 Tampa, FL The Ritz Ybor
2/7/13 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel
2/8/13 Cincinnati, OH Bogarts
2/10/13 Detroit, MI Fillmore
2/11/13 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
2/13/13 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom
2/14/13 Houston, TX House of Blues
2/16/13 Austin, TX Emo’s East
2/17/13 Dallas, TX House of Blues
2/19/13 San Antonio, TX Backstage Live
2/20/13 El Paso, TX Tricky Falls
2/22/13 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theatre
2/24/13 Phoenix, AZ Marquee Theatre
2/26/13 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
2/27/13 San Diego, CA House of Blues
3/1/13 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern
Santa Cruz punk rockers Stellar Corpses are premiering an all-new Halloween edition video for their debut single “Vampire Kiss,” today at AOL’s Noisecreep! Recently filmed in Hollywood at a raucous house party, by director Jared Sagal (Rockerrazzi Films), check out the band performing the track singer Dusty Sheehan tells Noisecreep “is a tribute to the greatest vampire movie of all time, The Lost Boys, filmed in our hometown of Santa Cruz.” The band also recorded two webisodes full of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews to accompany the video.
Stellar Corpses’ new studio album Dead Stars Drive-In was produced by multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Joe McGrath (AFI, Morrissey, Green Day, Blink-182, Alkaline Trio). Blending a musical amalgamation of punk, rockabilly, hard rock and melodic rock, thrown in for good measure, Dead Stars Drive-In defies musical expectations. In support of the release, Stellar Corpses have recently been on tour supporting Tiger Army, punk rock legends TSOL, Nekromantix, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and classic horror punk rockers The Misfits. The band recently added a new slate of Southern California live shows, with additional tour dates to be announced.
With musical influences ranging from Elvis, Black Flag, Social Distortion, Stray Cats, and Bad Religion, to Black Sabbath, The Misfits, Danzig, Rancid, Sepultura and Megadeth, it’s no wonder Stellar Corpses chose to work with producer McGrath pouring everything they had into a stellar first album. Dead Stars Drive-In features special guest turns from Hunter Burgan and Jade Puget from the revolutionary goth punk band AFI, and Michale Graves of The Misfits.
Dead Stars Drive-In covers all sorts of subjects beginning with the title track, an ode to the dark side of Hollywood and how some of its brightest stars eventually burned out. “But to this day, their lights shine as bright as ever, and we will go on loving them always,” Sheehan explains.
Stellar Corpses, which literally means “dead stars” in astronomy (Grave’s idea from studying astronomy in college), have become a fixture in the Santa Cruz hard rock music scene over the years. They are by no means an overnight success story. The band met in high school and have been around, playing clubs, building their fan base one-by-one with their dynamic and interactive live shows.
Stellar Corpses is Dusty Sheehan on vocals and lead guitar, Dan Lamothe on upright bass and backing vocals, Emilio Menze on guitar and backing vocals, with Kyle Moore on drums.
STELLAR CORPSES CONFIRMED LIVE SHOWS:
DATE VENUE CITY/STATE
October 30 The Viper Room Los Angeles, CA
November 1 The Hood Palm Desert, CA
November 2 Bar Eleven San Diego, CA
November 3 So Cali Studio Los Angeles, CA
November 4 Slide Bar Fullerton, CA
November 10 The Cosmopolitan/Sunset Sessions Las Vegas, NV
November 30 The Alley Sparks, NV
December 01 Oakland Metro Oakland, CA
May 25, 2013 Tucson Rodeo Grounds (Hot Rods and Horror Festival) Tucson, AZ
* additional dates TBA
The fate of PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS, a recording studio world-renowned for spawning the onslaught of American heavy metal in the 1980’s and beyond, has quickly captured the attention of long-time Ithaca, NY residents, recording artists, and friends of business owner Alex Perialas.
At Wednesday’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting, several local musicians and educators urged city officials to take demolition of the studio off the table.
PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS, launched by Perialas in 1974, has recorded artists from Bad Religion, Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, Agnostic Front and Brian Wilson to local favorites The Horse Flies and Donna the Buffalo, as well as student projects. PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS is a pinnacle in the local area, being that local musicians do not always have the ability to travel to New York City, Los Angeles, etc. to record their albums. Located directly next to the Clinton St. Bridge, which is undergoing heavy construction until November, the building is at risk of being condemned as a result of the project, stirring alarm among the local and online community.
“This is one of those things that is a state and city project where they’re replacing a 70-year-old bridge and its right in our footprint, if you will. With the building of this new bridge, there’s a chance that if they aren’t careful, they could do damage to the studio,” states owner Alex Perialas. “I’m currently working with the administration to land on an amicable solution to the situation. This has been a landmark facility for years. We pretty much created a style of music here that people had never heard of before. It would be a shame to lose such an integral part of music history due to this temporary construction.”
Jeff Klaus, professor of education at Ithaca College and member of The Horse Flies, addressed the committee Wednesday, “What is housed inside that scruffy building is a building within a building that’s purpose-built to be a studio.”
Klaus and his colleagues noted that 109 E. Clinton St. is a commercial garage space, which is located closest to the bridge project, while the recording studio is located at 105 E. Clinton St. The supporters stressed that the garage and the studio are two separate buildings, though it may not appear so on the outside.
In many ways, both the mayor’s and the common council’s hands are tied, given that the construction on the Clinton St. bridge is federally funded. Earlier this week, supporters of PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS launched an online petition to help save the historical building. Thus far, over 550 people have signed. You can sign the petition at this location.
For more information on PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS, visit this website: www.pyramidsoundstudios.com