MGMB recently interviewed a York based duo …And The Hangnails where we discussed the band’s upcoming record Rut, and today we finally see the release of this 13-track punk rock masterpiece.
Noisy two piece …And The Hangnails recently unleashed a new video for their striking new single You & I, taken from their upcoming, third record Rut. One of the impressive facts about the York based duo is that back in 2011, they recorded their first album within four days using nothing but a dictaphone. Rocking their way through music scene ever since with their massive ‘guitar meets drums’ beats, plus dropping a couple of EP’s as well as their second album; it seems that Martyn and Steven are more than ready to reveal their first proper studio recording (out July 25th) and get on the road to promote the hell out of it. So if you like the music of …And The Hangnails, make sure to join the party.
Here’s a lil’ music chat with Martyn.
It’s been exactly one year since I’ve interviewed New Jersey’s Morningside Lane for MGMB, and it looks like the guys have been working really hard towards their brand new 6-track EP A Fifth of Elvis. The record, produced and mixed by Pete Steinkopf from The Bouncing Souls is a clear step forward for the alt rock four-piece. The music and lyrics on the EP show the band have come a long way since their previous release. MSL’s guitarist Jon says: ”This record is something that doesn’t sound like our first two. It’s broader and it covers more ground. We’ve grown a hell of a lot as a band and we’re still growing. Our sound is always being upgraded and new influences are always coming about. This album is more about wasted youth and anger. It’s about remembering the past, the way things used to be and kissing those days goodbye. It came out better than we could ever dream and it’s everything a Morningside Lane record should be.” That’s right. A Fifth of Elvis certainly features all the right elements of a well mastered record.
Guest Review By Brendan McGroggan
The last time I saw Against Me! live was in June of 2012. It was Laura Jane Grace’s first tour and the place was full. Their set that night was absolutely incredible, and a good portion of it was new material. Really, really killer new material. Not only that, Laura Jane was the happiest lead singer I have ever seen. I mean, her grin was ear to ear the entire set, and her voice was epic.
After waiting a year and a half since that night for their new album, I can tell you, it was more than worth the wait. Transgender Dysphoria Blues is here. It is the first great album of 2014 and the most powerful punk rock record I’ve heard in a long time.
Since Tommy Gabel became Laura Jane Grace, the music of Against Me! has changed, becoming even more revolutionary and outspoken than before. In the opinion of this fan, better. This change, inspired by Laura’s change, and fueled by a pure punk rock engine, birthed something truly remarkable on “Transgender…”. It’s as if the album is a molten fire punk rock fist smashing through the icy waterfall of hate that breeds ignorance. I’ve heard albums that speak out before, but this one takes it to a whole new level.
It’s Laura Jane Grace, not Buch Vig, as producer on the album and it’s obvious that she knows what she’s doing. James and Laura’s guitars sound like punk rock jet engines, the drums remind me of echoes from a war machine, the bass destroys, and the vocals are nice and loud. NOFX’s very own Fat Mike even played bass on two of the songs, with Laura Jane playing bass on the others.
Atom Willard (RFTC, Angels & Airwaves) plays drums on “Transgender..,” and has recently become AM!s official drummer. His chops are noticed right from the start of the first song. After several options were considered, Atom was clearly the right person to join Against Me! on drums. He has that Against Me!-style animal inside of him, the one that comes out when he performs, both on the stage and in the studio.
When you hear the lyrics to the opening song, “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” you will know what I mean when I saw the band’s new direction is revolutionary. The lyrics pull no punches and neither does the energy. Though Laura Jane doesn’t swear much on the record as a whole, when she does, it sounds absolutely warranted and more than appropriate.
Songs “True Trans Soul Rebel” and “F***mylife666” are up next and both appeared on the TRUE TRANS EP released in June of 2013. They were great then, but it’s really something to hear them with a full band.
“Dead Friend” also appears on the album. Again, I’ve been waiting to hear this song specifically on a record for the last year and a half. Again, I was not disappointed at all. Anyone who’s lost a friend will want to hear this song. In it’s morbid nature is pure beauty. Any friend you have in heaven knows these lyrics are how you really feel about them being gone.
“Two Coffins” is an acoustic number that comes toward the end of the album. After hearing “Dead Friend,” this acoustic ballad is welcoming to the ears. The two songs are opposite sides of the same emotional coin. “Two Coffins” also, in its morbid nature, holds pure beauty. “How lucky I was to see the way that you smiled at me. Your little moon face shining bright at me. One day soon there’ll be nothing left of you and me. Two coffins for sleep.” Laura reminds us again, life is short.
The album ends with “Black Me Out,” which is perhaps the most powerful song on the album. The guitar line is so inspired, erasing any doubt of the talent behind Laura’s songwriting. It sounds like another song that was raised on the acoustic guitar, before being unleashed by the full Against Me! beast. When the last hum of distortion goes quiet, you might want to hit “repeat all” to take the ride again. I know I did, many times.
Since this album began streaming for free on NPR, I have been listening to it on repeat at work. I highly recommend it to fans of punk rock (both old and new), all Against Me! fans, all fans of rock music, and anyone out there in the world feeling trapped. Set yourself free.
Pre-order Transgender Dysphoria Blues here.
We are slowly heading towards the end of 2013 and I think I can speak for many of us when I say: Wow, what a year! So I’ve decided to catch up with some of MGMB’s favourite bands and ask them to sum up their year in the TOP 10 of 2013 feature. Kicking off with the mighty London/Ashford based punk rock outfit, also previously interviewed by MGMB – Electric River. The lead singer Sponge tells us about the band’s higlights of 2013.
TOP Gig You’ve Played
Beautiful Days Festival at the end of our August tour was great as so many things hanged in the balance. We’d spent a great week with The Terraces & the final show was to open up the Main Stage Sunday afternoon at Beautiful Days. We started our soundcheck & the weather was great, baring in mind we are pretty much unknown at this point down in the south west, so we wanted to get as long sound checking as possible. The noise started attracting people to the Main Stage, it was going great and the field started to get busy, but all of a sudden we had to stop & massive rain clouds started to make their way over the festival site. We thought “Bollocks it’s going to be a wash out.” Within the space of 15 minutes a massive rain shower cleared the field and we just thought “Shit”…. stage time was about 5 minutes away and spirits we’re pretty low, we had driven from Newcastle to Exeter, pretty much the length and breath of the country for the end of a great tour and we didn’t want it to end like this. I don’t know if somebody was looking down on us that day but somehow the weather turned around so quickly, we walked onto the stage in a perfect festival weather & very quickly the crowd reappeared & we played a great set to end the tour. Because of all this, it’s probably my favourite show of the year. We love the south west…
TOP Gig You’ve Seen
New Model Army – Falmouth Princess Pavilion. I have never heard such a great sound at a small venue! Having played with NMA a few times, this was my favourite show. The band were on fire although one random dick head in the crowd was trying to ruin the show but NMA pretty much sailed through & the set was a great mix of old & new material.
TOP Festival You’ve Played
Although Beautiful Days was brilliant, my favourite festival experience was definitely ‘Mighty Sounds’ in Czech Republic. It was our first European festival & to cut it short the vibe & people were amazing. We hope to play there again in 2014, we discovered some great bands & met a few too that weekend!
TOP Place You’ve Visited With The Band
Probably Prague. Beautiful city & mental nightlife. For a city it definitely has a free spirit to it. Back home in the UK we like the south west as it feels pretty chilled & also love going up north as the people are brilliant.
TOP WTF Moment On Tour
I can name loads pretty much at the peril of our guitarist Chris. After one night in Edinburgh, he decided to replace his dick with a frankfurter sausage??? He almost got nicked in Prague for taking a piss behind some religious building & was ordered to pay an £8.25 fine??? Finally drawing a new set of eyes on his eyelids at Mighty Sounds was practically the funniest thing I’ve seen (You had to be there) but yeah what the fuck….
TOP Album / Music Discovery
I’m really liking ‘Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon’ by Murder By Death, although it did come out in 2012. I have Darren from Crazy Arm to thank for this. We played a show with them earlier this year & before they went on stage ‘I Came Around’ was played over the P.A and straight away I was hooked. I asked Darren about the song & he recommended Murder By Death.
TOP Tour Buddies
Both Colt 45 & The Terraces were great people to be around on tour. We like to have a laugh & make jokes and stuff, I think when you’re on tour as an underground band, if you can’t take the piss it just doesn’t work. To play alongside like minded people was great. The last night of the Terraces tour we invaded the stage wearing womens nighties, blowing bubbles from bubble machines & wearing a horses head mask joined in on their cover of The Clash’s ‘Complete Control’. It was great, you feel a great camaraderie & everyone just has fun, there was no bullshit on any of them tours.
TOP Fan Encounter
We met a lady in Czech that had travelled pretty far to Mighty Sounds, literally got a day ticket to see us, that was pretty cool. She couldn’t speak English but was a fan of the band. I guess that’s one of the good things to come from the internet. There were a few audience members singing our songs in a different country!! That was cool.
TOP Proud Moment
There have been a few this year, finally finishing the new album, playing some great festivals but I suppose winning a ‘Pure Rawk Award’ was a great buzz. We were up for an award which we didn’t win & had been asked to play at the awards, it was a good set & thought no more of it. We were standing at the back of the room having a chat with some people & out of nowhere Electric River came over the P.A, we had won ‘Best New Breed’ which was chosen by the organisers of the event. We didn’t even know we were up for it. That was more humbling than the original award and it was just nice to have our hard work recognised.