September 17, 2014

Music Video: "Better Without" by Traditions

Check out the official music video for :Better Without" by Traditions. Pop-punk from Westfield, Massachusetts.

See our review of their EP Cycles here: link

September 05, 2014

Album Review: Cycles EP by Traditions

Album: Cycles EP
Artist: Traditions
Release Date: March 11, 2014

Website/Social Media: Facebook, Twitter

Sounds like: Up-tempo, guitar driven chords and riffs with storytelling lyrics.

Similar Artists: Taking Back Sunday, The Wonder Years, The Swellers, The Softer Side

Review:  Traditions don't have very many albums under their belt, but you would never guess that from their well polished sound. This four-piece from Westfield, MA (USA) combine their own collective musical backgrounds and experiences to provide an up-tempo guitar driven sound along the lines of Taking Back Sunday, The Wonder Years, The Swellers or The Softer Side.

Singer Randy Burlingame wastes no time getting the story started with "Ten Days," an upbeat song about a broken relationship and the conflicting feelings of relief and sorrow that follow, even if it was for the best. The album continues on a roller-coaster path of self-discovery. "I've become about as useful as a compass with no needle," sings Randy on "Polarity," one of the albums more powerful tracks about self-reflection.

Cycles is a short concept album with an overall theme about the up-and-down cycles of life, the value of never giving up and "knowing you'll always float back to the top no matter how far you sink."

Our Score: 7.5/10 - A short but satisfying listen that should be enjoyed in it's entirety.

See also: If you enjoy Cycles, you might also enjoy Rise From The Embers by The Softer Side.

See more of: Traditions, Album Reviews

September 04, 2014

Music Videos: "A Total Separation Of Self" by Heartsounds

Check out the BRAND NEW music video for "A Total Separation Of Self" by Heartsounds!

See them as they tour the West Coast, USA:
  • September 4th @ Eli’s Mile High- Oakland, CA w/ Point of View, The Restless Hearts, Long Knives 
  • September 5th @ Slidebar- Fullerton, CA w/ Point of View, Common War, The Bombpops 
  • September 6th @ 51 West- Tempe, AZ w/ Point of View 
  • September 7th @ Tower Bar- San Diego, CA w/ Point of View 
  • October 21st @ Kraken- Seattle, WA w/ Anchors 
  • October 22nd @ Slabtown- Portland, OR w/ Anchors 
  • October 23rd @ El Rio- San Francisco, CA w/ Anchors 
  • October 24th @ White Oak Music- Los Angeles, CA w/ Anchors 
  • October 25th @ The Armory- Las Vegas, NV w/ Anchors 
  • October 26th @ Tower Bar- San Diego, CA w/ Anchors

August 27, 2014

Concert Review: Teenage Bottlerocket @ Warped Tour 2014 in Pomona, California USA

Summer is pretty much over and another year of Warped Tour has come and gone. As the mohawks and chin-beards head back to school, work or whatever else they do during the non-festival season, we here at Pop Punk Radio reflect back on what was Warped Tour 2014, at least small portion of it.

Fans of Warped Tour's past may annually complain about the "decline" of the Tour while anyone who attends can tell you there certainly is no "decline" to speak of. Certainly not in terms of attendance. I would say it is more of a "changing of the guard" with the festival focusing on other genres that currently have more appeal with the younger generations. With that being said, there are still plenty of acts for the old-school fan of Warped Tour to enjoy.

Enter, Teenage Bottlerocket, who started things off with a blistering performance of "Headbanger" and continued to rip through their set at a break-neck pace. Warped Tour is notorious for their shortened 20-30 minute sets and TBR wasted no time in order to cram as much music in as possible.

Most of the songs from their set would focus on their latest album Freak Out, which was fine with me. Flying through "Cruising For Chicks," "Necronomicon," Done With Love," "Freak Out" & "Mutilate Me" They did include some of the older TBR staples such as "Skate Or Die" and even added a new song which has not been released yet.

Overall, it was a solid performance that kept the energy going for the full 30 minute set. Covering pretty much all of the bases that a fan of newer TBR material like myself would enjoy.


Additional Photos:

Other related articles & topics: 
Warped Tour, Teenage Bottlerocket, Concert Reviews

August 25, 2014

Vintage Concert Reviews: Green Day @ The Palace in Hollywood, Nimrod Tour - Dec 11, 1997

Welcome to the first in what will be a series of vintage concert reviews. I have always had a habit of saving ticket stubs from the concerts I have been to as a way of remembering the event. I am taking it another step further in this blog by jotting down what I can still remember from these events so that I may look back on them when I am a forgetful old man. Perhaps others will get some enjoyment out of the reviews as well.

I think it is only fitting to start with one of the first concerts I had ever been to:

Green Day @ The Palace in Hollywood on December 11, 1997

Venue: The Palace in Hollywood is a historic venue that has been through a number of name and ownership changes since opening in 1927. During the 90s, it was simply called The Palace. A general admission venue that fits about 1,600-2,000 people with a first level floor area and second level balcony.

Opening Acts: D-Generation was the only opening act. I had not heard of this band before the show, but I guess they were a notable punk/glam/garage band from New York during the 90s featuring singer Jesse Malin, on vocals. They were decent and had a small visible following but the majority of the crowd was waiting for the main event.

Headliner: "Here we go again..." Green Day kicked off their set with "Going To Pasalacqua" and quickly followed with "Welcome To Paradise" and "Geek Stink Breath." I was about 16 years old and in the midst of my first concert that didn't include seating. So I was a little surprised when the music started and the crowd got moving around and smashing each other. However, I was young and quick to acclimate myself to the mayhem.

Green Day was touring to support their most recent release which was Nimrod and played a block of songs from the album including "Nice Guys Finish Last," "Hitchin' A Ride" & "The Grouch." Following with a block of earlier hits including "Chump/Longview," 2000 Light Years Away" & "Brain Stew/Jaded."

I would also experience the joys of crowd-surfing for the first time. My buddy Andy and I both wanted to try but didn't know what to do. After building up enough nerve, I tapped an older (& bigger) dude on the shoulder and started pointing up. I learned that this is exactly what you are supposed to do as the guy knew exactly what I wanted and put his hands down for me. I stepped into his hands while grabbing the shoulders of others around me and before I knew it, they were all hoisting me in the air.

I was fairly young at the time so I didn't weigh much and have never spent so much time up in the air at a concert. I remember rolling all over the heads and hands of people, backwards, forwards and sideways for the length of entire songs. I probably also kicked quite a few people in the face during the process. I would later grow to hate crowd-surfers for this same reason but at the time, it was a lot of fun to be "that guy."

Older generations like to complain when things change and brag about how much tougher or better those things were in their day. My version of this is that I get to brag to younger generations about being able to see Green Day perform the Operation Ivy song "Knowledge" before they started inviting kids up on stage to play the instruments. I'll admit that the gag was pretty damn cool when they first started doing it but 10+ years later it started to make the shows drag. Who cares if some kids had an amazing and possibly life-altering experience, I want to hear "Basket Case" already! (haha, I'm kidding, sorta)

Encore: During the encore, Green Day performed "Scattered," "Prosthetic Head" & "When I Come Around" before Tre and Mike began destroying the drum-kit while Billie played in the corner with his guitar creating a bunch of feedback noise. After the drums were sufficiently destroyed, Mike and Tre walked off the stage while Billie played "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)."

It was the second of three nights in a row that Green Day were performing @ The Palace. The set-lists didn't change much for each show but the third night did include a special moment during the performance of "Paper Lanterns" when Billie Joe gets hit in the nuts with a shoe while putting on clothes that had been thrown on stage by the audience.

  1. Going To Pasalacqua
  2. Welcome To Paradise
  3. Geek Stink Breath
  4. Nice Guys Finish Last
  5. Hitchin' A Ride
  6. The Grouch
  7. Chump
  8. Longview
  9. 2000 Light Years Away
  10. Brain Stew
  11. Jaded
  12. Knowledge (originally by Operation Ivy)
  13. Basket Case
  14. She
  15. F.O.D.
  16. Paper Lanterns
  17. (encore) Scattered
  18. (encore) Prosthetic Head
  19. (encore) When I Come Around
  20. (encore) Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

August 14, 2014

World Of Warcraft: Warlords Of Draenor Official Trailer

This isn't music news but we are huge fans of the Warcraft series going back to the real-time strategy days of Warcraft II.

This trailer might require a little backstory for those who are un or partially aware of the game's lore.

First an introduction of characters:
Gul'dan - this is the cloaked figure you see dipping the cup into the green liquid
Mannoroth - the large winged demon with fiery green mohawk
Grom Hellscream - the long haired orc, father of Garrosh
Garrosh Hellscream - bald orc with black tattoo'd chin, son of Grom

If Warcraft is Clerks, then Garrosh would be Dante because he's "not even supposed to be here today."

This trailer takes us back 35 years to the world of Draenor which is essentially the same "world" or "planet" as Outland, except that Outland is basically the modern day version of Draenor after it had been shattered by certain events. If Outland is modern day Earth, then Draenor is Pangaea and Ner'zhul is plate tectonics. (Ner'zhul  is actually the derp responsible for shattering the world of Draenor but don't worry about that right now.)

Not only are we going back in time to a special place, but we are also going back to a critical event in Warcraft history. Back in the Warcraft II days, the orcs were more like the "evil villains" of the game. They were a corrupted race who came into the world of humans (Azeroth) through a Dark Portal and were hell-bent on taking over the land.

In Warcraft III we discovered that the orcs had been corrupted by the original warlock Gul'dan. That bubbling ooze he dips the cup in is the blood of Mannoroth. An evil demon pit lord who serves as a lieutenant for the game's evil faction of demons, infernals and corrupted races; The Burning Legion.

Originally, the orcs had become corrupted during this moment when Gul'dan feeds the blood of Mannoroth to one of the orcs most powerful warriors, Grom Hellscream. In original Warcraft history, Grom drinks the blood under the guise of having untold power and strength to crush their enemies. Most of the other orcs follow along and become corrupted with Blood Lust. A few notable exceptions refuse to drink the blood, including Thrall's father Durotan. Eventually, the blood lust is lifted from the orc race when Grom Hellscream (the first to drink) defeats Mannoroth and frees his people from the curse, dying in the process.

HOWEVER, in this trailer we see events unfold differently. Instead of drinking the corrupting blood, Grom refuses. Which doesn't make Mannoroth very happy. Cue Garrosh, who traveled back in time and apparently brought the orange one AND the orange one with him. (I couldn't resist one more Clerks reference!) We see other orcs unleashing a barrage of flaming projectiles upon Gul'dan and Mannoroth. Culminating with Grom dealing the death blow to Mannoroth who explodes in a burst of fiery rage.

In previous Warcraft history, the orcs drank the blood of Mannoroth, became corrupted and were sent through the Dark Portal into the world of Azeroth under the control of the burning legion. Eventually Grom would defeat Mannoroth, freeing the orc race from the curse with Mannoroth's death explosion killing Grom too. Thrall had survived the event and eventually went on to form what we know as The Horde today.

However, in this new scenario posed by Warlords of Draenor, Garrosh has gone back to the past and altered a pivotal event. Grom does NOT drink the blood, the orcs do NOT become corrupted & Grom survives to fight along with his time-traveling son who may only be a few years younger than him at this point. If Warcraft is Butterfly Effect than Garrosh is Ashton Kutcher and we all just got "Punk'd" by Blizzard.

Seriously though, I'm looking forward to playing this despite the confusion it will bring to the time-line. Release date is Nov 13, 2014 which is just in time for the 10th Anniversary of World of Warcraft.

See you all in Draenor! Lok'tar ogar!

July 31, 2014

RIP Tony Sly - 7/31/2012

Two years ago today the world lost an amazing songwriter. I will be forever bummed out that I missed at least two opportunities to see No Use For A Name about a year or two before Tony's passing.

I missed out on their club show at Punk Rock Bowling 2012 because I was unable to purchase tickets at the time they went on sale. I also missed a show where NUFAN was playing in support of NOFX as the latter band was also playing the next night with Lagwagon in support. I liked both bands but I was exposed to much more of Lagwagon's music growing up. So naturally I chose to knock Joey Cape off of my list of favorite artists whom I had yet to see perform.

I figured I would have another opportunity to see NUFAN, but I was wrong. I guess this is one of those examples where we shouldn't take certain things for granted. Take advantage of your opportunities, because we won't always get another chance.

RIP Tony Sly. Thank you for everything your music has given us!

July 26, 2014

Music Videos: "I Heard The Red Line Burned Down" by Aim At Your Enemies

Get your best neck-beard ready and check out the official music video for "I Heard The Red Line Burned Down" by Aim At Your Enemies.

Buy their album on bandcamp: here

July 21, 2014

Music Videos: "Bubblegum" by The Biffers

Check out the Official music video for "Bubblegum" by The Biffers who have recently signed to Kung Fu Records.

Kung Fu Records is owned and operated by The Vandals bassist Joe Escalante. For the past few years, The Vandals had been tied up in a lawsuit with The Daily Variety over some font usage on the cover of their last album Hollywood Potato Chip.

Now that the lawsuit is over (in favor of The Vandals), Kung Fu as well as The Vandals will have a lot more activity. We are looking forward to a new album and some shows!