team reasonable is fucking dead

finalheadergoodA couple years ago I wrote a post that was more or less me eulogizing the loss of PastePunk. It was a hugely important website for me. Deep in my heart I wanted to try and matter to someone as much as that site mattered to me. I really don’t think I ever succeeded in that, but it was worth a shot anyway. No one is going to eulogize this dumb blog, so I’m going to have to do it myself.

I got into writing this thing because I love punk rock. I love how it gave me a scene to be part of when I was younger. I love how it gave me an escape when shit got bad. I love the people I’ve met because of it. I’ve spent the last 7 and a half years (inconsistently) writing about bands that I thought were cool. I wrote a couple negative reviews. Three, I think. I still stand by two of those. I learned early on that it was more rewarding to write positive things about stuff you like than negative things about stuff you don’t. There are a shit million “focus on the negative” blogs on the internet. Fuck being that.

There is a thing Aaron Cometbus wrote that I’ve always loved. He said:

“I wanted a new lifestyle too, a new lease on life, but couldn’t make that change. I was still paying off an old debt. Sounds dumb, but punk had saved my life, and part of being a punk for me was taking on the responsibility to give something back. Save someone else’s life and safeguard my own. I had a lot of work to do.”

I’ve done about as much as I can, I think. I’ve been involved in punk rock, in one capacity or another, for more than half my life. I’m 32 years old, and I know that isn’t old in the grand scheme of things, but I feel less and less connected to whatever the “punk community” is. No one wants to keep reading an old punk’s opinion on music that is largely defined by youth. And I certainly don’t want to be the internet version of the weird old guy who keeps showing up at all ages shows.

I’ve been threatening to pull the plug here for the last two years or so. Every bit of promotion I do is instantly made pointless by me cutting myself off at the knees every chance I get. I got a bunch of readers following me when I was on Blogger, so I switched to WordPress on a whim. I caught an offhand link in a Slate article that sent over a thousand people my way in the course of an afternoon, so I fucked off for six months and wasted a huge chance to expand my readership. I made a Facebook page thing, and maybe 20 people liked it. I lose readers every year, and have been since traffic peaked in 2014. People would 100% stop sending me promotional materials if they saw how low my views are. I don’t want to sound all morose and bitter. It’s (mostly) been a fun thing. I’ve found some of my favorite bands because of this. I’ve gotten to interact with bands and labels that I love.

Thanks for reading though, especially the ones who’ve stuck with me since 2010. This blog will stay up for as long as WordPress exists, or until I decide to delete it. Could go either way.

I’ll still be on Twitter yelling about shit on occasion. Get at me on there. I guess I’m on Instagram and Snapchat too (teamreasonable and thejoekelly). Those are mostly pictures of my cats though. Probably not worth a follow. I’m keeping the email address active, so catch me on there maybe? teamreasonable @ gmail.

Anyway. See you around.

 

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REVIEW: Two Knights – “Effing”

tkeffing

Two Knights, the duo of Parker Lawson and Miles DeBruin, are the epitome of a duo that knows how to fucking go. Find me a stronger two piece that plays this kind of music. Effing is the kind of record that will get pigeonholed as an emo record, but that only accounts for a small portion of what it is. It is an energetic, mathy, punk rock record that knows how to get the point.

The songs on Effing are all pretty short. Save the closer, “Lex Loser,” all these song barely break the two minute mark. Even that song is just shy of 03:21. It’s remarkable because these aren’t simple, punk rock riffs. “Stoned Legends Of The Hidden Temple” and “Lex Loser” are pretty aggressive in the guitar department. A bunch of nerds would be yelling about “twinkling” if they were slower. “I Ate an Entire Pizza During One Episode of The West Wing” is on the other end. It’s way more straight forward, A to B type song.

Two Knights have basically nailed the gimmick. They are a great blend of indie, emo, math rock, and punk. Two Knights are the kind of band that knows exactly what they want to do, and they know exactly how to do it.

Two Knights
Skeletal Lightning
Bandcamp
Buy It

Song Of The Week (8/11/17) // See Through Dresses – “Lucy’s Arm”

See Through Dresses – “Lucy’s Arm”

From Tiny Engines:

See Through Dresses released its Tiny Engines debut End of Days in the Fall of 2015, introducing a wider audience to a sound both intrinsic and environmental, with stark contrasts between its principal songwriters’ devastatingly riff-heavy jams and endearingly honest confessionals. It showcased what the band can do in spaces where guitars and rhythms rule the roost.

If End of Days is its rock record, Horse of the Other World, out June 14th, is See Through Dresses’ dreamy opus. Recorded in 2016 in two locations — ARC Studios with Ben Brodin (Pile, First Aid Kit, The Good Life) and at the band’s home studio, Little Machine, by Mathew Carroll — it signals a sonic leap into a more ethereal, soundscape-driven aesthetic.

Reverb-drenched and synth-laden, Horse of the Other World blends Carroll and Bertuldo’s masterful mood creation and technical prowess while further exploring the depths of the band’s dynamics. “Pretty Police” mixes sparkle and bounce with brood, while “Violet” cuts sharply via crystalline keys and arpeggiated chords. Bassist Alex Kirts pumps the album’s bleeding heart and drummer Nate Van Fleet is tactical and creative. Their playing shines as the foundation of songs like “Lucy’s Arm” and “Herbivore,” whose climaxes are textbook See Through Dresses.

See Through Dresses are one of the best examples of modern post-punk. They mix classic shoegaze and dream pop elements with driving punk rock. They make art without getting pretentious.

Horse of the Other World is an A+ record from front to back. “Lucy’s Arm” is a hell of a single. Those shared vocals on the verses are fantastic.

See Through Dresses
Tiny Engines

 

Song Of The Week (8/4/17) // Sheer – “Stutter”

Sheer – “Stutter”

From The Native Sound:

A year and a half since the release of their debut album, and two member changes later, Sheer are back.

With their new EP Psychic Quarry, Sheer embrace a change that finds the band at their most relaxed and inspired. While their debut LP Uneasy introduced the band as one with a kinship for dreamy, reverb-induced soundscapes, Psychic Quarry is a much more catchy, and indie rock-informed affair.

The six songs on Psychic Quarry cover a lot of ground – feelings of anxiety and depression, the vulnerability of intimacy, and even the post-election shock many of found ourselves coping with.

Stutter isn’t a single. I don’t know that it’s really a thing to share here in this space. I really like this band. Psychic Quarry is a great record. It came out back in April, and I probably should have talked about it then.

Anyway, go grab the damn thing.

Sheer
The Native Sound

Song Of The Week (7/28/17) // Post Lovers – “Going Away”

Post Lovers – “Going Away”

From the inbox:

Athens based Post Lovers is a solo project created by Eleni Karageorgou. Post Lovers play short, indie folk tunes, blending a-bit-too personal songwriting with playful backing vocals, all set in a 90’s background. Their beneficiary musicians kindly contribute to both their rehearsals and live gigs. Post Lovers take a step at a time: girls, friends, lovers, post lovers.

Their first official release is the single “Melbourne/Going Anyway” coming out on August 1st through the 7-inch series “A Distant Victory Singles Club” via Inner Ear Records.

These indie pop songs always sound good in the summer. Is twee seasonal? Anyway, “Going Away” is the b-side on Post Lovers’ upcoming single. Both it and “Melbourne” are great songs. The 7″ will be out on August 1. It’s part of Inner Ears’ subscription series. You can check that out here.

Post Lovers
Inner Ear Records

REVIEW: Perennial – “The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves”

ptsoal

Perennial released their first EP back in 2015. Early Sounds For Night Owls was a quick four song record that I still don’t think got the attention it deserved. It had all the heart and intensity that you would want from a record, especially in a genre as driven as post-hardcore. It’s essential listening. Especially if you want to understand the artistic side of underground music. But that’s 2015, and it’s now two years later. Where do we stand?

The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves is the new record, and it’s probably my favorite record of 2017 so far. I mean that with no hyperbole. Perennial have raised the bar. The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves fucking goes. It’s one of those records where you can tell what songs are going to absolutely wreck the place live. “La Fugue Pour Béton brut” is definitely one of them. I feel like “Evergreen, un deux trois,” “Resolver,” and “Hippolyta” are definitely contenders too. Those songs are quick bursts of aggressive energy. Shit, the whole record is.

The evolution of Perennial’s sound is key to what makes everything work. First, the increased vocal presence of Chelsey Hahn adds a lot of depth. The way her vocals work with Chad Jewett’s is one of the many standouts on the records. Those two were the heart of Lion Cub, so it’s no surprise that they work so well together. To that point, the increased presence of the keyboards and sampling also change the dynamic a lot. That texture existed on Early Sounds For Night Owls, but that record still felt more guitar driven. The song that best shows that shift is “La Fugue Pour Béton brut.” That song appeared on the EP in 2015, and a reworked version shows up here. It’s the best.

The Symmetry Of Autumn Leaves is an amazing record from start to finish. It’s a perfect mix of art school punk and post-hardcore. The energy, the passion, everything.

Perennial
Howling Frequency Records
Bandcamp
Buy It

Song Of The Week (7/21/17) // Night Talks – “In Dreams”

Night Talks – “In Dreams”

From the inbox:

“In Dreams” is also the new single by alt-rock band Night Talks. They’re from Los Angeles, born and raised, and they define their own sound as pretty lush, equal parts heavy and delicate. Regarding this song, front-woman Soraya said: “”In Dreams” is about having a terrible day and then realizing that you can, indeed, move past it. Everyone deals with really awful things in their lives, and we wanted this song to remind people that more often than not, you can move on and try to enjoy what life has to offer you. It just takes time.”

Night Talks is a pretty solid indie / alt rock band out of Los Angeles. “In Dreams,” the title track from their full length, is definitely one of the more mellow cuts from the record. It’s the closing track, so it makes sense. The full record is pretty solid. It’s on Spotify and Soundcloud, give it a listen

The email letting me know about this song had a gif of a dog rolling itself up in a blanket (like a burrito!). So, y’know, that was also pretty dope.

Night Talks
Soundcloud