Trifle “All that Used To Be” EP

Once in a while, you can read a review of an “emo” record on here, because there’s nothing wrong with it as long as it rocks. Bands like HOT WATER MUSIC, early GET UP KIDS or The PROMISE RING were all good, and TRIFLE carry the torch of this indie rock style that was quite popular in the late 90s, from the hardcore scene to college radio. You’ll hear some good guitar melodies in “I Ain’t Ever Feel Free” or in “Uncertain”, some poppy melancholy and the vocals are not bad, though typical of this style. I would personally say that the band is better when they add a little noisy touch to their music, and give birth to something more personal, like in “Tramp.” These four songs are out on Italian label Lostdog Records. /Laurent C.

Facebook page

Squarecrow “Oh, Ramona”

SqORSan Diego’s SQUARECROW are back with a full album “Oh, Ramona.” Somewhere between sunny Californian pop punk and 90s emo punk, the band also added a power pop touch to their music in songs like “My Ramona” and “Don’t Worry.”
Up tempo skate punk fans will enjoy “Die Awake” and “Antenna Booster”, RANCID fans might like “Out Like Elliott” and “Let It Burn”, SOCIAL DISTORTION ones will dig “Find My Way”, and if you need to slow down, then just listen to “Lesson Learned” and its 60s influenced guitars, or the acoustic “Half Truths.” On the other hand, “Seventh and Main” would fit more into the hardcore punk category.
As you can hear on this album, the band’s music stands in between several genres, but it’s far from being a bad thing since they’re very good at what they do./Laurent C.

Facebook page

Beside Myself “Here’s To You”

Remember all these 90s bands first known as “emo punk”? I mean, bands like JAWBREAKER or HOT WATER MUSIC? Well, I really liked some of them, but unfortunately most of them now have beards, wear flannels and play awful indie folk music!
Nevertheless, it happens – among the dozens of emails I get from Italian hair metal bands or Swedish sleaze metal gangs- that I get one from a band in that style. Still refreshing. These guys from California know how to mix nice melodic guitars to rawkin’ whisky voices and punk rock drums. 7 songs is never the easiest format for a record (something between an EP and an album, though it probably matter less in this downloading age) but this is enough to know where the band is going (sometimes in the AGAINST ME! direction here) and you’ll find yourself singing the chorus of “Part Two” or “Maybe If I” without even noticing it after listening to this record a couple of times./Laurent C.

The Regime “S/T”

San Diego punk rock with big influences from the first (and real) emo bands (FUGAZI, RITES OF SPRINGS, JAWBREAKER…)Honestly, I haven’t been listening to any new band in that style in a long while so I was quite curious to listen to The REGIME. Moreover, there used to be quite a few interesting bands in that style in San Diego in the past (Swing Kids, Drive Like Jehu…)
Starting the noisy battle with a powerful “Dead Like You” that should please every HOT WATER MUSIC fan, the band manages to show another side of their talent as soon as the second song “Mankind” starts, a kind of FUGAZI influenced rock song with a twisted noisy end. It’s kinda surprising to hear that The REGIME can also come close to ska meeting punk rock (in a PROPAGANDHI way) on “She’s Got Nuthin'”, but it’s working in the end.
Other standout moments include pyshotic chaotic hardcore song “Better Days” and demented rockin’ song “By Pattern”. The last 4 songs of the album might not be as captivating as the rest, but all in all this album is a good surprise./Laurent C.