Green Day have undergone a few dramatic changes over the years. They’ve grown from being a straight up pop-punk band to one that seemingly knows no boundaries. They’ve dabbled with elements of 60s rock (the title track from their 2000 album ‘Warning’ brazenly ripped off The Kinks and the same album took in other retro styles previously untouched by the trio); delivered one of their generation’s most pointed political statements (‘American Idiot’); dabbled with a rock opera (’21st Century Breakdown’) and even staged a piece of musical theatre based on the ‘American Idiot’ album. Through it all, they have held on to a very loyal fanbase. You could accuse Green Day of many things (even becoming dull, as evidenced on their ‘Uno’, ‘Dos’ and ‘Tre’ trilogy from 2012), but you could never accuse them of standing still.
The Livermores’ 2019 self-titled disc follows a couple of EP releases (including a fun split with Proton Packs), is advertised as a full album but still only clocks in at a length that some bands would still consider an EP. In an especially lean twenty four minutes, though, this band smashes their way through a full thirteen tracks of speed-driven punk, creating a listen that’s both enjoyable and incredibly energetic.
Two years on from their ‘Joyride’ full length, Red Light Rebels sound as if they truly mean business on their ‘Rewind Erase’ EP. It isn’t really that the band have toughened up, or even changed their sound dramatically; it’s more a case of everyone sounding ever more confident as their musical journey progresses. Having long established their sound and put in some hard yards on the live circuit supporting The Ataris, Teenage Bottlerocket, Swingin’ Utters and others, on ‘Rewind Erase’, these Gloucestershire based lads present their finest studio recordings to date.
If you’ve followed the US power pop and pop-punk scenes over the past five years, you’ll know that Justine and The Unclean have released two incredibly catchy albums.
In June 2020, Justine Covault and her band of Boston musicians will release their third long player ‘Every Bone That Breaks’. Almost six months in advance, the band have just issued a two track digital single. Not only will this keep fans entertained until the album appears, but it also teases with a much tougher musical direction.
A concept record isn’t exactly what you’d expect from a band heavily influenced by Superchunk, The Replacements and various pieces from a pop-punk past. You probably wouldn’t expect a “divorce record” either – such things are often the province of the more introspective singer-songwriter – but that’s exactly where we find Ryan Allen and his Extra Arms at the close of 2019. An eight song outpouring, ‘Up From Here’ does a fabulous job of documenting Allen’s feelings and place within the world following a marriage split, but those who’ve enjoyed his previous works shouldn’t be concerned that this is too heavy going, as his thoughts are often coupled with some fabulous power pop and pop-punk arrangements.