Emo. Originally shorthand for emotional hardcore and practised by melodic hardcore bands like Youth of Today, Rites of Spring et al, by the beginning of the twenty first century, anything labelled emo couldn’t be further away from those origins. There was a spell in the mid 90s where alternative rock bands with a slight indie leaning were also labelled emo (the best of which were the much missed Sense Field and the short-lived Shift) and they were great, but beyond that, emo just became a lazy tag for “whining sub-goth naval gazing with floppy fringe”. Surely, somewhere in the US, Brendan Canty wonders what the hell happened?
In 2015, singer songwriter and power pop champion Kurt Baker capitalised on his escalating popularity in Europe by teaming up with a bunch of Spanish garage rock and bar band heroes…and Bullet Proof Lovers was born. Not so much out of necessity, but from fun, and the resulting mini-album (which had a belated US release in 2016) saw Baker tackling some of his punkiest tendencies since his days with The Leftovers.
Russia’s Always Sick are another band joining the onslaught of punkers either channelling classic Ramones or ‘39/Smooth’ era Green Day for their primary influences. Ranging from the almost piss-takingly good (Riverdales, Tough) to the flat out awful, there’s a world’s worth of acts channelling the same four chords to make their punky mark. So many, in fact, there are now too many to even count, so it’s unsurprising when many slip by unnoticed.
Armed with a love of Rocket From The Crypt and (the) Misfits, Peterborough punk ‘n’ rollers The Moonshiners are set to slap you in the jaw with a potent, riff-heavy sound on their untitled 2017 EP . Their self-financed release serves up half an album’s worth of raw and dirty noise and couples the best riffs with a few top-notch hooks, which results in an unmissable listen for fans of the style.
You’ve probably not heard of The Radio Buzzkills. Chances are, even if you’re a big punk fan, the band have still slipped under your radar. In 2017, the St Louis based band celebrated their fifteenth anniversary and they also achieved a career high point when they shared a stage with one of their all time heroes. In January, they stopped by at Real Gone to tell us all about that soon-to-be legendary gig…and more besides.