Punk Rock, Anxiety, Phobias and Friendship

Ben (ex-Paper Champ/The 4130s) shares a personal story of how fear and anxiety have hindered his enjoyment of punk rock.

Guest post written by Ben Wiles, previously of Paper Champ & The 4130s. This is part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music. 

Hi. I’m Ben and I’m an emetophobe! There, I said it.

Emetophobia is a fear of vomiting. I’ve been emetophobic for as far back as I can remember.  I have no idea of the origins of this phobia and, if you are reading this thinking, “Woah, that’s a strange one,” you’d be right.  I think the exact same thing; everyone throws up right?

Fuck – some people actively go out of their way to drink enough booze to puke every Friday.  Fair play to them.  I don’t drink.  It’s not my bag. Over the years not drinking has had a big impact on being in a band and, by extension, being in a gig setting.  I never wanted to be ‘that guy’ who was down on a party and stop my band mates enjoying themselves and getting wasted.  But it was getting harder and harder to be around drunk people. Continue reading “Punk Rock, Anxiety, Phobias and Friendship”

The Human Project Tour Diary: Driving 24 Hours For A 40 Minute Set

Why drive all day to play one set? The Human Project make a trip full of in-jokes and good times go quickly, en route to Coral Springs’ album launch in Leiden, Netherlands.

Article by Sarah Williams. Gig photos by Mia Weerdesteijn.

05:15 and I’ve accidentally set my alarm for 5pm, so Luke Yates, guitarist in The Human Project has to knock on my door to wake me up. I have one job (to get out of bed on time), and I’ve failed it.

It’s an early start, as are many of these trips. Loading merchandise into the back of a van at 5am, after staying in Luke’s spare room in Leeds the night before, I start considering why we bother. As a teenager, I imagined going on tour would involve a big Nightliner – a tour lorry with bunks beds, big screen TVs and a bar. As an adult I look forward to jumping in the back of a Mercedes Vito to travel in boredom for 10 hours, just to watch a band play for 30 minutes.

There’s an acceptance to it. It’s not glamorous, but it is fun. Luke jumps in the drivers seat of the van and we taxi round Leeds in the pre-dawn darkness to collect the rest of the band.

Continue reading “The Human Project Tour Diary: Driving 24 Hours For A 40 Minute Set”

Tasting Notes: Pkew Pkew Pkew Drink Their Way Through ‘Optimal Lifestyles’

Canadian melodic punks Pkewx3 give us a unique track-by-track breakdown of their new album… by picking which beer pairs best with each song.

Canadian melodic punks Pkew Pkew Pkew have created one of the most fun records of the year with Optimal Lifestyles. Rather than the traditional track-by-track breakdown of the album, but asked them to give us a unique insight into the record: by telling us which beer they’d pair each track with.

Want to drink along? Load up the album on Spotify – it’s was released on March 1st via Big Scary Monsters an Dine Alone Records. Enjoy this choice shopping list of Canadian ales to pair with the record!

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1. Still Hangin’ Out After All These Years

This best pairs with any of the ones listed at the end of the track—take your pick!

2. I Don’t Matter At All

This is a pretty tasty track if you ask us. It’s kind of reminiscent of The Strokes so we’ll go with Brooklyn Lager for this one. Brooklyn Brewery is one of the only NYC breweries that we get up in Canada.

Continue reading “Tasting Notes: Pkew Pkew Pkew Drink Their Way Through ‘Optimal Lifestyles’”

5 Hot New Punk Rock Releases You Should Be Listening To

Listen to our top picks from this month’s new punk rock releases: Burnt Tapes, Pkew Pkew Pkew, Bash Brothers, Coral Springs and Wolfrik.

Article by Sarah Williams.

Sometimes punk rock goes through a drought. Other times, it’s a flood. February has been a tsunami of top-drawer punk rock records, more than we’ve been able to keep up with!

To make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve rounded up our favourite new releases below. There have also been some excellent new singles from SKIV, Wild Tales, Blind Man Death Stare, Tip of OlympVs and more – check out our ‘Something To Shout About’ Spotify playlist for all the latest tracks!

Burnt Tapes – Never Better

Released February 22nd on Lockjaw Records (UK/EU) & Wiretap Records (US)

The hotly tipped debut album from London ‘regret-punks’ Burnt Tapes has received some sterling reviews in the weeks leading up to its release. Crafted over the last couple of years, Never Better builds on the solid melodic foundation of their EP Alterations (Shout Louder’s EP Of The Year 2017), harking back to older songs through fleeting lyrical references, while also developing the band’s sound into something greater and deserving of major appreciation. Continue reading “5 Hot New Punk Rock Releases You Should Be Listening To”

Why I’m Not Coming To Your Gig Tonight

Social anxiety in live music can be a challenge. Support your scene, but not at the expense of your own mental health.

This article written by Sarah Williams is part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music. Trigger warning: anxiety.

Today, my anxiety has anxiety. I am experiencing my own personal apocalypse.

I am entirely aware that the visions of catastrophe in my head are irrational, imagined and impossible (or at least implausible), but they’re there nonetheless. A cacophony of intrusive thoughts, false assumptions and self-criticism rattle round my hollow skull, a jarring, overwhelming rush.

Counting to ten isn’t helping. Telling myself I’m being illogical isn’t helping. Distracting myself isn’t helping. Self-care sounds like a waste of time, when I’ve got so much work to do. I need to just sit, ride this wave out and hope it doesn’t ruin my evening.

I’m going to a gig. I love gigs. I love live music more than anything else.

I desperately do not want to go.

I’m lying facedown on my bed, trying to muster the courage to put a jacket on and locate my house keys. Everything is impossible.

Continue reading “Why I’m Not Coming To Your Gig Tonight”

7 Punk Rock Bands To Stalk In 2019

Our recommendations for ones-to-watch this year – these bands are set to explode.

Written by Sarah Williams. Cover photo by Cold Front Photography.

Now that we’ve completed our round-up of 2018 (check out our top albums, EPs, festivals and live bands) it’s time to look ahead of the future.

The DIY punk scene is thriving in Europe currently; it’s feels like we’re on riding the crest of a wave that’s growing into a tsunami. Online connections are enabling us to share recommendations and enthusiasm across continents, so word is spread quickly about exciting new acts.

It’s easy to find new music nowadays, however I’ve believe there are two methods that stand out above the others: watching support acts at gigs and listening to recommendations from your friends. In 2019, I implore you to get out and see as many new bands as possible. To get you started, here are Shout Louder’s top recommendations:

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Wolfrik

Canadian thrashers Wolfrik are unlike any other band I’ve heard… although it’s safe to say they’re fans of Alexisonfire, A Wilhelm Scream, Protest The Hero and Belvedere. I’ve been keen to get their EP Skeleton City into the ears of anyone I can find and, so far, everyone’s been bowled over by their awesome sound.

Fortunately Skeleton City also found its way to the ears of the Manchester Punk Festival promoters, who pretty much instantly added them to the bill. If Wolfrik are as good live as they are on record then they’re going to tear the faces off the whole UK punk scene when they arrive in England in April. Erring on the metal / rock end of the punk scale, they combine a variety of genres, but it’s all fast, raucous fun with a healthy dose of experimentation. Continue reading “7 Punk Rock Bands To Stalk In 2019”

Tour Diary: The Burnt Tapes’ Greek Disaster

Dank Tone shares a tale of cursed weather, swine flu, lost luggage… and good friends.

In January, London’s melodic punk quartet The Burnt Tapes returned to their Athenic roots for a short tour of Greece with pop-punks The Overjoyed.

Tone, the band’s charismatic bassist, wrote this exclusive tour diary for Shout Louder.

Dear Diary,

Best night ever! That’s all there is to be said about our home-coming show in Athens that brought to an end our short, but way overdue, tour of Greece.

The tour that was plagued with nightmarish bad luck. Fates conspired against us with terrible weather, logistical restructuring, unreliable airlines and swine flu. Bear with me, this is a doozy. Continue reading “Tour Diary: The Burnt Tapes’ Greek Disaster”