Album Review: Astpai – True Capacity

Austrian grit-and-guitar maestros Astpai reach melodic punk perfection on their fifth studio album. FFO: The Flatliners, Gnarwolves, RX Bandits.

Article by Sarah Williams.

Since beginning Shout Louder, I’ve been sent a lot of records. I listen to every single submission, so it’s easy for an album to pass me by, falling into the mediocre cracks in the floorboards of scruffy punk fodder. As a result, it’s a rarity that an album will grip me from a first listen but, guess what? True Capacity has done just that.

Astpai have been on the gruff-punk radar for many years now, pulling big, dedicated audiences in the UK as well as on the mainland. True Capacity is the fifth studio album from this Viennese five-piece; a strong melodic punk offering that will instantly appeal to fans of The Flatliners and Gnarwolves.

Main single, Best Years, has to be the one of the best melodic punk songs written in 2018. It hooks you in with a devilishly catchy riff before slamming you with understated, earworm lyrics. Astpai have nailed a unique and enticing combination of written-in-your-bedroom simplicity and owning-a-huge-stage atmospherics that resonates through the whole record. I’m singing along with the my fist in the air, nodding my head and tapping my feet for, “That’s the best you can do.” The more I hear this song, the more it resonates with me.

Zock’s gruffer, gently accented vocal is something of an acquired taste, but he’s outdone himself on this recording, bringing a passionate depth to the lyrics without being show-offish. “Rejection is the final nail to your coffin of despair,” on No Hero is another instantly memorable lyric, as is, “Love is a strong word when you don’t mean it.” Continue reading “Album Review: Astpai – True Capacity”

Exclusive: The Burnt Tapes Premiere Video for ‘Things Get Weird’

Be the first to watch the beautiful and mysterious new music video from London’s favourite regret punks, The Burnt Tapes.

The Burnt Tapes Video Premiere Things Get Weird Exclusive

Celebrating a year since the release of their melodic-punk gem, Alterations, London’s The Burnt Tapes have released a beautiful video for the best song on the record: Things Get Weird.

Alterations was Shout Louder’s Best EP Release of 2017 and we’ve been dying to hear more from the band ever since. These self-styled regret punks excel in heart-on-your-sleeve songwriting with oodles of hooks and sad refrains, ideal for fans of Iron Chic, Polar Bear Club or Red City Radio.

The video for Things Get Weird is about battling your demons, whether they be mental or physical manifestations, which aptly captures the song’s themes of loss and inner turmoil. Sing with us now: “I watched us fall apart in my head…”

Alterations is available on 12’’ vinyl, CD or download direct from Lockjaw Records and Umlaut Records.

Here’s what The Burnt Tapes had to say about the video:

“Firstly, we were super lucky to be able to get two very talented people to work with us on this project, Arghie and Serena, who were willing to help us bring to life any weird and wacky ideas we had. Although we filmed this video across multiple days back in November, but it felt right to put it out now to celebrate the one year anniversary of Alterations‘ release.

We spent two days working with the mercurial Matt Carson [JB Conspiracy / Darko’s Hiraeth video]. We had an idea for a very ambitious drowning-in-a-pool scene – we rocked up to a pool in a spa/gym, managed to get past reception with a crew of two actors, two band members and Matt with all his equipment…. We started filming, but just before the girls jumped into the pool the receptionist busted in on us and kicked us out. The pool scene became a bathtub scene.

The Burnt Tapes have just spent 10 days recording their debut full-length at The Ranch. Due to ‘the confidentiality agreement they signed with Sony’ they’re not able to tell us much more than that in the moment, but we know it will be worth the wait.

You can catch the band live at Evil Hoof Fest in Manchester in on July 21st or at Rebellion in August. They are wrapping up the summer with a tour of Scotland, starting on August 24th.

You can pick up a copy of Alterations direct from Lockjaw Records and Umlaut Records here: https://lockjaw-records.lnk.to/Alterations

You can keep track of all Burnt Tapes news on Facebook and Instagram. While you’re here, why not read Shout Louder’s review of Alterations?

Interview: Shoreline on German Punk, UK Tours and Their New EP

We talk to German melodic punks, Shoreline, about the Münster punk scene, what it’s like touring the UK and the release of their new record.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Shoreline are a melodic punk band from Münster, Germany. They are due to release their debut EP You Used To Be A Safe Place on 19th January 2018 via Uncle M Records. They’re celebrating by touring Germany with Great Collapse plus a stint in the UK, including dates in Manchester, London, Nottingham, Cardiff and Worcester.

I’m a huge fan of You Used To Be A Safe Place already. It will appeal to fans of angsty melodic indie-punk like The Menzingers and Gnarwolves although it’s got a gritty quality to it that only a smaller band can deliver. The current single Breakfast (at 5pm) is a memorable little tune with brighter guitars and a grittier vocal; it gives me flash-foward fantasties of jostling sweatily through a drunken crowd at The Fighting Cocks, singing along at the top of my lungs. The final track on the EP, Silent Friend, has future-anthem written all over it. It’s so close to Cavalcade-era Flatliners that I’ve struggled to stop listening to it.

Shoreline You Used To Be A Safe Place Interview

I always think that a band travelling from the European mainland to tour the UK is a good sign – it’s not easy to get bookings, so they tend to know what they’re doing both musically and within the DIY scene. We spoke to singer/guitarist Hansol Seung about the Münster punk scene, the differences in touring the UK vs. Mainland Europe and their new release.

Hi Hansol! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.

Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for having me.

Tell us a bit about the band. How did you get started?

We started the band in fall 2015. At first it was just Julius [guitar/vocals] and me [guitar/vocals]. I think we met through some weird Facebook students group, in a comment section about our music taste, where he’s listed some of my favourite bands. We eventually met at shows and became friends – that was around 2014, I think. We were always talking about starting a really fast-paced, melodic punk rock band, just like NOFX or The Flatliners.

We searched for a drummer for such a long time, it was mental. We finally found one in Martin, who was playing in his old band Words Ring True back then. To be honest, we’d known each other for quite a while! I even filled in on bass for them once or twice, but it took a while for us to ask him if he wanted to join us. He seemed really busy with Words Ring True and Julius and I were looking for someone who would dedicate as much time as we would, rather than seeing our band as sort of a side project. Turned out Martin was ready to do so and ever since then he has put so much effort into Shoreline that we’ve never ever questioned his dedication for this project.

Tobias, our bassist was the last one to join us. I knew him from university, since we shared a lot of the same lectures. He wasn´t too much into punk rock back then, but it came together nicely ever since the first rehearsal.

 

 

 

I’ve never been to Münster. What’s the punk scene like there?

The punk scene in Münster is awesome. There are so many bands and people creating things, promoters and people who dig this kind of music. Most of the bands of our genre know each other; we´re all friends really. A lot of the bands also tour a lot and get themselves out there. I think I have hung out with Michel from Hal Johnson in sweaty DIY Venues all over Europe. I´d say there are few cities in Germany or in Europe in general (that I personally know of) that have such a personal, close and flourishing punk scene like Münster has. We are really fortunate to be a part of it. Continue reading “Interview: Shoreline on German Punk, UK Tours and Their New EP”

EP Review: The Burnt Tapes – Alterations

The new EP from London’s favourite ‘regret punks’ is a moody, melodic masterstroke. FFO: Iron Chic, Leagues Apart and Red City Radio.

Review by Mark Bartlett.

When I first saw The Burnt Tapes on a poster (a year or so ago) I’d already decided that they were awesome before ever hearing a note of music, such is the power of an excellent band name. But a band needs to be more than just a really really cool name. On Alterations the London-via-Athens band deliver six tracks that stand toe to toe with their peers and cement their position at the top of the pile of London’s best punk bands. Tone Apostolopoulos (vocals & bass), Phil Georgoulopoulos (lead vocals & guitar), Panos Tessaromatis (vocals & guitar) and Jordan Hall (Drums), have delivered one of 2017’s standout melodic punk releases.

Burnt Tapes 1.jpg

Short opener Alterations sets the tone and pace nicely. Sonically, it all begins in a fairly sunny fashion, with triumphant progressions and some flowery harmonies that are effectively betrayed by vocals that take the granite chewing grit of Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan, viewed through a modern Iron Chic-esque lens. “‘Cause at twenty-eight, what the fuck can you change?”

Lead track Oh Marie was the first song I was exposed to. I immediately got vibes that took me back to circa 2001 post-hardcore/emo classic bands. Musically, the chord changes are a bit Good Mourning-era Alkaline Trio. The opening progression is menacing and bubble-wrapped in glass half-empty pessimism. Lyrically, we’re in a dark place here: “I’ve looked better, you’ve looked worse. Crawling on the ground for your last cigarette.”

It’s followed by one of the two strongest tracks on the record. The excellently punny Wayne Regretzky opens with a huge, sparkly pop riff that leads into the most dynamically interesting verse-to-chorus changes on the EP. Lyrically, it’s poignant and personally affecting with the refrain, “All good things pass, real fast,” delivering the record’s best lyrical moment. Continue reading “EP Review: The Burnt Tapes – Alterations”