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feasting on rock n' roll's remains!!!
Robby interviews Billy Batts
and the Made Men
If you like classic 70s Punk, Early Post-Hardcore, Classic DC Hardcore or Classic LA Hardcore (which you do), do yourself a favor and check out Billy Batts and the Made Men.
Robby Roach (Radio Roach): I first heard Billy Batts and the Made Men a few years ago. For someone unfamiliar, can you give us a little bit of a history?
Andrew Stagliano (vocals, bass): You want the long story or the short story?
Robby Roach: Let's go with the long!
Andrew Stagliano: I’ll let Brody go because I’d say something to piss somebody off.
Brody Wilson (vocals/guitar): Andy and I started this band when we were 10 and 14. Then we started playing with a different band for a short time, and we got the bass player from that band to join. From there we started playing gigs and recorded “Russ”. We recently opened for Blanks 77 and got a new manager that saw us there. We already have some new material and will be going to the studio to record that soon.
Robby Roach: Okay, so Andy is the quiet one. What are some of your guys' influences?
Brody Wilson: He’s actually the loudest. We just told him not to say anything stupid (laughs). Some of our influences are Hüsker Dü, Fucked Up, Naked Raygun, Buzzcocks, and The Damned just to name a few. I don't know if the others have any other bands they want to add.
Andrew Stagliano: Only The Shaggs.
Brody Wilson: True.
Andy Wilson (drums): True
Brody Wilson: Andy will probably say Klaus Nomi or some shit.
Robby Roach: I thought there was an old school vibe. Where did that come from?
Brody Wilson: My dad always played late 70’s and mid 80’s punk and hardcore, so we’ve grown up listening to that style of music.
Andrew Stagliano: Too many people these days make bitchy soft indie music and that’s cool, but we need to make America angry again.
Andy Wilson: Make America anger again!
Andrew Stagliano: Make America angry at America again!
Andy Wilson: Yeah!
Robby Roach: 70s-80s Hardcore is probably the best music ever made. So do you all completely deny Nuclear Blues, Suck My McNuggets, etc.? Or are these still in the repertoire?
Brody Wilson: We’re proud of our legacy, but we have moved forward.
Andy Wilson: Yeah! Suck my McNuggets, Stag!
Andrew Stagliano: I had some Burger King chicken fries yesterday which gave McNuggets a serious run for their money, so i must agree.
Andy Wilson: Okay idiot
Andrew Stagliano: You’re just mad you can’t eat chicken with your bitch braces.
Andy Wilson: Yeah I can, idiot. You like blink-182 !
Andrew Stagliano: Let the record reflect that Andy’s statement is not factual.
Andy Wilson: Okay fine
Brody Wilson: Moving on...
Robby Roach: Oh my god, this is fun. I was just curious because you started pretty quick with Russ. Which leads me to...Is Russ a real person and, if so, who is he and is that really a picture of him on the cover?
Andrew Stagliano: Russ was god’s first experiment into making the perfect human being, and god succeeded.
Brody Wilson: He’s a guy who comes to all of our shows. Those are childhood pictures of him.
Andy Wilson: Pretty much. Something like that I think.
Andrew Stagliano: Hit Russ Rainwater up on the facebooks!
Brody Wilson: Good man.
Andy Wilson: Yeah!
Robby Roach: Turns out we're already friends.
Andrew Stagliano: I love it!
Robby Roach: My personal favorite movie of all time is Goodfellas. Who is the Scorsese fan?
Brody Wilson: We’re all huge fans!
Andrew Stagliano: I think we all are! Not 100% sure about Andy though. He’s kind of a sketchy dude.
Andy Wilson: Shut up. Stag. Idiot. Fart face. No brained loser face. You just play the bass, idiot.
Brody Wilson: He’s got the voice of an angel.
Andrew Stagliano: Oh, I’m sorry you don’t get to say any words on Russ. When you die, no one will know what you sound like. Meanwhile, my angelic voice will live on eternally.
Andy Wilson: Okay idiot. I sing too. Have you even heard Nuclear Blues?
Andrew Stagliano: Why don’t you come sing Hybrid Moments for us then, dummy.
Robby Roach: I want to thank you all right now for being you! Because we all share a mutual love, what is your favorite Scorsese film besides Goodfellas?
Andrew Stagliano: The Wolf of Wall Street or Casino.
Brody Wilson: Wolf of Wall Street probably, but they’re all good.
Andy Wilson: Wolf of Wall Street. For sure.
Andrew Stagliano: Andy had to sneak out past his bedtime to watch it because it’s got too many bad words.
Andy Wilson: Okay.
Brody Wilson: Taxi Driver is pretty good too.
Robby Roach: I can't help but notice a playful animosity between Andrew and Andy. Is this something to worry about or just another Made Men dynamic?
Andrew Stagliano: Me and Andy have gone at it for millennia, we should be able to keep it together at least until we get famous and sell out for money.
Andy Wilson: Yeah, we’ve been arguing since Stag had a mustache a few years back.
Robby Roach: I already know that you're younger than most bands playing the type of music that you're playing, but what are your ages again?
Brody Wilson: I’m 18. Stag’s 17 and Andy is 13.
Andy Wilson: I’m gonna be 14 in July.
Andrew Stagliano: I’m gonna be 18 in July before you’re 14 in July.
Andy Wilson: Okay. Dummy.
Robby Roach: Is there a primary songwriter, different songwriters or are most songs collaborations?
Brody Wilson: I write a lot of the songs, but all three of us contribute.
Andy Wilson: The riff to In/Out was written by me
Brody Wilson: True.
Andrew Stagliano: I wrote a song about Jesus, but not the nice kind.
Brody Wilson: We all come in with different ideas and work on them together.
Robby Roach: Just going off of Russ Rainwhatever and myself, is most of your audience older? Also, my daughter, who is 20, is probably the biggest Made Men fan that I know personally, but she's always loved older genres. I think it's awesome that you guys play the style you do as opposed to metalcore or beatdown, but do you notice a certain age audience or is it still, I hope, universal to Punk fans of all ages? I guess I'm looking for your ideas on Punk and Hardcore as it pertains to age and its lasting effect on generations to come. I'm sorry if I'm rambling, I've now had a few. Answer away.
Andy Wilson: i dont know, I’ll let Stag and Brody answer that one. I think we seem to have fans of all ages, but I’m not sure.
Brody Wilson: We have fans our age and we’ve seen people up into their 50’s at shows. I think because of the style we play it has a broad appeal to various age groups.
Andrew Stagliano: It’s definitely true that a good amount of our big fans are older, and a lot of that is due to the fact that more and more of the more exclusively punk clubs are becoming 21+ with all ages punk shows becoming rarer and rarer, so a lot of alternative kids turn to more indie or noise or metal music. That being said, there are still plenty of young punks in Atlanta and all over keeping the spirit alive!
Robby Roach: That's the wonderful thing about this music. It almost seems to be everlasting.
Brody Wilson: I agree! Our last few shows were all ages, so we’ve had more of the younger crowd show up.
Andrew Stagliano: And there are always people reinventing the sound in more modern times while still keeping the core concepts that make classic punk so timeless.
Andy Wilson: Okay, Stag.
Andrew Stagliano: I don’t see you saying shit, bitch boy.
Andy Wilson: Okay, dummy.
Robby Roach: Alright guys. Can you tell us anything about the new material that you mentioned earlier?
Andy Wilson: It’s good I think.
Brody Wilson: We’ve got good responses from the people we shared it with so far, so I think people will be pleased.
Andrew Stagliano: Songs? Better. Production? Better. Vocals? Better. Drums? Faster. That’s all the people need to know.
Brody Wilson: We’ve already completed most of the demos and are just waiting to go to the studio now.
Robby Roach: Watching the videos, I just want to say that Andy is an awesome hardcore drummer. I'd like to ask him some of his favorite drummers or some that he's drawn influence from.
Andy Wilson: Alright. Chuck Biscuits is for sure an influence. I like a lot of Bad Brains due to the fast drumming. I also like the drumming for Minutemen. I guess Keith Moon and Chuck Biscuits would be my biggest influences though.
Robby Roach: If I were to ask who is the Joker, who is the Brain and who is the Heart, how would each of you reply and why?
Andy Wilson: I’m the joker I guess, Stag is probably the heart and Brody is the brain.
Brody Wilson: I agree with the boy.
Andrew Stagliano: I must as well agree with the child. Brody is without a doubt the only responsible mind keeping this operation together, Andy’s a little bastard, and I’m the only one who has cussed someone out in a a Walmart checkout line. So it all works out.
Robby Roach: Andrew I have to hear that story.
Andrew Stagliano: We were in the middle of the line and Andy had to run back in the store to grab something he forgot, so when he got back two people behind us started bitching about him cutting in line with one singular item and that’s not cool. Nobody talks to Andy like that, so I kinda went off.
Brody Wilson: True.
Robby Roach: How have you guys been affected by the pandemic?
Brody Wilson: We haven’t been able to see Stag because of the social distancing thing, but other then that not really. They also closed school down. We’ve also been able to record more demos and spend some more time writing songs.
Andrew Stagliano: Our show with Apes of the State got cancelled which is a bummer, but other than that it’s been about the same as any other teenagers with no school and whatnot.
Brody Wilson: I miss Stag.
Andrew Stagliano: Geez, everywhere i’ve been seems like a ghost town.
Brody Wilson: Unless you go to Walmart...Savages.
Andrew Stagliano: See! If only I was there to cuss somebody out.
Brody Wilson: Our Nashville gig in April might get cancelled too.
Robby Roach: What happened to the other band you guys were in? Did it fall apart or have they continued?
Andrew Stagliano: We had some creative differences which we realized wouldn’t allow us to successfully record and play shows long term, so the three of us broke off and started the Made Men. So far nothing else has come out of the old band.
Robby Roach: What's your favorite Billy Batts and the Made Men song?
Andy Wilson: Probably Oh, Ramona.
Brody Wilson: Probably one of our new songs.
Andrew Stagliano: Off of Russ has to be Control or Oh Ramona.
Brody Wilson: If I’m picking from Russ either Going Nowhere Fast or Oh, Ramona.
Andrew Stagliano: but I’m loving all of our new unreleased songs!
Robby Roach: Who is the best live band that you've ever seen?
Brody Wilson: That’s a hard one. Probably either Bob Mould, The Damned, Flag, Japandroids, or Subhumans. I’ve seen so many good bands though so it’s hard to pick!
Andy Wilson: Probably Subhumans.
Andrew Stagliano: Stiff Little Fingers for me.
Brody Wilson: Watching the way Flag and Bob Mould played live heavily influenced me on our stage show. The way they played song to song really grabbed me because the energy level never went away.
Robby Roach: Everybody hates when I do this, but I still always do this. Top 5 Records Ever.
Andy Wilson: In no particular order...
Minor Threat-Out Of Step
Circle Jerks-Group Sex
’m sure this list will change due to the fact I’m constantly switching between bands to listen to. Is there five Blink-182 albums? Because all five would probably be on Stag’s list (laughs).
Andrew Stagliano: Fuck off.
1. Machine Gun Etiquette
2. Pleased to Meet Me
3. Zen Arcade
4. Celebration Rock
5. Plastic Surgery Disasters
Ask me again in five minutes and that would change though.
Andy Wilson: I change mine....
Minor Threat-Out of Step
Dead Kennedy’s- Plastic Surgery Disasters
Reagan Youth-Volume 1
Descendents-Milo Goes to College
This is my definite list.
Brody Wilson: All good albums. It’s hard just to pick five.
Andrew Stagliano: In no real working order...
Bad Brains-Bad Brains
Dead Kennedys-Plastic Surgery Disasters
Andy Wilson: No Blink-182? Good list buddy.
Andrew Stagliano: I didn’t see any Skanking Pickle in your list dummy. I think you’re missing something.
Andy Wilson: Shut it fool.
Brody Wilson: You’re just mad Stag’s list was better.
Andy Wilson: No, I’m not. Everyone’s list was great.
Robby Roach: Everyone's list WAS great! I actually own all but two mentioned. Anyone you guys want to thank? Shows you want to plug? Upcoming record?
Brody Wilson: We were playing in Nashville on 4/25, but I don't know if that’s going to be happening now. We’re also playing May 16th with Orphan Riot in Atlanta, but the venue isn’t locked in yet. Hopefully that one won’t get cancelled.
We want to thank you and everyone who’s supported us! Make sure that you visit our online store https://billybattsandthemademen.bigcartel.com/ and stream “Russ” on the streaming services. You can keep up with us on our Facebook and Instagram.
Online store for Atlanta punk band, Billy Batts & The Made Men.
We will be going into the studio soon, so keep a look out for that!
Andrew Stagliano: I really want to thank my friends and family who have come out in support of our music and me doing the things I love to do as well as my two bandmates Brody and Andy for putting up with my bullshit for so long! Also shoutout to Fisto.
Andy Wilson: I want to thank my mom. My dad is cool too.
Follow Billy Batts and the Made Men on facebook here.
Listen, watch, like and subscribe to them on YouTube here.
Shop at their website here.
Listen on Amazon here.
Listen on Apple here.
Follow on Instagram here.
Listen on Deezer here.
Drawing from their mutual love of big shows, punk rock and hook-oriented melodies, Social Strife has set out to put the “Strife” back in Rock & Roll!
BECOME A FAN:
Visit their official website here
Like them on Facebook here
Book them here
Look for upcoming shows here
Listen to Social Strife on Reverbnation here
Watch Social Strife on YouTube here
PLANET AUSTIN WITH BRIAN COOK
TO THE ONES EP - 3 MILES FROM PROVIDENCE
BY ROBBY ROACH
I first heard 3 Miles on Unsigned Not Unheard, Vol. 2: Blueprint of a Struggled Mind, where “Narcissist” was included (fear not, it is available on the To the Ones EP) and was immediately a fan. The clear Grunge Rock influence is still a shortcoming weakness of mine. The convoluted chord progressions and the changes in guitar timbre, evocative of early 90s heroes. You see the victim of the song on the floor. Is it someone they know, or a glimpse of something so commonplace in today’s culture that it’s that easy to communicate and discern? Either way it’s dismal and makes me feel sorry. 3 Miles makes you feel.
3 Miles From Providence (known lovingly to fans like me as 3MFP), formed over 12 years ago. After hiatuses, lineup changes and sound changes, they bring a fresh breath of Grunge/Post-Grunge, but with Post-Hardcore harmonies and melodic hardcore guitars for their debut EP, To the Ones. You ever been really let your balls out and party on a Tuesday night way too late, knowing that you had to go to work the next day? You drank some kind of liquor that you usually don’t drink and even though you’ve acquired an awesome tolerance to hard liquor, this strange form really took you and you couldn’t reach the brakes anymore? Your drunk food was Lay’s potato chips or some other MSG infested excuse for a food? Your alarm goes off at 5:30 am, so you have to time to smoke a few and take a shower. Your tongue feels like a towel and you can’t even swallow, because there’s no saliva to swallow? Modern Rock is this situation and 3MFP is a cold, cold, iced water.
They unequivocally have the riff rock competence of the veterans and Greg’s leads are some of the boss of late. The EP begins with the track “1408”, a strident sea of pandemonium addressing the monsters of our minds. The riffs are heavy, but have a certain groove that only bands like 3MFP can deliver.
I’m not sure if early 90s Seattle Grunge is an influence, but I hear it like it was 1992 in my garage, where I chose to have my bedroom rather than share a room with my little brother. If it were, I would save up my $20 and mail order the EP. Luckily today, you just have to go to their website and order the CD for $4.99.
By the time you get to "Pyromania (Of Love)", you’re waiting for that descending coil most records take these days, but the riffs and hooks just don’t stop. There’s a dissention in the choruses that incite a feeling of uncertainty and despair that comforts us all after a long day at work or school, stuck in traffic or suffering from swamp ass.
“Pieces” is definitely one of the treasures here. I would purchase the EP on the power of this piece alone. The feeling of giving yourself to someone completely. 3MFP know how to convey feelings like this and put it into art. The best art, of course. Rock Music. 3 Miles From Providence got their shit together. Maybe not in their personal relationships or life or day-to-day functioning (maybe they do, I don’t know), but when it comes to conveying it all in rock music, they prevail.
An interesting fact - 3 Miles From Providence wrote a song for me. You can find it on the To the Ones EP. It’s called “To the Ones”. I feel like I’m not represented. I wish this could’ve been prevented. I was silenced when I tried to take a stand. I refused to give control. 3MPF tell me that I will fight and I will win. I don’t know if they know this, but I needed to be told this. I needed to be told this in my language - ringing guitars, tense vocals and palpitating drums. If you needed to be told this as well, support these prophets.
They’ve promised a full-length soon and, if To the Ones is a morsel of things to come, this should be very captivating. They’re not going anywhere. They’re still here. So are we.
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SAN ANTONIO'S SOCIAL TRAUMA
by Robby Roach
Robby Roach: I fell in love with Social Trauma when I first heard Detritus. How do you pronounce that? For people unfamiliar with Social Trauma, can you give a little background?
Donald Chambliss (vocals/guitar): It’s Pronounced Dee-try-tus. It’s just a fancy word for trash. We’ve been a band since 2012. Our bassist Patrick Simmons was jamming with another friend of his under the name Social Trauma. I jammed with them a few times and showed them songs I had written and it pretty much took off from there. We had a different drummer at the time, after about 3 shows he quit and we got Christian Martinez on drums. Been making music and playin’ shows ever since.
Robby Roach: I loved the new EP immediately. Cool sound. What are some of your influences? I have guesses, but I want to hear from you all...
Donald Chambliss: Thank you, some of my influences are Minor threat, Jerry’s Kids, The Germs, Charles Bronson, Infest, Spazz, Repulsion and Magrudergrind.
Patrick Simmons (bass): We listen to a lot similar stuff but some big ones for me are Carcass, Napalm Death, DRI, Morbid Angel, Pestilence, Siege, Sepultura, stuff like that.
Robby Roach: That's exactly what I thought, though - Grind, Hardcore and Thrash.
Patrick Simmons: Hell yeah
Robby: Wasn't expecting the Death Metal, though. You got me there.
Patrick: Yeah, I was a big metal fan before I discovered punk rock.
Robby: I'm a very proud Texan and love hearing bands like Social Trauma from San Antonio. Do you guys have any favorites from your hometown?
Donald: There’s a lot of great bands here but I really like Sketchy Trench, Amygdala, The Zukinis, Signalman and Dead Weight to name a few.
Patrick: Worth, Cheesegrater Masturbation, Lemmings and Defiled Crypt are rad local bands.
Robby: Sketchy Trench and Dead Weight, I'm very familiar with...Are you all from San Antonio?
Donald: Not me, I moved over here from California about 8 years ago.
Patrick: Born and raised in San Antonio, same with Christian, too.
Robby: What are your goals with the music you are making?
Donald: We wanna continue to make albums and add our own twist to powerviolence and grind while touring more and connecting with all the talented bands out there. We mostly play this music to let out all of our frustration and I hope that other people will relate to the lyrics I write and understand that they’re not alone. It’d be cool to play some grind festivals too.
Patrick: We just wanna be ourselves, play the music we want to play. We really want to tour a lot, get out of Texas or even the USA.
Robby: Top 5 records? Everyone hates when I ask that, but I do it anyway. I'm an asshole.
Donald: That’s a hard one but I’d have to say Youth Attack by Charles Bronson, Bleach by Nirvana, Dealing With it by DRI, Drop Dead by Siege, and War in My Head by Intense Degree
Patrick: My top 5 would probably be - From Enslavement to Obliteration by Napalm Death, Symphonies of Sickness by Carcass, Death's Leprosy, Sepultura’s Beneath the Remains and the Germs (GI).
Robby: You guys are so cool. Anything in the works or coming up? Shows or recordings?
Donald: Thanks! We’re playing the tour kickoff for our friends in Worth Friday, December
21st (2018) at 3119 W. Salinas St. and we’re playing at the Limelight with Heinous and Röntgen from Phoenix, Arizona Jan. 20th (2019). We just finished writing for our next record “Moments of Weakness”. After a few more practices, we’ll be in the studio and hopefully put it out in January or February.
Robby: Full length?
Donald: It’s 10 songs at about 15 minutes, so another EP.
Robby: Do you guys have a favorite venue over there?
Donald: The Guillotine is pretty cool. The sound is always great and it’s right next to Hogwild Records.
Robby: Seems as if more than one of you are writers. Can you describe your writing process? Do you collaborate or bring completed songs?
Donald: Patrick and I collaborate on a few, but I write a bunch myself and bring it to the guys. I just write riffs and show it to Patrick and have Christian work his drummer magic and we work out the structure together.
Robby: About how old are you guys?
Patrick: I’m 26
Donald: I’m 25 and Christian is 29, I think.
Robby: Strange that your influences are older. I'm definitely not complaining. I was 10 when Beneath the Remains came came out. Just curious how this happened? I actually own 8 of the ten albums you named and grew up on them.
Patrick: For me, I’ve just always been into the old school metal stuff. That’s what got me into music.
Donald: My friend who taught me how to play guitar got me into old school punk and Patrick was the one that got me into the heavier stuff.
Robby: Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
Donald: I like to skateboard and play videos games mostly.
Patrick: I’m obsessed with horror films. I collect them.
Robby: DRI were hometown heroes for me, so I have to discuss. Why is Dealing your favorite?
Donald: It was the first album I discovered by them, it’s a perfect example of hardcore punk compared to their future releases. Their first EP is a close second, though.
Robby: When I was a kid, Perry Coma of the Houston hardcore band, Really Red, had a show on KPFT and played a bunch of Hardcore and stuff. That's where I first heard DRI. He played them all the time. Crossover Thrash was big introduction to underground music for me. That's why I love both metal and hardcore. That's hard for some people to understand. So I definitely relate.
Donald: That’s really cool. Spazz used a DRI soundclip before one of their songs, that’s how I first heard them. I just didn’t know it was DRI at the time.
Robby: Patrick, I'm also a horror fan. What are some of your favorites?
Patrick: I love stuff like Phantasm, Nightmare on Elm Street, Suspiria, Halloween, stuff like that.
Robby: Ahh. Halloween's my favorite. Have you seen the new one?
Patrick: It’s a classic for sure. Yeah, I liked it a lot.
Robby: So I should go see it?
Patrick: For sure. It’s not perfect, but it’s a solid slasher film.
Robby: Any last words or anyone who’s helped you that you’d like to acknowledge?
Donald: Just wanna say thanks to anyone who buys our albums or goes to our shows, it means a lot. Shout out to all our close friends that continue to support us. And thank you for playing us on Radio Roach, we really appreciate it.
Become a Social Trauma fan:
THE UNSIGNED NOT UNHEARD SHOW NOW ON RADIO ROACH!
GOO FISH -
THE BLACK RIVER
The singer delivers his vocal lines like his cocaine lines - really fast and one at a time. The heavy, thick riffs are the real gift, reminiscent of an early 90s Sub Pop sound. This riff rock is what drives the album and makes it a must-have for any bandcamp peruser. Riffs like the beginning of “Bing Bong in the Bathroom” will be with you all day. The leads are always veracious, tearing their way through the middle of these juicy little pork chops.
The album covers a range of styles, from hard rock riff monsters (“Sketch Town”!) to strange, fun, twisted journeys to catchy pop tunes that sound larger than the back yard of the secluded cabin they came from.
On tunes like “Mrs. Muffntop and Mr. Peckerwood” and “Josefina”, the Goo turns the camp up to eleven. Drugs is the only explanation that I can come up with. Why else would you refer to Hurricane Katrina as “that fucking bitch”.
Songs like “Uncle Paintcan” and “Bing Bong in the Bathroom” are instant crassics. Only folks with those strange, southern redneck relatives will truly appreciate the lyrics to songs like “Uncle Paintcan” and “Dope Fiend Blues”. Other songs grow on you upon a second or third listen, like Goo Fish’s stray cat’s ringworms. (“Just Another Mountain Song” and “Moving to Space” come to mind, sounding like an arena rock band after a long night of cheap Kentucky bourbon, Keystone light, Doral lights and a half pound of ketamine.)
Frontman Christopher Spann’s lurid affair with a certain Hispanic chica seems to be explored in “Josefina”.
I’m not sure where Sketch Town is, but it sounds like a place you wake up after a week-long blackout/binge. Not somewhere you would go on business, for sure.
The whole traverse ends unexpectedly with the epic “When the Black River Burns”, a campfire rocker that sounds like it’s on its last beer, the local convenience store is closed and there’s only three more cigarettes it needs to save for the in the morning.
Sorry, Goo Fish. The hatred isn’t there. I’m a fan. Maybe if we met in person.
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THE FILL INS - THE TIME IS NOW
Holy shit. Oh no, they didn’t.
“Sinner’s Choice” was probably the best possible record opener in the known universe (still don’t think it gets enough love). It starts with Adam Patterson’s Ramones-esque four-count, followed by that delicious, fetching four-chord sound. The second guitar dives in, pick screeching down the neck and I decided at that second that I would never seal a band’s fate again. It’s the perfect introduction for the assault that’s about to happen to you for the next twenty-something minutes.
The Time is Now is a riff ruffian. Straight ahead, adrenaline-inciting madness like “Lock and Load”, “Hate” and “It’s a Blast” show no signs of the Fill Ins slowing down, while Bluesy Classic-AOR-tinged Rawk tracks like “Feelin’ Good” make you wonder...Does the world make any sense if The Fill Ins aren’t rock stars?
The record is like Ramones meets classic-era Black Flag, but with a great lead guitarist. Mikey’s on point, and I do mean always. Alex has a very Damaged-era Rollins roar, but somewhere in there is some old school, guileless Hard Rock. And just how perfect is a line like “Don’t you stay in just one place/A sonic blast right through your face.”
“Saturday Night” and “Hit the Gas” had been released last year, but make sense on The Time is Now. They belong right here where they are.
These guys have their shit together. Although Alex remains the sole original member, I believe that this band would not be the same without each and every one of these guys. They each bring their own part and parcel and the finished product is nothing short of perfection. Oh, Fill Ins. Please don’t ever change. Please don’t ever stop rocking.
The Fill Ins don’t want to educate you. They don’t want to convert you to their political ideas. The Fill Ins don’t want to tell you that she loves you. No, no, no. The Fill Ins want to fucking rock. They want to rock until you pass out on the couch and then draw on your face with a permanent marker. Then, rock some more.
You need this album.
Visit the Fill Ins' official website here
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UNSIGNED NOT UNHEARD VOL. III
The third installment of the highly influential compilation from Unsigned Not Unheard is scheduled for release August 11!! You'll definitely want to get this one! Eighteen bomb tracks by some of the biggest names in the underground right now - Operation Neptune Spear, SLaM, Also Known As, Prison City Brigade, Maysaloon, Nightwalkers, Black Optic, GOO FISH, Bleed By Example, Discrepancies, Temple of Katharsis, Aurorae, Dustland Express, Backfat, Almost Honest, Distance Defined, The seeds of Datura and LORD GIVER. Also hear on Radio Roach!
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TRACK BY TRACK REVIEW
by Andrew Balderson
Maysaloon – Warsphere: No messing balls out Metal with an intense sound that is in your face & exhilarating.
Black Optic – I Don’t Mind: The first thing is that hits is the THUNDEROUS nature of their Music, then the Vocals hit & its mosh time, there is a familiarity in these track & the lyrics carry the track in a superb fashion.
Discrepancies – Not Alone: The thing that strikes me is the Bass, the sound & the power it pushes the song along, and it is perfectly matched with the Drums.
Distance Defined – Iron Hand: Who wants a punch in the face? Well here you go. The intro oozes aggression & angst in such a way that you know you’re going to be in pain by the end of the track.
Nightwalkers – Nitrogenesis: From the very first note I was transported back to 1988 & the Thrash Metal movement of that time, I suddenly wanted all my hair to grow back & be long so I could mash my neck up. Where is my Battle Vest? just hearing this track made me want to find it & wear it while walking around with a Ghetto Blaster pumping out Nightwalkers.
Prison City Brigade – We Are The Brigade: As soon as this track hit it reminded me of “We Are The League” but done in PCB’s Hard Punk style, if ever there was a need for an Anthem to all things Punk then this IS IT. Long Live the Brigade.
Dustland Express – The Poetic Injustice of Rats: How many millions did this Band spend on this Album? The sound quality, the production, the arrangement, the pure awesomeness just gives the impression of a Major Label Band hitting their mark. This track is off the scale when it comes to measuring Underground Bands.
SLaM – Tale of the Victim: Not your typical Voiceless Band, with every EP released you get something different. However, every time this Band puts a Track on a UNU Compilation it is an exclusive, and yet it kind of blends with all the other releases that SLaM has jammed in our ears since 2014.
Operation Neptune Spear – 1984: ONS is not your typical on-man Band, The Shez has some serious Talent & 1984 just comes at you from every angle. My question is this, where did he come from? What’s next for ONS?
LORD GIVER – Sagacious Fortitude: Do you need some traditional Death Metal, then look no further. Pounding sounds with Guitar speed generally reserved for the more extreme Death Metal Bands. This works on all levels.
Bleed By Example – Exit Wounds: Move over Lamb of God there are some new guys in Town & they want your scalps, this Band is so good it’s scary.
Almost Honest – Appalachian Sasquatch: Where to start? What can I say that will pay the correct level of respect to this spectacular Band. I can only suggest that you listen to them & try to figure out my quandary.
Backfat – I Hate Robert Plant: Firstly the level 500 Bass playing is absolutely stunning, then the rest of the Band kick in & the direct changes to something unexpected. This is some very very good Music.
The seeds of Datura – Pokea Uponyaji: Bring me the Doom & bring it NOW. Damn this track is off the hook. I can see a Mechanised Army using this track to lay waste to their enemies.
Temple of Katharsis – Redemption Through Blood: Want some aggressive driving / road trip material, look no further.
GOO FISH – Bingbong in the Bathroom: Where did these guys come from? How can I have not heard this Band before? Possibly one of my new Underground favs.
Also Known As – Into Oblivion: Twice on this Compilation I have been Transported back in time & AKA tack me back to the late 90’s. Thank you guys.
Is it just me or is the Underground offering more Musical diversity than the Major Labels? This Compilation is already my absolute fav, it has some of the greatest talents on offer from every genre of Music coming from within the Metal Community. I have to ask what would happen if half of these Bands got major investment? And the other half simply got noticed?
ONE SENTENCE REVIEWS
Makes me want to skate and break my arm again.
The Evil Dead's Music rips!, but the vocals are kind of rough.
Reminds me of Municipal Waste, who reminds me of old Anthrax.
The Fill Ins
The Fill Ins are Charlotte, NC’s premiere high-octane Rock n Roll band; sporting catchy guitar riffs and an unapologetic attitude. Conceived
back in 2010 and officially debuting in 2014; The Fill Ins have endured countless lineup changes and musical fads with no plans on slowing down any time soon.
The band has released 2 full albums and a hand-full of EPs and singles. “Spit In My Face” (off the 2015 album “5th Time’s The Charm”) gained a cult following boasting 3k plays in under 48hrs and gaining popularity among internet radio stations and local / regional rock radio stations; their
follow-up single “Hit The Gas”, released on colored 7in vinyl has since surpassed "Spit In My Face" in popularity, showing the world what is next for the boys.
In 2017, The Fill Ins are gearing up for their next album titled "The Time is Now", schedulate for an early summer release; showcasing more of the loud rock n roll that The Fill Ins have to offer.
Within the last three years, The Fill Ins have opened for legendary acts like Wednesday 13 (3 times in 2 years), Joe Buck Yourself, GBH, the Dwarves, Richie Ramone, Total Chaos, Reno Divorce, Koffin Kats, ANTiSEEN and Reverand Horton Heat.
The group has also headlined Tremont Music Hall’s 20th Anniversary
Show (Charlotte NC) to a nearly sold out attendance and performed in many local festivals such as Punk Rock Picnic and Dirty South Fest.
The group has also been a part of numerous benefit shows to raise funds for members of the community including 2 shows to raise awareness to our unfortunate local heroin issue and provide funding for local harm prevention centers. Do not be mistaken though, The Fill ins are NOT a political band. The Fill Ins believe that music is an escape for the “every day” issues;
“We want our fans to feel good after a show, not be weighed down
with the issues of everyday life. Just get up and have a good time!" ----Alex Stiff
Visit the Fill Ins' official website here
Like the Fill Ins on Facebook
Listen to the Fill Ins on Soundcloud
Listen to the Fill Ins on ReverbNation
Watch the Fill Ins on YouTube