January 16, 2017

Top Albums of 2016

A little late to the party, but here’s our Top Albums of 2016 by myself (Patrick) and my new writing partner (Adam).

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With Confidence – Better Weather

I gotta hand it to Australia this year. They produced two of my absolute favorite pop-punk records of the year. With Confidence made their debut with Better Weather, released from Hopeless Records. Hopeless has been doing an admirable job at recruiting new and exciting pop-punk bands and With Confidence is another successful investment. Backed by a crisp production, With Confidence’s debut album is chalk full of everything that makes a genre album exciting: strong vocals, catchy melodies, exciting riffs, and most importantly, staying power. (more…)

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January 5, 2017

AOTM: January – Atlas Mason

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January 2017’s Artist of the Month is Atlas Mason from Austin, TX. I had a chance to watch these young men open for Belle Noire while I was on tour with them back in September of 2016. This is a very exciting band that’s breathing new air into the alternative rock scene in Austin. Check out our interview below.

Brian K – (Guitar/Vocals)
Joel S – (Guitar)

Casual Punk Fan: I read about the recording of your debut LP, Treasure Island. You guys did two weeks in the middle of nowhere with nothing except your thoughts, instruments, and each other. You said it was very important for how the record came out the way it did. Do you think this will be a new tradition you’ll use for future recordings?

Brian: I think for the writing process, yes. For the recording, no. *laughs* It was a fun time and I would write the record that way, but I would not want to record it that way again. (more…)

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December 18, 2016

5 Pop-Punk EP’s You May Have Missed This Year (2016)

Every year we see a surge of amazing pop-punk artists release some fantastic material. This list is to acknowledge 5 of those releases that need to be heard by the pop-punk community repeatedly. Let’s dive in.

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Giants At Large – Place & Time
Long Island, NY
Label: Unsigned

Giants At Large continue to be the most consistent artist in the genre. The bands matures along with their music as they continue to push their musical boundaries and artistic style. Place & Time is an intimate love letter to their hometown in Long Island. Each track title refers to a memory of growing up in LI. The impressive guitar work, sincere lyrics, and well-timed harmonies help bring this very personal EP to life.

FFO: Transit, The Maine, Bonfires
(more…)

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December 15, 2016

Manic Kat Records – Interview

manic-kat

I had the chance to chat with Pete James, CEO of Manic Kat Records, where we talked about the history of his indie label and what’s on the horizon for 2017.

Casual Punk Fan: Tell me a little about Manic Kat Records. What inspired you to start label?

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Manic Kat Records: The label actually started back in 2009. I was in a band that was touring and shopping around with some major labels. We had a couple big labels that approached us offering lousy 360 deals. In 2009, that was the peak of the 360 deal. It wasn’t really for us. We walked away to start our own label where we released our music from. A couple months later we picked up a couple of bands and thought we could make a good thing from it. After about a year and a half, I was swamped. I couldn’t handle everything on my own. I was handling everything from public relations, social media, recording, etc. You name it, I was doing it. It was a lot to juggle for one guy so I had to put it on hold. (more…)

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November 2, 2016

2016: The Return of the Pop-Punk Giants

2016 was an incredible year for old and new pop-punk fans alike. We have witnessed the reunion of Sum 41, a new member in Blink-182, and new work from genre masters such as Green Day, Yellowcard, Simple Plan, and Jimmy Eat World.

Does 2016 mark the coming of a pop-punk revival? Or are bands simply trying to cash in on their once prominent image? I realize not all of these bands identify as pop-punk by today’s standards, but they were once giants in the scene at one point. Let’s work through this list chronologically.

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Simple Plan – Taking One For The Team (February 19, 2016)
Last releases: Get Your Heart On: The Second Coming EP (2013), Get Your Heart On (2011)

Yes, Simple Plan is still around. That always seems to be the consensus every time the Canadian pop-punk band releases something new. Taking One For the Team walks the fine line between “preppy-fun” and “try-hard.” (more…)

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October 31, 2016

Sleep On It – ‘Lost Along The Way’

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Chicago pop-punkers Sleep On It have gone through a variety of changes over the last year and have churned out Lost Along The Way in the process. Adding new vocalist Zech Pluister (formerly of Bonfires) and signing to Equal Vision Records are just two of the biggest things a band could do these days. Their latest EP is filled with the gritty pop-punk stylings we know and love from the band and it’s sure to stuck in your head for days.

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