February 9, 2017

As It Is – Okay

use this one

As It Is is the latest pop-punk band being pushed as the next “big thing” in the scene. Their sophomore release Okay is their second album under Fearless Records.

The title track “Okay” is the epitome of the band in a nutshell: hooks you from the start with a catchy lead guitar riff, a slow buildup in the verse, and a booming chorus. It’s a solid and proven formula that has served them well. Adding a dash of variety, “Hey Rachel” boosts some impressive lyrics as vocalist Patty Walters reflects on his sisters depression growing up. Even in a more personal song, Patty has a knack for writing hooks and this track is no different. “No Way Out” offers a bit of experimentation with the spoken-word bridge. (more…)

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January 31, 2017

Summer Wars/High Wire Split

Summer Wars Split EP Art

I first caught wind of Summer Wars when they released their Acoustic EP in early 2016. Up until that point I only knew of their acoustic renditions and wasn’t sure what to expect with their full line-up. I back pedaled and found myself really enjoying their earlier works.

With this new split, Summer Wars has fully embraced their inner “I Call Fives” and released two non-stop action packed tracks. Once “Something To Call My Own” gets going, it doesn’t let up. “Tear Me Down” feels like a brother to the opener. The simple guitar riff throughout the second verse and into the chorus is the perfect backdrop to keep the beat grounded. (more…)

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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).

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


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.


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

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December 15, 2016

Manic Kat Records – Interview


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?


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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