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Tag: hardcore

PMX – EU Tour Report (May 2017)

YO.

Things have been pretty quiet on this here blog recently. This isn’t for lack of anything to say or thoughts to impart, quite the opposite in fact, but things have been somewhat the grind. This isn’t a complaint but in getting shit done there is little time leftover for personal reflection, let alone pissing in the ocean of spacejunk that is the internet. I fail, of course.

All that said, there’s been HUNNERS of shit going on, including the troops in PMX tearing it up across Europe for the second time already this year. As such, I asked Matt to throw together a little tour diary about their travels.

How do?

Derrick asked me to write a few things down about our recent tour of Europe so here goes!

Fifteen days on the road. Hitting up six countries for shows whilst passing through ten. A total of 4700 miles. It’s nice to be back in the land of three prong plugs, driving on the left hand side of the road and proper toilet seats but I’d jump in the van and head off again today in a heartbeat.

Anyone that has been on tour will know the excitement and trepidation that comes with setting foot in the van on day one. The knowledge that when you leave it again on the final day you will be broken, dirty and exhausted. If you make it to the final day and you are none of these things then you are not fucking doing it right!

We left on my 34th birthday which was a pretty cool way to both celebrate that milestone and kick off two weeks of gigging and debauchery! I was hungover from our show the night before in Edinburgh so the day seemed to pass reasonably quickly. 9 hours on the road later and we were boarding the Dover to Dunkirk ferry where several pints were welcomed with open arms.

Being on tour does seem like it’s a lot of fun and although it is, I don’t think it’s as romantic as it seems to anyone who has not done it before. The daily routine is as follows;

  • You wake up early (usually hungover) in a strange place trying to piece together the previous nights goings on.
  • You jump in the van and plan your route to the next town. Some days this can take as little as 3 hours, some days it can take 16.
  • You hunt out a service station or supermarket to stock up on supplies if need be. Now if, like me, you have special dietary requirements, this can be a challenge. Luckily enough I stocked up on noodles, soya milk and 9bars before we left so was able to suck it up when the closest thing to a vegan sandwich was a BLT!
  • You arrive at the venue, usually several hours before you have to play, in order to load in your gear and sound check.
  • You sit around in the venue drinking the free beer and eating the free food (which again due to my aforementioned dietary requirements can be hit or miss).
  • You play. Always the best bit of the day. If you don’t enjoy that part then what the fuck are you doing on tour!?!
  • You pack up all your gear into the van again with Tetris-like precision. Of course, by this point you are usually soaked through with sweat and somewhat inebriated.
  • You head off to your designated sleeping spot, whether it’s someone’s floor, a hostel, a practice room floor, a shipping container or just in the venue itself.
  • Repeat daily.
  • For 2 weeks.

There might be a chance to see some other cool shit whether it be touristy or not but in general that’s about it. So now you have a better understanding of ‘tour life’ or at least as how I see it, I am not gonna bore you with the finer details of every day, every drive and every venue. Instead I’m just gonna list a bunch of stuff that I thought was fucking cool.

  • Driving through the Alps is cool as fuck! Your not gonna see as beautiful scenery as that every day of the week. Just don’t stop for food or drink, you need a bank loan.
  • Slovenia is a rad country. Everyone there is super nice and it is real beautiful. We washed in a river one day and it was proper cold but unforgettably cool at the same time. When I say cold I mean painfully cold. I’m gonna fucking die cold. Colder than witches tit as they say.
  • Italy is a fuckover for tolls, kinda like France. Other than that, we played three shows that were all awesome. Every single person we met there was friendlier than the last and they couldn’t do enough for us. If I get the chance I will head back to both Livorno and Remini for a holiday again.
  • I’ve always liked Germany. I went there a few times in my youth and remember everyone being real nice and the place itself being pretty sweet. I can now report that nothing’s really changed. We went and saw a giant hole in the ground that was home to the world’s biggest moving machine. I have seen it before but it still managed to get my geekier side moist again!
  • The Netherlands and Belgium were once again great fun. Got compared to Belvedere who had played the venue we played in Naaldwijk, NL a good 15 years earlier. Nice to know we keep our music current and relevant haha!
  • Some cool bands to check out that we met along the way are Tear Them Down from Sweden, The Peterlees from The Netherlands, Bare Teeth from France, Start At Zero from Slovenia, Struggling For Reason from Belgium, United And Strong from Germany, Deadends from Austria and Danger Jerk from Germany.

There was probably a bunch of other stuff that I thought was cool but it’s either just stupid shit that no one else would ever find cool or I was too drunk/hungover to remember it. It could equally be a fine combination of both!

Anyways, I hope I didn’t bore the tits off you or you are sitting there thinking “what a wanker!”. Being on tour to me is just like a holiday. A free all-inclusive holiday with my best mates. And I hate hearing folk going on about their holiday when they get back!

We’ve got a few more shows lined up here and there in the coming months but we will be mainly concentrating on writing and recording a new record between now and my wedding in August. Aim is to have it out before the end of the year and get touring again as much as possible next year. I will endeavour to produce an equally shite blog post for you when that comes around if you so desire!

Peace and Fucking. Believe.

Matt xXx

PMX are back in Dundee on Friday 26th May with the troops in Get It Together plus MTAT first-timers Hopes Up High (new school pop-punk/hxc from Arbroath) and Us Versus Them (teeth-rattling old school hxc from Fife). Should be a suitably radge hardcore punk tear up of a Friday night.

If ye don’t have a copy of the “Dark Days” EP, remedy that in short order. It’s moich.

Be radical, spread joy.

 

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2016; My Favourite Records of the Year

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2016 was an incredible year for music. Anyone who says otherwise is either ill-informed or just plain ignorant. The same could be said of those who constantly bemoan the “death of the album”. Yes, while the mainstream may be consuming music in an ever more disposable fashion, the case has always been thus and when have we cared about what’s happening there anyways?

Records and albums never died or went anywhere, for those who’ve always bought music and supported the artists they enjoy, there is no “vinyl revival”, just a lot of over-expensive major label re-releases and longer waiting times at pressing plants. I could bang on about this shit at length but shall refrain from doing so in an effort to maintain the positive nature of this piece, which is to talk about my favourite records of the year.

I should establish some ground rules here; I’m going to talk about my favourite records of the year that I own in its physical format, thus disqualifying digital exclusives/streams and the like. So yeah, we’re talking physical vinyl records of all kinds here, not exclusively albums. The list will be alphabetical as opposed to ranked by preference. I think it’d also be imprudent to include any of the MTAT releases this year, although it goes without saying that I love them all, as that is pretty much the entire condition of whether we put something out or not.

That said, “Held In Merciful Light” by Clearer The Sky is a stunning record and one I’ve spent a lot of time with. Also, “ScreamerSongwriter” by Stoj Snak is just next level incredible; a folk punk record that transcends the genre’s often limiting boundaries, creating a kind of “stadium folk punk” sound as I described it to someone at the indie label market in Aberdeen earlier this year. Ye can check out MTAT 2016; A Year in Review here.

AJJ – “The Bible 2” LP (Side One Dummy)

America’s greatest living rock band have produced what I believe to be their masterwork with “The Bible 2”. Everything about this record speaks to me of the contemporary frustrated American experience as we transition into times of heightened political violence and paranoia. I have long admired Sean Bonnette as a lyricist and songwriter and truly believe that, great as “Christmas Island” was, this is his greatest work yet. Everyone should listen to this record.

Anxiety – S/T LP (La Vida Es Un Mus)

I’d read about these Glasgow punks a fair bit before I finally got a chance to see them play at the last Clocked Out show at Nice N Sleazy earlier this year and I was blown away, their intensity matched only be the uncontrollable rage that is Crawford and the troops. This eight track mini-LP is absolutely incredible; a convulsing nightmare-ish soundscape like Joy Division/Dead Kennedys/Butthole Surfers self-abusing in an anarcho punk squat. A thrilling, unsettling and unnerving experience, tremendous.

Boak – II 7″ (SuperFi Records / GrindPromotion)

I fucking love Boak and their set in The Firefly at BYAF X just absolutely stripped the paint from my face. This second seven inch (I got a blue one) manages to take everything that was awesome about the first one; the precision, intensity, rage; and hone it to even sharper perfection with four nuclear blasts of intelligent and articulate grindcore/powerviolence. I must’ve played this record fifty times over before something knocked it off the turntable. Absolutely essential, truly one of Scotland’s greatest bands.

The Cut Ups – “The Nerves” LP (Banquet Records)

Jon Shoe is one of my favourite people in punk rock and I’ve been a huge fan of The Cut Ups for over a decade now, so it’s no great surprise that their fourth record makes my list. “The Nerves” is arguably their most politically focussed album yet, a rallying cry reflected in the loving gravelly embrace of their finest collection of songs to date. Driving and anthemic, featuring keys from Franz Nicolay, this is The Cut Ups at their determined best. “Stay Obscure” may be closing track of the year too, tugged away on the old heartstrings. This record is a beacon of hope in an ever-expanding shit-storm of misery, isolation and exasperation; a reassuring cuddle from an old friend.

Dead To Me – “I Wanna Die In Los Angeles” 7″ (Fat Wreck)

Besides simply being an awesome collection of three songs on a seven inch, I feel this is an important record in a few different ways. Purely musically, this is solid Dead To Me gold (there was a gold pressing, I have the black) and we’ve waited eight years for new songs featuring both Jack Dalrymple and Chicken, but more importantly, this is a record that may have just saved a life. Alcohol and drug addiction is something people in the punk scene seem reluctant to talk about at times, despite the fact that it’s killed so many of our friends, in both punk and wider society. This record is about hitting rock bottom and recovery, with “Comforting the Disturbed and Disturbing the Comfortable” being one of the most beautiful articulations of recovery I’ve ever identified with, in so many different ways. This 7″ also directly inspired me to start Sober Punks Supper Club. Thank you Dead To Me, stay strong troops.

Descendents – “Hypercaffium Spazzinate” (Epitaph)

Descendents are a band that I’ve loved for almost twenty years so there’s no way I wasn’t going to be stoked about their new record. Ever the pessimist, however, I didn’t have sky-high hopes but am thankful to be proven wrong as I think this is definitely up there amongst their strongest work, streets ahead of “Cool To Be You”, which itself contained some bangers. There ain’t a huge number of older punk bands who’ve released new records that rivals that of their back catalogue this year but this one is up there in my book. As for the controversy surrounding the title, I don’t think it’s a great title but listen to the fucking record and the picture will become a little clearer I’d hope.

Fall Of Messiah – “Empty Colors” 12″ EP (Holy Roar / I.Corrupt.Records)

Utterly stunning, expansive and harrowing yet serene post-rock/screamo from France. I was lucky enough that Shitgripper played with these troops in Edinburgh in April of this year and I was completely blown away by their dynamics, intensity and power. Largely instrumental but with infrequent intense outbursts of screaming, this EP is a deep weaved texture of math-rock meets brooding hardcore intensity. One of the records I found myself coming back to again and again over the year, finding more to love in it with every listen.

The Hotelier – “Goodness” LP (Tiny Engines)

This is probably overall my favourite record of the year and definitely the album I’ve listened to most in 2016, at least once a day since I put the download on my phone. I connect viscerally and emotionally with The Hotelier in a way that I don’t with the vast majority of modern emo/pop punk bands, in ways that I can’t fully explain, but this record is a testament to what I understand to be their experimental progressive worldview, like therapy expressed through poetry. The aforementioned who mourn the death of the album would do well to listen to the narrative of this record, each song a chapter. Their show in the church at Restless Natives Fest was as close I’ve come to religious observance this year, truly spellbinding stuff.

Hot Mass – “Nervous Tension” LP (Brassneck Records)

Glorious squally and noisy heads-down punk rock’n’roll goodness from these well-traveled punks from Swansea who blasted out their first full-length and reminded me of everything that is awesome about straight up UK DIY punk rock. These dudes have been in the game for a long time, in essential Welsh bands like Dividers and The Arteries, and this record exemplifies the lessons learned and lives shaped by those experiences. I grabbed this record from Jenks when they opened for The Menzingers earlier this year and I very much hope we’ll have them in the basement at some point in the new year. Great stuff, super smart coke-bottle clear vinyl too.

Medictation – “Warm Places” LP (Little Rocket)

With such pedigree, this record was always going to be something special but considering the fact that this is the final recorded work of the legendary Dickie Hammond, this album takes on an extra layer of emotional weight. Featuring members of Leatherface and The Sainte Catherines, “Warm Places” was always going to be a great punk album but knowing that Dickie is gone, his presence is felt with greater gravity, his loss with extra depth. When Dickie takes on the vocal for “Stalingrad”, it’s a difficult listen as he sings about having no hope left and drinking to oblivion, especially knowing the circumstances under which he died. It’s a testament to the greatness and fragility of the man himself and the friendship of his band mates and extended family that this record serves as fitting epitaph. The release was a labour of love from Little Rocket Records, a label formed specifically to release this LP. A beautiful, moving monument.

Muncie Girls – “From Caplan To Belsize” LP (Specialist Subject)

This Exeter three piece have absolutely knocked it out the park with their first full-length LP on Specialist Subject Records. With a title taken from Sylvia Plath, there are few ambiguities pertaining the feminist politics of this record, serving as an indictment of our current cultural situation. This is no mere soapbox politics, however; this record talks of basic human decency and action in times where many people lack these things. Indeed, it was in reference to this record, specifically the “Respect” video, that I had one of my more interesting interactions of the year with the “alt-right”. Without putting too fine a point on it, fuck that shit, this is an important and, sadly, required record, on top of being a mighty fine melodic rock/pop punk banger in and of itself.

The Murderburgers – “The 12 Habits of Highly Defective People” (Asian Man / Round Dog Records)

Once again raising the bar for Scottish punk rock, Fraser Murderburger has crafted his greatest piece of work to date and created what is undoubtedly one of the finest UK pop punk records ever released. Fraser and I have been friends for a long time now and I know exactly how much this record, and indeed the band, means to him. I couldn’t be more proud to see this record getting the love it so richly deserves. Progressing far beyond the bubblegum Ramonescore template of yore, this fourth LP sharpens the knives for a thrilling narrative ride of lacerating self-analysis with cinematic sound and minor chords tucked in amongst the hooks and sing-a-long choruses. While perhaps less immediate than previous work, the cuts are far deeper and this record fulfills the promises made on “These Are Only Problems”, is a more cohesive piece of work and their absolute best yet. Proud of you, pal.

Pears – “Green Star” (Fat Wreck)

This record is just a straight-up hardcore punk rock juggernaut from front to back, a relentless storm of energy and aggression laden with insidious hooks, a fuck-you-fight-me southern charm and a refreshing blast of punk rock noise that looks forward rather than wallowing I n nostalgia, as punk is often inclined to do. For me, Pears absolutely blew Bouncing Souls off the stage when they played at Stereo in Glasgow earlier this year, one of the most energetic and engaging shows I’ve seen on a bigger stage in some time. Super nice dudes too, although twenty quid for an LP is taking the piss a little I’d suggest (no slight on the band, I know how these things go). One of my favourite Fat Wreck releases in recent years.

Sheer Mag – III 7″ EP (Static Shock)

I confess I had never listened to Sheer Mag before this year but once I did so, I immediately ordered all three EPs from Static Shock Records. This band are fucking great, a classic soul-powered rock’n’roll band that transcends time and genre classification, political without being divisive and subversive without being alienating. Plus, most importantly, just plain fucking rocking, like The Bellrays/Thin Lizzy/Dirtbombs, these are some of the catchiest, most perfectly written rock songs you’re ever likely to hear. Few bands this year have got me as hyped up and hooked as Sheer Mag.

Wonk Unit – “Mr. Splashy” LP (TNS)

If the AJJ LP is the soundtrack of the death of the American Dream, then it logically follows to my mind that “Mr. Splashy” is the sound of dystopian London, and by extension the United Kingdom, in full collapse. Wonk Unit may be the premier clown princes of UK punk rock, but don’t let the black humour and abundant laughter fool you, there is deep intelligence and political anger contained within the poetry, art and channeled chaos that follows the Wonk family. “Mr. Splashy” is an engaging tale that follows a narrative story arc through the increasing bitterness of British life in which we are both increasingly lumped together (as “lefties”, as “punks”, as “radicals”, whatever the case may be) and further isolation from one another. When we look back in twenty years time, this will be one of the records we reflect upon when considering the state of UK punk in 2016. I was lucky enough to score one of the one hundred green copies too!

So there we go, there are my fifteen favourite records of the year. There have been loads of other great records released this year and I want to shout out Revenge of the Psychotronic Man, The Bennies, Kamikaze Girls, Womps, Departures, Pale Angels, G.L.O.S.S and Direct Hit! and Human Hands, all of whom released top quality records this year, plus the Asthenia/Akallabeth split 7″ that absolutely tore my face off (the Asthenia show was probably, at a push, my favourite MTAT show of the year too).

Can’t wait to see what’s coming in 2017, plus we’ll finally get the long-awaited Tragical History Tour LP. Bring it on!

 

 

 

AGAINST IMMISERATION; An Essay by Dom Kaddish

WYAZ presents the second post-EU referendum essay by Dom Kaddish. Please read, consider, respond and circulate as you deem necessary. Discussion and discourse is actively encouraged.

End, As In Aim.

So picture the gravest fear and dread.
Here hope is the lie that keeps its head.

Say you’ve got a hope.
Say you want an end to fear.

An end to fear.

Say you’ve got a hope.
Say you want an end to fear.

Photo by J. Cumiskey

AGAINST IMMISERATION

What’s the fucking point of playing in a band when your body is ageing and your hearing damaged? What’s the fucking point of going to gigs and chatting, on the level, to people of different ages, genders, colours, cultures, and backgrounds when the media constantly chastens us with images of violence, and enjoins us to hate others and be suspicious of them? What’s the fucking point of voting in a referendum where the crunch matter appears to have come down to an entitled Tory elite masturbating over how to convince one of their female members to reheat the tired ghost of Margaret fucking Thatcher?

Here’s a suggestion: couldn’t it be that the deluded little spaces in which we play, chat, act, think and commit ourselves are more political by a long shot than the black hole at Westminster that awaits the next bunch of careerists perverse enough to get sucked into it? The fucking point, then, would be that our whole conception of politics has to change. For example, what created the current constitutional crisis in the UK was misplaced faith in an out-of-date form of representative government centred on individuals as well-informed agents, capable of making rational choices in their own best interests, and of acting in the best interests of others when presented with a crude either/or choice on an issue of massive complexity. This model was co-opted by greed, self-interest, stupidity, lack of information, and a giant dose of the negative affects of shame, fear and hate. Given the fallout, perhaps it is now time to try to do something paradoxical, different, and more excitingly difficult: to try, at one and the same time, to think and act both above and below the out-of-date model of politics.

By ‘above’, I mean this: we have to aspire to have the courage and the temerity to look the complexity of our world straight in the face. That is, we have to aspire to a culture, not where no-one is an expert (à la Gove), but where everyone is. This would be a culture in which everyone aspires to learn something about such heady things as economics, statistics, as well as big data patterns in demographics and human geography, and where an understanding of the role of nonhuman actors in politics would be encouraged (e.g. the role of such actors in the current UK crisis as mobile computing, agricultural and fishing yields, the English Channel, globalisation, the ecological crisis, etc. etc.). This would not be a culture where knowledge of such things was used to baffle and belittle; rather, since no one single actor could feasibly claim a knowledge of the whole, it would be a culture where everyone takes some responsibility for educating themselves and others, and where each is empowered and encouraged to do.

By ‘below’, I mean this: the UK referendum of 23 June 2016 was a coup for a reactive form of politics that traded on affects and gut reactions, instead of on concepts tied to the out-of-date model of politics mentioned above (e.g. the concept of the transparently well-informed and rational voter; or that of a ‘minister’ who is ‘prime’ in the sense of being the first and most powerful person to look after the needs of all the people in his or her polity, when the then incumbent was exposed by events for an incompetent beholding to the interests of Tory bigots of depressing resilience and longevity). What was far more effective than concepts and reason in swaying the campaigning in this instance was the propagation of the aforesaid negative affects of shame, fear and hate. Faced with these affects, the fatal mistake of left/liberal sections of the media/social media/the Twitterati was a retreat into the echo chamber of fatalistic intellectualism (consider the typical Brexit crisis moves made by these sections of the media: black humour, condescension, introspection and soul searching, cod philosophy, historical musings, irony, droll memes, the attempt at agonised liberal ‘understanding’ of what could have driven the dispossessed and disenfranchised to it, etc., etc.). The result was two modes of political address that comprehensively talked past one another: one employing the ‘post-fact’ logic of icons, hates, and anxieties; the other employing a form of reason that had become too clever and self-reflexive by half.

One solution to this impasse, I am suggesting (the one that goes ‘above’), is to aspire to better education, in terms of better concepts that have a better purchase on the complexities of our interconnected and interdependent world. Here’s another solution for how we might simultaneously get ‘below’ the impasse: first, let’s give up old concepts tied to the values of liberal/humanistic education and grand parliamentary politics; second, let’s avoid propagating negative affects in their place; third, let’s focus instead on the creation and nurturing of positive affects, such as joy, love, and openness. If such an agenda seems liberal, Christian, ‘new agey’ or out of step with what I said above about the necessity of arriving at better concepts, then you have simply missed the point. This is because what is at stake here is not how ‘good’ or ‘wise’ you or I might be, nor how much right we might have to the moral high ground, nor how much we might like the recourse to safe, comfortable, and ultimately hopelessly out of touch old political categories. Rather, what is at stake is what should be termed the ‘ecology’ of our mental health, well-being and fellow feeling, and by ‘our’ here, I mean the mental health of everyone with a stake in the issues of which the current UK constitutional crisis is symptomatic, including everyone else in the world right now, and all future generations.

The ecology of mental health concerns how one’s mindset, mood, and general sense of affect relates to the world in which it finds itself. This ecology has not, we should admit, been in a good way, globally, for some time now, and its problems predate the 2008 financial crisis by some way (in fact, they feed into it as conditions of its possibility). Here’s a suggestion as to what has eroded it: spaces of immiseration. Under this concept, we could group any number of environments that go into shaping the character of the contemporary globalised world, including, but far from limited to: factories in China; Coltan mines in the Congo; sweatshops in Turkey and Bangladesh; battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria; Social Security offices and dole queues in any ‘developed’ country; all that urban sprawl that was so ripe for sub-priming in the US pre-2008; open-plan offices; bookies; grey and ill-equipped classrooms; call centres; slaughterhouses; Amazon depots; police cells; and the countless situations in which way too much solitude is frittered away in front of a TV or a computer. Here’s a suggestion as to what might act as the antidote: spaces of possibility. Such spaces, to start from the highly dubious base of idealising what I personally know and esteem, might include: live music spaces; classrooms where participants are encouraged and equipped to learn from all others present and not simply shut their mouths and act as consumers of information spoon fed by the guy mansplaining at the front; parks; wilderness; sports pitches where moments of team creativity emerge; seashores; long walks through places either familiar or unfamiliar, with or without guiding thread; art galleries, studios, and workshops where you might actually stand the chance of speaking and interacting with artists and craftspeople; book shops, record shops and libraries; day centres, drop-in centres, and clinics where you can bump into people all too burned out by the state of it all not to speak themselves honestly, with heart.

I said that it was dubious to start from what I personally know and esteem. You are therefore entirely free to take issue with the list I have just contrived, as too ‘male’, ‘romantic’, ‘liberal’, ‘hipster’ (God forbid), or whatever. This apart, however, let me extend two invitations to you that are centred on the concepts mentioned above, and not on what I have grouped under them. First, to reflect on the spaces of possibility that matter most to you. Second, and far more importantly, to reflect and act on how we might convert spaces of immiseration into spaces of possibility. The first of these tasks, undertaken collectively, would amount to an inventory of our weapons: a stocktake of the spaces that matter to us, and that renew our sense of health and possibility for the living of meaningful lives. The second task would involve using these weapons on the battlefields where the real politics of our lives get fought out (and not in exclusive, outmoded, rarefied political vacuums such as Westminster, where fractions of the battles of our lives get misrepresented and used as pawns in games played by self-serving political cadres).

Fear of the other. Fear of the self. Fear of death. Fear of the unknown. Fear of technology and the pace of change. Fear of not ‘being a man’, whatever that means. Fear of irrelevance and poverty in an age of celebrity and the ‘super rich’. Fear of being fat, stupid, old, or useless. Fear of gun and knife crimes, rape, and hate. ETC. FUCKING ETC. These are the negative affects that spaces of immiseration nurture like cancer. How do we take the love, hope, joy, respect, and sense of other possible worlds and horizons that spaces of possibility involve and use them to bring out the possibilities that spaces of immiseration keep repressed under the increasingly shabby and disingenuous veneer of consensus and polite society? And what makes this struggle both worthwhile and eminently doable, on an everyday basis, and from this very instant?

Consider whether something like the following might work for you (if not, invent your own tactic, as is your right and your want): the next time you realise you are in a space of immiseration (and the gut sinking feeling will be sufficient to establish it), think about how you typically act in a space of possibility, and insinuate one such way of acting into the space of immiseration. The next time after this, insinuate two acts. After that, insinuate three. After that, four. And so on, and so on, until new possibilities have reached such a pitch that they have somehow cracked open the space of immiseration in favour of something better and more liveable. The acts I have in mind here can be crude or sophisticated, and might include: making passionate music, for purposes other than consumption; being playful; thinking tangentially; daydreaming; humour; kindness; openness; interest in others and their stories and fates; acts that are revelatory of self and history without tipping into narcissism; expressions of wonder, weakness, and astonishment; recognitions of limitations and ignorance; the construction of a shared focus or creative goal between you and others that adds some measure of dignity to the space, however small; the vigilant attempt to keep the spectre of the profit motive to a minimum. And so on, and so on, etc., etc.

What’s especially funny about such acts is when they work subliminally – that is, when others within the space recognise that a new possibility has been introduced, but resist it, preferring instead the tendencies of immiseration as a kind of short-term comfy/long-term deadly safety net. Because the roboticisms of immiseration cannot recognise new possibilities, you can rest assured that there will be no immediate explicit reproach for the possibility you have introduced (that is, no shared recognition that the recognition has taken place individually within the separate actors in the space). What there might be, however, is a more or less collective implicit recognition – a seed planted that will grow with time. In this case, the words, actions and affects you use to make spaces of immiseration become spaces of possibility will take on the character of a sort of gentle and subtle guerrilla warfare: a thousand little harrying tactics intended to perplex and provoke others into giving up the dubious safety net of immiseration.

To sum up:
Stop thinking in terms of redundant concepts representative of a bygone age of politics.

Start aspiring to think in terms of the complex concepts that we all know are required to think the world in which we live.

Stop tolerating the poisonous effects of negative affects through inaction and resignation.

Start spreading positive affects in any practicable way you can, because they are sufficient to convert spaces of immiseration, however overwhelming, ubiquitous and monolithic these spaces may seem in the contemporary world, into spaces rich in open and positive possibilities for new forms of life.

***

ASTHENIA PDF-page-001

Kaddish play Conroy’s Basement in Dundee with Asthenia (Japan), Human Hands (eng) and Arkless (eng) on Wednesday 17th August.

Write Yer Ane Mini-Zine; Issue One

cover-page-001

Write Yer Ane Mini-Zine; Issue One

Click the link to devour. Please feel free to read and share.

I’ve uploaded the PDF in its original form, with no hyperlinks, etc. All the bands/records are easy to find so go have a swatch!

Ten Years of Cowpunk; My Top Ten – Jonny Domino

As has been well-documented, 2016 marks Ten Years of Cowpunk. As such, rather than just me banging on about all the stuff that I remember and the cool shit that has come to pass over the last decade, I thought it’d be fun (and more interesting) to ask the troops and close associates of the MTAT family to recall some of their favourite songs/moments in our shared history. It’s always very interesting for me to hear the perspectives of others, as I’m usually so (self?) absorbed with everything that’s going on that oftentimes I forget to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

jonny

We start with the picks of Jonny Domino. It feels as though Jonny and I have known each other forever, certainly since we both started getting more deeply involved in the local music scene at the turn of the century. Jonny is also a total workhorse; he did all the driving on the Uniforms tours, has driven heaps of bands around the UK, does loads of the cooking for visiting bands, has regularly had bands and total strangers kipping on his floor and his wife Michelle even baked the Burst Cow Birthday Cake for the show last Saturday. He’s a good dude with an at-times questionable taste in music and dress, but he’s got a heart of gold and this list is full of some absolute zingers and fond memories.

Joey Terrifying – “Getaway Driver”

The first MTAT release that I personally appeared on, I was part of a bunch of MTAT all-stars that included Kev from Broken Stories that shouted “no school I don’t know!” in the bridge of this in the basement of Seagate Studios.

Billy Liar – “Piss Artist”

Billy Liar is basically my Kaddish when it comes to Book Yer Ane Fest, his streak is getting almost as good as theirs and for some reason every Sunday even though everyone is strung out from 2 days of Festing, there always seems to be a bit more energy getting dug out for Billy’s set.

The Riot Before – “Uncharted Lands”

The Riot Before show in The Balcony stands in my mind as one of the undiscovered gems in MTAT history, just a great night with some genuinely nice dudes and also the first night I met Christian Tollner, who played a much bigger part in the development of MTAT’s touring bands than he probably realises.

Question The Mark – “Bottoms Up!”

By far my favourite thing that I’ve got from 10 years of Make That A Take is some amazing friendships with great people. The chance to see all these people is what makes Book Yer Ane Fest my favourite weekend of the year and the fact that I can go all over the country or in fact the world and never be too far from some of my best friends is not an opportunity that a lot of people will get in a lifetime – QTM are the perfect example of that, I love all these dudes.

Loaded 45 – “Making Enemies Not Memories”

Loaded 45 are genuinely some of the weirdest, most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life. We spent a combined 6 weeks living 8 of us in one van in places that I’d only ever dream of visiting otherwise (and also Rhyl) and we all have a bastardised MTAT HxC cross with the letters MENM after this song tattooed on our stupid bodies to commemorate it, couldn’t leave it off this list!

Franz Nicolay – “Home Is Where They Take You In”

To say I’m proud of what MTAT has achieved in the last 10 years would be a massive understatement and everything about this song is a testament to that. Franz has played in some of my absolute favourite bands of all time so to have this released on our label absolutely blows my mind. The subject matter also speaks to one of the things that I’m most proud of about the MTAT crew, which is the fact that over the past decade we’ve tried extremely hard to be as accommodating as possible to people who have come from all over the world to play for us, and I hope built a solid reputation for that in the process.

The Walking Targets – “Circling The Drain”

Including The Walking Targets on this list is something of a bittersweet experience for me – one of my most vivid BYAF memories was watching these guys play Saturday afternoon, the first time most if not all of us had ever heard of them, with Derrick, Bunky from Question The Mark and Fraser Murderburger and just being blown away. I remember Max winning a bottle of Jager which the QTM guys made him polish off through the course of the day before he vomited all over my house and I remember thinking they were something special. Later that night I still remember the chat being “holy shit did you see that band The Walking Targets?!” and there’s no doubt they got really great, really quick. They’re still my “what could’ve been” moment.

Bangers – “Church Street In Ruins”

Bangers are without doubt my favourite British band, they’re really lovely guys to spend time with – smart, funny and really patient (I know Andrew was one of Derrick’s go-tos for advice in the early days of MTAT as a functioning label and I don’t think I’ve ever said thanks) and they’re a great advert for DIY punk who I’m thankful for a few opportunities to work with. That being said, Uniforms did a few all ages shows with the DIY Rock Shop in Perth and the one time we invited Bangers I remember Roo saying “if I could give you one piece of advice it would be – always say yes to free drugs if someone offers you them, that’s what being a rockstar’s all about”.

Get It Together – “Hole In The Head”

If I was pushed (which I’m not being, but I’m gonna tell you anyway) I’d say this is the best song MTAT has ever released. Get It Together just nail the posi hardcore vibe and their energy and enthusiasm is pretty hard to match. Some of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet they’ve been nothing but a pleasure to be around and this song is pretty much guaranteed to get any room going.

Dear Landlord – “I Live In Hell”

From my favourite song to my favourite show, it’ll be a long time before we pull off anything that compares to hosting Dear Landlord in the basement of Drouthies and it will probably always be my favourite MTAT moment. These guys put on one of the most full on live shows you’ll see and there was sweat (and Guinness) dripping from the ceiling of Drouthies before they finished. Occasionally to this day I still wonder how they ended up there and not in some much bigger venues but I’m also really, really glad they did.

Conroy’s Basement; Mini-Zine I

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2016; Ten Years of Cowpunk (Mailshot!)

This is a copy of the Tuesday 19th January email newsletter to the MTAT mailing list. Sign up here.

We at MTAT hope that everyone had a good time over the festive period and is looking forward to what the new year brings. 2016 marks ten years since MTAT put on our first show as a collective and we are very excited to be kicking off Ten Years of Cowpunk with another step in our evolution; we have a new HQ!

We have come to an agreement with the good people at Conroy’s in Dundee and will now be hosting shows in the basement of the pub. Conroy’s used to be The Beat Bar/Satchmo’s/The Saltire in years gone by and was one of the first venues we ever used back in Dundee, first hosting Frank Turner and Even In Blackouts there on November 15th 2006. An intimate basement space in the city centre, it’s pretty much perfect for small DIY shows and we’re very excited about the possibilities this arrangement may afford us.

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The inaugural show at Conroy’s Basement will happen on Friday 27th February and is a collaboration with Oh No! Not Another Wild Goat that brings together Bear Arms, Get It Together, Robot Doctors, Lachance and Polar Bears In Purgatory to kick things off with a bang. We shall then be celebrating the tenth anniversary of our first show on Saturday 12th March, ten years removed from hosting Glass and Ashes / I-Farm at Dexter’s with The Try Hards and 15 Minutes. Full details of the birthday show will emerge soon.

Some other show dates for the diary;

show dates

Book Yer Ane Fest X will take place at Buskers, Dundee from Friday 2nd through Sunday 4th December. The original BYAF took place in 2008 and we did two in 2009, hence why the years don’t align, so it’s serendipitous that in coincides with our tenth anniversary. We’ve already got some plans in place and we look forward to seeing what develops over the course of the year!

Before then, we are very proud to be part of the forthcoming split single release from Billy Liar and Paper Rifles in support of Refugee Survival Trust. A collaborative project alongside Anti-Manifesto and Struck Dum Records, the split single will be released on CD and as a digital download accompanied by a series of short films by Steve Cardno documenting the project.

refugee single launch

The single will be launched at a benefit show at The Southside Social in Edinburgh on Saturday 30th January featuring a host of multi-discipline talent. The RST was set up in 1996 as a reaction to the problem of refugees and asylum claimants being made destitute in Scotland. Grants made by the RST either alleviate poverty and destitution, or help refugees and asylum claimants to overcome obstacles in accessing educational and employment opportunities. We are proud to show solidarity in this endeavour. Thanks also to For The Love Of Punk for covering the story.

To help in the combat against the winter blues (and to help us clear some space for new stuff), we are keeping our End Of Year Sale going until the end of January. We’ve got loads of cool stuff from as little as three quid, although we are down to our last one or two copies on a many records, so please do act fast if there’s something specific you’re looking for!

Season Ticket

2016 MTAT Season Tickets are also currently available for £100 and are limited in numbers. A Season Ticket gives for entry to ALL SHOWS (including BYAF X) and physical/digital copies of ALL RELEASES this year, plus a welcome pack with a MTAT HXC shirt and cool free shit. Knowing some of the plans we have in the works, it’s the bargain of the year for sure!

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Cheers to everyone who has picked up a copy of the excellent “Swells/Repels” EP by Stonethrower thus far. The EP was released on the Sunday of BYAF IX and we still have some copies left. We’d recommend checking out Minimal Media for a series of tremendous live videos from the weekend too. For our full recap of all things BYAF-related, check this story. Keep your eyes for new videos on Cowpunk TV too!

Right, that’s enough banging on for now. There is much to look forward to this year and loads of incredible new music coming your way. Thanks to everyone who has bought records/season tickets recently and everyone that continues to support what we do. The last ten years have been a continual evolution and we look forward to seeing how things develop further in 2016.

Thanks for the continued support, as always!
Make-That-A-Take Records

BOOK YER ANE FEST IX; FIRST TIMERS

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Book Yer Ane Fest IX is only a couple weeks away and we are beginning to get mad stoked (and freaking out!) about spending a weekend in the company of some of the finest DIY punk bands and best people we know. BYAF has grown into something we’d never envisaged when we started in the back room of Mucky Mulligans in Perth way back in 2008 and for that we are truly grateful. This year marks another step in the BYAF evolution and we’ll be hosting it in Buskers and The Vestry for the very first time. Dougie and the troops have been very understanding and accommodating of us, so hopefully everyone has an awesome time. This will also be the first BYAF with a proper stage (no barrier!) so please behave accordingly and look out for one another!

Thank you also to everyone who has picked Weekend E-Tickets thus far, it’s always a massive stress reliever when you know that people are stoked on what you’re doing. If you haven’t got one yet, you can grab one RIGHT HERE (cheap pop, right?). Ye can check out the day splits on the MTAT website. Also, both Pre-BYAF and Post-BYAF in Glasgow and Edinburgh on Thursday 26th and Monday 30th November respectively are pay-on-the-door and all early shows at Cerberus Bar are free on a first come, first served basis as it’s tiny.

For updates as they occur, keep your eyes on the event page and our twitter.

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One of the best things for us about BYAF is the opportunity to bring new and interesting bands to Dundee and to catch up with friends that we may otherwise seldom see. As such, we’d like to extend a very warm welcome to the following bands to shall be playing BYAF for the first time over the weekend;

Make War (USA)

Formerly known as Sad and French, Make War are a three piece melodic punk rock band from New York who will play their first and only Scottish show of their debut European tour on the Friday night at Buskers. They’re touring in support of their new self-titled LP that is out now on Black Numbers / Gunner Records. The band shall also be playing an exclusive acoustic show on Friday evening at the pre-show/weekend ticket collection gathering at Cerberus Bar from 4-6pm.

FFO; Lucero, The Bouncing Souls, Gaslight Anthem

When; Friday 27th November at Buskers.

Above Them (ENG)

After many years of trying, we are absolutely thrilled to finally be able to welcome one of the greatest UK punk rock bands of recent times to Dundee for the very first time. Veterans of the UK DIY scene and venerated throughout the worldwide punk scene, these Yorkshire punks released their new “Water Lane” LP through the wonderful Specialist Subject Records earlier this year and will join us for an exclusive Scottish show.

FFO; The Weakerthans, Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker

When; Sunday 29th November at Buskers.

The Spook School

Currently setting the world on fire with their infectious and vital “Try To Be Hopeful” LP, these Edinburgh queercore indie pop punks join us at BYAF for the first time and play their first Dundee show since playing a packed Cerberus show with ONSIND and Spoonboy way back in February. The Spook School have had an incredible year, playing all over the world and we’re very excited to be hosting them in Dundee.

FFO; The Buzzcocks, The Slits, The Vaselines

When; Saturday 28th November at Buskers.

Good Grief (ENG)

Upbeat bittersweet fizzy bangers from these witty and intelligent Liverpool fuzzy melodic indie punks who will be bringing their lo-fi pop jams to Dundee for the very first time. Well traveled and with releases out on the esteemed Boss Tunage and Drunken Sailor Records and splits with BUZZorHOWL and Eureka California to their name, we’re very excited for a late afternoon sugar rush.

FFO; Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr, J Church

When; Saturday 28th November at Buskers.

Forever Unclean (DK)

Full blast bouncy gobby melodic Europunk from these three piece punkers from Copenhagen, Denmark who visit Dundee for the first time as part of their UK tour around BYAF. Bringing together slacker indie and tight 90s skate punk, their new EP “Shreds” does exactly that and was mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Rooms in Colorado. They’ll be reunited with their old touring buddies Terrafraid, who will themselves be returning from their own three month European odyssey!

FFO; Kid Dynamite, Smoke Or Fire, Broadway Calls

When; Sunday 29th November at Buskers

Will Wood (NZ)

Kick-ass boot-stompin’ countrified punk blues murder balladeer from New Zealand joins us in Dundee for the first time on his UK tour with fellow one-man-band compatriot and partner in crime Freddy Fudd Pucker. Will Wood brings a wild-hearted whisky-soaked punk rock fire in his belly and a glint of wickedness in his eye.

FFO; Steve Earle, Murder By Death, Nick Cave

When; Saturday 28th November at The Vestry.

Great Cynics (ENG)

Another band that we’ve long hoped to play, we are delighted to welcome Great Cynics and their wonderful heart-warming melodic folk/punk bangers to BYAF for the first time. The band released their inspiring “I Feel Weird” LP on Specialist Subject earlier this year and have just returned from having everyone in Gainesville at Fest fall in love with them all over again. Excited to have them in Dundee again after last being seen with The Smith Street Band at Mini-Fest in 2013.

FFO; The Lemonheads, Billy Bragg, The Get Up Kids

When; Saturday 28th November at Buskers.

Chrissy Barnacle

From the “grimy side of the Clyde” comes nylon-stringed acoustic-wielding Glasgow singer/songwriter Chrissy Barnacle who brings her sharp-witted and heart-warming feminist political folk-pop to BYAF for the first time. We’ve been fans of Chrissy and her songwriting for a long time and we’re very pleased to finally be able to play host.

FFO; Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Ghost Mice

When; Saturday 28th November at The Vestry.

Rational Anthem (USA)

Life-affirming fist-in-the-air old school gobby melodic pop punk three piece straight outta Sarasota, Florida and out on the road on a European tour with kindred spirits The Murderburgers, Rational Anthem are an explosive fireball of punk rock power and will joining us in Dundee for the very first time. Their “Emotionally Unavailable” LP came out on Bloated Kate Records last year and is rammed full of bittersweet pop punk zingers. Guaranteed to be a fun time!

FFO; Lipstick Homicide, Dear Landlord, Screeching Weasel

When; Saturday 28th November

Lenin Death Mask

Aberdeen indie noise-poppers wrap up their ten day UK tour in celebration and support of their debut “Three Hits” 7″ that is released on November 16th through Fitlike Records, Allende Records and Dingleberry Records in Europe. As part of an active Aberdeen DIY scene, we are very pleased to welcome our east coast comrades to BYAF for the first time.

FFO; Husker Du, Titus Andronicus, The Cribs

When; Sunday 29th November at Buskers.

Veto

Glasgow Young Team emo/pop punkers shall be opening BYAF IX with their youthfully energetic take on classic emocore and modern pop punk. These troops have been super active in their local Glasgow scene and have organised a heap of benefit shows as well as touring the UK for the first time this year in support of their split EP with Brightr. One of the best young bands to emerge in Scottish punk in recent times.

FFO; Modern Baseball, Gnarwolves, Spraynard

When; Friday 27th November at Buskers.

Stonethrower (EP Release Show)

 Dundee’s latest Ecossemo punks of weel’ kent faces play their first BYAF and celebrate the release of their new “Swells/Repels” CDEP on MTAT by bringing us their angular and agitated take on alt/punk rock, combining math-y time signatures with an undeniable taste for the ferocious punk banger. Stonethrower are one of the spiciest Dundee bands to emerge over the last year and we’re very proud to be working with them to release the EP.

FFO; Faraquet, Kaddish, Future Of The Left

When; Sunday 29th November at Buskers.

PMX

It’s crazy to think that this is the first time that PMX have played BYAF but the band were already on hiatus when we started this shindig back in 2008. Reunited and refreshed, PMX have blazed back into action in 2015 with the release of the incredible “Dark Days” EP that we’re super proud to have been involved in and they’ve been absolutely shredding it since their return to action. BYAF will be their first Dundee show in over seven years. PMX also play Pre-BYAF at Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow on Thursday 26th November with Murderburgers, Rational Anthem and Dead Neck.

FFO; Propagandhi, Lagwagon, A Wilhem Scream

When; Friday 27th November at Buskers.

Edgarville (ENG)

Tour mates of Terrafraid throughout their three month European tour and veterans of the DIY punk underground, Lancashire two-piece Edgarville bring their folk-ish acoustic indie/pop punk to Dundee for the very first time to conclude their tour. These guys have faced almost every challenge imaginable throughout their time as a band and have lived to tell the tale. Hopefully we’ll be able to provide a happy ending for them at BYAF.

FFO; The Front Bottoms, Apologies I Have None, The Smith Street Band

When; Sunday 29th November at The Vestry.

Bettie Akkemaai (NL)

Bettie Akkemaai is a feminist folk punk singer/songwriter from Den Bosch, Netherlands who joins us in Dundee for the first time as part of a series of shows with her kindred spirit and Different Circle Records comrade Dave Hughes. Inspired by the global DIY anarcho-folk scene, Bettie plays acid tongued witty acoustic folk with bite and intelligence.

FFO; Even Greer, Mischief Brew, Kimya Dawson

When; Sunday 29th November at The Vestry.

The Exhausts (ENG)

These London born, Glasgow based super spiky gobby melodic punks started their European tour in October before playing as Misfits at our Halloween Party and have been on the road ever since with tour concluding at BYAF. The band has just released the awesome “Leave The Suburbs!” album through the excellent Everything Sucks Music and will bring a hefty dose of tongue-in-cheek garage rock’n’roll madness to night one of BYAF.

FFO; Misfits, The Shitty Limits, Bikini Kill

When; Friday 27th November at Buskers.

Paper Rifles

Skyscrapingly melodic beautiful acoustic folk/punk rock from the former Curators man now ploughing the field solo and knocking it completely out of the park. With a busy year behind him, we’re involved in a special little project to be announced soon that will precede the forthcoming 7″ coming soon on Struck Dum Records. One of the strongest voices in Scottish music, we’d highly recommend not missing this.

FFO; Manic Street Preachers, Chuck Ragan, Deacon Blue

When; Saturday 28th November at The Vestry.

Elk Gang

Hard hitting passionate punk rock/post-hardcore from the capital from the troops behind the Anti-Manifesto collective featuring the engine room of Shields Up, these fiery Edinburgh punks will play BYAF for the first time and will bring their lung-bustin’ melodic hardcore and scissor kicks to light a fire under your Sunday afternoon. One of the dark horse bands to watch out for over the weekend for sure.

FFO; Small Brown Bike, Iron Chic, Lifetime

When; Sunday 29th November at The Vestry.

Tim Loud (ENG)

Foot-stompin’ hard-rocking virtuoso country/punk/folk/pop masterclass from Leeds based one man band/singer/songwriter who plays BYAF for the very first time and joins us in the midst of his UK tour with the equally eccentric Tim Holehouse. Last year’s “Born To Lose” album is an under-rated pop masterpiece and was released on MTAT in conjunction with TNS and Gin House Records. Very pleased to finally get Tim up to BYAF.

FFO; The Levellers, Gram Parsons, The Beatles

When; Saturday 28th November at The Vestry.

Salem Street

Dundee Youth Crew wrap up an exceptional 2015 that’s taken them across the UK for the first time and seen them play some massive festivals including Nice N Sleazy. They’ll be bringing their first generation 77 inspired punk with deep reggae/ska grooves to the Sunday afternoon and will be the perfect band to ease your hangovers as ye get started for the last day of festing.

FFO; Stiff Little Fingers, Operation Ivy, One Man Army

When; Sunday 29th November at The Vestry.

Benny Monteux

Edinburgh based acoustic folk/pop punk singer/songwriter joins us at BYAF for the first time as part of his Scottish tour in support of his new single. Benny joined us in Dundee at Cerberus Bar earlier in the year and we are delighted to welcoming this charming, forthright and honest young man back.

FFO; Kris Roe, The Gaslight Anthem, The Wonder Years

When; Saturday 28th November at The Vestry

Brendan Dalton

Bruised and introspective lo-fi acoustic singer/songwriter from rural Perthshire playing solo at BYAF for the first time having played BYAF III with his former pop punk band Versailles many moons ago. Brendan in a talented and intelligent writer who’s had a great year including putting out his first single “Medium” through the emergent indie label Meraki Records. No stranger to Dundee, we’re delighted to welcome Brendan to BYAF.

FFO; Bon Iver, Belle and Sebastian, Ryan Adams

When; Sunday 29th November at The Vestry.

Please, Believe!

From the ashes of Ecossemo stalwarts Bonehouse comes Please, Believe! Ploughing a similar field as their predecessors in terms of emotive DIY post-hardcore/punk rock, PB bring an added sense of urgency and chaos to proceedings, creating a cathartic and noisy expulsion of emotion. No recordings yet but with such pedigree, we can guarantee some prime cuts of east coast Ecossemo goodness.

FFO; At The Drive In, Sinaloa, Life At These Speeds

When; Sunday 29th November at Buskers.

Phew!

Can’t wait, bring it on yo!

Incoming; PMX “Dark Days” EP, September Vistors, Dundeemofest + More

Once again, apologies for the lack of WYAZ posts recently. Between work, running the label and everything else that I’ve got going on, I simply haven’t had much time to write. Miss it though I do, there are times when something has to give. I’ve been spending quite a lot of time working on new Tragical History Tour material for my forthcoming LP, which I’m hoping to release sometime during the first half of next year. If any other labels wanted to get on board with a co-release, do please hit me up! I’ve also been working away diligently in the background on the upcoming MTAT releases and Book Yer Ane Fest IX, which is pretty much fully booked now. We’ll have the “official” poster and full line-up to announce very shortly.

Our first order of business for September is the release of the long-awaited new “Dark Days” EP from reunited Perth punks PMX. The band’s last release was the incredible “Rise and Shine” album way back in 2004 and the first release of any sort since “The Ballad of Tony Montana”, a 25 minute progressive punk rock epic that many people may have missed. “Dark Days” is also the first release featuring the new line-up of Scott Henderson on lead guitar and Kev Henderson on drums. The EP was self-recorded/produced with the drums being tracked by Bruce Rintoul at 45-A-Side Recordings in Glasgow, before being mixed by the band in Perth. The EP was then mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Rooms in Fort Collins, Colorado and it sounds absolutely incredible. To say that we are excited for this release is a considerable understatement.

There’s a lot of history in this record too; I first met Chic sometime in the late 90s when we’d spend our time moshing down the front at the all ages shows put on at the Lesser City Hall in Perth by the Youth Enquiry Service. I remember one time we smashed our heads together while Threshold Sicks were playing; it was the start of a beautiful friendship. PMT, as they were at the time, played the last ever Humus Kife show at the launch of the “Eye of the Storm” CD at Perth City Hall in August of 2000, when there were 10 bands set up individually, Jools Holland style, all around the City Hall. We then played loads of shows together when I was in 13 Broken Fingers (with Craig from Get It Together no less) while I was at university before eventually living together in the “flat of doom” above Domino’s in Perth some years later. I’ll never forgot walking down the line outside a sold-out Curly Lloyd’s handing out anti-war propaganda before the beginning of the Iraq War way back in 2003. I’ll also never forget some people looking at me like I had two heads while I did so. I remember manning the fort with bookings at Barcode/Angry Mic’s whilst PMX were away touring with Randy in Canada and I skipped out on going to Taste of Chaos with them as I had a show of my own somewhere that night (I’m pretty sure that’s right anyways!). Abbie and I lived in Matt’s house, Chic played drums in both Joey Terrifying (replacing Kev no less!) and Uniforms, we were the Asbo Brothers; the connections go on and on.

Needless to say, there is considerable personal emotional investment in this EP and there were times when we thought that it’d never happen. MTAT never work with artists without whom we have personal resonance and connections, with the release of this EP following perfectly in line with this tradition. To put one’s energies and resources into something with which one has no emotional connection, for the purposes of financial gain or some other motivation, is an exercise in futility, at least as far as I’m concerned. The EP itself is, to my mind, an absolute masterclass of modern melodic hardcore punk; taking everything that we loved about the “old” PMX and marrying it to a greater darkness and maturity that comes with age and experience. It also fucking rips.

The record is currently streaming in full at DyingScene.com and is available for digital and physical pre-order with an instant download of the track “Brave Face”. The EP is officially released tomorrow morning and will go live at 9am. The initial pressing of the CDEP is limited to 300 copies worldwide and all orders from MTAT come with stickers. All pre-orders will also have a link to the full release emailed first thing on Saturday morning.

Following the release of “Dark Days”, we have a couple of absolutely cracking shows coming up in the following week.

Billy Joe September

We are very excited to welcome back Scotland’s finest guitar-slinging angry young punk rock poet Billy Liar and Richmond, Virginia’s Joe McMahon of Fat Wreck Chords’ punks Smoke Or Fire back to Dundee as part of their ongoing UK/Ireland tour. Billy and Joe were last seen in Dundee back in April, although I’m looking forward to actually seeing this show as I was in Europe on tour with Get It Together when they played Cerberus Bar last time.

This show will see the Billy/Joe tour crossover for one night only with that of Kate’s Party. Kate’s Party are a “female fronted” (I’m no fan of writing that shit ‘cos, y’know, gender is over, if you want it) power-pop/punk rock band from Dublin, Ireland and I’m very pleased that we were able to make something work at pretty much the last minute. They’re a hard-grafting bunch who have put out releases on Dublin’s Toast Office Records and are one of the most acclaimed indie/punk bands to emerge from the Emerald Isle in recent years, so we’re very excited to be able to host them in Dundee.

These touring parties shall be ably supported by Dundee’s finest indie/emo-punks (not sure they like being referred to as such) Robot Doctors, who shall be stripping things back and performing acoustically for us, and Edinburgh’s finest history-teaching soulful acoustic punk rock balladeer Paper Rifles, who just dropped the 3-track “Songs For Ophelia” single through Aberdeen’s Struck Dum Records. It’s a cracker of a mixed bill for a Monday night and it’ll cost ye five bones for the pleasure. It’d be great to see things get nice and cosy in Room at the Top of a Monday evening.

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The following Friday, 11th September, sees the inaugural DUNDEEMOFEST happening at RATT and it will be the first and only Scottish show from Nashville, Tennessee emo punks Free Throw as they make their way around the continent on their first European Tour. These dudes are on Count Your Lucky Stars Records and are firm favourites of us in the MTAT camp, so we’re very happy to be hosting them for their only Scottish show. If you haven’t heard these guys before, then I’d recommend checking out the wonderful “Those Days Are Gone” LP for a heart-warming slab on midwestern emo that falls somewhere between the sepia-tinged landscapes of American Football, The Weakerthans and Dikembe; some may call it “emo revival”, I just call it honest, heart-on-sleeve earnest American emocore stripped free of pretense and played with heart, passion and soul.

They’ll be joined on the UK leg of tour by Holy Pinto, who come with great acclaim and shall be playing Dundee for the very first time. These guys have been making a lot of noise recently and have been plying their trade across the UK, Europe and the US so we’re delighted to welcoming them to Dundee. Holy Pinto play a quirky, danceable style of emo/punk not a million miles removed from the likes of Tigers Jaw/The Wonder Years and their “Stenography” EP out on Get This Right Records is a little cracker that I look forward to picking up at the show.

Joining the touring party will be a foursome of Ecossemo’s finest. It’s always a pleasure to host the gentlemen of Carson Wells, who have delivered one of the albums of the year in the form of “Tread A Northern Path”, an utter spellbinding journey and a tour de force that encapsulates everything we love about the Aberdeen three-piece. They’ll be joined by fellow north-east soul punks Min Diesel, who released an incredible LP on their own in the form of “Mince” through Cool Yer Jets and Struggletown Records earlier this year.

It’s only fitting that Dundeemofest features a couple of Dundee bands and we’re very excited about the prospect of hosting the first home town show from Please, Believe! You’ll reckon this band of weel ken’t faces from their previous projects that include the likes of Bonehouse/Gone Wishing/Pensioner/The Fall of Boss Koala/Little Anchors and countless more. These troops take the templates laid by their former projects and inject it with the fire that only being a three-piece can bring, creating a fragile yet chaotic emo/punk rammy that is universally understood while retaining a distinctly north-eastern Scottish identity. With a band of such fine calibre, we expect nothing less than emo fireworks.

Opening the show will be our very own Lachance, who continue to knock it out of the park with their emotionally-charged melodic punk rock, coming over like Latterman being given a solid skate punk kicking for spending too long with their poetry books. Lachance absolutely destroyed it at the Songs For Mum CD release show last month and the addition of Maxwell’s Dead’s Russell Broon on drums has lit a firecracker under them, adding a healthy dose of punk rock fire to the brooding emo flames. Make no mistake, hearts will be bursting out of chests all night long and it’s shaping up to be one of the most emotionally intense nights of what has already been an incredibly emotionally intense year.

There are a limited number of e-tickets remaining that are available for £6, otherwise it’ll be £8 on the door please. We shall also be hosting a hostile MTATakeover of Kage Nightclub after the show and will be spinning the finest in punk/hardcore/emo in the club until the early hours. The show itself is open to all 16+ although I’m afraid that the club night is only open to those 18+. Such are the limitations of Scottish licensing laws I’m afraid. Physical tickets are also available from Groucho’s and cost £6 plus booking free.

Finally (for now), we have an absolute BEAST of a last minute hardcore show happening at Cerberus Bar on Saturday 19th September. This show has come together in the last couple of days and we are still awaiting confirmation from a couple of bands so don’t yet have a poster, but we can promise you that it’s going to be an absolute face-ripper.

Nothing Clean are an absolutely uncompromising powerviolence/hardcore/thrash band from Leicester who had a show fall through in between their Aberdeen and Glasgow shows, so we were more than happy to step into the breach and help them out with a show. I’m compelled beyond my will to lend I hand when I know that I’m in a position to do so and, having spent a fair amount of time out on the road, know that there is nothing worse than having a day off on tour when you were planning on raging!

They’ll be joined to Fife’s newest gnarly instrumental hardcore band God Never Did Anything For Us who will be playing their first ever show. They’ll be joined by another two bands although it’s probably wise to await 100% confirmation before divulging names. Either way, the show will be kicking off at 8pm on Saturday 19th September at Cerberus Bar, Bell Street, Dundee and donations upon entry to support the touring band would be very much appreciated. Please keep your eyes peeled on the MTAT facebook page for futher developments.

Shirt HXCFinally, thank you so much to everyone who picked up merch and records during our Summer Vinyl Sale, the support is very much appreciated. We have limited numbers of these cracking MTAT HXC shirts left in a variety of sizes in both black and white, so please head over to our merch page and grab one if you’re keen. We also still have a handful of tote bags left. Thanks so much to our pals BW/WB for hooking this up and we wish them the very best of luck in their future endeavours.

See ye in the pit, punx!

Incoming; June Visitors!

Firstly, thanks to everyone who has been in touch this month, bought records from us and that came out to our only show of May with our friends Sweet Empire, Irish Handcuffs, Terrafraid and Shatterhand. Things pick up a notch with the arrival of summertime and things get pretty busy between now and Book Yer Ane Fest IX at the end of November. We’ll be announcing the first batch of bands and releasing a limited number of Earlybird Weekend Tickets for £20 on Monday 15th June, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Lastly on the shill front, we still have some MTAT Half Season Tickets available for £50 which gives you entry to ALL SHOWS and ALL DIGITAL RELEASES this year. Bargain of the year. Grab one now before they disappear.

Before all of that though, we have some incredible shows coming up in June;

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The Scandals are a four piece punk band from New Jersey in the finest tradition of their home state, combining gritty street punk with street-wise rock’n’roll poetry, coming over like The Bouncing Souls/Lifetime getting down and dirty with Ted Leo and Bruce Springsteen. These dudes are a blue-collar band that live in the van and on the road, with lead vocalist Jared often taking to the road acoustically during band downtime. The band formed in 2004 and they’ve spent most of that time on the road, developing the kind of intrinsic tightness that only a life lived in close quarters can bring.

It’s testament to their character that they’re coming to play the only Scottish headline show of their European tour on an off-night from their UK dates with The Gaslight Anthem, and are driving from Peterborough en route to Belfast in order to do so. Our man on the scene Billy Liar has assured us that The Scandals absolutely killed it at the Rotterdam Riot last week and I’m very excited that the band will be playing their first ever Scottish show in Dundee this coming Saturday.

They’ll be joined by a premier league supporting cast of locals too. Maxwell’s Dead are celebrating their eleventh (11!) year as a band and will be on suitably riotous form when they hit the stage for their first Dundee show in a while, alongside Robot Doctors who will be marking almost one year to the day since the launch of their “Time Will Tell” album (which ye can get for free download right now). Opening the show will be Fife Young Team street/dubpunx Salem Street who bring their wise-beyond-their-years reggae/punk jamz to Buskers from fresh blowing Nice’N’Sleazy Festival away.

This should be an absolute banger of a sweaty Saturday night rock’n’roll show. E-Tickets are available for a fiver and it’ll be six quid on the doors, which open at half 7. Please get down early to cut loose for all the bands!

Gab De La Vega

The following Friday (June 12th) sees us return to Cerberus Bar for the first time since hosting Wank For Peace back in April and we’re delighted to welcoming Italian straight-edge vegan punker Gab De La Vega for his first visit to Dundee. Gab is a veteran of the European DIY scene, the founder of Epidemic Records and full-time punk rock activist and educator. In recent times, Gab has stepped away from fronting his long-time hardcore band The Smashrooms to take up arms with an acoustic guitar, taking a rootsy Chuck Ragan/Tim Barry-esque stripped down approach and uniting it with his uniquely poetic punk rock philosophy.

Gab will be joined in Dundee by the wonderful Paper Rifles, who continues to grow as an engaging and powerful performer with every show, seldom-seen Dundee emo-punks Lachance who will be playing a super-rare acoustic show, and by Tragical History Tour. THT will also be joining Gab at the preceding Scottish shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh on June 10th/11th respectively.

This show is entry by donations on the door please with the first act (THT) kicking off at around 8pm.

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Friday June 12th is also NEW RELEASE DAY!!!

We are mad stoked to be involved in the release of the brand new “Short-Brain” 7″ EP from Chicago pop-punks The Fur Coats in collaboration with two of the coolest punk rock labels around in the shape of Drunken Sailor Records (UK) and Rad Girlfriend Records (USA). The record comes on beautiful translucent green vinyl with awesome full colour artwork from the wonderful WOLF MASK as well as lyric sheet, digital download code and free MTAT stickers!

The record is currently streaming exclusively and in full at New Noise Magazine. Check it out here!

ajj2

Rounding out our hat-trick of bad ass shows this month is one that we’ve been waiting for for quite some time. We are absolutely overjoyed to finally be bringing the wonderful Andrew Jackson Jihad to Dundee. Sean Bonnette has long been one of our collective favourite songwriters and they are personally a band that I have long admired. I had the pleasure of playing with AJJ during one of their first UK tours a good few years ago (playing the 13th Note in Glasgow) and it’s been incredible to watch them grow into one of the most essential bands in punk rock.

It’s extremely heartening to see a band grow organically whilst retaining everything that made you fall in love with them in the first place, only even more so. They’re one of the biggest punk rock bands in the world right now and it’s our absolute pleasure to be hosting them in Dundee for the first time. This one kinda feels like a home team win!

AJJ are joined on this UK tour by Hard Girls from San Francisco. Signed to Asian Man Records, Hard Girls are a kick-ass indie/punk three-piece in their own right as well as comprising the backing band from Operation Ivy’s Jesse Michaels in the seminal Classics Of Love. One of the most accomplished bands around, Hard Girls provide perfect foil to AJJ and their coming together should make for one of the most exciting tours of the year.

Furthering the Asian Man connection, The Murderburgers will also provide support at what will be their first Dundee show since the annual Book Yer Ane Fest rammy. Opening the show will be the mesmerising Terrafraid who will be playing tracks from their new record “Suadade” as well as prime cuts from last year’s classic “Despondent”.

There are still a limited amount of e-tickets available for £8 here. Please note that no physical tickets will be sent out and that your name will be added to the WILL CALL list at the door of the venue. All ye need to is give your name at the door of the gig and your name will be scored off the list and your hand will be stamped.

If you would like a physical ticket, please grab one in person or over the phone from Groucho’s Records in Dundee. Tickets are £8 also but will be subject to booking fee. Alternatively, physical tickets can be bought directly from us in person at any forthcoming show so just come grab one at the distro table.

It’ll be a tenner on doors so we’d encourage ye to grab an e-ticket if ye want to save a couple of quid for drinks. Of note, all shows at Buskers are 14+ so do please bring ID if you intend to purchase alcohol. Anyone found purchasing alcohol for those under 18 will be kicked out of the venue, so please don’t do that!

Finally, please note that TINS FOR TUNES will be in operation in support of Dundee Foodbank at all shows!

Should be a great month. We’d be stoked if you’d come join us!