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Tag: Kaddish

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 For example, what created the current constitutional crisis in the UK was misplaced faith in an out-of-date form of representative government centred on individuals as well-informed agents, capable of making rational choices in their own best interests, and of acting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different, and more excitingly difficult: to try, at one and the same time, to think and act both above and below the out-of-date model of politics.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.

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The New Situation; An Essay by Dom Kaddish

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The world we live in is not the world we were born into. The following is an essay written by a man for whom I have the deepest of respect in all capacities; musically, artistically, professionally, as a thinker, as a peer, as a human; and someone I am grateful to call a good friend, Dom Kaddish.

In solidarity and hope, I am humbled to provide WYAZ as a platform.

The New Situation.

[Dear All, the following is overtly, and not allusively political. If you disagree with it in style or substance, come along to, for example, a punk rock show or a University class room and tell us or someone else why. In other words, use every available opportunity to keep up the impetus for a new grass roots progressive politics to emerge in the UK and elsewhere post-23 June 2016. It is necessary but not sufficient for us to discuss such things through the Internet. We also need to make them count in building a better society, through our actions and words in the spaces where we actually commit our bodies].

Yesterday, 1 July 2016, the Conservative party in the UK attempted to assure us that politics in the UK is ‘back to business’ in the wake of Brexit. A Mr. Gove invoked further deluded promises about the NHS, when discretion suggested this was a thing best avoided. A Mrs. May invoked her talents as a hard worker, as well as her gender (this last point being important in the context of the obnoxious ‘boy’s club’ that led to Brexit, but Mrs May’s party is attempting to cash in on it in a way that superficially emulates but actually runs counter to the progressive female strand of politics running through, say, Holyrood).

None of this can stand: we simply cannot allow the elite of the Conservative party to try to convince us that they are operating on the basis of a post-Brexit consensus, and that they have our interests at heart in any way at all. We cannot allow politics to return to a state of unscrutinised Tory-led ‘management’. Doing so will only validate what has always been at the heart of the Tory party: upstairs privilege over downstairs servitude.

Instead of building a consensus and helping the people of the UK, the Conservative party has perpetrated an act of unparalleled violence against the social ontology of the UK in the lead up to, and in the wake of, the referendum of 23 June 2016. That is, they have effected a shift in the way that every entity related to the entity ‘the UK’ relates to every other entity related to this entity. They have done it by instrumentalising a mode of politics (the either/or referendum) that was always too crude to deal with the complexities of this ontology, and the consequence of this is that neighbours, words, glances, embraces, sighs, stares, handshakes, schools, immigrants, jobs, friends, taxis, hopes, fears, pensions, pounds and Euros (etc., etc., ad infinitum) no longer relate in the same way as before.

Given this violence, attempts to move on are appropriate. These include: humour; changing the topic of conversation; smiling a bit more; feeling a bit more driven to think, write or feel something; being warmer and more open to people who don’t look and think like you; wanting to strive for a better and more tolerant society that doesn’t condone or cynically instrumentalise racism, etc., etc. These attempts to move on are not attempts to move backwards. On the contrary, attempts to move backwards are, by definition, ‘conservative’, and if there is one entity that events since 23 June have comprehensively destroyed, it is the party that bears that name.

There can be no ‘business as usual’ on behalf of the Conservative party because there is no Conservative party. Instead, the convulsing psychotic ghost that persists in the wake of that party has no consensus, no mandate, and no real vision at all, and this makes it a deeply dangerous, reactionary, and volatile force (witness May’s party’s instrumentalisation of the female card, one of the few apparently progressive moves that was left to it). That said, it also makes it a potentially weak and waning force, provided we, the progressive and internationalist forces in the game, play our cards right, and cease to be so haunted.

There can be no business as usual in the wake of 23 June, in whatever sense (as resigned, as alienated, as disenfranchised, as relieved, as whatever). We have to lay claim to our changed social ontology and recognise that the Conservative party and the hideous forces they have recently colluded with can have no real part to play in it, provided that we have the courage to exorcise them. We have to do our business differently, by not giving up and accepting Conservative attempts to manage what they have conjured. Much more is possible than that for progressive, tolerant, and socially just reform of all sorts of entities, including, but not limited to: the EU, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the age divide, racism, the North/South divide, the European sense of self and other.

Let’s resolve to be socially responsible and just citizens in a time of spectres.

***

Kaddish released “Thick Letters To Friends” in 2014. Their new LP will be released soon.

End of Year List; Favourite Records of 2014

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End of Year Lists are becoming customary it would appear. People appear to compile their lists for many different reasons and while it may just be a piss into cyberspace, I have put together a completely non-scientific list of favourite records from 2014 taken from what I know everyone in the MTAT crew’s favourite records of the year to be. To say that “x record is better than y record” is to engage in endless nonsense, so there are no rankings or such in this list, just a whole bunch of top quality records that we’d recommend checking out. Huge thanks to everyone who continues to support DIY and underground punk rock worldwide!

Bear Trade – “Blood and Sand” (Everything Sucks / Dead Broke Rekerds)

Our favourite northern punks delivered a stone cold classic of modern UK punk rock that ranks up amongst the finest punk records that have ever come from these shores. While there is undoubtedly a big Leatherface influence there, I think it comes more from the geographic and lyrical similarities rather than any overt aping of said band, combined with a heavy dose of melodic witty cynicism as displayed by the likes of Mega City Four, Brocolli and their ilk. Most importantly though, there are songs. Bangers by the fucking bucketload. If “Dead Leg” doesn’t get stuck in your head like a terrace anthem then you have no heart and no soul. Their headline performance at BYAF VIII was just the icing on the cake for me!

The Kimberly Steaks“To Live and Die in West Central Scotland” (MTAT / All In Vinyl)

Quite simply one of the finest Scottish punk rock records of modern times. Grieg Steaks is an exceptional songwriter who manages to wrap modern day punk rock poetry around 90 second pop-punk bangers that are deceptively complex whilst narrating tales of the grim realities of live on the bleak west coast of Scotland. It’s easy to make comparisons to early Green Day, Crimpshrine and the Lookout Records cast, but there’s a depth, wit and distinct Scottishness that sets the Steaks apart from their pop punk peers, in my book at least. We were ecstatic to play a part in the release of the album on CD and the record came out on All In Vinyl with artwork from WOLF MASK. Essential listening!

Terrafraid – “Despondent” (self-released)

One of the finest and most fully realised adventures in romantic pop-art/math-rock/emo-punk to ever emerge from Dundee. In the words of Barry “The” Kydd; I predicted it would happen one day, the coveted number one slot goes to a record born, raised and recorded right here in Dundee. As with every year I need to go with the record that affected me the most during these last 12 months. It’s Despondent by miles and miles and miles. Again, I wrote every thought I have about this in a review right here.

Kaddish – “Thick Letters To Friends” (MTAT, Black Lake, Boslevan, The Ghost Is Clear)

I’d apologise for the bias if this record wasn’t so fucking incredible but I won’t as it is absolutely no secret that Kaddish are one of my favourite bands. “Thick Letters To Friends” took some time to come into existence (having been recorded back in 2012) and its release was a worldwide collaborative effort between the bands and the labels but, by fuck, was it worth it. Coming on 180g heavyweight vinyl, this record is one of the finest hardcore records that I’ve ever heard; full-on throat-scorching yet strangely accessible dischordant emo-core that is arguably one of the defining documents in the Book of Ecossemo. Quite simply stunning. There aren’t many copies left to be had so get one before they disappear.

Against Me! – “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” (Total Treble / Xtra Mile)

One of the most important punk records of the century thus far, Transgender Dysphoria Blues is another fascinating chapter in the story and evolution of Against Me! as a band and of Laura Jane Grace as an individual. As probably the most righteous “fuck you” record of the year, this album is an all out binge and purge chronicling LJC’s transition, shedding light and giving voice to those under-represented and address these issues with trademark candour. I dare say this is a life-changing record for many and the sheer balls of the record has to be admired. A watermark moment in punk history and an absolutely exhilarating piece of work. Rarely, if ever, have I seen a band so stoked as I did Against Me! at The Garage back in November.

Stay Clean Jolene – S/T (Drunken Sailor / Dead Broke)

Though only released at the start of December, Stay Clean Jolene march instantly onto the “Best of…” lists by unleashing an instant punk rock classic. With premium punk rock pedigree featuring members of The Great St. Louis and The Leif Ericsson, SCJ bring together the finest ingredients of UK punk rock and mix with a veteran’s seasoning and experience, the likes of which can’t be faked. Instantly hooky, accessible, melodic and memorable whilst being full of shred, harmonies and more than a hint of darkness, this LP blows the pretenders away. Remember where you saw them first too!

The Hotelier – “Home, Like Noplace Is There” (Tiny Engines)

Again, in the words of The Kydd; “Utterly astounding collection of music and lyrics that devastated and inspired me in equal measure. Soundtrack to 10 months of my year and by far my most cathartic musical experience of the year was hearing this played live, in full, surrounded by pals and in the highest of spirits in Florida. What a rush. OOOOOPEN THE CURTAINS……”. Brutal, beautiful, cathartic emo goodness.

The Walking Targets – “Chasing Days” (Round Dog Records)

The first and sadly only full-length album from young Edinburgh emo punks who played their last show at Fest 13 in Gainesville. They released this record back at the start of the year and it saw them pull together their finest work to date, proving once again that they have the chops and wisdom of those far beyond their tender years. In mixing Gainesville gravel with Midwest punk and the influence of the best of Scottish pop-punk, The Walking Targets created a record that owes as much to the likes of The Murderburgers as it does Hot Water Music and Dear Landlord. “Chasing Days” is a fitting epitaph for one of our most beloved bands.

Blacklist Royals – “Die Young With Me” (Krian)

Another record that was a long time in coming, “Die Young With Me” tells the story of the band struggling with and ultimately surviving their fight for life  soundtracked by some of the finest, most heartwarming Hammond-soaked American rock’n’roll that is equal parts nostalgic and anthemic. While their earlier work may have possessed a street-punk swagger, this new record displays a confidence, grace and maturity that can only be found having experienced near-death. Recorded in LA, they’ve come a long way since playing to 30 folk on a bleak Sunday night in Dundee.

The Holy Mess – “Comfort In The Discord” (self-released)

Straight ahead kick-ass gobby melodic punk rock and roll with a crust edge to the pop-punk sheen from Philadelphia three-piece who unleashed their finest work to date. With razorsharp melodies, buzzsaw guitars and an unimpeachable work ethic, The Holy Mess made it to the UK for the first time and made an instant friend in me as I grabbed this record from them on beautiful purple vinyl. Classic punk in a way that is all too rare these days, these dudes are DIY as fuck and are doing their shit the right way. Hopefully have them back over this way in 2015.

Chris Cresswell – “One Week” (One Week Records)

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One Week Records is the brainchild of Joey Cape and it sees individual punks head to Joey’s California home and spend a week recording. Simple concept, stunning execution, especially when the individual involved is Chris Cresswell of The Flatliners, one of the finest songwriters of this generation. Things are stripped back from the usual Flatliners gusto and reveal a depth to songcraft that may have been missed previously. Originals like “Little Bones” are chilling and the cover of “Arrhythmic Palpitations” by Dead To Me is absolutely gorgeous. A wee gem of a record.

Algernon Doll – “Omphalic” (Struggletown)

 

The third full-length from Glasgow-based singer/songwriter Ewan Grant saw Algernon Doll continue to evolve from multi-layered lofi acoustic experimental/soundscape artist in full-blown fuzzed-out hulking punk rock/noisemongers on an explosive LP issued by Struggletown Records. Drenched in reverb and destructive nightmare-like noise, Ewan’s knack for pop melodies shines through and shows a great 90s grunge/indie influence, like a nervous ritalin-fuelled Nirvana tearing strips from the Teenage Fanclub catalogue. Thrilling noise pop mayhem. We’ve got a few copies on green vinyl left here.

Fat Goth – “One Hundred Percent Suave” (self-released)

“One Hundred Percent Suave” is where Dundee noiseniks Fat Goth complete their transformation from spiky agit-punk noisemakers to full-on monolithic stadium-straddling ultra-rock behemoth, oozing tongue-in-cheek machismo with dark, twisted humour and rock riffs to slay a mammoth at ten paces. With Metallica-esque leads, QOTSA/FNM style experimentalism and a gothic pop-nuance, Fat Goth have crafted an album as thrilling as it is confounding. One of the finest pieces of dark art to emerge from Dundee in some time.

The Smith Street Band – “Throw Me In The River” (Poison City Records)

Our Australian pals pull another absolute blinder from the bag. Again, in the words of Barry; “Again, it’s only been out a month or so but fuck me is it good. In my recent stay in hospital I turned to this to get me through a particularly dark and challenging night of hitting rock bottom. Couldn’t have picked a better record to stick on. Utterly life affirming, jaw dropping. Cannot wait to see them again and scream my brains out to these new songs. Close 2nd on the bonniest looking vinyl of the year. Beaut.”

Ahamkara – “From The Embers Of The Stars”

Super-bleak atmospheric melodic black metal mayhem from the grim north of England that sounds like it comes from the very heart of the scorched earth. Multi-layered, complicated, orchestral and euphoric, this is an outstanding piece of work that needs to be listened to through headphones or massive speakers in order to fully appreciate the depth and majesty on display. I can imagine it soundtracking an endless trek through the tundra, cold, without end, unforgiving. Fours tracks in a little under an hour. Truly epic.

Sad and French – S/T (Black Numbers)

Absolute heartbreaker of a record. Barry wrote at length about this LP for punknews.org so I’d recommend ye check that out here. Puts it in a more eloquent manner than I could muster. Safe to say it sounds like late nights/early mornings that I myself am trying to leave behind.

The Fur Coats – “The League of Extraordinary Octopuses” (Drunken Sailor)

Utterly infectious super-bouncy upbeat melodic pop-rock goodness with tongue planted firmly in cheek from the (short) brain of Chicago queer-punk Marc Ruvolo and his band of merry gentlemen. I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Marc’s company with The Fur Coats Scotland when we spent a weekend playing shows throughout the country in October and I grew to love the record even more after having time to pick Marc’s brains about it. We’re delighted to be working with Drunken Sailor on the forthcoming 7″ that is due to drop next summer. Keep yo eyes peeled!

 Capitol 1212 – “The Return of Rudy Nacho” (Irish Moss)

Absolutely slammin’ dancehall/reggae/dub/hip-hop mash-up madness from Edinburgh on what is a history lesson in the roots of reggae and hip-hop with a punk rock heart on Irish Moss Recordings, coming on like Jurassic 5, Afrika Bambaata and Grandmaster Flash jamming on crust-punk and hxc records from the mind of From The Cradle To The Rave/My Own Religion mastermind Kenny Dargan. Don’t take my word for it, check out the hooks and bass on that fucker!

Vamos – “More Songs About Circles” (Anti-Pop)

Ultra-hooky Beatles/Beach Boys-like melodies wrapped up in Buzzcocks-esque barbed wire fizzy pop-rock mixing wit, humour and sheer tragedy. One of the most complicated bands that I’ve had the pleasure of touring with Vamos are a band who are at their most thrilling when they’re teetering on the edge of chaos. “Hands” is undoubtedly one of the sweetest pop-punk songs ever written and a beautiful example of what these guys are capable of. The record was recorded 100% analogue to 8-track tape in a farm house in Ireland under the guiding hand of Vinny Vamos. Heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once.

Bongripper – “Miserable” (self-released)

Sludge-core/doom at its absolute pinnacle; this is over one hour of claustrophobic, suffocating doom/metal/punk misery that is as thick as it is rage-inducing. Pure hatred and misanthropy in drop B, this is some caustic, hypnotic, mesmeric shit that thumbs its nose at such silly conventions as “song” and “melody”. While there may be hardcore records of far greater depth, this is one the one doom record this year that made me want to self-immolate. Absolutely vengeful stuff, the kind of revenge you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

So there ye go, there’s 20 records that we would recommend checking out from 2014. Let us know what ye think or if there’s anything screamingly obvious that we may have missed!

Cheers!

“As Autumn Falls” or Other Such Capers

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August is always a busy month and, all in, I’d say it has been a pretty decent summer. Last month we hosted four shows featuring 15 acts from across the spectrum of punk rock and each show has had it’s own unique energy and atmosphere. The last minute scramble at the start at the month ended up with an absolute banger of a show at Kage on August 10th with Shatterhand, Get It Together, First Step To Failure, young Glasgow punks Veto and myself taking to the floor at a gig that highlighted camaraderie and togetherness that was both heartening and inspiring. It’s all too easy, at times, to let the head drop and question why you do what you do, whatever it is you do. After both the headliners and main support had to pull, it would’ve been easy to cancel the show and stay home. Thankfully I’m not the only one who’s having none of that caper and I applaud the spirit and tenacity of everyone who buckled down and made shit happen. To paraphrase Tosh from Shatterhand; “punk rock might now change the world but it sure as fuck makes it a better place to be for a couple of hours”. Wise words, spiderman!

The Jeffrey Lewis and The Jrams show the following week was sublime. Not only did the band play for well over an hour and pack the house on a dreary Tuesday night in Dundee, but they were also impeccable house guests. I’ve been listening to my newly acquired copy of “Em Are I” almost daily for the better part of the last three weeks and there’s always something new to discover on there. Jeffrey is an engaging character; wry, thoughtful and very funny on top of being one of the most influential musicians of his (our) generation. Seth Faergolzia and Heck Yup were certainly one of the more musically challenging acts that I’ve ever attempted to “do sound” for, mixing up all kinds of interesting instrumentation on top of loopers, synths, flutes, electric cello and multi-layered vocals; a hypnotic and engaging performance that was unlike anything I’ve seen before. The lovely Esperi opened proceedings and treated us to some older classics alongside fresh cuts from his new album “Seasons” that was released yesterday. Thank you to everyone who came out to the show; it seemed like there were a number of MTAT show “first-timers” so hopefully those that were new to our approach found it a positive experience!

Friday night saw the “official” launch of “Thick Letters To Friends”, the incredible new LP from Kaddish and it was one of the most intense shows that I’ve ever been a part of. Kage was absolutely rammed and it was roasting in there. Even so, as I stood at the side watching the band destroy for the thick end of 40 minutes, I had shivers up my spine. The journey to the release of this album has been a long one, more so for the band and producer Ross Middlemiss than anyone, and to see the lid finally bursting off the pot was something that I’ll carry with me for a long time; pure, raw, unfiltered catharsis. I could go on at length about how important and necessary I believe this record to be but I’ll stop myself short and say that it is a vital LP that is best experienced at high volume with full engagement. Thank you to the band for allowing me to be involved in something that is so personal and to Black Lake Records, Boslevan Records and The Ghost Is Clear Records (USA) for helping release the record. Special thanks also to Karol at Idioteq.com for his dedication, insight and support in exposing this record and the band themselves to a much wider audience. Please do take the time to read Karol’s illuminating interview with Dom here.

The show itself was amazing. Stonethrower (featuring the aforementioned Mr. Middlemiss and Cal Sutherland, the man responsible for the album art) kicked things off in suitably impassioned chaotic fashion with 25 minutes of driving yet intricate discordant noisy post-hardcore that seems to grow in power with each live performance. Keep your eyes peeled for their first release as it is guaranteed to be a banger. Next up were Glasgow indie/emo punks The Sinking Feeling who stepped in at the last minute to replace the sadly-missed Bonehouse, who were forced to withdraw on health grounds (get well soon GW!). The perfect replacement, TSF more than held their own and charmed everyone present with their super-infectious youthful grunge/indie/pop jamz, all harmonic yelps, three-way vocals, scorched riffs and fuzz-driven bass. Struggletown Records are just about to drop their new 12″ featuring new EP “Ugly” on side A and last year’s “Old Friends” EP on the flipside, so make sure and pick a copy up.

The masterful Carson Wells then took to the floor and once again demonstrated why they are one of Scotland’s finest musical exports, regardless of genre or geography. They treated us to the prime cuts from “Wonderkid” as well as a peppering of new songs from their forthcoming second LP and a track from their split 7″ with Human Hands. Carson Wells are a band that makes this whole playing music thing look effortless and are three of the most charming gentlemen that you’re likely to meet also. They are currently in the midst of recording with Ross Middlemiss and it’s no exaggeration to state that the album will be another hulking slice of angular angst indie/emo rock goodness. Undoubtedly one of the most powerful three piece bands on this hunk of rock, Carson Wells are a band worthy of your love that absolutely knock the piss out of most commercial rocks acts currently masquerading as emo.

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Kaddish then took to the floor in a dimly-lit room at 10pm and proceeded to blast us all away and leave jaws on the floor, as they also do. There are few bands that play with as much conviction as Kaddish; the way that Chris attacks drums and plays with his whole being is something that I’ll never tire of seeing, while John underpins the chaos with his Fugazi-esque elastic basslines. Dom has presence; he radiates intensity. He also plays guitar in a way that I will never understand. I think that this may have been the longest set that the band have ever played and they delivered their near 40-minute set with exactly the same intensity as they would a standard 20 minute set. Not only did they play the majority of the “Thick Letters To Friends” album but they also dipped into their back catalogue with songs from the first album as well as their split 7″ with Battle of Wolf 359. In short, it was a mesmerising, compelling and memorable performance that had everyone engaged from beginning to end. Kaddish are one of our most treasured bands. There are few bands that make me feel as though hyperbole is not nearly sufficient to express their greatness. Kaddish are one of those bands. I am proud to call these fine gentlemen friends and am proud to have played a small role in bringing this masterpiece of a record to life. I honestly cannot recommend this record highly enough. Please buy a copy, your life will be instantly enhanced for the experience of listening to it.

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Huge thanks to everyone who picked up a copy of the record at the show, those who pre-ordered and everyone who has purchased a copy since the launch show. Massive thanks to everyone who came and packed Kage out too; thanks to your attendance and support we were able to raise and donate £280 to Medical Aid for Palestinians. Thanks also to Alana at Minimal Media for filming the whole show and to Ross Middlemiss and Huw of Carson Wells for recording audio on. This documentation will be present in the forthcoming months as an exciting little project, full details of which will emerge soon. Cheers to all who came out to the show too, you may well have made it onto a live record!

The weekend (and the month) was rounded out with our first ever 16+ Sunday Matinee Show at Non-Zero’s in Dundee. Unfortunately, local kids Palida Mors had to cancel the night before due to injury but the show rolled on with the four bands. Elk Gang are a new band of familiar faces from Edinburgh who are comprised of ex/current members of Shields Up and Taking Chase. They play full throttle hardcore punk rock coming over like a cross between Rise Against/Touche Amore/Strung Out with plenty of hooks and heads-down riffage on display. Bassist Craig is moving to Berlin next month so it’s likely that this will be their only Dundee show with this line-up, but hopefully they’ll get a replacement in before too long as these jamz are top quality and Scotland needs another fine DIY punk band of this pedigree. These dudes are also the brains and brawn behind Anti-Manifesto, so you know this shit is on point.

Glasgow punkers Sink Alaska were up next and took to the stage in good cheer as we celebrated the “official” launch of their new Double A-Side 7″ single. “The Path of Least Resistance” / “Among The Wretched” is exactly what is says on the tin; two tracks of razor-sharp upbeat melodic punk rock bangers that melds the speed and energy of 90s Epi/Fat skate punk with the wry wit and passion of late 80s/early 90s UK punk, coming over like Lagwagon and Ten Foot Pole covering Leatherface and Snuff songs. A band of a high calibre, these troops have been playing punk rock since before some of the kids at the show were born and that experience shined through as they whizzed their way through a half hour set of refined punk rock bangers, including their tracks from the ROASTER split and last year’s demo. The 7″ is out now and is strictly limited to 100 copies worldwide. The record comes with a download code, lyric sheet and full colour artwork as designed by Mark Bell of Mug. Again, thanks to everyone who has bought one thus far and thanks to DyingScene.com for hosting the exclusive stream last week.

Rope Spasm are another compelling proposition and a much under-rated band from our area I feel. While people may feel the have them dialled on account of their previous bands (MAFAFI, Torturo Nervosa, Drug Couple amongst them), there is infinitely more depth there than just your average powerviolence/hardcore band; there are elements of hip-hop and hardcore as well as a more refined “classic” punk sound, on account of Rossko’s deceptively deft guitar playing and Steve’s stomping distorted bass. Front man Sam is another character altogether; a tortured writhing mess of pained cries and contortions in performance, softly spoken and eloquent between songs. They may be close to the bone and primal, but they’d argue that that’s your problem, not theirs. I’d be inclined to agree. Top notch noise here.

certain death

The last act wrapping up a weekend of delectable Scottish hardcore/punk was Kirkcaldy thrash punk’n’roll legends Certain Death, who arrived at Non-Zero’s fresh from obliterating the elder Steedo’s Harley. These hardened road warriors never fail to deliver and scream out the same impassionaed antagonistic noise whether it’s a Sunday matinee in front of 40 folk or the Masters of Rock festival in front of 10,000 German metalheads and are undoubtedly one of the most consistently devastating live bands around. With stomp and swagger aplenty, you know from the word go what you’re getting with these troops and Sunday was no exception as they rattled through their cacophonous set at breakneck pace whilst inviting us to check out the Certain Death Ice Bong Challenge. Check that shit out on YouTube!

Thanks to Dave and Simon at Non-Zero’s for having us and to Scotty Russell for doing the sound. I think it was a quality show and certainly a worthwhile endeavour, so I hope that we’ll be doing another one in the near future. While there are no firm plans in place yet, this is something that we’ll definitely be getting to work on. Cheers also to the youngsters who came down and had their first MTAT experience and to everyone who picked up some records from the distro. Getting home in time for tea before heading back out was an added bonus.

There’s no rest for the wicked, so the saying goes, and it seems there’s no rest for those who try to steer clear of the wickedness also. We’re straight back on the horse this coming Friday when we host SPILL YER GUTS #3 at Cerberus Bar, Dundee with the inimitable Chris Clavin of Ghost Mice/Plan-It-X Records infamy. Chris will be performing live and reading extracts from his essential punk memoir “Free Pizza For Life” and will be regaling us with tales of a life lived immersed in US DIY punk rock culture and more. Chris is an interesting character with stories to tell who has been an influence of countless punkers the world over so having an opportunity to see him perform and speak in the intimacy of Cerberus should be a unique experience. Chris is joined on his travels by the piano-wielding Turtle Lamone who shall be playing his first Dundee show since his victorious performance at Book Yer Ane Fest VII. Andy Chainsaw will be bringing his none-more-gruff Andrew Jackson Jihad influenced acoustic punk gravel to the party and I shall be hosting things and compering for the evening. I’d love if y’all came to join us for an evening of refinement and culture. Doors are at half 7 and entry will be by donations please!

chris clavin dundee

At the end of the month, we will be welcoming back our friends Arliss Nancy from Colorado for what is an EXCLUSIVE SCOTTISH SHOW and one of only four dates in the UK. They’ll be joined by some of the finest local acts in the form of Robot Doctors (last seen on home turf at their album launch show at Dae Yer Ane Club I), our own emotive punk rockers Lachance and the wonderful fiddle-driven folk/punk stylings of Broken Stories on Saturday 27th September at Kage. Advanced e-tickets are available for a fiver here and physical tickets are available at Groucho’s, Dundee (who featured on the Top 10 indie record stores in the world feature from The Guardian).

arliss nancy

Finally, some news as pertains Book Yer Ane Fest VIII; September 30th will be your absolute last chance to get yourself a Super Earlybird Weekend Ticket for £20. Having one of these e-tickets is the only way to ensure your entry to all 7 BYAF shows, including the pre and post shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively and the two morning shows at Cerberus Bar on the Saturday and Sunday of BYAF itself. Cerberus is tiny and we’ll be running full band shows in there for the first time (including “The Menzingers” on the Sunday morning) so priority entry will go to Super Earlybird Weekend Ticket holders, after which it will be first-come, first-served. This is also the cheapest way to support the weekend and is not only a bargain but also cost-efficient. If you’re planning on coming along, get on that shit now!

BYAF Eyes peeledWe shall be announcing the rest of the bands, all of the acts for the acoustic stage, day splits, etc over the next month over on the MTAT facebook page so keep your eyes peeled over there and on the event page itself for updates as and when they happen. We aim to have everything announced, the final line-up confirmed, satellite events sorted, poster on point blahblahblah by the end of the month and hope to have all of this information available to you by the start of October. We’ll get to October soon enough though!

Thanks for everything.

Cheers,

Derrick

MAKE YER ANE COMP V IS GO!!!

MAKE YER ANE COMP V is now available for free/pay-what-you-want download!!!

Thanks to all the bands and all the labels involved. Please follow the link below for full details and your download.

The Walking Targets – “Threads”
The Kimberly Steaks – “Wrong Exit”
Get It Together – “Carry You”
The Murderburgers – “Turning 25 Was Shit”
Sink Alaska – “Hitless Wonder”
Bear Trade – “Bleeding Heart Trouble”
Guerrilla Monsoon – “Big City Plan”
Lachance – “Bright Hearts Burning”
Kaddish – “End, As In Aim”
UNIFORMS – “Father’s Day”
Frown – “Under Hot Sun”
Billy Liar – “Sleep”
The Doublecross – “Houses and Homes”
Terrafraid – “The Fall”
First Step To Failure – “Drowning Out”
Don Blake – “Underpants Collection”
The Luddite – “Quitar”
Eddy & the T-Bolts – “Holy Wars and Mental Wards”
Zen Fuck-Ups – “Victim”
The Shithawks – “Do It Cool”
Rope Spasm – “Marlboro Man”
Bed of Wasps – “Failing”
Algernon Doll – “Relate”
hahira – “Febrile”
Stonethrower – “Vector-Borne”
Proverbs – “8”
Condolences – “Dearly Departed”
Broken Stories – “Best of Friends”
Question The Mark – “Whatgoesaroundcomesaround”
Shatterhand – “Mosaic”
Maxwells Dead – “I Just Wanna Say (Fuck You!)”
The Rocco Lampones – “S.O.S.”
Robot Doctors – “Rules”
Tim Loud – “No Gods, No Masters”
Lovers Turn to Monsters – “One Day At One Moment…”
Mark McCabe – “My Disguise Is Better Than Yours”
The Cinnamon Service – “Grace”
Andy Thomas’ Dust Heart – “Poor You”
Tragical History Tour – “Rebel Girl” (Bikini Kill)
Danny, Champion Of Nothing – “Hawthorn Ridge”

Zen and The Art of Roasterism

I’m going to be honest; I’ve been putting off writing this blog. I’ve lived almost 32 years inside my mind (and what feels like a hundred years in these bones) so I know intuitively that I’m a reactionary motherfucker at the best of times. Sobriety, however, has blessed me with what feels a little like clarity and for that I am grateful. The long and the short of it is that we roasters of Uniforms are down a drummer and our immediate plans have gone out of the window, so unfortunately we won’t be undertaking our European Tour this summer. In the spirit of keeping on keeping on, I am going to attempt to play as many acoustic shows as I can while we regroup and get our collective shit together.

As it stands, I am looking to play a bunch of shows during the first week that we were supposed to be in Europe. I’m playing the London show with The Slow Death, Leagues Apart, Break-Ups and heaps more on Saturday 21st June and will be playing in Exeter with my friend Jon “The Luddite” Curtis the next night. The only other show I have booked that week is the Venetian Love Triangle reunion show in Perth on Friday 27th June at The Green Room, so I am looking for a few shows on my way north throughout the week. There is talk of going to Wales on the Monday and/or Tuesday, so ideally I’d be looking for somewhere in or around Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds/Sheffield/Glasgow for the Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. If anyone fancies helping me out at all, please get in touch. I’ll playing anywhere for a bus ticket and a place to crash!

London

Going back a couple of weeks, I’d like to take a moment to thank Kenny and everyone at Kage for allowing us to host the first ever DAE YER ANE CLUB night and the album launch for our friends in Robot Doctors. Jamie, Abbie and I had an absolute riot of a time DJing (we opened the set with Crass and ended with One Direction, in case you were wondering) and we certainly hope that all those present enjoyed themselves. Maxwell’s Dead celebrated their tenth birthday in style and their new shit is sounding top notch, like some sort of gypsy/acid punk NOFX. It is always a treat to see Davey Nolan perform and this time was no exception. Robot Doctors performed their new album “Time Will Tell” in its entirety so respect to them for playing the near 50 minute opus from front to back. The record is available now and comes recommended. Thanks to everyone who came and we look forward to seeing y’all at DAE YER ANE CLUB II, details of which will emerge over the next wee while.

I played a couple of shows this past weekend in place of the band and I must thank Tiny Lights and Dave of O’Messy Life for taking such good care of me in Newcastle and to everyone who came and packed out the show earlybells. The vegan chocolate cake was also delicious and the iced tea was only 99p so I was happy. This was only the third time that I’ve played in Newcastle and it seems that the scene is alive and well in the north-east. Tissue Culture are a great little intense ball of angst and Skull Puppies played as good of a first show that I’ve seen. Good Terms play lo-fi math-y emo/punk and are quality. I could see them fitting together nicely with Bonehouse. It was great also to see my old uni pals Mike and Steve. Their ambient black metal project Ahamkara is mind-mending, terrifying and soothing in equal measure, if such delights are your dish.

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Sunday saw Walk The Plank Fest IV take place in Edinburgh and was a thoroughly enjoyed experience that ably demonstrated all of the best things about the DIY punk rock community; diversity, inclusiveness, unity, respect. The range of acts was as wide as you’re likely to see anywhere in the world, from Nyla wielding her ukulele to Danny, Champion of Nothing blowing my mind with their hefty slabs of miserable post-rock and nihilistic hardcore. I hope everybody that watched enjoyed Adam’s screening of FILM YER ANE but I must apologise for not watching it with everyone. It is an incredible piece of work and it still truly blows my mind that anybody would want to make a film let alone watch one about something that we have done, but the experience of watching the film for the first (and thus far only) time in public was more than enough for me. Despite what ye may think, I am in no way a fan of listening to myself let alone seeing my stupid face on screen for the thick end of an hour!

My set earlier in the afternoon was one of the most positive solo shows I’ve ever played and I’d like to thank everyone who listened so attentively and sang along throughout. I’ve tried unsuccessfully on many occasions to articulate the ideal zen-like unconscious transcendent state that the complete immersion in music and “the moment” gives way to and it’s all too rare that these transitory moments of grace manifest themselves. Not the descend into mindless metaphysics, but to me it felt pretty special, like we were in it together and that “we can conquer anything”. I realise how massively self-indulgent and absurd this last paragraph reads but there you go, I’m just EYCing. Plus fuck you! 😉

Talking of emotional engagement, Lachance continue to get better and better with each show that they play. I’ve been friends with Barry and Ade for a very long time now and it fills my black heart with pride and joy to see these dudes, Barry specifically, using music as a tool for healing and bleeding their hearts out all over the floor. It’d all be for nothing if there weren’t any bangers, but by Christ there are (loathe though I am to admit it!). The band have just released the “Old Haunts” EP which was recorded and mixed entirely in Gerold’s basement and it is available now from both their own and the MTAT bandcamp pages for free/pay-what-you-want download. Any and all donations will then be in turn donated to SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) so if you’re downloading, please spare a buck or two for a very important (and underfunded) body.

Moving forward, we have a plenty of top quality shit coming up in Dundee, starting one week from Thursday with an absolute banger of a line-up that has been a bit of a last minute scramble but should be a BEEZER nonetheless. The Walking Targets have just released their debut full length called “Chasing Days” through Round Dog Records, the new label from Fraser Murderburger, and it is everything that they’ve been threatening to deliver over the last couple of years. They are currently out on the road with Get It Together (who last released the incredible “Perspectives” EP earlier this year) and will be winging their way around the UK over the next ten days. They are still looking to fill a couple of dates this weekend and Tuesday next week, so if anyone can help out with a show at super-short notice then please get in touch with the band or MTAT and we’ll put you in touch.

The Targets/GIT tour will be joined for one night only be the concurrent tour with Boycott The Baptist, an uncompromising and down-tuned dirty sludge/punk band from Leeds who visit Dundee for the first time on their way to Aberdoom and their equally blackened chums in Bastardised Workhorse. They come from City of Culture Hull and play low-slung blackened doom/stoner rock, like Neurosis and Black Flag stoned oot their nuts on Perthshire smackmud. I’ll be completing this eclectic visit to the Church of Doom with an opening sermon of acoustic cowpunk roasterism. It’s all happening next Thursday and it’s only four bucks a skull so I’d encourage everyone to come and get involved if ye can.

walking targets june

There is currently nothing on the cards for July but, as always, you count discount the possibility of something popping up. The new  Sink Alaska double A-side 7″ single and the Kaddish LP are both currently at the pressing plant so we hope to have full details of their upcoming release soon and we will likely spend a good portion of the month folding together record sleeves and lyric sheets. I also aim to record some new Tragical History Tour shit with my friend Ross Middlemiss at some point over the next few weeks, so it’s likely that these recordings will surface some time in July. I’m hoping to get out and play a few shows around the month too so once again, I’m open to any and all offers.

We have also just announced an EXCLUSIVE SCOTTISH SHOW from Chicago skate-punks COUNTERPUNCH who we are delighted to welcome to Dundee for the first time on Sunday 10th August. They are playing Rebellion Festival on the Saturday before coming to us on Sunday then heading south to support NOFX at their only UK show, so this will be your only chance to catch them up this way. They’ll be supporting their new “Bruises” LP which comes out at the start of August on Cyber Tracks Records, the label run by the legendary El Hefe himself.

counterpunch

They’ll be joined by a veritable all-star cast of Scottish punk rock talent in the form of Shatterhand, who will have wrapped up their European Tour, Last Of Us (featuring 3/4ths of skate punk legends PMX) and First Step To Failure from Glasgow who will be supporting their brand new album “When Best Friends Become Strangers”, which is released this month on Cold War Legacy Records. We’re doing advanced E-Tickets for this one, so you can save yourself a quid and get a free download of Make Yer Ane Comp IV by going here. Should be an absolute peach of a show.

Then just nine days later we have the distinct pleasure of welcoming Jeffrey Lewis and The Jrams from NYC, USA to Dundee for the very first time as part of their extensive European and UK tour which includes the Wickerman, Green Man, Doune The Rabbit Hole Festival and many more dates. They’ll be joined in Dundee by Seth Faergolzia, former front man of eccentric New York lo-fi art-punks Dufus, who shall be performing solo and acoustic.

This delightful package will be complimented by the first Dundee appearance since Book Yer Ane Fest VII of Scotland’s finest guitar-slinging romantic wordsmith Billy Liar and Dundee multi-instrumental soundscape popster Esperi for what should be a unique and engaging evening of art, story and song. You can also get E-Tickets for a fiver for this show here. Physical tickets are also available for this show from the wonderful Groucho’s Music in Dundee for £6 and there will be a limited number of tickets on the door for £7. There’s been a lot of interest about this show so here’s hoping it’s another intimate (and busy!) experience.  Poster coming soon too!

Right, that’s about enough for now. It seems as though I’ve over-compensated for my lack of words over the last month or so, so thanks for indulging me if you’ve made it this far through. There are many things to be excited about and we’ll be making announcements pertaining Book Yer Ane Fest VIII over the course of the next few months. Ye just have to keep on keeping on GED.

Finally, buy the new Bear Trade LP. They were fucking brilliant with Iron Chic in Edinburgh last month.

Cheers.

“Where You Been, Bro?” / “What’s Happnin’ Bro?”

Things have been busy, as ever, since the last time I blogged here. In a MTAT capacity, we hosted the European Tour kick off for The Murderburgers and they’ve since been announced as both the tour support for the forthcoming Alkaline Trio / Bayside UK tour as well as for Fest 13 in Gainesville and pre-Fest in Ybor City, Florida. Asian Man Records have also announced the second pressing of the amazing new album “These Are Only Problems”, so make sure and pick one up if you haven’t got one already. We were also part of the release of “To Live and Die in West Central Scotland”, the incredible debut full length from The Kimberly Steaks, although we missed the actual release show at the sold-out Stuck In Springtime Fest as we were away in Ireland with Uniforms (check out Jonny Domino’s blog for a full report!). The first pressing of the album is nearly sold out already, but we have ten copies in the MTAT distro, so I’d encourage you to pick one up while you can.

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SPILL YER GUTS #2 featuring Mark McCabe, Greg Rekus (CAN) and Oxygen Thief happened at Cerberus Bar last Wednesday and was another cracking little acoustic show. Abbie and I (finally!) moved to Dundee the previous day and I was straight back to work, so once again Jonny picked up my slack and ran the show. I did arrive very late in the game and saw Mark perform his last chorus. Cheers to everyone who came out and donated pennies for the punx and sorry to the guys who played for missing them. Special thanks to the dude in the metal band who drank all night but knocked Jonny back tho 😉

Last Friday saw our Welsh brethren Question The Mark join us in Dundee alongside Terrafraid, The Walking Targets and our own band of big emo kids Lachance, who stepped in to replace The Kimberly Steaks. This was only Lachance’s second show and they performed with a lot more confidence than their first show. Barry in particular seems all the more comfortable, getting back into the role of frontman for the first time in a decade or so. The songs are brilliant too and have that Latterman-type basement punk positivity to them. There is absolutely no doubt how much the music means and it’s heart-warming to see the passion on full display. Bullshit free punk rock for sure. The Walking Targets continue to develop and destroy. I know that I say it so often that it’s likely hyperbolic by now, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they are the best young punk band in the UK. I’ve had the privilege of hearing their forthcoming full length and it is incredible. They’ve also been announced for Fest and I can’t think of a band who deserve it more. Once the Americans get into these troops, they’ll be offski. Destiny awaits boys!

In a move that seems to becoming somewhat of a tradition, the QTM troops travelled up to Scotland without a bass player. They played the Glasgow show the night before as a three piece before Big Ade drunkenly agreed to play bass at the Dundee show. The boy has the mad skillz and learned the entire set in less than a day and stepped up and killed it. I spent most of the set down in front of Yogi’s mic as he cranked out his insane guitar pyrotechnics. There are a few guitarists that I just stand there in awe of; Papa Gain being one of them (along with Bobby Simpson) and Yogi. He’s fucking amazing, flamboyant yet tasteful. Subtlety isn’t usually something I’d associate with these boys, but the subtlety is there adding depth and nuance to the gruff punk bangers.

Terrafraid have just released their first album “Despondent” and it’s an absolute jaw-dropper of a record. An album of great depth, there are layers upon layers of things going on, both musically and lyrically, echoing the finest in both US emo and Scottish indie with a punk rock heart and epic delivery. The album is journey and a magnificent achievement that is more than worthy of your affections; a strong contender for record of the year so far. They rounded out the show and were a riot; less subtle  and considered than on record, playing with fire in bellies and ad-libbing through gear problems (a talent in itself). A band of weel kent pusses, the atmosphere was amazing and it was a fine way to wrap up a reaffirming evening of goodness. Double bonus for me is that I only had a five minute walk home rather than bailing for the last bus/train. I’d call that a home win.

Talking of releases, my pal Andy Chainsaw recently released his new EP and it’s available for download now. It’s called “Do Androids Dream of Electric Cigarettes” and it contains five introspective dark solocore punk ballads. Recorded by Chris of Esperi fame, I think this is by far Andy’s best (bleakest) work to date. Ye can get that here.

failures union april

Our next show is this coming Tuesday at Kage, Dundee and is going to be another banger. Failures’ Union are from Buffalo, NY, feature ex-members of Lemuria and play premier league impassioned American indie/emo punk rock that sounds something like The Lemonheads drinking red wine with The Weakerthans, to my mind. They’ve just released their new record “Tethering” through Dead Broke Rekerds and I’m very much looking forward to picking up a copy of the LP at the show. The band are joined on their EU tour by South Wales indie/punk veterans Bedford Falls, who hit the sweet spot before 80s hardcore and 90s emo. This will be the first time in Dundee for both bands and it should be a treat for a Tuesday night. They’ll be joined by Dundee punks Frown, who are playing their first show at Kage, and Glasgow skramz three piece Lost Limbs, featuring the guitar wizardry of the aforementioned Bobby Simpson, who also play their first Dundee show.

movie premiere

The next night, Kage will host an event that I am equally parts excited by and mortified at the prospect of; the world premiere of Film Yer Ane; The Book Yer Ane Fest Documentary. I haven’t seen the film but there is no doubt  in my mind that Adam Morrow will have made a wonderful film, that it is all beautifully shot and put together, and I find it truly humbling that there is sufficient interest in something that we brought life to that someone would even contemplate making a film about. It’s truly boggling to my mind. What I’m mortified about is sitting in a room full of friends and peers watching myself talk bullshit on a screen, especially as I have no idea what Adam will or won’t have used. That’s my own shit to deal with though and it should certainly make for a very memorable evening. Broken Stories will be kicking the evening off with a fully unplugged performance in the bar at Kage then the film will get its very first public airing, followed by a Q+A of some description. We’ll also be hosting a super-cheap merch sale, so please bring along some pennies and peruse the collection. Entry is free with the doors opening at 8pm. We’ll also be announcing the first batch of bands for BOOK YER ANE FEST VIII the very same night.

The next MTAT shows after that both take place on Saturday 26th April and  are part of the Bangers / Uniforms Scottish weekender. We’ll be playing four shows together over the course of that weekend. We’re playing with some awesome bands across the three days including our friends Get It Together, Sink Alaska and The Shithawks as well as highly rated London emo punks Doe. Should be a top quality weekend all round. For more information on the individual shows, click the link on the flyer.

Edinburgh;

edinburgh

Perth; ALL AGES MATINEE!!!

matinee

Dundee; with KAGEMANIA Club night!!!

bangers

Glasgow; Half-Dayer w/ Elway (USA) / Joe McMahon + more!!!

glasgow half dayer

These shows will likely be our last before we get our new 7″ out in preparation for our first European tour. We’re going to be in Europe for three weeks in June/July and we’re going to be visiting loads of countries in that time; France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands and more. Rest assured, once the full details emerge you’ll be sorry I ever mentioned it as I’ll be sure to let you know! On the subject of 7″s, there is only one copy of our split with Loaded 45 left in the MTAT distro so if you want a copy, act fast before it disappears. There may well be some copies kicking about in record stores throughout the country (Love Music in Glasgow being one), but it’s the very last one we have in stock. Huge thanks to everyone who has picked one up. The songs themselves are available for free/pay-what-you-want download.

There are a heap more quality shows in Dundee happening over the next couple of months, many of which are being put on by Owen and the dudes from the Rusty Hip Collective, including Thin Privilege on their album launch tour alongside Kaddish and Indica at Kage on Friday 18th April, Doe / Bonehouse / Algernon Doll at Kage on April 23rd, Garrett Klahn from Texas Is The Reason at Tin Roof on April 25 and Solemn League from Germany on April 30th.

Coming up in May we have a couple of righteous bangers;

caulfield cult show

The Caulfield Cult will be in the middle of their European tour and will be the first band from Singapore that we’ve ever put on. Their new album “Things Can Only Get Worse From Here” picks up where the genre classic “Leaving Cemetery Junction” left off and is out now.  They are joined on their tour by English post-hardcore kids Godard and local support is Last Of Us and Lung Season from Aberdeen who play their second Dundee show and first at Kage. Then a couple of nights later is the Robot Doctors album launch / Maxwell’s Dead tenth anniversary party and the first ever DAE YER ANE CLUB NIGHT. It truly is all go, and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the forthcoming Kaddish LP, the Jeffrey Lewis and The Jrams show in August or the three reunion bands for BYAF VIII…

dae yer ane club night

Right, that’s quite enough from me for now. If ye want to keep up to date with everything that’s happening, noise us up online or drop me an email. Cheers!

DAE YER ANE PODCAST; Episode 3

Episode 3 of DAE YER ANE PODCAST is dedicated to the memories of Jordan Cameron and Jackson Bromley, both of whom have been taken from us too soon and are laid to rest this week.

Jordan was a funny, intelligent and talented young man who played guitar in Drug Couple and My Castle, Your Castle as well as being an enthusiastic participant of the local scene. Jackson is the son of our good friends Annabel Bromley and Rossko MacGregor. Our thoughts and love are with everyone involved at this time, now and always.

Out of respect, there is no talking on this episode of the podcast. As such, I’ve included links and a little brief about each track below.

Sleep easy, fellas.

jordan

Jordan Cameron

jackson

Jackson Bromley

Drug Couple – “Victor Crowley”

The last track of the Perth hardcore band’s first and only EP.

Certain Death – “Faker”

Recorded when they were called Drive By Audio and taken from the BYAF V comp.

In Tongues – Entombed By Existence”

Glasgow hardcore’s bleakest, taken from the new EP on Atonement Records.

Prelude To The Hunt – “Blood Moon”

Aberdoom grindcore, taken from the “First Rites” EP.

MAFAFI – “Ed Burns”

PHC’s filthiest purveyors of hardcore punk sleaze.

Kaddish – “Combray”

Eccosemo’s greatest with a track from the out of print split 7″ with Battle of Wolf 359.

Bed Of Wasps – “Plagued”

New blackened hardcore five-piece from Dundee, taken from the “Plagued” EP.

Black Channels – “Feral Children”

Black Channels were a Perth/Glasgow screamo/punk band featuring members of Mesa Verde and Allergo.

Gunfinger – “Smoked Bowls, Saved Souls”

Glasgow hardcore/powerviolence mayhem on Hawkchild/Party Wound.

Fiesta Minor – “Cold”

Glasgow screamo/hardcore.

Bonehouse – “Gentle Bones”

Dundee emo/punk, taken from the 4-Way Split 12″ with Kaddish, Polina (CAN) and Todos Caeran (CAN).

Carson Wells – “Home”

Aberdeen emo, taken from the “Wonderkid” LP on Art For Blind.

Proverbs – “James Nesbitt Is Not A Legitimate Actor”

Perth emo, taken from the “1.24” tape on ZX Tapes.

Cavalcades – “Frayed”

Aberdeen screamo/punk, taken from the “Coping” 12″ EP on Dog Knights.

Departures – “21”

Glasgow hardcore, taken from the “Teenage Haze” LP on Fist In The Air Records.

Torturo Nervosa – “Saturnalia”

Perth punk rock sleazemeisters par excellence.

Cleavers – “Transmission” (Joy Division)

Download-only bonus track from the “I Can’t Wait Around For You”/”Give Up” 7″ record.

Pink Pills – “Ghost Ships”

Pink Pills is Ryan Gallagher, taken from the “Concrete Heartbeat” album.

The Hotel Year – “There Is A Light”

Now “The Hotelier”, this track is taken from the LP of the same title.

My Castle, Your Castle – “Outro”

Taken from “Discography”.

Dae Yer Ane Podcast; Episode 1

Okay, I admit it; I am a philistine when it comes to music and technology. I dislike I-Tunes and tend to stick to what I know when it comes to downloading and such like. I’ve recorded music onto computers but have never done so myself, as I’ve always had someone there clicking the buttons and telling me when to start. However, my new-found sobriety has ignited some kind of fire in me and I’m keen to learn new things. As such, I finally did a little bit (very little bit) of light reading about podcasting and home-recording, then proceeded to download Audacity and have my first blast at creating a Make-That-A-Take podcast.

Naturally, I christened this new adventure in hi-fi as “Dae Yer Ane Podcast”. It only makes sense. I decided to start with a podcast as it’s something that I’ve talked about doing for ages but have never got round to doing it. That or I’ve never found anyone willing to give me free reign on a microphone. Either way, I have finally gotten round to it. So delightful did I find the experience that I imagine I shall do it again, although I’m not going to make any promises about how frequently they’ll be done as I seem incapable to sticking to any sort schedule when it comes to the written word, let alone the spoken.

Regardless of my foibles and scatter-shot timekeeping, doing the podcast was a little bit of fun if nothing else. It’s also a mighty fine excuse for my to listen to some of my favourite bands, not that any excuse is needed. If there’s anyone out there that has enjoyed the podcast, has any advice and/or criticism to impart, would like to get their band played on the podcast, or whatever else, please feel free to get in touch.

2013 was rare. Here’s to a belter in 2014.

Happy new year.

 Sink Alaska – “Hitless Wonder”
The Walking Targets – “Count Me Out”
The Kimberly Steaks – “All My Friends Are Ghosts”
Bangers – “Part Animal”
Sweet Empire – “Torches”
Get It Together – “Skinned Knees and Bruises”
Filthpact – “D-Beat Is Love”
Sufferinfuck – “Phoney Wars”
Rope Spasm – “Marlboro Man”
Black Cop – “Brain Contractor”
Billy Liar – “The Ghosts of Punk Rock”
Loaded 45 – “Joe”
Uniforms – “The Trouble With Trying”
Rebuke – “Going to Japan and Back”
Broken Stories – “Everything All At Once”
Mesa Verde – “Post-Youth”
Kaddish – “Treading”
Lachance – “Old Haunts”
The Murderburgers – “Turning 25 Was Shit”

PS – Free download of the “Roaster” split to the first person to email MTAT correctly stating the movie from which the opening sample on the podcast is taken.

October MTAT Round-up; Shows, Releases, BYAF, More!

This last month or so has been possibly the busiest period in the history of Make-That-A-Take Records. We’ve hosted four absolutely banging shows over the last six weeks and have been working tirelessly in the background getting things ready for Book Yer Ane Fest VII and the releases that we’ve got coming out before the end of the year. The shows with Arliss Nancy, Mini-Fest with The Smith Street Band, Great Cynics, The Murderburgers and more as well as the last two shows with Elway and Direct Hit have been some of the most fun shows that I’ve ever been part of, so thank you so much to everyone involved, especially those who have come out and supported the shows and all the bands for being awesome. It’s nice to be reminded that punk rock can still reinvigorate and refresh! The Priceduifkes may also be the nicest dudes in punk rock.

I’ve gotten a little behind with regards to catching up with sorting all the videos I’ve taken at shows recently, but there are over 300 videos from across the years available for your viewing pleasure on Cowpunk TV.

Next up show-wise, we are very excited about the return of Franz Nicolay and the Bearing Torches tour with The Cut Ups on Tuesday 19th November at Kage Nightclub, Dundee. This tour is unique insofar as both Franz and The Cut Ups shall be performing two sets each night; one with The Cut Ups as Franz’s electric backing band and one with Franz performing keys with The Cut Ups, as he did on last year’s “Building Bridges. Starting Here” LP. This will be Franz’s first show in Dundee since absolutely tearing Cerberus apart last August and will also be the first time that Exeter’s finest have visited Dundee since way back at Book Yer Ane Fest IV.

franz cut ups

The really rather wonderful Broken Stories shall be opening the show with half an hour of their super-melodic uplifting fiddle-driven acoustic folk-punk that has grown from strength to strength over the course of the last six months. They are truly one of the most interesting and exciting acoustic acts that I’ve seen recently. Kev has always been a great songwriter but he seems to be coming into his own and gaining in confidence with each performance. This promises to be a unique and rewarding night all round. Advanced “Will Call” tickets are available here and come with a free instant download of the Broken Stories EP.

After that, we’re moving onto pre-BYAF at The Banshee Labyrinth in Edinburgh on Thursday 28th November with The Murderburgers, Billy Liar, UNIFORMS, The Walking Targets and Maxwell’s Dead and then BOOK YER ANE FEST VII itself, running from Friday 29th November through Sunday 1st December. I posted the BYAF Day and Venue splits in the blog a couple of weeks ago and you can find the full details of them right here.

poster safe tay

You can also get yourself an Earlybird Weekend Ticket for the princely sum of £20 right here. You’ll bag yourself an immediate download of BYAF VII; The Comp (Part One) when you do so too.

On the subject of Billy Liar and The Murderburgers, both are currently on tour around the USA promoting their new releases and making their way towards Florida to play Fest 12 in Gainesville. Da Boigas have just dropped the “These Are Only Problems” LP on Asian Man Records and will be playing at Loosey’s on Sunday night at 10.10pm. Billy Liar is also supporting his new “All I’ve Got” digital single that he’s released through MTAT, with the physical version to follow in time for BYAF. Billy is play The Lunchbox in Gainesville on Saturday at 7.20pm, just after our buddy Jeff Rowe. The wonderful Mark McCabe is also playing Fest, as are our pals in Bangers, Great Cynics, Leagues Apart and countless more. Hope everyone who is at Fest has an awesome time!

Our next vinyl release is the “ROASTER” 4-Way Split 10″ on REIGN IN BLOOD coloured wax featuring UNIFORMS, Sink Alaska, Question The Mark and The Walking Targets. Now, I should probably provide some context for this release; the songs from both Uniforms and QTM come from the split 7″ that was supposed to come out earlier this year. However, for reasons beyond our control, that record didn’t happen. As such, we thought it prudent to do what we could to get these songs out there and they are finally seeing the light of day as part of this split with two of Scotland’s most exciting new punk bands in the shape of Sink Alaska and The Walking Targets, both of whom are contributing brand new recordings. The record itself will be released and available at Book Yer Ane Fest VII with a stream and pre-order going live in the next couple of weeks. All four bands will be performing across the BYAF weekend too.

cover

The tracklisting is as such;

A1; UNIFORMS – “Keep On Keeping On”

A2; Sink Alaska – “Hitless Wonder”

A3; Question The Mark – “Whatgoesaroundcomesaround”

A4; The Walking Targets – “Count Me Out”

B1; The Walking Targets – “Self-Deprecating Evenings”

B2; Question The Mark – “Ignorance Is Piss”

B3; Sink Alaska – “Footnotes”

B4; UNIFORMS – “Father’s Day”

The record was mastered by Ross Middlemiss of Engineered Audio Recordings who has recorded such luminaries as Kaddish, Bonehouse, The Shithawks and heaps more. The release is a split project between the bands, MTAT and Team Beard Records and will come with download codes. Pre-orders will come with immediate downloads of the tracks in your preferred format and the physical records will follow at the end of November/start of December. These songs mean a lot to me personally so I’m very pleased that they’ll finally be available on record. We’ve also started doing some demos for our LP so keep your eyes peeled for any songs that may pop up from that.

cover

We are also very pleased to be involved in an international collaborative project between a bunch of European punk rock labels and seven of Sweden’s finest skate/punk/hardcore bands to release SWEDEN THE DEAL, a compilation featuring some of the best bands from the thriving scene. Officially set for a December 10th release, we will have some advanced physical copies at BYAF VII. The release features two brand new songs from Rebuke and From The Tracks, both of whom play BYAF alongside Sweet Empire and Antillectual from The Netherlands, meaning that the busy Euro-punk scene is well represented.

The bands; Kept, Trevolt, Rebuke, From The Tracks, Lapdog, Same Old Story, Broken Aris

The labels; Lockjaw Records, Riot Ska Records, TNS Records, Dead Lamb Records, Socks Off Collective, Less Talk More Rock Records, Make-That-A-Take Records.

Big thanks to all the bands and all the labels involved for having us be part of such an exciting international project. The CD will be available from distros across the continent, so make sure and keep your eyes peeled.

On the subject of distros, if anyone is interested in stocking any of the upcoming MTAT releases, please get in touch. Thanks also to Ryan and the dudes at Get Better Records from Greenville, South Carolina for their trades recently. We’ve got a bunch of new stuff in the distro from the likes of The Anchor, Rubrics, Warm Needles and a bunch more.  We have also just taken delivery of some copies of the Cleavers / The Kimberly Steaks split 7″ that is out through Fuzzkill Records. It’s an absolute banger and I’d strongly suggest picking one up. You can get your paws on it here and can check out the rest of the distro and merch stuff here. We’ve just got re-stocks of both black and white BURST COW shirts as well as some banging new MTAT HXC koozies printed by our pals At His And Her Prints.

Right, I think that’s about as much as my brain can handle at the moment. Thanks to everyone for their kind words yesterday for my birthday and to everyone involved in helping me celebrate at the weekend. It’s not so bad getting older, it just hurts a little more when you trip out of a van.