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Tag: music

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!

 

 

 

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“What’s the craic with Conroy’s Basement?”

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So what’s the craic with Conroy’s Basement? Good question, for which I shall endeavour to provide the answer right now!

Basically, it’s been almost a year since MTAT hosted our first show there (okay, eight months) and since then it’s been both an entertaining challenge and learning experience for us all. With every new idea comes new challenges and, as we’ve never been ones to shy away from such things, we have poured our blood, sweat and tears into trying to make things work. Personally, all I’ve ever wanted is a basement space to put on shows so, in effect, that dream has come true (pity I don’t have a functional punk rock band, right?!?).

Firstly, we’d very much like to thank everyone who has supported us thus far with this endeavour; it takes a crew of people to make ideas work and put concepts into action. We are very grateful for all of the hard work and graft the extended crew has put into making things work and it must be known that we wouldn’t be in the position that we are without the support of our friends and colleagues. Y’all know who ye are.

We must also thank our landlords at Conroy’s for their welcome, understanding and patience with us as we worked through the teething problems. We are under no illusions that we are very lucky to be in the position that we are and cannot overstate how grateful we are. While things may not have been perfect since the get-go, I strongly believe that what we are doing is important and that it directly relates to many of the discussions that have been had throughout Dundee’s musical community of late. Hell, The Skinny just published a piece I wrote the other day (check out “Venues, Scenes and Spaces“) that addresses this exact issue.

Conjecture and debate is one thing, action is another. Without resorting to Minor Threat quotes, if ye want to get something done the best thing to do is to it yourself (DIY, ken?). As such, the craic with Conroy’s Basement is thus; we are now open for third party bookings.

Basically, Kenny G and I have formed a new company called Burst Cow. We have invested in a new PA for the basement and will be running the bookings independently of MTAT, for both logistical reasons and so as to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. We have begun taking limited third party gig and private function bookings, with a bunch of shows happening in November, and will be looking to gradually expand things once Book Yer Ane Fest X is in the bag.

Terms and conditions for all bookings apply, of course, but ultimately we aim to help nourish the scene that has helped nourish us so greatly for so many years. To us, DIY need not be a byword for “slack” or “shitty”.

Kenny G will be the go-to dude for all third party bookings and should be contacted at conroysbasement@gmail.com

I (Derrick) shall remain the “face” of MTAT and, as such, any and all MTAT related emails/enquiries/vegan recipies should be sent to info@makethatatakerecords.com

So yeah, it seems Conroy’s Basement is open for business!

Distro Record of the Week; Freddy Fudd Pucker – “Hourglass Wine”

In an effort to make good on my promise of writing more (and to shift some product, obvz), I’ve decided to start a “Distro Record of the Week” column. One of the coolest things about running a label is the amount of amazing music that I get to listen to and the gems I get to wrap my grateful ears around that may have otherwise remained undiscovered by me.

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I don’t remember exactly how Freddy Fudd Pucker and I became acquainted, I think he hit me up looking for a show sometime in early 2014. What I do know is that he is a wonderfully talented and kind gentleman and that “Hourglass Wine” has been on regular rotation on my turntable since I got my copy at BYAF IX.

“Hourglass Wine” is Freddy’s first full-length record to be given the vinyl treatment and this release comes of classic black wax courtesy of New Zealand’s Monkey Records and the Ramones Museum in Berlin. The record also comes with a twelve page comic containing all lyrics and illustrations that accompany the songs. Vaguely a concept record concerning the evolution of our hero Momo and the stealing of time, the album contains ten tracks of thoughtful, intelligent and impeccably well-written melodic folk/punk crackers that range from the full-on raging to the sombre and introspective.

Freddy Fudd Pucker is a one-man-band so there’s a range of interesting instrumentation and arrangements on display, with equal doses of full-stomping bass drum, electric guitars and blaring moothies as quietly-picked guitar loops, soaring melodies and abstract poetic lyricism. In terms of sonics and influence, we’re pitching in somewhere between the dark-hearted romance of Alkaline Trio and The Cure and marrying it to the classic road-worn folk warmth and wisdom of Neil Young and Bob Dylan. The whole thing is crafted with a punk rock heart and both the emotional honesty and sincerity of intent bleed out all over this record.

As a piece taken together, “Hourglass Wine” is one of the most complete pieces of acoustic-based work I’ve heard in a while, taking us on an engaging journey whilst painting pictures with a smart narrative and intriguing characters throughout. The tone matches the aesthetic perfectly and the whole album flows together beautifully, featuring several stand out moments (“Don’t Fail Me Now”, “Bad Actors”, closing piece “A Gathering Mass”) whilst never detracting from the narrative whole.

In a time of saturation, it’s refreshing and reassuring to find an acoustic artist (singer/songwriter, whatever ye prefer) with a firm sense of their own identity whilst continuing to explore it through their art, music and lyrics. Bottom line, this is a great record from front to back and comes strongly recommended.

You can grab a copy and check out the other records/merch in the distro on the MTAT BigCartel page.

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.

february 27th

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;

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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!

100th Post – New Release; Tragical History Tour – “Live in Dundee” EP

Today we celebrate the release of the Tragical History Tour “Live in Dundee” EP recorded by Russell Brown of Maxwell’s Dead live at Buskers, Dundee at the Franz Nicolay 7″ launch show with Billy Liar and Broken Stories on Saturday 14th March 2015. The EP is available for free/pay-what-you-want download with all donations being greatly received and going towards the EU Tour fund for the forthcoming jaunt with Get It Together.

This post also marks the 100th post on Write Yer Ane Zine, so what better way to commemorate such an occasion than with some fresh live acoustic cowpunk jamz?

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Tragical History Tour will be “headlining” a hometown show at Cerberus Bar, Dundee this coming Thursday night at the last MTAT show of the month alongside an hat-trick of Edinburgh singer/songwriters in the form of Paper Rifles (Jon of Curators fame), Benny Monteux and James Johnson (ex Shields Up, current Elk Gang). The show kicks off around 7.30pm and entry is by donations please.

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The Get It Togther and THT UK/EU Tour then kicks off next Thursday in London. We are still looking to fill one final date on Thursday 9th April somewhere between Leipzig and Dresden. We are willing to play anywhere within reasonable (6/7 hours maybe?) drive of both of these cities and are just looking for some place to play as days off on  tour suck. If anyone out is keen to help us out at all and/or can point us in the right direction, please do give us a shout and email makethatatakerecords@gmail.com

Thus far our schedule is looking as such;

Thursday 2nd April; The Unicorn, Camden, ENG
Friday 3rd April; Quadrant, Brighton, ENG
Saturday 4th April; Cafe Asgard, Beverwijk, NL
Sunday 5th; Cafe Bluff, Heerlen, NL
Monday 6th; Auto Control. Amsterdam, NL
Tuesday 7th; KTS, Freiburg, GER
Wednesday 8th; Kulturcafé Manfred, Leipzig, GER
Thursday 9th; ***Free To Book***
Friday 10th; Luther 33, Dresden, GER
Saturday 11th; Ramones Museum, Berlin, GER (afternoon)
Saturday 11th; Venue TBC, Berlin, GER (evening)
Sunday 12th; Sub071 Leiden, NL

Get It Together continue to support their incredible “Rebuild, Recover” 7″ EP and I very much look forward to slamming down with these boys every single night across tour. I’ll be the hype man jumping into the pit and getting y’all fired up! As I said previously, any donations for the new THT EP will go straight into the tour fund to keep the show on the road, so please give generously if you can.

THANKING YOU FOR EVERYTHING.

Exclusive Interview / 7″ Stream; Franz Nicolay

We roasters at Make That A Take have long been fans of Franz Nicolay and we’re very proud be putting out his Double A-Side 7″ single on the eve of this UK Tour. I first met Franz when he came to play Book Yer Ane Fest V whilst on tour with Chris T-T and we had the pleasure of introducing him to Frankie Stubbs. We’ve also had the pleasure of putting Franz on a couple more times over the years, developing friendship along the way, and we are very pleased to be welcoming him back to Scotland for four shows starting in Perth next Friday (13th March). Cheap e-tickets are available for the “official” record launch show at Buskers, Dundee with Broken Stories, Billy Liar and Jon Shoe (The Cut Ups) on Saturday 14th March here.

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It is with great excitement that we present the stream and pre-order of the new Franz Nicolay 7″, produced by J. Robbins and featuring Andrew Seward (Against Me), Yoni Gordon and Ara Babajian (The Slackers/Leftover Crack). The record is limited to 300 copies and is “officially” released on Monday 9th March 2015. Thanks to Punktastic for premiering the stream on Monday.

On the eve of the record release and tour, I asked Barry “The” Kydd if he’d like to conduct an interview with Franz for WYAZ. He duly agreed so I put them in touch. This interview took place over email. Thank you to both Barry and Franz for taking the time for do this exclusive interview.

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B : I’d like to start fairly early if possible. What was your local music scene like when you were growing up, and how did you come about to find yourself a wielder of such an array of instruments?

F: There wasn’t any. I grew up in a town of nine hundred in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, in the pre-internet era. I got my music information from the mainstream music press. I was into Pearl Jam and U2. The nearest thing to a local music scene was a handful of jam bands in Portsmouth, about an hour and a half away on the seacoast. There was one called Thanks To Gravity I liked. I was really a rube, musically and otherwise, when I went to New York for college. I consciously scrubbed some of the real New England locutions from my vocabulary after people noticed.

Curiousity, really. I started playing violin at four or five after seeing Yitzhak Perlman on Sesame Street, then piano a year or so later. I wanted to play trombone in elementary school band–as a not particularly manly kid, I was obsessed with low instruments–but my arms were too short to reach seventh position, so they gave me a French horn. I played that from fourth through ninth grade, when, of course, I got a guitar. I got really into The Basement Tapes in high school, hence mandolin and accordion. The mandolin was my graduation present to myself. Etcetera, etcetera. I find the process of learning a new instrument conducive to writing – the process of figuring out the new dialect of a familiar language leads you down some interesting roads.

B :Yeah, I can certainly see the logic in that. In terms or writing, do you find its the music first, or words? Have you followed a process throughout your career or do you take each one as it comes?

F: I used to do music first, when I was a teenager up until I stopped writing my own songs for a while. I would sing a dummy melody and hang words on the vowels. Now I’m more interested in the words, and more likely to have chunks of music and chunks of words and move them around against each other to see what fits. The words usually get precedence, which is why my songs have such odd forms these days.

B: I kinda love the subject matter of most of your songs, and how you tend to approach it. I remember probably the 2nd last time I saw you, which I’m guessing was almost 2 years ago now, the song from To Us, The Beautiful – “Marfa Lights”, was already in your set, so much so we asked you about it afterwards. Have you been writing this new record that whole time? Are you pleased with how it’s turned out?

F : Yeah, “Marfa Lights” had been percolating since 2012, when my wife and I played in Marfa. I had the chorus right away. Then some of the elements of the verses are from my UK tour the previous year with Chris T-T. So yeah, that was the first song I wrote of this batch and had been around for a while. The others were mostly all written in the first half of 2013, either in my wintry apartment in Toronto or in Virginia waiting for my daughter to arrive.

I usually stockpile lyric ideas while I’m on the road, and it’s just a matter of waiting until I have a sustained period of time at my desk to assemble the pieces. And sometimes I’ll go over discarded leftovers from past projects to see if there’s anything I missed. “Shallow Water” was a banjo riff from when I was writing the songs on “Do The Struggle,” that’s why it’s the only non-guitar song on this record, it’s an older part. I scavenged the bridge lyrics for “Open With The Wrestlers” for some lyrics I wrote for a one-off performance of a song by my friends the avant-jazz band Gutbucket from almost twenty years ago. The music for “Pilot Inside” was actually a demo I did for a TV advert for a large internet company which shall go unnamed. They rejected it, so, whatever dudes, I think it’s catchy, I’m keeping it. But mostly everything was written in one burst in the first half of 2013. Then it was a matter of convincing myself it was worth all the stupid effort to make another stupid record. Sigh.

B : Haha, I think the new record is absolutely great, your efforts are fully justified in my eyes. I reckon the sound you achieved this time is far more, accessible, shall we say, and I think the whole record benefits from that shift. On the arrival of your daughter, (congratulations) do you now feel as though the reasons you have to write and indeed sell your music have changed? Has your whole outlook altered?

F: It’s hard for me to pick apart what’s changed about my outlook towards music and my outlook in general. The major effect in terms of how I think of myself as a musician was I had to come off the road, because while I could support myself touring, I’d never reached the level that some people do where they can fund their year on just a couple months of tour. So then I was just an unemployed dad in his late thirties with no way of supporting a family. And that dredged up all kinds of resentments, some justified, some not, about the idea that you could have a decent career and some success and still never be able to make a humane living and just have to start from scratch. I’m no rock and roll martyr.

B : I can imagine it being very difficult. Did you see that documentary – “The Other F Word?” All about punk rock dads trying to find that balance between staying relevant yet needing to feed and keep a household. Really interesting and not something a lot of folk would consider. How long is this current stretch of touring? Do you have any coping mechanisms for being away from your family?

F : No, I haven’t seen it. This tour will be two weeks. That’s about the maximum my wife can conceive of looking after our daughter on her own, for the time being. She’s still young enough that she doesn’t really notice if one of us is away. And as any dad reading this knows, the thing you want more than anything else is just a little quiet alone time, so from that standpoint, a little bit of driving around by myself is a wonderful thing.

B: As a band member, session musician and now into the solo career you have embarked on, has been incredibly impressive in terms of the quality you consistently produce. Do you have a favourite song or project from anywhere your whole career that you are especially proud of?

F: How about if I pick one from each period? I’m a sucker for the expansive, wide-screen songs, so I love World/Inferno’s “We Will Never Run Into One Another On Trains,” The Hold Steady’s “First Night,” my own “Joy.” “Agada” and “Sugar Park Tavern Death Song” from Guignol. I think “Do The Struggle” is my best set of lyrics. “This Is Not A Pipe” has the best balance between how much people like it and how I never get sick of playing it, which is rare, really.

If I had to pick a starter box set for someone who had never heard anything I’ve done, I would do W/IFS “Red-Eyed Soul,” THS “Boys And Girls In America,” Guignol & Mischief Brew “Fight Dirty” (which has the highest ration between how good I think it is and how few people own it) and my “Do The Struggle.”

B: Excellent, expansive answer. You are good at this interview game!

F: Most people have strong opinions about themselves.

B: Haha, I reckon the appeal to both you, and the audience with “This is Not a Pipe” for example, is the way you can alter and vary the methods of delivering each line so well, to keep people’s attention, and to keep it fresh for you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another artist who can make a whole room just shut the fuck up and listen better than yourself. It’s quite a talent. Who would you say, if anyone, helped you to define your onstage persona?

F: Maybe, but I do that with lots of the songs, that’s just the one that the most people connect with so they notice it more. Anyway, I don’t know, I just study showmanship and pick up ideas where I can. The vaudevillian aspect of the way I present gives me cover to have a wider emotional range, and a show is all about managing the dynamic–offset a sad song with a one-liner, suddenly slow down a fast song–and the wider the range the more I can do. People have short attention spans. One of the reasons I’m ambivalent about guitar songs and playing with a band is it severely limits what I can do with the show. Can’t spend a lot of time chatting at the crowd, or stop the song in the middle and make a joke, if you have other people onstage.

B: Yeah I would certainly agree with that. Watching you is very much a show experience, not just watching a band or singer songwriter.

B: Ok, speaking of short attention spans, I should maybe start wrapping this up with a few quick fire fun ones. What’s the weirdest place you ever played? (Apart from Dundee)

F: Ulan Bataar, Mongolia. I was travelling through and posted on a bunch of expat blogs, ended up at a faux-Irish pub frequented by Australian and New Zealander mining executives and managed by a gay Belgian who’d fallen in love with a member of the Mongolian national ballet and emigrated.

B: Sounds like absolutely your perfect scenario to play in. What will be on the stereo as you drive around the UK next month?

F: I got this amazing trove of Prince demos going back to the mid-seventies, when he was a teenager with a four-track rocking the George Benson sing-along-to-your-fusion-jazz solos style. Still got 600 tracks to get through.

B: Ha. That does sound amazing. Have you performed any marriage ceremonies lately? 🙂

F: Not a one. 😦

B: I suppose those requests are few and far between. Quality, not quantity.
If you could only play 3 more shows in the remainder of your career, who would you want on the bill with you? and where would you want to play?

F: Jeez, I don’t know. On the one hand, it’s a free shot to dish out some compliments; on the other to answer it would involve some touchy alpha ranking assumptions about who would support whom. I’ll take a pass. I love everybody. I would want to play a proscenium stage with those bare lightbulbs around the edge, and thick red curtains.

B: I cannot argue with that. Is there a song that exists that you wish you had written?

F: Many, but the first one that jumps to mind is “Johnny Mathis’ Feet” by American Music Club. Recent songs, Dave Dondero’s “This Guitar” and Bill Callahan’s “Small Plane.”

B: What’s next for you after this UK tour? I noticed you have a book coming out, that’s pretty interesting.

F: I’ll be doing two weeks of festivals and club shows with the band in Europe in August. Maria and Lesia and I will be travelling most of the summer, in St. Petersburg, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. And yeah, the book – “The Humorless Ladies of Border Patrol,” on The New Press sometime early next year. It’s about DIY touring in the former Communist world, from Belgrade to Beijing, with portraits of some of the characters who constitute the local scenes and some deep dives into the history of punk and politics in Russia and China. It’s been a long time in the making and I’m more than a little amazed I’ve been able to find a good home for it.

B: The New Press will certainly be a great home for it. Look forward to picking that up, sounds fascinating. On the east coast of Scotland, there is a certain trend for yelling bizarre heckles that are intended to humour rather than offend anyone, it’s ran for as long as I can remember. What’s the strangest/best heckle anyone’s ever yelled at you?

F: I can’t remember anything specific – but when I’m in the audience, I’m a big fan of “That was a really good song!” It confuses people. Oh, I just remembered one – in Donetsk, Ukraine (which is now the hub of the war) a guy said, “I don’t like USA, but I like you!” So that was…nice.

B: Haha, Constructive heckles are great, we will try to entertain you as much as you entertain us when we see you. Franz, it’s been a pleasure bouncing questions back and forth, thanks so much for taking the time to respond. Very excited about MTAT’s involvement in the 7″ release and the numerous Scottish dates coming up, travel safe and I will see you soon.

F: Yessir! See you in a couple weeks.

Thank you so much to Barry and Franz for taking the time to do this interview, much appreciated gentlemen.

Franz will play an intimate in-store show at Groucho’s, Dundee from 2pm on Saturday 14th March before the record launch show in the evening. It’s a free show so come down and enjoy a unique performance, have some banter and maybe get your 7″ signed!

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Thanks to everyone for reading. Do please grab a copy of what is a little gem of a record!

See ye at the shows!

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!

Last Show of 2014; Dundee Foodbank Benefit – This Saturday

2014 has been another very interesting year in the history and evolution of Make That A Take Records. We’ve hosted some incredible bands and put out some records that we are very proud of. Thank you so much to everyone who continues to support what we do. I’ll write up a full retrospective of the year (hopefully) over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, we have our final show of the year to look forward to and we’re doing it as a Christmas Food Drive to benefit Dundee Foodbank. The fact that there are families and children who are dependent upon foodbanks for survival is disgusting in and of itself, the fact that it’s happening on our very doorstep is even worse. I would actively encourage those who are coming to bring items of non-perishable foodstuffs to Kage on Saturday in exchange for a Christmas present from MTAT. All food will then be delivered to the food bank over the weekend in time for Christmas. Please see this list of suggested items.

Christmas show

We are very pleased to welcome Basement Benders from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Dundee for the very first time as part of their whistle-stop UK tour. These dudes have impeccable punk rock pedigree and have collectively been part of literally dozens of DIY punk bands including the likes of This Bike Is A Pimp Bomb, Future Virgins, Cleveland Bound Death Sentence and many more. The band have only released a top notch demo tape thus far but have their first 7″ coming out very soon on Drunken Sailor Records.

The show at Kage will be their second of the day as they’ll be playing a matinee show at the 13th Note, Glasgow at 1pm on Saturday alongside Get It Together and Science Made Us Robots. This triumvirate will then be joined by Dundee’s finest soulful indie rockers Robot Doctors, who shall be playing a rare stripped-down acoustic set to open proceedings. There will be free download codes for everyone on arrival and Christmas presents for all who bring donations for the food bank.

ONSIND

We have also just announced the first of our shows that we’ve got booked for 2015 featuring ONSIND, Spoonboy, The Spook School and A Hopeless Cause. The show is strictly limited to a capacity of 70 people so ye can ensure entry by grabbing yourself an e-ticket. This show, as all others are, is included in your 2015 MTAT Season Ticket which includes copies of all 2015 releases as well as all shows, including Book Yer Ane Fest IX. Ye can get one of them for 75 sheet here.

Hope to see y’all out on Saturday night for the last tear-up of the year!

BYAF; Dundee First-Timers

pre BYAF Glasgow

Book Yer Ane Fest VIII is now less than a week away and I’m starting to get pumped. As usual, I’m spinning plates but it seems that everything is coming together. One of my favourite things about BYAF, and what we do in general, is getting to bring rad bands to Dundee who have never played here before. We are incredibly lucky to be able to bring a bunch of tours together and welcome punks from all over the world to the city for the weekend. We are very grateful to the wonderful people in the punk and wider musical communities for coming together to make this happen.

poster final

There have been some changes and adjustments to the line-up but a full and (hopefully) final schedule will be published in the next week. Thankfully, there will be NO CLASHES, meaning that everyone should get a chance to see everybody. To keep up to date with changes and announcements as they happen, keep your eyes on the event page and the MTAT twitter page.

Three Day Weekend E-Tickets will be online until 12 noon on Friday 28th November. Groucho’s have physical tickets for sale. A limited number of Weekend Tickets will be available on the door on Friday night only. Individual day tickets will be available on the door and will be £7/12/12 for Friday/Saturday/Sunday respectively.

post byaf

Lipstick Homicide (USA);
Friday, Main Stage @ Kage

Top quality fierce gobby melodic punk rock from Coalville, Iowa three piece who will be headlining on Friday night and playing the only Scottish show of their European tour. “Out Utero” on Bloated Kat is an essential record of fizzy pop bangers, like an Asian Man Records showcase at Gilman Street.

Freddy Fudd Pucker (New Zealand);
Pre-BYAF Glasgow / Saturday, Acoustic Stage @ Kage

Idiot punk rock troubadours have a way of finding each other. Freddy hit me up months ago and introduced me to his one-man-band trash/blues/punk chaos and I felt instant kinship. Freddy comes from New Zealand and has been trotting the globe for the last 5 years. He’ll be joining us for the Pre-BYAF show and will be around all weekend.

 Low Dérive (Italy);
Sunday, Main Stage @ Kage/ Post-BYAF Edinburgh

Our brothers at Team Beard Records have long recommended these hearty Italian punks and we are stoked to finally be able to bring them to Dundee as part of a quality little UK tour to and from BYAF alongside Joe McMahon of Smoke Or Fire and our Welsh roaster comrades Question The Mark. I am very pleased to have played a small role in putting it together, cheers troops!

 Joe McMahon (USA);
Sunday, Acoustic Stage @ Kage/ Post-BYAF Edinburgh

Smoke Or Fire are a band that I have long admired and while it seems that Joe and I have circled each other many times, it wasn’t until earlier this year that we finally met for the first time. Smoke Or Fire were one of the bands we wanted to put on when we started MTAT back in the day and, while that hasn’t happened yet, we’re very pleased to finally be able to bring Joe to Dundee and BYAF.

Guerrilla Monsoon (ENG);
Saturday, Main Stage @ Kage

Guerrilla Monsoon have been tearing it up all over the place over the past year, including their first US show at Fest 13. These dudes play pure melodic punk rock gold and are absolutely smashing it with their new “Big City Plans” EP on Paper and Plastick / Beach Community. We’ve developed a close friendship this year and I couldn’t be more excited that they’re playing their first Scottish show on the Saturday of BYAF.

Austeros (ENG);
Pre-BYAF Glasgow / Friday, Main Stage @ Kage

Three piece super-melodic power-pop punks from Cheltenham with a banging new EP out on Round Dog Records and Don’t Ask, these dudes will be playing their first Scottish shows at Pre-BYAF in Glasgow and on Friday night at Kage with a house full of kindred spirits. Think Superchunk/The Weakerthans/Weezer.

The Doublecross (WAL);
Saturday, Acoustic Stage @ Kage

The Doublecross is the project of singer/songwriter Jonathan Greenwood of esteemed Welsh indie punks The Modern Farewell and This Hidden Switch. “The Timeless Self-Destruction of…” is a wonderful roots-y slice of modern rock storytelling in a Springsteen/Lucero style on Boss Tuneage / Team Beard and sees Jon joined by array of guest musicians. We’re very lucky to be hosting a Scottish exclusive solo show on Saturday evening at Kage.

Fair Do’s (ENG);
Sunday, Main Stage @ Kage

We’ve been trying to get these Manchester skate punks up to BYAF for a few years now and have never been able to work it out until now so we’re very pleased to finally be welcoming them to Dundee. These dudes shred like A Wilhelm Scream/Propagandhi and may well claim the crown for fastest band in a weekend full of super-fast bands.

Dead Neck (ENG);
Saturday, Early Show @ Cerberus Bar

Lancashire melodic hardcore punks who are a pretty last minute addition to proceedings will be bringing the rukus to Cerberus Bar for the early show and is pretty much guaranteed to be absolute chaos. You’d be strongly advised to bring earplugs if you’re suffering a particularly gnarly Friday night festover!

For updated day splits, please see this freshly squeezed post here.

YASS MIN!