Album Reviews :: My Iron Lung, Homelife, Undesirable People, The Swellers, Masked Intruder, and Morning Glory

Homelife :: Translation out now on Black Numbers/Bermuda Mohawk

Homelife from Lansing MI fuses post punk with a post-hardcore attitude to create a Jawbreaker-esq record. Translation is a record that gets better track by track. The super gruff vocals, passionate music, raw emotion in each track builds upon itself to create such a solid album that makes you feel something by the end.

Translation is currently streaming on Punknews.org, is available as a name your own price download, and has a limited run vinyl pressing. You can also watch the video for Unsteady Hands on AP.

My Iron Lung :: Greif out now on Pure Noise Records

Greif is a 5 song EP and is My Iron Lung’s debut. Greif is a screamo record that really made me sit back and realize how much I really do like screamo. At the end of the album, I felt drained, in a great way. You know, like that I went on this whole emotional journey and am spent at the end.

Whenever I listen to a screamo record I unconsciously compare them to I Hate Myself. Which fair or not, is the epitome of a screamo band to me. This EP lives up to the comparison, the passionate strain in the vocals simply moves me.

Though this is a solid EP, the stand out track is Family Traits, there is a really interesting breakdown of music and pure rawness in the vocals.

 

Undesirable People :: Eugenics out now on South / Division Records

Eugenics starts off in medias res, there is no intro, no build up, they just throw the listener right into the thick of the album. It is hard to put this album into a category, some tracks are punk with a metal/rock edge to the guitars and some tracks are a harder emo, but with that same edge. Emotion ridden slower passionate punk rock, that shit it awesome. That is where Eugenics lies. They are full of emotion that they will not display softly.

Stand out track on Eugenics is Animals, it starts offs slow and builds through the whole track until there is a sing along at the end, it is both powerful and catchy. You can stream the title track, Eugenics over at Under the Gun.

 

The Swellers :: Running Out of Places To Go out now via Snowbrid Songs

I won’t say that The Swellers are underrated, because they have a ton of awesome fans, but I will say that most people don’t give them the credit they deserve. Simply stated, they are a pop punk band with a sensibility that crawls under your skin.

Running Out of Places to Go is a 5 song EP that catches you immediately and keeps you under its spell with its passion and honesty. It is exciting and a ton of fun, it is the kind of album you will blast in your car while you dream of getting out of your small town. (I wish this album would have been around when I was a 16 year old high school girl. I loved every band, album, song that spoke to the restless small town kid dreaming of getting the hell out of their closed-minded town.)

What I love most about The Swellers is that their songs are catchy, poppy, yet deep. That is a super hard balance to strike, and they have perfected it. My two favorite tracks are Hands, for the moments of strained singing paired with moments of pure melody. The title track, Running Out of Places To Go is embodies everything that is awesome about The Swellers, it is emotional, simple, identifiable, catchy, and passionate.

Recording and touring for over 10 years, The Swellers are keeping pop punk alive and well. “This is for an audience / of one at a time. / I’ll sing it straight / I’ll sing it loud. Don’t keep it a secret /Keep it elite”.

 

Masked Intruder :: Masked Intruder out now on Red Scare

It has been awhile since I have come across a band who has created a whole persona for themselves. Clad in bright ski masks and matching Converse, Masked Intruder play the part of masked outlaws who have broken into some houses, stalked some women, and served some time, stalked some women,  all in the name of love.

Their music is pop punk ala Queers and MTX mixed with 60s detective tv and El Lucha Libre. Keeping up their masked intruder personas all the are on topic, such as asking a girl, “Will you be mine for 25 to life?”, or the revelation of “You can’t charm a lady with a knife” and “Hard to find a girl while stuck in jail”. These guys never take themselves too seriously and never break character, all in all, the band and the album are a good time. I felt the storyline of the album was like a serial cartoon, girls don’t like them and they call the cops. I even kinda wanted them to get a girl by the end of the album. Like a book/movie/tv show where you begin to root for the nerdy protagonist, even though he is kinda super creepy.

I Don’t Want to Be Alone Tonight really that really harkens back to the pop punk masters; How Do I Get To You, has a great a cappella beginning and the vocals are almost sweet; and Crazy is the track that most strogly defines Masked Intruder’s sound.

You can stream the album on their bandcamp and Masked Intruder is available on all the usual suspects, Amazon and iTunes.

 

Morning Glory :: Poets Were My Heroes out now on Fat Wreck Chords

I had to listen to this album a few times to get my head around it. Each track is super different to than the rest which shows off the band’s amazing diversity and provides the listener with a unique listening experience. Morning Glory were not only unafraid to put a string section and piano on a punk rock record,Poets Were My Heroes combines punk, metal, rock, industrial and even a big band/broadway-esq number.

The three strongest tracks illustrate the diversity of the album; Orphan’s Holiday has a great rockabilly vibe that is slightly distorted, Touch is slow, beautiful, and haunting, while Poets Were My Heroes has a great staccato rhythm and gritty vocals and guitars.

More important than the music that is contained on this album, was the message that I found from the band on their facebook page, “If even just one kid out there somewhere hears the music and makes it thru [sic] another day, or gets thru [sic] ife in a shit town where everything sucks and he’s tormented and outcast for being gay, or just wearing freaky black clothing, Mglory will have done it’s [sic] job.”

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