Pittsburgh rockstars Gene the Werewolf took the stage at Heinz Field on August 30th as part of Pittsburgh’s annual Rib Festival. The event has been a steel city favorite for years. That Friday evening, Gene the Werewolf shared the stage with Atlantic Wasteland and The Clarks. They played their new single “Love and Touch” which is currently the top played song on 102.5 WDVE.
There is something extraordinary about two-piece bands. The remarkable expressiveness that comes from two individuals can be seen in Donny Donovan (vocals and guitar) and Greg Brunner’s (drums) band, Hearken. The duo’s music style could generally be described as grungy indie punk. They have a colorful blend of heavy angstiness to heartfelt temper throughout their songs. Late June, they released their debut album at Mr. Smalls Theater.
Hearken’s full length debut album, Help Me, I’m Alive, is a wealth of creativity from the duo. It opens up with “Wake Up” which is about the demand of oneself to make a fresh start. The song is a good benchmark from the tone of the rest of the album. “Drugs” is an explosive song with the driving force from Donovan’s guitar. “Butterfly” is a bittersweet slower song that propels into a sensational rush coming from the vocals and drums. “Sure Shock” and “Tired” are the perfect fix for a daily dose of grungy punk rock that you could really enjoy rocking out to. “Bloom” is an ideal heavy punk song infused with it’s chilling guitar intro followed by a dark overtone drum beat and solid guitar. “I Don’t Owe You” has a fun drum rhythm to compliment the catchy repetitive chorus. “Fix Me” dives deep into the darkness of depression and possessing your own thoughts. The struggle and vulnerability can be hear the vocal performance. The album concludes with “Last Time” a powerful raw emotion song about addiction or the struggle to give up something that you need to let go of. You can feel the affection in the lyrics while the gentle guitar riff helps to soothe the conflict. Overall the album is a wonderful creative work by Donovan and Brunner. It really is an album that you should give a listen to. If you’re looking for raw beautiful emotion, Help Me, I’m Alive is your album.
If you like this, you’ll like them: Queens of the Stone Age/ Screaming females/ The Dead Weather / Hole
Editor’s song picks: “Fix Me,” “Drugs,” “Last Time,” & “Tired”
Ska band Keep Flying performing at Mr Roboto Project in Pittsburgh with support from the Cynimathics.
Pittsburgh’s legendary ska-punk rockers The Code returned to the stage after roughly a decade hiatus. They finished up a mini Midwest tour, with We Are the Union and Dollar Signs, in what was a stellar show at Th Smiling Moose. Plasmid kicked off the show in great punk fashion. The boys hailing from North Carolina, Dollar Signs, picked up the energy of the room even more. Third up was The Code, who performed some of their classic songs including “40 Hour Week,” “Know Your Enemy,” and “Riot.” We Are the Union closed out the night, but it was The Code that stole the show and made it an incredible night for everyone.
If one was to spend a February night, around Valentines Day, at a punk show you could say it would be a fantastic idea. Lotus Kid along with their fellow Pittsburghers, Look Out Loretta, and Philly friends, Goalkeeper, put on a stellar show that would cure any Valentine’s blues of your inner emo kid self.
Sometimes the best way to spend your night is at a small bar in the Southside of Pittsburgh listening to dynamite local bands. The night began with The Highlevel delivering some groovy rock that you should hear in every yinzer bar. Venus Monolith continued the show with flavorful fresh rock alternative tunes. Rocky Dennis Face followed suit with a good ol’ rock n’ roll punk music to wrap up the wonderful night.
How does one describable a band like Swiss Army, well as they put it, "Something for everyone... Fury. Mistakes. Empathy. All of the ingredients of personal growth as told through blazing riffs and deep lyrics." Swiss Army are from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania not Switzerland. In case you were wondering. With a self-titled debut EP in the summer of 2016 and a full-length, Paris Mountain, just released this April, Swiss Army are creating some extraordinary music. SA have meaningful lyrics that are relevant to themselves and their fans mixed in with powerful music that is the driving force of their songs. They possess a punk punch like Saves the Day and The Movielife, but with a smooth, upbeat voice like Punchline. Swiss Army is a band for the person looking for something fresh, but still get the fix of nostalgia of punk from the 2000's.
Editor's tune picks: "1000 Pardons" "Do You Have Any Soul at All?" "Out There" & "Shedding"
Check out more Swiss Army on Facebook.
In 2009, five guys passionate about music and retro video games assembled a metal band called Arcane Haven. Their music is rendered from the foundation of thrash, jazz, and blues to bring a metalcore band that stands out from a lot of other bands around. Arcane Haven released an EP in 2013, Passages, and are in works of a full length. They have performed at Mayhem Festival, Steel City Music Festival, Millvale Music Festival, and many more as well as opened for well known bands, for instance, A Day To Remember, Asking Alexandria, and Stick To Your Guns.
Find some of Arcane Haven's music on bandcamp.
Like them on Facebook.
Watch them on YouTube.
What is better than seeing Vinnie Caruana or Brandon Reilly perform? Seeing both of them playing acoustic songs at the same show. It was an intimate, acoustic evening that opened with Look Out Loretta followed by Spirit Houses. The night continued with Brandon Reilly taking the stage to perform songs from his band, Nightmare of You. “I Want to Be Buried in Your Backyard” and “Please Don’t Answer Me” were two favorite songs played on Reilly’s blue Fender guitar. The night rolled on with Vinnie Caruana playing some of his solo songs as well as a few from I Am Avalanche. “Green Eyes” and “Brooklyn Dodgers” were two favorites he performed by the Brooklyn native. Later in the set Reilly returned to the stage to join Caruana to play a few tunes from The Movielife, a band that they are both members of. “Pour Two Glasses” and “Lake Superior” were songs the duo played from The Movielifes latest album, Cities in Search of a Heart. The evening was truly a genuine, heartwarming time for both the artist and their fans.
The Halloween weekend was a spooky fun time for the local music scene in Pittsburgh. The All Hallow’s Eve festivities began at The Smiling Moose with The Punk Rock Halloween Party 2. Pop punk bands, Cynimatics, Murderboat, Goalkeeper, and Lotus Kid, gave a rocking rowdy show with some cool costumes. Goalkeeper dressed up as Ed, Edd, and Eddy and Lotus Kid were an impressive Santa and his elves.
The entertainment continued the following evening at Cattivo with the Halloween Horrorshow. An ecstatic collection of music rocked the hall of the small Lawrenceville neighborhood. Dressed in some awesome costumes, The Highlevel, The Fading Light, Mark Lykkos and the Kinsey Five, Skapparoneday, Second to Safety, and Venus Monolith, all the bands delivered some dynamic, energetic performances. Honorable costumes to mention were The Fading Light as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Second to Safety was the “Whole-some Four-some” (Mr. Rogers, Bill Nye, Bob Ross, and Steve Irwin.)
Four Chord Music Fest 5 - August 26, 2018 - Pittsburgh, PA - Photos only
Less Than Jake - Bayside - Anti-Flag
Hit the Lights - Cartel - Eternal Boy - Patent Pending
Harbour - Look Out Loretta - Forever Came Calling - Light Years - Keep Flying - Lotus Kid
The Great Heights Band - Atlantic Wasteland - My Kind of Fire - Bloom
Worst Kept Secret - Kill the Clock - Cedar Green
Two Birds is a pop rock band from Pittsburgh, PA. They formed in 2015 and released a debut album, The Great American Northeast, this past summer. The foursome bring a tremendous sound that is light and fun but still delivers a healthy punch of rock. If you are in to bands such as The Spill Canvas, Northern Faces, Eve 6, or Punchline, you will appreciate Two Birds.
You should listen to; "Jelly (I Bought You a Ring)"
Check them out at; www.twobirdsband.com
Buy their music on Bandcamp.
This rock n' roll quintet just celebrated their 10 year anniversary and they are rocking it harder than ever. Based in Pittsburgh, Gene the Werewolf has four albums under their belt with the latest release in the Summer of 2016, "The Loner." Their sound is reminiscing of the good old rock n' roll of the hair bands and finger-less gloves era, but with a fresh energy pumped in the classic genre. If you like bands such as Whiteshake, Guns n' Roses, and AC/DC, you will love Gene the Werewolf.
Editor recommends listing to I Only Wanna Rock n' Roll, Let It Loose, and Fortune and Fame.
Check out their website.
Check out their new single Keep It Together video.
On July 8th this year, Punchline celebrated a very special milestone at Mr. Smalls Theater, 20 years of being a band. They may have started in a little town in Mon Valley area, just south of Pittsburgh, but Punchline have toured from here to Japan and a few cool places in-between. Over the 20 years, they have blossomed into a beautiful band creating seven albums and sharing their love of music with everyone.
That night at Mr. Smalls, was filled with a warm magic of love that only a band as Phenomenal as Punchline could deliver. The show kicked off with Drop the Act and Two Birds warming up the crowd. Then followed by a special reunion of The Berlin Project that included some of the original members & featured Dan Garrighan. The show finished off with a rock solid performance by Punchline. A wonderful night that was 20 years in the making. But Punchline are far from done with their music endeavor. Here's to 20 more years of awesome pop punk rock!
January 24, 2018
Antifest, the two day punk rock festival happened in Pittsburgh in 2017. The festival was created by A-F Records and featured a solid lineup of artists from the label. The two days were split between two venues in the steel city, The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls and The Roboto Project. Some of the artist performing were Swiss Army, Lawn Care, Mace Ballard, The Penske File, Day Jobs, A Lovely Crisis, Endless Mike and the Beagle Club, Worlds Scariest Police Chases, and more. Also, The Homeless Gospel Choir made a special performance as well as a reunion of the bands Tabula Rasa and The Code. To close out the amazing nights of music was a special secret headliner, Anti-Flag. How could the guys of Anti-Flag not finish out a magnificent music fest to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their label. They took it up one more notch and donated 100% of the profit to local Pittsburgh charities THE PERSAD CENTER and P.A.A.R. (Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.)
Power to the peaceful!
This Pittsburgh band is anything close to your run-of-the-mill rock band. Atlantic Wasteland's music is a well blended brew, made up of some of the best elements of alternative, emo, and pop punk music. Founding members, Sam Quatrini and Ausinette Rodriguez, vocal synergy is a testament to their band's unique sound. Their two different vocal styles would appear to be troublesome for others to master in one band, but the twosome rise to the challenge like it's a casual walk. As puts it the best, "...explore opportunities that defy the status quo of what an alternative rock band is expected to be. Finding ways to differentiate themselves from their peers is what defines Atlantic Wasteland as a fresh take on modern rock."
Editor's picks: "Pittsburgh," "Durango," & "A Bettersweet Departure"
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Like them on Facebook.
May 10th, 2018, Memphis May Fire performed at Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale, PA. The hardcore rock band from Nashville, TN rocked the walls of the former church. The set was an unyielding tranquility of guitars with the tremendous vocal power from singer, Matty Mullins. The bands energy emitted positive vibes throughout the venue that the audience unquestionably took in. Memphis May Fire was not alone, they were accompanied by The Word Alive, Fire From the Gods, Awake At Last, and 156/Silence. A night equaily as good as the talent that graced the stage of Mr. Smalls.
Scenes From A Movie reunited for a very special 10th anniversary tour of their album, "The Pulse." The guys kicked off the tour in Pittsburgh at The Smiling Moose, then carry forward to Brooklyn, Marietta, and Detroit. Time and Distance joined Scenes as their special guests as well as a few other bands for different dates on the limited tour. From the Pittsburgh show, Mace Ballard initiated the night of music. Greg McGrowan of Time and Distance did an intimate acoustic set and Almost Cool kept the vibe going for Scenes to finish off the evening with "The Pulse" played in its entirety. Hopefully this is not the last time we see Scenes From A Movie perform.
Check out more of Scenes From A Movie.
It is said that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but Punchline decided to shuffle up the old saying. On March 31st, they released their eight album, Lion, with a show fit for a king. No, really, they came on stage to The Lion King and had Punchline IPA beer with a lion on it. The Colourshow, The Stolen, and The Morning Light started off the night right at Mr. Smalls Theatre. Punchline played a few songs from their new album with some long time fan favorites. According to Chris Fafalios, the band's bassist and co-founding member, “If you already like our band,” he says, “there’s a good chance this will be your favorite album of ours. I feel pretty strongly this is the album people want from us.” (source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) And he is not lying about the album. Lion goes father with the human experience than some of their earlier works. It is a well crafted body of songs that is packaged with a nice bow, that bow being Steve Soboslai talented songwriting.
Editor's picks: "Darkest Dark," "Green Hills 2018," & "Something Happened in 1988."
Check out more at their website.