Sleep Token- Take Me Back To Eden Album Review

Along with the likes of Spiritbox, Turnstile, and Knocked Loose, Sleep Token seems to be next in line for the heavy music group popularity rocket. Everyone is trying to be creative and unique these days, you have to, in order to stay relevant. It is no easy task, especially musically; but you do have a few names out there that are changing the heavy music scene with what seems like every new release. Sleep Token is the very best example of that, not just with their music, but their lore and appearance plays a huge role in that for them. Listening through Take Me Back To Eden will clarify any questions about how they are changing the scene.

Picture retrieved from:

After many months of singles and social media losing their minds over their most well-known track “The Summoning”, their new LP is out and it does not disappoint in the slightest. It is just a tad over an hour long of a roller coaster ride, which with the style of music they are playing, may be a bit much. What makes this record truly special is the sheer volume and variety of songs. You have twelve songs that honestly leave you on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out if you’re going to hear a heavy breakdown, screaming part, beautiful falsetto vocals, or a jazzy piano solo.

Though the biggest attention getter for Sleep Token is vocalist, Vessel, the instruments and arrangements in each song are the driving force. It would not surprise us in the slightest if the members of the band all turned out to be Berklee graduates. We can only imagine how long it took for the writing, recording, producing, and mastering to finish. Each song is carefully put together and shares a common theme while simultaneously being completely different from one another.

Album Cover: Upset Magazine

Some seriously notable tracks on this record are the opener “Chokehold” that essentially leaves you begging for more after punching you straight in the gut with a song you were not prepared to hear. Of course, “The Summoning” was the near seven minute long metal, jazz-fusion ballad. Piano driven track, “Aqua Regia” is a musical aphrodisiac honestly, we cannot tell if it is the tone in Vessel’s vocals, the piano playing, or the lyrical content, but whatever it is works.

As we continued to listen through, “Ascenionism” starts off like a very popular radio sounding RnB song, then they drop you into this crazy heavy mosh part that leaves your jaw dropped and tears of laughter flowing down your face. Midway through the album, we get a nice change of pace with, “Are You Really Okay?” an acoustic guitar riff driven gentle ballad. The last two songs we wanted to highlight are “Rain” and the album closer, “Euclid”. The genre most relatable for Sleep Token has to be metalcore, so “Rain” gives us a look at what they can do with that idea in their minds and let us say, it does not disappoint at all. The album ending track, “Euclid” is the only way in my mind for the anonymous and Vessel. Subtle, gentle, and enchanting vocals riddled with emotion being led by lovely piano playing all bringing the song to a head when they drop into a signature heavy riff sound to send off the listeners.

Rating 9.2/10

See them on tour dates upcoming and check out there merchandise at the link below:


Riot Fest 2023 Lineup Announcement!

Taking place yet again in Douglass Park in Chicago this year is the 2nd most popular Chicago festival, Riot Fest. Had the pleasure of attending last year and was overwhelmed with how enjoyable it was. Here we are a year later, brand new lineup, just as exciting as last years. The squad at Riot Fest spares no expense when it comes to making a diverse lineup every year. There is something here for just about everyone that is thinking about going.

Now we can’t get into every single band on the poster, but definitely a lot to highlight. To start, Foo Fighters and The Cure being the solo headliners on Friday and Sunday is hard to compete with. Saturday comes at us with three modern legends in Queens Of The Stone Age, Death Cab For Cutie, and The Postal Service. Looking closer we have two huge yet vastly different names in Turnstile and The Mars Volta, who will both be nothing but stellar.

Though we do not know the split day lineups, we can expect most of the punk and hardcore bands to play on the same day. Some of the most notable names under that genre umbrella are The Breeders, The Interrupters, Pennywise, Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Braid, Drain, Snapcase, The Exploited, High Vis, and Earth Crisis. That list alone is enough to get people lacing up their Doc’s and hairspray on their mohawks.

Some other personal highlights are 100 gecs, AFI, Sleep Token, ICP, Silverstein, Code Orange, L.S. Dunes, White Reaper, Enter Shikari, Oso Oso, Nothing, Screaming Females, Just Friends, Bearings, The AquaDolls,, and The Bobby Lees. That’s quite a diverse range of artists to check out over the course of a beautiful Chicago weekend. Last year was especially busy, we can only anticipate that this year will be as well.

We have some tips and tricks for those thinking of going this year. For starters, September weather in Chicago could go many ways, so be prepared for really nice cool weather and scorching heat all within a couple hours of each other.

Bring a lightweight backpack to carry your essentials, sunscreen, water bottle, ear plugs, cash, phone charger, and any other small things you may need.

The festival grounds themselves are quite large with a ton of stages. Be prepared to get your steps in every day, but do not forget to plan out breaks when you feel you need them. Make frequent trips to the free water bottle filling station to stay hydrated and if you are going with a group and need to split up due to watching different artists or whatever the case may be, always have a place and time to meet up at the end of the night.

Now, with the grounds being as large as they are, it’s not just bands playing, there are so many different things to do. I spent a lot of time at the half-pipe and pinball arcade just to get out of the sun for awhile. There is a ton of vendors and organizations to buy merch from or just hang out with. For those daring enough, there are some carnival rides and for those looking for a little fun, there are some carnival games too that you may or may not win a cheap stuffed animal from.

There is no shortage of food options either. Generally, they are all in the same area, aside from a few stragglers around. Last year I got a few different things throughout the weekend, pizza, Chinese food, smoothies, Polish food, and of course the classic Billy Goat Tavern burgers.

Last thing to mention is crowd size and traveling around Chicago. At any point during the day there will be upwards of 40,000 people on the festival grounds. As you can imagine, it makes getting in and out of the festival somewhat of a challenge. The line to get in will be super long, and the traffic on the way out is gnarly. Parking is very very limited. My group stayed downtown and like most other people at the fest, took the pink-line to and from each night. That seems like the best course of action, the train is going to be crammed though, so be prepared to get cozy with strangers.

Overall, we highly recommend attending Riot Fest if you can, they have good reputation with attendees and can almost ensure you have a good time at the event. We have information linked below for any questions.


Sound and Fury 2023: Lineup Analysis and Expectations

The Los Angeles hardcore expo has revealed the lineup for this years weekend event taking place on July 29th and 30th in Exposition Park. Attendees of last year have been very eagerly awaiting the lineup to come out and the day is finally here. During this waiting period, we were not given very many hints as to who would be playing. Whoever is running their social media pages so graciously gave a hint that the first letter of one of the bands playing started with “g”. The lineup came out slightly earlier in the day than we anticipated but managed to snag our hands on a couple of passes for the weekend. Check out what bands we will be seeing that weekend in July, along with a few unannounced bands to come later.

Upon first glance, we obviously looked at the band they hinted at that started with “g”. We knew it wouldn’t be Gulch who played their farewell set at the fest last year. It had to be God’s Hate or Gel, luckily for us it was both. There are so many other bands we cannot wait to see, Big Boy, Cold World, Dying Wish, High Vis, Minority Unit, Pain of Truth, Sanguisugabogg, Speed, Spy, Trapped Under Ice, Twitching Tongues, and Volcano are the names we are most excited to see. At the same time, we are going to do everything in our power to catch each band playing.

As first time attendees, we are not only excited for the bands, but the atmosphere, people, hopefully high supply of Liquid Death, and the copious amounts of merch that we will be purchasing over the span of 48 hours. Rumors of different stage set ups and astro turf being laid down so not as much dirt is getting kicked up like last year is music to the ears of returning attendees. We have a couple returning bands from last year in God’s Hate and Speed that set the festival on fire last year to no doubt do the same this year. As for those unannounced bands, could be returners from last year, could be surprise sets, or anything really could happen at this event. You are not going to want to miss this, as of this release over 30% of weekend passes are already gone.

Hardcore is in a beautiful place right now, festivals like this are what is keeping the wheels rolling and bringing in new fans which is exactly what we should all want for the genre. Do you want your favorite band to stick around for more than five years? Make sure they have enough support to do so. If you get the chance to make it this year, tell your favorite bands playing thanks, buy a shirt or something, or just show your support if that is all you can do. Without fans like us, none of this would work.

Link for tickets and info:

Tied Down Fest 2023: The Detroit Hardcore Scene Continues Their Climb

What started last year as a smaller scale fest at the Russell Industrial Center deep in the heart of Detroit Michigan is back. Tied Down Fest this year is back and is bringing everything to throw at you. As the genre istelf is expanding its’ popularity in ways that we have not seen in quite a long time, we have more and more places stepping up to become the leaders in the scene. Mostly states like California, New York, Pennysylvania, Florida, but low and behold, the city of Detroit who already has a rich history in hardcore is making a name for itself once again. To further the cause, taking place on June 3rd & 4th is…

This year features two days of the fest, still at the Russell, a new sponsor in Pabst Blue Ribbon, and of course familiar names in Edgemen Printing and The Crofoot. Though last year, we had a classic headliner in Trash Talk, we have some seriously generational and iconic names headlining this year. Straight-edge champions, Gorilla Biscuits are headlining the first night, and the recently returned Trapped Under Ice are finishing the fest the next night. Every band on the lineup is note-worthy and deserves to be watched during that weekend, we are going to highlight a few here. Representing Detroit and the state of Michigan we have, Moral Pollution, Doubt It!, Bitter Truth, Ante Up, D Bloc, and none other than Never Ending Game. The other acts we would love to shout out are, Spy, Shakewell, Magnitude, King Nine, Deadbody, Incendiary, Drug Church, and Xibalba. Like previously mentioned, every band on this bill deserves to be watched, there is not one artist here that we do not love!

Along with these two days, wouldn’t you guess it, there is a pre-show and after show, with the pre-show taking place at Edgemen Printing and the after show being held at the Tangent Gallery.

Here, we’ve got two insane and I mean insane bills. The pre-show at Edgemen is stacked top to bottom with heat, Enemy of God is holding it down for Detroit, xweaponx is going to get a huge pop from the crowd, Gates To Hell has proven to be one of the most exciting bands in death metal today, Kharma has quickly been making a name for themselves both inside and outside of Chicago, Year Of The Knife is in a new stage in their careers that we should all be excited to be around for, and closing the night is the incomparable Louisville straight-edge vets, Inclination.

The after show taking place at the Tangent is going to crush and will be the best cap off for the first night of Tied Down for those that attend. I do not know a ton about Apex Predator and Buried Dreams, but I have only ever heard good things. As for the three others, I am all too familiar. World of Pleasure is the Canadian, vegan, straight-edge band that put on a staggering performance at LDB in Louisville this year. We can only expect great things from them. Big Boy is bringing the San Jose style that we have all come to love so dearly. They just do it different up there in the Bay, Detroit will be gassed to see these guys. Lastly, you read it right, Long Islands own, Pain of Truth is pulling double duty on Saturday the 3rd. The guys are going to crush an afternoon or evening set at Russell and then tear it up at the very end of the night at Tangent.

Tied Down is already sold out basically entirely, there maybe single day passes available still (if so, act fast), the pre-show is completely sold out, but there still ought to be tickets available for the after show. We can expect to hear nothing but great things from this event.

All information can be found at:

Photo Credits: The Crofoot, Tied Down Fest, and Edgemen Printing.

The Top 25 Records of 2022!

Getting straight to the point, 2022 has been one of the most eventful and impressive years that alternative music has seen in quite a long time. The world has seen triumphant and long awaited returns from some of the most loved rock and metal acts in history. My Chemical Romance released their first new song in what feels like forever, Rage Against The Machine returned to the live stage along side their generationally talented vocalist, Zack De La Rocha, and of course, Pantera reuniting to start playing shows in memory of late guitarist, Dimebag Darrell, and drummer, Vinnie Paul.

More exciting than live acts returning to the stage, the EP’s and LP’s of 2022. Plenty of records on this list are going to be brand new faces, who have made quite a name for themselves over the past few months. When we look at the standouts of music this year, without a shadow of a doubt, hardcore has to be the standout genre this year. Their is so much creativity and originality coming out of all hardcore scenes across the country. So, buckle up for a lot of hardcore on this list.

  1. Anxious, ‘Little Green House’

Little Green House absolutely has to take the top spot on the top 25 of 2022. This is a must listen, it fuses three of the best things in alternative music, hardcore, pop-punk, and emo. It’s 32 minutes of diveristy and intrigue, energy and lethargy, and emotion. In all honesty, there are not too many albums that have left me speechless before and though it came out at the beginning of the year, words are still hard to describe what this album is and how it makes me feel.

2. No Pressure, ‘No Pressure’

Alright, now this was an easy second choice. If you wanna take a trip back to the early 2000’s pop-punk scene, this is your chance. Having the chance to see them live a few months back further exceeded my expectations of this band. The crowd went insane, small room with no barricade, crowdsurfers, stagedivers, and two-steppers galore. This is a pop-punk record that will have you cheesing from ear to ear for all 23 minutes of the 10 songs.


Initially, when this record came out, I sort of just assumed it was going to be my album of the year. The singles leading up to the eventual release were really getting everyone pumped up. As Bad Omens was gaining some steam in the scene, they dropped the bomb on the world with this fantastic and nuanced piece of alternative and industrial sounding metalcore. The beautiful haunting vocals that are paired with

4. Drug Church, ‘Hygiene’

Hygiene is the fourth epic from the New York seemingly stoic hardcore outfit, Drug Church. Vocalist, Pat Kindlon changed nothing about what makes them who they are. Simple chord progressions that pair perfectly with the pithy one-liners and hooks that stick in the mind for days. Drug Church is a staple of modern hardcore, they bring something different to the table that every other band should be looking at.

5. Soul Blind, ‘Feel It All Around’

Soul Blind was a band that seemed to fly under my radar in recent years. They’re one of the newer and younger bands associated with the hardcore scene and I guess I just never gave myself the chance to listen. That is until this record came out, it’s perfect fusion of grunge, hardcore, and shoegaze is something I have not experienced before. I believe everyone ought to experience the pieces they crafted for this release, you will not regret it.

6. AVOID, ‘Cult Mentality’

Cult Mentality was one of my most anticipated releases for the year. AVOID really stormed the metalcore scene this year, the guys are still fairly green, but they do not show it. Their recorded music and live performances are energy packed and infectious. The best descriptor of AVOID is “the bros”, they just give off the vibe in the best way possible. They’re at the top of my list for bands I want to hangout with.

7. Speed, ‘Gang Called Speed’

Thus marks the first EP on our list. Gang Called Speed by the Aussie pit starters is brutal and a hardcore fans dream. Flatspot Records crushed this release and helped get these guys a spot on all of our maps. Their insane set at Sound and Fury fest this year helped as well, but it’s songs like, ‘Big Bite’ that just stick. Forget coffee, cold showers, or working out. Listen to this EP in the morning to wake you up and prepare your body for the day. It’ll certainly do the trick.

8. Dayseeker, ‘Dark Sun’

Dayseeker is another band that has been crawling their way, rung by rung, up to the higher tiers of metalcore adjacent music. They have been in the game for a little bit now and are seeming to hit their stride. This record is one of their biggest helps with that step. Similar to most of their work, the instruments are solid, doing their jobs, but the star is vocals, it has been and most likely always will be. Rory Rodriguez has an intoxicating tonality that all singer should strive for.

9. Denzel Curry, ‘Melt My Eyez See Your Future’

Yet again, Denzel Curry releases a masterclass in rap and hip-hop. For the few year that Denzel has be knocking around my playlists, he has never ceased to impress. His roots and influences can be heard in every track. He has undeniable flow and does not shy away from speaking the truth and being vulnerable with his songs. In a world where a lot of popular music sucks, its nice to know there are some serious diamonds in the rough. Denzel Curry is going to be a generational talent when it is all said and done.

10. Kublai Khan TX, ‘Lowest Form of Animal’

Now we’re back in hardcore territory with the latest from Kublai Khan TX. Another band with no misses yet on any of their releases. This EP hits on some really challenging things to listen to. The title itself is sort of a way to describe and individual that is in the lowest of lows in their life but is still hungry and will claw and scratch to get from where they are. Just listen to ‘Swan Song’ that features Scott Vogel of Terror. It does not get much harder than what that song is describing.

11. Mindforce, ‘New Lords’

The crossover kings of the Hudson Valley dropped one of the most exciting albums this year from Triple B Records. Mindforce has been a personal favorite of mine for virtually the whole year, their first full-length, ‘Excalibur’ was nothing short of fantastic. They kept on course with ‘New Lords’. New York hardcore with riffs and solos that make thrash metal heads turn their ears is just what we all need. A modern take that brings us back a few decades. I told my parents this kind of music was educational.

12. Malevolence, ‘Malicious Intent’

Dude, this record is so metal. With this release, Malevolence moved themselves to the upper eschelon of British metal. You know you are doing something good when you release a couple singles and Lamb Of God comes asking for you to open their shows overseas. The riffs, the breakdowns, the vocalist sounds like he’s chewing on meat, and all those things combined mesmerizes us metalheads. If there was ever a concert to go to that makes you want to have your nose broken, it has to be Malevolence.

13. Doubt It!, ‘Demon Dance’

Had to toss this one on the list. Detroit’s own put out this amazing piece. The melodies are so infectious and groovy, about as groovy as hardcore can be. I was really impressed with this record, you can hear the creativity and underground scene in all of the songs. Doubt It! is one of the Detroit DIY scene leaders in my eyes. Demon Dance just helps show their case for being one of the leaders as well.

14. XweaponX, ‘Weapon X Demo’

Y’all, straight edge is so dope. Weapon X just goes to show that on their first demo. The side project of Bryan Garris and Isaac Hale of Knocked Loose also features, Trey Garris of DARE on drums and Dave Baugher as the vocalist. This demo is brutal and in your face with the message and ideaologies of straight edge. If you want a modern learning session on straight edge, do not hesitate to check this one out.

15. Ghost, ‘Impera’

No shocker here, Ghost is one of the most unique bands in the rock and metal world. It’s one of the coolest experiences to listen to, it’s heavy while also being like cartoony in a way. It’s like Scooby-doo villain music, this record is through and through just full of heaters. Ghost has a lot of haters out there but it does not compare to the Ghost faithful. Impera is an album that everyone can enjoy listhening to, it would be a great gateway into harder rock and metal.

16. Inclination, ‘Unaltered Perspective’

Another Isaac Hale project makes the list and yes it is a straight edge record as well. A bit different than the previous on the list, Inclination absolutely hit the mark with this one. Unaltered Perspective is just a heavy piece that I believe full well could take inclination to new heights if that is something that the band wants to happen. If you are into heavier music, not even just hardcore, spin this one a time or two. You will not be dissapointed.

17. Gel, ‘Shock Therapy’

Gel is another band that flew under my radar for awhile as they are just really new. I stumbled upon this record fairly soon after it released and thank goodness that I did. Gel in five years time will be doing some seriously amazing things. You just get a feeling with some bands and I have that feeling with Gel, the tone of this record makes you want to move. The instruments hit hard and the effects on the vocals make it feel just different.

18., ‘This World Is Going To Ruin You’

Without a doubt, this is the heaviest record on the list. I would be willing to say it is a little too challenging to get into for those metal and hardcore listeners that don’t absolutely love the chaotic and almost power violent style of music. It came out fairly early in the year and has had enough time to sit with me that I definitely liked it more and more with each listen. I would say spin this one with an open mind and if you don’t like it, try some other records similar to it.

19. D Bloc, ‘Do Not Cross’

Another Detroit hardcore band deserves a spot on the list, D Bloc crushed it with this EP. I mean, just look at the album cover, it looks so old school and that’s the sound they went with. Just seeing them perform earlier this year was enough for me to give them the nod for the list, but the music more than helps them solidify their spot here. It’s hardcore with some gangster rap elements straight out of the 90’s.

20. Counterparts, ‘A Eulogy for Those Still Here’

Make no mistakes people, Counterparts is one of the coolest metalcore bands in the world. They get a lot of criticism for a good amount of their music sounding the same, but when you release music as good as you do, that should not be a problem to anyone. Brendan Murphy has a booming and very distinct scream and his lyrical writing ability is nothing to take lightly either.

21. Orthodox, ‘Learning to Dissolve’

So, you like beatdown hardcore eh? Well, have I got a record for you to listen to, the Nashville natives put out an album that strapped a rocket to their back that without a doubt will be taking off next year. To all venues and promoters in the USA, book these guys, you may end up with a few things broken or in need of repair, but I promise you guys it will be worth it. Orthodox crushes and will continue to crush until someone stops them.

22. L.S. Dunes, ‘Past Lives’

Personally, super-group bands are not my favorite thing in the world because more often than not, they end up sucking. L.S. Dunes does not suck in the slightest, with members from Circa Survive, Coheed and Cambria, Thursday, and My Chemical Romance, they created a really well done hard rock/emo album. Anthony Green’s signature vocals really help move things forward and the excellent musicianship keeps it steady.

23. Terror, ‘Pain Into Power’

It’s Terror people, need I say more? No? Didn’t think so.

24. Varials, ‘Scars For You To Remember’

Varials entered a new era in their career, they are no longer new to the heavy music world and it shows with this album. New vocalist and new sound as a band can be quite intimidating and can make or break a band. With how it is looking for Varials, this album is helping make them. They transitioned to more of a metalcore sound that I am hoping helps bring the genre itself out of somewhat of a slump I believe it has been in this year.

25. Stick To Your Guns, ‘Spectre’

Alright, we made it to the end of the top 25 records of 2022. Spectre was another highly anticipated album for myself as I am a huge STYG fan. Though Spectre is not my favorite work from the OCHC 20 year veterans, I believe fully that it still deserves a spot on the list. There are some serious heaters on this record that need to be heard. Even if it is not their best work, Spectre goes to show that even after 20 years, some bands can still put out great and I mean great music.

2022 was an amazing year for music and we all should be eager to see what comes of 2023…

Album Review: Darkroom, the Self-Titled LP by Darkroom.

Columbus Ohio is nothing new in the heavy music scene, especially when it comes to metalcore. In the past two years or so, metalcore and hardcore have become somewhat of a staple in the Columbus area. House shows, tiny venues, and even the occasional laundromat are all places you can go hear some beatdown style heavy music. Bands like Life Of Crime, Salt, and Crime Light are three bands that are doing their share of holding down hardcore in the Ohio scene. But today, we are talking about the metalcore and hardcore cross over outfit from Columbus, Darkroom.

Today is the release of Darkroom’s debut full length of the same name. It has been a long time coming for these guys, and the day is here. Having started working on this record since 2020, all of the DIY ethics and hardwork these guys put in is finally out for the world to hear. Let me start off with saying that you do need to listen to this record. This record is just shy of 30 minutes and ten beatiful tracks that beat you down, one after another. Each aspect of this record is something special, the beatdown style of hardcore and metalcore is nothing easy to do well. These guys cracked the code.

The riffs will stick in your ears like someone jammed an ice pick into, in the best way possible. Bass lines with distortion that will rattle your chest until your almost uncomfortable. Drums that are the driving force of the songs, the cymbals are mixed perfectly, the snare drum has the tone that you can feel in your teeth, and the fills fit perfectly. To cap it all off, the vocals on this record are nasty, just filthy and pissed off. The pitches and tones that are achieved in the vocals is something special.

Each track on this record brings something new and intriguing, two-step parts, hardcore breakdowns, violent hooks to remember, and they end the album on a metalcore style ballad. Keep an eye on these guys, if you see them playing a show in your area, be there. Darkroom has something to say and they do not care if you do not want to hear it. The entire album deserves to be listened to, but the three must listen songs are, Darkroom, Dirt, and Lifeless. The only negatives I truly have with this record is that it was not longer, if you are a fan of this style, you will surely agree.

Rating: 4/5

FFO: Varials, Knocked Loose, Kublai Khan TX, and Orthodox.

Danny Wimmer Presents Cornering the Rock and Metal Fest Market

In a world where music festivals have become the premiere concert experience over the past two decades, there are a few mainstays in the festival scene. Country, Pop, and EDM are the most prevalent. Stagecoach, Coachella, and Electric Forest are probably three of the most well known across the country. As of recent, those three genres are not the only ones getting love and attention. Within the past few years, not only in festivals but in genre popularity, rock and metal have grown substantially. Lollapalooza took a more rock focused approach this year, So What?! put on its’ biggest event to this day, and of course When We Were Young was incepted and celebrated its’ first two weekends. But let us all not forget about who really is doing rock and metal festivals the best.

Danny Wimmer Presents is a rock and metal titan, with six active festivals in the genre that occur every year, these guys know how to get it done and get RFID tags on wrists. They always bring a steady stream of classic and well known artists as well as the younger less exposed bands who are on their grind to get their names known. It seems like every month or so, us fans see an announcement from DWP related to a festival, whether it be confirmed dates for next year or when the lineup is coming out. Comparatively speaking, DWP festivals will not generally break the bank either. They understand what our weekends will look like there, buying food and beverages, merchandise, lodging, and parking at the festival unless you’re camping.

The cause for this article being written is really due to the return of Sonic Temple. Taking place at the Historic Crew Stadium in Columbus Ohio, Sonic Temple will be taking place in Spring of 2023. Many fans have been waiting for its’ return, due to the success of its’ of the first year in 2019 and previous years under the moniker Rock on the Range. Along side their recent acquisition and success with Inkcarceration, DWP is truly showing their loyalty to Ohio and the attendees that will travel in and out of state for their fests. With their other events taking place in Kentucky, Florida, and California, lots of attendees will go to multiple festivals throughout the year. If you go to one or two of these festivals you may get lucky and see Santa Claus, the mosh pit crew (complete with banner) or a kid with a mohawk that the 80’s punk scene would be proud of crowdsurfing on his dad.

You are certain to have a good time at any event you choose. Dozens of great bands to see over three or four days, good times, good people, and great stories to share after it is all said and done. There is nothing quite like walking the festival grounds right when you get inside on the first day, seeing your favorite bands all in one weekend, getting hyped up when Jose Mangin introduces bands to the stage, and maybe just maybe you will have a dope rap rock band playing in the parking lot afterwards.

DWP is a busy crew, they do their very best to give us fans enjoyable weekends, so if you get the chance to see Danny Wimmer, Danny Hayes, Ashley, or any staff member walking around, give them a quick thanks for what they do, we would not have these things without them.

What is going to come next from them? Will we see the return of Epicenter? Keep your eyes peeled folks. Check out their website for events and details!

Riot Fest 2022: Weekend Recap

I had the pleasure of attending Riot Fest this year in Chicago, Illinois. After right around three years of postponing, cancelling, and ticket transfers, I was finally able to go. I have a few weekend long festivals under my belt, but no Riot Fest experience prior to this year. In doing all my prior research of the festival, I found a few things to be daunting before going into the weekend. For starters, there was five stages, all with artists I wanted to watch at some point or another. Next, we stayed downtown, about a 25 minute ride on the Pinkline to get there, I was unsure how busy that would be in the mornings and at night after the headliners finished. Lastly, the crowds were HUGE bigger, than most festivals I have ever been to. Though I had my concerns, Riot Fest proved to be an amazing weekend.

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Friday: The first day of the weekend was definitely the busiest and most exciting. The group I was with started off the day with watching Sincere Engineer to see the corn dog circle pit. As a band, not my style, but they fit the Riot Fest brand fairly well. I was able to catch a few personal favorites I have seen before that day, such as, Wargasm UK, Boston Manor, and Hot Mulligan. Bands I saw for the first time that day were LS Dunes, Descendents, Taking Back Sunday, and Alkaline Trio. Lastly, the reason we were all there, My Chemical Romance. For the most part, I was impressed by every artist I saw that day, aside from one or two. It was a long time coming for me to see Descendents, they exceeded my expectations greatly and would encourage everyone to see them. Boston Manor crushed it just as they have the eight other times I have seen them. Alkaline Trio was awesome, when I was paying attention. Not their fault, we just made friends with the people around us and ended up playing Uno while we waited for MCR. Now, My Chemical Romance was everything I could have asked for and more. The whole band sounded great and Gerard’s vocals were out of this world. The only bummer was how the crowd was treating each other. Too many people trying to push past the people that had been waiting there all day and not caring one bit. But, what can you do.

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Saturday: Now, this day was almost as busy for me as Friday was. This was the most punk and hardcore heavy day of the whole weekend. The rest of my group, tired from the night before, decided to show up in the afternoon. That did not fly with me, so I went alone in the morning and made friends in line to hang with. Starting off, I watched POORSTACY, I only knew one of his songs at the time. He absolutely blew me away. Even playing mainstage in at noon did not stop him from getting the crowd to rage, his unique poppy yet still metal sound got my blood pumping and ready to go for the rest of the day. Mothica is one artist that I have to shout out. I have seen her name all over the place in recent months and knew I had to check her out. She was so impressive. I understand the hype, she has a beautiful voice, unique tones, catchy songs, and a great image. I was told by my Fiancée’s uncle, if I didn’t watch FEAR that I was making a huge mistake. Boy, he was right. Hardcore history displayed right out in front of me. Lee Ving in his old age was hilarious and I could see the years of experience and passion in him with every song they played. Movements and The Story So Far were exactly what I was prepared for, nothing surprising from either of them, but they were just as good as I remember. Madball was the band I was most excited to see that day and I made sure to go all in during their set. Walked away with minimal bruises and a mild headache from a few too many punches to the side of the head. Madball will forever and always rule the hardcore world. Unfortunately, I had to miss Bad Religion and Sunny Day Real Estate dude to scheduling conflicts. Last one, the original Misfits. Glenn Danzig on vocals, Jerry Only on bass, and of course Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein on lead guitar. I did not stay for the whole set, but they were unbelievable. Doyle is the most jacked and scary 58 year old I have ever seen. Jerry looked awesome and sounded even better. Glenn…oh Glenn. The voice of an angel with the looks of a gargoyle. All jokes of course, Glenn has seen some winters, but all things considered, he was up there moving and having some fun.

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Sunday: The last day was by far the lightest and easiest day for us. We ended up leaving fairly early. Started off the day strong with the Bombpops who brought a fun skate punk sound to the early crowd. After that, I was able to watch Chastity, their cool emo-ish pop punk vibe helped the, stick out to me throughout the day. Then, Mom Jeans drew a huge crowd for their instantly recognizable midwest emo tone. Less Than Jake was a fun one to see that I have never been able to check out before. Ska-punk is not my thing, definitely is for nerds, but a fun set nevertheless. PVRIS surprised me with how early she performed and how it was not on the main stage. It was good, not great, but the crowd seemed super into it. The last one we checked out for Riot Fest 2022 was Jimmy Eat World. I think they were awesome, we did not stand too close but just from where we were, Jim’s voice sounded great. Drew a big crowd but not nearly big enough in my opinion. Everyone should have been there to watch them.

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The weekend was awesome and I would definitely go back, I would just hope for a few changes. First, it needs to be held somewhere else, Douglass Park is definitely big enough, but the community around it does not support the fest organizers. For good reason though, the neighborhoods around do not reap any benefits from the festival. Either the fest needs to fork over some cash to help improve the community or move somewhere else…(Grant Park). The absolute worst part of the weekend was travelling at the end of the night. There was 40,000 people in attendance each day and they all wanted to leave the same way at the same time. There needs to be more trains available because no Ubers or Lyft’s were going to pick anyone up over there at that time of night in that traffic. Other than those two things, I would recommend everyone to go if you see the lineup that calls your name.

Album Review: No Pressure by No Pressure

The surprise release of the No Pressure EP in 2020 brought a lot of excitement to the world of pop punk, hardcore, and punk. Parker Cannon of The Story So Far, Pat Kennedy of Light Years, and Harry Corrigan of Regulate created this group as a way to take him back to his early days of playing shows. Low stages, no barrier, or security to catch crowd surfers. He said in a recent interview with Mark Hoppus that playing these No Pressure shows, “makes me feel like I’m 19 again”. Up until now, not many of us knew what the plan was for No Pressure. Was it going to be a one time release with the EP? Are they going to legitimately go out on the road? Recent events have told us what is going on with this band. Just off the release of their debut full length LP, No Pressure took part in their own UK headlining tour with support from the newest Bay Area heater Sunami. This debut LP is a sign that No Pressure is here to hang, you can just hear it in the music.

Album released on: Triple B Records

This album is chalk full of early 2000’s pop-punk sounds. Along with that, they have old school hardcore breakdowns that give them a unique edge that a lot of other bands in both genres do not have today. An interesting thing about them that has been noticed is their overwhelming applaud and acceptance from the hardcore scene. Though they are essentially an easy-core band (pop punk with breakdowns), they are at all hardcore festivals and play with almost exclusively hardcore bands. I do not think pop-punk as a genre is ready for this sound to come back. but by all means, the hardcore scene is happy to embrace this band.

Credits to LPR

This album is 10 songs long and a whopping 23 minutes in length. Personal favorites on this record are “Too Far”, “One Way Trip”. and “Sour”. If your are looking for fast songs with great hooks, then here you have it. There is at least one part in every song that feels like you should be watching a movie where the kid is getting ready for his first day of high school, brushing his teeth, spiking his hair up, taking a bite of toast and chugging some orange juice straight out of the carton. You can try your hardest but your head is going to start nodding and you’ll feel like bouncy along to the beats.

Overall, it is a great record, not as much like their first EP as some of us would have liked, but still this is a no skip album. I mean if you really dislike a song, they’re all basically under three minutes in length.

Rating: 8/10

The Triumphant Return of Hardcore

After 15 years plus of the hardcore scene across the globe being essentially dead, the genre that took the world by storm through the 80’s and 90’s is finally returning to the status it once held. Why is this happening? Who is causing it? and where is it going? are all questions that are going to be answered in this reading.

Photo Credits: CVLT Nation

Why is this happening? Hardcore was dead and no one really thought it would make it back and especially not as rapidly as it did. In my mind, history does not repeat itself rather it echoes. Older music in the past two or three years has made its’ way back into playlists everywhere. Now, not everyone is going to be listening to Bad Brains and DOA every day, we still crave those better recordings and better production. What do we do? We find modern music that has the same tone and ideas of older releases. Hardcore is a class example of this.

Photo Credits: Gabe Becerra and

So, who is helping hardcore making such an impactful comeback after so many years of dormancy? I chalk it up to a couple different things, popular artists not being shy about their love for heavier music or their releases of rock and metal inspired music. Artists like Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert, and Halsey are just a few who are very open about their rock and metal influences. The second reason I believe it is making a comeback is due to the creativity and drive of the current artists in hardcore today. The two biggest names at the moment are of course Knocked Loose and Turnstile. Though on complete opposite ends of the hardcore spectrum, no one will call them anything different. Knocked Loose holds to the specific more beatdown style of hardcore that a ton of other bands are gravitating towards today like Orthodox, Kublai Khan TX, and Jesus Piece. Turnstile for the most part has held to a very traditional hardcore sound which you can best hear on their song Drop. Bands that lean more towards the classic or traditional sound currently would be bands like Never Ending Game, Mindforce, and Sunami. They all make heavy hitting hardcore tracks that new and old hardcore kids can get into. The same people that listened to Gorilla Biscuits back in the day could go see Mindforce and have a blast.

Photo Credits: Anthony Orosz

Where is this return to the spotlight taking us? Festivals is the answer. Apparently, the only appropriate thing to do with these bands gaining such popularity is to wrangle all of them up at different places during different seasons across the U.S. and throw them all on a stage. Have these festivals take place in old warehouses, YMCA’s or JCC’s, or any plot of land that a stage-dive worthy platform can fit. Festivals like FYA, Tied Down, Sound and Fury, and LDB. Respectively taking place all across the country, Florida, Michigan, California, and Kentucky all can call these shows their home. Depending on the festival, hundreds or thousands of people will be there to watch these acts entertain them.

Now, what do we do with this information? My piece of advice, give it a try if you haven’t, go all in if you’re just starting out, and if you are already in it, show others the things you love, mosh, two step, and stage dive.