Review: Hot Mulligan’s Pilot shows us that pop-punk isn’t dead

If pop punk really is dead, Hot Mulligan didn’t get the memo or just didn’t care. Pilot takes the genre to a different level. For a while now, I’ve found myself growing out of wanting to listen to pop punk a lot. There was a stretch where I really enjoyed it and it just kept tapering off for me. Hot Mulligan hit the “refresh” button on pop punk.

If an opening track doesn’t set the tone for an album, you’ll be doomed from the start. “Deluxe Capacitor” instantly let’s you know what you’re in for with Pilot and that’s fantastic. “All You Wanted By Michelle Branch” was the first song I heard off of this album and I still get a kick out of the title.

One things that makes this album stand out is how varied the guitar sounds are. They aren’t strictly using power chords, which pop punks have been known to do. The lyrics are quite relatable, too. “Good Ol’ Mr. Rags” has a line that mention missing someone even though you just saw them. Have you ever been so close to someone that a day without them feels weird? It’s something a lot of people can relate to.

Hot Mulligan gives off a vibe of the band being like a family and it shines at the end of “Scream Mountain” when things get quiet and it’s just an acoustic guitar and their voices. James Shotwell wrote about the band’s live performance in their hometown on March 10 and described the band’s infectious energy, which they also display on Pilot.

Pilot takes you on a journey of growing up, learning lessons, and just living life. We all do it whether it feels like it or not. This albums rips through 11 songs and they’re all worth a listen. I highly recommend doing so.

You can grab a copy of Pilot via Amazon now.

Interview: Modern Whale talk new single and what’s next

Robbie from Modern Whale answered some questions about the band’s expectations, their recent single, and more. Check out the full interview below.

When Modern Whale first started, what were your expectations for the band?

I make my living as a record producer and typically compromise for the sake of the artist. Modern Whale was simply something I was doing for myself, something that was freeing from my normal creative environment.

Has it exceeded those expectations?

Modern Whale has certainly exceeded my expectations! Initially I had no plan of releasing anything as it was just something I was doing for myself. It has been amazing to be featured on Vevo and Spotify playlists and reach a larger audience.

For your music video for “The Dirt,” you worked with Raviv Ullman, Martin Spanjers, and John F. Beach. What was that experience like?

Raviv, Marty and John are a very talented team and their work speaks for itself. I’m thankful that they were available to make time to share their creativity. I think the video is wonderful. 🙂

You just played a show at The Bowery Electric, how did that go?

The Bowery Electric show felt like a family reunion. Modern Whale shared the bill with War Twins, Micky James and The Worst Humans – all friends of ours. The show was a success and thankfully packed.

Your sound can’t really be pinned down to one genre. Who are some of your biggest influences?

I really love Phoenix, Led Zeppelin and Fela Kuti. My taste is pretty wide.

How would you say the band’s sound has progressed over the years?

Modern Whale is technically not even a year old yet! With this said, the live shows and each single release have taught me valuable lessons about everything form production to how a song can evolve outside of the studio.

Any plans you can tell us about for the rest of 2018?

The plan is to release at least 3 more songs this year!

Thank you for your time! Where’s the best place to keep up with the band?

Modern Whale on Spotify and @modernwhalemusic on Instagram.

Interview: Josh Wheatley talks Nottingham music scene and new single

Josh Wheatley took some time to discuss his new single, the Nottingham music scene, and more with us. Check out the interview and his new single “I Know You.”

When did you first get into music? How did it all start for you?

I started playing music because I was bored with college. My first ‘gig’ was Acoustic Rooms at Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. As first gigs go it was pretty good. Band of Skulls were playing in the main room, when the gig finished many people came out and stayed to watch my set.

What is the music scene in Nottingham like?

The music scene is great! Very diverse, with many different genres. It’s a fantastic place to build relationships with fellow musicians.

Where is your favorite spot to play a show?

Undoubtedly the Bodega in Nottingham. I’ve supported some of my favourite artists there.

Who are some of the other local artists we should check out?

Definitely Felix M-B. He’s just released a brilliant EP. Daudi Matsiko. Beautiful sounds! Big fan of Silver Wilson too. Their new song Let It Go is excellent. Also, my good friend George Gretton. He’s releasing new music soon (I hope).

What was your writing and recording process like for “I Know You”?

Writing-wise it happened pretty quickly. Recording was a little longer, but still a smooth process. It’s a song I’ve sat on for a little while.

What can we expect from the rest of the upcoming EP?

More songs like “I Know You.” I had the absolute pleasure of working with Josh Rumble (from Anteros) on Worry and Saviour, and they’re great fun to play live too.

What has it been like getting the attention of people at places like BBC and Clash Magazine?

Absolutely mad! I’ve read a lot on Clash, so to see my name featured was just a little bit cool for me.

What else can we expect from you in 2018 aside from the EP?

I’m heading on tour with New York Tourists in May. Very excited about that. That and just working on more music.

Thank you for your time! Where is the best place for our readers to follow you?

Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud – @joshisok
Facebook – Josh Wheatley

Welcome to Geekdom 075: 2017 in Film

Welcome To Geekdom

Mitchell McDonald returns to Welcome to Geekdom to chat about 2017 films. We discuss our top lists, what we didn’t enjoy, and more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Overcast, or Google Play and check out the episode below.

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Monday Musings: Charley Crockett and Three Man Cannon

monday musings

Monday Musings returns with some music for you to check out. It’s been a while since I’ve dropped some music in one, so here’s some stuff from Charley Crockett and Three Man Cannon to check out.

This video from Charley Crockett has a fun little introduction before the song kicks in. He tells his boss that he’s chasing a dream and plenty of people know how that feels. Crockett has a unique sound and this is actually my first time listening to him. I’ll have to check out his upcoming album, Lonesome As A Shadow, which is due out on April 20.

I’ll have a more detailed review up later this week for Three Man Cannon’s self-titled album, but you should go ahead an just listen to it now if you haven’t yet. It just came out on March 16, so it’s one you may have missed.

You can find all previous editions of Monday Musings here.

Review: Barely Civil – We Can Live Here Forever

Barely Civil embrace their Midwestern roots on We Can Live Here Forever. The band is currently located in Wausau, WI, which is a town you’ve probably never heard of if you aren’t from the area. However, the band makes you feel right at home with them with this album.

The layered production on the album stands out in different ways as you listen through. “I’ve Been Getting Headaches Lately” is fairly in your face from the start with the music, but then you have a song like “Eau Claire? Oh, Claire.” that starts off on a softer note. The latter adds a level of intimacy, even as the music’s dynamics change.

More often than not, I can’t personally relate to a lot of the songs that I enjoy. My life really hasn’t been all that eventful, but I still understand when songs are relatable for others. Not everyone is going to relate to every single song a band puts out, but Barely Civil brings you in and they let you understand what their lives are like.

You can hear the emotion coming through with every note that Barely Civil plays. The music mirrors when things are intense and when it is time to slow things down a bit. The beginning of “Handwritten House” is a perfect example of this. It’s a stark difference from the opening track, but it still fits in with the album, especially as things build up towards the middle of the song, just to come back down as the vocals start up again.

The back half of the album doesn’t let up one bit. “You With a Cap, Me With a Baseball Bat” starts off the back half with a quick pace. The songs rips. “Stark” is a song about taking things back to the good days and it’s filled with nostalgia. The album closes out with “I Am Drowning,” which is a depressing song title. However, it starts off with “Wait, is there a click or no click?” to lighten up the mood briefly. Acoustic tracks always feel more intimate to me, just because of the fact that it’s usually just the singer and a guitar. That’s how they end the album and it makes perfect sense. They’ve already let you in, so why not end it on an extremely personal note? Some electric guitar comes in at the end and the build up halts just before the album ends.

We Can Live Here Forever shows off not only how skilled the band is, but just how much of an impact their home has had on them. In that sense I can relate. Maybe not with the city I specifically live in, but with Southern California as a whole. There’s no doubt that someone’s home affects them in one way or another and Barely Civil’s way of telling us all about it is through this album.

Review: Hungover Re-Release Wilt with Three New Songs

Hungover repurposed their Wilt EP from 2016 for their upcoming release of the same name. The new version of Wilt includes three new songs, which is just a taste of what they’ve been working on. The band plans to work on a full length release and do a lot of touring this year.

The re-release kicks off with “Three’s Company,” which is one of the new songs. It starts off the album on a good note. The vocals shine in the song and it was a good choice to kick things off with one of the new songs. “Around” is a song that switches up the pace with putting the acoustic guitar front and center. However, the full band comes in with about 50 seconds left in the song and swing back to end on a softer note.

“Exit – Stage Left” is a guitar-driven song that has more of a punk vibe to it at times. It’s also the second of the new songs. “Sleep Alone” is the third (and final) new song on the record, which is also the closing track. The song is about being put down by someone and letting go of them. The song acts as a freeing experience and with that, the records closes out on strong note.

The band’s talents and tastes are on full display with Wilt. Their range in sound shows that they have a lot of potential. I recommend giving this a listen. Even with it largely being a re-release, it’s worth listening to for those new songs. I can’t wait to hear what they release next.

You can order a copy of the record via Smartpunk Records and it’ll be out on March 30th.

Playlist: At Face Value Share Songs That Influenced Them

The members of At Face Value picked a song each that influenced them for their EP Ivy & Echo, which is out tomorrow. Check out the song selections below.

Knuckle Puck – Swing

I was super into Copacetic while helping to write the new EP. This song just struck me as something that didn’t fit the normal mold of a pop punk song, and the 3/4 time was so interesting, especially when they switch to 4/4 in the second verse. We wanted to mix things up and really get the instrumentation to another level for these songs. I would say the entire EP was influenced by Copacetic. – Grayson

Movements – “Worst Wishes”

Although we obviously are not an emo/post hardcore (whatever you want to label them) band, the drums from this song really stick with me. The percussion from this whole EP showed me a new and different way to be creative in my playing and definitely influenced drum parts in” LOTR” and “Know It All.” – Jeremiah


Biffy Clyro – “Biblical” 

For those of you who haven’t heard of them, they’re a punk band from Scotland and they’re sick. I was really obsessing over this song for a while last year during a lot of the writing process for IE. It’s a really deep song with a huge anthemic sound with simple yet melodic chord progressions…basically the perfect song for me. I’d say that “LOTR” was definitely influenced by this song on my part. – Parker

Boston Manor – “Burn You Up”

I was going to reference an old All Time Low or NFG song on here but I think it was more fitting to put one of these up-and-coming bands from the modern British invasion. I love keeping up on modern music and so many bands from the UK like Trash Boat, Neck Deep, ROAM, WSTR, and Boston Manor are absolutely killing it. I’d say we differ from Boston Manor’s dark/minor-key vibe, but vocally I have really been influenced by Henry Cox. I think he is a very versatile vocalist, and that is what I was striving to be on this record. He has these super low, slow bass singing parts which I love, like the interlude in “Burn You Up,” but then will jump into these higher, fast, shove-as-many-words-as-possible parts. Sometimes he’ll even put a little yelling/screaming in there. There’s a lot of third harmonies on their LP Be Nothing, similar to our Ivy and Echo. I’d also say even lyrically Boston Manor hits home with me because the songs are very honest and real. I strive for that as well. It’s almost as if you are writing the song for yourself before you think about how listeners will relate to it. There’s things you need to get off your chest, so you put it in a song. – Alec