In the ol’ inbox

So a couple weeks ago, I set up an email account for the blog ( and some new music has been trickling in, which is kinda awesome.  Here’s a glimpse:

Washington Square Park
Part of the New Jersey pop-punk revival, Washington Square Park seem to be one of the younger groups in the pack.  They kinda have the same blue-collar work ethic as fellow defenders of pop-punk, Man Overboard.  The band’s new self-titled album is full of catchy – if not slightly lyrically weak – hooks.  You can hear the musical influence of now-defunct NJ pop-punk bands like Hidden In Plain View or Saves the Day (well, they’re at least dead to me) pretty clearly, especially with the desperate vocals on tracks like “Ladders” and “No Medication”.

My one problem with Washington Square Park (and to be fair, it’s not just them – it’s Man Overboard, Bright and Early, etc.) is that their definition of pop punk dates back to about 2002.  I don’t hear any influence from those great Epitaph bands like Millencolin or Pennywise.  I don’t hear the NOFX or the MxPx.  If you’re going to bring back pop-punk, force your roots to grow a little deeper.

Despite my qualms, this is a band that clearly wants to separate itself from the so-called pop-punk bands from the past 5 years that brandish neon t-shirts and swooping bangs.  They’re bringing back the punk a little bit and I commend them for it!

Here’s my favorite track, “No Medication” – you can buy the band’s album here.

A relatively young band – having formed as recently as February, Anne is a shoegaze/punk band from Portland, Oregon.  The sound is reminiscent of 80s bands like Joy Division or the Smiths, but I can also hear some hints of bands like Radiohead and Elliott (circa Song in the Air).

About two minutes into the band’s demo, my coworker stopped me and asked who I was listening to, which is a pretty good indication that these guys are legitimate.  There’s a mixture of arena-sized guitar swells and synth textures – and sometimes vague and inaudible vocals – that create a whole new atmosphere for the listener.  This was a real pleasure to receive in the inbox.

You can pick up the band’s recently completed demo for free here.

Here’s my favorite track, “Collection”


One Response to “In the ol’ inbox”

  1. Hey Riffage! When are you going to cover some horrorcore artists? That’s where the real creativity is in the hip hop scene these days.

    Keep it thug.


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