Good Riddance

Good Riddance

Screw 32

Western Addiction

Spanish Love Songs

Sat, April 15, 2017

8:00 pm

$20.00

This event is all ages

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Good Riddance
Good Riddance
Good Riddance formed sometime in the 1990's, depending on who you ask. Four scrappy punk kids in Santa Cruz who could hardly contain their love for Bad Religion, as can clearly be heard on their debut, 1995's For God And Country. But things moved forward fast for GR and they became one of the most important bands among the punk/melodic hardcore scene for the next decade. They boast massive album sales that number in the six figures, and they managed to accomplish that while staying true to the underground and remaining on an independent record label. They toured harder than any band in the scene, but by 2007 they had disbanded. They burned bright and they burned out.

But they're back. Back with their core lineup and their first album in eight years, Peace In Our Time.

“We didn't want to be a band who overstayed our welcome,” said frontman Russ Rankin about their decision to dissolve all those years ago. He adds, “Everyone was becoming increasingly busy with other, non-music careers, families, etc.” The curse of the punk rocker, right? Well, not so fast. One thing that you need to know about Good Riddance is that these guys are lifers. Rankin put it simply, “We missed playing the songs.” They had no choice but to return to the music because it was part of their DNA.

And their resume is worth noting. The band has been very humble about their activism, almost to the point of being bashful about their contributions towards the community. Russ won't even discuss his vegan lifestyle or his compassion towards animals, but he's been committed to that for decades now. There's also the fact that the band has been donating proceeds from their album sales to various charities: Food Not Bombs, Santa Cruz AIDS Project, the Cabrillo College Music Department, Santa Cruz Homeless Shelter, and more. By now you've probably guessed that Good Riddance has a leftist message to go along with their urgent music. True, but they also back up their words with actions and money to the causes they believe in.

Let's talk about them in today's terms and in regards to this new full length. Good Riddance is, as we say in the biz, “a critic's band”. As in, they have the respect of their peers and those in the know. They're students of the genre who draw from real punk rock influences and their songs come from a very sincere place. It all culminates for the band with Peace In Our Time: on the album opener, “Disputatio”, you can hear dark and thrashy hardcore reminiscent of their contemporaries Paint It Black; then maybe some aggressive melodic punk à la Bad Religion on “No Greater Fight”; Black Flag's hefty, discordant HC on “Dry Season”; and definitely some of The Descendents on “Washed Away”. But make no mistake, Good Riddance has cultivated their own sound from this diverse set of influences and that's probably why their old-school fans have stuck with them. If die-hards need a reference point for Peace In Our Time, think about their high water mark efforts like Comprehensive Guide... or the hardcore staple, Operation Phoenix.

This new album is essentially the very best of GR distilled down to one LP, and it will no doubt get the attention from a lot of old fans, HC devotees, and punk enthusiasts alike. They're already booked to play Europe's Groezrock, one of the biggest punk festivals in the world. There will also be an obvious hometown record release show in Santa Cruz, where they have been selling out countless shows over the years. Good Riddance will be ramping up some activity, and with hardcore music seeming neutered and confused in 2015, Peace In Our Time will mark a triumphant return for a band that the underground scene needs more than ever.
Screw 32
Screw 32
"The band reformed in the Spring of 2016 with guitarist Zac Hunter "The Butcher" of The Nerve Agents Jude Ramirez on drums and bassist Dustin Tyler "dbc" Kanel joining original member Andrew Champion on lead vocals."
Western Addiction
Western Addiction
Tremulous: to display timidity or nervousness, or shake or quiver slightly. It’s an odd word, one not used commonly in the modern English language—you’re far more likely to come across it in James Joyce’s Ulysses, for example, than in your average hardcore record. But here we are, with Western Addiction’s new full-length, Tremulous, an album embodying the anxiety, dread, worry and anguish omnipresent in modern day America. "The word ‘tremulous’ just felt right,” says frontman Jason Hall. “It sums up the theme of the entire record in one word.” Hall puts a premium on the words associated with Western Addiction; every song tells a story, sometimes with uncomfortable specifics and every title and lyric is meant to resonate with the listener on a different level.

While the San Francisco band’s sophomore effort comes nearly 12 years after their debut, Cognicide, don’t think they have grown out of hardcore. Tremulous rips its way through 11 explosive tracks, delivering a consistent sound strongly rooted in the past (picture an alternate universe where Milo Aukerman, Greg Ginn and Fugazi’s rhythm section formed a band) that is plenty aggressive (“Ditch Riders,” “Masscult, Vulgarians and Entitlement”) and surprisingly melodic (“Righteous Lightning,” “Honeycreeper”). It sounds like the same band that made Cognicide, just older, wiser—but still pissed off.

A large part of that consistency can be attributed to the band’s current form, which consists of founding members Hall on vocals, Ken Yamazaki (also of Dead To Me) on guitar and Chad Williams on drums, as well as 2014 recruit Tony Teixeira moving to guitar. When it came time to record Tremulous, Western Addiction re-connected with original bassist, Tyson “Chicken” Annicharico, who was happy to assist his friends in the studio, adding another connection between the band’s past and present. He even had a hand in shaping Tremulous’ most intense song, the album-closing, five-and-a-half-minute dirge “Your Life Is Precious,” written in tribute to friend (and Enemy You frontman) David Jones, whose unexpected death in 2015 had a profound effect on the band.

“I don’t usually write songs in one burst, but I did with that one—every single lyric means something very specific,” Hall says, going on to explain how the song features his first-ever attempt at singing. When he says singing, he really means singing, not your average hardcore throat-bellow. Luckily, he had one of punk’s finest vocalists, Joey Cape, in the producer’s seat for Tremulous, who coaxed him to new heights in his overall performance. “One of the things we asked Joey to work on with us was vocal melodies. He had great input on many songs, especially ‘Ditch Riders,’ ‘Taedium’ and ‘Your Life Is Precious.’”

Tremulous fires off salvo after salvo of incendiary hardcore containing a surprising amount of melodicism, but Cape wasn’t the only member of the Fat Wreck family to offer assistance: Propagandhi’s Todd Kowalski delivers guest vocals on “Taedium” (“Propagandhi has continually influenced and enlightened my life, and I respect Todd as a human,” Hall praises). And while the bulk of the album was recorded with Cape and engineer Ian MacGregor in Los Angeles, the band finished up the vocals in San Francisco with Cape at Fat Mike’s Motor Studios.

Western Addiction turned to an unlikely name to mix Tremulous: Matt Bayles, an esteemed producer whose resume is two decades long and stacked with such major names in metal and hardcore as Mastodon, Botch and Isis. However, it was a different record that put Bayles’ name on Western Addiction’s tongue. “The inspiration for Tremulous was From Ashes Rise’s Nightmares, which Matt produced,” Hall says. “They’re a hardcore band but it sounds so big and well-produced. I wanted to do that. After seeing what Matt could do with my vocals, I was blown away.”

With Tremulous finally out in the world, Hall’s goal for 2017 feels surprisingly attainable while at the same time emotionally exhausting. “I want our band to be understood,” he concludes. “I don’t think we’ve ever found our people. We’re in this netherworld of punk: We’re not poppy, we’re not fun, we’re loud but we’re not a metal band, and the truly crazy hardcore bands would probably think we don’t fit in. I just want to be understood.”
Spanish Love Songs
Spanish Love Songs
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change