Archive for February, 2017

Saturday Night’s are better for a lot more than fighting, this past Saturday was a primo example. Way East on the Island of Long, in a town called Ronkonkoma, sits a music venue called Backstage Pass. This little place over the last year or so has started to prove that it truly is a killer place for live music. This night a great set of bands took the stage there, but, I cannot lie, my mission was to catch the “one and only show” by this band called mUg bUg. Fronted by legendary howler and good friend of mine Dave Alvin I was super excited to see this band as I grew up listening to Dave front Queens based icons White Trash (“Apple Pie”, “The Crawl”). I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve only ever known Dave from WT. I of course expected it to be quality, but I wasn’t completely prepared for how rocked myself and everybody in the room would become.

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Right after War & Blues wrapped up their loosely conceptual set mUg bUg swiftly loaded on and nonchalantly took the stage with Alvin simply announcing who they were. The amount of thunderous riffage, pickle jar tightness and ease the band put forth was completely earth shattering. Alvin’s voice was edgier than ever and in tip-top shape. His fellow bugs were also clearly seasoned badass musicians. This was a no nonsense gig from a group of gents that wanted to do one thing, and that was to give an eager and very impressed audience a solid rock show, and, it transcended that surely.

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mUg bUg Photo: Soda

Highlights of the short set were “I Lost My Mind In El Paso” and another tune called “Don’t Let the Old Man In” which is purely about hanging on to your youth and not letting age dictate how you should live your life. Dave, clearly taking a more serious approach to his lyric writing this time around also bridged the songs with his usual smart ass honest humor.

Quick and to the point leaving the funk at the door the band delivered a set of hard rock songs that left everyone eagerly wanting more. A great place to leave off. *Hint hint guys*. Very much hoping for another performance from this band who could easily rise to the top of New York’s hot list.

Follow along on their FaceBook page: mUg bUg Official Facebook

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Southern California’s own AFI return with…(The Blood Album), their first in almost four years since the dense and very dark Burials. Since AFI’s 2003 breakthrough masterpiece Sing The Sorrow the band has shown us a multitude of styles and soundscapes in the form of Punk, Rock, Pop, Hardcore and beyond. This new installment is no slouch, adding to the bands now very versatile catalogue.

Once again as with Burials, (The Blood Album) shows guitarist, Jade Puget writing all the music for the group, this time however also at the helm producing the record. Much like the Davey/Jade side projects Puget continues to expand the reach and grasp of his monster talent. The album is beautifully produced and very clean with few peeks and valleys, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing with a record so accurately executed. Clearly drawing heavily on their new wave influences this album presents the listener with a bit of a sigh of relief as it’s predecessor was vast and brooding. Not that this one opens all the windows to let the sun in but it does relieve those of us that really appreciate the bands pop territories. This is also probably the closest they have come to the Sing The Sorrow sound in years.

“Blood” opens with the sonic seducer “Dark Snow” with the foursome setting the bar very high which they manage to maintain. The catchy sway of single “Snow Cats” is commercial without seeming lame. More tracks like “Hidden Knives”, will most likely become an AFI classic, both danceable and singable. It’s hard to find something really wrong with this contribution. In whole, the album is pleasantly haunting (“Above The Bridge”), nestled in punk roots (“Pink Eyes”) while remaining flavorfully accessible (“The Wind That Carries Me”).

Put quite simply, AFI is a band that can bend a genre without coming off contrived or insincere and at the same time able to easily return to any style they have showcased in their 25 plus year run. Kudos gents!

(The Blood Album) will enter billboard top 200 at number five. The bands highest charting record since DecemberUnderground.