Every month, the Lockjaw Crew will be sharing our hidden gems from the depths of the Lockjaw distro. Whether you’re discovering a new band or rekindling an old flame, give them a listen and let us know what you think.
It’s exciting to see all the new music being released this year, but it’s easy to forget some of your old favourites! There’s nothing we enjoy more than sharing the music we love, so here are our recommendations for records worth remembering.
Every month, the Lockjaw Crew will be sharing our hidden gems from the depths of the Lockjaw distro. Whether you’re discovering a new band or rekindling an old flame, give them a listen and let us know what you think. This month, we’re covering Despite Everything, PMX, Edward In Venice, Head Honcho and The Fear!
Trails (Lockjaw Records, 2016)
Top Song: Joke’s On Us
Link: Despite Everything band page
This release has energy, flow, tasty riffs and gruff sing-a-longs. These Greek dudes certainly caught my attention when they swung through Kingston a couple of times. They played a Lockjaw Presents night and our Crohn’s & Colitis charity all dayer, and each time they got the room going and several gig goers nods of approval.
So, after hearing Trails later on that year, it was a no-brainer to get behind it. This was co-released with No Reason Records, Funk Turry Funk & Despite Everything themselves.
It’s a great record and I just wish it was a bit longer. It’s hard to pick my best track, as the opener ‘Tangled Lines’ is a certified banger. The performances on this album are rad and brings out a lot of heart & frustration from the lyrics. To get that from a sound recording, you know you are in for a treat when you see them play live!
The highlight of the release had to be going to Athens release show and watching the enormous amount of love that Despite Everything’s home town has for them. (bonus points if you catch me stage diving!).
PMX – Dark Days (Self release, 2015)
Top Song: Brave Face
My love for Perth skate-punk legends PMX is well-documented, but this seems an appropriate pick for October for three reasons:
- It was this time last year at Punkle Fester that John from PMX shoved a copy of this into my hand as I was leaving the venue
- PMX rarely tour, but they’re doing a handful of dates with The Human Project in October, including Keighley, Warrington, London and Bristol
- I’ve just announced that PMX will be playing Shout Louder Fest in February which, after this year’s shindig, means they’re my official birthday party band now. Hurrah.
So why’s this my ‘hidden gem’? Last year I went through a phase of being completely obsessed with it. I still listen to it… at least once a fortnight? On every playlist or mix CD I make, one of these six tracks is on it. Dark Days is everything I want from punk rock EP.
From the energising opening riff on Pull The Trigger and the soaring chorus Eulogy, to the melodic mastery of Brave Face and the moody instrumental construction of Dark Days…every single note is practiced perfection. Without Me is a song I can just let wash over me.
PMX have a strong rhythmic foundation, a natural understanding of writing layers of melody and a knack for seamlessly incorporating short, twiddly guitar flourishes. There’s an overwhelming weight of talent in this band that’s conveyed without a shred of the poser pretence that’s a risk in some techier-sounding records. Each song is complex but memorable and even better live.
For me, Dark Days was an instant love affair and I hope it will be for you too.
Edward In Venice – Howler (Lockjaw Records, 2015)
Top Song: Smokin’ Vehicles
Edward In Venice are an Italian melodic hardcore ensemble that stole my heart with their dance moves and excellent tunes. They bring real variety in their music, which makes them stand out from most bands in the genre. Their live performance never ceases to amaze anyone watching.
Howler was co-released by No Reason Records, Lockjaw Records, Less Talk, More Records, White Russian Records and Bird Attack Records.
Head Honcho – On The Wings Of A Brick
(Self released, 2015)
Top Song: Frank Lloyd Christ
Link: Head Honcho Discography
Got to know Veranda and his band in 2015 when he visited Punk Rock Holiday and KNRD for the first time. Bandana and his mates in Head Honcho are probably one of the best skate punk bands to come out of the Seattle, USA at the moment, combining a rich blend of of solid melodies, superb heartfelt lyrics and an incredible on-stage presence. You have never seen sweat rolling down an ESP guitar so sexy.
Frank Lloyd Christ, a song from Machu Picchus and Head Honcho’s latest album, starts with a fantastic hook that keeps rolling around in your brain, followed by the most intense, emotional vocal melody. PJ, Bonanza’s singer, is one of those frontmen who can really make you turn your head. Some say Armada and his friends might be influenced by bands like Good Riddance and other Cali bands, but in this case that is not a problem at all.
I would say the price on these products is so low it practically makes them a steal, so there’s nothing holding you back giving Anaconda and the Honchos some support!
If you think you have a better name for Ananda Burke, send it to him on Facebook. He loves them.
The Fear – Here Goes Nothing (Lockjaw Records, 2012)
Top Song: There Lie Better Days Ahead
The Fear, along with Drones, were on the top of our radar when Kris and I first took over Lockjaw Records in 2011. Dave and the gang had released an EP and we had played shows together with Darko and Laughing In The Face Of. We were speaking to The Fear because they had another EP they wanted to release. I remember challenging and suggesting an album instead, and this is what they came back with, incredible blend of songs with intricate guitar work that was a pleasure to be part of.
The Fear toured for a couple of years including stints with Belvedere and Edward In Venice. After the band split a couple of members formed Larrakia, who released some bangers through Disconnect Disconnect Records.
Those of you who have followed the label since beyond would of clearly not have missed this, but those of you who are new to what we are doing must check this out!