The Majestic Ventura Theater and Live Nation Present
The Bronx, Pulley, Total Massacre
Sat, March 2, 2019
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm (event ends at 11:30 pm)Ventura Theater
This event is all ageshttps://www.venturatheater.net/event/1813752/
The Golden State represents power and possibility to many around the world, a place where dreams are made but nightmares might come true. The cultural epicenter that is California has been defined by so many monumental mile markers, from the silent film era to skid row, from Disneyland to Ronald Reagan, from celebrity excess to social unrest. Straight Outta Compton, Suffer, Master of Puppets, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables – as the late Tupac Shakur famously said, Cali is where “we riot, not rally.”
Few bands have endured with as much demonstrably California-encompassing vibrancy as the Hermosa Beach, CA institution that is Pennywise. They reign unchallenged, outside the margins of the mainstream, a staple on the SoCal radio airwaves and worldwide festival circuit revered and championed by generations of fans filling theaters and clubs.
Pennywise possess the power to merge the subversive with the celebratory. Each Pennywise record is chock full of fast-paced anthems expertly engineered to inspire radical change, personal empowerment, relentless hijinks, and reckless fast times. On paper it may read like a mess of contradictions, but on record, it sounds like California.
At this point, three decades since the band’s DIY beginnings, Pennywise classics like “Same Old Story,” “Fuck Authority,” “Alien,” “Homesick,” and “Bro Hymn” are as fundamental to punk rock and hardcore as stage dives and guitars.
The combustible chemistry between the diverse creative personalities within Pennywise delivers some the culture’s strongest songs, obliterating the boring sameness of easygoing attitudes with a push-and-pull process that hammers the strongest songwriting and performances from each individual into a remarkable cohesive whole.
The defiantly titled Never Gonna Die is the first full album of brand new songs with singer Jim Lindberg, guitarist Fletcher Dragge, drummer Byron McMackin, and bassist Randy Bradbury in over ten years. It’s as timely as it is timeless, charging head first into the chaos of the current climate of the world with the tried-and-true determined sound the Pennywise faithful demand. Never Gonna Die was forged in the same space where the band penned classic songs with late bassist Jason Thirsk and produced once again by rock producer and close collaborator Cameron Webb (Motörhead, NOFX, Alkaline Trio).
“We Set Fire Tonight” is a furious resistance anthem challenging the “austerity measures” around the world that deny basic social services to the most vulnerable.
“American Lies” cuts through the fog of disinformation and disingenuous worldviews, rejecting partisan posturing in favor of true patriotism. “Can’t Be Ignored” is both selfexamination and societal exhortation, addressing the ravenous hunger for more that shatters the spirit and could literally destroy the world as we know it.
The title track demands an evolutionary shift in consciousness, pleading to put hundreds of years of dogma to rest, to never accept those prejudices are “Never Gonna Die.”
“Live While You Can (Time Bomb)” is the Pennywise take on the timeless adages to live while you can, enjoy today, and never let the bastards get you down. “Goodbye Bad Times” further emphasizes the holistic side of the band’s ethos, a steadfast reminder of the power of encouragement, personal empowerment and communal interdependence.
As ever, touring across the world playing with and playing to likeminded rabble rousers and mischief makers, Pennywise summon all the best and brightest of SoCal punk spirit, consciously exposing the world’s flaws as well as their own, and celebrating life loudly.
As the terrifying clown who shares the band’s namesake returns to the pop culture consciousness, via a massively well-received movie adaptation and its forthcoming sequel, so too has Pennywise – the band – reemerged at their absolute strongest. Forbes Magazine said, “It doesn’t just float, It soars.” Pennywise? They effin’ scorch.
Fifteen years ago, The Bronx appeared in a storm of attack-mode guitars, apocalyptic rhythms, screaming aggression and sneering disdain for the status quo.
In 2017, as The Bronx resurface with their fifth eponymous album (and first in four years), the Los Angeles-based quintet has lost none its pugnacity. “The Bronx V,” as it is destined to be known, is as hard-hitting, confrontational and relevant as ever. And while it may or may not sound more grown-up than their vein-bulging early releases, they will not apologize either way.
“It has the angst and social commentary that has characterized us from the beginning,” guitarist Joby J. Ford says, “only now the angst is aimed at more than just superficial things and the social commentary is directed at more than just people who like different music than us.”
Says singer Matt Caughthran: “We still have a lot to prove to ourselves.”
Coming from a band that has persevered for a decade and a half, that sounds outlandish. Moreover, they've led dual lives for the past eight years, maintaining an alter ego as Mariachi El Bronx that as is as true to that form of music as their hardcore is to the punk ethos. Prove themselves? Yes, that’s the way the Los Angeles-based quintet thinks and works.
“The Bronx V” is out Sept. 22. The band — Ford, Caughthran, guitarist Ken Horne, bassist Brad Magers and drummer David Hidalgo Jr. (replacing Jorma Vik, who departed the band in 2016) — recorded the album over five weeks with renowned producer Rob Schnapf, whose wide array of gear allowed them to add considerable nuance to their blistering guitar volleys.
“Instead of having one thick wall of guitar, there are a lot of different colors, different sounds, the result of using a variety of guitars and amps,” Horne says. “Overall, it’s still heavy but catchy.” Adds Magers: “He was perfect for us. Somehow, we sound clean yet dirty.”
Years back, Schnapf was slated to work on the third Bronx album and the Mariachi El Bronx debut, but that was scotched when the band was dropped by their label. The producer was happy it finally happened. “They know the drill,” the producer says. “It’s not like anybody had to coax anybody. And it ended up being two oddball amps that gave the album its sound.”
More than sonics, though, “The Bronx V” finds Caughthran at his most full-throated and direct, addressing themes ranging from the national consciousness to his own personal struggles and mid-thirties malaise.
“One of the main hurdles was kicking myself out of the depression I’ve been battling for two years,” he explains. “I don’t want to over-dramatize it, but I felt pretty bleak for a while. I didn’t want to just write about relationships — I wanted to write about how difficult it often is to keep your head on straight. Sometimes it’s a daily battle. I’m a lucky guy, but I’ve been down some dark holes the past couple of years, not knowing whether I was capable of being the person I thought I could be.”
That feeling is referenced in “Channel Islands”: “Last chances dancing in the moonlight / goodbye is written in the stars / I saw myself above the ocean / running outta time / running outta time,” Caughthran wails, looking his own self-doubts squarely in the eye.
But while confronting his own demons and the notion that “maybe I’m not cut out for making it to the second part of my life,” Caughthran says he also looked externally for inspiration. “The world is on its ass,” he says bluntly.
The pulse-quickening “Broken Arrow” tackles phobia over religion; the anthemic “Cordless Kids” suggests “our future’s buried in the past;” and “Kingsize” broaches the idea of knocking everything down and starting all over, because “The summer of love / is divorced.”
“The world is both sad and hilarious right now,” Caughthran says. “It’s a funny time to be an actual living human being with a heart and a conscience. I am not a fan of people shutting their doors and closing everything off. But as an artist, it’s actually a great time to create.”
Adds Ford: “We never wanted to be a political band, but how can you not make some kind of statement with the things that are going on around us?” he says. “I think we arrived at something that is conceptually correct.”
Lacking none of the band’s typically pugilistic fervor, “The Bronx V” lands punches exactly where they’re aimed.
Thankfully, in sunny Southern California, the members of veteran punk rock band Pulley do not put their lives into hibernation when winter comes a calling. In fact, it’s during this time of year when the band is most active,
Sure, they got their start playing in other well known bands, released numerous records, toured all over, but unlike most of their contemporaries, their band is not their bread and butter. For 17 years, Pulley have always been working class musicians priding themselves on being regular guys. They have wives, families, bills to pay, and yes, full time day jobs. Nobody here is concerned with making it big or trying to write a hit single. They just genuinely like to play music together. And just like in years past, they spent the winter of 2010 playing gigs, having fun, and fortunately for their fans, writing and recording music.
The result is a new EP entitled, “The Long and the Short of It.”
PULLEY_ALBUMARTThis three track EP consists of the songs: “No Man’s Flute”, “The Long and the Short of It”, and “Which Way to Go” (a cover version of a tune by Austin, TX punk legends The Big Boys). Acclaimed producer Matt Hyde, who worked with the band on “Matters” in 2004, and “Time-Insensitive Material” in 2009, oversaw the recording process once again. In keeping with the vibe and spirit of an old school 1980’s era seven inch, Pulley commissioned their old friend and prolific artist, Brian Walsby (Melvins,7Seconds, Flipside, Maximum Rock & Roll, etc.) to handle the cover illustration.
There will be two versions of the EP available: The physical EP, in the form of a 7 inch vinyl record, will be released on June 28th, 2011 by Edmonton’s When’s Lunch Records. Pulley’s own label, X-Members Records, will be releasing the EP for download through all major digital retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, and Emusic on the same day.
“The Long and The Short of It” may be Pulley’s shortest work to date, but this appetizer does not lack in taste. Each track has been forged from the band’s high standard of melodic punk rock sensibilities. Scott’s Radinsky’s unmistakable voice, Jim Blowers’ and Mike Harder’s shredding guitars, Tyler Rebbe’s melodic bass lines, and newcomer “Metal Bob” Gilmore’s rapid fire drumming are all here, and as powerful as anyone has ever heard them.
Pulley is currently planning a full length record to be released in early 2012. Until then, get out your turntable or capable mp3 playing device, sit back, relax, and enjoy “The Long and the Short of It”
Laughing in the face of existential horror and spitting in the face of red-blooded American hypocrisy; Total Massacre plays every song with a sense of urgency and dread as if at any second some lunatic in the White House might unleash nuclear annihilation upon us all. This LA based 4-piece channels the breakneck pace and buzzsaw guitars of 80’s hardcore with lyrics drenched in the sweat, tears, and disaffected rage of life in the year 2017. Explicitly political and anti-fascist vocals bark an outraged retort to both the ineffectual, self-defeating cynicism of neoliberal centrists, and the greedy, craven nihilism of modern-day conservatives.
With their self-titled debut, Total Massacre brings 13 tracks of blistering, LOUD, raw punk rock, clocking in at just under 20 minutes. From the first track “Thoughts and Prayers” to the last: the self titled “Total Massacre”; the band reveals that they have plenty of vitriol to go around. Are you mad about healthcare? The epidemic of gun violence in this country? Lying shitheads on Fox News? Well, Total Massacre has got the rage-fueled anthem you’ve been waiting for! Recorded over just two days, at their home base of operations, Beer City Studios, the album was recorded almost entirely live, and captures the raw energy and emotion of a band finding its voice, and then just letting it fucking rip. Mastered by the legend, Jason Livermore (Descendents, Off With Their Heads, NOFX) at the Blasting Room, Total Massacre’s debut is every bit as heavy and unrelenting as it is clear, both sonically and thematically.
Total Massacre is:
Mike Massacre - Guitar
Jeff (wears combat boots) Massacre - Bass
Tommy Massacre - drums
Cap’n No-Fun - Vox
26 S. Chestnut St.
Ventura, CA, 93001