Alright guys I’m really excited right now. I’ve discovered that Pat “the bunny” Schneeweis (of Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains and Wingnut Dishwashers Union, a couple of the original folk-punk bands) is still around, making anarcho-anti-folk-punk as full of I-hate-everyone-and-everything feels as ever. Folk/DIY punk is perhaps my favourite genre, boasting artists like Andrew Jackson Jihad, Paul Baribeau, and Jeffrey Lewis, who often play shows and make split albums together, and share my general disdain for all-things-everything. This is the kind of music you play with your friends while you’re getting fucked up and feeling angry and sad and the only way you can express yourself is by screaming about how much everyone else sucks and then you feel better because you know someone else understands. It’s early 20’s angst, which is an entirely different monster than teen angst because now there’s copious amounts of drugs and alcohol involved.
Pat “the bunny” now performs with the band Ramshackle Glory, whose newest album is a split with Ghost Mice called Shelter, which came out just this month. Ramshackle Glory are planning a summer tour and, in an effort to raise some cash-monies to do so, Pat released a solo album called The mark inside in April, which I also wanna tell you dudes about.
SO this is a duel-album-triple-artist-post GET FUCKIN STOKED.
The mark inside is a quick listen, with 5 short songs. Straight from the heart of the DIY folk-punk scene, this album embodies the scene’s cynical attitude, full of enthusiasm, anger, drugs, and darkness. The songs are vaguely autobiographical with the same rough, fictional quality of old-school Mountain Goats; it’s just Pat, his acoustic guitar, and his demons. Familiar demons, ones that a lotta kids these days find themselves battling with. “I eat cigarettes for breakfast, and coffee for lunch. For dinner I lay in the dirt and wait for the end times to come. I wish I could tell you the truth, but when I do it comes out sounding stupid,” Pat sings on the third track, “Song for a chicken named Jenny.” There is such immense power in the honesty of these songs it’s hard not to want to shout along.
Next up we’ve got the Ramshackle Glory/Ghost Mice split, Shelter. Ramshackle Glory is made up of members Eric “Johnny” Freedom (trumpet, vocals), Luke Romano (drums), Nick Berger (accordion, vocals), Patrick Schneeweis (guitar, vocals, piano, organ, keyboards), Potato (bass, vocals), and Wyndham Maxwell (piano, vocals). Their portion of the album takes on a ska-punk feel, given the fact that there’s a trumpet, a piano, an organ, and it makes ample use of power chords and messy solos. In equal parts, you will want to skank and/or punch the shit out of whoever’s nearest to you.
Ghost Mice is folk-punk duo, Chris Calvin (vocals, guitar) and Hannah Jones (vocals, violin), who have been playing in bands together for over 7 years. Ghost Mice is their most recent project, taken on because they wanted to be able to play anywhere without needing to worry about lugging equipment about. They don’t use mics or amps when they perform, which is pretty cool. Their half of Shelter definitely falls on the more folky side of folk-punk, but certainly does not lack that tasty 20’s angst we’ve come to know and love. Chris and Hannah’s voices harmonize beautifully, and Hannah’s violin is a puzzle-piece addition to Chris’s guitar riffs. Who doesn’t love songs about smashing and stealing shit?
Stay cynical, folks.