Monday, March 31, 2014

The Manges- Plan Honolulu Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 7"

My little heart has been soaring in anticipation since last November, when I saw a picture of four wonderful men from Italy in the studio. While they've participated on a few splits, there hasn't been a new Manges full length LP since 2010 and holy shit the world needs them, like right now! A wonderful 7" called Plan Honolulu Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is out, marking the beginning of their return and the start of a countdown to the the new record, "All Is Well"(click here for a teaser clip). This is a very special release and thank Dee Dee The Manges are back, so let's talk about it!!

The songs were recorded and mixed at TUP Studio in Brescia, Italy by Brown Barcella and Pierluigi Ballarin during Dec of 2013-Jan of 2014. Mastering was done by Jon Astley at Close To The Edge Mastering in Twikerham, UK. Release happened on March 7th, in the amount of 300 copies by a newer label in Italy that's quickly becoming one of my favorites, One Chord Wonder Records250 pieces were pressed to black along with an extremely limited special edition with a different cover on color vinyl in the amount of 50 pieces. A digital download is included. If you haven't ordered it yet, you already missed the boat on the color vinyl, sorry!! I've got 180 of 300 on black and will treasure it always. 

The cover deserves it's own section of  explanation so here it is! With the single being "Plan Honolulu", The Manges came up with an awesome idea of turning it into a movie plot. I won't spill the details because they weren't revealed and I think you should own it to know it, however will let you know it's pretty hilarious! The front is a great picture by Mass Mosrite of the guys in character, looking incognito in bright Hawaiian shirts and dark sunglasses, then the back is where you'll find the screenplay by Manuel Cossu. Included inside and also tying into the story is an all acess pass for the famous Manges' gig with Elvis Presley in La Spezia, '73. This has the download code on it. All the details are so pretty with the production of this layout, right down to the labels.

As far as what you can expect to hear, some fantastic things are happening. With TUP being a vintage studio, The Manges great ability to steadily evolve each time they record, then having HervĂ© Peroncini of the Peawees and his wonderfully experimental vision brought in as producer, that most definitely means the sound saw some changes. The guitars are a lot more cleaned up and brighter paired with the classic setup of the studio really giving them a chance to push their talents even further. Make no mistake to assume the punk rock sound was lost though! It's still very present. The effort of this session shows a band that is mature and can strongly maintain who they are while working in some newness. I really love the result. This is the first look into what "All Is Well" will be like since "Plan Honolulu" was taken from it. This is just a fun upbeat punk rock song with a funny story that lyrically fits in with the movie plot. I always love the imagination in these guys, that's what makes them such great story tellers and songwriters. The B Side, "I'm Giving Up" is really cool too, a song that falls within the meaner side of The Manges and shows Mayo's influence in the band appearing as a co-writer on this one. 

So there's my take on "Plan Honolulu Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Surely it will sell out if you wait much longer so make a move and write to OCW or place an order with the Striped distro!! This is such a special little gem to own as a collector and I cannot wait until April 24th for more from this band that means so much to me! ❤️

The Manges are:
Andrea- Guitar/Vocals
Mayo- Guitar
Mass- Bass
Manuel- Drums

Side A
1. Plan Honolulu(written by Maunel/Andrea)
Side B
2. I'm Giving Up(Written by Mayo/Andrea)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

La Massoneria Ramonica e i suoi Adepti vol. 1

Lighthearted punk rock songs that aren't too overthought and delivered in short bursts are a perfect deterrent to boredom for someone such as myself, as a music lover. I had heard a bit about the La Massoneria Ramonica last year and thought their name was cool but after hearing them, also discovered that they definitely can deliver in this style! In addition to a great first 7" entitled Formula 37, they also put out a four way split the same day called, La Massoneria Ramonica E I Suoi Adepti Vol. I. That's what I'll be telling you about today! 

Since this is a four way split, I'm not going to get into each band's recording process however will let you know that the cover was designed by Angelica Zilli, a black and white sketch of the guys facing forward to the almighty 37 temple, definitely tying into the title of the split which essentially translates to "Ramones Freemasonry And It's Adepts vol. 1". (For the literal thinkers: It's not to be taken seriously, ok?) This tongue in cheek nature is part of why I'm quite fond of all things La Massoneria Ramonica! The split was released on March 2nd, 2014 by Monkeyrite Records ran by Pulce from the band, which is an extension of the well known Badman Records who he also works with in the amount of 150 CDs. 

Each band contributed three songs and first up are La Massoneria Ramonica. For those of you not familiar with them, you can expect everything but the serious but there still is an underlying passion in the way they play, gelling the songs into something that's very easy to love. Their silliness at Riverdales speed easily draws me in right from the start with "Ramones Saved My Life" followed by the Rockaway Beach-esque "Marky Ramone's Ice Cream" and "Rubik's Cube" which features a guest lead vocal by none other than Italian pop punk legend himself, Chris Polecat. This is just fun punk rock that is more catchy to me than anything I've heard in a long time and I want more. Well done, boys. Now give me a full length LP to write about!!

Appearing second are the Milan based Drawing Dead. They had an immediate advantage with me when I saw that Robi from another band I really love called Mega(I'll be reviewing their new record soon!) is a member, but that's not the end of positives for them. Vocals are shared by Robi and Dave, trading lead and backing, which makes for a great combination with their differing but equally as good tones. They play off of each other well, like two sides of a coin and keep it interesting. Great pop punk songs that are very 90's style at the core mixed with some updated elements are what you'll find with these guys. I like it! The first song leans towards the more aggressive end on the punchy "Only A Lie", followed by a more romantic one with a great solo called "Sarah Smiles"(this is a cover originally written by a good friend of the band) and their part of the split ends with my favorite of the three "I Feel Alright" for possessing a strong early punk rock/Ramones influence. 

Third in line are the least known to me, The Thirtysevens. The really HEAVY early Screeching Weasel influence they have both musically and vocally is hard to miss with hearing even twenty seconds of their first track, "Agent 13 Is Dead" and it stays pretty prevalent throughout their three songs contributed. The more mid tempo "Time Travel Equation" was the one I liked the best for it's more harmonized vocals. This band really has a lot of potential to grow into something cool and while I'm curious to see if more of their own influence is added, it makes me so happy to hear a sound from my youth that I will forever remain fond of.

Last but definitely not least is the wonderful and longest established of the four bands on this split, Agent Pazz. Around since 2003, this is a part live/part computerized pop punk band that definitely has some true pop influences which can kinda turn me off when most bands try to do the same, but what makes it punk as fuck? It's one guy implementing each of those sounds in a masterful way. This makes Agent Pazz absolutely as capable of standing next to full bands and holding his ground just as well, which I was lucky enough to see in person at a Tough show last May in Rome. He's got two quicker paced songs, "Friendzoned Again" and "Hurricane Jane" that are super catchy but the closing track "Falling Into Disgrace" was the best for me with the brilliantly executed doo-wop backing vocals and an arrangement that's just lovely.

Download it from bandcamp or you can obtain a physical copy, alone or with the 7" I mentioned in the beginning of this review by writing to Monkeyrite. If you are fond of classic pop punk/punk rock and would like to hear the sound having some hope to continue in a world where newer bands tend to avoid it, get on this. All four bands made it something that was easy to add to my collection!

The La Massoneria Ramonica 
JC-Atom- Vocals/Guitar
the IceCreamMan- Vocals/Bass
Polle- Guitar
Boss- Drums
Guest Vocals- Chris Polecat
1. Ramones Saved My Life 
2. Marky Ramone's Ice Cream 
3. Rubik's cube
Drawing Dead 
Robi Tuono- Guitar/Vocals
Dave- Bass/Vocals
Lollo- Guitar/Backing Vocals
King Mob- Drums 
4. Only A Lie 
5. Feel Alright 
6. Sarah Smile 
The Thirtysevens
Paolo (Fonne)- Vocals
Adriano (Cecche)- Guitar/Backing Vocals
Marco (Marky)- Guitar
Federico (Fro)-  Bass/Backing Vocals
Fabio (Bara)- Drums
7. Agent 13 Is Dead 
8. Two Times Table 
9. Time Travel Equation 
Agent Pazz
Agent Pazz- One man army computer powered pop punk since 2003.
10. Friendzoned Again 
11. Hurricane Jane 
12. Falling Into Disgrace

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Same heart, new adventure!

Hey guys!!
Here's a quick introduction for those that may or may not know me. I'm Sara Ramone, formerly of I Buy Records. Since parting ways with IBR, I've decided to start my own webzine and here it is, Ramona Confidential.
I'll mainly be doing record reviews, interviews with some great people, and occasionally you'll catch a live report, but there are also some other nice surprises in store!
My main desire as far as what I'd like to accomplish with Ramona Confidential is to preserve what I love as a music fan. Good punk rock and pop punk as it was at it's inception can sadly be on life support at times and I don't want to see the spirit lost. With those being my two greatest loves, you'll find they're not exclusive to my interest(check the music section on my profile if you're curious to see what I'm into) and will see some variance from time to time with what I publish.
I can be quite the Dee Dee when it comes to technology but as soon as I've got everything figured out, I aim to put up a new post at least weekly so let's remember rock 'n' roll radio and have some fun! 

Looking forward to this❤️