New Onesie Week!

The holidays have been very busy, but I am finally at a point where I can focus on some new stuff!  It’s been a while since I’ve created any new onesies.  Over the next week, a few new designs will be coming out!  The first one was rolled out a few days ago:



This double-sided Sid Vicious onesie is awesome.  My goal when creating any onesie, is to make someone go, “Oh my god, where did you get that!?”  It’s something I keep in the back of my head when I’m brainstorming ideas.

This is now available in our Etsy Shop, eBay Store, and at

Also if you like punk, metal, or alternative music, check out my new vintage rock apparel store at etsy, Hometown Zero Vintage.




Album Review: The Damned – “So, Who’s Paranoid?”

I listened to two new albums today.  Anti-Flag’s new album, “American Spring” and a new album by The Damned called, “So, Who’s Paranoid.”  I’ve never been a fan of The Damned, not that I hated them, I just never really chose to listen to them.  While Anti-Flag’s album was solid, “So, Who’s Paranoid?” by The Damned was surprisingly one of the best albums I’ve listened to this year and probably one of their best albums as well.


The Damned is one of those bands that is constantly changing their sound.  With many bands, that can be a terrible thing, but for an iconic band like this, I think it’s the right move. Other pioneering punk bands of their era, like The Ramones (who I love) changed their sound slightly, but for the most part remained constant. What you end up getting is a discography of albums that rock, but sound the same.  Not with The Damned. This album exemplifies the successful evolution of an ageing, yet legendary punk band.

The ghoulishly gothic vocals are in full effect on this album, starting strong with “A Nation Fit For Heroes.”  I was expecting to turn this album on and have it turned off in less than a minute, but the dark new wave sound of this song had me hooked.  Fully loaded with a rocking keyboard and corny rock guitar solos, this song kept that rare balance of being awesome, while slightly cheesy.

Perhaps my favorite song on the record “Under the Wheels” is a must listen.  Another song that sounds like it could be awful for the first 30 seconds, before the insanely catchy chorus hits you.  I found myself listening to this song multiple times today, singing it with a gigantic shit-eating grin.

The entire album is strong from start to finish. For an album with 16 songs, this is impressive.  Dave Vanian’s vocals on the album almost remind me of Jyrki 69 of 69 Eyes, but not entirely.

If you’ve never been a fan of The Damned, I urge you toss your opinions aside and check out this album.  I was like you.  Today I am forever a changed man.

Album Review: Matt Skiba and The Sekrets-“Kuts”

Matt Skiba and The Sekrets have released their new album, “Kuts”, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.  Usually when I review an album, I listen to it twice, then I have a pretty decent idea how I feel about it.  Not with this one.  Even worse, I either love it, or I completely hate it.  Is that crazy?

These days, when a veteran rocker releases a new album, I try to look at it from a different perspective.  Is it just the same old stuff?  Or is it true to its roots, while incorporating something fresh?  Is it totally different, and if so, was it a huge mistake?  Skiba has always been rather creative and has always continued to evolve his sound.  If you are unfamiliar with his other band Alkaline Trio, start off listening to their album, “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire.” Now listen to the album, “My Shame is True”, which was released 13 years later.  Its radically different, and with all the albums in between, you can literally hear them evolve slowly over that 13 year period.  A truly awesome band to listen to.

After listening to this album twice, I’m not sure if Matt Skiba and The Sekrets have released anything that special here.  One review that I read mentioned that the album had the sound of “a band no longer curated by a record executive with no actual idea of what makes good music.”  I think this is a bit dramatic.

The first song on the album, “Lonely and Kold,” is surprisingly upbeat, sounding just like the later years of Alkaline Trio.  It was a song I went back to and listened to a few times, and probably the best song on the album.

However, as the album progresses, it turns slowly into a very generic version of Heavens, another one of Skiba’s bands which only put out one album in 2006.  Heavens was pitched more as a goth album, but every song on the album was humorously memorable. The problem with “Kuts,” is that nothing on the album is memorable.  Most of the songs sound like rehashed versions of past songs, blended together to create a monotonous release not worthy of being a conversation starter.  Listening to “Never Believe,” I almost found the song title fitting because I actually had a hard time believing this song wasn’t on a past album.

I’m not saying this is a bad album, because it’s not.  When you have one of those days where you’re sick of everything in your collection, this is a decent album to listen to.  Skiba definitely sticks to his roots with this album, but so much that “Kuts” fails to establish itself as anything more than “just another album.

Face to Face Buffalo, NY 5/26/15: More Than Just a Nostalgia Show

I have a terrible habit of buying tickets to see shows, and then when the day finally comes I dread going. Maybe it’s my age?  I guess I’m just easily irritated.  About two weeks ago, I had read online that Face to Face was coming to a small venue here in Buffalo, NY.  At that moment, I had decided that I needed to see this show. Face to Face is quite possibly my favorite band of all time, so I was interested in going for sure.

As the years have gone by, Face to Face has pretty much become a generational punk band like Bad Religion, minus roughly ten years.  I had seen them a few times, but the last time I saw them I was around 20 years old. I oddly remember most of it, which is impressive considering the state I was in at the time.  The show was in Rochester, NY and Dashboard Confessional was opening for them.  I was keeping it real back then, with my hair dyed blonde (and totally falling out), studded bracelets, ripped jeans – the whole thing.  I was also piss drunk and utterly disgusting.  I remember there being a few times where I was rescued by a good friend of mine, from making out with some girl that I insisted was insanely hot.  Without harping on physical appearances, let’s just say my judgement was way off.

Roughly 17 years later.  After watering the flowers and taking out the trash, I cooked my wife and daughter planked salmon for dinner, changed my kids diaper, gave them both kisses, and headed to the show. I was still amazed that I wasn’t dreading having to go.  The more I thought about it, the more I felt that it was mainly because I was going solo.  I didn’t have to show up on time and if it was terrible, I wouldn’t have to stay.  I could basically do what I wanted.  I found this appealing!

The doors opened at 7pm, and I arrived around 8:30.  It was being held at a smaller venue called, “The Waiting Room,” which was a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere.  This means a lot coming from a guy who’s constantly uncomfortable.  What was also awesome, was that they had a decent beer selection on tap.  While they had Genny and Pabst for the kids, they also had some delicious craft IPA’s for guys like me.  This made it easy for me to sit through the opening bands.


Face to Face came out to play at around 9:45.  They looked great. Trever Keith is getting pretty heavy, but they looked like they had loads of energy.  They played song blocks from their first three albums, and everything they played sounded incredible.  The crowd was pretty amped up, and there were plenty of older dudes breaking it down in the pit.  I understood.  The songs were so good and they were being played so well, I actually had the urge to get busy, but I didn’t.  Come on man, I’m 37 years old.


When they got to their self-titled album, Keith openly joked about not wanting to listen to people asking why certain songs weren’t being played, attributing it to the fact that they have so many songs, and how it would be impossible to play them all.  To me this basically meant, they didn’t want to play “I Won’t Lie Down,” which was one of the more popular songs on the album (also featured on the Mortal Combat Movie Soundtrack Remixed.) I was correct in assuming that, as it was not played.  I had no complaints though, the set list was phenomenal.


The encore was slightly embarrassing, but was saved by the fact that the band came out and mocked the shitty, unenthusiastic cheers they were getting to come back out.  I hate encores.  I think everyone does actually.  I saw Louie C.K. a few years ago, and at the beginning of the show, he came right out and said that he wasn’t doing an encore.  He basically said they were stupid, and that when he’s done with his act, he’s just leaving and we can all go home.  I loved that.  It should be no different with music.  Nobody wants to sit there and beg for a band to come back out, in fact, most of the time it’s getting late and everyone’s annoyed that it’s taking so long.  Aside from that, they ended the show with covers of “Painted Black” by The Rolling Stones, and “Bikeage” by The Decendents, which was incredible.


Face to Face was that rare show that actually took you back to your youth, that energized your soul, and that really made you feel like everything is alright. At an age where things can get pretty stressful, where the people in your life are narrowed down to a select few that you love more than anything, somehow the deafening sounds of those West Coast power-chords became the most comforting sounds on earth.  They were just as good as they were 17 years ago, the only difference for me was that now during the opening bands, I sip craft beer at the bar and thumb through pictures of my wife and daughter on my phone.


Life is pretty damn good.

New Music: Smashing Pumpkins -"Monuments to an Elegy"

Monuments to an Elegy

    I was never a Smashing Pumpkins fan in the 90’s when they were pretty much on top of the world.   Being into music in middle school and through high school, you usually go through a period of pretentious snobbery surrounding yourself with others who do the same, while listening to the most obscure things imaginable.  As you approach your late 20’s into your 30’s, you tend to just not care about being cool anymore.  I started listening to the Smashing Pumpkins when “Oceania” was released in 2012 and was blown away by how incredible the album was.  From start to finish, this album was a masterpiece.  So I started listening to the older albums and the band instantly grew into one of my favorites.

   When “Monuments to an Elegy” was announced, I was really excited.  I would scour the web looking for something leaked, just to get a preview of what the music was going to be like.  Billy Corgan is a weird guy who is constantly misunderstood.  I’m not going to pretend that I get him fully, but musically I understand his struggles as an artist.  If you listen to the Smashing Pumpkins, you know that each album released is different.  They each have a different sound which to me makes the band interesting.  It also explains why the band fell off the map.  The commercial sounds of “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”  didn’t carry over from album to album, in fact, it would drastically change.  On the Howard Stern show, Corgan came out and said he felt that bands like the Foo Fighters and Nirvana were good but overrated.  He stressed that the Foo Fighters have almost mastered a formula for their music, lacking innovation.  He’s right.  Every Foo Fighters song is the same.  Even fans of the band that I know will admit that.  It all sounds the same.  “Monuments to an Elegy” is an almost sarcastic take on “Mellon Collie.”  I won’t admit to knowing this myself, but Corgan revealed that the album was supposed almost be a tribute to the commercial sound that made them famous, basically hinting that it’s not “THEIR” sound but its for “US.”  The explanation he gives is awesomely convoluted, but that’s why he’s a genius. 

    The number one criticism I hear from this album is that it’s too short.  And it is.  With that being said, the rest of the album musically is outstanding.  The drum work in this album is totally awesome.  We basically know that there are only 2 original members of the band left.  Currently playing with them on drums on the regular is Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, but on this album, it’s Tommy Lee.  I’m not a fan of Tommy Lee as a person and always thought he was a bit lame, but on this album, he blasts these songs out!  The story on how they got him was great.  He was in the recording studio doing something of his own when Corgan and the band came in to record.  They had approached him to see if he would play the drums for one song on the album.  He of course said yes, rocked the song out as if he were playing a stadium show, and then wanted to play for the whole album.  The drum work on the album is great.

  In the end you have an album that is above average by the Pumpkins, short in length, but solid in content.  The music is interesting to listen to and the songs are catchy like their old commercial hits.  I actually got this on vinyl for Christmas and it’s super nice.  Check out “Tiberius” below.  If you like it, you will love this album.

Let’s Have a Listen: Biffy Clyro – "Opposites"

    I love days where I capture the true benefit of being a Spotify subscriber.   As I get older, it gets more and more difficult to find new music.  When this happens, I venture over to the “Discover” section where they analyse everything you normally listen to and suggest new music.  Occasionally they insult me by trying to choose music based on my age like:

“Back when you were in high school, this album was popular…”

I’m pretty much never going to see this suggestion and go, “Oh man that album was amazing.  Looks like I’m set for music today!” 
    Further down the list there was a suggestion that I would possibly like a band called “Biffy Clyro”, so I decided to take a listen at the most recent album (2013) “Opposites.” Biffy Clyro is a Scottish band formed in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire with a huge variety of influences like Metallica, Rush, Foo Fighters, Sunny Day Real Estate, Fugazi, and Weezer.  I’d say from listening to this album, the Rush and Weezer influences really stand out.  The first song on the album, “Different People” had me hooked.  The guitar work pounded with a mixture of solid, power chord rock, reminiscent of Weezer/Jimmy Eat World, and was also loaded with complex off beat drums/base/and lead guitar.  It was a great combination of stylesThe rest of the album is just a solid, which is pretty tough to maintain when doing a double disk.

If you are in the mood to try something new, give this album a try.  It’s one of the better albums I’ve listened to recently.

Punk Rock Alert!

    Musically I am stuck in the 90’s, and with my wife home on maternity leave, she is quick to send me text messages from the first floor of our home (I work on the 3rd floor) mocking me out with comments like “1998 all day”.  Like Metallica once said, “Sad but true”.  My roots have always been punk rock, and for that genre, I find that there aren’t too many new bands worth listening to. The “Heartsounds” are an exception to that opinion.  This band is awesome, straight up.  I blogged way back about their album “Drifter”, which was my intro album to this band; blogging about how great I thought the album was.  Members of this band, (formally the band “Light this City”) started Heartsounds to pursue their love for punk music.  “Light this City” was more new metal, a genre that isn’t easy to separate yourself from other bands (a polite way of saying that it all sounds the same and is mostly shit), however, even “Light this City” has flashes of makes Heartsounds a great band.  The guitar work is incredibly solid, reminding me of bands like “No Use for a Name” with the composition complexity of “Lagwagon”.  If you were a fan of early 90’s punk music, this band is phenomenal. Their new album is looking to be no different.  They have leaked 3 songs (that I know of) off their upcoming October 15th album, “Internal Eyes”, and each one is more awesome than the next.  These days, I rarely sit around anticipating the release date of a new record, but this one I eagerly await.

Here are the 2 songs off “Internal Eyes” that they have released to wet the pallet:

If you enjoy listening to music from the glory days and can’t really crank it up anymore because of an infant, your infant might as well listen with you while it wears this:

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