Liner Notes (February 12th, 2022)


This week’s newsletter is jam-packed with two weeks worth of delicious content. I have first impressions of the new A Wilhelm Scream and Frank Turner albums, as well as random other thoughts about the music I listened to this week. Then there’s some entertainment commentary and a playlist of ten songs I liked this week.

This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • Hello! This week’s newsletter will be a little longer than usual because I am going to cram everything I didn’t write last week into this one as well. I outlined the entire newsletter last week, but a project arose that demanded my time for the weekend, and I could not sit down to finish it. So, this week you’re getting the double stuff version. Lucky you.
  • I was interviewed on the This Was the Scene Podcast this week, and I talk a lot about AbsolutePunk, the history, the creation, some stories I’ve told before, some new ones. I also talk about being completely burned out on the website and the internet in general and how that’s contributed to who I am in 2022. You can check that out on all your favorite podcast players, and here’s the Overcast link. While I was in the nostalgic mood, I shared some other photos and memorabilia from those years on Instagram, including things from my scrapbook, various screenshots of the website, and some photos and memories. It was a lot of fun to reminisce, and I enjoyed all the comments from people who grew up with that website and felt a fondness for something I created. Reading some of the “bring it back!” comments always leaves me feeling bittersweet. I don’t begrudge anyone that feels that way, but as I say in this podcast (and many others), it took a massive toll on my mental health, especially at the end, and it’s not something I want to revisit. Plus, I literally would want to make it precisely what Chorus is right now — Chorus is my version of AbsolutePunk in 2022. It’s the exact website I want to run, at the pace I want to run it, designed how I want to run it. Maybe I should build an AbsolutePunk skin for it, though? Best of both worlds? Get my money’s worth out of repurchasing the damn name and logo to begin with? Of course, that means finding time to actually write that code … which … is in depressingly small shortage these days. Alas, I hope everyone enjoys the podcast episode; it was fun to be behind the mic again for a little bit.
  • Speaking of Instagram, this is my new favorite account. Scene flavored snacks? Sign me all the way up.
  • And while we’re talking about snacks, I took Marco’s advice on a recent episode of the ATP podcast and checked out (not a porn site), and, like usual, he’s totally right. These are great snacks. I ordered a bunch of the sampler packs to try various things and am already in love. The dried apples have been an early favorite.
  • Did you know the string players on Panic! at the Disco’s debut album were found via AbsolutePunk? I didn’t either until last week.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • It has been way, way, way too long since we’ve had new A Wilhelm Scream music. They’re one of my favorite punk bands, and anytime they grace us with tunes is a good year. I’ve heard the new album and already played it an unholy amount of times this week. It’s everything I could possibly want from the band. They played around with a few new things, which you can hear on “Figure Eights in my Head,” while keeping their fast, melodic, punk bones right intact. Early favorites include “Gimmetheshakes” and “The Enigma” and “…A Big Nasty Was Its Name-O,” but really, there are no misses here. Top to bottom, a great album, an excellent A Wilhelm Scream album, and another reminder that they’re one of the absolute best ever to do this genre. I cannot recommend their discography enough. Especially if you’ve ever had a week where you want to drown everything else out in the space between your headphones. (Sorry for turning it way the fuck up, Hannah.)
  • Bodyjar released a new album last week, called New Rituals, and I enjoyed my first listen. This is one of those bands that’s just sort of floated under the radar for all these years.
  • Frank Turner’s latest, FTHC, came out yesterday. I think it’s safe to call this a “return to form,” since his last album I only gave one, harrowing, listen to, and I had a real tough time getting through Be More Kind as well. This is much more in line with the style I prefer, but for as much as the songs are better, it also feels a little lifeless in spots. Uneven. Some real lyrical clunkers and a few places that make me feel uncomfortable. I’ll need to spend some more time with it, but it’s not usually a good sign when I pause an album multiple times to read the lyrics and check “wait, did he really say that?” I’ll give this some more time to see where it shakes out. There’s stuff I like here, so that’s enough for me to keep exploring it.
  • Circa Survive’s new EP, A Dream About Death continues the maturation from their previous, and combined with that, I think this is my favorite collection of Circa music in a long while. I vibe with what they’re doing here. More of this!
  • Rolo Tomassi’s Where Myth Becomes Mystery is a gorgeous hardcore album. Its brutality sits on the precipice of overwhelming beauty, between waves of screams and tide haunting melody.
  • I read Adam’s review of the Kulick EP, which led me to check that out, and it’s a pretty impressive little EP of very competently made pop-rock. I’m not sure I hear that song here, but I think it’s on the verge. Super easy to listen to and have on in the background while working.
  • I continue to adore and gush over the new Dashboard Confessional album. (Lengthier thoughts here.) I’m excited for his Valentine’s Day livestream and plan to watch that with Hannah after our (romantic outside in hopefully not cold or rainy weather) dinner on Monday night.
  • Charlotte Sands is having a nice moment with these collabs. The latest is on a version of Underoath’s “Hallelujah,” and while I don’t think I’ll replace the album version with this, I believe her parts work well, and it’s a nice version of the song. That album still sits in constant rotation for me, maybe my favorite gym album since Turnstile?
  • Yeule’s Glitch Princess is a wild hyperpop album. I don’t know how I feel about this genre, but this album was a ride.
  • Cold Years’ last album is one I talked a whole lot about when it came out. It gives off the unmistakable Gaslight Anthem/Bruce vibes, but their latest singles kind of sit a little in that Green Day mold. I’m here for it. I’m ready for anything they’ve got coming, and this is definitely on my most anticipated list (hm, on that note, I should probably finish my blurbs so we can publish that).
  • And, finally, in my checking out shit from the past kick, I revisited Gob’s Foot in Mouth Disease and found it very catchy and more enjoyable than I was expecting, then I went to that Anadivine album, and my word does that bring me right back to college. Underrated little gem of a release right there. I spent so many hours in the college quad laying in the grass with that album on my iPod. I also went on an early week Green Day binge and continue to think Warning is my favorite from them, followed by … Nimrod. Yep, it’s shooting up the ranking and surpassing American Idiot and Dookie for me now. And, after all this time, their last album is at least better than the trilogy albums. But that’s all I can say about that one.

The Stats (This Week): Over the past week, I listened to 23 different artists and 506 different tracks (621 scrobbles). My most played artist ended up being Green Day, with my most listened to album being A Wilhelm Scream’s new one, Lose Your Delusion, by an unhealthy margin. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or

The Stats (Last Week): Over the past week, I listened to 39 different artists and 579 different tracks (663 scrobbles). My most played artist ended up being Blink-182 (doing a listen of the live album really cranks up those plays), with my most listened to album being Panic! at the Disco’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. Here is my Top 9 from two weeks ago.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Missing a week of writing means we were at least able to finish an entire show. (Waves at Thomas Nassiff: Here you go, buddy.) Station Eleven is my favorite thing I’ve seen since, probably, Watchmen. Over the past few years, The Leftovers, Dark, and Watchmen were the shows that hit me on a new level. I think I can safely add Station Eleven to this list. I loved the storytelling, loved the world-building, and fell in love with the characters. It paid off beautifully. Combine some great music moments and another fantastic performance from Mackenzie Davis, and you have a show I want to watch and be engulfed in again. Highly recommend.
  • We re-watched The Suicide Squad (still good) so we could dive into Peacemaker. We’ve watched the first three episodes, and this is so completely right in my wheelhouse. I’ve laughed out loud multiple times in each episode, and it’s just purely ridiculous.
  • Drive My Car is as good as the reviews were saying. An exploration of grief, forgiveness of others, of self, and the perseverance of life. A heavy watch that continues to sit with me.
  • The next book I’ve decided to tackle is book three in the historical fiction trilogy from Ken Follett. This one is called Edge of Eternity, and, well, it’s exactly what I expected it to be now that I’ve read like five billion pages of this. It’s good. It’s a great way to be pulled into a world. We’re in the ’60s now and the Cuban Missile crisis is about to come to a head. I wonder what will happen!?

Random and Personal Stuff

Ten Songs

Here are ten songs that I listened to and loved this week. Some may be new, some may be old, but they all found their way into my life during the past seven days.

  1. A Wilhelm Scream – Figure Eights in My Head
  2. Green Day – Scattered
  3. New Found Glory – Make Your Move
  4. Rolo Tomassi – Almost Always
  5. Underoath – Hallelujah
  6. Cold Years – Kicking and Screaming
  7. John the Ghost – Young at Heart
  8. Ed Sheeran – The Joker and the Queen
  9. Bodyjar – Burning Truth
  10. Kulick – Necessities

This playlist is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Community Watch

The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:

The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by incognitojones in the “Accountability in Music” thread. The most liked post in our forums the previous week was this one by Jason Tate in the “Q&A and Chat With Jason Tate” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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