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Lou Panico Releases His Semi-autobiographical Solo Debut EP ‘Dunk Tank’

Asbury Park musician Lou Panico has released his debut EP ‘Dunk Tank,’ a collection of songs that do not take themselves too seriously.

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Lou Panico, photo by Kenny Beiber
Lou Panico, photo by Kenny Beiber

New Jersey devil Lou Panico is bringing his vibrant stories to life on Dunk Tank, his semi-autobiographical solo debut EP. Dunk Tank blends pop-punk and arena rock in equal measure, combining rock n’ roll riffs with earnest lyrics about life’s transitions.

Panico is determined not to take himself too seriously. There are plenty of goofy moments like the lead single “SMH’s” catchy ode to love on the beach or the rowdy main characters of “She’s On Fire” getting in trouble with the law. On “Heard a Song,” Panico’s positive attitude shines through the emo tinge.

Yet Panico leaves room on the eight-track EP to touch upon themes of gloom and loss as well. “Cadillac Jack” taps into the expansive atmosphere of rock ballads and the heartfelt call of asking someone who’s gone to come back.

The title track touches on suburban melancholy and dead-ends in the vein of Simple Plan and The Starting Line. Panico observes, “Everything dies in a brown taped box in the basement.” Before the song’s conclusion, he insists on injecting some optimism: “Don’t let the water wash your dreams away.”

Panico moves through alternative angsty sounds on “Birthday” and just as easily traverses a bluesy shuffle on “So Damn Happy.” His superpower is distilling decades of rock into earworm tales, drawing on his own rollercoaster experiences. “SMH” is a tribute to Panico’s hometown of Asbury Park and his “first-hand account of summertime on the Jersey Shore,” with his wife Natalie Farrell playing the lifeguard crush in the music video.

As a member of Socratic (Drive-Thru Records), Panico toured the world and worked with alternative mainstays, including Mark Hoppus of Blink-182. Now, he’s firmly settled on telling his stories and showing the world how to rock – with a smile.

Dunk Tank Track Listing:

1. She’s On Fire
2. Dunk Tank
3. Cadillac Jack
4. SMH
5. Heard a Song
6. So Damn Happy
7. Birthday
8. Dunk Tank (Reprise)

Lou Panico ‘Dunk Tank’ EP album artwork

Lou Panico ‘Dunk Tank’ EP album artwork

Album News

Craft Recordings Thrilled to Announce Titles for Record Store Day 2024

Craft Recordings announces their titles for Record Store Day 2024 available at participating independent music retailers on April 20th.

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Collective Soul ‘Dosage’ album packshot
Collective Soul ‘Dosage’ album packshot

Craft Recordings is thrilled to announce its titles for Record Store Day 2024. This year’s lineup—available at participating independent music retailers on April 20—includes eight exclusive releases that span a variety of genres—from chilling cult-classic soundtracks and long-sought-after alt-rock reissues to jazz, new age, and beyond.

Among the offerings is a 25th anniversary pressing of Collective Soul’s Platinum-selling fourth album, Dosage (featuring the mega-hit “Heavy”), At The Drive-In’s electrifying sophomore album, in/CASINO/OUT, and the first-ever vinyl pressing of Filter’s The Very Best Things collection. Also making its debut on wax is the chart-topping Inner World album from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama—a first-of-its-kind release from the Tibetan spiritual leader, which blends his spoken-word meditations with music from a renowned collective of artists, including Anoushka Shankar.

Other highlights include a sought-after mono edition of Everybody Digs Bill Evans on 180-gram vinyl, while film buffs will delight over the return of two cult-classic soundtracks, 1972’s Black Girl and 1977’s Orca. Finally, the acclaimed Jazz Dispensary Series returns with The Freedom Sound! The People Arise—an empowering setlist of deep cuts by Joe Henderson, Gary Bartz, and Azar Lawrence, among others.

Craft Recordings Record Store Day releases April 2024

Craft Recordings Record Store Day releases April 2024

A full list of participating Record Store Day retailers and more information can be found here.

#1 At The Drive-In – in/CASINO/OUT (1-LP, Purple & Green Smoke Vinyl)

#2 Bill Evans Trio – Everybody Digs Bill Evans (1-LP, Mono, 180-gram Vinyl)

#3 Collective Soul – Dosage (1-LP, Translucent Lemonade Vinyl)

#4 Dalai Lama – Inner World (1-LP, Gold Vinyl)

#5 Filter – The Very Best Things: 1995-2008 (2-LP, Mercury Swirl Vinyl)

#6 Various Artists – Jazz Dispensary: The Freedom Sound! The People Arise (1-LP, Freedom Blue Swirl Vinyl)

#7 Jazz Dispensary: The Freedom Sound! The People Arise

#8 Various Artists – Black Girl – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Reel Cut Series] (1-LP, 180-Gram Clear Black Swirl Vinyl)

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Cosmic Ninja Evolve Their Genre Bending Style on New EP ‘Filth’

Bristol rock ravers Cosmic Ninja evolve their genre-bending sound on their brand new EP ‘Filth,’ released earlier this month.

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Cosmic Ninja, photo by Pacific Curd Photography
Cosmic Ninja, photo by Pacific Curd Photography

Cosmic Ninja has been taking the UK by storm over the last few years with their eclectic sound and raucous live show. The band has just released their most accomplished and exciting work in their new EP, Filth.

Their energetic appeal, disregard for genre conventions, and punk ethos have made the band stand out in a deeply creative scene. Filth is packed full of tracks that feel distinctive and
packed full of unique character while embedded with Cosmic Ninja DNA.

Recorded with John Mitchell (Enter Shikari, Architects) at Outhouse Studios in Reading, the EP bursts with energy and intensity throughout, melding impassioned political lyrics with dizzying electronics and huge riffs. From the angst-filled raps to the soaring, memorable choruses, the diversity and guile shown on the new EP are staggering, and with their sights set on themes like the political status quo, injustice, equality, and mental health, their message feels clearer and more important than ever.

A track that exemplifies the feel of the EP is “Stone Cold,” a track as dynamic and unpredictable as anything you’ll hear this year. Euphoric synths compliment a sound that skitters from groovy to melodic to spiky before reaching its apex with a colossal metal breakdown. Everything about the track feels laser-focused and precise, embodying everything that Cosmic Ninja is.

Filth is blessed with an abundance of similar highlights and moments of awe-inspiring creativity throughout. The powerful, socially conscious messaging that adorns these tracks feels vital and relevant, and the conviction in the dual vocals makes for a release that feels as authentic and pure as it does all-encompassing.

Cosmic Ninja ‘Filth’ EP album artwork

Cosmic Ninja ‘Filth’ EP album artwork

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Plutocracy Planet Announces Debut LP for Summer 2024

Born of the pandemic shutdown, Plutocracy Planet is an experimental sociopolitical super-collective led by Scott Morrow.

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Scott Morrow aka Plutocracy Planet
Scott Morrow aka Plutocracy Planet

Born of the pandemic shutdown and mobilized by the world’s societal ills, Plutocracy Planet is an experimental sociopolitical super-collective led by former Alarm Magazine editor and musical vagrant Scott Morrow.

Fusing post-hardcore sensibilities with electronics, polyrhythms, atypical time signatures, and a far-reaching instrumental palette including strings, saxophone, piano, harp, marimba, acoustic guitar, and more. The ambitious collaborative project utilizes the talents of more than two dozen venerable vocalists and instrumentalists across hardcore, hip-hop, emo, avant-garde composition, pop, and more.

Greed, inequality, and the endless influence of money in politics serve as the project’s thematic focal points. But between a broad-minded approach and a coalition of lyrical voices, the collective’s forthcoming debut LP also touches on the cult of personality, fear-mongering media, police brutality, toxic masculinity, religious zealotry, factory farming, the billionaire space race, and the singularity.

Lead single “This Very Severity,” whose music video premiered at BrooklynVegan and is out now on DSPs, features emo legend Bob Nanna (Braid, Hey Mercedes, The City on Film) playing a slowly unravelling news anchor, relaying stories of our current fractured reality and an increasingly dystopian future.

Nanna says:

“I was overjoyed to be asked to contribute to the record as I usually don’t dabble in this genre or subject matter too much, and now I think I should way more often. Being able to collaborate on cool, important projects is something that brings me great joy, so being a part of this record was a tremendous pleasure. Please disregard my lack of dress pants in the video.”

Joining Nanna on “This Very Severity” are a pair of instrumental phenoms, guitarist Jason Schimmel (Red Fiction, Estradasphere, Secret Chiefs 3) and bassist Jonathan Hischke (The Sound of Animals Fighting, Le Butcherettes, Hella, Anywhere).

Morrow says:

“It’s unbelievable to me that I get to work with the people on this album. I’ve been a fan—in many cases a super fan—of many of them for 20 to 25 years. It’s a mind-blowing honor that they said yes, and I still don’t really know how the hell I convinced them .”

Plutocracy Planet ‘Plutocracy Planet’ album artwork

Plutocracy Planet ‘Plutocracy Planet’ album artwork

Plutocracy Planet Track Listing:

1. Prologue
2. This Very Severity (f. Bob Nanna)
3. But You Said (f. onelinedrawing)
4. A Simple Refrain (f. Matt Pryor & Swamburger)
5. Commence Mutation (f. Carson Pace)
6. Slaughterhouse Soliloquy (f. Swamburger & Drumcorps)
7. War? (f. Rody Walker)
8. True Crime (f. Angela Mullenhour)
9. Hours and Hours (Work Harder, Not Smarter) (f. Mark Rose)
10. Dance of the Downtrodden (f. Carla Kihlstedt, Nils Frykdahl & Jørgen Munkeby)
11. Remain Silent (f. Emily Jane White, Blueprint & Bruce Lamont)
12. Epilogue

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