DAN PADILLA "Sports Fans"
Every time a band releases a new record, both the band and label putting it our are going to say it's their "best yet." But hey, Dan Padilla sent me this record long before Dirt Cult even knew who was putting it out and I was saying it then. I've got the e-mails to prove it. Plain and simple,this is melodic and heartfelt DIY punk from some of the most genuine dudes you'll ever meet. **Folks from TILTWHEEL / MADISON BLOODBATH Here's a nice review from Scene Point Blank: "Considering the amount of time it took for Dan Padilla to drop their second full-length, last years As the Ox Plows, its surprising they're back already with another full-length in Sports Fans. The DIY San Diego, CA band hasn't changed up their sound much here, offering a similar blend of pop-punk, gruff vocals, and a strong bent of work-sucks-lets-get-drunk themes. Its singalong at its best, a modern punks version of a traditional drinking song, replacing the barroom antics with a general focus on a weary worldview. The band, fronted by J. Wang (Tiltwheel), shows a stronger sense of identity with each release. While their sound hasn't changed a whole lot since the early days, the songwriting grows more confident and the steadily-improving recording quality plays to its strength as loud, singalong punk. Its power chord based, but with nice melodies mixed within that subtly give a linear development. Wangs voice is the powerful force on this record, sing-shouting his messages with conviction that feels both earnest and urgent, and its best played loud. While I stated earlier that its a record of reflecting on the crap in ones life, its also a call to arms to improve that lot. The topical shifts between the whoa-oh Get Simple and the confrontational Right Now that follows is a powerful change of position that symbolizes how Sports Fans rounds out its multiple voices and emotions after all, life is a complex bag and people run the gamut over the course of a day. While Bar Stool Forgetting and Burning on the Inside are a couple of the highlights at what Dan Padilla does best, they also mix up tempos well. Green Flash takes a near-ballad approach, calmly singing about sitting on the beach and relaxing versus being stressed out from the day-to-day; Best of Us slows it down less successfully; and Geronimo is a big, big finish that builds up energy until a giant Surfin Bird-styled chorus closes the set. So Long is a favorite, with a slower verse structure that builds at the chorus while its lyrics take an introspective tone that fits bands style perfectly: blending the personal with the cathartic, exemplified by the fuck you and goodbye midway through, where the energy takes on a more aggressive approach as the song closes out. The record is a constant, positive vibe and even when the lyrics take a downer vibe it feels more venting than cynical. Get this off my chest, Wang reflects in Bar Stool Forgetting, as the band sings along, letting go of a hard day and finding the positive energy that keeps them going."