My name is Adam from The Kreutzer Sonata. We are a hardcore punk band from Chicago, IL USA with a new record The RoseHill Gates out now on Don’t Panic/No Time Records. These are three records that changed my life.
Monster Squad – Strength Through Pain
Strength Through Pain by Monster Squad was a game changer for me. I heard this record in the early 2000’s at a time when I was just getting into playing punk music. Until then I had listened to typical 80’s bands like Dead Kennedy’s, Black Flag, Germs, Fang and the likes. This album was a taste of the modern sound of punk rock and I was instantly hooked.
The songs hit harder, the band looked cool and tough and unlike most of the other street punk bands of those days they had the musical chops to back it all up. I remember hearing the song DFA (Don’t Fuck Around), about stomping out nazi bonehead skins in the scene and being blown away. Where bands like DK we’re playing goofy sounding anthems, Monster Squad came in with a straight no bullshit ripper about beating the nazis out of our scene with absolutely pulsing galloping drum beats and aggro vocals. Not one bad song on this in my opinion and the title track seals the deal at the end with the catchiest sing along epic gang vocals I have heard to date.
Gallows – Grey Britain
In a time where I was starting to get jaded with a lot of American hardcore, Gallows from England came out with this brutal follow up to their breakout album, Orchestra of Wolves. Though less spastic and chaotic as the last album, this was one of the hardest hitting and tightest compositions I still have heard.
Frank Carter, the vocalist is larger than life vocally and lyrically on this record and the stark social commentary and his iconic stoic presence on stage and in their string of videos released for Grey Britain he sealed the deal for himself as one of punk rock’s new heroes.
The guitar work in this blended heavy hardcore punk and dissonant rock and roll leads paving the way for a new trend in hardcore at the time. Listening to Grey Britain expanded my mind on how guitar could be played in punk and hardcore songs and I’ve never looked back.
Tom Waits – Bone Machine
My father showed me this album when I was a kid and I thought it was terrible. I didn’t listen to it again til I was 28 and it struck me right in the heart. The lyrics on this record are some of the most beautiful portrayals of humanity and the human condition that I have heard expressed musically. It taught me more about the song writing process out of punk and hardcore and how I could incorporate that and more literary lyrics into an often bare bones and aggressive genre.
The first thing I wanted to do when I finished this record was learn to play the piano (which I am currently doing) The grizzled voice and sad old empty bar crooning was a new emotional outlet I hadn’t expected myself wanting or needing. Waits taught me to not be afraid to experiment with more instruments, dynamics and vocal stylings unexpected for the genre I play in the studio and on stage and for that I am forever grateful.