Hi, I’m Dan from the band Tape It Shut. We play a style of Punk Rock revolving around having more rap/spoken word sort of style vocals. I play guitar, sing and write most of the songs! We have been going as a band for about 5 years and have just put out our 3rd EP Dinosaurs Vs Robots. These are the three records that changed my life.
Anti-Flag – For Blood And Empire
This record is the reason I got into punk rock, as a kid growing up I was always questioning everything – why was the world the way it was? There were wars on the TV; and the banks had plunged the country into a recession and the government had bailed them out with taxpayers’ money. It all seemed wrong to say the least. As an adult I now can see the fucked up politics and policies that had made this happen, but as a 14 year old I didn’t get it and no adults seem to be able to give me credible answers. That’s when I first heard A 911 For Peace and its anti-war sentiment resonated with me so hard I spent my pocket money on For Blood And Empire.
Suddenly there were some American punks in my ears talking about a lot of things I didn’t understand, but the choruses all seemed to make sense to me and were catchy enough they got in my head. As I got into it I discovered, reading through the lyric book, that they had small essays on what each of the songs were about, with sources to articles that connected the politics. It legitimised all those thoughts in my head that this is not the way the world should be and made me pursue a love of political punk rock. Also Chris #2 is my favourite bassist ever and this record is a testament to that, every song on it rips, hard hitting but catchy enough to be a gateway record.
Mindless Self Indulgence – Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy
People have told me MSI are a guilty pleasure but I don’t feel guilty admitting that this is one of my favourite records. Every record I had listened to had been welcoming and written from a good place, this record actively told me to go fuck my self and that they didn’t give a shit about me. It was actively being counterculture and masochistically I loved it – there was something honest, hard hitting and unique about it.
As a teenager it blew my little mind; Hip-Hop, Electronic and Punk Rock in a single band’s sounds, with more samples than you could reasonably pay for nowadays due to copyright. 30 tracks long (including the skits), most being two-minute blasters of songs. Lyrically it was offensive, crass and downright immature, but also liberating to see the envelope pushed as far as it could go. The drums are so good on this, the beats are so good, I always have them in my head and I still listen to this record every few months, discovering a new sample or a little fill that didn’t hear the first 500 times. It changed how I think about music and how I write it to this day.
AJJ – Christmas Island
Mid way through 2015 at age 19 I found this this record. I first heard a song from it on the “Welcome To Night Vale” podcast (a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale, reporting on the strange events that occur within it). My favourite thing about the podcast is they have a “weather” part each episode which features a song by a different artist each week. It was usually weird indie or strange electro sounding music, but the one on this episode sounded more punk rock. The first line chimed in “in came the being born police, to take the newly un-deceased”. “Wow,” I thought, “a band writing lines as weird as that deserves at least a listen just out of curiosity”. So I bought Christmas Island ready for my next train journey at the time. A little context at time – I was working an IT job I hated and the best part of my day was the commute to and from work where I could listen to a bit of new music I had bought the previous day.
So the next day I stuck it the on. The first two tracks were what I expected, one being the single song I had heard the day before, but then “Coffin Dancer” kicked in and something connected deeply – the line “He sleeps a couple hours in the morning/Hates the morning when he wakes up”. I didn’t expect to connect with a record so weird and off the wall but felt like it was talking about my morning. Then during “I Want To Rock Out In My Dreams” I started crying really hard. Lines like “The older I get, the better I am at lying” really hit me, I started to realise I had been depressed with my job and my life for a long time, going through the motions, burying those feelings.
The final nail in the coffin was “Linda Ronstadt” the whole of this song describes perfectly what I was going through. “Today I lost my shit in a museum/It was a video installation of Linda Ronstadt”. It describes breaking down after seeing a video installation of Linda Ronstadt because of the emotions Sean (the writer) was bottling up, and here I was crying inconsolably on a train because an a AJJ record had opened the door to my own head. I started to realise how much I was struggling to admit that I wasn’t ok mental health wise and I wished those train journeys would never end so I could keep listening to my music and escape my life a little longer, so this record means so much to my life. I left that job, and started to learn to recognise when I was depressed and took some accountability for my mental health instead of letting it fester. I keep coming back to this record due to that impact and because it’s super catchy with great songs across the board.
Tape It Shut is a punk rock band from Reading, England. You can hear their latest record “Dinosaurs vs Robots” on Bandcamp.