Seminal Scandinavian Punks Refused are set to release a brand new EP. The record, title Servants Of Death and is due to be out this Record Store Black Friday (Nov 25th). It brings us one oldie, one brand new track, as well as four live tracks, which is surely where the band raise their game.
The Tracklisting for the EP is below.
01. Servants Of Death 02. Stolen Voices
03. Thought is Blood (live)
04. Dawkins Christ (live)
05. The Shape of Punk to Com (live)
06. Tannhäuser / Derivé (live)
Whenever you play a video game, something that draws you into them is the epic soundtrack that is backing your playing time and making everything that much more amazing. With the Tony Hawk gaming franchise, they’ve always managed to pick out some of the most enjoyable tracks and we’re here to pick our Top 20 of the lot!
One of the most aggressive songs on the list, going through Los Angeles and tearing through combos with this song pounding through the speakers was enough to get you pumped.
19. FOUR YEAR STRONG – GO DOWN IN HISTORY (THPS5)
Whilst it might the worst of the games out of the main series, going through different areas with this song as your means of plowing through was a nice feeling of satisfaction
18. GALLOWS – COME FRIENDLY BOMBS (PROVING GROUNDS)
Punk was a definite mainstay in the tracklists of these games, and when you heard this song blasting through during your free-play mode, it was a rage-inducing combo smasher!
17. DIE YOUNG (TX) – ANTHEM OF THE PRODIGAL SON (PROJECT 8)
Project 8 was a somewhat relaxing game, not having to worry about the missions as such. When it came time to knuckle down, this song gave the adrenaline to take on anything!
16. 25 TA LIFE – OVER THE YEARS (UNDERGROUND 2)
Arguably, the Underground series of Tony Hawk was a favourite in the staple and travelling around the world and causing destruction was greatly back by this hardcore punk smasher.
15. THE SHEDS – BAD THINGS ARE BAD (THPS5)
The last track to feature from the newest game is this more punk fuelled track. Creating your own park for the first time in 10 years and choosing tracks like this to destroy your own records was a triumph!
14. LESS THAN JAKE – ALL MY BEST FRIENDS ARE METALHEADS (THPS4)
One of the best ska punk bands in this generation, having to breathe a sigh of relief to not have to go fast paced through level in 2 minutes with this track as your anthem was one of the best feelings.
13. ATMOSPHERE – TRYING TO FIND A BALANCE (UNDERGROUND 2)
There was always a good selection of rap/hip hop in the song lists for each game, but this song felt much more flowing, especially during some of the missions and story arcs.
12. WOLFMOTHER – WOMAN (PROJECT 8)
One of the more commonly known songs from any Tony Hawk’s soundtracks, going through the Fun Park and just having time to just skate was always boosted heavily with this song as your background.
11. REFUSED – NEW NOISE (UNDERGROUND)
When you first kicked off Underground, not only were you amazed with the heavily focused storyline, but the fact that this song came out of nowhere and gave you that determination for the final stretch.
10. NOFX – THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND SKATE (UNDERGROUND)
Whenever you start a Tony Hawk game, you always feel much more inclined to just have fun at first. When this song came on, you just felt yourself enjoying the time skating and enjoying flowing through the campaign.
9. BAD RELIGION – YOU (THPS2)
Going back to the older games, the soundtracks always made those games iconic. A track that is agreeable with that is this late 80’s punk annihilator.
8. THE NEXTMEN – AMONGST THE MADNESS (THPS3)
There’s no doubt in your mind that going through the Airport level with this track being your guide made that level so much more relaxing, especially with the simple upbeat drum pattern.
7. SUBLIME – SEED (UNDERGROUND)
There was nothing like the feeling of some ska/reggae punk rock to help you relax a lot more after Eric leaves you in Russia to get arrested after crashing a tank (what a colossal willy.)
6. SNAPCASE – ENERGY DOME (PROVING GROUND)
It might be the most controversial placement on this list, but that unbridled passion coming through the track adding to your gameplay showed off the true highlights of skating mixed with music.
5. ANTHRAX FT. CHUCK D – BRING THA NOIZE (THPS2)
The top 5 are from all the first three games. The ones that set the standard for skating games in general, going through School II and having this be part of your 2 minutes was a dream come true.
4. DEAD KENNEDYS – POLICE TRUCK (THPS)
It’s with a 99% certainty that this is the first song you would ever hear in relation to Tony Hawk games. Starting as a young child and playing through Warehouse through the first time with this being your backing song opened up your world to something new and exciting.
3. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – GUERILLA RADIO (THPS2)
Opening up the entire game of THPS2 was this absolute banger of a track. Any level in the game was made that much more enjoyable with this song being the addition to your 360 Melon grabs.
2. GOLDFINGER – SUPERMAN (THPS)
Bringing one of the strongest flavoured songs to any THPS game, any level from the first game was made that much more exciting and enjoyable, especially the ever-so-frustrating Mall level.
1. CKY – 96 QUITE BITTER BEINGS (THPS3)
This track was such a powerfully gripping track in that it has its own aura when going through any particular level on THPS3. Whether it be grinding for ages on Cruise Ship or pulling off huge combo in Skater Island, this song was the epitome of having a great time!
This is a special year for 2000 Trees festival. As it celebrates its 10th birthday as a festival it also bares witness to not only its biggest line up to date but also a ridiculously high attendance that fully solidifies itself as a growing and important British festival.
The Thursday kicks off with Max Raptor (8) delivering a feisty set at The Cave that gets everything going in tremendous fashion. It’s genuinely refreshing to see an opening band bring this much energy, as it really sets a fantastic vibe for not only the rest of the festival but also for young newcomers Milk Teeth (7). Having released Vile Child this year to universal praise, Milk Teeth’s set is strong if a little choppy with regards to pace. An ill placed Kabuki ruins the momentum the band gathered with their opening songs, but it is regained by the time Crows Feet kicks in.
Over on The Axiom stage, Rob Lynch (6) delivers his acoustic melodies with relative success, sounding good but the scarce crowd not overly enthused. If nothing else his set serves as a relaxing half hour before Black Peaks (9) waltz along to blow everyone before them out the water. The stupendous vocal delivery steals the show, with Glass Built Castles becoming a theatrical welcoming of the apocalypse. The band sound incredibly tight, the vocals continuously impress throughout and the crowd loses its collective shit for them, so it all in all a massive success.
It’s a shame that We Were Promised Jetpacks (6) have to follow them because their set certainly fails to live up to expectations. The tracks come short, not quite hitting the emotional mark they were aiming for, and with a set that sees them stretching songs far beyond their intended length makes it all a bit boring after a while. Ireland’s own And So I Watched You From Afar (7) manage to pick up the energy rather well as they follow on. Not having a singer doesn’t seem to stop them controlling the crowd with ease, as the pit swells and crashes with each riff. The songs however are repetitive enough for them to start to become boring if you aren’t already familiar with them.
The not-so-secret headline slot of Frank Turner (8) sees The Axiom tent absolutely packed out. The moment Frank, armed with just his guitar, walks on stage the crowd loses it’s mind and remains captivated for the rest of the set. Performing a slightly altered version of the England Keep My Bones album, it serves as a special set for all those present, and despite losing some momentum towards the tail end of the set, it finishes with an almighty sing along that immediately stands as an early highlight of the weekend. It remains all fun and games though until The Bronx (9) begin their vicious headline slot over at The Cave. Remaining modern-day punk legends, the band deliver a set that is firmly set at 100mph and does not let up for the first 30 minutes. The Unholy Hand is a spite filled middle finger to the religious establishment and White Guilt serves as a welcome reprise before the band slam it right back into overdrive. The performance is effortless, the level of enjoyment is clearly displayed on the face of every single person in attendance and when you see steam pouring off the heads of every band member on stage, it truly indicates a phenomenal end to the first day.
With Thursday off to such a cracking success and everyone clearly still riding the high from the previous night, Press To Meco (8) are quick to capitalise on it. Playing early on The Axiom means the tent isn’t as packed as one would like for a band of such talent but tracks like Honestly and Autopsy impress everyone present and the band undoubtedly leave with more fans than when they arrived. Over at The Cave, Trash Boat (7) begin a set that comes off the back of a sweaty headline tour with WSTR in tow, but they remain still full of energy. Their recent album Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through fuelled the majority of their set. Opening with How Selfish I Seem, the atmosphere is tangible and the floor erupted into a pit. Top tracks from previous releases like Perspective and Boneless brought on lots of crowd interaction. The only issue with the set is a slightly unavoidable one. Trash Boat’s updated style dominated by heavy punk and harsh vocals leaves the set more inaccessible for those unfamiliar with the band. It’s a show for the fans, but a damn good one.
Keeping the momentum up on The Cave stage, Palm Reader (6) deliver a set that drips in intensity. From every member of the band staring down the crowd to the sheer chaotic brilliance of their post-hardcore assault. Technical issues and one member struggling to remember the setlist means their performance misses the mark, but the new song they play sounds like their most aggressive out put to date. It’s a better performance than Krokodil (4) though, as they march on the stage only to be greeted by a sparse crowd. They immediately kick into Shatter and Dead Mans Chest, both of which boast monster riffs that just do not resonate with the audience. The performance quickly becomes stale with no one present being too familiar with the material and the band quickly losing favour. A new album will do well to inject some more ferocity into a band desperately lacking something.
Easily one of the biggest draws for the weekend, Lonely The Brave (7) are welcomed by a packed out tent of genuinely devoted fans. It’s a joy to watch the band grow, and whilst their new material goes down well with the audience, it’s obvious everyone is craving more material from their stellar debut. If the set was far more balanced in terms of song choice then this could have easily been one of the sets of the weekend, but it instead falls disappointingly flat. It’s not uncommon to see Neck Deep (7) hitting the main stage of festivals nowadays, and 2000 Trees’ Friday saw their bright, flame-based stage scenery come out in preparation. Opening with the first track of off Life’s Not Out To Get You, Citizens of Earth and it sets off their time well. Neck Deep don’t seem out of place playing outside stages any more, but despite playing with admirable gusto, it doesn’t quite translate perfectly just yet. It’s not surprising to hear Neck Deep bring out their heart-throb acoustic A Part Of Me, but it feels almost cliché. Their recent ballad December was performed as a full band rendition, and proved one of the best songs of the set, filled to the brim with energy
Mallory Knox (8) follow them out on the main stage and simply captivate everyone in the audience with a confident set that proves them to be one of the recent success stories of the UK underground. Their stage set is cool to look at and their sing along anthems keep the dancefloor moving for the entirety of the set. These lads proved with ease why they could’ve just as easily headlined a stage and in future may just headline this festival. Over at The Cave Basement (9) are back, and their headline set proves they’ve not lost any ground. The band’s song choices for their hour-long set were perfect, paying tribute to the best of each release. Opening with Whole, the first track of their last pre-hiatus album Colourmeinkindness, the crowd were raising the roof on the tent and throwing themselves over the barrier in celebration. The sound mix for the set was stellar, with the live performance sounding nigh on record quality. Songs from Basement’s recent album Promise Everything went down excellently, especially the energetic Aquasun. A magnificent use of lighting and stage smoke had Basement silhouetted on stage resulting in one of the most atmospheric sets of the festival.
Headlining The Axiom stage at 2000 Trees is a big deal for Moose Blood(8) and they address it with their usual, continually repeated thanks. They also couldn’t wipe the grins off of their faces for most of the set. Kicking off with the rocking single Honey, Moose Blood seem more of a rock outfit on stage than a subdued emo-punk piece, and it works excellently. The band’s first ever song and fan favourite Bukowski had the tent ringing as the crowd blasted all the words back. The second half of the set faltered slightly due to a higher number of slow songs coming out, but Moose Blood’s delivery was still spot on. For those who decided to watch the entire Twin Atlantic (7) set instead of Moose Blood will probably feel ever so slightly salty. Whilst Twin Atlantic start off with gusto and tracks like Free providing fantastic highlights of their performance, the set slowly lose momentum in the second half. The set only really re-energises with closer Heart & Soul as the crowd sing the band off in glorious fashion. Whilst not absolutely mind blowing, Twin Atlantic perform deliver a fun set that by and large goes down well with the packed out crowd.
Being somewhat akin to a 12 car pile up on the motorway, Heck (7) are second on the main stage and their set is absolutely fucking mental. With two members spending more time out in the crowd and climbing random structures than on stage, the show becomes very scattershot very quickly, with too much to take in and thus no time to digest the brilliant chaos that’s occurring. Powerboat Disaster remains a banger though and sounds massive on the main stage. After witnessing all that bedlam, Puppy (5) are incredibly tame in comparison and their Deftones-gone-Ghost sound does not gain any traction with the lingering crowd. The songs sound good and would undoubtedly do better at one of their own headline shows.
WSTR (5) are one of the UK pop punk scene’s protégé bands of recent years, but their set proved you can only ride the hype of a six song EP for so long. Newcomers to seeing WSTR live may not have found as much to be disappointed by, but any that have seen WSTR multiple times since the release of their debut EP nearly a year ago are likely to have found the set stale. Despite promising new music “very soon”, the band are still playing the same set as they have been since they made their way into the limelight. When the biggest crowd pop comes from a Limp Bizkit cover then it’s really time to reinvigorate your live show. Remaining the exact opposite of this are Creeper (8), who rather ironically, creep along to deliver a contender for set of the weekend. The crowd is a lot thinner than most anticipated but the band refuse to let that stop them as the energy they bring is second to none. VCR kicks off the set with gumption and playing 4 of the 5 tracks from their most recent EP The Stranger sends the crown into a complete frenzy. Henley’s Ghost doesn’t resonate as well as it would in a smaller venue but the entire set before it more than makes up for the flat set closer.
Immediately following are Arcane Roots (7) whose loyal fan base make up the majority of their main stage crowd. Slowly progressively builds until the entire crowd explodes as the band display their hidden aggression that actually bites harder than you’d expect. A muddy sound prevents the riffs from truly reaching their full potential as notes are lost in the mix, but the band are tight and play with clear enjoyment on their faces. The King Blues (9) are up next and what absolute form they find themselves on. Itch is dressed rather well considering his through and through punk ethos but despite this the seething spite that comes through the microphone during Off With Their Heads is intimidating. The set is balanced nicely and spans their entire career albeit missing out Long Live the Struggle and every song is played with passion. It’s a set of the weekend from a band that are regaining their spot atop the pack.
The Cave quickly becomes a hub for every technical music fan in attendance as Animals As Leaders (8) put on a talented display that simply stuns at every opportunity. As well improvising over already incredibly technically challenging pieces of music, every member delivers their parts with the utmost accuracy. Tosin Abasi is calm as ever as he displays his genuine god-like guitar playing ability. There isn’t a better musician on the line up and for those present they get an absolute treat of a performance. Where Animals… were unable to get the crowd moving, SiKth (7) have no such issues. The crowd explodes as they blast through a full career-spanning setlist that includes tracks off their most recent EP. The instrumentation is masterful but the vocals are so muddy that hearing anything either of the vocalists says is impossible. Pussyfoot fails to hit its chaotic peak because of this, but when either of the guitarists get a chance to shine they steal the limelight.
‘Why we’re headlining this stage I’ll never fucking know’ screams Loz Taylor as While She Sleeps (10) go about proving to everyone exactly why they should be there. The band are on colossal form tonight, as Brainwashed kicks up an almighty mosh pit and the intensity doesn’t let up. Loz’s vocals sound brutal and effortless as rest of the band play like their lives depend on it. Our Courage, Our Cancer sounds damn near identical to record and the planet sized circle pit that engulfs the entire tent during Dead behind the Eyes is just obscene. Couple this with a triumphant Seven Hills and a monstrous Four Walls to close out the set and you don’t just have the set of the weekend, you’ve got a contender for set of the fucking year. It’s a legitimate shame that Refused (8) have to follow this, because following any other band and they would’ve faired so much better. Despite this, the punk legends deliver a comfortable set that sees them confidently play and command the crowd. The band seem to lose some momentum mid set but it is quickly gained back as the band take it all in their stride. Taking time to speak out about issues surrounding the music scene such as the gender inequality sees the band targeting and railing on the wrong people but the sentiment remains true and the crowd agree whole heartedly. When its eventually time for New Noise to play, the crowd collectively lose their minds for one last time and the eruption is nuclear. Refused bring the weekend to a tremendous close and play out a brilliant weekend well.