MAKEOUT

Fusing propulsive punk energy, stadium-size pop prowess, alternative sizzle, and a ball-busting sense of humor, Makeout play the soundtrack to the best night of your life. Think of the Massachusetts quartet—Sam Boxold [vocals, guitar], Tyler Young [guitar], Alex Lofton [bass], and Scott Eckel [drums]—as the illegitimate offspring of Paramore, All Time Low, and Steel Panther, and you’ll be halfway there.

All comparisons aside, Sam sums up the group’s 2017 full-length debut, The Good Life [Rise Records], best…

“The record sounds like a party,” exclaims the frontman. “There are so many different influences touching it, but it doesn’t feel like anybody’s uncomfortable. That’s the kind of party we like!”



Whether or not the last statement is true, Sam and Tyler met each other as high schoolers in the Northeast’s fertile underground music scene (we can confirm that for sure!). After a revolving door of projects, the two joined forces with Alex in Trophy Wives. The group built a serious local buzz, performing on the Massachusetts date of the Warped Tour and winning an Ernie Battle of The Bands judged by none other than iconic GRAMMY® Award-nominated producer John Feldmann [blink-182, Good Charlotte, Sleeping With Sirens].

Impressed by the boys, the studio guru signed them to a production deal. Joined by Australian drummer Scott, they settled on a new moniker, Makeout, and holed up at Feldmann’s home studio for a month in 2016 between dates supporting longtime heroes blink-182. Throughout this whirlwind, they collaborated with the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer’s Ashton Irwin and Calum Hood as well as legendary skinsman Travis Barker on what would become The Good Life.

“All of those influences are in the record,” Alex goes on. “There’s a diverse feel, because all of these people brought the best out of us.”

“John kept us on our toes,” Sam continues. “One of the biggest influences I felt was from his lyrical attitude. He’ll drive the flow of the vocalist in a very specific direction. He made my vocals sound a little more badass and real. It flowed in a way that there was never a stale moment.”

That holds true for all 12 songs. “Childish” bursts out of the gate on a guitar gallop punctuated by arena-ready percussion and an unshakable chant. “We wanted to write a song about how it feels to be a kid,” explains the singer. “It’s that freedom from jobs and bills. There’s not much drama. It touches on that.”

Meanwhile, the first single “Crazy” explodes into a massive refrain between hilarious hashtaggable admissions such as, “I’m in the studio in fucking Calabasas. The Kardashians live here” and “I can’t go back to working at McDonalds. Can’t afford any more of your Sephora addiction.”

“It’s a lighthearted take on girl trouble,” Sam smiles. “It could be extended to either gender. It resulted from a feel sesh talking about life.”

“Where’s My Charger?” surprises with a subtle twang, while “Blast Off” illuminates their knack for a hard-hitting and heavy hook.

Ultimately, everything is a part of The Good Life Makeout encourage…

“Being in a band and doing this professionally is something we’ve all really wanted for a long time,” Tyler leaves off. “To us, this is The Good Life. We hope everyone gets to live their version of it.”

Story Untold

Story Untold (formerly known as Amasic) is a pop punk quintet based in Montreal, Canada that was founded in 2012.

Handguns could never be defined as a band that got together to make money or even to garner fame. Handguns could be defined as a group of dudes that formed a band because they love playing music and hate 9-5's. Sound cliché? Sure. But give this band a listen and you'll quickly learn they were indeed destined to play music and to stay far away from cubicles.

The creation of Handguns, made up of Taylor Eby (vocals), Kyle Vaught (guitar), Brandon Pagano (lead guitar), CJ Wilson (bass) and Woody Spokas (drums), was simple: they despised working "real" jobs and loved making music. For Handguns, it was organic. They all knew their fate and it wasn't going to be behind a desk.

"The only thing that has ever made sense to me was music," states Taylor Eby. "I love being in this band and traveling the world and seeing new places and meeting new people."

Before they were Handguns, Taylor, Nathan, and Woody all played in other pop punk bands in Pennsylvania and eventually decided it was time to gather and conquer. Once their lineup was in order, it wasn't long before they were churning out some of the most aggressive and catchiest pop punk fans had ever heard.

Starting Handguns and leaving everything they knew behind was a risk for all of them, but a risk they were all willing to take. "As soon as we started playing I knew what we had to do. Sell everything and just go for it. And that's what we did," says Eby.

Go for it is exactly what they did. Since their start, Handguns has toured the U.S. with numerous bands including A Loss For Words, The Wonder Years and The Story So Far and released three albums including Anywhere But Home, Don't Bite Your Tongue, and their newest release, Angst.

Handguns newest record Angst, which was produced by Chris Curren and Evan Phamakis (formerly of VANNA), is the album the band had wanted to make for years and their proudest accomplishment to date. The band wrote and demoed Angst in an old storage unit they were squatting in illegally, which then moved on to be recorded at Webster Lake Studios. While squatting, they collaborated on the lyrics, which derived from life experiences, situations everyone could relate to.

And while Angst is relatable, Handguns newest record doesn't surrender to the typical pop punk box it would usually be checked off in, but overpowers it. Angst is a more mature album than Handguns' past recordings- taking tips from bands like MxPx, The Bouncing Souls and New Found Glory, it revives pop punk with melodic gang vocals and fast paced tempos.

The future only holds good things for Handguns, with touring until the end of the year and reaping all the accolades thoroughly deserved for Angst. What's next for Handguns you ask? Well, that's simple. Keep going.

"We want to keep making the records we want to make and let that take us as far as it will take us," says Taylor. "We aren't going to put a limit on anything."

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